No more “undocumented” immigrants, just “illegal aliens.”
CNN reported Tuesday evening that the Justice Department has told its attorneys that the term “undocumented” is inaccurate according to U.S. immigration law and that they should start using the legally correct term.
“Illegal alien” is the accurate term used in the U.S. Code, the email reportedly says.
The use of the term “illegal” in the nation’s immigration debate has come under increasing attack from immigrant-rights activists, who can frequently be seen holding signs saying “no person is illegal.”
The term “undocumented” has gained increasing currency in both their rhetoric and in the stylebooks of U.S. media outlets as a substitute.
Conservatives have generally dismissed the term as a politically correct euphemism designed to distort public debate.
The Justice Department reminded its lawyers Tuesday that there must be uniformity in their usage, implying that “undocumented” usage had been bleeding over.
The email sought “to clear up some confusion and to be consistent in the way we draft our releases,” CNN quoted it as saying.