Democrats across at least seven states this year sought to ban terms like “alien” and “illegal alien” from state statutes, a report reveals.
A review by the Associated Press (AP) of National Conference of State Legislatures records shows that Democrat lawmakers in at least seven states, including Colorado, California, and Texas, authorized legislation to ban terms that accurately describe illegal aliens and border crossers living in the United States.
In California and Colorado, the legislation passed and such language will be stripped from state statutes. In Texas, though the legislation passed out of committee with support from Republicans and Democrats, it failed to advance any further.
State Sen. Julie Gonzales (D) of Colorado, who helped pass the legislation, has said that terms like “illegal” are “dehumanizing and derogatory” and thus must not be included in state statutes to describe illegal aliens.
“That language has been offensive for many people. And some of the rationale behind that is really rooted in this idea that a person can certainly commit an illegal act, but no human being themselves is illegal,” Gonzales said when lobbying for the legislation.
The nationwide effort by Democrats comes as Democrats on the federal level have tried to make similar inroads on the issue.
In January, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), along with 11 other members of the House Hispanic Caucus, filed legislation to ban the term “alien” from all use by federal agencies. Meanwhile, months later, President Joe Biden’s administration banned federal immigration agents from using the terms “illegal alien,” “assimilation,” and “alien.”
Now, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refers to border crossers and illegal aliens as “non-citizens,” a term that conflates the nation’s illegal alien population with legal immigrants who hold green cards and visas but are not naturalized citizens.