Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is encouraging her supporters to “fight with everything” they've got to defend the Obama-era program that stops illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age from being deported.
But just a few years ago, in an interview that has resurfaced online, Clinton called for sending back illegal immigrant children who crossed the border to “send a clear message” that such crossings won’t be tolerated by the United States.
That interview, conducted in June 2014 on CNN, has been shared online by critics as Clinton protests President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn't mean the child gets to stay,” Clinton said at the time. “So, we don't want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”
Clinton, though, was not speaking about DACA recipients -- rather, she was referring to the surge of illegal immigrant children crossing the border from Central America.
Clinton argued the children should be reunited with their families.
“They should be sent back,” Clinton said.
DACA recipients, often referred to as "Dreamers," generally have a longer-term connection to the U.S., having lived in the country for years and obtained work permits under the program.
Trump announced earlier this week that the program, established in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, would be ended after six months.
The Trump administration argues Obama didn’t have the authority to enact the policy and says Congress should take up the issue.
Democrats, including Clinton, have expressed worries that the move will lead to the deportation of those who came out of the shadows to obtain DACA status.
“No time to waste - we've got to fight with everything we've got to #DefendDACA,” Clinton said this week.