Monday, January 28, 2008
As co-blogger Kevin Johnson reported earlier today, it does not look like Hillary Clinton is for the reinstatement of INA Section 212(c)-type relief for longterm LPRs convicted of certain crimes that existed prior to 1996. I'm disappointed in her unwillingness to consider discretionary relief for folks who are deserving of a second chance. Of course her husband started all this by signing the tragic 1996 legislation.
Josh Gerstein writes in the NY Sun:
Immigrant-rights advocates and some Latino leaders are voicing concern at Senator Clinton's campaign-trail rhetoric about swiftly deporting immigrants with a criminal past.
A vow to give the boot to criminal aliens has become an almost daily part of the New York senator's presidential campaign spiel on overhauling the immigration system.
"Anybody who committed a crime in this country or in the country they came from has to be deported immediately, with no legal process. They are immediately gone," Mrs. Clinton told a town hall meeting in Anderson, S.C., Thursday. On Wednesday, she told a crowd in North Bergen, N.J., that such criminals "absolutely" need to be deported. A day earlier, she told a rally in Salinas, Calif., that aliens with criminal records "should be deported, no questions asked."
Mrs. Clinton does not raise the subject in every speech, but her tough talk on the issue dates back at least to the Iowa caucuses last month, where she told the mother of a woman killed by a foreigner in a car accident that illegal aliens who have committed crimes need to be sent home "immediately."
"No legal process," the New York senator said at a forum in Tipton, Iowa, according to a political news outlet, the Politico. "You put them on a plane to wherever they came from."
Mrs. Clinton's emphasis on the haste with which criminals would be removed may make voters more tolerant of her support for legalizing most illegal aliens, but for activists who aid people with immigration problems, her refrain about the lack of recourse is hard to stomach.
UC Davis Professor Bill Hing called Mrs. Clinton's rhetoric overly simplistic. "She needs to make it a lot more clear rather than making these sweeping statements. It is dangerous to write off people without considering their individual backgrounds."
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