Last week, at the behest of pro-amnesty groups, the Library of Congress announced that “the heading ‘Illegal aliens’ will therefore be canceled and replaced by two headings, Noncitizens and unauthorized immigration, which may be assigned together to describe resources about people who illegally reside in the country.”
The Library of Congress’s decision is blatant capitulation to political correctness — replacing the correct term “illegal alien” with terms that are both factually and legally incorrect. The term “noncitizen” is overly broad and encompasses individuals who are legally entitled to be in the country, including legal permanent residents (green card holders) and guest workers. By contrast, illegal aliens have disregarded our immigration laws and reside in the country unlawfully.
The term “illegal alien” is the most legally precise, descriptive term in the lexicon. It delineates between one of only two possible categories; one either has legal status to be on U.S. soil or one is residing here illegally. “Illegal” means prohibited by law. Yes, entry without inspection into the U.S. is prohibited. And “alien” is a term that refers to a person who is not a citizen of the country. The term is well defined in 8 U.S.C. Section 1101. It is used by legal professionals across the board including the United States Supreme Court.
Despite what the pro-amnesty groups claimed to the Library of Congress, there is nothing insulting or dehumanizing about using the term alien to indicate an individual is a non-citizen. Likewise, it is perfectly fitting to acknowledge that an alien who is residing illegally in the United States has broken the law. To identify someone as an “illegal alien” does not imply a value statement about the person’s humanity; it merely identifies the individual’s immigration status.
Simply, it is inappropriate for the Library of Congress to unilaterally replace accurate, legal terms with inaccurate, generalized terms in the name of political correctness. Therefore, FAIR is encouraging all of its members and activists to urge their representatives to co-sponsor Congresswoman Diane Black’s bill to stop this absurd decision and ensure the integrity of terminology used by the Library of Congress. The bill, H.R. 4926, explicitly requires the Library of Congress to continue using the terms “alien” and “illegal alien.”
- You OPPOSE the Library of Congress’ decision to replace correct legal terms at the request of pro-amnesty groups.
- You expect them to CO-SPONSOR H.R. 4926, which mandates continued use of “alien” and “illegal alien.”
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