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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  February 17, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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♪ [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump:, tomorrow they will say, donald trump rants and raise that the media. amy: in an extraordinary press conference, president donald trump assailed the media and defended his administration as a "fine-tuned machine." he also faced questions about his crackdown on immigrants. >> what is your plan? will you continue the program or end it? pres. trump: we will show great heart. amy: so why is daniel ramirez
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, sitting in jail? the 23-year-old has permission to live in work in the united states under president obama's daca program - that's deferred action for childhood removals. his lawyers call his detention "unprecedented and unjustified." we'll also go to a unitarian church in denver, where an immigrant mother of four has taken sanctuary. -- has taken refuge. things it system could break me, the system is wrong. fighting sowhy i am hard. i know that i am not alone. there are many people in the immigrant community that share my anger and my passion for justice. amy: finally, who is alex acosta. pike whopeak to alan says that the nominee has
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skeletons in his closet, too. all that in more, coming up. ♪ democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. goodman.[503]trump unhinged press conference president donald trump assailed the media and defended his administration as a "fine-tuned machine" thursday, in a combative and rambling news conference at the white house. for 77 minutes, trump took questions, frequently interrupting reporters and dismissing cnn and other outlets as "fake news." trump angrily denied reports that his administration is in chaos following monday's firing of national security advisor michael flynn. turn on the tv in the open the newspapers and i see stories of chaos, chaos. yet, it is the exact opposite could this administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. cannot the fact that i
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get my cabinet approved. amy: president trump dismissed a "new york times" report that members of his presidential campaign had repeated contacts with senior russian intelligence officials in the lead-up to november's election. trump called the report a joke and falsely stated it has been discredited. he later about to put a stop to leaks in his administration saying the leaks were real, but the news is fake. pres. trump: the leaks are real. you saw it. the leaks are absolutely real. the news is fake. because so much of the news is fake. amy: we will have more excerpts of president trump's white house news conference on headlines. across the country thursday, thousands of immigrants closed their businesses, refused to go to work, and kept their children home from school for a "day without immigrants" protest against president trump's crackdown against immigration and immigrants living in the united states. the protests in san francisco,
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los angeles, new york, phoenix, chicago, philadelphia, atlanta, detroit, raleigh, north carolina, austin, texas and other cities came aftern and cum enforcement, or ice, sent shock waves through immigrant communities by arresting at -- arresting close to 700 people in a series of raids last week. in washington, d.c., hundreds of immigrants marched from the mount pleasant neighborhood to to the white house -- to the white house. this is irma andino, an employee at capitol one bank and an immigrant from el salvador. hoping that it opens if they's eyes, because were separated from their families, they would not like it. if i want to my country now, i would not know where to go. i don't know it. i am part appear, i grew up he or. -- i am part of here, i grew up here. it is -- we are not here to be
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criminals. everybody is the same. we're all the same and got's eyes. amy: thursday's immigration actions came as president trump said he will issue a new order on immigration, rather than challenge a federal court's freeze on his ban on refugees and travelers from seven majority-muslim nations. trump said at thursday's press conference he will sign the new , executive order next week. pres. trump: as far as the new order, the new order is going to be very much tailored to the what i consider to be a bad decision, but we can the order to that decision. it to thee tailoring decision and we have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it. amy: president trump's january 27th executive order canceled tens of thousands of visas, travelers worldwide. it prompted unprecedented mass protests at airports around the
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u.s. earlier this month, a unanimous panel on the ninth circuit court of appeals placed a stay on the order, saying the government failed to show that anyone from the seven majority-muslim nations targeted in the travel ban had committed acts of terrorism. in new york city, demonstrators gathered outside a manhattan federal building thursday to protest recent ice raids, including last friday's arrest of daniel ramirez medina in washington state. ramirez has permission to live and work in the united states under president obama's program daca, or deferred action for childhood arrivals. his arrest alarmed immigrant communities who fear the trump administration could soon target daca dr. -- other recipients communities who fear the trump administration could soon target other daca recipients. this is yatziri tovar, an immigrant who was brought to the u.s. as a child. >> he is now being detained and
