Gov. Paterson has picked Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S Senate. As described by the New York Times earlier today, Gillibrand is "known for bold political moves and centrist policy positions." Gillibrand--endorsed by the National Riffle Association and the recipient of a high grade from an anti-immigrant group called NumbersUSA--is not an encouraging pick for the immigrant community.
According to her website, Gillibrand opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and co-sponsored the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act in 2007. The SAVE Act aimed at reducing the inflow of undocumented immigrants by increasing border security and internal enforcement and complete the fence along the border.
The SAVE Act failed to pass DMI's two-part test for immigration policy that benefits the middle-class. Part one requires that immigration policy should not undermine the critical contribution that immigrants make to our economy as workers, entrepreneurs, taxpayers and consumers. Part two holds that immigration policy must strengthen the rights of immigrants in the workplace. Most Democrats and immigration advocates opposed the bill.
Gillibrand needs to change her position on immigration now that she is representing not only the 20th district of upstate New York, but the whole state, including New York City, where immigrants are the backbone of the economy. We shouldn't let the debate over TARP and other issues distract attention from this glaring deficiency in her legislative record.