tv America Tonight Al Jazeera January 13, 2016 9:30pm-10:01pm EST
the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target. >> on "america tonight": across the u.s. a crack down on undocumented migrants leads to desperation at the door. >> what's that like for you when you see all these people coming into your office? >> it feels like you're in a war zone and you're a medic and all of a sudden something happens and you're getting hundreds of patients every day. >> thank for joining us, i'm joie chen. the crack down is under way. just before christmas, the white house warned the crack down
would begin, with roundup of undocumented immigrants and it has, door to door raids, what is different this time in many cases families are being targeted, often single mothers and their kids and some will be forced to return to what has become the deadliest country in the world, el salvador, "america tonight's" lori jane gliha with the knock at the door. >> it began when pounding at the front door startled doris rivas from her sleep. >> they rang the doorbell. >> outside the window she saw her sister dominga standing with authorities from immigration and customs enforcement. they had detained dominga, where
they had been living with their two sons when they came illegally in 2014. ist says she would not have opened the door if she had known that ice was there to take away her nephews and deport them back to el salvador with their mother, dominga. >> what do you think would happen to your sister if she was
deported back to el salvador right now with her children? >> dominga is more than 120 people rounded up by ice in recent weeks mostly in georgia, texas and north carolina. adults like her are now at risk of immediate deportation. the u.s. government is now removing families who entered the country in 2014 and have exhausted their legal options at a greater rate. for doris rivas who entered the u.s. as a teenager now runs her own salon and is about to apply for permanent residency, learning that her younger sister might be deported back to el salvador is crushing. the country has the highest murder rate of any nation in the
world. doris says her sister fled to the united states because gangs were demanding she hand over her children. including one son who was born after a period of sexual abuse at the hands of a gang member. dominga herself called me from detention in fex she felt she had no choice but to leave el salvador. >> why did you come to the united states originally?
after they announced they were going to do more deportations how many people have you seen come through your doors? >> easily over a thousand. >> immigration attorney chris taylor calls the hundreds of people waiting in his georgia office a mini explosion. many are central american families afraid they too are at risk of being picked up and deported. >> i'd say 80% of what we're doing now is calming people down that don't have issue and aren't at danger. or finding a strategy so they don't get separated from their family. >> what is the difference between what's happening now to what was happening several week ago when there were deportations anyway? >> what that was creating is a situation where people may have had a deportation order say a month ago. there wasn't a risk that an ice officer would go look for them, unless they were jailed and fingerprinted. now they are actively deported,
making kids ready for school, an ice officer will knock on the door and potentially arrest the parents and the children and remove them from the country. we haven't seen this before. >> for mothers like this woman who didn't want to share her face the idea of returning to el salvador is devastating. she is afraid for her life. this woman made the journey north with her three children and is now here illegally, she fears going back to a country filled with gangs, gangs that she says killed her neighbor in front of her and kidnapped her own brother.
>> she doesn't want to be separated from her children but may try the give her sister custody if it means they can stay, even without her. >> are you considering leaving your children here, if you have to leave? >> what's that like for you, when you see all these people coming into your office? >> it feels like you're in a war zone, and you know, you're a medic that's handling a few cases a day. and all of a sudden, something happens, and you're getting hundreds of patients a day. and there's a certain part of you that becomes desensitized,
to give attention to one person after the next after the next. every once in a while a case will catch you that says this is terrible. >> look there are other places people can go, why do they have to come to the united states? clearly the rules are set out there's a legal way to come here. what do you say to all those people who say look, these are the rules, all the u.s. is doing is enforcing the rules that have always been there. >> i don't think we have a responsibility to accept everyone in the world that has a fear of their country. i think that that's unsustainable. but i do think we have a responsibilities. >> there are many americans here who will say why can't they just move to another city in their country? or why can't they move to another country in central america?
