Judge Bans Use of “Illegal” and “Aliens”

Judicial Watch Blog, November 6, 2008

Arizona’s Supreme Court chief justice has agreed to enforce the Hispanic Bar Association’s demands of banning the terms “illegal” and “aliens” in all of the state’s courtrooms.

Claiming that the terms are inflammatory, the president of Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association, (known as Los Abogados) has asked state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to stop using them at trials or hearings because they create perceptions of judicial bias.

In a strongly worded letter to the chief justice, Los Abogados’ president says attaching an illegal status to a person establishes a brand of contemptibility, creates the appearance of anti-immigrant prejudice and tarnishes the image of courts as a place where disputes may be fairly resolved.

It further points out that no human being is illegal and that a national Hispanic journalism association has roundly criticized the reference for dehumanizing a segment of the population. The letter goes on to criticize the state’s High Court for using the term “illegals” in at least two opinions and the term “illegal aliens” in dozens of others.

It concludes with a list of acceptable and unacceptable terms relating to illegal immigration. Among those the group wants banned are; immigration crisis, immigration epidemic, open borders advocates, anchor babies and invaders. Among the acceptable terms are foreign nationals, unauthorized workers and human rights advocates.

[Editor’s Note: Chief Justice McGregor’s promise and the list of acceptable and unacceptable terms can be read or downloaded in PDF format here.]

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