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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  August 4, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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[captioning made possible by democracy now!] ♪ abamy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the statute of liberty is a symbol of american liberty lighting the world. the poem was added later. president trump's senior policy advisor stephen miller speaking on wednesday about trump's push to admit english-speaking immigrants after cnn's jim acosta asked
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about the iconic poem at the base of the statue of liberty, which reads, "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to speak free." today we will speak with emily lazarus and her biographer about why she wrote the poem and how it became one of the most iconic poems about the united states and why she has long been a target of white nationalists. then as president trump embraces a proposal to cut the number of immigrants allowed in the u.s. by half in what would be the biggest overhaul and immigration line half a century, we will speak to a two-time emmy-winning journalist about trump's newly appointed chief of staff, the retired general, john kelly, former head of the department of homeland security. >> if you have some of with a military approach and the background is a general trying to mitigate an influx of people
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who are poor and turning it into a war, that seems to be what we have right now. i have always made the claim that we are actually at war with mexico by the way week manage with border patrol agents. amy: and we're joined in studio by a los angeles-based chicano band, and we asked about their hit single, if i was president. >> we want to reimagine what we are for, because we need to push forward an agenda. that is what the song is really about. what would i do? amy: all that and more, coming up. now!,e to democracy, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. special panel wrote a little or
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expansive from a to russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. the move first reported by the wall street journal gives mueller's investigation the power of subpoena and opens the door to possible criminal charges against president trump and his associates. mueller is reportedly looking into whether trump for the firing of fbi james comey last may constituted obstruction of justice. he also reportedly subpoenaed documents related to the business dealings of paul manafort, as well as general michael flynn, trop's one-time national security adviser. news of the grand jury came after mueller added a 16th lawyer to his timid -- team of investigators, a former member of the criminal division of the justice department. on capitol hill, the senate barred president trump thursday from making recess appointments while lawmakers returned to their home states for summer
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recess. that will last through labor day weekend. the move was widely seen as a bid to block trump from firing attorney general jeff sessions as special counsel. robert mueller continues the rush investigation. meanwhile, a pair of bipartisan bills introduced in the senate thursday would restrict president trump's power to fire special counsel mueller. president trump urged the mexican president not to publicly state his opposition to trump's plan to build a border wall and have mexico pay for it. according to a transcript of the january 27 phone call published thursday by "the washington post," the mexican president told trump mexico would not pay for the wall, prompting trump to reply, "you cannot say that to suppress because i cannot negotiate under those circumstances," trump said. during the same call, trump threatened mexico with trade
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tariffs and called new hampshire a drug infested den. transcript,ely president trump blasted a u.s.-ahlstrom only in agreement to resettle 2000 refugees, telling prime minister malcolm turnbull, "boy, that will make us look awfully bad," ending the call in frustration, saying, "i have had it. i have been making these calls a day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day. a pleasant call. this is ridiculous." in syria, it is reported that a series of u.s.-led coalition attacks in recent days have left scores of civilians dead. airwars said one coalition airstrike on tuesday leveled a home in raqqa, killing up to 50 civilians, including entire families. among the dead were hamada al-saeed al-hamzawi and three of his family members. a separate u.s.-led airstrike that same day reportedly killed 11 members of a single family.
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and on wednesday, an artillery attack likely from u.s.-backed forces reportedly killed raqqa resident mohammed ahmed abdel-rahim. in canada, the government of quebec says it's processing as many as 150 migrants a day as they cross into canada from northern new york state seeking friendlier immigration laws. the influx has led authorities to set up hundreds of cots at a temporary welcome center at montreal's olympic stadium. among those who recently crossed to canada was haitian asylee marie-claude celestin. >> i found that canada was the best option for me and my family. you guys understand humanitarian , unlike in the united states. you treat people as human beings. amy: most of those seeking asylum in canada are haitians who took refuge in the u.s. after a vastating rthquake in 2010.
