When Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was named U.S. senator for New York in 2009, to fill the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, some immigrant advocates (and the editorial board of El Diario) decried the appointment, pointing to her historically conservative record on immigration issues. El Diario went as far as to publish a cover story on Gillibrand with the headline, "Anti Inmigrante."
As a congresswoman, Gillibrand openly opposed granting any amnesty to undocumented immigrants and supported policies allowing local police officers to enforce federal immigration laws. She also came out against then-governor Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to give undocumented immigrants the opportunity to obtain driver’s licenses.
Lately, however, she has joined Democratic Senator Charles Schumer to push for comprehensive immigration reform, and make amends with El Diario’s readers. She recently gave the Spanish-language paper an exclusive interview in which she committed herself to passing comprehensive immigration reform, the DREAM Act, and stopping home raids on undocumented immigrants. Will this convince Latinos to cast votes for her on November 2?
This story was produced by Feet in Two Worlds, a project at The New School's Center for New York City Affairs. Feet in Two Worlds coverage of the New York Primary is supported, in part, by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.