Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that she supports securing U.S. borders as well as enforcing labor laws for immigrants already here.
Mrs. Clinton was asked Monday by a voter in New Hampshire about her thoughts on illegal immigration and securing the Mexican border.
“Well look, I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in,” the former secretary of state answered during a town hall event at a high school in Windham. “And I do think you have to control your borders. But I think that it’s also true that we need to do more to try to, number one, deal with the people who are already here, many of whom have been here for decades.
“We need to secure our borders. I’m for it, I voted for it, I believe in it, and we also need to deal with the families, the workers who are here, who have made contributions, and their children,” she continued. “Mexican immigration no longer is really the issue. The Mexican economy is doing well enough, we’ve had no net Mexican immigration in the last several years. We now get immigrants from Central America and Latin America, and a lot of them make a very dangerous trip with smugglers and traffickers to try to get in to our country. And we need to do more to try to put some resources into those countries to try to deal with some of the conditions, particularly the violence, the drug dealers and the like, that create that.
Mrs. Clinton went on to argue that in addition to securing the border, the government needs to give the 11 million illegal immigrants who are already here a path to citizenship to bring them “out of the shadows.”
“Because we will have a better economic outcome if we do that because what happens now is if you’re undocumented, you will work for as little as you can be paid,” she said. “And that influences the labor market and takes away jobs from Americans because there’s no even playing field. If we get them out of the shadows and we enforce the labor laws, we will see a much better labor market for Americans and we will also see much more contribution into the Social Security and Medicare system, as well as the taxes. I mean right now we know that undocumented workers pay into the Social Security system, many billions of dollars, but it could be even more.”