The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host a Q&A with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE in Texas next week, the group announced Saturday.
The event, the fifth in a series of sit-downs with presidential contenders from both parties, grants the Democratic frontrunner a stage to promote her aggressive positions on overhauling the nation's immigration system, a contentious issue that's both defied congressional reform efforts and emerged as a leading debate topic on the campaign trail this year.
Clinton has made immigration reform a top priority of her platform. She's pushing for comprehensive changes that include a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, while vowing to expand President Obama's highly controversial executive actions freeing many of those same immigrants from the threat of deportation.
“If Congress continues to refuse to act, as president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further,” Clinton said in Nevada in May.
Such reforms are radioactive across the aisle, where conservatives are widely opposed to the citizenship pathway, in general, and Obama's unilateral action, in particular. Most of the GOP presidential hopefuls are pushing a reform agenda that's focused on border security and interior enforcement of current laws.
At the far right end of that spectrum is Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul, who stirred a hornet's nest of controversy when he launched his GOP presidential bid in June with accusations that most Mexican immigrants are criminals.
The remarks have won him strong praise in certain conservative circles, propelling Trump to front-runner status in the GOP primary field. But they've also raised concerns among national Republican leaders, who are trying to woo Latino voters who could prove crucial in a number of battleground states in 2016. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, has privately urged Trump to tone down the rhetoric.
The Clinton event, hosted by Javier Palomarez, the Hispanic Chamber's president, is scheduled to take place in San Antonio on Thursday, two days after the first Democratic primary debate.
"Since the first day of her announcement, Secretary Clinton's team has continued actively engaging our business owners throughout the country by listening to their stories, and sharing a vision for broad-based prosperity where every American has the chance to get ahead and stay ahead," the group said Saturday in a statement. "We look forward to having a thorough and productive discussion with Secretary Clinton on a wide array of issues that are important to the Hispanic community and all Americans."
The other presidential hopefuls to sit down with the Hispanic Chamber so far are Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Trump was scheduled to participate in a similar event this week in Washington, but withdrew to attend a campaign rally in Nevada. The move prompted sharp criticism from the Hispanic Chamber, which said his decision was "motivated by the concern of being ‘put on trial.’”
"Withdrawing from the Q&A can only suggest that Trump himself believes his views are indefensible before a Hispanic audience," the group said.