tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera October 6, 2013 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT
>> congressman luis gutierrez. democrat of illinois and a major advocate for 11 million undocumented immigrants. passed in june now gutierrez wants action in the house. >> let's make sure we understand this is a work in progress. >> what about the golf t government shut down and washington's partisan politics? >> there are 200 plus republicans who wouldn't agree with barack obama if darkness befell and he had light. >> and to the halls of congress.
>> i went to finance my first campaign. >> congressman pleuz gutierrez is our guest on talk to al jazeera. >> congressman welcome to talk to al jazeera. >> pleasure to be with you david. >> at the time of budget fights, students with mounting debt, agriculture issues, that can't get sofd wh solved why is it so important to solve immigration are reform? >> if you read the editorial commentary on immigration it is almost like they're plagiarizing each other. they are not. they are just together. the u.s. congress and the afl-cio, they fight to the death, they're together they've
reached an agreement. cesar chavez put together the farm workers. the farm workers union organized by cesar chavez over 40 years ago, have reached an agreement with the largest growers. republicans and democrats are coming together so it's the right time to get it done. the unity is there. >> across the political spectrum, how critical therefore sit to get this done? >> nothing will happen on this, we're going ohave to come out of this tunnel, right, very bitter ugly fractured government that we have now. in the last nine months it's never been like this. so i think it is on pause. but that doesn't mean it isn't going to come right back. and so i say that the other thing is, people always say the economy, the economy, the
economy. here's the interesting thing we've learned. now that we have got a bill, the senate bill was scored and it says if you legalize 11 million people you gain $170 billion to the good, right, over the first ten years and over 20 years it is $1 trillion. that means $1 trillion is added to the federal treasury by putting them on the books. that should make sense. you put people on the books, they increase their wages, they pay more, there's more productivity, and we all benefit by allowing them. i think it's a very important economic message that's being set. >> there is a house democratic bill, what do you mean by path to citizenship? >> i don't want to come on al jazeera and be intellectually dishonest about this. i think this is something we need to confront, especially those of us who have been very
committed to comprehensive immigration reform and been working in the trenches for decades on this issue. all of my bills that were introduced by john mccain and 2006, 2007, have always had a pathway to citizenship. we have to understand that isn't going to happen. >> you said something a little bit less perhaps a legal status? >> let's say this, when you evaluate the senate bill, cbo, moreover take national council of la raza, they both say the senate bill not only doesn't allow 3 of the 11 million undocumented to reach citizenship, legalization. let's make sure we understand, this is a work in progress.
that we're going odo the greatest good for greatist number of people because that's the senate proposal one which is being adopted, one which was adopted this week by house democrats. >> plain for people who are out there looking at this and saying oh my gosh citizenship legalization how are they different? >> great question. thank you david. i think we should learn one thing. you cannot legislate fidelity and loyalty to a country. you must i believe in the tradition of america allow for the opportunity of all immigrants in the pass in order to join this nation and become a full partner. what we are saying is everyone has to have the road to get a green card. because a green card after five years, you make a choice, right? do i want to become a citizen or do i want to renew my green card and stay here under permanent residence status? or do i want to become a
citizen? that's simple, a green card means i'm illegally admitted to the united states as a immigrant. >> 40 billion to help add more patrols to build this border fence, why not do security first as republicans have suggested? >> well first of all, the only way you're going to fix your broken immigration system is to get -- to do it all together. that is, you need to get people to come here legally if you want to stop people from coming here illegally. you've even going to give them a visa or go to a smuggler. economy needs workers. nobody would dispute that the million and a half farm workers that do backbreaking filthy dirty hard work across america and pick our fruits and pick our crops, and keep our agriculture strong, i don't want my kids doing that, nobody sends their
kids to school so they can pick lettuce and tomato and garlic. it doesn't happen. you always will need workers that are willing to come and join you. >> but congressman, the comprehensive immigration reform isn't going to get through the congress. is it worth getting started? >> here's the problem, there has to be -- john mccain, i think it was 2000, i wanted -- 2002, i wanted to go visit him. so 11 years ago i went to see him and i said senator we need to get this done. and after about an hour of talking he was kind and generous to me. he said lou, here is your challenge. your challenge is to get democrats to tell unions that they got oallow more workers to come to supply our future. i said what's yours senator, to
allow them to legalize. that is the grand bargain. >> john mccain has famed right? >> they passed a senate bill. >> but in terms of getting his republican colleagues in the house you can't get that -- >> i understand that. i want to you think one moment, november 6th of last year where was the republican party? one year ago, self deportation. we got 11 million illegals, just self-deportation. not only did mitt romney say that, but the dream act, young immigrant youth who came here with their parents, he said he would veto it. isn't it remarkable how far we have come since that moment? i was with the vice president paul ryan -- >> he is an outlier. what is the incentive for republicans who were in safe republican districts to support
comprehensive immigration reform pathway to citizenship when they know if they do that they're going to face a primary challenge and they may lose? >> from a polling point of view if you actually poll, here is what americans say. americans all believe, a majority of americans this tests very, very well they believe in a pathway to citizenship for undocumented. and it isn't -- maybe it's not so much because of the tradition. let's set that aside. you know what they want? they want the immigrant that's undocumented to legalize, get right with the system, legalize, pay a fine and get right with the law and you know what they want? they want them to have all the same responsibilities. because a lot of americans think oh they're just here illegally, they don't -- >> americans think because they calmer here illegally why reward them? >> the answer is quite simple. a you're not rewarding them,
you're letting them earn. working in the united states undocumented is a misdemeanor, number 1. let's put it in its proper perspective. all i'm saying is look, if you are late on a payment on your house they don't take your house away. what we're saying is okay you failed. there was no way. this concept, why didn't they do it the right way? why didn't they come the legal way? there was no legal way. so i will say this. look, don't diminish the point that a candidate, the myth romney's running mate who i just described what his platform was and you've got his form he vice president -- look luis when paul ryan said i want to join you, and get this thing done because it's the right thing to do, the weekly standard this week issued a report they named 84 republicans up for legalization. they are for different levels, but it's 84.
