Immigration is one of the more contentious and political subjects in the U.S. People form hard and fast opinions about this issue based on their own experiences and changing minds can be an extraordinarily difficult task. Changing the laws is even more difficult.
Immigration laws are in place to define the rights of citizens and the legal avenues for becoming a permanent resident. They are also the backbone of a system that establishes who can and cannot enter and what they can and cannot do when they are in the U.S. As time goes by, the international landscape changes and political beliefs shift which is why it is crucial to reassess immigration laws regularly. Recently, for example, a bill was proposed to strike the word “alien” from immigration laws.
Supporters of the bill, which was introduced as the Correcting Hurtful and Alienating Names in Government Expression Act, argue that the word “alien” is offensive and inhumane, as the word itself refers to a being from another planet.
Instead of referring to people as aliens, it has been suggested that more appropriate, modern words like “immigrant” or “foreign national” be used to replace “alien” in current laws. The proposed bill does not seek to change the laws; it seeks to modernize the language used to describe people who are not nationals or citizens of the U.S.
So far, the bill has gained considerable support, which is certainly good news for the people who are already struggling with an immigration system that seems to work against them.
It can often feel as though there is no one in your corner if you are trying to navigate the legal system as an immigrant, but you should know that you can work with an attorney who can help you understand immigration laws so you can protect yourself, your status and your future.