tv Americas News HQ FOX News August 2, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
i'm sandra smith. president trump and several senators rolling out a plan to reorganize our immigration system. it would reduce the overall number of immigrants coming into this country every year. we have fox team coverage from the pentagon. but we begin with john roberts live at the white house where there is a lot going on. john? >> reporter: as always. just a typical day at 1600 pennsylvania. the president today threw his full support behind something called the rays act reforming americans immigration for a strong economy. this bill would change the way that the united states prioritizes the awarding of green cards, ending so-called chain migration that prioritizes family and vacation. instead putting ultrahigh skilled workers at the head of the line. here's the president. >> this competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak english,
financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy. the act prevents new migrants and immigrants from collecting welfare and protects u.s. workers from being displaced. and that's a very big thing. >> reporter: that's a big thing, the president said. he wants to protect american workers. not a lot of appetite in congress for comprehensive immigration reform, so the president and the bill's sponsor senator tom cotton and david perdue of georgia hope that by taking on this bite-size chunk, they can get it through. here's what senator cotton said. >> our legislation is a relatively modest incremental step of trying to reform our green card system. not temporary visas. not enforcement or security measures. but our green card system. to make sure that it serves american workers. >> reporter: so this is not a massive overhaul of the immigration system.
it's only one small little slice of it. it is a bit of a controversial slice because some critics complain that is unfairly targeting latinos, it's unfair to families. but, sandra, senator cotton told me that in previous version of immigration reform, this idea appeared to be something the democrats could support. so he hopes they may get on board with this. you've got to remember the legislative calendar is awfully jam packed. we've got healthcare reform, tax reform, the debt ceiling, budget battle. it will be tough to get this through. >> sandra: john, president trump signing the sanctions bill from congress into law. he does make it very clear that he has some reservations about it. >> reporter: he did this very reluctantly because the president believes in sending two statements that this encroaches on his executive authority to recognize borders and to lift sanctions and to deal with countries one on one. but speaking today in montene o montenegro, the vice president said president trump signed this
for the sake of unity with congress. listen here. >> president trump believes whatever frustration that we feel for congress limiting his authority to conduct foreign affairs and on balance this legislation reaffirms the president's strong commitment to on going sanctions with russia to make it clear that their destablizing behaviors are not acceptable to the united states. >> reporter: this deals not only with russia, but iran and north korea as well. the president could not resist taking a swing at congress though for putting this thing on his desk in a very personal statement that was released right after the official signing statement. the president said, quote, by limiting the executive flexibility this bill makes it harder for the united states to strike good deals for the american people and will drive china, russia and north korea much closer together. i feel a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. that is a big part of the reason i was elected as president. i can make far better deals with
foreign countries than congress. so signing the bill today, but doing so in a way where he had to let congress know exactly how he felt. not mincing any words either, sandra. >> sandra: so much to get to there. john, thank you. >> reporter: thank you. >> sandra: for more on this i'm joined by a former adviser to four american ambassadors to the united nations. rick, i want to first get to something that you just said because it's quickly spreading around. you said the only sanctions i believe will work are banking sanctions on the country of china. getting to north korea there. i'm sort of flipping here. so, i want to speak broadly here about the actions that we are seeing taken on the part of this president when it comes to dealing with these countries. where are you as far as the strategy? >> well, look. i'm somebody who doesn't believe in unilateral sanctions very much because it penalizes u.s. businesses. however, banking sanctions,
because we are the country that really is at the heart of so much of the world's banking, you know, institutions and we are the ones who control most of the banking systems. we can have a huge effect and have dramatic change of behavior if there are banking sanctions that are swift. one of the things, sandra, that we see today with the russian sanctions is that this wasn't very swift. this should have happened when president obama was in office, when the russians grabbed crimea. when we wanted to show that we can see behavior and react quickly. this should have been done immediately. but it wasn't. it wasn't done to the extent to which it is today. and, therefore, we don't have a change of behavior because what it looked like during president obama's time is that there were basically no consequences for the russian behavior.
