Moving Beyond the “Illegal Immigrant” – The Associated Press Drops the Pejorative Term. Who’s Next?

Yesterday, the Associated Press announced that it would stop using the phrase “illegal immigrant” to describe an individual present in the US illegally, or who entered the country without proper authorization. This is a great victory for the long history of organizing against the word “illegal” beginning with the transnational No Human Being Is Illegal campaign and more recently, the Drop the I-word campaign, in addition to the many undocumented immigrants across the country who have insisted on defining ourselves beyond the pejorative brush of “illegal” or “illegal immigrant.” The AP dropping the I-word also has wide ramifications not just for the media, but also for the way we view and treat people.