Washington, Oct 16 (IANS) Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has pledged to work for immigration reform from the very first day in office, if she wins the presidency in 2016.
Clinton on Thursday said she will work for immigration reform that brings the millions of undocumented immigrants in the US out of the shadows, Efe news agency reported.
Clinton addressed the issue during a question-and-answer session in San Antonio with US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president Javier Palomarez who supports regularising the immigration status of undocumented migrants.
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, said if elected president, she will uphold and continue with the executive measures taken last November by President Barack Obama to legalise nearly half of the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the US.
She said comprehensive immigration reform where people are brought out of the shadows would be “good for our economy”.
The former first lady, who had frequently expressed her commitment to creating a path to citizenship for immigrants, said immigration reform would make the US labour market more efficient and exploitation of undocumented workers would stop.
To illustrate the benefits that changes in immigration policy would bring to the US economy, Clinton said currently undocumented migrants contribute $12 billion per year to social security without being able to benefit from it.
If immigration reform is approved, the contribution of those people would rise to $21 billion, she said.
The debate on immigration has become more intense due to comments by real estate magnate and Republican front-running presidential candidate Donald Trump, who proposes building a wall along the border with Mexico and deporting all undocumented foreigners.
Clinton said the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday evening stood in sharp contrast to the “prejudice and paranoia” that has been heard at the Republican debates.