Local News Changing the way immigration is discussed Erin Heft – KXXV News Channel 25

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MEXIA, TX — Creating policies to ensure inclusive language is used in place of outdated terminology, the Biden Administration is moving away from terms like ‘illegal’ and ‘alien’ when discussing immigration.

“Since our nation’s history, and founding one way we were able to commit heinous crimes against certain people groups was by labeling them words that would dehumanize them,” detailed Hope Balfa Mustakim with the Waco Immigrants Alliance.

“We need to think about the immigrant just as you would think about yourself”, said Mustakim.

“I feel like the term ‘illegal alien’ I think that, it rubs you the wrong way, makes you feel like you weren’t worth anything, to me its dehumanizing” explained Luis and Erica Navarro.

Luis Navarro, officially became a U.S. citizen a few years ago and explained the process was rigorous.

“It took 20 years exactly to become a permanent resident and then another 10 years to become a U.S. citizen” said Navarro.

The Navarro’s explaining over the years the labels assigned to their family based on their citizenship status were hurtful.

“Names and titles are powerful, so that the minute that you label someone with a title that is just even a little bit dehumanizing or degrading that sticks and it hurts” said Erica Navarro.

“I think the no brainer for us is people deem others ‘illegals’ like its a noun, or even the adjective ‘illegal’ because your human existence is not illegal” said Mustakim.

The older terminology appearing numerous times in U.S. immigration law is one of the many items the White House is seeking to replace in an overhauling bill sent to congress.

The current administration now creating policies to ensure inclusive language is used. According to the Biden Administration, terms like “illegal alien’ and ‘assimilation’ will be replaced by ‘undocumented non citizen’ and ‘integration’, this they say is in order to grow a more humane immigration system.

“I love that the current administration is trying to change verbiage and these labels, and my only hope and wish is that don’t stop there with it, once we change the way that we talk about these people let’s change the way that we help these people we’ve got to make this path easier for them” said Erica Nararro.

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