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Immigration row fuels early 2016 US presidential race

The crowd cheers as US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the new steps he will be taking within his executive authority on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 21, 2014When President Barack Obama unveiled his immigration plan and Republican rivals howled their disapproval, the drama signaled not just a clash of political positions: it kicked off the 2016 presidential campaign. Several likely Republican White House contenders — and a very prominent Democrat, Hillary Clinton — provided some of the most visible early reactions to the president’s controversial executive order. Their statements helped draw the battle lines of Washington’s immigration warfare that is sure to extend all the way to the next national election, when Republicans will be seeking to end their eight-year White House drought. “I support the president’s decision to begin fixing our broken immigration system and focus finite resources on deporting felons rather than families,” Clinton, the 2016 Democratic frontrunner, said in a statement that earned attention in part for the swiftness of its release after Obama’s announcement.

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