A recent FAIR opinion column submission was flagged by an editor who questioned FAIR’s use of the word “alien.” The editor noted that if the word remained in the column, the publication would be certain to attract a lot of unwanted attention from social justice warriors (my words) who have deemed the term at best insensitive and, at worst, outright hostile.
Sadly, this folly was actually nothing new. FAIR has been criticized over the years – and sometimes have even had our opinion pieces edited – because of our insistence on the use of the word “alien” when referring to non-citizens. This infuriates certain elements of the far left, who argue that we’re trying to imply that these individuals are from another planet. To add insult to injury, when we refer to individuals who are not in the U.S. legally, we refer to them as “illegal aliens,” which really seems to send some folks off the deep end.
We always push back against these objections, noting that “alien” is a legal term that is used widely by Congress, the Library of Congress, and most attorneys across the U.S. when dealing with immigration matters.
Most importantly, it is not just Republicans in Congress that use this term. In fact, it’s worth noting that the H.R. 6, “The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019,” the amnesty bill passed this week and supported by every single Democrat in the House of Representatives, invoked the word “alien” more than 230 times when referring to individuals who are not citizens of the U.S.