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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  August 19, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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08/19/15 08/19/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> this is and has always been a white problem of violence. there is not much that we can do to stop the violence against us. >> i understand what you're saying. respectfully, if that is your position, then i will talk only to white people about how we are going to deal with a very real problem. amy: black lives matter activists confront secretary hillary clinton on the campaign trail over her record on criminal justice issues. we will speak with two of the
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activists on what clinton did and did not say. then support is growing among republican presidential candidates to repeal part of the 14th amendment that guarantees people born on american soil are automatically american citizens. >> you want to get rid of birthright citizenship? >> yes, you have to. they're having a baby and all of a sudden, nobody knows -- amy: that was donald, but he is not alone. scott walker, chris christie, rand paul, lindsey graham all support ending birthright citizenship. we will speak to ian millhiser who recently wrote the article headlined "donald trump's first policy plan is even more racist than you think it is." the pulitzer prize-winning journalist david cay johnston on 21 questions for donald trump. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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imprisoned army whistleblower chelsea manning has been spared the punishment of indefinite solitary confinement after more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling on military prison authorities to drop the charges of possession of unauthorized meeting -- reading material and other minor infractions. manning had been called before the disciplinary panel at the military prison at fort leavenworth for having an expired tube of toothpaste, an issue of "vanity fair" in which transgender celebrity caitlyn jenner describes her new life living openly as a woman, the u.s. senate report on torture , and other "prohibited property." on tuesday, a panel a ruled that manning did have unapproved reading material. her punishment is 21 days of restricted recreational activities, including no access to a gym, a library or the outdoors. manning is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking u.s. government cables to wikileaks.
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two -- to see our interview with chase strangio, one of chelsea's lawyers about this case, go to the world's leading islamic scholars have released a declaration on climate change, : world meters meeting later this year to compare it to 100% zero-emissions strategy and to invest in decentralized renewable energy in order to reduce poverty and the catastrophic impacts of climate change. this declaration comes on the heels of the publication of pope francis's encyclical on the environment earlier this year, in which he also calls for sweeping action on climate change. like the encyclical, this declaration links climate change to the economic system, writing -- "we recognize the corruption that humans have caused on the earth due to our relentless pursuit of economic growth and consumption." eric clinton -- hillary clinton has criticized president obama's
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move to allow oil drilling in the arctic. earlier this week, the administration granted royal dutch shell final approval to resume drilling for oil and gas in the arctic ocean for the first time since 2012, despite widespread protests from environmental groups. taking to twitter, clinton wrote -- "the arctic is a unique treasure...given what we know now, it's not worth the risk of drilling." hillary clinton continues to be docked by the issue of the, e-mail server she used wall secretary of state. at a campaign event tuesday, las vegas reporters pressed the issue causing her to abruptly end the news conference. the justice department is currently investigating whether any classified e-mails or handle them properly. in syria, the self-proclaimed islamic state has executed an antiquities expert in the ancient city of palmyra. isil captured palmyra, a unesco world heritage site, in may. on tuesday, militants reportedly beheaded khaled assad, who spent
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more than 50 years working to preserve palmyra, and hung his body on a column in the ancient city. amnesty international has accused both houthi rebels and the u.s.-backed, saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels of "ruthless and wanton disregard for the safety of civilians." the report calls for the united nations to establish a panel to probe possible war crimes in yemen. meanwhile, another report by unicef says eight children are killed or maimed every day in yemen. the reports came as saudi-led warplanes blasted the houthi-controlled port of hodeida, the main entry point for aid supplies to northern yemen. the white house has hired a transgender woman of color to serve as an outreach and recruitment director, marking what officials are calling the first time the white house has hired an openly transgender staffer. raffi freedman-gurspan is a former policy adviser on racial and economic justice for the national center for transgender
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equality. she has advocated for transgender migrants to be released from immigrant detention centers, and for the federal government to do more to protect transgender women from violence. at least 17 transgender women have been murdered this year. in news from texas, a guatemalan lgbtq activist who has been taking sanctuary in a church in austin since june has been granted a stay of deportation by authorities. sulma franco has sought asylum in the united states because lgbt activists face high levels of violence in guatemala. but activists say her application was denied based on a "clerical error." on tuesday, authorities stayed her deportation for one year. meanwhile, in guatemala, the leading presidential candidate has criticized donald trump for his comments calling on the latino community to reject "humiliation." >> this rhetoric is a political
