Santa Barbara illegals

California Newspaper Targeted: Santa Barbara News-Press Vandalized For Using Word ‘Illegals’

A California newspaper recently used the word “illegals,” upsetting some that apparently don’t like the word “illegals” to be used when referring to undocumented immigrants that are living in the United States illegally. In protest, those disagreeing with the California newspaper’s decision to use “illegals” got a hold of some red spray paint and graffitied the newspaper office’s exterior walls, painting, “The border is illegal not the people who cross it.”

As an added bonus, the anti “illegals” vandals also spray painted a smiley face with “fight back” written above, and punctuated the project with splattered paint ball projectiles.

Santa Barbara graffiti
In protest of a Santa Barbara newspaper’s use of the word, “illegals”, vandals spray painted and pelted the office with paint balls.

The newspaper, the Santa Barbara News-Press in Santa Barbara, CA, doesn’t plan on discontinuing the use of “illegals” despite the attack by those that oppose the term, reports FOX News.

The Santa Barbara News-Press‘ director of operations, Donald Katich, believes the anti “illegals” vandals hit his office late Wednesday night or early Thursday. Before the graffiti showed up, there had been a fairly vocal contingent of people that objected to the Santa Barbara paper’s use of the word “illegals” in a headline topping a story about people that are in the U.S. illegally being granted California driver’s licenses.

At the same time, Santa Barbara police don’t seem to have any particular suspects in mind that might be behind the damage caused to the newspaper’s building. Santa Barbara Police Officer, Mitch Jan does think the motive is fairly clear, however.

“The vandalism and the damage speak for itself, as well as the motivation behind it. At this point in time, I don’t really have any suspect information. Without cameras or an eyewitness, we really don’t know who would be responsible.”

So why does the Santa Barbara News Press plan to keep using “illegals,” even after the protests and a physical attack? In a statement, the newspaper explained that “illegals” is a perfectly appropriate term to use to describe someone who is in the country illegally, regardless of where they’re from, and even if other media outlets choose to use one of the other myriad of terms such as “undocumented immigrants.”

“It has been the practice for nearly 10 years at the Santa Barbara News-Press to describe people living in this country illegally as ‘illegals’ regardless of their country of origin. This practice is under fire by some immigration groups who believe that this term is demeaning and does not accurately reflect the status of ‘undocumented immigrants,’ one of several terms other media use to describe people in the Unites States illegally… It is an appropriate term in describing someone as ‘illegal’ if they are in this country illegally.”

Among the major newspapers that still use the term “illegals” are The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, with The Wall Street Journal being the only that goes all in by using “illegal immigrant” which they use for both people that criminally enter the U.S. and those who overstay their visas.

Demonstrators gathered on Thursday night and paraded down Santa Barbara’s State Street, reports KEYT. The participants protesting the I-word reportedly chanted and held up signs.

Santa Barbara police had to shut down some intersections for the impromptu don’t-use-Illegals parade, frustrating some drivers and others trying to use the roadways.

The parade ended when the marchers sat down in the middle of the intersection where State and De La Guerra streets meet. In the meantime, the Santa Barbara News-Press plans to continue using “illegals” despite protesters threatening to to come back on January 19 if they don’t get their way.

Images via KEYT

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