The Chicago Tribune is offended by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ use the term “illegal alien” when discussing sanctuary cities.

“In a democracy that values the rule of law, word choice is important, especially when those words come from voices of authority,” the Chicago Tribune wrote.

The Tribune is correct in what they said, but not in what they meant. Word choice is important, which is why the DOJ and the attorney general use the most legally accurate term when discussing illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.

“Alien” is a term used by the federal government to designate a person in the United States from a foreign country. The Internal Revenue Service defines an alien as “an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.” The same document defines “immigrant,” “nonimmigrant,” and “illegal alien.” Their definition for illegal alien is “an alien who has entered the United States illegally and is deportable if apprehended or an alien who entered the United States legally but now has fallen ‘out of status’ and is deportable.”

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