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the trump administration has threatened to remove protected status for htians, which could affect up to 58,000 people. new york democratic senator kirsten gillibrand has withdrawn her sponsorship of a bill that critics say would criminalize free speech and peaceful protest. the israel anti-boycott act would make it a felony for u.s. citizens to support boycotts of israel and israeli settlements, punishable by at least a $250,000 fine, with a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and 20 years in prison. senator gillibrand's reversal came as groups, including the aclu, julius -- jewish voice for peac,e and palestine legal mount a campaign challenging anti-bds bills as unconstitutional. nearly half of the senate and 234 congress members continue to support the bill. in nicaragua, amnesty international has accused the government m of a campaign of
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harassment against activists challenging a proposed $50 billion canal linking the atlantic and pacific oceans. campesinos say the project could devastate the environment while displacing up to 120,000 people. this is amnesty international lawyer erika guevara rosas. >> this canal, whose construction has not yet begun, has grave human rights violations against communities. there have been incidents of oppression by authorities for communities demanding information from the government. amy: in one incident last december, activists say federal police attacked a campesino protest caravan with tear gas and both live and rubber bullets. back in the u.s. in west virginia, hundreds of protesters gathered outside an arena in the city of huntington thursday, as as president trump rallied thousands inside for a campaign-style event. the protesters largely ignored a
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so-called "first amendment area" set up by city officials two blocks from the arena, and instead protested just outside the entrance to the venue. inside, president trump hit themes familiar to his 2016 campaign and blasted the russia investigation as a total fabrication. trump was joined on stage by west virginia democratic governor jim justice. >> today i will tell you with lots of prayers and lots of thinking, today i will tell you, as was for jenny and -- as west virginians, i cannot help you anymore being a democratic governor. so tomorrow, i will be changing my registration to republican.
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amy: governor justice's address was interrupted when trump supporters tore a mexican flag away from an anti-trump protester in the stands while security guards escorted other demonstrators from the arena. the skirmish escalated to a brawl as one person had another in a headlock and security guards struggled to break up the fight. in russia, a court on fined thursday opposition politician alexei navalny $5,000 for violating election laws ahead of russia's 2018 presidential race. after a court appearance, navalny told reporters he was charged after he posted an online video calling for people to participate in unsanctioned protests. >> [speaking foreign language] >> they steal our leaflets, we will continue our campaign. they close our headquarters, we will continue our campaign. if they arrest us, and we will still continue our campaign am a
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simply because we are right. amy: in recent months, navalny helped organize two large, nationwide anti-government protests that were met with beatings and mass arrests by russian police. in japan, prime minister shinzo abe will lead commemorations on sunday and next wednesday for the 72nd anniversary of the u.s. atomic bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. last november, theayors of both cits invited president trump to join ceremonies marking the anniversy, to follow up on president obama's historicrip to hirhima in 20. president trump did not accept their invitation. a former guest who appeared regularly on the fox news channel says a senior producer solicited sex in exchange for a paid job at the network. the declaration by occidental college professor caroline heldman came as part of a lawsuit that charges former fox consultant woody fraser made numerous unwelcome sexual advances on heldman and other women who appeared on fox news programs. heldman has also accused former fox news personality bill o'reilly of sexist comments and of blacklisting her from the air after she complained.
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attorney general jeff sessions moved thursday to cut off federal aid to four cities accused by the justice department of failing to turn over jailed immigrants to federal immigration authorities. the move will deny funds from a program combating drug trafficking and gang violence to the cities of baltimore, maryland, albuquerque, new mexico, and the california cities of san bernardino and stockton. sessions' move follows a series of actions taken by the trump administration cracking down on sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities. in los angeles, a elote -- or roasted corn -- street vendor has become a folk hero in the ongoing campaign to legalize street vending for some 50,000 workers in the area, a large majority of whom are latinos and/or immigrants. benjamín ramirez filmed himself being attacked by a man who knocked over his cart after telling him to move off the sidewalk. when ramírez stood his ground, telling the man that there was
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room for him to walk, the man knocked the cart over, spilling utensils, coolers, and corn. the video went viral at the end of july. advocates say because the street vending industry is not fully regularized some vendors are , afraid to contact police after being physically attacked. "orange county weekly" editor columnist gustavo arellano featured ramírez as "the everyhombre" and also lauded him for neutralizing his assailant with chili pepper. alcaraz is also selling "elote justice" prints and donating half of the proceeds to benjamín. a gofundme campaign is also underway for ramírez and other eloteros who have had their carts damaged in attacks. and in phoenix, arizona, celso mireles, a "dreamer" known as an innovator and artist, has died at the age of 30 after he was struck in motorcycle accident on his way to work. mireles co-founded the arizona dream act coalition and was known for his kindness, insight and passion and as the "guy behind the scenes" of local and national online campaigns to stop deportations. his latest project involved
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developing a web application to alert migrants of raids by immigration and customs enforcement. and those are some of the headlines. democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. opposition is growing to the trump administration new plan to radically overhaul u.s. immigration law and slash the number of immigrants allowed into the united states by half. the raise act, or reforming american immigration for strong employment, would create a so-called merit-based immigration system that would favor applicants who speak english, have advanced degrees or can demonstrate job skills. ,since president trump and republican senators introduced the plan on wednesday, many commentators have noted that proposed policy would have likely blocked trump's own grandfather, friedrich trumpf, from immigrating to the united states, had it been in place in 1885. at the time of his arrival, trumpf did not speak english, and his immigration record says he had no identifiable skill --
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or "calling," as they called it. the great-grandparents of senior policy adviser stephen miller would have also likely been refused entry under the proposed plan, since they spoke only yiddish. kellyanne conway's great-grandfather, too, would have likely been barred for speaking only italian. well, on wednesday, cnn's jim acosta, the son of immigrants pressed senior policy adviser , stephen miller over president trump's push to admit only english-speaking immigrants in a back and forth that lasted for several minutes. this is an excerpt. >> you really don't know that. >> came in this country rht before the cuban missile prices and obtained a green card. yes -- >> a factual question, jim. as a factual question -- >> -- do obtain a green part at some point, and they do it by a lot of hard work. yes, they may learn english as a second language later on in life. tos notion of they have
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learn english before they get to the united states, are we just going to bring in people from great britain and australia? >> honestly, i am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from great britain and australia and with no english. it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to shocking degree. moment. isn amazing this is an amazing moment, that you think only people from great britain or australia would think -- speak english is so insulting to millions of hard-working immigrants who do speak english from all over the world. have you honestly never met an immigrant from another country who speaks english outside of great britain and australia? is that your personal experience? >> there are scores of people who come -- >> but that is what you said. it shows your cosmopolitan bias. trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into the country. >> that is one of the most
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outrageous, insulting, ignorant, olish things you have ever said to the notion that this is a racist bill is so insulting. amy: that was president trump's senior policy adviser stephen miller, some might say accosting cnn's jim acosta on wednesday over president trump's push to admit only english-speaking immigrants. well, acosta also asked stephen miller about the iconic poem by emma lazarus that is inscribed at the base of the state of liberty, which reads "give me , your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." >> with the president is proposing does not sound like it is in keeping with american tradition when it comes to immigration. the statue of liberty says, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. abouts not say anything speaking english or being able to be a computer programmer. origin trying to change what it
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means to be an immigrant coming into this country -- aren't you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country when you say people have to speak english? >> first of all, it is a requirement you have to be naturalized we are the notion that speaking english would not be part of an immigration system would be ahistorical. statue of liberty is a symbol of american liberty lighting the world. and was was added later not part of the original statue of liberty. amy: but who was emma lazarus? why did she write the poem? and how did it end up being one of the most iconic verses about the united states? for more, we're joined by esther schor, author of the biography "emma lazarus," acting chair of the humanities council at princeton university and she is joining us from london. welcome to democracy now!, professor schor. what thespond to
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senior advisor to president trump, stephen miller, said about this poem. >> you know, i was appalled to hear it but not surprised, amy. i follow emma lazarus's poetry and its use in the public sphere quite closely, and i get google alerts every time of a quote huddled masses" is mentioned in the press. he was taking a page from the "alt-right playbook," were this poem has been dismissed and called graffiti, and it has been said that it is simply a distraction and that is not what the statue government. the rhetoric goes from there. -- emma lazarus has been called the jurist who is trying to destroy the u.s., etc. so it was not shocking to me. i think what happened was, as you hear his tone becoming more
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shrill, when he dismissed the poem, the press room was suddenly full of people with rolling eyes and shaking heads, and it put miller off his game. you could see he felt the nation was watching the briefing and would be doing much of the very same thing i was. amy: emma lazarus has long been a target of white nationalists. a trump supporter and it. -- a trump supporter and imperial wizard of the ku klux duke, wrote in his 2003 book "jewish supremacism." in a chapter titled "the jewish led alien invasion," duke quotes lines from lazarus's "the new colossus" and writes, "as i looked into the american fight over immigration laws during the last 100 years, the driving force behind opening america's borders became evident. it was organized jewry, personified by the poet emma lazarus whose lines i quoted to begin the chapter."
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well, in january, white nationalist richard spencer tweeted, "it's offensive that such a beautiful, inspiring statue was ever associated with ugliness, weakness, and deformity." professor, talk about this, this poem and emma lazarus herself, the poet, as a target of white nationalists. to do that,m happy but it means going into history, obviously. on one point, miller was factually correct, the poem was not part of the original design or installation or dedication of the statue. in fact, the poem predates the advent of the statue on america's shores. she wrote it in 1883 to raise money for the pedestal for the statue of liberty. wasack up a bit, the statue the brainchild of a liberal french statesman, historian, and
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his idea was to celebrate the return of france to risehtenment values, the of the republic in 1870. he had the idea to commission this statue, and it would be dedicated to franco-american friendship, but it would place the american emancipation displays in the context of the french enlightenment and to do some good pr to the french people. the americans so the statute is a very french thing. they did not identify with it. they did not reach into their pockets and give to the pedestal. hence, an auction was set up to auction artworks and documents written for this purpose. lazarus had been very active on behalf of jewish refugees from russia who were fleeing
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persecution, fleeing to rome, and coming to the united states in great numbers in 1980 1, 1982. so she was known for her work with the immigrants. she herself was not an immigrant . she was a fourth or fifth generation american, the daughter of a jewish family, a very wealthy family in new york. she had no need to roll a person leaves and work for these emigrants, but that is exec we she did her chair advocated for them in the press. she taught them english. she tried to get them jobs and job training. , one of in general their fiercest advocates. most of her advocacy was to the jewish community at that point. i have to say that her efforts were met with some disappointment. but it was very typical of lazarus not to back up but to forge ahead. and what she did and writing the sonnet, it was to take her plea
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for the support of emigrants to the nation. what she did is quite astonishing and she completely recast the meaning of the statue , which, by the way, she never saw. she had not seen it. it was in a warehouse in paris. so it was a prophetic intuition of this statue as america's announcement to the world that it was renouncing imperialism, renouncing tyranny, and it was going to accept those who had been cast out, refused. that is from a french word, people who had been refused by their own native shores. so that is the genesis of the poem. it was taken notice of at the time, briefly, when there was a reception for the sculptor in new york. there was a long speech about
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franco-american friendship, but , hereeech began by saying is a statue that will welcome strangers to these shores. however, lazarus became ill. the poem was published to every small reading audience in art amateur magazine, and the poem faded from site such that when the statue was dedicated in 1886, it was not recited or printed in the press. and when lazarus that a year later tragically at the age of 38, only one of her you adjust even mentioned the poem at that time. 1903, and thisl is what miller was referring to -- obviously, he went to wikipedia and read the national park service website, so he is up on his information here, but in 1903, a private donation was
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made by a friend of lazarus as a tribute to her 15 years after her death, and the poem still did not catch on until the 1930's them a when it was embraced by pro-immigration lists -- pro-immigrations. a man saw in the poem a most eloquent statement for his cause. he quoted it. his coworkers quoted it. they introduced it in schools and children begin to memorize it. it was a set to music, etc. since the 1930's, the poem and the statue have been inextricably linked. there are many debates about immigration reform, which has certainly not been static since the 1930's. amy: go ahead with your conclusion. causen miller says -- the
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-- because the poem was not on the statue when it was dedicated, it has nothing to do with the statute -- i think that is a very false statement. amy: especially because it has now been on the base of the statue of liberty for over 120 years rather, 114 years. >> yes, exactly. aging immigrants, when they have written their memoirs, they have included that they sailed past it and read the words of the sonnet outside of the statue. it was never on the outside of the statue. it is a member that comes from the deep sense of the american public hashat this sonnet is linked to the statue. amy: i want to thank you so much, esther schor, for joining us, professor of english at preston university. she wrote the biography, "emma lazarus." this is democracy now!,
3:28 pm, the war and peace report. back in a minute. ♪ [music break] amy: no more by bang data. democracy now!, , the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president donald trump on wednesday embraced a proposal to slash the number of immigrants allowed into the u.s. by half,
