ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Democratic National Convention kicks off today in Philadelphia with 93 Minnesota delegates in attendance, and some want to see more focus on immigration reform.
That’s a top priority for Jose Gallardo, a first-generation Mexican American and a Minnesota delegate for presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In light of Republican Donald Trump’s recent comments saying the country is under threat from immigrants, Gallardo is hoping a Clinton presidency will lead to a better path to citizenship.
“We as immigrants are a big part of this country, in the labor force, the purchasing power in terms of small business owners,” he stresses. “We add a lot to America. And when Hillary becomes president, she will give these people the chance that they deserve.”
According to Clinton’s campaign, if elected she plans to introduce immigration reform within her first 100 days in office.
Some of her ideas include closing private immigrant detention centers and using a more narrow approach to deportations.
The issue is one that’s close to Gallardo’s heart since his brother is being held in immigration detention and is awaiting deportation.
Gallardo says America’s current immigration policies have torn his and other families apart.
“I’ve told my brother it’s frustrating because there’s nothing that I could do to change the situation,” he states. “I think that we need more Latino leaders, and I think that by allowing the path to citizenship you’ll start to see them develop.”
Meanwhile, the city of Philadelphia will be hosting an immigration forum this afternoon. The central theme is to discuss ways cities and businesses can be more welcoming to immigrants as many people wait for federal reforms.