Is The Term ‘Illegal Alien’ Written Into Federal Law?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Alain StephensMay 16, 2018 7:27 am| ,

A Texas law enforcement official says that “illegal alien” is a legal term.

Is that a fact? Gardner Selby of the Politifact Texas fact-checking team has the answer.

At an April Texas House hearing, State Rep. Mary González, a Democrat in El Paso County, asked Texas Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw about his use of the term. It’s considered inaccurate by many, including the Associated Press, which publishes a widely-used style guide for journalists. Instead, the guide suggests terms like “people in this country without documents.” McCraw says he uses the term “illegal alien” because it is a “federal term” and written into statute.

Hear how McCraw’s claim scored in the player above.