John Boehner Demands Rep. Don Young to Apologize for 'Wetback' Slur

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At a time when the Republican Party is trying to gain more support from Latino voters, Alaska Republican Representative Don Young is facing major controversy after referring to Latinos as 'wetbacks' in a recent press conference. 

While talking to a crowd about how technology has created job loss in the U.S., Young expressed, "I used to own – my father had a ranch,” he said. “We used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes. You know it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine."

Young, who has been a member of the House since 1973, released an official statement on Friday, shortly after news of his comment spread. "I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central California," Young said. "I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect."

In his statement, he also expressed, “There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century, and I’m sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform." 

According to reports, House Republican Speaker John Boehner demanded Young to apologize and stated that there was no excuse for his behavior. "Congressman Young's remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds," said Boehner.

He isn't the only one speaking up about Young's racist comment. According to The Huffington PostCongressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rubén Hinojosa urged Boehner and his fellow Republicans to address Young's comments.

"As the Republican minority outreach efforts develop, I'd advise their strategists to list 'don't say racial slurs like "wetback"' as a bedrock for their messaging," said Hinojosa in a statement. "Our country needs reform that can only be achieved with a bipartisan effort. I am urging Republican leaders, including Speaker Boehner, to condemn this behavior and ask members in their party to act responsibly."

What do you think about Young's comment? 

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