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tv   Immigrants and American Opportunity  CSPAN  August 13, 2015 5:32pm-6:03pm EDT

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population and cost of living. >> i don't. i i guess i would, but different e years. 15 is a fine number to organizew towards. butou it would be great to rais the basement nationally but tiol we're not seeing that happen iny congress any time soon. i hope it will and it has very strong bipartisan support againa in polling, a majority of republicans and an overwhelming majority of democrats support ot raising the minimum wage.bu but different economies aret e. different. the cost of livingth is differe in different places and you need to cater toward what i s right fon yo -- for your own city. >> we'll take t one or two more and then we'll be done.. >> kippen fracking with the s. associated press. >> how are you? >> since you required a judicial order before -- for the detainer requests, what has the impact been and have you seen a decline in requests since then? since >> no. we've seen it be pretty constant and we've talked to i.c.e.consta
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they asked do you want to have a few crimes that are in a different category and that is part of the pep discussions and we've engaged dhs and immigrantw groups in los angeles to see utr whether that is something in th. future but we haven't seen a decline or decrease. and that is constant because that is something we had beforel obviously the over all -- we hah thatat policy in place long beff we made it official, that just - informally we would -- we don'te have the time to do it quite frankly too is one of the other issues. if the federal government wants to have that mandate and we doe agree, we want tode remind the federal government to give us l the resources to do it.with we are overburdened and st overtaxed to deal with every day streettake crimes and property crimes, if you want us to take on these responsibilities, give us the resources to do it. >> all right. >> there is one in the back he there. >> go ahead in theck. back and e maybe we'll conclude with an
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inturn. >> ann isaacs with moment magazine.ustice you said your commitment for social justic comes to judaism. would you say that raising the o minimum wage and reform are influenced by jewish values. >> absolutely. it is funny. i'm not the first jewish mayor, and for two weeks he got to be h the electionat. while the mayorl died. and not just with the cultural t ties but the grbt experience of my jewish and mexican sides or f the values of growing up jewish and understanding that we have e responsibility, it is not charity but it is a t is responsibility of kind of our covenant to make sure that we ta take care of those who need us and to heel a broken world.uest there is no question these things come from that. and i think my grandfather, on my mom's side, harry roth, is ag interesting american success sf story.
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he was the son of immigrants nd from russia and poland who were fleeing the pill grams and the time -- the time of the early 20th century. to he -- his father came to los angeles and a tailer. he took up his profession.and and decided to take his father's name, lewis roth and turn it into a suit company and it was u one of the finest suits in america in the 1960s and a guy s named jack valenti who worked in holiday who was tapped to work a for president johnson and the first thing he did was came to d.c. and looked at johnson and the way he was dressed and he h said you look like a shlub and i know this guy in beverly hills that makes a nice suit and let's get youa suit.the and he became the taylor to thee president -- the tailer to the president of the united states of america. the story could end there. but then he was personally opposed to the vietnam war and very active in progressive ive politics and as a businessman hd had a union shop and aclu man o the year and it wore on him mor.
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and more. and he hit a cross roads and i a saidy i could speak out and loa my most importantmo and famous e client or remain silent and keea it and it wasn't a tough choice for him. he took out full ads in the newn york times with my grandmother telling president johnson not to run for re-election and to get out of vietnam and offering to r pay him in his retirement, a little money.made and it made national news and it was in time magazine, et cetera. and i grew up with that story. i my grandfather died when i was u young, about five years old, bu it shows you stand up for what you believe in, even at the price of your own sacrifice or well-being and i think those moments came intensely from thel tradition of social justice and judaism and things he was raisen with this and even more being american and he had an on to obligation to speak up and speas out on the things he believed in. >> okay. oka i got to ask this now because si you raised irt at the beginninge and nowgi this conversation juse took place.srael
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should israel and the world feel safer for feel threatened by the iran deal? >> well, as the mayor of ter-angels, the most largest set population outside of t iran, io has sett the city abuzz. and the iranians look forward for an engagement.we'r we aree not active sister citie since 1979 with iran but it is important. and secondly, i think it is he the -- the pathway is not ot we between whether or not we have safety or not. pat i think that we see a path way toward a bomb with no agreement and i, in general, am cautiouslp optimistic andti supportive of . president's efforts for sure. i think it took a lot of and political courageve to go. i t and even in israel, there is a range of opinions about this. and as an american jew and as mayor of a city with many
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iranian americans, i think it i has much more positive to offer than negative and we shouldn't fear that, that staying and uch keeping engaged have much more benefit economically and in but terms ofwe security but we haveo keep a careful eye.eye. i know the president said this t is all about verification not ri trust and ica like that becauset has to have that snapback piecet of it that allows a majority, w and by the way means that china, russia and iran cannot veto, buy a majority of states and that could be u.s., britain, france, german, are able to say this is being violated and put those ms sanctions back makes me feel o safe if the iranians don't livet up to the agreement we can have. the security to go back to the status quo, which isn't very good today but at least the status quo. >> okay. we'll take one more question. do you guys have one? >> yeah.e >> this is chris. >> very exciting. >> for major papers. ou' >> it sounds like you've
