The Library of Congress will stop using the term “illegal alien,” instead opting to use “noncitizen” or “unauthorized immigration” when discussing those who unlawfully come to the country.
The change came after a group of pro-DREAM Act students, known as CoFIRED, at Dartmouth College petitioned for two years for the more politically correct phrasing, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
“We call on both politicians and media outlets to follow the precedent set by the Library of Congress. It is way past time that we all recognize that referring to immigrants as ‘illegal’ is an offensive, dehumanizing term and that there is no excuse to continue using it,” Dennise Hernandez, co-director of the group, said in a statement.
CoFIRED advocated for undocumented instead, but the Library of Congress said it’s not accurate terminology.
“The rationale was twofold. First, while undocumented immigrants is often used as a synonym for illegal aliens, the phrases are not synonymous,” the executive summary said. “Not all ‘undocumented’ people are, or intend to be, immigrants, and many of them do in fact have documents of some type. Second, the authoritative sources for legal terminology that are generally referenced by PSD when establishing or revising headings, including Black’s Law Dictionary, use illegal aliens as their established term.”
While liberal groups have applauded the change, several conservative organizations said the move is unwarranted.
“It’s giving in to political correctness,” Ira Mehlman, the media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, told The LA Times. “‘Illegal alien’ is a proper legal term.”
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