Congressman Introduces Orwellian Language in Legislation

Every year, immigrants in search of better lives for themselves and their families make the effort to follow the proper procedures to enter the United States. Many contribute their fair share to society. However, it is neither fair to them nor to the American people when politicians attempt to place illegal aliens on equal footing as those coming here lawfully. That is exactly what Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) did.

Rep. Castro, the brother of Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro who is pushing to decriminalize illegal immigration, introduced legislation earlier this month to remove the terms “illegal” and “illegal alien” from immigration laws passed by the federal government. In Orwellian fashion, his legislation aims to replace the two terms with “foreign national” and “undocumented foreign national.”

“The words ‘alien’ and ‘illegal alien’ work to demonize and dehumanize the migrant community,” he said. “They should have no place in our government’s description of human beings.”

While this legislation is unlikely to be enacted by Congress anytime soon, it still highlights the push by open-borders activists and politicians to use a linguistic sleight of hand to alter public discourse surrounding the sometimes controversial issue of immigration. The purpose of altering this language is to “transform public perception on the [illegal immigration]issue by removing any indication that illegal aliens are engaged in unlawful activity,” according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

For decades, open-borders activists successfully lobbied mainstream media outlets to drop the terms “illegal alien” and “illegal immigrant” and pick up the more sanitized term “undocumented immigrant.” In 2013, the Associated Press buckled under pressure and revised its guidelines so that journalists would no longer refer to anyone as “illegal.” Considering that most publications follow the AP Stylebook, a majority followed suit.

Pro-amnesty activists understand the power of language. Castro is aware of this and even admitted that “words matter.” The idea is that repetition will normalize these more sanitized terms with the public and in turn, normalize the notion that millions of illegal aliens live within the United States. If this occurs, it allows lawmakers like Castro to easily pass a large amnesty or possibly open-borders legislation down the road.

For now, this bill has no real prospects for passage, but the balance of power in Washington is in a constant state of flux. If citizens and lawful immigrants want to avoid another disaster like the amnesty President Ronald Reagan signed in 1986, they must resist attempts from politicians and the media to normalize illegal aliens living within our borders. Modifying the language is only the first step in changing the illegal-immigration debate altogether.

About Author


Casey joined FAIR in 2018. He assists the research team with projects and writes for FAIR’S website. He previously spent a year working in journalism in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Journalism in 2017.


  1. avatar

    Once the Hispanics take over an area and become the majority, they then get elected to office. And when they gain control of the US government, they are then for any policy that can advance their interests of giving themselves power over real Americans, and also bringing in more of their own kind.. This isn’t any kind of planned takeover of the US I’m sure.

  2. avatar

    Joaquin Castro’s comment that “alien” and “illegal alien” “demonize” and “dehumanize” is a lie and is absurd. I have been an alien and a resident alien and was never humiliated. These are simply proper legal terms that identified me and categorized me and are no more demeaning than “dog’s tail”, cat’s tail”, “rabbit’s tail”, and so on.

  3. avatar

    I’ve a better idea: change the term to CRIMINAL ILLEGAL ALIEN and make it an automatic felony with a year and a day sentence, non reducible. Furthermore, they forever forfeit the right to apply for entry and are permanently forbidden from entering the U.S. FOR ANY REASON. Should they be caught again, the law would permit full verification of the person (DNA and retina scans mandatory when first caught), and the information is presented to a Judge who has NO CHOICE but to issue a sentence of death by firing squad, to be done within 24 hours of his issuance.
    Those who PROVE a case of asylum are not included. However, they are fast-tracked by the courts, and are held IN CONFINEMENT until their case is adjudicated. If not allowed entry they are immediately released to DHS for immediate return to their country of origin.

  4. avatar

    Undocumented? No, that is a lie. They have documents that say where they belong. Please do not let ANYONE use that term without challenging them, this MUST be called out.

    As for the Castros and others, we now have a 5’th column of enemy invaders in our government. That needs to be corrected.

  5. avatar

    I’m having trouble imagining what the open borders supporters think this country will look like if they had their way. Do our politicians realize that they are importing masses of racist groups? Do they understand that each group, for the most part, doesn’t want to become American, or be part of American culture, rather they do create the world they came from, as close as possible (Los Angeles looks like Tijuana, and Minnesota?)?

    Where do these open border politicians think they will be IF what they support comes to fruition? Believe me, they will not be the ones in power, they will quickly be tossed aside, as is happening already.

    I’m having a very difficult time understanding why our politicians are supporting immigrants so strongly, while ignoring the American people, without conspiracy theories. And, oh ya, if you know history, you know that EVERY COUNTRY ON THE PLANET is a country of immigrants…

    • avatar

      “…why our politicians are supporting immigrants so strongly…”
      The US excels at killing off its own population, be that with warring, extreme industrial pollution (Super Fund sites and such) and at times, reckless disregard (legalizing drug pusher big Pharma/opioids). Most recently, most extremely, economically.
      The more economically unstable the US becomes (for households) the fewer kids people have and many are choosing to have no kids. 1/3 of those under 35 still live at home. 1/3 of those under 35 have no job.
      Just about all of the West/Westernized populations are in decline. Rather than retool the Record Profits economic policies (neoliberalism), they instead have chosen what the UN quaintly calls “Replacement Population” – migrants. Given migrants work for less, that ups GDP (money going to rich people), Wall St, Business Round Table, US Chamber of Commerce, tech industry, big Pharma, big Ag, etc. are all for this idea.
      The US is a “nation of immigrants”, and always has been, for importing free to cheap labor, and this spasm of it is no different. Hiring a foreign worker is cheaper labor and new sales of spoons, sheets, cars, etc. etc. The flaw in their grand scheme: No discretionary income, no discretionary income markets. But being as greed is omnivorous, we are in full replay of the 1920s, when the US went bust.

    • avatar

      KATHY: Sorry, the correct term is illegal aliens, not immigrants. Immigrants enter the country legally, jumping through all the hoops required by law and with the intent of becoming a full, naturalized, English speaking American citizen, to use some of my background, not a Norwegian who became a citizen , not a Norwegian-American, but an American.

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