Amid immigration debate, some states update migrant term

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – California and Colorado this year banned state agencies from using the word “alien” to refer to immigrants who entered the U.S. without permission.

Supporters of the change say the word is demeaning and dehumanizing, and can have an impact on the treatment of immigrants.

The Biden administration took a similar step for federal agencies. Yet the term “alien” remains in wide use in many states.

That includes Texas, where a legislative effort to end its use recently failed. The word became a focal point of debate in several states earlier this year as the number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border swelled and led to fierce backlash from Republicans.