Cruz: Admin. Canceling ‘Illegal Alien’ a ‘Politically-Motivated and Orwellian Attempt to Manipulate and Control Language’

Craig Bannister | November 19, 2021 | 11:00am EST
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Sen. Ted Cruz
(Getty Images/Mandel Ngan)

The decision by the Library of Congress (LOC) to replace the term “illegal alien” is “nothing but a politically-motivated and Orwellian attempt to manipulate and control language,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) say in a letter to the LOC.

The LOC’s change is part of an effort to implement “the vision set by the [Biden] administration,” NBC News explains:

“The Library of Congress said in an emailed statement that ‘illegal alien’ and ‘illegal immigration’ will be kept as cross-references but that the new headings are ‘broader’ and that they ‘more accurately and clearly refer to the issues they cover and will ensure users find library materials regardless of the many different terms that have been used over time.’”

“At the start of his administration, President Joe Biden issued a memo to federal immigration agencies to update their language ‘in response to the vision set by the administration.’”

In their letter, the senators slam the LOC canceling its long-standing use of “illegal alien” in an effort to manipulate and control language for political purposes:

“The Biden administration has made the political decision to order U.S. immigration agencies to stop using the term ‘illegal alien,’ the LOC has followed suit and released a report stating that the time has come’ to make the changes that we strenuously objected to five years ago.

“This decision is nothing but a politically-motivated and Orwellian attempt to manipulate and control language.”

“The political nature of this decision is underscored by the LOC’s failure to comply with Congress’s explicit instruction” on the requirements of making changes in language, the senators say.

“Alien” is the official, Congress-codified term for “any person not a citizen or national of the United States,” while the term “immigrant” is reserved for aliens the U.S. government has given an official document granting them lawful, permanent residency status.

“What is entirely unacceptable is elevating politically-motivated phrases above legally accurate and historically based phrases actually used in source material,” the letter says, calling on the LOC to, at the bare minimum, comply with the rules of Congress:

“At the very least, the LOC must comply with Congress’s explicit instructions rather than hand-waving them away.”

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