tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 2, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
reputation. because of what happened, there were many, many articles criticizing him that blamed him for this article when it wasn't his fault so we're going to ask a jury to award what they believe is reasonable to repair and restore his damages. >> all right. douglas, thanks so much for joining us. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in the situation room. in the situation room. the news continues right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> we are on briefing watch again today. the white house press briefing to begin in the next little bit as president trump makes several major moves on multiple critical issues, health care, sanctions and immigration. right now, i can tell you that he's meeting privately with ohio senator rob portman as this new bipartisan effort, you heard me right, bipartisan effort kicks
off to reform the nation's health care insurance system. we'll talk about that in a second. also just a few hours ago, president trump signed the sanctions bill against russia, north korea, and iran, but while congress overwhelmingly approved it, the president calls it flawed. and minutes ago, the president debuted the raise act. this is a proposal to revamp how green cards are given out. r.a.i.s.e. stands for reforming american immigration system for economy. >> the r.a.i.s.e. act ends campaign migration and replaces it with a point-based system for receiving a green card. this competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak english, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will
contribute to our economy. the r.a.i.s.e. act prevents new migrants and immigrants from collecting welfare and protects u.s. workers from being displaced. >> so let's go to the white house to our senior white house correspondent there, jim acosta, ahead of the briefing. let's go back to this russian sanctions bill the president signed this morning. this veto-proof bill. what took him so long. what is it that he says he doesn't like. >> reporter: this is something the white house has been saying for weeks now, that they do not want or they did not want a bill. this was really forced down their throats. they did not want a bill that limited the president's ability when it comes to lifting sanctions on russia or really having the ability to do what he wants with sanctions. they see that and really this is not to be unfair to the president, other administrations have felt that that is the purview of the executive branch, and so they were trying to flex those muscles heading into all of this, but obviously, with the
russia investigation going on and both parties in congress essentially saying, no, we're not going to leave this matter of what to do about russia to the president, given everything we've been talking about over the last six months. they brought a bill to the president that essentially had veto-proof majorities, and so even if he had vetoed this today, the congress would have overridden those vetoes. the president did not sign this in front of the cameras. he's done other things like this in front of the cameras. he did this behind closed doors and attached a signing statement to it essentially saying this was unconstitutional and added an additional statement on top of that and we can put a clip of that on screen. the president at one point saying that he was doing this all for national unity but here's what the president says. still, the bill remains seriously flawed, particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch's authority to negotiate. congress could not even negotiate a health care bill
after seven years of talking. so taking a swipe at congress there and really his own party for not getting a health care bill out of the congress and to him and saying, okay, well you can't do health care but you can get a sanctions bill to me. we'll have to take the temperature of sarah huckabee sanders in the briefing room and see how they're spinning this. obviously, this is a humbling moment for the president. he was forced to do this. he did not want to sign this bill, brooke. >> begin with your point on how it was a humbling moment for him. see you in the briefing room momentarily. as we're waiting for sarah huckabee sanders, let me bring in gloria borger and cnn political analyst abbey phillip who is also a white house reporter for the "washington post." ladies, welcome. and gloria, couple of points that jim made i thought were great, the fact that there were no cameras. this is a pretty significant signing, and there were no cameras, so no -- nothing visual there for us to see. and also, how he is calling this
flawed. and perhaps to jim's point, this is about, you know, the president's powers being held back. >> well, that's what he says. >> what do you think? >> the president believes he should have ultimate authority except that there are co-equal branches of government in this country. one of them happens to be the congress. john mccain just released a statement saying the framers of our constitution made the congress and the president co-equal branches. this bill has already proven the wisdom of that choice. and what the bill says is that congress gets the final say here, period. now, there was a veto-proof margin here, so he was backed up against the wall. he had to do it. he didn't like it. he doesn't like it when congress gets the final say, but sorry, that's the way the constitution was written, and congress flexed its muscle here and said, sorry, we're not going to give you the final say on russia sanctions and i believe you can't separate
that from the fact that the president hasn't come out and said that russia hacked the election. i mean, these things are joined, and i don't think the congress trusts him on russia, period, end of sentence. >> there had been questions about whether he understood the boundaries of the justice branch and now legislative. good point on that. i'm coming back to you. also, we're learning today the administration is taking on two big issues today, one on this immigration event we mentioned a second ago where the white house is arguing they want to switch to this skill-based immigration system. there was also reporting out of the "new york times" today that the department of justice, speaking of that branch, looking to challenge race-based admission programs at colleges and universities, meaning with the potential aim of protecting white applicants from discrimination. my question to you is, why is he so blatantly playing to his base and might part of this be does he sense trouble looming in this
