Hillary Clinton has pledged for months to pass comprehensive immigration reform within the first 100 days of taking office. In fact, she’s pledged that for years—The Washington Post noted recently that she promised new laws during her 2008 campaign against Barack Obama.
But at a conference of black and Latino journalists on Friday, Clinton explained in more detail how she expects to get it done. She’s often avoided addressing the press en masse, but made an exception to reach blocs of voters she needs to win the presidency.
Clinton’s reform plan starts with a Democratic takeover in November that will “send a clear message to our Republican friends that it’s time for them to quit standing in the way of immigration reform.” She predicts Democrats have a “good chance” to take back the Senate and gain seats in the House, even if the party doesn’t win the chamber. Once they’ve done so, her efforts would be centered on applying political pressure to members of Congress—something she feels was lacking during a previous immigration-reform effort in 2010—and prioritizing the issue in the Senate.
“I will need people across our country to make it clear to their elected representatives that they are going to be held accountable for how they are going to act on immigration reform,” said Clinton, who promises to push for a path to citizenship. “I’ve already talked to some of my former colleagues in the Senate. This will be fast-tracked. We already know it can pass the Senate because it happened a few years ago. And if we then put enough pressure on the House,” forcing them to adopt what the Senate passes, “I think the outcome will be very different this time.”