‘Alien’ is now a dirty word

‘Alien’ is now a dirty word
Ellis Island (Image: Library of Congress)

[Ed. – How is it dehumanizing unless it is used in the narrow sense of ‘space alien’? Also, noncitizen is imprecise since it also includes legal immigrants who are here on a path to citizenship. At least it’s an improvement over Biden’s claim in 2014 that illegal aliens are ‘already American citizens.’]

In a sweeping immigration reform bill, President Joe Biden proposed removing the term “alien” from U.S. immigration laws and replacing it with the word “noncitizen,” marking a stark break from the previous administration which encouraged the use of the term “alien.”

The bill, which also seeks to provide an eight-year path to citizenship to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, individuals with temporary protected status and millions of others living in the United States without legal immigration status, “further recognizes America as a nation of immigrants,” according to a summary of the legislation released by the new administration.

Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the advocacy group Center for Popular Democracy, said in a statement she applauded “many aspects of the proposed legislation, including: the pathway to citizenship,” as well as “the elimination of the dehumanizing term ‘alien’ from the law.”

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