The Biden administration has ordered federal immigration agencies to cease using the terms “illegal alien” and “assimilation” when referring to those crossing the U.S. border illegally.
Memos sent from the White House to the heads of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ordered these organizations to use more “inclusive language” in the hopes of building a more “humane” immigration system, according to the Washington Post.
The term “alien” will be replaced with “noncitizen or migrant,” “illegal” will change to “undocumented,” and “assimilation” will become “integration.”
“In response to the vision set by the Administration, ICE will ensure agency communications use the preferred terminology and inclusive language,” said acting ICE director Tae Johnson.
Troy Miller, a CBP senior official, also said the border agency will follow the orders of the Biden administration.
“We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact,” Miller said. “The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”
In a tweet above, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke out against these orders, calling them “backwards priorities.”
Many Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed disappointment with the Biden administration’s lack of action in regard to the growing border crisis.
These orders do not come as a surprise, as the Biden administration required the Department of Homeland Security to abide by these same restrictions earlier this year, according to the New York Post.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service acting director, Tracy Renaud, responded to the Biden administration’s commands by encouraging “more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public.”
Another usual adopter of speech restrictions, California, passed a state law in 2015 which banned the use of the term “alien” in its labor code.
California legislators also want to ban the term in all manner of state laws, such as education, housing, drivers licenses, and natural resources.