The immigration records of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came under attack from each other in the Miami Democratic debate on Wednesday. Clinton, who is very much courting the Latino demographic in Florida and elsewhere in the United States, attacked Sanders for not agreeing to an immigration bill back in 2007, while Sanders fired back that she had been against allowing undocumented immigrants to hold drivers’ licenses.
At the Miami Dade College debate, Sanders claimed that Eliot Spitzer, the Governor of New York, had wanted to provide undocumented immigrants with drivers’ licenses, but that Clinton had prevailed upon him to not do so. Spitzer’s proposal also came about in 2007, with Clinton initially seeming to support the idea. Later, however, she gave a rather more muddled response to the proposal and not long after it was dropped.
Sanders has unearthed a statement from Clinton following the dropping of the proposal in which she makes it clear she agreed with Spitzer’s eventual decision. “As President, I will not support drivers’ licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system,” her 2007 statement read.
In 2009, Spitzer gave an interview in which he alluded to the fact that Clinton was one of those who had been against the plan. However, Clinton has changed her position since beginning her campaign for the White House in 2016.