A California Reader Wonders If Illegal Aliens Would Prefer To Be Called "Wetbacks"
April 09, 2009, 05:00 AM
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04/08/09 - A Reader Notes That Some Mexicans Do Go Home

From: Richard Gibson (e-mail him)

Re: Joe Guzzardi`s Column: Thin-Skinned Illegal Alien Apologists Can`t Stand The Truth

Regarding Guzzardi`s column about the opposition to his use of the term "Illegal alien" , which accurately defines the status of those entering America outside our laws: perhaps his detractors would prefer "wetback".

Like "illegal alien" that is the official language used in the U.S. Code, "wetback" also originated at the highest levels of federal government.

The word was first used in 1954 by the Eisenhower administration in reference to a formal program, "Operation Wetback" to deport illegals. 

Joe Guzzardi adds: The slang most often used in California to describe an illegal alien is "alambre" (wire), meaning that anyone who does not enter by crossing the Rio Grande River (a "mojado") arrives either over or under wire fencing.