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tv   Sen. Jeff Merkley America Is Better Than This  CSPAN  September 15, 2019 10:00pm-11:02pm EDT

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existence that they have decided they want to destroy civilization instead of rebuilding it as a fascist entity. . . . . house of representatives serving the 47th district. prior to running for office, jeff ran several nonprofits including the portland habitat for humanity. running for office is not the only running senator merkley
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does. as he is a two-time ironman try although on finisher. [applause] [cheering] 2012 ironman north carolina and the 2016 ironman arizona which raised over $20,000 for the nonprofits along the way. so, that is amazing. [applause] the first book she will be discussing tonight is called america is better than this which tells the inside story of how one senator with no background as an activist became a leading advocate for reform of the brutal policies that have created a humanitarian crisis on the southern u.s. border. it represents the heartfelt voice of a concerned american who believes his country stands for something bigger and better. tonight senator merkley will be joined in conversation with ross reynolds, currently the executive producer of community
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engagement and the public radio where he's worked since 1987 having served as the news director and program director and also serving as the host of the record and award-winning news program the conversation among many other programs. so, please help me in joining up here senator merkley and ross reynolds. [applause] there's been so much going on at the border just in the last few days that as i was trying to catch up i thought it might be useful to begin with what's been happening lately and i wonder if you would update us on what's been going on the last week or so on this immigration issue. >> thank yo >> thank you everybody for coming tonight to talk about this because we are in a very disturbing phase and to answer
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your question i almost have to go back 14 months if you don't find and that is when i first went down to the border because i read jeff sessions speech called zero tolerance and it was six months before the election and i thought tough on crime, not surprising to hear that from a republican and then i read the details and thought this can't be. it sounds like they're going to tear her children away from their parents and that would never happen in the united states of america. some of my team said one way to find out what's go to the border. i thought that's right, so i did and that's when i became the first member of congress to see children who had just been removed from their parents put into cages in a warehouse and then an hour later of the road that was stunning enough put up the road advocates have said
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hundreds of boys who have been separated were being warehoused in a wal-mart so i went to find out about it and they decided they didn't want me to see what was going on and they said call the police and the video went viral and suddenly all of america was hearing about cages and secret warehousing of my grandchildren. how many of you have seen the video? that moment sent me on a journey i felt we have to speak up fiercely when we see something going horribly wrong and there's a lot going horribly wrong. but it was just a few weeks later trump held a press conference and said i've heard. my goodness i want to --
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wouldn't want to hurt children. the press conference was a complete lie because he wasn't ending child of segregation. the court ended it. but he had on the table in front of him was an executive order that have three strategies for the imprisonment of children. when i say this is the background of what's happening, that strategies were first go to the court and ask them to reverse the settlement agreement, and that agreements that you have to treat children humanely that's what it boiled down to, you have to provide nutrition and a place to sleep and hygiene and you can't lock them up for more than three days or 20 days if there is a huge influx. humane treatment of children that is what it was. they went to the court and they threw that out. that wasn't going to happen.
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next was legislation which i became involved in blockading the legislation to allow the imprisonment of children. and the third strategy was to do a regulation to replace and that's a regulation that has just been introduced. it says florez goes away once there is a regulation to implement it. the thing however is the regulation doesn't implement it. it destroys and it says there will be no state licensing which is what they call for. no state inspection, no outside groups coming to inspect which is what florez gives power to lawyers and doctors and by the way, that requirement of children not be locked up in prison for three days, that is completely destroyed by this regulation that allows indefinite imprisonment of children. i don't know of any country in the world that says if you are a refugee we will imprison you for
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perhaps months or years until the agitation is complete, but that is what they are doing. >> i've just been reading this week that they are going to deny flu shots to these children in detention. >> you think about this administration saying we don't want the state licensing and action because trust us. but this is the president who says i'm going to block the children from playing soccer because we can't afford to monitor them on a soccer field. locking them up without exercise. this is the presidential team which as you point out even though three refugee children have died at least substantially as a result, there may have been other complicating factors we are not going to provide flu shots to the processing center's customs and border protection centers because we just don't do that was the explanation. and this is the administration
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that just appealed a district court decision to a circuit court because they didn't like the fact that they were required to provide a setting daily account bedding and toothpaste and soap. there's no way we should ever trust any administration to operate without some form of substantial oversight and there's also talk of perhaps the long terlong-term in internmentn the border. >> the president's team is operating from the premise it's been spoken to for the first time 13 days into the administration following by john kelly the head o at the head ofe department secretary of the department of homeland security. a month later they launched an operation at the san diego center that is a child center operation done essentially secretly, but the premise that has been throughout from then
