UPDATE: AP Will Not Change Term “Illegal Immigrant” to “Undocumented Worker”

The Associated Press stylebook has updated it’s entry on the term “illegal Immigrant” but has rejected the term “undocumented worker” suggested by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

According to David Minthorn, co-editor of the AP stylebook, the reasoning behind the decision is that  “Undocumented might imply that illegal immigration is simply a matter of not having one’s papers in order. So we advise against using the term on our own. If an authority uses it, and we quote the authority, that’s different.

AP did approve the variation “living in the country without legal permission” as acceptable.

The new entry for “illegal immigrant,” disseminated this week, says, “Used to describe someone who has entered a country illegally or who resides in a country in criminal or civil violation of immigration law. Acceptable variations include living in the country without legal permission. Use of these terms, as with any terms implying illegalities, must be based on reliable information about a person’s true status. Unless quoting someone, AP does not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or the term undocumented.”


  1. It’s hard to come by educated people about this topic, but you sound like you
    know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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