Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) recently signed on as a co-sponsor to a bill that would prohibit federal agencies from using the term “alien” to refer to illegal immigrants.
The bill, H.R. 3776, was introduced by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) and would prevent “executive agencies from using the derogatory term ‘alien’ to refer to an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States.” Instead, federal agencies would be required to use either “foreign national” or “undocumented foreign national” when referring to illegal immigrants.
“Words matter. It’s vital that we respect the dignity of immigrants fleeing violence and prosecution in our language. The words ‘alien’ and ‘illegal alien’ work to demonize and dehumanize the migrant community. They should have no place in our government’s description of human beings,” Castro said in a press release after introducing the bill Tuesday.
His bill has 16 cosponsors, most of whom are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he chairs, and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
“Immigrants come to our borders in good faith and work hard for the opportunity to achieve a better life for themselves and their family,” Castro added. “Eliminating this language from government expression puts us one step closer to preserving their dignity and ensuring their safety.”
Omar has yet to publicly comment on her co-sponsorship of the bill. Tyler O’Neil, senior editor of PJ Media, recently published an article calling the bill “Orwellian.”
“Democrats have launched an assault on basic language when it comes to immigration issues,” he wrote in a Wednesday article. “Democrats have insisted that ‘no one is illegal,’ even if they break U.S. law to enter the country. This involves an Orwellian redefinition of immigration—claiming immigrants cannot be ‘illegal’ because to be illegal is supposedly less than human.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Lorie Shaull. CC BY-SA 2.0.