Updated 04:13 PM EDT, Tue, Oct 20, 2020

Hillary Clinton Says Undocumented Orphan Children will Receive ‘Due Process’ Under her Administration

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Hillary Clinton has called out Barack Obama's administration for initiating immigration raids, saying that she would do differently if she becomes elected as the next president of the United States.

The Democratic presidential candidate expressed her disapproval on Monday night's "Brown & Black Forum" in Iowa, NBC News reported. The forum, which first started in 1984, allowed each candidate from the Democratic Party to speak to minority communities and answer queries from journalists and the audience. A Republican version of the event was scheduled as well, but it got cancelled.

In the forum, Clinton was reluctant to say that she would not deport children if she becomes president, stressing out that the issue was more complex than a yes or no answer. Eventually, the former Secretary of State simply said that children would receive "due process" under her presidency, the news outlet added.

"Our immigration enforcement efforts should be humane and conducted in accordance with due process, and that is why I believe we must stop the raids happening in immigrant communities," Clinton said in a statement quoted in NBC News' report.

She added, "We have laws and we must be guided by those laws, but we shouldn't have armed federal officers showing up at peoples' homes, taking women and children out of their beds in the middle of the night."

Clinton is being criticized by her Democratic rivals, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, for her weak stance against the immigration raids that started earlier this month, NBC News noted. At least 121 undocumented immigrants were arrested during the operation, which targeted families that arrived in the U.S. since May 2014. At the time, the country saw tens of thousands of Central American immigrants pouring into the border seeking asylum from the violence and economic crisis in their homelands.

Obama's administration said that the arrests served as a warning to other potential immigrants that they will be sent home, the news outlet added.

Clinton argued that the raids "have sown fear and division in immigrant communities" across the U.S., Huffington Post reported. Last August, she said that it was "very important to send a message to families in Central America: Do not let your children take this very dangerous journey."

Aside from ending the raids, Clinton said that children should not have to defend themselves in removal proceedings without a lawyer. According to her, the asylum and refugee system should be fixed so that all people have "the chance to tell their story," NBC News further reported. Clinton concluded that Congress should fund Obama's request for $1 billion in aid to eliminate criminal organizations, work with regional partners, and develop living conditions in Central America.

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