Of those seven, Colorado has also passed legislation replacing the dehumanizing terminology in state language. “That language has been offensive for many people,” state senator and co-sponsor Julie Gonzales told the AP. “And some of the rationale behind that is really rooted in this idea that a person can certainly commit an illegal act, but no human being themselves is illegal.”
“An analysis by The Associated Press (which doesn’t refer to people as ‘aliens’ except in direct quotes) found that more than a dozen states still use the terms ‘alien’ or ‘illegal’ in statutes referring to immigrants,” the report continued. The Biden administration has sought to replace this dehumanizing terminology as part of an immigration overhaul, but because that package has stalled in Congress (this is different from what’s currently before the Senate), the terminology change in U.S law has also stalled.
But as recently noted, the Biden administration has ordered changes at federal immigration agencies. The Library of Congress has also, finally, implemented changes that have been years in the making. That came to the ire of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who wrote a letter slamming the changes. Get over it, Ted. “We are pleased that the Library of Congress is replacing these subject headings, which are both outdated and dehumanizing,” American Library Association President Patricia “Patty” M. Wong said in welcoming the change.
The AP reports that Texas has been among the states visiting this issue this year, where legislation passed a committee with bipartisan support but stalled on the House floor. Legislators will reportedly try again in the next session, but if Gov. Greg Abbott is still in charge at that time, it’s hard to see that becoming law even if it makes it through the legislature. He’s a big fan of “invasion” rhetoric, which doesn’t bode well for anything seeking to be just a bit kinder to immigrants.