It was a busy Monday afternoon for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state formally received the endorsement of Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., met with an immigrant family, reiterated her immigration stance and was not disturbed by activists protesting her policies.

Speaking at an immigration conference in Brooklyn, Clinton thanked Gutierrez for his endorsement and highlighted his work on immigration.

"Few people have done as much as Luis to make sure that when it comes to America's policies on immigration, those policies reflect America's values and does it all. He organizes, strategizes, preaches, teaches, inspires, cajoles, whatever it takes to keep this movement moving forward," said Clinton

Clinton took a veiled shot at the Republican presidential candidates, first Donald Trump, who have advocated to "build walls" and close the door to millions of people who have contributed in the U.S.

"We are hearing all kinds of anti-immigrant sentiment in the news right now. Candidates for president are calling immigrants 'drug runners' and 'rapists.' They promise, if elected, to round up and deport millions of people, build a mammoth wall, militarize the border, tear families apart," said Clinton, who also referenced the San Bernardino terrorists shootings and how some candidates have been fueling more fears against Muslims.

Clinton said she wants to keep families together and provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. She took another shot at Republican presidential candidates for not supporting a pathway to citizenship. She specifically called out Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for disowning his support of the 2013 comprehensive immigrant bill (S. 744).

"You know Sen. Rubio actually helped write the 2013 Senate bill. Now, he renounces it. They're all moving toward the extreme and away from the rest of America," said Clinton.

Clinton reiterated her support of President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions, which created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs, which grants eligible undocumented immigrants the opportunity to receive temporary, but renewable, permits to stay in the country.

In regards to immigrant detention, she acknowledged there are detainees on a hunger strike and there needs to be a focus on improving conditions. Taking on stance similar to fellow Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, Clinton said she will close private immigrant detention centers. The former secretary of state said the detention centers should not be outsourced to anyone. As president, she would also end family detention and utilize alternatives to detention.

For immigrants who have applied for asylum, Clinton said she will ensure every refugee has a fair chance to tell their story.

Clinton announced there will be enhanced efforts for people to become naturalized U.S. citizens, which includes expanding fee waivers and increasing access to language programs for English proficiency.

Clinton carried on with her speech despite three occasions where protestors captured the attention of the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) attendees, press and Clinton campaign staffers. Some activists silently protested with a giant banner, while others made their voices heard. Regardless, Clinton appeared undisturbed and completed her immigration address.

One notable absence from Clinton's speech is the role of immigrants and health insurance access. Prior to Clinton's speech, her presidential campaign released a "Fact Sheet" that states, "She believes we should let families - regardless of immigration status - buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so."

As Latin Post reported, during an interview on ABC's "This Week," Clinton said undocumented immigrants should become engaged in the health insurance marketplace, but should not receive the same subsidies as U.S. citizens. Current language on the ACA does not allow immigrants to receive insurance benefits.

Much of Clinton's immigration policies were already public knowledge since her immigration roundtable discussion in Las Vegas on May 5. Latin Post reported that the former New York senator called for a pathway to citizenship, support of DACA and DAPA, issue further immigration executive actions if Congress fails to act on comprehensive immigration reform and a more "humane" approach to detention centers.

Clinton's opponents, from within and outside her political party, criticized her varied immigration stance.

In a statement, O'Malley said Clinton failed to offer new ideas and New Americans cannot trust her due to previous actions.

"Over the course of her career, Secretary Clinton voted for a poison pill that killed immigration reform in the U.S. Senate. She turned her back on children fleeing violence in Central America and blocked a proposal to provide drivers licenses to New American immigrants. Even in this campaign, she refuses to give New Americans full access to Obamacare," said O'Malley. "Outdated thinking of the past will not fix our inhumane immigration system."

O'Malley will also address NIIC attendees on Tuesday morning, while Sanders is scheduled to speak via teleconference.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) also hit Clinton prior to her speech. RNC Hispanic Media Director Ruth Guerra said, "No matter what Hillary Clinton says, her record on immigration will always be one of flip-flops and political convenience. On issue after issue throughout this campaign, Hillary Clinton has shown she will do or say anything to get elected."


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