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strategy mr. trump is using. however, i am completely against these kinds of actions that hurt hispanics. it is important that we hispanics are clear that we can't be accepting of such human relation or negative blows against our culture and dignity. amy: we'll have more on trump's comments later in the broadcast. in news from washington, new jersey senator robert menendez says he will oppose the iran nuclear deal. his announcement comes two weeks after new york democratic senator chuck schumer said he will also oppose the deal. menendez is a senior member of the senate foreign relations committee. he said tuesday he would not put his name on the deal because it does not require iran to dismantle its entire nuclear infrastructure. >> i have looked into my own soul and my devotion a once again the me two and a popular course, but if iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it. it is for these reasons that i will vote to disapprove the agreement and if called upon --
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amy: more than 1000 black activists, artists, scholars and students have signed on to a statement of solidarity with the palestinian struggle. signatories include scholars angela davis and cornel west, journalist mumia abu-jamal, hip hop artist talib kweli and black lives matter co-founder patrisse cullors. the statement endorses the boycotts, divestment and sanctions movement against israel. it specifically highlights private prison giant g4s as a target for the movement, because the company detains for profit palestinians in israel as well as people of color in the united states. newly released documents show numerous black lives matter -- have confirmed police in new york city attended numerous black lives matter protests while undercover and tracked the movements of individual activists. records obtained by the intercept show authorities circulated photographs and notes about the activities of anti-police brutality protesters, including jose lasalle, founder of the police
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watchdog copwatch patrol unit, and ray lewis, a former philadelphia police officer, turned activist. the records appear to provide the first documented evidence of the presence of undercover police at black lives matter rallies in new york city. in new mexico, a judge has ruled two albuquerque police officers must stand trial on murder charges for the fatal shooting of a homeless man last year. james boyd had been confronted by police for sleeping in an unauthorized campsite. police say he was armed with knives, but video from a police helmet camera shows boyd apparently agreeing to surrender and turning away to pick up his belongings before officers fire a flashbang grenade, release a dog on him, and open fire. the incident sparked protests citing the involvement of albuquerque police in more than 40 shootings since 2010. officers dominique perez and keith sandy are the first albuquerque police officers to face trial for murder charges,
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despite a justice department probe which found most fatal shootings by albuquerque police were unconstitutional. and in news from california, a video of police officers pinning down a disabled, african-american man has gone viral. the video shows san francisco police kneeling on the man's prosthetic leg. police say they received a 911 call about a man "waving sticks around," and restrained him after he refused to drop the sticks and walked into traffic. but the sticks apparently refer to his crutches. the man repeatedly asks for the crutches back, saying, "i use these to walk." the video shows onlookers pleading with police to stop pressing on the man's prosthetic leg. >> what are you doing? oh, my god. wait, you're on his prosthetic leg? you are on his prosthetic leg.
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you are on his prosthetic leg. >> stop. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: i am one gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers around the country and around the world. black lives matter activists are back in the news after confronting hillary clinton on the campaign trail. following a campaign event in new hampshire, a group of black lives matter activists from massachusetts met with clinton. what followed was a 16-minute conversation during which the activists pressed clinton to address her support of the crime bill that her husband, former president bill clinton, signed into law in 1994. that legislation led to the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in american history. hillary clinton had heavily lobbied lawmakers to pass the crime bill, which included $9.7 billion in prison funding and
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tougher sentencing provisions. amy: speaking before the annual women in policing conference in 1994, hillary clinton said -- "we need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders. the 'three-strikes-and-you're-out' for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. we need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets." in a moment, we will be joined by two of the black lives matters activists who talked with hillary clinton last week. but first, let's turn to the exchange. it begins with daunasia yancey of black lives matter boston. >> [indiscernible] >> i feel strongly, which is why
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i had this town hall today, and the questions in the comments from people illustrated, there is a lot of concern that we need to reach think and redo only did in response to a different set of problems. and life, and politics and government, you name it, you have to constantly be asking yourself, is this working, is it not? if it is not, what do we do better? that is what i'm trying to do now on drugs, unless incarceration, on police behavior and criminal justice reform. because i do think that there was a different set of concerns back in the 1980's and early 1990's. and now i believe we have to look at the world as it is today and try to figure out what will work now. and that is what i'm trying to figure out, what i intend to do as president. >> i would offer, it did not
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work then come either. a number of policies work extensions of -- i think i want to hear a little bit about that. what is policies are being enacted when you ripping apart families. >> i'm not sure i agree with you. i'm not sure i disagree that any kind of government action often has consequences. and certainly, the war on drugs, which the 1980's has had consequences. increasing penalties for crime and three strikes and you're out in all of those kinds of actions have had consequences. but it is important to remember -- and i certainly remember that there was a very serious to you know, crime wave that was impacting primarily communities of color.
