Hillary Clinton pledges to take on Immigration Reform in first 100 days

Hillary Clinton pledges to take on Immigration Reform in first 100 days

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has pledged to introduce comprehensive immigration reform, including stapling a green card to the diploma of every foreign STEM graduate, within the first 100 days after taking office, according to a fact sheet released by her campaign’s AAPI policy committee July 26.

The candidate reiterated her pledge on the closing night of the Democratic National Convention July 28, as she accepted her party’s nomination. “We will build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy,” she said, to cheers from the large audience at the Wells Fargo Convention Center.

“I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together and it’s the right thing to do,” said Clinton.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had told voters in Nevada that she would address immigration reform in the first 100 days of her presidency. “This is at the top of the list,” Clinton said during an MSNBC/Telemundo town hall, two days before Nevada’s Democratic caucus. “It’s going to be introduced, and then I’m going to work as hard as I can to make sure we get it moved through the congressional process. I can control the introduction of legislation, but Congress has to get its act in gear. That’s why we need to elect a Democratic senate so we have some friends.”

“I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together and it’s the right thing to do,” said Clinton.

The AAPI policy committee fact sheet stated that Clinton would offer a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented residents currently residing in the U.S. “Asian immigrants make up 11 percent of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, the vast majority of whom have lived in the U.S. for over a decade,” according to the fact sheet.

Clinton has pledged to support President Barack Obama’s beleaguered executive orders – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and an expanded version of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – which he announced in November 2014. Twenty-six states immediately sued, noting the costs of issuing thousands of new drivers’ licenses and challenging the constitutionality of the proposal. The Supreme Court was split in its ruling on the case June 23, and threw the issue back to a lower court.

At a recent New America Media briefing on immigration reform July 7, Sally Kinoshita, deputy director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, told India-West that Indian Americans would be the second largest group of immigrants to benefit from the proposed DACA/DAPA initiative. Currently, an estimated 284,000 undocumented Indian nationals reside in the U.S. About 40 percent of them would have benefitted from the president’s deportation relief program, which provides work authorization, the ability to obtain a driver’s license, as well as relief from deportation.

Clinton has also proposed clearing the back-log on family-based visas. In some categories, Indians waiting to enter the U.S. to be reunited with family members face a delay of more than a decade.

The former secretary of state has also proposed the first-ever federal Office of Immigrant Affairs to “ensure there is a dedicated place in the White House where integration policies and services for immigrants and refugees are managed.”

Clinton has also pledged to support small businesses by expanding access to capital, providing tax relief, expanding access to new markets and fighting discrimination in the lending market. Noting that AAPI women face a larger wage gap – 86 cents for every dollar a white male earns – Clinton has promised to break down barriers that AAPI women face in achieving pay equity, and to ensure that all women are on equal footing with men.

She has also pledged to combat bullying of Asian American school children. In her prime-time speech to the nation, Clinton promised that her administration would reflect America’s diverse populations.

Clinton’s comments marked a more aggressive embrace of immigration reform. A few months ago, the Democratic presidential front-runner, while pledging to provide a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants.

“As president, she will build on President Obama’s progress of appointing AAPIs throughout the executive branch. From special assistants to cabinet members, AAPIs will play a key role in helping to shape her administration and its policy priorities,” the policy committee noted in its fact sheet.

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