December 4, 2015

Martin O’Malley: Hillary Clinton Represents The “Failed Thinking Of The Past” On Immigration

Yesterday in Illinois, Martin O’Malley unloaded on Hillary Clinton over her contradictory and misleading immigration record. In his remarks, O’Malley went through Clinton’s record on Byron Dorgan’s 2007 poison pill amendment, drivers licenses, and the unaccompanied border crisis, and showed that her current rhetoric is not in line with her past actions. Clinton wants Democratic primary voters to think she’s always been a strong supporter of immigration reform, but her record shows that to be false.

This year, Clinton has stated that “that a comprehensive path to citizenship to reform our immigration system is the only answer.” Yet as O’Malley reminded his audience, in 2007 it was Hillary Clinton’s vote for a union-backed poison pill amendment that ensured that comprehensive immigration reform would not become a reality.

As Sen. Chuck Schumer recalled , “‘in 2007… Byron Dorgan did an amendment and it scuttled the bill,’ said Schumer.” The Dorgan amendment passed by a single vote, 49-48.

O’Malley also mentioned that the same year Hillary Clinton killed comprehensive immigration reform, she also came out against drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

More recently, O’Malley attacked Clinton for her position on Central American refugees. O’Malley highlighted that during the unaccompanied minor refugee crisis, Hillary Clinton’s position was that “they should be sent back” because “we have to send a clear message.” This year, O’Malley criticized Clinton for continuing to use the term “illegal immigrant.” Clinton has since backtracked never to use the term again.

Using Clinton’s own immigration record against her, Martin O’Malley argued that “we are not going to solve this problem with some sort of poll tested triangulation from the past.” Hillary Clinton has changed her immigration position whenever a changed helped her electorally, and she has the record to prove it.

Background

In An August 2015 Interview, Clinton Said A “Comprehensive Path To Citizenship… Is The Only Answer.” CLINTON: “Well, I’ve had the same position on immigration for many years, going back to when I was a Senator from New York. I’ve worked closely with the Latino community, certainly in New York, but around the country. I think that a comprehensive path to citizenship to reform our immigration system is the only answer. And we did get a bill through the Senate. And it was a bipartisan bill. And unfortunately then the House of Representatives stopped it. I want to make this a voting issue. I want people when they go to vote for Congress, for the Senate, for President, they’re thinking about, will this support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Right now none of the leading Republicans support that. And even some who did-” (Hillary Clinton, Interview With Univision, Claremont, NH, 8/11/15)

In June 2007, Clinton Voted For Dorgan Amendment Which Effectively Killed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Efforts. (S.Amdt.1316 to S.Amdt.1150 to S.1348, Roll Call Vote #201: Passed 49-48: R 11-36; D 37-11; I 1-1, 6/6/07, Clinton Voted Yea)

· The Dorgan Amendment – Which Sunset The Guest Worker Program After Five Years – Is Characterized As The “Poison Pill” That Ended Any Chance Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform From Passing During The George W. Bush Presidency. “Democrat Byron Dorgan, who seldom has tasted legislative success during 15 years in the Senate, scored a dubious victory last week. He was able to insert a poison pill into the immigration reform bill that aimed at emasculating the essential guest-worker program. The 49 to 48 vote that passed Dorgan’s amendment included surprising support from two prominent first-term senators: Jim DeMint, a conservative Republican from South Carolina, and Barack Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate from Illinois.” (Robert Novak, Op-Ed, “Dorgan’s Poison Pill,” The Washington Post, 6/14/07)

Clinton Bluntly Stated That She Opposes Drivers Licenses For Illegal Immigrants – Even In The Absence Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform During A Primary Debate. CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: “Well, let’s go through everybody because I want to be precise. I want to make sure the viewers and those of us who are here fully understand all of your positions on this barring – avoiding, assuming – there isn’t going to be comprehensive immigration reform. Do you support or oppose driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants? … Senator Clinton?” CLINTON: “No.” (Hillary Clinton, CNN Democrat Presidential Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 11/15/07)

At CNN’s Hard Choices Town Hall Meeting, Clinton Said Children Illegally Immigrating From Central America “Should Be Sent Back As Soon As It Can Be Determined Who Responsible Adults In Their Family Are” Because “We Don’t Want To Send A Message That Is Contrary To Our Laws Or Will Encourage More Children To Make That Dangerous Journey.” CLINTON: “Many children are fleeing from that violence [in Central America].” CNN’s CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: “Should they be able to stay here? It’s safer.” CLINTON: “It may be safer but that’s not the answer.” AMANPOUR: “Should they be sent back?” CLINTON: “Well first of all, we have to provide the best emergency care we can provide. We have children five and six years old who have come up from Central America. We need to do more to provide border security in southern Mexico – ” AMANPOUR: “So you’re saying, they should be sent back now?” CLINTON: “They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are because there are concerns about whether all of them can be sent back. But I think all of them who can be, should be reunited with their families… We have to send a clear message. Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.” (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At CNN’s Hard Choices Town Hall, 6/17/14)