Election 2016

Suddenly Sympathetic: Clinton Now Opposes Deportation

Before running for president, Clinton called for deporting children. Today, she's telling kids she won't deport their parents.

Photo Credit: Hillary For America/YouTube

In a new campaign video, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expresses sympathy for the plight of chidren who fear their immigrant parents might be deported from the United States, a marked change in tone for a politician who 18 months ago advocated deporting immigrant children themselves.
 
Watch: Hillary's new campaign video:
Clinton has supported efforts to protect some immigrants from deportation, including so-called Dreamers who were brought to the United States by undocumented parents. But she's perhaps better known for comments she made in 2014, before she was a in a closer-than-expected race for the presidency with Bernie Sanders, Clinton sang a much less sympathetic tune.
 
“They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are," she said of children fleeing poverty and violence in Latin America. At the time, hundreds of unaccompanied minors were crossing the border every month and Clinton was decidedly less interested in assuaging their fears.
 
Watch: Clinton says undocumented illegals "should be sent back":
 
"There are concerns about whether all of them can be sent back, but I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families," said Clinton. "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’s contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”
 
Clinton now says those unaccompanied children should be given lawyers during their asylum proceedings — this, after thousands were deported without being able to understand what was happening in the courtroom. Today her tune is decidedly less callous; the question is whether that reflects any real change in heart or if it's simply a change in campaign tactics.
 
At least some on social media don't appear to buying Clinton's change of heart, with one user noting that her support for a 2009 coup d'etat in Honduras helped spur the flood of asylum-seekers she later advocated sending back to the violence and poverty they fled.
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