Associated Press Bans Use of Term 'Illegal Immigrants'


They’re illegal no more – at least in the eyes of the Associated Press. The news gathering service will no longer use the phrase “illegal immigrants” when referring to undocumented immigrants.
“The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person,” said senior vice president and executive editor Kathleen Carroll in an article published at NBC Latino. “Instead, it tells users that “illegal” should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.”
The  Associated Press did not say it supports using the word undocumented, according to NBC Latino. “The discussions on this topic have been wide-ranging and include many people from many walks of life, Carroll said. “Earlier, they led us to reject descriptions such as “undocumented,” despite ardent support from some quarters, because it is not precise. A person may have plenty of documents, just not the ones required for legal residence.”
Tony Hernandez, the founder of Immigrant Archive Project, which documents the stories of immigrants, says he welcomes the change.
“Words are mere vessels for meaning, and this particular term, in my opinion has been used to victimize by suggesting ‘criminality,’” he said. “The fact remains that immigration violations are considered civil offenses — no different from a parking violation, yet we would never consider the term “illegal drivers.”
Many took to Twitter to cheer the decision by the Associated Press, echoing the common refrain from advocates that “no human being is illegal.” The National Council of La Raza tweeted, “Well done!” in sharing the news.