Posted on May 19, 2016

Latino, Other Lawmakers Oppose GOP Requiring Use of ‘Alien,’ ‘Illegal Alien’

Stephen A. Nuño, NBC News, May 18, 2016

Republicans are rejecting the latest attempt to clean up the government’s language that historically has used disparaging terms for people in the U.S.

Republicans have included in a House spending bill a measure that would require the Library of Congress to use the terms “aliens” and “illegal aliens” in their subject headings, even though the library decided to drop the terms.

The provision in the 2017 Legislative Branch spending bill has drawn backlash from the Tri-Caucus, made up of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The spending bill that contains the measure provides funding for House operations, such as members’ salaries and money for supporting agencies such as the Government Accountability Office.


The campaign against the Library of Congress’ use of alien and illegal alien began when students at Dartmouth University fromed a coalition of civil rights groups, Dartmouth’s Coalition for Immigration Reform, Equality and DREAMers, first appealed to the Library of Congress to remove the terms from their subject headings in 2014.

After a long battle, which included the American Library Association, the Library of Congress announced they would make the change.

Republicans responded quickly and now are trying to force the Library of Congress to reverse their decision and use the terms in their subject heading through the legislation.