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until now has been if we inflict drama on the refugees including refugee children, we will discourage immigration, and they justified it in morality what i find is utterly evil and dark and unacceptable under any code, religious tradition, moral framework they justified by saying that it will deter immigration. this is wrong. it's like lady liberty's torch has been snuffed out. [applause] i wrote this book to say we have to rewrite it and restore decency in the united states of america. [applause] you worked with jeff sessions on the successful legislation and went and talked to him as the
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attorney general about this policy. what kind of reaction did you get? >> i thought i could have a personal connection or conversation because i knew him and had worked with him, and i have seen how this was unfolding on the border and jeff sessions haven't really seen it himself. even though he was an architect of it. i wanted to call him up and i said this is not unfolding the way you think it is. and the american people are not going to stand for it. it was a fairly lengthy conversation but all i got were the talking points. it is our job to deter immigration because we don't like it. and furthermore, then we will be helping children. he says if they don't take it difficult journey, then they don't face the difficulties of the journey. and therefore he has helped the
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children. so, herding children became helping children in this kind of twisted world. the zero-tolerance policy has been going on for a while. is there any evidence that it is achieving its goal? >> that is a great point. no is the answer. the premise that people are on the verge of being killed or tortured or in the middle of a civil war or famine that they are not going to migrate because of a distant policy on the future border, it just doesn't work like that. let me give you an example. there was a woman and her 56 -day-old child on the border. it was gabrielle and her daughter andrea. after my first trip to the border, i took a congressional
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delegation back. we went to the bridge near mcallen and on the bridge there had been 50 people camped out in some of them had been there seven to ten days because they were not through the doors of the u.s. facility so they were stranded. i wanted to see that and i wanted my colleagues to see it. however, we were told there is nothing to see. i said we will go out anyway. we saw at the centerline of the bridge three members of the customs and border protection blockading anyone from crossing that line who didn't have a passport or visa. they were being sent back into mexico. by the way, this is the principle of the refugee convention and about the federal law that says if someone presents themselves on the border asking for refuge, then
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it's our responsibility to provide safe harbor since we were not providing safe harbor we were shoving people back. so, we came off the bridge and i asked why aren't you doing this. this isn't our responsibility under the federal or international law. they said we are just overwhelmed. while some of the conference rooms were empty back of the border patrol station the rooms were far fewer people than i had seen earlier. they said there's a problem so we are not letting anybody cost. this was the beginning of what became, but there was half a dozen or so people and i said is there anyone in there who crossed without a visa or passport, and they said yes we will bring them out. so out came gabrielle and her baby in her arms, her less than
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two -month-old baby. i said so the border guards technically cbp at the ports of entry border patrol outside of the ports of entry but the cbp guards like you across because you have your baby in your arms and she says no, i was rebuffed and sent back into mexico three times and absolutely scared because we have the resources and family come you are at the mercy of gangs. i didn't know what to do. i said how did you get here to the american side, and her face lit up for a moment because she had beat the cards on the bridge. she said well, i saw there were two bridges, pedestrian and car and on the car bridge there were cars washing windows for tips and someone had an extra squeegee. i borrowed it and washed one car window, one close to the united states and i washed car windows
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into the united states of america. maybe we need people with that kind of problem solving here in the united states. [applause] do you know what happened to her and her baby? did you follow their story? >> i don't know where she is or what she is doing. she was treated as if she had crossed between ports of entry because she bypassed the pedestrian bridge. >> where is the opposition to this at this moment in the courts were colleagues in the senate particularly on the republican side who are as concerned about this as you are. >> the effective mechanism to stop the administration from doing things time and time again, for example, the administration said we are not going to give an opportunity for an asylum process for anyone who crosses between the ports of entry. this is wrong on two premises. people cross between the ports of entry are crossing between them because they were rejected
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at the point of entry and they are desperate because they would rather surrender to a border patrol officer can be vulnerable to the games in the border cities in mexico. the second reason is that u.s. law says you cross between ports of entry and you can apply for refugee status and this was a very deliberate part of the wall enacted years ago when i think it was under the bush administration they were seeking to return them rapidly but the new you couldn't do that if they were a refugee so you could ask for status between the ports of entry. it's written in the law. the administration simply adopts a regulation that is in violation of the law and the court has to join it. clearly the president thinks this is a winning policy for him politically. you are in a state that has many different people, many different
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views and you have encountered them since you've been friends. they might tell you they support this idea of keeping out immigration. what do you say to them? democrats and republicans in the senate, we are deeply divided, and is the result of the pressure of the presidency. and let me give you an example. the second strategy that was in that executive order from the president was in the legislati legislation. there was a senator that had a bill to allow a.
