Advocacy groups for immigrant rights yesterday welcomed the decision by the U.S. news agency Associated Press, of removing the term "illegal" in their book which was used to describe undocumented immigrants.
"It's a derogatory term and I think it's wonderful that they will finally stop using it. It is time for them to understand that no human being is illegal," said the president of the Hispanic Federation, Jose Calderon.
The Hispanic Federation and similar organizations have been campaigning for years for the U.S. media to make modifications in the way that they describe the immigrant community.
"We hope this decision will be set as an example that other types of media will follow," said Calderon, who also pressured newspapers like The New York Times, Fox television networks and Fox Latino to follow in their footsteps.
AP Vice President Kathleen Carroll, said on Tuesday that the changes from now in their AP stylebook will be to recommend not using the term "illegal" to describe a person, but instead to be used to refer to an action, like living illegally in a country.
Last October, The New York Times defended its decision to continue to use the term "illegal immigrant" considering that it is an expression "clear and precise" to refer to undocumented persons.
Jose Antonio Vargas, who is a Filipino-American journalist, last year opened up a debate on this issue and specifically made a request to The New York Times to stop using the term "illegal immigrant because it was "derogatory and inaccurate".
Vargas published last year in Time Magazine an article entitled "My Life as an undocumented immigrant," which recounted his personal experience to denounce the treatment of illegal immigrants.