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Immigration News Today: Hillary Clinton Still Supports Deportation of Undocumented Immigrant Children

First Posted: Aug 20, 2015 05:00 AM EDT
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Hillary Clinton

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Democratic presidential candidate and front-runner Hillary Clinton reiterated her stance that undocumented immigrants should be deported if they cross the border illegally.

During a press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Clinton said the "message" must be clear that Central American families must not send their children into the U.S.

"Specifically with respect to children on the border, if you remember, we had an emergency, and it was very important to send a message to families in Central America: Do not let your children take this very dangerous journey," said Clinton, noting some were kidnapped and raped during the journey north.

She continued, "I think it was the responsible message that I, and many others including the White House, was trying to say to families: 'Do not let your children, your young children, do this.'"

Clinton, however, was mainly referring to the influx of undocumented unaccompanied minors that came in the U.S. last summer. Currently, Clinton said there is a different problem and spoke about the immigrant detention centers. She called for more resources for detainees receive appropriate due process and see if they have family living in the U.S.

"I would be putting a lot of resources into doing that, but my position has been and remains the same," said Clinton.

The former secretary of state's comments echoes the same remarks she made in June 2014 during an interview with CNN. Clinton said"They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who the responsible adults in their family are, because there are concerns about whether all of them can be sent back, but I think all of them that can be should be reunited with their families...we have to send a clear message that just because your child gets across the border, that doesn't mean your child gets to stay. We don't want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or encourage more children to make that dangerous journey."

During an interview with Univision, based on the transcript provided by the Spanish-language channel, Clinton said her 2014 answer "assumed" that immigrant children will have their due process but also look into "what would happen if they went back."

"Of course, we should not send any child back to the kind of harm that could await them," Clinton continued. "So yes, some would be sent back after a fair hearing. But a lot of them wouldn't be, and what I've been arguing for is let's get the resources in place, so that we can actually find out what happens to these children."

The Dream Action Coalition (DRC), a lobbying arm for undocumented youth, said Clinton's latest comments were "unfortunate" and is not the answer to solve the immigration crisis. In a joint statement, DRC Co-Directors Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas acknowledged the difficulties detained children are faced due to insufficient numbers of legal representation.

"Deporting children escaping violence is not the answer," said Andiola and Vargas. "Just like Ms. Clinton has met with Dreamers, we hope she can also meet with these children to listen to their stories so that she can truly understand why parents are sending their children to the U.S. Let's hope she can continue to evolve on this issue or face a even more skeptical Latino electorate."

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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