According to memos sent to department heads at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Biden administration is ordering U.S. immigration enforcement agencies to stop using terms like “alien,” “illegal alien,” and “assimilation” when referring to immigrants.
The term “alien” will now be “noncitizen or migrant,” “illegal” will be “undocumented,” and “assimilation” will be “integration.”
“As the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, we set a tone and example for our country and partners across the world,” Troy Miller, CBP’s top official, said in his memo, as reported by The Washington Post. “We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact. The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”
The acting director of ICE, Tae Johnson, said in a separate memo, “In response to the vision set by the Administration, ICE will ensure agency communications use the preferred terminology and inclusive language.”