COMMENTARY: To judge Clinton on immigration, look at the company she’s kept

SAN DIEGO — During a recent speech to a largely Hispanic audience in Reno, Nevada, Hillary Clinton skewered Donald Trump for spreading “prejudice and paranoia.” The Democratic nominee seized upon a popular Mexican refrain that essentially amounts to guilt by association.

“There’s an old Mexican proverb that says, ‘Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are,” she told supporters.

In Spanish: “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres.”

Trump’s goal, Clinton said, is to “make America hate again.” After all, she added, look at the Republican’s spiteful handling of the immigration issue.

All true. But the problem is that Clinton is the wrong person to judge others by the company they keep — especially on the immigration issue, where her hands are far from clean. Just look at some of her closest associates:

>> Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a longtime friend and he was a top adviser to President Bill Clinton. Emanuel endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign back in 2014, before it was even launched. It’s no wonder that CNN earlier this year that “few people are closer to the Clintons than Emanuel.”

In the 1990s, while working in the White House, Emanuel urged Bill Clinton to be as tough on immigration enforcement as President Richard Nixon was on crime — with the same objective of attracting white voters. In 2006, while serving in Congress, Emanuel helped Democrats take back the House of Representatives. All Democrats had to do to keep it, he convinced himself, was to push immigration reform so far onto the back burner than it fell off the stove. He told Hispanic lawmakers that the issue was “the third rail.” You touch it, you die.

One of those lawmakers, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., later endorsed one of Emanuel’s opponents in Chicago’s 2011 mayoral race, and even cut a commercial where he blamed his former colleague for the fact that Congress never achieved immigration reform.

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