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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  September 30, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, september 30: president trump hits the campaign trail as the f.b.i. probe into his supreme court nominee is underway. facebook and the private information that users have no control over. and in our signature segment: the clock is ticking on work visas for spouses of h-1b visa holders. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: rnard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii.ch thyl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. g. barbara hope zuckerb corporate funding is provided
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by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your provided by:port has bee and by the corporation for public broadcasting,nd 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. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. president trump and white house officials are denying reports that they are limiting the f.b.i. investigation of preme court nominee brett kavanaugh to certain allegations and witnesses. the president in a twe said," i want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate." mr. trump was responding to media reports that the whitect house inst the f.b.i. to investigate only the first two allegations from christine blasey ford and deborah ramirez, and not a claim from a third ther potential witnesses.
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democratic senator mazie hirono expressed doubt that the investigation will be thorough. >> to limit the f.b.i. as to the scope and who they're going to question, that- that really- i wanted to use the word farce, but that's not the kind of investigation that all of us are expecting the f.b.i. to conduct. >> sreenivasan: white house press secretary sarah sanders said the white house is not" micromanaging" the f.b.i. investigation and said the process is up to senate republans. >> the senate is going to lay out, senate republicans are going to layut and dictate those terms and we look forward to this wrapping up so we can see what was seein the last six background investigations that judge kavanaugh has been a part of. >> sreenivasan: rescuers continued searching for survivors in indonesia today. the death toll from friday's earthquake and tsunami doubled to more than 830 overnight. the city of palu, rescu workers climbed through collapsed buildings bringing out bodies one at a time. bridges and roads have collapsed making it difficult for heavy
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equipment toeach the region. the government has started using military aircraft to evacuate the many thousands left homeless by the 7.5 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. speaking at a rally in west virginia last night, predent trump claimed his personal relationship with north korean dictator kim jong un panvented a wawill lead to new meetings. >> i was really being tough, and so was he, and we would go back and forth and then we fell in love, okay. no really, he wrote me beautiful letters and they're great letters, we fell in love. >> sreenivasan: mr. trump also reiterated that kim is interested in a second face-to- face meeting between the two leaders. this comes the same day that north korean foreign minister ri yong ho called for an end to sanctions and questioned then trust betwe two nations. the president also used last night's rally to urge support for his supreme court nominee, and for the republican senate candidate patrick morrisey who ishallenging incumbent democratic senator joe manchin.
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the president won the state by more than forty percentage points in 2016. before the midterm elections on november sixth, newshour wkend special correspondent jeff greenfield will be hding out for a look at some key races. he recently joined me for a preview of what's at stake. let's start with the overall terrain, the general mood about the mid terms. do the dems have good reason to be optimistic? >> well, the first thing is that just a president's party almosts aloses seats in a mid term election. there have been like twoth exceptions inlast 80 years am seconds, a party's prospects are generally inked to their president's approval rating. lrrently trump's appro rating is about 2 points lower than obama in 2010 when democrats suffered a disastrous mid ter >> but there are specific problems this time for republicans. first some 40 republican incumbents areleaving while only 18 democrats announced their retirements and it is
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easier to flip an open seatment secretary, 25 house republicans are in disrtricts cried by hill rae clinton two years ago. mainly in suburban districts literally from coast to coast. only 13 democratic seets are i trump-friendly districts. and it is here in suburban america where the president's approval ratings are particularly low. third, unlike the last mid-terms when republicans were on the offensive on issues like obamacare, this time voters are concerned about threats to health care and the gop's signature issue, tho tax cuts, are actually meeting with disapproval. soight now with 42 republican house seats in danger and only three democratic seats if danger, odds-makers say there is a four to one chance that the democrats will win the necessary 23 seaol to get conf the house. let's remember, however, that llary clinton was a 3-1 favorite on election day two years ago. >> sreenivasan: but let's talk about the seate. >> senate is completely different. the map for 2018 is nothing less
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than a nightmare forathe demo only one republican seat is in a state clinton carried, thais nevada. but ten democratic incumbents mp carnning in states tru odd-- carried, fave by landslide n those those states his approval ratings are betser than rage.ational ave they areci f-- gop seats are vulnerable in arizona, nevada, tennessee an maybe texas. democrats need a net gain of two senate seats to taontrol of that chamber. it's in the red states where the kavanaughmination may play out influentialally. only senator, not cogressman, not house members vote on confirmation. the feeling was that the red state democrats might be pushed to vote for confirming kavanaugh, the recent allegations may make that differently. also in these states, sented rest democrats are going to be pushed by their republican opponents on immigration and on whether they embrace the
