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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro Introduces the CHANGE Act, Legislation Correcting Alienating Names in Government

Jul 16, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a member of the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, today introduced the CHANGE Act, legislation that eliminates the term “alien” and “illegal alien” from the Immigration and Nationality Act, and replaces them with “foreign national” and “undocumented foreign national,” respectively:

“Words matter. It’s vital that we respect the dignity of immigrants fleeing violence and prosecution in our language. The words “alien” and “illegal alien” work to demonize and dehumanize the migrant community. They should have no place in our government’s description of human beings,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20). “Immigrants come to our borders in good faith and work hard for the opportunity to achieve a better life for themselves and their family. Eliminating this language from government expression puts us one step closer to preserving their dignity and ensuring their safety.”

Background: In the midst of our current cultural dynamics, this bill is integral to creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for incoming and current immigrants living in the United States. America at its core is a nation of immigrants, and throughout the nation’s history, immigrants from around the globe have kept our workforce and community vibrant and helped us build the greatest economic engine in the world. It is only right that we respect their place in our history by ensuring that our government documents and legal code respects their place in society as well. You can read more about this legislation here.

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