Do not use the term 'illegal immigrant'

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

From our editorial style guide:

Do not use “illegal immigrant,” “illegal alien,” “alien,” or “illegals” unless necessary in an attributed quote. Accurate alternatives are “illegal immigration,” “undocumented immigrant,” “unauthorized immigrant,” and “people without legal immigration status.” Use “illegal” only when referring to an action, not a person.


This post is part of Fusion’s series on our house style guide, a living document crowdsourced from editorial staff. Reach us at

Previously: Why we don’t call people ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’; Let’s call lies ‘lies.’