November 4th, 2007
10:04 AM ET
7 years ago

Drivers hit by illegal immigrants speak to Clinton

Clinton spoke in Des Moines Saturday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - At least two people spoke up in front of Hillary Clinton on Saturday in support of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, an issue Clinton said relates to a larger problem "we have to solve."

The senator from New York had just finished speaking to a group of Polk County, Iowa, field staff in Des Moines and was getting ready to leave the room when Clinton supporter Lee Jolliffe started yelling over the crowd noise.

"There are two of us here," Jolliffe said, "who have been hit by those unlicensed drivers. It's not a privilege, it’s a protection."

Jolliffe was pointing out that drivers who can have licenses are more likely to have insurance.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Clinton responded. "I appreciate you raising that because, you know, the federal government has failed. The federal government has failed, and states are trying to figure out what to do."

She continued, "But two people right in this room have been hit, have been hit by people who are here and undocumented."

That prompted one man to shout, "More than two!"

"More than two," Clinton replied. "So, you know, at some point we have to solve this problem because we're seeing all sorts of consequences. So thank you for being a witness to that. Thank you."

Jolliffe later told CNN she wanted to give Clinton an opportunity to defend herself on the issue, one that created some heat at Tuesday night's debate.

Asked about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's controversial plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Clinton said it "makes a lot of sense" but stopped short of endorsing the plan.

"We want to know who's in New York," she said. "We want people to come out of the shadows."

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, claimed Clinton's answer was inconsistent. And Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, called the plan "troublesome," adding that "a license is a privilege, and that ought not to be extended, in my view."

Sen. Barack Obama later said, "Senator Clinton left us wondering where she stood on every single hard question from Iran to Social Security to drivers' licenses for undocumented workers."

-CNN's Chris Welch and Steve Brusk


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. DA

    MY CAR WAS HIT ON 12-28-07 BY AN HISPANIC MALE ,HE DID NOT STOP.LATER TO FIND OUT HE HAD NO DRIVERS LICENSE AND NO INS.WHY BECAUSE HE CANT GET THEM .SO WHO PAYS THE BILL MY INS. AND I . I SAY IF U CANT GET THEM OUT OF HERE, GIVE THEM DRIVERS LICENSE SO THEY WILL HAVE INS .

    January 4, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Luzdenny Fernandez

    I think it is a wonder idea to give illegal immigrants driver icense. That would give people protection. We need a plan to give illegal immigrants a chance to be legal!Who ever is against illegal immigrants is your opinion but always think that we were all MIGRATED. This was not your country in the first place. Also if you believe in GOD you would understand the we are all his children. As long as you come into America to work or go to school to provide shelter and food for your family, you should have the right to have permission to be here!!!!!!!!!!!! Hatred is not going to stop in this world with people always wanting the worse for other people. We just need a background check for all immigrants and determin from there!!!!! WALK IN LOVE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

    THANKS AND VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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