Mitt Romney repeatedly used the term during the Republican primary campaign to talk about how his immigration enforcement policies would lead to unauthorized immigrants leaving the U.S. of their own accord, rather than needing to be deported.
“Using the word ‘self-deportation’ — it’s a horrific comment to make,” Priebus said, in a forceful rebuke. “I don’t think it has anything to do with our party. When someone makes those comments, obviously, it’s racist.”
Preibus spent much of a mid-afternoon session with reporters defending the party’s progress with Latino voters and steps on immigration reform, which it made a priority five months ago in its touted Growth and Opportunity Project.