Hillary Clinton was speaking at a Clinton Foundation forum for girls’ empowerment yesterday when a 19-year-old DREAMer told her story to the maybe-presidential contender, prompting Hillary to say that she’s a “huge supporter of immigration reform and a path to citizenship and will continue to advocate for that.”
Nova, the DREAMer, fought back tears as she told Clinton about how her family had come from Croatia when she was five years old:
I have a very different glass ceiling than some of the girls here. For the first time publicly I want to say that I am an undocumented immigrant. It’s been very hard because I don’t have the documentation to get a job, to vote—which is essential obviously to women representation—to buy an apartment, to take out a loan to go to college, so I couldn’t even go to my dream college because of that, to get no financial aid.
Clinton told Nova that she was “incredibly brave,” adding:
I believe strongly that we are missing a great opportunity by not welcoming people like you, and 11 million others who have made contributions to our country, into a legal status…
I think that’s a big missed opportunity for our country because part of the reason we’re going to do really well in the 21st century is because we are a nation of immigrants.
Clinton said she supports the Senate immigration bill but did not elaborate on legalization or deportations. Some immigration reform advocates have already made it clear that they will be pressing Clinton for her stance on Obama’s record rate of deportations. As Cesar Vargas of the DRM Action Coalition recently posed to Politico:
Will a President Hillary Clinton continue the enforcement machine from the Obama administration? Would she provide administrative relief that people are asking for right now? Would you keep my family together? That’s a very simple question that she has to answer.
Meanwhile, Steve King has already predictably weighed in on the episode, suggesting that Nova should self-deport:
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) April 18, 2014
Watch the interaction from yesterday below: