NYC Council votes to ban phrases 'alien,' 'illegal immigrant' from all local laws

Maya Rajamani
May 28, 2020 - 3:30 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The New York City Council voted Thursday to ban the terms “alien” and “illegal immigrant” from all local laws, making New York the first major city in the U.S. to prohibit them.

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Councilman Francisco Moya, whose district includes parts of Queens, introduced a bill in January that aimed to remove the terms “alien,” “illegal immigrant” and “illegal migrant” from the city’s local laws, rules and documents, as well as prohibit their use in future ones. 

City Council members passed the bill during a virtual meeting Thursday afternoon, Council Speaker Corey Johnson said. 

“(The term ‘alien’) is offensive, degrading and it does not belong in our city,” Johnson said during the Zoom meeting. “And that is why we are making this change.”

The three terms in question will be replaced by the phrases “non-citizen” or “applicable,” he noted. New York City is “the first major U.S. city” to enact a ban of the sort, Johnson said in a tweet after the council’s vote.

Moya on Thursday praised his fellow council members for passing the bill. 

“‘Illegal immigrant’ and ‘alien’ are dehumanizing and divisive and they don’t belong in our city’s guiding documents,” he wrote on Twitter. “No human being is illegal.” 

“Thank you to my (City Council) colleagues for passing my bill to replace these terms with ‘noncitizen’ in our City Charter and admin code,” he added. 

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