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Hillary Clinton's Immigration Record: A Portrait Of Flip Flops

- December 14, 2015

Today, Clinton Will Give An Address To The National Immigrant Integration Conference. "The National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) announced today that Secretary Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party candidate for U.S. President, will address the group on December 14 in Brooklyn, NY. Candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties have been invited to address the nearly one thousand participants from across the country, including policy makers, advocates, educators, business leaders, culture shapers, community stakeholders, and more. Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez will introduce the Secretary." (Press Release, "Secretary Hillary Clinton To Address National Integration Conference," New York Immigration Coalition, 12/10/15)

CLINTON REVERSED HER POSITION ON THE TERM "ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS"

Clinton Used The Term "Illegal Immigrants" From Her Time As First Lady Through Her 2016 Presidential Campaign

Last Month On The Campaign Trail, Clinton Boasted That She "Voted Numerous Times When I Was A Senator To Spend Money To Build A Barrier To Try To Prevent Illegal Immigrants From Coming In." "'Well, I voted numerous times when I was a Senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in,' Clinton told the audience. 'And I do think you have to control your borders." (Sam Frizell, "Martin O'Malley Hits Hillary Clinton For Saying 'Illegal Immigrants," Time, 11/12/15)

In A 2003 Radio Interview, Clinton Said, "I Am Adamantly Against Illegal Immigrants." "We've got to do several things and I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants. I made this exception basically on humanitarian grounds because of the individual story but certainly we've got to do more at our borders. And people have to stop employing illegal immigrants. Come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand in the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx - you're going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work." (John Gambling, "John Gambling Radio Show," 2/03)

Clinton In 1993: "We Are Left With A Serious Problem, Because We Have A Number Of Undocumented Workers And Illegal Aliens In The Country Right Now." CLINTON: "But we are left with a serious problem, because we have a number of undocumented workers and illegal aliens in the country right now. And they do show up in our emergency rooms, and they do use our public health facilities." (Hillary Clinton, Committee On Ways And Means, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 9/28/93)

On November 24, 2015, After Being Questioned About Using The Term At A Campaign Event, Clinton Pledged To Never Say "Illegal Immigrants"

When Asked If She Would Forgo The Term "Illegal Immigrant" During A Facebook Q&A, Clinton Said "Yes." "'Yes, I will,' Mrs. Clinton responded while logged in to Facebook during a stop in Boulder, Colorado. 'That was a poor choice of words. As I've said throughout this campaign, the people at the heart of this issue are children, parents, families, Dreamers. They have names, and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected.'" (S.A. Miller, "Hillary Clinton Apologizes For Saying 'Illegal Immigrants,'" The Washington Times, 11/24/15)

  • Clinton: "As I've Said Throughout This Campaign, The People At The Heart Of This Issue Are Children, Parents, Families, Dreamers. They Have Names, And Hopes And Dreams That Deserve To Be Respected." "'Yes, I will,' Mrs. Clinton responded while logged in to Facebook during a stop in Boulder, Colorado. "That was a poor choice of words. As I've said throughout this campaign, the people at the heart of this issue are children, parents, families, Dreamers. They have names, and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected." (S.A. Miller, "Hillary Clinton Apologizes For Saying 'Illegal Immigrants,'" The Washington Times , 11/24/15)

CLINTON SWAPPED POSITIONS ON SANCTUARY CITIES BETWEEN THE TWO PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAGINS

In 2007, Clinton Supported Cities Ignoring Deportation Requests By The Federal Government

In 2007, Clinton Advocated For Local Law Enforcement To Ignore Federal Agencies Requests. RUSSERT: "But you would allow the sanctuary cities to disobey the federal law?" CLINTON: "Well, I don't think there is any choice. The ICE groups go in and raid individuals, but if you're a local police chief and you're trying to solve a crime that you know people from the immigrant community have information about, they may not talk to you if they think you're also going to be enforcing the immigration laws. Local law enforcement has a different job than federal immigration enforcement. The problem is the federal government has totally abdicated its responsibility." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 9/26/07)

In July Of 2015, Clinton Changed Positions And Said Cities Should Comply With The Federal Government's Requests

In July, Clinton Stated That The City Should Have Listened To The Department Of Homeland Security's Request To Deport An Illegal Immigrant. CLINTON: "Well, what should be done is any city should listen to the Department of Homeland Security, which as I understand it urged them to deport this man again after he got out of prison another time. Here's a case where we've deported, we've deported, we've deported, he ends back up in our country. And I think the city made a mistake. The city made a mistake not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported." (CNN's " The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer," 7/7/15)

CLINTON FLIP-FLOPPED ON ALLOWING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO RECEIVE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS

In 1994, Clinton Said That Illegal Immigrants Should Not Receive Healthcare Benefits

