Migration “is what lit the flame” of such nationalist movements, the former U.S. secretary of state told The Guardian for an upcoming series examining the rise of the populist right in the U.S. and Europe.
Conservatism and nationalist ideology have gotten a boost since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency in 2016 and the U.K. voted earlier that year to exit the European Union. Although Clinton ran on a progressive immigration platform as Trump’s challenger, she essentially called for a retrenchment of those policies in The Guardian interview.
“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken, particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel,” she said, praising the German chancellor for her open-door immigration policy. But Clinton added, “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 did condemn the fear-mongering rhetoric often used by Trump when he discusses immigration in the U.S.
“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,” Clinton added.
Head over to The Guardian to read the full interview.