Media Blog

AP Summary: Illegal Immigrant (n)? Out. Illegal Immigration (v)? OK.

First read Dan’s piece on the AP’s ridiculous new guidelines which eliminate “illegal immigrant” from its reporting, and then read this AP wire story from April 3 to see how well they’re implementing the new policy.

Up first, the use of “illegal immigrant” as a noun:

Plenty of Arizona Republicans fear their state will go the way of its neighbors unless the GOP softens its immigration stance. That includes McCain, who in 2005 joined with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to sponsor legislation that included a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

Maybe somebody can explain the difference between “illegal immigrant” and “immigrants in the country illegally” because I don’t understand it.

But the AP isn’t done. Here’s another way they refer to an “illegal immigrant” just a paragraph later:

A staunch supporter of strict border enforcement in 2008 and 2010, McCain has swung back after last year’s election to supporting an overhaul of the immigration system that includes citizenship for those in the U.S. without authorization.

What exactly is the difference between an “unauthorized immigrant” and an “illegal immigrant?” It’s all very confusing.

And it looks like using fewer words is approved as long as the words in question are a verb:

In an attempt to tamp down illegal immigration in California, his administration fortified the border with Mexico in the late 1990s.

Dear AP: define “illegal immigration” for me. Many thanks!

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