From the New York Times: Ms. Preston disagrees with the ruling on the term “undocumented.” It should not be so strictly avoided. But, she said, neither should “illegal immigrant” be banned. “It’s accurate and it considers the broad terms of the debate. We shouldn’t be banning an accurate term.”
Today, the Associated Press has decided that ‘illegal immigrant’ is no longer the preferred way to describe immigrants who do no possess lawful status, meaning that the term is on its way out for thousands of journalists across the country.
The AP made the following change to its stylebook:
illegal immigration Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living inor entering a country illegally or without legal permission.
Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegalsor undocumented.
Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.
Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?
People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people granted a temporary right to remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, use temporary resident status, with details on the program lower in the story.
So what now for the New York Times? Do they hold out for pride’s sake, or do they go with the changing tide? Preston continued to say that the paper needed more “flexibility”, but does the paper still believe that the term is “accurate”?