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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 22, 2016 2:59pm-5:00pm EDT

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your policy generate benefits in excess of the cost but will out the possibility that some less restrictive alternative like case-by-case treatment could generate even greater net the difference. there's a one line dismissal despite the fact three former chief economists were saying consider less restrictive, there's a one-to-one dismissal no analysis just with the word cumbersome. nevermind the fact that the case-by-case to take care of it zero rating cases which are effectively the same thing to an economist. ..
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one other data point in the first six months of this year, there are only three, but they are the biggest three. we're add decline of 2.3 billion in the first six months of this year, which is the last six month interval. what the i.s.p.es are doing, is throttling back on their investment. i think this is an issue of major economic significance, given how much money is at stake. >> under the order, throttling is not allowed. [laughter]
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>> first of all, i think there's a lot of disagreement about the numbers. as the court recognized the fcc justified its decision, on factors, to ask nomibase it on -- economics. >> even if you do, it does not require agencies to undergo a cost analysis. i agree with you, almost every other agency under the sun is obliged to respect cost benefit. on the day they issued the ord they order, they disclaimedny responsibilities. so if this is where things stand, then, i think niedermayers to strongly consider the idea of imposing a cost benefit standard. no different from the epa and all of the executive agencies.
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>> the a.p.a. does require the agency to respond to sitting comments in the record, and, facts in the record. there was a great deal of economic evidence that the agency ignored, or frankly miss stated. >> so, do we think this will be service tailored specific net neutrality, kind of here or are we talking about a rewrite of the telecom act. which could take a decade. >> i think i invested. >> not more more than me or tim. >> the fact is we've been talking about 1934 communications act, which applied, railroad regulation to the telephone network. congress, really didn't significantly update that until 1996.
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they didn't even do it with the internet. they were writing before home broadband was a thing. that's why these sets of issues have been unclear. we don't have time to get into the history. i think just about every reasonable person who was involved would agree that the act is outdated. and this is the kind of problem that you wind up with when an agency is trying to use this i'll lowed on framework. it has to justny when it uses that power. that's the issue that hal raised and those former economists met when they referred to it as free
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zone. if we are going to serve consumers. and that was the point of judge williams' very likely dissent. >> are you saying this should be dealt with in the new rewrite of the telecom act. >> i do yes. you you could do a net neutrality and section 706, but that would allow the s.e.c. to regulate any company. they could be regulated. so, if i'm the effect world i'm worried about that. and, i'm worried about the net neutrality and hal, we don't agree on a lot of things but there are people who see ways to sweeten the pie to do a deal. >> i want to make this concrete.
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the compromise would be to give the fcc to do the authority, what t.ed to do. but under a new source of authority. if you wanted them, which are a compromise. if you and an econnoist, is if a good idea to do case-by-case with the presums against? no. i think that you could convince enough people in the middle of the aisle to go along with what it did and just ground it. that would be the starting point. you have to throw in, some sweeteners to get the democrats to go along. >> we are very happy -- with the order. it's very strong legal position. >> let her speak. >> is that, you have him saying this is scary, and, even on the net neutrality folks.
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you don't seem worried. >> we have not seen, contrary to house numbers we have not seen the disastrous consequences and in fact we have seen, i am hoping that we will see a chilling effect on any harmful behavior that we had seen. you know, as the commission pointed out there are a lot of actors involved in the ecosystem not just the i.s.p.es. edge companies. the content creators, and application's line. there are users, who you know, have called the fcc to enact them. so, this is a bigger picture than any sort of, whatever sort of economic analysis, this was
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well resonned, and, quite thoughtful. we're seeing as we're looking for the fires, that come as a result of this terrible order, we just haven't seen that. it would be an effective regulatory regime and is now settled. >> no one is yelling fire. my prediction was something -- >> i would say the petitions for rehearing. >> i'm talking about the consequences for the core. if we could get the same protections. you shouldn't be so whetted to title two. just so, they have the authority to protect consumers. if we can do it, without the downside, but what, if we are down. >> i just want to step in, the argument on the other side that
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deal that was put on the table -- >> i'm not defending that. >> that was not going to give the same authority. new deal. but i think, i'm not speaking for it, but you're saying, we don't need a deal because we won. [laughter] >> for the next four year cycle. >> maybe, i mean, look, democrats need to ask themselves what they're going to do when trump takes the fcc, and i have laid out for you that the fcc has made it easy for them to change their mind, and expand regulation, and, lower it, to unforebear, it can do whatever it wants. if you give that power to a person who didn't have any particular principles; you are going to be terrified by the results.
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this particular fcc has every incentive not i don't think other powers. they want to make sure that they believe this lie. it's been tailored. it's no big deal. just wait. >> a lot of the debate on both sides has been about fears about the future. we don't care so much about the particular rules, we care about the power, to create new rules. and then, net neutrality folks have identified some problems, and, concerned, with, it becoming much more common. there's a lot of time left. we can review and congress can
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take action and elect representatives, who will respond to this. i don't think, the worst thing, in the world, them have consequences. >> so, just, i want to some questions here. so, in the audience here, do we have anybody who has burning question. i have to ask this? >> really no one. >> folks on twitter. send in your questions. >> cross your fingers. >> there's lot of legal debate here, and consumer might be asking, what does this mean for me. i think about online video games which are played by -- live
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video, which is different than a netflix, or it lookeds the rest of it, and you will still have the cash video. why should somebody who plays "call of duty," care about this debate? >> that was the beautiful tech freedom. he's alluding to one of our concerns. most of this policy, is not actually that controversial, so setting aside net flex, there is this core debate. that's what drove the fcc and the president, to get involved here was this idea they nedded to ban it, because that was a great fear that was going to result in fast and slow lanes. what we have pointed out, in fact there's lots of services,
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where you as a consumer are better off if you can pay for that to be part of the badge you're getting. >> most of what you do, you don't care about it getting there. >> if you are streaming video that's no big deal. >> we're concerned about live receives. if you want to deliver h.d., if you can, if there's a market for that. if you can pay for that. and the fcc has said, this is his point, no, we're going to just prevent that from being a thing that you can pay pay for. we think it's harmful and we're going to ban it. >> first i hear that no one wants to be paid, and we shouldn't worry about it.
