tv Democracy Now PBS August 11, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now. >> let's see what he does with guam. if he does something in guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in north korea. amy: as tensions rise between president trump and north korea, we'll go to the small pacific island of guam, home to 163,000 people, and a sprawling complex of u.s. military bases. it's now -- is it now and the crosshairs of a potential nuclear war? we'll look at "fortress guam: resistance to u.s. military mega-buildup" with lisalinda
natividad, president of the guahan coalition for peace and justice and a member of the guam commission on decolonization. we'll also speak with david vine, author of "base nation: how u.s. military bases abroad harm america and the world." then, "sphere of influence: how american libertarians called the atlas network are remaking latin american politics." while politicians operate within the confines of what they consider possible, atlas and our global partners think it is more cost-effective to change what is considered politically possible. venezuela as well as those that ousted the president, we will speak to the intercept investigative reporter lee fong, who just published a , major expose on the group. then we talked to a yemeni student who among thousands, one a visa from the diversity lottery.
we'll also talk with a veteran state department official who says taking visas away from lottery winners is "the cruelest possible thing this administration could do." all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump ramped up his threats of hitting north korea with fire and fury. letter, 62 house democrats called on the secretary of state rex tillerson to de-escalate tensions, calling trump's words the legitimate and reckless. a group of korean american elected officials sent president trump a letter calling for diplomacy and dialogue. among those signing the letter was philadelphia councilperson helen again who said -- as we observe the anniversary of the atomic bombs that destroyed
musthima and nagasaki, we learn the lessons of history which is never again. president donald trump intensifies attacks on mitch mcconnell on thursday, implying the republican leader should step down if he fails to pass trump's legislative priorities. this is president trump, speaking to reporters at his private golf resort in bedminster, new jersey. >> if he does not get repeal and replace done and taxes done and infrastructure, he does not get them done then you can ask me that question. amy: trump's criticism of senator mcconnell came after congress headed to its summer recess without passing any of president trump's major legislative goals, including a plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. trump's -- affordable care act. meanwhile, a new study finds the republican effort to overturn
the affordable care act will likely lead to double-digit insurance premium hikes for millions of americans next year. thursday's report by kaiser family foundation also predicts that uncertainty over the fate of the affordable care act will lead insurers to offer fewer products, with many likely to exit the health insurance exchanges altogether. after his efforts to repeal obamacare failed last month, president trump tweeted "let obamacare implode, then deal." in minnesota, democratic congressmember keith ellison on thursday condemned president trump for not speaking out about an attack on a mosque in minnesota. speaking to the ap, congressman says -- "itison suggests that his oath to protect and defend the constitution of the united states, including the right to equal protection under the law, only extends to people who meet certain racial and religious criteria." ellison's comments came after deputy assistant to president sebastian gorka suggested the minnesota mosque
bombing was a "false flag" attack. this was him speaking on msnbc. >> initial reports are false. you have to check them, have to find out who the perpetrators are. we have a series of a legend hate crimes -- alleged hate crimes that actually were propagated by the left so let's wait and see and allow authorities to provide their assessment, and then the white house will make its comments. amy: the jewish newspaper the forward reports gorka has links to a hungarian far-right, nazi-allied group, and supported an anti-semitic and racist paramilitary militia in hungary while he served as a hungarian politician. our top story, president trump thursday ramped up his threats of hitting north korea with fire and fury, saying if they were to carry out an attack on guam the military would retaliate.
