The Associated Press, which is known as 'the world's oldest and largest news-gathering organization,' will no longer include the term 'illegal immigrant' in their Stylebook. The Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll confirmed the news in a blog entry and explained the motive behind the decision.
"The 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," she wrote.
The move comes after years of controversy over the term. According to ABC, last year a group of linguists rallied together and encouraged media outlets to stop adopting the usage of the term since it was "neither neutral nor accurate." Several media outlets, including Latina, refuse to use the term due to its demeaning context.
As Carroll questioned in her blog, "Is this the best way to describe someone in a country without permission?" The clear answer is no. Carroll explains that after analyzing the term closely, the AP decided that they prefer to label 'behavior' instead of 'people.'
"Change is a part of AP Style because the English language is constantly evolving, enriched by new words, phrases and uses. Our goal always is to use the most precise and accurate words so that the meaning is clear to any reader anywhere," she explained.
That's a good thing in our book. What do you think about the AP removing 'illegal immigrant' from their Stylebook?