Two of the biggest names in print journalism, The New York Times and the Associated Press, continue to use the term "illegal immigrant," despite the controversy over the phrase.
A non-profit founded by Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist, activist, and undocumented immigrant, will begin monitoring the use of the phrase "illegal immigrant" in the media, with the goal of shifting the conversation around the issue.
Illegal immigrant: Used to describe someone who has entered a country illegally or who resides in a country in violation of civil or criminal law.- AP Stylebook
2011 was a big year. The New York Times, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, the Society for Professional Journalists and others responded to the call to drop the i-word. Though we have a way to go, we have moved the needle in our favor.
There has been a national push to get mainstream media to stop using the word "illegal" to describe immigrants. Several newspapers have come on board, such as the Miami Herald, and smaller newspapers. Unfortunately, the Associated Press (AP) is not one of those news entities.
When reporting on people who are in the U.S. without permission, should journalists refer to them as “illegal” or “undocumented”? The AP Stylebook advises journalists to use “illegal immigrants.” But some journalists and news consumers say this term is dehumanizing and legally inaccurate.