by Jason Hopkins
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he had “nothing” to apologize for when asked about the millions of illegal aliens deported under the Obama administration.
Biden, who served as vice president for eight years under the Obama administration, was again confronted about the high number of deportations that took place during his time in office. He was explicitly asked if he should apologize for the roughly 3 million people who removed from the U.S. under his tenure, in a Noticias Telemundo exclusive interview.
“The Obama-Biden legacy includes more than 3 million people deported in the years you were in power. And some of the structures that were created during there have really been the ones that President Trump built upon to have his zero-tolerance family separation policy,” said Telemundo reporter Jose Diaz-Balart.
“Do you — should you be apologizing for anything?” he asked.
Biden answered “no,” and like other times when confronted about the issue, he said it was improper to compare the Obama administration’s immigration record with that the of the current occupier of the White House.
“No. I think what we should be doing is acknowledging that comparing what President Obama did and what Trump did is night and day,” Biden said. “And [Obama was] the first guy to come along and say, ‘Okay, DACA, those undocumented kids, they’re gonna be able to stay here.’ And then he came along in 2014 and said — came up with a program where their families would be able to stay here.”
However, Diaz-Balart continued to bring the conversation back to whether the former vice president should apologize for the number of people who were deported, and contended that the Obama administration built an immigration enforcement structure on which President Donald Trump was able build upon, allowing him to separate migrant families.
The reporter, talking over Biden at some points during the exchange, asked if he had “nothing” to apologize for?
“Nothing,” Biden replied. “What happens is, we went forward and did the single best the president was able to do at the moment. And when there was no willingness to work to actually do something serious, they moved in a direction that took it beyond anything anyone else has ever done.”
Since Biden launched his campaign for the presidency, he has been dogged with questions about the Obama administration’s immigration record.
Immigration activists in July stormed and occupied Biden’s Philadelphia campaign headquarters and demanded that he apologize for the 3 million deportations. Just days later at that month’s Democratic presidential debate, several audience members tried to drown Biden out, chanting “Three million deportations!”
Sens. Elizabeth Warren on Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the leading progressives of the Democratic presidential contenders, have both come forward in support of banning deportations and decriminalizing illegal immigration, placing pressure on more moderate contestants to do the same. However, Biden has adamantly stood against this proposal, arguing that illegal aliens who commit high-level crimes should be removed from the country.
Vanessa Cárdenas, formerly Biden’s most senior Latina adviser, quit his campaign in November over what close friends said was her frustration over Biden’s apparent failure to speak about immigration in a “compassionate” way.
In fact, the Obama administration’s deportation record far exceeds that of the current administration.
Roughly 1.8 million people were removed from the U.S. in the first three years of the Obama administration. The Trump administration, on the other hand, has deported fewer than 800,000 so far. In 2012 alone, Obama oversaw the removal of nearly 410,000 people, while Trump has yet to deport more than 260,000 in a single year.
Watch the full interview (in English with Spanish subtitles)
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Jason Hopkins is is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.