Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is a notorious flip-flopper. Over the past decade she has changed her stance on numerous issues, including gay marriage, gun control, international trade agreements, and even environmental policies. Yet one of her biggest offenses involves the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
During Fusion’s Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum, Clinton declared that she opposed the Obama administration’s immigration raids, which have led to the deportation of many families with children. When asked specifically if she opposed deporting children, she evasively claimed that, “I would give every person, but particularly children, due process and have their story told. And a lot of children will of course have very legitimate stories under our law to be able to stay.”
Yet she would not commit to this stance, stating that she would avoid any “blanket rule” that would cause her to stay firm in one position (or as she put it, have more “freedom of action” during her presidency).
This increased progressive stance on immigration (though we cannot even consider it that progressive compared to the policy of Bernie Sanders) completely contradicts what Clinton has stated about immigration in the past, most likely demonstrating the influence Sanders has in moving her policies to the left.
As recent as June 2014, Clinton declared that the United States needed to definitively send children back across the border: “We have to send a clear message that ‘Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean your child gets to stay.’”
If we examine her stance a decade earlier, she told a radio host in 2003 that, “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants,” which now sounds like something that would only come out of the mouth of Republicans.
The U.S.’s current deportation policies are becoming a humanitarian issue; according to reporting by Vice News, “At least 83 people deported to the Northern Triangle — the Central American region that includes El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala — have been murdered between January 2014 and October 2015 after being returned to their home countries.” Many of these people could have qualified for asylum.
If we cannot rely on our potential next president to stay strong and unyielding on such an important issue, it may very well lead to a major humanitarian crisis. Clinton shifts with the election tides, but this does not bode well if we want a president who knows where she stands when it comes to undocumented immigrants. As of now, Clinton says she does not want to deport children—what happens when she changes her mind again?
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