then we had the dnc hacking during the election. we really should have had a more swift reaction from the u.s. government. >> sandra: you make it very clear looking back at the obama administration saying obama should have enacted tough sanctions for russia's actions. kudos for the president for signing this. you're giving the president a lot of credit. i want to get to this sanctions bill that was signed today. clearly the president in this statement, here's a piece of it, saying he's got reservations by it. my administration expects congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder important work with the important allies to resolve the conflict in the ukraine and from use it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for american businesses, our friends and our allies. does this adequately address those concerns about unintended consequences? >> well, look. the first thing i'm gonna say is
we should be celebrating on the left and the right, we should be celebrating what president trump did today. we've always wanted to see washington move forward. usually when we have our politicians who dig their heels in when they don't like something and they shut down government. this is a president who is committed to take incremental steps in the right direction. he said today, look, this is an encroachment on the presidency. this takes away my ability to make quick decisions when it comes to foreign policy. he's right about that. but for the sake of national unity, he's moving forward. he's doing something that's not totally 100% what he wants, but he's doing it because it moves us in the right direction. let's celebrate that in washington. it's so rare that we have a president or a politician that's willing to say let's take a step and let's not shut down government if i don't get my own way. >> sandra: rick, if you can, stand by. we're learning more about the u.s. testing an unarmed
intercontinental ballistic missile just days after north korea fired its latest icbm into the sea of japan. air force officials say the u.s. test was long planned and not in response to the rogue regime's latest launch. we have more on this from the pentagon. lucas? >> reporter: sandra it's the fourth lone range missile test for the air force this year. the unarmed minute man 3 missile blasted off from california early this morning and flew over 4,000 miles hitting a target in the pacific. now, unlike north korea, who fails to warn others before its test, threatening airliners and shipping, air force said a notice was given before today's launch. there are 400 nuclear missiles at bases in montana, wyoming and north dakota. yesterday the secretary of state said he hopes for better relations with pyongyang. >> we're trying to convey to the north korean, we are not your enemy, we are not your threat. but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and
we have to respond. >> reporter: officials say north korea still has to do a number of things before it can hit the united states. one is hit a target. two, have a reentry vehicle to provide a trip back to earth from space. and, three, miniaturize a nuclear warhead and place it atop a missile. sandra, north korea has had a record-setting pace of missile tests. they want to achieve those goals with these tests. >> sandra: all right lucas tomlinson, thank you. lucas, by the way, north korea and the u.s. aren't the only ones testing missiles. who else in asia, lucas? >> reporter: well, sandra, just one day after north korea's record setting ballistic missile test, china fired 20 missiles and mockups of american thad anti-ballistic missile systems and stealth jets. now, china has long protested -- china has long protested the u.s. thad missile battery in south korea. the missile test coin sided with
beijing's army day, creating 12,000 troops along with taverns, jets and missiles, the first time beijing celebrated this day with a parade. china has the largest army in the world and has as many cruisers, submarines as the u.s. navy. secretary of state tillerson said the u.s. and china are at a pivotal point in history. one reason they were on capitol hill this afternoon to discuss the next steps. >> sandra: lucas tomlinson, thank you. bringing rick back. a pivot point for the u.s. and china in dealing with north korea. how do you see that? >> well, one thing that's clear is that china is not threatened by north korea. what they're threatened by is a north korea in crisis. and so what they're trying to make sure that they do is not have a crisis. if north korea's gonna launch a missile and they're gonna be able to miniaturize a nuclear head on that missile, it's not gonna go into china. so the chinese know that.
one thing that we have to be careful of, sandra, we can't just have a policy of defense. we can't just say, well, we can shoot missiles out of the sky from the western united states or we have the thad system in south korea that can protect our allies in the region, japan and south korea and our u.s. military bases. that's great. and i think that always having the missile defense program is crucial. but we should be able to have diplomacy with muscle right now. we should be able to stop the north koreans in their tracks. we still have things to do like we talked about banking sanctions. we still have countries in africa that are doing business with north korea. we are doing business with those countries in africa. we should be able to say to them, either do business with us or do business with north korea. >> sandra: rex tillerson, secretary of state, willing to talk to north korea about the nuclear program. should we be talking with kim jong-un? >> look, if there's a change in
behavi behavior, absolutely, but we need to see change first. >> sandra: thank you. we are awaiting the white house press briefing. it is scheduled to start a few minutes from now. expect all of this to be talked about in that room. we will bring that to you live when it begins. we will certainly learn more about the russia sanctions bill the president just signed, aoev as he offered plenty of criticism about that bill. plus, the stock market, did you see this, reaching historic territory despite another white house shake-up at the start of the week. topping 22,000 for the first time ever. it's above there by 5 points right now. will the gains continue? >> we have a lot of things happening that are really great, but, again, today the stock market hit the highest level that it has ever been and our country is doing very well.
