Hillary Clinton has released her Irish platform well before St.Patrick’s Day targeting Irish in key primary states such as Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois and New York.
The campaign released the Clinton priority list and her record on Irish issues on Saturday. It also refers to two recent honors from the Irish community, the Hall of Fame membership for her role in the North from Irish America Magazine, as well as a major honor from the American Ireland Fund.
To date there been no similar document from either Bernie Sanders or her Republican rivals, John McCarthy of Irish Americans for Hillary called it “very good news” from the campaign and a clear indication they are looking at Irish issues.
Here is the actual text. It opens with the headline “Hillary has a record of standing by the Irish American community."
- As First Lady, she directly supported the Northern Ireland peace process by engaging women’s groups, bringing them into the process and setting the foundation for a more durable peace. Her visits to the Catholic and Protestant sects in Belfast to meet working-class women from both communities helped empower key voices for peace. During the talks, Hillary was active in urging all of the parties to keep moving forward and advocated the inclusion of women in the peace process. She helped lay the groundwork for cross-community parties such as the Women’s Coalition in decisive years when the peace process was being bedded down. Once the peace talks began, Hillary was influential in ensuring the peace accords addressed equality based on gender, religion, and sexual orientation. She visited Northern Ireland five times, beginning in 1995 when she visited with President Clinton in what was described as a turning point for the conflict.
- As Senator from New York, she represented New York’s vibrant Irish-American community. She visited the Republic of Ireland on her first trip in the Senate, and Northern Ireland on her second trip. She worked with community leaders, met with Irish leaders every year she was a Senator and had an intern in her office from Northern Ireland every year. She was a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, where she defended human rights and religious tolerance in Europe. Hillary also continuously supported comprehensive immigration reform and sponsored the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act in the Senate, which later became law and allows immigrant children and pregnant women to obtain Medicaid.
- As Secretary of State, she ensured Ireland was high on the U.S. foreign policy priority list. She traveled to Northern Ireland in 2009, urging Stormont to complete the process of devolution, which contributed to the Hillsborough Agreement in 2010. She also pledged that the United States would stand behind Northern Ireland as it continued its work toward lasting peace and stability.In one of her last oversees trips as Secretary of State, she traveled to Northern Ireland and Ireland in December 2012. She pledged to work with the Irish Government on shoring up their economy and in March 2009, she met with Charlie Bird, the Washington Correspondent of Ireland's public broadcaster RTE, for one of her earliest sit-down interviews since becoming the Secretary. She appointed a Special Economic Envoy for Northern Ireland, which helped regenerate the local economy by securing new investment in Northern Ireland, and worked behind the scenes, continuing to encourage Northern Ireland’s leaders and promote implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
- As a citizen, Hillary was inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame in 2015 for her contribution to Northern Ireland peace. Prior to this, she has received countless awards and honors for her role in Ireland and advocacy on behalf of Irish America including a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Worldwide Ireland Funds.
As President, Hillary will continue to fight for issues that are important to the Irish American Community. She will fight to:
Keep families together through comprehensive immigration reform: There are an estimated 50,000 undocumented immigrants from Ireland living in the United States. As president, Hillary will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a full and equal path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy. She will protect and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible system for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to be able to make their case and be eligible for deferred action, and call on Congress to repeal the 3- and 10-year bars. Hillary believes we should do more to encourage Irish immigrants who are eligible for citizenship to take that final step, including expanding fee-waivers and outreach programs.
Ensure Quality Education: Hillary will champion new opportunities in education to ensure nothing stands in the way of all Americans achieving their full potential. Hillary will increase our investment in Early Head Start and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. She also has a plan to make pre-K universal for all 4 year-olds in America, and will fight for strong public schools in every community across the country. Like too many Americans, Irish Americans and Irish immigrants face difficulty in paying for college and paying off their student debt. Through her New College Compact, Hillary will fight to ensure that cost is not a barrier for anyone who wants to attend college—and that debt won’t hold them back when they do.
Create Good-Paying Jobs and Get Incomes Rising Again: Hillary has said getting incomes rising is the defining economic challenge of our time, and she will fight to raise incomes so that all American families can get ahead and stay ahead. Her plan includes raising the minimum wage, ensuring equal pay for women, providing incentives for companies to share profits with their employees, guaranteeing paid family and medical leave, and boosting apprenticeships to help more people get into the workforce. She recently announced a major plan to invest $125 billion to create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity in communities that are being left out and left behind. Her plan includes investing $20 billion to create youth jobs, and another $25 billion to support entrepreneurship and small business growth in underserved communities. She will pay for the new investments in this initiative through a tax on Wall Street—ensuring that the major financial institutions that contributed to the Great Recession are doing their part in bringing back the communities they hurt the most.
Expand Access to Affordable Health Care to All Families: Hillary has been fighting her entire life to ensure that families have access to affordable health care. She will stand up to Republican attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and will protect the progress we have made. She will work to lower out-of-pocket health care costs, reduce the cost of prescription drugs and transform our health care system to reward value and quality. She believes we should let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. As president, Hillary will fight to defend Medicare and Social Security as well as expand benefits for widows and women who have taken time out of the workforce—so that all American families can retire with dignity.
Stand with Our Allies and Re-Affirm the Importance of the Trans-Atlantic Alliance: Hillary knows that the world is too complex and complicated for the U.S. to go it alone. As President, she’ll ensure that we support our allies like Ireland and the United Kingdom, and work together on important issues such as climate change, fighting terrorism, and economic security. Above all, this is an alliance of values, rooted in a deep commitment to liberty and democracy.