I previously asked a question of whether the use of the term “illegal aliens” rather than “undocumented workers” can increase the amount of prejudice shown towards immigrants. Everyone answered yes, which according to Pearson (2010), would be the more accurate answer. Peason (2010) conducted a study examining the effects of the use of the phrases “illegal aliens” and “undocumented workers” on prejudice towards Mexican immigrants. Pearson (2010) randomly assigned participants to two groups, with one group answer a number of items regarding “illegal aliens”, and the other group answering those same items in regards to “undocumented workers”. Their results indicated participants were more likely to show more prejudice in the “illegal aliens” condition.
Often times in the media, immigrants are referred to as derogatory terms such as “illegal aliens”, “illegals”, and “illegal immigrants”. The negative connation of the phrases often lead people to associate immigrants with violence, crime, and threats, leading to increased prejudice towards immigrants.