I guess you could say it’s been a long time coming. Too long perhaps. I mean how long have people been asking for respected news organizations and reporters to stop using the “I” word when referring to a human being? No human being is illegal regardless of their legal status in any country, especially this one. That’s always been my personal opinion anyway. And now, the Associated Press has finally come to the same conclusion in their latest updates to the AP Stylebook. They made the official announcement today.
¡Por fin! ¡Woo-hoo! ¡Enhorabuena! It was about time!
Here’s how they explained their decision: “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.) Those discussions continued even after AP affirmed “illegal immigrant” as the best use…”
The new guidelines for using the word illegal are as follows:
Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. 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.
There’s definitely still room for improvement, pero bueno it’s better than continuing to call people illegal or illegals. I won’t have to think “Illegal? ¡Illegal tu ______!” as often any more every time I hear or read the “I” word in a news story.
All other news sources, please follow suit. Thank you!