tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC June 20, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
that wraps up this hour. mary, manny, thank you. i hand you off to my friend and colleague hallie jackson in washington. >> stephanie ruhle, thank you much. toddlers, tents, temporary foster care. these are the words for children, including the very youngest kids separated from their parents. there are two other ones what's happening inside the white house -- dug in. but the president is not changing his policy even with the reports about tender age shelters, that's where babies are being held. kids that obviously can't advocate for themselves being placed in temporary foster care. and now focusing more on trade than toddlers today as we break down the possible legislative actions here even though there doesn't need to be any because the president could change his zero tolerance policy at any point. not after his trip to capitol
hill to try to rally republicans. but that visit also rallied democrats. >> quit separating the kids, they're separating the children. mr. president, don't you have kids? don't you have kids, mr. president? >> republicans are now grappling with half a dozen immigration bills. house speaker paul ryan's bill is among them. he's expected to take questions live from this podium. will he come out and statake a stand against president trumble. we have mark meadows, also here, john hickenlooper. and bob vander platts. we have them, we have the team reporters spread out from washington, to texas, to mexico. i want to start out with nbc's gabe gutierrez in matamoros, mexico. gabe, there's a point of entry. i've been watching you on the
bridge. this is a place where migrant families are lining up, looking to legally get a better life in this country. right? what are they telling you? >> caller: hi, hallie, yes. in matamoros, right here is the rio grande. what immigration activists are saying because it's taking so long for some of these families to actually apply for asylum, that is why families made the decision to cross over illegally. right here, here are some of the families waking up this morning. after spending a long night here, it's been raining all night. one family we've spoken with, a woman with a 3-year-old son had been here about three day. we learned, though, overnight, she was allowed to go into the cdb facility on the other side and start applying for asylum. but there's another mother right there, someone we actually spoke with yesterday. she has two children,urashondur.
and hallie, as we mentioned this is a port of entry. dhs says families that apply for asylum here won't be separated from their children. but they will be processed within 72 hours. and these families are saying it's taking longer than that because cbp is filled up. >> gabe, those people looking for asylum end up turned away, right? and that's creating the problem? >> reporter: exactly. that's what immigration activists are saying and the immigration courts here in south texas for the last several weeks. the ones we're hearing yesterday, dozens taken into these hearings, and the judicial system seemed overwhelmed. now the mexican government what they say is the vast majority of these people, the vast majority are from guatemala and honduras. among those cases, hallie, a
case of a 10-year-old girl with down syndrome. that's placed a lot of outrage here on both sides of the border. dhs said the young girl was separated from her mother not because of a zero tolerance policy but because her mother was a with the innocence a drug smuggling investigation. that's what dhs says. that is the question right now. what happens to this 10-year-old girl and will she be reunited with her mother, hallie. >> gabe this reporter says that's a photo from the shelter. there are these images here, but as these images are coming out, president trump is retweeting just while gabe was talking a pastor who says #it's all politics, this issue. president trump is up, he's on
twitter. kristine welker is watching that twitter account. kristen, after we saw the lawmakers go to the white house 18 hours ago, now they're coming to here. they're coming to talk zte and china. it seems like it will be virtually impossible for immigration not to come up here. >> reporter: it seems like it would be impossible, pally. we're talking about 20 minutes mostly from the arms services committee. this is the topic that serve talking about in washington and frankly across the country so it's hard to believe that this wouldn't be a topic as well. and we know that republican lawmakers are getting concerned that this will have a political impact in the midterms. this is something they want to see end as quickly as possible. president trump, though, continues to dig in showing no signs of backing down or reversion his zero tolerance tosy. -- policy. let me read you a couple of his tweets from earlier today to give you a sense of his thinking. blaming the media and democrats,
the fake news is not mentioning the safety and security of our country when talking about illegal immigration. our immigration laws are the weakest and worst anywhere in the world and the dems will do anything not to change them. and to obstruct. want open borders which means crime. and the second one it's the democrats fault. they won't gave us the votes needed to pass good legislation. they won't open borders which breeds horrible crime, republicans wants security but i am work on something, it never ends. the president was on capitol hill yesterday meeting with house republicans as they are contemplating these two possible pets of legislation, one more conservative, one a little bit more moderate represents a compromised legislation. the president indicate, look, he would back either of those bills. he wonts funding for his border wall and security, he wants these family separations to end. what happens if they can't pass? the administration would be to considering a short-term emergency fix to this problem of separating families, but there's
a lot of confusion on capitol hill about where this all goes. >> we're going to try to sort that out coming up in this show which we hear from paul ryan and right now actually. thank you. as we hear from capitol hill mark meadows, chairman of the freedom caucus, one of several lawmakers who has introduced a bill to address the family separation policy. thank you very much for being with us here. >> it's great to be back with you, hallie, thank you so much. >> let me start with kristen and gabe had left off, specifically as it relates to the new reporting regarding tender age shelters, shelters for the youngest of these kids separated from their parents, images like the one we're going to put up on screen of a little girl playing presumably alt one of these shelters, this little girl along the board they're. this is a result of the president's policy. are you okay with that? >> it's not just the president's policy. obviously it's -- >> it is in a large part, as you know because of that zero
tolerance policy we've seen that increase. >> you're a journalist, let's talk about the fact. in nine 97 the flores decision actually dictated part of this. and what we've tried do is not only address this, but address this legislatively. as you've mentioned, i introduced a bill yesterday, some 77 pages that takes the wall out, takes a lot of the controversial enforcement issues out and deals with this very issue legislatively. additionally, last night we actually had our team come in in the wee hours of the morning to get some of the democrat input that i received yesterday to modify that bill to try to fix this legislatively. so i think you'll see that as a backup a more narrowly tailored bill that will actually deal with this. the fact of the matter is, the flores decision was designed to protect children. it was to keep perpetrators from being detained along with kids. now we see the unintended consequence. but we do need to deal with it.
