Hillary Clinton has apologized for using the term "illegal immigrants.'' Clinton has been criticized by immigrant rights groups and fellow Democrats for using the term.
During a New Hampshire town hall with voters, Clinton was asked how she would deal with undocumented workers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Well, 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,'' said Clinton, according to CNN. "And I do think you have to control your borders."
Immigrants rights groups called on Clinton to apologize for using a term they consider derogatory.
"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," said Hina Naveed, co-director of Dream Action Coalition, according to the Washington Times. "There is no room to uplift a community when the conversation begins by taking away their identity."
Fellow Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley also called Clinton hypocritical for her remarks.
"Before one audience, she will talk about immigration reform and the need for it," said O' Malley, according to Time magazine . "Before another audience, she'll use the term illegal immigrants and boast about having voted to build a wall and barbed-wire fence."
Clinton was asked about the comments during a Telemundo Facebook chat. Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant himself, asked Clinton if she would stop using the term "illegal immigrant.''
"Yes, I will, that was a poor choice of words," Clinton replied, according to CNN. "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."