tv Washington Journal Representative Vicente Gonzalez CSPAN June 21, 2018 9:35am-9:59am EDT
the same thing. we are keeping the families together. also there may be some litigation. we are wanting to go through congress. working on a much more comprehensive bill. a lot of things are happening toward immigration. we have to have strong borders and ultimately we want to see it done right and it will be done right. done today as we are keeping families together. tough asrs are just as they can come in through ports of entry if they want. that's a whole different story and that's coming in through a process and the process is what we want. . thank you all very much. thank you very much everybody. done.l get the ball
ivanka feels very strongly. my wife feels very strongly about it. i think anybody with a hard would feel very strongly about it. we don't like to see families separated. at the same time we don't want people coming into our country illegally. this takes care of the problem. thanveryuch. you're doing a great job. thank you. thank you very much. >> president trump late yesterday afternoon the house and back in about 25 minutes to begin deliberations on two immigration bills. bob goodlatte and michael mccaul.
republican compromise measure the bill is very similar. although one of the differences thate compromise measure would protect daca recipients from deportation and would also allow those individuals to apply for a new merit-based green card after five years through which they could eventually become u.s. citizens. debate ahead. we will have no beginning at live here on c-span. in the meantime discussion on today's debate in the proposed immigration bills from this morning's washington journal. host: texas democratic congressman vicente gonzalez joins us at the desk for the first time apart of his 15th congressional district runs along the wall near mcallen texas. take: i'm happy to see him some action. it's unfortunate that it took so long and there are several
thousand children that separated that this executive order doesn't address. it is still a concern. at least we are moving in the right direction. the lessons of troop retreat is what he calls it. what do you think the key was in your mind to getting the president to reverse course on whether an executive order could be used to and family separation? he makes a lote of his decisions based on polling and popularity and how people feel out there and i think the pressure was on. not only domestically but international. i think the pope spoke out and the international community spoke out on the issue. i think it had a certain impact. i think it had a certain impact. host: was it democratic pressure? republican pressure? guest: i think it was republican pressure but i think it was pressure in general. pressure.t you might have seen some of the recent polling. 66% of americans did not approve of gripping children from parents arms.
we have approximately 2000 kids that have been taken from their parents that have not been reunited. heard the story of a young watermelon woman who had her child taken from her. she was processed and deported back to quote them all. they had trouble finding her child. that's huge problem and huge concern for most members of congress and i think the american people. host: what are you doing about writingt: we are letters, putting pressure. we are trying to bring -- prevent this from happening again. think at this time we should find a way to reunite the 2000 beenkids that have separated already. host: is there a way that you have in mind? is there a path you are sketching out in the letter? guest: we are asking to reunite the kids that are there now,
asking them to be put in the same detention centers that as the family. i am a law and order member of congress. i believe in strict border security. i don't believe in open borders. i do believe that families need to be ited. whether they are granted asylum or whether they're going to be deported it needs to be done in a family unit. it is disgraceful that we would take children from their parents and separate them in aery chaotic way and a very unplanned way. we didn't have the infrastructure to proceed in the manner that we did very obviously for example in my district we have a warehouse with these cage like holding cells. they separate men and women and have them separated by ages. i saw very young children alone. i saw probably will 150 kids in
the facility when i visited. i didn't see a single smile. host: when were you able to get inside? >> i was there on father's day. it was a sad day to see fathers alone away from their kids and children away from their parents. you could blame the parents or you could blame the government but we cannot blame the children. to me children are sacred and most americans feel that way. from hearing some comments are.cesar -- alex a's in the interview he said those members who have actually toward these facilities would be impressed and talked about the quality of service that they are providing. how do you take that? guest: let's talk about that for a second. i agree that they are clean, they are orderly, they are air conditioned. in that respect i guess you may be right. the fact that we are teaching children in these can alike
cells is not the american way and the fact that we are taking children from parents is not the way the world views america and it is certainly not the america the world knows and loves. most americans regardless of don't agreeation with that procedure. host: we are talking with congressman vicente gonzalez. part of his district runs along the u.s. mexico border. if you want to join the conversation this morning republicans (202) 748-8001, .emocrats (202) 748-8000 as folks are calling in this morning he asked what's happening today on capitol hill. these bills on immigration overhaul and at least one of them deals with some of these issues of family separation. what are they and how are you voting? guest: i'm still considering it but i'm probably a no. there was the goodlettsville and
then there's a compromise bill. it's a compromise within the republican party. it's not a bipartisan compromise. somea compromise between extreme right-wing members and some more moderate republicans. it does not address the real dreamer issue. it has border while funding which for me is a deal killer. i have met with the president several times and we have talked is a border while and it $25 billion -- it would be a monumental waste of taxpayer dollars. i know the border very well and i know that it would not bring real border security. in fact when i met with him i talked to him about potentially talking about a virtual wall made of technology with arrow stats and sensors and cameras and maybe better infrastructure along the border. that would bring real border security. i don't think people like to hear the word virtual.
