tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC June 20, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
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 these children were withdrawn.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 capitol. >> mexican dinner.
tens of thousands of people seeking asylum in the united states. >> shame on nielsen. shame on trump. >> we're going to try and see if we can fix it. >> late tuesday the president met with house republicans, but in the halls a group of trt drths were -- democrats were waiting for him. >> is this new zero tolerance that the president has supported and the attorney general announced, is it humane? >> i think -- i think it's the law. >> it may be the law, it's the policy, but is it humane? >> i think it's a law, and i must follow the law. >> i read about a ten-year-old girl with down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage. i read about a -- >> did you say wawa? >> what i said is you can pick anything up but the bottom line
is clear. >> how dare you, sir. >> we now know it is a reality that some parents are being deported back to guatemala. mothers and fathers without their children. >> if they don't reknew united states their parents with the kids, the kids can be stuck her for years and the parent will be in their country with no idea where their child is and no meaningful way to reunite. >> this woman said she fled because two of her husband's cousins were killed. i still had to risk it for the safety of my kids so my kids can have a better future, she . >> this is where we are. i am live in texas. right now reporting on a whole new level of outrage at the border. we are learning that the youngest children being separated from their parents are babies, infants, toddlers, and it's being called that they're put in a tender age shelter here in south texas. here's what we know right now. the ap reports there are at least three shelters in the rio
grand valley. the government plans to open a fourth in houston. it is a heart breaking scene inside that we have no access to get in there. we don't even know which ones are designated tender age. the a.p. reports that lawyers and medical providers who had visited the shelters describe the play rooms of crying preschool age kids in absolute they add the facilities were fine, clean, and safe j but the kids who have no idea where their parents are, and remember, at that age, they have no sense of time. hysterical crying and acting out. these are babies. helping human service defines tender age typically as 12 and other. customs and border protection describes it as 5 years old and under. health and human services describe the tender age facilities are specialized for younger children and those with special needs. they say they're well-staffed with well-trained clinicians and they meet state licensing
standards for child welfare agencies. then there are signs of this. this is not stopping. it is only getting bigger. someone who has been doing extraordinary reporting on this is my friend and colleague jacob. i know you tweeted when asked about the tender age shelters, the whole program is expanding. and this is the word when i read this on your tweet, my heart sank. it's about to surge. >> surging was the word. >> surge with babys? >> think about why. it's surging because of an artificial surge, not a migrant crisis from the southern border. >> say that again. >> in 2014 there was a central american migrant crisis j huge numbers coming across the border every day fleeing violence. the surge now is a surge on this side of the border of children being separated from their parents by the trump administration policy. that's what the current surge is. and this morning i found out more information on something that i said last night. when i was in the processing center, i saw babies sitting in
cages alone, and it occurred to me i wasn't told there was a category of tender age kids, i called the border patrol this morning and an official confirmed to me that inside that processing center were more kids separated with their parents than anywhere else, guarded by a watch tower, sit young tender age children, basically in a play room alone. and the reason they're alone is because they've been separated from their parents. there are social workers that sit outside. they're by themselves. >> this is what i really want you to stress for us, because even in the last day, all sorts of people have e-mailed me and said i want to donate to these centers. what can i give? i want the conditions to be better. but it's not that the conditions are bad. the conditions are standard. and those who say listen, these people are will running for their lives. three meals a day and a cot is pretty good. that's not the issue. the issue is that no one has given you or have they, any reasonable excuse for why they'd
be separated. you have a 2 1/2-year-old son. i have a 5-year-old daughter. if she was ripped from us, she would be in atate of hysteria. the room could be filled with toys and food. >> you could put these kids and administration officials said you could put them at disney land or put them at a five-star hotel with a swimming pool, and all kinds of entertainment. >> they just want their mama. >> they still have a deep trauma they're facing today because of this policy. it doesn't matter where they go or what kind of beds or sheets or televisions or soccer balls are in the facility. they're going to be traumatized for life because of this -- again, artificial surge. >> and so this is what i want to keep going back to. this policy doesn't serve from an ethical or moral standpoint, and now i want to turn to an economic standpoint. and bring in our national security and justice reporter, julia ainsly and kal perry.