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policies of the more progressive left swing of the national umocratic party. >> you also poi back to the state races, why? >> because while all the a tengsz is oe house and the senate, the national scene, is it drk dsh it isa at the stte level where many of the key policy decisions are made and is at the state level where the political outcomes in november in some ways are going to be really, really critical. >> big republican gains in 2010 and 2014 gave the gop full political control in key swing states and it is at the state level that issues are decided on everything from the power of organized labor to taxes, to abortion, to environmental rules. and the governor's electedthis year will have a big voice in drawing lines for congressional and legislateddive seats. remember, the republican gains back in 2010 leato a et gaip for some 17 house seats in the u.s. congress, according to the brennan center. right no democrats are ahead in governor's races in illois,
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michigan, new mexico and about even in florida, georgia, ohio, wisconsin, iowa, candace, maine devada. so on election night the state races deserve as much attention as the house and the senate. but we can't look at the mid-term preview without noting the diersity story. an astonishing number of women, 180 plus on the democratic sood and more than 50 republican women are the nominees for their parties for the house. we are looking at the possibility for african-american governors in georgia a florida. this really may wind up being a very different looking political climate once november is over. >> jeff green feel, that is aot to think about. thanks so much for joining us. >> pleasure. >> sreenivasan: the government issued nearly 1.8 million h1-b visas tween 2001 and 2015. the program is designed to help employers hire highly skilleder foreign wo but has come under fire.
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last year the president signed an executive order to reform all employment based visa programs. part of that also strip employment authorization from the spouses h of some h-ders. the change would mean that nearly 100,000 mainly indian women could lose their right to work. special correspondent joanne jennings reports from silicon valley, where tech compa oes rely heavithese foreign workers. this story is part of our ongoing series about poverty and opportunity in america: chasing the dream. >> reporter: renuka sivarajan and morali raghavan appear to be living the american dream. he works for oracle as a senior neer, and she runs a home day care business, which is booming. two years ago, the familbought this home so sivarajan could expand her daycare operation. and with the additional income, they can now afford the laer
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mortgage, and extra-curricular activities for their two sons. originally from india, sivarajan came to the united states in 2003 as an i.t. worker but her visa was tied to a job in arizona. so when she moved to california to be with her husband, she lost her work permit. >> it was really depressing and frustrating, basically. i have all the skills, and there are jobs out there, but i just can't get it. i mean even if i close my eyes, and think about those days it feels dark, just dark. an reporter: as the wife o h-1b visa holder, sivarajan was permitted to legally reside in the u.s., but not to work, until she received her gresicard. rajan spent a total of nine years out of the workforce.as so shelated when the obama administration created the "h4- ead" visa in 2015. it grants employment authorization for the spouses of h-1b visa holders who are in ne for greencards. more than 100,000 spouses applied as of 2017.
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that was like light at the end of the tunnel. i was so happy to knt, finally, i can be productive. i finay can start working. >> reporter: as of this april, there were more than 600,000 indian immigrants, and their spouses and children waiting for green cards. the wait can take decades for people from india, who make up the vast majority of h-1 workers. that's because each country can only get 7% of all employment- based green cards giveout each year. >> when people see us, they see these big homes, and good salaries, and happy families, but there is a lot of stress. i mean, in my daycare i have so many families that are in very silar situations, they are waiting for their green cards, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. >> reporter: sivarajaneen waiting for seven years. and now she fears she could lose her work authorization yet again. >> we believe jobs must be offered to american workers serst. does that make s >> reporter: when president
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trump signed his "buy american, re american" executive order last year, he vowed to reform all employment based visara pr. and now, his administrn is working on a plan to rescind work authorization for some spouses as well. more than 100 members of congress sent a bi-partisan letter urging the president to reconsider. among them, congresswoman zoe lofgren. her silicon valley district is home to many companies who depend on skilled foreign workers. she says it's a mistake to target their spouses, lyo will eventue able to work once they get through the green card backlog. >> they are americanitizens in waiting. it doesn't serve our countryo prevent them from contributing. they're going to be our fellow citizens. >> so, my main concern around the discussion around the h- ead is: where do you draw the line? >> reporter: ron hira is a professor at howard university and a scholar at the economic policy institute.um
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he thinks the administration is justified in calling r an end to the h4-ead program, which he sees as an effort by the tech industry to expand its foreign workforce. >> the reason we're in this situation where there' mismatch between the h1-b program and the greencard program was 1998 and 2000, the tech industry pushed for a huge expansion of the h1-b program. it was obvious if you're going to increase the h1-b program without increasing the green cards, you're going to create a encklog. >> reporter: lofffered a bill to address that problem. >> the visas are allocated based on the country of birth. and so, iceland, for example, that has a population of 350,00h people, hasame number of visas as india, which has a population of 1.2 billion, there's no reason for allocating visas that are awarded based on skiland education, to where you were born.
