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tv   DHS Secretary Mc Aleenan Policy Experts at Migration Policy Institute...  CSPAN  October 8, 2019 1:00am-2:47am EDT

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c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, andrew pollack, whose daughter died in the 2018 parkland florida met shouldn't discuss the school safety in his new book. talkstion magazine editor about camping tony tony and the candidates vying for the candidate -- campaign 2020 in the candidates spying for the democratic nomination. be sure to watch washington journal wednesday at 7:00 a.m. as our c-span is continues her tour across the country. we will visit the battleground state of pennsylvania. announcer: the migration policy institute, the catholic immigration network, and georgetown law hosted a
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conference on immigration law and migration at the u.s. mexico border. kevin mcaleenan was scheduled to deliver opening remarks, but left the stage after being interrupted multiple times by protesters. this portion of the event also included a panel discussion on immigration policy and the 2020 election cycle.
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>> good morning. this time, i'm interrupting you, for real. good morning, everybody. we will to those of you in the room and work on those to you joining us on c-span. i am the president of the migration policy institute. so long with our partners, catholic legal integration clinic endorsed down law, we are very delighted to a commute to the 16th annual policy confronts. do you get a we will in a moment from executive director but i wanted to join with clooney and also thinking for hosting us and once again for this meeting to go to the dean slave trader, and to all of the staff that were involved in putting this together. our team has been involved in putting this together. there are people here on-stage, so thank you to all of you as well. in 16 years, our organizations have connected this confronts we work very hard to bring a richer way of viewpoints on current rates and mitigation and law and policy. from policymakers and the federal state and local loophole -- level, from experts and academics, from journalists and
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service providers from advocates and from law enforcement leaders as political strategists and many others. today, you will hear voices from across the spectrum and from different vantage points, and you will not agree with all of them, but every aspect of immigration has become so polarized, we believe firmly it is more important than ever to hear directly from the keystone stakeholders to question them for a thoughtful, civil, and informed dialogue. so again, welcome, and we look forward to a full day of engaging and provocative discussions. let me introduce the keynote speaker for the day, acting secretary of homeland security, kevin mcaleenan. he became acting secretary at the helm of a 240,000-person agency. the department is responsible for everything from cyber security, to emergency response, travel, prevention of terrorism, and more. more importantly, dhs is responsible for many of the most crucial aspects of immigration. there are component agencies, u.s. order and customs to action
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-- immigration, and customs enforcement. before becoming acting secretary, secretary mcaleenan held important roles such as commissioner, deputy commissioner and director of one of the largest field commands. secretary mcaleenan received a presidential award, in 2015, the highest civil service award. a decade before that, he received a medal for spearheading efforts for a post-9/11 comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy. he holds a law degree from the university of chicago. immigration is as contentious, complex, and polarized a subject as exists today. dhs and acting secretary at the center of that with changes in asylum policies unfolding, cooperation agreements with mexico and central american countries will be reshaping refugee policy. we will discuss that at length.
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i know you're eager to hear from secretary mcaleenan and importantly, to be able to ask the secretary questions during the question-and-answer period following his remarks. i will turn it over to you, secretary mcaleenan. secretary mcaleenan. [applause] sec. mcaleenan: thank you. [protesters chanting] >> when immigrants are under attack? what do we do? stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> when immigrants are under attack, what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do when democracy is under attack? >> stand up, fight back.
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>> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> ok. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> please, that is enough now. thank you very much. we hear you. this is a forum where we respect free speech, we respect your right to protest, but with respect to the audience, that wants to hear the speaker, let's save the rest for the q&a period. [protesters chanting] >> thank you very much. please be seated. we would like to hear the speaker now. please be seated. >> jacqueline, age seven. carlos, age 16. [protesters chanting] >> please, please folks.
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>> jose ramirez vasquez. >> this is enough. [protesters chanting] >> please be seated so we can hear the speaker and engage in a dialogue. please be seated. [applause] mr. mcaleenan? sec. mcaleenan: good morning, everyone. [protesters chanting] sec. mcaleenan: thank you for the kind introduction. [protesters chanting] >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> that is enough. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back.
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>> children are under attack. what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> please be seated or take the protest outside. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> we hear you, we hear you, we hear you. we hear you, we hear you. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> this audience is here to engage in a dialogue and listen to this speaker. >> [indiscernible] nikki henriquez. melissa ramirez. >> [indiscernible] >> it is time to finish this. you are robbing the rest of this audience of an opportunity to engage in a dialogue that is important to have on a university campus. [applause] >> please, please. >> people are being robbed of
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their lives! >> until we hear, we are not in a conversation. so, let's stop the one-way street, listen to the speaker and have an exchange. thank you very much. let's try again. sec. mcaleenan: ok. i want to thank the migration and sza, the georgetown law migration institute, the georgetown law center, the immigration network, for the opportunity to join you today. >> what do we do when immigrants are under attack? >> stand up, fight back. >> immigrants are under attack. what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> could you please have some respect for this audience who came here to listen to this speaker? >> democracy is under attack. what do we do? stand up, fight back. >> democracy is under attack. what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. sec. mcaleenan: one more time.
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>> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> and in fighting back, let's have an opportunity to engage with people that are making the decisions. please allow the speaker to make his remarks, and this audience, who has come here for this purpose, to hear and engage. please. you may stay standing, but please stop shouting. [applause] sec. mcaleenan: thanks, doris. we will give it one more shot. as a career law enforcement professional, i have dedicated my career to protecting the right to free speech and all the values we hold dear in america, from all threats. so, we will go ahead and try one more time. but otherwise, i am going to go back to work and keep trying to secure this country. [protesters chanting]
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sec. mcaleenan: [indiscernible] [protesters chanting] sec. mcaleenan: you can post it on your web. >> colleagues, you are invoking democracy. democracy requires dialogue, it requires listening, it requires a two-way street. the secretary has agreed to take questions and answers. we are robbing time from the period of questions and answers. could we please listen to his remarks and have a chance to question him, including those who disagree with him? sec. mcaleenan: ok. last time, team. lots to cover today, some very serious issues we can talk about. in candor, in a real dialogue, or we can continue to shout. what i would like to start with is -- i would like to take our dialogue this morning above the politics and the daily news cycle and talk about the challenges and efforts we face
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-- we faced over the past year, but also given this is primarily an audience of immigration lawyers, advocates, and law students, it's also talk about some of the fundamental issues we face in the current legal framework and its ability to address large-scale immigration laws. [protesters chanting] >> children are under attack. what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> democracy is under attack. what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. [applause] >> you have denied democracy. >> the wrong place. [applause] >> are you prepared to say for
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the rest of the confronts? >> yes. >> then please be seated so that we can continue. all right. it is 9:30. our next panel was to begin at 9:45. they will begin in five minutes after we have had a chance for toa gallagher, the director make some opening comments and get this conference off on other elements. -- >> good morning. my name is anna gallagher. i am the new executive director of catholic legal immigration network.
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here in the d.c. area, and i'm very pleased to be here. before i give you my brief welcoming remarks, i would just like to note a few things. we understand and appreciate your concerns. we all have years of history and working in the immigration and refugee world. in the united states, abroad, in sending countries and receiving countries. so, we appreciate your concerns and understand them. we are disappointed that we could not use this opportunity to raise questions and ask the secretary to explain why this administration is doing what they're doing. i appreciate your point, it is the right point, and i think it is the wrong place, because i do believe most people that are here wanted to hear and answer questions.