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they say they are going to deport him. came around, that is the promise they said. amy: a hearing in daniel ramirez's case is scheduled for today. on thursday, the justice department claimed in a legal brief that ramirez was arrested because agents suspected he might be part of a gang. meanwhile, lawyers for ramirez said thursday that immigration officials doctored a document to make it seem as though ramirez admitted he belonged to a criminal gang. a photograph of ramirez's original statement read, quote, "i came in and the officers said i have gang affiliation with gangs so i wear an orange uniform." lawyers say the document was altered to read, quote, "i have gang affiliation with gangs so i wear an orange uniform." we will have more on the case of daniel ramirez medina and thursday's "day without immigrants" later in the broadcast. opponents of the trump administration have planned a series of over 100 strikes and protests in cities across the us today. organizers of the
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"strike4democracy" actions say they're looking to move beyond demonstrations to resist the trump administration along economic lines. they are also building momentum for planned strikes on march women's- international day, and may 1 come international workers' day. president trump has named longtime republican lawyer alex acosta to be his new nominee to head the labor department after his first pick - fast-food ceo andy puzder - withdrew wednesday. acosta's labor experience includes 8 months as a member of the national labor relations board under president george w. bush. has drawn scrutiny for his time as a division leader at bush's department of justice's civil rights division, where he oversaw a senior official who hired conservative lawyers who actively opposed to the division's mission, including the prosecution of ting rights -- including voting rights violations and abuse. we will have more on alex acosta later in the broadcast. on capitol hill, president trump's nominee for u.s. ambassador to israel, david friedman, was repeatedly interrupted by jewish and palestinian protesters thursday as he testified to the senate foreign relations committee.
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>> it is a great privilege to address this committee that has done so much to advance america's interest around the world. that. friedman also said refugees don't have a connection to palestine. >> you promote racism, illegal settlements? we will not be silent. you do not represent us and you will never represent us. amy: david friedman has no diplomatic experience and worked , as a bankruptcy lawyer for donald trump over the last 15 years. he served as president of an organization which raised millions of dollars to support illegal jewish settlements in the occupied west bank. he's also called liberal american jews "worse than kapos"--a reference to jewish prisoners who worked for the nazis during the holocaust. on thursday, friedman apologized for the remarks. context ford some
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my remarks, but was not in the nature of an excuse. there is no excuse. if you want need to rationalize it, or justify it, i cannot. these were hurtful words, and i deeply regret them. they are not reflective of my nature or my character. amy: they've been -- david friedman told senators that he sees a two-state solution to the israeli-palesinian conflict as the best possibility for peace in the region. that is despite his past claims to the contrary, and yesterday's comment from president trump backing away from two decades of u.s. support for a two-state solution. president trump's newest nominee to serve as national security adviser, retired vice admiral robert harward, turned down the position on thursday, reportedly telling a friend the offer amounted to a, quote, "s- bleep-sandwich. cnn reports harward used the expletive to describe a white house in chaos after president
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trump fired his previous national security adviser, michael flynn monday. harwood said in an official statement he turned down the job to address "financial and family issues." in oklahoma, a district judge ordered state attorney general scott pruitt to release thousands of pages of correspondence with oil coal and gas companies, as republicans vowed to press ahead with a vote today on whether to confirm pruitt as head of environmental protection agency. thursday's ruling cited pruitt's "abject failure" to follow the oklahoma open records act. pruitt's office will have until next tuesday to release about 3,000 emails that reportedly show his close ties to executives at energy companies , including coke industries. -- koch industries. he's expected to be narrowly confirmed by the senate before the emails are made public. meanwhile, employees of the e.p.a. are mounting a campaign urging their senators to vote against scott pruitt, -- scott
