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There’s a snappy saying used to promote cultural sensitivity toward Asian-Americans and their heritage: rugs are Oriental, people are Asian. The corollary in today’s national conversation about immigration reform might go something like this: “Actions are illegal, people are undocumented.” That is, unless you’re a reporter for the Associated Press, for whom the terms illegal immigrant and undocumented immigrant are now both verboten.

(COVER STORY: Not Legal, and Not Leaving)

On Tuesday, when the news service announced that its thousands of reporters would no longer be using those terms, it was a victory for activists who have argued that no person should be described as “illegal.” But the lack of suggested alternatives highlights a potential headache for journalists, politicians and others who regularly talk and write about people who are in the United States without proper documentation: which words do they use now?

The Associated Press says their update is…

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About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

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