this is president trump speaking to reporters from inside his private golf resort in new jersey. >> as i think the first time they heard it like they heard it, and frankly the people who were questioning that statement was it too tough, maybe it was not tough enough. they have been doing this to our country for very long, many years, and it is about time somebody stuck up for this country and the people of other countries. north korea responded, calling trump "a senile man who cannot think rationally." a detailed their threat to guam. after headlines, we will go to guam to speak with a peace activist. in cuba, the u.s. state department says the growth of its diplomats and have anna suffered severe hearing lost they believe was caused by a
sonic device. the incidents began last fall when workers at the u.s. embassy and have anna began complaining of dust in havana began complaining of headaches and hearing loss. it was concluded the hearing loss was due to a sonic range outside of the house -- outside one of the diplomats was treated for hearing loss. cuban officials deny any involvement and say they are cooperating with u.s. officials to investigate incident. some are talking about a ssible thi country inlvement. in russia, a court sentenced instigative journalist alander sokolov to a thr and a half year prison term thursday, after he called for a referendum to make politicians more accountable. prosecutors accused the 29-year-old of running an extremist organization aimed at overthrowing elected officials. this is alexander sokolov,
speaking to reporters from inside a courthouse cage, after his sentencing. the idea of a referendum is considered to be extremism in russia and a great crime has been committed against us, which is hindering a referendum. it is obvious the people from russia are prohibited am assessing the actions of those in power. the thought of evaluating a president and lawmakers is thought to be extremism. amy: sokolov's conviction and harsh sentence drew condemnation from several human fights and press freedom groups, including reporters without borders, who called it disgraceful. in arizona, u.s. immigration officials took 16 lgbtq activists into custody thursday, after they crossed into arizona from nogales, mexico seeking political asylum. the activists, four gay men and 12 transgender women traveled , from central america in an
lgbtq migrant caravan aimed at combating transphobia and homophobia in latin america. this is kimberly, a transgender woman from honduras, speaking wednesday at the u.s.-mexico border. have fled from our countries of origin because most do not affect us. they run us from our homes, they take us out of our homes because we are trans. any of us have been abused by gang members, security forces, and even the police have beat us. amy: members of the lgbtq migrant caravan called on supporters to call ice to ask immigration officials to release the activists on humanitarian parole while their claims for asylum are processed. sea, the u.n.'s migration agency says scores of migrants are missing and feared drowned, after a pair of incidents in which human smugglers ordered migrants off their boats and into the roiling ocean off the coast of yemen. on thursday, the international organization for migration said at least 19 migrants were
presumed dead after smugglers pushed them into the sea away from the coast in an effort to avoid saudi-led patrols off the coast of yemen. thursday's incident came a day after another smuggler ordered 120 passengers off his boat, many of whom drowned. this is laurent de boeck of the international organization for migration. there were five police today but there are 50 others we still do not know where they are. some are still in the sea. we doubt they would be alive. amy: most of the migrants were from somalia and ethiopia, and were seeking to travel through yemen to gulf states. in ethiopia, the charity oxfam warns an intense drought has pushed another 700,000 people to the verge of starvation. oxfam's warning adds to the u.n.'s earlier estimate that at least 8.5 million ethiopians are in need of immediate food aid. the u.n. warns that climate change has made droughts in the
horn of africa far more common, leading to food shortages like a 2011 famine that killed as many as 260,000 people. in more climate news, the national oceanic and atmospheric noaa confirmed in a new report thursday that 2016 was the hottest year on record. noaa's report found record heat for both land and ocean temperatures; record high sea levels; an above-average tropical cyclone season; and arctic sea ice coverage at or near record lows. noaa also measured record high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reaching nearly 403 parts per million. meanwhile, in greenland, a massive and unprecedented wildfire continues to burn nearly two weeks after dried peat first caught fire on the island's southwest. scientists say climate change has led to less surface water in those parts of greenland not covered in ice. in lincoln, nebraska, activists
delivered over 460,000 public comments thursday to the state's public service commissioners, urging them to reject a permit for the proposed keystone xl pipeline to cross the state. the pipeline, which was resurrected in march by president trump, has faced years of resistance from native americans, farmers, ranchers and environmentalists. and in new york city's financial district, five activists were arrested thursday as they nonviolently blocked the entrance of the investment giant goldman sachs. the arrests came as about 200 protesters gathered to denounce a conference between goldman sachs and pipeline and fossil fuel corporations. >> i am with new york communities for change in front of goldman sachs' headquarters to send a message they should not be funding oil and gas pipelines and collaborating with the trump administration. it shows native american people under attack by goldman sachs
and the trump administration, but trying to build projects like this. and am from putnam valley we just want to show up to tell them that there is cleaner alternatives. there is solar, wind, geothermal . there is all kinds of energy. they should invest in that. >> i am from the caldwell confederate chimes for any advance. there are pipelines underneath us right now, the inbuilt right now. the nature is being harmed by pipelines right now and i am here as proof that native people will always be standing here, whether it is facing colonization through war or through pipelines. amy: five people were arrested at the civil nonviolent disobedience. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
we begin today in guam where the front page of the country's pacific daily newspaper reads "14 minutes." that's how long it would take missiles fired from north korea to reach the u.s. territory in the western pacific if there is an escalation of the threat of nuclear war between the u.s. and north korea. in the last hour, president trump tweeted -- was solutions are fully in place, locked and loaded, should north korea at unwisely. hopefully kim jong on will find another past. -- pass. on thursday, president trump again threatened north korea, saying if it were to carry out an attack on guam, the u.s. would retaliate with military action "the likes of which nobody has seen before." this is trump sparring with a reporter while speaking inside his golf resort in bedminster, new jersey. >> let's see what he does with guam. if he does something in guam,
the likes of which he has never seen before. >> what do you mean? >> you will see and he will see. >> is that i dare? >> it is not a dare, it is a statement. amy: on thursday, trump also said that maybe his threats earlier this week to attack north korea with "fire and fury" were not tough enough. this is trump being questioned by a reporter at a news conference at his golf resort. statement on tuesday was nonsense, that is the word they used. do you have any response? >> i do not think they may not and it is the first time they herded like they heard it. frankly, the people who were questioning that statement, maybe it was not tough enough. amy: trump's threats of nuclear war jew condemnation from a number of u.s. lawmakers. more than 60 house democrats urged secretary of state rex tillerson to de-escalate tensions, calling trump's words belligerent and reckless.
