Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton's Dubious Immigration Plan

The White House hopeful will say anything to get elected.

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Deep in some locked and long-forgotten sub-basement of her soul, or what remains of it, Hillary Clinton might still retain a conviction or two. It would be lovely to think one made a fleeting appearance in her recent speech on immigration, which was not all bad.

Clinton embraced a path to citizenship for unlawfully present migrants and intimated that she would go even further than President Obama has to grant them amnesty from deportation. But a close reading of her words shows that she left herself substantial wiggle room. For example, she said only that undocumented immigrants should be able to "make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children." She didn't say they should actually get it.

What Clinton says, however, is almost immaterial. She will say anything she needs to say, and do anything she needs to do, to win the Oval Office. Last summer she insisted that the children streaming over the border into the U.S. "should be sent back as soon as" their parents or responsible relatives can be found. Then she amended and revised those remarks. Her speech last week came shortly after news emerged about the Koch Brothers' LIBRE effort to reach out to Latino voters, who have begun drifting toward the GOP in recent years.

That trend could accelerate if the GOP nominates either Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who have been called the Republican Party's "Latino superstars," or Jeb Bush, whose immigration moderation ("There is no plan to deport 11 million people. We should give them a path to legal status.") has earned him boos from conservative dogmatists. Barack Obama has done well among Hispanics, but John Kerry's margin over George W. Bush among Hispanic voters was a mere 10 points. So Hillary's swerve to the left on immigration looks like a play to stop any further Republican gains among Latinos before they become serious.

Now, people can have more than one reason for doing something, and on immigration Clinton might have found an issue where her careerism dovetails with her conscience, if she still has any. And regardless of her reason for embracing a more open immigration policy, it is welcome. On immigration the GOP is, with a few exceptions such as Rubio, utterly swivel-eyed. Its leaders rave about "amnesty" and "self-deportation" and "securing the border," to the point that more than one has suggested the U.S. put an electrified fence along it. Even Sen. Rand Paul, who once served as standard-bearer for libertarianism, wants to "seal the border." Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker goes so far as to advocate reducing not only illegal but also legal immigration in the name of "protecting American workers and American wages."

Remember, these are the views, at least for public consumption, of a party that claims to believe in free trade. "We envision a worldwide multilateral agreement among nations committed to the principles of open markets," said the 2012 GOP Platform. Yet Republicans who think consumer goods should move freely across international borders say the opposite about consumers themselves. Republicans are also, quite rightly, hostile to governmental meddling in private business.

The regulatory state, they contend, does nothing but monkey wrench the engines of economic progress. Then they turn around and insist that the regulatory state should be able to tell a businessman he can't hire a willing worker from another country without a permission slip from a federal bureaucrat. Government, say Republicans, is a "wire that cuts into the living fullness of the world," to borrow from novelist Mark Helprin. Except when it's putting up barbed wire along the Rio Grande. Then it's just awesome.

As they do whenever a Democrat occupies the Oval Office, conservatives have become alarmed about the threat of jackbooted government goons stomping on civil liberties. "Armed EPA Raid in Alaska Sheds Light on 70 Fed Agencies With Armed Divisions," notes Fox News. But apparently not all raids are created equal: "Republican lawmakers called on the Obama administration to return to the era of workplace raids to arrest illegal employees," reported The Los Angeles Times four years ago. Oh.

Republicans "celebrate" entrepreneurs in one breath—"America's small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, employing tens of millions of workers," says the party platform—and rail against immigration in the next, studiously ignoring the data that show immigrants are more likely to start a business than native-born citizens. As the Partnership for a New Economy has noted, immigrants "have founded more than 40 percent of America's Fortune 500 companies (and) are now more than twice as likely as the native-born to start a business." Yet according to Scott Walker, keeping more of those people out will be good for American workers.

All of which raises a question: Is it better to express the right conviction opportunistically, as Clinton does, or—like her Republican rivals—to sincerely hold the wrong one?

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  1. I’ll do anything I have to do
    Just to be in the White House another term or two.

  2. You know who else said anything to get elected…

    1. Every politician ever?

  3. Then they turn around and insist that the regulatory state should be able to tell a businessman he can’t hire a willing worker from another country without a permission slip from a federal bureaucrat.

    Worse, they want to draft employers into ICE. Whatever they think of illegal immigration, the idea of forcing businesses to become immigration officers should concern GOPers.

    Oh, and the sky is blue, water is wet and Hillary is pandering. And according to Politico the Clintons have support from Univision, so she’ll be getting a good chunk of the Hispanic vote regardless.

  4. Her speech last week came shortly after news emerged about the Koch Brothers’ LIBRE effort to reach out to Latino voters, who have begun drifting toward the GOP in recent years.

    Any evidence for this assertion?

    are now more than twice as likely as the native-born to start a business

    And they are also poorer than natives. Wonder why that is? Remember, a taco stand can be considered a business.

    1. They’re poorer than natives because they came from a dirt poor country. The fact that they are currently still poorer tells us nothing about the direction they’re trending and a group can be improving rapidly while still being poorer than average due to a low starting point. For example, the South is still poorer than the north in this country because the south was dirt poor about 50 years ago, but Southern states have far higher growth rates than northern states today and are quickly catching up.

      You knew that though, you’re just our resident racist running a sockpuppet account.

      1. You can look at the second and third generation Hispanic Americans. I wouldn’t recommend it, though, you won’t like what you’ll find.

    2. Remember, a taco stand can be considered a business.

      What’s wrong with a taco stand business? They are working and paying their way so that is a good thing.

