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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  February 4, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for saturday, february 4: the trump immigration ban, stopped by court order; and in our signature segment, armed citizens on patrol along the u.s.-mexico border. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products.
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that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> stewart: good evening, and thank you for joining us. the trump administration's ban on immigration from seven predominantly muslim countries is on hold nationwide following a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge in seattle last night. today, the department of homeland security announced it has suspended all actions enforcing the immigration ban and has told airlines to let travelers from those countries with valid visas or green cards board planes bound for the u.s. those countries are iran, iraq, libya, syria, somalia, sudan and yemen. the state department announced today it is reversing the cancellation of visas that had
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been issued to 60,000 people who had been prevented from entering the u.s. since the trump executive order eight days ago. the trump administration plans to appeal the court ruling that has halted the immigration ban. newshour weekend's megan thompson has more. >> reporter: in seattle last night, u.s. district judge james robart, an appointee of president george w. bush, granted washington state's request for a temporary restraining order on the trump administration's 90-day ban on citizens of the seven countries traveling to the u.s. >> the state has met its burden of demonstrating that it faces immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the executive order. >> reporter: outside court, washington state's attorney general said the ruling proved the u.s. is a nation of laws. >> i said from the beginning it is not the loudest voice that prevails in a courtroom, it's the constitution. and that's what we heard from
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judge robart today. >> reporter: the white house immediately called the ruling" outrageous" and vowed to appeal. spokesman sean spicer said: tweeting from his home in palm beach, florida, this morning, president trump criticized the ruling and the judge, saying: the president continued: for the third saturday in a row, trump protesters were out across the country, from washington, d.c., to philadelphia, to boulder, colorado. trump protesters hit the streets overseas, as far away as australia and in indonesia, which has the world's largest muslim population. in london, thousands marched from the american embassy to
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parliament protesting the immigration ban. >> we think it's a disgusting escalation of donald trump's campaign of whipping up islamophobia. >> reporter: they called on prime minister theresa may to rescind her invitation to president trump to visit britain this summer. more than a thousand protesters marched at berlin's brandenburg gate, where a wall once separated east and west germany. >> stewart: there was a show of force by iran today, the day after the trump administration imposed new sanctions on two dozen iranian individuals and companies in response to iran test firing a ballistic missile earlier this week. iran state-run television today showed the country's hardline revolutionary guards carrying out military exercises in a province east of tehran. a top iranian general was quoted as saying "if we see the smallest misstep from the enemies, our roaring missiles will fall on their heads." traveling in japan today, defense secretary james mattis said he sees no need to increase forces in the middle east because of iran's actions.
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in tokyo, secretary mattis said the u.s. japanese alliance is critical to ensuring security in asia, and the u.s. is committed to defending all japanese territory from attack. mattis told japan's defense minister that pledge includes islands between okinawa and taiwan administered since 1972 by japan but also claimed by china. this was mattis' first overseas trip as defense secretary. read poems by writers from the seven countries affected by the administration's immigration ban. visit www.pbs.org/newshour. billionaire businessman vincent viola, president trump's pick to be the secretary of the army, has withdrawn from consideration. a west point graduate and retired army officer, viola, owner of the florida panthers hockey team, said the challenges of separating himself from his businesses have "proven insurmountable." entering the administration's third week, only five members of president trump's cabinet picks
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are on the job, including the secretaries of state, defense, homeland security and transportation. but the heads of the departments of justice, treasury, health, labor, housing, veterans affairs and nine others still await senate confirmation. joining me from washington to discuss the status of cabinet nominees is "roll call" reporter niels lesniewski. niels, what is the day-to-day impact of only having about a quarter of the cabinet seated in. >> well, the real impact is in departments and agencies where the trump administration and congressional republicans want to make big changes really quickly. so, for example, health and human services, tom price, the congressman from georgia who has been nominated to head that up, is going to be the person that the trump administration has in charge of rolling out policy changes, both in sort of
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executive action actions and legislatively to repeal and roll back obamacare, and then the treasury secretary, when steve mnuchin gets confirmed, he's probably going to be tasked as the point man on any rewrite of the tax code. so to the extent that there are agencies that are continuing to sort of do the work that they had been doing under president obama to some degree, those sorts of functions continue. it's really the place where's they want to do a wholesale change of what was being done during the obama years that they have the biggest problems. >> stewart: there's something that i noticed watching television, i've seen these advertisements for cabinet picks, touting who they are and what they might do. scott pruitt, for example, for the e.p.a. they're being paid for by different organizations that, obviously, support that agenda. but why is this-- what does it say that we have commercials about cabinet picks? >> well, i think that the commercials about the cabinet
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picks are laying the groundwork for the eventual votes that take place on the floor of the senate, so that when, let's say you are a voter in indianapolis, and your senator joe donnelly votes against-- who is a democrat-- votes against some of these trump nominees, there are already ads that may have already been running against him. i think a lot of this is sort of laying the groundwork for the ad campaigns that take place down the road against the incumbent democratic senators. >> stewart: how much of this lack of confirmation has to do with the vetting process taking longer? how much of it has to do with politics? >> there were some vetting questions with some of the nominees that largely have been resolved now, although, some still have not. a lot of this now is political, however. what we're seeing, and we'll see starting on monday, is the senate basically being in maybe
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continuously through the weekends, up until the president's day recess, trying to get as many of these confirmed as possible, with democrats basically taking up all the debate time imaginable for people like jeff session, the pick to be the attorney general, for tom price for h.h.s., and some other picks, that the idea here is that the democrats really seem to be wanting the senate republicans to do as little as possible on the floor and basically by drag this process out as long as they can, it minimizes the opportunity to do anything else. >> stewart: niels lesniewski, from "roll call," thanks a lot. >> thank you. >> stewart: during his first week in office, president trump signed an executive order to build a wall along the 2,000- mile border between the united states and mexico.
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he also pledged to hire more border patrol agents and create more detention centers for illegal immigrants. border security is also about slowing the flow of illegal drugs. according to the u.s. border patrol and the drug enforcement administration, half the marijuana seized in the u.s. comes across a stretch of arizona, bordering mexico. that's where correspondent nick schifrin and producer zach fannin traveled for tonight's signature segment, where a few local residents have taken up arms. >> reporter: tim foley likes to describe himself and his men as a kind of neighborhood watch, and these 600 square miles along the arizona-mexico border are their backyard. for the last seven years, the 57-year-old former army soldier, firefighter and construction worker has led the arizona border recon. foley describes it as a surveillance group, but members are armed with military-style rifles that are legal in arizona. they're prepared to intercept or capture anyone crossing the border illegally.
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>> when friends come to your house, they come to the front door and ring the bell and announce themselves. they don't wait 'til you're not home, and then climb through your back window and make themselves at home. >> reporter: this desert land is a well-worn route for mexican cartels. border recon members want to try and secure the border because they say the government has failed to do so. >> basically, what we're trying to do is just hurt the cartels' pocketbook. this area is pretty much theirs, and we're coming back in and going, "it's not yours, it's ours." >> reporter: to try and catch the cartels, foley hides motion- activated cameras. >> i can see what times of day they come by, what days of the week, and start to see if there's any type of pattern. >> reporter: late last year, foley's cameras recorded these men dressed in desert camouflage walking from mexico into arizona. smugglers bring in marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and sometimes people. the last man carried a broom to sweep up their footprints. some wear these booties with carpet soles to avoid leaving
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tracks. >> so, if i'm wearing this... >> reporter: can't see anything. >> ...there's nothing there. they're actually very good. it's very ingenious. >> reporter: foley says this fight is personal. at an early age, he started abusing alcohol and drugs, everything from heroin to sniffing glue. >> for 30 years, i was higher than a kite. and then, i came down here. i was going, "i know what this stuff does, and i want to keep as many people as possible away from it." >> reporter: foley has no interest in being a u.s. customs and border protection agent, but he told us he works with them. at one point during our visit, he said this call was from an agent. >> you missed the group by about an hour-and-a-half. >> you guys have a good one, and let us know if you see anything. >> roger that. will do. they know that i have so much intel. >> reporter: c.b.p. declined our request for an interview but said in a written statement it" does not endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their
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own hands as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences." >> reporter: in arizona, there are more than a dozen self- described militia groups, none of which were created or sanctioned by the state. the arizona state militia posts youtube videos of its training to become "the last line of defense" against everything from illegal immigration to an outbreak of disease. >> i prepare for things such as a pandemic or something of that nature. in a medical situation, we may be required to secure a hospital so there's not a run on supplies there, so people can get proper treatment. >> reporter: 30-year-old cody salazar-betzer joined eight months ago. he trains on radios, handguns and military-style rifles. >> there's a lot of situations you can dream up in your head that may be possible where you may be called to defend in a situation where just simple hands, hand-to-hand won't do. >> cody's our corporal. that was his promotion after his 90 days for all the work he does on our web site. >> reporter: the arizona state militia is led by this 42-year- old named bryan, who wouldn't
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give his last name. he says he served in the military, but we couldn't verify that. he and many people here make the unproven assertion that illegal immigration has increased crime and taken away american jobs. >> when you got possibly in the hundreds a day coming across, that's eventually going to have an impact. >> reporter: mark potok of the southern poverty law center is one of the country's leading authorities on militia groups. he calls them out-of-control vigilantes. >> these people are incredibly dangerous. you know, they're runninouarnd like a bunch of g.i. joes, darting from cactus plant to cactus plant, armed to the teeth and essentially playing war. >> reporter: he cites the example of shawna forde, the leader of the minuteman american defense militia that took it upon itself to patrol the border. in 2009, ford planned and helped rob and kill a latino man, raul flores, and his nine-year-old daughter brisenia, mistakenly thinking he was a drug dealer whose money she could steal to fund her movement. a jury sentenced forde to death. >> this is a movement that tends
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to attract people who are quite unhinged. this is a barrel with a whole lot of bad apples in it. >> reporter: foley's heard this critique. >> it's politically correct to call us racists and everything else. that's all right. i prefer the term "domestic extremist" because if getting off the couch and doing something is extreme, then, yeah, i'm an extremist. >> reporter: to protect the border, in 2006, the bush and then obama administrations started building new, taller fences like this one in arizona. today, some kind of barrier covers most of the states 370- mile southern border. the policy is meant to secure cities. this border fence was built about four years ago. it goes all the way into the town of nogales and beyond it. it runs for about four miles until this point. everything beyond here is just a vehicle barrier. the idea is to force anything illegal-- whether people or drugs that are coming across-- into these remote, rural areas. but even here, the local sheriff says that those militia groups
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aren't welcome. >> we have no way of vetting these people. we don't know who they are. >> reporter: tony estrada has been the elected sheriff of this county for 24 years. he's a democrat. he says mexican smugglers try and avoid people, and that keeps violent incidents low. he believes aggressive militias increase the potential of violence. >> they may mean well, but it's not going to work. they're going to put themselves in danger, and it's going to create more problems than it's going to solve. >> reporter: 80 miles to the east, mark dannels, a republican, is the elected sheriff of the neighboring county, with 6,000 square miles of land and 80 miles of border. his office also has video of camouflaged drug mules bringing bundles from mexico into the u.s. his new surveillance cameras can peer into the mexican hills two miles away. he says that little black structure on the top of the hill is full of cartel scouts. dannels says militias don't have enough technology or legitimacy. >> when you entrust a law
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enforcement agency, they've been vetted through a community, a process. militias are not vetted. if they want to be eyes and ears like we talk about community policing, let it be. but it always goes to the next level where they're armed better than my deputies are. >> reporter: just down the road, u.s. customs and border protection is completing a four- year-old upgrade of the border fence. there's a ranch that runs up to the border, and it's owned by john ladd. his family has lived here continuously for 120 years. he says, despite the fence, drug smugglers cross his property freely. >> their backpack is 50-pound pack in the back and 20 pounds in front. they'll take their dope to the highway, go back and get another load. they'll do three loads a day. the dope will be picked up by a vehicle on the highway. >> reporter: he would like to see more federal border agents, not militia groups. >> if you're going to be on the border, it's going to be a legitimate agency that is going to take care of the problem. >> reporter: there's one more layer of criticism. some local residents told me they're scared of foley and the weapons he keeps in his house.
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there are members of the community in general who are kind of scared of you, i think. i mean, should they be scared of you? >> they shouldn't be because we are protecting them. and i told myself when i came down here, i wouldn't leave until it was secure. >> reporter: in his first week in office, president trump announced his proposals to secure the border: building a wall, hiring 5,000 more border agents and increasing prosecution of illegal immigrants. >> beginning today, the united states of america gets back control of its borders, gets back its borders. >> reporter: but congress still needs to authorize the money, and no one knows how much of the wall will be built, how many agents will actually be hired or how effective the plan might be. foley isn't waiting. he vows to continue patrolling, no matter the critics. >> i'm not doing this for myself. i'm not doing it for fame. i'm not doing it for fortune, because i'm broke as hell. i'm doing it for everybody because we do not know what is coming through that border.
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>> stewart: on his call list today, president trump spoke to ukrainian president petro poroshenko. the phone conversation comes at the end of a week where more than 30 people died in the eastern part of ukraine near its shared border with russia, due to the worst fighting in two years between government forces and russian-backed separatist rebels. on thursday, united nations ambassador nikki haley said the administration would not lift sanctions imposed on russia in 2014 after it annexed the crimean peninsula of ukraine, until russia returns control of the region. to discuss where the issue goes from here, i am joined by professor timothy frye, chair of the political science department at columbia university. professor, what triggered this escalation? >> well, i think the ukrainian forces want to send a message
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that they should not be forgotten. the trump administration has barely paid any attention to ukraine until this week, and some argue that this escalation on the ukrainian side was an attempt to get their attention. on the russian side, they also may have an interest in sparking this conflict to demonstrate to the ukrainians that perhaps the united states does not have their back the way they had in the obama administration. >> stewart: how big a test is this for the united states, given that many analysts have said, hey, yeah, this is russia saying we have a new administration in the u.s. and they're friendly to us? >> yeah, i think this is an important test. i think what nikki haley's you look at what she saidk closely, very strong condemnation of russia, clear language. also, she said, specifically, that the crimea-related sanctions would stay in place. but what she didn't say was that the sanctions related to the
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agreement which the obama administration, our european partners have said, sanctions relief will not happen until both sides abide by this agreement. this was not spoken about at all. it was a significant softening of u.s. support for kiev compared to the obama administration. >> stewart: how did the trump administration react, as compared to how u.s. ambassador nikki haley reacted? >> well, i think the trump administration is playing a two-level game here. they're trying to reassure congress that they will not give away the store in any negotiations with russia around ukraine. remember, congress is putting forward legislation that would prevent the president from lifting sanctions unilaterally without congressional approval. so i think part of nikki haley's statement was designed to reassure congress that the trump administration will not give away the store, and that there is no need for this legislation
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that would tie president trump's hands. >> stewart: what is it president petro poroshenko wants from the united states at this point? >> he wantaise stronger position at the bargaining table. there's been negotiations around minsk 2. this is an agreement whereby the ukrainian government would devolve some sovereignty to the two regions that are in conflict, and that there would be free and fair elections held, and once those elections are held, then the russians would seal all the border so that no materiel and personnel could cross into ukraine and keep the fighting going. so the ukrainian side and the russian side have not fulfilled their ends of the bargain. but the positions of the europeans and the united states was that only after these agreements are in place will the rge-scale sanctions relief be delivered. so in this way, the trump administration's kind of hiving off the crimea-related sanctions i think is significant. >> stewart: professor timothy frye from columbia university,
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thank so much. >> thank you very much. >> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> stewart: the "new york time"" reports president trump has yet to cut ties with his business holdings. documents obtained through a freedom of information act request show the trump organization's assets have been placed in a trust for the" exclusive benefit" of mr. trump, according to the "times." the documents say the president's eldest son, donald, jr., and the trump organization's chief financial officer, allen weisselberg, are now in charge, but mr. trump can revoke their authority any time. the president also receives reports on profits and losses, the "times" says. in france, marine le pen, the far right candidate in the country's april presidential election, formally launched her campaign today in lyon. her slogan: "put france back in order." le pen leads the national front party, and her platform, detailed today, calls for leaving the european union, dumping the euro for the franc, and dropping out of nato's
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integrated command. le pen also wants to tighten france's borders, limit immigration to 10,000 people a year and no longer extend french citizenship by marriage. this is le pen's second run for the presidency. she finished third in 2012. her main rival for the presidency is conservative former prime minister francois fillon, who is now embroiled in a corruption scandal. france's most famous museum, the louvre, reopened to visitors today, one day after a man with a machete attacked french soldiers who guard the museum. french officials say the attacker was a 28-year-old egyptian man who arrived in france last month on a tourist visa. he's recovering from wounds sustained when soldiers shot him after he charged at four of them, reportedly shouting in arabic, "allahu akbar, " meani"" god is great." one soldier was slightly injured. egyptian officials say the attacker had no prior criminal record or known involvement with extremists groups. french president francois hollande called the incident a terrorist attack.
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>> stewart: in syria's civil war today, american-backed militias launched a new phase in their siege of the northern city of raqqa, the de facto capital of islamic state militants. supported by american airstrikes and special forces soldiers, the syrian democratic forces group aims to completely encircle raqqa. and in romania, bowing to massive protests all week outside the country's parliament building, romania's prime minister says he'll scrap a decree that would shield officials from prosecution for corruption. the protests are the country's biggest since communist rule ended in 1989. that's all for this edition of "pbs newshour weekend." i'm alison stewart. thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh
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access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. station from viewers like you. thank you.
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