House Dem: Stop using word 'illegal' in immigration debate

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Rush is pushing a MoveOn.org petition that urges lawmakers to refer to them as "undocumented immigrants" instead of "illegal immigrants."


"By standing together against the use of these terms, publicly elected Representatives can avoid unproductive debates and discussions, which are extremely offensive to those who have not been born in the U.S.," Rush said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The words and labels that America selects to describe and refer to non-citizens, and to those not born in the U.S. are supremely important. Your support of this movement will promote a way forward on merits and produce a comprehensive and sensible immigration reform legislative package."

Rush is not the first one to argue "illegal" is not an ideal term for referring to immigrants in the country without legal standing. Earlier in the year, The Associated Press altered its stylebook reference for immigrants.

"Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant," the updated stylebook reads. "Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission"

A day earlier, the Senate approved a motion to proceed on an immigration reform bill. The vote was 84-15.

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