Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed her opposition to private detention centers during MSNBC’s Democratic Town Hall on Monday (April 25) night. The statement came in response to an unscheduled question from an immigration rights advocate who was in attendance.
The Rachel Maddow-hosted town hall took place in Philadelphia ahead of Tuesday Pennsylvania primary election, which Clinton won. MSNBC transcribed the question and response as follows:
QUESTION: [OFF MIKE]… the lives of the women that are [inaudible] right now?
MADDOW: This is outside of our forum. Let me just rephrase the question for you. Tell me if I get it right. Asking about women and families in family—immigration detention facilities.
CLINTON: Yes, I’m against that. Absolutely I’m against that. I’ve been against it for a long time. I’ve said we should have family detention. We should end private prisons and private detention centers. They are wrong. We should end raids and roundups, and when I am president we are going to get comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. So we will end all of these problems at the time we are successful.
Anti-detention collective #Not1More identified Erika Almiron, executive director of Philadelphia-based community advocacy group Juntos as the person who asked the question. "Her answer was better than I’ve heard before," Almiron told MSNBC before explaining that Clinton could do more to show support:
Was I satisfied? No. I think she could be more specific. She could really harness in on what she plans on doing and really say how she’s committed to ending family detention. So as of right now, this has not swayed my decision.
You can watch the exchange in the video above; the question begins at 34:00.
(H/t The New York Times)