i believe we can do that in a bipartisan way and get something done this week. >> you talk about the potential for a legislative fix which i want to get into with you a little bit more. as you want to talk about facts, let's do that. the president could stop the zero tolerance policy which would reduce the number of families being separated. that's a pact. so. >> you're right. >> should the president stop misleading people by acting like this is all on congress? >> well, it is concongress, hallie. here's the interesting thing. cot president say open up the borders and everybody that comes here seeking asylum can come in regardless? yes, we do that. i don't think that's in our national security interests. i don't think that's what most americans believe that we should be doing. because we're talking about asiep lum and we're talking about political asylum and many of these families have traveled thousands of miles to get here. and do we need to address it as a pro family member of congress? i say absolutely. and yet at the same time just
changing this policy from an executive branch standpoint won't six the problem in perpetuity. >> congressman, you're make the point this is a national security issue, which i know the administration has been arguing as well. but as a human being, as just like a person living in this world, do you believe that this is the humane thing to do? is this policy humane? >> i don't believe separating kids from parents is a humane thing that's why i took action, that's why i worked or the weekend to introduce a bill when it was brought to my attention. i'm hearing from people back home and so, yes, we have to do it and we have to do it in the right way. and yet at the same time what we have to make sure is, is that we don't allow bad actors, human trafficking is also a passion of mine to try to eradicate and get rid of. and yet we know that that's happening at the southern border as well. >> in the first five months of the year 191 cases in which kids
were brought over the border with adults. that leaves 2,000 kids separated from their parents, that's a lot of children. >> 2000 over a long period of time. >> there's been ann crease since this policy went into place. if you believe this is not humane, you are somebody who has the president's ear. >> right. >> why not push him to take executive action? because that could stop this right now? >> well, it can't stop it right now, hallie. >> it sure could, congressman. >> that's what i just said. >> i think that the facts show that the president. >> i guess if we just said -- >> could end the zero tolerance policy. >> i guess if i said everybody who shows up at our southern border can come in and we're not going to do any detention for adjudication, perhaps you could. i think the better policy -- >> couldn't you civilly prosecute? >> well, but even civilly prosecute which you look at that, there is one component from a civil component, but you're now getting in and mixing all kinds of different issues as people coming across. one's asylum the other is illegal border crossings. so you have different
jurisdiction there's, hallie. but what i'm saying is we can fix it legislatively, we just have to have the political will to do that. i was disappointed to see chuck schumer come out yesterday before he read any bill that says he's not going to deal with this. i mean, that's wrong too. so i have -- i have talked to the administration on a number of occasions over the last 72 hours believing that a more narrowly tailored bill would address this. i think they're open to that. it's just incumbent on congress to act. >> so congress that as you're very well aware is controlled by republicans, mitch mcconnell, mouse speaker paul ryan who we expect to hear fromny minute. if there's going to be a legislative fix. >> right. >> which again, doesn't have to be, but congress may do something, you'd personally and would the freedom caucus support the so-called compromise bill that's being pushed in the house? >> we actually had a meeting last night to talk about the compromised bill. there are some of our members willing to support that, some of our members are not.