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in the internment camps of the united states of america i could not believe that that so many website onto that fission. there wasn't a democrat on it. i can't get a single republican senator. that is the best division. in general, republicans are trusted more on national security issues than democrats. they voted for more defense spending and therefore they feel if they have a fear factor it will help them in the elections. democrats have been in a fight
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for education, living wage jobs and feel like they are more dependent on a health factor to do well. so, how do you get a fear factor? a look at the issues from two years earlier. ebola was no longer feasible because it wasn't scaring anyone. it barely reemerged in a remote section of the column out. isis has scared people, but that no longer was such a factor because they were mostly out of the territory. and the idea of crime in our cities didn't really scare people because crime rate had gone down. taking away guns didn't scare people because the republicans were in charge of all of the branches of government, and so what was left? immigration became the fear factor. this was the conscious strategy of the administration was to drive that and therefore it has really disrupted the
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collaboration to find solutions. we have democrats and republicans in the senate in 2013 that did a comprehensive immigration bill. we had a dreamers though that was bipartisan and the senate. the first bill that we passed in the senate, the competence of immigration, it went to the house and republicans in the hospital this. this was in 2013. the dreamers though the president pulled in democrats and republicans and had all the presidents on a tuesday the cameras rolling for over an hour and it was a big bipartisan bicameral festivity and the presidents that i will take the heat, we will solve this problem, bring me a bipartisan bill. two days later from a conservative senators, moderate senators, liberal senators went together and said here is our bipartisan senate bill and the president for his tantrum because he had taken heat for two days from breitbart and the conservative side.
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so we are deeply divided. >> we've got a president and a democratic senate holding firm on this on what is to be done. can we change that? [applause] i say that because we have to publicize this and have people know about it and understand it's not just one little piece of information here and here. that is a major reason i wrote this book is to take all these visits are done in all of these facilities and conversations and then try to lay out a coherent and understandable fashion along with stories of the migrants that are fleeing persecution. so, that is what we can do now. that means book groups,
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conversations, people talking to their neighbors but in the near future, we are kind of almost there. it means campaigns because it is through campaigns that we can change the incumbent in the oval office and mitch mcconnell out of control of the u.s. senate. >> i'm sure when you talk to constituents they don't say we approve the publishing industry in children this way. we share concerns of the covenant on the border happened is the drug cartels have moved in. money comes from selling drugs in america. the arms come from the united states of america. and if those factors, you think of a drug cartel that has both
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money and guns it means they can bribe their way in one strategy and threat in your life with another strategy and those are two powerful instruments and they overwhelmed the traditional institutions of government and justice. so, if we want things to change for people fleeing death threats, then we are going to have to help the traditional institutions reestablish control. it's going to have to be an investment when the president says. second of all, that won't fix it. we have to help those institutions be a lot stronger. second of all, virtually everyone agrees we should have an approved asylum process where there is timely as adjudication in the range of four to six months so people had enough time with the assistance to get their information from their own countries so they can present their case to an asylum judge that so that it doesn't go on
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forever. advocates and republicans worked together on making that happen. and when you say what i'm arguing for is simply when a person goes through that process and we treat them with respect and decency that way we would want our family to be treated if they were to arrive on the border as refugees, people kind of get it. how many americans have ancestors who fled persecution of some form and came here to the united states of america and so something we can really identify with. what presidential candidate has the best ideas on this issue? >> there's some really bad ideas way over here i guess on the audience and there's a whole cluster of capable individuals that have very similar ideas. essentially every senator is running for office as a member of a cosponsor of my bill and has the same basic understanding of the issues that is decent
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treatment of people as they go through. recognize this. when you go through the asylum process, that isn't a free ticket. you have the burden of proof. most people do not succeed in the asylum process. the approval rate varies from 15 to 30% depending on the sector that you're in which means a lot of people go through the process and they are not able to document it for a judge because it can't just be i want a better life. that doesn't give you asylum status. you have to prove you will be tortured or high level of likelihood he will be injured or killed upon the return. that's what you have to demonstrate. it is a high test to get a refugee status. among those, which one of you do you think has the best stance on immigration issues? >> there's not much distinguishing factors right now. you may have seen in the debate