health care loss? >> well, trouble is basically already here for him. i mean, you cannot separate the timing of these announcements from the fact that there are, to date, no major legislative accomplishments for this administration. and we're getting to the point in the summer here where it's do or die. they have to decide are they going to restart the health care debate, which it seems like virtually no one on the hill thinks is doable or wants to do at this point in time, or do they just cut their losses and move on to taxes. and even the tax proposition seems to be facing a fairly uphill battle. so, this administration is dealing with the reality that getting stuff through congress is really going to be quite difficult for them between now and the end of the year, and what these moves are all about is signaling to the base that, yeah, we're still interested in the things that you guys voted for that put donald trump into office, and it's no -- it's no surprise that they are targeting
two kind of absolute pillars of his campaign, one of them being restricting immigration and this idea of benefitting u.s. workers, and the other being the kind of forgotten american, which many people believed was code for the predominantly white middle america rust belt part of the country and the concerns that they have around those issues. >> on the first piece on immigration and shoutout to my writer, tina, for thinking of the statue of liberty, because there is this poem that's forever linked to the statue of liberty, was one part of the pedestal and it reads, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. critics are calling this immigration move today un-american. i mean, how much support does this have, not just among his base, but among republicans? >> well, it may have some support among republicans. i mean, it remains to be seen. merit-based immigration is not what this country was founded
on. i mean, obviously, you don't want to bring criminals into the country, et cetera, but you don't ask people for their college degrees or their income or anything else when they come into this country. very often, they come here because they're looking for something better than what they have. and so the question is whether, in fact, the president will have those moderate republicans behind him who didn't want to build the wall, who don't believe in the wall, will this be any more palatable to them? i don't really think so. >> abbey, over to you, despite the president's push for republican lawmakers to not give up on the repeal and replace of obamacare, there are now these indications that folks on the hill, the republicans, actually want to work with democrats to figure out fixes. we've been talking today about the republican senator lamar alexander, he's talking about holding bipartisan hearings on actions where congress can take to stabilize health care markets.
do you think this is a trend of what's to come of more and more republicans standing up against the president, and what's the net effect of that when it comes to policy? >> yeah, i mean, particularly on health care, this could be a moment where the republicans and democrats do exactly the opposite of what trump wants them to do, which is hold hands with democrats and fix obamacare. they are facing the reality that the marketplace next year could be absolutely disastrous for their constituents and the only way to prevent that from happening is short of passing some kind of repeal and replace that is perhaps better than what they were contemplating before, fixing the marketplace, funding those cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies. that's something the president and this administration has not wanted to do, and if congress chooses to do that, which they very well might, it would be in defiance of the administration, but really, brooke, at this point, it seems like that is really the only option on the table. leadership has said they do not have the votes to go back to the
table on repeal and replace, and it's going to be politically unpalatable to go into 2018 without having fixed some of these problems with the marketplace. people would be in very dire straits and the republican party, because they are running all blanches ranches of governmt now, is going to be blamed for that. >> it's not even just on health care. you could add other republican senators who are standing up to him, lisa murkowski, and senator mccain on that powerful speech on the senate floor but what he's saying about the afghanistan, and we know about the quotes from the book by jeff flake. the honey moon is long over. is this just the beginning of what's to come? >> i think it is. first of all, these senators don't want the president, who has threatened to break obamacare, who has threatened to end these subsidies, because he knows that it would break obamacare, but that would also hurt millions of people, and that's what the senators don't
want to do. i mean, there's another thing on that list. senator mitch mcconnell has said he doesn't want to end the filibuster in the senate, and the president has said he would do that. he has a 36% approval rating, a 60% disapproval rating, so it's not like these are all courageous people. they are just looking at the polling right now and they're saying you know what? it's okay, and what jeff flake is -- has said is, look, we republicans need to speak out because a lot of this stuff is not anything we agree with, actually. this is not what our party is about, and so you see more republicans coalescing on issues and saying, you know what, we're going to have to do things on our own without this white house. now, that may change with general kelly. i saw that rob portman is at the white house today as you were talking about earlier. talking about the opioid crisis. there may be more conversation,
rather than threats coming out of this white house. we're just going to have to see, but i think we're at a tipping point right now with republicans in the senate who are saying you know what, we may need to go our own way. >> live pictures inside the briefing room, off of the themes we discussed will certainly be thrown at sarah huckabee sanders momentarily. ladies, thank you so, so much. coming up, we'll take that white house briefing live. also ahead, too close for comfort. new details about an intercontinental ballistic missile fired by north korea that came precariously close to a passenger jet, a commercial plane flying through that area. also, phone call fallout, why both the president of mexico and the head of the boy scouts are disputing claims made by president trump involving phone calls that never happened. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. she's nationally recognized for her compassion and care. he spent decades fighting to give families a second chance. but to help others, they first had to protect themselves. i have afib. even for a nurse, it's complicated...
