Image of screen print by Ernesto Vazquez
Image of screen print by Ernesto Vazquez
Image of screen print by Ernesto Vazquez

A long-debated and controversial term has been removed from a popular writing manual used by newspapers and schools around the country.

The Associated Press announced Tuesday that it will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to refer to people living in the country without authorization.

Agency directors stated in a blog post that the decision came after an effort to rid the Stylebook of labels with a goal to use the “most precise and accurate words” for readers.

President Obama, immigration reform advocates and several news organizations have preferred to use “undocumented,” however the AP has not adopted the term, saying people may have documents, just not the right ones.

The new rule will be added to the English and Spanish online and print editions of the AP Stylebook.

It tells users that “illegal” describes only an action, such as living in or emigrating to a country illegally.

It also adds that those who were brought to the country as children not be described as having immigrated illegally and to use “temporary resident status” for those who have been granted a temporary status in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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What do you think about the AP’s decision? Should the term “undocumented” be adopted?

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