During the Democratic debate, Univision host Jorge Ramos pressed both Sec. Clinton and Sen. Sanders about whether they would promise not to deport any children. Clinton tried to wriggle out of it, but Ramos got her to admit, point blank, that she would not deport any children, at all.
RAMOS: OK. So I want to be very specific. So you are telling us tonight that if you become president you won’t deport children who are already here?
CLINTON: I will not.
Ramos also asked her if she would promise to only deport people with criminal records. Clinton evaded of the question.
RAMOS: … and those who don’t have a criminal record.
CLINTON: Of the people, the undocumented people living in our country, I do not want to see them deported. I want to see them on a path to citizenship. That is exactly what I will do.
Ramos posed the same question to Sanders, who promised to not deport children, and not deport immigrants without a criminal record.
SANDERS: So to answer your question, no, I will not deport children from the United States of America.
RAMOS: And can you promise not to deport immigrants who don’t have a criminal record?
SANDERS: I can make that promise.
Legally, these positions are indefensible. As nuanced as the Obama administration has been concerning deferred action and lawful presence–insisting that these policies do not amount to a policy of non-deportation–both Clinton and Sanders have announced, categorically, that they will not deport entire classes of aliens subject to removal. There is no way this can be justified under the Office of Legal Counsel’s memorandum. Clinton and Sanders have already promised to expand deferred action to the parents of the dreamers–which OLC said could not be done. But this new blanket policy of non-deportation in no sense can be described as a prioritization of resources–it is a wholesale suspension of the law.
Perhaps this is another reason why the Court should not be in such a hurry to resolve U.S. v. Texas this year. If a Republican wins the White House, DAPA is rescinded. If a Democrat wins the White House, Texas may seek to amend its complaint.
Disclosure: I am supporting Sen. Cruz’s campaign.