The Associate Press, which for 60 years has published the de facto style reference for newsprint journalism, announced Tuesday its venerable Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law would no longer recommend using the term “illegal Immigrant.”
AP director of media relations Paul Colford attempted an explanation, of sorts, on the agency’s website, beginning with a most paradoxical salvo: “The AP Stylebook is making some changes today in how we describe people living in a country illegally.”
The goal, he continues, is to abolish “labels” that describe actions — in other words, an act can be “illegal,” but an individual cannot be.
The post goes on to offer a number of examples offering alternatives that can be used to refer to someone who’s illegally immigrated somewhere without calling such a person an “illegal immigrant.”
Those include things like referring to a person “living in” or “entering a country illegally” or “without legal permission,” but refraining from using terms like “illegal alien,” “undocumented” or “an illegal.”
Good luck, MSM newswriters.