When you read the word alien, chances are you think of this…
And not this…
Fortunately, the Library of Congress has entered the immigration debate in an effort to offer new terms that describe immigrants as actual people and not aliens.
But before you get too excited, Congress is blocking their request.
As a recommendation from their Policy and Standards Division, the Library of Congress requested changing the terms “aliens” to “noncitizens” and “illegal aliens” to “noncitizens” and “unauthorized immigration.”
Sounds reasonable, right?
According to a memo from the division, “the meaning of aliens is often misunderstood,” (duh) and can be taken to mean “beings from another planet” and that “the phrase illegal aliens has become pejorative.” To say the least.
However, the House Appropriations Committee just approved funding for the 2017 spending budget of the legislative branch with a very clear provision blocking the Library of Congress from changing their search terms.
The debate in Congress over the terms, though, is about Republicans paying too much attention to this provision and not the spending bill. “Any good done in this bill has been overshadowed by a political poison pill that puts the Legislative Branch bill squarely in the middle of our nation’s immigration debate,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.). “This bill puts the Library of Congress front and center on one of our nation’s most contentious and emotional political issues – in the midst of a presidential election year.”
Republicans, on the other hand, argue that their efforts to block this request will prevent the Library of Congress from censorship and will require the use of the same terms in federal law. “The Library of Congress is undermining its credibility and ignoring its responsibility to provide the American people with forthright and factual admission to its many resources,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R., Ohio).
So even though the term “undocumented immigrant” is troublesome because most immigrants have some type of documents and not all undocumented people are immigrants, Congress wants the Library of Congress to stick with the terms.
Good job, Congress, good job. #smh
Read more about this heated debate here
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