tv Washington Journal Molly O Toole Discusses U.S.- Mexico Relations CSPAN February 25, 2017 8:30am-9:01am EST
things. i think it is important to keep up the arts, not only to represent our country for people who want to pursue this and become national, but music also plays an important part of people's lives. host: thank you. guest: i agree with the caller. it is a great illustration of the value of the arts, reaching broadly, every part of america. it is not just a concert halls, it is the hospitals. it is not just museums, but military installations and military hospitals, where returning wounded active-duty military are, through art therapy, getting the advantage of winding themselves again. -- of finding themselves again. the arts have continued to provide a change and healing.
the national endowment for the arts has a program called creative forces which invest specifically in that kind of work -- invests specifically in that kind of work. . -- is a working artist and a supporter of art therapy and if you go to the white house descriptions of what the different white house residents are interested in, art therapy is at the top of her list. we have friends and people who agree with you all across the country, even in the highest places. i thank you for that comment. host: robert lynch is with the group americans for the arts, americansforthearts.org. will there be information about these potential cuts on the website? guest: yes.
on the front page, there is a link to an action center we have , where we are updating people on what is being said and what the current legislative action is and what they can do about it. host: thank you for your time. coming up, we will take a look at teacher relations with mexico. joining us for that discussion is foreign policy senior reporter molly o'toole. we will discuss some of the work that some police officers and schools are being asked to do. c-span's newsmakers program interviewed a key advisor to the truck administration on judicial nominations and he was asked why president trump chose neil gorsuch to feel -- to fill the absence on the supreme court left by judge antonin scalia. >> he made it clear early on in the trail and meetings with his advisors and the staff that courage was something very
important to him. the way he put it in the first meeting we had after the election was i want someone who is quote, not weak. there are lots of really smart people in the world, and the legal world who could serve on the u.s. supreme court. the real question, the question i think every president should ask and the question he did ask was, does this person have the courage to do whatever he thinks is right and if you look at neil gorsuch's record and the president was briefed on it, you see a man who has that capacity, and that determination. one of the most striking aspects of it is the number of separate opinions he writes as a court of appeals judge. the way he writes those opinions , lots of wit and humor. occasional barbs, less than
justice scalia. he is willing to raise questions. among the questions from democrats, his views on abortion, whether or not money is free speech. how direct and candid do you think he will be? >> specific questions looking for specific answers. gorsuchcrats want neil to be an independent judge and then will ask for pre-commitments on all sorts of cases. it is inconsistent with what they are saying about judicial independence, and it now gorsuch is smart about how he handles this, the answer will be i'm sorry, i was not asked those questions by the president and if i was asked i would not give an answer and i will not give you an answer because my duty is not to prejudge these cases and to be an independent speaker on the high court. >> live -- washington journal continues. host: joining us now, molly
o'toole with policy, talking about issues between the u.s. and mexico, especially over immigration. guest: good morning. host: could you walk us through? ofst: it was -- it was one president trump's first moves when he got into the white house was to sign an executive order related to immigration, it was also directed, starting the construction of the wall that more populars campaign messages, but it also set up the later moves that we have seen on immigration, a few key things. it expanded the pool of people that would be subject to deportation and during the campaign, he made certain statements, that there might be mass deportations or a really aggressive immigration policy and get all of these bad hombres out of the country.
