Sunday, October 18, 2015

Clinton touts immigrants; GOP targets ‘sanctuary cities’

By Kenric Ward

In the face of growing anger over “sanctuary cities,” Hillary Clinton further blurred the line between legal and illegal immigration Thursday, calling for a wider path to U.S. citizenship.

Speaking at a heavily Hispanic rally in downtown San Antonio, the Democratic presidential candidate drew cheers for supporting broader legalization, including citizenship for border-breaching parents of children born in this country.

“Immigration boosts wages and grows the economy by hundreds of billions of dollars. We’re a far less interesting country without it,” Clinton asserted.

Texans, meanwhile, want to ban so-called sanctuary cities that grant safe haven to illegal immigrants.

A new survey of likely GOP voters found that no issue polled higher, with 77 percent rating it “very important” to them.

Some 63 percent of the general electorate ranked the issue as very important.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson last month criticized San Francisco’s sanctuary policies as “counterproductive” and “unacceptable.”

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, charged in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Kate Steinle last summer, had previously been deported five times to his native Mexico. He was out on the streets after San Francisco officials rebuffed a request from immigration authorities to keep him behind bars.

While Clinton skirted the sanctuary issue, Congress is moving against the 340-plus U.S. jurisdictions that shield and release illegal immigrants — many with long criminal records.

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