Some states dropping ‘dehumanizing’ terms for immigrants

  • Rosalidia Dardon, 54, looks at a picture of her daughter in El Salvador as she sits in a refugee house in Texas, awaiting asylum or a protected immigration status on Nov. 4, 2021. At least seven statehouses have considered or left pending legislation this year to replace the term “illegal,” “alien,” or both from state laws referencing immigrants. Dardon knows from personal experience why the language surrounding immigration is so important. (Acacia Coronado/Report for America via AP)

  • FILE - Colorado State Sen. Julie Gonzales speaks during a news conference on Oct. 15, 2020, in Denver. According to an analysis by The Associated Press, at least 18 states refer to immigrants as "alien" or "illegal" in state laws. In a March 2021 legislative committee hearing in Colorado, Gonzales, who co-sponsored a bill that has since become law, said terms like "illegal" were "dehumanizing and derogatory." (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

AUSTIN, Texas — Luz Rivas remembers seeing the word on her mother’s residency card as a child: “alien.”