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>> sandra: fox news alert on a major day for the market. the dow earlier passing 22,000 for the first time ever. now markets have rallies since president trump took office. it's been an unbelievable run. i believe up about 20% since inauguration day. today he said this is only the beginning. >> as you probably have noticed, the stock market hit an all-time record high today over 22,000. it's gonna go higher, too. we're doing a job. you're going to see jobs are pouring back into the country. factories and plants are coming back into the country. we're going to start making product in america again. >> sandra: jerry willis, sounds like a prediction from the president that this stock market run is not over. >> it's gonna keep on -- i wish
we could say that with some precision. we love to see the stock market go up. reality is, what i think is so great about this, it's based in earnings, based in reality. companies are growing. that's why the stock market is going up. >> sandra: apple is a huge part of the runup, accounting for a big part of the gains. >> 61 points. i mean, what a historical moment. go look at your 401k if you haven't in awhile. >> sandra: if you're in there, you're going to enjoy the benefits. let's talk about debt ceiling talks between the white house and senate breaking up with no progress whatsoever. what are the real consequences of this? i feel like dinner table conversations. people don't really know what happens next. where are we? >> if they don't get together. that's a big if. they have gotten together 56 times in the last 39 years to raise the debt ceiling. it typically happens. but if they were not to do that, it would create chaos in the market place. i would create problems for u.s.
debt. >> sandra: could i end the stock market rally? >> i hate predicting the stock market. it could go anywhere. the reality is it could have some pretty serious consequences. if i had to bet, they're gonna raise that debt ceiling. because they always do. and they want to keep spending money. >> sandra: here's what the white house said. to ensure we have growth, the trump administration believes it's important to raise the debt ceiling as soon as possible. clearly that's where they stand. >> what? fiscal discipline? raising the debt ceiling? are you kidding me? it's the opposite of fiscal discipline. raising the debt ceiling says, we can spend more money. how about a trillion? how about 1.5 trillion. that's typically where they land. that's ridiculous. being disciplined would mean that you would stop spending. we have $19.9 trillion worth of federal debt right now. do you know what that means for
every taxpayer in the u.s.? $166,000. the reason i say taxpayer is because those are the folks who will end up footing the tax. >> sandra: ari fleisher former press secretary during the bush year, frequent guest on this program. here's what he had to say. time to abolish the debt limit. raise it this fall and eliminate it. what does it accomplish other than risk default and showdown. >> all due respect to ari, but no, no, no. like there's one kind of qasi break. we publicly embarrass congress if they raise the debt ceiling. it's an embarrass that they can't live within their means. we take that away and they can just ray the debt willie nilly? that's a bad idea. >> sandra: i'm watching the stock market. this is an unbelievable runup. to what you attribute it, you can decide on your own. whether it's the president, talk of tax reform. 22,000. jerry, so good to see you. the pentagon confirming the deaths of two u.s. service
members in afghanistan, killed today when a suicide bomber ambushed their convoy. the taliban are claiming responsibility. nine american troops have been killed in afghanistan over the past seven months, equalling the total number killed last year. the white house is weighing a decision to deploy thousand morse service members. we are following a developing situation happening this hour in minnesota. two people are unaccounted for after an explosion and partial building collapse at an elementary school in minneapolis. fire officials say it appears the explosion may have been sparked by a ruptured gas line. there were 12 students inside the school gym at the time. none were hurt we're told. we will keep you posted as we get new information on that developing situation. all right. well, the white house press briefing only moments away. on camera, on the podium. we will take you there live as
>> sandra: president trump trying to make good on his promise for immigration reform. it comes in the form of legislation being pushed by senators cotton and perdue. i would drastically reduce the number of legal immigrants accepted into the u.s. this year. industries that rely on migrant labor say they're already feeling the effects of the president's tough stance on immigration. casey? >> reporter: that's right,
sandra. an estimated half of all construction workers in america are in this country illegally. that is a figure that has been put out by the workers defense project which is a pro immigrant rights group. at least that is how things used to be. u.s. construction companies say right now they're having trouble even finding migrant labor. in fact, four out of five single family home builders nationwide, four out of five, say they're experiencing a labor shortage. analysts say several factors are at play. mexico's economy is doing welsh meaning fewer people are crossing the border for work. however, president trump's tough stance on illegal immigration is what many believe this shortage stems from. one ceo tells me he finds most american workers don't want to do construction despite having to tap in to a new pool of young
employees. >> there's just not anybody you can hire out there. it takes so long for us to get these kids out of high school and train them. the immediate need is for people with skill level. >> reporter: fewer workers translate into bigger headaches for consumers. a survey from the national survey of home builders shows 64% of american tkrepbz shall contractors have had to delay their projects. 68% have raised their prices. and months have been added on in some places to the total build tim time. >> focus for a lot of builder clients say i don't have quite the shortage i was feeling 18 months ago but the crews are too small. instead of 12 guys coming to frame your house, you get four guys. >> reporter: roughly 1 million new homes are built annually in this country. this year about 800,000.
