A Major Victory for Immigrant Communities!

A Major Victory for Immigrant Communities!

Today, we celebrate a victory for immigrant communities!

The phrase “illegal immigrant” has served to dehumanize communities in public discourse and policy debates. Three years ago, ARC asked the media and public to stop using this divisive and inaccurate word, with the “Drop the I-Word” campaign. Yesterday, we reached a milestone when the Associated Press (AP) changed their style guide, ensuring that their stories will no longer use “illegal immigrant” to describe any human being.

As I said today on Colorlines: “Immigrants, myself included, have had a bit of our humanity restored today.”

We commend the AP on this momentous decision. And we are grateful to our partners in this work, including Presente.org, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and Jose Antonio Vargas. Early adopters, including the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, also helped us to achieve this win.

We are also grateful to you, our supporters. You signed the pledge, shared your stories, spread the word on social media, and gave generously. This campaign was not funded by any foundation or institution. Drop the I-Word only happened because of donations from the ARC community.

While we celebrate this moment, we know there is more work to do. Because there is no institutional support for this campaign, we have limited resources to move forward, even as we continue our other work to advance racial justice. We’re asking the New York Times and other media outlets to follow the AP’s example, but we need your help! Please donate whatever you can, whether it’s $5 or $50. Every dollar counts.




Rinku Sen
President, Applied Research Center (ARC)
Publisher, Colorlines.com