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because no one will do that and now i hear, oh, it could be the next best thing. but, i want to go back to this interconnection point. if you care, it, you should be very worried about what happens when carriers don't play nice with each other, at the points of traffic handoff. and having the fcc able to sep in and evaluate those disputes as they come up is important. or to just evaluate based on data, that is collected measuring network health to identify if there are problems. >> you're creating something false. no one is arguing that there shouldn't ab cop on the beat. should the price always be zero? should netflix and u-tube always
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pay zero. >> that's not what -- >> that's what chairman wheeler put in the order and they subjected the quotes just and reasonable. it's zero. >> this is one of those issues that somebody will have opportunity to challenge, if and when they care about this. >> all the commission has said is that it is open to hear them and then, why so much of what people are complaining is not ripe by the supreme court. >> i have a question, because i think one of the other arguments here, that was if we have these rules, that, you're seeing a decline in cap-ex spending. and i think the other argue is that, i.s.p.es would not --
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would not introduce new kinds of business models. but, we haven't seen that. so, again, we're not really seeing this bad effect that a lot of companies said -- >> i think that, what we, what we want to see, my organization and many is for the i.s.p.es to compete on the merits. so, our worry has been, as you allow these new models to happen on the other side of the market, as hal said, that that disincentivizes them because they can monetize them. >> one of the things in the background here, that is really informing.
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>> now companies need to get permission from the s.e.c. one of the reason we haven't seen much development, type business model says because everyone is concerned that the fcc will come down like a hammer. >> in all fairness the rule has only been in place for a year. many years -- >> no, it wiped it out, we can't
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do this. >> even before then, there's a long stand concern about regulation, and the tell comcarriers have known, if we do anything toward paid prioritization. >> they will regulate us. so we need to take this off the table. >> what they did, in their order was they identified, blocking, and throttling, and, they did say that they would evaluate other concerns on a case-by-case basis. >> of these --
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>> characterize it,. the problem is that you're never going to see the missed opportunities. there could be good here. >> a lot of the push has been in the name of innovation. >> we don't want him to say no. fine, we can address that, there are ways to do that. i think the examples of that happening are few, far between.
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>> what gus is saying, we have turned that on its head. >> having the overview of things, and setting the presumstion against them. if you want to do what we want to do, avoid services, but, we're getting another example. they want to do a unbundling, and one month plan, you just decide what do you want, and put it together that way. >> that looks like, you didn't have to go, for say can i do this?
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in the name of permissionless innovation. >> i think what the fcc was trying to guard against, and made them worry about, for broadband, a lot of people only have one choice. they have one broad band provider, and they are afraid that it is going to dictate, based on paid priority, which receives they can get, and which they don't get. so do we get to a point where our broadband looks like a cable t.v. experience, i only get to go to certain channels. >> i would just point to the 150 companies from tiny startups, to very large internet companies who sent a letter, very, very early on which articulated, why
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it would be so harmful for them. like, i'm appreciative of the fact that on your -- within your site of the interveneners. there's so that are concerned about the rules. >> i'll just say that there were a couple of companies, that smithed saying why it was, and the fcc miss characterized it. >> we'll have to cut you off. i just to want give everybody an opportunity to have a final statement. because we're five minutes out from ending this. so who.s to go first? >> we'll go -- sure. >> okay, so, when you have a debate, and you have some people saying, something, and you have
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other people saying there could be beneficial uses, you don't ban it. you write a rule that's flexible enough to allow the agency to go after harmful practices and allow the good things to happen. that didn't happen here. the agency, because it ignored economics wrote a rule that was not driven by substance but politics. you can say that there was a deep amount of analysis, but the fact is, the agency was heading towards a more moderate position. the democrats lost and the president decided he needed to have somethings. that's why he came in and asked for title 2. just to give you a sense of how little they cared. they didn't reference title 2. it was so basic, that any
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telecom lawyer -- nobody cared. the fcc had to flip, change its course, without issuing any order and write this order. doing a hodgepodge job of this, and opening the door for other concerns notice future to arise by virtue of changing their approach to net neutrality, and title 2, and also invoking forebear reference. this is into the stable foundation for regulating the internet. it will have unintended, consequences. congress has to stop it. >> so, we've gone into a lot of the weeds of the substance. i want to take us back to the case at hand, and i just want to the remind us all, that, the appeals process, moving forward is not about the substance.
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it is about the process by which courts review agency action. they're really important questions here, there's a lot of interesting stuff going on, in the supreme court. that's what will get this to the supreme court. will nobody think of the courts. >> i want to make it clear that at least from my vantage, i'm not arguing about net neutrality. protections need to be in place. they need to regulate. and make sure that they're not done to advantage an i sp. but the result that we wound up here is a mess, it throws the baby out with the bathwater. it is schizophrenia, and, it
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treats zero rating, and a form of preferencing, and, the best solution is to have congress resolve the issue so we're not back here, wondering whether republicans are going to take away title 2. >> i want to make sure that i give kevin a chance to talk. but, i -- mape to always debate it, but the reality is, we are most likely at the end of the litigation pathway here. these rules, for better or for worse, whether you like them or you don't will remain the law of the land. so i want to be very reasonable, about what the next steps are. there are two option, from a legal standpoint.
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the rehearing, and the other is the supreme court. both are very unlikely. >> i'll just say, i understand in this session, that the policy issues are important and complicated. the legal question isn't. this case involved the straight forward application of settled, and administrative law, and judges are much less well suited to decide what policies are good or bad for interest net than the fcc. and i think, if somebody doesn't like the rules, that have been issued here, they're better off winning a election than trying to get this overtirchtd. >> okay. and just i want to thank all the panel here and the audience online on t.v., and, right here in the room.
