“We need to quit refereeing their civil war and bring our troops home as soon as possible.” All who were asked about immigration at the debate on the campus of the University of Miami said they would address this vexing issue in their first year in office. Clinton criticized the immigration bill proposed in the last Congress, dominated by Republicans. That legislation would have penalized those who help illegal immigrants. “I said it would have criminalized the good Samaritan. It would have criminalized Jesus Christ,” she said. That the Democrats participated in the Spanish-language debate is the clearest sign yet of the growing influence of Latino voters. Anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas posed questions in Spanish, and the candidates had earpieces to hear simultaneous translations into English. The candidates’ responses were simultaneously translated into Spanish for broadcast, and English-speaking viewers could watch using the closed caption service on their televisions. CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton insisted Sunday night it’s time to start pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq as she and her Democratic presidential rivals debated the war on the eve of a much-awaited assessment by U.S. commanding Gen. David Petraeus. In the first presidential debate ever broadcast in Spanish, the protracted war in Iraq competed for attention with the swirling argument about immigration. On Iraq, Gov. Bill Richardson retorted that Clinton and others who want to leave residual forces there would leave soldiers at risk. “I’d bring them all home within six to eight months,” the New Mexico governor said in the debate, which was broadcast on Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language network. “There is a basic difference between all of us here … This is a fundamental issue,” he said. Clinton said a report Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are presenting in Washington this week won’t change the basic problem that there is no military solution in Iraq. “I believe we should start bringing our troops home,” she said. Not surprisingly for anchors who vocally support a path to legalization for the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, both Ramos and Salinas framed their questions with the basic assumption that immigrants, including those in the country illegally, face discrimination and have been unfairly demonized – a view not universally shared in the English- language media.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!