Dem bill would strip 'alien' from U.S. law

Two-term Democrat Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, has proposed legislation that would remove what he says is "offensive and inflammatory" language in federal law that refers to immigrants as "aliens."

Castro's Correcting Hurtful and Alienating Names in Government Expression Act, or the CHANGE Act, would change the term "alien" in federal law to "foreign national."

Under his bill, all references to "illegal alien" would be changed to "undocumented foreign national."

"America is a nation of immigrants, yet our federal government continues to use terms that dehumanize and ostracize those in our society who happen to have been born elsewhere," Castro said Wednesday. "Regardless of status, immigrants to our nation are first and foremost human beings."

"Removing the term 'alien' from our federal laws shows respect to our shared heritage and to the hundreds of millions of descendants of immigrants who call America home," he added.