In A Capitol Hill Hearing, Clinton Said That Illegal Immigrants Should Not Receive The Same Benefits As American Citizens. CLINTON: "As to illegal aliens, we agree with you that the comprehensive health care benefits should not be extended to those who are un-documented workers and illegal aliens. We do not want to do anything to encourage more illegal immigration into this country. We know now that too many come for medical care, as it is. We certainly don't want them to have the same benefits that American citizens are entitled to have." (Committee On Energy And Commerce, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 9/28/93)

  • Clinton: "We Do Not Want To Do Anything To Encourage More Illegal Immigration Into This Country. We Know Now That Too Many People Come In For Medical Care, As It Is." CLINTON: "As to illegal aliens, we agree with you that the comprehensive health care benefits should not be extended to those who are un-documented workers and illegal aliens. We do not want to do anything to encourage more illegal immigration into this country. We know now that too many come for medical care, as it is. We certainly don't want them to have the same benefits that American citizens are entitled to have." (Committee On Energy And Commerce, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 9/28/93)

In 2015, Clinton Said That She Believed Illegal Immigrants Should Receive Healthcare Benefits Under The Affordable Care Act

Clinton Said Illegal Immigrants Should Be Able To Buy Into Obamacare. "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that undocumented immigrants should be able to buy into ObamaCare, after telling Congress a decade ago that the population should not receive any healthcare benefits." (Sarah Ferris, "Clinton Shifts Stance On Healthcare For Undocumented Immigrants," The Hill, 10/13/15)

  • Clinton: "I Want To Support States That Are Expanding Healthcare And Including Undocumented Children And Others." "'Well, first of all, I want to make sure every child gets health care. That's why I helped to create the Children's Health Insurance Program, and I want to support states that are expanding health care and including undocumented children and others. I want to open up the opportunity for immigrants to be able to buy in to the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.'" (Hillary Clinton, Democratic Presidential Debate At The Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, 10/13/15)

CLINTON SHARPLY CHANGED HER POSITION ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS OBTAINING DRIVER'S LICENSES

During The 2008 Presidential Election, Clinton Was At First Unclear About Her Position On Illegal Immigrants Obtaining Driver's License, Then Came Out Against It

When Asked During A 2007 Debate About New York Governor Elliott Spitzer's Plan To Allow Illegal Immigrants To Have Driver's Licenses, Clinton Was Unclear About Her Position. "Last debate cycle, Mrs. Clinton offered a confusing answer of whether she supported states issuing licenses to illegal immigrants. In the Oct. 2007 debate she was asked whether or not she favored then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to provide undocumented with state licenses. 'Do I think this is the right thing for any governor to do? No. But I certainly recognize why Gov. Spitzer is trying to do it,' Mrs. Clinton said during the debate." (Kelly Riddell, "Hillary Clinton Flip-Flops From 2008 Positions In Bid For Liberal Voters' Support," The Washington Times, 10/12/15)

  • Governor Spitzer Later Revealed In A 2015 Interview That Clinton Campaign Contacted Him Asked Him To Remove The Proposal. "But Clinton went further than opposing the plan, Spitzer revealed on 'The Axe Files,' a podcast hosted by David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama (who went on to defeat Clinton in 2008). In fact, the campaign asked Spitzer to drop the proposal altogether. Spitzer told Axelrod he yielded to that request, although heavy opposition from elsewhere also played a role. 'We heard from folks [on Clinton's campaign] who said they want this issue gone,' Spitzer said. 'I thought the issue was a metaphor for her vacillation.'" (Elise Foley, "Eliot Spitzer Says Hillary Clinton's 2008 Camp Urged Him Not To Give Driver's Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants," The Huffington Post , 10/29/15)

After Governor Spitzer Removed The Proposal, Clinton Explicitly Stated She Would Not Support Allowing Illegal Immigrants To Obtain Driver's Licenses. "After the debate - and after Mr. Spitzer withdrew the proposal because of its unpopularity - Mrs. Clinton made the following statement: 'As president, I will not support driver's licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration, including border security and fixing our broken system.'" (Kelly Riddell, "Hillary Clinton Flip-Flops From 2008 Positions In Bid For Liberal Voters' Support," The Washington Times, 10/12/15)

In 2015, Clinton Flipped Her Position On Illegal Immigrants Obtaining Driving Licenses, Coming Out In Support Of It

In April Of 2015, Clinton Said She Would Support Giving Driver's Licenses To Illegal Immigrants. "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday spoke out in favor of giving driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, taking a firm stance on an issue that hurt her during the 2008 election after she seemed intentionally vague on her position." (Jose DelReal, "This Time, Hillary Clinton Supports Giving Driver's Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants," The Washington Post , 4/16/15)

  • Hillary's Campaign Expressed That Her Support Of Illegal Immigrants Driver's Licenses Was Consistent With President Obama's Executive Actions. "'Hillary supports state policies to provide drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. This is consistent with her support for the president's executive action,' a Clinton campaign spokesperson told The Washington Post Thursday." (Jose DelReal, "This Time, Hillary Clinton Supports Giving Driver's Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants," The Washington Post , 4/16/15)

