May 29, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The City Council voted to axe the terms “alien” and “illegal immigrant” from all official city documents, laws and rules Thursday.
The terms are offensive and discriminatory toward undocumented immigrants, said Elmhurst Council Member Francisco Moya, who introduced the bill in January.
The term to replace the phrases will now be “noncitizen.”
“No human being is illegal,” Moya said. “‘Illegal immigrant’ and ‘alien’ are dehumanizing and divisive and they don’t belong our city’s guiding documents.”
Council Speaker Corey Johnson praised the bill’s 46-4 vote. He said New York City is the first city to end the use of the terms in their official documents.
BREAKING: New York City just became the first major U.S. city to prohibit the use of the dehumanizing and offensive term “alien” in local laws, rules, and documents. From now on, the term will be “noncitizen.”
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) May 28, 2020
Four council members voted against the bill, including Glendale Council Member Robert Holden.
“It’s like the speech police is out again,” Holden told the New York Post. “Alien is a term used for someone who is from another area, another land. That’s a term used in Congress and in the government.”