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amy: democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton responding to a question posed by daunasia yancey of black lives matter, boston after a , campaign event in new hampshire. well, daunasia joins us here in new york along with julius jones of black lives matter, worcester, who also questioned clinton about her criminal justice record. welcome to democracy now! in a moment, we will play a longer part of the in country both had. daunasia yancey, explain how did you meet up with hillary clinton? other black lives matter protesters, were people interrupted public events, you are actually brought to her privately? >> yes, we went to new hampshire with the intention of confronting hillary clinton in a , a form she was hosting on substance abuse. unfortunately, when we got there, we were told we could not come inside.
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someone recognized me -- amy: because it was crowded? that weis the reason were given, capacity. amy: a report from cnn? >> someone came out and invited us to an overflow room where we could watch the forum and one for staffers came in and said, we could offer you a couple of minutes with her. we said, absolutely. amy: did she know you were filming her? >> yes. juan: risa price of the conversation, but it lasted as long as it did? >> it was kind of shocking. i think she was taking the opportunity to give us enough time and space to satisfy the concerns that were raised by us not being let in. it felt as if -- it was strategic on the campaign's part, and was probably pretty smart that they did not let the story get out that we were shut out of the meeting.
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but i think the direction a conversation went and was probably unexpected by her and the campaign. it was a very candid, open and frank tiller clinton, too. amy: talk about, before we go into the question, the next question that julius asks, what you -- the issues you're raising and his first encounter with her that we just played. >> we wanted to hear a personal reflection on her participation in promoting policies through the war on drugs that have increased our mass incarceration situation w're in today. held allary clinton unique space in our country's politics. so to be having a forum on substance abuse and not recognize her own role in not, you know drugs -- we felt like we really needed to hold her
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accountable to the history. amy: and what capacity was she responsible? talk about her history, how you hold her responsible 08/19/15 08/19/15 policies thatfor has increased the penalties for minor drug offenses and things 1994, $17back in billion invested from public housing. $19 billion put into prison construction. with situations like that, we have seen her publicly support, we wanted to hear what has changed in her that she would not continue to promote practices like that. juan: how do you respond to folks that say, well, the black lives matter now has the confronting several democratic candidates, but republican candidates, of which there are many more, have largely so far been unscathed on answering their policy issues in terms of the black community and police
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violence and mass incarceration? >> welcome every presidential candidate should expect to hear from us and be held countable. there is a practical power and mapping where some lecture lobbying, you map who is closest to you to you -- and go to those folks first to force them to articulate their stance and then hold them accountable to it. this movement is very strategic and that is what we have been doing. amy: we want to turn to the next part of the interaction. talk about how long you had with her. there were campaign staffers around, is that right? >> yeah, there was a room probably full of 20 people. there were five folks with us and 15 with her. the four or five people you see on camera, probably another six on either side of the person who was filming. was -- it was a decent amount
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of time, like 15 minutes. it felt like it lasted forever. amy: this is julius jones questioning hillary clinton. >> the truth is, there is an extremely long history of unfortunate government practices that particularly affect like people, black families. and then till we as a country -- until we as a country actually addresses the anti-blackness current that is america's first drug -- we are meetings about drugs. america's first drug is freeing black labor and turning black lives into profit. in the mass incarceration system, it is an awful lot like the prison plantation system. it is a similar threat, right? and until someone takes that message and speaks that truth to white people in this country so we can actually take on
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anti-blackness as a founding problem in this country, i don't believe there is going to be a solution. i genuinely want to know, you and your family, has been a known certain ways partially responsible more than most, beht, now there may unintended consequences, but now the you understand the consequences, what in your heart has changed that will change the direction of this country? platform,u and your not what you're supposed to say, but how do you actually feel that is different than you did before? what were the mistakes and how can those mistakes that you made be lessons for all of america for a moment of reflection on how we treat black people in this country? >> your analysis is totally
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fair. it is historically fair, psychotically fair, economically fair. but you're going to have to come together as a movement and say, here is what we want done about it. because you can get lip service from as many white people as you can pack into yankee stadium are going to say, oh, we get it, we get it, we have to be nicer. that is not enough in my book. that is not how i view politics. raising,nsciousness the efficacy, the fashion -- passion, the youth of your movement is so critical that now all i'm suggesting is, even for us sinners, find some common ground on agendas that can make a difference right here and now in people's lives. and that is what i would love to have your thoughts about. because that is what i'm trying to figure out how to do. yeah, deal with mass incarceration.
