In yet another chapter in the left’s grammatical battle to reshape language to suit itself, the Biden administration ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to change the terms in which they refer to those who illegally enter the country, banning talk of “illegal immigrant.”
According to copies obtained by The Washington Post, the change is detailed in a series of memos sent Monday to the department heads of ICE and CBP, the nation’s primary enforcers of federal immigration laws.
The new regulations are part of an ongoing effort to reverse President Donald Trump’s responsible policies regarding immigration status and further Biden’s efforts to build a more flexible immigration system.
The departments are to stop using the terms “illegal alien,” “alien,” and “assimilation,” instead being asked to use words such as “noncitizen” or “migrant,” “undocumented,” and “integration.”
The memos also seek to send a clear signal to a pair of law enforcement agencies and their associated unions that backed Trump’s presidential bid, urging that under a Biden administration, their approach must change.
“As the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, we set a tone and example for our country and partners across the world,” Troy Miller, CBP’s top official, said in his memo.
“We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact. The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”
ICE acting director Tae Johnson echoed those words in a separate memo, saying, “In response to the vision set by the Administration, ICE will ensure agency communications use the preferred terminology and inclusive language.”
Border agents routinely use the terms “aliens” and “illegal aliens” on social media, in press releases, and in memos to refer to people they detain for violating civil immigration laws or crossing the border illegally. It is still unresolved how they should express themselves when completing certain legal documents that require the use of these terms understood from their technical-legal definition.
Immigrant advocates, who have increasing influence in the White House, argue that the terms are archaic and dehumanizing and should be discarded in favor of a more civilized tone.
Biden proposed eliminating the term alien from federal immigration laws in the citizenship bill he sent to Congress on his first day in office.
Along the same lines, House Democrats introduced legislation in January to ban the term “illegal alien” and “alien” in federal laws and documents.
This imposition, which goes against traditional language, is seen in the political arena and the educational and journalistic environment.
As recently as mid-March, in an update to its editorial style, Wall Street Journal employees were given access to a notice specifying that while reporters will be allowed to continue to use the term “illegal immigration” to describe the process of illegal aliens arriving and staying in the U.S., it will no longer allow individuals to be described as “illegal” or “illegal immigrants” to combat the labels.
Behind this imposition on expressing oneself, there is a real grammatical battle through which the left intends to impose its ideology in different areas such as gender issues and the idea of relaxing borders and eliminating traditional cultures.
The term “illegal immigrant” is precise and serves to classify a sector of the population in an undeniable state to which they belong, pretending to eliminate that category has as a direct consequence to cancel the possibility of describing, calling, or categorizing a type of citizen that precisely in current times is extremely important to identify to address the worrying problems that exist in this regard in the southern border of the United States, eliminating the category would be nothing more than hiding the problem, which is undoubtedly what the left wants.
There is a term for not calling something for what it really is: Orwellian.