Hillary Clinton hits Trump, Sanders on immigration

  • 05/06/2016
Hillary Clinton speaking at a high school in Oxnard, California on June 4 (Reuters)
Hillary Clinton speaking at a high school in Oxnard, California on June 4 (Reuters)

Hillary Clinton is in California seeking to wrap up her battle with Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.

Both Clinton and Sanders campaigned across California on Saturday (local time), stopping in immigrant communities, big cities and the agricultural heartland on the final weekend before Tuesday's primary in the nation's biggest state.

Clinton used a stop at a Los Angeles-area college to criticise Republican nominee Donald Trump for making "hateful, very prejudicial" statements about immigrants and Sanders for voting against a 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill.

"I was in the Senate then, so was President Obama and so was Senator Sanders. President Obama and I voted for it, Senator Sanders voted against it. And that ended it," Clinton said.

"It was heartbreaking," she added.

Latinos comprise almost 40 percent of California's population of roughly 39 million.

Clinton is expected to sew up the party nomination on Tuesday (local time), when California is one of six states holding nominating contests.

Except for Washington, DC, those states are holding the last Democratic nominating contests before the party's July convention. Clinton needs a win in heavily Democratic California to begin unifying her party.

Though Sanders, a US senator of Vermont, faces nearly insurmountable odds to become the Democratic nominee, he has invested heavily in California, where a win could pressure the party to adopt some of the populist policies that have driven his campaign.

Polls show Sanders has chipped away at Clinton's lead in the state, where Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have built a vast network of supporters, including increasingly powerful Hispanic voters.

Recent tracking polls showed Clinton having a 2 to 10 percentage point lead over Sanders in California.

Clinton, with 2312 delegates, needs 71 more to reach the required 2383 for the Democratic nomination. Sanders has 1545.

California, the most populous US state, has 548 delegates who are awarded proportionately to the popular vote.

The other states holding nominating contests on June 7 are Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.