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pruitt's nomination. members of the national treasury employees union say fear pruitt will suppress scientific findings and undermine their work, and that the trump administration might even seek to abolish the epa entirely. in pakistan, a suicide bomb blast ripped through a dance celebration at at sufi muslim shrine thursday, killing at least 77 people and wounding hundreds of worshipers in a remote part of the southern province. survivors of the bombing described a horrific scene. >> as soon as i enter the shrine, i heard a dreadful sound. it the next thought came to my mind was that we were dead. it was like doomsday. amy: an offshoot of the self-proclaimed islamic state claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the deadliest single assault in pakistan in recent years. the pentagon has admitted that u.s. warplanes fired depleted uranium munitions during air raids in syria, despite vowing
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not to use the toxic and radioactive weapons in the battlefield. foreign policy magazine reported this week that air force a-10 attack planes fired more than 5,000 rounds of 30mm depleted uranium rounds during a pair of assaults on convoys in an isis-controlled part of eastern syria november of depleted 2015. uranium is both toxic and highly radioactive, and many medical experts have linked its use to cancer and birth defects. the house of representatives has approved a measure that would pave the way for states to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds from planned parenthood and other women's health care providers. the resolution passed thursday would overturn a rule adopted by the obama administration during its final weeks in office that bars states from withholding federal family-planning dollars from providers that offer abortions. the measure now heads to the senate, where it has strong support among majority republicans. in florida, the state's supreme court blocked a law thursday that requiring a woman seeking an abortion to wait at least 24 hours after first meeting with
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her doctor. the american civil liberties union hailed the ruling, saying in a statement, quote, "politicians have no business interfering with a woman's private health care decisions, including the decision to have an abortion." and in new york, the board of directors has voted to name 115th street library after harry belafonte. the civil rights leader and entertainer was born not far from the library that will now bear his name. belafonte was one among luther king's closes confidants and helped organize the march on washington in 1963. he turns 90 on and those are march 1. some of the headlines this is democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on thursday afternoon, donald trump held his first solo press conference as president. trump began by announcing he had nominated alexander acosta to be labor secretary nominee but then trump soon began an extended attack on the media accusing cnn and other outlets of pedaling
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fake news. the press conference went on for 77 minutes. here are some excerpts on what happened. pres. trump: the press has become so dishonest that we don't talk about it. we are doing a tremendous disservice to the american people. we have to talk about it. we have defined a what is going on because the press honestly is out of control. the level of dishonesty is out of control. our administration inherited many problems across government and across the economy. inherited a, i mess, it is a mess. at home and abroad, a mess. open the the tv, newspapers, and i see stories of chaos, chaos. yet, it is the exact opposite. runninginistration is like a fine-tuned machine
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despite the fact that i cannot get my cabinet approved. ok. go ahead. >> mr. president, you said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since ronald , 304, 306 electoral votes. president obama got 365. 426 when hebush, won as president. why should americans trust you? pres. trump: i was just given that information. we had a very big margin. >> but why should americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive as fake when you provide fake information? pres. trump: i was given that information. it was a very substantial victory. do you agree with that. i have gone to all of the folks
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of various agencies, and we are -- i actually called the justice department to look into the leaks. those are criminal leaks. these real or fake? >pres. trump: the leaks are rea. you saw it. the leaks are absolutely real. the news is fake because so much of the news is fake. betterandle a bad story than anybody as long as it is true. over the course of time, i will make mistakes that you will write badly, and i am ok with that, but i am not ok when it is fake. i watch cnn. there are so much anger and hatred and just the hatred. [indiscernible] didn't.ump: no i no i didn't. excuse me. i fired him because of what he said to mike pence, very simple.
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mike was doing his job, calling countries, and his counterparts. so it would have been ok with me if you did it. i would have directed him to do it if i thought he was not doing it. that is his job. >> you said that the leaks are real but the news is fake. i don't understand -- it seems that there is a disconnect there were -- if the information coming from the leaks is real, how could it be fake? pres. trump: here was it -- here is the thing -- the public reason newspapers and watch tv, and they don't know if it is true or false because they are not involved. i am involved. so, i know when you are telling the truth and when you are not. i just see many, many untruthful things. nic tone. -- and i see tone. the tone is hatred.
