Sens. Cruz, Braun Slam Library of Congress for Politically-Motivated Change in Labeling of Illegal Aliens



“Replacing words in search terms, indexes, or indexing language for political reasons is an abuse of the trust that Congress has placed in the Library to accurately and neutrally compile original sources and make them easily accessible to the public.”

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), as a member of the Senate Rules Committee that has jurisdiction over the Library of Congress (LOC), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, sent a letter to the Honorable Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress this week regarding the LOC’s decision to change subject headings to remove the terms “aliens” and “illegal aliens” and replace them with the terms “noncitizens” and “illegal immigration.”

The letter details the historical and legal reasons for maintaining “aliens” as an official LOC Subject Heading.

The letter also illustrates how the decision to abandon the term “aliens” is entirely political in nature.

In the letter, the senators wrote:

“Now, after the Biden administration has made the political decision to order U.S. immigration agencies to stop using the term ‘illegal alien,’  the LOC has followed suit and released a report stating that ‘the time has come’ to make the changes that we strenuously objected to five years ago. This decision is nothing but a politically-motivated and Orwellian attempt to manipulate and control language.

“Dating back over 100 years, ‘aliens’ is one of the oldest headings used by LOC, and for a clear reason: the term ‘alien’ has appeared in the original sources contained in the LOC catalog created across centuries.’”

[…]

“Hundreds of years later in 2021, ‘alien’ remains the official term for such persons as codified in federal laws governing citizenship, nationality, and immigration. It is defined in the opening section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as ‘any person not a citizen or national of the United States.’” 

[…]

“Further, Congress has not decided to afford the term ‘noncitizen’—a euphemism or culturally preferred term in some partisan circles for ‘alien’—with a controlling definition in our laws. Indeed, although some members of Congress have recently introduced various legislation to replace the term ‘alien’ in the U.S. Code and other legal documents, these bills have not have not reached a committee vote, have not passed, and are not law. Additionally, the Supreme Court of the United States routinely has used and continues to use the official term ‘alien’ when deciding cases.”

[…]

“Replacing words in search terms, indexes, or indexing language for political reasons is an abuse of the trust that Congress has placed in the Library to accurately and neutrally compile original sources and make them easily accessible to the public.”

Read the full text of the letter here.
 
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