Here’s something we can all stand behind: The Associated Press has decided to finally drop “illegal immigrant” from its stylebook. Rightfully so, the AP realized that using “illegal” to describe a person is wrong and carries many implications.
The AP’s senior vice president and executive editor, Kathleen Carroll, said that the decision to rid the term from the AP manual came about during discussions that centered around using labels when reporting:
The new section on mental health issues argues for using credibly sourced diagnoses instead of labels. Saying someone was “diagnosed with schizophrenia” instead of schizophrenic, for example. And that discussion about labeling people, instead of behavior, led us back to ‘illegal immigrant’ again. We concluded that to be consistent, we needed to change our guidance. So we have.