In a major immigration policy speech on Tuesday in Nevada, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) not only threw support behind President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform, she went a step further to say that anything short of a pathway to full citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally would not be enough.
Here are five key points from Clinton’s speech:
Backs Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Even before Clinton formally jumped into the 2016 presidential race, many wondered how closely she would align herself with Obama’s policies. On Obama’s immigration actions, she didn’t leave much – or really, any- daylight.
Clinton, specifically, said she supported Obama’s executive actions halting deporting DREAMers and parents of American citizens.
“I don’t understand how anyone can look at these young people and think that we should break up more families or turn away young people with talent,” Clinton said. “So I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to
Anything short of full citizenship isn’t enough.
Arguably the biggest statement Clinton made in her speech was that anything short of a full pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants would not be enough in an immigration reform proposal.
“The standard for a true solution is nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship,” Clinton said.
Clinton is more direct than in 2008.
In 2008, Clinton seemed to go back and forth on whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to get a driver’s license. But in the 2016 campaign, Clinton has been unequivocal.
Even before the speech on Tuesday, Clinton’s campaign said she supports “state policies to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.”
Better treatment in detention centers.
While her comments about citizenship gained the most attention, equally important were her comments about detention centers for immigrants in flux. Clinton said the conditions in such centers must be improved.
“I think we need to look at how we make our entire system more humane,” Clinton said. “I want to protect people. I want more humane treatment no matter how the law is written or enforced.”
GOPer code for ‘second class status’ is ‘legal status.’
Clinton didn’t hold back on the 2016 Republican presidential contenders. She bashed the Republicans candidates on immigration reform, including the ones who have signaled some interest in changing the system (as opposed to the hardliners who have suggested strong opposition to any kind of “amnesty.”)
“Today, not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly consistent in supporting a path to citizenship,” Clinton said. “When they talk about ‘legal status,’ that is code for second-class status.”