kal, i want you to remind us how hot this tent city is and how it was constructed really out of nowhere. and this part of texas is poor. people who live in this area where there's arsenic in the waters, they need support. they need better facilities and out of nowhere this zero tolerance policy has awarded tens of millions of contracts and now there you are. >> you nailed it. you got it absolutely 100%. i can barely keep my eyes on the camera. it's the 0 degrees. it's going to go up to about 110 dlz. >> over me you see the wiring of government compound. around 200 unaccompanied minors in there, we think. i keep saying we think because there is a concerted effort on behalf of the u.s. government to keep the images from this camp from the public. in fact, there's a concerted effort locally here to keep us from even filming the camp from
the outside. two hours ago i did a live shot with you on a county road looking at the tents perfectly. just as i finished the live shot, we were approached by the police and a rancher. they escorted us from the county road and said to us, quote, customs and border patrol wants us to run you out of here. i did not realize that in america this was the kind of thing that was going to happen. i hadn't seen anything like this since standing rock. i can hear people saying yes, they offered photos that were two years old. this is not something that i'm used to. i'm used to traveling the world, coming to you live from authoritarian countries in the middle east saying i'm having problems. we're being moved and not let inside. it's happening in texas, stephanie. >> and this is what i don't get. no one from the trump administration will give a clear answer about owning this policy. when you ask for access to go inside the facilities, they say no. they give cal perry images two years old. if this policy serves the american people, let us see it.
own it. take credit. and you know who owns it or is paying for it? the american people. i want to bring julia in. this thing is costing almost $800 a person per night in these tent cities. walk me through what it was costing the u.s. government before the zero tolerance policy. i watched this a week ago. someone on fox news saying i don't want us to spend a dollar or give any heart or care to migrants until every american child is safe and fed and warm and the same thing for the vets. and now we're spending $800 a person in this self-created crisis, and that's not helping america's poorest. >> that's right. exactly where cal is standing, those facilities were brought in overnight. they had to create these tents. they had to bring in ac and medical care. these are things that would normally in a more permanent process, the government would have the time to negotiate contracts and get the lowest bid. they are in such an emergent
situation. it's a self-inflicted crisis. they have to take whatever they can get. on average the tent cities are costing 775 per person per night. and we might as well be putting them in a five star hotel for that price. when we kept them with their parents, when the obama administration and the first year or so of the trump administration kept them with their parents and facilities, they cost about $300 a night. that's up $500. we can see now that this policy is actually more expensive. and not only is it more expensive per person per night. as we pointed out yesterday, it could be a lot more expensive in the long run. the form e head of ice said the children could be separated permanent. they could become wards of the state, and then they really are on america's welfare system as they're helped because they're children. they don't have the means to support themselves when they're separated from their parents.
so purely emotion aside, this is a very expensive policy. and it's more expensive than what we had in place previously. >> jacob, talk about this crisis, because for me spending two days here talking to people here, i don't see a crisis. i don't see people getting their jobs stolen. there's help wanted signs all over the place. what's the environment like here? >> do you feel scared standing here? i don't. >> it's a warm, loving, quiet town. >> that's the message the trump administration wants u to believe. drugs are pouring over the border and there are rapists and criminals. he said the other day on twitter, that drugs are poring across and violence is pouring across. his own drug enforcement -- he picked up the briefing books, he would know his own drug enforcement agency says violence and drugs are not spilling in at ports of entry. >> besides seeing those working the facility, have you seen any of the children? specifically any of the girls?