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so, if we even that out, this whole system will wo, not perfectly, but a lot better. >> if we eliminated the per country quotaswe will have replaced our diversity system of immigration with an india first system. >> reporter: john miano was a computer scientist for 18 years, untihe says he started losin job opportunities to foreign workers.>> o that's a job where the employer specified they're looking for foreign workers. >> so he left his it profession to become a lawyer. now he's suing the deptment of homeland security on behalf of laid-off employees at southern california edison. he says they join a long list of it workers, at institutions like disney, u.c.s.f., and abbott labs whom were all replaced by foreign h-1b workers. miano says his clients now face even more competition from their spouses. >> it doesn't make any sense to bring in people to fill so- called jobs where americans llen't available, and then the spouses to work with no restrictions at all. >> reporter: "no restrictions "t all" because h4-ead holders
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can work wherever they want.he that's notase for their h- er spouses, whose visas are tied to specific empl >> it's totally bad for american workers. it's a sad thing that we're setting one group labor against another in this job market, but the reality is, we need to think of americans first when it comes to the american job market. me this is not a zero sum if an h4 spouse comes here. they're going to contribute to their company, that hopefully it going to cmore jobs and more openings for everybody. i think that we're better as awe nation whellow everybody to work and everybody to contribute. >> reporter: andy hataei is a vice president at the information technology indusy council. he lobbies on behalf of big tech companies, including facebook, amazon and microsoft. in a letter to theepartment of u.s. citizenship and immigration services, tech trade groups, including i.t.i.c., argued that revoking work peits for spouses could jeopardize american tech's competitive edge. >> this would really be a step backwards for us being able to attract top tier talent to the
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united states. 30 other industrialized countries including canada or australia all allow for spousal authorization. so this would be a major disincentive if we were tellingi -skilled immigrants that they could come here but their couses would have to put their careers on hold whing to the united states, and they might look elsewhere. >> o deciding factor was will i be able to work here. >> reporter: priya yadav and he, husbiyush mittal, both have jobs in silicon valley. he works at amazon and she works at comcast. when the couple married in indis in 2017, yadavesitant to move to the united states because she had a good career.e >> he toldat there's something called h4-ead on which you can definitely work.s so then i ke quite assured that okay fine, then there's no problem if i move here. is>> reporter: for now, sh relishing the daily routine of getting ready for work. but the uncertainty over the h4- ead program stressful, so stressful that yadav and mittal have applied for permanent redency in canada. how long did that take, from when you submitted the original n?plication to the invitat
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>> altogether the complete process will take around eight months. >> if this is rescinded, or this 'lis probably taken away, move to somewhere else. we'll move to canada. because we know we are skilled people, and there's demand for skilled people i believe everywhere. >> reporter: there aple in this country who believe that people like you and your husband are taking jobs away from americans. what do you say to people watching this who atght think >> jobs are out there.ar companienot putting them in their pockets and only shoveling them out to a few people. they're out there, and the hiring system, it's pretty rigorous. >> reporter: ron hira says the amount of jobs is not the issue. >> the problem is, the rules are set up so that you can bring in h1b workers without ever looking for an american worker. you can bring in h-1b workers and replace americans, all legally. >> reporter: andy halataei insists his member companies don't abuse the system, but use it to fill a gap in skilled workers. >> i can speak to how the majority of our companies use
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the h-1b program. it's a small percentage of their workforce and they're complementing e existing u.s. rkforce to bring new products to market. if the negative perceptionpr around the h-1ram hurts our ability to do that, then we would love to see congress work on broader immigration reform that addresses those problems. >> reporter: back in fremont, california, renu sivarajan and her family are hoping any decisions made in washington will allow them to continue living and working in community where they've built their lives. >> i am sitting here in one of foe most developed countries in the world, fightinthe right to work. for me, this is home. r my kids this is home. they are american citizens, they've been going to school here, they have their friends here. so, why should i be forced to uproot myself, and my family, and the life that i've built fot the 5 years, and go somewhere else.