when the basic order came down and the subsequent directives we have seen, one as recently as tuesday, from the homeland security secretary, it really expands the definition of the people they will be going after, so they have emphasized they will focus on people with criminal records which is also ,hat president barack obama did prosecutorial discretion and focusing those resources on people with no records, but what we have seen so far is they have also said repeatedly that anyone who is in the country illegally will be subject to deportation and that causes all sorts of aftereffects that also impacts the relationship between the u.s. and mexico. most what is the contentious between the two countries as far as policy? guest: really interesting elements that beyond the sort of politics of u.s. mexico immigration, which is not always based in fact, it is based on the lot of heated rhetoric, a
lot of illegal price -- crossings into the united states, there is actually a reverse migration when looking at exit immigrants going back into mexico from the united states, so while it may focus a lot on the u.s. mexico, the main drivers of migration right now our central american immigrants who are fleeing violence in el salvador and honduras. those directives opened up the possibility that the u.s. would remove people to mexico, for them to be held in mexico while they await their immigration proceedings in the united states, whether or not they are mexican nationals. mexico would have to agree to that in order to hold them and it was pitched as a way to save money and reduce the backlog that the u.s. has seen, but obviously that cost would then be put on to mexico, so that is just one example of a direct
impact that the operation policy would have on the mexican government. host: that is quite the ask. guest: and we saw from their response, the homeland security secretary and secretary of state rex tillerson were sent to mexico as sort of a cleanup job. it was a tough sell. president trump sent them to meet with the foreign minister and the defense minister to sort of sell them on this new immigration policy, which is really a dramatic shift from the last administration, and puts a lot of pressure on mexico, but also requires the cooperation. when we hear the heated rhetoric that comes out of the white house about how mexico is going to pay for the wall or how they made potentially start a trade war, there was a lot that mexico does in that cooperative relationship that helps us when it comes to drug enforcement and particularly when it comes to immigration. host: people talk more about
these initiatives and the relationship between the u.s. and mexico. (202)-748-8001, republicans if you want to ask questions, (202)-748-8000 for democrats and (202)-748-8002 for independents. daschle andurity security secretary john kelly, speaking, we will get your response. >> let me be very clear, there will be no mass deportations. everything we do in dhs will be done legally and according to human rights and the legal justice system of the united states. all deportations will be according to our legal justice system, which is extensive and includes multiple appeals. the focus of deportations will be on the criminal element that
have made it into the united states. in of this will be done close coordination with the government of mexico, and the relationship and interaction and friendship down on the border is something that you ought to do a story on because there is a friendship and an era of cooperation that has to be seen to be believed. i talked about economic development in central america to reduce the reasons why those people come to the united states. listen to this. force in military immigration operations. not. we will approach this operation systematically, in an organized way and in the results oriented way, in an operational way and a human dignity way. host: give us some context to
the statements. guest: another example in which we have seen some distance between president trump's comments and his own cabinet secretaries. they are left in this position where they sort of have to play cleanup or make that tough sell to foreign allies, because of -- because of trump's cabinet's. right before secretary kelly spoke was when trump made his comments in a meeting with manufacturing ceos and was really touting deportation, saying we are removing people like never before, really bad dudes and it was a military operation. the homeland security secretary is a former general. he is retired. he emphasized it was not a military operation and as the , heer commander of socom
has a lot of experience in this thisn, it also emphasizes appearance of militarization of border policy can be concerning and makes it more difficult to work with allies on issues like this. he emphasized the main motivator for migration is violence in central america, so preventative measures might be more effective , economic development in central america, perhaps more than playing defense by building a wall. it has become a much deeper relationship in the last few years. he also commented no mass deportations. on the other hand, we have seen over 700 people removed in a short period of time. so these people they say they will not be focusing on, for example people who fall under
president obama's deferred ,ction for childhood arrivals at some of those people have been caught up in the sort of expanded dragnet. a release -- a really interesting gap. host: this is carol from twitter. relevant that they should turn back to go where they came from? guest: in 2014, mexico began its plan -- mexico is primarily used as a transit country. people from central america and all over the world try and travel through mexico to reach the united states. mexico began cracking down on its own southern border to prevent people from arriving in the united states.
doubled inals have just a few years and they remove more central american immigrants than the united states does. one of the issues when the united states removes people back over the border with mexico is they will just turn around and come and do it again. it is a question of what burden does mexico have to provide transit or prevent people from crossing and hold people who are not their own citizens. host: this is laura from texas, republican line. you still life under, that is the question of going to ask about. i remember all the kids coming in on trains and busloads and they came through mexico. mexico had to allow them to come through. to make, it is mexico's fault for allowing them to come to our country.
