Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday promoted the idea of creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States, backing up recent remarks from his wife, presidential contender Hillary Clinton.
Speaking at an advertising summit hosted by the Spanish television network Univision, Clinton reportedly saidhe supported "anything that increases business formation, employment and raises wages -- which the legalization of immigrants would do, and a path to citizenship would do."
"Putting people into the workplace legally would raise their wages," Mr. Clinton continued. "It would make us more prosperous. It would reduce poverty. It would increase tax paying. It would reduce the deficit. It's just good for the economy."
- Hillary Clinton slams Republicans on immigration reform
- Chris Christie talks about global warming, immigration and Hillary Clinton
The Clintons have strong ties to Univision's owner, media mogul Haim Saban. Last week, the billionaire hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's campaign, the Associated Press reported, bringing in at least $1.2 million from 450 attendees.
Last week, speaking to a roundtable in Nevada, Hillary Clinton said, "We can't wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship."
She contrasted her position with those of her potential Republican opponents. "Make no mistakes: today, not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly or consistently supporting a path to citizenship," she said. While some Republicans have talked about offering a "legal status" other than citizenship to undocumented immigrants, Hillary Clinton called that "code for second-class status."
Shortly after she made that pronouncement, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham - who could announce his candidacy for the presidency within weeks - contradicted her. "If I were president of the United States, I would veto any bill that did not have a pathway to citizenship," Graham told USA Today. "You would have a long, hard path to citizenship ... but I want to create that path because I don't like the idea of millions of people living in America for the rest of their lives being the hired help. That's not who we are."