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H.R. 3776 (116th): Correcting Hurtful and Alienating Names in Government Expression (CHANGE) Act

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About the bill

Three years after a law banned governmental use of “Negro” and “oriental,” should the government be barred from saying “illegal alien” too?


In a number of federal laws, the terms “alien” or “illegal alien” are used to describe people who are in America without citizenship or proper documentation.

All of the leading Democratic 2020 presidential candidates have refrained from using such terms. In April 2013, the Associated Press — whose AP Stylebook is considered the definitive source on proper terminology for most of the journalism industry — announced that the word “illegal” should only refer to an actual action, rather than a person themselves.

Republicans including President Trump, along with the right wing portion of the media, generally tend to still use the original phrases.

What the bill does …

Sponsor and status

Joaquin Castro

Sponsor. Representative for Texas's 20th congressional district. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Length: 6 pages
Jul 16, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on July 16, 2019, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


23 Cosponsors (23 Democrats)



Jul 16, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

H.R. 3776 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 3776. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

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“H.R. 3776 — 116th Congress: Correcting Hurtful and Alienating Names in Government Expression (CHANGE) Act.” 2019. December 4, 2021 <>

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