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it is not just an economic issue, although, i grant you some people see it like that. it is more than that. i think there is the sense coming up, low-level offenders, disparity in treatment, we have to do something about that. i think that a lot of the issues about housing and about job opportunities, a lot of these -- let's get an agenda that addresses as much as of the problem as we can. because then you can be for something. in addition to getting people to have to admit that they are part of a long history in our country of, you know, either proposing, supporting, condoning discrimination, segregation, etc., now what do we do next? that is what i'm trying to figure out in my campaign. that is what i'm doing. >> [indiscernible] >> thank you. >> the piece that is most important and i stand here in
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your space as respectfully as i can, but if you don't tell black people what we need to do, then we won't tell you all what you need to do. >> i am telling you to tell me. >> what i mean to say is, this has always been a black problem of violence. there is not much that we can do to stop the violence against us. >> ok, i understand what you're saying. is worthlly, if that position, then i will talk only to white people about how we're going to deal -- >> that is not what i mean. what i'm saying, what you just said was a form of victim blaming. what the black lives matter movement has to do to change white hearts -- >> look, i don't believe you change hearts. i believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. you're not going to change every
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heart. you're not. but at the end of the day, we can do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and creates for people o deserve to have them, to live up to their own god-given potential come to live faithfully without fear of violence and their own communities, the have a decent school, to have a decent house, to have a decent future. so we can do it one of many ways. you can keep the movement going, which you have started, and through it you may actually change some hearts. but if that is all that happens, we will be back here in 10 years having the same conversation. amy: that is julius jones's speaking with hillary clinton and daunasia yancey as well as the black lives matter movement. they went up to your hamsher where she was holding a forum on substance abuse. they were actually brought to her backstage afterwards. were you satisfied with her answer to you? >> i think we got to her in a
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way that made it feel like the trip was worth it. the content of the answer, i was not satisfied with because hillary clinton gave an answer that i might expect in a normal conversation with an everyday liberal person who is ducking the personal responsibility and just try to focus on the solution. something that i expect in everyday conversation when i did with people on this idea, but when it comes to hillary clinton and the clintons in general, they, not only occupy a unique space and how they feel, but there directly responsible for the greatest increase in the prison population under any president. and for her to be confronted with this idea and then immediately say that the movement needs to solve this problem, and in the backdrop, what she is not saying is, that perpetuated those
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go this long, droning history of anti-blackness in the united states. and her visceral reaction i think was indicative of how she felt and i think it was indicative of how perhaps and her own racial introspection it was the first time it had really a critter her like that. because it was a very emotional reaction, more emotion than i think we have seen. juan: i think is one of the more candid moments in the presidential campaign so far of any of the candidates to get her to have to respond offer regular message or prepared notes and have to have an interchange and a back-and-forth on the subject that she clearly did not relish having, but was also clearly affected or listening to what you had to say. i congratulate you for being able to raise those issues and also, thankfully, there was a video to let other people see
