A 2014 video featuring Hillary Clinton discussing the influx of Central American children into the United States re-emerged Thursday, and in it, she can be heard telling CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that those children — who had entered America illegally — “should be sent back.”
The two sat down to discuss the 2014 immigration surge of Central American women and unaccompanied children who were seeking asylum and trying to enter the U.S. illegally. The mass exodus was triggered in part by increasing violence in the areas from which most of the children came — including countries like Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
Clinton’s 2014 comments on the immigration surge are a stark contrast to her vehement opposition to President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. The DACA program granted two-year work permits to undocumented immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children.
Clinton’s 2014 interview
Speaking with Amanpour to discuss the influx of Central American illegal immigrant children entering the U.S. through Mexico, Clinton did not mince words and said that they should be sent away from the U.S. and reunited with their families instead.
“Should they be able to stay here?” Amanpour asked. “It’s safer.”
Clinton responded, “Well, it may be safer, but that’s not the answer.”
Clinton later added, “They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back. But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families.”
Clarifying, she told Amanpour, “[The government has] to send a clear message: just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay.”
Clinton’s position on DACA in comparison
After President Donald Trump announced last week his plan to repeal DACA, Clinton was one of many liberals who hit out against the president’s decision.
On Twitter, Clinton wrote, “No time to waste — we’ve got to fight with everything we’ve got to #DefendDACA. Thanks, @jorgeramousnews, for sharing these powerful stories.”
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 4, 2017
In 2015, Clinton tweeted, “While the GOP focuses on villifying [sic] immigrants, Hillary will fight to protect DACA/DAPA and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
While the GOP focuses on villifying immigrants, Hillary will fight to protect DACA/DAPA and pass comprehensive immigration reform.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 14, 2015
Later in 2015, she tweeted, “The 5th Circuit is wrong on immigration. SCOTUS should uphold DACA/DAPA so millions of families can stop living in fear. -H.”
The 5th Circuit is wrong on immigration. SCOTUS should uphold DACA/DAPA so millions of families can stop living in fear. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 10, 2015
During her campaign for presidency, Clinton dedicated an entire page to immigration reform on her website.
One of her key bullet points on immigration reform said that she promised to “defend President Obama’s executive actions — known as DACA and DAPA — against partisan attacks.”
“Hillary believes DAPA is squarely within the president’s authority and won’t stop fighting until we see it through,” her stance on immigrant reform read. “The estimated 5 million people eligible for DAPA — including DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents — should be protected under the executive actions.”
Additionally, on the fourth anniversary of DACA, Clinton issued a statement on her website supporting the program.
A portion of her statement read:
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has given DREAMers the freedom to provide for their families, further their educations, and live their lives without fear of being deported from the country they know and love. This policy is good for our economy — and it is true to our values as Americans.