Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is working to win over immigrant interests in her bid for the office with a scheduled appearance to speak at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza later this month in Kansas City.
La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, could be a critical component for candidates in the race. The organization’s president and CEO, Janet Murguia, told an audience in February that the organization is ready to back those candidates who back President Obama’s executive action to provide relief to undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
“It is very clear that this issue will be front and center as we look at candidates who are emerging” in 2016 at the state and national levels, Murguia said. “This issue is of great importance to us as a community and as Latino voters, and it will be one of the top issues in which we use as a lens to determine our vote.”
With her plans to speak at the group’s convention it’s clear that Clinton plans to leverage her position to sway voters toward her candidacy and away from others in the race who also recognize the importance of including immigration policy in their platforms. Of course, as former secretary of state under President Obama, Clinton association with the executive orders might be perceived as tighter than that of other candidates.
Murgula said that La Raza is confident the president’s orders are on “solid legal footing” and that the organization helps walk undocumented immigrants through the appropriate amnesty program. She also said the group is ratcheting up its advocacy efforts within Latino communities ahead of the 2016 elections.
“Ultimately, we can determine which politicians stood on the side of the law and of history and our community and which ones did not,” Murgula said. She also predicted an “unprecedented effort to get out the vote as we see the presidential elections looming large in 2016.”
While Clinton support for the immigrant community is well known, other candidates are likewise aware of the importance of courting those who weren’t born with American citizenship. The issue also looks likely to be a top priority for Republicans.