Immigration Activist Organization Launches Robot on Twitter Censoring the Terms ‘Illegal Immigrant’ and ‘Illegal Alien’

REUTERS/Jason Redmond
REUTERS/Jason Redmond
Washington, DC

The National Immigrant Justice Center, an organization pushing immigration reform, posted on Twitter that Fusion built a “Twitter bot that corrects people who say ‘illegal immigrant'” on Tuesday.

In a link posted with the message on Twitter, writers Patrick Hogan and Jorge Rivas explained how the terms “illegal immigrant” or “illegal alien” are offensive to people “living in the United States without proper authorization.”

“In 2015, everyone from President Obama to actress Natalie Portman has gotten used to saying “undocumented immigrant” or “unauthorized immigrant” instead of the outdated and offensive phrase “illegal immigrant.” Publications like the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press have asked their writers to not use the term “illegal immigrant” unless it is part of a quote. The Supreme Court has also opted for terms like “unauthorized aliens” and “unauthorized workers” because legal experts say that “illegal immigrant” is just not accurate,” argued Hogan and Rivas.

“So, in a modest effort to help America shed some of its historical baggage, we built a Twitter bot that replies to some of the people who tweet the words “illegal immigrant,” letting them know that in 2015, the preferred terms are “undocumented immigrant” or “unauthorized immigrant.” To avoid spamming people, the bot only runs once every ten minutes, and it never replies to the same user twice,” the two stated.

According to the post, the Twitter bot has been running for several days and generated roughly 400 responses.

For the most part, Twitter users did not find it helpful.