Why there’ll be no more ‘illegal aliens’ in our stories

30 Sep

We took an overdue step at the New Haven Register, Middletown Press and Register Citizen on Thursday and instructed reporters and editors to stop using the terms “illegal aliens” and “illegal immigrants.” We’ll use the term “undocumented immigrants” from now on.

Our move was prompted by a resolution passed at the annual convention of the Society of Professional Journalists in New Orleans earlier this week. The organization urged news organizations to depart from Associated Press style, which favors the term “illegal immigrant.”

To quote Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who made waves by revealing his own immigration status in a New York Times piece, “No person is illegal or an alien.”

The SPJ resolution refers to the term “illegal immigrant” as “politically charged” and the term “alien” as “offensive.”

“A fundamental principle embedded in our U.S. Constitution is that everyone (including non-citizens) is considered innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law,” the resolution says. “Only the court system, not reporters and editors, can decide when a person has committed an illegal act.”

One could argue that even this is beside the point. “Illegal” is an inaccurate term when talking about immigration status, because “being in this country without authorization is not a crime, it’s a civil violation.”

And debates about enforcement of immigration policy aside, Connecticut lawmakers have come to recognize the reality – and value to the state – of our immigrant population, including the undocumented. It would be inappropriate for us to continue calling any human being “illegal.”

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15 Responses to “Why there’ll be no more ‘illegal aliens’ in our stories”

  1. Bob Smith September 30, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    More PC crap. It’s one reason why I wouldn’t read your publication, and why I wouldn’t take you seriously as journalists. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves but, like most “journalists”, you probably tilt to the far left in your politics.

    Have fun losing readers and advertising revenue while you desperately cling to your political correctness.

  2. Dave Francis September 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    E-Verify! So what is E-Verify? E-Verify originated at some stage in President Bush administration in 1986. This computer verification system has been updated and revised over many years and now growing in popularity, amongst the 271, 460 honest business concerns, as of last June. Then since the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli bill (The Immigration Reform and Control (IRCA) Act) intended to stop the flow after the mass amnesty but the surge of illegal persons has not stopped and now the population has risen above 20 million or more. E-Verify require employers to inspect documentation from each newly hired employee, to prove his or her identity and eligibility to be hired in the United States. This act led to the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requiring employees to confirm of their work eligibility, and employers to certify that the documents presented credibly appear to be legitimate and to relate to the individual. The only problem where the E-Verify is concerned today, it’s not mandated and only on a volunteer basis in most situations.

    This is not anything about anti-Hispanic, black, white, Asian or any other nationality. There is a huge space between the legal and illegal. Plus these illegal newcomer majorities have no interest in assimilation; learning the language but here for all the money entitlement programs. Research what foreign nationals can claim—IN YOUR STATE– that are denied to the gullible taxpayers. It’s specific in condemning 30 years of unfortunate administrations of nonchalant enforcement of illegal immigration. This is completely indifferent to the after effects of growing populations of people without no papers and no rights. We must hope that the next president has a policy of strengthening our boundaries and our immigration laws, which entails policing with E-Verify, Secure Communities and the 287G federal training policies for local authorities.

    Thanks to patriotic Americans as Kris Kobach, a constitutional lawyer and the Kansas Secretary of State, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County, Tom Tancredo has message of this never ending invasion has suddenly flowed to the surface and the people have finally realized the monetary, social consequences of the spreading poverty.

    This year Rep. Lamar Smith’s has sponsored a mandated E-Verify bill (H.R. 2885), known as the “Legal Workforce Act” to substantiate as the most predominant problem solver for Americans in the jobless lines. Lamar Smith’s E-Verify bill is the only true method we have, to contain this contagion of people, who think they are justified in trespassing in this sovereign nation. For years the federal government has ignored the claims, that they have ignored the mass movement of illegal aliens entering America illegally. It was the prior Wednesday that the House Judiciary Committee passed Smith’s Legal Workforce Act afternoon 22-to-13. Only two amendments were approved by the committee, including one offered by Chairman Smith himself. The bill, H.R.2885, would require all employers to use E-Verify within 2 years for all non-agricultural new hires, while requiring federal, state and local agencies to check current employees as well within 6 months.

    In Alabama a federal judge Blackburn opened the door to further enforcement, which next to E-Verify is the most extreme law in the land, against the illegal alien invasion. Alabama, Indiana, Georgia and Arizona are the only states who have passed state laws, to protect its own legal citizens that are not in favor of financially supporting anybody who slips across our permeable fence or dodges other port entries. It’s understandable that every foreigner who is poor, the deprived want to come to America. But with our own citizens, green card holders and legal foreigners hurting financially, no illegal alien should ever be hired, now or ever.

    The financials are astronomical either through legal means or through extensive fraud. Whether its most entitlement being absorbed by the foothold baby citizenship law, or the crushing effect of money in health care, education and imprisonment. Billions of dollars have gone to satisfy people who have come through sponsorship, using the CHAIN MIGRATION laws. These laws have been forced upon us by the courts, that laid down the law that taxpayers must financially support people from abroad, whether we like it or not.