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i am really not a bad person, by the way. i do get ratings, you have to admit that. but the tone of such hatred. i did not win by people listening to you people, but i am having a good time. tomorrow they will say, donald trump rants and raves at the press. i am not ranting and raving. you are dishonest people, but i am not ranting and raving. i am having a good time doing this. tomorrow the headlines are going to be -- donald trump rants and raise. i am not ranting and raving. the whole russian thing as a ruse. by the way, it would be great if we could get along with russia. just so you understand that. tomorrow you will say donald trump once to get along with russia, this is terrible. it is not terrible, it is good. >> on the travel ban, do you accept that that was a good example of the smooth running of government? pres. trump: wait, wait, wait. i know who you are, just wait.
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the lee terry about the travel ban. we had a very smooth -- let me tell you about the travel ban. we had a court that has been overturned. we had a bad decision. executivet in a new order next week sometime. >> can you say if you are aware anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia during the course of the election? pres. trump: i told you, general flynn was dealing, as he should've been. >> during the election? pres. trump: not that i am aware of. how many time do i have to answer this question? russia is a ruse. are you a from the reporter? watch how friendly he is. go ahead. >> what we have not heard you address is the uptick in anti-semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it?
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48 bomb a report that threats have been made against jewish centers all across the country in the last several weeks. there are people committing acts and threatening -- pres. trump: he said he was going to ask a simple and easy question and it is not. it is not a fair question. sit down. here is the story, folks -- number one, i am the least anti-semitic person you have ever seen in your entire life. number two, racism, the least racist person. we did very well relative to other people running as a republican. quiet, quiet, quiet. he asked about getting up and asking a straight, simple question. welcome to the world of the media. >> will you include the cbc, mr. president, in your conversations with your inner city agenda?
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are you going to include the congressional black caucus? pres. trump: do you want to set up a meeting? are they friends of yours? set up the meeting. amy: excerpts from president trump news conference on thursday, that last voice was april ryan, washington bureau chief for american urban radio networks. when we come back, president trump bowed to show great heart for recipients president obama's daca program. so why is daniel emeritus sitting in a tacoma washington jail? stay with us. ♪
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amy: this is democracy now!.
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i'm amy goodman. across the country thursday, thousands of immigrants closed their businesses, refused to go to work, and kept their children home from school for a "day without immigrants" protest against president trump's crackdown against immigration and immigrants living in the united states. the protests in san francisco, los angeles, new york, phoenix, chicago, philadelphia, atlanta, carolina, austin, texas and other cities came after immigration and custom enforcement, or ice, sent shock waves through immigrant communities by arresting at least 680 people in a series of raids last week. today, we are going to look at of anses -- one is immigrant mother of four who has lived here for 22 years and has now taken sanctuary and a denver church to avoid possible deportation. the other where we are going to start with donald trump's press conference yesterday because the
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case involves daca. >> on the daca program for immigration, what is your plan? will you continue it or end it? amy: donald trump saying we are going to show great heart, so i've daniel ramirez sitting in jail? he is a 23-year-old father who was detained by ice exactly one week ago in des moines, washington, even though he has permission to live and work in the united states under president obama's program daca, or deferred action for childhood arrivals. a hearing in the case is scheduled for today. his lawyers have called his detention "unprecedented and unjustified." on thursday, the justice department claimed in a legal briefing that ramirez was arrested because agents suspected he might be part of a gang, based on a tattoo on his arm that reads "la paz" - which means "peace" - and "bcs," which stands for baja california sur, the mexican state where ramirez was born.
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his lawyers say ramirez is not part of a gang. he has been in the united states since he was seven years old, and is the immigrant father of a three-year-old son, who was also a u.s. citizen. his supporters have maintained a vigil at the northwest detention center in tacoma, washington, where he is being held. it is a private detention center owned by the for-profit prison company geo group. for more we go to seattle, washington, where we're joined by councilmember lorena gonzalez. she is seattle's first latino councilmember. before being elected in 2015, she worked for a decade as a civil rights attorney. welcome to democracy now! can you explain how daniel ramirez ended up in jail? well, the facts as we know them is daniel was at the home of his father just south of seattle, and i showed up in the morning to pick up his dad with
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a warrant. at that time, his dad had asked for permission to go back into the house to let his son no what was happening. also entered ice into the home with daniel's father and began to ask daniel questions, and when they asked him the questions, they asked him whether he was born here and whether he was in the country legally? based on his answers, they arrested him. amy: is this the first time that you have seen this happen? >> this is the first time that we know of a daca recipient being arrested under a trump administration. and as far as we new last weekend and as we know now, he had his daca permit with him on him when he was arrested. agentsatedly told the that he had permission to be in the country.