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what actually happened. amy: i want to go back and get your comment on the other times the black lives matter have engaged the democratic presidential candidates. earlier this month, to activist shut down an appearance in seattle by presidential candidate and vermont senator bernie sanders. seattle, for being one of the most progressive cities and the united states of america. her, you do not listen to your event will be shut down right now. [boos] amy: after some negotiation amid a chorus of boos from the crowd, johnson addressed the crowd and held a four-and-a-half minute moment of silence for michael brown, one minute for each hour that he lay on the street in ferguson after being gunned down by a police officer on august 9, 2014, just over a year ago. johnson then referenced the confrontation that black lives matter activists had with sanders and another democratic
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presidential candidate, former maryland governor martin o'malley, earlier this summer at the netroots nation conference in phoenix. >> if you believe that black lives matter, as you say you do, then you will join us now and holding bernie sanders accountable specifically for his actions. [boos] bernie, you are confronted at netroots by black women who said black lives matter, and you have yet to apologize [indiscernible] like o'malley did. amy: sanders did not answer the question, but appeared on "meet the press" on sunday and spoke to reports that his campaign has apologized for taking so long to reach out to black lives matter activists. >> that was by a staffer, not me. look, we're reaching out all caps of groups. i met with folks at black lives
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matter. we're reaching out to latino groups, unions. we are fighting to expand social security and reaching up to senior groups and health care groups because we believe that everybody in america is entitled to health care. we're reaching out to everybody. but on the issue of black lives matter, let me be very clear, the issue they are raising is a very, very important issue. there's no candidate for president who will be stronger in fighting against institutional racism, and by the way, reforming a broken criminal justice system. people inare more jail in the united states of america than any other country on earth. and we need real changes. we need the weight of the militarization of local police department's, we need to do away with minimum sentencing. we need education and jobs for our young people rather than jails and incarceration. a wou set a staffer put felten apology was necessary yet though >> no, i don't. we're going to be working with
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all groups. this was set up without my knowledge. todd oft was chuck "meet the press" the was senator sanders. julius jones, your response to inders, the interruptions the questioning of him, do you feel he has responded adequately? it is a step in the right direction. what he is asked folks to do is to be patient with him and to trust that he will be the best candidate to advance this type of agenda. and i think even he, who is arguably on the cutting edge of this issue him a does not understand the emergency, the in the that we are in struggle because it is not just an item on a long list of agendas in the united states for most of us. it is our families being devastated in the slow form through poverty, the loaded gun
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that is poverty that the black community has had. --is faster in the prison families were broken up by family members being in prison. and it is the rapid violent version and police brutality. the last time i checked the counter project, who's keeping track of police murders, police killings in the united states, it is up to 731. it is on pace to topple 1000. the portion only, it is disproportionately against black people. we have statistics showing urgency of this, unlike ever before. bernie sanders is not treating it justly. were talking but the presidential candidates, what about the sitting president and his changes in the last year or two in addressing some of the issues of mass incarceration and an unjust justice system. what do you think about his policies?
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heldthink that -- if you -- he should be held just as accountable as anyone seeking this office, right? right now we are focused on the presidential race, but absolutely, folks have raised that concern and i think he doesn't get off, either. no president of the united states has ever stood for black lives in a strong and effective way. that is the reason we're in the situation we're in now, right? foundingyou ended up the black lives matter chapter in boston and you, julius, representing black lives matter in worcester, massachusetts? >> it was through the ride to ferguson last year in august 2014 when we were down in ferguson by august 29 after mike brown was killed. we were down there to support the community can't erisa issue, and bring strategy back home to stop that is what we did and founded the chapter in boston.