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and effort to create an argument over one piece which was it currently says crossing between ports of entry, there are two options for penalty. one is a criminal penalty and one is a civil penalty. in general, useful in the debate there should be absolutely no criminal penalty issue only civilian penalty, and he put kind of on the defensive on that. well, listen. my opinion on this is if you are smuggling women across the border to be used for prostitution, trafficking
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people, moving drugs across the border but in most cases the civilian penalty is the right way to go. the main penalty is that you're returning them across the border but it wasn't a nuanced conversation let me put it that way. it sounds like there is an impasse in the senate and white house on making changes. is there anything moving in the cords could put a stop to some of the things you've been talking about? >> 19 states have challenged the regulation to. they filed into that includes the attorney general on washington state, so thank you very much. [applause] >> there may be a couple more added to date so that is the big one right now. there is another one and that is
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does florez apply to the facilities like tornado and homestead. i will say a word about those two. the concept of the administration as we create the centers when there's a lot of people coming in at once where we will put a ton of children so in december of last year there were 2800 in this newly created facility in texas. you may have seen pictures of refugees and children being marched in single file overhead pictures and the staff in front and behind. it was spooky because it was military style, children are not allowed to touch each other, they have no idea when if ever they will get out of that facility. when i was there, i thought it was run in and efficient fashi fashion.
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yes there was exercise but there was also in enormous anxiety for children who ha have no idea wht was to become of them. ahead of the nonprofit, he agreed to set up the camp so they wouldn't be in a holding facility, the ice cold holding pens where people are crammed together. so he wasn't going to sign up for another contract after january. we held a protest and i have a bunch of members of congress we held a protest at o'rourke was there and we called for the children that already have sponsors and there were 1300 of them but the administration wouldn't release the children to the sponsors because they wanted to keep them locked up right next to the maximum so they
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called for those who shut down and the next week the administration right before christmas i think that timing helped 4,000 children, 1300 or so and another 2700 from the other camps it had such a bad reputation in part because across the country they had weighed in that no other contractor would pick up the contract so that is a victory. thank you for the public pressure so many have added. [applause] the administration said we will increase the size of the for-profit prison in florida called homestead. basically the same idea as the influx facility and it hasn't been applied meaning it's been exempt from the three-day standard to get t a state licene facility or 20 days in the influx to get to the state
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license facility. it hasn't happened because the lead advocate who established has gone back to the court and asked it to be applied. u.s. court decisions are underway now, they are in court now to make that happen. meanwhile, homestead is in a hurricane path category to. i called up and said i've heard from advocates that you have no plans for this. they said no of course we have planned. everyone else said that wasn't true and they've moved all the children out of malice o the hoe plaintiff advocacy now is to push on every member of congress from washington, every senator to say the spotlight on this and insist the contract that expires in november for the for-profit that runs homestead that the
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contract must be renewed and i will tell you that it is a kind lead corrupted force because they are paying 750 or more per day per child and have a huge incentive to keep children locked up, no incentive to get enough caseworkers and specialists to move children into homes and so we cannot have a for-profit child present system like we have now. [applause] quite away from you a way from e state, what animates you, why is this issue concerning to you x. >> it doesn't matter where you live or if you care about the decent treatment of people, if you care about descent treatment of children, you are called to be involved. over the country people walk up to me and say please stay in this battle because there's nothing that has upset me as much as this, the treatment of
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those kids. [applause] part of my background as an exchange student in west africa i was a blue-collar kid from a town we moved with the timber economy and in japan came to talk to my sixth grade class and i said that is the coolest thing in the world. somebody from our community got to travel halfway around the world. i want to sign up for that. i was fortunate to be selected as the person and spent the summer in a very poor family in ghana and what made them middle class was they owned a bicycle. i ended up working two summers in mexico and went through centracentral america in 1980 sg foreign relations and at that time the issues were front stage in foreign affairs. a summer in india i was planning
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to spend my life doing the type of work that mercy corps does or other humanitarian groups overseas. i was saving money to go overseas. i was at the world bank and the graduatin agraduate school, ands offered the chance to be a presidential salary and work on strategic nuclear policy which is very, very different from third world poverty. but the biggest threat to the planet at the time was nuclear war. so, i felt morally compelled to do a 180-degree pivot but i never forgot the fact that people in many parts of the world are struggling under circumstances we can only begin to imagine. >> is attenuated reportedly turned you away. they wouldn't let you into these camps that they set up. are you going to go back to the border again or do they kick you out you from seeing what is actually happening? >> when i was turned away by the southwest keys, which obligated
