Hillary Clinton announced on Wednesday she would create a new office called the “Office of Immigrant Affairs” if elected president. Clinton stated the office would create a dedicated place in the White House to coordinate integration policies across the federal government and with state and local government as well.
Clinton briefly outlined her plan at a Manhattan event where she was endorsed by the New York State Immigration Action Fund, an advocacy group. Steve Choi a representative of the group, said that the group supported the creation of the office as a push for helping immigrants in the U.S.
The office would make sure immigrants would have access to adult education and to English classes, reducing barriers to naturalization, and providing support for immigration services.
Clinton did not give further detail on the office, and she refused to share with reporters the possible costs of the office.
Critics immediately questioned Clinton’s proposal, accusing her of angling for votes. Bob Dane, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said “it illustrates how out of touch Clinton is with what the public wants; secure borders and the laws enforced.
Likewise, Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, said adding more bureaucracy was not going to do anything, would only make the problem worse, and that integration by immigrants is by and large going well. He cited three different reports on assimilation by the National Academy of Science, the OECD, and a University of Washington economist who all testify to the same.
Several non-governmental groups already act as advocates for immigrants and refugees, including CASA de Maryland, Refugee Council USA, and the Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, among others.
The Clinton campaign said the proposal was in response to the recommendations of a 2014 task force set up by the Obama administration to study integration services across the federal government.