AP Stylebook under Fire for Rejecting Term “Illegal Immigrant”


April 2, 2013; Source:Associated Press

Normally, updates to the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook only cause a stir among the folks who live and breathe the linguistic esoterica that goes into editing news articles. (For many copyeditors, 2010 is forever seared into their memories as the year the AP decided to make “website” one word, lowercase.) But this month, the Stylebook found itself making headlines across news outlets from Fox News to Salon for its decision to abandon use of the term “illegal immigrant.”

The new AP Stylebook entry reads:

Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.

Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.

Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?

In their announcement, the AP maintains that “ ‘illegal’ should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.”

The change comes at a time when a bipartisan Senate group is on the brink of introducing broad immigration legislation. Some critics of the Stylebook update claim that the AP is trying to influence the debate with, in the words of the conservative Media Research Center, “politically-correct mumble.” Meanwhile, immigration-advocacy groups have found it a cause for celebration. Salon notes: “The move comes more than a year after Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, undocumented immigrant and activist Jose Antonio Vargas pushed news behemoths The New York Times and the Associated Press to drop the term.”

Any development that could be construed as introducing bias to its pages is a very serious matter for the Stylebook, the de facto style bible for U.S. news outlets – left- and right-leaning alike. According to its architects, the Stylebook change is an attempt to embrace increasingly neutral language across the board, an overall effort aimed at “ridding the Stylebook of labels.” (For example, the AP recommends that writers use the phrase “diagnosed with schizophrenia” rather than “schizophrenic.”) Considering the AP’s current mission – which could be viewed as progressive – it does not seem far-fetched to think that the AP will continue to make headlines with more controversial changes in the future. –Shaula Clark

  • Dave Francis


    Foreign nationals are coming in ever increasing numbers now, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is just broadcasting a mountain of untruths about the really unfettered numbers reaching and crossing the border. South Americans are turning up and being caught, but the figures of people who are reaching America soil and disappearing is being held back. Under anonymity U.S. border Patrol agents are coming forward as “Whistle Blowers” offering a substantial different version throughout the border sectors. But then Americans are so gullible to the real truth, they are still inclined to believe that we have only 11 million illegal aliens, residing in the United States. Whatever the numbers, its still too many, because in the eyes of the majority of Americans they violated the law, and the truth be known that a U.S. citizen entering without permission into Mexico as an example, would be arrested and locked away. The consequences of another mass amnesty are considerable, as illegal aliens are already arriving with expectations that they will be “GRANDFATHERED” in to any new policy? This could be a very dangerous in crossing deserts or uncountable pregnant women ready to conceive, slipping through airports or being smuggled through the two borders, or even journeying here by ship.


    Center for Investigative Reporting– April 4 regarding the new drone radar, revealing Border Patrol ‘get-aways’ in high numbers
    Northrop Grumman radar was carried by Predator UAV:

    The U.S. Border Patrol has caught a fraction of the border crossers spotted by a sophisticated sensor mounted on unmanned spy aircraft and flown over remote stretches of desert, casting doubts on claims that the area is more secure than ever, according to documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The border crossers were spotted with a new, all-seeing radar system developed for use in the Afghanistan War and patrolling above the U.S.-Mexico border in parts of Arizona since March 2012. The system can reveal every man, woman and child under its gaze from a height of about 25,000 feet. Between October and December, records show, the remotely operated aircraft detected 7,333 border crossers during its Arizona missions. Border Patrol agents, however, reported 410 apprehensions during that time, according to an internal agency report. The sensor was credited with providing surveillance that led to 52 arrests and 15,135 pounds of seized marijuana. […] “The truth is that we need to refine and strengthen the metrics we use to determine how secure our borders and ports of entry are,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement. It has now been proven that counting actual border crosser is possible — and the results are staggering. The problem is that using Predators to do the job on the entire border all the time would be too costly. What about a system that could count every border crosser and a fraction of the costs of UAV radar? Is such a system possible? Yes – and we call it the Sonic Barrier.

