Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) defended the use of the phrase 'illegal' immigrants Monday and refused to drop it from his vocabulary.
The Arizona senator was taking questions at a town hall in Phoenix when a 25-year-old undocumented immigrant asked McCain if he would stop using 'illegal,' a term Latino and civil liberties groups have argued is offensive and out of touch.
"Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally. You can call it whatever you want to, but it's illegal," McCain shot back, the Arizona Republic reported. "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."
McCain is, of course, part of the so-called gang of eight, the bipartisan group leading the immigration effort in the Senate. He recently got into another heated town hall exchange while discussing the need for a pathway to citizenship with his constituents, many of whom support Arizona's stricter anti-immigration laws.