‘Illegal immigrant' dropped from AP Stylebook

Updated:

NEW YORK - The Associated Press announced on Tuesday that its Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person.

Instead, the AP Stylebook now tells users that “illegal” should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.

The updated entry reads as follows:

illegal immigration Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.

Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegalsor undocumented.

Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.

Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?

People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people granted a temporary right to remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, use temporary resident status, with details on the program lower in the story.