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Immigration

Biden Promises Zero Deportations in First 100 Days of Office

Guatemalan migrants deported from the U.S. arrive at an immigration area at La Aurora International airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala, March 12, 2020. (Luis Echeverria/Reuters)

Pressed on his immigration record as vice president, Joe Biden pledged Sunday that “no one will be deported at all” during his first 100 days in office, and that subsequent deportations would only be “commissions of felonies.”

“The reason is it’s about uniting families, it’s about making sure that we can both be a nation of immigrants as well as a nation that is decent,” Biden explained to Univision anchor Ilia Calderon. He also said the Obama administration’s approach to immigration “took much too long to get it right,” despite calling Democratic criticisms of Obama’s immigration record “bizarre” in August.

President Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said the Sunday comments made Biden “a train wreck on illegal immigration.”

Biden first floated the 100 days moratorium during a February town hall in Las Vegas.

“Some of you are going to get mad at me with this, but nobody is going to be deported in my first 100 days until we get through the point we find out the only rationale for deportation will be whether or not, whether or not you have committed a felony while in the country,” he said.

Biden also told Univision anchor Jorge Ramos in February that the Obama administration had made “a big mistake” with its deportation policy, after defending it previously.

The former vice president has tacked to the left in his immigration rhetoric in recent months, saying in January that he would fire any ICE agent who tried to deport an undocumented immigrant not charged with a felony, and added that “I don’t count drunk driving as a felony.”

Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Biden said that most undocumented immigrants currently protected from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are “more American than most Americans.”

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