Looking through some old mail and found a link I had sent around. It was a NY Times Op-Ed piece about the troubling use of illegal as a noun.
Every last bit of the article is right on, and despite being nearly two years old, it’s is still just as relevant today. For example:
Since the word modifies not the crime but the whole person, it goes too far. It spreads, like a stain that cannot wash out. It leaves its target diminished as a human, a lifetime member of a presumptive criminal class. People are often surprised to learn that illegal immigrants have rights. Really? Constitutional rights? But aren’t they illegal? Of course they have rights: they have the presumption of innocence and the civil liberties that the Constitution wisely bestows on all people, not just citizens.