DREAMers and pro-amnesty advocates are not yet ready for Hillary.
After Hillary Clinton’s Sunday announcement, DREAMers demanded assurances that Clinton will not deport their parents.
Maria Fernanda Cabello of the United We Dream organization told Fusion that since her parents did not qualify for President Barack Obama’s most recent executive amnesty, “I want to hear from her how she’s going to make sure that they’re able to be protected from deportation and can move out of the shadows.”
“Also, for Obama’s announcement, all she did was tweet her support, but outside of that, we haven’t heard much from her. Every time Dreamers in Iowa would confront her, she never said much about the program,” she added.
Cabello’s group, United We Dream, also declared that it was “eagerly awaiting her immigration policy – because we still don’t know what it is.”
“Our community expects any Presidential contender to aggressively defend and expand deferred action and make a firm commitment to reduce deportations, reform the out-of-control immigration enforcement agencies and use the full power of their presidency to advance and pass legislation to give citizenship to our entire community,” the group’s director said in a statement.
Martin Negrete told Fusion he “would like for her to step out publicly, state if she’s going to keep supporting DACA and DAPA, and if she’s going to keep fighting for immigration reform.” He noted that, “there’s a little bit of a loss of credibility with her fighting for immigration reform” and “there are some things where she’s been kind of contradicting herself with these issues.
Olivia Vazquez reportedly wanted to know, “What are her views on DACA? Does she promise that she’s going to keep it intact the way it is?” She also said that, “people who already have DACA, they’re safe from deportations, but there’s other people who are not, just like my mom, who has been here for a long time. They pay taxes, they contribute to the economy. What’s a way that she can stop their deportations?”
Recently, two prominent pro-amnesty activists signed a MoveOn.org letter urging Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who urged La Raza members in 2014 to get louder for amnesty legislation, to challenge Clinton, who thanked President Barack Obama last year for ushering in his executive amnesty program and has called for comprehensive amnesty legislation.
Arturo Carmona, the executive director of Presente Action, and Erika Andiola, the Dream Action Coalition co-director who has confronted Republicans like Rep. Steve King (R-IA), wrote that they wanted leaders that will “protect the most vulnerable in our population including impoverished Americans, women, children and immigrants to reduce social and economic inequality.”
“Contested primaries test and strengthen candidates and ensure progressives have a chance to make our voices heard,” the wrote. “Having a real debate is what democracy is all about.”
Andiola recently told BuzzFeed that the “letter is saying to the Democratic Party not to put all of their resources to Clinton, to make it so other folks have a chance” while Carmona said there are still some activists who do not want to “cross” Clinton, whom they view as the inevitable nominee.
Last year, after Hillary Clinton said that illegal immigrants who were flooding across the border from Central America should be sent home, DREAMers crashed two Clinton events and Andiola vowed that “One of the targets in the long run is going to be Hillary.”
During the 2008 election cycle, Clinton’s downfall arguably started when she tried to have it both ways on the question of whether illegal immigrants should receive driver’s licenses.
Clinton had indicated that she thought then-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to award driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants “made sense.” In a 2007 Democratic primary debate, moderator Tim Russert bluntly asked if she believed that illegal immigrants should receive driver’s licenses. When asked to clarify her stance, Clinton initially tried to deflect the question and slam President George W. Bush for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Clinton ultimately replied, “We want people to come out of the shadows.”