Democratic debate host Jose Diaz-Balart mistakenly referred to the 3 million people deported by the Obama administration as "Americans," and wasn't corrected by any of the ten candidates on the stage.
"The Obama-Biden administration deported more than 3 million Americans," Diaz‑Balart stated as an introduction to a question for former vice president Joe Biden.
None of the individuals deported were actually Americans, which is why they were being deported. It is foreign nationals illegally in the country who are deported.
In 2012, for example, there were 284,924 Mexicans deported, 43,627 Guatemalans deported, and 37,577 Hondurans deported.
Biden decided to answer Diaz-Balart's question on whether people living in the country without documents should be deported, saying he thinks the Obama administration did a "heck-of-a-job" on deportations.
"Depending if they committed a major crime," Biden said. "President Obama, I think, did a heck-of-a-job. To compare him to what this guy is doing is absolutely, I find, immoral."
As Axios noted last week, the Obama administration’s deportation levels outnumber the current administration. The Trump administration has deported 282,242 immigrants this year—the highest fiscal year total of the term. The number falls far short of the Obama administration’s 409,849 in 2012.