Mike Pence's "Criminal Aliens" Comment During The Debate Was A Huge Mistake


During the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate, moderator Elaine Quijano moved the conversation toward the topic of immigration. She stated that both Hillary Clinton and Trump have made comments that undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes should be deported, and asked the vice presidential candidates what they would tell the undocumented immigrants who have not committed violent crimes. In his answer, Indiana Governor Mike Pence repeatedly referred to "criminal aliens," which was a huge mistake.

Pence's response invoked the phrase three separate times. He said,

Twitter did not respond kindly to these comments.

Indeed, Trump has said that he would deport "criminal" immigrants. However, Pence, and everyone else, should not be referring to undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes as "criminal aliens." The term is offensive, and pretty much everyone thinks so.

The Library of Congress voted to stop using the term "illegal aliens" earlier this year. The Supreme Court stopped using the term "illegal immigrants" back in 2012. People are not aliens. Calling someone "illegal" makes it sound like the person is unlawful. That is incorrect and horrible. The word alien has a complicated history in the United States, and has taken on a negative connotation, similar to that of a racial slur. Referring to an immigrant an alien is offensive term, and no one, especially a vice presidential candidate, should be using it.