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nonetheless, they decided to exercise their discretion and arrest him and booking him into the northwest attention center in tacoma where he sits now. amy: what effect has this had on daca, young people, dreamers throughout washington? in a moment, we will go to denver where we speak with a woman, and immigrant mother of four who just took sanctuary in a unitarian church. she told me yesterday that it was seeing daniel ramirez being arrested that caused her, one of the reasons she sought refuge in a church. he is allowed to be in this country and work. >> right. i think the impact is --i think the impact has been huge. washington state has about 20,000 daca recipients, youngsters, and seattle is home
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to a public university, washington state has been very generous in terms of providing a pathway for daca recipients to go to our public universities with financial aid. what we are hearing and what i am hearing is people are genuinely concerned. if somebody who has the legal right to be in this country is arrested, what does that mean for my parents that are not legally authorized to be in the country? that is a very chilling effect. and we are hearing stories of people who don't want to go to school because they are afraid they are going to be caught in a raid. parents who are starting to hug her down because they are nervous that there might be some sort of enforcement action on them, with a without a warrant. these are very serious concerns. and i think that we are all experiencing uncertainty under
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this particular administration. i think now it is time for daca students -- daca recipients unfortunately to experience more uncertainty about what their future is in this country. and this administration, they have a responsibility and an obligation to tell us, the american people, and to tell these young people who have done everything they were supposed to do under obama's daca program, what their future will be in this country, and we will not stop until we get an answer to that question. amy: for young daca folks, they came out of the shadows and gave all their information over to the government with the idea that they would be legalized, which they are for this. of time. so, what does this mean when the government turns against them? >> it is problematic. you know, i was, before i was
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elected, i came up and immigration -- immigrant's writes movement fighting for immigration reform. the best we could get under the obama administration was released for the streamers. -- dreamers. a policy that has bipartisan support and has always had bipartisan support, and we feel very strongly that we need to keep the program intact, and we need to continue to protect these dreamers who came here, very, very young, who have contributed to society meaningfully. and you know, i think at this point, when we are talking to dreamers, we encourage them to continue to live their life in a way that will create a pathway for them to become a citizen. but there is no question that the reason why daniel's case is so important is because it is
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the first incident of a trump administration in which a dreamer has been arrested. a lawful, legal dreamer has been arrested. what happens today will send a signal, one way or the other, to the 750,000 dreamers and our country as to what this president intends to do as it relates to those almost one million people living in this country, whose future right now is uncertain. amy: are you telling people they should apply for daca now, or not? >> right now, all of the immigrant rights organizations are recommending that people, even if you think you qualify for daca, you do not qualify for daca right now. if you are in the process of applying, the recommendation is you finish the process, but we are not encouraging additional dreamers who have not previously applied to apply at this moment.
