Skip to comments.Breaking down ‘illegal immigration’ terminology
Posted on 07/22/2014 7:51:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The issue of illegal immigration continues to cover national headlines. After reading articles and talking with friends and coworkers, its easy to hear a lot of terms trying to personify an international issue.
You have probably heard the words immigrant, migrant, alien or maybe even refugee to describe people who come into the U.S. illegally. We wanted to look at what these terms specifically mean.
Merriam-Webster dictionary describes the word immigrant as a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.
The word migrant means a person who goes from one place to another especially to find work. With many of those crossing into the United States being children, some may question whether it is fair to group children among those looking for work.
Alien means from another country or relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government, which describes our current situation.
Many coming to the U.S. say they are not just looking for work, but for safety. Many say they had to leave tough conditions between warring factions in their countries, which could lead some to call those crossing the border refugees. That is defined as someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons.
Earlier this month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees urged U.S. officials to treat children and families crossing the border as refugees instead of migrants. At the time, UNHCR officials said they hoped it would put pressure on American and Mexican officials to accept thousands of people not eligible for asylum.
As journalists, when we have questions on how to make our writing style consistent with other journalists. Most newsrooms, including KXAN, use on the Associated Press Stylebook for use in web stories.
The Stylebook answers questions from how to abbreviate states to how to define people crossing the border illegally.
In April 2013 the Associated Press decided to stop using the term illegal immigrant to describe a person crossing into one nation from another illegally. In a blog post, they explain: illegal should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.
Instead they recommend using undocumented immigrant to talk about people crossing the border and illegal immigration to describe the unlawful nature of a persons actions or governmental policy.
We want to know what you think. How can we, as Americans, best describe people crossing our border with Mexico illegally? Leave your comments below.
Answer: Criminal illegal aliens subject to immediate deportation.
The Hispanic Leadership Network shares office space with Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS/American Crossroads.
While I cannot address the particulars of this Associated Press Stylebook, let it be known that the Milton Miteybad Stylebook Manual still permits (and will always permit) the use of the term “illegal alien” to describe a person who has entered the country without proper authorization.