We’re living in a very strange time as it pertains to language.
It seems to me that, in many cases, words are being treated as important when they aren’t; in other instances, they’re being changed willy-nilly when it means a lot.
Of my many thoughts on the subject, here’s one: If you decide to call a truck a car, you haven’t turned the truck into something new; you’ve merely changed the definition of “car.” The new meaning: “truck.”
Anyway, onto the unrelated story at hand.
File it as you see fit.
The Biden administration is cleaning up the government’s choice of words where those who bypassed America’s immigration system are concerned.
As reported by Axios, the White House is making moves toward “more inclusive language.”
Per the outlet, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Tracy Renaud recently lent his John Hancock toa memo spreading the word on “more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public.”
In the words of Axios:
Why it matters: The Trump administration referred to unauthorized immigrants as “illegal aliens” and described border crossings as an “invasion.” The new terms point to President Biden’s more welcoming immigration stance overall.
Let’s peruse the changes…
Rather than “alien,” staff will be encouraged to use “noncitizen.”
And how ’bout that creaky old “illegal alien”?
The latest label is “undocumented noncitizen.”
Or “undocumented individual,” if you prefer.
Furthermore, for those wishing to see “assimilation” among those new to the U.S., you should instead hang your hopes upon “civic integration.”
Axios believes “immigration advocates will likely applaud the changes.”
Hardliners will not.
Former Trump admin official Robert Law seems to surmise it’s all silly.
Now an employee of the Center for Immigration Studies, he explained the following:
“By statute, ‘alien’ literally means a person not a U.S. citizen or national. That is not offensive, and neither is ‘assimilation.'”
In case you were curious, the law lays it out thusly, courtesy of The Daily Wire.
Enjoy 8 U.S. Code §1325, “improper entry by alien”:
(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—(1)at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or (2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection. Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.
8 U.S. Code § 1365, “Reimbursement of States for costs of increasing illegal aliens and certain Cuban nationals”:
(a)Reimbursement of States
Subject to the amounts provided in advance in appropriation Acts, the Attorney General shall reimburse a State for the costs incurred by the State for the imprisonment of any illegal alien or Cuban national who is convicted of a felony by such State.
(b)Illegal aliens convicted of a felony An illegal alien referred to in subsection (a) is any alien who is any alien convicted of a felony who is in the United States unlawfully and—(1)whose most recent entry into the United States was without inspection, or (2)whose most recent admission to the United States was as a nonimmigrant and—(A) whose period of authorized stay as a nonimmigrant expired, or(B)whose unlawful status was known to the Government, before the date of the commission of the crime for which the alien is convicted.
As we continue our syllabic shake-up, I have a feeling the laws — and contracts, for that matter — are gonna all look a might different down the road.
Putting wholly aside the topic of improper immigration, for a waxing on words in general, I’ll leave you with food for thought.
Or, mouth-sounds for milling:
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