People are humans, not aliens, Part II

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Feb 13, 2008 People are humans, not aliens, Part II

Cesar Chavez: A champion for the empowerment of workers and immigrants.

In May 2007, I decried the continuing and widespread use of the terms “illegal aliens” and “illegals”. After a fellow criminal defense listserv member disagreed with my view against using the term “illegal aliens” (he apparently does not say “illegals”), I decided to see the extent to which statutes and regulations use the phrase “illegal alien,” and was saddened to learn how frequently it is used, including in the following instances:

– A federal statute provides for reimbursing states for incarcerating “illegal aliens” after conviction for a felony. 8 USCS § 1365(a).

– A federal statute requiring the Attorney General to report to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees the numbers of “illegal aliens” convicted of felonies and incarcerated for felonies, and to provide a plan for removing and barring such people from the United States. 8 USCS §1366.

– The Labor Department’s migrant worker regulations define “illegal alien” as “any person who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States or who has not been authorized by the Attorney General to accept employment in the United States.” 29 CFR 500.20(n).

– Virginia law prohibits “illegal aliens” from working in gun stores. Va. Code § 18.2-308.2:3(B).

The phrases “illegal aliens” and “illegals” serve to dehumanize people; I do not want them used in my name by the government nor by government officials and employees. Jon Katz.

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