California Governor Jerry Brown (shown), succumbing to the forces of political correctness, signed a bill into law on August 10 that bans the word “alien” from the Golden State’s labor laws. The measure, SB 432, notes that “Existing law defines ‘alien’ as any person who is not a born or fully naturalized citizen of the United States.”
The casual reader might be inclined to think “So what?” However, the author of the bill, Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), thought the long-used and readily understood term had to go. It continued:
This bill would repeal this definition of “alien” and the provision requiring those preferences to be applied to the extension of public works employment during periods of unemployment in the state.
This being California, which few would claim is averse to “progressive” thinking, the bill passed the State Senate unanimously.
The only vote against the bill in the entire legislature came in the State Assembly, from Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach), who told the San Francisco Chronicle that the bill was “just a way for legislators to get their names in the paper…. The negative connotations come from the fact that people are breaking the law. Changing the word won’t change the fact that folks are here illegally.”
Breitbart quoted a statement from Tim Paulson, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, who told the Chronicle: “The word ‘alien’ has incredibly racist and un-American connotations.”
One wonders if Paulson is familiar with the federal government’s use of the term and if he considers the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be a racist institution. Official information defining variations of the word “alien” is posted on the USCIS website, including these examples:
Permanent Resident Alien
An alien admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants; however, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) broadly defines an immigrant as any alien in the United States, except one legally admitted under specific nonimmigrant categories (INA section 101(a)(15)). An illegal alien who entered the United States without inspection, for example, would be strictly defined as an immigrant under the INA but is not a permanent resident alien….
Applies to non-U.S. citizens currently residing in the United States. The term is applied in three different manners; please see Permanent Resident, Conditional Resident, and Returning Resident.
Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as “Permanent Resident Alien,” “Lawful Permanent Resident,” “Resident Alien Permit Holder,” and “Green Card Holder.”
The Los Angeles Times quoted Mendoza’s assertions that the bill was needed to modernize state labor law, in the same way many newspapers have stopped using the term “illegal alien.” (The New American, however, unlike “many newspapers,” continues to call illegal aliens what they are.)
Mendoza stated: “Alien is now commonly considered a derogatory term for a foreign-born person and has very negative connotations. The United States is a country of immigrants who not only form an integral part of our culture and society, but are also critical contributors to our economic success.”
No one who knows American history would disagree that legal immigrants have made substantial and valuable contributions to our nation’s culture, society, and economic success. However, until these immigrants become U.S. citizens, they are correctly described as “aliens.”
But don’t take our word for it. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says so.
Photo: AP Images