Dec 13, 2010 Justice Sotomayor opts for “undocumented” rather than “illegal”, but keeps using “alien”
Cesar Chavez: A champion for the empowerment of workers and immigrants.
At oral argument on December 8, 2010, Justice Sotomayor caught herself using the “illegal alien” phrase, and next only partially corrected herself: “but you don’t disagree that Congress at least intended that if someone violated the Federal law and hired illegal aliens of Hispanic — undocumented aliens and was found to have violated it, that the State can revoke their license, correct, to do business?” Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, No. 09-115 (Transcript from oral argument, Dec. 8, 2010).
During the Whiting oral argument, Justice Sotomayor was apparently the only justice who used the phrase undocumented. Hopefully she will shed the use of the “alien” word, except when describing beings operating suspected spaceships.