Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden said he does not support decriminalizing illegal border crossings - a position that puts him at odds with many of his 2020 Democratic presidential rivals.
“No, I don’t,” the 2020 Democratic presidential contender told CNN in an interview that aired Friday. “I think people should have to get in line, but if people are coming because they’re actually seeking asylum, they should have a chance to make their case.”
During last week’s presidential debate, Mr. Biden appeared to put a finger up when the candidates were asked to raise their hands if they thought illegally crossing the border should be a civil offense, rather than a criminal one.
Moderator José Díaz-Balart later asked Mr. Biden directly, saying he didn’t know if the former vice president was raising his hand in affirmation or seeking recognition to speak.
“Depending if they committed a major crime, they should be deported,” Mr. Biden said.
Pressed again, Mr. Biden had said such a person “should not be the focus of deportation.”
“We should fundamentally change the way we deal with things,” he said.