kristen welker pressed kiersten nielsen and there was no answer. i hate that i'm leaving texas not having seen a single one. have you? >> we saw two vans. they left last night. there were young boys in the back of those vans. we think they were taking them to dinner. you talk about the contractors. the government is supposed to bid out contracts. we saw ice trucks and water trucks. it feels like not just from a security perspective but from what we're seeing in the movement around here, again, authorities were not prepared for this. that this influx that jacob is talking about was not something they were ready for. that this policy enacted was done so solely by the president. >> jacob, where are the girls? >> don't know. we don't know. >> why? >> because we've asked the department of health and human services time and again for not only access but just for photographic evidence. they told us we would get it last night or today. we still haven't gotten it yet. all i have been offered are photos from 2016 of facilities that care for girls. i said i don't want those
photos. >> 2016 when president obama was in office? >> before any of this was going on. 2016. >> i said no, i wouldn't like photos from 2016. i'd like photos from today and i'd like to go inside the facilities. >> the only girl we've seen is the one we've heard, the young child on that audio tape who was just desperately screaming. is that all we have? >> that's all we have. >> and we haven't even verified it. thank you all so much. fantastic reporting. it is so important to tell the story. we are here in texas. there's no misrepresentation of anything. but we're trying to get as much transparency as possible. for your hearts, minds, and tax dollars. and we heard about how long this process is, how difficult the conditions are for the parents and children. when we come back, i'll speak with down of the people on the ground who is actually fighting for these kids. maybe a bit of an american hero. and now for the rings. (♪)
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welcome back. we are live in texas continuing our special immigration coverage here at the border with more than 2000 migrant children now separated from their parents. one of the people on the front lines helping these migrants, i call that an american hero, is jonathan ryan. he's executive director of a refugee and immigrant center for education and legal services. you are the person, you are the
person going into centers and helping represent the families. talk me through their play. >> well, much attention is rightly being paid on the physical conditions of these detention centers. and many people who actually do get a look inside could be bamboozled by the arts and crafts room, but what we know as lawyers is that in a short amount of time, we are going to be in court and we're going to be witnessing i presume people carrying babies into the court sitting them down, i don't know alone on someone's lap. across from a well-trained highly paid government ice prosecuter. and that child is going to have to face a complex deportation hearing aloan in addition to being detained away from their parents, the legal services that the government provided by a matter of law are slowly being stripped away. just 30 days ago my organization which provides direct representation through government funding to children, these babies, got an e-mail
saying stop working immediately. we can no longer provide direct representation to these children. >> why? >> the government made a decision to issue a stop work order. they have not cancelled -- >> no one is defending the children. >> these children have no access to independant counsel. many people compare it to the criminal court proceeding. if a parent is arrested and charged the children are separated. the children are not separately jailed and prosecuted with no access to legal counsel. even in the criminal court, you get a lawyer. >> let's say we completely support border security. we don't want people to break the law, and if they do break the law, they have to face the consequences. what is the legal rationale behind saying during this detainment period, separating the mothers and the children? for me from an economic perspective, it makes no sense. from a moral perspective it doesn't. >> there's no legal rationale. this is pure politics. to your point, the government --
>> politics? who wins? who wants to see devastation. >> obviously the people in charge of this decision and keeping it have their own reasons. and it's because many people say these children are being treated as pawns. no. these are live hostages. being held by the u.s. government in a high stakes political negotiation with the minority party here in the united states whom the administration charges as being responsible for this, i do not know how a minority party with no majority in the house, no majority in the senate, no one in the executive branch can be responsible for a purely executive decision. but also we're seeing many millions of dollars being spent every day simply to further this injustice. whereas we could be spending much less money to process these cases, provide the necessary support which, by the way, we demand other countries do when they have refugees, and have positive outcomes and less trauma. >> crossing the border is a misdemeanor.