    3. Fuck you, you condescending bitch. A taco stand is nothing to be ashamed of. These people came from worthless shitholes with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and they’ve achieved more in life than you have. Go fuck your dipshit retard mother living off SSDI.

      1. It takes a real dumb fuck to think every country other than the US is a third world shit hole.

        Over the years Ive been friends with and worked with quite a few immigrants. The vast majority of them were from “dirt poor countries” (as Irish said) and “worthless shitholes” (like Falcon said) like Canada, UK, Germany, Ireland and Japan.

        None of those countries are “developing”. In all of those nations the living standards are equal to our own. In many ways, life is better in those countries. The rates of incarceration and police murdering citizens are a miniscule fraction what they are here in the shining land on a hill with streets paved of gold.

        People move for any one of countless reasons. If you can pull your head out of your own asshole long enough, you might even realize most of those reasons having nothing to do with stealing your redneck landscaping business or converting your kids to Islam.

        There are very few things as fascist as telling other people where they can and cant live. And there is absolutely nothing less libertarian than the same.

  5. Yesterday Jessica Valenti had her idiotic comment about how she didn’t see a guy on the train following any women on twitter while she was spying on him, therefore he probably was a passive sexist.

    I have just discovered the best reaction to that stupidity.

    “Godfrey Elfwick
    ?@GodfreyElfwick
    Looking through my neigbours’ keyhole and I can see his book collection contains ZERO transsexual authors.
    Passive Transphobia is real.”

    Troll level = 9000

    1. Jessica Valenti I believe is genuinely mentally ill.

    2. Well played, Sir Godfrey of the Twittervale. Well played indeed.

  6. As the Partnership for a New Economy has noted, immigrants “have founded more than 40 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies (and) are now more than twice as likely as the native-born to start a business.” Yet according to Scott Walker, keeping more of those people out will be good for American workers.

    Who are “these people?” Are they Mexicans? Haitians? No! They include noted immigrants like…..Thomas Edison, founder of General Electric! He was the son of an immigrants from Scotland. And us, of course.

    http://www.politifact.com/trut…..re-starte/

    Politifact rates this claim half true, which I think is generous.

  7. This Hillary? I am “adamantly against illegal immigrants.”

    I guess she had to pander in the other direction in 2003.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxASD4jHgCk

  8. 22 years old and as true as ever…

    I am Hillary, hear me roar
    I’m more important than Al Gore
    I could run this country if I had the chance
    Got an office down the hall
    Now Bill can’t fool around at all
    In this White House family I wear the pants
    Oh, yes, I’m his wife, but I’m in love with politics
    Yes this is the life, I might run in ninety-six
    If I want to I will say anything
    I’m so strong (strong) I’m un-divorcable (divorcable)
    I am Clinton

  9. Part of the problem with the GOPers is they have this inaccurate idea of what illegal immigrants are–they view them as mostly poor Mexicans streaming across an open border, living in hovels and committing crimes, stealing jobs, and using too many public services. This ignores the numbers who didn’t come over the land border (which is pretty difficult to cross, with the risks of the desert, border patrol, and private citizens who will happily shoot them) but instead overstayed their visas, or lived here a while and have skilled jobs, or avoid using public services (hospitals, welfare, e.g.) due to fear of being deported. Not to mention that many have close family or business ties, and while they may still be here illegally, uprooting them still has net costs for their communities.

    The problem is the more complicated reality doesn’t work as well as this idea that millions of people are leeching off the taxpayers and a combination of pasty liberals and greedy businessmen (who just want cheap labor) are conspiring to keep our border unguarded while we see our wages decline and our communities go bankrupt. This is not unlike the difficulty of explaining the benefits of free trade to people who think free trade is why they lost their job.

    1. No one is afraid they are going to be deported if they use a public service.

  10. DUH? Hillary will say anything to get elected…. I am so freaking shocked…

  11. In my local school district, 23% are children of illegal immigrants. I’m a 50 yr old male with no offspring.

    68% of my $5K/yr of property taxes pays for schools (not to mention the income and sales taxes to the state).

    Pay up or shut up…

  12. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker goes so far as to advocate reducing not only illegal but also legal immigration in the name of “protecting American workers and American wages.”
    #######

    OMG!

    A presidential candidate looking out for the interests of American workers over immigrants and employers!

    Heresy! Blasphemy! Burn the witch! BURN!

  13. “We envision a worldwide multilateral agreement among nations committed to the principles of open markets,” said the 2012 GOP Platform. Yet Republicans who think consumer goods should move freely across international borders say the opposite about consumers themselves.
    #######

    Yes, an open *market*, a market being a place where goods are exchanged.

    But most people don’t want *human beings* to be the marketable goods exported and imported across borders.

    We don’t want human widgets imported across the border.

    And we don’t wish to grant everyone in the world the right to vote to further reduce the few freedoms we have left.

    When you import *people*, you import their politics as well, which will be imposed by force starting at the voting booth. How many countries do you see with a population that has a greater general commitment to freedom than the US?

    1. nothing is more terrifying than people being free to choose what is best for themselves, is it? Companies can be taxws and regulated into compliance but people are completely unpredictable! And god help us all if these mysterious “people” start having tgeir own IDEAs and wanting BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS like REPRESENTATION. Some of us desrve to be here because we are Americans and everyone else should go back to Mexico. Im talking about REAL AMERICANS not those goddamn WETBACK PILGRIMS. Did they wait 20-30 years for a green card? Real americans congealed here from a mix of apple pie, baseball stuffing and gun powder and everyone else can just stfu

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