Actions are illegal, not humans
No human being is illegal! Using the term “illegal immigrant,” or worse, “illegal alien,” is demeaning, imprecise, and legally inaccurate. The term “illegal” only antagonizes the more than 11 million undocumented workers in the United States; we don’t label civic or criminal offenders “illegal,” so why would we do so to undocumented Americans? Further, “illegal” doesn’t accurately capture the diversity of persons living without documentation in the United States, nor does it address the wide variety of situations that these people face.
You can help address this issue by pledging to drop the I-word! Learn more about the campaign to drop the I-word on Color Lines, TED, and Time Magazine Online, and then add your voice to those standing up against verbal shaming and discrimination.
So far, major publications like the Huffington Post, Associated Press, and the San Francisco Chronicle have committed to accuracy and equality and dropped the use of “illegal immigrant” from their publications. Convince Portland media outlets to do the same by downloading our example letters to the editor (modified from Color Lines) or writing your own!
Immigrant Law Group has committed to drop the I-word, will you?