Just as she doing now to promote her latest book, “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton also went on a whirlwind book tour in 2014 to promote her previous book, “Hard Choices.” At the time Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that she bad news for the children of illegal immigrants living in the United States. Free from having to carry the water for Barack Obama as his Secretary of State, in advance of the 2016 presidential race, Clinton may have thought she could afford to deviate from the progressive stance taken by that administration toward illegal immigration.

Clinton told Amanpour, echoing similar statements uttered recently by current Attorney General Jeff Session while announcing the end of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allowed 800,000 illegal aliens work permits and respite from deportation, that the United States is a nation of laws. Saying that these so-called DREAMers should prepare to leave, Clinton said, “We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay.” She added, “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.”

When Amanpour asked, “So, you’re saying they should be sent back now?” Clinton responded, 
“Well, they should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back.” She said, “But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families.”

Here follows a partial transcript of their exchange on the broader issue of immigration and the influx of thousands of minors, who came mostly from Central America at that time:

AMANPOUR: Such an important issue. And what about right now? As we’re seeing thousands of children come across —

CLINTON: Oh.

AMANPOUR: — shantied off into makeshift shelters.

CLINTON: It’s horrible.

AMANPOUR: Hard choice — let them stay in the United States or send them back?

CLINTON: Well, two quick points. One, the numbers are increasing dramatically. And the main reason I believe why that’s happening is that the violence in certain of those Central American countries is increasing dramatically. And there is not sufficient law enforcement or will on the part of the governments of those countries to try to deal with this exponential increase in violence, drug trafficking, the drug cartels, and many children are fleeing from that violence.

AMANPOUR: Should they be able to stay here? It’s safer.

CLINTON: Well — it may be safer but that’s not the answer. I do not —

AMANPOUR: Should they be sent back?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, we have to provide the best emergency care we can provide. We have children 5 and 6 years old who have come up from Central America. We need to do more to provide border security in southern Mexico.

AMANPOUR: So, you’re saying they should be sent back now?

CLINTON: Well, they should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back. But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families. And just as Vice President Biden is arguing today in Central America,

we’ve got to do more. I started this when I was secretary to deal with the violence in this region to deal with border security.

But we have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. 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.

AMANPOUR: We’re going to go on to a different topic. And this I’m going to read because it’s from Tumblr, who we’re partnering with. So, here we go.

Nonetheless, during the 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton changed her tune and became a vocal supporter of DACA.
 



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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