Hillary Pledges Not To Describe Immigrants as "Illegal"

During a Telemundo Facebook chat, Hillary Clinton said her use of the term "illegal" in conjunction with "immigrants" at a campaign speech in New Hampshire a few weeks ago was a poor choice of words and she won't be repeating it.

Here's the question she was asked: [More...]

Jose Antonio Vargas Madam Secretary, in speaking at a campaign stop about immigration reform, you recently referred to "illegal immigrants"-- an offensive term that many leaders and media have abandoned in recent years. On behalf of the organization I founded, Define American, and the 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in this country--including myself--I am asking all the presidential candidates to recognize that #wordsmatter by committing to not using the term "illegal" when referencing the undocumented population. Will you make that commitment?

Her response:

Yes, I will. That was a poor choice of words. As I’ve said throughout this campaign, the people at the heart of this issue are children, parents, families, DREAMers. They have names, and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected. I’ve talked about undocumented immigrants hundreds of times and fought for years for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will continue to do so. We are a country built by immigrants and our diversity makes us stronger as a nation - it’s something to be proud of, celebrate, and defend. -H

Nothing to see here. It was a poor choice of words and she'll be careful not to repeat it in the future. What matters is her position on immigration.

She says she wants to stop deportations, provide a path to citizenship for those people here illegally and give them driver’s licenses.

Here's her immigration plan.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Exactly. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 08:52:47 PM EST
    Hers was a poor choice of words, which is a sin for which almost everyone can plead guilty at some point in their lives. She admitted her error, and was forthrightly contrite for having used the term.

    And you're absolutely right that what truly matters is Mrs. Clinton's position on immigration. Contrast that with what's presently offered by her GOP counterparts, who often appear to be racing each other to see who can double down faster on stupid.


    .....who can double down faster on stupid.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by NYShooter on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:21:46 AM EST
    "Carson Plummets in Polls Amid Reports He Did Not Stab Anyone"

    Carson supporters, reeling from the news that their candidate's past might have been devoid of stabbing, have deserted his candidacy in droves.

    The New Yorker, Andy Borowitz

    So stupid (none / 0) (#3)
    by RCBadger on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 12:51:13 PM EST
    Um, why can't you refer to people who come here illegally as illegal immigrants?  It's what they are.  Yeah, I get it that the majority are probably fleeing oppression and are law abiding, etc., but they're still illegal.

    Speaking as someone whose ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 03:00:01 PM EST
    ... own immigrant in-laws flew under the INS radar until the 1980s, why do you insist upon being disrespectful and offensive, when other people -- including your host here at TL -- ask you to please not use the term "illegal immigrant / alien" in their presence?

    While I can't speak for Jeralyn, I personally think that calling another human being "illegal" is akin to labeling a child born to unmarried parents as "illegitimate." I find both adjectives insulting and demeaning when applied to a person, rather than to a specific act.

    I mean, how much harder is it for you to say "undocumented" rather than "illegal"? It underscores the same exact point about an immigrant's legal status, yet does so without explicitly diminishing that person's humanity. Or do those two extra syllables somehow tie your tongue in a knot?



    Crossing the border without proper (none / 0) (#5)
    by itscookin on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:16:15 PM EST
    permission and credentials or overstaying a visa is committing a crime, right? Every day they stay here compounds the act, right? I don't have a problem with using the euphemism "undocumented" as long as we all agree they're criminals. They've broken our laws. If you don't want what they've done to be a crime, then change the laws governing immigration. Until that happens, though, while the person himself might not be "illegal", his actions are illegal. It's like the word "retarded". We can agree not to use that word to describe someone with diminished mental capacity in favor of a word we feel is less derogatory, but using a different word doesn't make the person smarter.

    Quite certain the irony blew right past you, (none / 0) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 05:38:22 PM EST
    But, using twisted logic, and, anti-social weasel words for the purpose of diminishing those wishing to live in a more civil society,

    As your comment clearly proffers,

    "......doesn't make the person smarter."