LATINO VOICES
09/15/2014 03:20 pm ET Updated Sep 15, 2014

Dreamers Demand Immigration Answers From Hillary Clinton In Iowa

Likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had a confrontation with Dreamers on Sunday that seemed to capture the Democrats' increasingly awkward relationship with Latinos in miniature.

The activists caught up with Clinton in Iowa at a public fundraising event. There, they asked the former Secretary of State whether she supported President Barack Obama's recent decision to delay, for a second time, promised relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. As has happened with previous encounters of this kind, the activists filmed the results and uploaded them to YouTube.

In the video, above, a young woman named Monica Reyes identifies herself as an Iowa Dreamer, drawing an enthusiastic "Yay!" from Clinton. Reyes then asks if Clinton supports Obama's deportation relief delay, stifling Clinton's enthusiasm.

"Well, I think we just have to keep working," Clinton says, as she moves along through a crowd, signing autographs. "I think we have to elect more Democrats," she adds.

Clinton also faced questioning from Cesar Vargas and Erika Andiola, co-directors of the DRM Action Coalition, a pro-reform advocacy group. Clinton did not offer direct responses to their questions about whether the U.S. government should keep separating families through deportation.

"We just asked a simple question," Vargas later told The Huffington Post. "And it really shows the way that she's putting her partisan agenda before families. For us, it's not about politics, it's about our families."

Latinos largely favored Democrats in the last presidential election, with 71 percent of Hispanic voters casting ballots for Obama. But the president has faced increasing criticism from immigrant rights activists for failing to deliver on a promised executive action that would exempt more people from deportation while reform efforts remain stalled in Congress.

Immigrant rights activists have put Democrats and Republicans alike in uncomfortable spots in recent months, challenging them to state their positions on immigration while being recorded.

At a book signing last month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) -- who once supported a bipartisan effort to pass immigration reform, but in August voted to end deportation relief for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as minors -- brushed off questions from activists who were then escorted away by police.

And this past weekend, Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) faced a hard line of questioning from an activist asking why Castro hadn't opposed the construction of a family detention center in his state, BuzzFeed reports.

HuffPost

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