Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Immigrants Have Changed the Democratic Party

Clinton immigration
Hillary Clinton speaks with students about immigration during an event at Rancho High School in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
What a difference a disastrous midterm election makes. Before the 2014 vote, conventional wisdom in the Democratic Party still counseled political caution on immigration reform. Last summer, few were surprised when President Obama delayed announcing deportation relief until after the November vote; it was the kind of reluctant leadership the modern party has shown consistently on immigration. But less than a month into her campaign, Hillary Clinton struck a markedly different tone.
Clinton met with a group of undocumented students on May 5 and described an agenda that reflects just how much has changed since 2008. Young immigrants, in particular, are done waiting for politicians to catch up to the reality of their lives, and their rightful impatience fuels a movement that’s forcing the issue for Democrats and Republicans alike.
Clinton staged her meeting at the same Las Vegas high school where Obama announced his executive actions last November. These would grant legal status to as many as 5 million people, including some parents whose children were born as US citizens. A federal judge in Texas blocked those moves pending the outcome of a challenge to the president’s authority. Clinton said she not only supports Obama’s actions but would extend relief to parents of undocumented children, too. She called for the reunification of families already split up by deportation, questioned the safety of for-profit detention centers, and made a full-throated case for understanding immigration reform as a family-values issue. She stuck to the Democratic line that the first, best answer is a comprehensive reform law, but she was bullish about the authority she’d wield in the absence of congressional action.
Via: The Nation
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