Bay Area advocates applaud dropping ‘illegal alien’ in reference to undocumented immigrants

Bay Area advocates applaud dropping ‘illegal alien’ in reference to undocumented immigrants

Originally Published in the San Francisco Chronicle

Tatiana Sanchez - February 17, 2021

Bay Area immigration advocates on Tuesday praised a Biden administration directive that removes the word “alien” from government documents and communications and urges more “inclusive” language when referring to non-U.S. citizens.

Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Tracy Renaud signed the Feb. 12 memo designed to encourage “more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public,” spokesperson Joe Sowers told The Chronicle in an emailed statement.

The contents of the memo were  first reported by Axios.

Under the new directive, officials must replace “alien” with “noncitizen” and “illegal alien” with “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual.” “Assimilation” would be replaced with “integration” or “civic integration.”

The memo “aligns our language practices with the administration’s guidance on the federal government’s use of immigration terminology,” Sowers said.

unitedwestay

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