a group of korean-american elected officials sent trump a letter calling for diplomacy and dialog. on thursday, north korea responded to trump's latest threats, in a statement aired on state media. >> the u.s. commander in chief was at a golf course again and let out a load of nonsense about fire and theory, failing to realize the ongoing grave situation. we cannot have a sound dialogue with a senile man who cannot think rationally. amy: north korea also detailed its threat to strike guam, saying it would launch four intermediate range missiles in the waters off the u.s. territory. launched bys to be the korean people's army will cross the sky above hiroshima, frying 3356.7 kilometers before hitting the waters 30 to 40 kilometers away from guam. amy: the pentagon controls about
a third of all the land on guam, which is home to 163,000 people, and a sprawling complex of u.s. military bases, including the air force base where many of the united states' b-2 bombers take off from before flying over the korean peninsula. for decades residents of guam , have resisted the militarization and colonization of their homeland by the united states, which has now put them in the crosshairs of a possible nuclear war between the u.s. and north korea. viamore, we go to guam democracynow video stream to speak with lisalinda natividad, president of the guahan coalition for peace and justice, and a member of the guam commission on decolonization. she is also a professor at the university of guam. in 2015, she visited north korea as part of an international women's delegation called women cross dmz. and in chicopee, massachusetts, we're joined by david vine, author of "base nation: how u.s. military bases abroad harm america and the world."
he is an associate professor of anthropology at american university. welcome. what is the atmosphere on guam right now? how are people responding to this escalation between president trump and north korea? because ofne hand ,ur hyper militarized existence there is sort of desensitization and buying into in terms of what they are being told about the island being safe , our governor saying there is no imminent threat. there's just an equal amount of people who are growing increasingly angry as to how we are being used as pawns in this situation. what most people do not understand is that guam during world war ii was an active war
zone for three years occupied by the japanese army. that is something that is very much a part of our being. the second half of our abouttion is very angry the great risk. , you are author "basece nation." -- nation." can you talk about how the u.s. bases on guam were established? was initially colonized by the spanish empire in the united states acquired the islands and occupy the islands in the spanish-american war of 1898 and oh must immediately began to build up the islands as a military base. the island was treated as a single military base. the presence was relatively small until world war ii.
