Clinton Pledges Fast-Track Immigration Bill, Economic Boost for Blacks, Latinos

Suzanne Gamboa and Sandra Lilley, NBC News, August 5, 2016

Trying to win the first election since President Barack Obama galvanized black and brown voters to put him in office, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton told the nation’s largest gathering of African American and Hispanic journalists she sees a political landscape favorable for immigration reform and promised programs for economic empowerment of minorities.

In a rare news conference, Clinton said a win by her in November would send a clear message to Republicans “that it is time for them to quit standing in the way of immigration reform.”

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“I see the political landscape as increasingly favorable to making this happen,” Clinton said in response to a question from Telemundo’s Lori Montenegro, one of two journalists who opened the questions from the rest of the audience.

Clinton urged people to vote not only for president, but also for House and Senate candidates, making clear that minority turnout would make it far easier for her to deliver on immigration and other issues.

Clinton, who has promised to propose an immigration bill within its first 100 days, said she had already spoken to former Senate colleagues who she said had assured her “this will be fast tracked.”

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Discussing the profound loss of wealth by blacks (50 percent drop) and Latinos (66 percent), Clinton called raising economic conditions for the groups, “part of the long continuing struggle for civil rights.”

She said she would take up a plan pushed by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., that calls for 10 percent of rural development investments to be made in places where at least 20 percent of the population has lived in poverty for 30 years are more. This is a proposal Clyburn had floated as part of the legislation to recover from the Great Recession but was not included in recovery legislation.

Citing the high unemployment rates among black and Latino youths, she reiterated her campaign platform of investing $20 billion to create jobs for young people, pledged to help black and Latino enterprises get access to capital.

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