The Associated Press drops the term “illegal immigrant,” and the left wins another battle in the language war. The AP’s rationale for the change is ridiculous (a person cannot be illegal). The AP isn’t even able to come up with an alternative. The term “undocumented” has also been rejected:
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. …
The discussions on this topic have been wide-ranging and include many people from many walks of life. (Earlier, they led us to reject descriptions such as “undocumented,” despite ardent support from some quarters, because it is not precise. A person may have plenty of documents, just not the ones required for legal residence.)
The term “illegal immigrant” is plenty specific; attaching an accurate classification to a specific status. A person can be an “Illegal immigrant” just as easily as a person can be a “bank robber” or a “corrupt journalist.”
What we’re seeing here is nothing more than the AP finding a rationale (and a dumb one) to do what they want to do and disguise it as thoughtful, accurate journalism.
There is a word for not calling something what it is: Orwellian.
ADDED: Dave Weigel backs up my point with his headline: “How Immigration Activists Convinced the AP That “Illegal” Was a Dirty Word.”
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