to get intoard mexico, so they had to know these kids were coming up through their country, and coming into our country. guest: there is certainly a question about this blame game, who has the responsibility, in order to help stem illegal immigration. i want to note that illegal immigration is down. it has stagnated after the great recession. going backwards in terms of mexican immigrants. we have seen that spike in unaccompanied minors reaching the united states. a few things make this very complex and difficult for both mexico and the united states. a lot of the reason they're coming is the violence central america. many of these undocumented are potentially joining
family members in the united states who may or may not pay someone, a smuggler or human trafficker. there is a massive amount of people fleeing central america, so if you have that number of people, some are going to get through. many of these kids have legitimate asylum and refugee cases where they could apply for refugee status either in mexico or the united states. it puts them in a different category. there is international law that has to respect process, refugee applications and that is different than another class of economic migrants who may not have a claim to being in a country, so there are -- that makes them particularly challenging, you want to deal with them of course in a humane
way and this is part of the u.s. challenge. you want to deal with them in a humane way, it also want there to be a deterrent. you don't want to encourage more people to try and make that journey. it is extremely dangerous. you can only imagine for a young person who is potentially alone. host: john in virginia, democrats line. caller: i think that as a politician, i think mexican politicians are catching a mixed message. the president is saying one thing and the secretary is saying another thing. they are going to deport a lot of people. it is happening right now. they are grabbing people that -- that have done some small or minor thing and they are sending them back. when the president is saying something and the secretary is
saying different things, isn't that a mixed message that is confusing for every politician in mexico? most of all, why aren't we talking about mexico? people come here with a visa that expires and they stay. 11 million people, most of them do that kind of stuff. by attacking a mexicans, it does not make any sense. i think that we should lower the tone, by attacking the ,mmigrants because this country when immigrants come here and they do better and they invest in business and their children get better jobs -- host: you put a lot out there. guest: it is a great point, emphasizing that illegal crossings are down. for mexican immigrants, they are actually going back to mexico at higher rates than they are coming into the u.s.
most of them come from central america or call over the world. they use that land route to get to the united states. it is important to note how much attention and energy to you want to give to the issue of immigration, which is concerning to people but really about some of the lowest levels that it has been. by the focusing so much on the u.s. mexico relationship, vocus and so much tension on these -- on the southern border, you could look at other issues which are much more significant. ,eople overstaying their visas that is something congress has tried to address and will be taking a look at, but is a potentially more significant way to cut down on the population, some 11 million that are here, undocumented, rather than focusing so much on the u.s. mexico relationship. you made a good point. ,ome of the rhetoric we hear
some of the facts get lost. studies have shown that immigrants really help. they drive the economy. they are safer communities. some of the safest cities in the united states are midsize or large and that are on the u.s. border. when we hear about crime and bad dudes and we hear this sort of rhetoric, sometimes it glosses helpthe fact that may drive more effective policy. host: new jersey, gregory is next, republican. caller: i am independent. is onewould like to say thing is we except about one million illegal immigrants a year -- legal immigrants a year. read, there are about 400,000 illegal immigrants coming in, through various ways.
from my point of view, if you allow anybody who comes in to stay, which is what the advocates for illegal immigrants are saying, you basically have a policy which says please come in , if you got here you can stay and you don't have a country anymore. guest: you raise the challenge of how you have humane, appropriate policies when it comes to immigration that is effective, but also creating a sort of deterrent, so more people don't come. it is not true that we have open borders and anyone can come in. it is incredibly difficult. i was in mexico on the southern border with guatemala. who wasman from somalia
seeking refugee status in the united states. he had essentially walked all the way across the african continent. mexicoed from brazil to and even then was going to have more challenges before he could reach the border with the united states and that is someone who was attempting to come legally so he can apply for refugee status. it is incredibly difficult to get in. even under president obama, who we know was immigration reform, critics on the left called him the deporter in chief. he broke records. it is not the case that we have open borders, but there is a sort of open question about how you strike the right balance between policies that will act as a deterrent to discourage more people from coming in discourage people from making that dangerous journey, but also