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-- and to question. [applause] miss -- anna: now, i would like to take those minute to officially we -- officially welcome all of you and to thank you for attending the 16th immigration law policy conference. as the new executive director of clinic, this is my first opportunity to cohost this conference, and frankly, it's a great honor for me. i have attended several of the conferences in the past and i was always impressed and moved by the speakers and walked away with both questions and some answers. and -- appreciate it and feel honored to be here. i'm also appreciative of long-standing institutes that have been with this conference. i'm especially pleased to be
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sitting at this table with these individuals. it is more important than ever, that all of us with an interest in a fair and just administration of our laws, come together to actively discuss what is happening now and what we can do. so, i welcome you all and i look forward to a robust discussion during our question and answer period. so i will now hand it off to -- doris meiser to introduce our panel. thank you very much for being here. [applause] thanks, anna, i will do a little changing of the guard here now.
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[whispering] doris: ok, once more, good morning. good morning to my panel here. we those of you -- oh, usually put the names on both sides. that is actually one of my favorite problems about being a speaker, that the names are outside and you don't know where you are supposed to sit moses -- unless it is printed on the other side. so, good morning, my name is doris meiser. those of you have been regulars at this conference will know what i will say to those who are new to this conference, and that
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is for many years, the first panel of this gathering, has been what we call a state of plain. in the state of play, we try to talk about what is current and what is the state of the immigration enterprise and the state of immigration politics -- state of immigration politics, events, and developments. and every year, it gets a little bit more interesting and a little bit more charged, and i guess we certainly miss that standard -- we certainly missed that standard this year, haven't we? we have a terrific panel here of people that know politics on both says of the aisle as well as people that cover these issues, so let me quickly run through the speakers. and then, we are going to have as much of a conversation as we can. i'm going to ask questions. the panel will answer --
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panelists will answer and there will be time at the end for the audience for participation. on the left is a former speaker for policy and trade council. paul ryan was a speaker of the -- she was a speaker of the house of representatives, she is now with agent gump. next to her is ms. braley who is president of community change action and vice president for community change. and this is the new job. so we are welcoming her to her new post. as the organization you might have known the best is the center for community change which is going through a name rebranding. delighted to have you here and in this new role. next is immigration correspondent at the houston chronicle. who has been very much on the frontlines on these issues. -- on these issues in her reporting. and then there is, of course, somebody that we all know and have such high regard for, julie preston. julia, of course, is now contributing writer at the marshall project. the most of you will know her as the long-standing person
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-- immigration person reporting for the new york times. i think you and i here are the gray-haired people his table because we have been at this for a very long time. and that is exactly why we wanted julia to participate today. she has been a faithful audience member at these meetings, so she knows this job very well and has a perspective that very few others can bring that are here with us today. let me just make this opening observation and that is going to ask two sets of questions. questions that have to do with the border questions and to do with the politics of immigration as we go into a presidential election year. the issues that have to do with the border obviously are self
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evident. there is so much that is taken place since we met last year, just thinking back when we met last year, the caravans hadn't even began. suddenly came the caravans and then came all of the visibility that surrounded them. the increases in the numbers to a very high loophole. -- a very high level. peaking in may. the dismantling, basically, basically the countries asylum -- of the country's asylum system. so there is so much to talk about. it has to do with the border. we can't cover all of, it but it is at the top of the state of play idea. and then of course, where the election is concerned, we know president trump believes deeply that he won his presidency largely on issues of immigration. we have every reason to believe that immigration will continue and recur as a center stage issue in the reelection in 2020,
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so that of course is extremely important as wale. i'm going to begin with the questions with our journalists. i am going to start first with julia for the reasons that i talked about. i'm going to say that julia you have covered this issue and have followed it for decades. so you really do have perspective on how things have evolved. i wonder whether you could start us off with some observations about the degree to which the current era is different from what you've seen in the past. or maybe it's not different. maybe it really is what we know, which is that immigration has been contentious. and maybe this is simply today's version of it. talk to us about that. if there is any observation that you have from what it is you have seen that just happened, feel free to share that as well.
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julia: thank you very much, doris and andrew, for organizing this important in debt every year. it's such a fantastic gathering of people who care about the immigration system. thank you very much. so i see some continuities between president trump and bath -- and past administrations, but mostly very stark differences. let's talk about some of the similarities. border enforcement. i think that the president 's -- the president's rhetoric about a porous border and billing the big beautiful wall -- and building the big beautiful wall obscures the fact that border enforcement has been strengthened and fortified with persons and border agents, surveillance technology, military style equipment, more enforcement, since basically the 1990's, and particularly on the end of the bush administration and president obama. there is a lot of continuity despite the rhetoric about the porous borders. there is a lot of continuity in terms of border enforcement. in terms of interior
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enforcement, i think it's always good to remember that by the department of homeland security's own statistics, president obama deported almost 3 million people. so, the history of permanent punitive family separation in the forum of deportation, it's not new with this administration. there's a legacy there from president obama that i think is possible to forget about in the current environment. i think on president bush, -- under president bush, president obama, and now congress has failed spectacularly to take on this -- take on its responsibilities to address the just extremely damaging, increasingly damaging dysfunction in our immigration system. the immigration system is to meet themy view,
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labor needs of the country, to live up to the united states' humanitarian and responsibilities and obligations, in failing to -- failing to achieve the social imperative of the uniting and preserving and strengthening immigrant families, and congress has just been awol. through several administrations. it's good to remember that. and also, in the absence of congressional actions, maybe something that's interesting for you, both president obama and now president trump in a very aggressive way, have been tempted to use executive power to tinker with the immigration system in the interest of creating more deportations. and generally, this kind of executive tinkering if that's the right word, has led to a cascade of unintended consequences and more chaos in the system.
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the example i would point to, there are many examples of this. the example it would point to is the effort to speed up deportation proceedings for certain people in the immigration courts. it started with the rocket docket on president obama. there is a certain law of gravity or physics in the immigration courts, so that when we speed up one case, you have to postpone another. this seems to be a basic equation that seems to escape the notice of the executives who want to somehow gin up these courts to get deportations done faster. and really, all it's done is create increasing chaos and increasing backlogs in the -- and a situation today we have more than a million cases in the backlog of the immigration courts. it's really a catastrophe in the courts. am i staying that president trump is continuity or that this is somehow more of the same?
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i am not staying that. this is a radical change. mainly because this president is trying to change the core narrative that is animated in -- that has animated our immigration policy for almost a century. he sees immigration as a liability, not a benefit. i think at minimum, we can say that he regards immigrants and refugees with suspicion. you could take it further than minimum, wethink at can say that. and this is the kind of unabashed nativism, empowered by the full authority of the white house that really we haven't, i try to go back in history try to remember when we've had this particular set of principles governing our immigration policy. i want to just look at the detail that emerged from this extraordinary story that my colleagues had last week.
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-- mike and julie davis had last week. a detail in the story that drew less attention than the local filledilled -- moat with snakes and alligators that the president had proposed. it was that steve miller, who is the president his policy advisor, was seeking to replace francis, the head of u.s. citizenship of immigration services. those of us in this room, are -- who are familiar with frank's record, would not necessarily described him as a softy. but miller's idea was that he wanted -- he didn't think the system was doing enough as he put a change to the culture. this is the agency that delivers approvals of visas. this is the agency that when a person qualifies, is supposed to
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put out the welcome mat. instead, what this administration is seeking to do is turn this agency into the agency that rejects people. that keeps people out. so you can't imagine a more profound cultural change or philosophical change in the system. i just want to cite one example of that. there are many of them, but it is one that doris referred to which is the onslaught of the systematic dismantling of this administration are a silent system with respect to the border. so i just want to mention briefly what is happening there, and i am probably leaving a few things out, but former attorney general sessions and the current attorney general willie barr, have used their authorities over the immigration courts to revise decades of case law and shut down the availability of a -- availability of asylum specifically to the people who are coming from central america
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with with claims having to do with gang violence and sexual predation. the administration have sharply limited the discussion and flexibility of judges. in the immigration course who are dealing with these asylum systems to give us a fury of discretion or to exercise this possibility with the way they are handling the dockets and handling fees cases. the administration has moved to deny bond, to asylum-seekers and increase the detention of the asylum seekers. the administration has zero-tolerance prosecutions for unauthorized border crossings. even if two people who were intending had expressed an intention to seek asylum. the administration asked to force migrants to request asylum only at ports of entries. at the same time, that they were as they call it, metering people who came to the ports of entry so they burst restricting the access of people to come to the ports of entry and asked for
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asylum. some of these things have been subject to legal challenges with this, i am just trying to give you a picture of all of the things that happened here. the administration as a way out of his return now some 50000 asylum-seekers to mexico. with no support and virtually no provision to provide counsel. not even a basic notification system to await their hearings after they've been served. notices to appear. and the administration imposed and attempted to put through a rule for indefinite detention of women with families and children seeking asylum and now to cap it off, we have a unilateral with -- we have a unilateral -- what is essentially a declaration making mexico the third say, country even though mexico is
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consistently refused to assign an agreement to do that. this is basically a provision that by as far as i can tell, is just going to shut the system down completely to people coming from central america. these things have faced court challenges. this gives you an idea as we are looking at the asylum system, this consistent relentless focus on shutting down the opportunities in the immigration system. is this different? yes. this is different. >> okay, you know on the ground on this. we stand back and do analysis and look at the read the reports etc. etc. but you know living and breathing it and reporting it all of the time. so i would like you to talk about what it actually feels like down there. what do you see happening with
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the flows and circumstances at the border now in your reporting? could this slow and what is been taking place the central -- and what has been taking place with the central americans? could it have been anticipated? the government have been so unprepared to deal with a sharp rise in the numbers? -- classic question manufactured crisis or is this a crisis?
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>> the realities on the ground kinda building off of what julia said has really changed so drastically since may. mainly because of two of the trump administration his most significant policy that have taken and uploaded since and that are really keeping all migrants from entering the southern border. there are also the two policies that have freely received the least public attention. even though journalists and out of kids have done an exceptional work covering them, the one is the migrants protection protocols which returns migrants to mexico joyed there for the duration of the chordates. and as julia mentioned, the policy of metering which limits how many can cross the ports of entry in many cases now only two or three and sometimes none a day. so these have had the most
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dramatic impacts but it's not feel nearly the same dive boat live threat outrage we saw in the family separation is summer. i think a lot of this is because is playing out out of sight out of mind. but the consequences have really been horrific. i was there would they just expanded and i was in the shelter, church shelter when some of the first asylum-seekers were returned. this was at the peak of what they call the breaking.and a pal so. so many of the families i spoke to in the church, had spent ten days in a border patrol practicing facility. they were sleeping sitting up, had not been able to shower brush her teeth. they were sent back to mexico, not only did they not have anymore soap but they were also really sick. we are talking about little children, women in their 60sand 70s. even at that early point, so this was in may, and now of course the program has expanded more dramatically across the border. even at that the city was point, already overwhelmed. the mere fact that said they couldn't take her house anymore migrants, they didn't have any more space and that he was concerned that it would aggravate not only, more violence by cartels who see the migrants as vulnerable and quick cash opportunities. so, since then, it has only gotten much worse. they've now expanded the programs, more far dangerous
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cities. what we are seeing now is migrants camping out by the bridge. because they don't feel safe going into the city or the simply isn't more safe than the shelters there. so the health conditions there are really bad. it's also really dangerous. cartel members know that they're all in one place. there been more than 340 reports of rape, kidnapping, or torture against migrants. which is certainly an undercount. sent to mexico and then returned willingly to places where they may be in real danger because they don't know how much longer they can wait in mexico and of course as julia also mentioned, there's almost no access to legal counsel even though now with the ban on asylum, their chances of getting the protection is even more slim. so the impact of those two policies alone, is really cannot be overstated.
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to your second question of whether this could of been anticipated -- this certainly could have. families coming here has been happening since 2014. it's been happening for a combination of factors that we've all been talking about. and writing about and warning about since then including violence and poverty and immigration system that allows migrants to stay here for years while they wait for the court cases. but there have been a couple of politics plays on this as wale. in october of 2018, the department of homeland security warned that it was a crisis but went largely ignored. democrats accuse the president of exaggerating the situation. he was calling it an invasion at the border. at the time the numbers were certainly not overwhelming as they would be a few months later. and many rightfully criticized
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the administration's own policies for exaggerating the crisis can find with two taking advantage of the situation. with erratic u.s. policy. after the family policy ended, it quickly spread that the u.s. now in the border. the administration also did some or didthat exaggerated not help the numbers coming here. they last fall they began releasing migrant families, and border cities rather than coordinating the releases with nonprofits as they had before. which lent to this idea that there was a run of the border. they also of course diverted billions of dollars to walls which does nothing to stop migrant families from coming here. in many places at the border, they wait right by the wall for border patrol agents to pick them up. so that money could've been better spent to go to immigration judges and asylum officers to expedite cases. as julia mentioned, some of
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their own policies was in the courts. also ending a practice called administrative closure. in which they have taken some cases off of the daca. migrants may have a good reason to stay. is it all a manufactured crisis. no, the president certainly use ideas for political purposes but by the spring it was clear that the federal government was overwhelmed the consequences and some of the cases were deadly. the system was not set up for it. at least seven children know have died in immigration custody. i think that week he think here is that those democrats have argued legal immigration is far left than the peak of 1 million in 2001. the demographics are so different now. mostly single mexican man that came before, mostly central american families often with very small children who are much more difficult to detain safely
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and quickly depart. -- and quickly deport. so the two flows are really not comparable. doris meissner: we are going now to those that know the politics of this and have been on different sides of trying to deal with these issues. i would ask you first laurent, because you've said, in your career has been both in the role of immigration advocacy as wale as in immigration politics and you've worked in secretary clinton's campaign. you see this from a number of different places and where advocacy and political parties are concerned, they don't always align. on this particular issue that she's been talking about, this
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question of whether at the border it was a manufactured crisis or not. democrats basically called it a manufactured crisis. and they didn't respond. in congress. the administration first really began hearing the alarm bells as you pointed out. looking back and reflecting on where that is taken is in these -- where that has taken us -- these policies that are in place. did they make the right call on this? why did it take them so long to be willing to move, basic humanitarian assistance, whatever the reasons were for how it came about when people were truly suffering? and, can you imagine what would have satisfied democrats at that time we do have this kind of numbers. >> thank you. i will start by staying i don't work for the democratic party. so i'm just sharing my views as an advocate. i'm not sure i would actually agree with the way you framed
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the question. i would almost ask as to move back a little bit. credit you for all of the unveiling that you did, and really covering family separations in el paso and people were really paying attention. i think it started as a manufactured crisis precisely because we have to go back and look at the zero tolerance policy. go back and look at the current policy. this was of the administration his own doing. i think the goal was unintended chaos. as they have been doing here is that resources to care for people?
