Society of Professional Journalists Questioning ‘Illegal Immigrant’ As An ‘Offensive’ Term

Eric Scheiner|CNSNews

The Diversity Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is undertaking an educational campaign against the term “illegal immigrant,” seeking to inform reporters that the term “illegal immigrant” is “offensive” to Latinos.

In the latest issue of SPJ’s magazine ‘Quill’, SPJ’s Diversity Committee member Leo Laurence writes about the campaign, referencing the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ recommendation to use “undocumented immigrant” or “undocumented worker” and to “[a]void using ‘illegal(s)’ as a noun.”

“SPJ’s Diversity Committee met during the 2010 convention in Las Vegas and decided to engage in a yearlong educational campaign designed to inform and sensitize journalists as to the best language to use when writing and reporting on undocumented immigrants,” wrote Laurence.

In his article, Laurence also made a constitutional argument against the term ‘illegal immigrant’, “One of the most basic of our constitutional rights is that everyone (including non-citizens) is innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law,” wrote Laurence. “That’s guaranteed under the Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution.”

“Simply put, only a judge, not a journalist, can say that someone is an illegal,” Laurence adds.

Editor’s Note MWFH’s: I find Laurence latter statement preposterous. If an individual has broken into your home,entered without permission, and is unknown to you, are you going to wait for a judge to declare the individual a criminal? Absolutely not. Laurence should also realize there is a reason the 1st amendment was indeed the first. As well, the alternative term he suggests’ “undocumented worker” or “undocumented immigrant” would appear ambiguous as who will decide that these individuals fall under this category. It’s just pure nonsense, and is another attempt to market the Lefts goal to garner more voters for their agenda. K.M.

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