* Press release…
Today, Senator Martin Sandoval, a leading champion of immigrant rights in the Illinois Senate, was joined by 9th graders at Solorio Academy High School in Gage Park, Chicago, home of the 3rd highest number of undocumented immigrants (nearly 11,000) in Illinois, on calling on the Illinois General Assembly to pass SB3021 and send it to Governor Rauner’s desk. SB3021 replaces the term “alien” from Illinois State statutes, as a definition for an undocumented immigrant.
The students started a campaign to rid the state’s vocabulary of the words “alien” and “illegal alien” which are often used to describe undocumented immigrants. The state of California recently took action to eliminate this word. It is the hope of the students that their efforts would result in Illinois following suit and called upon Senator Sandoval to champion this initiative vital to the dignity of their community. […]
A 2013 Pew Research Center survey showed that media organizations have shifted greatly away from using the phrase “illegal alien” to refer to people living in the United States without documentation. During comparable two-week news cycles in 2007 and 2013, use of the phrase in news stories dropped from 21 percent of the time to 5 percent of the time, according to the survey.
“All workers, documented or undocumented, pay taxes and do their fair share, so there is no such thing as an “Illegal” person,” said Delila Lopez, 9th grader at Solorio Academy High School.
Meanwhile, perception that undocumented immigrants “strengthen the country” has steadily been on the rise among all adults since 2010, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said they think undocumented immigrants should be allowed to remain in the U.S., barring they meet certain requirements.
“The word “alien” is really offensive. It’s not just rude but it dehumanizes undocumented people, and that’s not right,” said Uriel Hernandez, 9th grader at Solorio Academy High School.
* The Question: Should the term “alien” be removed from state statutes when it’s used as a definition for an undocumented immigrant? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.