Clinton would back changing border law

Hillary Clinton said Thursday that she was open to changing a 2008 trafficking law to help the administration deal with an influx of child migrants crossing the border illegally.

"I think it should be looked at as part of an overall package," Clinton said on NPR's "On Point.”

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Clinton said Obama needed more “flexibility” to deal with the crisis on the border, noting the large number of migrants are fleeing their countries for many reasons.

“We do need more resources very quickly deployed, which is what the president and the Democrats have asked for. We need some flexibility within the laws,” she added.

The 2008 law has become a sticking point in the debate over how to handle the large number of child migrants who have entered the U.S. this year.

About three-quarters of the unaccompanied children crossing the southern border are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. More than 50,000 have immigrated to the U.S. since October.

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, named after the 19th-century British abolitionist, prevents officials from quickly deporting migrants from countries other than Canada or Mexico.

A House GOP border working group called for changes to the law, which Republicans say creates an incentive for children to cross the border. Republicans will likely include those changes in their $1.5 billion emergency funding bill for the border, while Senate Democrats are moving a $2.7 billion plan without changes to the 2008 law.

Congressional Democrats oppose changing the law, saying that doing so would weaken legal protections for young migrants.

But the Obama administration has called for measures to help speed up the deportation process.

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the law should be changed to expedite processing for those ineligible for asylum.

House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday urged President Obama to publicly support changing the law.

Clinton at a CNN Town Hall last month said unaccompanied immigrant children would have to be sent home.

“The laws, our laws right now are not particularly well suited for making the kind of determinations that are required, and that we should, as Americans, want to see happen,” Clinton said Thursday.