Saturday, May 25, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: Hillary Clinton will fight for fair and effective immigration reform


In case some had any doubts about Hillary Clinton’s stance on immigration, they now have a very clear answer. The presidential contender said she will not rest until achieving true immigration reform that provides a clear path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. Hillary assured that she would not allow the partisanship that has overrun the debate over immigration to continue suppressing the dreams of millions of people, because she understands that the lives and the future of our families are not a political game or instrument.

In her first trip to the west coast, Clinton visited a high school in Nevada where 70 percent of the students are Latino. For Clinton, this visit is more than a symbolic gesture. Our community and its needs are not an afterthought, but rather a central focus of her campaign. During her visit, Clinton met with a group of DREAMERs to have an open dialogue about their experiences and challenges as undocumented immigrants. Perhaps the most impressive part of the conversation is that it truly highlighted the human aspect of this debate that too often reduces immigrants to a simple statistic.

If Clinton reaches the White House, her promise is simple, but concrete: she will do everything possible under the rule of law to fix our immigration system and will not allow Republican obstructionism to impede the aspirations and desires of millions of families. Clinton will not be satisfied with anything less than a “full and equal” path to citizenship. In contrast to her Republican opponents, Clinton will not abandon DREAMERs and their families and will defend the executive actions of President Obama. In the absence of Republican cooperation, she made it clear that she would be ready to go even farther than the President’s executive actions, and as such will bring a degree of relief and security to the rest of the immigrant community. Instead of dancing around the complexities of the system, Clinton recognizes that we must confront difficult situations to rectify a system that has caused the disintegration of so many families in our country.

Clinton’s vision for the United States recognizes that if we hope to progress as a nation and strengthen our families and communities, it is essential that we seek a lasting solution to our broken system. Unfortunately, many within the Republican camp do not share this vision. As the former Secretary of State noted, “not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one.” Even Senator Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, who have in the past supported citizenship, have given us the cold shoulder. Clinton astutely observed that the few Republicans who are willing to address the issue only speak of a very limited “legal status” that, in reality, only seeks to give these immigrants “second-class status.”

The hostility toward immigrants on the part of the GOP is undeniable, and I am afraid that it will continue rising if the Republicans continue ceding to the cries of its extremist base. The inconsistency and indifference that has characterized the way in which the Republican candidates talk about immigrants has caused a chronic sore in the relationship between the GOP and Latinos; an incurable sore that has at this time made any Republican candidate’s  path to the White House impossible.

This article originally appeared in Spanish in The Washington Hispanic.