Today NY Governor David Paterson announced that he will appoint Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to the U.S. Senate to replace Hillary Clinton. The announcement comes after weeks of speculation regarding the possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy.
So, what does this appointement mean? Well for us folks that are working tirelessly for immigrants’ rights – it means yet another obstacle. Gillibrand’s record on immigration is pretty dismal and her appointment is extremely disappointing. She believes in “enforcing the laws already on the books” (aka staying the course even though the system is broken), “securing our borders” (aka the ridiculous border wall and hopped up security that leads to things like this ) and the SAVE act.
Just to give you a small idea, NumbersUSA – the nativist “think tank” – gives her a high grade for her voting record. We expected better from Paterson, who’s state is one of the most pro-immigrant constituencies in the country.
Our partners, the New York Immigration Coalition, released a statement shortly after the appointment. While they acknowledged Gillibrand’s negative record on immigration, they also opened the door for improvement:
At a time when Congress has a clear mandate to fix our broken immigration system, we don’t need rhetoric that divides us, pitting immigrant workers against native-born workers; we need solutions that bring us together and make America stronger. We hope that in her new position representing the state as a whole, Senator Gillibrand will be a strong advocate for just and humane immigration reform, devising a practical and realistic solution to bringing undocumented immigrants into the system and reforming our immigration system so that it is fairer to all.