Howard Dean is the gift that just keeps on giving. I hope there’s a recording of this call somewhere.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean yesterday said Republicans are targeting immigrants and told the Republican presidential candidates that the tone of their debates on the issue has become “outrageous.”

“Stop scapegoating immigrants and stop using immigration as a wedge issue,” Mr. Dean, a 2004 presidential hopeful, said in a conference call with reporters meant to set the stage for this weekend’s Republican presidential debate on Spanish-language network Univision.

Mr. Dean said that in the most recent debate, Republicans used “outrageous phrases like ‘illegal aliens.’ ” He urged the candidates to “have some morality and some humanity.”

Dr. Dean might think about developing some common sense. “Illegal alien” is not an “outrageous phrase.” It’s an accurate term of law.

The term illegal alien commonly refers to a foreign national who resides in another country unlawfully, either by entering that country at a place other than a designated port-of-entry or as result of the expiration of a non-immigrant visa. The important distinction is that this person intends to remain in the country indefinitely. A tourist who has the present intent to leave would be included as a legal alien described above. Today the preferred term by the politically correct is illegal immigrant because the word alien has become unpopular.

“Illegal alien” is far more accurate and far less outrageous than calling them “undocumented Americans.”

Also more outrageous than “illegal alien” is the conflation of law-abiding immigrants who respect our country enough to stay within the system, and those who don’t. Dean, most Democrats and the open borders Republicans do this routinely, and largely with impunity.

Most outrageous in all of this are politicians like Dean who openly advocate for millions of people who flout US law every single day. If anyone is turning illegal immigration into a wedge or racial issue, it’s demagogues like Howard Dean.