Dem Rep. Urges Colleagues to Stop Using the ‘Extremely Offensive’ Word ‘Illegal’ in Immigration Debate

Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush, a former Black Panther and hoodie enthusiast, wants U.S. lawmakers to refrain from using the word “illegal” when discussing immigration reform.

In a petition posted to, the Democrat congressman asks that members of Congress say “undocumented immigrants” instead of “illegal immigrants.”

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)

“By standing together against the use of these terms, publicly elected Representatives can avoid unproductive debates and discussions, which are extremely offensive to those who have not been born in the U.S.,” Rush said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The words and labels that America selects to describe and refer to non-citizens, and to those not born in the U.S. are supremely important. Your support of this movement will promote a way forward on merits and produce a comprehensive and sensible immigration reform legislative package,” the statement adds.

Rep. Rush joins The Associated Press, which altered its style book earlier this year, in arguing that it’s not nice to refer to people who have immigrated to the U.S. illegally as “illegal immigrants,” The Hill notes.

“Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant,” the AP’s updated stylebook reads.

“Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission”

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(H/T: WZ). Featured image