Home Immigration Lawyer Immigration Newspeak II — USCIS Edition

Immigration Newspeak II — USCIS Edition


As I beforehand wrote, open borders advocates vehemently oppose using exact authorized phrases present in U.S. immigration regulation. The latest “dehumanizing” strawman time period is “alien”, which is defined in statute at part 101(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as: “The term ‘alien’ means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” The Biden administration notably despises the time period and devotes a complete part of its mass amnesty invoice to exchange “alien” with “noncitizen” all through the INA. While this legislative change is foolish and pointless, if it turns into regulation then so be it, that’s the correct approach of constructing change.

However, Biden’s deputies on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have taken it upon themselves to preemptively trash statutory language in favor of the activists’ most well-liked lingo. Unexpectedly, the first change occurred at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) what place brokers have been ordered to discontinue utilizing “alien” and “illegal alien” and as a substitute use “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual”. Further exposing the absurdity of this linguistic gymnastics, ICE brokers have been ordered to exchange “aslyee” with “asylum-seeker”. When I labored at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the time period “asylee” was largely understood to imply an alien who had established eligibility for asylum. Under the Biden “newspeak”, official asylees have now been demoted in reference to speculative asylum seekers. DHS justified this variation as “an effort to align with current guidance and to ensure consistency in reporting”. But, as my colleague Art Arthur pointed out, the time period “noncitizen” inherently defines somebody by what she or he isn’t — a citizen.

Alas, this illogical scrubbing of technical language has reached my former company. As first reported by Axios (and confirmed by my sources), USCIS workers acquired a memo at present — dated February 12 — with the topic “Terminology Changes”. Citing the Biden-backed mass amnesty invoice that has nonetheless not formally been launched in both chamber of Congress, the memo says “the Biden Administration provides direction on the preferred use of immigration-related terminology within the federal government” and features a desk of beforehand used phrases and the Biden-approved replacements. On the outs are “alien”, “illegal alien”, and “assimilation”, that are changed with “noncitizen”, “undocumented noncitizen or undocumented individual”, and “integration, civic integration”. Curiously, the desk additionally lists “undocumented alien” as a beforehand used time period (to get replaced by the identical phrases acceptable instead of “illegal alien”) but this time period was by no means utilized in my 4 years on the company as a result of it’s an inaccurate time period made up by amnesty advocates.

Un-ironically, the memo contradicts itself by saying the steering “does not affect legal, policy or other operational documents, including forms, where using terms (i.e., applicant, petitioner, etc.) as defined by the INA would be the most appropriate.” In the desk changing “alien” with “noncitizen” there’s an related footnote that reads, “Use noncitizen except when citing statute or regulation, or in a Form I-862, Notice to Appear, or Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge.” Translation: This cringe-worthy effort is a messaging gimmick.

At a time when USCIS is constant to battle financially and has record-level backlogs, posturing by the political appointees on the company demonstrates a transparent disconnect from the intense points the company wants to deal with. At the danger of embarrassing the Biden political appointees at USCIS, I do surprise if they’re conscious that the “A” in “A-Number” (the distinctive private identifier assigned for immigration advantages) and “A-File” (particular person recordsdata recognized by the A-Number) stands for “alien”. Has the USCIS Office of the Chief Financial Officer calculated the money and time it is going to take to exchange “A-Files” with (presumably) “NC-Numbers” and “NC-Files”? How a few full overhaul of the USCIS web site? Even if the reply is sure, which I doubt, what a waste of assets.

If you consider the memo, the terminology adjustments are important for “the interest of effective communication” and “designed to encourage the use of more inclusive language.” I can consider nothing extra ineffective than requiring USCIS workers, the media, and the general public to take care of a cheat sheet of phrases in an effort to talk and perceive what’s being mentioned. And, once more, who precisely is “excluded” by statutory time period “alien”? The memo, unsurprisingly, is silent on that time.


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