Democrat Hillary Clinton on Wednesday will propose the creation of a new national Office of Immigrant Affairs should she win the White House in November, as she seeks to woo minority and immigrant voters in New York less than a week before the state’s primary.
The office would coordinate policies and programs among federal agencies and with state and local governments, according to an aide.
In contrast, Republican candidates have largely called for stricter immigration rules. Republican front-runner Donald Trump has called for building a wall along the border with Mexico as well as a temporary ban on immigration by Muslims.
The New York primary on April 19 could either help former secretary of state Clinton consolidate her status as the Democratic front-runner, or hand a significant victory to rival Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator seeking to defy expectations and win the party’s nomination for the Nov. 8 election.
Both candidates are now campaigning across the state, looking to win over New York’s diverse population, including voters who come from immigrant families. Around 19 percent of the state is Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census.
With 247 pledged delegates at stake, the state is among the most significant nominating contests left on the calendar before the July convention.
Clinton holds a double digit lead in polls over Sanders in New York, the state where he was born and which she served for 8 years as a U.S. senator. She also holds a commanding lead in pledged delegates overall so far, leaving Sanders only a narrow path if he is to win the nomination out from under her, a task some pundits say is already beyond him.
A Democratic candidate needs 2,383 delegates to clinch the nomination. Those can come from any combination of pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses as well as so-called super delegates, who can vote as they choose. (Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)