News

Politics & Policy

2020 Dems Attack Biden for Deportations Under Obama: ‘You Can’t Have it Both Ways’

Sen. Cory Booker speaks as former Vice President Joe Biden listens on the second night of the second Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, Mich., July 31, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Democratic presidential candidates had stern words for frontrunner Joe Biden during Wednesday night’s primary debate, calling on the former vice president to explain the deportations of undocumented immigrants that occurred under President Obama.

“If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It’s a crime,” Biden said, disagreeing with several other candidates who said the matter should be a civil rather than a criminal issue.

President Obama, who was nicknamed the “deporter-in-chief” in 2012 by immigration rights advocates, deported or removed over 5 million undocumented immigrants, fewer than the Clinton and Bush administrations did but more than the Trump administration has.

Julian Castro, who also served in the Obama administration as Housing and Urban Development Secretary, shot back at Biden that, “open borders is a right-wing talking point, and frankly I’m disappointed that some folks, including some folks on the stage, have taken the bait.”

“It looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn’t,” Castro told Biden. “We need someone who actually has guts on this issue.”

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio pressed Biden on the issue, asking him what his private advice to Obama had been and whether he had recommended stopping mass deportations.

“Did you say those deportations were a good idea or did you go to the president and say, this is a mistake, we shouldn’t do it?” de Blasio asked the former vice president.

Biden said he would decline to share his private comments to Obama about the issue.

New Jersey senator Cory Booker then added his voice to the critics, calling Biden out for invoking his former running mate only when it served his purposes.

“You can’t have it both ways,” Booker said. “You invoke President Obama more than anyone in this campaign; you can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.”

Other candidates agreed that illegal border crossings should be relegated to the civil courts.

“We should make sure that we treat people humanely,” New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.

During the Democratic debate in June, Biden defended Obama’s record on immigration.

“President Obama, I think, did a heck of a job. To compare him to what this guy’s doing is absolutely — I find close to immoral,” Biden said at the time.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

Val Demings vs. Susan Rice

The website PredictIt now shows California senator Kamala Harris as the clear frontrunner in the Biden veepstakes, with close to a 50 percent chance of getting the nod. The second most likely Biden VP, according to the site, is Florida congresswoman Val Demings -- who is at 14 percent -- and in third place is ... Read More

Val Demings vs. Susan Rice

The website PredictIt now shows California senator Kamala Harris as the clear frontrunner in the Biden veepstakes, with close to a 50 percent chance of getting the nod. The second most likely Biden VP, according to the site, is Florida congresswoman Val Demings -- who is at 14 percent -- and in third place is ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

What Are Schools For?

In his excellent new book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies (full review forthcoming in National Review) Thomas Sowell advises that it is necessary for us to remind ourselves from time to time of a first truth: “Schools exist for the education of children.” Sometimes, the most obvious truths prove to be ... Read More

What Are Schools For?

In his excellent new book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies (full review forthcoming in National Review) Thomas Sowell advises that it is necessary for us to remind ourselves from time to time of a first truth: “Schools exist for the education of children.” Sometimes, the most obvious truths prove to be ... Read More
U.S.

Individual Actions Matter

On the menu today: an update from a reader who is the head of research for a top-ten U.S. hospital, some really intriguing rumors about retirements at the U.S. Supreme Court, and another batch of stories that don’t fit the preferred “coronavirus is devastating the red states!” narrative. Individual ... Read More
U.S.

Individual Actions Matter

On the menu today: an update from a reader who is the head of research for a top-ten U.S. hospital, some really intriguing rumors about retirements at the U.S. Supreme Court, and another batch of stories that don’t fit the preferred “coronavirus is devastating the red states!” narrative. Individual ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Good Riddance to the Blaine Amendments

It took a century and a half, but the Supreme Court finally rejected the Blaine amendments. The Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is a victory for religious believers, schoolchildren, poor and working-class parents, and the rule of law. It is a loss only for bigots, militant ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Good Riddance to the Blaine Amendments

It took a century and a half, but the Supreme Court finally rejected the Blaine amendments. The Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is a victory for religious believers, schoolchildren, poor and working-class parents, and the rule of law. It is a loss only for bigots, militant ... Read More