Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton strongly endorsed President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration reform minutes after his speech concluded Thursday night.
“I support the president’s decision to begin fixing our broken immigration system and focus finite resources on deporting felons rather than families,” Clinton said in a statement.
Clinton had previously avoided weighing in on the issue as it became apparent the Obama planned to take executive action.
In her reaction to the president’s remarks, Clinton agreed with Obama’s claim House Republicans forced him to unilaterally address immigration reform. The Senate, which is currently controlled by Democrats, previously passed an immigration bill that stalled in the lower legislative chamber.
“I was hopeful that the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would spur the House of Representatives to act, but they refused even to advance an alternative. Their abdication of responsibility paved the way for this executive action, which follows established precedent from Presidents of both parties going back many decades. But, only Congress can finish the job by passing permanent bipartisan reform that keeps families together,” Clinton continued.
Clinton further urged the American public to take an even-keeled approach to the hot-button issue.
“Our disagreements on this important issue may grow heated at times, but I am confident that people of good will and good faith can yet find common ground. We should never forget that we’re not discussing abstract statistics we’re talking about real families with real experiences. We’re talking about parents lying awake at night afraid of a knock on the door that could tear their families apart, people who love this country, work hard, and want nothing more than a chance to contribute to the community and build better lives for themselves and their children,” she said.
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