Immigration Agencies Called on by Biden Administration to Abandon Use of Term ‘Illegal Alien’

Share:

By Michelle Funes

The Biden administration called to end the use of the terms ‘illegal alien’ and ‘assimilation’ by U.S. immigration agencies.

Under the U.S. Citizenship Act, Biden imposed many new policies in the American immigration system. One of these included abandoning the term that was often used by the Trump administration. In doing so, Biden hopes to modernize the immigration system to reflect more positive ideals. 

Biden is set to remove this term effective immediately. According to a memo sent to the department heads of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, there will be an immediate transition to start using more appropriate words that reflect Biden’s new bill.  

Troy Miller, a Customs and Border Protection official, expressed, “We set a tone and example for our country and partners across the world.” This statement also indicated, “We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact. The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”

This change in policy will begin to reverse many of the negative attitudes that were carried in from past administrations. Prior to these changes by the U.S. Citizenship Act, terms like ‘illegal alien’ and ‘assimilation’ were common in reports made on social media, statements made by former President Trump and official documents made by ICE. 

In changing these terms, Biden hopes to recognize, “America as a nation of immigrants” and create a more humane approach to America’s complex immigration issues. Despite his good intentions, many Republican officials have responded to his actions negatively. 

Senator Tom Cotton tweeted, “We use the term ‘illegal alien’ because they’re here illegally.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also expressed his disappointment as he tweeted, “President Biden is more concerned about Border Patrol’s vocabulary than he is about solving the border crisis. These backward priorities are only making the situation worse.”

However, there are those that agree with Biden’s new initiative such as Representative Nanette Barragán who stated, “These changes are a much-needed shift away from the negative rhetoric weaponized by the previous administration, and a small change that reveals how humanity can be reflected in our immigration policies.” 

There is a lot of division when it comes to Biden’s approaches to the border crisis. Though he hopes to find bipartisan support when it comes to these measures, which would allow him to pass more immigration bills.

Further, in March the House voted two very important immigration bills into action. One bill created a path to citizenship for about two million dreamers and those seeking refuge from their home countries under a Temporary Protected Status. Another bill on the same day would eventually grant almost a million farmworkers citizenship along with their families. Both of these bills passed with bipartisan support. 

It is also important to note that a special budget procedure, reconciliation, can be used to get the bill passed immediately without full support. This measure was taken to pass the COVID-19 relief package that was not supported by many Republican lawmakers.  

Ultimately, Biden has many different routes that he can take to pass immigration policies. The approval of these policies from his fellow lawmakers will depend on the issues that are being addressed and if there are any other ways that he can tackle them. 

Michelle Funes is a second year at UC Davis. She is currently an English major and hopes to double major with Communications. She is from Southern California, more specifically Covina.

Share:

About The Author

Related posts

15 thoughts on “Immigration Agencies Called on by Biden Administration to Abandon Use of Term ‘Illegal Alien’”

  1. Alan Miller

    One of these included abandoning the term that was often used by the Trump administration.

    And every previous administration and countries around the world.

    I am all for massive immigration reform, and have been for half-a-century, and seen as good as none.  That’s why I hate the Democratic Party.  That’s why I hate the Republican Party.

    two million dreamers

    The article doesn’t say what the artist formerly known as illegal immigrants will be known as.  “fuzzy dice” perhaps.  In recent years the answer from the left has been to blur particular discussions on immigration so the there is no distinction between ‘legal’ and ‘fuzzy dice’, so its all ‘immigrants’ and ‘immigration’, despite the fact there is a big difference — not in someone’s humanity, but in how they got here — and that isn’t irrelevant.  Dreamers are people who dream.

    If you want to play with language, Mr. Biden, it’s a great chance to pull the wool over the eyes of the fact you won’t actually be making the real immigration reforms this country needs – but simply making it appear that you will try to do so, as everyone else has done for decade after decade, keeping the status-quo status of the stupid, because it benefits both parties to have undocumented people here, too many dying in trying, and to always have the issue to yell at the other party about not solving it, to solidify your own voter bases of the stupid.

    That’s why I hate the Democratic Party.  That’s why I hate the Republican Party.

    [note: if you’re going to try to tell me the Democratic Party is ‘less evil’, save your virtual ink]

    1. Don Shor

      I am all for massive immigration reform, and have been for half-a-century, and seen as good as none. That’s why I hate the Democratic Party. That’s why I hate the Republican Party.

      The Democratic Party is not the obstacle to immigration reform.

      The article doesn’t say what the artist formerly known as illegal immigrants will be known as.

      Undocumented immigrants.

      it’s a great chance to pull the wool over the eyes of the fact you won’t actually be making the real immigration reforms this country needs – but simply making it appear that you will try to do so, as everyone else has done for decade after decade, keeping the status-quo status of the stupid,

      If they abandon the filibuster, immigration reform can happen. It would be a fully partisan vote. There are 2 – 3 Democratic party senators who would tip the balance and determine the final outcome of any bill that passes. But it is very clear that there will not be any compromise on this issue with Republicans, because they are afraid of being primaried.

      1. Alan Miller

        Spoken like a true Democrat.

        I’m sure it be different this time.

