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Hillary Clinton on Immigration: GOP's Legal Status for Immigrants Is 'Code For Second Class Status'

First Posted: May 06, 2015 07:45 AM EDT
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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democratic Party presidential candidate, spoke about her stance on immigration reform and support on building from President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions.

According to Clinton, Americans support comprehensive immigration reform, "not only because it is the right thing to do," but because it strengthens families, the economy and the country.

"We cannot wait any longer for a path for full and equal citizenship," said Clinton at Rancho High School in Las Vegas. "This is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistakes, today not a single Republican candidate -- announced or potential -- is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship, not one, when they talk about legal status, that's code for second class status."

Clinton stated she will fight to stop the partisan attacks on the executive actions that would place undocumented immigrant youths -- also referred to as DREAMers -- at risk of deportation.

"If Congress continues to refuse to act, as president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further," continued Clinton. "There are more people like many parents of DREAMers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities who deserve a chance to stay, and I will fight for them."

Clinton said there should be in place a "simple, straightforward accessible way" for parents of DREAMers and others who have contributed to the community to make their case and become eligible for the same deferred action as their children.

Clinton, however, prefers immigration reform to pass from Congress.

In regards to detention, the former senator from New York said she is "worried" about the topic for the sake of an individual's mental and physical health and such facilities should be for individuals with a violent and illegal record.

Presente.org, an online Latino organizing group, issued a statement following Clinton's roundtable discussion.

"A Clinton immigration platform based on unfulfillable promises for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and citizenship will fall flat and simply not energize Latinos," said Presente.org.

The statement continued, "However, Clinton's commitment to upholding and expanding President Obama's executive actions on deportations is a smart move, and polling shows it can help turn out the Latino vote. But with a Republican Party that has declared an all out war on Latinos and immigrants, we will need decisive executive action that protects all 11 million undocumented immigrants."

Republican National Committee (RNC) Director of Hispanic Media Ruth Guerra released a statement. "Hillary Clinton can try to distract from her foreign donor scandals by rolling out a new policy position, but her history of flip-flopping on this issue and many others only reinforces why votes see her as dishonest and untrustworthy. So when Hillary Clinton says 'you know where I stand,' the truth is she may not be standing there tomorrow."

At neighboring Colorado, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus also held a roundtable discussion with the Colorado Hispanic Advisory Council as part of the RNC's commitment to engage the national Latino community.

"The RNC is 100-percent committed to reaching all voters, because in America, no voter should be overlooked and no voter should be taken for granted," said Priebus in a statement. "We believe it's important to earn voters' trust and respect -- something the other party's de facto nominee doesn't seem to understand, which is why the majority of Americans view her as dishonest and untrustworthy."

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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