It’s 2018 and Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) fervently professes her support of amnesty for illegal aliens and that even regularly deported criminal aliens should be shielded from federal immigration enforcement.
Yet in 1994, Feinstein harshly complained of the soaring costs of incarcerating illegal aliens in California prisons, and asked for tougher border security.
Dianne Feinstein, meet Dianne Feinstein.
Back in 1993 and 1994, Feinstein’s former rival, Gov. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.), had placed a ballot question on the November ballot known as Proposition 187. The measure would have denied public social services to illegal aliens. The measure passed that year despite a huge campaign against it.
Today, the Democrats would push even harder against Prop 187. But in the Wilson era, Feinstein was in a hot race to keep her Senate seat, and her rival was wealthy millionaire Rep. Michael Huffington (R-Calif.). With Proposition 187 polling well, Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor and first-term senator, decided to get on the right side of the issue.
During an interview in 1994 with CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Feinstein defended her stance on illegal immigration. She noted 17 percent of California’s prison population were illegal aliens, costing taxpayers $300 million annually to keep them locked up. And she noted 40 percent of California’s Medicaid births were born to illegal immigrant parents.
In 1993, Feinstein also accused Mexico of using California as a place to send some of its more impoverished citizens.
“We have got to, for the time being, enforce our borders,” said Feinstein. “The day when America could be the welfare system for Mexico is gone. We simply can’t afford it. I think you have seen the figures to state and local governments of what the cost is. It’s over $2 billion.”
Fast forward to 2017 and 2018. Republican Trump is in the White House. And Feinstein is now supporting amnesty for some illegal aliens, and voting to shield illegal aliens from federal immigration officials.
Last December, Feinstein said she would not support a temporary spending bill to keep the government open unless the compromise legislation included protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The young adults are now known as “dreamers,” and there are about 700,000 of them who were extended temporary amnesty by former President Barack Obama in 2012.
Obama issued an executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Trump rescinded the order in September. Democrats now want the policy codified into a law passed by Congress.
Feinstein brought the issue up again earlier in January, asking for a “clean” DACA bill that had no other pesky provisions that would restrict illegal immigration or beef up security along the long-beleaguered southern border.
In 2015, Feinstein also voted against punishment placed upon “sanctuary cities,” municipalities who shield illegal aliens and do not cooperate with federal immigration officials. San Francisco is one such city. The bill failed that year, even though it had a provision in it known as “Kate’s Law.”
Kate Steinle was killed in San Francisco on July 1, 2015, by an illegal alien who fled to San Francisco to take advantage of the policy shielding him from deportation. The bill would have imposed a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years for illegal immigrants who are convicted of re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony, or have three strikes for trying to enter the country illegally, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal.
It makes you wonder what it would take today for Feinstein to see the light she once saw, back in the 1990s.
PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.