Rep. Ruben Gallego (D., Ariz.) criticized the Obama administration's deportation policies during a Wednesday morning appearance on MSNBC, saying the administration's policies were "too harsh" and "created the environment" at the southern border.
MSNBC host Craig Melvin interviewed Gallego, a vice-chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, to discuss the group's meeting with former vice president Joe Biden on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning.
Gallego led the interview off by telling Melvin the caucus told Biden they were disappointed the Obama administration did not prioritize immigration reform during the first term of Obama's presidency but overall described the meeting as "positive."
Later on in the interview, Melvin asked Gallego whether the administration's deportation policies came up during the meeting between Biden and the caucus.
"Did you guys in that room take him to task on the deportation policy under the Obama administration?" Melvin said.
"We certainly did," Gallego responded.
"We do believe that the deportation policy under President Obama was way too harsh and created the environment that we are now living in and we don't want to see those mistakes repeated," the congressman continued.
Near the end of his presidency, Obama faced criticism from immigration groups who labeled him as the "Deporter in Chief," due to the administration's immigration policies which led to more than 2.5 million people being deported from 2009 to 2015. According to government data, the Obama-Biden administration deported more individuals than any other presidential administration in history.
Gallego also said he was not yet prepared to endorse Biden and insisted the caucus will continue to hold meetings with the potential 2020 Democratic nominees to hear how their policies will benefit Latino communities.