President Biden has banned the term “Illegal alien” when the Customs and Border Protection agency deals with people attempting to enter our country illegally. In an effort to sound noble, compassionate, and enlightened, the Linguist in Chief’s acting CBP Commissioner, Troy Miller, said, “We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact.” He adds, “The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”
Going forward, Biden’s Word Police require government employees to drop the “unaccompanied alien children” label. They’re now “unaccompanied non-citizen children.” Likewise, “illegal aliens” are now magically changed to the less offensive, dignity-preserving “undocumented non-citizen” or “undocumented individual.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, is frustrated by Biden’s game of charades: “We use the term ‘illegal alien’ because they’re here illegally. This kind of weakness and obsession with political correctness is why we’re having a crisis on the border in the first place.”
Ironically, Joe Biden is tone-deaf to his offensive choice of words. Last year he called a student a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” at a campaign rally in New Hampshire. Madison Moore, 21, a legal citizen of the country, was humiliated by then-candidate Biden. She said, “It was kind of humiliating to be called a liar on national TV by the former vice president.” How’s that for preserving her “dignity”?
When it comes to name-calling, Biden has a history of berating those with whom he disagrees. Take 83-year-old Merle Gorman. When the Iowan asked an uncomfortable question about Biden’s son selling access to then-president Obama, Biden raged at Gorman, saying, “You’re a damn liar, man.” He ranted, “Get your words straight, Jack ... you’re too old to vote for me.” No doubt this Marine Corps veteran felt dignified by Biden’s swipe at his age and integrity.
If word choices are so important to The Linguist in Chief, with the Prime Minister of Japan standing by his side, some would rightly ask why Biden called 29-year-old Hideki Matsuyama, a “Japanese boy.” The inappropriate and embarrassing comment occurred during a press conference celebrating Matsuyama’s win of the Masters Tournament.
This begs the question.
Now that President Biden has censored “illegal alien” and replaced it with “undocumented non-citizen” because he considers the term offensive, what’s next? Will other lawbreakers get to enjoy a more dignifying moniker? I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a focus group working nights and weekends at the White House spitballing the options. No doubt they’ll come up with a few doozies like these:
Trespasser = Unauthorized Occupant
Prisoner = Structured Facility Resident
Burglar = Undocumented Nonresident
Tax cheater = Non-filing Citizen
Drug dealer = Unlicensed Pharmacist
Gang member = Team Associate
Let’s toss in a bit of logic. To call illegal aliens “undocumented” is simply untrue. They do have documents—and those documents happen to prove they are citizens of another country. When those in leadership are obsessed with optics and semantics rather than enforcing and defending our borders, speaking up is an act of good citizenship—especially since the lax border policy has contributed to a surge in the loss of life.
If, then, the new Biden-approved phrase isn’t accurate, achieves nothing to stem the flow of those who enter our sovereign nation without permission, and angers those on the right while pleasing his progressive base, how does this move jive with Biden’s inaugural bit about unifying the country?
Don’t get me wrong. Words do matter. The tongue is a fire (James 3:6) and, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21, ESV). I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want to call those sneaking across the border “Lying dog-faced pony soldier migrants.”
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Bob DeMoss is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 40 books including collaborations with Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty, Jim Daly/Focus on the Family, Andy Stanley, and Tim LaHaye/Left Behind. His latest short story is "Hazel: The Outlaw Mummy". Visit BobDeMoss.com.