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amy: a chicago congress member was among a group of congressman barred from the meeting thursday with a top federal immigration enforcement official. while lawmakers who did make the meeting are worrying that all undocumented people are at risk for deportation, what about this barring and are you able to speak with locals to find out what their plans are? >> i'm truly disappointed to hear that our congressional of ars were kept out meeting that was first, canceled, then rescheduled without notifying the original attendees. it is a clear sign of disrespect and a clear sign of lack of transparency and an unwillingness to share information. here in seattle, the mayor and i have made requests to meet with the regional director for the
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office, andfeels yesterday, we received word from their spokesperson that that meeting would not be accommodated. we are experiencing it here locally and feeling the greatest impact of daniel's arrest. spearing sing the same type of stonewalling occurring in washington d.c. for federal delegation. i think it is irresponsible. amy: what happens today in daniel's hearings? what are the possible outcomes as he sits in this tacoma jail? >> the possible outcomes and the best outcome is that the judge in the case agrees with daniel and his position and his lawyers, and that they ordered his release immediately. that is the best case scenario. worst-case scenario is that the judge agrees with ice and continues to hold daniel, and he has to go through the removal proceedings that will ultimately
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result in him being deported. there are shades of gray there. the federal government is arguing that our federal district court does not even have jurisdiction over this matter for this case and that it should be an immigration judge who system that the detention center and decides the fate of daniel. those are three different things that could come out of today, but of course, we are all on pins and needles in seattle and washington state, hoping for the best outcome, not just for daniel, but again, for the 750,000 dreamers who live across the country. amy: i want to thank you for being with us. councilmember gonzales is the first latino councilmember in seattle before being elected in 2015, she worked for a decade as a civil rights attorney. we go now from seattle-washington to denver colorado where another parent is also fighting against possible
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deportation by seeking sanctuary in a church. on thursday, i spoke with a mother of four children with taken refuge in the first church in denver out of fear she would be arrested and deported to mexico if she went to her schedule check in with immigration and customs enforcement. she has lived in this country for 20 years and has four children here. skype, by asking her, by as she sat in the church with her translator, how she decided to seek sanctuary in the church? in 2012 when i came back to the united states from my mother's funeral, i knew that my case dependent only on the discretion of immigration and customs enforcement because my court process had ended. and i came back to the u.s., i
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knew i was going to need to organize more protection for myself another people in the community, and i began working committee toices create the sanctuary coalition. amyfortunately for me, i have nt needed to enter refuge or sanctuary here at the church. the first person who benefited from that was hernandez garcia. it thanks to god he was able to go home to his family. what led me to take the decision the time in my case was silence of immigration and customs enforcement and homeland security about my stay application i submitted on december 7. they kept saying over and over again, they were just reviewing my case and would not give us any information. last week, with the arrest and deportation of guadalupe and the detention of a young dreamer
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named daniel, i decided that it was not worth the risk to go and present myself and immigration and customs -- myself at immigration and customs enforcement. amy: you have lived in the united states for 25 years. why did you come here in 1997? in 1997. came here first, my husband came. three months later, myself and my oldest daughter came to the united states. we came because my husband, who was working as a chauffeur for a bus company, had been -- had suffered three kidnapping experiences while driving the bus. amy: you have four children -- can you tell us how old they are and what their names are? >> i have four children, my oldest is almost 27 named tonya and she is protected.
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my other three were born here in the united states. is 12. of is 10 and the youngest six. amy: they came with you and to the church. walkingildren have been this journey with me for many, many years now. they have always been by my side in the work i do in the community. so we have talked many times over the years on what would happen on a day like this. ever since we found the century coalition, i have talked to them about there may be a day i may need to take refuge in the church. none of us were happy about the decision that came down yesterday from immigration and customs enforcement. we were all hugging and crying together, but my children said to me, i am so glad you are safe. and the difference for them is
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that i am not deported to mexico , and they kept saying, you are in a safe place and it will be ok. amy: what message do you have for president trump? my message for president trump is that he is doing a bad job administering the country. the decisions he is making are a big mistake. not only with the immigrant community from latin america, but also communities from around the world, the muslim community, southeast asian communities, and other communities.what would has country if you lost the labor force of immigrants here in the united states? who would pick crops, working your hotels, restaurants, and construction? who would keep the engine of the economy moving forward? if he continues to target the immigrant community, this whole country will suffer the consequences economically.
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would likeessage i to say to president trump is, i am just a mother who wants to work hard for her children, and be with her family. that is all i have ever done in this country. even though you have money, and you have power, that money and power will not help you if your children are ever suffering or sick. it will not change the fact that they are suffering harm, and i wish you well think of the harm you are causing my children. the other thing i want to ask is , supposedly, i am a criminal because i drove without a license because it had expired. because i had. commence to work and put food on the table for my children, but what should we call you, mr. president trump, when you have been even taxes for years? and the way you have been acting is not in keeping with good conscious? that is often misunderstood
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in this country that you have paid taxes all of these years. >> yes. my husband and i have fully pay taxes the whole 20 years we have been living here. taxesyear, we have paid and we contribute our labor. what people do not know that immigrants cannot access the benefits of those taxes. it all stays in the country. i would like to ask if you are want to deport me, are you going to return 20 years of labor and taxes to me before i go? everything that i have contributed here? jeanette who came to the united states and 1997. she is one of the founders of the metro denver sanctuary coalition, and she's helped other undocumented immigrants seek sanctuary. she previously won five postponements of deportation, but said wednesday, she doubts
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she could win a similar reprieve under the trump administration. refuge in has taken denver's unitarian church. for more, we go to denver where we are joined by a senior jeanette hase taken sanctuary. welcome to democracy now!. can you talk about your church's decision to be a sanctuary church, and to take internet and her family? >> i would be happy to. we began doing immigration justice work in earnest around 2012. time, we tried very hard to form alliances with groups that were already working around denver that includes the immigration rights coalition and other groups, together colorado, and so on.