traditionally, what does that prosecution look like? >> it's what it is. it's a simple prosecution. many of these people are being marched into federal court in cattle call hearings and most are receiving time serve. they're spending three or four days in the system. some are being sent to prisons to be spending 30, 60, 90 days in jail, but many people are passing through the courts where they have access to federal public defenders. that's the morale of the united states that people get a fair shake in our legal system. the parents being prosecuted get a public defend. meanwhile, their baby is in a jail and being prosecuted with no access to legal defense. many people think the united states gives you a lawyer. that's not the case in immigration court. even for those babies. it was 30 days ago, but the government made another decision 30 days ago to stop all funding
for direct representation of these children immediately before enacting this policy. it's like someone pulled the chair out from behind somebody and then just came right in front of it and pushed them down. and their babies. >> their babies. my question to the white house, and i welcome a representative to join me any time. why? why? you can believe america first all day long. you can want to provide for and honor every american, but please, help me understand why this makes sense. when we come back, we'll talk about our first lady. she speaks a lot about protecting our children. it's an important priority for her. she tells them to be best. and this woman did not want to move her young son to the white house in the middle of the school year fearing it would be too disruptive. now her husband, the president of the united states, is disrupting the lives of thousands of kids locking them in these detention centers. i'll be speaking to melania trump's current immigration
attorney next. and what about ivanka trump? as the president's daughter an official adviser, she has his ear on family issues. i ask the question where is she in this crisis? i beg for her help. publicly, she's been silent. she posted this week a photo she took a few weeks ago during the -- when the immigration debate was heating up. it shows her hugging and caring for her own child. it's a beautiful photo. the love between a mother and a child, there's nothing more sacred. but she has shown nothing. she has said nothing since her father took away this opportunity from so many mothers. on father's day, i saw ivanka's post with her father and husband. you know who didn't get to have those? these babies in the detention center. please, ivanka, you have the chance, take it. island anymore. [ roar ] [ heavy breathing ] [ scream ]
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i we worked with pg&eof to save energy because wenie. wanted to help the school. they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. welcome back. i am stephanie ruhle. we're live in texas. shelters fill with children who are separated from their children the first lady, an immigrant herself. she has tea yesterday with the queen of spain and they spoke specifically about children. a group she speaks about often. >> one of the many causes dear
to my heart is helping children and women. no children should ever feel hungry, frightened, terrorized, isolated or afraid with nowhere to turn. >> the well being of children is of the utmost importance to me, and i plan to use my platform as first lady to help as many kids as i can. >> i'm very excited to announce be best. an awareness campaign dedicated to the most valuable and fragile among us, our children. >> be best. i'm asking the question, is the united states at this moment being our best? joining me now, michael wild, a former federal prosecuter. now an immigration attorney. one of his clients is melania trump. as someone who interacts with the immigration system regularly, tell me what it's
like for immigrants, specifically children who have to go through this process. right there we noted first lady trump saying no one should ever feel isolated, scared, alone, or terrorized. and i'm afraid those are the exact feelings children here are experiencing. >> thank you, stephanie, for having me. the truth is that i'm a law professor now, and i'm a former federal prosecuter. so i'm very proficient, if you would, with the different vantage points in the individuals dealing with the immigration authorities. coming to an immigration lawyer's office is often an intimidating experience for the parents where they would like to keep their kids in a waiting area because they want to shield them from delicate questions, emotions, and challenges. i can just imagine what's happening at the point of the border. i'm a father of four children myself. when children are going through simple challenges whether they're emotional or allergies or asthmatic, i'm sure that ice
is taking care of the medical accommodations, but at a tender age, children have physical manifestations of emotional issues and we're certainly turning our backs on these children. these are persons. it doesn't matter how old, they're covered by the constitution. our founding documents talk about protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. every one of the features has to do with children. now, i understand, and as a former federal prosecuter, and as a proud american, we have to get control of our border. we want to keep the bad guys out, but the way is with dexterity. we fought pirates in the 1700s and 18 00s in the high seas. we didn't stop immigration to our nation. this is just uncon chenable. >> melania trump as made children a central focus. i have to assume her take on the immigrant community is additive
