In an interview Thursday with TownHall.com editor Guy Benson, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson strongly pushed back at the use of the term "illegal immigrant" to describe people who have entered the U.S. ilegally.
They should be referred to as "Undocumented," he said. "By the way, if you use the term ‘illegal immigrants’ that is very incendiary to our Hispanic population here in this country."
Benson followed up, asking: "Why is that?"
The former New Mexico governor noted that, "it just is. It just is. Just so that you know. So that you know and you don’t have to use that term."
Benson replied: "But isn’t the term accurate, in the sense that they entered the country, they emigrated to the country, illegally?"
Johnson raised his voice, saying: "They came into this country because they couldn’t get in legally, and the jobs existed! And you or I would have done the same thing. And we're talking about now, coming from New Mexico, a population with 48% Hispanic, how’s the crackdown on 11 million undocumented workers gonna work out? It’s gonna be dragging people from their homes; that’s how it’s gonna work out."
"It is going to be checking your papers, house to house, and I gotta tell you: what Donald Trump is saying regarding immigration could not be more incendiary. It’s insulting to me, coming from New Mexico," he said.
"Is it an illegal act to enter the country in violation of immigration laws," Benson asked again.
"Technically, yes," Johnson replied.