Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will call for a full path to citizenship for illegal immigrants at an event Tuesday in Nevada, as she goes all-in on the issue in pursuit of Hispanic votes.
Mrs. Clinton is expected to say in her remarks that a “true solution” to the country’s immigration problems would include “nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship,” according to a campaign advisory provided to Reuters.
She will stress during a stop at a Las Vegas high school that any proposal that stops short of opening a route to citizenship is “merely a ‘second-class’ status,” said the advisory.
The path to citizenship for illegal immigrants has been one of the most contentious pieces of the reform debate.
Republicans have demanded more border security before giving any of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in America a shot at citizenship.
Mrs. Clinton’s announcement will complete her break from the tough immigration policies of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
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As a senator she voted for a path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants in both 2006 and 2007 — though neither of those bills became law.
More recently, she has voiced support for President Obama’s executive action that sought to grant deportation amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants.A federal judge blocked the executive action from taking effect and the issue is being fought in the courts.
Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, the only other declared Democratic presidential candidate, also supports a path to citizenship.
On the Republican side, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush support citizenship rights for illegal immigrants. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did support citizenship, but has since backed away from that stance.