cutting-edge 20 century technology. i think a fourth century solution would not work. these walls have been tunneled under come across over. theywill be breached and will not bring real border security to the region and at a very expensive price to the american people. i'm all for us to export security but we need to make sure it makes sense. host: the president pushed for these pieces of legislation. is it your understanding that this vote is going to go forward today? some reporting about republicans not having the votes for either of these bills. guest: i have heard that. i hear that it's going to be voted on today. we will see what happens. we are far from each other on immigration issues. even within the republican party
there is some dysfunction in termofeing united on migration. host: congressman vicente gonzalez. jamal is up first. a de fromoatbuffalo, new york. good morning. caller: how are you doing? the only way we solve this whole --igration problem from trump don't like latinos. host: on annexing mexico. guest: obviously that's never going to happen. the next and people are very ioud of their country and don't see that realistically happening anytime in the near future. host: can you talk about life along the u.s. mexico border. there has been a lot of concerns about crime rates from illegal immigration. what's happening in your istrict? guest: my district
one of the safest cities in the country. we are at a 34 year low. i feel much safer in the city of mcallen texas than i do in washington, d.c. when i'm walking around in the middle of the night. people are shocked to hear that. district runsn -- to the mexican border and i live in mcallen texas along the border. they are shocked. i have an app on my phone that compares crime rates from city to city and i still haven't found a member of the city safer than mine. i'm very proud to tell people that. something that people don't expect if you just listen to the news. you willss it -- visit find it is a very safe clean city with a lot of is miss opportunities. we have had a very good relationship with our neighbors south of the border.
recent violence in the past eight or nine years for the most part people would go across for lunch or dinner. many people have family members on either side of the border. we have been a family, friends and commercial partners for centuries now. host: several members of congress went to that facility in texas on father's day. did you organize that trip? guest: i was one of the organizers. --ook them to the to detention center and got to walk on the bridge to visit with some asylum-seekers that were waiting in line in 110 degrees heat asking for asylum and got to see the operation processing center once they are processed. that's where they are really before they get to the to tension center where they are separated from their children. host: did you talk to the border
patrol agents themselves and how they felt about it? guest: i did and many of them are my friends and neighbors. unfortunately they have to follow the rules that they are given. many of them may not personally feel committed to such policy but that is their job and they doing what theo government asks of them. they are good loyal employees. host: michael in hagerstown maryland. independent. good morning. guest: this is michael. the childrencuss and families coming across the border. illegally. but not at the point of entries that are already set up. i believe what needs to happen is these are perilous journeys that these kids are going on. there's all kinds of things that are happening to these kids.
we need to make investment in central america. maybe a sanctuary area of 2000 acres. whatever it is. invest some dollars. in a secure sanctuary area that is secure. organizationsaith helping out. you can provide food and shelter for them. we can look at their processing and their asylum claims. in thoset them back areas. first off quite frankly liberals think that america is this rotten place. we killed indians and we got slaves. so why would we want to bring them in here? my thing is i definitely want a secured wall with wide-open gates. wide-open. guest: he's not completely off. we do ask ourselves how we got here.
we are dealing with a symptom of failed american policy in these three central american states. --n imola, hunter is and and guatemala, honduras and el salvador. have huge and security problems on the ground that we as a country have not helped them address. little economic opportunity. if we went back and boosted those economies the way we have through commerce and trade. we have mexican nationals going home at a higher rate than they are coming into our country. very few mexican nationals are trying to migrate to the united states. they are opening small businesses. there's economic possibilities. that's probably one of the biggest issues that drives the north. plus the massive insecurity on the ground particularly in el salvador and honduras. i visited el salvador and quite imola in my last recess and met
with the president and vice president of the administration to find solutions that would incentivize citizens to stay home and humane manner. i think that is something we haven't done in a long time and something we should be looking at or we are going to continue dealing with symptom on our front step. host: walter, a republican. good morning. good morning. think you for coming on the air today. i know you're going to take a little heat. let me ask you a question. how can the democrats justify a visa lottery system versus a merit-based system? we want to bring in the smartest in the best people. not the opposite of that. how can the democrats really justify that? that's the first question. explainuestion can you to the deplorables in this country have these people from those three countries you just mentioned get put ahead of the
people who have come here illegally and are waiting in line to be u.s. citizens? guest: i would like to address these lottery versus the vetting system. i think we have a system in place that brings in phd's and engineers and people that we need in our country. we have that. we also need laborers. people on the field. people doing hard work. mywe vetted folks on merit grandfather wouldn't have arrived to this country and it would have president trump's grandfather. under those standards he now trying to implement. i believe we give people with need an opportunity to come to this country, work hard, educate future generations and i think that should stay open to the extent that we needed. should we be looking at merit-based migration? of course we should.
