Via BUZZFEED: Speaking in Iowa Wednesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States, a story that conflicts with public census and other records related to her maternal and paternal grandparents.
The story of her grandmother specifically immigrating is one Clinton has told before. Clinton’s sole foreign-born grandparent, Hugh Rodham Sr., immigrated as a child.
“Her grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants,” a Clinton spokesman told BuzzFeed News. “As has been correctly pointed out, while her grandfather was an immigrant, it appears that Hillary’s grandmother was born shortly after her parents and siblings arrived in the U.S. in the early 1880s.”
“All my grandparents, you know, came over here and you know my grandfather went to work in lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and worked there until he retired at 65. He started there when he was a teenager and just kept going,” Clinton said.
We are turning down people who really want to work. I mean they are here to work And a lot of them now have children who are American citizens, and they are doing the best they can to try to make a good life for themselves and their families. And you know, I think if we were to just go around this room, there are a lot of immigrant stories. All my grandparents, you know, came over here and you know my grandfather went to work in lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania and worked there until he retired at 65. He started there when he was a teenager and just kept going. So I sit here and I think well you’re talking about the second, third generation. That’s me, that’s you. And we are saying to all these other people who want the same dreams and the same aspirations and the willingness to work hard just like our families did that no, we’re not going to make it easy for you, we’re not going to make it legal for you. And I just think that’s such a short term, unfortunate outcome for us and well as for them.
An article in the Irish-America by an ancestry researcher sent to BuzzFeed News by the Clinton campaign also noted Hannah Jones was born in Scranton.
All of the Clinton’s grandparents were born in the United States, “with the exception of Hugh,” Megan Smolenyak, the article’s researcher said. Smolenyak noted seven of Clinton’s eight great-grandparents were immigrants
Donnie Radcliffe, the Washington Post reporter who chronicled first ladies and wrote a biography of Hillary Clinton, tells a similar ancestry, tracing only Hugh Rodham Sr. as foreign-born.