After several organizations including GLAAD spoke out, the Los Angeles Times has announced that it will no longer use the term "illegal" when referring to immigrants.
GLAAD is a core supporter of the Drop the I-Word campaign, along with Define American, Presente.org, Move-on.org, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Cuentame.org and Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of Define American and several other leaders.
"GLAAD applauds the Los Angeles Times for taking this principled position. The word 'Illegal' is absolutely considered a slur by immigrants and no slur should ever be used to describe people, let alone by an objective media," said Dave Montez, GLAAD Chief of Staff. "As a media advocacy organization, GLAAD understands that media has the power to either inflame or help diminish prejudice toward any group. No human being is "illegal," Montez said.
A number of major national organizations delivered a petition with more than 70,000 signatures to The New York Times recently calling on the newspaper to stop describing immigrants as "illegal.” The newspaper changed its policy on reporting on immigration but unfortunately stopped short of ending use of the term.
Since the Drop the I-Word campaign launched in September of 2010, undocumented people, their allies and a diverse group of supporters including linguists, and the legal community have called on all media organizations to drop the legally inaccurate and dehumanizing term. The Associated Press recently announced it would stop using the word, as did USA Today.