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NY Times advises staff to 'consider alternatives' to 'illegal immigrant


Following the Associated Press' decision to discontinue use of "illegal immigrant," the New York Times said it, too, was reconsidering the phrase. As of Tuesday, the Times has made a decision.

"Illegal immigrant may be used to describe someone who enters, lives in or works in the United States without proper legal authorization," the Times' new style entry reads, according to Poynter. "But be aware that in the debate over immigration, some people view it as loaded or offensive. Without taking sides or resorting to euphemism, consider alternatives when appropriate to explain the specific circumstances of the person in question, or to focus on actions: who crossed the border illegally; who overstayed a visa; who is not authorized to work in this country."

The Times' style guidelines also offer "Unauthorized​" as "an acceptable description, though it has a bureaucratic tone."

"Do not use illegal as a noun, and avoid the sinister-sounding alien," it says.

The Los Angeles Times also indicated in early April that it would also reconsider using "illegal immigrant." We have requested comment from the paper.


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