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>> sandra: fox news alert. we are awaiting the white house press briefing with sarah huckabee sander, and we will take you there as soon as it begins. moments from now is when it's scheduled. we will get to it as soon as we see her step up to the podium. we are getting a better idea of how republicans are moving forward on tax reform. mike emanuel is on capitol hill. what's the plan on tax reform? >> reporter: no surprise that the different parties have different views. >> the time has come to fix this so we can help our economy grow and help individuals and families we represent realize their true potential. for families, we want to make their taxes simpler, fairer and lower. for small businesses, we want to
provide the conditions they need to form, invest and grow. >> reporter: senate democratic leader chuck shumer is expressing frustration that his side may not get significant input, so he's talking about his party's priorities. >> first, don't cut taxes for the 1%, the top 1%. they're doing fine. god bless them. second, don't increase the debt and deficit. something many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been talking about for a long time. >> reporter: the white house is hoping tax reform will be a september/october project. it could easily slip to the end of the year. >> sandra: seems like markets have started anticipating that fact, as they keep rising. what's if next move on healthcare reform? we're all wondering about this after it fizzled out in the senate? >> reporter: chuck shumer is putting pressure on president trump, insisting that he pay the subsidies to help lower income americans afford their
insurance. >> stop the sabotage. make the payments this month so that chairman alexander and ranking member murray can get to work in a bipartisan way on the longer stablization package. and let me salute a large number -- >> reporter: many republicans are still expressing frustration that they came up short last week. >> obviously, families struggling to pay their bills, specifically their individual insurance bills. we could have begun to address that with our repeal and replace effort. we couldn't get that passed, so we have to do something different. i think this is the beginning of that. >> reporter: stablizing the insurance markets the week of september 4th. sandra? >> sandra: mike emanuel, thank you. president trump unveiling a plan to reform legal immigration reform. he was joined at the white house by arkansas senator tom cotton, who says this bill will be good for american jobs.
>> i'm very excited to be here with senator perdue and president trump to be introducing the new version of the rays act. our legal immigration system should accomplish two main goals. one, it should help american workers get a pay raise and have a higher standard of living which would help promote economic growth. our current system simply doesn't do that. it's over a half century old. it is an obsolete disaster. and it's time for it to change. >> sandra: let's bring in executive in residence at american university school of public affairs and former ohio senate minority leader and staff writer for the federalist. brie, i want to get to you first. is this the best way to protect american workers? do you like this merit based immigration system? >> yeah, you know, i think study after study has shown that while immigrants may reduce wages in the very immediate and short term, in the long run that's
simply not the case. immigrants have proven to be assets to their employers and have proven to provide more economic opportunities to america in skwrerpbg right? someone who is a first generation american whose parents and grandparents couldn't speak english. my dad and grandparents couldn't speak english when they first arrived in this country and had to work remedial jobs. eventually they were able to rise out of those circumstances. i think making it more difficult for people to come here legally is a way to incentivize a bunch of people stuck with illegal immigrants to cross the border. right? for a president so tough on illegal immigration, i mean, this doesn't really seem to square with his goals on securing the border. >> sandra: capri, how do you see this? >> i agree with most of the points brie just brought up. we also need to remember as senator cotton just indicated, part of the goal of this introduced legislation is to try
to create more opportunities for american born workers. now, there was a package earlier in the show that talked about the fact that because there's been such a crackdown on illegal immigration, it has created a shortage of workers in for example the construction field. so it seems to me that if you are creating a more stringent path to a green card, what you are doing is creating greater potential for jobs to be filled. in addition to that, coming from california, i'm not from any of the border states that i think will have a greater impact when it comes to undocumented and documented immigrants on the work force. in our communities and the midwest, we do not have a significant immigrant population that are taking jobs away at entry level. we have a bigger problem when it comes to enabling and getting qualified applicants that can pass drug tests.