i'm looking at the numbers. it's broader than just the freedom caucus because as we look at the compromise bill i've actually been in many of those negotiations trying to find that issue that will deal with family separation which is in the compromised bill. but also dealing with a number of the other issues. the problem is it gets very complex and that's why a more narrowly tailored bill has the best chance of passing. i had three different democrats come up to me yesterday and say that they're willing to look at my legislation to perhaps cosponsor and get this addressed. >> so then would you support something to nt senate that's being discussed a narrow bill as we look at house speaker paul ryan coming out to have his news conference, something that's not your bill but something that comes from the senate, you back that? >> it's not about me, it's about getting this dealt with. if it's a narrow bill coming out of senate, be more than happy and look ata that and probably support that depending on the language. >> before i let you go, have you
seen the cory lin douse sky moment where he makes the sound trombone noise where he talks about a girl with down syndrome? >> i haven't. i have a family member with down syndrome so my heart goes out in a real personal way to family members with down syndrome. >> does he represent your party, these kinds of comments? >> certainly any negative overtures toward people with special needs is inappropriate. >> okay. congressman mark meadows, i appreciate you coming on the show. we'll have you back soon, okay. >> thank you, hallie. >> i want to bring in house speaker paul ryan. let's listen live. >> i want to provide an update on the steps we've taken to grow our economy for working families. six months ago this week, six months ago this week historic tax reform was patsed and signed in law. ? just this short time, we have tarted to see real results. >> house speaker paul ryan now talking tax cuts. at the very beginning when he walked out he talked about family separation, this action that is now happening because of a policy donald trump put in
place roughly six weeks ago called zero tolerance. we expect that paul ryan, we expect that paul ryan will get some questions from the capitol hill press corps that has gathered in that room. we will bring those to you the second that it happens. while we wait, let me bring in the national political report forte washington post and on set our panel shawna thomas along with national political reporter for bloomberg news alleg. apologies for interrupting when paul ryan comes on for questions. what does paul ryan need to say here? will will he come out forcefully on this topic? >> his comments at the started of his news conference are revealing most congressional -- >> bob's mike we're going to get fixed. the second we get your mike fixed we'll come back to you.
glad you guys are here. pick it up. >> the issue that we are seeing right now is that the republicans now and we saw paul ryan try to shift over to tax cuts. >> tax cuts, right. >> and the economy. and the economy is doing well and you can try to give the republicans their due for that. that's what they want to talk about. they are in a bunch of congressional fights that are only going to get harder the longer this is an issue. i'm sure that came up yesterday that donald trump, president trump if you keep doing this, this will be an issue all through the summer. >> but so paul ryan has now said just in the last couple minutes that they are confirming they're going to vote on the so-called compromised bill tomorrow. it's our reporting from our hill team that the whip count is still happening and there's a push to get the president to come out and be more forceful on this and say i won't a compromise dollars bill. can't talk about what's happening legislatively unless you acknowledge that the president despite mark meadows' comments there can end this poly in one minute from now. that said, congress can also act and can also do something. so does the president need to come out more forcefully?
what does paul ryan need to be hearing right now? >> there's house republican leadership staff that want the president to come out more forcefully for the legislation. there's the compromise bill which may have the votes if enough of those people believe that they have to support the compromise bill. right now you have a lot of house conservatives who are comfortable with supporting the hard line bill and will oppose this other bill which is being blasted on the right as amnesty. you're right that the president has the authority to stop this the 'the key issue here is it's not simple black and white as mr. meadows described between open borders and did he have tolerance. there's pros prosecutorial discretion. >> which is the point we were trying to get out. >> certain people who crosses the border through an unofficial port of entry seeking an asylum claim, a mother and young toddler, the government can make a decision that they're not a security threat and not prosecute them in criminal detention center. there are restrictions on where the government can hold children, that is what congress is look at right now. >> that's the flores settlement. >> exactly.
