I didn't think about it until I saw this question, but the phrase "illegal immigrant" is confusing. They are not immigrants if they are illegal, but immigrants makes me think that they are legal. We need to develop a better way to say this, and a better way to bring people into the country.
Calling someone "illegal" suggests that they are criminals or bad people, even if they are not. Using the term illegal is like using the term "alien", which suggests that these people are extraterrestrial or something. These terms are insensitive to humans and their feelings, and it is not right to use them.
I understand the term may feel insensitive or rude to some people, but that is the definition of what they are. People who are in our country, or any other for that matter, illegally are in fact an illegal immigrant. In America we try very hard to keep people from feeling offended, but there does need to be a certain level of acceptance us as citizens should have.
Even if you sympathize with the hardships that illegal immigrants face, even if you believe the system in place that makes legal immigration difficult and arduous is unfair they are still "illegal immigrants" just as if you park illegal you are an "illegal parker". They have in fact immigrated illegally. No matter how much sympathy or antipathy you have towards them that's a fact.
This is more politically correct nonsense. We are supposed to call them poor unfortunate people who just want a better life; but apparently did not understand the law. BS, BS, BS!
There are over a billion poor unfortunate people in the World who would love to come to America; unfortunate for those folks, they don't share a common border with the USA like Mexico. So they can sneak across as criminals or illegal immigrants. As soon as they cross the US-Mexican borders without the proper papers, they become criminals - real simple to understand.
America has the most liberal immigration policy in the World; we allow 1 million to immigrate into America legally each year.
My wife and step-children are legal immigrants from Canada. Why didn't they sneak across? My wife and I are honest and we respect all laws. These illegals from Mexico and South America are the dregs of those countries. They all should be sent back to Mexico and South America immediately an apply for legal immigration to America in their respective countries.
You immigrate to America legally in accordance with Federal Immigration laws. If you break those laws, you are an illegal immigrant. But, the AP is a sham and just wants to be politically correct, versus calling it what it is.
Illegal immigrants are given the term for a reason. It is illegal for them to come into our country without going through the appropriate process. The country is too wrapped up on political correctness. By discontinuing the use of the term "illegal immigrant" the Associated Press is saying that it is okay for people to bypass the laws. It is like discontinuing the use of the term "criminal" for people who break the law.