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in what would be the biggest overhaul of immigration law in over half a century. the rays act would create -- the raise act would create a so-called merit-based immigration system that would favor applicants who speak english, have advanced degrees or can demonstrate job skills. this comes as trump ousted his chief of staff, reince priebus, and replaced him with retired general john kelly, who was serving as the head of the department of homeland security. this week i spoke about these developments and more with john carlos frey, two-time emmy award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. i asked him about funding for -- i asked him about the head of dhs, retired general john kelly, who is now president trump is the chief of staff. >> he was the most recent former head of the department of homeland security, which is the umbrella organization of ice and the u.s. border patrol and customs and border protection agents. it is a state police force of over 75 -- 75 thousand
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individuals who secure the border and the seaports, and those are the people interface when we come into airports from an international flight. and he is in concert with the trump administration's anti-immigrant policies. he was the head of this organization that wanted to institute the muslim ban. he also is in favor of deporting , thearents of dreamers undocumented parents of u.s. citizen children here and he would like to deport them. he is also trying to get, or was, at least trying to be tough on enforcement, going after people who have committed crimes even though they may not be violent crimes, trying to deport. it seems like we have ramped up deprecation in the united states. the numbers are a little murky, but it seems like ice is a little bit more freewheeling than they were during the obama administration. and he was the head of these organizations that participated
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in that kind of law enforcement. so he is donald trump's right-hand immigrant enforcer or immigrant law enforcer, so sitting at the right hand of the president now, does not seem like he was in any protest with any of the trump administration policies when it comes to immigrants. amy: let me go to donald trump introducing general john kelly as his new chief of staff. a good man,ump: john kelly will do a fantastic job. general kelly has been a star, done an incredible job this far, respected by everybody, a great, great american. reince priebus, a good man. thank you very much. amy: that was president trump on his way to give a speech on long island, new york, which encouraged police brutality. it wasn't so much so that he was condemned and criticized by many
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of the top police organizations hishis country, with even own head of the dea, the drug enforcement administration, letter out a staff saying do not abide by what he said. that is a side note. of there was the endorsement general kelly as chief of staff. >> but it is a culture that also trickles down to border patrol we sa, ice ages, as e two stoms agts poisong a k, a 16-yr-old w ended dyingwith no repcussions trial no indtment. there a culturef cruelt withinaw enfoement at the u.s.-mexicborder it seemso bxacerbat by theribe admintration's rhoric, apauding militariic approh. the way we nage o borders is by buildina borr wall ineasing t number agents, alwing theto be more
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freeeeling and probay, u know, we arasking f it here at we're goi to probly se an escalion inxcess ofse of force. of lawase i theorce forcemenat the bder ng downdledy dum the adssion quiremen, tryi to makeure therare n lie dectorests, tryg to ke sure ey get many ents ias quick as poible. i mean, what could possibly go wrong if you do that? so at the border, we have a very serious problem. the issue of immigration is important. the issue of managing a country's borders is also important. that the root cause of migration has nothing to do with a militaristic approach. these are not the enemies. so to point a gun at a person who is leaving their home country because they are poor and because they're looking for
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a job seems to be excessive, and that seems to be the one and only approach that the trump administration is employing. let's use as much military force at the u.s.-mexico border as we possibly can to stop migrants who harvest our crops and work in our restaurants from coming into the country. they have portrayed these immigrants as criminals, as terrorists, as gang members, when statistics actually prove that over 99 percent of all undocumented immigrants have no criminal record. the only crime they have committed is crossing the border without papers, which is a violation of immigration law. but they are all portrayed as hardened criminals. amy: i want to ask one more question about john kelly. he is now the chief of staff of president trump. the for that, the general was head of department of homeland security. he became the head of the department of homeland security after being the head of u.s. southern command for something
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like four years. can you talk about that trajectory of general kelly and the significance of him being head of u.s. southern command in places like colombia? point --it goes to the i think it is what you are alluding to and that we can see, that the u.s.-mexico border is not a war zone. what if you take a look, we fly blackhawk helicopters and have three unmanned drones that fly borderer the u.s.-mexico . there are armored vehicles that look like tanks that patrol. we can stop people at checkpoints and violate civil rights, and people do not have freedom to move around that region at the u.s.-mexico border. so if you have somebody who has a militaristic approach, who has a background as a general, trying to mitigate an influx of
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people who are poor and turning it into a war, that seems to be what we have right now. i have always made the claim that we are actually at war with mexico by the way that we manage border patrol. there has not been one border patrol agent in the 100-year history of the u.s. border patrol who has been indicted for murder. haveborder patrol agents killed dozens upon dozens of people, and none of them have gone to trial. amy: john carlos, the issue of the wall and the dhs granting a waiver to itself? >> it is not uncommon. during the bush administration a dozen years ago or so, we build border walls in arizona and california, and the exact same procedure was followed the federal government waived a series of laws and restrictions along that since t -- along that thin strip of land to build order fencing it we're talking about environmental laws, water
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rights laws. in a small section of san diego county, there was believed to be an indian burial ground with some artifacts that had no anthropological testing done at the time, and they were basically bulldozed over to build the border wall. so the federal government owns about 60 feet from the borderline itself northward, so there is a thin strip of land in california, arizona, and new mexico that the federal government actually owns, and they are basically a lot to do whatever they want with that piece of land. waving environmental laws or any restrictions is, as you have said in your intro, a possible violation of constitutional law, but they do it anyway. and texas, it is a little bit more difficult to build a border wall because of homeowners, private land owners. they own the land right up to the line itself. the line in texas is the rio grande river. so people can own a honed in
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test can own a home and a lan can go right up to the border, so the government has to purchase the land. in many cases, that is where the border wall building stops, and texas, because a lot of windows ofre's -- because a lot landowners have protested. it looks like the federal government has already cleared these restrictions dear to my knowledge, they have blueprints drawn for the border wall and started to meet with defense contractors. this is something we're not hearing much about, but it looks like they're going full speed ahead there. amy: can you talk about exec the what this wall is? you even have president trump talking about putting solar panels on it to generate electricity and it would be cheaper for the mexicans to pay for. at the same time, congress voting to pay for the wall in o rder to help to balance the budget. soldiers out of
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the military -- a very strange connection. but do you know the connections between this? >> you know, it is all still sort of murky, but according to what i have gleaned from reports is that trump wants this while. he promised it and campaigned on this wall. his supporters shouted and cheered for the wall, so he wants it done. and if he has to throw change gender -- transgender military people under the bus to get it done, that seems to be the deal he brokered. there were some right wing, anti-gay republicans who basically said, you know, we will help you push her border wall forward if you make sure the trans people cannot serve in the military. toseems a simple fight way say it -- a simplified way to say, but it seems to be what happened here. amy: to say we do not want to pay for gender reassignment surgery, saying it would take $8
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million out of the budget, and according to one article as one top republican official put it, we asked him to light a candle on the table and he burned the whole candle down by calling for something that none of them are calling for, which is a ban on all transgender people in the military >> the order walls -- some estimates say it would cost $10 million per mile, the border wall, so that would mean those cost savings would get you about three quarters of a mile of a border wall. the wall itself is a couple dozen miles long, the border itself. so i do not think taking money from some sort of reassignment surgery pot of money that is available will get it done. it seems like a strange approach, but he wants this boardwalk, does he wants this border wall, and he will burn the candle to the ground to get it. we do not know what the order wall will look like. the border, if you have been
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done there, it is different depending on what state and what part of the state you are in. there are desert stance, so they would have to deal with shifting diunes. there are rivers and mountains. there are also washes that can fill wh water within minutes. there are dry riverbed's that are 40 feet long and we have to water. there are also border crossings and ports of entry, so how do we manage those? the order wall will have to be different. i have heard anything from a ence withorder f technology to detect people coming across to actual physical thectures and you mentioned solar panel walls. it is different in my places, and it does not seem to be a plan. money has nobeen appropriated. the border wall we're hearing a
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rumbling about is fortifying fence that already exists. there has been not one inch of new border wall constructed yet. ay: that is john carlos frey, two-time emmy award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. his work focuses on the experience of immigrants on the u.s.-mexican border. democracy now!,, the war and peace report. this isdemocracy now!,, the war and peace report. ,- this is democracy now! las cafeteraback, s. ♪ [music break]
