Jan 20, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Gillibrand: My former immigration stance was wrong, not "empathetic"

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that her previous hardline immigration views earlier in her political career "certainly weren't empathetic and were not kind," as the comments come under increased scrutiny since she announced that she’s entering the 2020 presidential race.

"What President Trump is doing is destroying the moral fabric of what this country stands for. … I am nothing like him and never will be."
— Gillibrand to CNN

Background: As a member of the U.S. House representing an upstate New York district before joining the Senate in 2008, Gillibrand opposed "amnesty for illegal immigrants," voted to increase funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and supported calls for English to be the country’s official language.

Details: Gillibrand, who has abandoned her prior conservative positions, also confronted her past immigration record during an interview on ABC's "This Week."

  • She said she has dramatically evolved and would urge voters to "look at my heart, see who I am. I believe I have the courage and the compassion and fearless determination to do what's right."
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