The second presidential debate lived up to the hype as President Obama and Mitt Romney engaged in an at times heated and contentious town hall debate.
The debate took a turn to immigration for the first time, when audience member Lorraine Osorio asked a question on the topic. When delving into what he means by self-deportation, Romney used controversial language that many Latinos and Hispanic organizations take issue with.
“What I was saying is, we’re not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, and take them out of the nation,” he said. ”Instead let people make their own choice. And if they — if they find that — that they can’t get the benefits here that they want and they can’t — and they can’t find the job they want, then they’ll make a decision to go a place where — where they have better opportunities.
Obama used the term “undocumented immigrants.”
Many noticed Romney’s use of “undocumented illegals” and took issue with it on Twitter.
— Latino Rebels (@latinorebels) October 17, 2012
Just noticed Romney said “undocumented illegals” during the debate. Guess he wants to appeal to both sides?
— ina burke (@eevochic) October 17, 2012
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) October 17, 2012
Obama said “undocumented” while Romney said “illegals”
— Alma B. (@almaxb) October 17, 2012
Obama said “undocumented “ Romney said “illegals”. Nuff said. tmblr.co/Z-peixVRt8D-
Romney just said “Rounding up illegals” (Drops mic, walks off stage)
— Azizi Jasper (@AziziHasani) October 17, 2012
— Rodrigo Sanchez(@rscspokenword) October 17, 2012
Some Twitter users said this will hurt Romney with Latino voters and many Latinos were angry at the language he used.
“Illegals” Romney just said it. Enough with this derogatory word.
— Jason (@TheJasonGreene) October 17, 2012
ooh, romney just said illegals. that’s gotta cost him several thousand latino votes
— Lola (@naijaLola) October 17, 2012
— Cynth The Poet (@cynththepoet) October 17, 2012
“@sweetestcin1: Oh hell nah Romney said “Hispanics.” The preferred term is Latinos you idiot!” Ay Cindy he’s called us illegals as well!
Romney said “Illegals.” #Racist!!!!!
— Chico (@C_H813) October 17, 2012
— Angi Allie ♏ (@ExcentricAllie) October 17, 2012
Obama reminds us Romney said he’d VETO DREAM Act,& said “self-deportation”was option 4 immigrants.NOT to mention he still says “illegals”.
— Meredith Tucker (@meredithCtucker) October 17, 2012
The president also stated that Romney has called Arizona’s strict immigration law a “model for the nation.” Romney disputed Obama’s assertion, but the president added that his immigration advisor is Kris Kobach, the architect of SB1070.
Obama did have one slip up while answering Osorio’s immigration question. He asked her if her name was Lorena — but it was Lorraine.