tv PBS News Hour PBS February 28, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: president trump says the time is right for a new immigration law, as he prepares to lay out his priorities in his first address to congress. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this tuesday, in a new executive order, the white house promises renewed commitment to historically black colleges and universities across the nation. >> woodruff: and, taking the school bus across the border. the kids who make the trek from mexico to the u.s. every day for school. >> it is great to have the opportunity to go to school in the u.s. because it is a lot better, it is lot more helpful. >> sreenivasan: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> woodruff: it's not a "state of the union address," but it has most of the trappings. tonight offers the new president his biggest moment since the inauguration, to tell americans what he wants to do as the president, and possibly to turn around impressions after a bumpy beginning. john yang begins our coverage, from the white house. >> reporter: president trump spent today getting ready for prime-time: tonight's address to a joint session of congress. >> it's a busy day, and tonight will be a rather busy night. we look forward to it. >> reporter: senior administration officials say he'll tout the campaign promises he has kept in his five weeks in office and offer an optimistic look into the future. in a fox news interview that aired this morning, he acknowledged some shortfalls, specifically on his immigration order. >> i think i get an "a" in terms of what i've actually done, but in terms of messaging, i'd give myself a "c," or a "c+." >> reporter: in a lunch with
television anchors and reporters, including the pbs newshour, mr. trump said "the time may be right" for an immigration reform bill-- if there's compromise on both sides. on health care, officials said the president would outline "guiding principles," but offer no specifics on repealing and replacing obamacare tonight. on capitol hill, a number of republican conservatives balked today at what party leaders are considering. >> we didn't tell the voters that we were going to repeal obamacare, but keep the medicaid expansion. we didn't tell the voters we were going to repeal obamacare and keep some tax increases. and we certainly didn't tell the voters we were going to repeal obamacare and start a whole new entitlement. >> reporter: despite the divisions, house speaker paul ryan was upbeat. >> this is a plan that we are all working on together; the house, the senate, the white house. so there aren't rival plans here. we're all working on this together with the administration. i feel at the end of the day, when we get everything done and right, we're going to be unified on this. >> reporter: administration officials said that mr. trump won't offer many specifics on
tax reform, but will address the need to improve the nation's aging infrastructure. >> what i'm anticipating is a optimistic and upbeat portrayal of what america could be, with the kind of changes that we are in the process of implementing, as you know, on regulatory reform, on repealing and replacing obamacare, comprehensive tax reform, and of course, the supreme court. >> reporter: but democrats say americans should listen carefully to get the real message. >> we fully expect the president will offer populist platitude after platitude. but talk is cheap. tonight, the president is likely to use populist rhetoric to mask a hard-right special interest- driven agenda. democrats and the american people won't be fooled. >> reporter: mr. trump will also push his plan to beef up the military, raising defense spending by $54 billion and cutting domestic spending and foreign aid.
in his "fox news" interview, he said his policies can spur the economy and raise new revenue. >> i mean, you look at the kind of numbers we're doing, we were probably g.d.p. of a little more than 1%, and if i can get that up to 3% or maybe more, we have a whole different ball game. >> reporter: meanwhile, the president wielded his pen today: signing executive orders to begin the process of overturning an obama-era waterway protection rule, and to return oversight of aid to historically black colleges and universities to the white house. president trump was still adding to his speech late this afternoon, including considering whether to add language about an immigration compromise that he talked about. officials say the speech could run as long as an hour and 20 minutes, and although he's calling for deep cuts in domestic spending next year, officials say the speech will include a call to the government to expand manned space
exploration. judy? >> woodruff: john, you and i were at that lunch with the president today and other television anchors and correspondents. we were all i think struck by the fact the president brought up the issue of an immigration bill and talked about how he's decided this is something the country is ready for. >> that's right. he seemed to be... this was a trademark campaign issue, talking tough on illegal immigration, and he seemed to be open, according to senior administration officials who are familiar with his thinking, he thinks the time is right because people are tired of this issue, they're tired of us talking about it. they want to solve it. these officials say the president believes that the top top -- tough enforcement of immigration laws that he wants to carry out could help the effort by reassuring those that this is not going to be opening up the borders, that he is still tough on immigration. >> woodruff: some needle
threading to be done here. john yang, we thank you. >> sreenivasan: at the other end of pennsylvania avenue, lisa desjardins is on capitol hill in statuary hall. lisa? lisa, what are the members you spoke to today expecting from this speech. >> i think it's more what they hope to get from it tonight, hari. some republicans and democrats told me they think the president needs to reach out to those that oppose him. they're feeling divide and rancor from their spits. also, hari, a lot of the regular order republicans would like more detail from the president. this is a place where words need to become reality, that means details. at the same time, republican leaders who spoke with the president say they don't expect those details in this speech tonight. >> sreenivasan: put this in the context of the times we're considering what the trump administration has put forward so far. >> this is an important moment. especially here at the capitol, hari, because right now two of the president's major pushes are hitting obstacle courses and
speed bumps, that's the a.c.a. repeal and replace. republicans have not yet formed a final plan. there is disagreement. and the president's own budget, which he outlined yesterday, many republicans have a lot of problems with it, specifically senate republican leader mitch mcconnell himself made a rare open statement of disagreement with the president today when asked if he could support those potential cuts to the at the present time department and diplomacy that the president is thinking about proposing. mitch mcconnell said he personally is against that, and also he doesn't think anything like that could get through the senate. >> sreenivasan: lisa desjardins, thanks so much. >> woodruff: in the day's other news: president trump said he followed his generals' advice in ordering a u.s. raid in yemen that left a navy seal dead. he was asked about it, in his "fox news" interview. >> well, this was a mission that was started before i got here. this was something that was, you know, just, they wanted to do. and they came to see me, they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected-- this was something
they were looking at for a long time, and according to mattis it was a very successful mission. >> woodruff: the raid had been in the planning stage for months. it took place five days after mr. trump took office. >> sreenivasan: the president's cabinet gained a commerce secretary today. billionaire investor wilbur ross easily won confirmation in the senate last night. after being sworn-in by vice president pence this morning, ross said he hopes the democratic support he received is a sign of bipartisan progress to come. >> woodruff: the nominee for director of national intelligence is promising his full support for a congressional investigation into russia's meddling in last year's election. former indiana senator dan coats had his confirmation hearing today, and told lawmakers they will get all the intelligence they need. >> russia has a long history of propaganda, and trying to influence various nations' cultures and elections and so forth.
it's a very key issue, that we understand fully what has happened and how it happened, and have full report on that. >> woodruff: coats also sought to assure senators that his office would not be swayed by political pressure. >> sreenivasan: the u.n. children's agency today laid bare the harrowing conditions facing women and children at migrant camps in libya. unicef said armed groups have turned the camps into "makeshift prisons," with widespread beatings, rapes and starvation. the report said: "for the thousands of migrant women and children incarcerated, the centers are living hellholes, where people are held for months." >> woodruff: the f.b.i. now says it is investigating last week's killing of an indian man in a kansas bar as a hate crime. that word came today, after the victim's body was flown home. hundreds of family and friends gathered to mourn the 32-year- old engineer in the southern city of hyderabad. the case has touched off widespread outcry in india. the gunman-- who is in custody-- allegedly yelled "get out of my country." according to a witness, he said he thought the victims were
iranians. >> sreenivasan: back in this country, attorney general jeff sessions warned the country faces rising murder and violent crime rates, and he pledged to "put bad men behind bars." in a speech to state attorneys general, sessions said police have turned overly-cautious over fear of what he called "viral videos." >> the department of justice has an absolute duty to ensure that police operate within the law, and if they violate the law, they've committed a crime just as much as any other citizen who commits an assault. but we need, so far as we can, in my view, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. and i'm afraid we've done some of that. >> sreenivasan: f.b.i. figures show that violent crime rates have been rising of late, but are still far below the levels of the 1980s and early '90s. >> woodruff: former president george w. bush says racism is tainting the political climate
in washington, under president trump. mr. bush tells "people" magazine, in an interview: "i don't like the racism and i don't like the name-calling and i don't like the people feeling alienated." still, bush says he's optimistic the country will come through it. >> sreenivasan: on wall street, target and other retailers slumped, and led the broader market lower. the dow jones industrial average lost 25 points to close at 20,812. the nasdaq fell 36 points, and the s&p 500 slipped six. still to come on the newshour: a look ahead to president trump's first address to a joint session of congress; white house efforts to support historically black colleges; students who live in one country and go to school in another, and much more. >> woodruff: our lead tonight is the platform being given the new president by the new republican
majority congress, to talk to them and the american people about what his plans are. we look ahead now with four who also joined us for last month's inauguration: amy walter of the cook political report; presidential historian michael beschloss; karine-jean pierre, a senior advisor to moveon.org during the 2016 elections; and matt schlapp, chair of the american conservative union. it's good to have you all back together again now that a little bit of time has passed. matt, i'm going the start with you. you'll been talking to the folks in the white house. what do they think the president needs to do tonight? >> i think they think it's going to be a huge television audience, and that is a president that understands tv and tv moments. i think they understand he has perhaps some of his best opportunities to talk to his biggest audience about what he sees for the vision of the country. i think he's going to step become and show people his vision of where he wants to go.