we have a large amount of medical doctors that have immigrated from mostly latin america continued physicians. the state weeas of need engineers and we do that with immigration. a shortage of labor. in order for us to continue growing our economy we must continue growing our population and we are not having children at the rate of many other countries. to continue us growing economically we still need some set of migration. needs to be done in an orderly way and it can't just be fast migration coming across the border. people need to go through embassies and consulates around the world and apply properly and we need to have some type of controlled process. unfortunately with the failed policies that i have been talking about in central america in your forcing people that are leaving crime-ridden neighborhoods and countries to
migrate north and we are dealing with it on our border. host: about 15 minutes left with congressman this and taken solace -- vicente gonzalez. ago,resident we just a bit we shouldn't be hiring judges by the thousands. we should be changing our laws, building the wall, higher border agents and not let people come into our country based on the legal phrase they are told to say as their password. your response. guest: i do believe at this point in time may need more immigration judges at the border even if it is temporarily to deal with the crisis we have now. in terms of people using legal phrases i think our judges and lawyers can invent the issue pretty well to get to the bottom of it to see if what they are saying is actually true before they are actually granted asylum. many of them are turned down. i'm not sure if he is aware of
that. many people do not get asylum. host: you are a lawyer before you came to congress. did you work on immigration cases? guest: i wasn't an immigration lawyer. you being on the border deal with immigration issues. sometimes my clients i had maybe a litigation case with was deported. someone who had been living in the country for 20 years. sometimes even myself didn't know that they didn't have legal status. i would have to somehow get involved in an immigration issue to address the issue on my civil case. if you live along the border somewhere along the line you are going to deal with immigration issues. host: larry is in elkhart, indiana. republican. go ahead. caller: i would like to know about your democratic colleagues like president of,, president nancy pelosi, schumer. all of these people voted to
remove illegal immigrants from this country. and why all of a sudden one president trump tries to enforce these laws the democrats run to all theng foul things that going on. a lot of it is just because of the democrats won't get up and do what they're supposed to do. past: i wasn't here in the and ministration. this is my first term. i can't speak to what democrats were doing back at the time. i can tell you that right now the republicans control the house. they control the senate and the control the white house. so if there's any plausible opportunity of passing immigration reform under a republican administration it will be totally up to them. believe we need to address issues fairly regardless of whether it is democrats or republicans in charge.
host: davenport, iowa. democrat. good morning. caller: a lot of americans fear illegals swamping the united states and messing up our social security. there are two possibilities. we could send our marines in to clear out these druglords and straighten out the government situation in latin america and south america. the second possibility is we could reposition these illegal and let to guantanamo fidel and his relatives deal with the problem. if they are all living in cuba they can go live with the communists. guest: guantanamo is controlled by the united states. host: any other thoughts on those choices? guest: that's pretty extreme. i really can't address extreme ideas like that. host: agnes in fairview,
oklahoma. go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. that last color is an example of a lot of the misinformation and the hatred against these people. they don't understand the immigrant between an coming here for economical reasons that one coming here for asylum. they are lumping them all into one group. that thesed online people aren't even the parents of these kids. they are using them to come here. so they deserve to have those kids taken away. this is ridiculous. we need factual information getting out there. thank god for a lot of the cable programs that are going to the border showing us what's going on. we are finding out that her rent is things being done to all these children. don't even know where they are. this is child abuse what is going on. host: congressman.
guest: i have to agree with her. there's a lot of misinformation. i get tt to s d office telling me the wildest things imaginable. it is great that we have so many news outlets and opportunities to read other people's opinions that sometimes there is so much misinformation that we have a good population in the american public that doesn't have factual information that they are basing their decisions on. please explain the difference between immigration and asylum seekers. host: -- guest: asylum-seekers are coming here because of a reasonable threat. >> washington journal is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. you can watch this online at c-span.org. we believe this and take you live to the u.s. capitol for debate today on two competing immigration bills. votes expected throughout the afternoon.