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27.9.07

Hillary On Sanctuary Cities

It's not often you'll catch me praising Hillary Clinton, but in last night's presidential primary debate I think she did a good job of explaining why the only people who should be enforcing immigration laws are ICE officers:

RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, would you allow the sanctuary cities [cities where local police do not enforce immigration laws] to exist?

CLINTON: Well, in addition to the general points that have been made that I agree with, why do they have sanctuary cities? In large measure because, if local law enforcement begins to act like immigration enforcement officers, what that means is that you will have people not reporting crimes, you will have people hiding from the police. And I think that is a real, direct threat to the personal safety and security of all the citizens.

So this is a result of the failure of the federal government, and that's where it needs to be fixed.

RUSSERT: But you would allow the sanctuary cities to disobey the federal law?

CLINTON: Well, I don't think there is any choice. The ICE groups come in and raid individuals, but if you are a local police chief and you're trying to solve a crime that you know people from the immigrant community have information about, they may not talk to you if they think you're also going to be enforcing the immigration laws.

CLINTON: Local law enforcement has a different job than federal immigration enforcement. The problem is the federal government has totally abdicated its responsibility.


ETA: Kudos as well to Bill Richardson (who you will also not often hear me saying anything good about) for starting his response with "You're asking me first because I'm Latino, aren't you?" and ending it with an explicit endorsement of increased legal immigration.

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