Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called for lawmakers and panelists to avoid using the term “illegal immigrant” during a committee hearing on immigration reform today.

“I hope no one uses the term ‘illegal immigrants’ here today,” Conyers said today, as National Review noted. “Our citizens are, the people in this country are not illegal, they are out of status, they are new Americans that are immigrants, and I think that we can forge a path to citizenship that will be able to pass muster.”

The comment is in keeping with what then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told a group of illegal immigrants in 2009. “You are special people,” she said, as Fox News reported. “You’re here on a Saturday night to take responsibility for our country’s future. That makes you very, very patriotic.”

Pelosi added that raids on work sites by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are “un-American.” The ICE union took a vote of no confidence in its political leadership in 2010.

“Senior ICE leadership dedicates more time to campaigning for immigration reforms aimed at large scale amnesty legislation, than advising the American public and Federal lawmakers on the severity of the illegal immigration problem, and the need for more manpower and resources within the ICE ERO to address it,” the union wrote in a letter explaining the vote.