April 3, 2013 Contact Person:

Xochitl Espinosa at (877) 683-2908, ext. 4 /


Latin American Immigrant Communities Celebrate Decision by Associated Press to Eliminate the Hateful Term “Illegal Immigrant” from its Stylebook


Chicago, IL – The Associated Press (AP) announced yesterday that it will no longer sanction the use of the terms “Illegal” or “Illegal Immigrant” to describe foreign nationals residing in a given country without immigration authorization. In light of this announcement, Oscar Chacón, NALACC’s executive director, had the following reaction:


Members of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), celebrate the decision by the Associated Press to stop using the terms “Illegal” and “Illegal Immigrant” to refer to human beings.  In the United States, these terms have been used by racist and xenophobic organizations to advance their larger goal of promoting an image of immigrants as an economic, social, political and cultural threat to the nation.


Since our inception in 2004, and more systematically since our SOMOS/WE ARE initiative launched in 2009, NALACC has insisted that the term “illegal” should never be applied to human beings. Only actions and objects can be called illegal. In addition to being linguistically incorrect, the use of this epithet to refer to human beings is also immoral, as it dehumanizes immigrants.


Our efforts will turn now to pressing other media outlets and our elected and appointed officials to follow the AP’s good example.  Moving away from the use of derogatory terms for immigrants is a good first step toward disbursing the toxic cloud that has precluded a humane and rational reform of immigration policies, as well as common sense-driven policies when it comes to how we treat immigrant populations.


NALACC is a network of community-based; Latino and Caribbean immigrant-led organizations that seeks to raise the quality of life for immigrant communities in the United States, as well as communities in migrant-sending countries in Latin America. Facebook: • Twitter: @NALACC_ORG • Web page: