Ted Cruz admonishes Library of Congress over use of ‘illegal’

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Texas senator says the federal body lost its way after losing more than a million documents in its Fort Worth storage facility

US senator Ted Cruz called on the Library of Congress to stop using the word “illegal” when referring to illegal immigrants.

The Texas senator issued a rare public reprimand of the institution, which has previously come under fire for its treatment of minority groups.

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In a letter to Jeff Jones, the library’s director, Cruz wrote: “The word ‘illegal’ should not be used for anyone other than a formal judicial proceeding.

“Your decision to use the term ‘illegal alien’ for anyone other than a judicial proceeding fundamentally disagrees with the spirit of civil discourse. It alienates people from the idea that there are many, very real, hardworking and patriotic people who are here in this country illegally.”

Signed by Cruz on Monday, the letter calls on the library “to end its use of the term ‘illegal alien’”.

The letter to the library’s director noted that in a 2017 letter to Cruz and his colleagues, a staff attorney from the library described the use of the term as “unfair” and “despicable”.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the library lost more than a million documents last year when its Fort Worth, Texas, storage facility flooded.

Of those documents, only 22,000 could be read. But Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, in a separate letter addressed to Jones, said the library should consider erecting a public reading room at its building in Washington that only uses legal-size paper, a request that was also made to Cruz.

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