Illegal alien or undocumented immigrant? Colorado the latest to debate replacing terms




  • In Business
  • 2020-02-14 02:30:47Z
  • By USA TODAY
Illegal alien or undocumented immigrant? Colorado the latest to debate replacing terms
Illegal alien or undocumented immigrant? Colorado the latest to debate replacing terms  

A Colorado lawmaker proposed replacing the term illegal alien with undocumented immigrant on Thursday, bringing arguments heard in New York City and California to a swing state.

The measure and similar efforts grapple with how language frames political conversations about immigration, and follow reports on the incendiary words President Donald Trump uses to describe migrants.

If passed, the Colorado House bill sponsored by Rep. Susan would require that public contracts replace illegal alien with undocumented immigrant, similar to how California removed the term alien from the state labor code in 2015. New York City went a step further last September by banning derogatory usage of the phase in an effort to prevent discrimination based on immigration status.

Fines up to $250K: New York City bans discriminatory use of 'illegal alien

Some who oppose the measures say illegal alien is a legal term for people who enter the U.S. unauthorized, referencing its usage in federal laws such as the Immigration and Nationality Act. Hans von Spakovsky, a fellow with the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, has called alternatives to the term imprecise or overly politically correct.

Meanwhile, supporters of the efforts say the term alien dehumanizes immigrants. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Tex., called upon Congress to replace the word with foreign national last year, introducing a bill he said would create a more welcoming environment.

"It's vital that we respect the dignity of immigrants fleeing violence and prosecution in our language," Castro said in a statement at the time. "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."

The bill did not make it past the committee stage, but studies show anti-immigrant political rhetoric can affect policy and negatively impact the mental and physical health of foreign nationals.

Endless fear: Undocumented immigrants grapple with anxiety, depression under Trump

There are roughly 10 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center. Most come from Mexico, Central America and Asia. It is estimated that more than 16.7 million people in the United States have at least one undocumented immigrant in their household.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration ramped up its pressure on so-called sanctuary communities, touting a new round of legal challenges in Washington state and New Jersey in an attempt to force cooperation with federal immigration enforcement authorities.

"In pursuing their personal ambitions and misguided notions of equal justice, these district attorneys are systematically violating the rule of law and may even be unlawfully discriminating against American citizens," Attorney General William Barr said Monday.

Contributing: Olivia Sanchez, Kevin Johnson and Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Illegal alien, undocumented immigrant: Colorado considers terms

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. Watchdog to Investigate Trump
U.S. Watchdog to Investigate Trump's Farm Bailout Program

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Government Accountability Office is opening a review of President Donald Trump's $28 billion bailout for farmers harmed by his trade war amid allegations that the money was mismanaged and allocated unfairly.The investigation came at the request of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich

Trump pushed CIA to find, kill Osama bin Laden
Trump pushed CIA to find, kill Osama bin Laden's son over higher priority targets

When the CIA gave Trump a list of major terror leaders to kill, he said he'd never heard of them but Instead focused on a target with a famous name, sources said.

For first time, Biden calls Obama deportations
For first time, Biden calls Obama deportations 'big mistake'

Going further than he ever has in expressing regret over Obama administration immigration policy, presidential candidate Joe Biden called it a "big mistake" to have deported hundreds of thousands of people without criminal records. "We took far too long to get it right," Biden said in a wide-ranging, sometimes contentious interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. In written statements included as part of Biden's proposed immigration overhaul, the campaign already had acknowledged "pain" surrounding deportations that occurred when he served as President Barack Obama's vice president.

Pelosi says she
Pelosi says she 'had no intention' to tear up Trump's State of the Union until she read it

Once she read through more of the speech, the speaker said she "realized that almost every page had something in it that was objectionable."

With tickets costing $580,600 per couple, Trump
With tickets costing $580,600 per couple, Trump's Saturday fundraiser will be his most expensive yet

If you want to attend President Trump's Saturday night fundraiser in Palm Beach, you'd better sell that old Renoir on the wall, quickly marry an oligarch, sell a kidney to a despot who really needs it, or ask Mike Bloomberg for a loan.The $580,600-per-couple event will be held at the beachfront

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business