        And once we get rid of that pesky filibuster what’s next . . . that pesky electoral college?

        So that those left who believe they are right, instead of those that are on the right side of the political spectrum, will be forever in power? So the whole country can be like Berkeley, and Portland . . . and . . . Davis?

        Is it any wonder more and more on the right end of the political spectrum have become radicalized?

        1. Alan Miller

          Absolutely! It’s an anti-democratic relic to appease southern states—allowing them to count non-voting slaves  in apportioning votes for president.

          I’m not saying there’s not truth in that, the other truth is was to appease rural states.  There is validity in that is timeless.  Imagine values of everything non-coastal completely run by the population of the coasts.  I know most of you think that’s fantastic.  Enjoy.

          How do you suggest immigration reform be accomplished, Alan?

          I could spend time writing an essay on a topic I am not an expert in.  But instead I’m going to criticize you for using the common Vanguard comment section trick of – “how would you do it?”.  Yes I’m going to dodge the question.   Have a good evening.

  2. Ron Oertel

    I don’t believe that the majority of Americans support unlimited immigration (legal, or illegal).

    But illegal is virtually uncontrolled, and the amount is “decided” by those who purposefully disregard the border.  And Biden has made that situation worse (and more dangerous for those attempting it).  With each passing day, I’m increasingly regretting my vote for Biden (and Newsom, for that matter). 

    But really, what choices do we (otherwise) have, under the current system? Republicans are generally not environmentalists. (It might be interesting to see what Caitlyn Jenner’s positions are.)

    They also ought to do-away with the law which provides U.S. citizenship to anyone born in this country, from parents who are citizens of other countries.  That’s the type of “immigration reform” they should focus on.

    1. Ron Oertel

      I recall George Carlin saying something along the lines of, “don’t blame me – I didn’t vote in the first place”.  (Not in regard to this particular issue.)

      Of course, “your” individual vote almost never matters, anyway.

  3. Tia Will

    Does anyone disagree that the term “illegal alien” regardless of what political party in what country is using it is designed to degrade, demean and inspire fear of those attempting to gain entry, sometimes with their very lives at stake?

    1. Bill Marshall

      I disagree… I believe it is an inaccurate term, and should have it’s usage either be changed, or eliminated for THAT reason… I believe it was ORIGINALLY intended as a statement of fact, determined by fact finding…

      However terms ‘morph’, and may be used (and yes, often) by those who use it to to “degrade, demean and inspire fear of” others… the term was not inherently ‘evil’, but ‘evil people’ co-opted the legitimate term… to mean something else

      Some undocumented immigrants will be shown to be here rightfully, therefore, not “illegals”… bona fide refugees, where they were not processed in a timely manner, folk who had visas but lost their ‘documents’, many other factors…

      Some US citizens, in fact have been “undocumented”… my father, born in PA, of parents who were natural-born citizens, became “undocumented”… his birth certificate was destroyed in a fire that decimated the hospital he was born in… was eventually resolved by witness testimony, Baptismal records, etc.  After he was finally accepted to serve in the Navy in WWII, he developed other ‘documents’.

      The term “illegal immigrant” might well be the appropriate term for someone who violently breaches the border, injures/kills folk, and tries to establish residency for nefarious purposes… that would be exceedingly rare… to call such a person just “undocumented” is a farcical label itself…

      So yes Tia, with the clarifications I’m made, I do disagree… you appear to be “profiling” anyone who has ever used the term… and attributing motives that may or well may not have existed…

      I prefer the term “undocumented immigrants” (or residents/visitors) to the “Illegal Immigrant” one… good choice…

      1. John Alton

        Illegal alien is an accurate description.  Changing the term to “undocumented” so as not to belittle or demean the guilty party just belittles the crime.  But let’s go with it… a drug dealer is now an undocumented pharmacist.  He sells drugs just like a real pharmacist, he just doesn’t have the license, (documents) from the government that says he can.  If I steal your car I’m  not a thief, just the new undocemented owner.  I have your car, I just don’t have the documents that prove I own it.

  4. Chris Griffith

     

    Has anyone considered what would happen if first contact is made, and some alien wants to stay on earth for a while. He has no acceptable passport, right? Does he even have any rights? What if these illegal aliens are racist and they hate us so much they want to make us instant dinner for them, or worse, we become their sex slaves.

    Found this job posting and I’m kind of wondering who got the job?

    https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/474414000

     

     

  5. Bill Marshall

    Absolutely! It’s an anti-democratic relic to appease southern states (Eric G)

     the other truth is was to appease rural states. (Alan M)

    Both are true, and like a Venn diagram, big overlap… historically…

    Same goes for # of Senators, and following that ‘logic’, Electoral College… Wyoming has exactly the same ‘clout’ in the Senate as California… filibuster or not…  Wyoming has a population of ~ 578 k… California has a population of  39.6 million…

    Question is, in matters like the subject one, should we let the filibuster go the same way as the CA sabre-tooth tiger, and disappear into the equivalent of the La Brea tar (actually asphalt) pits? Relegated to the status of an ‘interesting fossil’…

    On many topics, and the current is one, the filibuster is interesting, but IMNSHO, anachronistic… like ‘using leeches’ might have been considered “good medicine” years ago… but now?

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for