Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a rally in New York City on April 4. Clinton and her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have been sparring over immigration in the run-up to New York's primary on Tuesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK, April 13 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will propose creating a sub-Cabinet office to help address problems for immigrants living in America.
CNN reports Clinton will promise Wednesday to create a new federal Office of Immigration Affairs to help immigrants settle into daily life in America. She said the office would also seek to create solutions for immigrants who entered the country illegally.
An aide described the new office to CNN as "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."
The announcement comes in response to criticism from her opponent, Vermont Sen. Sanders, whose campaign organized a media conference call that featured several top Latinos supporters who blasted Clinton's failure to endorse a 2008 proposal by then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.
Proponents of the plan in New York and elsewhere say granting the licenses cuts down on the number of uninsured drivers and gives illegal immigrants a tool to help them find work here. Clinton opposed the idea and opposition among Republicans in the state legislature led to its defeat.
Clinton shot back at Sanders, pointing to his vote in 2007 against comprehensive immigration reform when it was proposed by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and had the backing of President George W. Bush. Sanders said the compromise bill did not go far enough to protect migrant workers.
Clinton also announced the endorsement of the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, a network of immigration activists.