as lisa linda mentioned, guam was one of the few parts of the united states to suffer japanese occupation for three long and painful years, and the violence of a u.s. attack to evict the japanese, which led to widespread displacement. what we saw after the war was the massive buildup of guam into a major u.s. military force deployment center in the western pacific. a base from which the united states could deploy forces from throughout east asia and many in the u.s. military consider guam to be the most important base in the world, certainly one of the most important military bases in the world in the mind of u.s. military personnel. amy: can you talk about how many bases there are in the region in east asia, and overall around
the world? >> sure. the united states today possesses somewhere around 800 u.s. military bases outside the 50 states and washington, d.c., and that is a number that comes from a list the pentagon puts together periodically. their total runs to around 700 but i have been able to detail scores of bases that are simply left off, secretive bases. the total is somewhere around 800 bases worldwide in 80 countries, and unprecedented collection of military bases on other people's soil. it is incredibly important to point out that of course guam is u.s. soil, however the u.s. military and others treated as effectively a foreign country. one major general speaking to reporters said, we can do what
we want here, and essentially the military has treated guam and the people of guam that way for decades. guam is a colony. people were not embarrassed in washington and the 50 states, were not embarrassed in past decades to call guam a colony. it is called a territory, but it is a colony. the people effectively have a kind of third class citizenship. they cannot vote for president, they do not have meaningful representation in congress. people in d.c. where i live have a kind of second class citizenship that at least we can vote for president. beeneople of guam have left and maintained in the status of colonial relationship with the rest of the united states, and not given independence at the same time, or incorporated into the united states as a state that would
grant them the full democratic rights that other u.s. citizens enjoy. , canoe you talk about how widespread the resistance is among people on guam? many are involved in the u.s. military, in the bases that are there. the andersen air force base, etc. >> the widespread resistance on the island has been growing exponentially in the past decade. we have a long history of resistance against the military presence on the island. in 2006, the u.s. entered into an accord with the government of japan agreeing to transfer 8000 marines from open our tower i -- .kinawa to our island it led to a groundswell of resistance, largely because our is alreadyuation
militarized, one third of our island occupied by dod and they looked to expand by 45%. the expansion continues to today. with the acquisition of a lot of our see space and notches contained to guam but to to be used islands for these live firing range complexes. amy: so right now as your newspaper headlines says "14 minutes," how are people responding in the peace community on guam, those who are a part of military bases, and how many who work at these bases? the economy is so intertwined with the u.s. economy, also feel very critical of the u.s.
military presence, and how does it compare to the resistance in japan and okinawa and places like that, or the philippines where people actually threw out the u.s. military bases? >> japan and okinawa are the gold standard in terms of the distance to u.s. militarism, the frontline of the peace movement largely because of the population basis. the department of defense released was called the draft environmental impact statement of the planned military buildup for the island, and it is an expansion of their footprint. response, the collections of testimonies and what have you from our community, we responded with 10,000 testimonies in a population base of 160,000 people. that was unprecedented in u.s. dod history and they actually
reported that number and reported that it was unprecedented. ist is very disheartening that regardless of this kind of mobilization which ultimately resulted in our suing the department of defense on their plan to take a sacred village of hours, so as a result of that, delayed the buildup because we were able to win the lawsuit. unfortunately since then they have released new plans and in the last few weeks have gotten the green light to clear an additional 1000 acres of land for purposes of this military expansion. atrocities, it is one assault after the other. in terms of our ocean space, let a give you an example. in 2014, the mariana islands training and testing range was out floored, we did resist, and the consequence has been the establishment of training range and notion in the season skies
of nearly one million square nautical miles. that is larger than the states of washington, california, nevada, arizona, and a few others. last month they announced an expansion. insane magnanimous feature of this expansionism evokes a lot of heavy responses of anger in terms of resurgence of the knowledge of our colonization, and has this has been the price we are paying because of our colonization by the u.s. government. amy: the difference between the u.s. bases in japan and on guam ,here you are is that guam whether you like it or not, is a part of the united states although you do not get to vote for president. your political representation in washington and
what kind of voice you have as a u.s. territory. >> as a u.s. territory, we have one elected delegate locally who is a representative in the u.s. congress in the house of representatives. however, she has very limited participation in terms of the voting process. is a tiebreaker it becomes no and void. -- null and void. it is an illusion of inclusion into the process of democracy. as much as there is that one bang it does not have much in terms of representing us and our interests. amy: you went to north korea, you crossed the demilitarized zone, is that right? can you explain the significance of that given what you are in the midst of right now? >> it was very significant. the whole process of the women crossing the dmz really was a large statement and was intended
