“Alien” no longer an acceptable immigration policy term

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Immigration |

The Biden administration is trying to right some problems with the immigration system. One specific issue is the term alien, which is used to refer to immigrants. It’s thought that removing this term will help to create a less adversarial tone for immigrants that are looking to move to Texas and other states.

Righting the Trump administration’s wrong

There’s no denying the fact that immigration has been a hot topic with both the Biden and Trump Administrations. During the Trump administration, USCIS was instructed to insert the term “alien” into the agency’s policy manual. This term has been used as a way to describe immigrants in the policy manual and throughout regular agency communications.

The Biden administration has instructed USCIS officials to swap out the term alien and replace it with non-citizen. The term “alien” has been counted to appear more than 1,700 times in the policy manual. It’s very clear that USCIS has its work cut out for itself in changing the phrasing of its policy manual.

A less adversarial tone

Many immigration advocacy groups have spoken about their outrage at using the term alien. They described it as dehumanizing, especially for immigrants who are on their way to becoming US citizens. It’s the Biden administration’s thoughts that using the term non-citizen is not only clear in its meaning but more respectful of those looking to gain citizenship into the United States.

As decades go by, calls for different changes regarding past behavior happen to every generation. While this change does require a good bit of work from various government agencies like USCIS, it can help to create a more welcoming introduction to immigrants looking to become US citizens.