- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2019

GREENWOOD, S.C. — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden refused to bow to pressure from immigration rights activists who demanded at a town hall meeting here Thursday that he publicly commit to stop kicking illegal immigrants out of the country.

Pressed on whether he would sign an executive order stopping all deportations of illegal immigrants, Mr. Biden didn’t miss a beat.

“No,” he said, adding his administration would focus on deporting illegal immigrants who have committed felonies and serious crimes, and that there would be no more “family separations” on his watch.


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He also pushed back with a question of his own when the activist started shouting, “Not one more deportation!”

“No matter what happens?” Mr. Biden said, perplexed. “Somebody commits murder, they shouldn’t be deported?”



Mr. Obama’s resume on deportations has faced additional scrutiny in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, where several candidates have advocated for decriminalizing border crossings and questioned why Mr. Biden didn’t do more to stop deportations as vice president.

President Trump’s hardline approach to immigration, meanwhile, has infuriated the liberal base of the Democratic party, which in turn is demanding the field of contenders move to the left of Obama on the issue.

Mr. Biden told the crowd here Thursday that any attempt to compare the immigration records of President Trump and former President Barack Obama is “outrageous.”

He said Mr. Obama enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in 2012 to protect illegal immigrants known as “Dreamers” — who were brought to the U.S. as children — from deportation, and also pushed to provide a path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants through legislation that ultimately died in Congress.

The activist, though, were clearly unsatisfied with the answer, prompting Mr. Biden to suggest they have a choice to make in the general election next year.

“You can vote for Trump,” he said.

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