First Democratic presidential debate puts immigration reform in the spotlight

The first Democratic presidential debate was held in Las Vegas and featured five candidates who are all hoping to get the party’s endorsement. Right now, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are ranking highest in preliminary polls to get the nod as the Democratic party’s next presidential candidate.

According to the Los Angeles Times, their stances on immigration will have a greater impact in the primary voting than the general election. The Democratic Party seems to be focused on finding a candidate who will poll well among immigrants and minorities, which will translate to a sizeable number of votes in the presidential election. Here’s what each of them said on the issue of immigration reform, more specifically as it relates to health-care policies:

Hillary Clinton
Former Secretary of State Clinton supports undocumented immigrants being eligible for health care under the Affordable Care Act, but thinks they should not be made eligible for any government subsidies.

“First of all, I want to make sure every child gets health care … and I want to support states that are expanding healthcare and including undocumented children and others,” Clinton said during the debate, as reported by the LA Times. “I want to open up the opportunity for immigrants to be able to buy into the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.”

Bernie Sanders
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders echoed the same sentiments as Clinton. He supports the opportunity for undocumented immigrants to receive health care under the Affordable Care Act so long as they don’t receive any subsidies in the process. But unlike Clinton, he was also responsible for fielding questions about his apparent opposition to immigration reform back in 2007, The New York Times reported. He cited economic reasons for his opposition to the immigration efforts on behalf of guest workers.