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albreakthrough withyou back. non-drowsy allegra® for fast 5-in-1 multi-symptom relief. breakthrough allergies with allegra®. some tragic news to report out of afghanistan. two american service members have been killed in action in the war-torn country. this happened today in afghanistan when their military convoy came under attack. the american service members were part of a nato-led mission and this is the latest attack to
r rock the province. and today, this frightening new threat after yet another provocation from north korea. cnn has learned that friday's intercontinental ballistic missile test flew within miles of a passenger jet. so according to data from flight aware, this air france plane was roughly 65 miles from the missile's splashdown site. that is only about seven minutes of flight time. so for some perspective, we took a look at the flight aware live feed right now. you can see hundreds of flights in the skies all above asia. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr is with us. he's got the reporting. also with us, a cnn aviation an little a -- analyst and 777 captain. how did this happen? >> reporter: well, you know, this is a very busy area off the northern coastline of japan, very busy for maritime shipping
as well as civil commercial aviation and there was an air france flight flying. but look, brooke, as you pointed out, it was about seven to nine minutes past the area of the missile impact zone when the missile hit the water. the problem for u.s. and worldwide commercial aviation is that the north koreans don't notify either mariners or airmen a aviation, if you will, when they conduct these tests and they've been flying them into these very, very busy commercial areas. i'll be interested to see what les has to say. aviation experts say it's a billion to one chance, really, that it would hit an aircraft, but still, it's something that has to be considered, something that has to be looked at, and the aviation industry always has to consider all the threats wherever it flies. and in fact, this incident did lead air france to put out a statement. let me quickly read that to
everyone. air france saying, "north korea's missile test zones do not interfere in any way with air france flight paths. we constantly analyze potentially dangerous flyover zones and adapt our flight plans accordingly." so, you know, while you always see hundreds of flights in that -- in those commercial software packages airborne at any time, the aviation industry tries to assess where the threat areas are and not fly near them. north korea posing some new challenges in making that analysis and a quick hat tip to our friends and colleagues at abc news. they were the first to report this, that this sort of encounter had the potential of even happening. >> i think it sounds like you hit the nail on the head, barbara, because when we were talking -- when i first saw the urgent cross across my e-mail, i'm thinking, what, i'm thinking about going to tokyo for vacation, but you agree with her and saying you have a better
chance of getting struck by lightning. >> absolutely. >> make me feel better. >> it's a concern. there's no doubt about it. we don't want to get those kind of messages. one of my colleagues got a message flying to south korea from the dallas area. >> saying what? >> well, it came across saying that we have notification of a missile launch in progress. they weren't in that particular area but air traffic control is very well aware of it and as we were having the discussion before we went on air, it's very -- we have departments that deseminate this information or being disseminated to the airline itself, but yes, it was in the air space. it's disconcerting for a lot of people. but we avoid thunderstorms. we avoid much more serious -- >> you can predict thunderstorms. you cannot always predict kim jong un and what he's planning on doing with missiles. >> correct. and if you have a war zone that you're aware of at the time, with missiles being fired off,
with small arms fire, whatever it may be, you're very well aware of it. i think almost a couple years ago, we were talking about some of what was occurring in israel and that -- how some of the flights were being diverted. my dispatcher has the same responsibility with the flight as i do, in essence, at least to plan the flight, so he's getting that information too, and just as air france did here in the u.s., our airlines are also getting that information so that we cannot -- we file a different flight plan. >> so if you're -- i hear you on atc should led you know, you should have the heads up, you get these reports but if you're the captain on this air france flight and this is suddenly happening, and i realize that 65 miles seems like a lot to you, you can pass that in a nano second when you're flying but is that the kind of thing they see on a radar? are they anticipating? >> i wish i could tell you we could see it on our own radar. every once in a while, we can catch an airplane, but we're not going to catch a missile. and we're just -- we're not
