Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Hillary 2016 Platform, Part 2: Immigration Reform

Guest post by Lysis

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a roundtable of young Nevadans discussing immigration as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Nevada May 5, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike BlakeAs Hillary returns to the campaign trail this week, the series documenting her presidential platform continues. 

Part 1 of this series focused on Criminal Justice Reform.

This entry focuses on her policy positions and principles surrounding Immigration Reform.

Here's a quick recap of how these entries are organized:

Policy Proposals: Specific proposals that have been officially advocated by Hillary Rodham Clinton and her 2016 presidential campaign. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Issue Positions: Statements made in support or opposition of existing policies and legislation under consideration by the current administration and Congress. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Guiding Principles: Statements that indicate overarching principles that provide a framework for the candidacy as a whole and the concepts and ideals that will inform the development of specific policy proposals as the campaign unfolds. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Issue: Immigration Reform 

In Nevada on May 5, Clinton led a roundtable discussion with immigration activists, where she outlined her positions on many issues related to immigration.

She expanded on themes she had been touching upon through earlier public speaking engagements and through Twitter.

Her remarks were previously covered here.

Watch the Roundtable here.

Policy Proposals:

Full path to Citizenship for all Immigrants:
That’s why we can't wait any longer, we can’t wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. So I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for you and for families across our country.
Preserve and expand on President Obama's executive actions to include parents of DREAMERS and others:
I want to reiterate my strong support for the president's executive action because he had to act in the face of inaction that was not on the merits, but politically motivated for partisan reasons, which i think is not the way we should be solving our problems in our country...
I will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put DREAMers—including many with us today—at risk of deportation.
And, if Congress refuses to act, as President I will do everything possible under the law to go even further. 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. I’ll fight for them too.
The law currently allows for sympathetic cases to be reviewed, but right now most of these cases have no way to get a real hearing. Therefore we should put in place a simple, straightforward, and accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children.

Issue Positions:

Opposes "cruel deportation" practices and supports reunification of families impacted by deportation:
I will try to do everything I can to avoid family breakup, avoid the kind of terrible experience many families have gone through, because they were split up. Half of their family, or the breadwinner, is picked up and gone one day. It is not smart and it is not right. And still, [I will] try to go further like the unification of families that have been split up.
Opposes Republican attempts to create a legal status below citizenship:
Now, this is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistake: 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.”
Supports legal representation for undocumented immigrants, with the first priority being children and vulnerable communities:
I think people in the immigration system should be represented. We have made some progress on that, but not enough. I am in favor, particularly for young people, to have representation. I would like everyone to have it. If we can prioritize, I would like young people, people from vulnerable populations who would not have the support they need.
Opposes detention facilities being used for anyone other than violent offenders:
I'm very worried about detention facilities for people who are vulnerable, and for children. I think we could do a better job if we paid attention to people who have a record of violent behavior and that we have a different approach towards people who are not in that category. I do not think we should put children and vulnerable people into the facility because they are at risk. Their physical and mental health are at risk...
I think we have to do more to provide a safe environment for vulnerable populations. That certainly includes the LGBT community, children, and unaccompanied children. There are groups of people who deserve a higher level of care because of the situations they are finding themselves in.
Willing to use executive action to gain legal representation and change detention policy:
These are issues we should go as far as we can to get the resources to provide support and representation and change some of our detention processes within the kind of discretion the president has exercised with his executive orders.

Guiding Principles: 

Immigration Reform will be a top priority for her administration:
I pledge to you I will do everything I possibly can to make this an issue in the campaign but more importantly, when I am President, to put it on the top of my priority list.
Reform Detention Practices, Including Greater Protection for the most vulnerable:
I think we have to do more to provide safe environments for vulnerable populations, that certain includes the LGBT community, children . . . There are groups of people who deserve a higher level of care, because of the situations they find themselves in. I also think we have to reform our detention system. I’m not sure a lot of Americans know a lot of the detention facilities are run by private companies. They have a built-in incentive to fill them up. There is a actually a legal requirement that so many beds be filled. So people go out and round up people in order to get paid on a per day basis. That makes no sense to me. That is not the way we should be running any detention facility.
A full path to citizenship is required for an America that is united and secure:
Among the priorities I would be advocating for in the beginning would be comprehensive immigration reform. One of the reasons for that is, as Secretary of State, I saw what happened to countries that established a second-class status for people.
They do not feel they belong, or they have any allegiance to the country in which they live and work. They are never fully accepted. That is a recipe for divisiveness and disintegration.
My view is that we are a nation of immigrants. We have assimilated tens and tens of millions of people over the course of our history. We have eleven, twelve million people who are undocumented, the vast majority of whom have proven they want to be a citizen of this country, and we should put them on that path.
Those who say we can do reform, but not a path to citizenship, would be undermining what has made America unique. The way we have assimilated people. The way people feel loyal. The contributions they make.
This is not just the right thing to do for America. If you compare us to other countries that did not take that step, you can see what it has done to them. I don't want to go there.
Prioritize legalization for foreign students:
It is very shortsighted of us not to legalize students who graduate from college and can use their skills to make a good life for themselves, but also to give back.
We have thousands of foreign students come to our country every year. They get a great education in our colleges and universities and a lot of them stay.
I think this is the particular fix, in addition to the other fixes we have been talking about.
I read an article recently about a group of young, undocumented men who were really interested in technology and the entered a contest against kids from the best schools and companies and they won. So you have four kids who beat the best of the best and they could not do anything because they were undocumented.
I'm sitting there thinking, "What is wrong with this picture?"
We are in a global competition and I intend for us to win it. I'm not about to let anyone who can make a contribution to our economy and society get thrown away.
From my perspective we need to fix that, we need to remove the fear, and we need to make sure that we give every child a chance to do the best that he or she can.

The Hillary 2016 Platform 

Part 2: Immigration Reform Up Next: 

Part 3: Women's Rights


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