The below is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to Hillary Clinton’s speech today at the national convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC):
“Hillary Clinton today outlined a welcoming vision for America and its millions of immigrant families – a vision in line with the views and policy preferences of a strong majority of Americans. In her LULAC speech, Clinton offered a sharp contrast with the overt nativism of Donald Trump, evidence of the continued positive evolution of Democrats on immigration, and a reminder that this November’s elections are shaping up as a referendum on immigration and the larger contrasting visions of what type of America we aspire to.
Throughout her campaign, Hillary Clinton has made clear that she will fight for a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans as a top priority for her presidency. Yet she also recognizes that, given Republican intransigence on immigration reform, a renewed legislative push must be complemented with a willingness to implement and expand executive action policies, including initiatives to provide work permits, as well as reforms to rein in unjust deportations that continue to break apart families.
Notably, today’s speech is a further reminder of the welcome and seismic shift for the Democratic Party on immigration from the not so distant past. Not long ago, a number of Democrats viewed immigration as a wedge issue Republicans wielded against them. Often, they decided the best strategy was avoidance; and that, if they had to talk policy, they should emphasize enforcement-focused stances. This school of thought was wrong on its merits, short-sighted in its politics, and helped contribute to reckless and heartbreaking levels of deportation under the current Democratic Administration.
While the pro-immigrant movement will continue to challenge Hillary Clinton and other Democrats to live up to their promises and pledges, today’s speech is a welcome reminder that the party and its new standard bearer recognize the new politics of immigration.
With Donald Trump running the most hateful and openly nativist political campaign in modern American history, the stakes could not be higher for November, for the future of immigration reform, and for the future viability of the American experiment.”