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great relationships with those organizations, and we were approached by them by the american friends' service committee in january of 2014. they asked us if we would as a congregation offer sanctuary to someone who was facing deportation. it was a very short timeframe that they had at that time, about seven or 10 days. pullwas not enough time to the whole congregation, so the board of trustees voted that they would bring some wanted to sanctuary, and we would bring the congregation up to speed later. it turned out that we did not need to do that at that time. that individual received a stay. but it began a conversation with our congregation. we brought against speakers and i preached on this several times. the answer lots of questions
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about the legal liability, our legal representation we might need, what it would me for church insurance, and the logistics of where they would stay within the building, and many other kinds of questions. the congregation did vote as a whole congregation. we are about 400 members, and the congregation did vote in may of that year that we would be a century congregation, and we were able to welcome hernandez garcia into the sanctuary on october of that year. amy: i remember coming to your church to interview garcia who had taken refuge in 2015. an undocumented immigrant who took refuge at the unitarian church, and i asked him why he did that. on october 21, i had my final
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order for deportation, and the reason i came here is i want to fight my case. amy: how did you end up going into deportation proceedings? you had a tile business? >> i work in construction. work on construction for apartments. person, andith one i had a discussion with him, and they called the police, and the police arrested me. after that, immigration put -- amy: that is hernandez garcia, under president obama. now jeanette has come in with her family and this is 2017. and you have the trump administration threatening to cut off funding for any city
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that engages in sanctuaries. what about churches? what do you face? i know that jeanette has the the congress member from the area, from mayor for -- andd support support from a number of public officials. they've introduced legislation that would protect her in the u.s. congress. >> yes, that is correct. amy: so do you face any sanctions being a sanctuary church? >> do we face sanctions? not.e hope there is a lot a harboring fugitives, but the harboring definition includes an attempt to conceal, and we are not trying to conceal anything. ,n fact, we will tell anyone
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and we will write a personal letter to president trump about where jeanette is living at the current time. notelieve that we are breaking any laws by having her in the church. amy: so, can i use into the into the so, can ice church and rip her out? >> that is an excellent question. under the obama administration, there was a policy, not a lot, just a policy that they would not come on to sensitive properties -- churches, schools, hospitals, places like that -- they would not come up to those properties to make arrests. we believe that policy is still in place. we counted on that when arturo was staying with us, but frankly, we had absolutely no idea the trump administration will continue that policy or if they will make arrests on schools, churches, hospital properties. amy: and the what are you
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willing -- and what are you willing to do to protect her? how far will the church go? >> well, we will certainly not getting -- we will send i get to physical tussles with ice. we have a protocol for the building itself, and it is posted on the door if ice comes knocking. if ice comes knocking, we will ask them if they have a warrant. if they do not have a warned, we will tell them they cannot come in. if they do have a warned, we'll asked to see it. we haven't -- we have an attorney that we are working with and we will facts that warrant to that attorney. if the attorney said the want is good, we will have to legally let them in. amy: reverend, i want to thank you. senior minister of the first unitarian church of denver were jeanette is taking sanctuary, and immigrant mother of four.