i've been working on this for 20 years. never has a majority exforted in the congress of the united states for comprehensive. democrats were in charge if 2007, we were a majority of 250, 2008, 2010, four years i've given in which we were in the majorities and two of which we had the presidency of the united states, we didn't do comprehensive immigration reform. shame on us for not doing it. i'm going to tell you why we didn't, because there weren't sufficient number to get it done. >> we're going to talk about the role of the white house and president obama on immigration reform, on the other side of this break. more after this.
antonio mora brings you smart conversation that challenges the status quo with unexpected opinions and a fresh outlook. including yours. consider this. unconventional wisdom. >> and we're back on talk to al jazeera with cockman luis gutierrez. in your book just coming out you criticize president obama, you describe him as a candidate, barack obama, made me promises, and he broke them. what did he make and what did he promise? >> the universal promise, i will bring you comprehensive immigration reform and i will bring you the bill in my first
year of presidency. >> was that a fault? >> i think he didn't take the initiative. it is not luis gutierrez who says that. our immigrant nation understands that. >> he was trying to unwind wars and yet he still should have done it in the first year? >> he had to lead and speak to us about and prepare it us. we could have done it in 2010 couldn't we? instead he decided to do universal health care. our community encouraged and demanded that he do it and keep his promise, he didn't do it. >> would you have preferred he do it instead of health care reform? >> no. i think we could have done it with health care. we had a majority in the senate, we had a majority in the house. it wouldn't have been that difficult. let's be honest. rahm emanuel, he's the mayor of my city. i'm going to support him if he
decides to run forreelection. i like him. but what did he say when he worked at the white house, what did he say, immigration is the third rail of politics. we're not going to deal with immigration until the second term. so look let's be clear -- >> did he explain why? >> i believe he said he thought he couldn't get it done in this first term. that was his promise and his commitment. here is something that we should understand. the deportations have increased. we are going to reach this sunday let's give it another 30 days from this sunday and here's what you're going to be reading. here is going to be the headline. 2 million deportations since barack obama elected president. unprecedented deportations. that takes quite a bit of machinery until barack obama put it in place under his administration. so what i'm trying to say is the
following: look, there could have been ways to ameliorate the situation. and indeed in the end in my book i thanked the president and i recognize when the president did what? he signed an executive order, saying that immigrant youth, that is those that came here as children undocumented to the united states -- >> referred to as the dreamers. >> referred to as the dreamers should not be deported. that's not a permanent but he stopped their deportation. today there are emotional half a million, they have a work permit, social security card, free of deportation, are they legalized completely, no. he stopped them from deportation. he was so eloquent in 2012, he said i signed that executive order because the values i saw in that youth were the same ones that my wife and i inculcate in our daughters. he took that youth and he made a parallel between them. so look he has begun to embrace.
he is doing what he needs to do to get us across the finish line. but can i say one thing: i disagree with obama on this particular issue. i disagree. but you know something, on just about everything else i've been with him there. i supported him in 2008 when no one of the hispanic, none. i campaigned across the country for his reelection. but moreover there are 200 plus republicans who wouldn't agree with barack obama if darkness befell the world and he had light, he still would vote against any light he provided the world. >> the white house said on deportations they are just enforcing the you la. there are more regulations to help them enforce the law. what's wrong request that? >> you use the law and make priorities. you cannot on the one hand say, here is the one thing he said as president, he said there are all
these deportations going around, there are all these agents basically snatching babies, right, from the arms of their mothers. he said that was wrong. he said we should have a pathway, right, to legalization for the 11 million that he was going to stand for them that we should end this. that was his position as candidate of united states. as president of the united states, the deportations have been -- have a devastating effect. i want you to understand it's 1001 a day, without a mom or a dad, that is hundreds of thousands of marriages that have been broken up. look you need to use enforcement and you need to prioritize. hey mr. president you have limited enforcement? go after the drug dealers go after the gang bangers. >> they're doing that too, the justice department is going after -- >> i understand they are going after them. but use all your enforcement but we all know from an analytical
point of view, if you look at most of these that he has deported under his administration do not represent a threat. he passed the executive order for the dream kits right, 500,000 of them i won't deport you, but he instills in them the very same values that he sees in them. all i say it is a broken immigration system. the president can do better in setting aside those people. lastly, the president of the united states cannot applaud the actions of the senate and then allow his administration to deport the very same people who would qualify under the senate bill that's already been approved, he said that's a great bill, all i said mr. president maybe you shouldn't deport people who could qualify. when someone is deported it is going to be next to impossible to bring them back. >> you've been in congress for more than 20 years.
