Sanders, Clinton pledge citizenship, deportation relief to immigrants during debate

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Immigration dominated the Democratic presidential debate in Miami Wednesday night, with immigrants expected to comprise a big portion of the electorate in the Florida primary on March 15.

In the event hosted by Spanish-language network Univision and carried on CNN, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both expressed support for comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Clinton expressed, “Of the people, the undocumented people living in our country, I do not want to see them deported. I want to see them on a path to citizenship. That is exactly what I will do.”

For his part, Sanders said, “I will not deport children from the United States of America.” He also pledged not to deport immigrants who don’t have criminal records.

But both candidates squared off over various past positions on immigration. Clinton slammed Sanders for opposing a bipartisan effort to reform the country’s broken immigration system in 2007. “We had Republican support. We had a president willing to sign it. I voted for that bill. Senator Sanders voted against it. Just think, imagine where we would be today if we had achieved comprehensive immigration reform nine years ago,” stated Clinton.

That year, Sanders argued that allowing millions of undocumented immigrants into the country would bring down wages and said he opposed the bill because it lacked protections for guest workers.

During the debate, Sanders fired back at Clinton, saying she aimed to block drivers’ licenses for undocumented workers in 2008. Sanders pointed out, “Secretary Clinton prevailed upon the Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who wanted to do the right thing. And provide driver license to those who are undocumented. She said don’t do it, and New York State still does not do it.”

Clinton said that while she supports it now, she would rather focus on going beyond drivers’ licenses, by fighting for citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

In the end, both candidates found a common enemy in the debate last night — Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump, taking turns in slamming him about his remarks against immigrants and his pledge to deport all undocumented immigrants in the country.

“The American people are never going to elect a president who insults Mexicans, who insults Muslims, who insults women, who insults African Americans,” remarked Sanders.

Clinton added, “I was the first one to call him out, I called him out when he was calling Mexicans rapists, when he was engaging in rhetoric that I found deeply offensive, I said basta!”

Of the March 15 primaries, Florida will offer the largest chunk of the delegates. Clinton and Sanders will be competing for a share of those 214 delegates. Four other states will go to the polls that day.

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    13 March 2016 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Sanders and Clinton, are nuts how in the hell both of you want to help the illegal people in America, they broke the law in America they shouldn’t be here in America at all. Look is it only the votes that both of you want. I’m not voting for both of you, because your not helping the Americans at all only making the Americans look like fools. That’s OK Donald Trump will win and throw this illegal people out of America, because he got “BIG BALLS.” And Clinton and Sanders is “DUMMY.” No brains at all.