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we have to interrogate our assumption and questions first. i want to quote one of my colleagues who always says -- they are constantly crying poverty when we talk about baby diapers. but if there is a need for an extra 400 bed contract they always find a way to find the money. and so i think in every conversation, when you engage about the need for resources and what republicans are pushing for, first i think we have to understand that as a given, as part of the goal. i think we have to move into a conversation about what is the purpose of creating chaos at the border? this administration hasn't been shy about the fact what they want is for congress to intervene, not just appropriate more resources for them to
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apprehend and detain and remove people, but because you want to change our asylum system. so they want to create a political problem for democrats and republicans and for advocates so that the laws are changed in their favor. so that the laws mirror their vision for how we should be treating refugees and the and asa├žai lee's -- ylees in our country. i think that's where it starts. i think there is just a move into more of a democratic party politics, i think that there is an active conversation within the caucus about how do you put forward a different vision? i think there are people comfortable with the way things were under the obama administration i think that there's a cohort that's moving in the direction frankly think about politics and what makes impossible possible. we get really caught up in her own politics of immigration advocates and our movement but
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if you move back and think about the base and who is going to turn up in primaries and monusco -- and then who is going to turn out in the general election, we have to think about what else is happening in the progressive space and on the issues in general. what you are seeing today with some candidates moving down in democratic party does a really holding a number one, two, three slots is the american public is urging for transformative structural change. and the only reason we're not having that conversation here when it comes to immigration, i believe is because we are afraid. we are not leaning into the conversation in a way of the people are leaning into their issues. we are trying to figure out do we get back to obama era reforms, or how do we approach this we don't lose the election? no other issues are having that conversation. they are saying what trump has done is shed light on laws and
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injustices in the system that have been in place for many decades. what does it take to actually move in a funnily different direction when we think about what our immigration system needs to look like. that's a very different conversation that i think this movement, our movement is not really engaging in. you think of an elizabeth warren, for example, and she sort of rolling out massive restructuring plans and i think she falls a little short on immigration still. i would just offer that up as to think about what is happening right now and it is important to look at the broader movement ecosystem and then ask ourselves if we are showing up in this moment as the election heats up, with the right approach in mind. >> let us hold that thought and
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come back to it when we talk a bit more about politics because that, i'd like to say some more things about that and some of the other panelists may want to comment on that as well. weto finish the first round, turn to k.c. now who certainly with republican politics and with frustration on the other side of working on these issues as a practical matter on the hill. and ask you, as you well know republicans have been such strong advocates for strength and enforcement for port security, for what came to be known in the early years as enforcement first before any other kind of investment spending, et cetera. and so, you know, as julia pointed out in her opening comments enforcement has really come to, into full force with resources and techniques, et
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cetera. do you see republicans being satisfied at this point with the enforcement stance that is taking place at the southwest border? are republicans in the place where they believe that what trump is doing is finally realizing the kind of policy outlook that has been working so fully pressed in the republican party? and do you see any movement among republicans particularly in the senate to do with this with the senate to deal this administration advances all the time, which is the reason the system at the borders having a problem because of loopholes in the law and those loopholes have to be fixed, and that is julia says, congress needs to do something? so talk about how republicans see this to the degree you understand. >> yes, interesting to me. i think we've come from a very
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different place now than we were 2013 and 2014. when we made a run at this in 2013-2014 at that the senate passed a bipartisan basis, at that point it was very much throw money at the problem and that worked in the senate. and what we tried to do in the house is be able to respond to that legislation. we got a lot closer than people realized we did and ultimately we were not able to pass a part -- we were not able to pass a product because of political dynamics of outside our control but we right at the cusp of going to the for with the huge package of bills that would have spanned the spectrum. and i think would have been a good offering from house controlled by republicans that we could've worked with the senate to try to find a middle ground. there was an opportunity. it took us a long time and we didn't quite make it. the interesting thing from doing this in 2013-2014 and doing this
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over the past couple of years has been that are too thorough far perspective in the republican party on immigration. for my former bosses perspective and my perspective from a lot of members respected they come it is through three market limbs. -- through a free market lens. they look at this and they say immigration is part of building this economic capacity, and there are different pieces of it and we should have robust immigration systems. we should a border security. we should enforce the law but immigration is a good thing. then you had this other section of the party that doesn't look at it that way, and i think for the first time, different from when president bush worked on this in 2006, we now have the rise among the party that doesn't look at it through that free market limbs. -- does not look at it through that free market lens. doesn't necessarily say robust immigration is been helpful to the economy but thinks it hurts americans wages, whatever the case may be. with the rise of that section of the party, it's kind of change -- changed the dialogue and
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certainly resident travis change the dialogue in a way that republicans had not necessarily been voicing these issues previously. and i think part of the issue, and i love the common but try to figure out what the policy ideas need to be to move forward. because the issue i have always seen is a lack of education. so ultimately i think republicans believe they never got the border security they were promised in 1986 and they know we need to modernize the border. they want to restore order generally. there's frustration when you feel like there is a crisis on the border and there's denial of that. they want to figure out how you come together and move forward in passing actual legislation instead of just executive acting. but among the public and, frankly, among a lot of people in washington they don't
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understand immigration. when my boss to go to a townhall it would take and 7-8 minutes to to talk about poor security, guest worker programs, to talk about the dreamers, to talk about broader legalization and help his constituents understand why he did what he did. that took a long time but he could do it because he really the time to dig in and understand issues. immigration is complicated and it takes a lot for members to figure out and i think where without a lot of focus on -- and i think where we have had a lot of focus on healthcare and other issues and it taken the time to learn those, i think across the board, among the public and among members they don't fully grasp it. i'm from wisconsin and until i went down to the border, you don't really understand it. i didn't grow up with it. i don't live in houston, you know. i've been down to the border several times and every time i learn something new and to get a new perspective on it. i think education can have everyone across the board try to figure out how we move forward on port security but also on other issues as well. i also want to say i think one of the things that gets lost is fixing the immigration system
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will help the border. it will relieve pressure on the border. high walls, white gates, don't mean walls in the sense that the president uses it, but the idea is if you have your economic immigrants coming through the front or you can focus on drug traffickers and other issues at the border. from a free-market perspective that so those of us look at legal immigration can help along the border. but we need to have conversations, and in '13-'14 we were having really amazing bipartisan conversation. at this point both sides have retreated so far to their corners that we've got to really work to find how we get back to that middle point. we haven't had a full comprehensive proposal that was bipartisan since 2013. it's been a long time since then.
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the world has changed a lot since then. so we need to start having is bipartisan conversations again, he got how we can get to the root of some of these problems to address the border and also to address the dreamers and address the broader population. fix the legal immigration system still works. there's a lot we can and need to do but i think both sides need to figure out how we can come back to the middle, use our common sense approach to these issues in a way we can get something done. because when you keep having the pendulum swing back and forth in the white house and you have president obama took a minute to daca and all these things through executive action. the pendulum swings and you've got trump did all these things through executive action. we need congress to act. at the end of the it's got to be bipartisan. republicans try to do something, several things last year in the house and the senate without the cooperation democrats and it wasn't successful. democrats have moved legislation issue but ultimately until the two sides decide they can come
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together and try to figure out and bipartisan compromise you will not see legislation and not address these issues. we can throw money at certain promises through appropriation bills but that's not fixing the ultimate problem at the end of the day. >> well -- can i just ask? i know will do another round of question but i just want, there's one thing you didn't say i would love to your thoughts on which is the role of race here so how does that factor into your analysis about where republican party, like first, like how does the role come out view race as part of your analysis in the republican party at this time and how they are responding to what is happening? and in my other question is, can the republican party survive and continue to be relevant once it
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solve this problem or this issue? my analysis on this and and i may be totally off is that over the years you have seen less republicans willing to engage, like there's no political gain from their perspective to engage in this issue. there's a political gain to engage in opposite direction. you keep the issue alive. it is trump's mobilizing issue. it's what he ran on 16, 15-16. that's what he will run on again as he is doing now. if you could way and on how to use race as a factor, as a dynamic in the caucus today and the party? and the other is can the party continue to build power once that solves this issue? >> there are always outliers. i don't think race is a factor. i just don't. you're going to have outliers in the party but i think for the majority of the party they don't look at it through that lens.
