In the debate Thursday, Joseph R. Biden punted when confronted about President Obama’s record of mass deportations.
“I was the vice president,” said Mr. Biden when pressed on the deportation record by moderator Jorge Ramos, a Univision anchor who champions illegal immigrants.
Mr. Biden also rattled off a long list of accomplishments by Mr. Obama, including ordering deportation amnesty for “Dreamers” who were brought across the border as children.
Still, Mr. Obama’s record of deporting a large number of illegal immigrants remains a sore subject for migrant rights activists.
Julián Castro, a former housing secretary, called out Mr. Biden for embracing the Obama legacy when it suits him and claiming to be just the VP when it doesn’t.
“He wants to take credit for Obama’s work but not answer any questions. I don’t get that,” said Mr. Castro.