Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama's unilateral actions to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and granting some of them work permits.
Clinton, considered the likely frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president if she chooses to run, thanked Obama in a tweet for taking the actions and drawing a line in the sand as she continues to mull over a presidential campaign.
Her office later released a full statement, in which she said she supported Obama's decision and blasted House Republicans' "abdication of responsibility."
Here's her full statement:
"I support the President’s decision to begin fixing our broken immigration system and focus finite resources on deporting felons rather than families. I was hopeful that the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would spur the House of Representatives to act, but they refused even to advance an alternative. Their abdication of responsibility paved the way for this executive action, which follows established precedent from Presidents of both parties going back many decades. But, only Congress can finish the job by passing permanent bipartisan reform that keeps families together, treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity. Our disagreements on this important issue may grow heated at times, but I am confident that people of good will and good faith can yet find common ground. We should never forget that we’re not discussing abstract statistics – we’re talking about real families with real experiences. We’re talking about parents lying awake at night afraid of a knock on the door that could tear their families apart, people who love this country, work hard, and want nothing more than a chance to contribute to the community and build better lives for themselves and their children."
Clinton had been silent on Obama's actions, which could protect nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, even as it became clear he would take them before the end of the year.
She has been heckled by immigration activists at multiple events this year, most recently during a late-October rally for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown.
“I’m a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform,” she said in response to the heckling at that event. “We have to treat everyone with dignity and compassion.”
Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was critical of Obama recently, saying his delay in taking action on immigration may have contributed to Democrats' lopsided midterm election losses.
Brett LoGiurato is the senior national political correspondent at Fusion, where he covers all things 2016. He'll give you everything you need to know about politics, with a healthy side of puns.