The Justice Department’s new terminology for illegal immigrants is making liberal heads spin.
Departing from Obama-era terms like “undocumented,” “unauthorized,” and “migrants,” the DOJ began referring to illegal immigrants as “illegal aliens.”
“Today Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with families who have lost loved ones because of crimes committed by illegal aliens,” read the opening line of a DOJ press release last month.
The term appeared again last week in an official statement announcing tougher rules for sanctuary cities, according to Fox News.
DOJ is now officially using the term ‘illegal alien’ pic.twitter.com/WyTYRkCPQJ
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 1, 2017
“So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” Sessions said in a statement.
DOJ Unapologetically Using Term 'Illegal Alien' At last a end to political correctness
— Paint King (@Paintking) August 1, 2017
Naturally, this shift in word choice outraged those on the left who claim the term “illegal” is somehow a racist slur.
Chicago Tribune writer Todd Slowik complained that “word choice is important,” and can send the wrong message.
“The phrase “illegal alien” plays into assumptions that immigrants living in this country without proper documentation are criminals,” Slowik wrote in a recent opinion piece for The Chicago Tribune.
A foreign national who is living w/o authorization in a country of which they are not a citizen https://t.co/7RjuIubVKn
— Heather (@hrenee80) August 1, 2017
A professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also slammed the change in words.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions “wants to create the impression that all aliens who are in the U.S. without permission are criminals,” Michael H. LeRoy said, according to Fox News.
While President Trump has regularly used the term “illegal immigrant,” former President Obama steered clear of the words, often opting for the term “undocumented immigrant.”
“They’re using a legally inaccurate term that’s deployed to unfairly label and scapegoat people who are out of status due to a variety of systemic circumstances,” Xakota Espinoza from the Center for Racial Justice Innovation, told LawNewz.
“The i-word is legally inaccurate, politically loaded, dehumanizing to the people it describes and likely unintentionally fuels racial profiling and violence directed toward immigrants,” Espinoza added.
What liberals seem to miss is the fact that “illegal” refers to the residence status of the person in question, not whether the immigrant has committed a crime.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, an “illegal alien” is defined as “an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national,” arguably a clear and accurate term to describe someone in the U.S. without permission.
But immigration advocates will probably not see the nuance in word choice as anything other than an attack on those who are not in the country legally.
Social media users were happy to point out that the political correctness of the Obama administration is no longer the norm.
ILLEGAL ALIEN. a foreign national who is living without authorization in a country of which they are not a citizen.
— mzaz (@mzaz86442) August 2, 2017
Illegal is illegal; this is no longer Obama Admn Get over it. Other countries would shoot illegals trying to get into their country.
— Carol Ann Rosicki (@cabrolb051) August 2, 2017
— mzaz (@mzaz86442) August 2, 2017
That is what the are! Tired of PC 💩. 👵🏻
— Marilyn (@mekumpf) August 1, 2017
Call it what it is by name… hurt feelings? Grow up!
— FreedomGal (@browneyedgal71) August 1, 2017