Clinton to propose opening an Office of Immigrant Affairs

Hillary Clinton releases emotional immigration ad
Hillary Clinton releases emotional immigration ad

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    Hillary Clinton releases emotional immigration ad

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Hillary Clinton releases emotional immigration ad 01:35

Story highlights

  • A Clinton aide tells CNN that Hillary Clinton will promise to create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs
  • The move comes as Clinton looks to to solidify her base of Latino support ahead of New York's April 19 primary

(CNN)Hillary Clinton will promise on Wednesday that, if elected president, she will create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs, according to a Clinton aide, a move that looks to solidify her base of Latino support ahead of New York's April 19 primary.

Clinton has relied on strong support and turnout among Latinos in a previous states during the primary season. Clinton's campaign has worked to organize Latinos around New York City since kicking off her Empire State campaign last month and put some of the campaigns' top Latino aides on the effort.
    Clinton's Office of Immigrant Affairs would "be a pro-active effort to coordinate policies and programs both across federal agencies and with state and local governments," the aide said, adding that it would work to "ensure that immigrants, refugees and their children are able to become fully integrated members of their communities and country."
    Immigration has been a hot-button issue throughout the primary race against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
    On Tuesday, Sanders' campaign organized a call where local Latino leaders from New York blasted Clinton for opposing drivers' licenses for illegal immigrants in 2008.
    The leaders, according to Sanders' campaign, spoke to the "negative effects of her intervention against the proposal, which would have allowed millions of undocumented workers to drive legally without fear of being deported."
    The reason for this back and forth on immigration: The sizable Latino voting bloc around New York City.
    While New York is 18.6% Latino, according to the U.S. Census, New York City is almost 30% Latino and both campaigns feel they need to sway those voters to come out on April 19 to win.
    Clinton knocked Sanders on immigration during a conversation with reporters Monday.
    "I think the best chance we had for immigration reform was under Ted Kennedy's leadership in 2007. I voted for it. Senator Sanders voted against it," Clinton said in Queens. "I think our records are very clear. I started co-sponsoring the DREAM Act back in 2002 or '03. And I consistently did that. Senator Sanders by contest was supporting vigilantes, the so-called Minutemen on the border."
    Clinton was referencing two votes in 2006 that helped a group of anti-immigration activists along the border.