we got a lot of other problems that i don't think are being addressed. it looks good on its face, but i don't think it's going to achieve the goals that are set out. it's not going to solve any security issues either. >> sandra: i did want to show this new paul ryan video saying it's time now to build the wall. watch it. >> i had the opportunity to travel down to texas and go do the rio grande valley, spend time with our border patrol. when you see what it's up against, it gives you greater insight to what they do. they need more tools to do their job effectively. that's why we're going to get this done. >> sandra: brie, what did you make of paul ryan's push for the wall? >> he has a point. there's a great video how the border wall in san diego turned
that area from one of the most crime ridden areas, highest number of illegal border crossings when they installed a two-part wall, you know, it became one of the most secure parts of the border. right? so definitely building a wall can help secure the border and reduce illegal immigration. >> sandra: i'll ask the question everyone is wondering. will this get done? >> i sincerely doubt it. my understanding that this appropriation for the wall is a fraction of i think it's the $25 billion that's been quoted to actually build these thousands of miles of the wall that's necessary to secure the entirety of the southern border. that and the fact that both democratic and republican members that are representing border communities have some opposition to the wall. no question about the fact that our border patrol needs more tools. but is this the best tool for them? are they gonna get their bang
for their buck? i think that remains to be seen. >> sandra: we've been asking the question. are you ready for 2020? we're starting to hear some names getting floated around on the democratic side. obama's inner circle urging duval patrick. seth molten, tim ryan. what are you hearing? who is on the bench? >> who do you want to talk to? >> sandra: either one. i'll go to you first, capri. >> tim ryan is my member of congress. he represents me in washington. >> sandra: and? >> i think he's got a great message for bringing the democrats back on track. bringing those trump vetters back into the fold with a strong economic message and recognizing that the democratic party. he's trying to raise his profile. he's gone after nancy pelosi. he went after her to take the leadership role. but he still has a long way to
go in terms of raising his profile. duval patrick, he's not something going for him being a former governor, but i'm not sure anyone from massachusetts can win a national election. >> sandra: starting to talk about 2020. what do you make of some of the names getting floated around? >> the most interesting things about molten and ryan is they both challenged nancy pelosi and the democratic leadership. that's a development that the front runners are challenging the leadership and the status quo. i think that that just reveals a lot of weak points and soft spots in the democratic party. >> sandra: all right. thanks to both of you for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> sandra: we are awaiting the start of the white house press briefing. you can see the room there. we expect to hear plenty on sanctions and immigration. everything about which we just spoke. plus secretary of state rex
tillerson and james mattis are on capitol hill behind closed doors as lawmakers question them about the decision to use military force against isis and other terror groups. ♪ fitting into my skinny jeans again? that's cool. feeling good in slim fit? that's cool. looking fabulous in my little black dress? that's cool. getting the body you want without surgery, needles, or downtime? that's coolsculpting. coolsculpting is the only fda-cleared non-invasive
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>> scientists say they've made an enormous break through that could wipe out some diseases. critics say they're playing god. we'll also have the white house briefing as soon as it starts. the news begins anew in just 16 minutes. we'll see you then. >> sandra: fox news alert. white house briefing supposed to start at 2:30. obviously, we're past that at this point so we're monitoring that. looks like it's a little bit late, but we'll get to that as soon as it begins. there will be some important questions asked in that room, especially after the president signed a new russia sanctions bill as punishment for moscow's interference in the 2016
election. secretary of state rex tillerson and jim mattis are on capitol hill on a closed door briefing on congressional use of military force against isis. rich edson is live for us at the state department. the administration says the u.s. doesn't need that authorization. rich? >> reporter: i doesen need to update it. that comes in a letter that the state department just sent to the committee that's hosting that briefing closed door. started about 35 minutes ago with secretary of state rex tiller son and james mattis. the administration argues that the 2001 authorization which administrations have been using for 16 years now, is sufficient for today's fight. the letter says, quote, the united states has sufficient legal authority to prosecute the campaign against al qaeda and associated forces, including against the islamic state of iraq and syria. administration is not seeking revisions to the 2001aumf or additional authorizations to use force.