but the administration does have the authority to stop the zero tolerance policy if they want to. >> because that's what previous administration disease before. >> that's what this administration did prior to april. >> yes. >> here's paul ryan, what he said regarding this issue. listen. >> i want to say a few words about the situation at the border. as i said last week, we do not want children taken away from their parents. we can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart. the administration says it wants congress to act and we are. tomorrow the house will vote on legislation to keep families together. >> bob costa back with us and i think your microphone is actually working. perils and the blessings of live television. you heard from paul ryan there and just to layout the bill i think we have graphics to show what that would do. that's the more hard line bill. you also have the line bill, you could call it the compromise bill. here's the thing. do either of these look likely to get through the snit and if
they do would they have a veto-proof majority? >> at this point anything that's got going to get through a divided senate is going to be very small, it's going to be narrow in scope, it's going to be dealing with just the children at the border. any wholesale immigration reform is being written off this close to midterm elections by both sides. >> bob, we talked briefly about some of the president's tweets this morning, he just retweeted something about the death of a golfer, he retweeted a pastor who said #, #it's all politics about migrant children being separate interested in their parents. our reporter has indicated that the president is dug in. he's not going to come out at 11:30 and say i'm reversing this policy is the. >> is that the sense that you get and what can you tell me about the conversations happening inside the west wing inside of the west wing they know the president believes that his supporters want him to take a hard line on immigration. but if congress does move on something that addresses specifically children at the border they expect the president to perhaps considering signing that as he continues ton hold off till september as he tries to make a major push on wall
funding and other immigration policies. >> i'd like to quickly pull up the last two weekends for donald trump. our unit over in the political unit alt first read put this together all of the things that has happened not just the president defending, separating migrant children from families but charging the german people are turning against their leadership, praising the north korean dictator, attack the prime minister of canada, blaming president obama for losing crimea to russia, creating the attacks on his campaign team. this has been quite a couple of weeks and it's been coupled with what critics have called a tone deaf frns this administration regarding their defense of this policy. is that criticism resonating at the white house? >> it's not resonating because this defiance has been characteristic of the president as you know since the campaign. he is not eager to back down. and what they're looking at is they're really concerned about the upcoming report and interview request from bob mule, he how is the president going to handle that question, how is he going to handle the political fallout from the border. these are looming over the white
house, not necessarily regret over the president's policy stance. >> bob costa live from "the washington post." it's always great having you on the show. thank you. we will see you later on this week on your show. i want to ask shawna to stick around. we're look live at that leadership news conference inside capitol hill. in about five minutes we expect house speaker paul ryan to take questions. we expect many of them to focus conwhat is now becoming a crisis at the border. as this is all happening, you have governors in both red and blue states doing what they can to try to fight back against this policy. andrew cuomo of new york saying he's going to sue the trump administration for, quote, violating the constitutional rights of immigrant kmirn and their families. you have govern nrs in eight states announcing they're going to take their national guard troops back from the border or stop their deployment all together. and in a letter to leaders in congress, colorado's democratic governor john hickenlooper denounced this zero tolerance policy write, quote, intentionally separating children from their families is
cruel and unamerican. governor hiccan looper is with me now. govern more, thank you for coming back on the show, i appreciate it. >> you bet. >> and with apologies in advance in case i have to interrupt you because of house speaker paul ryan's questions from reporter, know that i don't mean to be rude. but let me start here with these -- the lawsuit that one of your colleagues, andrew cuomo of new york is filing. he says the constitutional rights of these pirntss and their kirds being violate and that's an instance of outrageous government conduct. do you believe that's a valid argument for a state to be able to make against a federal government and will colorado join a suit? will you plan to sue? >> it's outrageous conduct without question. i'm not a lawyer so i can't say right off the top of my head whether we would join a suit. but i do think we should recognize this for what it is. it is child abuse. on monday we had the former dean the university of colorado school of medicine, richard krugman, a pediatrician of more than 40 years and this is the clinical definition of child abuse. we know there are going to be
lasting effects on many of these kids from the trauma that we're subjecting them to. and the real request is you can't secure the border except by separating children from their families? that's outrageous. it's unthinkable and i believe iteally is unamerican. >> you have now banned state agencies in colorado from using state resources to support any hearing reports of kids, young kids being shipped up to, for example, michigan, if your state's resources are needed. will your state -- will colorado except separated kids who need a place to go? >> well certainly. we're not going to turn kids out on the street. >> okay. >> but we're going to do everything we can to be part of the solution and not continue the problem. and i think that's the real challenge here is there should be a sense of urgency. i think what the trump administration's trying to do, there are problems with exports and nafta, all our trade agreements now all of our agricultural producers are having a hard time finding markets for cheese and for other economic products to go out.
if you look, they just took away preexisting conditions for our health insurance. so someone is, you know, of the 130 million people that have preexisting conditions, now they if they switch jobs they might be unable to get health insurance. all these things, this crisis at the border becomes a distraction from the other things that should be being discussed for the midterm election, right? >> do you -- when you call it a distrack, do you not think that it is an urgent crisis to be dealt with? >> it's a genuine crisis. that's my point. are we as a country willing to use children as pawns as a political strategy? i mean, why else would you -- would the president do this? why else would republicans condone this for so long and let it get to the point of being a crisis? i think that's a legitimate question, right? >> when we talk about what's happening on the hill, i want to play you a little bit of what chuck schumer had to say just recently about the idea that congress would have to step in and do something since the president clearly is not willing to do that. here's what he said.