In An Interview With David Axelrod, Governor Spitzer Said Clinton's Flip-Flop Was A "Metaphor For Her Vacillation." SPITZER: "I was watching I was in my living room, pacing around the living room watching the TV and then out of nowhere this question was posed and I think president Obama then senator Obama gave, the question was do you support Governor Spritzer or the New York Governor's proposal to permit undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses? And let me drop a footnote, the backdrop to this is, it's good for law enforcement, it permits folks to work, it had been a policy embraced by Republican governors and Democrat governors. But when I proposed it, it became a torrential outpouring of venom from Lou Dobbs and then the right-wing media. Ok, that's the backdrop, Senator Obama on that stage was asked, do you support it, he gave a one-word answer, yes. When it came time for Senator Clinton's answer, she literally gave 3 different answers in 30 seconds to which Chris Dodd then responded, wait a min Senator Clinton, you just said 3 different things- what do you think? And she waffled and waffled and waffled. Subsequent there to, next couple days when the issue was, you know, gaining momentum." AXELROD: "Why do you think, what is it, why did she react that way?" SPITZER: "It was a politically tough issue. It didn't poll well. But there was no ambiguity about what was right, and if you look about where we are now as a nation on this very issue, very few people, it's the law of the land I think in California, a bunch, a slew of states, and it is not controversial because people know it's right and it works. But at the time, it was controversial, and because it was controversial, she hemmed and she hawed. And again, this was, this is goes to the core of where are you on immigrants' rights. And the President, not then the President, Senator Obama, now the President, gave an unambiguous answer, yes. Now, the Clinton folks, as no doubt you remember, thought the issue was the problem, I thought the issue was a metaphor for her vacillation." (David Alexrold, "The Axe Files," 10/29/15)

OVERNIGHT, CLINTON FLIP-FLOPPED ON HOW TO HANDLE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF UNACCOMPANIED MINORS ARRIVING IN THE U.S.

On July 24, 2014, Clinton Voiced Her Support For Changing A 2008 Trafficking Law To Deal With Unaccompanied Minors Crossing The Southern Border

On July 24th, During An Interview With NPR, Clinton Claimed She Was Open To Changing A 2008 Law In Response To The Border Crisis, Saying "I Think It Should Be Looked At As Part Of An Overall Package." QUESTION: "Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, is out with an op-ed calling for comprehensive immigration reform as you do, but saying that the law his brother signed, which passed when you were in the Senate in 2008, ought to be changed to make it easier to send those other than the 'deserving few' back to their home countries in Central America. Should that law be changed?" CLINTON: "I think it should be looked at as part of an overall package. We have two categories of people that are represented by these poor children that have come across our border. We have migrants, children who are leaving for a variety of reasons - economic, they want to reunite with family members. And we have refugees, people who have reason to be threatened, people who have bad probabilities if they return home as to what might happen to them." (NPR's "On Point," 7/24/14)

  • Clinton: "Our Laws Right Now Are Not Particularly Well-Suited For Making The Kind Of Determinations That Are Required, And That We Should, As Americans, Want To See Happen." CLINTON: "So we do need more resources very quickly deployed, which is what the president and the Democrats have asked for. We need some flexibility within the laws. Our laws right now are not particularly well-suited for making the kind of determinations that are required, and that we should, as Americans, want to see happen." (NPR's "On Point," 7/24/14)

The Next Day, Clinton Reversed Her Position From Just A Day Earlier On The 2008 Law, Saying "I Don't Agree That We Should Change The Law"

On July 25th, During An Interview With Jorge Ramos, Clinton Switched Her Position, Claiming She Doesn't "Agree That We Should Change The Law." RAMOS: "Should we change the 2008 law? For quick deportations--"CLINTON: "No, I don't agree that we should change the law. No, that's why I'm advocating an appropriate procedure, well-funded by the Congress, which they are resisting doing, so that we can make individual decisions." (Fusion's "America With Jorge Ramos," 7/25/14)

The Washington Post's "Plum Line" Headline: "Hillary Sharpens Up Stance On Border Crisis." (Greg Sargent, "Morning Plum: Hillary Sharpens Up Stance On Border Crisis," The Washington Post , 7/28/14)

  • "Clinton Came Out Against Any Changes To The 2008 Trafficking Law." "Speaking to Fusion's Jorge Ramos, Clinton came out against any changes to the 2008 trafficking law, which Republicans are seeking to expedite deportations of arriving minors as a condition for supporting any aid to address the debacle." (Greg Sargent, "Morning Plum: Hillary Sharpens Up Stance On Border Crisis," The Washington Post , 7/28/14)
  • Clinton Clarified Her Position On The Border Crisis, "In A Manner That, Intentionally Or Not, Sharpened The Contrast With The Position Of Most Republicans." "In a smart move, Hillary Clinton firmed up her position on the crisis in an interview that aired over the weekend - in a manner that, intentionally or not, sharpened the contrast with the position of most Republicans." (Greg Sargent, "Morning Plum: Hillary Sharpens Up Stance On Border Crisis," The Washington Post , 7/28/14)

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