Library of Congress dumps ‘illegal alien’ term

By Cheryl Chumley

Library of Congress (Credit: Wikipedia)
Library of Congress (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Library of Congress will no longer use the term “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant,” due to pressure from Dartmouth College students who insisted the descriptions were discriminatory.

Instead, the Library of Congress is going to refer to those in the country illegally as “non-citizens” and “unauthorized immigrants,” in the likes of subject headings and other research markers and guides, CNN reported.

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Members of the Dartmouth Coalition for Immigration Reform, Equality and DREAMers – students, faculty and librarians – had spent roughly two years fighting for the change. The group, also called CoFIRED, now seeks similar changes around the nation.

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In a press release, CoFIRED director Dennise Hernandez said: “We call on both politicians and media outlets to follow the precedent set by the Library of Congress. It is way past time that we all recognize that referring to immigrants as ‘illegal’ is an offensive, dehumanizing term and that there is no excuse to continue using it.”


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