AP Drops ‘Illegal Immigrant’ From Style Guide, Hispanic Media Group Reacts

AP Drops 'Illegal Immigrant' From Style Guide, Hispanic Media Group Reacts

The AP changes its stance on the use of term.

The Associated Press announced on Tuesday that it will no longer allow the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of the word “Illegal” for that matter to describe a human being.

“The discussions on this topic have been wide-ranging and include many people from many walks of life,” SVP and executive editor Kathleen Carroll wrote on the AP blog.

"The Associated Press Style Book” not only governs how the AP writes news, but it's also the most widely accepted source for news writing style in the United States.

The debate over using the term “illegal” when describing humans has definitely been a point of contention for media outlets and media watchdogs.

"We applaud AP for its decision to stop using the word ‘illegal’ to describe human beings,” Hispanic Media Coalition's president and CEO voices the organization's approval. “For far too long, this term has been accepted as a politically correct way for some to spew hatred, xenophobia, and fear throughout our communities.”

“At a certain point, it lost any descriptive qualities and became nothing more than a slur used to dehumanize and degrade a very important part of our country,” he continues.

The AP's decision follows as several college newspapers and news organizations including ABC, NBC and CNN had already decided to stop using the term in referring to people.

The decision isn't totally a 180 turn from the AP's stance last fall, but it's definitely a change. Then, the news service decided to continue using the term with certain limitations while it offered alternatives.

The effect of the AP's decision is already affecting the industry at the top. On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Times announced it would be "reconsidering" its use of “illegal immigrant,” as well.

  • Mike

    The legal term according to US law is ILLEGAL ALIEN so why not use that? There are also resident aliens and non-resident aliens. We live in a country of laws, if you break a law then you have committed an illegal act, therefore if you break the law coming to the US and you work, then your are an illegal alien that is illegally working without a work visa. The terminology is clear, neutral and was defined a long time ago and there is no issue using the correct legal terms, what's the problem?

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=9a1f95c4f635f010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCRD

  • NO MORE HYPOCRISY

    SINCE WHEN DO LAW BREAKERS BECOME A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF OUR COUNTRY? BY YOUR LOGIC EVERY MURDERER AND PEDOPHILE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THIS COUNTRY.

    I WILL NO LONGER RELY ON THE AP FOR MY NEWS. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PAID OFF JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER BUSINESS AND POLITICIAN THAT THINK THE MEXICAN VOTE IS WORTH FLAUNTING THE LAW.

    LET ALL OF THE (WHAT WORD SHALL I USE THEN?) NON-AMERICAN LAW BREAKING CITIZENS OUT OF JAIL AND KEEP ONLY THE CARD CARRYING U. S. CRIMINALS LOCKED UP. THAT SHOULD INSURE THE LOW INCOME NON EDUCATED LAW BREAKING MEXICAN VOTE THAT YOU ARE DROOLING AFTER. YOU BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES MAKE ME SICK.

  • Badger1225

    So if your not in this country legally that means your in Limbo because we can't say you're illegal? They're breaking the law but it's a slur to say they are with the correct desciption? God help this country.

  • Georgio

    This is the kind of thing George Orwell warned us about – shameful…Why don't we ban the word ‘criminal’ too. Hey, they're all just sweet ‘human beings’ in the end.

  • castingstones2

    Great job AP, bigotry lost big time today. Keep going, dare to know that whenever you help give voices to those without you are helping America live up to her potential. The world is watching.

    • Pat

      It has nothing to do with bigotry. It has to do with lawfulness. Stop hiding your criminality behind the bigotry shield. Meanwhile, go to other countries including Mexico and see how illegals are treated. This country is a laughingstock.

      The AP has become trash in recent years, with a push to report gossip and tabloid stuff. It's running on its old reputation which is now undeserved. I will not be reading AP anymore.

      If the NYT joins this idiocy, I will not read it anymore either.

      If illegal immigrants should not be called illegal, then we must not discriminate amongst criminals. We must find cuddly terms for burglars, rapists, terrorists, etc. We should not call any criminal what they are, just cuddly creatures.

      And stop spending so many tax dollars guarding the borders. If illegals are just human beings and citizenship is being given away to one and all, why guard the borders.

  • Elie

    Time for everyone to go get a copy of “1984”. Exactly the sort of thing that is going on in N. Korea today, change and corrupt the language to mean something different. The only difference is that we are threatened with a label – bigot – instead of a labor camp.There are only two ways that non-citizens enter a country – legally or illegally. If you are living in a country that you are not a citizen of you are an immigrant (or a tourist) – if you did not enter that country according to their laws, you entered illegally.
    Go read the penalties for illegally entering any of the countries that most of our illegals come from.

  • Jack

    Democrats want the illegal vote because they think it helps their party. Yet, Hispanics reportedly mostly don't even show up to vote.

    Corporations want the illegals because they can staff their companies with cheap labor and foreign technical skill.

    They manipulate the polls to make it seem like most Americans support this, and get the media (more corporations) to report it as fact.

    People don't support this and it's not a liberal vs. conservative thing. Many Democrats do not support this insanity.

  • Captain Sidney

    Logic would dictate that if a person is not operating within the letter of the law, then they are by definition committing an act that is “illegal”. Thus making them a criminal. This is NOT bigotry, it is common sense. Only liberal minded, educated beyond their intelligence, politically correct persons would insist on bypassing the “illegal” status. (Probably for their own personal gain) Ladies and gentlemen this is a very dangerous road we travel down. Many posting here have already seen the obvious problem in labeling murderers, etc. What other terrible downfalls will present themselves when we insist on ignoring the truth and do our best to force feed this perversion of intelligence? George Orwell, indeed.