letter also says the justification that secretary tillerson laid out before congress earlier this summer. >> our mission and our purpose and reason for being in syria is unchanged. we are there to defeat isis. all of our efforts are on defeating isis. >> reporter: that 2001 authorization was written broadly which is why administration keep using it. >> sandra: what's the opposition to that? >> reporter: well, there are democrats and republicans who say this was passed in the wake of the september 11 attack 16 years ago. that the mission has changed, that the circumstances have changed and that it needs an update. senator ben carton was just walking ahead of this meeting and said that congress needs to update that law. >> we never intended for it to be used against isis and syria. it was meant to deal with the threat to our country on 9/11. organizations that exist today were not the organizations that
were involved in the attack against our country on 9/11. >> reporter: in march, secretary mattis told congress that an updated authorization would be a statement of the american people's resolve. there have been efforts in congress to either change the authorization or repeal it. those efforts have failed. sandra. >> sandra: rich edson at the state department, thank you. after president trump signed the bill imposing new sanctions on russia, he released a statement outlining his concern. he calls the bill significantly flawed an says he's worried it will hinder his ability to negotiate with foreign countries. let's bring in former adviser for u.s. ambassadors to the u.n. i'll warn everybody, we are waiting for that press briefing to start at the white house. we'll keep watching that for you. but i'll ask the question, why would the president sign a bill that he sees as significantly flawed? rich? >> well, i think he sought changes and they got some changes. this is a president that has
demonstrated from the beginning that he is a negotiator. he's somebody who's not going to shut down government. he's not going to throw a tantrum if he doesn't get his way. i think in washington, that can be mocked by a lot of reporters. that can be mocked by partisans. but the rest of us outside of washington, d.c., we think that washington should go and that the politicians should work together. if you're sitting across the aisle from someone that you don't agree with completely, you're gonna have to get the best deal you can and move us forward. that's what we expect you to do in washington. although many mock that, i think president trump looked at this. when you look at the statement, he says, for the sake of national unity, i'm gonna sign this an move it forward even though i think washington congress is encroaching on his ability. sandra, one thing that i will say, president trump is right. we need to have one voice when it comes to foreign policy.
he needs to be able to talk to other leaders, negotiate different deals, try to maneuver us when it comes to a national security or foreign policy issue. and you gotta have one person that's doing that. after all, you can't have germany or france negotiating with all of congress in order to make some changes. they need to negotiate with one person. >> sandra: so signing this russia sanctions bill, what does that do to rising tensions with moscow? >> well, clearly, they're not going to be happy. and they've already said they're not going to be happy and there's going to be some sort of retaliation. this is where we need to be able to have a u.s. policy that's swift. we haven't had one that's very swift. lot of what we're talking about now is because russia grabbed crimea and there weren't a lot of consequences for that. and then they hacked the dnc servers. and so we know that there's been
some hacking problems. we should have been able to immediately implement sanctions to send the message to russia. we saw what you did. there's gonna be consequences. but we're way now past the point where the sanctions were swift, as they should have been in the obama administration. but at least now we have some. and there's no question that this is going to be painful for russia. there's still more sanctions to implement, if we want to ratchet it up. but this is a good start. >> sandra: all right. it's flawed, but it's signed now, and you say that's the right thing to do. rick, thanks for being here. we'll keep our ear on the white house press briefing room. meanwhile civil rights advocates slamming the trump administration over new reports the doj might investigate affirmative action policies in college admissions. maria is an incredible mom. when it comes to helping her daughter, shopping for groceries, unclogging the sink, setting up dentist appointments and planning birthday parties, nobody does it better.
