A new campaign has begun to tell all journalists to stop using the term ‘illegal immigrant’ and ‘illegal alien.’ In an effort to ‘inform and sensitize’ – the Society of Professional Journalists states the adjective ‘illegal’ to be offensive towards Latinos.
Leo Laurence, Diversity Committee member of the SPJ, claims individuals living in America without approval should be called ‘undocumented workers’ or ‘undocumented immigrants.’ In doing so, journalists/reporters will minimize harm.
Laurence also interpreted the Constitution to provide rights for everyone. In order to abide by the US Constitution, we must rid our language of the offensive phrases.
“Some believe the phrase illegal alien originated with fiery, anti-immigrant groups along the U.S.-Mexico border, such as the Minutemen. Gradually, the phrase — along with illegal immigrant — seeped into common usage. It is now even used by some network TV newscasters.
Yet it remains offensive to many Latinos, and especially Mexicans, and to the fundamentals of American jurisprudence…
“The term criminalizes a person,” the organization of Latino journalists contends…
Simply put, only a judge, not a journalist, can say that someone is an illegal.”
Despite their current efforts, the Associated Press said they are standing by their established guidelines around the term ‘illegal immigrants.’
Leo Laurence warns they will continue pressuring others to adopt their standard.
‘Quill’ Article: ‘The Constitution and use of ‘illegal immigrant”