    The days are waning if we hope to stop or at least bring to a thin trickle the illegal immigration invasion. The REAL double layer fence must be constructed as originally designed, as part of the major plan and not the liable haphazard arrangement that condemned America in 1986 and is still part of the fiscal chaos we have today. THIS WILL ONLY HAPPEN IF AMERICANS DEMAND THE 2006 SECURE FENCE ACT FROM THE UNCONCERNED, MISINFORMED LEGISLATORS IN WASHINGTON? We must demand from the incoherent politicians a mandatory biometric ID card, that will bring to a stop illegal alien taking jobs from Americans. It will close down every loophole of lax immigration enforcement and make all legal citizens and legal residents impervious to another invasion. Only those who hold a federal ID card will be able to get a job; it will also be used to vote, purchase a gun, apply for welfare and prove who you are when purchasing something on credit. IT WILL BE A FORMIDABLE TASK AS THE SPECIAL INTEREST LOBBYISTS, RADICAL PRO-ILLEGAL ALIEN ENTITIES AND ANTI SOVEREIGNTY ORGANIZATIONS WILL FIGHT A LAW SUCH AS THIS, UNTIL THEIR BLOOD BOILS.

    Because of the tens of millions of illegal aliens who are already residing here, we have no choice but to demand a laminated picture ID card, which will bring dramatically to a grinding halt, credit theft, voter fraud and welfare fraud. Unless you have a documented proof of citizenship, or permanent residency you will not be able to procure food stamps, public entitlements and other needs of verification. Shamefully it’s come to this, as billions of dollars are being illegally appropriated by foreign nationals. We have so many Americans out of work with no health insurance, yet the “illegal’s” get paid cash, Food Stamps, they pay no taxable income and still able to defraud the IRS with child tax rebates without paying a dime; even go to our hospitals and clinics for the luxury of free treatments. The Heritage foundation buys nothing of bettering the economy and leading to prosperity, when their greatest asset Robert Rector has released a report stating the next amnesty will cost the country $2.6 Trillion dollars in support. Its a growing concern amongst the electorate that foreigners have more rights than citizens/permanent residents and even the thousands of potential legal immigrants, waiting in the foreground for their entry visas. Much of this mess originated from the Immigration Reform and Control Act 27 years ago from poor processing and eligibility as many criminal slipped through the cracks with heinous backgrounds, which still today we don’t know about? Every day there is another illegal drunken driver, slaughtering a family on our roads.

    Guest and agricultural workers must be well regulated, and paid fair wages along with benefits and health care. These workers must be tracked as they will scatter to the four winds, adding to the already heavy load of taxpayer welfare assistance. Farmers must be held responsible with hefty fines and imprisonment if they do not pay the health insurance for their charges. In similarity, employers who are caught hiring foreign workers should be punished and for every illegal alien hired a $10.000 fine and additionally prison. On the highest skill level, they should perhaps receive expedited access, but only if they have been fully verified by the Dept of Labor as top STEM workers, but not semi-skilled? American workers should always get top priority, and employers who try to cheat the system should get a mandatory prison term. THE UNIONS AND THE U.S.DEPT OF COMMERCE HAS NO CONCERN FOR THE 23 AMERICAN JOBLESS? THE UNIONS WANT TO PACK THEIR POCKETS WITH MORE UNION DUES AND THE CORPORATE AND BUSINESS LOBBY WANT THEIR SHARE OF THE TAKE IN CHEAP LABOR, CORRUPTION AND ABUSE.

    Join the fight to bring sanity back to America and stop the tax and spend Liberal Democrats giving everything to the deadbeats, freeloaders and bottom feeders. The illegal alien invasion is bleeding our nation dry and both political parties are colluding to encourage even more across our porous border. Find your voice and speak out. Stop for a minute and think? Become a member of hundreds of grassroots pro-sovereignty, anti-illegal alien organizations such as numbersUSA and petition Washington, or call your senator or Congress person at 202) 224-312. USE ANY MEANS POSSIBLE TO COMMUNICATE, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. Read the real news, Reports at American Patrol, not the bogus propaganda from the Liberal press. ITS A MUST READ THE AMERICAN PATROL DAILY REPORT. American Patrol website has a collected a list of many sites that are against any amnesty or illegal immigration. There are facts about the money taken from your taxes to pay for illegal aliens and their children at Judicial Watch, AliPac and FAIR. The Real evidence is there and you should read it, and then join the race to stop another amnesty and illegal alien invasion travesty.