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so yes, you are speeded eiji did have the majority in '13-'14 to address the issue, for what reason. >> it's interesting we did and it was a part of the team the got to the majority that we needed to before. like i said, frankly pickup lines on immigration. we cannot move forward. >> exactly. i covered this debate in 2013 and 2014. we wrote dozens of stores at "new york times." those only one story we need to write which was the defeat of eric cantor by dave brat and his is primary. that was it. that happened. no immigration reform. >> and it was ascribed immigration and it wasn't, the lost when he wasn't about immigration. so the whole thing is perception as compared to speeded correct. anyway it goes back to there is a stronghold in republican party that is animated and engages with this issue to a race perspective. president trump launched his campaign by calling basic and rapists. that is not -- if that is not racist, if that's not suggesting a particular ideology in a in a
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-- president trump launched his campaign by calling mexicans rapists. -- if thatnot racist is not suggesting a particular ideology -- [applause] -- and about saying it to be agitation all. i'm singing because i want to fix this problem. i can want to fix the issue. i think our president is unsustainable. i think the solutions of the past are not going to make it. they are not enough. how do we get there if we can have a real conversation about the dynamics animating the
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conversation and the politics? >> it's hard to say you can have a conversation if you are also saying all republicans are racist. >> no, no, no. >> you did not speeded but that's my point, too. the first to is we have these two sections of the republican party felt look at things from different perspectives. there is and has been a majority of republicans that want to work together. they don't view the summer racial perspective. they want to work to fix this problem. we need to find the members and both parties if we ever expect to be able to move forward. it can't be your republican, you must agree with everything trump says and we cannot have a conversation about this until donald trump is gone. it's just unacceptable. not saying -- it's unacceptable for us to say as long as trump
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is president, as long as these things are happening, we can't have a conversation. both sides need to fear had to together. both sides used the politics of it to their advantage. for democrats it's been not necessary in the interest to get republicans to get to fix the problem because they can use -- keep hammering republicans. both sides are at fault. there's a place in the middle with our good people want to find genuine solutions to address these problems, don't come at it from a race perspective, want border security don't want to fix the asylum system, want to treat people in a humane way, want to fix the legal immigration system and want to find a a solution for all the undocumented population. i've talked to them. they exist. it's just this tough political dynamic right now. >> the point you made earlier, casey, about education and about people being incredibly uninformed, including legislators, many legislators, about the complexity of immigration story and what it really means and why it is that we have the issues we have. for instance, with central americans there's no other way to get here than the asylum system. the asylum system was not set up about these numbers. there are lots of people's in that flow that could if the
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world work visa system of some kind, qualify, those kinds of questions. i agree. i think we all agree to some tremendous amount of the news about all those issues. but to some extent the answer to that does reside in elections. ultimately how do you change things in ways that create what we would call some kind of a center that can, in fact, come together because we know there has to be bipartisanship in order for the really to be progress on immigration. i'm going to take us to elections in the next election cycle. because of everything we see right now we are stuck. we are just paralyzed. legislatively. the only thing that can really shake that is elections. let's talk a little bit about the next round in 2020 and the degree to which immigration action will or will not affect
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election outcomes. it's clearly an unsolved question. it is clearly an unsolved question. it is clearly something both parties use in one way or another, whether or not prepared to get, give up in terms of making compromises. but that doesn't mean that they're going to be prepared to give it up, even though but he knows that needs to be fixed. lomi, talk to me about the border states and particularly about texas. texas is one of those states that people are talking about possibly could turn purple. were texas to become purple, were texas to turn, that would entirely change the electoral map. here you have this issue that is
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so pressing along the border. how do you see immigration laying in the texas political picture, other border states? and to what degree do you see this ferment around immigration translate into election outcomes? 01:01:37 texas even for being such a republican state has also for years was really moderate on immigration under governor bush, under governor perry, , was the first day to pass end-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. it was just in the past few election cycles that the rhetoric has really be, more intense. we saw that particularly last year in the senate race with ted cruz and beto o'rourke rare it was very tight race with
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immigration being really partisan. in fact, just days before the election senator cruz accused beto o'rourke of funneling money to the caravan and i was at election party and the first chance that went up after his very, very narrow victory was 3% -- the closest winning margin since 1990 and texas, as soon as his victory was declared the first chants to begin was billed that wall. so clearly that was very sort of what his base voters were excited about. what you saw happening down in texas which was a blue sweep and were o'rourke ended up when was every urban area in the state and including sort of extra urban areas the republicans had one in the past, many including senator cruz political adviser was sent very
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indicative of what might come next year. we know that the share of latinos in taxes of becoming more diverse, more increasing. many say they're galvanized by the current anti-immigrant rhetoric. we saw that particularly play out in -- used to belong to tom delay, was a very republican area and now it's still represented by republicans. it's considered a district that will very likely to democrat. and also serve down ballot races, , voters elected an indian immigrant as the counties top executive which was not on
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the first time they voted for a democrat in three decades the indian americans in that county which make up a big percentage came out and voted democrat in ways never seen before and many of them are immigrants with the children of immigrants. another thing that happened this year that i think will have a significant impact is the nashua -- is the mass shooting in el paso. invoking many of the terms like invasion that the president has used. in fact, governor abbott and lieutenant governor patrick has used similar terms which they have been criticized for. many think it's having an impact. according to a univision poll, almost 70% of latinos in texas said last month race relations have deteriorated in the past two years, and three-quarter say their vote matters more in 2020 than in 2018. 69% vote democrat are leading to vote democrat. that combined with just the increasing urbanization of the state, diversity of the state will have an impact next year.
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six republican kirk smith had said they are not seeking reelection, three are in applicable district. john cornyn is going to face probably a tough reelection campaign of the likely will be victorious. democrats are also increasingly, there's a really good chance they might take back the statehouse, which would be a significant difference. it is having an impact. >> do you know enough about, what about the other border states? arizona as in other border that is very much in flux. do you have a sense whether you would say similar things about estelle like arizona? -- about a state like arizona? saw a hugewe increase in the latino voter turnout. we also saw that which happened,
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texas passes own sanctuary city bill after arizona which first did that, the latino voters share with dramatically up after that. >> i would just say we can spend a lot of time taking the temperature or we can make the temperature. when you think about power building and politics and civic engagement work, these things are not going to happen just because there are more latinos are more api potential voters. we've got to do significant amount of infrastructure building in these states. it's very expensive operation to register people to then turn the outcome actually to persuade them to vote and then to turn them out. and i think where i think the democratic party has failed, for example, i let others chime in on the republican party is the
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republican come democratic party expects people to turn out, a lot of people of color. and because it's very dependent, it's very cycle dependent. you have a presidential cycle. you go in. you're trying to to win a primary and it isn't until the general election that you start to register voters in a serious way and did it turn out voters. even then latinos and api voters are impacted negatively because are not, we are younger and we don't have a record of having come out to vote in the last four cycles. we are already not really on the target list or the universe for democrats to knock on our doors or for a lot of entities that are set to not on our doors which is why we need more organization and we need more money going to organizations on the ground in texas and across all of the states that are
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important and a frankly across the country to do and engage in that hard work of identifying potential voters been registering then to vote, doing voter education and in doing turnout. it's so important to go back to the basics and the fundamentals because we get caught up in this conversation about the politics of the issue more than the people turn out but we've got to pay attention to what does it take to win, what does it take to build power, what does it take to be a force at the ballot box? and i think what i saw in the trump administration and what we had seen with interference from other countries and her own elections here is that the goal is to desensitize or demobilize our base, demobilize voters of color, tell them that they the kind of policies and the leaders are not actually working on
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their behalf. and to tap into at the immigrant rhetoric to mobilize their base. i think that's a dynamic we saw in 2016. it's hopefully not a dynamic we will see in this race because there will be people working to make sure folks turn out to vote. >> julia, lomi go ahead. >> i wanted to follow up, you were saying earlier that people need to become to the table and having the discussion but get back in texas we are saying republicans who know the issue very well, like will hurd
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leaving the conversation rather than joining. and we see kind of this real polarized within texas republicans, between kind of the one senate immigration very well and the others playing more to what their suburban base. so how do -- one is literally leaving you can add to the conversation. how do you bring it back? >> it's a good question. the interesting thing, , and an expert in republican politics by any means from a campaign perspective, but i think the rhetoric is not helpful. you look back at george bush who actually took a a huge portion of the latino vote and it was very open about wanting to do
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immigration reform. he was pro-border security to wanted to do immigration reform. i think the rhetoric has hurt republicans from the perspective but it's interesting because the base still want more security. most people still want border security. it's not necessarily the rhetoric that they are receptive to. it's more that this it like i said, they feel like 1986, it didn't happen. so we need more security. republicans need to figure out how to better articulate the whole of their position on this. it can't just be about border security. like i said, fix the illegal immigration system will help overall, and that our candidates or look at this time to figure out yes, we do need to make some changes here and think we can all agree modernizing the ports of entry, , things like that are smart things to do. where's the, grant let's articulate the more holistic position that we have on that. and i think that's the challenge candidates are having. but it is, it's a tough time for republicans right now. will is great.
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he is a friend of mine. he has been awesome to work with on this issue and we need to make sure we bring in new candidates that can speak that way as well. younger people that can bring some new life to the party. because i think long-term, this tough rhetoric that makes people laugh at me when i say it's not race-based. it's not going to work. it's just not going to make a difference and is not going to help the republican party survive. we need to be better about these things come at a think there are a lot of numbers that don't see it that way and we need to make sure we are continuing to build that piece of the party. >> casey, let me follow up and ask you just on that point. in terms of bringing new members and, changing the makeup of the party in ways that allow for some kind of bipartisanship, again, et cetera it comes down to the senate at this point, and what about the senate? how do senators, i mean, the senate map for the next election is not terribly good. it's more difficult for republicans than it is for democrats, but you just heard lomi say that senator cornyn, for instance, will be reelected. i think he will have a harder fight but i think most people would accept that.
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that's incredibly important. do you see -- how can republicans navigate this in a way that in an election, there's a different outcome? does what voters vote for, is immigration an important issue to win the election in terms of defeating even those that and you said, will hurd, leading to congress, et cetera. what changed the sin in an election if that is critical? >> it's interesting because of thing, you are saying it is certainly a very important issue among republicans right now. i go back to the education. keep talk about senator cornyn. senator cornyn is fantastic on these issues. he knows again. he and he can also go into a panel and talk about those issues behind the scenes, he's worked on this issue for years
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and he has been a force for good in trying to push for a compromised position. mica sits on the education front, , members that can articulate their position, by former boss, go into town hall and he would talk about why he thinks we need to find the path to legalize the undocumented that are here. that is a tough thing to talk about in wisconsin. he would take some arrows that but for the most part since is able to explain to people why he felt that way, really articulate his position, he was going to be just fine. everyone is walking a tight rope right now when it comes to that issue but if you learned, if you know what, if you speak articulately and help people learn about it, that's going to help you at the end of the day.
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>> julia, you think we'll see a 2016 in terms of president trump putting immigration front and center again? >> id -- i do yeah. ,[laughter] it's already started. >> so let's talk about -- >> he went to california recently and talked about trying an egg on the wall. it's going to be a little more complicated. >> the that's the question, is it more complicated? in what ways? why? >> another politician might be concerned about the fact we are to an half years in and not a single mile of what they call
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new border wall system has been built. i mean, they have plans to finish this, some portion of this wall while between now and 2020, but another politician might have been concerned about the fact that the congress, including the republican-controlled senate, has voted twice to cancel his border emergency and deny him the authority to raid the pentagon budget. but this president is not a fact-based president as we know. this wall has been such a powerful symbol for him, and he's going to plenty of photo opportunities in front of some big black structure down there that i'm sure he's going to be using that as his campaign, a
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centerpiece of his campaign. i would point out to you a political paradox about this, which is i'm in touch with a lot of people in mexico. the joke in mexico city right now is, mexico built the wall and mexico is paying for it. why? there's no physical structure at the southern border with guatemala with mexico but mexico has deployed a brand-new national guard, many more than the 6000 national guard troops that mexico promised have been deployed across the southern border. they are deporting many more people. they are enforcing that border in a way that's never been in force before, and mexico is paying for that. mexico is also with no funding, virtually no logistical agreement, hosting, what, 50,000, 50,000 asylum-seekers. lomi talked about this. these are some of the most dangerous cities in mexico, but president over door -- labrador, his philosophies i don't want to fight with his gun washington. the mexico has allowed, mexico, the country that president trump has routinely vilified as to become the country whose cooperation is the, fundamental for the trump administration to succeed with its border
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strategy. and i'm sure that president trump if i i could imagine mexico when he takes credit for that on the campaign trail. but i would say after el paso, after family separation come you know, i can't think this rhetoric is going to have the same mobilizing force for all republicans, for all the republican base that it is in 2016. to me i think that the crucial thing is going to be how coherently democrats articulate an alternative. and so far it's not looking all that coherent. i mean, on the one hand, from -- inss, you do see general on the big picture much more unity and much more vocal kind of support for the immigration issues that i think we did in the past. but vice president biden after three debates still has not articulated a response, i consideration of what the baggage of obama's legacy is on deportation for his -- he is still stumbling about this. he clearly doesn't -- he's confused about what the asylum system is. look what happened to julian castro with this boomerang when he proposed, which was a very
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basic, you know, he proposed to repeal the statute that criminalizes first time border reentry. debate buto win that the republicans came in and said -- this shows you the democrats are for open borders, and instead of closing ranks and explaining why this is not an open borders proposal, the democrats all seemed to sort of run in different directions on this. that's my view. [laughter] if the democrats don't come up with a forceful and coherent response, they need to decide are we going to go for the constituency that we lost in wisconsin in or are we going to 2016 build a new constituency? or maybe we don't have to make that choice, but look at florida, look at nevada, look at i mean, what's going to happen? >> we are oversimplifying everything and i get it because
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want ton a panel and we get to it. i mean, to the role of things a impact the outcome of the election, we can have a conversation without talking about the media. if you study 2016, the media, like from didn't even have to do much -- he did not need to buy the media. hiss able to deliver message and to be relevant and to be in people's mind in a way that democrats cannot. you've got that and you another chump with democrat consolidation. you can't consolidate voters if you still have a primary the goes until june of next year. maybe if a brokered convention. i think it's good have strong democratic process and primary
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and a robust conversation about policy and the politics, but it's another factor we have to contend with. while they are all doing that on the democratic side, there is ony one relevant candidate the republican side, i think what's happening in the internet, the things we don't know about, the way which information is being distributed today, the way and the rise of misinformation today is another dynamic that's going to play. if such as unthinkable to articulate immigration policy picked i believe it's critical that democrats that advocate, that ever have a conversation about new policy frameworks, narrative shift, et cetera. there are all of these other factors that will play out in the next year and will determine was the next occupant of the white house. i think there's this question about wisconsin vote. also think there's a lot of people working to expand the electorate. i don't think we're talking enough about and maybe this will happen later, about other trends, global trends that have impact on the way we understand immigration and, frankly, not
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enough candidates are talked about that. climate change and despite the, -- climate change and climate displacement. the future of work. like, republicans almost get to have to talk but immigration, have to make it about a culture war really. >> this is ultimately a discussion that we won't know until it plays itself out. but you've had a terrific run at what the elements are, and all the things that could come into play. i'd like to ask some more questions but i know there must be questions in the audience. i'm going to go to the audience now and if for some reason they don't have questions, we will continue among ourselves. there are microphones here and here. come up to the microphones and please feel free to ask your questions.
