A proposal to disappear the term "illegal alien" in New Jersey

The term ‘alien’ is defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

What is a ‘national of the United States’? That's defined by USCIS as A person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States (for example, persons born in American Samoa or Swains Island).

We're left to our own devices to define the term ‘illegal alien’, so here goes: An illegal alien is a person in United States territory who is not a citizen, not a national, and whose presence is in violation of U.S. law.

The standard reason given for disliking this term is No Human Being is Illegal.

This discussion naturally extends to property rights in general, and there is even an analogous term for people who enter or dwell in private property without permission: ‘illegal trespasser’.

Trespassing on a piece of real estate means entering onto land without consent of the landowner. A person who knowingly goes onto private property without the owner's permission is an illegal trespasser. A person who dwells in a foreign land without authorization is an illegal alien.

New Jersey Assembly Bill 1329

The bill would simply go through various sections of New Jersey legal code and replace references to “alien” and “illegal alien” with “foreign national” and “undocumented foreign national,” respectively. AB-1329 would also prohibit use of those terms by executive branch agencies.

The bill was introduced on January 14 and referred to the NJ Assembly State and Local Government Committee.

The proposal is sponsored by Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, a Democrat who represents Camden and Gloucester, Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, a Democrat from Hudson County, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, who represents Union County.

The bill was actually carried over from the New Jersey Legislature 2018-2019 session, when it was introduced in the General Assembly as A428 and in the NJ Senate as S1446. Assembly Bill 428 was introduced in January 2018, was referred to the NJ Assembly State and Local Government Committee, and died there.

Disclaimer: Information on this website is not legal advice.