Feb 16, 2021

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 371 words, a 1.5-minute read.

⚡️Situational awareness: FEMA launched its first mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in Los Angeles and Oakland today. Go deeper.

1 big thing: Biden's immigration language push

President Biden on Thursday. 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," according to an internal email scooped by Axios' Stef Kight.

Why it matters: This is a more welcoming immigration stance than the Trump administration, which referred to unauthorized immigrants as "illegal aliens" and described border crossings as an "invasion."

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

Between the lines: An agency can issue a memo directing officials to use certain words over others in official communications, but they have less leeway on the words they use in legal settings.

  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services email specifies that "noncitizen" is to be used rather than "alien," except when citing a statute or regulation or certain immigration forms.
  • Then, the legal term for someone not born in the U.S. or born in certain U.S. territories — "alien" — needs to be used.

The bottom line: Immigration advocates will likely applaud the changes, and hardliners will not.

2. Pic du jour
Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Rare heavy snow in Athens: A man takes photos of the Parthenon.

3. Catch up quick
  1. The NAACP is suing former President Trump and far-right extremist groups in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Go deeper.
  2. U.S. airlines carried about 60% fewer passengers in 2020 compared with 2019. Go deeper.
  3. Prosecutors dropped the case against Amy Cooper, a white woman who called 911 to falsely accuse a Black bird-watcher of threatening her life in Central Park, after she "completed a therapeutic educational program that included instruction about racial biases," the N.Y. Times reports.
  4. RIP: Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson died of pancreatic cancer at 62. He led the firm's acquisition of Starwood in 2016, creating the largest hotel chain on Earth.
  5. 🎧 Axios Re:Cap featured N.Y. Times reporter Nicole Perlroth on the cyber-weapons arms race. Listen here.
4. ⚾ Minor leagues get sparser
Expand chart
Data: MILB, MLB. Logos: SportsLogos.Net. Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

When Minor League Baseball begins its 2021 season, there'll be 25% fewer teams than at this time last year, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Kendall Baker report.

  • The realignment removes a net of 40 teams from 2020, for a total of 120 teams across 39 states.

Why it matters: The reshaping of the minors is a push to modernize MLB's development pipeline. But the changes leave pockets of the country without access to high-level baseball.