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i'm sorry. excuse me. please introduce yourself and tell us your affiliation. thomas.rishaad the policy advisor for migration issues for the washington office. part of the calculus for reforming immigration the last 20 years has been essentially to ramp up more enforcement and immigration enforcement, essentially to give social license the immigration restrictionists to do with the rest of the immigration system, to legalize the undocumented population and reform legal immigration out all that sort of thing. yet even with president obama's strong actions on the border and on enforcement his record of , deportations and whatnot, we've never been able to get republicans to bite of comprehensive reform. so my question and my confusion about this issue is just, what is, how much border enforcement and immigration enforcement will be enough for conservatives and
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republicans? we already spend more on enforcement and immigration enforcement than any other federal law enforcement priority. what is enough? when will we get to the level of enforcement that would be enough for conservatives? thank you. >> i assume the question is for me. i want to make one point about comprehensive because i think this has been a fascinating dynamic over the past couple of years. in 2013 the senate passes this big comprehensive bill and on the details of obamacare and you have to pass it to find out what's in and all that, republicans were terrified of like this big massive immigration bill. that's why we had this back-and-forth about comprehensive or what we then wanted to call piecemeal. so the way we keep it up was this multiple vote space at all in we. all in onele vote
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week. it wasn't all in one big bill but it allows you to address all the issues in the same time because you can't separate a lot of these issues. you can't do e-verify without doing a reform package, simply cannot do it. it's interesting because it has a got into like border daca last year it's always these two things together. i think it is fascinating because democrats have been moving bills piecemeal way this year. not to say they don't want comprehensive but i think, and i was on a panel last week with democrat colleagues that agreed that comprehensive instead of giving everyone something to given usually has everybody to vote against and its collapsed in its own weight. it's fascinating watching the democrats movies piecemeal bills. as we start, looking out like an eye bill coming of the will have -- ag bill coming of the
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will have a of e-verify in it. yes, we need to do it all ended for how to get all done but putting a pro-immigration reform peace with a more force and peace, whether that's more security or it's something like e-verify, like you do guest worker and you implement e-verify for that sector because you hopefully fix legal immigration problem. it's hard to say what's enough, what's not enough? i think the wall for most people is symbolic of just border security because if you go to the average person on the street what you think about endocrine aboutt do you think towers? do we need more? do we need more drones? they just don't know. like i said i from wisconsin. until i went down to the border i don't know, like you can't fully understand it. i think it's a sliding scale i think on this, on the interior enforcer peace. it's just after we had to be good and welcoming to immigrants. that's what america has been a
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better we should accept refugees. we should fix the asylum system so everybody is able to get their fair process and get -- we should be investing in the northern triangle to address that flow. [applause] let's get to the root of the problem. what is enough? it's always, who knows? being able to pull these pieces apart and pare things together, like the caps bill. when we're trying to do this last year after we moved a couple like really small bills to try to show the world it would become of them wouldn't buy die if we started moving immigration bills, small, really bipartisan that we're talking capt doing the per country with some h-1b stuff which is broadly bipartisan. we had to figure out exactly what that package looks like but you put a pro-reform peace with a little bit of anti-abuse enforcement, let's put a check on this and you put them together and see if you can't move forward. it's a hard question to answer but i think the dynamic over the past couple of years, how much
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it has changed from comprehensive and, frankly, have reversed thinking that it could help us figure out how -- what is an appropriate level and what are we doing to put these pieces together. >> over to this side. >> my name is austin. i'm a a student at georgetown law. so you spoke of his earlier but dhs and some of the republican . discussions in the republican party, dhs, even the democratic party about pursuing alternatives to detention that have succeeded in the past or are those discussions not being had any more? >> you are talking like ankle bracelets and things like that? encouragegrams that court attendance. that seems to be an issue people see in releasing families. >> i think catch and release is something that has been talked about heavily. i think there are ways, alternatives that have worked in
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the past. we need to speed up the process in the first place. like let's talk what immigration judges and other things to make sure. it's not just about ending the case quickly but it's certainly -- certainty for those migrants that are coming in as well. we need to fix the system holistically. that is why it is frustrating when it is like, should we hold them or not? maybe we need to figure out how to do it, wegoing need it to be humane. we need basic things. water, toothbrushes, things like that, bottom line. i think we need to talk about it more holistically. republicans are open to alternatives to detention. we've talked about it a lot. it is a weird -- you have a weird dynamic in the republican party right now that we are still navigating, but we should look at it holistically and try to address the overall problems, get to the root of the problem instead of just focusing on building up capacity for detention space. in the meantime, at least having
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the resources to be able to address a surge like we had is a very important thing. >> julie, did you want to jump in? >> no. [laughter] >> i thought i was getting a signal. all right. i am a professor of history at georgetown university, and i teach immigration history. and aed to do a comment question, which is what historians specialize in. i want to thank julia for the historical perspective, and want to push us a little further with a comment i have for casey. one, just briefly, i'm disappointed you didn't take this opportunity to separate perhaps part of your party from president trump. i feel like you had the opportunity and maybe someday like to do so. i appreciate your point about
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warring factions within the party, but i feel like it was a lost opportunity. the second thing want to see is a history lesson part of this. i lived for eight years and -- in wisconsin. i have two degrees from the university of wisconsin. >> me too. >> i do not to hear anymore discussions of the difference the two. in 1848, wisconsin was the arizona of the 19th century. as late as 2000, two-thirds of wisconsin has german heritage. there is a dane county name for people who are danish, belgian cherries, the german triangle of milwaukee, cincinnati, and st. louis. if you don't think race has to do why you see wisconsin us -- as somehow a different story than the border, we have done something fundamentally wrong in how we teach american kids about the history of immigration. the only difference between the germans -- [applause] >> the only difference between the germans who came here after 1848 and the democratic
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revolutions of europe and those who are seeking asylum at the border today is that we didn't have federal laws limiting them then. i'm not calling for open borders. i'm calling for a perspective that we take into reality. what julie said that without a -- that we are at a different moment. this is the first president who has denied in american history this fundamental part of our history, and i don't want to see any more suggestions that wisconsin is fundamentally, historically different than texas, arizona, new mexico, or california. ok, that is my -- [applause] >> i have to say a thing. i agree with you. it's funny, i think you may be misunderstood my point. my point was in terms of the southern border infrastructure, in terms of what is occurring there, for me, being from wisconsin, i have never -- i am
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talking literally about infrastructure on the southern border. i think you misunderstood me . the other thing is as i have framed in my office -- because i am irish. my ancestors came from ireland i have framed in my office a sign that talks about two immigrants coming from ireland. it's something i talk about frequently. i apologize if i wasn't clear on that. i agree with you. >> so here's my question. [laughter] >> you know, professors, we profess. i feel like we'll be remiss with this fantastic panel if we don't ask doris meissner to reflect on what the last 25 years of operation gatekeeper and safeguard has contributed to this discussion in both positive and negative ways. is this a break or is it a kind of logical culmination of a kind of emphasis on the demonization of undocumented border crossing as a phenomenon? that's not a critique on what a
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-- your larger view about immigration is, which i think is different. it is a question directly about , do you see the politics of 2019 in some ways as an unintended consequence of those border policies? thank you. >> as long as there are not other people at the mics i would give a quick response to that, but this is a panel for these panelists, so i am going to go to a final question for all of us to answer. i've written about this a great deal in the last year or so in terms of my view of what's going on at the southwest border, and my view of what's going on at the southwest border at this point does not have to do with the border enforcement itself. it has to do with a fundamental difference in the flows, a shift in the flows we could have seen coming for the last 5, 6, 7 years, and the inability of the government, the border patrol,
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the agencies that are responsible for administering the border to really assess how profoundly different this flow is and what very different responses are required. so it is -- border security is fundamental. we have to have border security as a country, but there are all kinds of ways of bring it about, and had we invested in our asylum system over the years and in our judicial system, going back at least five years, it would be a different picture and where we can now have the kind of reception facilities and interagency coordination and immigration laws that make it possible to respond to a flow like we have from central america, those are all things that need to be done, should be done, and there should have been stronger leadership to take us there, in my opinion. let's ask the -- do you want to
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ask a question? then there is one more question, please. >> my name is john ashley. i i served in the foreign service for 28 years. i was stationed in mexico, guatemala, el salvador during the war, and venezuela among other places. two things i wanted to know if you might be able to talk about, one is the new public charge, rules that are coming in to effect on the 18th and how they're going to affect immigration. the other thing, going away from the asylum problems, which are very, very real, to a broken immigration system where i think the washington post had an article not long ago about maine where they are finding they don't have enough young people to not just do field fieldwork or man fishing boats, but when they have an aging population that the world bank has now said is a super aged population with
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a population over 85 is going to grow in the next 10 years by 200%, over 65 by 100%, and under 65 by only 12%, they had money to pay for home care for aging parents, but they don't have any people. they have to tell people, sorry, we can only send somebody once a week. they desperately need immigrants because those would be perfect jobs for immigrants. that article said in the next ten years there will be another 12 states that will join the super aged criterion, and in another 10 years after that, another 15. half the united states will be super aged. we really do need to fix the immigration, the legal immigration system to get people in. so besides the public charge and the legal, i'd also like to give a vote of thanks to lomi for a story that she did. back in august 2018, very personal thing. i am married to a mexican and she became a national, a
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naturalized citizen. her minor daughter came with her. that was no problem. we got immigration visas for them, but if you are an adult relative from mexico, it's impossible to migrate. you might as well go across the river. because the waiting list to get somebody in is 24 years, minimum. i would long be dead and so would my wife if her daughter could come in. the thing is that her daughter has a u.s.-born infant son, and we always obeyed the law and said, look, you cannot emigrate. we will just to exchange visits. my wife will go down three or four months. you can come up and live with us to her three months. never overstay your visa. her daughter was on her second, 10 year visa and my wife had been down there together with the younger daughter. when they came back to houston, they were detained by customs and border patrol, not allowed
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to talk to the mother, interrogated for eight hours, and then customs and border b1, b2invalidated her visa and said we do care about -- we do not care about your 20 year record of legal comings and goings. as far as we are concerned, your mother is a citizen now and you have a u.s.-born child, therefore, you must want emigrate. we are revoking these and you may not apply for reentry to the united states for five years. there's no rush but i was in the foreign service. there's no junior visa officer who is going to issue a b1, b2 to somebody again if they check the record and say oh, your visa was revoked and you are sent out. basically, my u.s.-citizen grandson will not be able to come to the u.s. until he is of age to travel by himself. that is just one individual
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personal story of the broken legal immigration system. it's not that important, but i would like to hear what they have to say about public charge and the need for people to fill jobs in the united states. >> right. unfortunately, there are far too many stories like that and it goes to what is surely a point of consensus on this panel that has come across all the way through. that is that we desperately need to have a viable, functioning immigration system that is reflective of today's realities and the economy and our demography in the labor force. we are stuck in our inability politically to get there, not because there are not good policy answers out there. it is the politics. i would argue we are only going to be a soft -- to be able to solve it through election outcomes. we have a panel on public charge
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later in the day, so unless somebody feels moved to talk about here, we have some real expertise on public charge we will be getting to. i'd like to close the panel even though we're right on the minute right now. again on this political point about what it really will take to get immigration legislation because several people have said the courts are very active, the executive branch is super active, it is congress that needs to weigh in in order to bring some stability back into this system and how can that happen unless we have a different makeup in the congress? could i do a quick one answer down the line? what would be the best outcome from the 20/20 election in the white house, in the house and in the senate? just the party makeup, what should be the best -- what leadership of those three key bodies is the best combination to perhaps rick through for -- breakthrough for immigration
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legislation after 2020. julia? >> i'm a journalist. >> party. what's the best combination? it's the combination that matters. >> i'm reluctant to answer that question but i will say two things, one is i can't see comedy on capitol hill being reestablished. it's just difficult for me to imagine how that would happen if president trump is reelected. and i also want to say quickly that the wild card here that we haven't talked about is daca because depending on what the supreme court does -- >> exactly, and daca is one of our subsequent panels. >> prior legislative response -- you might find out more in the coming years. >> i agree with julia, even if some changes come from the senate, it's not from the top and the president must sign the bill.
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i'm not sure. >> i think we need changes in the white house and we need a different senate. to be clear, i also think it is important that we find republicans or that there exist republicans that want to work on this issue, so i think the leadership of congress and the white house need to look different in order for us to get to a place where this issue will be prioritized. that alone will be enough. democrats on their own without the pressure and given all the other issues that are part of the agenda going into 2020, into november of next year, they are going to need a lot of pressure to prioritize the issue as well. get think this does not done under unified government. it did not get done in 2008 when democrats ruled the world. it did not get done in 20. you need bipartisanship. >> ok.
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wait and see. see you at 11:30. [applause] >> on the c-span networks, the heritage foundation hosted discussion with trump administration officials. you can see it live at noon eastern on c-span. at one: p.m. at the national press club, a discussion on lgbtq rights. county services coordinator fired after joining a gay recreational softball league. on middle eastl strategy looking at u.s.
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withdrawal and russian resurgence in the region. a.m., climate9:00 and maritime security. speakers include john richardson , former chief of labor operations. signed twot trump bilateral trade agreement with japan during a ceremony at the white house. he was joined by u.s. trade representative robert lighthizer, the japanese ambassador to the u.s.. the president was asked about his decision to withdraw u.s. troops and allow turkish offensive in syria. this is about an hour.


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