Do people around the world have a right to move to the United States? It's a bedrock belief of most conservatives that there is no such right. The U.S. sets its own immigration policy, admits whom it chooses, and foreign nationals in foreign countries have no right — a claim that could be pursued in court — to enter the United States.
Now, Hillary Clinton says there is such a right, at least if a tweet from her campaign headquarters can be taken for a policy pronouncement.
This is what happened. In his Monday speech on terrorism and immigration, Donald Trump said, "We want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally, through a process… No one has a right to immigrate to this country. It is the job of a responsible government to admit only those who expect to succeed and flourish here and really be proud of what they've done and where they came from. They have to love our country."
In that quote was the fundamental principle: There is no right to immigrate to the United States.
Shortly after Trump's speech, the Clinton campaign in Ohio tweeted out the story of a Libyan who came to the Unites States on a student visa in 1994, was not able to renew it, and simply stayed in the country illegally. He didn't exactly live in the shadows, settling in Dayton and founding the Islamic Federation of Ohio and the Islamic Center for Peace. After two decades, he received permanent residency in 2015. In the story, headlined "Donald Trump would have kicked my family out of the country," the man's son, whose name was given as Mohamed G., wrote, "There was no way that I could let a person that disrespects my father and other immigrants win the White House."
On Monday, the Clinton Ohio campaign tweeted Mohamed G.'s picture with Trump's quote, "No one has the right to immigrate to this country." The campaign added the comment: "We disagree."
The same day, the main Hillary Clinton campaign twitter account, @HillaryClinton, retweeted the "We disagree" tweet.
The world right to immigrate to the United States does not appear in the section on immigration on Clinton's campaign website, nor does it appear in her major pronouncements on the subject. And perhaps a single tweet, although clear in meaning, is not policy. But it is something Clinton might be asked about, perhaps even at the first debate Monday night.