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Clinton to call for 'full and equal path to citizenship'

Published:Wednesday | May 6, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Hillary Rodham Clinton, a 2016 Democratic presidential contender,

LAS VEGAS (AP):

Hillary Rodham Clinton intends to draw an early distinction with Republicans on illegal immi-gration, pointing to a pathway to citizenship as an essential part of any overhaul in Congress.

Clinton was laying the foundation of her immigration agenda yesterday in her first stop in Nevada since launching her presidential campaign. After years of delays in Congress, Latinos and immigration activists are watching Clinton's statements closely for signs of how she might break a legislative logjam on immigration and whether she would extend President Barack Obama's executive actions to shield millions of immigrants from deportation.

"We hope that she leans in and really issues a challenge on the issue," said Clarissa Martinez-De-Castro, deputy vice-president of the National Council of La Raza.

Clinton, a Democrat, has backed Obama's unsuccessful pitch for a comprehensive immigration overhaul, including a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally, and supported his announcement last year halting deportations of certain immigrants.

The issue could be pivotal in the 2016 race. Obama received strong support from Hispanic voters during his two presidential bids and immigration turned into a stumbling block for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who received only 27 per cent of the Hispanic vote in 2012 and struggled in battleground states like Florida, Colorado and Nevada where Latinos are influential.