Hillary Clinton is enlisting undocumented “Dreamers” into a new voter registration drive aimed at signing up sympathetic voters with warnings that Donald Trump’s immigration plans could result in their deportation – though the Dreamers themselves cannot legally vote.
Clinton's national voter registration program, called "Mi Sueño, Tu Voto/My Dream, Your Vote," was announced Sunday, on the four-year anniversary of the 2012 order that temporarily shielded from deportation some young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
The 730,000 young people known as Dreamers are prohibited from voting. However, they remain a powerful political organizing force, and the Clinton campaign hopes to use them to convince Latino and other households to go to the polls for the Democratic nominee.
Organizers will remind voters that a Trump presidency would end the Dreamer program, according to the campaign, which is already at risk after a June Supreme Court effectively killed Obama's efforts to give legal status to some of the 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
The program is part of an aggressive effort by Clinton's campaign to woo the record 27.3 million Latinos eligible to vote in 2016. Polling shows Trump doing worse with Latino voters than any GOP presidential candidate since 1996. Much of the new effort will focus on battleground states including Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida, where Latinos and other immigrants make up an important part of the voting base.
Though Obama's campaign had no formal organization program for Dreamers, door-knocking by those young immigrants, who have lived and attended school in the U.S., helped mobilize many Latino voters who could vote.
Clinton believes she can harness their power in a more formal way, particularly given her opponent. Trump's immigration rhetoric has sparked outrage and fear within the Latino community, though the Republican nominee says it's critical that the country start rigorously enforcing its immigration laws.
He's promised to revoke Obama's executive orders within the first 100 days of his presidency, calling them the "most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president."
Clinton has made revamping the country's immigration system a key plank of her presidential campaign. She has said she will introduce legislation during her first 100 days in office, vowed to restore and expand Obama's programs, close private sector detention centers and to "take a very hard look at the deportation policies" now in force.
Last month, she called on Latino voters to help stop what she called GOP rival Donald Trump's efforts to "fan the flames of racial division."
The following is the full Clinton campaign statement on the latest program, per The Washington Examiner:
On DACA's Four- Year Anniversary, Hillary for America Launches National Voter Registration Program, "Mi Sueno, Tu Voto"
On the four- year anniversary tomorrow when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals' (DACA) enrollment began, Hillary for America is launching a national voter registration program, "Mi Sueno, Tu Voto" (My Dream, Your Vote), to organize DREAMers to mobilize their communities and ask voters to consider what is at stake for their families in November. "DREAMers have played a pivotal role in our campaign, advocating for families who constantly live in fear of deportation — so we've created a program that aims to turn these stories into action," said Lorella Praeli, National Director of the Latino Vote. The program calls on DREAMers across the country to join the campaign's grassroots efforts to secure commitments from their community to vote for their future in November.
"We founded this program on the premise that, one by one — through friends, families, co-workers or classmates — DREAMers' futures would be considered on Election day, " stated Praeli." "We may not have the right to vote, but "Mi Sueno, Tu Voto" will help ensure that our stories are heard and it will send a clear signal to Donald Trump that we cannot be silenced," said Astrid Silva, Nevada DREAMer and immigrant rights activist. Hillary for America will be holding events across the country this week, including in Florida, Nevada and North Carolina, to unveil the program. "Mi Sueno, Tu Voto" will also serve to remind voters of Donald Trump's hateful and dangerous agenda, highlighting his pledge to eliminate DACA and deport millions of DREAMers and immigrant families.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.