maneuverable enough to get by it, nor do we have -- some airlines do have detection material, but it's not necessarily available for most airlines. >> okay. les abend. thank you so much. thank you. coming up here, president trump says he got a call from the head of the boy scouts telling him that his speech was, quote, unquote, the greatest speech ever. just one problem, though. the boy scouts say they never made that phone call. that's coming up. also ahead, live pictures from the white house, sarah huckabee sanders getting set to brief the press pool from the briefing room as president trump is launching a plan to dramatically overhaul the country's immigration system, focusing on legal immigrants. we'll explain that for you coming up. live-stream your favorite sport
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to president trump and some phone calls, specifically his claims about two phone conversations filled with trump praise, one from mexico's president pena nieto, the other from head of the boy scouts. both parties involved now say these phone calls never happened. but president trump did talk to the "wall street journal" last week after his speech to the boy scouts and this is just part of the transcript that we have that was released by politico. "i got a call from the head of the boy scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them and they were very thankful." but the thing here is that the boy scouts are unaware of any phone call between president trump and scout leadership and the scout statement apologizing for president trump's political speech still stands.
so, kaitlan collins is working this for us from outside the white house. kaitlan, that's the boy scouts. talk to me about this alleged phone call between the president of mexico and the president of the united states. did it or did it not happen? >> reporter: that's a great question. it's being called into question right now whether it even happened. as you know, this all came about during the president's first cabinet meeting with his new chief of staff, john kelly, on monday here at the white house. the president was lavishing praise on kelly and he was talking about the things he had achieved as dhs secretary when he made this comment about mexico. let's look at this. >> says, you know, the border was a tremendous problem and now close to 80% stoppage and even the president of mexico called me. they said their southern border, very few people are coming because they know they're not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment. >> reporter: so that might have been the ultimate compliment for donald trump but it also might not have even happened. the president of mexico is disputing this and saying that
he hasn't had a call with president trump, putting out a statement today saying they have not talked on the phone. now, we know that the last time they met was july 7 at the g20 summit in germany and the president may be referring to that, but the white house has not returned requests for comment on this or some clarity about when this alleged call happened. so if this call didn't happen as mexico says, it really ties into this broader credibility problem that we're seeing with the white house. as you know, with that call that trump says he had with the head of the boy scouts, the boy scouts says didn't happen. and with what we learned yesterday about donald trump jr.'s changing statement about his meeting with the russian lawyer at trump tower last summer. >> kaitlan, thank you. let me broaden this out and bring in radio host bill press, a democrat, supported both sanders and clinton, mary catherine. here's the thing. when you hear about these stories and i realize part of this is a bigger pattern, it's like somebody's nose is out to
here now. and does that somebody not realize that when you're president, that, you know, everything you say gets scrutinized and fact-checked and you get caught. >> i mean, he should realize that by now but i'm not sure he does. i think he's naturally sloppy if not lying about this. someone could have passed a message along that someone at the boy scouts said this and it gets transcribed into this. but look, do you think you're going to tell this about the boy scouts and the boy scouts aren't going to pipe up? it's easily verifiable and i think the issue is, look, a lot of people voted for trump because he was something drastically different and they wanted unpredictable and different but you get to a point where being unreliable and making voters uncertain can turn voters off. i think when it comes to meetings with world leaders or meetings with senate republicans who don't know if he's going to turn on them as soon as they're out of the room, that does become a problem, just in daily workings in policy. >> we were talking as we were doing this segment, bill, about,
you remember, of course, we love all things stephen colbert, you know where i'm going, the whole word he coined, which is truthiness. does that not fit here and isn't that an issue for the american people? >> well, it is. i was thinking of the boy scouts, actually. i'm a former boy scout and the first word of the boy scout oath is, a boy scout is trustworthy. boy scouts are. i don't think this president is. echoing what mary catherine said, in a sense, it's not a big thing, it's a phone call, no big deal, but it is a big deal because it does speak to the issue of credibility and this is a president who's got a problem with credibility to begin with starting with the size of the crowd at the inaugural and then the fact that there were never any meetings with anybody around him and anybody having anything to do with russia, and so with that credibility problem, this makes it worse, and you know -- >> but bill, this isn't just a small thing. i have all the respect for the
boy scouts, but we're also talking about a world leader, the president of mexico. >> right. the -- and the president of the united states. so point i was going to make is, i think, as mary catherine or you said too, i'm not sure that donald trump has ever woken up and said, i'm the president of the united states. look, brooke, you and i could go out and have a beer and i could say, i got a call the other day from some big top republican. i may or may not have. that doesn't matter. but the president of the united states, every word he says matters. and so at best, it's an exaggeration. at worst, it's just a lie. >> a lie. how does sarah huckabee sanders spin this or defend it? >> i think she's proven pretty decent at this job. >> verbal gymnastics. >> and my approach would be, if i were in her shoes, the president heard what he heard and the president's hearing, as you know, is terrific, it's the best hearing. and i'm going to take my next question. i don't know. perhaps she will say that a message came from somebody and it wasn't this particular call.
i think that's possible. i wish that the president would be precise about what he's saying. that is not his style. that's not what people voted for but even when you're not lying, being precise is a virtue, especially when you're president of the united states. >> can we talk about -- i just wanted to move on before we run out of time. about the mooch. i know the mooch is gone. but there was, he actually did talk to the "huffington post" and he's dropping hints about his next move. let me read for all of us this part of the interview he did with the "huffington post." this is quoting. "the president told me he knows i have his back but he has to try to tighten the ship." she says, what are you going to do next. he says, "i'm now going to go dark, and then i will reemerge as me." what -- bill press, do you speak mooch? do you know what that means? might he have political ambitions? will he go back to business? do we have any idea?
>> well, i'd have to say first that if that string of expletives and vulgarity that we heard from him last friday, if that wasn't going dark, i don't know what is. i have no idea. look, this is a total loser. he sold his business. his wife dumped him. he lost his job in the white house. and now the harvard review says he's dead. i don't know where he goes from here. >> right. that was an accident, obviously. right. >> i think the less we hear from mooch, of the mooch or about the mooch, we'd all be better off. >> i don't know. >> i hate to call him a total -- listen, i don't know the man. you know, i hate to call him a total loser. >> it was a very bad week. >> it was a bad week. he never should have spoken so freely to ryan lizza. great for ryan lizza, bad for the mooch. >> this sounds like a super hero sort of announcement. i don't mind looking forward to the rise of the mooch phoenix at some point in whatever style he wants to come in, perhaps
outside of the policy world, but it will be entertaining. >> i hope it's not in the white house. >> who knows. m.k. and bill, thank you so much. we're waiting for this press briefing. sarah huckabee sanders has lots to talk about today. also ahead, are members of the republican party trying to work around president trump to find a bipartisan way to repair health care? this as more and more republicans are speaking out and standing up against the president. also, white house briefing ahead, live, as president trump today signed the russian sanctions bill and now senator john mccain is weighing in. stay here. to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a medication... ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years. humira works by targeting and helping to... ...block a specific source... ...of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain and...