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this is democracy now!. when we come back, who with the new labor secretary nominee? stay with us. ♪
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jorge dedicated the song to his mother who was deported to mexico and 2007. he read that it with her in 2014. it this is democracy now!. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to president trump's new nominee to head the labor department. his first pick - fast-food ceo andy puzder - withdrew wednesday when it became clear he lacked support from key republicans ahead of his confirmation hearing. trump announced his second choice thursday. pres. trump: i just wanted to begin by mentioning that the
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nominee for secretary of the mr.rtment of labor will be alex acosta. he has a law degree from harvard law school, a great student. former clerk for justice samuel a veto. and he has had a tremendous career. amy: alex acosta is a longtime republican attorney. he served eight months as a member of the national labor relations board under president george w. bush. he has drawn scrutiny for his time as a division leader at bush's department of justice's civil rights division, where he oversaw a senior official who hired conservative lawyers who actively opposed to the division's mission, including the prosecution of ting rights violations and police abuse. in 2004, acosta played a key role in bush's final push to win the state of ohio by backing republican election officials accused of seeking to suppress voter turnout among blacks and latinos. acosta is currently dean of florida international
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university's school of law. for more, we go to washington d.c., where we are joined by think progress editor alan pyke. his latest article is headlined "who is alex acosta?: trump's back-up labor secretary has skeletons in his closet,oo." what are those skeletons? talk about alex acosta's record. >> the fundamental problem for acosta is his tenure at the top of the civil rights division under george w. bush. there wasman going -- his key period from 2003 to 2005 which bush officials were intentionally sabotaging this key agency within the doj. this is the group that prosecutes voting rights cases that upholds police oversight and enforces antidiscrimination law. basically, every several lights -- every civil rights case.
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there was a man named bradley who went out of his way to skew their hiring for a period of years to ensure they would hire people he viewed as real americans. for your views are member the bush years, that was the dividing line thrown down between authentic, conservative americans, and fake liberal leaning americans. bys was terminally sabotaged a couple of years of intentional misconduct. acosta was not directly involved, but he was overseeing the guy conducting that sabotage and at every reason to know about it. there is a report from 2008 on their investigation into the scandal that holds acosta accountable. amy: talk about what happened in 2004 in ohio, and what alex acosta's connection to that? >> there was a bunch of
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different ways you can try to suppress the vote. one of the mt popular among republicans is a tactic called vote caging where you generate a list of people you suspect or democratic voters, and you send letters to their most recent address. if the letters are not returned, you tell the board of elections that this person is no longer registered and you should strike them. when they show up on election day, they are told they cannot vote. it was 25,000 or 30,000 black voters. it ended up in court. it was not a court case that involve the federal government. the doj was not involved in alex acosta was not asked by the judge to weigh in. he nonetheless sent a letter to the judge for days before election day urging him to uphold their voter suppression scheme. it is regarded by career attorneys and the civil rights division as a wildly
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inappropriate use of his office. one of his colleagues at the time called it outrageous about what happened. that 2004 letter has dogged him throughout his career. at one point, he, in 2014, he was a finalist to become the dean of the university of florida the law school, which would be a promotion from his current date. -- current gig. he was removed because law faculty at university of florida objected to his application. one of those things they pointed to was that 2004 letter. amy: can you talk about what this nomination means for the department of labor? >> sure. there is poetry here in the sense that the last outgoing secretary of labor, tom perez, was a career lawyer and public servant. when he came in at the civil rights division, he had to clean
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up the mess that alex acosta and george w. bush made of the civil rights division. there were a couple of famous moments where perez and holder had this go to the civil rights staff and told them, you are open for business again. this is once an agency that will do its job. that is how deep the damage was from the bush years. and now, we've got another career attorney coming in to run the department of labor, sort of in the reverse pattern of perez's own career arc within the obama administration. there iseworthy that such a contrast between andrew puzder, a fast food ceo with a brash outward demeanor, and a negative reputation. poster fits the trump brand. -- andrew poster fits the trump
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brand. alex acosta is a buttoned up kind of guy. he has two decades of public service behind him. if you are a progressive, liberal, or democrat, that is probably almost more worrying than andrew poster running the department of labor. if you want to find somebody who can sabotage a federal agency and turn it against its whole purpose, alex acosta's resume is exactly who you want if you are out to the -- if you want to sabotage the common of labor. 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
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mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013.
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