Senator Gillibrand changes tune on immigration

One day after meeting with a group of Latino leaders, New York’s junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is now taking a more immigrant-friendly position, and she said she plans to ask President Barack Obama to stop deportations right away.
“Yes, I think it’s the wrong approach and based on all the information I’ve now learned that would be the case,” Gillibrand told NY1 Noticias on Monday, February 2.
Gillibrand’s change of tune came one day after she met with more than a dozen Latino representatives, including Queens Assemblymember Jose Peralta and State Senator Hiram Monserrate, in order to listen to the leaders’ concerns about her immigration record.
“It’s definitely a home run; she has evolved,” Peralta said, after he learned of Gillibrand’s remarks on Monday. “She represents an entire state now. We wanted action, and I’m glad she is delivering.”
During the February 1 meeting in Brooklyn, Gillibrand spoke with the Latino leaders about her position on a host of issues with guns and immigration being the two main topics of discussion.
“The consensus was that we want Senator Gillibrand to lead the efforts on much-needed immigration reform and we are cautiously optimistic that she will champion the causes of our communities,” Monserrate said.
After more than an hour of discussions, Gillibrand emerged with only two of the leaders standing by her side.
“Although we want to give her the benefit of the doubt, we weren’t going to stand by her unless she demonstrated to us that she was serious about changing her position,” Peralta said.
Almost immediately after Governor David Paterson tapped Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacated Senatorial seat, Gillibrand came under fire from pro-immigrant groups for her voting record and policies the groups deemed as anti-immigrant.
As a Congressional representative from upstate New York, Gillibrand supported legislation that would allow local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws, and she opposed a path to citizenship programs for illegal immigrants.
“We didn’t have the kind of advocacy outreach we have here,” Gillibrand told NY1 Noticias. “Where an elected person can become informed and understand something; I didn’t have the benefit of any of it.”

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