Biden administration purging ‘non-inclusive’ words like ‘illegal aliens’ from official speeches, documents

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WASHINGTON, DC – In a complete reversal from the Trump administration’s hardline and straightforward approach to immigration, the Biden administration is banning officials from using words offensive to illegal aliens, such as “illegal aliens.”

Axios has obtained emails sent by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials advising staff to avoid the use of terms the administration has decided are not “more inclusive” in reference to federal immigration law. For example, the administration wants officials to replace the word “alien” with “noncitizens.”

According to an email sent Tuesday to (USCIS) officials, acting Director Tracy Renaud signed a memorandum stating:

“(Officials should use) more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public.”

Other words being censored by the Biden administration include replacing “undocumented noncitizens” or “undocumented individuals” rather than “illegal aliens.”

Also, the administration has instructed officials to avoid the word “assimilation” by using “integration or civic integration.”

Renaud also instructed USCIS staff to refer to foreign nationals applying for green cards for permanent U.S. residency as “customers.” Critics say the new term creates the false impression that the agency is selling citizenship because USCIS charges fees.

Renaud’s memo is the latest in a trend by Biden’s team to restrict the words used by officials. In January, The Washington Post reported on a memo sent by the acting assistant director of domestic operations at Homeland Security Investigations that sent a memo to ICE agents ordering them to avoid the use of the word “undocumented.”

David Shaw said the changes were “an effort to align with current guidance and to ensure consistency in reporting.” The acting director’s order restricted the term from all official documents, memos, and emails.

The memo permitted the continued use of “migrant” and “refugee” but instruct agents to avoid the word “alien smuggling,” saying those that sneak illegal immigrants into the country should be referred to as “human smuggling.”

Shaw ordered:

“These changes should be implemented immediately in all products and correspondence.”

Rosemary Jenks, vice president at NumbersUSA, which advocates for stricter immigration limits, called the censorship “absurd”:

“I would think HSI would have more important things to do than this absurd effort to remove legal language from their vocabulary.

“Last I checked, we still have far too many dangerous criminal aliens, sex traffickers, smugglers and other threats to public safety and national security operating in the United States for HSI to be focused on becoming more woke.”

In another example of Democrats censoring language, a group of House Democrats is seeking to ban the term “alien” and “illegal alien” from use by any federal agency. Eleven members of the House Hispanic Caucus, led by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), have filed a bill to eliminate the terms from use when referring to non-citizens.

H.R. 457, filed on January 25, is titled “Correcting Hurtful and Alienating Names in Government Expression Act,” or CHANGE Act. The bill was introduced as:

“(A law) to prohibit Executive agencies from using the derogatory term ‘alien’ to refer to an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States, to amend chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, to establish a uniform definition for the term ‘foreign national’, and for other purposes.”

Ordering officials to censor language is made difficult when those officials need to work within the framework of federal law. Former Trump administration official Robert Law, now working at the Center for Immigration Studies, explained the conflict:

“By statute, ‘alien’ literally means a person not a U.S. citizen or national. That is not offensive, and neither is ‘assimilation.”

A ban on the use of the term “alien” would mean ICE officials and other agencies could not use the term “illegal alien” when referring to those inside the country illegally. Federal law defines those inside the country as “illegal aliens,” creating a conflict between the ban and officials’ ability to cite the law in documents.

President Biden has supported efforts within his government to censor words deemed offensive and non-inclusive. His immigration legislation reads:

“The bill further recognizes America as a nation of immigrants by changing the word ‘alien’ to ‘noncitizen’ in our immigration laws.”

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Report: ICE agents ordered to stop using term ‘alien’ and ‘illegal alien’ in reports

January 30, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.- According to a recent report by the Washington Times, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have been reportedly told to stop using the term “illegal alien” in documents.

https://twitter.com/JanSobieski_/status/1355468724493549568

As stated in the Times report:

“With President Biden in control, ICE has move to police its agents’ words, telling them the terms ‘alien’ and ‘illegal alien’ may no longer be used in any documents. Instead, agents have been ordered to use ‘undocumented’ as in ‘undocumented noncitizen’ or ‘undocumented individual.'”

The Times report added:

“David Shaw, acting assistant director of domestic operations at Homeland Security Investigations, said in a memo that the changes were ‘an effort to align with current guidance and to ensure consistency in reporting.’ His order applies to all official documents, memos, and even emails.”

The terms “migrant” and “refugee” are still allowed as is “seasonal worker” and “detainee.” However, agents were told not to refer to those who sneak illegal immigrants into the country as “alien smuggling.” The new approved term is “human smuggling.”

Additionally, the term “asylee” has been removed and is now replaced with the term “asylum seeker.” Allegedly, Shaw wrote in a memo to ICE agents that the orders are to be “implemented immediately in all products and correspondence.”

ICE veterans called the changes stunning. Rosemary Jenks, a vice president at NumbersUSA, an organization that advocates for stricter immigration limits, said that the changes suggest misplaced priorities. She said:

“I would think HSI would have more important things to do than this absurd effort to remove legal language from their vocabulary. Last I checked, we still have far too many dangerous criminal aliens, sex traffickers, smugglers, and other threats to public safety and national security operating in the United States for HSI to be focused on becoming more woke.”

This change in report writing also comes as President Joe Biden has sought to halt the use of the term “alien” in federal immigration laws.

Reportedly, a draft of Biden’s immigration legislation reads:

“Lastly, the bill further recognizes America as a nation of immigrants by changing the word ‘alien’ to ‘noncitizen’ in our immigration laws.”

Deleting that term and stopping words like “illegal” from being used in the immigration context have been top goals for immigration activists for years.

They argue that “alien” is dehumanizing and the word “illegal” is pejorative and unfair to apply to someone who broke the law in order to find a better life in the United States.

According to reports, a group of House Democrats are also seeking to ban the term “alien” and “illegal alien” from being used by federal agencies to refer to noncitizens and those who are illegally present in the United States.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), along with 11 other members of the House Hispanic Caucus, have filed legislation to eliminate the term “alien” from federal agencies when referring to noncitizens. A summary of the legislation reads:

“All information (except text) for H.R. 457- To prohibit Executive agencies from using the derogatory term ‘alien’ to refer to an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United Staters, to amend chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, to establish a uniform definition for the term ‘foreign national,’ and for other purposes.”

The legislation proposal as well as ICE agents changing their report writing, brings its own problems. Illegal immigrants usually have documents, though at times they are fraudulent or stolen. 

Just this month, federal authorities announced charges against an illegal immigrant they say purchased a birth certificate and Social Security card belonging to a long-deceased person for $1,700. 

The migrant has been using the false identity for 30 years and has been collecting Social Security checks under the deceased person’s name.  

 

 

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