Sen. Cory Booker attacked former Vice President Joe Biden for refusing to condemn the high number of deportations carried out under the Obama administration, accusing Biden of invoking Obama "when it's convenient and dodge it when it's not."
"First of all, you can't have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can't do it when it's convenient and dodge it when it's not. And the second thing, and this irks me. If you got a PhD., you can come right into this country. That's playing into what the Republicans want, to pit some immigrants against some immigrants. Some are from "shithole countries." We need to be the country that says everyone has worth and dignity and this should be a country that honors everyone. Don't let the Republicans divide this party against itself."
The big picture: The moment was one of several in which Booker — as many candidates chose to do after the success of Kamala Harris' attack in the first debate — went after Biden for his record on race and immigration. Under the Obama administration, total ICE deportations were above 385,000 each year in fiscal years 2009-2011, and hit a high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012. For all that Democrats attack President Trump for his inhumane immigration policies, the current administration has yet to match Barack Obama's early deportation levels.