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implemented a lot of great initiatives in los angeles and job. aregreat b. but what are your comments on the recent spike in crime thered and also kind of to saddleback on that, how do you view obama's 46 pardons on to nonviolent edel federal drug offenders and how can that fit into your city. ll >> first of all, i think it is great that a bipartisan ion is coalition is taking up criminal justice reform.. we spend way too much on ch i criminal justice matters. i want to keep the bad guys and gals locked up and make sure p that the criminaul justice puts them away for too long and does nothing to transport them into s productive citizens. and from cory booker, as a mayor in newark, he opened an office of ebt -- reentry to integrate and a model we're looking at in los angeles as well. but b by enlargey i'm sure the sure t president is doing the right t thing and these are probably
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ones we would all look at and l say that is ridiculous and we t couldran spend less money transforming who these folks are and at a less expensive cost to all of us. in los angeles, you have to own the bad news and.good news. but i want to put it in perspe perspective. it is stillct the safest with ti big five cities and even with the crime with a small uptick 90 are safest since the 1950s per capita. but any increase is is troublin. so we looked to implement and s we're seeing this across the country, is it demographics, m something changing, the hang tha over from the recession and we are not sure what the causes are but we're not going to be flat footed on the response.aving we've done more things, one, having mobile police officers ta go where there is a crime spike before it becames a crime wave. and second, doing intervention n work andti i'm proud of the los angeles national model for the summer night lights programs sur which keeps n the parks open la at night. we've seen a 40% drop in crime
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where we offer programs for kide because they became the victims and sometimes the perpetrators of violent crime in the summertime and the weekends.seco second, looking atnd former gan members who now work in those areas where most crimes in l.a. is gang crime, most homicides d are and so we need people who know the landscape and have transformed their own get lives get between the guns an the all retribution happens and that is called grid, which i'm expanding this year. and third, we saw aggravated up. assaults and domestic violence go up and i hope we'll tib to have a conversation on this. we and in los angeles we rolled out a program to have civilians go h out in every single division. if you talk to a cop, they go ec back to the same address times and times for a domestic call and it is tragedy when they come and somebody is killed. and the idea is to intervene bu
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early, and it is most often a woman and give them the job training and the security, a place for their pets, all of thn things that keep them back and to go in and help the officers o hand that off to folks who can give them the legal and personae help. so we have a full range of doing to address -- and lastly we're s continuing to build trust comm between the community and the dep. i rproud that los angeles is more resilient. w it is not that we haven't had u shootings of unarmed civilians.m some of them where police have already been -- are on the ence pathway of getting consequences and other times it is seen as justified self-defense or as public safety move. but in los angeles, as i me mentioned, partly because of the pain of what we went through, we have independent investigations and a civilian police commission and putting body cameras out i n therek and that will help addrt theru trust to bring crime down too. >> great. i think we are concluded and l r thank you all very much for coming and mayor, it was fantastic.
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>>ta thank you. >> you really had a lot to say. >> thanks so much. have a great day. [ applause ] tonight on american history tv, programs on the history of journalism. starting at 8:00 p.m., women reporters in vietnam with the museum holding a program with women who covered the war. at 9:20 p.m. a look at the nation, one of the oldest newspapers in america marking its 150th anniversary. the c-span city's tour visited historic sites across the nation to hear from local historians authors an civic leaders every other weekend on the c-span 2 book tv and american history tv on c-span 3. and this month with congress on its summer recess, the city's tour is on c-span each day at 6:00 p.m. today the history of greensboro,
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north carolina. philanthropist mike bezos father of jeff bezos talks about his experiences emigrating from cuba as a boy. the conversation with aspen pen institute with walter isakson takes place at the national koourgs center in -- constitution center in philadelphia. well, the emigrant sometimee is the one who best understandss that concept of freedom and whac america is all about. tell us about your experience an an immigrant. how did you get here and what did you feel? >> all right. thank you. first of all, for allowing me tm be here.e the conversations have been so unbelievable. i'm over the top already. doing something that we so take
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for granted, these discussions, these conversations, it is unbelievable.. okay, so go back to 1958, back in cuba.cuba and i was, at that time, maybe . 13, 14 years old. and i was fine. i was a teen-ager, doing my thing, going to school, minding my own business. there was no thought of ever leaving cuba. my dad is a -- he owned a lumbeh mill, which he worked hard at. and that is where i learned my work ethics from.get get up at 5:00 in the morning and work until 5:00 in the evening. and seno it was -- but it was a good, comfortable life. and then all of a sudden things
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change. it was kind of a topsyturvy.allf all of what you thought was urs yours is no longer yours. it has been deemed to be taken over and shared with others and that happens in all industries,r in all private property disappears. and then i was -- even the schools, the schools that i was going to, they got shut down because they were changing the curriculum from -- the curri curriculum that we had to one that was more oriented communist-oriented. so for a fo two-year period i really didn't have much to do a except perhaps potentially get e inn trouble. and that is when my parents decided i needed to get out of cuba. >> whatha age?