>> woodruff: karine jean-pierre, what are you looking for from the president? >> well, i'm hoping that he reaches out to the people who actually did vote for him and finally bring some unity. he had an opportunity to do that. the last time we were all together on inauguration day, and he didn't. he totally went the opposite way. so if that could happen, i think that would be a step forward, but is far he has not appeared to do that for the majority of the folks who did vote for him or who didn't vote for him at all, which is a good 70%. >> woodruff: amy, does that sound like something that would make sense? >> to show that magnanimous side we have yet to see. there are some indications that may happen tonight, whether it's as overt as maybe some folks would like the see, i don't know. not only what you think of when you think about a state of the union address is it's like a pinterest board, right, for the president. he puts on all his hopes and he puts them out there, and you don't get everything you want
when you put it on a pinterest board, but at least you're giving folks an idea of your big overall vision. there's something else he needs to do tonight, too, which most presidents, even those early on, don't have to, which is to give the members of his own party some real structure, and it was interesting today in the "new york times," tom cole, republican member of congress from oklahoma, long-time member, he said today the president must become an active participant in the legislative process. he's saying, we members on the republican side, we're with you, but you need to show not just where you want the country to go, but you need to show us where we need to go. it's not enough for the speaker and the majority leader to give us marching orders. we want to hear that tonight. >> woodruff: michael beschloss, compared to where other presidents have been at this stage early in their presidency, are we hearing from this president compared to others enough about what he wants to do and how he's going to get us there? >> he hasn't had an opportunity like this before because what a
state of the union is is this odd thing no other country has is because other presidents are chiefs of state and also prime ministers. those two roles are often contradictory. so the state of the union has offered a president the chance the say, these are things i want out of congress, here is milan dry list, but it gives a new president the opportunity to be seen as a president of the united states in congress. he gets very few opportunities like this. as matt schlapp said, he's going to have an enormous audience tonight. if he uses this opportunity not only to say this is what i want legislatively, but also those of you who are skeptics about me, even in my own party, those of you who voted against me, i can function as a president of all the people, this is one setting in which he has that opportunity. we'll see if he takes it. >> woodruff: so matt schlapp, is there a sense that the president himself feels that he should be reaching beyond the base? we know the people who voted for him, the polls are showing, they like what he's doing so far.
he's having difficulty, though, with others. >> i think it's important to go back and think about the fact that donald trump is a very different kind of republican. he already starts off this presidency having gotten the support of a lot of working-class voters who don't always vote republican, but he doesn't always like to critique, well, you got the reach beyond. he's already said, hey, i've already reached. we have a brand-new coalition building here. but i do think it's a fair point that he ought to reach out to all americans, he's everyone's president. they're going to have a national security emergency before too long, it's inevitable. that's when we look to our president as commander-in-chief to have that moment. and these moments are special, too, because with a big audience, he has a chance to tell people, here is why i have been elected and here's what i'm going to do. >> woodruff: karine jean-pierre, you were saying people look for him to reach beyond, are they willing to give him a second look? >> i'm not sure because every policy that he's put forward, executive orders that we've seen
in the past month have been very divisive and dark. it hasn't shown that people can trust what the president is going to be doing. just looking at the traveling ban, which is a religious test, which has really destroyed many people's lives. i mean, you go from the gag order, which is one of the first things that he did, which really attacked women's health issues on a federal international level, as well. so there are a lot of things that we have seen that is troubling. so i'm not sure if he's going to get there. there's always this conversation about is donald trump going to be able to press that recent button. if i got a dime for every time somebody said that to me, i would be a billionaire and probably be part of the cabinet. and it's just... he has not done that. i think there's lack of distrust, and we're just not sure if that's going to happen. nobody really thinks it's going the happen. >> woodruff: amy, i was struck today with the lunch with the president that he did bring up
on his own, immigration bill, the time is right. maybe both sides are ready to compromise. it was a very different message from what we heard when he was talking about the travel ban. >> this is what's going to be fascinating, because you question was a really important one: are people ready to listen to it? we know we have a very polarized country. this election highlighted it and it continues to rain today, but when you ask democrats, the most recent pew poll, what do you want your democratic leaders to do in congress, and 75% of democrats said, fight everything that donald trump does. they want democrats to put up a fight. and so even if the president reaches out and even if there are members on the democratic side that say, maybe i could work with you on this, they're going to get pushback from their base. we talked a lot about the republican base, how committed they are to the president, but the democratic base is very committed to digging in against this president, as well. that is the challenge for donald trump now going forward. >> woodruff: michael beschloss, talk about that a little bit, because some presidents have used opposition
to their benefit. others presidents have been overwhelmed by opposition. >> absolutely. franklin roosevelt, you know, the patron saint of democrats, in the late 1930s said, my opponents are unanimous in their hatred for me, and i welcome their hatred. he used them as a foil. you might see donald trump doing that, but donald trump ain't no f.d.r., and he was not elected by a landside. and this is a much more dicey proposition than had he been elected, let's say, with upward of 400 electoral votes and been able to go into individual congressional districts and say, i'm a landslide president. this is someone who was not elected with a popular vote majority, a pretty puny electoral vote majority, so it's a little bit hard to see him taking the strategy that might have been more appropriate had this been an election decided much more resoundingly. >> the only thing i would say to that is i think the number that matters, you're right about the
popular vote and the electoral vote, but this wrong-track number has been very steep, very negative for a very long time. there is something where americans are questioning what america means and where america is going, and does it play a leadership role, both from a national security standpoint and an economic standpoint. i couldn't compare to the depression at all, but there is something there that is affecting our politics very deeply, and when donald trump looks very serious and is on offense and trying the tackle the basic economic questions in the economy, i think it's hard for democrats, because they're used to occupying that lane. they're used to occupying that lane. >> woodruff: karine, matt has a point, doesn't he? >> but reading from a teleprompter for 45 minutes does not make you the president that we all want you to be. he has to do actions. it's not just words. it's actions. and his actions haven't matched up. >> have you not seen all these
actions? i've seen a lot of these actions. >> but they've been divisive and dark actions. there's a reason why millions of people, a majority of people are in the streets. he really has to listen to us. it's a problem. you can't continue being divisive. and he is, like you said, a president for all. >> woodruff: amy, can he do what karine is saying and matt is saying? he's... >> there's a lot of action going on. >> look, at this point in 2009, about 75% of americans said, i think that president obama will deliver change. more people right now believe that about president trump. 77% now saying, i think that donald trump can deliver change. and by the plurality, not a majority, think he's going to deliver positive change. democrats don't believe he's going to deliver positive change, but a plurality of independents do and a big majority of republicans do. so on this idea that matt is talking about, this idea about
changing the wrong track the right track, there are more people than not that believe that even though they may dislike him personally, he's going the change things in the right direction or bring the right kind of change. that's where he's going to have to perform. independents are a little more willing to give him the chance. if he doesn't deliver, well, we'll see what they do. democrats, not as willing and republicans are all bought in. >> woodruff: michael, it feels like we're coming back to that point about how divided the country is and just how differently people feel about this one man. >> i think that's right. it could have been different, frankly. his inauguration, he chose the path of playing to his base, giving this very dark speech about what a mess, that's not the term he used that day, he used it later on... >> woodruff: but tonight they say he's going to be uplifting. >> maybe that will change. maybe this will be a different moment in this presidency. we're still fascinated on what he had to fox news about giving
himself a change on messaging. that would suggest something different from what we heard at the time of inauguration and during his first month. it would be absolutely titillating if that happens. >> woodruff: it's something everybody is paying attention to tonight. as matt said, the white house is expecting a big audience. we thank all of you for being here the look ahead. michael beschloss, thanks for being here, karine jean-pierre, matt schlapp, amy walter, thank you all. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and you can stay with us this evening by following twitter and right back here at 9:00 p.m. eastern for our special live coverage of the president's address. >> sreenivasan: now, the role of america's historically black colleges, and what could, or should, be done to strengthen them. that was on president trump's agenda today, and is the focus of our weekly segment, "making the grade." as part of an effort to celebrate black history month, president trump signed an
executive order today aimed at helping historically black colleges and universities. >> historically black colleges and universities have really pillars of the african american community for more than 150 years-- an amazing job. and a grand and enduring symbol of american at its absolute best. with this executive order, we will make h.b.c.u.s a priority in the white house, an absolute priority. >> sreenivasan: the order will move the government's program for coordinating h.b.c.u.s back directly to the white house. but the president did not commit any additional funds to the schools yet, some of which are struggling financially. many of the presidents are in washington this week, calling for $25 billion more in the upcoming budget. historically black colleges and universities were established after the civil war to provide higher learning for black citizens who were deliberately shut out of most universities. today there are 100 h.b.c.u.s. nearly 300,000 students are enrolled in them.
every president since mr. jimmy carter has issued executive orders on h.b.c.u.s. during president obama's tenure, he expanded pell grants for schools overall, but initially approved tighter loan conditions for black colleges and never held meetings with the group. it was often a rocky relationship. a number of h.b.c.u.s still are in financial distress. johnny taylor, president and c.e.o. of thurgood marshall college fund, which helps fund h.b.c.u.s, says the schools need more money collectively. >> we should be very clear, we want this administration to make good on money. you can't have mission without money. >> sreenivasan: after president trump's meeting, his education secretary betsy devos triggered some new criticism. in a statement heralding the h.b.c.u.s, she called them "real pioneers when it comes to school choice." critics say her statement ignores the long history of segregation for black students and the under-funding of black schools. >> sreenivasan: let's take a
closer look now at the president's executive order and the status of these schools. for that, we're joined by johnny taylor, who was at the meeting and is president of the thurgood marshall college fund; and sophia nelson, she's a journalist who follows this, and is the author of "e plurbis one: reclaiming our founder's vision for a united america." johnny, let me start with you. why is it important for this initiative to be back under the white house? >> you know, at the end of the day where you live matters in so many way, right? when we were in the department of education, it was three levels down. it didn't even report to the secretary of education. to me that said volumes about what the former administration and frankly former administrations thought about h.b.c.u.s. we judge you more about what you say, it's about what you do, and so moving us to the white house sends a message to the entire country that h.b.c.u.'s matter, and they matter to the most
powerful person in the country, the president of the united states. >> sreenivasan: sophia nelson, it's symbolic. symbols are important. but it's not cash. and cash and funding are what a lot of these presidents are here rallying for. >> i'm encouraged because yesterday during the press conference, sean spicer talked about them doing a review of the agencies. i have dealt with h.b.c.u.s in the past as an attorney. the money i think they're going to is mostly in the r and tv space. they're going to look at department of defense and some other agencies. people think defense and h.b.c.u.s? yes. i think the trump administration is shrewd. they're going the look for existing pockets of money that under past executive orders direct agencies to make sure that h.b.c.u.s are fully funded, and they haven't been. that's the challenge. so what i want america to understand is that the legislation or the executive
action has been there consistently, but there is no enforcement of what the the agency is doing with the dollars. there is what i'm hopeful about. at least they're going to take a look and say, let's find what we're doing in the agencies and let's get this money directed in where it's supposed to go. i really want to talk about the r&d and the ffrdcs and all the stuff that meteorologist h.b.c. presidents don't know about. there is a lot of money in the r&d space. there's money that goes to harvard, stanford, yale, and the h.b.c.u.s get $15 to $30 million of that. that's tragic. >> sreenivasan: ultimately the white house has a small budget. it can recommend a budget, but ultimately we have to get to congress, which is why the first day is the white house. the second day is the republican leadership at the library of congress. that's what's important because the president releases his budget in the next six or eight
weeks. then it goes over to congress. we have to get the money authorized but then appropriated. >> let's talk about politics here a little bit. too. if trump is able, if president trump, let me give him his proper exrespect, i was on that with obama, if president trump is able to come up with some of the r&d dollars and give this more of a presence, he's going to score some points with an african american community that i think after the last election is a little bit not sure of which way to go. you saw this with the dnc direction with ellison versus perez. i think there was... you know, stephanie rollins blake wasn't reelected. so it was interesting, african americans lost power. there was a sense that we're the most loyal voting bloc the democrats have, and what are we getting for it, so trump is being shrewd. >> sreenivasan: speaking of that, the state of h.b.c.u.s, some saying the community was critical of president obama.
on the plus side it is absolutely training some of the leadership that exists in the african american community today. on the minus side, the graduation rates for students just aren't where you want it to be. so quite a few of these schools are in deep red ink. how do you get them back into even a position of stability before you can get them to thrive. >> funny you mention that. that's first thing we asked for when we met with the president and with the conditional group this morning. it was must be. -- money. the fact of the matter it is takes significant resources to graduate students who come out of pre-k through 12 secondary systems where they were underprepared. you can'tic peck to finish... these kids come in behind. our schools have an extremely heavy lift. that costs money. we're not institutions with hunting endowments that can put a ton of resources around getting johnny ready so that he graduates in four years and is prepared to go into the workplace. we might take six years. that costs more money. so how do you do that when you're historically underfunded, currently underfund and you're enrolling in disproportionately
high group of people that come from poor-performing k-12 systems. >> i think there has to be a place for public-private partnership, companies like intel or at&t. >> who benefit. >> and professional companies that are severely underrepresented. people look like you and me. so i think those companies need to help these colleges develop centers of excellence and things like that that we have to start thinking out the box. because as you said, h.b.c.s don't have the endowments the ivies do or the big schools you or i went to. so if there is no money, it's fruitless. but this administration is wise the say, look, the executive orders starting with president herbert walker bush forward, they've all directed the money there, but it's not flowing there. >> sreenivasan: it's not been appropriated. how does this not become toothless? you need the face time. you need the time to talk to the secretaries of education and all these different departments and say, here's those r&d dollars that could come this way, too. >> that's the number-one thing.
that's why it's so important to be in the white house. when they're having these staff meetings. when everybody is going to meet with the president. they have the walk past that initiative on h.b.c.u.s, it's far easier not to think about it sitting three levels downed at the department of education. so for people who question why it's so important, it's in the about address in many way, it's about who else is at that address you're moving too. >> sreenivasan: all right. johnny taylor, sophia nelson, thank you both. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: just days ago, the e.p.a.'s new administrator, scott pruitt, promised an "aggressive rollback" of regulations that had been put in place by former president obama. "the future," he said, "ain't what it used to be." president trump made good on his and pruitt's promise today, with an order to dismantle a controversial obama rule about smaller bodies of water in the u.s. william brangham has the story.
>> brangham: it's called "the waters of the united states rule," and it has to do with which smaller bodies of water, like streams and wetlands, should be regulated and protected by the federal government under the clean water act. that question has been litigated in court battles for years. for more on what today's move is all about, i'm joined now by juliet eilperin, who's been reporting on this for the "washington post." juliet, welcome back to the news hour. before we get into the rollback, can you tell me what this rule is really about? as i understand it, this is a very big part of obama's environmental legacy. >> this is a 2015 rule, which has been subject to litigation, which tries the clarify what, as you eluded to, has been really a 30-year battle over what jurisdiction the federal government has over these smaller streams, some are intermittent, some wetlands, and essentially what the federal government can tell americans,
including farmers, ranchers, home builders, what they can and cannot do, even when it has to do with private property, because it has implications for small water bodies that are crucial water supply for larger water bodies across the united states. >> brangham: so is this about a rule trying to protect these waters from pollution? is that the issue here? >> partially it's pollution, but what it pertains to many often is whether or not they can be drained or filled in. all of those actions, which are in some ways the inevitable product of these operations that happen in various different secondors of the economy, have implications for whether that water will then flow into larger water bodies. so it is usually a restriction on whether you can drain something or dig up something, as opposed to, for example, just dumping in pollute btses into a small water body, although technically it could apply the that, as well. >> brangham: i see. i know a lot of farmers and
businesses and developers have said this rule was hugely burdensome to them. is this an issue primarily of cost to them, or confusion about what rules were covered? what was the issue? >> it was a combination of both the costs that they might have to incur, but also whether they were permitted to do something or not. so you... one thing that's difficult is essentially these activities were being decided on a case-by-case basis, and so you had individual operators, whether you're talking about someone who is operating a gravel pit or trying to expand a parking lot or do something on his or her ranch, all of those folks were engaged in conversationings with the environmental protection agency and the army corps of engineers, and sometimes the decisions didn't go the way they wanted to. there were fines imposed on them some there were these long-running disputes happening across the country where the federal government was saying that in order to protect these sources of water, they couldn't do things or had to pay for some
of the actions that they undertook. >> brangham: i understand environmental groups have been very critical of this rollback. what is their complaint? >> their argument, and there are a lot of them, these water body, though it might be inconvenient to have restriction, were crucial has beened at the for everything from waterfowl, many migratory birds, aquatic species, as well as a source of drinking water for millions of americans. and so these groups primarily, outdoor recreation groups as well as many environmental groups worked extensively during the obama administration the get them to finalize this rule in the hopes that there would be an overarching standard that could be applied across the country that would provide more stringent protections for these streams and wetlands. >> brangham: so with president trump's order, this doesn't immediately undue the rule, like tomorrow the rule doesn't disappear, right? >> it does not, although the
sixth circuit has put a nationwide stay on the rule, so the rule has not gone into effect and will not go into effect, and, in fact, the order that president trump signed instructs the attorney general to ask that court to simply hold that lawsuit in abeyance, essentially freezing this rule further while the two agencies that are charged with overseeing it look at whether they can undo it, although that again is an extensive process and will spur more lawsuits going forward. >> woodruff: all right, juliet eilperin of the "washington post," thanks so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: documenting the civil rights movement through powerful images; and airlifting bison to a new home. >> sreenivasan: but first, with stepped up enforcement along the
u.s.-mexican border, there is more anxiety among immigrant communities that families members with different status might be separated. in new mexico, one small bi-national community along the border is working hard to keep families connected, through the schools. from public media's fronteras desk and pbs station krwg, simon thompson, originally from australia, brings us this report. >> reporter: daylight hasn't even broken, but 500 children who live in palomas, mexico, are up and on their way to school. their commute is not typical. they must first cross the international border into the u.s. they show their u.s. passports and birth certificates. customs and immigration officials inspect their school bags. then they're bussed to school in luna county, new mexico. lizett preciado is a senior at deming high school in luna county. a u.s. citizen, she's lived in palomas with her parents for
seven years. >> it is great to have the opportunity to go to school in the u.s. because it is a lot better, it is lot more helpful. >> reporter: lizett and her family moved to palomas from colorado, after her mother, rosa marie preciado, was deported for being in the united states illegally. >> ( translated ): i felt really bad, really badly, because i have my four children, citizens of the united states, and my husband was a resident. >> reporter: preciado's husband, ramon, makes their living in palomas raising goats. he still crosses occasionally back into the u.s. to work. rose marie preciado says having her children educated in the u.s. was very important to her and that's why they settled in palomas.