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amy: julius? >> i went to ferguson a little bit before the nationwide call and then many months later, i was doing some organizing work in was to, massachusetts with a wonderful group and decided to attempt to bring the national energy of theblm. amy: thank you for being with us, daunasia yancey and julius jones, activists with black lives matter. you can go to our website especially for radio listeners, and you can see the interaction between the black lives matter and activist in new hampshire with hillary clinton. when we come back, we look at donald trump and particularly, his taking on birthright -- the issue of birthright. should the constitution be changed and how is it affecting other presidential candidates? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman juan gonzalez. support is growing among republican presidential candidates to repeal part of the 14th amendment that guarantees people born on american soil are automatically u.s. citizens. in his plan for immigration reform, republican presidential hopeful donald trump singles out birthright citizenship as the single biggest magnet for illegal immigration. speaking to nbc's chuck todd on his private plane, trump said the united states has no choice
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but to get rid of birthright citizenship. >> you want to get rid of birthright citizenship? >> yes, you have to. or having a baby and all of a sudden -- you have no choice. havee tell you, when we some good people, some very good people here a lot of really good people. they are illegal. >> get rid of birthright citizenship. >> try to bring them back rapidly, the good ones. amy: that was donald trump. he is not alone. several presidential republican candidates all support ending birthright citizenship. joining us from washington, d.c. is ian millhiser, a senior fellow at the center for american progress action fund and the editor of thinkprogress justice. he is the author of the book, "injustices: the supreme court's history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted." explain your latest piece. >> this idea of illuminating
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birthright citizenship, this supremek to the worst court decision in american history, the dred scott decision. people -- said that citizenship is something that essentially is a hereditary right, it flows from people who are the sort of people who are citizens of the founding and if you have the right bloodline, then you get to be a citizen. if you don't have the right bloodline, and what they meant in dred scott was the descendents of african slaves, then you don't get to be a citizen. thisd trump was to bring notion of painted bloodline back. now here he is not talked about the descendents of african slaves for the descendents of undocumented immigrants. but it is the same offensive notion that drove the dred scott decision, that citizenship is something that comes only to people with privileged blood that is driving this proposal. juan: in other words, in trump's
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immigration plan, he is in favor of family unification by deporting everyone -- the , thets, the grown youth babies by removing of birthright citizenship as well. >> that's right. it is hugely cruel plan. he wants matthews board -- mass deportation. i have seen estimates as much a $600 billion worth of deportations he is pushing. one way he said, i mean, there's so many cruelties weighted of this proposal, one thing he wants to do is get rid of remittances were families come over to the united states are part of a family comes over to the united states, they work and they send money back to the dismally poor families in the nation they came from. he was to get rid of that. so his idea here is to hold families together and abject poverty and then, of course, to keep them from being able to be in the united states while their
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suffering through that poverty. amy: let's go to another aspect of the plan. he told nbc's chuck todd that the executive order on the dream act would be rescinded. >> what you do about the daca order? the executive order that the president -- that is -- >> the executive order gets rescinded. >> you will resend that one, too? the dream act? >> we have to make a whole new set of standards. and when people come -- >> you're going to split up families and a poor children? >> know, we have to get the families together. >> what if they have no place to go? >> we will work with them. they have to go. either we have a country or we don't have a country. amy: that is donald trump speaking to chuck todd. cucumbers together, deport them all. shortly after he released the proposal, wisconsin governor
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scott walker also came out in support of changing the constitution, responding -- rescinding birthright citizenship during an msnbc interview. >> do you think birthright citizenship should be ended? it is something -- absolutely, going forward. >> we should end birthright citizenship? >> to me, it is about enforcing laws in this country. you enforce the laws and nothing to support us in the message that we're going to enforce the laws, no matter how people come here, we're going to enforce the law. >> and we should deport children? >> i did not say that, said we should enforce the law. amy: and lindsey graham, another republican presidential hopeful, also came out in support of ending birthright citizenship. but he criticized donald trump's immigration plan as gibberish and nonsensical and said it would kill the republican party.
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but i think it is a bad practice to give citizenship based on birth. buying evidence of tourist visas for the express purpose of coming over here and having a child. i don't think that is a good idea. and that is not going to happen until we fix the broken immigration system. donald trump's eight-page plan is gibberish. amy: there you have lindsey graham, governor walker, donald trump setting the agenda. ian millhiser? >> birthright citizenship has been in the constitution for 150 years, put in there after the civil war. so the idea that it has created some sort of crisis -- if it has created a crisis, then you have to believe that we have been in a state of crisis for 150 years. it is just not a tenable position. it is certainly true that when donald trump entered the race, we thought he was a clown show. we thought he was comic relief in this race. and what has happened instead is the reality tv show host is
