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Former Vice President Joe Biden vowed during Sunday night’s Democratic debate that his administration would not deport any illegal immigrants in his first 100 days in office.
The Democratic front-runner also added that after the first 100 days, only those immigrants who have been convicted of felonies in the United States would be removed from the country.
“In the first 100 days of my administration — no one — no one will be deported at all,” Biden stated. “From that point on, the only deportations that will take place are commissions of felonies in the United States of America.”
Univision anchor Ilia Calderon pressed Biden to confirm the statement, saying, “So to be clear, only felons get deported and everyone else gets to stay?”
“Period. Yes,” Biden answered. “The reason is it’s about uniting families, it’s about making sure that we can both be a nation of immigrants as well as a nation that is decent.”
Seconds before he made the declaration, the former vice president also vowed that he would immediately grant citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
Both Biden and Sanders want a ‘sanctuary nation’
During the debate, Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asserted that local law enforcement should not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities such as U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
When asked point-blank if illegals who are arrested by local police should be turned over to federal immigration enforcement authorities, Biden flatly said, “no.”
“Of course not,” Sanders added. “This is a country significantly built by immigrants. We have to appreciate each other and end this demonization coming from the Trump administration.”
Discussing the exchange on Twitter, The Hill’s Saagar Enjeti called the two Democratic candidates’ perspective essentially a “sanctuary nation policy.”
“AKA they would be at war with their own Departments of Homeland Security,” he added.
Biden is considered the moderate candidate in comparison to Sanders, who is a progressive and a self-proclaimed socialist. But many of the arguments Biden made during Sunday night’s debate called that notion into question.
Townhall editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich made such a point after Biden called for taxpayer-funded abortion and tax increases in addition to open borders immigration policy.