Joe Biden’s USCIS Removing Term ‘Alien’ from Manual to Be ‘More Inclusive’

by JOHN BINDER2 Apr 2021

President Joe Biden’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is removing the term “alien” to refer to foreign nationals in the U.S. from the agency’s policy manual.

USCIS officials seemingly confirmed this week that the agency’s policy manual will no longer include the term “alien” to describe foreign nationals in the U.S. and instead will feature “more inclusive language.”

The term “alien” is regularly used in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 to describe foreign nationals living in the U.S. Civil Rights icon former Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) also used the term “alien” to describe foreign nationals when she led a legislative coalition to reduce overall legal immigration levels in the mid-1990s.

The USCIS policy manual currently includes the term “alien” more than 1,700 times. Agency officials confirmed they will replace the term with the term “noncitizen.”

“This change is designed to encourage more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners, and the general public,” USCIS Director Tracy Renaud wrote in a February memo to staff.

“The guidance does not affect legal, policy or other operational documents, including forms, where using terms (such as applicant, petitioner, etc.) as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act would be the most appropriate,” Renaud wrote.

The terminology change comes after top officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directed staff to stop using terms like “illegal alien,” “assimilation,” and “alien” in favor of terms such as “undocumented noncitizen,” “undocumented individual,” and “integration.”

Likewise, as Breitbart News reported, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have been ordered by deputy DHS officials to stop using the term “illegal alien.”

In January, a group of House Democrats, led by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), filed legislation to eliminate the use of the terms “illegal alien” and “alien” to describe those who are foreign nationals and illegal aliens in the U.S.