The ‘illegal’ index: Which news organizations still use the term ‘illegal immigrant’?

Fusion

This might well be the only article you ever read on Fusion that contains the phrase “illegal immigrant.” If necessary, we’ll quote individuals who use the offensive term. But we’ll never use it ourselves to describe people living and working in the United States without every necessary bureaucratic authorization.

The reason is simple: People who speed aren’t “illegal drivers,” nor are people who fall behind on their taxes “illegal filers.” Even soldiers fighting against the United States without belonging to a formal national army are generally referred to as “unlawful” rather than “illegal” combatants. The use of the term “illegal” to refer to a person is a usage which is confined to exactly one group of people: Migrants. As a result, “illegal,” when used as a noun, always means immigrants — people whose only crime is the victimless pursuit of liberty and prosperity.

What’s more, the term “illegal immigrant” isn’t…

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