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Hillary Clinton on Immigration: GOP 'Out of Touch, Out of Date' With Birthright Citizenship Debate

First Posted: Aug 27, 2015 02:39 PM EDT
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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recognized comprehensive immigration reform will provide a boost to rural communities.

During a campaign stop in Ankeny, Iowa, Clinton mentioned crop producers have raised pay for workers but still can't find enough employees. To solve this issue, the Democratic frontrunner sees immigration reform as the solution.

"We're talking about billions of dollars in income lost because of farm worker shortages. Comprehensive immigration reform would help address this problem and give a needed boost to rural communities," said Clinton. "And yet many Republicans still say they want to deport millions of hard-working people -- breaking up families, disrupting communities, and harming our economy."

Clinton also took a swipe at businessman Donald Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, referring to him as "flamboyant." She said most of the other Republican candidates are similar to Trump but "without the pizazz -- or the hair."

"Just like him (Trump), they don't support a real path to citizenship. When they talk about 'legal status,' that's code for 'second class status,'" Clinton said, using a term she used during an immigration roundtable discussion in May, where she voiced her support of President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions and affirmed she would go further than him on executive action.

Clinton spoke about the Republican rhetoric to change the 14th Amendment, known as the birthright provision, which grants U.S. citizenship to U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Trump as well as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have supported ending birthright citizenship. Some Republican presidential candidates oppose Trump's plan, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

"It's hard to imagine being more out-of-touch or out-of-date. But all the over-the-top rhetoric does throw the choice in this election into stark relief," Clinton said about the comments repealing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, affecting lawful American citizens.

"In small towns and big cities; young, old, black, white, Latino; our country should work for you and every American."

While Clinton supports comprehensive immigration reform, she still remains under the watchful eye of immigrant rights advocates.

As Latin Post reported, Clinton maintained her stance to deport undocumented immigrants who enter the U.S. She did clarify the stance, noting immigrant detainees should be heard, have their rightful day in immigration court but still maintain the message to families to not let their children travel north.

As president, Clinton said she will put additional resources for immigrants to have their due process and see if they have family already living in the U.S.

The Dream Action Coalition (DRC), a lobbying arm for undocumented youth, said Clinton's deportation comments were "unfortunate" and is not the answer to solve the immigration crisis. In a joint statement, DRC Co-directors Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas acknowledged the difficulties detained children are faced due to insufficient numbers of legal representation.

"Deporting children escaping violence is not the answer," Andiola and Vargas said. "Just like Ms. Clinton has met with Dreamers, we hope she can also meet with these children to listen to their stories so that she can truly understand why parents are sending their children to the U.S. Let's hope she can continue to evolve on this issue or face a even more skeptical Latino electorate."

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

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