Rep. Turner wants Library of Congress to keep saying ‘illegal alien’

Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton won the first round in a battle between House Republicans and the Library of Congress.

The U.S. House approved a spending bill Friday that included an amendment backed by Turner which would force the Library of Congress to continue using words such as “aliens” and “illegal aliens” when describing people who entered the United States illegally.

In March, the library announced it would use the phrases “non-citizens” or “unauthorized immigration” to describe undocumented immigrants, who in the past have been referred to illegal aliens. The library said the new words were less offensive and more accurate.

To House Republicans, the library’s decision was “political correctness” run amuck. So Turner sponsored an amendment that told the library to knock it off and return to “illegal aliens.”

“Today the House acted to prevent the Library of Congress from engaging in partisanship and censorship,” Turner said. “The Library of Congress has a duty to provide impartial and accurate access to Americans.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, sharply objected. NBC News quoted him as saying “a lot of Republicans are sitting around wondering how their party became the party of Donald Trump. This is how you start to get there, by forcing an institution to use language that is dehumanizing to people.”

The Senate must approve the same measure before the library has to back down.