In a new memorandum, the Biden administration is urging officials to use the word “noncitizen” instead of “alien” as well as other, more inclusive language choices, The Post has learned, as the White House maintains that President Biden himself “believes in the rights” of illegal immigrants to be in the country.
In a missive sent to administration staffers Tuesday, US Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Tracy Renaud informed her federal government colleagues of the administration’s preferred terminology for key immigration topics.
Other terms being replaced include “illegal alien,” which will be replaced with “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual,” and “assimilation,” which will be replaced with “integration” or “civic integration.”
In the memo, first reported by Axios Tuesday, Renaud encouraged “more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public.”
She signed the memo on Friday, USCIS told The Post.
A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson could not immediately be reached by The Post for comment.
When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Biden’s immigration reform plans Tuesday, she confirmed an “earned path” to citizenship would be included.
“Part of the proposal that the president outlined and proposed on day one is an earned path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who are undocumented immigrants, who are living in the country,” she began.
“He’s also somebody who believes in the rights of the DACA recipients to be in the country. He was here during the, of course, Obama-Biden administration, of which he played a prominent role — an important role — and supported that program.
“We’ve outlined the tenets of what we think the proposal should look like, which includes that, but also includes funding to address the root causes, includes investment in smart security. But Congress will have to work through what it looks like moving forward and what components will be included in here or what components could be dealt with separately.”
The administration will reveal its immigration reform package in Congress sometime this week, multiple sources have told The Post.
The legislation itself will mirror some of the executive actions the 46th commander-in-chief signed in his first weeks in office.
Executive orders are legally binding, and as a result, are published in the Federal Register. Executive actions, by contrast, are more often symbolic efforts to enact change.
Biden signed a record number of both during that time period, some of which included edicts on immigration.
The plan will provide a five-year path to legal status, or a green card, for individuals who pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other requirements.
Those who complete that five-year process then would begin a three-year path to citizenship.