at doris's house family members wait for word from dominga, who is still in ice custody with her children. there is little they can do but hold onto hope she won't be deported any time soon. >> "america tonight's" lori jane gliha is here. what was her status at this point? >> she was about to be deported, taken into custody, already on one flight from san antonio to laredo, texas. >> she's on the plane. >> she's on the plane, and the authorities came on and took her off the plane. there are nonprofit groups doing
pro bow flow work, they found out they hadn't filed an appeal they had a right to appeal when they got their deportation judgment. they were able to do that for about 11 families and so none of those families were deported and what happens now is they're in limbo, there's still some reviewing going on perhaps their case could be reopened but they are still not completely out of the woods. >> but she is still in custody. she is not free to go wherever? >> correct, she is in custody. there was some talk she could be released with an ankle bracelet. the rule she wouldn't be allowed to be kept in custody more than 20 days according to the federal rules. at any point she could be released fairly soon but the question becomes, what happens after the 20 days and once the appeal board makes the decision. >> as we noted in the beginning, this is not something we have seen in the u.s. since the bush
administration, there were big crack downs, they went to animal processing plants or other factory type places to crack down on workers who are here illegally undocumented. this point there is the crack down on women and children who are here illegally. >> they tried to do some of these announcements trying say don't come here. this is part of that. they have talked about some of these people, they said they put out a message that shouldn't come out as any surprise to anybody. families, adults who came after may 2014 with children who have already exhausted their legal remedies. these people already had their final deportation orders. they have been ordered buy judge to leave and these are the people that have become a priority. now in this case of dominga, these attorneys who are helping her found a loophole, found something a legal remedy she could have pursued but in most cases these people were already given an order to leave.
>> "america tonight's" lori jane gliha, we'll look forward to that. next, a change in the weather and why it could create a new crisis at the border. later, a dirty plant and a political promise, why an ohio community expects they will be left behind in another campaign season. and hot on "america tonight's" website now, a new twist on i.d. theft how it turned one woman into the mother of a meth-addicted baby at aljazeera.com/americatonight.
>> this is one of the most important sites in the century. >> this linked the mafia and the church. >> why do you think you didn't get the medal of honor? >> i can't allow you not to go into that because that is your job. >> we gonna bring this city back one note at a time. >> proudest moment in my life. >> could it be the next trigger for a mass migration north? a crisis underway in central america right now puts millions in jeopardy. more than a million in guatemala alone. starvation, the monster el nino underway right now, that's right, a crisis caused by this
massive weather system. we get an idea from correspondent david mercer in guatemala. >> family worked hard to prepare these fields and plant them with corn but nothing could prepare him for the effects of el nino. el nino is being blamed for a drought with gripped guam guatemala for much of thguatema. most of his corn harvest was ruined. poverty in guatemala is widespread with millions of people surviving off the land. so changing weather is cause for alarm. the world food program's mike vargas has been visiting subsistence farmers across
guatemala. some farmers say they have gone a month and a half without rain during the critical growing season. in some parts of central america an estimated 60% of corn and 80% of bean crops may be lost to dry weather caused by el nino. the united nations says hundreds of thousands of families will need food assistance. >> translator: this is the worst dry season we have had since 35 years ago. and it's affecting not only guatemala but from nicaragua up to here. el salvador has been hit very hard, honduras as well, 135 million people are affected by el nino. >> inside their tiny mud shack, preparing tortillas, what the family eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. but today clara had to borrow a few pounds of cornmeal for their nu noontime meal. as each day passes making sure
their five children get enough to eat becomes more of a struggle. working to buy food isn't much of an option either. jobs here pay as little as $5 a day if you're lucky enough to find one. in guatemala, when food is scarce, the youngest often suffer the most. nearly half of all guatemalan children are malnourished, the fourth highest rate in the world. inside this hospital, an hour from maura's community, children are fighted for malnew transition. five month old is ending her stay. she suffers from a severe type
of malflish caused by protein deficiency. she could hardly often her eyes she was so swollen. clear why the consequences for guatemala are far reaching. health care workers worry that as food stores continue to disappear child malnutrition will rise. people working in drought stricken areas say there are signs that is already happening. between the drought and the poor economy 20-year-old yesenia dreams of a better life far from her community.
the majority of guatemalans who migrate to united states illegally are subsistence farmers. experts say el nino might drive more people further north. it could drive another hit to those communities hit by drought. el nino is expected to continue until march bringing more wild weather. guatemala's subsistence farmers hope these predictions are wrong. their families' futures depend on it.
