The Associated Press announced on Tuesday they will no longer recommend journalists use the term illegal immigrant when referring to immigrants in the United States without legal permission.
The announcement comes more than three years after Colorlines.com launched The Drop the I-Word campaign that called on media outlets to stop using the term "illegal immigrant" because it is a racially charged slur that confuses the immigration debate and fuels violence.
"The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term "illegal immigrant" or the use of "illegal" to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that "illegal" should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally," wrote AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll on the organization's blog.
"It's great to see the Associated Press stand up for responsible journalistic standards. The style guide is the last word on journalistic practice so it's particularly important for the AP to set this standard," said Rinku Sen, executive director of the Applied Research and publisher of Colorlines.com. "This should put the debate to rest."