California Will Replace the Term 'Alien' with 'Noncitizen' or 'Immigrant' in State Laws

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Posted: Sep 27, 2021 2:15 PM
California Will Replace the Term 'Alien' with 'Noncitizen' or 'Immigrant' in State Laws

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that will remove the term “alien” from all state laws and replace it with “noncitizen” or “immigrant” when referring to illegal aliens.

The bill, AB 1096, was signed on Friday. In a news release from Newsom’s office, the “alien” was described as “outdated,” “derogatory,” and “offensive.” Additionally, the news release claims that the term began to be used as a “political dog whistle” in the 1990s to “express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language.”

“As the nation’s most diverse state, we are stronger and more vibrant because of our immigrant communities,”Newsom said in a statement. “This important legislation removes the word ‘alien,’ which is not only an offensive term for a human being, but for far too long has fueled a divisive and hurtful narrative. By changing this term, we are ensuring California’s laws reflect our state’s values.”

Additionally, the release states that Newsom signed a slew of other bills ensuring to “protect the safety of immigrant Californians and shore up protections against discrimination.”

“Governor Newsom’s California Comeback Plan makes historic investments regardless of immigration status, offering an additional $1,000 in stimulus checks to undocumented families through the expanded Golden State Stimulus; the largest renter assistance program in the country; $5.2 billion to help low-income renters cover their back-rent and their rent for several months into the future; and $2 billion to help Californians pay past-due utility bills. The California Comeback Plan also enacts a first-in-the-nation expansion of Medi-Cal to undocumented Californians over 50 years old, providing access to critical health care services,” the release reads.

The other bills are as follows; AB 263, which places regulations on private detention facilities, AB 600, which classifies crimes committed against illegal aliens as “hate crimes,” AB 1140, which protects unaccompanied illegal minors, SB 334, which requires for-profit detention facilities to maintain minimum levels of insurance coverage for detainees, and SB714, which amends California election code to allow noncitizens, such as DREAMers, to be appointed and elected members in a county central committee.

Amid the ongoing border crisis, California will continue to be a safe haven for illegal immigrants, starting with the removal of “derogatory” language from their laws.