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Border & Immigration

Interactive Map: The Term 'Illegal Immigrant'


In April, the Associated Press Stylebook decided to no longer sanction using the term "illegal" or "undocumented" immigrant, we noted our policy as well.

On May 1 both the Los Angeles Times and Denver Post dropped the term as well.

LA Times, stated in a memo:

"The goal is to "provide relevance and context and to avoid labels."<br><br>That means stories will no longer refer to individuals as "illegal immigrants" or "undocumented immigrants," but instead will describe a person's circumstances.
Denver Post,
The Denver Post will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant” when describing a person in the country unlawfully. If we know the actual circumstances we will describe them. The word “illegal” will not be applied to a person, only an action.

We asked our Fronteras Desk audience to weigh in for a "Southwest Voices" story.

Now we have joined with other media organizations to expand our original query nationwide. We wanted to know how people across the country responded to, "Which term best describes immigrants living in the U.S. illegally?"


Below is a map of responses, and some of the voices that highlight the complexities of language.

If you would like to participate please fill out the query, and your voice will be added to the map.