Editor’s note: The Courier follows Associated Press style in all stories, and has attempted to do so in its coverage of immigrant issues. This does not apply to direct quotations, which always contain the actual words spoken.


I am an UNDOCUMENTED student at Pasadena City College as well as a member of the UNDOCUMENTED student group in campus United Without Boundaries and BAMN (The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary). I am also a member of the community group of UNDOCUMENTED students San Gabriel Valley Dream Team, which organized the Sept. 14 event.

The motive for this letter is recent articles in the Courier about UNDOCUMENTED students and other issues of the UNDOCUMENTED community. The terminology used in these articles – especially the term “illegal” – has been for years, not only in the UNDOCUMENTED student community but also in the community as a whole, tirelessly opposed.

[The ‘i’ word is] a word that has negative connotations about the UNDOCUMENTED community and, more significantly, is extremely offensive and dehumanizing. After reading articles in the Courier (which we thank for the coverage) it is clear in all the terminology used by all the interviewees that not once the word “illegal” was used to describe anyone. If it appears, it was wrongly quoted.

The slogan of our event “UNDOCUMENTED AND UNAFRAID” also made it clear how to [correctly] refer to the UNDOCUMENTED student community at PCC. The speakers like Professor Tony Juge, who spoke of the rejection of the word by the UNDOCUMENTED community, made clear as well the sentiments of the UNDOCUMENTED community.

I sincerely hope that the Courier staff would understand the sentiments of more than 700 UNDOCUMENTED students at PCC, not to mention allies who feel offended by the inhumane term.

Jose Alvarenga

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