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>> the process started when i was 15. it took about a year to get everything going. my brother and sister were much older than i. than that was a surprise -- i was the surprise of the family. and my brother was a civil engineer and they wouldn't let w him out because he was a sional professional. my sister was a.was teacher, thh wouldn't let her outer because e was a professional. and then a my mom and dad said u have to question the one to geth out because if they drafte you you are going into the army or e whatever and then we are all stuck here. ways if you go out and they might find ways out. and in those days, this is in 1961, when the process started,r there were -- they were letting kids go out by themselves. and without any major concern.n. and the process started and rte.
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one -- and just to show you how we were talking earlier about how picky people can get. can when my parents put an application for my passport and i was ready to leave, it was atw obvious that i was going to ave. leave, they -- a group of -- i don't know who they were, to be honest with you, but there were some authorities and uniform, en they cam e into the house and o. inventoried my room because s i everything that was in my room at that time had to be there when i left. we couldn't dispose of. even though it wasn't mine. it was --it it was my parents.1a a 16-year-old didn't own much of anything. that so that is kind of the power hungry that people get. and finally we get a telegram
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that said you have an exit for the day after tomorrow. got we leaved in santiago decuba, g which is on theo southeastern . part of the island and we had th go to havana and we had to highs tail it and my parents dropped me off at the airport. they won't allow them to go oppd inside of the airport and they dropped me off and i walked in and went through check-in and i left. landed in miami by myself.y ther fortunately there was a group od churches, and organizations that had gotten together, and they were the ones that were collecting all of these cuba at kids. and at o 16, i was on the older side of the kids that would com. some there were some that were 5, 6, 7. and they would try to find a place for them to stay and to b placed until their parents or u
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relativesld would come out. and so that was -- i still remember walking out of the have any family in miami?body's i said no. a so come over here. and there were about five or sie of us.ix and there were some boys and girls. and the girls went in one van tl some camp and the boys went to n another van to another camp. >> you ended up being very othea successful. explain how that happened. >> well, fortunately, you know, things just happen.hin th we went to within three weeks oe being in this camp, i get a call to come to the office. i walk into the office and there was a suitcase with a heavy coa on top of it. and i said, oh, i'm in trouble. and an airplane ticket to oubla
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philadelphia. and i was going to wilmington, delaware. and they were giving scholarships to cuban refugees, high school in wilmington, to go to high school. land so i landed in philadelphia. there was somebody here waiting for me, took me to wilmington. and i went to high school in an wilmington, delaware. i graduated from there. and, you know, it's just one thing after the other. we as parents sometimes don't think that the kids listen to what we are telling them, but he they are. and i've realized that when i was by myself and i didn't haven my parents telling me anything to do, i kept going back and saying, well, you know, what would they tell me to do? so if you're a young parent, jut just keep doing what you're k u some of it will stick, i can me guarantee
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so eventually i went to finish high school. to and eventually i went to albuquerque, new mexico where they were also giving scholarships, university, to cuban refugees. and i graduated from there. and, well, met my wife and the l rest is history. >> yeah. tell us about the world -- that made you passionate about the world of education in creating n opportunity. unity. >> it certainly did.beca because when i graduated from high school, i didn't have my r mom and dad to tell me you havea to go to college, you have to id so it was up to me. and i thought that with coming to america with a high school degree, what else do you need?au that was until about a year and a half into some tough jobs i decided, well, maybe i need to go to university.
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so then the decision was to -- and after having done that, and obviously you're in the middle at that point i didn't realize . how important it was. but it was years later. and looking back i said, you know, having that education is n something that, once you have cs that, nobody can take it away from they can take your property, they can take your cars, they o. can take your business. but that education is yours. it's yours to do with it what i. you want and to utilize it. so that's -- it became something that both my wife and i and oura kids are passionate about, is i education. >> we've been talking about rights, liberties, freedom, be o it the economic rights and liberties we have here or the political rights and freedoms. as somebody who left a place where suddenly those were s withdrawn from you, when did you first become aware of the american system of rights and of
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liberties? and how did that effect you? >> well, i became aware very on early on in that the moment we started placing our kids in public schools, it became a realization that, my gosh, public schools in this country are an institution that is i i don't think it's duplicated in i very many places.y it's just an unbelievable gift a that we have. and we don't really think about. it. we take it for granted. so it was having in most other places you have to be of a certain economic class or have a certain job in order to get an education.
