In a live interview which aired Tuesday, Hillary Clinton told noted Spanish-language radio host Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo that the country has “to move on comprehensive immigration reform immediately” and that if she were elected President, Clinton would “present legislation to the Congress within the first 100 days” of her presidency.
Clinton also said that the border is “very secure” and that United States doesn’t “need any more security, including a beautiful new high wall” which Republican candidate has been promoting in his platform.
Some key portions of the interview are transcribed below:
Piolín: I interviewed President Obama eight years ago when you were running against him. Ms. Secretary, would life have been different for immigrants if you had been elected President?
Clinton: Well, I think what we’ve learned is we have to move on comprehensive immigration reform immediately. And I have said that I will present legislation to the Congress within the first 100 days of my presidency. I will work as hard as we possibly can to make sure that we get consideration and action. I will also be adding to the President’s executive orders to protect DACA and DAPA and I will look for ways to end the raids and the round-ups. I will, you know, be very focused on keeping families together and doing everything I can to make sure that our undocumented neighbors have a path to citizenship. So this is going to be an immediate and focused effort of my presidency.
P: Since 1986, only President Reagan, a Republican, has delivered on his promise of passing immigration reform. How is it that you will be able to deliver on immigration reform?
C: Well, I think that we know that if I win this election, it will send a very strong message to Republicans that they had better change their views about immigration reform or they will not be back in the White House, because you know, we know, Latino Americans are looking at this issue very closely…
P: My next question is: How can we get the majority of Americans to agree that immigration reform is in the best interest of America?
C: That’s an excellent question, and that’s why I want to start as early as possible, making the case. You know there is a lot of evidence that most Americans don’t know, and I want to educate the majority of Americans. You know, most Americans don’t know that hardworking immigrants contribute 12 billion dollars a year to our Social Security system. So there’s a lot of information that we have to continue to present so we convince the majority of Americans and their elected Representatives that this is very much in America’s interest. We’re a nation of immigrants, our economy really depends upon the hard work of the 11 or 12 million undocumented people and we can be stronger by having comprehensive immigration reform.
P: Can you promise, Secretary Clinton, today, that if you secure the border, that your wall will not be as high and beautiful as Donald Trump’s?
H: That’s a very good question. You know… I think people should understand that we have invested a lot of money in the last 15 years in border security. The border is, in my view, very secure and we now need to turn to comprehensive immigration reform. We don’t need any more security, including a beautiful new high wall, which is being promoted by Mr. Trump.