Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton pledged Wednesday to create a new White House office devoted to immigration and refugee issues.
“I would create the first-ever Office of Immigrant Affairs,” Clinton said during an appearance in New York City. “It would build on the work of the Obama administration’s task force and create a dedicated place in the White House to coordinate immigration policies across the federal government and with state and local government as well.”
While a White House office would be new, the Department of Homeland Security currently has two agencies devoted to immigration: Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Clinton has backed comprehensive immigration reform and defended President Obama’s executive actions to protect certain groups of undocumented immigrants from deportation.
“Hillary believes immigration enforcement must be humane, targeted, and effective,” according to an issue brief from her campaign. “She will focus enforcement resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and work to ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.”
Clinton backs closing private immigration detention centers because she “believes we should move away from contracting out this critical government function to private corporations and private industry incentives that may contribute—or have the appearance of contributing—to over-incarceration.”
Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore