Gillibrand’s New ‘Abolish ICE’ Position in Conflict with Her Record | NTK Network Gillibrand’s New ‘Abolish ICE’ Position in Conflict with Her Record

Gillibrand’s New ‘Abolish ICE’ Position in Conflict with Her Record

The New York senator wants to “reimagine” Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In 2007, she supported legislation to accelerate deportations.

By NTK Staff | 06.29.2018 @10:00am

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) made news Thursday evening when she became the first U.S. senator to call for abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement.

To make her position clearer, Gillibrand followed up with a tweet, highlighting her remarks on CNN’s “Cuomo Tonight” and articulating specifically, “We need to abolish ICE, start over and build something that actually works.”

On issue after issue, Gillibrand has taken great pains to be the first Democrat to stake out a position on controversial issues. She was the first Democratic senator to call for Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) resignation after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, and now she’s taking extreme positions on immigration.

Gillibrand’s end goal is to launch a presidential campaign and defeat Donald Trump in 2020. Political maneuvers like these are necessary to put her in the best possible position to run next year.

But being the “first” to say this or that does not erase a candidate’s record. And that will be a problem for Gillibrand, because as a member of Congress, she supported much stricter immigration laws.

In 2007, Gillibrand co-sponsored the “SAVE Act,” which aimed to crack down on illegal immigration with more border guards and surveillance technology. It also accelerated deportations and required employers to use a program to verify employee’s immigration status.

The New York Daily News reported in 2010 that her website included the following message on immigration:

‘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.’

Gillibrand’s positions were so extreme that a New York assemblyman, Peter Rivera, who was the senior Hispanic in the state legislature at the time, called Gillibrand’s positions “xenophobic.”

Politicians change positions on a routine basis, but rarely are the swings from position to position this extreme and this rapid. Gillibrand will need to convince Democratic primary voters that she’s the best candidate to represent their values in 2020, but first she’ll have to overcome a massive trust deficit among the party faithful.

Sign Up

for NTK updates every week.

View Privacy Policy