Joaquin Castro Introduces Bill to Remove ‘Illegal’ And ‘Alien’ From Federal Immigration Law


REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX) HAS INTRODUCED LEGISLATION THAT WOULD REMOVE DEROGATORY TERMS FOR IMMIGRANTS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S LEXICON. (PHOTO CREDIT: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro (D), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and twin brother to former housing secretary and 2020 hopeful Julián Castro, introduced legislation Tuesday that would remove derogatory terms for immigrants from the federal government’s lexicon.

The Correcting Alienating Names in Government Act, or CHANGE Act, would eliminate the words “alien” and “illegal alien” from the Immigration and Nationality Act — the nation’s governing federal immigration law — and other government texts. The terms “foreign national” and “undocumented foreign national” would be used respectively in their place.

“Words matter,” Castro said in a statement. “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.”

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