"If I hadn't been in such a hurry I would have said 'illegals' or something like that, but that's a term that I grew up with out here and everybody said it," Laws told Austin television station KVUE.
In an another interview Thursday with News 8 Austin, Laws said he shouldn't have used the word before adding, "Illegals, I want them to send back as soon as possible."
The slur was posted on a board meeting agenda Wednesday for the Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply Corp., which has contracts with the city of Austin and supplies water to nearby communities. Among the items was discussion over providing water to the proposed detention facility.
Mustang Ridge is a town of about 900 people, located about 20 miles south of Austin. The area is home to several heavily Hispanic neighborhoods, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
"I think it's my duty, not only as a state representative but a Mexican American, to do whatever I can to get this man to resign," state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez said at a news conference with other public leaders.
Mike Martinez, an Austin city council member, said "having someone become defensive about their use of this language, holding a public office is unacceptable in 2008."
Laws said he had no plans to step down from his positions.
"I'm sorry if I offended anybody. I didn't mean anything by it," Laws told KVUE. "But, no, I'm not resigning. I don't do what Austin tells me to do."