“Hey Ed: Just to let you know that the official definition of an immigrant is someone leaves their homeland with the intent to permanently reside in a new land. Doesn’t really matter about going through any type of official or legal process; hence the term illegal immigrant is a wholly founded and correct term to use.”
Then let’s use it. I don’t don’t see much difference between illegal immigrant vs. illegal alien. I like to use “alien” because for some reason, it seems to get under liberals’ skin more so than “immigrant.”
That aside, there is a significant difference between “immigrant” and “illegal immigrant.” Granted, the term “immigrant” is not an entirely inaccurate description just like “hurricane victim” is not an entirely inaccurate description for people looting the neighborhood WalMart, but some descriptions — like “looter” or “thief” — are a bit more precise.
The point of my post was that left-wing media (like ThinkProgress) tends to leave off the “illegal” part of illegal immigrant to cast them in a different light in a effort to change one’s perception and opinion. Thus conservatives who want to curtail illegal immigration get an “anti-immigration” label.