On the eve of President Trump’s State of the Union Address, expected to address immigration, the Republican National Committee is reminding the country that former President Bill Clinton proposed a very similar plan — to bipartisan applause.

In an email, the RNC teased with this line: “Ahead of the Tuesday’s State of the Union address, I wanted to share a speech excerpt on immigration policy that is sure to receive a bipartisan standing ovation.”

But in clicking the video, Clinton appears and is giving his tough talk on immigration at his 1995 State of the Union Address.


All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That's why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens. In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace... We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.

And in an accompanying post, the GOP lists other Democrats, now ripping Trump’s immigration plan, talking up similar past efforts.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com