making sure you are not fighting with theess battle sort of ones or twos who make it into the country. host: molly o'toole, foreign policy reporter. now bids for the wall are being submitted through march. the in saying contracts might be awarded by mid april. could you talk about the grand design? do we know of one? guest: we do not. there has been a lot of back and forth when it comes to this wall. how tall or deep it would go because a lot of the cartels will dig tunnels to go under the wall. that are ingenious ways these organizations have figured out to get past a wall. how long it will run, a lot of people don't know that there are actual barriers for much of the border, already and not in its
entirety because experts have named a barrier might not be necessary in certain areas because the physical terrain is so rugged that it would not be feasible from a construction standpoint and not make stick -- not make sense in terms of resources. we have seen some dramatic estimates, with some as high as $20 billion. donald trump repeatedly emphasizes that the u.s. taxpayer will not pay for the wall and mexico will pay for it. they are debating varies -- various mechanisms to do that. as part of secretary kelly's recent directive, it said there needs to be a report or an audit mexico,upport to suggesting perhaps that they will cut back on that and redirect that ending toward the wall. that was due on friday. in terms of the design, we don't know yet, but that bid that was put up publicly on the
government contracting website gives us some indication that this will be much more of a challenge, perhaps slower than the administration has indicated. so far, this is an immense infrastructure project, very inspect -- very expensive with a lot of different players who have a say. host: molly o'toole's most recent story, a new immigration crackdown. scott -- counsel, arizona, scottsville,l -- arizona, democrat, bill. caller: the u.s. has a and funded and otherwise assisted mexican security forces in their war against the cartels. my question was whether you think we might see the trump administration try to use that assistance as leverage to extract concessions from the mexican government, and if you wanted to do that, could he do
it unilaterally or would he need congress? guest: that is a great transition from what we were talking about. on friday, that audit of mexican dhs asnce was due to they consider what leverage they might have to compel mexico to pay for the wall or other issues. that is one of the primary sources of assistance we provide mexico, particularly directly for its direct security assistance for the drug war. billions of dollars. sodoes go through congress, congress would have a say if it came to redirecting that ending for something else -- that funding for something else. is a great lens through which to look at what sort of leverage the united states has. i think the trump administration is considering redirecting
initiatives and other funds, potentially for the wall, in order to compel mexico to go along with their new policies. it begs the question, if we stop security existence, nash security assistance to mexico, is not necessarily good for the united states if mexico stops trying to prevent drugs from reaching the united states. it is not good for the u.s. if mexico stops cracking down on immigration on its southern border. that would lead to a wave of people at the u.s. border that we would have to deal with. i do think that the trump administration is considering redirecting runs from that initiative or other areas -- funds from that initiative or other areas. but what fills that gap? host: what is the official response from mexico?
guest: they say they think unilateral immigration lessees are inappropriate and they don't have to accept it. the acting and misread her of responded saying fine, we don't need your money. that is not true, the u.s. and mexico are very dependent on each other. a little little bluster on their part as well, but they have said we don't have to accept and we won't accept these threats. we are a partner, and we need to be treated as such. host: oceanside, new york, republican. caller: mexico is definitely complacent. everybody saw the news with kids on trains and these kids are gang affiliated, a lot of them.
they come up here and an excel drugs for these gangs whether it is the mexican mafia or i was on last week when i said the ms 13 kills the people in long island, five kids since the start of january and i was on the expired visas and that is a problem. the wall must get built and it is a force multiplier. and you put seismographs different things and you will not know what the wall is being built like, but you will be able to detect tunnels and you can put it determine on top of it and you can see further. it is a force multiplier. you get 10,000 more troops and you put them on the border, that is one guy every quarter-mile. you could pretty much see the guys. guest: a few things for sure. in terms of these kids that are coming, a lot of them are fleeing gang violence, they are not part of the gangs. they don't want to be part of that gang violence that has totally decimated el salvador and honduras.
el salvador is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. they are fleeing gang violence. they are not part of the gangs. it is a question of how you deal with some of the factors that may be contributed to that violence. one thing you mentioned, which is important to note, one of the biggest issues of violence in u.s. countries is the need for drugs. one way to address the undocumented migrant movement is you want to look at economic development in central america, ways to reduce violence, and reducing the drug man in the u.s. -- demand in the u.s. secretary kelly talks about this issue when he says we cannot only play defense. if you really want to stop illegal immigration and the drug