Steve Cortes of the Trump National Hispanic Advisory Council refused to stop using the word "illegals" during an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid on Sept. 1 (video below).
Reid, who was guest hosting "All In With Chris Hayes," and Cortes were discussing Trump's controversial immigration speech on Aug. 29 and the subsequent resignations of nearly half of Latino Trump supporters.
Cortes said he was sticking with Trump even though he doesn't agree with everything the Republican presidential nominee does.
"When it comes to the bedrock principles, I don't disagree with him at all," Cortes stated. "And those are twofold. Number one, we have to secure our border. Our Southern border has not been secured for decades. Number two, there can be no citizenship for illegals. You cannot reward criminality."
"Hold on a second..." Reid interjected. "...I'm going to stop you right there. You are Hispanic, Steve. Are you comfortable with that term, 'illegals?' That is a pejorative to a lot of people. Why do you use that term?"
"You know why, Joy?" Cortes replied. "Because words matter."
"Yeah, they do!" Reid answered.
"Because if you do something that is against the law, it's illegal," Cortes added. "If you go into a store and you shoplift, you're not an undocumented holder of a good, you're a thief. If you come to the United States against the immigration laws of the United States, you're not undocumented, you're illegal."
Reid asked Cortes if he was comparing children who were brought into the U.S. to a shoplifter or thief.
Cortes said he was not, and added: "A shoplifter has a choice. An illegal alien has a choice. A child did not have a choice, so, no."
"That's fascinating that you, a person of color, would use that term," Reid replied.
Reid went on to mention some of the Latinos who have dropped their support of Trump following his immigration speech, and then said to Cortes: "You said that you didn't agree with all the things he said last night. Point out two or three of the things that you did not like."
"Joy, listen, I would have a softer tone on illegals," Cortes replied.
"Can you do me a favor?" Reid interrupted. "Can you do me a favor, Steve? Just while you're talking to me, can you not use that terminology?"
"No, no, I will not do you that favor because the English language matters," Cortes fired back. "It matters that we use terms. They are illegal. They are here illegally. We can't get over that. My father came here legally."
Cortes didn't back down after the show. On Sept. 2, he tweeted a link to the clip of his MSNBC interview, and added: "Words have meaning and they matter. I won't capitulate to liberal media and speak in codes."
After another Twitter user accused him of self-hatred, Cortes tweeted back: "I don't call Latinos 'illegal.' I call illegals 'illegal' regardless of their homeland, sir."