Biden: US Needs a 'Rational' Immigration Policy
Vice President Joe Biden told protesters Thursday he shared their concern about the deportations of immigrants who have entered the U.S. illegally.
Biden was interrupted by protesters shouting, "Stop deporting our families," during a speech at Netroots Nation, a major annual meeting of liberal activists. The vice president said, "I respect your view and I share your view."
"We should clap for those young people," Biden said. "Can you imagine? Can you imagine the pain, the anxiety of coming home every day wondering whether or not your mother or father will still be there?"
The Obama administration has been seeking $3.7 billion in emergency border spending to deal with a surge of young Central American migrants at the South Texas border. The White House has sought comprehensive immigration reform and faced criticism from immigration groups over a large number of deportations in recent years.
It was unclear if the protesters were raising concerns over deportations of the recent influx of the young Central American immigrants or the broader number of deportations during Obama's presidency. Biden's office said the vice president was sympathizing with people who are concerned about the separation of families.
Biden credited the role of immigration in the nation, telling the audience that the newcomers "fuel America's dynamism" and the nation needs a "rational policy."
Biden, a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, spoke after juggling phone calls with Ukraine's president and members of Obama's national security team in response to a passenger jet being shot down in Ukraine. He earlier headlined a fundraiser for the Michigan Democratic Party and visited a local community college classroom where minority women learned software programming skills.