Texas Democrat Believes Eliminating Legal Term ‘Alien’ is a National Priority

AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro believes it is time to make the elimination of the legal term used to describe people from another country, “Alien,” from our law books. Castro compared the term that has been used for decades to describe the immigration status of people entering this country legally or illegally to the words “lunatic” and “mentally retarded.”

Castro believes the term “alien” is used to “dehumanize and ostracize” people who are born elsewhere, according to a San Antonio Express report on Thursday. “Regardless of status, immigrants to our nation are first and foremost human beings,” said Castro, D-San Antonio.

Castro appears to be referencing the use of the word alien by Hollywood to describe fictional characters from other planets. However, Merriam-Webster dictionary would disagree with the San Antonio Congressman’s definition. The renowned dictionary defines the term “alien” as meaning:

  1. not familiar or like other things you have known : different from what you are used to
  2. from another country
  3. too different from something to be acceptable or suitable

Nowhere in their definition do they reference anything that is other than human.

The term “alien” has been used in income tax law and immigration law for decades to differentiate people who have come to the United States from another country by one means or another. In a paper published by Charleston College, the writer discusses the definitions in law of nonresident alien and resident alien as used for immigration status. Nonresident alien would be a person, not a space creature, who has been admitted to the U.S. for a temporary stay. A resident alien is described as an immigrant who has been granted an indefinite permission to live and work in the United States. That person has been granted a “green card.” The paper also references the tax reporting consequences for nonresident aliens and resident aliens.

When driving north from the Texas/Mexico one cannot help but notice signs advising “Smuggling Illegal Aliens is a Crime.” These signs are not posted by any group that might be classified as an angry hate group or militia. Instead, they are posted by the United States federal government at the entrances to U.S. Border Patrol inland checkpoints. They are not advising Texans about crimes involving the transportation of extraterrestrial creatures. They are simply referring to the immigration status of individuals who have entered the country without inspection.

Castro has chosen to spend his valuable time as a U.S. Representative introducing this problem that virtually no one is concerned about. His proposed legislation would remove the words “alien” and “illegal alien” from the government’s lexicon. Of course, the legislation has no possibility of going anywhere given the current makeup of Congress, but it appears to make him and a few others feel good.

“Discontinuing our use of the term ‘alien’ will help lessen the prejudice and vitriol that for too long have poisoned our nation’s discussions around immigration reform,” Castro said.

Castro’s position ignores the fact that it is the behavior of the illegal alien that upsets the majority of Americans, not the label attached. Castro is, once again, chasing a rainbow of political correctness instead of working on actually solving the problem of securing the border and stopping the abuses of these people he claims to care so much about.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX