tv KQED Newsroom PBS March 19, 2017 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
hello and welcome to kqed "newsroom." coming up on our program, california and other states gained a legal victory when federal judges blocked president trump's latest travel ban, but the fight is far from over as the trump administration plans to appeal. almost two moss into trump's presidency we hear from a tea party republican thrilled with trump's performance so far. first, bring up ongoing coverage of the first 100 days of the fru trump administration. a lot of to do about the travel ban. on monday joined five other states to a new executive order targeting travelers from six muslim majority nations. supporting the suit, javier says the latest ban was an
unconstitutional attack based on people's religion and origin. politics and government scott shafer talked with attorney general basera but this an other potential legal conflicts. >> attorney general, thank you for joining us on "newsroom." >> scott, good to be with you. >> let's talk about the travel ban. you've been in office now less than two months and it's been a full plate and the travel ban was on the docket this week. president trump's travel ban struck down by two judges and now on late friday, trump administration said it would formally appeal the ruling in maryland. your thoughts about the appeal process here and ultimately what could happen. it it goes to the supreme court? >> it likely will go to the supreme court because i belief the attorneys general who filealed the cases all feel we have strong cases in regards to the constitutionality at issue here. the trump administration is targeting people based on
religion. in some cases based on national origin and it's not the way go business in america, at least not anymore. so we think there's a strong case to be made and i suspect the trump administration will drive this all the way to the supreme court. >> as you know, the first travel ban was also struck down. that case brought by the state of washington. washington came back as did hawaii and this week you joined us a a plaintiff with the case in washington, but some people wondered why california wasn't leading the charge. we've been such a center for resisting trump. what was it that kept california from being out there first? >> oh, i think it's great to have teammates. you don't win these things by yourself. it sure is nice to see that california is joined by a lot of other states good states, and doing good work. so it would be a lot of -- a big burden for just california to constantly be the one whether on the environment, immigration, whether on criminal justice reform to always be the one, and i think it's fantastic that
states have stepped to the plate. i think they've done phenomenal jobs and we're there with them. it's a team effort and the way it should be because you win as a team. >> my question, did you as the attorney general or perhaps the governor in consultation with him see some risk or concerns that stopped you from filing a lawsuit right out of the gate? >> well, you weigh all of those different considerations and then you make your decisions based on your best judgment about the litigation. and making sure you're protecting the people of your state. we were prepared to act in any number of ways. not just litigation. i keep telling my folks in the department of justice, we'll probably be in a court of public opinion more often than a court of law, a wend have to be ready to fight wherever we need to fight and so it's great when you have teammates who step to the plate as well. i suspect there will be times when california is first at-bat, but makes no difference. end of the day what you're trying to do, protect the rights of your people, is there a risk, do you think, in being first, being the one to file that lawsuit too often?
>> well, i mean, resources are precious. and you do have to be prepared, and so as i said it really is important to know that across the country there are attorneys general and there are states that are ready to step up, and that's what we need, because it's not just the folks in california that would be harmed. it's washington state. it's hawaii. it's maryland, virginia, new york, massachusetts. pennsylvania. you name it. people are stepping forward, and that's what we need, because when you have that kind of a concerted effort it's very clear, this is something that harms the american people, not just the people of the state of california, for example. >> the issue of immigration, of course, has been coming out in many different ways include be the trump administration's threat towards sanctuary cities and whether or not federal funds could be withheld from those and the same time california is moving even further ahead with creating what critics are calling a sanctuary state with sb-54 bill put forward by kevin
from los angeles, what's your position on sb-54? do you think california should continue to limit even further communication that we can have with federal immigration officials? >> scott, in california we're trying to let the people in our state who work hard, who help build the state, who make us a very strong economy, the sixth largest economy in the world. we want to let them know that we appreciate when people work hard, and we're going to can do everything we can to let them continue to work hard on behalf of all the 40 million people who live in this state. so whatever it takes. and i think the legislature is prepared to step to the plate. the governor made it clear in this state of the state address he'll step to the plate and i did, too. someone wants to pick a fight, we're ready. not out there picking fights but will be ready and do everything we can to protect -- what i've said. i will be prepared to protect everyone in the state of california who does things the right way, who works very hard. so one way or the other, we're going to make sure that we're
providing people the kind of protection, the kind of place that makes them feel welcome, that makes them feel wanted, and the legislation that's working its way, sb-54 and others are simply an effort to try to make sure the federal government doesn't try to intrude in california's business. we passed a legislation called the trust act, a few years back, because we saw that the federal government was trying to do too much when it came to how local law enforcement could conduct its activities. so once again we're going to do what we can to make sure our people know their rights and are protected. >> okay. us a know. you're the state's top law enforcement official. sometimes as democrat you're at odds, as your predecessors have been with law enforcement. sheriff's, police chiefs, district attorney in many cases are oppose to these kinds of moves to not only for sanctuary cities but to make it easier for felons to get out of jail. those kinds of things. how do you approach that
balancing act between obligations as a law official and as a democrat, constituency in many different ways and parts of the state? >> i see no inconsistency. my job, principle job. job one for me is public safety. most don't recognize this, one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation, bigger than most cities and counties. and so i have a principle duty to make sure that i am working with law enforcement, county, city, state, to make sure that our people have public safety they expect. so i'm going to reach out to the sheriffs, the chiefs, the rank and file officers. everyone i can who works to make sure that californians are safe. so there shouldn't be any problem there. what we want to make sure we do is -- create an environment where people want to cooperate with our law enforcement
authorities. and we have to be careful that the federal government doesn't get in the way, and make it tough to get that kind of cooperation. >> what do you see as the state's top law enforce meant official, the biggest public threat to california right now? >> right now, immediately. if you think what the trump administration is doing, it's creating a great deal of apprehension and fright among many people in our communities who are no longer seeking out law enforcement to help provide information about crime. that would be a travesty if communities across the state feel like they can no longer be good partners with our law enforcement authorities in rooting out identifying crime, and so i hope that we can take care of that on an immediate basis, but generally speaking, for california, it's trying to deal with the changing environment we have where law enforcement is now having to commit to the 21st century.
so whether it's body cameras, whether it's dealing with racial profiles. whether it's trying to provide our officers and our people on the ground with the kind of protection they need against the sophisticated weaponry that all the criminals have. it's making sure we're ready for the 21st century to protect the people here in the state of california. >> one other place of conflict with the federal government is marijuana and hearing from the trump administration there could be greater enforcement of federal drug laws. what does that mean to you? what are you concerned about, if anything? >> look, i just said we're in the 21st century. we can criminalize marijuana or regulate marijuana. from my perspective, be it's smarter to regulate marijuana and make it so that, if you decide to violate the rules then you pay the price. you're punished by our laws. >> but are you concerned there might be, like, raids, for example, as there were in the past? >> i -- you know, the federal government may decide that this is one of the more important
things they're going to deal with. i suspect many people in america would say, there are a bunch of folks who want to do as hurm ard. why don't we go after them first? let our local states law enforcement decide how to go after those maybe not doing the right thing with mrn marijuana. but the people of the state of california voted to allow people in the state to alaw small qantas of marijuana. therefore, move on, regulate it, not crim naize it. >> short on time, attorney general. quickly on the environment, you're getting pressure from democratic state senators to act more forcefully against the trump administration moving to perhaps revoke our waiver on clean air. what are your thoughts about that? is that a fight you're ready to have? >> absolutely. scott, there's something very important about these waivers we got from the federal government, to try to push forward our agenda on cleaning the air and the water that our citizens use and rely on.
and that is that you start to make decisions, costly decisions, based on that waiver, that permission that you got. you can't just yank that permission away and think it's not going to cost a lot of money to try to go back to some 20th century order and so we're going to defend the rights of the state of california to move forward, forward-leaning state, not going to stop. if this were something preventing us from saying we're doing right by our people perhaps i'm listen. we're the sixth largest economy in the world because we didn't sit around. we're doing things, trying to make this place a better environment for all our people. >> all right. attorney general basara, thank for coming in. happy st. patrick's day weekend. >> i got my tie on. thank you. >> thank you. this week two federal judges in hawaii and maryland struck down key parts of president trump's latest travel ban. it would have barred travelers from six muslim majority nations and temporarily stopped refugees arrivals from any country. a coalition of states including
california mounted the latest legal challenges to the ban contending its unconstitutional. the federal judges agreed citing prior statements by president trump and some of his advisers they teamed discriminatory towards muslims. to discuss further i'm joined by melissa murray, interim dean of the uc-berkeley school of law and also alika baphi, a staff attorney. welcome to you both. >> thanks for having us. >> melissa, start with you. what is the practical effect of the federal judges in hawaii and maryland in terms of this revised travel ban? >> both judges issued temporary injunctions halting enforcement of the travel ban for now. so this could be appealed, either to the ninth circuit or fourth circuit, the two federal appellate circuits that those district courts are in. and then possibly it might go on to the appeal to the supreme court. for now, the ban is not gone into effect. >> people can travel freely? okay. now, the judge of hawaii considers only a request for a
temporary restraining order. >> right. >> how long does this junction stay in place and what, where does the case go from here? >> a limited block for the temporary junction. the real question, what happens? judge watson a district court judge in honolulu is part of the ninth circuit, the federal circuit including i'd hee, hawaii, alaska, california, and nevada. a really large circuit. ideally, this would be appealed to the ninth circuit, also the circuit court that heard the appeal of the first travel ban. >> first one. yes. and president trump said, maybe i should go back to re-issues my first order because the second wassing that r challenged in the courts anyway. is that feasible? >> we can't rule anything out. the add min installation been very unpredictable in terms of what it has done. i would not think this would be the most feasible approach, since the travel ban was discredited both by the district court and again by the ninth
circuit and then a panel of the ninth circuit refused to open and rehear the appeal of the order. so it seems like there are a lot of issues with the travel ban as originally articulated. one, the due process concerns. concerns about the establishment clause and whether this was discriminatory on the basis of religion and those questions still remain as to the original travel ban even as travel ban 2.0 tried to eliminate some of those provisions. >> through the caucus you provided legal assistance directly to people at airports when the first ban was put in place before it was frozen by federal judge in washington. how are they doing now and others in their communities given the current situation? things are still in flux. >> a be salutely. started getting called two hours after the executive order was signed with family members having family come into san francisco and not sure what would happen. within hours of that, all
through saturday, sunday and monday at sfo on the ground representing individuals. it has really been a roller coaster. a lot of anxiety about what's going to happen to our communities, and then really just back and forth roller coaster, right, with two executive ortds orders that come down and the different court decision. people need to know how this impacts them. just this week questions from the community are, for example, i'm a u.s. citizen. my wife is abroad. i'm trying to wait to get the visa. what's going to happen to her? or, i'm a u.s. citizen. should i be traveling with my passport even within the united states? right? >> what are you telling them? >> giving them the best advice we can. the rights piece is component, but you can imagine what it's like to make a decision if i'm a green card holder and need to travel abroad to see my terminally ill parent. can i do that? can i not? what happens with the court decisions? >> your organization, asian caucus filed a brief in response
to the first travel ban. what are you doing now on the legal front? >> yes. so we joined the fred corematso institute, joining that amicus brief was really important for us to help the national legal challenges. we're providing quite a bit of millial rights with our partner organizations and direct services as well. >> why are you so opposed to this second order? >> it's so blatantly discriminatory and over broad. as an iran american myself seeing an equation of an entire community, entire religion as a security concern is just doesn't make us safer and very contrary to what we stand for. >> and in the hawaii challenge, lawyers for that state argued that the new ban was also damaging hawaii's robust tourism industry and hurting the ability of universities to recruit foreign top talent. and, in fact, a new study out this week showed that nearly 40%
of colleges nationwide are having declines in the number of applications from international students. most of it from the middle east. what do you attribute this to? is there a trump effect out there? >> i would say, yes. like, right now at uc-berkeley we're in the middle of our admitted students' weekend. just yesterday i fielded a question from a prospective student from mexico who wanted to know about what the university and indeed what the united states is going to do to make arrival and travel safe for foreign nationals. so this isn't just about middle eastern citizens although those students are definitely concerned about the situation, but it has a very real impact on all international students, all international professors, doctors and the impact is quite broad and quite impactful on universities as other institutions. >> absolutely. the counseling attorney general along with other attorney generals submit add great amicus brief documenting such a large population of students in
california, one of the largest. that really hurts our university systems and hurts california. the other side of the coin of the trump effect is our local bay area communities. right? and this concern about, again, what's going to happen to us? right? what should we do? what shouldn't we be doing? it's created a lot of uncertainty and anxiety here locally i. >> wanted to talk also about the immigration enforcement in this state. this week california supreme court chief justice sent a letter to the trump administration essentially saying she is deeply concerned that federal immigration agents are in her words "stalking undocumented immigrants" at courthouses and arresting them. your thoughts? >> well, she take as very respectful tone actually says they appear to be stalking. sort of trying to thread a needle. again, her concerns in that letter are laid out i think quite articulately. the idea that one of the tenants of our system of democracy is the idea that individuals can seek justice in the courts and the fact that individuals who
are concerned about their immigration status would be deterred from seeking justice at the courts because they feared being detained or being captured by ei.c.eeii.c.e. runs against parentals upon which our democracy was founded. >> i issued a statement to kqed they only do this after exhausting all other options and courthouses actually have a safe environment in which to do this because bego through metal detectors. safer for agents and the people there trying to arrest. >> so -- >> is there a point? >> 15i67 ersafer because of pre taken in federal and state courthouses. again, the courthouse is the avenue to justice that most individuals will have. and again the idea that if you're a victim of domestic violence or of a crime and would be deterred from seeking justice for the crime against you because you feared being detained really runs afoul of basic principles, democracy and access to justice.
not just courthouses. we heard stories about i.c.e. agents lingering around hospitals. >> schools. >> schools. not just the courthouses. >> i don't want to leave this discussion without talking about the confirmation hearings that begin monday for neil gorsuch, president trump's nominee for the supreme court. what should we look for? any indication how he might rule on immigration if this travel ban, for example, ends um in the supreme court? >> well, i think everything that's happened this week has heightened interest in the gorsuch confirmation hearings which begin on monday. neil gorsuch served as a high-ranking official in the bush 2 department of justice and when there he was actually quite deferential to broad exercises of executive authority and i think we can expect that he will continue to be quite deferential on issues of national security but also issued statements saying he's found the president's prior statements regarding judges to be uncivil. so while he may favor a more civil discourse, seems clear his past, at least, is more
permissive in regards to executive exercise of authority. >> and we certainly will follow this very closely given what california, the stance california is taking from a policy perspective, how much we have at stake. what will happen in the the supreme court will very much be impactful to what we need to do here in california. >> much more to watch out for. thank you both. >> thanks for having us. >> thank you for having us, yes. turning now to the tee party. while on the campaign trail last year donald trump swung through california. he lost the golden state by more nan 4 million votes but to those who did vote for him his stance on immigration and "draining the swamp" resonated. now that trump is president, we caught up with the chairman of the california tea party caucus randall jordan to hear what they hi thinks of trump's performance so far. kqed senior editor of politics and government, scott shafer has more >> reporter: role does the tea party have in california in 2017?
what's your job? >> our job is to be the conscience of the -- california voter and the california conservative and to keep the trump wave going on. >> and do you feel like the party's in danger of losing its conscience? >> no. it's lost it a long time ago. back in 2010 when the tea party first started was a wake-up call. people have gotten complacent again and now with donald trump the sleeping giant has awoke again. and we need to make sure that that momentum stays on. >> reporter: when you say the sleeping giant awoke. you could say democrats have awoke, too. right? because there's a lot of people, in fact using invoking the name of the tea party saying we're going to use tea party tactics and hold these republican congress members to account. >> yeah. i don't think that they're spontaneous. i think that they're more planned. tea party, we used to have
rallies at events. the difference between ours is we never rude. we were never brash. we were never disrespectful. and we everyone inner -- >> democrats might disagree with that. >> and always picks up our trash. >> reporter: donald trump lost california to hillary clinton by 4 million-plus votes. the republicans in the assembly and the senate are in the super minority in sacramento. so is it your position they're not -- they're not doing enough of what you want them to do? because many would say, no. they need to come to the middle and appeal to more people? >> no. no. i think that they -- the big tent theory, which the crp and california local party embraces. i believe that that's what lost us our standing in california. and donald trump is a perfect example for that. he went back to the basics, went back to personal, family values and people rallied. >> but it didn't work in
california? >> well, you've got to remember, california, we knew we weren't going to win it. even in our county we made over, oh, gosh. a million and a half phone calls. none in california. >> you were calling to other states? >> other states, yeah. >> but still the party is still a minority. do you want to grow the party or rather sort of ideologically pure? >> no, no. we need to grow the party and compromise as part of that. we all need to work together, but i think we're going to see in '17 and '18 more people coming to the trump side in california. >> when you say you should compromise. what should be compromised over? >> well -- i don't know if kprap micomprome is the right word. we need to embrace other neem before -- our room today when we had our meeting we had a lot of former democrats in there. and historically republicans
would not embrace democrats. and we are now. >> reporter: what about other diversity? appeal to african-americans, latinos? >> definitely. >> reporter: how would it do that? >> showing them the family values that donald trump stands for and that we can get back in this state. >> reporter: and what about immigration? do you think the message he's giving is going to encourage latinos for example or asians for that matter to vote republican? >> i think the right minded latinos and asians and we have them in our own tea party, that know that -- legal immigration is the answer. >> reporter: and california has something like 2 million or 3 million undocumented immigrants. what would you do with those folks? what should be done? >> i think they need to go back and get in line and come here legally. >> reporter: what is it about donald trump's message that you as head of the tea party like so
much? >> he basically talks about things that we all have said for years. personal property rights. smaller government. lower taxes. abortions not paid for by the government. things that we have all talked about and said and wanted, and he said, if you elect me i will make these happen and he's making them happen. >> reporter: so far things would you have liked to see him do he hasn't done or other things you're not so happy about? >> no. no. every day is christmas with donald trump rl really? >> so far. >> reporter: presents and trees and everything? >> everything. the whole ball of wax. >> reporter: some people say i voted for him. i want to give him a chance but i don't agree with everything he says, or everything he does. in fact, i wish he'd get off twitter whatever it might be. is that where you're at or do you pretty much, you said the christmas every day? >> no. i think he's doing it perfectly.
i'm very happy with what he's doing, and the twitter thing. how else does he get his message out? that's basically, if he releases it in a press release it's getting turned. >> reporter: randall jordan, thanks very much. >> for more coverage online go to kqed.org/newsroom. thanks so much for watching.
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday march 19: the republican plan to reform health care heads to the floor of the house of representatives. senate confirmation hearings are set to begin for supreme court nominee neil gorsuch. and remembering rock n' roll pioneer chuck berry. >> he moved the guitar front and center in rock and roll to defined that the was the instrument and that the sound. >> sreenivasan: next on "pbs newshour weekend." >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg.