18 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

My Letter Slamming USA Today Re: "lllegal Students"

No replies to my emails or calls yet after the first (deplorable) response from Emily Bazar though they have said they will define the term for us.

I am sure they use AP Style which El Random Hero says is “used to describe those who have entered the country illegally, it is the preferred term, rather than illegal alien or undocumented worker. Do not use shortened term illegals.” That is still inaccurate, vile and hateful but does not explain the phrase “illegal students.” El Random Hero also tells me that rules can be bent and changed and  “their conscious decision to use that term shows that they are either too gutless to use a better term or they’re just nativist.”

This is what I sent back to Bazar, Zimmerman and Nicholson:

Thanks for responding. I actually did rip apart that deplorable webcast earlier this year as did another immigration attorney. Please read: http://immigration.change.org/blog/view/illegal_immigrant_is_the_real_euphemism

Asking advice from NumbersUSA, once again is like asking advice from the Klan on what to call people of color. Would you accommodate a request to call a Black person the N-word because the archaic system has not yet come up with a word? Now, even the United States Supreme Court calls us “undocumented immigrants.” How about getting with the program and the law of the land?

But more specifically, I wasn’t even talking about the term “illegal immigrant” but “illegal students.” What is “illegal” exactly about being a student in this case? Is a drunk 19 year old college student an “illegal student” as well? Is it supposed to describe anyone who has ever done something illegal and also gone to school?

No human being can be illegal
, and the absurdity of that is proven by calling immigrant youth “illegal students.”

You utterly and completely fail to answer my critique and that’s where USA Today fails as a newspaper to maintain some semblance of standards.

I can’t wait for USA Today to define an “illegal student” and add more fuel to the fire, but in the meantime, you can take action:

1. Sign the petition here to tell USA Today to stop competing with our archaic immigration system and get with the program. No human being can be illegal.

2. After that, start tweeting, digging, sending it to your friends and cross-posting this to your blogs.

Follow USATODAYFAIL on Twitter!

Join the Facebook Group

3. And calls are important. Fill their voicemail boxes up! Demand to know what USA Today means by the label “illegal student” and to cease and desist the use of that anti-immigrant, hate-ful and vile terminology.

Heidi Zimmerman
Director/Communications
7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA 22108
(703) 854-5304
hzimmerman@usatoday.com

Alex Nicholson
Manager/Communications
7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA 22108
703-854-5872
anicholson@usatoday.com

Brent Johns,
Accuracy Editor
703-854-3454
bwjohns@usatoday.com

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