Update 4:07 p.m.: Young has issued an apology.

Republican leaders on Friday denounced Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) for his use of the derogatory term "wetback" during a radio interview.

Among the first to criticize Young were House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

“Congressman Young’s remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds," Boehner said in a statement. "I don’t care why he said it – there’s no excuse and it warrants an immediate apology.”