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costa padre after that, members of congress were admitted because of the huge public outcry. but they still made it difficult and then i pushed for a 24 hour opportunity from members of congress to see what's going on in the facilities. and we got a 48 hour provision for health and human services to the office of refugee location. we got a 48 hour provision into the last budget bill that still doesn't affect the facilities run by the department of homeland security. so, there is more opportunity for oversight. in other facilities othen othere border went to the mexican side and went to shelters in tijuana. it was in full force. there was a waiting list but i thinthat ithink was about 3,000t the time. there is a whole ceremony it's
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like i get to have a credible interview and debate dust off to the american side and then other people want to get their name in the book. can you imagine you saying your name in a indigo i am fleeing persecution and i have no money and no it is six weeks long and i say now when i was. now some places the waiting list as many months. you have to survive on the streets until your name is called, extraordinarily difficult. but, those soldiers, all of those folks want you to see what is going on. >> we have a microphone here and i want to go to the questions in a moment but i will pivot away from this to another topic with my final question. you called for the house to begin an impeachment proceeding
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against the president. for the final disposition that they would actually impeach the president. >> when >> when i was a junior in high school, i read the newspaper and then you basically read the evening newspaper and i read that the vice president spiro agnew had been convicted of taking $100,000 in bribes and his penalty was $10,000. i was just infuriated because i had been raised with this idea of equal justice. i thought this is equal justice if you are an ordinary person who steals a loaf of bread you may be imprisoned for five years but if you take $100,000 we get to keep 90% of the proceeds? what kind of an equal justice is
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that if they published my letter. i guess you could say that it was my first political act. our institutions are in big trouble. the packing of courts is destroying the integrity of the courts, the stolen seat of the supreme court. the oval office is being destroyed by the incumbent but it's not just institutions, is t is the principles at risk and that equal justice and all of those four words are carved into the solid just over the doors of the supreme court. that is a powerful idea and if you asked me months ago, i would have said my opinion will wait for tha the report, see what it says. when it came out it didn't come
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out instead of the attorney general lied to the american people about what was in it. he said there is nothing in it. well, what was in it, and i laid out all of this, the cases of the obstruction of justice which he lays out to have the felony obstruction of justice to have the act, the connection to a justice proceeding and intend to obstruct. he lays out all three of those planes into explores them on about 12 different areas, and four of them is substantial evidence of substantial evidence on all three of those points. in other words, it is textbook evidence for obstruction of justice. there is no way that the department of justice is going to act. so, the only institution that can stand up for the principle of equal justice under the law
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is the house of representatives, and they have an obligation to do so. [applause] you will never get the republican run senate to agree to this and consequently the failed impeachment attempt will guarantee for more years of president trump. what do you say to them? >> isn't failed impeachment unless the house to vote in the majority to impeach it only takes the majority, so still regardless of the senate and house responsibility shouldn't be based on the politics of what the senate does. and it shouldn't be based on the politics of the next and quite wrinkly i don't think that it should be extended. there are so many things that this president has done that might be considered high crimes and misdemeanors. but there are a few, where there is a lot of evidence that the house could put that evidence up and have every member become fully familiar with the month vote and be done. then it's incumbent upon the american people to speak to their senators and say that the
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house has done its constitutional responsibility. you, my senator, you took an oath in the constitution. are you going to have to tr thel as it is envisioned in the constitution and perhaps maybe the senate will rise to the challenge, that they won't rise to the challenge of the house doesn't out. [applause] we also have c-span recording this. is that if you go to the microphone to your question and i see question as an short concise question. go ahead. >> i have worked on the last several campaigns with senator morris, the tiger of the senate and the first person to oppose the war on vietnam. i am so glad you are echoing his assistance. thank you for that.
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those people were refugees because of a declared war. i just cannot get my mind around how a refugee is a refugee. how can we get this changed because it is so devastating. >> american law doesn't require that they be a victim of the war. it can come from many places and in addition, there are protective groups and the administrations have made different cases about which groups are protected. for example, there's particularly high-level infliction of harm on lgbtq.