to be a large statement to the global community that we need to engagethe different approach is exactly what the korean group you were talking about earlier is talking about, deploying the use of diplomacy and discussion to stop the misunderstanding at a global scale. the delegation was comprised of 30 women, two nobel peace prize laureates. it was led by gloria steinem, who you know is legendary. it was a stand we were trying to make in terms of looking at the u.s.' engagement with north as with the whole entire asia-pacific region where the announcement of the strategy to pivot was with the attention -- has caused so much, not only in terms of money but in terms of lives and resources, and we want to take a stand against that. amy: how are people preparing
-- well, on guam for what your newspaper has across the front page, 14 minutes? >> you know, it is a very mixed kind of response to these latest claims because on the one hand we are being told we are safe, we have a maximum amount of military preparation. it is not going to be an issue. anything that comes flying our way will be taken down, but we know the realities of militarism and that the technology has not evolved enough, and more importantly, it creates an example of our colonization and how our native people are caught earlier, you described in the crossfire's of these geopolitical games. amy: let me go to david. japan said thursday,
it is ready to evacuate its citizens in the event of an attack by north korea. achieve cabinet secretary yoshihide suga also said his country supports trump's position. allresident trump has said options are on the table and we welcome the stance. it is important the japan-u.s. alliance stresses its power and ability to respond. amy: meanwhile south korea's , joint chiefs of staff spokesman said north korea would face a "firm response" if it launched an attack. this is roh jae-cheon speaking thursday. >> if north korea conducts provocations, it will confront the strong and firm response of our military and the u.s.-south korean alliance. amy: you heard from people in japan and in south korea. talk about the role of these, of
u.s. bases in both of these places and overall, your point, the subtitle of your book, how u.s. military bases abroad harm america and the world. >> sure, i think the words ul and tokyo, seo like the words coming out of washington and north korea are a lot of macho posturing. i think gender is one of the under analyzed dimensions of this as colliding -- escalating and profound moment. of a constellation of u.s. military bases in the pacific region. there are more than 200 bases between south korea and japan alone hosting u.s. forces. there are yet more in thailand, the philippines, and elsewhere in the region. i think it is worth listeners
and others considering how the united states would feel if there was a single chinese or north korean or russian base anywhere near u.s. borders. these u.s. bases are clearly meant to threaten. the claim about u.s. bases overseas for years, and the conventional wisdom in mainstream foreign policy discourse is these are absolutely necessary to the defense and security of the united states and the world. rarely has anyone provided evidence to show that these bases are keeping the peace and deterring allies. quite to the contrary, i think this scary moment is an example of how bases can increase military tension. if the united states was faced with a foreign enemy, with a base anywhere near u.s. borders you would see citizens, members of the government calling for a massive buildup of military force in response.
a serious moment of the cold war was the cuban missile crisis when the soviet union install a missile base in cuba, only 90 miles from florida. i think this is sadly a good example of the folly of what is effectively a cold war era strategy to build up mayor terry bases -- military bases and forces around the world, a strategy that has not been questioned since the end of the cold war. these bases have been in place in decades, 70 or more years bases that were built up and occupied during world war ii. haveurse the bases in guam been occupied for more than 100 years and we have not questioned the damage that these bases are near to people who live the bases, environmental damage, cultural damage, the
displacement that is taken place, as well as the damage suffered by the rest of the united states as a result of this massive overspending on bases abroad. this is money running into the tens of billions of dollars we are spending to maintain bases and troops abroad every year. we spend more money on bases and troops abroad than the entire budget of the state department. this is money that could be used to better defend the united states in a variety of ways, better used by the military, better used to defend military personnel. it could be better used to improve the security of u.s. citizens, education, health care, housing, a whole range of ways in which we could far better protect the security of the united states and not ramp up military tensions with other nations. comment, lisaad
linda, that it is because of guam and the bomb that people in the u.s., maybe are some -- may be some are just learning there is this u.s. territory in the pacific that is so central. yours thoughts about how -- your thoughts about how guam is viewed and how you would like to see your island represent. asi often referred to guam america's best-kept secret. while america's military justification for its massive military presence is all over the world, and david has described, a claims to do so and democracy. whereas on guahan, democracy does not exist. as a u.s. colony, it does not exist. we have limited representation in u.s. congress. we have a whole host of other
sloughs of fedor territorial policies that inhibit our ability to become self-sufficient. we do not have standard u.s. programs like unemployment insurance or to cure the disability insurance, and we only get about 1/7 of the funding afforded to states. there is no democracy that exists on these islands and the native people here are kind of caught in this reality. just as there is a growing resistance movement to the military presence, there also is addressingssue of our colonization and political status issues. amy: thank you very most -- thank you both very much for being with us. lisa linda is speaking with us from guam, the u.s. occupied guam in 1898. she is a professor at the
