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Ask USATODAY: What Do You Mean By "Illegal Students?"

On December 15, USA TODAY ran an article titled "Groups try to delay deportations of illegal students," in which they called young immigrant students in the United States "illegal students."

UPDATE: On December 21, after more than 500 letters from all of you at, USA TODAY took a step and changed the phrase to "illegal immigrant students" as if that is more acceptable to call immigrant students 'illegal.' This forces the issue into a longer campaign and the need for mainstream media to re-evaluate their policies in referring to immigrants. At the same time, this subtle change tells us that a few hundred emails and calls have the power to drive change.

Where does this madness (not to mention inaccuracy) of calling people illegal due to their immigration staus, end?

The use of the word illegal to describe young people seeking the right to stay in the United States speaks volumes about the absurdity of labeling out-of-status human beings as "illegal." But no student and no human being can be illegal.

I am asking you to stand up with me. Don't be afraid and do not let anyone label you, your family, friends, students and an entire community of disenfranchised people as "illegal."

1. Sign the petition email below to tell USA TODAY to stop competing with our archaic immigration system and get with the program. No human being can be illegal.

2. After that, start tweeting, digging, sending it to your friends and cross-posting this to your blogs.

3. And calls are important. Fill their voicemail boxes up!

Heidi Zimmerman, Director/Communications, (703) 854-5304

Alex Nicholson, Manager/Communications, 703-854-5872

Brent Johns, Accuracy Editor, 703-854-3454

John Hillkirk, Executive Editor, (703) 854-3728,

This petition was delivered to:
  • Executive Editor - USA Today
    John HillKirk
  • Media Relations - USA Today
    Alex Nicholson

    Prerna Lal started this petition with a single signature, and now has 723 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.