I just heard Monica Novoa of the Drop the I Word campaign on FAIR’s CounterSpin. The idea of the campaign is to get people to stop using the adjective “illegal” to modify human beings, as in, “He’s an illegal immigrant.” Frankly, I thought everyone had long ago given up that construction, if for no other reason than that it isn’t accurate: people aren’t illegal, acts are. Thus, we don’t refer to people who have been convicted of crimes as “illegals.” Thus, when speaking of non-citizens working in this country without authorization, we use the term “undocumented.” Here is what the website has to say on the issue:
There were two things that I was surprised about in this matter. The first was that even non-right-wing news organizations continue to use the word “illegal” in this way. The second was that the original usage of the I word was explicitly created by anti-immigration activists. Even the infamous Frank Luntz has been part of this. So just in case you were still doing it: stop calling people illegal. When you do so, you are not only speaking inaccurately, you are taking part in political theater.