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driving much of the republican party's policy here. you see all of these people, sitting senators, sitting governors who are supposed to be the serious folks, lining up behind this racist, ridiculous policy to eliminate something that has been in our constitution for 150 years. , what does this do to the republican brand among the voters given the fact that now becametion, which was -- an albatross, the issue around republican candidates in the last presidential election is now becoming such a major topic of discussion among these candidates? >> right, i mean, ultimately, that is up to the voters. i mean, i have a good friend who recipient and i want her to be able to continue to work and live in this country. trumpld hurt me if donald
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. his way. there are a lot of families who would be even more hurt if they discovered their brothers, their sisters, their children, their parent were going to be deported by this policy, so i hope that voters are going to look at this and many of them are going to recoil because they will realize what is going to happen to them, their friends and families. if these policies go into effect. but ultimately, this election is always going to come down to turnout. and it depends upon whether voters look at these policies that aren't just trump's policies now, that are fast becoming the policies of the republican party, and say, you know, i need to make sure i turnout at the polls and i have my say and what is going to happen. juan: speaking to cbs on tuesday, republican presidential candidate jeb bush dismissed trump's immigration proposal, saying that birthright citizenship was a constitutional right. >> that is a constitutional right, and mr. trump can say that he is for this because
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people are frustrated that it is abused and we ought to fix the problem rather than take away rights that are constitutionally endowed. bush separating himself from the pack. >> somewhat. jeb did take a slightly more moderate position, although, if you read his full statement, what he essentially said is, look, amending the constitution is too hard. at one point he said if yet a magic wand, there are 10 different things you do to change the constitution. but because it is too hard to amend it, he instead wants to look for ways to crack down on immigration that he can do amending the constitution. i think he is a more practical ends in a sense that he is saying, look, this is a very difficult way to go about our shared goal of making life more difficult for immigrants, but it doesn't change the fact that his goal, and what he said throughout that is, here are all
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of these other ways that i want to crack down on immigration. amy: ian millhiser, thanks for being with us, senior fellow at the center for american progress action fund and the editor of thinkprogress justice. he is the author of the book, "injustices: the supreme court's history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted." when we come back, we will be joined by david cay johnston. yes 21 questions for donald trump. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "the browning of america" by olmeca. the video for their song was made in collaboration with puente vision and the national day laborers organizing network. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman and juan gonzalez. juan: to talk by about
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republican presidential front runner donald trump, we are joined by pulitzer prize-winning journalist david cay johnston am a who has covered trump off and on for 27 years. he recently wrote an article for national memo titled "21 questions for donald trump." amy: is an investigative reporter previously with "the new york times." he's currently a columnist for al jazeera america as well as a contributing writer at newsweek. his latest book is, "divided. the perils of our growing inequality." he has been covering donald trump for various publications for decades. -- you have been covering donald trump for more than 30 years. can you talk about who donald trump is? >> he is not at all who people think he is. i'm very surprised that conservatives are embracing him. for example, donald's most famous buildings, the trump tower, instead of building it as a steel girder building, he chose to build it out of
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concrete, 58 story, he says 68 stories, 58 story concrete building built by a company called ans construction. who owned ans construction? the head of the crime family in new york and the head of the gambino family. when the trump used in the same family for other projects that he built, even though they were more costly than using steel girder construction. when he tore down the building to make way for the trump tower, he had about a dozen union house records on the site and about 150 polish workers, all of them illegally in the country, who he paid four dollars to five dollars an hour and did not have hardhats. trump claimed in a lawsuit that he at no idea that these workers were there any way other than the appropriate way. a federal judge mocked him, pointing out they were easy to spot because they were the ones
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who had no hardhats. donald's personal helicopter pilot, joseph, was a convicted major cocaine and marijuana trafficker whose criminal case landed before, of all people, judge merion trump barry, donald trump's sister. gary recused yourself, but she also in the process made every other judge in the federal system of where the sensitivity of this particular case. in addition, donald trump has been found in the past repeatedly to have not the people he owed money to. it is a standard business practice of his. he is let people think that he fixed roman rank in central park for free. he was paid $10 million, but some of his contractors were never paid. he told them this was a public service project. he has been sued in rollable -- innumerable times for racial discrimination, found to have engaged in racial discrimination
