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Colorado House Passes Bill Eliminating Term ‘Illegal Alien’

Continuing a recent trend, the Colorado House of Representatives has passed a bill banning the term “illegal alien” and “alien” from state statute.

The bill, HB 16-1396, would replace “illegal alien” and “alien” with “undocumented immigrant” or “foreign national” when referencing immigration status in state law.

“Aliens are from other planets,” Democratic State Rep. Steve Lebsock, the bill’s sponsor said, according to the Denver Post. “We should not be referring to human beings as aliens.”

The legislation passed the Democrat-controlled state House 46-19, with 12 Republicans voting in favor of the legislation, the newspaper reports.

“It’s that PC thing that’s being pushed,” Republican Rep. Justin Everett, said according to the Post. “If someone is here illegally and you want to change the name of it sort of justifies it. It sort of gives them an air that they are here legally. We really need to recognize that people are here illegally. Illegal is illegal, any way you slice it.”

Colorado’s effort to eliminate the term “illegal alien” comes on the heels of the Library of Congress’ move to strip “illegal alien” and “alien” from its subject headings.

Last year California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation mandating removal of the term “alien” from the state’s labor code. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) introduced has also introduced legislation to eliminate the terms “alien” and “illegal alien” from federal statute and agency materials.

The Colorado bill must still pass the majority-Republican Senate and be signed by the governor before it takes the effect of law.

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