amy: a musician from guam. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. thousands of yemenis and other nationals from countries covered by trump's travel ban are currently stranded in different parts of the world. as the state department refuses to honor the fact that they want a -- one at a u.s. government lottery. for aousands who applied green card have already sold their homes and cars, left their jobs and even relocated to places like malaysia and other countries in anticipation of their move to the united states. their eligibility to receive green cards under the program
will end only three days after the travel ban is slated to expire on september 22 -- 27th, meaning their applications will likely not be processed in time. stephen patterson will join us in a moment. taking this away from people who have won it is the cruelest possible thing this administration can do. it makes us look petty and cruel as a society. the international red cross issued a rare statement saying it is extremely alarmed by the recent wave of airstrikes in yemen which have killed dozens of civilians and hit homes in public spaces such as the market. crisis in yemen is deepening with more than 400,000 people reportedly suffering from cholera, looming famine with the united nations , warning 19 million of yemen's 28 million people are in need of some form of aid. well, for more, we're joined now
by several guests. in chennai, india, we're joined on democracy now! video skype by hamed sufyan almaqram, a 29-year-old yemeni phd student in applied linguistics who is at university in tamil nadu, india. he was awarded a diversity visa in 2016 but, due to trump's travel ban, is now stranded in india. and, in washington, d.c. we're joined by his attorney, yolanda rondon of the american-arab anti-discrimination committee, or adc. her group is suing the state department over diversity visa winner denials and delays. we welcome you both to democracynow. let's begin with you in india. how did you apply to be in this lottery, and tell us your reaction when you want and what you did about it. would who looks to
enter the land of divinity, i was one of them and i applied to this program. 2016, i was notified and at that time i was in india doing the first chair of my phd so i had to go back to yemen, to my country in order to get some communications. ,t that time, that situation all airports were blocked so it was very difficult for me to move to yemen. the price of tickets would
double. i got a ticket, i borrowed an amount of money from friends and i went to yemen. i was thinking i was the only one who went there in yemen, but the situation gets worse. i tried to get all my communications, birth certificate, marriage certificate. i was trying to get out from yemen to india and the situation gets worse. all the airports now are closed so what if i want to go back to india have to go through another path of yemen's self. -- south. there is a problem between south and north of yemen. life, i risked my life in order to get out from yemen to india for my interview.
in 2016.men months outere seven of my university, out of my classes, and i came here in indian desk in india. -- in india. one more month added to my absence, now they are eight months. was iners degree [indiscernible] then i got my interview appointment on the 25th of may so in order to be able to move i had to be able to get such a massive amount of money. my father is in yemen and he is a public servant. almost one year until this moment.
i tried to call my friends and my uncle who was working in saudi arabia to send me money support in order to be able to move. one of the conditions which was for entering kuala lumpur was to get $2000 in cash. otherwise you were sent back to your country. ofntered militia at the end may -- malaysia at the end of may and i was so happy and i was thinking i was about to get my visa. i did my examination there as well as, preparing for my interview. at the time of my interview, i was so happy. of mycollected all recommendations from the early stages of my life until this time. they were all complete and i entered my interview, it was a very nice interview and the consul was very kind with me. she told me, you have to answer
these questions regarding your experience for the previous 15 years and work. i answered and sent them back to the embassy the next day. after waiting there for four weeks, i did not get any information. then i got a call from india that i have to come back because i have a cross examination. at that time i came back here in india and entered my exam, i was not prepared. , the 12th ofr july, i get a message from the american embassy in kuala lumpur that if you do not have a close family relation with an american , you are in eligible to get the diversity visa.
just apply from the beginning. it is a difficult situation. we have already sacrificed our -- our lives. we cannot be here for more time. ,e are not permitted to work not to go back to our country. very difficult. , suffering malaysia a lot. amy: i want to bring in your attorney who is in washington, d.c., a staff attorney for the anti-arab discrimination committee. mohammed is telling a painful story. he risked his life to be able to get this visa and he is not saying he should have gotten it, won. nowly one --
because of the ban, explain how prevalent this is, how many people are effective, and what this visa lottery is? >> it is a painful story and unfortunately he is not unique. this has occurred, we have over 90 clients of yemeni origin dissent. there are also dozens of iranians who are part of our lawsuit who have suffered this. it is very widespread and what we have determined and seeing that there is a discriminatory policy being applied to these nationals, essentially stating that because of their identity you are banned. theur eyes, this violates immigration and nationality attack because it is arbitrary and capricious to add terms and conditions not provided under law. the only three requirements are
that you are a national of a beneficiary country, you have the requisite education attainment level or the qualified work experience. to add are not allowed qualifications that congress did not authorize. frankly as well, what we are is this is a policy being used to essentially run out the time. they know individuals have to complete their visa by september 30 or they will lose it so they are enforcing a ban even though these executive orders should not apply to them and the supreme court has ruled it should not apply. this is the purpose of the diversity visa program when it was enacted into law, to diversify and immigration base. the muslim ban is to bring us back into the isolation time where we only allow in the european, anglo-saxon immigrants.
