Lawmakers Rebuke Library of Congress Over Dropping "Illegal Alien" Language

Source: Texas Tribune | May 19, 2016 | Julián Aguilar

Three Texas Republicans in Washington have chastised the U.S. Library of Congress for eliminating the terms “illegal aliens” and “alien” from its search and subject heading classifications.

In a letter dated May 19 to acting librarian David S. Mao, U.S. Reps. Lamar Smith of San Antonio and John Culberson of Houston joined U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in accusing the library of bowing “to the political pressure of the moment.” U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, also signed on to the letter. 

The library announced last month that it would begin using the terms “noncitizens” and “unauthorized immigration” when referencing subjects dealing with undocumented immigrants and related topics, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The publication reported the library said the new terms were “more precise” and “less offensive.”

The Republicans said the descriptions are “statutory legal terms of art” that should not be replaced without Congressional approval.


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