Hillary Clinton announced perhaps her most ambitious plan yet for immigration reform Friday, including a vow to “end deportation” for millions of illegal immigrants in the United States if elected president. In turn, Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign claimed Clinton intends to assume “king-like powers” that would harm Americans.
Clinton, speaking before a National Associations of Black and Hispanic Journalists gathering in Washington, said she intends to introduce legislation within the first 100 days of her potential administration that will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy.
The Democratic presidential nominee also urged potential voters to help Democrats retake the Senate in November, claiming assurances that they would “fast track her proposal.”
“This is a clear high priority for my administration,” she said. “We will be prepared to introduce legislation as quickly as we can …Trump plans to round up immigrants … We will not be deporting families.”
Clinton's comments suggested that she would follow President Obama’s example of taking executive action on immigration reform.
The Supreme Court in June split 4-4 on Obama’s 2014 plan to defer deportation for roughly 4.3 million parents of Americans and other lawful permanent residents.
The ruling sent the case back to a lower court. But Clinton, like Trump, would attempt to appoint a justice for the high court’s ninth and open seat to help win favorable decisions on such issues.
“Hillary believes DAPA is squarely within the president’s authority and won’t stop fighting until we see it through,” states Clinton’s campaign website, which also says she intends to defend the president’s 2012 executive action to defer deportation for millions of people brought into the United States illegally by their parents.
The Clinton campaign did not immediatley respond Saturday to a request for comment.
Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller -- who as a staffer from Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions helped defeat a bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill -- issued a five-page statement on Friday attacking Clinton’s policies dating back to May 2015. The Senate bill died in the GOP-controlled House.
Clinton has vowed since essentially the start of her campaign to make immigration reform a first-100-day priority. And Trump, who has vowed to build a wall along the southern U.S. border to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants, has said Clinton’s plan is tantamount to amnesty for those in the U.S. illegally and that she would “totally open borders.”
Trump, in the wake of several deadly attacks inspired or directed by ISIS, called for a temporary ban on all Muslims into the U.S. The Republican presidential nominee has since suggested a ban only for Muslims coming from such Middle East terror hotspots as Syria.
Miller, whose has long argued that “amnesty” — legal working status for some of the country's estimate 11 million illegal immigrants — would take away jobs from unemployed Americans, argued on Friday that Clinton’s first-100-day pledge is also dangerous.
“Her pledge — in the middle of a national security and a border security crisis” — demonstrates her callous and cruel disregard for the safety of the American people,” Miller wrote.
“This administration has released hundreds of thousands of criminal illegal immigrants, and yet Clinton says she wants to go even further, ending virtually all deportations and ending all protections Americans have against open borders.”