>> every monday night. >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping... inspiring... entertaining. no topic off limits. >> 'cause i'm like, "dad, there are hookers in this house". >> exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. >> these are very vivid, human stories. >> if you have an agenda with people, you sometimes don't see the truth. >> "talk to al jazeera". monday, 6:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
>> the count down is on to the first ces of the political first contest of the political season. the candidates are persuading voters that they are the ones who can make better for all of us. but in those all important swing states you've heard this before. take ohio. where one community learned many campaigns ago, what it means to be left behind. in 1992, desperate for hem, the people of east liverpool turned to the men promising change, bill clinton and al gore, both campaigned here at eastern ohio and promised that they would be the ones to look out for the little guys. >> i went to wheeling and actually shook hands with al gore and he signed, autographed a no wti poster of mine.
and assured us all over and over and over again, we're elected, we will put a stop to this. >> but they didn't. the hazardous waste incinerator went online a year later and the group has been fighting ever since. the incinerator which community activists say releases lead and mercury and other toxic waste from its smokestack is the result. there have been protests in east liverpool and in washington, even arrests but nothing has changed. >> the waste industry pours so much money into donating to politicians, and their elections, that we can't compete with that. and their dollars are always going to win.
>> that said, we took out for clinton. >> 87-year-old alonzo spencer has been fighting the hazardous waste incinerator for more than three decades. >> shut this facility down! tear this facility down! and move it out! you know you have probably heard of gore and his running mate promised us that they would shut this plant down or it would never go on. online, but they didn't do it. the politicians kind of stay away from it because it's not -- they have seen what happened to this area and it's not a positive thing to run on. it's all negative. >> the incinerator is worth 100 jobs to this depressed town but spencer and others say its presence have kept other businesses from moving in. the population of east liverpool has dropped more than half from 26,000 in 1970 to just 11,000
today. this junior high is now closed. an elementary school was here, too. a mere 1,000 feet from the incinerator but the city tore it down. yet spencer isn't giving up. >> he hopes it will eventually get shut down. and if it isn't we're going to keep fighting it and try to make sure that they obey the regulations. which they are not doing now. >> my name is amanda kiger, i am a community organizer for communities united for responsible, a resident of liverpool. i'm fortunate or unfortunate to be able to work in my own neighborhood. now when you look two out of three store fronts are shut down. >> dennis dreer is 60.
he lives just a couple of blocks from the hazardous waste insin rater. except for time in the army, he's lived here all their life. >> depending on what they're incinerating up there you'll get this fine dust all over everything. it seems to me like there's an awful lot of cancer down here. an awful lot of it. within two blocks three people who have serious cancer, and how many other people that i don't know about it that keep it private. you can't crawl in a hole and cry about it. you just got to deal with it. i mean it's the cards you're dealt. >> dennis dreer has also been dealt cancer. colon cancer that he said has spread to his lungs and he already had two rounds of chemotherapy. >> that chemo, don't wish that on anybody. it's rough on you.
>> at the end of the day, dreer says, he's left with one basic question. >> why is it there? this is a neighborhood that is a hazardous waste incinerator. those two words do not belong together. >> they may not belong together but along the ohio river the people of east liverpool and the hazardous waste invi incineratoe shared this valley with no end in sight. save our country has now plans to file suit this month. tell us what you think at aljazeera.com/americatonight. you can talk to you on twitter or facebook and come back. we'll have more of "america tonight," tomorrow.