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Ariz. Congressman co-sponsors federal bill to remove offensive immigrant language

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego signed up to co-sponsor a federal bill regarding offensive language, according to a press release.

On Friday, Gallego signed up as a co-sponsor to H.R. 3785, a bill that would prohibit the use of the terms “alien” or “illegal alien” in federal law and agency documentation.

The CHANGE Act, which stands for Correcting Hurtful and Alienating Names in Government Expression, was introduced by Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX).

It would replace any “alien” term with “foreign national” and replace “illegal alien” with “undocumented foreign national.”

In a statement, Gallego said the act is important because it removes dehumanizing and offensive terms from the federal language.

“Words matter,” the statement read. “The term ‘alien’ is dehumanizing and offensive, and contributes to the prejudice and xenophobia that have become a too-familiar part of the national conversation on immigration.”

Gallego said immigrants, no matter what their status, are humans and deserve the respect of the federal government.

“The CHANGE Act will take a long overdue step in acknowledging this simple fact, and I hope it will help to change the dialogue as we move forward with efforts to fix our nation’s broken immigration system,” the statement read.


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