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Library of Congress Will Stop Using 'Illegal' and 'Alien'

A Dartmouth student group has successfully convinced administrators at the Library of Congress to stop using "illegal" and "alien."
Washington D.C. skyline.
FILE PHOTI: Oppressive heat and high humidity settle in over the Washington skyline as record-breaking temperatures and ozone-laden haze prompt air-quality alerts for the coming days in the nation's capital, Friday, July 23, 2010. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

After two years of of petitioning the Library of Congress, a student group at Dartmouth College has successfully convinced administrators to stop using "illegal" and "alien" in subject headings for literature about immigration.

Students with the Dartmouth Coalition For Immigration Reform, Equality and DREAMers, or CoFIRED, along with the support of the American Library Association led a campaign to change the language regarding immigration in the Library of Congress, according to a press release. Subject headings will use "unauthorized" and "non-citizen" when referring to undocumented immigrants.

"CoFIRED collectively agreed with the feelings that I felt and took action by working with our university’s librarians to correct this terminology," said Melissa Padilla, a Dartmouth senior who is active with CoFIRED. "Nearly two years later, the Library of Congress has made a change in favor of our humanity which will have ripple effects on institutions across the country,”

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