>> get your team together and undo this shameful policy immediately which you can do with a flick of the pen. there's no need for legislation, there's no need for anything else. you can do it. >> so chuck schumer is making the 90 legislation is not the way to go because the president could, with a phone call, right, reverse this zero tolerance policy or put a pause on. but here's the thing. the president is clearly not going to do that. he's not willing to do that and he seems very firm and adamant on that point, as does his administration. so should democrats go ahead and work with republicans to try to pass some kind of a narrow temporary solution? are they take willing the wrong tactic by resisting that? >> well, i'm not sure any of the legislation proposed yet actually solves this. but i think we got to do whatever we can to make sure that this -- you know, again, child abuse, state-condoned child abuse is egregious, it's outrageous in the worst sense of
the word. and we've got to do whatever we can to make sure that we are trying to end this and not let it go on and on and on just for political purposes. either party. >> governor john hickenlooper joining us. thank you very much. we hope to have you back on the show soon. appreciate if the we want to let you know coming up we're focussing on what's happening to the youngest kids being separated from their parents at the border. what we know about these so-called tender age shelters. doctors say it's not an easy place for a kid as we wait for house speaker paul ryan to take some questions over on capitol hill, all of that coming up in the next couple of minutes.
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applebee's 2 for $20, now with steak. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. . . we must never ever give up. we must be brave, bold, and courageous. it make me so sad, i cried last night. when i heard those baby crying. knowing that young children have been taken from their mothers. some of these young children may never ever see their mother or their fathers again. >> that is from an emotional news conference that is happening right now outside capitol hill. democrats are talking about families being separated at the border. that's what you're seeing on the right side of your screen. on the left side of your screen
is what is happening inside the capitol. that's members of house republican leadership doing a weekly news conference and getting ready any second to take questions from recorder in the room. that includes house speaker paul ryan. we expect to hear from him in the middle of what is being called a kries sais longt u.s./mexican border. i want to bring in the pulitzer prize winning national writer for the associated prets. she's been reporting on the so-called tender age shelters that are housing and sheltering the youngest migrants who have been separated from their parents. martha, you are the by line on this story that you broke overnight, a story that's created a lot of emotional fallout for a lot of foctions. tell us what they say is happening inside these shelters. >> what we found is that there's at least three tender able shelters operating in south texas. and then other young children are being moved around the united states to put into foster care.
the people who work inside, the doctors and medical providers and the attorneys who are trying to provide legal assistance to somebody who's 5 years old or 4 years old said the kids are quite hysterical. when they ask, you know, try to ask them about their families they just start screaming because they want their mother or father. we spoke with people who work in child traum and said tha and sao be expected. >> meaning the emotional fallout for thooed these kids is to be expected, the trauma they'll face for the rest of their lives? >> yeah. so the situation is that the federal government doesn't want to how's somebody who's 5 or 4 or 3 with 17-year-olds. they need specialized daycare centers where they can stay to be safe. but inside these places these kids who have been taken from their parents are quite panicked. it's a pretty natural thing. and so there's these -- these centers that are holding these tender age children would are just -- it's not a good
situation for the kids. >> martha i'm going to ask you to stand by for one minute because paul ryan is speaking inside the capital. let's listen? >> this bill for the last number of months. we saw this court ruling was wrong and we put this fix in the bill to begin with. so let's look at what's going on. this court ruling goes back to 2008. and the law should not have our government choose between enforcing our borders and enforcing our laws, securing our borders and keeping families together. that's ridiculous. it's a ridiculous choice. tomorrow we're going to have a vote on legislation that makes sure that we ken force our laws and keep families together. and it's about custody, it's doj versus dhs. i know a lot of you covered this issue, you know that. we're saying stick with dhs and we're going to finance facilities for families to make sure that they can be taken care of so we don't have to have this ridiculous choice between enforcing our borders and enforcing the law and keeping families together. we think it's a false choice.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. two questions. one, if the bill is unable to pass tomorrow, what is plan "b"? and also -- >> well, everybody asks that. this bill is plan "b," by the way, for to us begin with. so right now we're focused on this ledge -- by the way, it solves dabbing in a very elegant way. it's a very good solution for daca. rye now we're focussed on getting this bill passed. the president came to our conference yesterday and asked members to support this bill. that is our focus. if other things happen we'll cross those bridges with when we get to it. >> have you asked the president to put a pause on this policy? >> he asked us to pass this legislation which stops this policy for good. yeah. >> so your legislation allocates or creates $7 billion for new family detention centers. that's going to take time to build so what happens until those are built and the follow-up question, has the president guaranteed that if this bill passes he would put a pause on that until you can get
your legislation? >> i will refer you to kirstjen nielsen, the secretary, she's talked to us about interim measures but the could court case is the key thing for us. you have to change the law so we can make sure that custody stays with dhs. we think that's important and that's why we're vote thong tomorrow. >> last yes. >> would you entertain a narrow emergency bill that would -- >> again, just like i said, we're trying to pass this legislation right now in the is very good compromise legislation. not only solves the child separation issue at the border, it also solves the board per the it solves daca, it solves a lot of our broken immigration parts. so right now we're focussed on passing this legislation that's come together floor tomorrow and then when other situations arise, what other circumstances are, we'll cross those bridge when's we get to. >> are you worried that you'll send a message that you're using these kids as leverage. >> that's ridiculous. >> that's families -- >> no, that's a ridiculous assertion. i said this last week in my press conference. we don't think people should be separate the at the border.