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eras yes, that is las cafet performing "this land is your land." i'm amy goodman. the los angeles-based chicano band las cafeteras joined us here in new york. the band has been described by the los angeles times as "a uniquely angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock." this year they released a new album called "tastes like l.a." the band is currently on a global tour and will be performing this weekend at the canadian canmore folk music festival. here, they perform their hit single, "if i was president," in our studio. ♪
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>> ♪ si fuera presidente para la gente, si fuera presidente honestamente ooh ♪ >> ♪ i'd roll up my sleeves as i face the congregation first thing i'd do is free education and every 3rd period yo, we'd practice meditation every 3rd period we'd practice meditation i'd take from the rich and give to the poor we don't have to be hungry no more at the first thought of drone strikes and dropping bombs we'd free my poor black and brown kids that got caught up in 3 strikes and when they get out they gettin' free bikes so they can ride to their future not their past go to the store get some chips
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with no -- ♪ the sixpoke to two of members. i asked them to talk about their hit song on their new album. >> we're always talking about what we are against, but we want to reimagine and think about what we're for good the day is coming, the day is here, where we need to push forward an agenda on what we are for. that is what the song is really about. three months leading up to the recording, every time i went to purchase food, i would ask the workers, say, hey, if you were president for a day, what is the first thing you would do? there responses are the lyrics that around for my people. they always said education. they said, man, i would get my cousin out of jail
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because he should not be in there for weed. those are the kinds of things we put in there. ♪ at my inauguration, i set you down with your abuelita kids can see where we came from, our new destiny budget cuts if i was president, with her still be drama? generational drama? put your hands up high we got a different kinda party in the white house tonight if i was president hey, what would you do? if i was president i'd ask you ♪ amy: the name of your band, what does it mean? >> it comes from the east side cap fee -- eastside café and
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northeasterly, a space that has wild imagination about self-determination and creating a world, a new world. and it is not responding to a government that does not identify you recognize them, really taking it on themselves to better themselves in the way they find dignity. for us in those days, it give us the imagination of more, how do we build a world where we fit and where we're powerful and where our voice is heard. it is a beautiful, beautiful route of how we started playing upic, where he never grew playing music to it for many of us, it is the first time we saying out loud in front of people. one, whichuced this
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is a form of "this land is your land" on the album. >> it was written by woody graseck -- woody guthrie, and he omitted verses because he wrote it during the mccarthy era. we were asked to write a song, like an american song, like old-school. we thought, well, we do not really want to. so we looked back at traditional folk songs and found "this land is your land or cut we saw sharon jones and the dap kings, and it was beautiful. we wanted to do it our own, a mexican funk version. feterasis is las ca singing "this land is your land." ♪ saidon the other side it nothing this land was made for you and me
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oh this land this land this land was made for you and me oh this land this land this land was made for you and me ♪ ♪ ras inhat is las cafete our studios singing "this land is your land," one of the songs and "tastes like l.a." why did you name your albums that, and why is the cover a food truck? >> a lot of the places we play -- we do not fit in any specific l.a.- genre, we're so flavored, and that is the only way we would know how to describe it. cubia, punk, goth, and
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all of us come from so many different traditions and experiences. takano, mexican, but that just means you are mixed. you come from all caps of places. we want to introduce ourselves back into the musical world as just a band from l.a. playing everything and anything and not fitting into a box. people do not fit into a box. so it is really complicated. and we have the food truck because in l.a., it is about food justice and even gender rights. one of the biggest cities in the country that do not have established policies that protect street vendors. amy: hector, can you talk about the food truck that was turne overust a few days ago? a video when viral one a guide turned over the food truck. >> a man was selling corn on the street and did not want to move,
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so another man flipped it over. i think it speaks to how a lot of communities feel about street vendors. policies do not protect street vendors. truck, the ice cream folks were making a living selling food need to be protected. they are trying to raise families and live a life of dignity. so that is on the front of our city, and ice cream truck. that is l.a. for us, people working and doing what they have to do to raise her family's and have a life of dignity. song -- about this >> when a certain person was up on the podium as a candidate for president speaking about mexican people, saying that we are rapists and drug dealers and we're dangerous, and some of us are good. amy: you do not like to say
