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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand immigration stance: tough or just for show?

The new Senator from New York is Kirsten Gillibrand, and it appears that she might be at least slightly strong on immigration matters. However, just how "flexible" she'll be remains to be seen.

On the strong side, her voting record when she was a Congresswoman earned her a B grade from NumbersUSA (link). She co-sponsored the SAVE Act, voted to increase funding for the border fence, voted to punish sanctuary cities, and took other actions mostly in favor of reducing illegal immigration.

On the downside, the immigration page at her House site contains the same boilerplate that those who pretend to be tough but really aren't have used. For one reason or other, her entire House site is currently unavailable, but earlier today Google cached a copy. The full text from that page and my comments follows:
Our immigration system is broken and hard-working Americans often bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure to secure our borders and provide adequate protections for the American worker and the shrinking American Middle Class. I believe the first step to fixing our immigration system is to stop the flow of illegal immigration. This can be accomplished by securing the Southern border, enforcing the employment laws on the books and ensuring that our farmers and businesses have the adequate number of legal workers after they have exhausted their search for American workers. I am firmly against providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. In my first year in Congress, I passed legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives that would bar employers, who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, from receiving federal contracts.

In addition, I am a sponsor of the SAVE Act, which will hire 8,000 new Customs and Border Patrol agents, while utilizing new technology and fencing along the border. I have also sponsored the Legal Employee Verification Act, which would require all employers to verify, through the Social Security Administration, that their employees are legal.

In addition, I support reforming and streamlining the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) so that the extraordinary casework backlog will be addressed within two years. This is especially important for the thousands of farmers in our district who need legal workers. I am confident that Congress can enact reform without providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. This is a national and economic security issue for our country and I am committed to fighting for the American worker.
"Secure the border" and "the system is broken" are stock boilerplate used to hide an amnesty and/or a guest worker program. What's written above implies the second and doesn't rule out the first. Ensuring the "adequate number of legal workers" means a guest worker program. And, almost every politician is against an "amnesty". Some of those opponents also support comprehensive immigration reform while lying about CIR not being amnesty; it's a word game. She might not be playing a word game, or she might be leaving herself wiggle room.

And, note the use of the word "reform" in the final paragraph. While she could be referring to something other than CIR, the use of that word is a strong indicator that she supports CIR.

UPDATE: Some of her opponents on this issue are listed here. And, Tom Brune of Newsday says she's "taken a hard line on illegal immigration", and (note Brune's use of pro-illegal immigration language):
She was the first representative to object to New York's plan to give undocumented immigrants driver's licenses, and she opposes creating a path to citizenship for them... But Gillibrand did not vote to move the (SAVE Act) from committee, where it died... "She sided with Tom Tancredo on the SAVE Act," said Frank Sharry of the pro-immigrant America's Voice, citing the ex-Colorado congressman who ran for president on an anti-illegal immigrant platform... "At the end of the day, my views on illegal immigration are pretty clear," Gillibrand said of the SAVE Act. "I'm supporting the best enforcement bill that Democrats have written this session."
UPDATE 2: She's now giving hints about being less tough. However, before then, this page (kirstengillibrand.com/release_details.asp?id=16) sounds tougher and uses fewer weasly phrases:
In Congress, Congresswoman Gillibrand has been a firm opponent of any proposal that would give amnesty to illegal aliens. The federal government must provide the necessary resources to secure our borders, which is critical for America’s economic and national security. She strongly supports legislation that would significantly increase the number of border patrol agents and place sophisticated technology along the Southern border to catch human and drug smugglers.

Congresswoman Gillibrand authored and passed an amendment that will prevent employers who have hired illegal aliens from receiving federal contracts.

In addition, Congresswoman Gillibrand believes English should be made the official language of the United States and she opposes providing non-emergency taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens. As a Member of the Agriculture Committee, she has advocated for a review of the current H-2A visa system, so that farmers will have access to legal workers when they cannot find Americans to fill their labor needs.

Fri, 01/23/2009 - 22:58 · Importance: 14

Sat, 01/24/2009 - 08:18
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

just for show end of story.