but we should also not make the government have to choose between whether to support the law, secure the border, and keep families intact. they ought do all of those things. that's why we're having a vote on this tomorrow. thank you. >> you've been watching house speaker paul ryan take questions about what is happening at the border, families getting separated from kids, some young kids after these zero tolerance policy put in place by the trump administration. you heard the house speaker say you've got to change the law. you don't, that's not true. the president could stop that zero tolerance policy. he could put a pause on that. that's not to republicans a palatable solution, but the bottom line, it is potentially a solution since everybody nearly unanimously is saying they do not like seeing families separated from kids. that could potentially end. >> yeah. no, i mean, you have to focus in on that thing paul ryan said which was we want to keep basically the chain of custody of these people within the department of homeland security. it is president trump and attorney general session who's said, you know what? the department of justice is
going to take over, we are going prospeople criminally, which then necessitates parents being separated from their kids. this is one of those weird times when i get to say they don't actually have to pass a law do this. but i also think the other thing is that if they keep going down that path, and let's say they're able to garner the votes to get this compromised bill through the house. >> this is the vote tomorrow that he is talking about. they're going to take a vote on a more moderate bill as opposed to a different one that's being proposed that some of the more conservative members support. let's say that passes. what happens after that? >> there nor democrats in the senate that want to vote for more funding. >> which means it's not going to pass the senate. >> but it does give them in opportunity to turn this into a situation. i know he said they're not thinking about kids as leverage. but if they were ever -- >> he called that ridiculous. >> we will hear people say if they're able to pass that bill, that on the democratic side if they can't get through the senate they will blame democrats
for those pictures you are seeing. >> nbc's catessy hunt was in the room sit mg that house republican press conference as she does every week. she's joining us live from capitol hill in the dark but we still hear you so that's good. >> i might be able to back up a little bit and make it lighter. >> so paul ryan clearly does not want families to be separated the we have said to the point as we have repeated on this show for days, the president could end this policy, fine. he's not going to do that which means congress could, in fact, do something. but do any of these options stand a chance? >> reporter: well, hallie, they are essentially saying, look, this bill that we've been working on for all these weeks is going to fix this issue, but of course essentially it's in many ways a false choice. they're saying well, you have to vote for this package of immigration changes in order to fix this policy. that's the way that the republicans here are setting it up. the reality is that the speaker of the house and on the senate side the majority leader have a lot of control over what happens on the floor of the chamber and
if the speaker wanted to, as he was asked, put an emergency bill on the floor, he could do it much more quickly, it would be narrow. we know that even if this does pass the house and it's far from certain that it's going to pass the house, it is all but certain to fail in the senate. it is a broad immigration package. >> right. >> reporter: and the reality is that won't fix -- that means that we will be left more families every day will be separated. i mean, it is incredibly difficult to find anyone in this building who is advocating in favor of the president's policy the way some of his, you know, administration officials are, jeff session, stephen miller, saying that they want this policy. people here do not want this policy. however, there are politics getting in the way yet again. and democrats on the one hand, i've been pressing them, okay, if mitch mcconnell were to say to you, we'll do a narrow fix, put it on the floor, would yu come to the table work on that narrow fix and get it out the door? there's still questions about what kind of support would there
for something like that. but the reality is the president could fix this way phone call, let's not forget that. however, congress say coequal would pass ov overwhelmingly. i do not see the path forward right now. it's more likely something could come out of the senate, maybe an amendment to the defense bill that they're working on. but at the same time the process for that is pretty stretched out as well. so quite frankly it's hard to see how a solution to this crisis is going to come out of the congress in time to help families, you know, and these kids who are still, you know, spraited as y separated as you and i are standing here talking. >> thank you for that. martha, i want to go to her for final thoughts again, the reporter who broke the story of these tender age shelters. martha, as you listen to kase i can talk about the idea there may not be a fix coming from congress anytime soon, who, getting as a sechs urgency to do something for these kids?
>> well, i want to be clarify one thing. which is for years unaccompanied children have been coming from central america and mexico and entering the united states and this is a significantly different population because they have been separated from their parents and they're trying to be in touch with them and wondering if they're ever going to see their mother or father again. that's why there's this sense of crisis. for the people who are caring for them and for their parents who have lost them and are trying to find them, it really feels like a frantic emergency. >> martha mendoza, we'll leave it there. thank you very much for coming on the show. i appreciate it. this morning, might have heard about it, pope francis is now talking about '. he's condemning this u.s. immigration policy. and hundred of leaders from the church of jeff sessions, the church he goes to, are putting the attorney general's feet to the fire over this tam family separation. we're going to speak with one evangelical leader that's calling on the president and the attorney zwron stop this now. to help hand everyone a better world. that's why we, at the coca-cola company,
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cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. xeljanz xr can reduce the symptoms of ra, even without methotrexate. ask your rheumatologist about xeljanz xr. we are christians. the evangelicals who support the families, where are you? we need you. it's time to speak out. >> that was moments ago on capitol hill. democratic lawmakers and immigration advocates gathering
in front of the capitol to try to step up the pressure on republicans and on the religious community to try to do more to stop the trump administration's zero tolerance policy of separating parents from kids who cross the border illegally. pope francis is adding his voice in now in a new interview with reuters he says he sides with u.s. catholic bishops who called the policy contrary to catholic values and immoral. the pope adding it's not easy, but populism is not the solution. you've also got the leader of more than a billion catholics worldwide send thougt tweet. a person's dig nit knitty does not depend on them being a citizen or migrant or refugee. saving the life of someone fleeing war and poverty is an act of humanity adding the #s with refugees on world refugee day. 600 clergy members, members of the united methodist church are also talking about this. they signed a formal complaint against attorney general jeff swhotions is a member of the church. he cited scripture last week to
just fight separation, the zero tolerance policy. i'm joined by bob vander plats, president and ceo of the christian organization. he wrote an article "the new york times" cruelty at the border is not justice, you can see it there. thank you very much for being on with us. it's good to see you. it's been a little while since the campaign days when we talked a little more frequently. >> good to see you. >> talk to me about this op-ed that you wrote. what prompted this and who in the administration have you pushed on this topic? >> well, hallie, think we all know we live in a very devicive time and you have to pick an either or and you need to go on one side or the other. the fact is we need leadership here today. we need to execute our laws, we want to secure the borders and a process for los angeles immigration were we get that. but we need to act with mercy and compassion. these are people and families and we need to reflect the best of the american spirit. so the reason for my op-ed was
to basically call on the trump administration as well as members of congress. you all say you want this to end. president trump says it wants this to end. melania says she wants this to end. i mean, everybody says they want it to end so get around the table, let the adults get around the table and let's stop this now. we can walk and chew gum at the same time. >> you have these words, these things that you are saying that you're clearly very upset about. how do you turn that anger into action? because there are people calling on the faith community of which you're a part do something. will you come to the white house? will you try to call the president? >> i will definitely try to be a voice to the president with the contacts that i have there. >> yeah. >> but their part of it is writing "the new york times" op-ed. it's appearing on this program as well as many other pro graxs saying, listen, we need leadership today. we understand we have an immigration crisis and we need spra vast immigration reform, that's
part of what's being exposed today. but at the same time i think we can decide that's an ms-13 gang member, that's someone who's in the business of trafficking or drug dealing or something else. and at other times we can keep families together. i think senator ted cruz has said let's put more justices so we can speed up the asylum process is a good idea. >> president doesn't want that the at the said doesn't want more immigration judges each though that's what senator cruz said he wanted and what his congressional liaison said the president would backed. mixed messaging here? >> i think what's happening is members of congress are trying to give him some viable solutions. senator cruz saying put more judge. the rubio saying let's do alternative detentions 'the keep the family together and either deport them together or allow them to stay together but keep the family unit together. >> so before i let you go, what's your message that would be effective to the attorney general? his church has come out now saying stop this, end this? jeff sessions has cited the bible. he has jeff sessions cited the bible as
validation. you're saying what the president is doing does not comport with christian values. >> what i would say to jeff sessions as well as president trump is now will never be right when you do what's wrong and you'll never be wrong when you do what's right. this is clearly wrong. scripture also says to seek justice. that's what we're doing with legal immigration. but also to love mercy. meaning implement it. execute it with common sense, compassion approach, and walk calmly with your god. that's a good guiding principle for this time of what we're seeing at the border. >> the president retweeted pastor scott today who said it's all politics related to this. do you agree this is all politics? >> i think we're seeing the worst of washington. i think what we're seeing is a negotiation and kids are caught in the middle. and i think has a potential to be a negative ripple effect. if the democrats are trying to
expose trump or trump saying to say i want funding for the wall. we cannot let the worst of washington keep these kids hostage and separate families. >> bob, thank you very much for coming on the show. i appreciate it. letsz talk about the surge in migrant kids. it's forcing some of them to live in tents. we talked a lot about the emotional impact. this is also pretty expensive. why it costs so much more to keep kids in makeshift tent cities after they've been separated by their families. re , month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis.