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thank you all. [applause] >> in the on the communicate tors, virginia commonwealth attorney, and a.c.l.u. counsel, on how law enforcement uses tracking and they're interviewed by did you sayer bolt. >> the way they operate is by imperson designating a cellphone tower. what they allow are police to gather things like location,
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information or serial numbers of not just a target phone but all target phones, in that area. >> i can think of the one ticket homicide we had a couple years ago, where while the case wasn't resolved by cell tower information, that broke the case. we would have never found the suspect. so it can be very, very helpful. >> watch it, tonight at 8 eastern on c-span 2. today marks the 20th anniversary of the 1996 welfare law passed by a republican congress, and signed by bill clinton. the current welfare system has failed the very families, it was intended to serve. >> i don't know many people who to want humiliate themselves,
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standing on a line waiting for their welfare check. there's some cheats. they're out there. will there's no question about it. but a lot of those people are simply people who have not yet discovered a way out of poverty. >> we have decided, that the state and governors, out there, are as concerned about the poor as we are. as concerned about their well being and as concerned, if not more so than we are about the status of welfare. >> includes discussion's how the changes, impacted the four. >> from now on, our nation's answer will no longer be a cycle of welfare. it will be a power and the ethic of work. today we are taking a chance to make welfare what it was meant to be, a second chance, into the way of life.
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>> tonight at 9 eastern on c-span. >> in addition to our program tonight at 9:00 we're covering other events, including this one, for this 20th anniversary of the welfare law, going on live on c-span with some of the people most responsible for the enact meant that was law, and how it fared. it started a half-hour ago. paul ryan's office released this statement. the problem with our welfare system is it works for placement system. it discourages, work, and people don't work. so people stay stuck in poverty. it's as if, it is to say treat the symptoms of poverty to make it more tolerable, and instead
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of going at the root causes of poverty. they're not working or getting an opportunity to mat lives that they want. what we're doing is changing the intensives, and, removing it, so that work always pays. it always makes sense to take a job and get the raise. you will not be severely penalized. you'll be encouraged. that's the core principal. >> you can see, the room is pretty much full. we should be just a moment or two
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> while we wait for the president of costa rica to come out let's shoot as much as we can of today's white house briefing with spokesman josh earnest. good afternoon, everybody. long time no see. hope everything well. got a little time away the last couple of weeks as the president. i know he certainly enjoyed the opportunity he had to spend with his family. hope you all had the opportunity to the same. i did not have any comments to talk to you. let's go straight to questions. kevin? >> thank you. earlier this month the administration said it was no connection between $400 million payment to iran and the release of the for american prisoners but last week did administration acknowledged there was
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contingent on the release of the prisoners. i wanted to ask whether, whether it was a shift in the way this is being explained, and house the administration adequately been forthcoming in explaining the scenario that occurred? >> we have been quite directed since january when the president announced this deal shortly after consummating it. exactly what the benefits would be for the united states and the benefits that we have described have been verified and made public based on what exactly transpired. so those benefits are significant. those benefits include preventing iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, rolling back the aspects of their nuclear program. that was a nuclear track of negotiations that were lead and completed by secretary of state john kerry.
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that was a significant accomplishment. many of our allies around the world have identified iran obtaining a nuclear weapon as the most significant foreign policy concern. we completed negotiations to resolve of three decades old financial dispute between the united states and iran in a way estate tax but potentially billions of dollars. and on a separate, third track of negotiations, the united states succeeded in executing a mutual prisoner release that allowed for america's are being unjustly detained in iran to come home. all of this was accomplished without a single shot being fired. all of this was accomplished without youth troops being deployed. and it's an indication of how effective the president's tough diplomatic strategy has proved
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to be. >> was the president aware that senior justice department officials at the time were objecting to the sending of cash at the same time as the imprisoned americans were to be released? >> i think you will not be surprised your i will not get into a lot of discussions. but what i can tell you is that the president, of course discussed these arrangements with members of his national security team. there is unanimous agreement among his national security team that he should move forward because of the many benefits that i just described in terms of preventing them from obtaining a nuclear weapon, rolling back key aspects of their nuclear program, in terms of reaching a financial settlement that saved american citizen potential billions and in terms of securing the release
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of americans have been unjustly detained in iran. i think is on the record statement from the president's attorney general indicated her strong support for moving forward with this arrangement. >> in regard to the prisoners trip to baton rouge, to the widest schedule a trip in response to donald trump's visit the? >> of course not. >> the local papers said the president is already late to this crisis but it's better late than never. as the president being tardy in responding were personally to the? >> i can tell you what the president has been focused on is the response on the grant of the people whose lives in louisiana have been turned upside down by this terrible flooding event. the response you have seen from the federal government has been effective. and the president and the other member of this team that have operational responsibilities have been effective. and again you don't just have to take my word. i would refer you to local
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officials in louisiana who have said very positive things about the federal response, including republicans, including the highest rate republican in louisiana who has built his political career as far as i can tell on publicly criticizing the administration. i am referring of course to billy nungesser, the lieutenant governor of the state of louisiana, the highest rate republican official in the state and his response was, when asked about this, just a couple of days ago he said quote, it's always nice to have the president visit as long as the teen on the ground is working closely with the local elected officials and the governor in getting the job done, that's what we would not. that's what the president is what about comedy. that's what he said craig fugate down last week to see the damage first and the that's what the president said to secure the homeland security jeh johnson and to louisiana to see the damage firsthand the that's what the president was on the phone with the governor of louisiana eight days ago to talk to him
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talk about how his day was being affected by the flooding. that's why in that focal the president informed the governor that he was prepared issued a disaster declaration to ensure that all of able federal resources were being mobilized to support the local recovery efforts. so i think the effectiveness of the response thus far speaks for itself and i think frankly it's the most effective way to answer any of the politically motivated criticism that the president has faced. >> so i use a judge granted a nationwide injunction against the administration bathroom policy transgender students to i want to what his response to this ruling? was a surprise. what a surprise. one a surprise. what are the next that's because i will refer to the department of justice about next steps. distance of guys at the department of education issued earlier this year that was in response to questions that they're getting from community groups and school district all across the country. and the africans undertaken by
