Sen. John McCain R-Ariz., said Monday he won’t stop using the term “illegal immigrant,” when asked at a Phoenix town hall to stop using “the ‘I’ word.”
A 25-year old “dreamer” asked McCain to instead use a phrase like “undocumented immigrant,” the Arizona Republic reported today.
“Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally,” McCain said. “You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.”
The White House, on the other hand, has adopted the term “undocumented” in its push for immigration reform.
“America’s immigration system is broken,” the White House’s page on the topic says. “Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.”
The White House linked to the page in an email about a naturalization ceremony on Monday, which President Obama used as an opportunity to push Congress to pass immigration reform.
“Immigration makes us stronger,” Obama said. “After avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all. The time has come for a comprehensive, sensible immigration reform.”
H/T The Hill