tv WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker FOX Business July 5, 2019 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
with maria from 6-9 a.m. eastern week dies -- weekdays on fox business s. have a great rest of the holiday weekend. i'll see you again next time. ♪ ♪ gerry: hello and welcome to "wall street journal at large." this week americans have been celebrating once again that glorious moment almost 250 years ago when a bunch of bold and courageous rebels rose up and kicked out the representatives of the most powerful empire the earth had seen. people who sounded rather like me back then. sorry about that, america. but it's all turned out really very well for this country and its citizens. information, the continuing
american -- in fact, the experiment has been so successful, that much of the rest of the world would like to come here and be a part of it, and that's at the root of the immigration crisis at the southern border which once again dominated headlines. on monday a delegation of democrats including alexandria ocasio-cortez went to visit the official detention centers housing many would-be americans at the southern border. now, ms. ocasio-cortez who has famously described these facilities as concentration camps didn't find any gas chambers or evidence of torture, but she did claim to find conditions. >> she described as indefensible. >> they put them in rooms with no running water, and these women were being told by officers to drink out of the toilet. they were drinking water out of the toilet. gerry: now, border officials deny these allegations, and they say the people are being treated
as humanely as possible, but no one denies the facilities are absolutely overwhelmed. now, there's a simple reason for that, a surge in people seeking asylum to come and live in the united states. there are, essentially, two legal ways to get to live and work in the u.s. the first is the regular immigration process. it's long and complex and costly. hopeful migrants must either have family connections here or be able to demonstrate that the country needs them for economic reasons. the other route is by seeking asylum. to achieve this under international law, you must be able to show that you cannot stay in your own country because you're being persecuted there for one or more of five very specific reasons. that's because of race, religion, nationality or political opinion or, and this is crucial, because you're a member of what are called particular social groups. now, this last criterion is impossibly vague, and it's the reason given by many of the asylum seekers from central
america who claim they are being victimized by gangs or organized crime. but the data show that murder rates in those countries are actually declining. now, number of asylum seekers has surged in the last few years from a steady 40,000 or so a few years ago to more than 160,000 last year, and it's still rising. so what can be done about this continuing crisis at the border? well, here to discuss all this and more is former acting immigration and customs enforcement director thomas health care oman who joins me from -- homan from joins me from washington, d.c.. >> thank you very having me. gerry: ms. alexandria ocasio-cortez has described these places as concentration camps. what's the real situation? >> well, let's just cut to chase real quick. alexandria ocasio-cortez is lying to the american people. no one's drinking out of a toilet. if you look at the detention
facilities including the i.c.e. facilities and the detention cell there's a stainless steel apparatus where there's a commode about 4 foot tall, and on top there's a sink with running water. is so no one's drinking out of the toilet. it's ridiculous to think a border patrol agent is making a lady get on her hands and knees and drinking out of the commode. she lost all credibility. she's called them concentration camps, she has no idea what she's talking about. she doesn't know the difference between fact and fiction. let's put her aside. the detention facilities are overwhelmed. the border patrol's been asking congress for months, hhs has been asking congress for months, the administration, the president's saying we've got that have help. the administration asked for more money so health and human services can purchase more beds in facilities that are bullet
and set up -- built and set up for vulnerable populations like women and children where they'd have the care and facilities they need. however, congress didn't address it. just last week they finally through a supplemental bill, it will help. the i.g. report wasn't a surprise to anybody, especially the border patrol agents who have been dealing with this for months. we all know the conditions were bad, but when you put 500 people in a building designed for 100, it's not going to be good. gerry: and you mentioned the i.g. report which talked about these conditions and the facilities being overcrowded. so isn't, though, the fundamental problem problem there's been this tremendous surgery in people coming up true mexico -- surge in people coming up through mexico? >> yes. the asylum laws, loopholes each back when i was director for last year and a half, i was up on the hill asking congress to address the loopholes and the flores agreement and the trafficking victims act.