to the united states as a culture and economic -- >> i have to be delicate. i still represent mrs. trump and i have to respect the attorney, client privilege. they are a first class family where children come first. you saw how mrs. trump didn't go to the white house until her son was able to acclimate into the process. this is a very, very difficult issue, and her office came out with a statement urging both parties, and this is not a partisan issue. this is an american challenge that we have to counter. look, the bottom line is we have to get our hand around this in a judicious way. because our children, the world's children, are watching us to make sure that we step up to this challenge properly. >> with your professional experience, why would you say this administration would opt for such a dn approach. >> i think the president says
this as political leverage. he wants his wall. he had the muslim ban. he wants his wall, and he's trying to achieve this, and it's not personal is the kind of message that i'm taking. and this is not any legal insight. this is just my own instinct. everything is a deal. unfortunately some of these things are more than deals. these are, again, a manifestation of everything from are our humanity to the legacy we have as a nation that gives what's the biblical narrative of hospitality. we should be embracing people in harm's way. i have a book coming out called safe haven, battles to keep americans golden door. so this is something that has been an old age challenge. my father is an immigration lawyer. i'm a second generation immigration lawyer. my kids may want to be immigration lawyers. we have to get this right. we can't go backwards. >> we can respect and protect our borders, and we can honor
humanity. michael, thank you so much for joining me. and mrs. trump, let me take this moment to make this plea to you. you have made children your priority since the beginning of this administration. you have given voice to those who feel bullied and isolated. that is sorely, i'll say it, desperately needed right now. so please, lend your voice, and your massive platform to these children. mrs. trump, we all want to help american families and american children, but serving american children does not preclude us from helping others around the world. you, your words, you said the way we raise our children is a blue print for the next generation and you are right. please help us protect the future. you took one step into that direction saying we need to govern with heart. it is just another short step to helping these young, innocent children. please, mrs. trump, the time is now. my final plea, you may be the
voice. the president says kiersten nielsen says, this is fake news. don't believe these pictures that they're showing you. and i'm trying to tell our audience, the white house is giving us 17 different reasons why they're putting forth this policy. i cannot get inside one of those centers. i'm going to leave texas not having seen a single one of the girls. you, mrs. trump can come down to texas and hold these children and see them. you can make a difference. this is about humanity. if being best is your platform, i please ask you to do just that. midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award for its light-duty truck the chevy silverado. oh, and since the chevy equinox and traverse also won chevy is the only brand to earn the j.d. power dependability award across cars, trucks and suvs-three years in a row. phew. third time's the charm...
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welcome back live from texas. there are few members of the trump administration more vocal about faith and piety and morality than mike pence. he's not shy about his evangelical beliefs. something that at times seems to strike a disdents to the president. that has not stopped mike pence from trying to spread a message of moral integrity. >> we believe the prayer of a righteous people avail. it's a time of division. a time when our nation could use some grace. i also encourage you to pray. i'm a believer. and my faith informs me we're to hold up a godly standard. i'd encourage you to pray. pray for our country. there seems to be more division
than i remember in my lifetime, prayer is something we ought to think about. >> grace. well, goodness gracious, joining me now bill crystal. okay. my friend, bill, we just heard the talk of godliness from vice president pence. last night this is what corey lewandowski said on fox news. >> i read about a ten-year-old girl with down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage. >> wawa. >> did you say wawa? how dare you. how dare you. awe absolutely dare you, sir. >> that is garbage. corey lewandowski does not ever deserve a platform on the national stage or anywhere. lewandowski, he is employed by mike pence's political action committee, and while corey
lewandowski said he was saying the democrat, not the kid, it's neither here for there. can mike pence really continue to be affiliated with mr. lewandowski? >> you know, that's a question for mike pence. i'm sure -- >> what do you think? >> i hope reporters are asking him that. i think his religious beliefs are serious. i have real problems with the degree to which he's managed to accommodate his boss and rationalize things he's done. lewandowski moved from trump's pac to mike pence's superpac. he's being paid by a superpac that is in the service of mike pence. it's controlled by mike pence's allies. and that's, i think, i just like mike pence to explain that. i saw the photo, trump tweeted out this morning, classic trump. i think to almost humiliate the house republicans. the house republicans giving him a standing ovation in the capitol last night. i know a lot of the members, some decent men and women. many say they're religious.