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the department of education was to collect best practices to understand the experience of other school districts and individual schools that implemented policies to address this particular issue. and this guidance was issued id and in response to these requests or information and request for advice. and the primary goal in offering this guidance was to ensure safe educational environment for all students. that i think was the motivation of the vast majority of administrators who were seeking this guidance, and it certainly was the primary goal of the administrators at the department of education who are seeking to be responsive to the request for information. it certainly was not a mandate and was never described as such by the administration. i know it was described that way by some of our critics. look i recognize there are
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people who are eager to play politics with this issue just before a few months before a national election, but the focus has been on practical problem-solving and we work effectively with local school districts across the country to try to help them address this complicated issue. but our goal has been from the beginning to provide for the safety and security and dignity of students all across the country. so i guess the point is we've got a lot of confidence in the guidance that was put forward. we have confidence in the legal basis for issuing that guidance. but obviously we are respectful of rulings that are put forth by federal judges, and i will do my colleagues at the department of justice speak to the next in the legal process. >> vice president biden is going to be visiting turkey this week. i was wondering what is going to be his message to the turkish government? and there are more and more i
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guess concerns being raised from turkish officials that if islamic clerics is not extradited, that will be a rise in anti-american sentiment and that basically extradition is the only way to deal with that in turkey. do you have any concerns about that and what will be the vice president message on that issue? >> first and foremost the vice president message wil will willo indicate are continued on going support for allies in turkey. if the country that is going through a lot. this is a country that was subject to a failed coup attempt earlier this summer. that is a coup attempt that was roundly and publicly condemned by the united states government. and we continue to strongly support the democratic government of our allies in turkey. there's been no ambiguity about that, and that is something that vice president biden will
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reiterate on his trip to turkey. you certainly can also expect to the vice president indicate his support for an appreciation for the steps that turkey has taken to make contributions to our counter isil effort. there are varieties of ways in which their actions have benefited the united states and other members of our coalition, including additional efforts to secure the -- secure the border between turkey and syria and giving some of our coalition partners access to military facilities in sight of turkey. as well as to mr. gulen, since the individual bits in the united states -- the individual that has been in the united states is opposite the subject of some concern that has been expressed, to put it mildly, by the turkish government, vice president biden will come if asked, will say to his counterpart for president obama has indicated directly to president erdogan, which is a that there is a treaty, and
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extradition treaty that's been on the books between the states and turkey for more than 30 years. the united states is committed to following the procedure and guidelines that are outlined in that treaty. and you've already seen extensive coordination between officials at the department of justice and their turkish counterparts. i understand some department of justice officials are traveling to turkey this week to meet with her counterparts to review some of the materials that have been produced by turkish officials. but openly this decision about extradition, it's not a presidential decision. there is a process that is codified in that treaty and in u.s. law that will follow. and that's what is department of justice official are involved and they will do the due diligence that is required to follow that process, to follow those guidelines, and to arrive at a conclusion. but it wil would be guided by te evidence and it will be guided by the rules and procedures that are codified in the extradition
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treaty and didn't the united states law. okay? >> thank you, josh. does the president know and agree that the payment should be used as leverage to ensure that the americans would be released, if the monies would not be released until we had confirmed that the americans had been sent back speak with the approach to this, again, as we described this in january, has been that there was an opportunity for the united states to make progress on a variety of issues that had been a long-standing source of tension between the united states and iran. and because of our success in completing that three different set of negotiations, the american people benefited, and our interests were advanced.
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so we do now stand here six months later, seven months later at a place for iran is not able to obtain nuclear weapons, what iran has been significant commitment to roll back key aspects of their nuclear program, where iran has agreed to cooperate with intrusive inspection measures to verify their compliance with the agreement. iran did agree to settle a long-standing financial dispute between our two countries in a way that saved the american text is potentially billions of dollars. there are now four american citizens who have been freed from unjust detention in iran, and that's good news. so that is the way that we described this from the beginning, and the president himself made this announcement to all of you in the roosevelt room of the white house. so our story on this and the way we described our goals are have not change. the benefits of this agreement have not changed. and look, i understand that
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there are right-wingers in iran and right-wingers in the united states that would love to try to solely this agreement. for their own local motivations. they were doing that before this agreement was reached. they were trying to prevent the nuclear agreement from moving forward. so it's not particularly surprising to me that they are not trying to criticize all of the engagement between the united states and iran. they have their own political motives. that's been well identified. you all have written about it. so the criticism is not particularly surprising, but it also is not changed, the motivation for making this deal, it is not change the goals that we've laid out and, frankly, it has not change the benefits that the united states has enjoyed as a result of the tough diplomatic strategy and limited by the obama administration. >> back on august 32 asked sort of about the coincident timing to all of these things seem to
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happen. you said in part it was because the iranians were eager to have this money after 35 years and the dispute being settled speed and i'm sure they were. one also did august it was i contested the notion that ever describe this as a coincidence. i never did. i recognize that other people have raised the prospect of i'm not really sure why. i've never made this case this is somehow a coincidence. what we sought to do was try to reach these agreements, to get them done, to move it across the finish line. [applause] >> good afternoon. welcome everybody. this is a call for response for good afternoon. okay. thank you for your patience. we are immensely pleased to
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president solis from costa rica with us. spends a hundre -- i am andrew e come executive i present here on behalf of jane harman from our president and ceo of the country but personally have the chance to invite president solis join us and with razor to this is the angel of cynthia arnson, the director, we have a very strong commitment to latin america here at the woodrow wilson center. it is i think the second oldest program at the wilson center but in many guises we pay enormous attention to the region. we believe the americas are encoded important for the future of the united states and it is worth saying they were very fortunate also to be worked with the american dialogue. thank you very much, manuel orozco, who is a bit of the american dollar, senior fellow of development project and kevin is yours will uplift from the dialogue. saw him admitted ago. heaven, whatever your, great to
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have you. eric olson coverage of a trip light american program is here as well. several colleagues from the lundberg program as a welcome to all of you. the complex and the migration has emerged as one of the defined issues of the army 21st century. virtually every program at the wilson center is wrestling with this issue and how to confronted. it's become a major focus of a latin america program taken with respect to undocumented migrants and especially young people from the northern triangle of central america. the american dialogue has been a great deal of work on this particularly manuel's work but enough of other colleagues as well. i want to recognize a feud establishment of president solis delegation who are with us today. admission of foreign relations, there he is. minister of the presidency. costa rica and ambassador to the united states. good to have you here again. and also please welcom welcome o the center for u.s. ambassador
