President Joe Biden’s administration is ordering Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, as well as agents with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, to stop using the terms “illegal alien” and “assimilation.”
Memos sent by top Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials on Monday told ICE agents and CBP agents to stop referring to illegal aliens as “illegal aliens,” opting instead for the terms “noncitizen” or “migrant,” according to the Washington Post.
The term “assimilation,” the DHS officials wrote in the memos, must be replaced with “integration” while “illegal” should be changed to “undocumented.”
The Post reports:
“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.” [Emphasis added]
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.” [Emphasis added]
The DHS memos come after officials at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency told staff to stop using the terms “illegal alien,” “alien,” and “assimilation” in February.
The month before, ICE agents had already been instructed to stop using the term “illegal alien” in official documents and press releases. The changes were quickly noticeable in the agency’s press releases where illegal aliens are now referred to as “noncitizens.”
The term “alien” is regularly used as a legal definition to describe a foreign national in the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) codified the term in law and defines it as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.”
“Telling law enforcement officers to stop using terms that are clearly defined in the law they enforce is just another example of this administration tearing down the law enforcement institution,” former Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan told Breitbart News, “If this Administration doesn’t like those terms then legislate and change the law,” Homan said. “Don’t instruct law enforcement officers to ignore the law.”
Despite objections from the Biden administration over the terms “illegal alien” and “assimilation,” the terminology was readily used by civil rights icon Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) who advocated for legal immigration reductions to boost the quality of life, wages, and job opportunities for America’s working and middle class.
In a 1995 op-ed for the New York Times, for instance, Jordan blasted “policies that permit the continued entry of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens and blur distinctions between what is legal and beneficial and what is illegal and harmful.”
Jordan similarly referenced the need for a national assimilation policy, which she called “Americanization.”
“Immigration imposes mutual obligations,” Jordan wrote. “Those who choose to come here must embrace the common core of American civic culture. We must assist them in learning our common language: American English.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.