Friday, June 8th, 2018

Stop Calling People ‘Aliens’

"The use of the word “illegal” to describe non-citizens who are present in the United States without authorization is finally beginning to die a much-deserved death, at least in the mainstream press. … Despite this trend, the term “alien” remains not only in popular use, but also in the federal statute, the Immigration and Nationality Act, that regulates immigration to the United States. … All of this still begs the question: Why “alien”?  How did the specific term “alien” — which means not just non-citizen or non-national but, in a certain sense, non-person — become an accepted legal definition, and colloquial description, of the immigrant under U.S. law?  Would using a different word change the public’s attitude toward immigrants? And what does outer space have to do with it?" –