New Standards at USA Today: No 'Illegal Immigrant' unless in 'Direct Quotes

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Just days after the Associated Press issued new standards on the term “illegal immigrant,” USA Today announced a change in its own practices in this regard, Jim Romenesko reported.

In a memo from USA Today’s William Coon, USA Today staff is instructed to stop using the term “illegal immigrant” unless it’s in “direct quotes.”  USA Today’s style entry states journalists can still use “the term illegal immigrant,” but shouldn’t “label people as illegal immigrants,” aliens, or illegals.

“Undocumented immigrant, undocumented worker and unauthorized immigrant are acceptable terms — depending on accuracy, clarity and context — for foreign nationals who are in the country illegally,” the memo advises.  “An alternative is to use a phrase such as ‘people who entered the U.S. illegally’ or living in the country without legal permission.'”

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New Standards at USA Today: No ‘Illegal Immigrant’ unless in ‘Direct Quotes’

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