Progressive Hillary Clinton and socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders made expansive promises to extend President Barack Obama’s lax immigration policies and to offer groups of illegals residency or a “path to citizenship.”
During the Washington Post/Univison/CNN debate March 8, Univision moderator Jorge Ramos pushed the two Democrat candidates to say they would not deport “children” and illegal immigrants who hadn’t committed any crimes, presumably other than breaking U.S. immigration laws.
Clinton claimed she would not deport “children” — a term that is often used to cover young men who claim to be aged less than 18 — or resident illegals who do not have a criminal record. She said she would prioritize the deportation of violent criminals, terrorists, and those who threaten the nation’s security, leaving ordinary illegals safe from repatriation.
That stance matches Obama’s current strategy, which offers amnesty to millions of illegals, and also offers at least 200,000 migrants from Central America the opportunity to win U.S. residency via U.S. immigration courts.
Moderator Ramos — whose daughter works for former Secretary of State Clinton’s presidential campaign — asked Clinton if she would be another “deporter-in-chief” like Obama.
That “deporter-in-chief” phrase echoes the political claim that Obama has deported more migrants that prior presidents. In fact, he’s sharply reduced enforcement of immigration laws and has offered work permits to roughly six million foreign migrants.
In response to Ramos’s repeated question, the former First Lady and New York Senator said she is “committed to comprehensive immigration reform” and insisted she would “go as far as she could” to make resident illegals into citizens.
She insisted she would “stop the raids” and “stop the roundups.”
I will not deport children. I would not deport children. I do not want to deport family members either, Jorge. I want to, as I said, prioritize who would be deported: violent criminals, people planning terrorist attacks, anybody who threatens us. That’s a relatively small universe.
For his part, Sanders joined Clinton in the pledge not to deport “children” or illegals without a criminal record. He said he would “welcome those children into this country.”
“The idea that a mother is living here and her children are on the other side of the border is wrong and immoral,” Sanders insisted.
But Sanders also noted Clinton had earlier supported rejecting children from Honduras who made it to the U.S. illegally. Indeed, Sanders was right. In the recent past, Clinton said minors should be deported quickly to “send a message” to their families that the journey is dangerous for unaccompanied children.
In fact, in July of 2014 at CNN’s Hard Choices Town Hall, Clinton reiterated that these younger migrants should be deported right away.
“They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns about whether all of them can be sent back,” Clinton said at the televised meeting. “But I think all of them who can be, should be reunited with their families… We have to send a clear message. Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.
During that period, an Associated Press poll showed that a strong majority of Americans — 57 percent — strongly opposed Obama’s migrant-friendly policy, while only 18 percent strongly supported it. The same poll showed that 43 percent of Americans opposed Obama’s decision to allow younger migrants — “children” — to apply for residency, while only 20 percent supported his policy.
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