Biden says deportation of hundreds of thousands under Obama was ‘big mistake’

LAS VEGAS — Going further than he ever has in expressing regret over Obama administration immigration policy, presidential candidate Joe Biden called it a “big mistake” to have deported hundreds of thousands of people without criminal records.

“We took far too long to get it right,” Biden said in a wide-ranging, sometimes contentious interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. The former vice-president later added: “I think it was a big mistake. Took too long to get it right.”

In written statements included as part of Biden’s proposed immigration overhaul, the campaign already had acknowledged “pain” surrounding deportations that occurred when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice-president. But the candidate himself had not so clearly stated his personal regrets.

The 20-minute interview was posted to Ramos’ Facebook page, and Biden aides said portions would be broadcast in coming days on Univision as Biden and his Democratic presidential rivals campaigned in Nevada ahead of the Feb. 22 caucuses, the third nominating contest and the first with a significant Latino population.

Biden emphasized to Ramos his proposals to expand legal immigration, bolster the asylum process and end construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall. The project has been President Donald Trump’s hallmark anti-immigration effort.

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