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

Sean Mahoney

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.

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."
"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."

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