After some of her old immigration remarks of her advocating for stronger border security surfaced last week, presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) now says that the last administration overdid it when it came to deporting illegal immigrants.
During Klobuchar's Sunday appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, in reference to fellow candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments about the over 3 million deportations during the Obama administration, the senator was asked whether it was a mistake for them to deport people without criminal records.
"I think that that went way too far, yes," Klobuchar told show moderator Margaret Brennan. "And I think you've seen a lot of that across our country. The question is 'What do we do going forward?' "
The senator went on to say that "the very straightforward answer" to that question "is comprehensive immigration reform." Klobuchar said that reforming the immigration system would save taxpayers over $150 billion, "And part of that money, when you talk about deportations, could be used for our asylum process, to improve that."
She also said that she "would immediately, as president, stop the heinous practice of separating kids from their parents at the border in my first one hundred days."
In a Friday interview with Univision, Biden called the last administration's deportation of people without criminal records "a big mistake" and also added "we took far too long to get it right."
Klobuchar's immigration positions have gotten some extra attention on the campaign trail since resurfaced campaign video of her 2006 Senate run shows the candidate calling for "order at the border" by putting in a border fence to curb illegal immigration, not "giving amnesty to companies that are hiring illegal immigrants," and a requirement that already present illegal immigrants learn English if they eventually want to become U.S. citizens.
Over the weekend, she also explained that she no longer believes that English should be the national language of the United States, contrary to a past vote that she took on a Republican-sponsored Senate amendment to an immigration bill over a decade ago in 2007.
While it remains to be seen how Klobuchar's past immigration stances and her subsequent shifts on the subject will play with primary voters, the contrast is quite illustrative of how the overall debate on immigration in the United States has shifted over the past two decades.
After all, Klobuchar's views weren't remotely beyond the pale for an elected Democrat at the time; don't forget that 26 Senate Democrats — including now-Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and then Sens, Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) — voted in favor of border fencing in 2006.
Furthermore, Klobuchar was one of 17 Democrats to support the English language amendment in 2007. Compare those data points to a 2020 Democratic presidential field that has seen such far-left immigration ideas as halting deportations, decriminalizing border crossings, tearing down existing portions of border wall, and providing taxpayer-backed health care benefits for illegal aliens and it becomes pretty clear just how starkly things have changed on the left side of the aisle.