on the other side of this break we'll ask you about the dysfunction and what you're seeing when talk to ldges continues. al jazeera continues. and the daily beast says: >> quality journalists once again on the air is a beautiful thing to behold. >> al jazeera america, there's more to it. millions who need assistance now. we appreciate you spending time with us tonight. up next is the golden age of hollywood going golden but elsewhere.
>> and we're back on talk to al jazeera with congressman luis gutierrez. you've seen the clashes this time. has it gotten worse and why? >> well the partisanship here is worse than i've ever seen it. when newt gingrich, he was a partisan. but he was the leader of the party. when he called a shot the party followed it. i really do believe, this is
something people have heard time and time again but it's just true and it's something that we need to recognize. there are 30, 40 members of the republican caucus, tea party caucus within the republican caucus that don't believe government should exist. they are happy and thrilled that the government, they are celebrating and giddy that there isn't government because that's what they believe. there are others like i who believe that government has a meaningful function in the life and important to maintain economy and security. i do. >> what is it about this particular time that the republican party leadership in the house seem so captured by tea party right? >> you know, i'm not quite sure. but i can tell you this and maybe it will help: i've never seen the kind of disdain for a president that i see for barack
obama. it's almost as though there are members of the house of representatives who truly see him as an ill lettin illegitiman the presidency. >> you you were here for the impeachment -- >> nobody said that bill clinton won the presidency because he was lucky or he was stupid or wasn't ochristian. nobody questioned that he wasn't born in the united states, nobody questioned that he wasn't loyal to the united states or somehow wasn't a patriot. there are thing that have been said about barack obama and question about barack obama we don't have to check the birth certificate and even when you show them the birth certificate, come on, this is really different in terms of barack obama. and so i think you know, i think
history is going to judge this. and that he really had to go through, and as i said you know i've had my differences but god, they will vote, i really mean this, they will vote against sunlight. if barack obama proposes it. everybody knows it's the universal truth in washington, d.c. if barack obama is for it they're against it. even if they were for it before he was for it, it doesn't matter. it's this visceral kind of you're not supposed to be there. you're not supposed to be president of the united states, i'm not going to recognize it. you know we should be careful -- >> you hear this directly on the floor in your conversations? >> in my conversations and i listen and to me it's look you want to know something i didn't agree with george bush's policies for the most part but i never questioned that he was president of the united states.
but president barack obama, it's almost how can he not be smart? you don't win by accident the presidency of the united states twice. that's way they do it at harvard when they go to law school. >> the the barrio to capitol hill. what was your message? >> my mom and dad came here as my grants from puerto rico, they -- mieg ranlts from puerto rico. in new york city if it was 1951, 1952 and you were puerto rican, it's all about you bringing diseases not getting on welfare, bringing a criminal element, almost like you were the irish of 150 years before. that was the america that my mom
and dad understood. the cup did good, they did good by the country, the country in the end did good by them. they contributed their son as a member of congress. i want to take my life journey and say, here is where my mom and dad started and maybe there was nobody to stand up for them in 1952 but i want to stand up for the newcomers, as much my mom and dad are lookedden upon. they are criminals they come here to take welfare anchor babies, all the mean despicable things they said about them. they were wrong about my mom and dad, they were wrong about the irish 150 years ago. they are wrong today. today they'll see me on al jazeera and say he's got a fine suit and tie, he must have a an easy way there. no i drove a cab during my first election to finance my first
campaign. i still remember, when old colleague of mine from college was about to get in the cab. i couldn't let him get in the cab. the shame i was driving the cab and he was wearing a fine suit, i couldn't let him in the cab. but i persevered and i provided for my wife and children and i worked hard. you know how i learned to work hard? because my mom and dad taught me how to work hard. there is a tradition to of hard work. the trial and tribulation, chicago plorkz is a wonderful -- politics is a wonderful world of politics. >> congressman gutierrez it's been intriguing talking to you. thanks for being part of our program. we appreciate it. >> been a pleasure.
hello, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm in new york. a day meant for egyptian friday instead turns violent. hundreds dead in street fights across the country. >> hundreds forced from their homes as a powerful typhoon slams southeast china. frustration is building and still no sign of a compromise. john kerry and his russian counterparts have peace talks in syria needs to move ahead as quickly as possible.