[Trigger warning for violence and xenophobic othering]

"A 37-year-old illegal immigrant was under arrest Friday after three people were found shot to death and three others were wounded at two houses just blocks apart in the northern Virginia city of Manassas, the police said."

1. I know it's all the rage in the liberal media these days, but can we give the term "illegal immigrant" a rest? Please?

2. There's nothing in the story that suggests that the status of the suspects' immigration paperwork had anything to do with his motivation. I don't see any motive listed. And yet "immigrant" is the first subject direct object (or subject? little help?) in the very first sentence. "Immigrant" modified by "illegal".

Why? Well...
"[The suspect,] Mr. Alfaro, 37, from El Salvador, had been ordered deported by a federal judge in 2002, but apparently never left the country, the authorities said."

Deported! To El Salvador! Never Left! EEEELLLLEEEVVVEEENNTTTYYYYY!!!!11!!!!

So three people are dead, and three people are wounded, and Mr. Alfaro may be responsible. That's tragic. But the victims aren't illegal immigrant dead and wounded, they're just dead and wounded, which is pretty tragic in-and-of itself. Furthermore, Mr. Alfaro is a suspected murderer, which, paperwork aside, is a pretty nasty label to own for the time being.

Basically, the reporter is falling back on the lazy (and bigoted!) assumption that non-American-born people aren't actual people (see also, transsexual does X, black does X, woman does X, gay does X).

Oh! There's also the narrative that brown people + coming to America = Crime! Oh noes, fear for the future of the real peoplez! This is an interesting idea, in that it's complete bullshit. Obvious bullshit. You know, mendacity.

So knock it the hell off, already, NYT.

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