Former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, expressed her dissatisfaction with the Trump administration’s immigration policies in a series of nine tweets.
Clinton, she wrote, is “horrified by what is happening to immigrant kids and families because of this administration’s policies.”
The former First Lady of the United States also tweeted that there is “no more important test of our country than the way we treat the most vulnerable among us, especially children,” adding that she is, as a mother and a grandmother, “devastated” by Trump’s immigration policies.
Widely liked and retweeted, Hillary Clinton’s Twitter thread seems to have garnered a lot of attention from her followers and critics alike. Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, Glenn Greenwald, retweeted another user’s post, along with a screenshot of a 2017 Newsweek article, pointing out Clinton’s change of heart.
According to Newsweek, in a 2014 interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour, former Secretary of State, much like Donald Trump, suggested immigrant children should “go back.”
Clinton said the following.
“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay.”
In 2014, when the interview had initially aired, outlets like the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post, to name a few, wrote about it, criticizing Clinton’s claims that unaccompanied minors should be sent back.
In 2016, during the primaries, The Daily Beast commented on Former Secretary of State’s flip-flop on child deportation, writing that the then-presidential candidate had a “notable change of heart,” prompting concern among immigration lawyer and advocates, who remained suspicious of Clinton’s change of rhetoric.
Glenn Greenwald is not the first public figure to point out the inconsistencies in Hillary Clinton’s child immigration rhetoric. In 2016, junior United States Senator from Vermont and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, criticized Clinton, saying that, unlike her, he “welcomes children” into the United States.
According Politifact, a fact-checking website which uses a “truth-o-meter” to measure the accuracy and truthfulness of statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists, and interest groups, Sanders’ statement was “mostly true,” because although Clinton did not say immigrant children should be sent back no matter what, she “expressed a preference that as many as possible be sent back.”
Professor of History and Director of Ethnic Studies at Lewis & Clark College and Huffington Post writer, Elliot Young, is of the opinion that America should not “abandon the truth to highlight the brutality of Trump’s immigration policies.”
According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, from 2009 to 2015, 56 percent of all immigrants removed from the United States had no criminal convictions. President Barack Obama – under whom Hillary Clinton served as the 67th United States Secretary of State – vowed to focus government resources on criminals, not children. However, according to the Huffington Post, aside from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Obama administration “continued to deport far more people without any convictions.”
Donald Trump has campaigned promising to toughen up on immigration. According to a Washington Post analysis, although Barack Obama was often derided by immigration advocates as the “Deporter-in-Chief,” his and Trump’s immigration policies differ.
Although Obama deported a record number of undocumented immigrants, totaling more than five million after his eight years in office, he also set up DACA. Trump, on the other hand, relies on racially-charged rhetoric, and he has repeatedly criticized the Obama administration’s DACA program via Twitter, claiming it “no longer works.”