Federal Contractor Urges DHS To Ditch Term ‘Illegal Immigrant,’ Says ‘Jihadist’ Is ‘Racially Charged’

RAND corporation advises feds in government-funded report to adopt 'inclusive language'
Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Migrants surrender to US Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, US, on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023.

A federal contractor that’s received hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government is pushing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to adopt “inclusive language,” replacing terms like “illegal immigrant” with “undocumented noncitizen,” “riot” with “protest,” and suggesting that terms such as “looter” and “jihadist” have become “racially charged.”

The report from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit which operates the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center as a “federally funded research and development center,” charges the DHS uses language that is “insulting, demeaning, dehumanizing, offensive, embarrassing, or othering or otherwise make individuals feel uncomfortable, marginalized, disrespected, or unsafe.”

Titled “Language, Labels, and the DHS Lexicon,” the report was drafted on behalf of the agency’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. It particularly focuses on immigration enforcement, counterterrorism efforts, and law enforcement, charging that these three operation areas use offensive language, relying on interviews with 15 individuals under the jurisdiction of DHS.

The 84-page report specifically requests that DHS ditch the term “illegal immigrant” in favor of “undocumented noncitizen” while replacing the word “assimilation” with “civic integration.” It even proposed replacing the term “unlawful entry” with “entry without inspection” or “undocumented entry.”

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) told The Daily Wire that the effort to change language is a “deceitful and Orwellian strategy.”

“Most Americans are fed up with the chaos and devastation caused by the unprecedented crisis at the Southwest border, and rising crime in their communities,” Green said. “Despite this, DHS’ number one priority seems to be rewriting the dictionary.”

Green went on to call the move “a ploy to hide Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ complete failure of leadership,” charging that Mayorkas “has not only chosen to implement a reckless open-borders agenda — he is using taxpayer dollars to change our language in an effort to hide the consequences of those policies.”

The attempt to soften language used to describe illegal immigration comes against a backdrop of a record-breaking surge in illegal immigration. Illegal border crossings have spiked under the Biden administration, with an estimated 1.7 million illegal immigrant gotaways recorded since Biden took office in 2021.

But the report goes beyond the issue of immigration, even suggesting that the DHS should modify its use of “male” and “female” by adding “nonbinary, cisgender,” and “transgender.” It also calls for the word “riot” to be replaced with “protest” despite the two words not being synonymous.

The report even charged that certain terms have “taken on a racialized or racially charged aspect beyond what their legal or common definition might be,” resulting in “disparate impact.” Terms like “looter,” “trespasser,” “rioter,” and “jihadist” are said to have “become racially charged as they are mostly applied to individuals of a particular race and not to White individuals.”

But the report doesn’t take issue with the factual definitions of the words, rather it explains “it is the disparate application of the term, rather than the definition, that has caused it to become disrespectful or damaging.”

It goes on to call on DHS to adopt “inclusive language” and offer training on “the use of inclusive, person-centric language, particularly for minority and historically marginalized groups.” But the report even claims that as of now, “the use of certain terms and language by DHS personnel is … making the job of securing the homeland more difficult for its employees.”

Despite the overt nods to leftwing ideology, the Rand Corporation analysis argues that a “dedicated focus to using person-centric  and inclusive language should not be dismissed as “woke,” or as a political, progressive, or partisan issue.”

The Rand Corporation confirmed in a statement to The Daily Wire that it had produced the report at the request of DHS’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, specifying that it was asked “to examine the department’s use of terminology in its documents and procedures, identify ways to improve it, and to create an organizational culture that supports the lasting implementation of updated terminology.”

Todd Bensman, a Senior National Security Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, bashed the proposed replacement terms, saying they “sound far more demeaning than the ones they replace.”

“It’s better to just simply distinguish them as people who are present illegally in violation of law than as people who warrant a lot of acrobatic descriptions,” Bensman said.

The report is the result of a recently renewed contract with the DHS, which allows the agency to order $495 million worth of studies and analysis over the course of five years.

“One of the best ways to hold bureaucrats accountable is to bring their deeds to the light, and inform the American people of what those officials are doing behind the scenes,” Green told The Daily Wire, also highlighting recent efforts by his committee to obtain DHS documentation concerning the border crisis. He also signaled potential future action from lawmakers.

“Based on this latest report, perhaps it’s time for Congress to take a closer look at the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties,” Green said.

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Federal Contractor Urges DHS To Ditch Term ‘Illegal Immigrant,’ Says ‘Jihadist’ Is ‘Racially Charged’