it is very disturbing about what is happening, not only to violate the ima but also there is a clause against discrimination, prohibiting discrimination based on nationality that is what is occurring here. -- whatt kind of reese kind of recourse do you have, and explain the lawsuit? >> the recourse we are seeking is through a damage -- madame a suit. it asks the court to order the consulate to process their applications so that the class of persons which represent beyond yemeni iranians, but all nationals of the six countries is essentially any person who won the 2017 lottery and has not received a visa and has been told they need to have a bona fide relationship. this lawsuit seeks for the court to say, you must do your job,
consulate. you must process these applications before september 30. do not allow them to wait out the system to de facto or pretext discriminate against these nationals who are otherwise eligible for a visa. to yolanda talking rondon, staff attorney for the adc. is it something like 50,000 people who have come in on the diversity lottery? >> the way the diversity visa lottery works, certain countries are elected and eligible based upon the low immigrant the set entrance level. these are generally countries from africa, the middle east, and south america, and largely these nationals do not have any other way to enter the country due to economic means that because they do not have family ties. otherwise they would use family
immigration system. people apply each year and last year alone there was roughly 150 million people who applied. out of that, the state department selects about 125,000, 150,000 to a random selection process. from there, there are over -- only 50,000 slots allowed to be filled. thousands and thousands of people hope they are selected and they go through all this to get their documents verified. it comes with the requisite medical examination but at the end of the day, only 50,000 are allowed. breake are going to go to and bring in stephen patterson, spent three decades in the state department. [music break]
amy: "what a shame." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are talking about the diversity lottery for visas for people to come into this country, when they win, what happens when the trump travel ban stands in the way. we are joined by stephen patterson, u.s. immigration attorney.
he spent nearly three decades with the state department, serving as a consular officer and manager in postings in asia, the middle east, and europe, and in washington, d.c. he is dealing with a catastrophe, the u.s. backed saudi bombing of yemen. his father stopped being paid nine months ago. he risked his life to get out of yemen come ultimately won this lottery but now waits in india and cannot come into this country. explain the significance and why you have called this one of the cruelest acts a government could engage in. >> what is happening is you have someone who is qualified to receive a visa under the visa lottery. process thatal allows 50,000 people who do not otherwise have a family or employment-based thai to
emigrate to the united states. the visa numbers available in this category expire at the end of every fiscal year so someone wins the lottery and is unable to receive a visa before september 30 of that year, that opportunity expires and they are back with a started. the cruel thing about the travel people who won the visa diversity lottery, right now the supreme court is telling us they are going to determine whether the ban as promulgated by the administration is constitutional, but they will not reach this decision until after september 30. even if they decided that point the travel band should not be applied to the diversity visa lottery winners, the people who impacted by it will lose that opportunity because they will not be able to get that visa before the end of
the fiscal year because they will be stopped until the supreme court rules. this is cruel because people who win the lottery do not get that chance each year thereafter. the odds are really small but someone who wins one year will be able to use a number the next year. effectively, that is their chance and it has been taken away from them from a process -- by a process that may be overturned by the court. i find that to be cruel. amy: what recourse do you think they have, who have risked everything and cannot come in? >> under our current law, he has no recourse. if someone wins the lottery and is unable to get a visa, that is it. the only thing he can do is apply again next year and see what happened. amy: under president trump's proposed raise act which would have legal migration, with this lottery be done away with entirely? >> the lottery was set up by
congress and congress can decide to take it away. i understand one of the aspects of the proposal from the administration is to half the amount of immigration that can come in each year. diversity has always been controversial right from the beginning. in its early days it was reestablished each year and there were some years it look like it might not be reestablished. there have always been people who felt that the lottery as it was operated, was not the best way to bring people into the united states. we havefive -- amy: five seconds to wrap up. >> it could well be that the lottery will be removed. amy: stephen patterson, we want to thank you for being with us.
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