Hillary Clinton, who previously said the unaccompanied minors who came from Central American countries should be sent back, clarified her views after Jorge Ramos of Fusion asked her if she had a “Latino problem” because of her stance.
“Some of them should be sent back,” Clinton said. “Just because a child gets across the border, what category does that child end up in?”
The 2016 Democratic frontrunner said that the children coming across the border fall into two groups, migrant children who do not have a case for staying and refugee children who would be in danger if they return.
“Within our legal framework we need to on a humanitarian basis provide emergency care for all the children. I don’t care who they are or where they come from. They need to be given the basics, the necessities and as much love as we can,” she said.
She said the children who should be deported are those who don’t have a legitimate claim for asylum or a family connection.
While Clinton said the Obama administration needs resources and a well-funded procedure by Congress to deal with the children, which it is resisting, she did not advocate changing the 2008 human trafficking law signed by President George W. Bush, which has served as a flashpoint for the debate and would need to be altered to allow for quicker deportations of the children.
“No, I don’t agree that we should change the law,” she said.
But in an interview with NPR before Fusion, she said the law should be looked at.
“I think it should be looked at as part of an overall package,” she said. After talking about the two categories of children and needing resources deployed very quickly she added, “We need some flexibility within the laws. Our laws right now are not particularly well-suited for making the kind of determinations that are required, and that we should, as Americans, want to see happen.”
In the interview with Ramos she said she agrees with an idea the administration has floated of creating a system in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to screen children “before they get in the hands of coyotes, or they get on the beast or they’re raped. Terrible things happen to them.”
These refugee application programs are supported by Republican Sen. John McCain as well.
“That’s why I am emphasizing the procedures because I think a lot of people are understandably, as I am, upset about what’s happening to these kids, but if we don’t have a procedure, it’s not going to stop, more kids are going to come.”