Hillary Stakes Out Ground As More Pro-Immigrant Than Jeb

The Clinton campaign insists "second-class status" isn't good enough.


Hillary Clinton announces her 2016 campaign
Hillary Clinton / Facebook

If Jeb Bush is hoping to stand out from the Republican field with his support for a "path to legal status" for 11 million undocumented immigrants, the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is hoping to stand out from Jeb with her support for a path all the way to citizenship. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Hillary Clinton, making her first visit to Nevada since she announced her 2016 presidential run, will call for a path to citizenship for some 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, and contrast that position with Republican contenders who stop short of that stance. …

"She will say that the standard for a true solution is nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship," said a Clinton aide, previewing her remarks. "She will say that we cannot settle for proposals that provide hardworking people with merely a 'second-class' status."

This is pretty clearly an attempt by the former secretary of state to place herself to the left of Bush, the current GOP frontrunner, who has been making a sustained effort to court Hispanic voters the past few weeks. His wife Columba is a Mexican immigrant, and it's well-known that the former Florida governor speaks Spanish fluently. Earlier today, in fact, he posted a video to his Facebook page wishing "his friends of Mexican origin" a happy Cinco de Mayo and celebrating the "great contributions of the Mexican-American community to our country."

Clinton's support for comprehensive immigration reform is nothing new, but her insistence that full citizenship and not merely legal status must be the outcome is a stronger position than the one she campaigned on eight years ago. "We need to bring the immigrants out of the shadows, give them the conditions that we expect them to meet," she said during a 2008 primary debate. "If they had committed a crime, then they should be deported. But for everyone else, there must be a path to legalization. I would introduce that in the first 100 days of my presidency."