Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday referred to young undocumented immigrants with the word "illegals," a term that many consider to be a slur.
"The president announced a new immigration policy this week to stop deporting illegals who have been brought into this country as children and and who have good records, no criminal records, law abiding," Wallace told White House adviser David Plouffe. "What's changed from last year other than the fact that the president now needs Hispanic voters to get re-elected?"
"Nothing's changed," Plouffe insisted. "The president can't change the law on his own. This is not a permanent fix. This was prosecutorial discretion announced by the Department of Homeland Security, not a change in the law."
"There's one way to fix this permanently -- only one way -- and that's for Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which is something that, unfortunately, Gov. Romney said he would veto if he becomes president," he added. "Gov. Romney essentially said the 11 million people here should just go home, they ought to self deport. So, this is someone you're not going to be able to trust."
"President Romney -- if he's elected -- is not going to fix our immigration system."
In a online video produced for the Drop the I-Word campaign, Baruch College Professor Robert Smith explained why the word is so dangerous in political discourse: “‘Illegal’ functions like a racial epithet. It’s a way of legitimizing violence against a particular group of people because of what they are. That the definition of a hate crime.”