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this white house briefing to start. a couple of questions certainly that sarah huckabee sanders will be asked about, including we know that the president has said on one hand, let obamacare implode. he's also still pushing folks on the hill to repeal and replace. this as we're learning that republicans are now reaching across the aisle to help fix obamacare, how the white house responds to that and also those phone calls or non-call calls between the president of mexico and also this conversation with the head of the boy scouts, how sarah huckabee sanders will handle that and so much more in the briefing. so stay tuned for that. we're also getting some new approval/disapproval numbers in from gallup so we'll have those for you. this is all on a day when the markets are looking mighty nice. you can see right now all the green on your screen, above the 22,000 mark on this wednesday, just about an hour and some change left of trading here. quick break, we're back with more news in just a moment. prov. megared advanced triple absorption is absorbed three times better.
from the archives. this is actually a plan in motion on capitol hill, despite the president's instructions to let obamacare implode. you have senator lamar alexander from tennessee among a number of republicans bucking the president on this very issue, holding bipartisan hearings on how to stabilize the individual health insurance market and, quote, put out the fire. brianna is live for us. our senior cnn washington correspondent on the hill and you have what senator alexander is up to. this is a far cry from the message that they have been seeing from the president of the united states. >> reporter: that's right. this idea to just continue with repeal and replace, obviously, brooke, that would take only republicans because democrats aren't going to go along with it, and talking to congressional leadership aides, especially in the senate, they say we did everything we could. we couldn't get there. we tried and we tried and we tried and we couldn't, and clearly, the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell wants to move on to other things like tax
reform and to the debt ceiling but you mentioned, brooke, that hearing that's scheduled by senator lamar alexander in the health committee on the senate side and that's going to be a bipartisan hearing, but it's just one hearing. and then on the other side of the capitol on the house, you have democrats, some of them, and republicans getting together talking about a compromise idea. but the ball's really in the court of the senate. so, it's unclear exactly, you know, if this is just something very small and there's discussion going on which, of course, is good, but if it's really something that's substantive and certainly if it's substantive in any tyime soon. >> i hear you on these are just hearings but it could be progress. what might come of democrats and republicans working together, specifically on health care. >> reporter: on the senate side, we don't know at this point. this is a hearing that's going to be scheduled for when the senate would come back from recess in september. on the house side, what you have is about 40 democrats and republicans, called the problem solvers caucus, and it is certainly interesting to look at
what they're talking about because it is very much a compromise. it doesn't get rid of that employer mandate, but what it would do is it would say to businesses, currently right now, if they have 50 employees, they have to provide health insurance. it would bump it up to 500. that's considerable. and then -- but at the same time, not completely eradicating the mandate. and then it would also keep subsidies so that's something that, of course, would make democrats very happy. it would get rid of the medical device tax, something that would make republicans happy, but the subsidies right now, brooke, as you know, this is the really big issue because the white house is threatening to not pay the subsidies so if you're a low-income american and you have health insurance and you're dependent on the government kicking in some money to help you afford health insurance, if that doesn't get paid, you're not going to have health insurance. this is going to be a huge thing and that's why talking to some top republican aides, one said to me, if that actually went through, then republicans and president trump own the failure
of obamacare. so that's really what they're very worried about as they look at the white house and this threat that's coming from it. >> many of those who are most vulnerable voting for president trump back in november. brianna, thank you in washington for me. coming up next, earlier this year, president trump talked about his great relationship with the chinese president. but now, the administration may be getting tough on trade with china. what would that look like? also, again, we're waiting for the press briefing to begin there at the white house. this as this new poll is just in showing president trump's approval rating hitting new lows. stay here.
