MoveOn Campaign Calls for New York Times to Join AP in Dropping the 'I-Word'

Joe Schoffstall
By Joe Schoffstall | April 4, 2013 | 3:34 PM EDT

MoveOn sent an email today celebrating the "huge victory" of getting The Associated Press to drop the term "illegal immigrant." Now, they're calling for supporters to put pressure on the New York Times to drop the "i-word" (illegal).

The liberal advocacy group's email titled, "BIG: AP drops the 'i-word.' Now what about the NY Times?" reads:

"Huge victory this week! The Associated Press, whose influential stylebook is the standard of writing used by most media outlets, made a historic decision this week to ban the term "illegal immigrant." Because so many newspapers print AP stories, this means that when Americans wake up in the morning and read the paper, they'll see immigrants regularly described as human beings worthy of respect.

"This is an important cultural shift made possible by thousands of MoveOn members who signed a petition from my grandmother, Helen Chavez-widow of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez-and visionary leaders from the Applied Research Center,'s "Drop the I-Word" campaign,, journalist Jose Antonio Vargas' organization Define American, and many others.

"But the AP is just the first step. The New York Times still has not dropped the 'i-word.' The Times' public editor, Margaret Sullivan, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday that she personally has had a change of heart, and that she expects the newspaper to announce a policy change this week. But, she said, "I would be surprised to see The Times ban the use of 'illegal immigrant,' as The A.P. has done.

"We need to turn up the heat on The New York Times to do the right thing. Please sign the petition my grandmother started. Like she said, "It is never too late to stand on the right side of justice."

Following the message, they then ask people to sign the "Stop using the word "illegal" to describe human beings" petition.

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