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to costa rica, she is with us as well. susan komen form of congress is with us as well in the back. they do have you here, system. delighted to be joined by the else, i apologize if i'm leaving anyone out but this is a wonderful audience. august. today's event is time and whether the migration issues have not been absent from costa rica's policy debate but the situation has become particularly keep your large groups from cuba on the part of the united states have fled across the border between panama and costa rica try to reach the united states. to costa rica, nicaragua is close its border top in large numbers of migrants from numerous countries and regions in costa rica. to discuss this crisis and other issues it is my great pleasure to introduce president luis guillermo solis, the 47th president of the republic of costa rica and was elected in 2014 on the ticket of the citizens action party. in a perfect tradition is both a scholar and diplomat. he has been a professor of
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history of political science at the university of costa rica and dean of social sciences and even wonderfully with the latin american social science faculty. very well respected or position and fetal position at the university of michigan and florida international university. as chief of staff, he helped negotiate the central american peace plan and perform a costa rica president and nobel peace prize winner. he became ambassador% american affairs and director foreign policy in the foreign ministry. he is the author of 10 books and enable articles and journals and newspapers. if none of that has kept them busy is also the proud father of six children. problem is most important works i'm sure. yes. please join me at the podium to present your remarks, and please go ahead and join me in welcoming him now, president solis. [applause] >> well, thank you very much. yes, i have been kept busy, six children as a lot of children. sometimes i'm asked if i am
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mormon or if i'm a christian democrat, or a fanatical catholic. and i to say no, that i am just a very fortunate man of having so many children your i want to thank the wilson center and the inter-american dialogue for holding this wonderful occasion to meet you all. and i want to thank you for coming, especially on a monday summer. it's great to have you and hope that my remarks will be of interest to you all. i want to begin by saying how pleased i am after holding a very successful meeting with president obama and vice president biden at the white house. we have been talking about secret issues in central america. we've talked about migration, energy, questions. and i think the long-standing friendship and cooperation between the united states and costa rica have been strengthen strengthened quite a bit. in fact, the white house has
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just announced a significant assistance program to combat organized crime which obviously includes not only narcotrafficking in and of itself, the challenge for all the countries in the caribbean region, but also migrations. this is what i would like to talk about this afternoon. after that we can have questions from you and i may address other issues as well. yes, last october we started to see a flow of the cuban migrants coming into costa rica. we received just between october and march around 8000 of them. all of whom were transferred to the united states ultimately, after numerous diplomatic negotiations with central american countries and with mexico, all of which i am very
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grateful about. as you know, the cuban migration hasn't logic in and of itself. it is privileged by the united states where a series of laws and also administrative measures, and until those measures are somehow changed, they will continue to be very attractive circumstance for cubans to leave the island. it was also favored by the fact that ecuador had issued a universal citizens policy, and that explains why a good number of them were able to reach ecuador without the need of visas. several thousands throughout the years. many more than 8000 we received had already traveled to central america by october of last year. some people talk of tens of thousands prior to or realizing this is happening, name it after destroying a traffickers network
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that was run by costa rica's last year, at the end of last year. when this happened all of a sudden 1500 cubans appeared. that led to our authorities to begin studying the situation and then the flow became obvious. we provided faces and names to something that has happened for a number of years. this call to the attention of everybody into the phenomenon. now, migrations obviously occur everywhere, but we have not had that experience in costa rica effort during the 1980s we had refugees which is a different category as most of you know. we had had refugees coming to costa rica running away from war in the northern triangle in nicaragua, particularly. but this is a completely different phenomenon. these are individuals that are coming from the south into, looking, seeking for someone to get to the united states. and so it resembles more the phenomenon that you are seeing
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elsewhere in europe and asia. at the beginning of this flow, which we have many cubans, but around february-march we started to identify what we thought were, and so with a cold, extra continental migrants, reaching costa rica. at the time we thought that most of them were african or asian. to enough we've had people from senegal, congo, tibet, where else? pakistan, a number of them coming from western africa into costa rica. but very soon when we started providing them with services that were supposed to be aimed at muslims and africans, we realized that even when all of them claimed to be called
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mohammed ali, because all of them have the same name can we realized what they spoke was not west african french. it was real. they would realize most of them are coming from haiti. so now we now know that around 80-85% of the migrants are haitians. they are coming towards the north from brazil. and upon researching a little bit what the flow, how the flow could be explained, we realized that these were haitians who had been invited by brazil to become special residence in the country after the earthquake in 2011, i think. as many as 50,000 we are told who were able to find jobs in brazil because of the time brazil was preparing for the world, the soccer world championship, and after that the olympics. so there was plenty of work.
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they had friendly governments in brazil. and the economy of brazil was thriving. that changed. and as it changed they started moving north. and now we have this huge amount of haitians that have traveled, or traveling to the north. we still have the extra continentals mixed with them. they cannot come to the united states. the united states government has issued very clear indications that they are not going to be received, if at all possible. and, obviously, we have a problem again because the nicaraguan government closed its border with costa rica so they cannot easily travel to the north. they are doing it nevertheless it is unfortunate as it happens with most of this flow, a good part of them are being taken north by traffickers. what we try to do in costa rica is to provide to them safe
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passage in our territory to consider giving up to 25 days to be in costa rica with out any physical limitations. so they don't have to fear our authorities. so they can't, they don't need traffickers to go through costa rica up looking, moving north. that's not the case elsewhere. and clearly it's not case once they reach the borders where they are, you know, they are pray of these networks. unfortunately. now, the situation is complicated because deportation is very complicated issue, it's very difficult to achieve. not only because they are to be guaranteed and i think we must be very proud of this, they have to be guaranteed due process of any deportation policy. and this means that each case has to be individually handled by the migration of sorties, but also in the case of cubans, they can resort to legal conditions
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within the country like habeas corpus, for example, that led to a number of petitions to the supreme court, to the constitutional chamber or supreme court, that ruled the cubans could not be deported to cuba because their lives could be threatened. so we cannot deport cubans into the pashtun we deported one already because it's a difficult to do so. we have to know who they are to begin with. probably the person is not called muhammad ali. second that define where he comes from. thirdly the country of origin, a become estimate that person back which is something that's not happening here. ..