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the amazing thing about -- one o of the many amazing things that this country offers is education for and equality for everybody. and unfortunately there have been some bumps along the road, but it is there.d to we need to -- think we >> do you think we're moving ayo away though from that notion ofn the k through 12 education being the great equalizer? >> we have been. we have been moving away from . and there is no reason for it really. there's absolutely no reason for it. and that's one of the driving forces for us as in our family foundation, is to try to get back to that level in the on is playing field.his you guys talk about it earlier on is that as long as the opportunity's there -- and this is what i found. that i had the opportunity gived
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to me in this country. and i for whether on purpose or by pure luck it worked for me. i want to make that available to as many people as i can make that availableob. you know, remove as many obstacles as possible from same having that same opportunity that we all had. >> so how are you using your philanthropy and other things to do that? >> so the foundation -- i'll give you a quick background. just back up a little bit. my eldest son, jeff, we lived id colombia, venezuela, and i was there with work.wo and we get a phone call from him saying i'm thinking of opening a bookstore on the internet. and i need some money. and, you know, we said -- he ha- a sweet, sweet job on wall
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street. it was a wonderful job. and i said why?what's you kind and what's the internet? that was kind of the second question.this and his mother said can you do this on the weekends and nights? don't quit your job. anyway, we were fortunate enough that we had lived overseas and d we have saved a few pennies, so we were able to be an angel investor. and the rest is history. so when that became -- when we were blessed with that fallout, which was, you know, one of thet things that jeff did tell us ise i want you to know how risky to this is. and of course being in business0 you know startups are -- they fail 80% of the time.%t yo but he said i want you to know s how risky it is because i want to come home at dinner for
5:58 pm and i don't want you to be mad t at me. rned and fortunately it turned out quite well. so he's invited even for thanksgiving any time he wants v to come. ] [ laughter ] so going back to your question. the one thing that became quest obvious, we formed the foundation, our three kids, we r have three children, there's eny three spouses, my wife jackie and i are the directors of the foundation. and when we formed the foundation, it was no question as to the fact that education was going to be the primary focus. and we zeroed in on age zero to 18. that's our sweet spot.
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g with a great emphasis on zero to five.t l we really feel if we can get ite right in zero to five, a lot of the issues that we've been talking about for one thing will not go away but it will be go t reduced.sch and we go through high school. so that's how we're trying to do. f we have many different programs throughout the face of the ages of zero to 18. we also get involved in teaching colleges. because that's -- high quality h teaching colleges, so that good teachers can come back into the pipeline.leges, so that's our involvement in the education field. and, again, it is -- it's public schools, which charters are pub included in there, they're public schools. that's how we are kind of at's h thinking in terms of making it as available to everybody as we possibly
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>> let's go back to the immigrant experience. how do you feel about the way the united states is debating and handling immigration these days? >> well, it's probably not any s different than any way it's been handled many times before. i remember when in the '60s when the cubans were coming in tryini to get away from castro, the same thing was going on in south florida.going o you know, what are we going to do with all these people coming in? these of course, you know, a lot of u? didn't want to be there to start with, but that's where we ended up. so the conversations for about immigration's been around for a long time.t and i'm not going -- my problem is not so much how people get ty
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this country. what i'm concerned is what we do with them once they're here. they're here the last thing we want to do is keep them down. because i think that what we ori need to do is for them to becomn as american as i am, as american as everybody else is.shou that's my what i believe we nee' to do. i'll let others worry about howe they get here whether they should have, shouldn't, all that. .'m not going to get into that >> tell me your thoughts now er. with the opening to cuba. sinc [ laughter ] you have family there. you keep in touch with them. >> i do, i do. >> you've never gone back since 1960. b >> no. i haven't been back. i haven't been back. you know, it's funny that since last december when the latest o announcement about approaching m cuba was made, you know, the first questions were from my owh
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kidsin.. hey, what do you think, what do you think? i told them give it time. it's too early.yea it's way too early. ask me this question in a year . and then we can discuss it. i still feel that's it's way too early.ded. we haven't seen anything on the other side. it's all been one-sided. it's all been from the united states side, the willingness to open up. you can open an embassy. there's nothing wrong with that. i think that's well m we need to see what the reaction is from those in power in cuba. and whether what is going to w' happen, what's going to be dones is going to be done for the right reasons. whether it's going to be done -- you know, shouldn't be done fore tt


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