A Democratic presidential hopeful trailing behind the other two candidates argues he has a better track than both on immigration reform.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley spoke at DePaul University in Chicago at an event hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.
Well behind both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the polls, he criticized both for “representing some of the failed thinking of the past” on immigration policy, and promises he’ll go further than either of them to enact comprehensive reform.
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“As president, I intend to use the full legal and executive authority of my office…to safeguard and better include New Americans in the life of our country,” O’Malley said. “That means providing deferred action not just to DREAMers and their parents, but to everyone who would’ve been covered by the Senate’s last immigration bill as a starting point.”
O’Malley says Sanders and Clinton have spotty records in this area, pointing out Sanders voted against a 2007 comprehensive bill, and claiming Clinton has flip-flopped on the issue for her own political benefit.
As for his chances of actually securing the nomination and enacting these proposals, O’Malley only mentioned his standing in the polls once, cracking a joke about what he told his wife after two other candidates dropped out after the first debate.
“I said, ‘Honey, good news, we have secured third place.’” O’Malley said.
His single-digit poll numbers were apparent in the scope of the event. It didn’t draw the crowd that Sanders attracted to his September speech at the University of Chicago, and didn’t have the political star power of Clinton’s fundraisers in the city. Only one Illinois elected official, State Rep. Rob Martwick (D-Norridge) appeared to be in the audience.