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>> excuse me, president, i was wondering if i could open with a question that follows up more broadly on some of the point that's raised. costa rica is in central america, complicated, and it has been on the crisis, of minors, coming, and, they have been fortunate in that the levels of violence, and insecurity have been way below anything seen in the northern triangle. could you discuss a little bit more how costa rica is being impacted by the difficulties in the neighborhood. whether you feel the international community, not just the united states, but the neighbors are responding to the changing scenario, as a result of what is taking place in the region. >> sure, i think that violence continues to be a big challenge
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for central america, in general. but, the situation is much worse in the northern triangle. >> we have been getting hundreds, i would say, thousands of refuge speaking people, he will sal value door. 1,500, in two years. these are people who are coming to costa rica and it is different. >> they have the rights to, and we understand the situation. but, this is also happened with people from honduras and, also will guatemala. what we have done, in order to handle this, is we agreed with the united states, a very interesting program which was just announced a month ago,
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which will start as soon as, as early as september, which will bring into costa rica, people from the northern triangle who are being per a computed. either members of the sexually diverse or leaders or judges, you know, whatever. business people, they will come, in numbers not exceeding 200 persons at time. they will be pre-selected in their countries of origin. but, by the high commissioner, and by the u.s. government they will stay up to 6 months, and then, they will be taken to their final destination, mostly in the united states but maybe in other countries. canada, and some countries in south america. in this way, we cu handle what's
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already happening, and it's going to be under the u.n. mandate, as a program of the high commissioner. we think in this fashion, we can show our solidarity, and at the same time to be consistent with the costa recan policy of human rights. but this is a -- clearly something that will continue to happen, in central america, as long as we have the violence. >> in terms of insecurity, and organized crime, within costa rica. >> so far the numbers have risen, but this has happened as a result of the increase in far co activity. for a number of years now, the traffickers are not going through costa rica, and leaving their stuff behind. this is generate he had a very
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complicated thing to handle. they're doing small -- street sales. people are, they are given very small quantifies of drugs but to a vast network. this is very -- it's been very debt men tool our security because what happens is, you have the local cartels killing each other. so the numbers have risen from last year, and i think we'll lose this year as well. i'm not -- i'm not optimistic, because of the infighting. so one thing that i would like to ensure is that we continue, this is why we're getting this, support from the united states to prevent these things to be extended more than what we can handle. we have all the security working
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very hard in order to limit, but, it is very difficult. now, they're not coming from the other countries. >> it's clearly something that we're getting because of these enhanced traffic. >> that's something that i would like to stress, it's been a significant effort. >> nctd, costa rica has one of
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the largest for decades. what do you think costa rica, in 5 or 10 years, with the northern triangle, there is already, this is perhaps the second largest migration crisis. >> now you see a new pattern taking place. >> one is for an increase. you know, in 2010, mexico is intercepting about, 1,000 africans, coming from that part of the world and costa rica, is 50 people and now thousands and the people that are come, are coming from some of the most fragile states.
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>> you have risk, and so where do you see costa rica? is it something that they will continue to be a breach or, is there going to be a new phenomenon? >> well, i am an historiann. >> so -- >> but, nevertheless, we have been thinking about this. he was now saying and he's right, that this is here to stay. migration is not going. so we're preparing for this. i've just insphrictd the ministry of planning, and a number of institutes, not only,
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the security, or those in charge of security. it is something that could be very tempting to do. these t. can you imagine, i'll be president only for a couple more years. but this is going to go on. >> and, the possibility to count on this plan. at the same time, we are thinking of short-term measures, to be prepared to get a sitting
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number of migrants all at once. 100 to 150 might go granteds a day. and probably, so we have a huge group staying at once. if we were to get 500 a day, it would be impossible to handle. so we are preparing for that. now, we're in search of places to build shelters, and finding the resources to do this. we received some support from the united states, to install exams or shelters and tents. obviously, this is going to be
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very, very important, to deal with, in the long-term perspective. that's quite all right. we all come from somewhere. they came from jamaica. i'm not going to forsake migration and say we won't tolerate t. that's baloney, and it is not going for happen. we're going through tough times, and the feeling that we're neglecting their right says something that we have to take into account. i'm not willing to abandon that responsibilities, for which i
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was elected. so as we deal with this migration issue we have to be thinking in economic development, we have to think in other terms. let me tell you, i'm sorry but this is important. when we started getting what we thought were extra continental my grants, the they had accepted the cubans, they look like us, and they spoke the same language and we knew that they had a christian background. whatever, but they were christians. we have these people who look different, who didn't eat the same things, who didn't want the women to be touched by the
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police. i requested a friend of mine, who is the imam of the islam community to go there. he doesn't speak any french. and he went there to talk with them. the minute they saw this guy, and he said -- they calmed down. but this was extraordinary. he could not stay there. we don't have too many people who are muslim. we have been having problems with people translating, to exree old. there's a situation, it's not the same thing to speak with cubans. but, it's easier. so all of these things are part
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of a culture of relationships, ru hand relationships, and otherwise, that will have to be taken care of. for a small country like ours, we fit five times in new york city. having the presence of thousands of foreigners, all at once, makes it very difficult to handle. at a given point, there were more cubans, that small town and that says something. >> i'm sure we'll discuss it. but you mentioned in your opening remarks. you touched on the theme of the tax reform. costa rica has, along with
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uruguay, has the levels of health and education spending, and they have been high. because i think, of that, costa rica has scored so high, and, the country has had a historic level of fiscal deficit. so, there are a lot of people calling for your government to reform. what are some of the issues being discussed and what aspects of tax reform do you see as the most viable, given the division, among all of the distinct parties. >> we've had we have fried pass and none have been able to.
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you know, we have a physical -- fiscal burden of 13%. compare it to 20% in columbia, and, it is so central american, that it just staggers me. >> that's not the number i should use because we have the social security burden. but that's not the way to measure the fiscal burden. but the truth of the matter is we're having the resistance, and, what i'm telling them is listen, my administration is willing to pay all what it takes to approve that physical reform. blame it on me. and, we are willing to pay the tries. but if we do not have it.
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costa rica's des deficit will be 8%. and impact is going to be financial. but it is going more serious, to the political class. that's what has a number of risk agencies, very uneasy. is this agency going to flunker again? >> the big debate, i think it's a bad and excuse, is that we are asking for fiscal reform without doing enough on the spending side. clearly we've had a welfare state, that was very successful and very big.
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democracy is expendsive.. i say that as a child with shoemaker. all good shoes are expensive. same thing with democracy. we have a big state and we've been trying to cut it. if not, we're going to have the effect. medical -- in latin america. that's because of the capacity of our workforce, the talent that we have. that's the result of 150 years of investments in public education.
