Amid mass confusion over the White House's policy on immigration, Press Secretary Josh Earnest wants to make one thing clear: unaccompanied, undocumented children won't be deported if it is determined that doing so would lead to their death.
The press secretary responded to comments made by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a leading Democrat who publicly condemned calls to send back the thousands of minors to their home countries in Central and South America.
"We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death," O'Malley said Friday at a National Governors Association meeting. Earnest responded to the criticism during Monday's press briefing.
"These children and other immigrants who are attempting to enter the country without documentation will go through the immigration process, and that means their claims of asylum will be considered by an immigration judge and by asylum officials," he said. "What that means is... that if an immigration judge determines that they face a credible threat of death upon their return to their home country -- then, again, I'm not an immigration judge -- but it is likely that the immigration judge will find that that person should be granted humanitarian relief."
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