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>> thank you. great to be here today to talk with you about the president's new proposal for immigration reform. i'll just walk through the basics of it, and then we'll take some questions and hopefully be able to answer all of them. so, this is the largest proposed reform to our immigration policy in half a century. the most important question when
it comes to the u.s. immigration system is who gets a green card. a green card is the golden ticket of u.s. immigration. every year, we issue a million green cards to foreign nationals from all the countries of the world. but we do so without regard to whether that applicant has demonstrated a skill that can add to the u.s. economy, whether they can pay their own way or be reliant on welfare, or whether they'll displace or take a job from an american worker, and as a result of this policy, in place now for many years, we've seen significant reductions in wages for blue-collar workers, massive displacement of african-american and hispanic workers, as well as the displacement of immigrant workers from previous years who oftentimes compete directly against new arrivals who are being paid even less. so so, it's a policy that's actually exacerbated wealth inequality in the country in a pretty significant way. so you've seen over time, as a
result of this historic flow of unskilled immigration, a shift in wealth from the working class to wealthier corporations and businesses, and it's been very unfair for american workers, but especially for immigrant workers, african-american workers, and hispanic workers, and blue-collar workers in general across the country. at the same time, it's cost taxpayers enormously because roughly half of immigrant-headed households in the united states receive some type of welfare benefit, which i know is a fact that many people might consider astonishing but it's not surprising when you have an immigration system that doesn't look at questions like skill level or self-sufficiency. and so this proposal has several major historic changes. first, it eliminates so-called chain migration. so right now, what does chain migration mean? it means that if you come into the united states on a green card, and so we're all clear, a
green card gives the recipient lifetime work authorization, the ability to bring in their family members, it gives them a fast track to u.s. citizenship with that all the benefits that come with being an american citizen. and so the individuals right now who are receiving green cards, they can bring in, say, an elderly relative who could immediately go on to public assistance if they become unable to support themselves financially and then that person can bring in a relative who can bring in a relative who can bring in a relative and that's why they call it chain migration, and over years, that has massively deskilled the migrant flow into america and produced all of those effects i'm talking about. so, we're proposing to limit family-based migration to spouses and minor children. additionally, we're establishing a new entry system that's points based. australia has a points-based system. canada has a points-based system. and what will the system look
at? it will look at, does the applicant speak english, can they support themselves and their families financially. do they have a skill that will add to the u.s. economy? are they being paid a high wage? the last part's very important because it will help prevent displacement of u.s. workers. so if a company, let's say, they're offering three times the median wage, that person would get more points on their application than if they're being offered two times the median wage or one times the median wage so you're making it very hard to use immigrant labor to substitute for american workers because by prioritizing higher paid workers, you basically end the practice, more or less, of being able to seek out permanent residents to come in at lower pay, and so that's a major historic change to u.s. immigration policy. the effect of this switching to a skills-based system and ending
unfettered chain migration would be, over time, you would cut net migration in half, which polling shows supported overwhelmingly by the american people in very large numbers. now, i'll just conclude by saying that this is what president trump campaigned on. he talked about it throughout the campaign, throughout the transition, and since coming into office. this is a major promise to the american people to push for merit-based immigration reform that protects u.s. workers, protects u.s. taxpayers, and protects the u.s. economy and that prioritizes the needs of our own citizens, our own residents, and our own workers. it's pro-american immigration reform that the american people want, that the american people deserve and that puts the needs of the working class ahead of the investor class. so with that, i would gladly take a few questions. >> thank you, stephen. you talk about the president's agenda and wanting to implement it but obviously if this doesn't become law, it won't be implemented and there's already resistance in congress, specifically from republicans,
even the day that you're rolling out this plan. how do you plan to overcome that? where are the compromise points for the president and this white house. >> it's been my experience in the legislative process that there's two kinds of proposals. there's proposals that can only succeed in the dark of night and proposals that can only succeed in the light of day. this is the latter of those two. the more that we, as a country, have a national conversation about what kind of immigration system we want and to whom we want to give green cards to, the more unstoppable the momentum for something like this becomes. >> there's room for change? >> public support is so immense on this, just look at the polling data in many key battleground states across the country, that over time, you're going to see massive public push for this kind of legislation because immigration affects every aspect of our lives, affects our schools, our hospitals, our working conditions, our labor market, our tax base, our communities, and it's a deeply personal issue for americans, and so you're going to see massive public
support for this and ultimately members of congress will have a choice to make. they can either vote with the interests of u.s. citizens and u.s. workers, or they can vote against their interests and whatever happens as a result of that, i think, would be somewhat predictable. let me go to john and come back. >> how do you wedge this into an already jam packed legislative calendar? >> well, ultimately, we're going to have to have conversations with senate leadership and house leadership about the steps forward. but this is an issue that we campaigned on. the american people voted for it by electing donald j. trump as their president and that is of enormous importance to the american economy because again, we're protecting blue-collar workers, and we're bringing in workers who can add to the economy. and so i really think this is a -- it's a really historic moment that happened today. again, the biggest proposed change that would take place in 50 years at a time in which you have automation that is replacing a lot of jobs in the united states, y