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. he is not at all who he appears to be. juan: david cay johnston, you also note he is not even a billionaire, as he so often claims. >> he wasn't one in 1990. in 1990, when i revealed he claimed he was worth $3 billion back then and i got a hold of his bankers net worth statement that showed he was worth -$295 million, and we ran across the top of "the inquirer" you are probably worth more than donald trump, i think the record now is pretty clear he probably is worth $1 billion or somewhat more than $1 billion of a nowhere near $10 billion. but important to that is that donald, in all likelihood, despite claiming a $400 million annual income, probably doesn't pay any income taxes because of a special provision in federal tax law. if you are a real estate and your or operator
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losses, your paper losses, the depreciating building of your -- value of your building exceeds or other income, you can live tax-free. i have three years of donald's tax returns from the late 1970's and early 1980's that show large negative income and no federal income tax. juan: and you have challenged him to release his taxes? >> oh, yeah, i think the likelihood that donald will reveal his tax returns, even if he is the republican nominee, is extraordinarily small. i mean, look how hard mitt romney, who benefited from another provision of the tax code that would have allowed him to live tax-free or virtually tax-free as the sole owner of capital management five to only release two years of his taxes, even though his father set the standard at 16. amy: we were just talking, david cay johnston, about his wanted to change the constitution to end birthright citizenship. your thoughts? >> the racist right in this country has proposed repeal of
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the four to the limit for a long time. you have not heard about it in the mainstream news because it seems like a crazy french idea. i noticed lindsey graham saying, we have evidence of people coming here to have babies. i have asked several politicians over the last few years, what evidence? point me to people will stop you don't get anything from these folks. it's assume it is true. what would we amend the constitution and take away a right, a right we fought a war over in which over 600 thousand people, about 38,000 of them black americans, fought to take away this constitutional right that has been now unquestioned in the law for more than over a century. juan: among the questions you raised, also about trump's operations in atlantic city with his casinos there and his questionable relationships with possibly other mob figures in
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atlantic city. could you talk about that? >> well, donald never had a dollar invested in atlantic city. by his own account, he brags about deceiving his partners, the directors of the old holiday inn motel company, who owned harris casinos. he boasts about tricking and deceiving them. he needed to buy a particular piece of land. donald always says he is a great negotiator. so who did he sent to negotiate with the representative of the head of the atlantic city crime family? he sent his lawyer harvey freeman. he did not go himself. and i think that is consistent with donald having avoided the draft. donald is not i got up at himself in any position that he thinks might represent any kind of physical danger to him whatsoever. amy: david cay johnston, you also talk about how he discusses his experience as a manager, allowing him to run the federal government far better than
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president obama or hillary clinton. can you talk about that? "fortune", well magazine does and analyses of who is a good employer. wegmans supermarket is often cited as a really good employer and with good reason. they looked at 496 major companies and trump's casino company was at the bottom or almost at the bottom in terms of management competence, how it treated its workers, it's returned to its investors, every metric they had was to the bottom. donald is not a manager. he is a dealmaker. in the principal elements of trump deals are these -- you borrow a lot of money, you then arrange later to pay back less than you owned, whether it is through private transactions, by threatening to go to bankruptcy court or actual bankers see and the case of his casino company. you don't pay people who work for you or vendors what is promised, and what i don't
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understand, amy, is not one major news organization has even tried to check these things out. i got one phone call from the washington post about this these , 21 questions for donald trump, nothing has appeared. and that is because in this country, politics reporters cover the horse race and they do the candidates the way they should. and trump, if vetted properly, would quickly disappear from the polls. juan: does that go to explain why he continues to rise in the polls among republican voters, despite his incredible record of all these years? >> see, i don't think people know about his actual record. he is appealing to the worst instincts in us. he is appealing to racial instincts -- let's recognize that while in polite society you can't say, i don't to sit next person or asian
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person or brown person, you can't say that. people want to live in a white society. they want to imagine this is a christian country, even of the constitution expressly in article six makes clear it is not a religious country in any way. and donald has provided a way for those people who harbored these bad thoughts, i would argue they are, but these inhumane thoughts, to challenge them -- channel them through him. they are so enamored of this, they ignore the fact he is proposing to create a massive police state, to round up people -- we required to have hearings, although donald likes to thinks he would be dictator, and spend enormous amounts of money on removing people from the country, including children born here who are citizens, and erecting a wall which will do absolutely nothing to stop people coming here in an effort to find a better life.
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so people who harbor these awful feelings and suffer from the social disease of white skin privilege just aren't really thinking through what donald is proposing, which is a massive new government program that is totally contrary to the republican promise of less government. amy: david cay johnston, thank you for being with us, pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter previously with the "new york times." he's currently a columnist for al jazeera america as well as a contributing writer at newsweek. we will link to your column on your "21 questions for donald trump" at and that does it for our show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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