Dear Ms. Abramson,
It's time for the New York Times' to officially discontinue its use of the term "illegal immigrant."
No human is "illegal," and use of the term has been demonstrated by distinguished linguists to be dehumanizing, racially charged, and legally inaccurate. In signing this petition, I'm joining the call for the New York Times to immediately update its style guide to reject the usage of “illegal immigrant” and prioritize the use of the terms “undocumented" and "unauthorized" along with other nuanced descriptions of specific cases.
Public Editor Margaret Sullivan recently wrote that New York Times "readers won't benefit if the Times bans the term 'illegal immigrant'." She is wrong. We wouldbenefit. I would benefit from knowing that I am reading accurate media that is not skewed with controversial terms. Our country would benefit by having a more authentic conversation about immigration -- a conversation the New York Times is irresponsibly muddling.
The Associated Press, CNN, NBC, and ABC have already joined with newspapers, Miami Herald and San Antonio Express, in committing to using more accurate terms such as "undocumented" or "unauthorized.".
As readers, we'll be all the more proud to read and share great journalism produced by the New York Times when you join these other leaders in media and stop using the term 'illegal immigrant.'
Thank you for your time, and for holding the New York Times to the highest journalism standards on earth.
This petition closed over 3 years ago
No human is illegal.
Would you call someone an "illegal driver" if they ran a red light? Of course not. Media giants including NBC, Fox New Latino, CBS, CNN, San Antonio Express, and Miami Herald...
No human is illegal.
Would you call someone an "illegal driver" if they ran a red light? Of course not. Media giants including NBC, Fox New Latino, CBS, CNN, San Antonio Express, and Miami Herald have realized how inaccurate and dehumanizing the term "illegal immigrant" is and they have stopped using it.
Now it's time for the New York Times to join them. The New York Times continues to use the term "illegal immigrant" even though linguists have proven it inaccurate and historians have categorized it as a slur.
In late 2013 The New York Times wrote, "readers would not benefit from banning the term "illegal immigrant"." Lets show the New York Times they are wrong -- our country would benefit.
In a conversation as timely and important as immigration, it is critical we are talking about it correctly. The New York Times has a responsibility to all American's, documented or not, to report in the most accurate and professional tone. They are not doing that right now. We deserve better.