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AP Stylebook Dropping ‘Illegal Immigrant’

April 2, 2013 by  

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.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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