This week, Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tackled immigration reform. On Tuesday, in Las Vegas, the 2016 presidential hopeful spoke about an issue that she says is dear to her heart. Children and families effected by the lack of true immigration reform is something Clinton feels needs to be addressed. She told audience members that she would go beyond and above President Obama’s executive order and would protect the thousand of families facing deportation.
President Obama’s executive action that protects DREAMers from deportation did not extend to their parents. Obama had proposed extending protection to those parents but after consulting the Justice Department of Legal Council (OLC), held back on doing so due to the belief that it would not be legal. Clinton, on the other hand, said that she would do everything she could under the law to protect the parents of DREAMers, and other undocumented immigrants with strong ties to the communities if Congress does not pass comprehensive immigration reform. She said they deserve a chance to stay, and that she will fight for them.
Clinton went on to tackle the issue of immigration even further, discussing her concerns about detentions systems, worried about children and other vulnerable people in those centers. She believes that by focusing attention on individuals with violent criminal records, a better job could be done. She called for full and equal citizenship for undocumented immigrants, saying that providing a pathway not for citizenship but instead for legal status is “code” for “second class status”. Clinton has also endorsed driver licenses for undocumented immigrants. Her remarks allowed her to show people her forceful stance on immigration reform, with her position on the issue putting her even further to the left of President Obama.
While Clinton has still not given specifics on her plans for immigration reform, she did touch on issues that many immigrants find important, issues such as reforming unsound “mandate quotas”. She pointed out that many detention facilities are run by private companies. She stated that because of this, there is a motive to fill them up. The Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agency detains about 34,000 undocumented immigrants a day in detention facilities across the country. Opponents of the provisions in the budget often say that it sets up a quota system, believing that a certain amount of immigrants need to detained. Proponents say that it is a useful tool that makes ICE use resources to detain and deport dangerous criminals. Clinton could use alternative methods that are less restrictive to detain immigrants.
Clinton has made her stance on other issues such as same-sex marriage clear; she supports it now, which is a change from her previous position of marriage being between a man and a woman. Unlike back in 2007, when she avoided controversial issues, she is now taking a strong stance.
Hilary Clinton tackling the immigration issue and other controversial subjects, with a more firm stance on the issues then she has had in the past, seems to be working. Polls show that among Democrats her likeability has risen. Four out of five Democrats find her to be trustworthy and honest. They believe that she shares the same values as most in America, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.
By Jessica Hamel
Photo by Boss Tweed-Creativecommons flickr License