MRC-TV Finds Average American Reacts Differently to 'Illegal Immigrant' vs. 'Undocumented Worker'

On Monday, the Associated Press announced that it would no longer accept "illegal immigrant" as a term for its news copy, banishing it from its AP Stylebook, which has been nicknamed "the Journalist's Bible" because of its widespread use in the industry. Well, our friend Dan Joseph at our sister site MRCTV.org talked to average Americans on the street in Washington, D.C., and found that they're more likely to favor amnesty when the supposed beneficiary is an "undocumented worker" as opposed to an "illegal immigrant."

Joseph asked passerby on Capitol Hill "Who do you think should be given legal status first.... Should it be the undocumented workers, or should it be the illegal immigrants?" Of course, "undocumented workers" and "illegal immigrants" are the exact same thing, but everyday people on the street were more amenable to "undocumented workers" getting "legal status." [watch the video below the page break]


 

While this is hardly a scientific survey, it is instructive in how semantic play a crucial role in shaping public opinion and accordingly the numbers we see in public opinion polls on the matter.

In a follow-up video by MRCTV, Joseph asked people on the street, "Do you favor more of an amnesty approach or do you favor a pathway to citizenship approach" to handling immigration reform. Again, the results are instructive. Respondents favor "pathway to citizenship," which is simply the politically-correct term for an amnesty program.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters