Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would make it easier for immigrants to secure citizenship in a meeting with New York activists Wednesday, vowing to use her campaign to “knock down all the barriers.”
“The hassle of becoming a citizen is sometimes overwhelming,” Clinton said, referring to the millions of immigrants in the United States who are eligible for citizenship but have not applied. “We should not add a series of barriers.”
“I’m using this campaign to knock down all the barriers,” she added.
Clinton touted her plan to create a new federal agency called the Office of Immigration Affairs to streamline services to both legal and illegal immigrants in the Manhattan meeting, which was timed just ahead of a New York primary in which support of the Latino community will be important.
She made the remarks to about 10 representatives of New York’s immigrant communities, including a number of illegal immigrants, and representatives from immigrant advocacy groups. The New York State Immigrant Action Fund, one of the largest of those groups in the area, endorsed Clinton at the meeting.
In addition to the new agency, Clinton promised to devote more money to immigrants so they could be educated and know their options to obtain legal status and citizenship and “do much more to further our goal of integration.”
“Let’s make this a high priority,” she said.
Her ideas would build on President Barack Obama’s new White House task force already working to streamline immigrant services and encourage them to sign up for legal benefits and apply for citizenship. (RELATED: Boston Partners With Feds To Market Citizenship To Illegals)
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