those three laws are being used against us. the loopholes come to united states, get released, and many don't ever show up in court. and, of courseing right now the biggest problem on the border is two groups, the unaccompanied alien children and the family groups. the word's out, you bring a child with you, and you won't be detained, and if you are, it's just a few days -- gerry: and that's important because, obviously, that's what's happening, they're being released in the united states, supposed to appear for a court date, and they don't show up for the most part. >> good point. they just came ot with data that 90% of final orders of 90% of the judges' decisions order removals are issued in absentia which means people didn't show up to court. gerry: so what should be done? you said congress needs to authorize more money to increase facilities. isn't though, in a sense -- and i don't want to sound inhumane here, but the more spacious you
make these facilities, the better able to deal with these number, isn't that in a funny way going to encourage people to come as well? right now if people are getting the impression that it's a terrible kind of hell, they might think of not coming. if you make it better -- >> they're too cold, they're overcrowded, they think it's too cold because the people coming up probably never experienced air-conditioning, and they're coming from very bad circumstances anyway. three things you need to have, change the flores agreement. you bring a child apart, we should be able to detain them in a family residential center with childcare, pediatricians, dentists, child psychologists, proper medical attention, psychological attention and supplying them meals and care. the flores settlement agreement says you can only keep them for
20 days. well, it takes about 40, 45 days to initially see a judge. if we can hold them long enough to see a judge, again, 90% will lose their case. we can put them on an airplane, and we send them home. and the reason i say that will work, because we did it back in fy-14 and 15, families first -- gerry: right. interestingly, the obama administration, which is a democrat criticizing the trump administration; but a lot of this happened in the obama administration. >> yeah. we held them long enough to see a judge, we sent them home and, guess what? the border numbers went down because we showed the deterrence. the ninth circuit issued a agreement saying, no, you can only keep them for 20 days. the number skyrocketed. gerry: tom, we've got to take a quick break, and we'll be right this is the couple who wanted to get away
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♪ ♪ gerry: i'm back with former acting i.c.e. director tom tom homan. tom, what about mexico in particular? are they doing enough? these people are coming through mexico, the trump administration just struck a new deal with mexico recently. are they doing enough to, essentially, to deter some of these people from coming or to restrain them? >> they started, they're doing more than they ever have done. i think this past month the numbers are down 25, 28%. and they deserve some of the credit, because they are stepping up enforcement of their own immigration laws. what they committed to also is sending resources, national guard to try to dismantle the criminal organizations that are orchestrates -- orchestrating this whole thing, attacking their transportation and financial infrastructures. if they can dismantle the criminal organizations that make this happen, they'll do wonders to control this surge on the border. so they're doing more than they've ever done, i think they
can do more, but what's most important, it needs to be a sustained operation. they're done in the past for a couple weeks here, if they can step up on the cartels, it'll be a game-changer. gerry: criticism of border patrol this week, we've seen some things and stories and rev rations about some -- revelations about some thing, facebook groups and stuff like that. do you think that is casting doubt on the trustworthiness of the border patrol, something needs to be done to make sure that those kind of behaviors are dealt with? >> oh, absolutely. i mean, i've seen that story, and from what i understand, there's only three or four possible border patrol agents that are involved in posting bad things. if that's true, they need to be dealt with, because it's a distraction from the overall work the men if women for the border patrol are doing. these men if women come to work every day, they're changing diapers, making formula, dealing with sick kids, they're taking sicknesses home to their own
families, and these men and women are bringing toys from their own kids to centers so the migrant kids have toys to play with. and no one talks about the border patrol last year rescued over 4,000 migrants that were in dire straits. they found them and rescued them. these are people that would have died if not rescued by border patrol agents. they've pulled women and children out of rivers. 31% of women end up being raped. children are dying. these men and women at border patrol, they're doing a fantastic job in difficult circumstances, and they deserve our praise and respect, and that's just not being -- we're not talking about that enough. gerry: let me ask you something directly about you. you stepped down from i.c.e. exactly a year ago, i think just a year ago this week. president trump was interviewed on fox just a couple of weekses ago, and he had this to say about you. let's just listen. >> tom homan's coming back, yeah. tom homan's coming back. i would say that would be announced next week, except i'd rather announce it now.
[laughter] so tom homan's coming back, and he's going to be very much involved with the border. that's what he really wanted to be involved with. gerry: is that right? what are you going to be doing? >> look, i came back once from retirement, i became a director, they contacted -- [inaudible] to bring me back as directer. i will never say never. if i can help this president, i certainly will, but i have not accepted a position yet. we'll see what happens. i'm not going to second guess it, but never say never, especially in the middle of a national crisis. gerry: we should watch out for your impending return, should we? >> we'll see. [laughter] gerry: thank you very much, indeed, tom homan. coming up, we'll have a former state department official what's next for immigration in this country if a democrat were to be -and...that's your basic three-point turn.
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never gerry: joining me now from washington, d.c. is roger noriega, former assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs under president george w. bush. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure, thank you. gerry: everybody's focused on the crisis at the border with the united states and mexico, but the roots are somewhere away from that, aren't they? so many of these refugees coming from central america. what can we do about -- tell us about how bad it is, first of all, and what can be done about the ongoing crisis in those countries. >> well, ten years ago we passed the central american free trade agreement and spoke of these countries in central america as economic partners. and accurately so. these were countries with stable governments more or less, growing together in every sense
of the word, good partners, economies moving forward. the problem we have is that they are in this vise, in that central american isthmus between mexico for drugs and protection areas in the andes, and both governments in those countries began serious anti-drug efforts and squeezed these gang syndicates into central american territory, into fertile turf this where the governments were unable, were overwhelmed by the level of violation, the criminality and corruption, unable to resist that, literally outgunned. and so you saw gradually the disintegration not only of the institutions, but the economic situation because people didn't want to invest in places that were unsafe. so you see the people that are migrating from the northern triangle countries -- gerry: so they are, they're
applying for asylum, most of them, in the united states. do they have a case for asylum? there are very specific criteria about, essentially, you're being persecuted for one of a number of reasons, claiming, obviously, they belong to particular groups. is that a legitimate asylum claim? >> well, frankly, it isn't. and facts bear out that eventually when these cases come to judgments, 80% of them are found to be ineligible for aa sigh lumbar in the traditional sense -- asylum in the traditional sense. so in the meantime the, they're able to stay in the country, they establish a presence here because the coyotes, the human smugglers realize that if you make a claim of asylum are because we have a 300,000-case backlog, that you essentially are dismissed into the united states until your case can be attended to, and that becomes kind of a ticket -- gerry: so it's an incentive for the smugglers to actually
intensify, to grow their business. >> it's a part of their business model, quite frankly. and, you know, we have people across the political spectrum very concerned about human trafficking. but because these traffickers figured out how to overwhelm our enforcement efforts and essentially get their clients, you know, over the border into the united states, we've become part of their business model. gerry: what can we do for those countries in central america to help alleviate this crisis? you probably heard the democratic debate last week, julian castro, one of the candidates, actually proposed what he called a marshall plan for central america where the united states would give huge amounts of lending and aid to europe, something similar to central america. do you think that's wise? >> well, i think throwing money at the problem is not going to so it. these are cupsed -- countries governed by, frankly, crooked
politicians, and pouring money in is a recipe for disaster. it's a waste of resources. but we have to engage. i think we have a moral obligation to stay engaged, and these are our neighbors. we can, you know, we have to address the root cause of, causes of instability, of economic opportunity, you know, working with governments to expand economic opportunity to people in all walks of life including the very poor, maybe some aid programs administered by those countries to their own people and certainly to security assistance, to help them reist these gangsters -- resist these ganger thes -- gangsters. gerry: the trump administration's policy seems to be, at least in part, to at least make it seem so unpleasant there, to make -- you know, they're not necessarily being cruel, but at least to make life difficult and complicate
process, and it's separating families to try and deter people from coming. is that a wise policy in. >> no, i don't think it -- for one thing, we now know that it hasn't worked. since the time when they were talking about breaking up families and zero tolerance and if all of that with the express purpose of telling people don't come if you don't want to be separated from your child, don't come. that kind of policy, all it actually did was discredit the enforcement efforts by the trump administration among policymakers in the congress. gerry: now, conversely, the democrats want to extend benefits to illegal immigrants, make life, in a sense, easier for people who are here in the united states illegally. what would that do, if you could be brief because we're running out of time. >> absolutely. it's also a recipe for disaster. quite frankly, you know, we need to work together to address these problems. the tactics that both sides are using have undermined the confidence that we need to find
some practical solutions; changing the law, addressing the long-term root causes in central america, restoring the aid cuts that president trump has adopted and working with congress to find some long-term solutions. gerry: my thanks to roger noriega, thank you very much, indeed. and up next, my thoughts on and up next, my thoughts on the latest example hey, who are you? oh, hey jeff, i'm a car thief... what?! i'm here to steal your car because, well, that's my job. what? what?? what?! (laughing) what?? what?! what?! [crash] what?! haha, it happens. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, paying for this could feel like getting robbed twice. so get allstate... and be better protected
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♪ ♪ gerry: this week the journal reported that nike had canceled the launch of a new sports shoe because colin kaepernick, one of its leadest sponsored -- leading sponsored athletes, had objected to the design. the offense, apparently, was that the shoe featured the so-called betsy ross flag, the original flag that became the founding of the united states. mr. kaepernick felt this was somehow dishonoring african-americans because the flag dated back to era of slavery. this is a novel grievance. the implication seems to be we shouldn't honor any aspect of anything associated with the original united states. well, you can argue that if you like, but what's striking to me is how mitt sized the corporate world has now become. it used to be you could buy a pair of shoes without having to get a lecture from a company's marketing department. now it seems we're going to have to take sides. we're going to have liberal sneakers, what's next?
perhaps a conservative toothpaste? well, that's it for us this week. be sure to follow me on twitter, facebook and instagram. i'll be back next week with more in-depth intervi >> inside a farmer's barn... >> all you see is these packed-in cars everywhere, bumper to bumper. >> ...rows of classic rides. >> my jaw hit the ground. there was the rolls-royce, the bentley, pickup trucks, camaros. >> harvesting gems from junk. >> dad would take the car down to literally the bare bones and then restore them and make them these beautiful pieces of art. >> wow.sparks are flying. >> here's one of the starsw rig. >> his heirs hope to reap a fortune. >> yes! yes! yes! [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