On Friday, September 24, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that removes the word from several sections of the California state code. The word "alien" will be replaced with terms like "noncitizen" or "immigrant."
Newsom called the word "an offensive term for a human being" that has “fueled a divisive and hurtful narrative.”
“By changing this term, we are ensuring California’s laws reflect our state’s values,” said Newsom.
The federal government has used the term "alien" to describe people in the U.S. who are not citizens since at least 1798. In recent years, governments, libraries, and news agencies have been updating the language around immigration.