UC-Berkeley Students Ban Use of ‘Illegal Immigrant’

The University of California–Berkeley student government unanimously passed a resolution banning the term “illegal immigrant” from the body’s official discourse. The resolution is the second such measure to be passed since former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano took over as president of the UC system.

The Berkeley student government showed its support for the “drop the I-word” campaign, deeming the term “racially charged,” according to the College Fix. “The ‘I’ word is legally inaccurate since being out of status is a civil rather than criminal infraction,” the resolution reads.

Napolitano’s arrival to the UC system has been met with resistance from some students, professors, and other employees because of her record on detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants. For example, at the Board of Regents’ approval vote in July, protesters stormed the room shouting ”Shame!” resulting in arrests. In its resolution, the Berkeley student government claimed students live in fear of Napolitano.

The resolution offers alternative terms in place of the rejected term so as to not “dehumanize people,” such as “undocumented,” “immigrants without papers,” “foreign nationals,” or “immigrants seeking status.”

The one student who abstained from the 18–0 vote to pass the resolution said he felt it didn’t accomplish anything substantive. Additionally, he said his fellow members showed disrespect when he raised some objections to the resolution by turning their backs to him as he spoke.

Via College Fix.

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