PHOENIX — The United States has done a “really good job” of securing the border between Arizona and Mexico, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said in an exclusive interview Thursday.
“I think we’ve done a really good job securing the border,” she said. “I think that those who say we haven’t are not paying attention to what was done the last 15 years under President (George W.) Bush and President (Barack) Obama.”
Clinton said the federal government has added both border officers and obstructions, while the number of people attempting to cross the border has dropped.
“Immigration from Mexico has dropped considerably,” she said. ”It’s just not happening anymore.”
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, was speaking just days before a campaign event in Phoenix.
She said Arizona has some challenges to overcome. While she would like to work toward comprehensive immigration reform, she said there are more pressing issues in the state.
“I think the No. 1 issue is getting the economy growing again with more good jobs and rising incomes,” she said. “I think that goes hand in hand with good education and good health care.”
The former secretary of state also touched on gun control. Clinton said she would like to see comprehensive background checks and the closure of several loopholes that allow firearms to fall into the wrong hands.
“We’ve also got to crack down on reckless and negligent behavior by makers and sellers,” she said, adding that there is no reason the industry should not be held accountable.
Clinton will face off against political rival Bernie Sanders in the March 22 Arizona presidential preference election.
KTAR’s Lauren Grifo contributed to this report.