LOCAL FOOTBALL SCORING UPDATES PRESENTED BY THE HUNGRY HOBO:

We can’t even agree on what to call them


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Posted Online: April 25, 2013, 4:36 pm
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Philadelphia Inquirer
The debate over immigration reform has raised a question that's almost as challenging: What should we call the approximately 11 million people who are in the United States illegally?

The term illegal immigrants has been used routinely and often considered neutral. News organizations have used it for years to describe people by their actions. But there is a case to be made that it dehumanizes a class of people by suggesting that they themselves are somehow against the law.

Many in the media are reconsidering the term now that the Associated Press has revised its guidance via its Stylebook, a bible of journalistic usage. At the urging of immigration activists, the AP recently declared that its writers will be discouraged from using the words "illegal immigrant" to describe a person. (Illegal immigration is still OK because it refers to the unlawful act.)

A similar argument has been made -- and more widely accepted -- for avoiding terms that define people by an illness or disability. For example, the AP discourages the term "schizophrenics," preferring "people with schizophrenia," which certainly seems reasonable.

While the AP deserves credit for tackling such a thorny issue, its guidance is somewhat disappointing in that it does not recommend a replacement term. Instead, it suggests that writers make every effort to fully describe a person's immigration status instead of relying on shorthand. But that raises questions about how a large group of people who are in the country illegally should be described.

The debate has spread to Congress, where Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., has introduced a resolution urging House members not to refer to "undocumented foreign nationals" as "illegal immigrants." While Rush and others prefer the term undocumented, the AP has discouraged its general use because many immigrants lack certain required documents but not others.

With a sweeping immigration reform bill in Congress, the Associated Press' decision is a timely reminder that this debate is about people who broke the law, not people who are against the law. Otherwise law-abiding immigrants who are here illegally want and deserve a chance to become citizens and contribute more to society. The only label they want is American.



















 



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  Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.






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