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>> sandra: steven miller has stepped up to the podium in the white house briefing room talking immigration. let's listen in. >> -- whether that applicant has demonstrated the skill that can add to the u.s. economy, whether they can pay their own way or be reliant on welfare, or whether they'll displace or take a job from an american worker. and as a result of this policy in place now for many year, we've seen significant reductions in wages for blue collar workers, massive displacement of african-american and hispanic workers, as well as the displacement of immigrant workers from previous years who oftentimes compete directly against new arrivals who are being paid even less. so it's a policy that actually exacerbates wealth and quality in the country in a pretty significant way. so you've seen over time as a result of this historic flow of unskilled immigration, a shift in wealth from the working class
to wealthier corporations and businesses. it's been very unfair for american workers, but especially for immigrant workers, african-american workers and hispanic workers and blue collar workers in general across the country. at the same time, it's cost taxpayers enormously because roughly half of immigrant headed households in the united states receive some type of welfare benefit, which i know is a fact that many people might consider astonishing, but it's not surprising when you have an immigration system that doesn't look at questions like skill level or self-sufficiency. and so this proposal has several major historic changes. first, it eliminates so-called chain migration. so right now what is chain migration? it means that if you come into the united states on a green card -- an just so we're all clear. a green card gives recipient lifetime work authorization, the ability to bring in their family members.
it gives them a fast track to u.s. citizenship and with that all the benefits that come with being an american citizen. and so the individuals right now who are receiving green cards, they can bring in, say, an elderly relative who can immediately go onto public assistance if they become unable to support themselves financially. and then that person can bring in a relative who can bring in a relative who can bring in a relative. that's why they call it chain migration. and over years that has massively deskilled the migrant flow into america and produced all of those effects i'm talking about. so we're proposing to limit family based migration to spouses and minor children. additionally, we're establishing a new entry system that's points based. australia has a points based system, canada has a points based system. and what will the system look at? does the applicant speak english? can they support themselves an their families financially?
do they have a skill that will add to the u.s. economy? are they being paid a high wage? the last part is very important because it will help prevent displacement of u.s. workers. so if a company, let's say they're offering three times the median wage. that person would get more points on their application than if they're being offered two times the median wage or one times the median wage. you're putting upward pressure on wages instead of downward pressure. you're making it very hard to use immigrant labor to substitute for american workers. because by prioritizing higher paid workers, you basically end the practice, more or less, of being able to seek out permanent residents to come in at lower pay. so that's a major historic change to u.s. immigration policy. the effectiveness, switching to a skilled based system and ending unfettered chain migration would be, over time, you would cut net migration in
half, which polling shows supported overwhelmingly by the american people in very large numbers. now, i'll conclude by saying this is what president trump campaigned on. he talked about it throughout the campaign, throughout the transition and since coming into office. this is a major promise to the american people, to push for merit based immigration reform that protects u.s. workers, protects u.s. taxpayers and protects the u.s. economy and that prioritizes the needs of our own citizen, our own residents. it's pro american immigration reform that the american people want, that the american people deserve, and that puts the needs of the working class ahead of the investor class. so with that, i would gladly take a few questions. >> you talk about the president's agenda. obviously if this doesn't become law it won't be implemented. there's already resistance in congress, even from republicans, even the day you're rolling out this plan.
how do you plan to overcome that? where are the compromising plans? >> it's my experience that there's two kinds of proposals. there's proposals that can only succeed in the dark of night and proposals that can only succeed in the light of day. this is the latter of those two. the more that we as a country have a national conversation about what kind of immigration system we want and to whom we want to give green cards to, the more unstoppable the momentum for something like this becomes. >> there's room for change? >> public support is so immense on this. if you look at the polling data in many key battleground states across the country, over time you're going to see massive public push for this kind of legislation. immigration affects every aspect of our lives. it affects our schools, our hospitals, our working conditions, our labor market, our tax base, our communities. it's a deeply personal issue for americans. so you're going to see massive public support for this. members of congress will have a choice to make.
they can either vote with the interest of u.s. citizens and u.s. workers or they can vote against their interests and whatever happens as a result of >> how do you wedge this in an already jam-packed legislative calendar? >> ultimately we'll have conversations with senate leadership about the steps forward. but this is an issue that we campaigned on, the american people voted for by electing donald j. trump as their president and that is of enormous importance to the american economy. again, we're protecting blue collar workers and bringing in workers to add to the economy. i think this is a -- it's a historic moment that happened today. again, the biggest proposed change that would take place in 50 years is at a time in which you have automation that is replacing a lot of