Campaign Background:

Why Drop the i-Word?
Drop the I-Word is a public education campaign powered by immigrants and diverse communities across the country that value human dignity and are working to eradicate the dehumanizing slur "illegals" from everyday use and public discourse. The i-word opens the door to racial profiling and violence and prevents truthful, respectful debate on immigration. No human being is "illegal."
A harmful slur
"Illegals" is a racially charged slur used to dehumanize and discriminate against immigrants and people of color regardless of migratory status. The i-word is shorthand for "illegal alien," "illegal immigrant" and other harmful terms.

Fighting for Racial Justice
USAC endorses the campaign alongside the Applied Research Center. As the official voice for all Bruins, we believe in advocating for racial and economic justice for all students, including the undocumented members of our Bruin community. The Applied Research Center (ARC) and its daily news site,, are presenting the Drop The I-Word campaign to eradicate the slur "illegals" from everyday use and public discourse. As a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism on those issues, ARC's mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to fight for it.

A growing movement
The campaign is made up of individuals and communities from across the country that demand respect and reject the i-word as a designation of our neighbors, children, families and ourselves.

We call on media outlets and elected officials to uphold reason, due process and responsible speech by dropping the i-word.

Due Process, accuracy and dignity
Pervasive systems like media and government normalize their use and make it easier to deny people basic human rights through our written and unwritten rules. Use of the i-word ignores the fact that our laws are unjustly applied. Immigrants without documents are regularly hired as cheap, exploited labor. No one else who benefits from the set up, including the employers who recruit and hire these migrants, is labeled this way. No one should ever be labeled this way. No human being is illegal.