Memos issued by Customs and Border Protection, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, tells employees to use the words “non-citizen” or “migrant." The change reflects guidelines set by the Biden administration, which is reversing many of the anti-immigrant policies of former President Donald Trump.
Instead of “illegal aliens,” which was still being used by some government officials in press releases and elsewhere, the employees of CBP and ICE should instead use “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual,” according to the memos.
Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said the directives were necessary to “set a tone and example” at an agency that includes the Border Patrol.
“We enforce our nation's laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact,” Miller said. “The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”
Administration critics dismissed the new language guidelines.
“We use the term 'illegal alien' because they're here illegally,” said Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas. “This kind of weakness and obsession with political correctness is why we're having a crisis on the border in the first place.”
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