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>> sreenivasan: facebook faced another privacy data breach this past week. the company admitted that attackers accessed 50 million accounts and that another 40 million were at risk. but there is another way yourei privacy is compromised on facebook and it's the subject of new reporting from gizmodo's kashmir hill. ise joined us from san fra to talk about shadow contacts and the facebook information you can't see or control. let's talk a little bit about the story you had earlier this week. you talk about kind of a shadow profile that exists, whether or t you exist on facebook, whether or not you choose to have your identity revtoeale facebook. first, just for definition sake what are you talking about? how does it happen? >> i call itadow contact information. this is a profile for a person who is onc faebook. it's a profile that contains lots of information that youlf yourave given to facebook. that they have collectedded from
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otyou haven't given to facebook, that they have collected from our sources, information has been uploaded from people who know y, from contacts, email addresses or other sources they use you used, people will absorb that frm people that know you and layer on to your accounted. au can't see or access t information. tot they use that information make recommendations to you and target you with ads. >> so for example if i have had a number of email addresses in my past, if you have me in your rollodecks, you might have an email account that is three years old or five years old, one that i might not be using, maybe st a new job. so what happens? do they hapoe another datnt on me with that old information? >> oh yeah, exactly. so they probably know every email address you've ever used for any j you have ever had, you know, the email address you had inge col every phone number that you have ever had, you know, probably the land le that you as a kid.
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this is all lay erred on to your account and so this is why i originally became really interested in this concept because of people being so t disturbed eir friend recommendations. it's really creepanecdotes om people like a psychiatrist whose patients were being recommended to each other. a sex worker who was seeing her clients appear there. even thoh she had, you know, communicated with them through r buhone number and an email address that she never used anywhere else. so i was trying to figure out how it is that faebook was so accurately able to make these predictions about who peknple . and what it boiled down to was the shadow contact inormation. if you have all the contact information that anybody has ever ud and you are able e into the contact books of millions of usrs, you can just make connections between people that ar really incredible and really creepy. like you basically know everybody in the world who has ever talked to anyone else inou the world th an electronic
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means. >> sreenivasan: what you arlk g about, if all of the people that are surrounding me and all of the contactth informatio exists about me in all of their different filesp technically king, they own those files, right? i can't go back to phrasebk and say hey, clean that information out because that's something that's in your phone. that's your information on me. >> right, what's so hard about this is it makes it impossibleu to protect yr own privacy because you can't go out and scrub yoformation from the phone book or contact book orec roll of anyone you have ever given it to your whole life and facebook ss they won't let you see this information because it's not your information. it belongs to the people who gave it to facebook. >> all right, kir hill of gizmodo med yarks yoining us from california today, thanks so much jz thanks for having me on. >> sreenivasan: for more on how facebook uses your data, watch our full facebook live conversation at facebook.com/newshour.
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>> this is pbs newsho weekend, sunday. >> sreenivasan: with the midterm elections weeks away, a p.o.v. documentary examines the influence of untraceable corporate money on elections and elected officials." dark money"s an official sundance film festival selection and premieres on p.o.v. tomorrow.k "dney" nonprofit organizations have sprung up in the wake of citizens united. we have hundreds of new organizations, thousands of new organizations that are trying persuade americans to vote one way and not the other. americans are bar aged by the political advertisements, paid for by dark money groups that are funded by who knows whom. we don't even know if they are domestic, frankly, they might be coming from foreign corpotions governments. >> this corporation wants to
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influence our politics. but they done want thec pub know that they are trying to influence our politics because that could hurt their bottomline, pehaps. so they give money to dark money group. so they send out all of the mud slinging and posards and things that people hate receiving, flooding their mail boxes. this corporation is not affiliated with all of the dark money spending. nerrede it essentially law it through this. and all of this supports a candidate. when that candidate gets elected they support the agenda of the cooration. at's the feedback loop for dark money, corporation finls pun to the pac, the pac sends outpost cards tacking the opponent of the candidate who they want to get elect. shen that candidate get elected, they support the agenda of the corporation it is really,
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really scary when you think abt it >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, onile the f.b.i. investiga of supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh continues, tt orrow, the finday in october, marks the beginning of a new term for the supme court. according to the national constitution center, the court has a long list of tditions including one that the eight current justices will continue tomorrow. all of the justices meet to shake handbefore they appear on the bench. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is madeo
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ible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the cheryl and philip milstein mily. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. rbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america--g designstomized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. ee additional support has ovided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs v station frwers like you. thank you.
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