Twisting Language: AP Refers to ‘Undocumented Citizens’

September 7th, 2017 3:40 PM

Talk about twisting the English language into a pretzel. The Associated Press on Tuesday hyped fear about the end of DACA as it referred to “undocumented citizens” in Chicago. In a story promoting that city’s liberal mayor bashing Donald Trump, the AP wrote, “[Chicago] school officials say about a third of the school’s students are undocumented citizens.” 

Undocumented citizens? What does that even mean? According to, a “citizen” is defined this way: “A native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection.” 

The full quote reads: 

[Rahm] Emanuel spoke as Chicago Public Schools marked the first day of classes Tuesday. The mayor told students at Solorio Academy High School they “are welcome in the city of Chicago.” The Chicago Sun-Times reports that school officials say about a third of the school’s students are undocumented citizens. Emanuel said Chicago schools “will be a Trump-free zone.”

On July 18, the MRC’s Brent Bozell and Tim Graham explained how the AP promotes the liberal agenda through official journalistic policy: 

The AP instructs reporters to say “anti-abortion,” in keeping with the constant desire to define conservatives in the negative: anti-tax, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, and so on.


Years ago we were told to stop using the phrase “illegal aliens.” They’re “immigrants,” we were instructed. Bizarrely, the AP is now discouraging the plain words “migrant” or “refugee” as Syrians flee to Europe. Instead this is what the experts tell reporters to call them (and we’re not making this up): “People struggling to enter Europe.” We might struggle with our luggage when arriving at the airport in Venice. Does that make us “refugees?”

It’s been quite the week for online journalism. On Wednesday, labeled Democratic Senator Robert Menendez (N.J.) in an AP story, currently on trial for bribery, as a Republican.