Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is having trouble squaring the circle on immigration, a fact that is helping Hillary Clinton clear a path to the nomination.

"I have to be honest with you and tell you that I come from a state that is 95 percent white, that's the reality," Sanders said while speaking at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Thursday. He told a story about standing in solidarity with migrant workers in Florida.

Sanders added, "[A]s a senator from Vermont I did not have to do that back home, but I did it because it what the right thing to do. When undocumented workers suffer its not just they who suffer but every worker in America."

The independent socialist senator turned 2016 Democratic presidential candidate has been one of the surprises of the campaign season. He has been gaining on Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire, even as he trails by a wide margin nationally.

But one thing that could prevent him from gaining much traction is a lack of support among minority voters. Black and Hispanic Democrats are so far drawn to Clinton. Sanders is having trouble breaking through with the latter group on immigration.

Sanders has expressed support for comprehensive immigration reform, but also concern that too much unskilled immigration will drive down American wages. He voted against an immigration reform bill in 2007 but supported one in 2013.

When asked at Netroots Nation about why he didn't vote for one of the bills but said yes to the other, even though they were both similar, Sanders avoided giving a concrete answer, expressing both his support for immigrant and American workers.

"This is not a particularly good bill but I think that issue is so important that we give some legal protection to people who are living in enormous anxiety," he explained at the time.

"I frankly do not believe that we should be bringing in significant numbers of unskilled workers, to compete. I wanna see these kids get jobs," Sanders said

"Here's where I do have concerns, there is a reason why Wall Street, and all of corporate America, like immigration reform," Sanders added. "It is not in my view that they are staying up nights worrying about undocumented workers in this country. What I think they are interested in is seeing a process in which we can bring low-wage labor at all levels into this country to depress wages in America, and I strongly disagree with that."

Sanders cited high unemployment rates for youth in America as his main reason for being skeptical of bring in foreign workers. But before expressing his concerns, Sanders told the mainly Hispanic audience that we should provide legal status to undocumented workers "as quickly as possible."

The senator argued in an interview earlier this week an open-border policy would "bring in all kinds of people" who will "work for $2 or $3 an hour" while youth unemployment is too high.

"You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?" Sanders asked. "I think from a moral responsibility we've got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don't do that by making people in this country even poorer."

Clinton likely hopes this debate makes Sanders' chances of competing with her poorer too.