meanings from Clinton’s declaration as to which children she would protect from deportation — undocumented kids living in the United States, unaccompanied migrant children fleeing Central America, or both.
“It’s frankly hard to be absolutely clear as to what categories of kids she was talking about,” said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at New York University School of Law.
He said he thought Clinton was referring to Central American minors.
In the past, Clinton has defended President Obama’s plans to deport migrant children who were fleeing Central America.
But since launching her presidential bid, she has shifted left of Obama, pledging to go further on his executive actions to curb deportations.
Pressed by debate moderator Jorge Ramos on who should deported, Clinton said: “I will not deport children. I would not deport children. I do not want to deport family members, either.”
“Asylum is a particular legal process. I’d like to see it changed. I’d like to see us give more support to people who come fleeing the terrible violence that they do. But under our law, we have a process we have to go through which is different.”
Clinton and Bernie Sanders both said they won’t deport adults without criminal records.
Thanu Yakupitiyage, from the New York Immigration Coalition, took Clinton’s comments to mean she would not deport “unaccompanied minor children from Central America” — a departure from Obama’s policies.
“It was good to hear that they would make that commitment, and we are going to hold them to that,” Yakupitiyage said.
But Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Project, thought Clinton meant the opposite: She won’t deport children already here among the 11 million undocumented immigrants but did not make the same pledge for migrant children from Central America because they are adjudicated under a different process of asylum laws.
“What she said is children who are here should not be deported. She secondly said that the asylum law needs to be improved … to better handle and contemplate the plight of these unaccompanied minors who are fleeing violence,” Alex told The Post. “They are really two different issues.”