(CNSNews.com) - The Library of Congress will continue using the term “illegal alien” following Friday’s passage of the annual legislative funding bill.
The Library of Congress had proposed changing the term, saying the term “has become pejorative.”
Republicans insisted that the library use terms that reflect federal law, and included language maintaining the federal terminology in the funding bill.
Title 8 of U.S. Code refers to foreigners as aliens, both legally and illegally.
“For seven and a half years we have had a president that wants to ignore the intent of the laws of our land,” Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) said in defending the language. “We will not allow this body, this House, to ignore the definitions nor the words of the laws that have been voted on in this body, passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) told House members he opposed keeping the language “because we understand that even words that start off as neutral descriptors, can over time be used as verbal weapons and knives to inflict pain and disrespect and sow division.”
Late last year Castro introduced the CHANGE act calling for the removal of the term “illegal alien” from federal law and replacing it with “undocumented foreign national.”