The student government of a California university vowed to drop the term “illegal immigrant” last week.
The Undergraduate Students Association at the University of California at Los Angeles unanimously passed a resolution last week endorsing the “Drop the I-Word” campaign launched by the Applied Research Center and its publication ColorLines.
“[T]he racially derogatory I-Word endangers basic human rights including the presumption of innocence and the right to due process guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution,” the resolution reads. It continues: “Human beings need to be central in immigration discussions in order to move toward a more civilized and humane tone in public discourse and policies on immigration.”
The decision was influenced in part by the campus’ diversity and out of respect to the school’s undocumented students, according to the college newspaper Daily Bruin. The move also reflects concerns among the students about former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano taking the reins of the state’s public university system.
Napolitano presided over the agency responsible for deporting a record number of undocumented immigrants under the Obama administration -- roughly 400,000 per fiscal year. She was selected as the president of the University of California system in July, though the position is normally held by an academic, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Associated Press removed the term "illegal immigrant" from its style guide in April, marking a major shift in how the U.S. news media writes about the undocumented. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and immigrant rights activists have long contended that the term is inaccurate and offensive because it criminalizes the people described rather than their actions.
Many media companies, particularly those that serve heavily Hispanic markets, including the Miami Herald, Univision and the San Antonio Express-News, had eschewed the term long ago.
The Huffington Post uses the term "undocumented immigrants" to refer to people residing without authorization in the United States.
"Immigrant: Deport thyself." Not exactly the kind of message you want to send when you're courting Latino voters. Unsurprisingly, Romney backed away from the phrase shortly after taking it for a test spin in the GOP primary, but it reappeared during the presidential debates. Romney won just 27 percent of the Latino vote, the lowest figure since Bob Dole's campaign in 1996.
East Haven Mayor 'Might Have Tacos' To Reach Out To Latino Community
Mayor of the Connecticut town of East Haven, Joseph Maturo Jr. <a href="http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/let_them_eat_tacos_mayors_regrettable_response_to_police_abuse_of_latinos.phphttp://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/let_them_eat_tacos_mayors_regrettable_response_to_police_abuse_of_latinos.php">said he "might have tacos"</a> when asked what he'd do for the Latino community after four police officers were arrested on charges of racial profiling. The majority of the Latino community in the town of <a href="http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/taco_mayor_on_new_appointee_is_he_not_dark_enough_for_you.php">New Haven is Ecuadoran</a>, not Mexican, according to Talking Points Memo.
Rep. Steve King Compares Immigrants To Dogs, Insists It's A Compliment
Iowa Republican Steve King ruffled feathers when he compared immigrants to dogs. In subsequent interviews, King not only stood behind the comments -- <a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/06/14/rep-steve-king-defends-comparison-between-immigrants-and-dogs/">he insisted he meant them as a compliment</a>: "In my house, we have raised really good, high-quality Labrador Pointers, we’ve received the pick of the litter from all over the planet. You pick the vigor, the most perky. It was the utilization of the pick of the litter. What is the pick – the alert, the frisky, that’s the one you want. If someone is insulted by that, I don’t know that they belong in this country."
Mitt Romney Wishes He Were Latino, Because It's Easier To Win The Presidency That Way
"My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino." -- Mitt Romney Mitt Romney was apparently unaware that most Mexican immigrants face greater obstacles on their path to the presidency than white children born to wealthy parents with political connections.
Bill O'Reilly Says Latinos Want Things, Stuff
Upset about Obama's electoral victory, Bill O'Reilly lamented the country's demographic shift, saying "the white establishment is now the minority." (In fact, it's not. <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/05/how-white-will-the-electorate-be.html">Whites still make up a solid majority of the electorate</a>.) Latinos, O'Reilly says, want "things" and "stuff." Cristina Costantini <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/analysis-bill-oreilly-wrong/story?id=17702328#.UOHpn4njnoo">dissects the argument at ABC/Univision</a>.
Romney Says Obama Won Because He Dolled Out "Gifts" To The Latino Community
Unsatisfied with the hole he dug himself when he said 47 percent of the country was government-dependent and not worth reaching out to, Romney doubled down after the election saying Obama had won because he offered the Latino community "gifts" in the form of health care and other government subsidies. Most analysts familiar with Latino politics agree that Romney alienated Hispanic voters during the GOP primary, when he embraced extremist positions on immigration. The insensitive comments prompted criticism from conservatives including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. "When you're in a hole, you stop digging," <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/18/news/la-pn-republicans-abandoning-romney-gifts-20121118">said Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham</a>. "He keeps digging."
Ann Coulter Lashes Out At Latinos Without Checking Her Facts
Rightwing columnist Ann Coulter lashed out at Latinos in a mean-spirited, inaccurate column painting Hispanics as dependent on government. We <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/ann-coulter-attacks-latinos-conservatives-hispanic-voters_n_2253721.html">fact-checked her statements here</a>.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio Says Latinos "Love Him" As Latino Journalists Berates Him On TV
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, famous for the zealous crackdowns on illegal immigration that have led to investigations by the Justice Department and a civil lawsuit, says that he's "never had any problems with a Latino" and that Hispanics "love" him. (The Latinos imprisoned in Arpaio's Tent City might disagree.)
Adam Carolla Goes On Rambling Anti-Mexican Rant
In a rambling diatribe that overuses the word "culture," Comedian Adam Carolla railed against the California school system because it's "full of Mexicans" who he says don't like to study. An educated person might take a closer look. Mexico has the second-highest education attainment levels in Latin America behind Chile, <a href="http://www.economist.com/node/18682699">The Economist reports, citing an annual survey commissioned by the OECD</a>. Immigrant students, however, face particular obstacles, ranging from language barriers to poverty. "As a result," <a href="http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisainfocus/pisa%20in%20focus%20n%C2%B022%20(eng)--Final%20bis.pdf">the authors of an OECD education study write</a>, "immigrant students often have to overcome multiple barriers at once in order to succeed at school: a language barrier, their own immigrant status, a disadvantaged background – and the fact that many of their classmates are struggling to surmount these same obstacles to success at school." <a href="http://www.latinorebels.com/2012/12/01/adam-carollas-mind-boggling-anti-mexican-rant-explicit/">H/T: Latino Rebels.</a>