2018-12-05 04:06:41 UTC
Hillary Clinton calls for reform, 'not open borders,' in explaining
European migration remarks
The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate sought to clarify comments
she made about how Europe could thwart rightwing populism by limiting
Nov. 23, 2018 / 3:25 PM PST
By Dareh Gregorian
Hillary Clinton on Friday attempted to clarify her comments on European
migration hailed by some on the far right, saying that immigration
reform, "not open borders," is needed "on both sides of the Atlantic."
“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what
lit the flame,” the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee told the
Guardian newspaper in an interview published Thursday.
Far right parties have used the issue in Europe to score several
“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken
particularly by leaders like (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel, but I
think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very
clear message — ‘we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge
and support’ — because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will
continue to roil the body politic,” Clinton continued.
While Clinton went on to criticize those who prey upon fear of
immigrants, her comments earned her praise from some of her foes in
Europe, which has been grappling with a massive influx of refugees from
the Middle East. Between 2015 and 2016, more than one million migrants
and refugees came to the European Union.
“Maybe Hillary has understood the lesson,” Giorgia Meloni, the leader of
the far-right Brothers of Italy party, told The New York Times. “If you
don’t control migration it will affect mostly poor people, people living
on the outskirts, working classes."
In a series of tweets Friday afternoon, Clinton said, "In a recent
interview, I talked about how Europe must reject right-wing nationalism
and authoritarianism, including by addressing migration with courage and
The "EU needs a more comprehensive policy that builds societies that are
both secure and welcoming," she continued.
"On both sides of the Atlantic, we need reform. Not open borders, but
immigration laws enforced with fairness and respect for human rights. We
can’t let fear or bias force us to give up the values that have made our
democracies both great and good," she wrote.
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"Can't just keep doing the same things."
In the Guardian interview, Clinton took a number of shots at how
President Donald Trump has handled the issue in the United States.
“The use of immigrants as a political device and as a symbol of
government gone wrong, of attacks on one’s heritage, one’s identity,
one’s national unity has been very much exploited by the current
administration here," she said.
“There are solutions to migration that do not require clamping down on
the press, on your political opponents and trying to suborn the
judiciary, or seeking financial and political help from Russia to
support your political parties and movements.”
Dareh Gregorian writes for NBC News.