Social justice writer, public education advocate, immigrant rights activist, and US Navy Veteran Robert D. Skeels has published an essay that explores the immigration policies of key Democratic Party leaders including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano, and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the context of both neoliberalism and U.S. interventionism in Latin America. The essay is entitled: "Lesser Evil? The Democrats and immigration policy in the era of neoliberalism."

Skeels' examination of key Democrats, and their roles in imposing draconian immigration enforcement, has resulted in the conclusion that Hillary Clinton's heavy handed record on immigration should give immigration reform activists pause.

He writes:

While Clinton frequently modulates her rhetorical positions, it is more than she is generally to the right of most of her fellow Democrats. Instead, she is often to the right of many Republicans on immigration issues. Exemplary is this 2004 newspaper passage: “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is staking out a position on illegal immigration that is more conservative than President Bush”. This was not a fluke, the self-proclaimed “Goldwater Girl” has consistently held herself out as being tougher than Republicans on immigration and has crafted a message that essentially tars all immigrants as being possible terrorists. Consider the latter part of this passage: “In an interview on WABC radio, she said, ‘I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants,‘ and in an interview on Fox News she accused Bush of not doing enough to ‘protect our borders and ports‘”. Akers Chacón rightly identifies this strategy—one that Clinton has mastered: “the Democratic Party has not only made ‘winning the war on terrorism‘ its clarion call, but it is also responsible for helping to shift the debate to the border.” The unparalleled nexus of domestic law enforcement, barriers, increased border patrol, and so-called “Homeland Security” bound by policies including Secure Communities is something that Clinton has advocated for during her career. Maestas deftly sums this up: “Democrats like the Clintons have championed ‘get tough’ policies that have bolstered bureaucracies and enterprises (private prisons) who have an incentive to maintain the status quo.”

Click here to read the entire essay.