Fri, Oct 21, 2011 1:10 PM EDT

Each week we highlight one person or group as the Drop the I-Word Friday Friend. Our Friends are special advocates who take a stand for undocumented immigrants and against the i-word.

As we pointed out a few weeks ago, usage of the i-word by the largest newspapers in the country has been steadily growing in recent months. So imagine our surprise when today we read two articles from The Daily Pennsylvanian about immigrants that did not use the i-word. 
In the article an article by Kelsey Matevish, Law professor publishes paper on ‘crimmigration,’ Yolanda Vazquez helps to explain how the i-word can enforce ideas of criminality. 
“While many refer to unauthorized immigrants as “undocumented” or “illegal,” those terms are not defined in United States immigration law. Terms such as “alien” or “illegal” can often demean or further marginalize immigrants, Vazquez explained.
“I do think that rhetoric and words are very powerful,” Vazquez said. “When someone describes someone as illegal, I think it has a lot more force than someone who defines someone as a non-citizen … Queen Elizabeth would be described as a non-citizen, yet no one would call her an alien.”
As immigration continues to be a hot topic in the news, we are happy to see that some journalists and media uphold professional and ethical standards and understand that the i-word is not legally or journalistically accurate and it confuses debate. We applaud the journalists and The Daily Pennslyvanian for covering these two stories in a respectful and ethical way, and call for all media outlets to do the same. For more, please review our Drop the I-Word tool kit for journalists.
Read both articles here:


Do you know someone who’d make a good Drop the I-Word Friday Friend? Let us know at