'It's a Simple Legal Reality': Why the Associated Press Is Sticking with the Term 'Illegal Immigrant'

Cord Jefferson · 10/19/12 06:22PM

In the face of mounting pressure from activist campaigns like "Drop the I-Word," the Associated Press announced today that it would continue using the term "illegal immigrants" in its immigration coverage if and when the situation calls for it. Drop the I-Word and its proponents—like journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, himself an illegal immigrant—argue that media outlets using the word "illegal" to describe people is a "racially charged" tactic that "confuses the immigration debate and fuels violence." Critics would rather newspapers and wire services use terms like "undocumented immigrant" or "unauthorized immigrant," instead. Despite those protestations, however, the AP appears to be resolute in its decision.