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our constitution mandates that as much as 8% of the gdp is invested in public education. it's not going to be a teacher, the president, that doesn't respect that mandate. i'm going to keep that, even if the congress doesn't approve the reform. the consequences of not investing in education or public health would be a disaster. some of the problems we're having today, has to do with the decisions that were made 20 years ago. he cut investments, but people in congress say we're not doing enough, and i took two years, and i said this, for be certain that we would do everything we could to cut undue expenses, in
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the government. i think, we have done that. we've -- tax collection 10%. and 15% this year. we're cut everything we can, or we could, and still, 95% of the governments good pen today sures are determined by law. so, when we have 5% to deal with it, and it has been handled. the debate, it is an excuse, sometimes what i hear, is not what i know is happening. lots of sectors that don't want to pay more taxes. they're imposed on people. so, we don't -- i am concerned about the problem but we have to
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have that reform. it's a question of giving vi -- viability, the only flaw which we have, two, one is the fiscal deficit. and the other is employment. but still within unemi meant in the range, 9% -- but the fiscal reform is fundamental, also to deal with the migration issue, and, fighting against organized crime because the deficit we have, it's increasing. >> when you came to government, one of the agenda issues was corruption, and infrastructure,
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what is your scorecard. corruption is a. none so far. >> infrastructure sure -- >> it will be find by january. there's a bridge called -- popular, it's been, we have tried to see it. it is going to be fintd. i think it is a problem. if an act lated problem. but, on corruption so far. i'm very proud that my team has been very dedicated, to preventing that, and, of course,
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they are opening it up. >> we are insisting with the teachers' unions that we have to be more rigorous with teachers. they don't want to be exam inned, to have their contracts validate he. i think they should. more technical, and, lessen the impact on universities. again, if i have to pay a price for this, i would rather pay a
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price. being called as i have been called and, government has been called, in. because of funding, in universities. than the opposite. >> i think, that we have to do better. i agree that, there are many things to be improved, in education. costa rica is seen as a model of many things, of the quality of human capital because of the expenditures in education. environment environmental preservation. what would it take for close tariq ka, drawing on its human capital and the strength of it's institutions to become also, distinguished for its capacity
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for technolguy and scientific innovation. what would it take for costa rica to do that. >> we needed a policy. we have a policy. we're dealing with academic centers, and we're seeking for more alliances. they were among the first ones to come. and the agriculture center. it's been there nor over half a century. >> we have other centers, why are already doing that.
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we have become another hub, that deals with innovegas. bringing u.s. universities there. this is one way to do it. and the other one is moving away, from the old model of free, devoted to textiles, such such e ones we have. we are beginning to see investments coming to costa rica, in search these other opportunities. >> we used to manufacture micro processors that were sold to china. well, now, they took away part of that, to vietnam, but they have brought into costa rica, a concentrated lab, to test the products. so that's an upgrading of this investment which has been very
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important for us. now, we're still not, silicon valley. but, i would like to see more of that happening and that's investments and policy regarding the attraction of centers. >> what is the strategy at zika? >> the intra grations.
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>> well, to be frank, on this matter, i always considered myself to be, one of the few -- we've been called all sorts of names, including being the british because of our -- reluctance to admit our central american -- >> we do have representatives, here. >> panama is part of central america, as much as it is belize, and i like to think of this, we have to look at the bigger picture, and very
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interesting discussion of what the place would be for the coasts of the united states, mexico, and, venezuela. it makes a lot of sense. but i'm frustrated because we haven't been able to move forward with enough frequent and they have to take that also personally, because of this commitment that i feel. i was very upset, and this is the way i would like to mention, i was very upset, by lack of solidarity, during the difficult moments of our cuban migration. i understand the reasons, why, some countries were reluctant to allow them to go through, when their own nationals were not being admitted and the political pressures, are understandable. but we were need, and we felt that, we deserved, not as a
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country but as a region, a understanding of a problem. >> it is the integration system, was addressed and it took the hondurran president, six months to say put the reforms that i think the system needs. it's not a question of institutions, what kind of central america we need and what we have, to do, is not what we need. among other reasons because this was a system created in the 1991, before everything else
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happened. almost happened at the same time, as the cold war. so we haven't touched the agreement, and it will be difficult for this agreement to be opened up. not going to touch it or change the basic treaty. so, system, so, i still think that we need structural reforms and next january, costa rica will preside. and we'll move move ahead with this issue, as it has been agreed to not last meeting of the system in honduras. so we'll move ahead. but it's faltering. i hesitate to say this is only our problem. it is happening in europe. the integration notion is no longer as strong as it was ten
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years ago. but we needed, central american integration. it's the way to go. the world is moving towards larger blocks. unless we are able to position central america, it's going to be very difficult to deal with certain issues, and take one, climate change. that's a huge one and we need think of climate change. because it is going to affect us. he's one of the leading experts, in that field. it will affect all our coasts and, a problem to all our water sources. not only the dry corridor. so, this is something that we have to. i continue to be committed to this. costa rica is back. we're under the presidency, and
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i hope to receive it, the system, at the end of the year. and i'll see how we can push it forward. and i'm not pretending that everything is going to be solved. but, i hope that we will provide the adequate position of the system to feel free. we'd like to open it to your questions. we'll take rounds of three. wait for the microphone and let us know who you are. i'll start here and then, in the back. and then, to the center middle. right there. >> okay. >> my name is roberto, from survive vorce of war. welcome. i have a question, when you mention that cost tarika will be
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part of a program with the united states and the -- they will be part of the prosper plan? >> no. >> you have talked in the beginning about the privileges thatcu back migrants have when they come to the u.s. i understand you wrote a letter, back in april to the u.s. president saying they should deal with the laws, and i was wondering, if this came up, with president barak obama, and if they answered to your questions. what was the situation? in that conversation, if the situation, where president
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ortega, is amazing a lot of power. if they were worried. >> i wonder if the issue of public health, is one of the issues that your government is looking at, particularly, having
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migrants from areas, in which we know that, there have been cases of yellow fever, and, that is also transmitted by the same mosquito, as, that we're dealing with, related to zika. so i wonder, if your administration is doing something to prevent this. >> yes, of course. on the question of costa rica being part of the prosperipurity we're not part of the initiative and that's financed by the
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united states but not, that the united states is not a part of. we are not, and the resources that our -- that are going to be used are not part of the triangle resources. >> clearly, the laws that would require, that could be required, the changes in the laws that would be required, with this policy towards cuba, would take congressional action. i understand this is not likely
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to happen. so, we didn't talk about that. there are other actions that would be presidential or executive in nature. i think the united states would have to consider. but this is something that, i have very respectfully submitted to the government of the united states, and, there's very little that i can do in order to influence that because of the context in which this situation has developed. not only because of the electoral, but the administration will soon leave. >> the cuban-american communities. so it is something that we have
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to see. >> yes, i mentioned to the president and the vice-president, our concerns about we consider the buying of war equipment, something that concerns, costa rica. i have said that i don't expect these resources to be used against costa rica. we're not comfortable. but that's the right, that countries have. i would like to say that we respect the decision of any country to deal with their armed receives as they think. but it's not comfortable. and it's not comfortable to see
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a government acquiring so much power as the government is acquiring, in the context of their upcoming elections. but we're respectful of -- this is an opinion as any other, sprees a view the conditions of the nicaraguan regime. this is a very significant issue, public health. i mentioned that the social security service, and the red cross is taking care of the different cases that we have seen. fortunately, we have not identified anybody with yellow fever, we're pretty much surprised. in fact, panama has indicated that they are -- financing or vaccinating some of the migrants. but they get to panama, by
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getting through the region that is undergoing serious conditions. >> very soon the migrants are going to be accused of everything they bring or do not bring. okay? >> we don't want that. >> so we are taking care of this very, very careful limit we have identified two cases of t.b. we have dealt with them. again, the problem is, that they go away very fast. sometimes they disappear and we are not able to follow-up these cases. but it would end tail long contacts between individuals that have the disease in order to pass it is onto others. we have not seen that.
