Fed agencies must now use 'inclusive' language for border crossers - no more 'illegal' or 'alien'

"Alien" is now "noncitizen or migrant," and "illegal alien" is now "undocumented noncitizen, undocumented individual, or migrant," CBP says.

Updated: April 19, 2021 - 2:25pm

Immigration officials have been directed to use new, "inclusive" terminology to describe people who illegally cross the U.S. border seeking to establish new homes. Among the mandates is that border-crossers can no longer be described as "alien" or "illegal." 

The direction came in the form of a memo Monday from Troy Miller, senior official performing the duties of the commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. A source with direct knowledge of the memo confirmed its authenticity to Just the News.

"This memorandum establishes updated language and aligns our communication practices with the Biden Administration’s guidance regarding immigration terminology," Miller wrote in the memo to agency officials. "In response to the vision set by the Administration, CBP will ensure agency communications use the preferred terminology and inclusive language as outlined below."

The memo includes a table that lists prior terminology and the replacement, new terminology.

According to the new policy, "alien" is now "noncitizen or migrant." The term "illegal alien" is now "undocumented noncitizen, undocumented individual, or migrant." Elsewhere in the chart, "assimilation" is now "integration or civic integration."

"The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody," Miller wrote.

The new policy applies to internal and external communications, and comes into effect immediately.