Gillibrand Changes Immigration Stance

Grace Rauh, NY1, February 3, 2009

As an upstate congresswoman, Kirsten Gillibrand opposed a path to citizenship for immigrants here illegally. She also supported financial penalties for so-called sanctuary cities like New York, which don’t enforce immigration laws and even favored federal legislation to deputize local police officers to enforce immigration laws.

A little more than a week into her new job as senator, she’s abandoning those positions in an interview with our sister station, NY1 Noticias, and is staking out new ones.

When asked if she will commit to asking President Obama to stop deportations immediately, Gillibrand said, “Yes. I think it’s the wrong approach and based on all the information I’ve now learned, I believe that to be the case.”

After an uproar from Latino groups that greeted her appointment to the Senate, Gillibrand is trying to minimize the significance of her congressional record on immigration.

“A lot of these votes, literally, were procedural motions that were taken with five minutes of information given to me about what it says, without the panoply of issues, debate, analysis that I’ve had the benefit of here,” said Gillibrand.

She says her upstate roots put her at a disadvantage when it came to learning about the issue.

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