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>> there are other healthcare issues that are complicated to deal with. sexual practices, among migrants, we have our women's institute, looking into aggressions, and, rape, and providing enough security, so as to lessen the risk of rapes and, i hesitate to say domestic violence, but violence among migrants. they are crowded. and there is stress. but, again, it's a moving population. so this is very difficult to handle. with the cubans, some were up to
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five months. so we had to provide recreational facilities for them and they played baseball, and beat us up. and soccer and we beat them up. there were ways to handle this. but, it's been difficult. but, yes, the public health issue is central in the migrant hand link. >> in the middle. >> thank you, for being here. as you were mentioning earlier, coast it is a rica, we're not angels. and, i am aware of many of the
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prejudices that we have to work with and that's part of our reality. do you think that this historical moment of migration, and the program that you justry anded, as, i think has been unfairly criticized. is this an opportunity to be educated in tolerrance and showing migrants com passion? >> how rel have -- relevant is ,
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and, if we see, as we saw, coming to the u.s. and, also, maybe also, from nicaragua, and maybe you can talk more about this. >> the people. thank you. >> steven donahoo. where is coast it is a rica in its succession, in the alliance, and, they have some of their own concern about trades. >> the relations are special, just like any bordering countries. we have our issues. we joke saying we don't have two
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seasons, a year, the rainy and the dry season. rainy, dry season, and and the season of problems, with nicaragua. >> but we don't have the right to diverse ourselves. we'll stay together for the rest of history. as i see it, they are not among people but mostly about governments. yes, there are prejudices, in central america, and that is two way street. we have ours and they have theirs and sometimes, we do not agree, in the same perspectives. but i think that, in terms of the migration flows, if has been generous. we have hundreds of thousands and even with those prejudices, they couldn't to be you know, absolutely essential.
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i don't know how many thousands of women raising our children and this has been the case. >> 30%. so there you go. talking about prejudice when you have women taking care of your children in your house is something to think about. but there are prejudices and we have all to deal with them. some governments have attempted to strike massive deportations. >> their husbands would say don't go there, what's going to
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happen with crops, and what's going to happen with buildings? they are very important. they have a mutual relationship which is important. nicaragua is our third or fourth trade partner. and they are receiving from close tarika, millions of dollars. >> we need each other. if we didn't, we're there, tied together, and these borders. so i think that, there is an awareness of this. and, again, when i gave this visions of what happened, with the cubans, once again the population was was exceedingly again ever generous in receiving
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them. they have been resistent, but nevertheless they have agreed and we haven't had expressions of hate or race hate with the harry shan population. this has never happened in the country. the continuous passing of people, who by have differently from what we're used to. talking about public health, i was told the other day, that by the president of the social security institute. we add african lady, who gave birth, the other day. she was breastfeeding the child
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in the women's ward of the hospital. and she was, she took off her clothing and she was breastfeeding naked and they were scandallized. i think it's beautiful. they were very uncomfortable with this. so, we have to get used to these things. it's a cultural change. and the numbers are very large. so, when you have people moving around. some of them doing their physical needs in public, as they probably do in their own countries, something that people don't appreciate. so, compassion, yes, and understanding yes, and it takes time. it takes an effort in schools and since we don't have the possibility of integrating anybody, because they're moving on. the process is going to be
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challenging, at least, and we're trying to do that. >> in terms of the flow, it continues, this is historical, we go back and forth, and with the workers, work on our orange plantations, coffee and constructions. they do things that they don't like to do any more. many of them were working in panama, with the canal. so they'll come back, and, the economy is growing. 4.2% a year. this is twice as much as the average of the latin american growth, which is very good. so, in all likelihood we'll see more needs for labor, and it's probable, that we'll see i think
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that, we -- >> we benefit from that relationship. sometimes we are more critical of it, than what we should. >> they talk about a million and we know that that's not true. >> we talk about it, being involved, in national crime. less than 1% are nicaraguans. >> and our children, we don't have that problem, unless what i mentioned about children being brought in by these migrants of the, what we call extra continental are basically harry shan. and the program, doesn't deal
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with unaccompanied children. we're talking about families. >> so, we are going to get them, but we don't have a problem, with unaccompanied children. as a matter of policy, i have criticized that very much. i find it per versus to be in a situation, where, children are forced out of their country because the conditions in which they live, in that country, are so bad, that their parents have the illusion, that they can, they should risk them in a process such as the one we see, and send them to another

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