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it's where a government chooses not to interfere and basically leaves the victims completely vulnerable and have also been considered protective groups until jeff session said no more. in many sections of central america there is no government presence. the government is the cartel that this means they huge number of people have a weaker case in the refugee courts as well as the interpretation from sessions stands. in fact, initially the numbers of the folks that were proven to be for asylum dropped in half as a result of that ruling. now it's being adjudicated and i do not know where that will come out. >> yes, what is your name in question. >> i just want to say thanks for coming and speaking here because
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it's been an interesting talk and interesting to listen to you so i just want to say thanks to god. the system that we have at the border right now is something that is working and being efficient, so during the presidential debates, we heard a lot of the candidates and the solution would be to the problem and many others like you said that there is some that are pretty good ideas into there are some that were not so good. my question is if you were in charge and had the power to change this, what would your ids solution be to the crisis at the border right now? >> i laid this out at some length one is action in central america. second is no por porter blockade leads people stranded and the facilitation and the facilities and then into homes to open up
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the sponsored by plane because the administration shut it down to keep kids locked up. to provide a legal assistance and assistance from the day that a child crosses the border. with families provide a case manager. we know the administration has a variety the layout and one of them they refer to as catch and release employing people who don't show up to their hearings. case management programs have to inspector general reports from the trump administration and both of them faile feel that 99y show up when they have a case manager. that would be a program they would want to extend everywhere. 99% of the people show up. you have their phone numbers and track them as refugee families they tend to move a lot and they
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run out of money to keep their phone they can't keep it charged were they switch to a different of his house. they have no idea because the notice never gets to them. it would make sense if i could report to you tonight this solves the problems instead i'm reporting to you tonight because of the problem they shut it down, canceled the program which i think shows you the fact they are not trying to address the issue is jus it is just much mot politics. it's the politics of the lowest kind. we heard the president in the campaign try to divide americans, the attacks on haitian americans and african-americans and latino americans and americans with
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disabilities and muslim americans. and immigrants. the easiest group to target, immigrants and that's where we've seen the administration doubled out on racism, hate and bigotry. martin luther king said darkness cannot, only light can do that so let's have a light on this policy and just drive it out. [applause] i would be interested and interg during my time and energy to help migrants. what organizations are found here or anywhere would be something i could help with? >> thank you so much for the sentiment. a lot of families have come up and said can we sponsor someone, and if the answer is the administration will not let you because they are only living family members sponsor which is leading a war kids stranded in the system of incarceration or detention facilities. but you can do is use your voice
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to highlight the issue. you can help direct resources towards the groups that work with immigration groups right here and i don't actually know the groups in seattle but i'm sure that a google search would find them. there are -- if you have medical schools than that is triple there are folks escorting across the borders of a don't get the blockade i got a call and there
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was a volunteer on the other side they were escorting three refugees and they'd been blockade at the border not allowed to step across the line. he held up the speakerphone for the cards and i said i had met with their boss and they assured me that they were to facilitate the passage of children as if they were their own children, that was their exact words and i'm sure the bosses would like them to implement that policy. i heard a lot of grumblings and they disappeared and came back and let the kids across. but that's the type of
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volunteering at escorting is another very valuable things and helping with refugees to get settled and assisted and get the schools, kids into school, going down to the border is helpful but it's basic humanitarian work, legal work and donating to these organizations which advocate for policies and easy and groups like international refugee assistance program that's organizing across the country to help find the parents when they were deported and reconnect with the children of those are the type of things that are going on. >> thanks for the question. what is your name and question >> one of the areas, you've been mentioning cartels and the war. how about july was the hottest in record-keeping of the climate
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i know there are farmers that cannot grow food not because of what you're mentioning it i'm sure that those were part of it, but because of the actual soil depleting they don't have the amount of fertilizer and other things. if you can comment i'm not sure if it is in norfolk but it seems like the va possibility that we've talked about climate. i do mention in the book that there has been a rough seas in the last three years and the result is a devastating impact on coffee and filters to growing corn, malnutrition is rampant. i was shown a picture by a usaid representative said the children in guatemala were 9-years-old are 6 inches shorter than guatemalan children nine years age in the united states that is best done thing that has occurred on a massive scale.
