We're so excited to announce that the Society for Professional Journalists have passed a resolution to stop using the phrase "illegal alien" and to for journalists to continue "discussion and re-evaluation of the use of illegal immigrant in news stories." Text of the full resolution below.

Member of SPJ and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Rebecca Aguilar urged the matter and she spoke of her mother, once an undocumented immigrant, who is offended by the i-word. We applaud this move, and hope it is the first step to dropping the i-word completely.

WHEREAS, the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics urges all journalists to be 'honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information' and;

WHEREAS, mainstream news reports are increasingly using the politically charged phrase 'illegal immigrant' and the more offensive and bureaucratic 'illegal alien' to describe undocumented immigrants, particularly Latinos and;

WHEREAS, a fundamental principle embedded in our U.S. Constitution is that everyone (including non-citizens) is considered innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law and;

WHEREAS, this constitutional doctrine, often described as 'innocent-until-proven-guilty,' applies not just to U.S. Citizens but to everyone in the United States and;

WHEREAS, only the court system, not reporters and editors, can decide when a person has committed an illegal act and;

WHEREAS, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is also concerned with the increasing use of pejorative and potentially inaccurate terms to describe the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Society of Professional Journalists convention of delegates: urges journalists and style guide editors to stop the use of illegal alien and encourage continuous discussion and re-evaluation of the use of illegal immigrant in news stories.

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