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Biden hints he opposed Obama's controversial deportation policy

Bloomberg News — By Jennifer Epstein Bloomberg News

Jan. 11-- WASHINGTON-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden suggested Saturday that he opposed Barack Obama's deportation policy, but didn't speak out because he was vice president.

"You privately know where I was on that but I'm not going to get into that because I was vice president," Biden told Hector Sanchez Barba, who worked with the Obama administration on immigration policy as the leader of a Latino labor group. He's now executive director and chief executive officer of Mi Familia Vota, a group that works to build Latino political power, which hosted Biden on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Biden's remark implied that he disagreed with the then-president's approach but didn't want to discuss his opposition publicly.

Biden has previously defended the Obama policy, which resulted in the deportation of a record 3 million immigrants over eight years, saying it was the law of the land.

During Democratic primary debates last year, Biden was pressed on that record by moderators and by other candidates, including Julian Castro, who was Obama's second-term housing secretary. Biden declined then to break from Obama.

"The president did the best thing that was able to be done at the time," he said at the September debate. Pressed on his own views, he deflected responsibility, responding: "I'm the vice president of the United States."

Later in that exchange, Biden added: "I stand with Barack Obama all eight years-good, bad and indifferent."

Biden said Saturday that deportations would be limited if he were elected. "No one would be deported in my administration who hasn't committed a felony," he said.


(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.


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