i think some are really. they really should think hard about this moment and whether they are willing to just go along out of party loyalty with something that's really indefensible whether you're religious or not. i'm jewish, but exodus 23:9. we were strangers in egypt and you treat strangers decently. they need to reread that and think about whether they're living up to that. you keep appealing to people's better natures, it doesn't seem to work much. maybe one of them will -- i think one or two of them, if they stood up, it might shame the others into doing something. >> is this child separation issue the first mark we're seeing of evangelicals actually separating with the president? until now, they've been in large part his most loyal supporters because they feel like he stands up for their values, ie, he's putting judges in place. is this child separation move a
risk for the president or the evangelicals staying no matter what? >> i think there's a risk. i think it's kind of gradually sinking in to people that this isn't just another instance of personal vulgarity or policy you don't like much because you don't agree with it. i mean, this is the united states of america doing what you described earlier, showed earlier on the show, to little kids. taking them from their parents. shipping them elsewhere in the country. unnecessary. you can have a tough policy on the border without separating kids, and what's the rationale? it could be fixed overnight. just say leave the kids with their parents. and if they're going to have to be kept in detention for a month, fine. keep them in humane detention for a month, but with their parents and not separating from their parents with a decent chance they'll never get back together, and never be able to find them. that's terrible.
it's penetrating among a lot of people who just think that is a u.s. government policy mandated by the president. this isn't the president's personally distasteful behavior. this isn't something that congress has done. it is something congress can fix. i hope house republicans -- tomorrow they vote on two immigration bills. both are huge bills. neither has a chance of passing. 30 house republicans could vote against the rule and say we want to vote on a clean bill. vote on both. let's see which has the most votes but just fix this particular program. better if trump fixed it. but these are elected officials. the rest of us can talk and you were eloquent urging melania trump to speak up. these are elected officials. they swore an oath to their office. it's a public office. they can do something very immediately to at least help fix this problem. trump could do more to fix it,
but members of congress could do something. >> border agents and ice, they're not partisan. but yesterday there was a striking moment when the ice director, the acting ice director was asked if this was inhumane. he couldn't really give an answer. i asked sister norma, she said they're just trying to do their job. do you buy that or do you think they're part and parcel with the action? >> i think they're doing something, i assume they're not proud of doing. maybe they feel they can mitigate, do it less inhumanely than others who might replace them. but it's awful the u.s. government officials are put in the position of doing this, and then they have to rationalize it. unnecessarily by the president. i was talking to someone who talks to people in the white house. i'm not on good terms with most of the white house people. i said why did this happen? this is not a genuine border surge. the president didn't like the
statistics of people being arrested at the border ticked up. it didn't go up that much. it's not a very big number. a little. it was bad pr. so for the sake of the president's self-image, his public relations, he sees it, we're doing something that's genuinely inhumane and asking government officials to do something that's genuinely inhumane. >> creating a ridiculous conflict out of nothing. it reminds me of president trump and the nfl battle, exempt here it's costing the well being of thousands of young children. bill, thank you so much. i really appreciate it. and i appreciate you reminding our audience we've got an immigration issue. we do not have an immigration crisis, or we didn't until zero tolerance came into town. religious leaders are speaking out against the trump administration's policy on migrant children. this is the first time we've seen this many faith leaders speaking up and speaking out during this administration. next, we're going to hear into the united methodist church is
saying, the church of the attorney general, jeff sessions. and the pope is one of the leaders condemning a policy of separating children from their parents. today he tweeted, quote, a person's dignity 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. he also tweeted this morning, children must be able to play, study, and grow, in a peaceful environment. woe to anyone who stifles their joyful impulse to hope. he also said without immigrants, nobody one in europe. so, what's new? we just switched to geico and got more. more? they've been saving folks money for over 75 years. a company you can trust. geico even helped us with homeowners insurance. more sounds great. gotta love more...
