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Public Outreach to Eliminate the I-Word

Ongoing debates about U.S. immigration reform have sparked calls for the media and the public to refrain from using terms like “illegals,” “illegal immigrants” and “illegal aliens,” to refer to unauthorized migrants. As scholars who study the ways that language constitutes culture and vice versa, it is intellectually and ethically imperative for linguistic anthropologists to contribute to this discussion. The LSJ Taskforce is committed to eliminating the I-word (‘illegal’) from mainstream public discourse. To this end, LSJ representatives (including in particular previous core member Jonathan Rosa) have worked to redirect the public dialogue through various media outlets.