Each week we highlight one person or group as the Drop the I-Word Friday Friend. Our Friends are special advocates who take a stand for undocumented immigrants and against the i-word. 

We also designate a Drop the I-Word Friday Foe. Our Foes are people who perpetuate violence, discrimination and disrespect of undocumented immigrants through their actions and use of the i-word. 


Drop the I-Word Friday Foes: Republican candidates for President

--notably Bachmann, Gingrich, Romney, Santorum, Perry and Paul--for their appalling discussion during the Fox News and Google GOP Presidential Debate on Thursday. Candidates talked about building fences and increasing border patrol (although no mention of Herman Cain's alligator-filled moat). Rick Perry, the only candidate with a less than completely horrifying record on immigration (he signed the Texas DREAM Act into law in 2001), was lambasted by other debaters for being "soft" on immigration. The same was not said for Congresswoman Michelle Bachman (R-MN), who ranted about her plans to "secure" the U.S. from immigrants:

I would build a fence on America's southern border on every mile, on every yard, on every foot, on every inch of the southern border. I think that's what we have to do, not only build it, but then also have sufficient border security and enforce the laws that are on the books with the ICE agents, with our border security.

The candidates also talked about E-Verify and in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. 

Throughout the debate the i-word was used a whopping 26 times, and was used as a grammatically-incorrect and even more hateful noun nine times. Candidates said "alien" five times. For this, and for their inhumane stances on immigration, the collection of candidates from the GOP debate are this week's Foes.

Additionally, we'd also like to recognize the audience of the GOP debate as Foes, who repeatedly caused the candidates had to wait for enthusiastic applause breaks, celebrating anti-immigrant comments. 

Drop the I-Word Friday Friend: Sally Kohn 


When political commentator and community organizer Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) saw USA Today's Opinion (@USATOpinion) use the i-word when tweeting about the GOP debate, she engaged and asked them to drop the i-word. @USATOpinon responded, agreeing that undocumented is a "much better word to use." The exchange is below.

@USATOpinion: Who do you support on illegal immigration/education debate here: Santorum or Perry? #gopdebate

@sallykohn: @USATOpinion please, oh please, say undocumented.

@USATOpinion: @sallykohn Good point. Sometimes, when trying to tweet, it's shorter to say illegals, but I agree, undocumented, much better word to use.

@sallykohn: @USATOpinion thanks --- much much appreciated. 

Sometimes it only takes a tweet. For her online advocacy, Sally Kohn is this week's Friend. Keep up the good work! Kudos also goes to @USATOpinion! 


Do you know someone who'd make a good Drop the I-Word Friday Friend/Foe? Let us know at droptheiword@colorlines.com.