The Biden administration has instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to use new terminology it has laid out, according to memos sent out Monday.
“In response to the vision set by the Administration, CBP will ensure agency communications use the preferred terminology and inclusive language,” wrote Troy A. Miller, CBP’s senior official performing the duties of the commissioner, in the memo sent out to CBP officials.
The new rules apply to the CBPs’ internal and external communications “such as agency outreach efforts, internal documents, and overall communications with stakeholders, partners and the general public,” according to the memo.
According to the document, CBP employees will now have to use the terms:
- “Noncitizen” or “migrant” in place of “alien”;
- “Noncitizenship” in place of of “alienage”;
- “Noncitizen unaccompanied children” in place of “undocumented alien children”;
- “Undocumented noncitizen,” “migrant” or “undocumented individual” in place of “illegal alien”;
- “Integration,” or “civic integration” in place of “assimilation”; and,
- “Immigrant integration” instead of “immigrant assimilation”
“As the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, we set a tone and example for our country and partners across the world,” Miller wrote. “We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact. The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”
According to The Washington Post, a separate yet similar memo was sent out to ICE officials by the agency’s acting director, Tae Johnson, who wrote, “In response to the vision set by the Administration, ICE will ensure agency communications use the preferred terminology and inclusive language.”
The changes, which reflect the Biden administration’s lax attitude towards illegal immigration, come as the country faces an ongoing crisis at the southern border repeatedly downplayed by the current administration.
A surge of illegal aliens seeking entry into the United States has put border officials and border facilities under stress.
Republicans have accused Biden of making the border crisis worse by reversing multiple immigration policies instituted by former President Donald Trump and bringing back “catch-and-release,” as Fox News has reported.
While human smugglers seized the opportunity to profit off of the crisis by smuggling in illegal immigrants, including children, two Yemenis on the FBI’s terrorism watch list managed to illegally enter the country through the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Department of Homeland Security, which had published a news release on the matter on April 5, immediately deleted it the following day — an act the GOP members of the House Homeland Security Committee condemned, tweeting, “Transparency in name alone is not transparency.”
.@DHSgov & @CBP Why did you take down your previously public tweet & press release announcing that two people on the terror watch list were apprehended exploiting President Biden’s open border policies?
Transparency in name alone is not transparency. https://t.co/6SONcvlwAa
— House Homeland GOP (@HomelandGOP) April 6, 2021
Despite the crisis going on for more than three months, neither President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris has visited the border.
Harris, whom Biden had appointed to deal with the crisis, plans on visiting Mexico and Guatemala to fix this crisis without going to the border first to get a firsthand look at the problem.
On Friday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey slammed the Biden-Harris administration for its mishandling of the crisis, saying it needs to “get its head out of the sand when it comes to the crisis at our border.”
“This lack of action defies all logic, and flies in the face of the law. This administration is asleep at the switch, and their total lack of action is having real consequences here in the state of Arizona,” the governor wrote, adding that “[i]f the federal government isn’t going to do its job, then Arizona will take matters into our own hands and provide support to sheriffs and local law enforcement.”
Biden acknowledged the crisis as a crisis on Sunday.
On Monday, however, the White House backtracked on Biden’s acknowledgment.
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