College campuses once were thought of as places where the fostering of an open debate and free exchange of ideas was a fundamental goal. The decision by the University of Colorado-Boulder to remove the term “illegal aliens” from its library catalog demonstrates how academic institutions are more concerned about protecting feelings than freedoms.
On August 19, it was announced that the University Libraries had added “inclusive, non-Library of Congress subject headings to 5,367 library catalog records” on the issue of immigration. Now, the statement continued, users can perform searches “using more ethical subject headings, without being limited to using problematic subject headings such as ‘illegal aliens’ in the library catalog.”
What prompted the school’s decision? An effort “to foster diversity and inclusion in the libraries and on campus,” of course.
It is notable the university opted for the “non-Library of Congress” version since government agencies, such as the Government Accounting Office (GAO), recognize “illegal alien” as the proper, accurate and official definition.
In fact, the term “alien” and “illegal alien” are cited in the United States Code:
The term “alien” means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.
—United States Code, Title 8, §1101(a)(3)
An illegal alien…is any alien (1) whose most recent entry into the United States was without inspection, or (2) whose most recent admission to the United States was as a nonimmigrant and—(A) whose period of authorized stay as a nonimmigrant expired, or (B) whose unlawful status was known to the Government, before the date of the commission of the crime for which the alien is convicted.
—United States Code, Title 8, §1365(b)
CU-Boulder is not alone in sacrificing accuracy on the altar of inclusivity.
Earlier this year, Marquette University published on its website a language guide to “Undocumented Student Terminology” to offer “guidance for how campus leaders, faculty, staff, and students can show their support through compassionate and inclusive language.”
The page suggests not using “illegal” because “not only is it inaccurate, it is dehumanizing,” but does not stop there. Teachers and other alleged educators are told to be “sensitive” and make “known that use of the terms ‘illegals’ or ‘illegal immigrants/aliens’ will not be tolerated in their classrooms.
As the bastions of left-wing ideas and group-think that they are , it is not unusual to see pro-illegal alien sentiments promoted on campus. But when academic institutions begin to use their authority (legal and moral) to stifle the freedoms of one to protect the feelings of another, then we cannot remain silent.