Democrat Hillary Clinton said while in Miami last Friday that the Obama administration deported people in the country illegally "very aggressively" -- and she wouldn't do the same as president;
Clinton told Telemundo in an interview that aired late Monday that President Obama, her former boss, stressed deportations as part of a "strategy" to get Republican support in Congress for immigration legislation.
"I think we have to go back to being a much less harsh and aggressive enforcer," she said.
The Obama administration has said it prioritizes criminal deportations over law-abiding families.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the U.S. has deported fewer people over the past year than any time in the previous decade.
Here's Clinton's answer in full, from a Telemundo transcript.
The deportation laws were interpreted and enforced, you know, very aggressively during the last six and a half years, which I think his administration did in part to try to get Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform.
It was part of a strategy. I think that strategy is no longer workable. So therefore I think we have to go back to being a much less harsh and aggressive enforcer. We need to, of course, take care of felons and violent people. I mean, that goes without saying.
But I have met too many people in our country who were upright, productive people who maybe had some, you know, minor offense. Like, you know, maybe they were arrested for speeding or they had some kind of, you know, one incident of drunk driving, something like that 25 years ago.
And they were hauled in and deported. And I've met their wives and their children. And I just don't believe in that. I think everybody is entitled to a second chance. And I don't wanna see families disrupted, families deported. I wanna see comprehensive immigration reform. And I'm gonna do everything I can as soon as I get into office to push on that.
But in the meantime, I'm not gonna be breaking up families. And I think that is one of the differences. But I totally understand why the Obama administration felt as though they did what they did under the circumstances. But I think we've learned that the Republicans, at least the current crop, are just not acting in good faith.