Tim Kaine on Illegal Alien Minors

By Kausha Luna on July 28, 2016

After Hillary Clinton announced Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, he sat down to do an all-Spanish interview with Telemundo.

The portion of the interview revolving around illegal alien minors was particularly interesting.

Kaine said that he would work with the governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to improve economic development and fight crime, which has led many children to immigrate to the United States.

In reference to those children, Telemundo's Rebeca Smyth asked, "Hillary Clinton said at some point that these children who came to the United States [from 2014 to now] would be deported. Now the campaign has changed this discourse, why is it changing? Can we trust that Hillary won't do that?"

In 2014, during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Hillary Clinton stated, "We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn't mean the child gets to stay. ... We don't want to send a message that is contrary to our laws, or we'll encourage more children to make that dangerous journey." Earlier this year during Fusion's Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum, the Democratic nominee said deportation of illegal alien minors would be decided on a case-by-case basis — arguing that many would have legal grounds to stay in the United States. Clinton has since then shifted even further left and has promised that she will not deport minors.

Kaine responded to Smyth's questions with the following, "It is important to have a system of border control. So in the first couple of days when there's a large number of people it is difficult to know what to do. But now we know why the children are coming. Americans buy illegal drugs ... and the money goes south ... this money is a source for corruption and violence. So, many of the children that are traveling thousands of kilometers to get here are escaping a consequence of illegal drugs."

After Kaine failed to really answer the question, Smyth asked him again whether or not these children would be deported. He answered, "I think that many of them have an opportunity for asylum if they have lawyers, and then there are others that don't have that opportunity because it is not completely okay with the rules of asylum. But asylum is appropriate for some people; they should be here according to the rules."

Kaine's response most closely resembles Hillary's position during Fusion's forum, in which there is at least an acknowledgement that there are minors that do not meet the eligibility criteria for asylum. These criteria — or "rules" as Kaine calls them — are fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. However, Kaine's acknowledgement does not mean that those that are ineligible for asylum will be deported. As we have seen under the Obama administration, an extremely low threshold for what constitutes as a "credible fear" and lenient policies have allowed people to stay and make an asylum claim.

In short, Tim Kaine's Spanish interview fell in line with Hillary Clinton's open border policies.