California Bans the Word 'Alien' from Labor Laws

New law eliminates the "derogatory" word, ends preference for hiring U.S. citizens

California legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown have banned illegal aliens from the state—or at least any reference to them in the state's labor laws.

In a bill passed unanimously in the State Senate Monday, the state has moved to wipe out any reference to the "derogatory" word "alien" from the state's labor force laws. They've also ended the state's preference for hiring U.S. in high unemployment periods. 

The new law, SB 432, was the brainchild of State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), who was elated after his bill was passed Monday. When he first introduced the bill, he denounced the term "alien" as having "no place in our laws."

"The word 'alien,' and any law prescribing an order for the issuance of employment to 'aliens,' have no place in the laws of our state and more importantly, should never be the basis for any employment hiring. (The law) deletes this outdated, discriminatory and unnecessary reference in state law," he said.

"Alien is now commonly considered a derogatory term for a foreign-born person and has very negative connotations," said Mendoza last month in his defense of the bill.

The executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council agreed, adding that not only is it time to eliminate the term "alien" but also "illegal."

"There are two words we are opposed to: illegal and alien. There is no such thing as an illegal person, and there is no such thing as an illegal alien. All workers in this country, whether documented or undocumented, pay their taxes and do their fair share," Paulson said.

The bill passed the State Senate unanimously and will go into effect at the start of 2016. As Breitbart notes, the lone vote against the "alien" bill came from a Republican in the State Assembly:

The only vote against the bill came in the State Assembly, from Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach (Orange County), who told the San Francisco Chronicle that the bill was "just a way for legislators to get their names in the paper….[t]he negative connotations come from the fact that people are breaking the law. Changing the word won’t change the fact that folks are here illegally."

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