Both candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president said definitively Wednesday that they will not deport children if elected.
Univision debate moderator Jorge Ramos asked both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about deportation at the Wednesday-night Democratic debate.
Ramos pressed Clinton repeatedly on the issue of child deportation until she said, plainly, “I will not deport children.”
“I will not deport children. I do not want to deport family members either, Jorge,” Clinton said. “I want to, as I said, prioritise who would be deported: violent criminals, people planning terrorist attacks, anybody who threatens us. That’s a relatively small universe.”
Ramos continued pressing.
“I want to be very specific — so you’re telling us tonight that if you become president, you won’t deport children who are already here?” he said.
“I will not,” she responded. She made the same promise for people without a criminal record.
The position represents a break from the policies of the Obama administration, which she served under as secretary of state. Ramos has been a fierce critic of President Barack Obama’s record in immigration, going so far as to dub him the “deporter in chief.”
Ramos asked the same question of Sanders, who made the same promise as Clinton.
“I happen to agree with President Obama on many, many issues,” the Vermont senator said. “… He is wrong on this issue of deportation. I disagree with him on that. So to answer your question, no, I will not deport children from the United States of America.”
He also said he wouldn’t deport people without a criminal history.
Clinton is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, but Sanders pulled off a stunning upset in the Michigan primary on Tuesday, beating Clinton by a narrow margin in the state.
The next major primaries are on March 15.
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