AP Style Change Prompts ‘Illegal Invader’ Terminology

Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 04:25 PM

By Kenneth Hanner

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An advocacy group says it will use the term “illegal invaders” now that The Associated Press changed its stylebook to ban the use of “illegal immigrants.”

William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, said “illegal invaders” better describes people in the United States without authorization.

“Immigrant” is better used as a term to describe people here legally, Gheen told the Los Angeles Times. The AP’s style change was a “Big Brother” move and “political correctness on steroids,” Gheen said.

The new style-guide entry says that “except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant.”

Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explained the reasons for the change on the AP’s blog, saying that “illegal immigrant” assigns a label to people.

The wire services already had made style changes for medical diagnoses for the mentally ill, she said, and the “illegal immigration” entry was a natural outgrowth.

The stylebook now advises saying someone was “diagnosed with schizophrenia” instead of schizophrenic, Carroll said. “We concluded that to be consistent, we needed to change our guidance. So we have.”






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