Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke about the Obama administration’s immigration policy at length during Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate but was not asked about the family separation and caging of children that occurred under his watch.
“President Obama, I think, did a heck of a job,” Biden said. “To compare him to what this guy [President Donald Trump] is doing is absolutely, I find, close to immoral. The fact is that we should not be locking people up. We should be make sure we change the circumstance, as we did, why they would leave in the first place. Those who come seeking asylum, we should immediately have the capacity to absorb them, keep them safe until they can be heard.”
Biden and the candidates he shared the stage with criticized Trump for the immigration crisis, but instances of migrant family separation, tear gassing of migrants and caging of migrant children were documented during the Obama administration.
“The first thing I would do is unite families that surge immediately. Billions of dollars worth of help to the region immediately,” Biden said Thursday evening. “Look, I talk about foreign policy. I’m the guy that got a bipartisan agreement at the very end of the campaign and the very end of our term to spend $740 million to deal with the problem and that was to go to the root cause of why people are leaving in the first place. It was working.” (RELATED: Biden Jokes About Hugging Debate Opponents Who Attack Him)
Biden was slightly slippery when moderator José Díaz-Balart asked him if a person “who is here without documents and that is his only offense” should be deported.
“That person should not be the focus of deportation. We should fundamentally change the way we deal with them,” Biden answered.
He made his points after every single candidate on stage Thursday said illegal immigrants should get government health insurance.
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