Immigration activists have scolded Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for using a term they have determined to be offensive: ”illegal immigrants.”
Earlier this week, during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Clinton spoke about her efforts to secure the border.
“I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in,” Clinton said. “And I do think you have to control your borders.”
Immigration activists has been trying in recent years to stifle the use of the term “illegal immigrants,” deeming it offensive and hurtful.
“Not only is Hillary’s casual use of the word ‘illegal’ offensive and dismissive, it shows us that she is out-of-touch with the community she claims to be advocating for by reducing them to a derogatory term,” Carlos Vargas, co-director of the pro-amnesty group Dream Action Coalition, said in a statement Tuesday.
Vargas called on Clinton to apologize for the slight.
“There is no room to uplift a community when the conversation begins by taking away their identity. We hope the former Secretary will apologize, understand the argument and protect the dignity of the immigrant community,” he said.
Vargas noted further that a number of high profile Latinos like Jose Antonio Vargas and Jorge Ramos have been campaigning to “ban the I word.”
Lis Smith, a Deputy Campaign Manager for Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, also took Clinton to task for using the term “illegal immigrants” tweeting, “Offensive, outdated term that has no place in Democratic Party of today.”
Offensive, outdated term that has no place in Democratic Party of today. https://t.co/jEJbp8y9xx
— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) November 10, 2015
In recent weeks two illegal immigrants granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and affiliated with the Dream Action Coalition have joined the campaign of Clinton’s opponent for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders. A former illegal immigrant also works for the Clinton campaign.