Hillary Clinton has promised to excise “illegal immigrants” from her vocabulary after being called out for using the insensitive term.

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In a Tuesday afternoon Facebook Q&A hosted by Noticias Telemundo, journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas asked:

Madame 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 that undocumented population. Will you make that commitment?

“Yes, I will,” Clinton promptly responded. “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.”

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“I’ve talked about undocumented immigrants hundreds of times and fought for years for comprehensive immigration reform,” she continued, “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.”


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.