Some people have been kvetching about the Associated Press decision to change their descriptions of individuals present in our country illegally. Sure, a lot of the initial criticism ran, use some euphemism that sanitizes what theyre doing! Nice job, AP.
Perhaps not. Here is the actual change in the rules:
illegal immigrationEntering 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, illegals or 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.
Actually, this is exactly right for both technical and political reasons.
- The word illegal defines an activity, not a person. Instead of illegal alien, call attention to it: …said Joachim McVanderPastel, a law-breaker illegally hiding in the United States. That sounds much better and is truthful.
- Note the last sentence of the first paragraph of the rule change: note how you have at least two possible crimes to attribute to the offender, rather than the nebulous illegal. No, he isnt just an illegal alienhes a scumbag living in the US without legal permission.
- Of course, you can use the phrase illegal alien if quoting someone. McVanderPastel, who lives in America illegally, has been described by ICE as an illegal alien.
- Obey that comment about attribution. Dont simply say the guy is living here illegally: back it up. McVanderPastel, who lives in America illegally based on the fact he never bothered to apply for legal citizenship, has been described by ICE as an illegal alien.
- And definitely specify how they did it and what nationality. Something like this: McVanderPastel, who lives in America illegally based on the fact he never bothered to apply for legal citizenship, has been described by ICE as an illegal alien because he climbed over a fence about 85 miles East of San Diego and skirted law enforcement positioned in an SUV registered as 85148 waiting right there because their routine position is well-known to Mexicans like McVanderPastel.
In short, imagine news story the old way and the new way. First, the old way:
Pedrito Sanchez, an illegal alien, stands in a big box home improvement store parking lot every morning starting at 5:00am, where if he is lucky he will gain day-to-day employment from a series of pickup trucks that might pay him cash to do menial construction or scrap work.
And now with the new AP style rules:
Pedrito Sanchez stands in a big box home improvement store parking lot every morning starting at 5:00am, where if he is lucky he will gain day-to-day employment from a series of pickup trucks that might pay him cash to do menial construction or scrap work. Sanchez, 24, is a Guatemalan living in the United States illegally, based on the fact he dug under one of the many non-maintained fences along the Arizona-Mexican border about 22.4 miles West of New Mexico that the Obama administration paid $72.3 million to repairthe money never arrived. Local law enforcement attempted to increase enforcement of this area because of the serious collapse in security, but were pulled of that assignment by the Department of Justice under very suspicious circumstances.
Yes, that actually does sound much better, and solves the technical problem that a person cannot be illegal, but can perform an illegal activity. Dont you agree?
The Czar says we should absolutely adhere to this rule change…until the Left can no longer stand it.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.