Elections

Hillary Clinton walks back immigration comments

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the crowd at the Jenkins Orphanage in North Charleston, S.C., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, during the Blue Jamboree event. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the crowd at the Jenkins Orphanage in North Charleston, S.C., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, during the Blue Jamboree event. (AP Photo/Mic Smith) AP

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she regretted her use of the term “illegal immigrants” when talking about immigration during an earlier campaign stop in New Hampshire.

“That was a poor choice of words,” Clinton said during a Facebook chat Tuesday hosted by Noticias Telemundo.

Some prominent immigration rights advocates took issue with Clinton’s words on November 10 when describing her work enforcing immigration laws. Clinton touted her funding of border fences during her Senate tenure.

Advocates say the term “illegal immigrants” is offensive because it implies that the individual instead of the act is illegal.

Those comments set off a wave of new criticism of Clinton at time when the Democratic candidate has been actively trying to change her political narrative on immigration. She’s been trying to court immigrant voters with more sympathetic policy promises. In the past, Clinton has said she was “adamantly against illegal immigrants.” But now she says she wants to stop deportations, provide a path to citizenship for those people here illegally and give them driver’s licenses.

In Tuesday’s Facebook chat, Clinton said the country’s diversity makes it stronger.

“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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