Hillary Clinton has decided, early in the campaign, to take the fight over immigration reform directly to Republicans. In a visit to Rancho High School in Las Vegas, on May 5, Clinton said that her plans for dealing with immigration will expand what President Obama has done.
“If Congress continues to refuse to act, as president I would do everything possible under the law to go even further,” Clinton told the small group that was assembled in the school’s library, according to the Huffington Post.
President Obama’s actions on immigration have been the subject of repeated attacks by Republicans. On Tuesday, Clinton defended him. “He had to act in the face of inaction that was not on the merits but politically motivated for partisan reasons,” she said.
Clinton had harsh words for those who want to deport all undocumented immigrants. She said, regarding the idea that the U.S. could deport some 11 million people,
I once calculated, when I was in the Senate, how much money it would cost, how many buses would be required. It’s beyond absurd.
Taking a page out of the Republican playbook, Clinton framed immigration reform as a family issue. She directed a good deal of her comments to “Dreamers,” the young, undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents as children. Sitting at a table along with several Dreamers, she said,
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. So I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.
Clinton also pointed out that no Republican candidate has come out in support of a path to citizenship. Instead, she observed, Republicans talk about “legal status,” which she said was “code” for “second class status.”
Here’s are some highlights from Clinton’s remarks, via the Associated Press:
Featured image via screen shot from the Associated Press