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president trump's name? >> i would rather not, although i am ok with other people saying it. so the lyrics i wrote for this song, i went back into my parents' story and into my family's story, and most of the people i know are first generation born in the u.s. and the reason why a lot of our parents left the comfort of their own family was because of love. they loved their children that they did not have so much that they sacrificed, really, their lives. and i just wanted to remind people that the root of all this pain and struggle is love, and we cannot live without it. to criminalize dehumanize because they're breaking laws, and we
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forget that laws are not always, you know, dignified and compassionate and understanding and just. i mean, we just had a truck full of people found in texas, and 10 of those folks had passed away. what i saw in the reaction to a a lot of the article was, well, they were illegal, they deserved it. and it breaks my heart is that we are in a time where people care more about laws and policies than actual people and beating hearts. the title of the song means "times of love." can you share the first verse in english? >> it says i would cross whatever river to be close to you, because i feel an emptiness beating in my heart. amy: let's go to "tiempos de amor," las cafeteras.
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♪ >> ♪ la la la la la la la spanish]in ♪ ♪ amy: this is democracy now! end, when you came back into the united states and canada in this tour, you came through new haven. talk about why. >> we had a show in new haven, connecticut. i received a text message from the connecticut immigrant rights organization saying there was a
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woman in sanctuary, and they were having a vigil that night for her. we found out and they asked us to come to the vigil and play. we found out there was a woman who was to be supported last thursday. instead of showing up for deportation, she went to sanctuary in a church. so we went and met and played at the vigil. the next day we were able to go to the church, meet her, hear her story. amy: she has four children and has been here for a quarter of a century. >> over 20 years in the united states, no criminal record. every year since 1999, she has been going to court to get a year, sort of, relief. amy: extension period >. giving month, instead of her an extension, they put an ankle bracelet on her and said she would be deported. amy: a shackle.
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>> incident of showing up to courts to be deported, she went into sanctuary. when we learned about that, we said we have to go and make it happen. we met her and actually did a video in support, asking people to call the department of homeland security. i got a text message two days , what isshe received the word, clemency? tay, relief from deportation. amy: for a year. a federal judge will then re-examine her case. due in part to the organization and connect kit doing that beautiful work. when you are asked to help and call ice, it works. amy: what did you play outside the church? "if i was president." it was a banging show in an
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empty parking lot right next to the church. amy: it is interesting when you go from city to city. can you explain? >> we're moving organizers, organizers before musicians. when going to new towns, we identify who is doing work in that town and what the issue is that needs to be elevated. we went to burlington, vermont, farme met with a dairy, workers. migrant justice organizations. we found out there is injustice against dairy farmworkers. they were able to share the work. that is the work we do. beat where called wes go into different neighborhoods and everett citiesnot borders,. we write the local dj, we write organizations, and we basically ies andese banging part get down with justice, but we elevate and connect people in the neighborhood through the music.
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that is the work we want to do and musicians. amy: those are two of the cafeteras,of las hector flores and denise carlos. their new album is "tastes like l.a." you can watch their extended interview and performances on .hat does it for our broadcast a special font farewell to our outgoing video fellow andre lewis. we wish you the very best, and thank you so much for your contributions and your work here at democracy now! you made us so much better. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. produced by -- and a special thanks to --
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you can go to to read the transcripts and get video and audio podcasts, and you can text the word democracynow to 66866 and
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announcer: this is a production of china central television america. walter: how do younspire teens to volunteer? the numbers aren't good. only a quarter of americans age 16 and older are making time to volunteer at least once a year, so volunteerism is at a record low in the united states. that's according to a 2014 u.s. bureau of labor statistics report. this week on "full frame," empowering the next generation of volunteers to make an impact worldwide. i'm mike walter coming to you from the heart of new york's times square. let's take it "full frame."


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