>> ( translated ): a friend said palomas would be a good option to live with my children. it is easy to cross into the u.s. and there was a bus to take them to school. >> reporter: armando chavez is the principal of columbus elementary in luna county. he says the school district usually sees an influx of students when states enact strict immigration laws, as arizona did in 2010. >> we are sometimes the holding spot for them, for them to fix the papers correctly. we are dealing with children that come from south dakota, missouri; it can be any state that they come, but we embrace our children that come to our door every day. >> reporter: school districts in texas and california also allow students living in mexico to come to school. but they often charge out-of- district fees or are private. for the u.s. citizen-students coming from palomas to school in
luna county, the education is free. many teachers in the luna county schools crossed the border as students. ricardo guiterrez teaches the 5th grade at columbus elementary, the school he attended as a child. >> so now it's my turn to give back to the community. >> reporter: gutierrez says getting parents engaged in their kids' education is the biggest challenge. he opens his restaurant in palomas for parent-teacher conferences via skype, and hosts live graduation ceremony watch parties for parents that can't cross. but not everyone living in the luna county area thinks state money should be used to educate students who don't live in the u.s. >> they are getting a free education. >> reporter: luna county
republican party chair russ howell says allowances, like the one being made by the deming public schools, motivate people to exploit birthright citizenship. >> they don't live in the united states, so that forces the state of new mexico to pay for their education, as well as those of us that are taxed in the luna county, to pay for them too. >> reporter: the new mexico state constitution requires public schools to be "open to all the children of school age" regardless of residence. principal chavez says if there are concerns about students not paying their fair share, that is more reason to make sure they're getting a good education. >> they are going to more than likely live in the u.s. we want to educate them. we want to get them to the highest level of education possible so they can be successful, so they can become productive members and contribute back.
>> reporter: rosa maria preciado says her three oldest children are already making their contributions; her oldest daughter serves in the u.s. military and her two sons have careers in engineering and manufacturing. >> i am very proud, because i have a lot of family and almost none of their kids graduated from anything, not even high school. and i have two that graduated. and they have their careers. and that has made me very proud and given me a lot of happiness. >> reporter: lizette is scheduled to graduate next spring, and plans to study engineering at colorado state. preciado hopes an immigration pardon waiver she is eligible for in two years will allow the whole family to reunite in the u.s., but there are no guarantees. for the pbs newshour, i'm simon thompson in new mexico.
>> woodruff: we often think of history as words recorded in a textbooks, but some of the most powerful stories of our past are told through images. as david c. barnett from wviz/pbs ideastream in cleveland reports, an exhibit at the maltz museum of jewish heritage documents a crucial period in the civil rights movement of the 1960s through the work of nine photographers. ♪ this little light of mine. i'm going to let it shine ♪ let it shine, let it shine, let it shine ♪ >> martin luther king, jr., let about 25,000 people into montgomery, alabama, in march of 1955, as part of a demonstration to promote voting rights. government officials in several southern states were trying to suppress the african american
vote by making it difficult to register. historianlessly kelyn -- leslie kelyn says a rigged literacy test often make it impossible. >> white people almost always passed, and about 98% of the black people failed. >> kelyn is executive director for the utah-based center of art, which tells the story of the voting rights march and other events of the mid-1960s currently on display at cleveland's maltz museum of jewish heritage. the exhibition gives a behind-the-scenes look at everything from quiet moments to violent confrontations. the montgomery demonstration brings many memories back to 81-year-old otis moss, jr., who marched with king and for 33 years was pastor of cleveland's institutional baptist church. are evidence moss recalls a previous protest resulted in a
vicious attack by state troopers, though he had mixed emotions as the march approached the city. >> it was a great moment of anticipation, acknowledgment of the danger, but also fully aware of the dangers. >> they walked into alabama's capital city without incident, thanks in part to powerful images of earlier violence that were printed and broadcast around the world. and it didn't hurt that the federal government had sent armed troops to accompany the demonstrators. the films and photographs focused global attention on the marchers and their safety. >> i think within the civil rights community was the sense that now all of america and the world can see what we have been experiencing for decades. here is the undeniable recording
of human brutality that many people believe never happened. the picture becomes a message. >> a year earlier in june of 1964, a mississippi voter registration drive known as "freedom summer" attracted over 1,000 volunteers from outside the state, including a prominent jewish clergyman from cleveland. >> rabbi arthur lelliveld went down the participate in freedom summer. he was a rabbi at fairmount temple. and he wanted to do what he could to help. and he was beaten. he happened to actually be with a photographer that day, and after he was beaten up and the photographer was, there he told them to take a picture and the capture that moment. >> david kordowski has spent
over to 30 years thinking about the power of images and how best to use them in print. >> i think a photographer's role is to take people where they can't go, but in this particular case, there is a large swath of america that just didn't know, never really had been covered before in such a way. and to get there, they have a front-row seat to history bought there in the power of a still frame. it's just an absolute remarkable thing. >> these pictures of protests and sometimes violent confrontations between citizens and police are part of america's his for cal record, but some of the events of 50 years ago, documented by photography, certainly have a familiar ring. >> we can't look at these images without thinking about what is happening today. >> like the image captured by a security camera, showing the shooting of 12-year-old tamir rice on cleveland's west side. this scene helped rekindle a national discussion about race and justice in the same way that some of these photos on display
at the "malden evening at at th0 years ago. there's a different sort of historical lesson that would be hard folks plain in the text of a history book. >> she is giving literacy instruction, preparing this individual to write his name in order that he will be able to register and vote. it inspires me beyond the description to see this scene and look at her hand over his hand. there is a volume of history tied into this one photograph.
>> images have the power to tell us stories about ourselves and others in a way that words can't always capture. for the pbs "newshour," i'm david c. barnett in cleveland. >> sreenivasan: now to our "newshour shares:" something that caught our eye, that might be of interest to you, too. more than a century after they disappeared, bison have been re-introduced to canada's oldest national park. the operation took a decade of planning, but went off without a hitch earlier this month. we reached out to the man in charge for insights on the project and where it goes from here. >> i am karsten heuer, and i am the bison reintroduction project manager for banff national park. banff is canada's first national park. it's a very mountainous rugged
landscape and you know, has glaciers and spectacular peaks not unlike glacier national park in the u.s. so bison, plains bison in particular, were here over 140 years ago, before they went locally extinct, at the same time as bison went extinct across the great plains. and obviously with one big major player, canada's largest land mammal missing, we wanted to try to restore that animal to the landscape. our seed herd was from elk island national park. there is 400 animals there, in a plains bison herd. they are probably the most genetically pure plains bison after yellowstone in terms of their wildness. we targeted 16 animals, the vast majority of which are young females, so two- and three-year- old females, all of whom are pregnant, and then we brought in six young bulls as well. so we have a breeding herd. and we did that because the single most important thing you
can do to really make those animals anchor to their new home is to have them calf there successfully. one of the logistical constraints we had to overcome in this relocation from elk island to banff was the fact that there was no road access to the backcountry of banff national park, where we are staging this reintroduction. we could get fairly close, within 20 miles, but we couldn't get right into the reintroduction zone. so we opted to do some modification on some ten-foot shipping containers. they could be plucked off the back of these trucks one at a time and then flown into the backcountry. and that flight was new for everybody, the bison and us. so we had to do things like develop a parachute system with a helicopter company that would drag behind the containers and prevent them from spinning while they were in the air. and then the helicopters left and it was nice and quiet and not a lot was going on, and then all the containers were opened.
and that was a pretty magical moment when these bisons stepped out and their hooves hit the ground, back in a place where they haven't been in over 140 years. we are actually going to feed and support these animals for the next 16 months, so they can calve twice and really anchor down into this place as their new home range, before we release them into the larger 1,200-square kilometer reintroduction zone. as a biologist, to have the opportunity to work on a dream project where you are bringing back north america's largest land animal to canada's first national park is a tremendous sense of accomplishment. the bigger accomplishment is to have the foresight to actually make these kind of efforts unnecessary. >> woodruff: good for them. and on the newshour online: over the last five years, the nation's opioid crisis has gained momentum, despite federal, state and local officials' attempts to control it. we recently visited baltimore, which has been held up as an
example for its efforts to prevent overdose deaths, but is still suffering from its ongoing crisis. all that and more is on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here at 9:00 p.m. eastern for special live coverage of the president's address to a joint session of congress. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> xq institute. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement
of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> welcome to the program. i'm ian bremmer sitting in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with a look at the economy. we're joined first by larry summers. >> there's a long history of presidents proposeing vague, vague huge cuts in the discretionary budget. and then not being able to achieve them. my guess is that at the end of the day he won't get all the tax cuts he wants. he certainly shouldn't get all the tax cuts that he wants. and that he won't get discretionary spending cuts that he wants either. i unlike many people who i agree with on many issues think that some increase in the defense budget probably is a prudent