President Joe Biden’s proposed immigration bill intends to remove the word “alien” from US immigration laws in a radical shift in stance towards immigrants.
Current immigration code defines “alien” as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.”
It’s a deliberate step intended to recognize America as “a nation of immigrants,” according to a summary of the bill released by the new administration, CNN reported.
The bill proposes to replace “alien” with “noncitizen”.
The term was often used by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump in speeches as he warned of what he saw as the dangers of unchecked illegal immigration.
The proposed change has already created a buzz in the immigration rights activists.
“The language change on the first day of this administration, with Kamala Harris the daughter of immigrants, to me it’s not just symbolic, it’s foundational,” CNN quoted Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American, an organisation that pushes for more accurate portrayals of immigrants.