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Hillary’s Ups And Downs With Real ID Act

Alas, Mrs. Bill Clinton’s recent flip-flops involving identification cards and illegal aliens are nothing new.

First we have her position as she enunciated it in 2003, via this 2005 article from the New York Times:

The Evolution of Hillary Clinton


July 13, 2005


Among some leading Republicans, there is no better evidence that Mrs. Clinton is positioning herself for a presidential run than her remarks and record on immigration.

In office, she has consistently supported expanding legal immigration and improving access to health care and education. With Sept. 11 in mind, she has also cast immigration as a national security issue, pressing the president for more money for border security and highlighting the potential threat of terrorists entering New York and the United States through Canada.

Republicans have made much of a radio interview Mrs. Clinton gave to WABC in 2003, in which she declared, “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigration.” She called for a comprehensive system to track these immigrants, some form of entry and exit identification and tighter border controls, and she reluctantly suggested that an identification system for citizens might be needed.

“People have to stop employing illegal immigrants,” she said in the 2003 interview. “I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau Counties, stand on 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.” …

It is amusing to note that The Times were so shocked by madam’s remarks they tried to clean them up a little for her.

But when they were caught, they made the following correction:

Correction: Monday, July 18:

An article last Wednesday about the political evolution of Hillary Rodham Clinton misstated a word in a comment from her interview with WABC radio in 2003. She said, “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants” – not “illegal immigration.”

However, the New York Times could not being themselves to report the exact words Mrs. Rodham used in the radio interview:

Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them… at least a visa ID, some kind of entry-and-exit ID…

[W]e might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens.

Moving on, we go next to Mrs. Clinton’s own words as found (despite being artfully buried) on her website:

May 10, 2005

Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Conference Report and Real ID Act

I’m also deeply concerned that on an emergency supplemental to fund our troops and provide disaster relief for areas devastated by the tsunami we are being asked to vote on the so-called “Real ID” legislation. Its supporters say it is supposed to make our country safer, but how do we know that? We haven’t had any committee hearings or any debate about it in the Senate.

I had previously joined with my colleague, Senator Feinstein, on her amendment to prevent immigration proposals from being thrown needlessly into the emergency supplemental, and I am outraged that the Republican leadership in both the House and Senate decided to ignore this reasonable request and put this seriously flawed act into a bill to fund our troops. Emergency legislation designed to provide our troops with the resources they need to fight terrorism on the front lines is not the place for broad, sweeping immigration reform.

I am in total agreement with those who argue that we need to address our immigration challenges and we must also recognize that we are still not doing what we should to fulfill the demands of homeland security. And these issues do go hand-in-hand. If we can’t secure our borders, we can’t secure our homeland. We need a much tougher, much smarter look at these issues. Instead, we’re faced with a piece of legislation, passed by the House, jammed into an emergency supplemental bill and my Republican colleagues are going to claim that we’ve made America safer. Well, that’s a false claim.

We need to make our borders more secure. I’ve introduced legislation three years in a row to have a Northern Border Coordinator. I’ve met with both Secretary Ridge and Secretary Chertoff. We don’t know who’s in charge of the Northern Border. We’re not even taking simple steps to rationalize our bureaucracy in Washington and figure out where the holes are and how to plug them.

We must continue our American tradition of welcoming immigrants who follow the rules and are trying to build a better life for their families. That’s why I am so troubled by the changes in immigration, environmental and privacy laws included in this bill. I also worry about the consequences likely to occur because of changes in the asylum rules in the Real ID Act.

I’m proud of the fact that our country has historically welcomed asylum seekers and refugees. Utica, New York is one of the most welcoming places for refugees in the entire country. But, under these new rules, we’ll see whether America remains a welcoming place for those who seek refuge from persecution and violence.

We clearly have to make some tough decisions as a country. We need to ensure that people using fake ids don’t cross our borders and jeopardize our homeland security. We must confirm that people who enter our country are who they purport to be.

We need a system to apprehend criminals who are here illegally. And we need to develop a much better entry and exit system so that we know who is entering our country and overstaying their visas.

However, a piecemeal attempt to address immigration problems window-dressed as national security is not the solution. We need a thoughtful, reasonable process to address our immigration challenges and make our nation secure. This emergency bill does not provide that opportunity.

Are you confused yet? This piece of legislation sounds exactly like what Mrs. Clinton had been calling for just two years before.

But in this statement Mrs. Clinton sure sounds like she is dead set against the bill, doesn’t she?

Of course it would seem that at first she is against the Real ID act because it is too lenient. But soon we see she is against it because it is too harsh.

So how did Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton finally vote on the bill?

From Wikipedia:


The REAL ID Act of 2005 is Division B of an act of the United States Congress titled Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005.

Legislative history

The Real ID Act started off as H.R. 418, which passed the House and went stagnant. Representative James Sensenbrenner (R) of Wisconsin, the author of the original Real ID Act, then attached it as a rider on a military spending bill (H.R. 1268).

The House of Representatives passed that spending bill with the Real ID rider 368-58, and the Senate passed the joint House-Senate conference report on that bill 100-0. President Bush signed it into law on May 11, 2005.

That’s right, after all the blather Hillary voted for the Real ID Act, as did every other Senator.

Which is to say she was for it before she was against it, before she was for it, and before she was… whatever she is at this hour.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, November 16th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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