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Sanders, Clinton Spar Over Immigration Records In Miami Debate

MIAMI, FL (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The fight in campaign 2016 has moved to Florida, home of the next big primary.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders mixed it up Wednesday night during a debate in Miami.

Clinton was dusting herself off after a stinging defeat in Michigan on Tuesday night. She had been leading Sanders by double digits in the polls, but wound up losing to him by 3 points. The surprise victory was one of the biggest upsets ever in a presidential primary.

Clinton did point out that she thumped Sanders in Mississippi, and holds a commanding lead in the delegate count.

"I was very pleased by the overall outcome last night," she said.

She was less-than-pleased with questions about the email scandal, and pushed back hard when asked what she would do in the face of an indictment.

"Oh, for goodness. That is not gonna happen. I'm not even answering that question," she said.

Sanders repeated his rallying call to end "establishment politics and establishment economics," calling the economy rigged.

"Our message of the need for people to stand up and tell corporate America that they cannot have it all is resonating," Sanders said.

He promised to create jobs and better wages if elected.

Clinton began the night with a pitch to "knock down barriers." She planned to raise income, create jobs, and improve education.

The pair didn't take any time in going after Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Clinton called Trump "un-American."

She said he traffics in "prejudice and paranoia." Clinton turned Trump's campaign slogan on its head saying, "You don't make America great again by getting rid of everything that made America great.''

For his part, Sanders reminded voters that Trump was part of the birther movement that tagged President Barack Obama as a foreigner.

Sanders said Americans would never elect someone like Trump who has insulted African-Americans, women, and Muslims.

Sanders also touted his record on immigration, pointing out that he supported a 2013 immigration bill. He also argued that Clinton had sought to block driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in 2008.

"She said don't do it, and New York state still doesn't do it," Sanders said.

Clinton argued that she has long been "committed to comprehensive immigration reform'' and stressed that Sanders had voted against a 2007 immigration bill.

She also got some laughs by saying Trump wants to build "a beautiful, tall wall'' that will "magically'' be paid for by the Mexican government.

Her comments came in response to a question on whether her vote as a New York senator to build a wall on the Southern border differs from Trump's plan, which she has called ridiculous.

Clinton said responsible legislators chose to improve border security with more agents and some fencing when needed, and as a result the country has lower rates of illegal immigration.

Florida is the biggest of five states holding primaries next Tuesday.

Republicans will debate again on Thursday night.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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