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in otheanother way is to help gn central america working with the food programs or the other programs, teaching programs in those areas and groups like habitat for humanity working down there. you'ryou are absolutely right. i do not know that those three can be definitively set in climate chaos, but i can tell you that it's a strong correlation over the world and it's getting a lot harder. we have huge effects in washington state and oregon. i have been doing a little exercise in front of every group i am in front of and i haven't done it with all of you yet so i will take this moment. i'm going to ask you to breathe in and hold your breath for three seconds and we will hold it together. breathe in and exhale.
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it is different from the air when i was born. 33% more carbon. that is the phenomenal change in the right time. dedicated consequences on the coast. why is that? seawater facilitated some of the blu, the bluesea urchin keeps ts destroying it and it is the environment for hundreds of species. we have to artificially but for the seawater for washington state and oregon state and the impact is enormous. it's bad for irrigation and farmers and streams for the trout just to mention a few. the facts on the ground in
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central america it is getting harder and it's causing a lot of trouble and in terms of the law, we do not actually really have a climate refugee law. it's credible if you return the violence to do and the economic refugees were the climate refugees do not fall under that class. maybe that is a conversation we should have as a country hoping some around the world, but we also have to do everything we can to transition off of the carbon so that we save the planet and get the renewable energy. [applause] >> what is your name and question? >> out of the counter this hateful narrative now with everyday citizens that already are we just had a shooting in el
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paso and there are people that have been radicalized in many ways, so i think we have an audience here that is progressive but how to approach the ones that don't listen to the facts. >> i believe the leadership matters and it is implicating hate, hate speech, racism and it produces violent acts. we need to change our leadership that is part of it. but right now if you hear an elected official or any community leader that is attacking any group within our community, muslims or african-americans or hispanics or refugees, consciously reach out to those people in your
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community, have been over introduced your rotary club or house and say we stand with you the diversity that comes here is going to work together to build a more beautiful, more successful, more of a model nation for all. direct action to reach out. >> i was 15 when we moved here in 1969. that shows you how old i am. my parents were refugees from east germany after the war.
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so did the american border for a better life they have reasons to flee their home if they have a good home where they were, they wouldn't be fleeing they are not doing that in the front. why are we as a country not finding out what we can do to help them in their home country and make the situation better for them there, why are we not investigating what's going on and what we can do to help? >> former vice presidents biden was tasked by president obama to develop a program for central america. it's called the u.s. strategy for central america, and is in partnership with the program in spite of those countries called the lines for prosperity. and it invests in programs in three basic sectors, which are the economy, the governmental justice system and kind of the human rights sector. i went down to those three
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countries to interview all kinds of people about those programs the u.s. strategy and the alliance for prosperity. and i don't how little money we are actually investing. and i also found out the diversity of programs and i asked the question have we evaluated to figure out which of the programs now that we've been doing them for several years are working the best, and the answer is kind of hard to compare these programs and we don't have to spend any other programs or evaluating them. we need to really understand what is really making a difference. i asked this question of the three presidents and the only president that answer does the president morales in guatemala. he is out now. he is leaving. there's a bunch of stuff that he has done that really is not cool but owith on this, he answered e question. he said the single most
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effective thing the united states could help with our school lunches. tell us more and he said the big problem was malnutrition in the country, kids need a solid meal a day. and we need something that gets kids into school, stay in school, school lunch does that's community leaders to provide and cook the meals learn something about nutrition and that's helpful to the village as well. and i said to the team that's what the president said. what do you think and they basically said we are not sure. so i think we need to evaluate this program. we need to have a bipartisan push to do a really significant investment to help restore the institution. it's going to be very hard. when i talked about the power of the cartels, money on the one
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hand, weapons and threats of death on the other that's very powerful. i ask in those countries is there any village that has managed to resist, and the answer was in one village and i tell about it in my book. it's a case where a mayor said i'm going to do something. he put on a bulletproof vest, got a machine gun, got in the jeep and began essentially a vigilante and his community, never fired a gun but when he started going up and down the street, people got in the jeep with him and they created a network of communications of any member that came into their village, they instantly knew about it and they drove them out. and that took a courageous man i'm not sure that it's a model that can be replicated that it tells you at least there's one example of how a community resisted and we should ask ourselves and programs is there
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a way we can help other villages drive them out and create a secure environment? [applause] we have run out of time of senator murphy will be signing books over here let's give him a big hand. [applause] good evening and welcome to the book room. for a little bit of history, the store was founded by my grandfather in 1927 and then my dad passed

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