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m we have new reporting this morning on how much of your federal tax dollars are being used to house these migrant children. to put kids in permanent hhs facilities costs $256 per night per person. to keep kids with their parents in detention centers is 298 per night per person. then the tent cities at the border to house migrant kids separated from their parents. in those tent cities we're told it costs $775 per night per person to keep those going. we are near one of the tent cities. i understand you were closer to one minute ago? >> reporter: yeah. right over my shoulder you'll see the outer edges of that tent city. it's a government compound for lack of a better term.
we were just moved. tensions are high. i think it speaks to the fact that authorities really weren't ready for the influx. on a county road a rancher said to us that customs and border patrol wanted him to run us out of there. they said things are getting tense. behind us some 18 to 20 tents we understand right now housing around 200 young individuals who are, of course, unaccompanied minors. one of the big problems here and you know this as well as anyone, we're not getting information from the federal government. we're not being hold what is going on inside that camp. there's actually an extraordinary effort to keep us from even getting a visual of the camp they're building a birm, a mound, a dirt mound. whenever we zoom in, they build the birm higher. it's extraordinary at which the people here are going to to keep us from finding what's going on. the temperature is 110 degrees in the shade.
the temperature is rising. things are at a boil. >> cal live for us. thank you. we are back with quick final thoughts. i believe we have a compilation of what we've heard from a couple of senators. key senators over on the hill regarding where this goes next. listen. >> i have seen the stories. and i think i accurately described this whole situation as a hot mess. >> if it continues, it's going to make us look pretty bad. i'm going to try to see that it doesn't continue. we should never play with the lives of children. >> the republicans have a bill i think we're going to unite behind. democrats have a bill. maybe we can find a legislative solution if we get everybody in the same room. i'm going to meet this afternoon with a bipartisan group to see if we can hammer something out. >> with the exception of lindsey graham, those are allies of the president that are ticked off. >> 13 republican senators wrote
a letter to jeff sessions asking him to halt the policy while they work on a solution. it's an exercise among house republicans. it's going no nowhere in the senate. either the president takes executive action to keep families together until they figure out a long-term solution that's viable. or there's a narrow lay tailored solution. the problem is they don't agree on what to do. democrats are united to overturn this. republicans aren't sure if they want to exempt on florez or overturn. this is a mess. >> thank you both for being with us onset. on another busy day, we appreciate it. we end with the big picture. for it we head over to france. this is a cool one. members of the u.s. navy saluting the casket of julius piper. 74 years ago piper and his twin brother were killed. only he was identified. julius was marked as an
unidentified soldier. now they're reunited. julius was identified and laid to rest next to his twin brother at the normandy/american cemetery. i'll see you tonight on "nbc nightly news". right now much more on the immigration issue with stephanie ruhle along the border. >> thank you so much. good morning, everyone. i am stephanie ruhle live right here in the border town of texas. ali velshi is off today. it is wednesday, june 20th. world refugee day. how ironic. let's try to get a little smarter. >> the associated press says babies and toddlers who have been taken away from their parents are being held in at least three so-called tender-age shelters in southern texas. >> we've seen a photo from the new york times this morning, a little baby sitting on the floor
with social care workers wearing scrubs on their feet like they're in a hospital. >> can you imagine what it's like for those little children? and what i don't understand more than anything is why. who does it serve? >> i had the opportunity to tour one of these shelters in april. these children were withdrawn. they weren't interacting except for one little child who was just sobbing in the middle of the room, and she was crying uncontrollably, and beating her fists against the mat. >> kiersten nielsen blasted by protesters overnight while trying to eat dinner at a mexican restaurant in the nation's