Associated Press Drops “Illegal Immigrant:” Term Except In Direct Quotes


The Associated Press said its Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that “illegal” should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally, reports AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll noted that, “We had in other areas been ridding the Stylebook of labels. The new section on mental health issues argues for using credibly sourced diagnoses instead of labels. Saying someone was “diagnosed with schizophrenia” instead of schizophrenic, for example.:” Carroll says the discussion about labeling people, instead of behavior, led us back to “illegal immigrant.” She says: “We concluded that to be consistent, we needed to change our guidance. So we have.” The new language in the Stylebook: “Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission. Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.”

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