AP Stylebook drops the term "illegal immigrant" to describe a person

AP drops "illegal immigrant" term

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The term "illegal immigrant" often stirs up strong emotions no matter what side of the immigration issue you stand on.


Helen Chavez, the wife of the late farm worker rights leader Cesar Chavez, started a movement last year to get rid of the words "illegal immigrant" in news reporting.


23 ABC spoke with her son, Paul Chavez who said the idea came after his mother was watching news reports from Arizona where the immigration debate has been the most intense.


Paul said his mother believes that it's no longer acceptable to call people names or labels and now the Associated Press is listening.


Helen started an online petition on MoveOn.org  asking major media outlets to stop using the word "illegal" when referring to farm workers and Latino immigrants.


The Associated Press, one of the most respected news outlets in the world, has announced that they will no longer use the term "illegal immigrant" to describe a person.


Chavez said the challenge was originally aimed at the New York Times. So far, the Times said they will review the AP Stylebook’s changes and decide later.


An article on ABCNews.com said major tv networks, including ABC, NBC, and CNN have vowed to stop using the term."

Chavez said the word “immigrant” alone should be enough to describe a person who comes into this country no matter how they got here.


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