The Obama White House was obsessed with purging the federal government of accurate terminology. From “man-made disaster” to “overseas contingency operation” to “undocumented immigrants,” the Obama administration attempted to downplay everything from radical Islamic terrorism to illegal immigration.
Happily, President Trump’s administration is done with all that. The DOJ will no longer refer to illegal aliens as anything but illegal aliens.
In recent press releases, the Department of Justice has been using the phrase “illegal alien” to define illegal immigrants.
“So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermined our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” the DOJ announced last week.
As expected, the critics are out in full force.
Some are calling it “legally inaccurate.”
“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.com.
Others, like Chicago Tribune contributor Ted Slowik, dedicated an entire op-ed explaining why the phrase is too “loaded.”
“Why does this matter? The phrase “illegal alien” plays into assumptions that immigrants living in this country without proper documentation are criminals. In fact, immigration status is often a civil matter, not a criminal one.
I think this cuts to the heart of the debate over sanctuary cities and to what extent local law enforcement should cooperate with immigration authorities. Important legal nuances are reflected in words we use. A “detainee” is not a “prisoner,” for instance.”
In summary, illegal immigrants committed a crime entering this country by circumventing the proper channels – but they’re not criminals.
. . . . Even the Supreme Court has employed the phrase.