A California newspaper office was vandalized late Wednesday night or Thursday morning with the message “The border is illegal, not the people who cross it.”
The front office of Santa Barbara News-Press had that message spray painted with red paint across the wall, according to the paper’s director of operations Donald Katich. “The attack came amid wider objections to a News-Press headline that used the word ‘illegals’ alongside a story on California granting driver’s licenses to people in the country illegally.”
“The vandalism and the damage speak for itself, as well as the motivation behind it,” Santa Barbara Police Officer Mitch Jan said. “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.”
There was also graffiti on the walkway through Storke Plaza and the sidewalk near Santa Barbara City Hall “espousing a no-borders mentality.” Protests were expected later this week.
The newspaper released a statement saying it will not stop using the term illegal 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,” the statement read.
“It is an appropriate term in describing someone as ‘illegal’ if they are in this country illegally,” the statement added.
Some newspapers have stopped using the term. In 2013, the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times banned the phrase, saying it “lacked precision.” On the other hand, the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal all use the term.