This followed a long campaign by some immigrants rights activists, including the L.A.-based National Hispanic Media Coalition, which said that a person shouldn't be forever described by one illicit action:
The Times' Standards and Practices Committee made the change via memo today, the paper stated:
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'Illegal immigrants' is overly broad and does not accurately apply in every situation. The alternative suggested by the 1995 guidelines, 'undocumented immigrants,' similarly falls short of our goal of precision. It is also untrue in many cases, as with immigrants who possess passports or other documentation but lack valid visas.
The paper's new usage follows AP's suggestion that people should be described more by their actions, e.g. someone who came to the United States illegally.
The New York Times recently announced it's sticking with illegal immigrant but that better terms and descriptors should be considered.