Washington, D.C. – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed the annual convention of the country's oldest Latino organization late Thursday morning, where she reaffirmed her commitment to extend deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants and to put a comprehensive immigration reform bill with a path to legalization before Congress in her first 100 days in office.
Clinton spoke at the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Convention and Exposition in Washington, D.C., telling the 1,4000 mostly Hispanic activists and leaders, "of course, Latinos will help shape the future of America, because you are the future of America."
Clinton reaffirmed her commitment to Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) – a plan that would extend deportation protection millions of people in the country illegally, which a deadlocked Supreme Court decision last month effectively killed.
“I know how painful it was,” she told the crowd. “So many families hoped it would be different … We must do everything to keep families that are already here together."
She stated to enthusiastic applause, "DAPA is squarely within the president's authority."
Clinton vowed to go further and establish “a simple, straight-forward system by which people with sympathetic cases or a history of service to their communities can make their case and be eligible for deferred action.”
The former Secretary of State spent much of her time lashing out at the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump for his stance on immigration.
“The Republicans plan to put into nomination a man whose idea of Latino outreach is tweeting a picture of a taco bowl. Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president of the United States," she said to a standing ovation.
The candidate said she intends during her first 100 days in office to introduce legislation for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship and addressing all aspects of the system, from those who are already in the country to those who will come here … seeking refuge from violence.”
Clinton also called out her GOP opponent for his attacks on the integrity of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge assigned to a lawsuit alleging fraud at the defunct Trump University.
"Judge Curiel was born in Indiana – last time I checked that was part of United States," Clinton said. "But [Trump] called him a Mexican judge over and over again … Curiel is as American as I am, and as American as Donald Trump!"
Clinton closed by telling the crowd, “You are not strangers. You are not intruders. You are our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends, our families. You make our nation stronger, smarter, more creative, And together we must send a resounding message to Donald Trump in November.”
“This is your election,” she said.
Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed the convention earlier Thursday morning, when he pointed out to the crowd that the party’s platform “promises an end to private prisons and private detention centers.Private corporations should not be making a profit off immigrants.”
The U.S. senator from Vermont, who ended a bitter primary battle with Clinton earlier this week by endorsing the former Secretary of State, added that the platform also promises to “end inhumane deportation round-ups and eliminate all arbitrary deportations.”
Trump's promises to build a wall along the Southern border and create a special deportation force to catch undocumented immigrants have alienated many Latino leaders and activists.
The GOP candidate is not scheduled to address the convention.