The Associated Press will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant,” its executive editor said Tuesday, a decision that comes as negotiations over a deal on comprehensive immigration reform are continuing.
“The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term ‘illegal immigrant’ or the use of ‘illegal’ to describe a person,” she wrote. “Instead, it tells users that ‘illegal’ should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.”
Carroll acknowledges that the new guidance will “perhaps just a bit at first” make writers’ jobs more difficult. “But while labels may be more facile, they are not accurate,” she writes.
Under the heading “illegal immigration,” the AP’s Stylebook will list acceptable variations including “living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.”
The article doesn’t say what they will replace it with; probably undocumented immigrant or some variation. But I’ve noticed the gradual push on news shows when illegal immigration is the topic, invariably the pro illegal representative will either not use that term or will state he doesn’t accept the legitimacy of that term. You know, along the vein of “no human being is illegal.” The goal of course, is to make the term un-PC so as to delegitimize the political opposition by delegitimizing the term.
Really, I’m surprised this didn’t happen during the 2007 immigration battles. But now that the AP has made this move, I expect the New York Times, Gannett, and basically everyone else in the main stream media to follow suit. Eventually, even ICE will have to scrub its website of the soon-to-be racist epitaph
In a way, they have a point. The term illegal immigrant isn’t really descriptive of who these people are. They are not immigrants since they don’t even have a right to be in the country, let alone settle down here. So I’ll do my part and refer to these border crossers and visa over-stayers as illegal aliens.