Book: Living "Illegal" - The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration

"Today’s polarized debates over immigration revolve around a set of one-dimensional characters and unchallenged stereotypes. Yet the resulting policy prescriptions, not least of them Arizona’s draconian new law SB 1070, are dangerously real and profoundly counterproductive. A ...

Drop the I-Word Friend: The Daily Pennslyvanian

"As we pointed out a few weeks ago , usage of the i-word by the largest newspapers in the country has been steadily growing in recent months. So imagine our surprise when today we read two articles from The Daily Pennsylvanian about immigrants that did not use the i-word. In the article an...

Associated Press declines dropping the I-Word

"The Associated Press has updated its stylebook entry on 'illegal immigrant,' rejecting once again the 'undocumented' term recommended by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, but approving 'living in the country without legal permission' as an acceptable...

Conn. pubs drop the I-Word

"We took an overdue step at the New Haven Register , Middletown Press and Register Citizen on Thursday and instructed reporters and editors to stop using the terms “illegal aliens” and “illegal immigrants.” We’ll use the term “undocumented immigrants”...

Call them 'unauthorized'

The Texas Tribune, a 100% digital, online news outlet, asked me to write a column on the language wars. Here's my take . For an opposing view, click here . - Texas Tribune, Nov. 15, 2011 .

Memo to Journalists / Editors: Drop the I-Word

"The U.S. Supreme Court has come a long way since former Chief Justice William Rehnquist referred to undocumented immigrants as "wetbacks." In an opinion earlier this year on another Arizona immigration law, Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. knowingly used the terms, "unauthorized aliens"...

Call Them 'Unauthorized'

"Whether we use the word illegal or unauthorized, alien or migrant, or whether we call it a banana , the only thing that matters is whether, and when, we enact meaningful, and comprehensive, immigration reform . Toward that end, let's use language that's helpful rather than harmful."...

Words Matter

" My Grandma referred to African Americans as "nigros", which I thought was appallingly close to a really bad word and mortified me every time she said it. At first I cut her some slack, allowing for the fact that she was an older woman (born in 1900) unaware of how the words describing...

What's In a Name?

"In this podcast , Fi2W executive producer John Rudolph discusses the editorial and political implications of this debate over terminology with Julia Preston, national immigration correspondent for the New York Times, and Monica Novoa, a writer for Colorlines and the organizer of the “...

Editor's Corner: If 'Unauthorized' is Good Enough for the Supreme Court...

Charles Garcia says the phrase "illegal immigrant" is a slur . Ruben Navarrette disagrees . The Supreme Court and I take a different tack altogether. In Arizona et al. v. United States , the majority opinion consistently uses the term "unauthorized" to modify the words "alien...

Immigration Egregore: The "Illegal Immigrant" Slur

"I join the fray and ask: Is illegal immigrant a " stinking rose ?" Is it an ad hominem attack on Latinos like the now quaint but still non-PC terms, "d-a-g-o"* or "wop," or "paddy" or "mick," used to slime earlier immigrants of Italian or Irish...

It’s More Complicated Than “Legal vs. Illegal”: An Open Letter to Ruben Navarrette

Prerna Lal writes: "I enjoy your writing, probably more than most people. You hold President Obama accountable for his abhorrent immigration policies. You stick it to the Republicans for hating on immigrants because their hate has to do with the color of our skin. And you generally make a lot of...

Wanted: New 'Birds of Passage'

" We divide newcomers into two categories: legal or illegal, good or bad. We hail them as Americans in the making, or brand them as aliens fit for deportation. That framework has contributed mightily to our broken immigration system and the long political paralysis over how to fix it. We don’t...

JAV to AP, NYT: Drop the I-Word!

"Starting today, a non-profit founded by Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist, activist, and undocumented immigrant, will begin monitoring the use of the phrase "illegal immigrant" in the media, with the goal of shifting the conversation around the issue. "Right now, my two main targets...

The I-Word, Inching Toward Retirement

"Maybe Mr. Vargas and others will succeed in driving out “illegal.” It won’t be the first time a word has become defunct through misuse or changing times. ... But a change in usage won’t necessarily change hearts. As the linguist and former senator S.I. Hayakawa used to say...

Linguists Tell New York Times 'Illegal' Neither 'Neutral' Nor 'Accurate'

"In response to the Associated Press and The New York Times' continued use of the term "illegal immigrant", a group of linguists have taken a stand, arguing that the phrase "illegal immigrant" isn't as neutral or accurate as the two media companies claim it to be. .....

Language Wars: Univision vs. New York Times

"Jose Antonio Vargas may have reenergized the debate over whether to use the term “illegal immigrant,” but Univision’s taking it to a whole new level. The nation's top-rated Spanish-language broadcast network took The New York Times to task last week in a series of articles...

USA Today Drops the I-Word

" From: Coon, William Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6:16 PM To: USAT ED Virginia Staff; USAT ED Field Staff Subject: Change in USA TODAY style on illegal immigration You probably have heard that the Associated Press recently changed its style on the term illegal immigrant. Starting...

The Grey Lady Waffles on Use of the I-Word

"On Tuesday, The New York Times updated its policies on how it uses the phrase “illegal immigrant” in its coverage. The newspaper did not go as far as The Associated Press, and it will continue to allow the phrase to be used for “someone who enters, lives in or works in the United...

Stop Calling People 'Aliens'

"The use of the word “illegal” to describe non-citizens who are present in the United States without authorization is finally beginning to die a much-deserved death, at least in the mainstream press. ... Despite this trend, the term “alien” remains not only in popular use...