Yesterday was a big day for the whole Define American team. Here is our statement on yesterday's historic news:
NEW YORK– Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist, founder of Define American and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas released the following statement in reaction to the news that the Associated Press was dropping the term “illegal immigrant” from the AP stylebook, a change Jose has been campaigning for since founding Define American:
“The Associated Press got this right, no human being is illegal. This is a big victory for immigrants and advocates all over the country who have been urging the Associated Press to stop using this dehumanizing and hurtful term. Now it’s time for other news outlets to follow the AP’s lead and end it for good.”
Mónica Novoa, Define American Director and formerly the Drop the I-Word Campaign Coordinator at the Applied Research Center added: “This victory is for the undocumented Americans who have come out and told their stories across the country, demonstrating the "i" word to be a legally inaccurate, racially charged and dehumanizing term. It's a day long in the making, following the leadership of The Applied Research Center and Rinku Sen, and Roberto Lovato of Presente.org, a lead architect in the Basta Dobbs and Trail of Dreams Campaigns upon which "Drop the I-Word" was built, and, of course, Jose Antonio Vargas who made the term "undocumented" trend for the first time on Twitter as he 'came out' about his status in the New York Times, and championed this cause among his own peers in the media and journalism industry."
Last September, Jose and Define American began campaigning against the use of the term ‘illegal immigrant’ at a speech at the 2012 Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet in San Francisco.
Jose’s works on ending the term “Illegal Immigrant”:
TIME.com: ‘Immigration Debate: The Problem with the Word Illegal’: http://ideas.
HuffPost: ‘Jose Antonio Vargas Restarts ‘Illegal' v. ‘Undocumented' Debate, Highlighting Role of Latino Media’: http://www.
VIDEO: Jose’s testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee: http://www.