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Sen. Clinton suggests barrier at border
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — Taking her hardest line yet against illegal immigrants, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told the New York Daily News she wants U.S. borders secured with a wall or fence, and possibly surveillance drones and infrared cameras.
Clinton's proposal, which came just weeks after she blasted Republican crackdowns on illegal immigrants as un-Christian, raised the ire of activists.
But she tempered her remarks by saying that although she supports a barrier to stem new illegal immigrants, she favors a legalization process for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already here.
Clinton, D-N.Y., said she envisions a two-stage plan in which border security is beefed up, followed by legalization efforts in a year or two.
"A physical structure is obviously important. A wall in certain areas would be appropriate," she said, endorsing a high-tech "smart fence" that could spot people approaching from 200 or 300 yards.
Embracing both conservative and liberal goals, Clinton said she backs citizenship rather than amnesty for illegal immigrants, as long as it's "earned."
At the same time, she welcomed tougher enforcement of federal laws punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants. Clinton also does not support a work and school boycott by advocacy groups set for May 1.
At a planning meeting Saturday for a demonstration in New York City, immigrant advocates criticized Clinton's stance.
"To see the senator from New York, which is clearly an immigrant state, take a position that harsh is not the real solution," said Gouri Sadhwani, executive director of the New York Civic Participation Project and La Fuente.
"The flow of undocumented immigrants into our country will not be stopped by putting up a fence along the Mexican border."
Last month, Clinton lambasted a bill passed by the GOP-led House that would make illegal immigrants felons.
"It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures," she said then. "This bill would literally criminalize the good Samaritan — and probably even Jesus himself."
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