AP stops using term 'illegal immigrants'

Photo courtesy of filmmaker Eduardo Lopez

The contentious debate over the nation's immigration policy has now spread to the Associated Press.

The news organization is issuing new guidelines for how to refer to people who moved to this country without beginning the process of becoming citizens.

AP says this is about labeling people, not their behavior. The word "illegal" should describe an action, not a person, they say. So, "illegal immigration" is okay; "illegal immigrants" is not.

Called the Bible in the world of print journalists, the AP Stylebook sets rules so what you read in newspapers is consistent. Journalists are now being asked to stop calling certain people illegal immigrants.

Advocates are lining up on both sides of the issue. Some say the term "illegal immigrants" demonizes and dehumanizes an entire community of people without due process and the change should have been made a long time ago.

Others say the term has been properly used and the AP is bowing to political pressure.

The Associated Press published their reasoning online. Read it here: "Illegal immigrant" no more