Flip Flop Flashback: Senator Hillary Clinton: I'm 'Adamantly Against Illegal Immigrants'

May 7, 2015

Hillary Clinton forcefully advocated this week for a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million immigrants illegally residing in the United States.

Clinton promised to go further than Barack Obama in providing protection for illegal immigrants. Immigration-reform activists and many on the left praised Clinton’s stance as stunningly brave and bold. Clinton, at her campaign event in Las Vegas, said her beliefs on immigration could not be called into doubt.

"So you know where I stand, and there can be no question about it," Clinton said.

Clinton has not always spoken so supportively for the undocumented in the country.

The GOP has released an audio clip of Hillary Clinton striking a very different tone on immigration.

"We’ve got to do several things and I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants," Clinton said on the John Gambling Radio Show in 2003.

More than a decade ago, Clinton sounded more like the Republican presidential candidates, advocating for more border control.

"I made this exception basically on humanitarian grounds because of the individual story—but certainly we’ve got to do more at our borders," Clinton said.

At the time, conservatives thought they had an ally in Clinton. A number of political experts said Clinton’s immigration stance was to the right of President George W. Bush and was even referred to as "Pat Buchanan-esque."

Critics have called Clinton a "flip-flopper" pandering to the Hispanic community to maintain the Obama coalition that propelled him over Clinton in 2008 and into the White House.

As senator, Clinton advocated for the tracking of immigrants, tighter border controls, and identification upon entry and exit of the country.

The day before a major debate in 2007, Clinton held a firm stance against providing driver licenses for illegal immigrants.

"As president, I will not support driver’s licenses for undocumented people," Clinton said.

Clinton’s stated anti-immigration positions last year as well. On June 17, 2014 Clinton expressed her desire to deport child immigrants from Central America.

"We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border doesn't mean your child gets to stay," Clinton said.