    A permanent, E-Verify in future terms will become the most important tool, to divide legal workers from foreign nationals, returning the opportunity to all persons here legally. All the information on those who are out to defeat it and everything you want to know is available at NumbersUSA and Judicial Watch. Readers are offered the chance to read daily newspaper information, which generally is not seen in the Liberal press and startling disclosures at their website.

    You as a taxpayer and a voter can attribute your influence, to millions of TEA PARTY members, independents, lost liberals, Democrats and Republicans by adding to the people’s push for America’s new lease on life. Contact your own local Senator or Representative or federal politician at 202-224-3121. Do you yearn to stop to illegal immigration, a brand new tax code with no loopholes for the wealthy or corporation and other slippery entities? Do you desire smaller government and uncorrupted lawmakers? Do you crave fair Trade Treaties, not what we have at this present time? Only the TEA PARTY can give you the freedom from overreaching government; the reams of regulations are stopping people from creating new businesses.

    No Copyright ever. Americans must be exposed to the truth, not lies. Become a Whistle Blower if you notice illegal alien hired or working, to ICE at) division at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (866-347-2423). SEE SOMETHING? DO SOMETHING?

    MY EARLIER BLOGS: http://brittanicus-enoughisenough.blogspot.com

  3. AoC October 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Too bad the term illegal alien is legally correct, even the IRS uses it. T

  4. No bull October 2, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    This is so ridiculous. My Grandfather was a reporter for a large newspaper in Los Angeles. He took pride in reporting the truth to his readers. He has to be rolling over in his grave. This political correctness has ruined the newspaper industry.

  5. Truth October 4, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    When will these self righteous America-hating liberal rags write some stories about the untold costs and misery that ILLEGAL ALIENS are FORCING upon our hard working American families?
    The (a-hem) ‘reporting’ is always about the poor illegal, and never about the obvious overwhelming negative effects ILLEGAL immigration brings to America.

  6. Maggie October 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Whatever! Regardless of what you write,we all know what they are .Illegal is illegal and no amount of PC BS will change that. So you all have fun with the truth. Look up the meaning of truth if you have forgotten or never knew what it means.

  7. compelled to comment October 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Thank you for the language change and thank you for the thoughtful explanation.

  8. Maggie October 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    OMG,there is a group of “Proffessional” journalists? Their cause is to change the term illegal aliens to undocumented workers? What an important group they must be.Some deep thinkers there.

  9. smith February 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Thank you for making appropriate change. Remember, in the 1960s people were saying that the n word wasn’t bad, nor offensive, that is meant something different. Of course those people defended it to the death. People find it far easier to spew vitriol than to actually make positive change. Great article and thanks for being intelligent and compassionate human beings.

    • Maggie February 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

      It really does sound so much better when we all say (for instance)” Jose Rodre****,an undocumented immigrant was arrested for the ,rape,murder,drunk driving,growing or transportation of illegal drugs or idenity theft.” Some things are just so more important that others. Makes all the difference in the world to the families and communities of the victims in the aforementioned crimes.

      • mattderienzo February 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

        Ridiculous and ignorant analogy. Look up the stats for those kinds of crimes by undocumented immigrants vs. the total population of undocumented immigrants. It is your “legal” American neighbors committing crimes like that.

      • Maggie February 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

        I will be happy to turn this conversation over to two sets of parents in my community. One whose daughter was raped and killed by an undocumented visitor and another whose son was kidnapped and killed by yet another,one was a Utah State Trooper that was shot and killed at a traffic stop. She had children.We are a small community in Utah and our Police just won an award for their work in capturing and recovering drugs and undocumented visitors in our beautiful Utah mountains. I might mention,many will not hike these mountains anymore because of these activities. We are located on Rt 15 between Ca and Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Oh so many cars,vans and trucks are stopped and confiscated with your friends and drugs. I actually witnessed a truck that got caught in a traffic circle in my town,could not make the turn.Driver and passenger got out and ran.There were 57 of your friends in the back of that truck. Our hospital,small,is struggling to survive. Our schools are also struggling.
        We are in the southwest,we have many legal,wonderful (may I call them that?)Hispanic families in my town and neighborhood. We all have watched gangs and crime try to take a foothold in our town.Many have moved here from Ca to get away from gangs and crime.We all ,of varied ethnic backgrounds and a full political spectrum will work very hard to keep our community safe,clean and legal from all perspectives.
        Now if you want to run around counting how many crimes your friends commit,you go for it. ONE would be to many for the victims and families. We are a little bit beyond political correctness thank you. How dumb do you think people are? Of course there are more crimes committed by citizens than your friends. For Pete sake ther are more citizens than illegals.For now at least. You may however want to look into the article in the LA Times re the cost of illegal immigrations in CA. It was an eye opener for sure,and especially since the Times is a very liberal newspaper.

  10. Maggie April 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Illegal aliens.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Conn. pubs drop the I-Word - November 9, 2011

    [...] and “illegal immigrants.” We’ll use the term “undocumented immigrants” from now on." – Matt DeRienzo, Connecticut Newsroom, Sept. 30, 2011. [...]

  2. Advice for editors: Blog about your newsroom’s transformation | The Buttry Diary - May 24, 2013

    […] would include our decision a year or so ago to drop the words “illegal immigrant,” our decision to publish the tweets of underage students who bullied rape victims, and our internal […]

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