- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Wednesday said he would do more than President Obama on immigration reform — including stopping most deportations — because he would be a leader rather than a follower of opinion polls.

The former Maryland governor said that to forge a consensus for comprehensive immigration reform, America needs “not leadership that follows public opinion but leadership that leads public opinion.”

“So that’s what I plan to do,” he said at a question-and-answer forum hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. O’Malley, who entered the race Saturday, provided the biting critique of Mr. Obama’s leadership when asked by a reporter what he would do differently on Mr. Obama, who pro-immigrant activists derisively call the deporter-in-chief.

Mr. O’Malley said he would also work better with Congress than the current occupant of the White House.

“We need comprehensive immigration reform and we need to engage with all our members of Congress to make that happen. And that’s what I intend to do,” he said. “There’s no magic wand, there’s no easy button for this. We have to talk with one another.”

Mr. O’Malley also took a veiled shot at Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying that Hispanic voters should look at the candidates’ records when assessing their commitment to immigration reform.

Mrs. Clinton has promised to do nearly everything demanded by pro-immigration activists, including expanding Mr. Obama’s deportation amnesty and giving all illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. But she previously opposed immigration moves such as giving driver’s licenses to illegals when she was a senator from New York.

Among many pro-immigrant actions by Mr. O’Malley, he signed legislation giving driver’s licenses to undocumented residents in Maryland.

“One of the greatest indicators of a person’s future actions would be how they acted in the past when they had the power.”

Mr. O’Malley faces a steep uphill battle against Hillary Rodham Clinton, who towers above all the competition as the all-but-inevitable Democratic nominee.



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