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Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration is urging officials to use more inclusive terms for immigrants, including replacing the word "alien" with "noncitizen," Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Trump administration referred to unauthorized immigrants as "illegal aliens" and described border crossings as an "invasion." The new terms point to President Biden's more welcoming immigration stance overall.

  • According to an email sent Tuesday to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials, reviewed by Axios, acting director Tracy Renaud recently signed a memo encouraging the "more inclusive language in the agency's outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public."
  • A DHS spokesperson did not immediately respond to calls and an email seeking comment.

Between the lines: Other changes include using "undocumented noncitizen" or "undocumented individual" rather than "illegal alien" and "integration or civic integration" instead of "assimilation."

  • Immigration advocates will likely applaud the changes.
  • Hardliners will not.
  • "By statute, 'alien' literally means a person not a U.S. citizen or national. That is not offensive, and neither is 'assimilation,'" said Robert Law, a former Trump administration official now working at the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
40 mins ago - Technology

Epic's long game against Apple

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Epic's Apple lawsuit is costing the company dearly, but the game developer has its eye on a valuable long-term goal: prying tomorrow's virtual worlds loose from the grip of app store proprietors like Apple.

Between the lines: Epic isn't spending a fortune in legal fees and foregoing a ton of revenue just to shave some costs off in-app purchases on today's phones. Rather, it's planning for a future of creating virtual universes via augmented and virtual reality — without having to send a big chunk of their economies to Apple or Google.

Updated 45 mins ago - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Democrats are still looking for a plan on drug prices

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Democrats have no workable plan to tackle the cost of prescription drugs, even with full control of Washington and after campaigning on the issue for years.

The picture: Voters still care about the cost of drugs, but Democrats don't have a feasible legislative strategy yet — or an agreed-upon policy to fit into a legislative strategy.