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sessions to be a leader in your church. >> hi, this, this is an unusual -- it's an unusual complaint to file against a layperson, but attorney general jeff sessions is in a position our brothers and sisters. inhumane, and it is -- it's not okay. so we feel in we feel. >> you have jeff sessions to take action to send zero tolerance or you want to excommunicate him now. >> we want some sort of reconciliation. we want to have an opportunity to talk to him or to have his
bishops or superintendents talk to him in hopes to shift policy. we want to remind him he's also a child of god. that as a methodist layperson he's taken baptismal vows and we uphold each other. we promise to love each other. >> i'm sorry so interrupt you. stay tuned. we have breaking news from the white house on president trump's zero tolerance immigration policy. i want to take you to kristen welker who is live. she's going to be joining us in a moment. this zero tolerance policy was put in place about a month and a half ago. there's been a lot of talk out of the white house. let me bring jacob in. you've been hear for the last
week. so many people on both sides of is is aisle. >> the president will be signing something to keep families together. he said it will be followed up by a legislative fix. he may be stopping this family separation from happening right now. the question that comes to mind is he's undermining a policy that was put into place by his own attorney general. what's going on inside the white house right now? >> maybe he just changed his mind. >> maybe he did. the big question which is all we really care about, what does that mean for the 2500 children that have already been separated from their parents. the ones that could become permanent orphans according to a i.c.e. official we talked to yesterday. if the president has decided now that he just doesn't like this policy anymore, what happens to the kids he's already ripped away from parents. >> it is a sign of strong leadership to be a good liste r
listener, be nimble and pivot. he's cancelling the congressional picnic saying it didn't feel right to me. we want to solve this immigration problem. in the last month and a half, in the last week while there's been so much coverage and so much pressure, maybe the president has seen this policy simply serves no one. >> to your point, since we have been down here is his own secretary of homeland security hasn't been to the desentention center. she hadn't seen what i saw with children in cages on the floor. the ability to tell the story of these children that work of the people, if activists have brought this to the attention of the president of the united states, all the way to the white house, far away from here where they clearly had no idea what was going on. >> this is about midterms, if this is about trump's base, president trump has already heard from so many other
republicans this doesn't work. i want to share this. we got it from the pool. president trump, we need the democrats support because we need their vote. we need 60. our border patrol agents and our i.c.e. agents have done one great job. potus invited lawmakers to speak. tom cotton adding children can't be a get out of jail for free card for immigrants. potus nodded. if we weren't strong on the border, you'd have hundreds of thousands of people coming across the boarder. this could be a moment for democrats to come to the table and possibly not get everything but think about theese people i texas, they want strong borders. they don't want a wall because it doesn't make sense. i haven't heard from anyone, people saying open the borders. >> the reason we're here today is we haven't had immigration reform yet. that detention center was open during the obama administration.
the same disgusting cages i saw with my own eyes with the people sitting in those conditions that are use the word deplorable to people who have talked about this administration before, it's a horrible thing to look at. >> they were used for a different purpose. i want you to clear that up. >> there was no separations. people have been sitting in those cages for years. if they don't like what we're seeing today, now is a time to change the immigration system and the way this has worked up until now. it's a time to end the separation that started under this president and this attorney general and this secretary of homeland security. >> this is the moment of unity. this is a moment of hope and optimism that maybe when you're on the brink or facing disaster or in the throes of it. maybe there's a better path. before we go, i have to share today's monumental american. it's emma lazarus. the woman who penned the
enscription on the statue of liberty. she focused on political issues including the civil war, treatment of jews and immigration. in 1883, she wrote her most famous poemt abo about the stat liberty. whose torch shows worldwide welcome. the most famous line, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me. i lift my lamp beside the golden door. this is an extraordinary time in american history and we are honored, jacob, myself, to be here sharing this news with you. thank you for sharing that monumental american. thank you for sharing this hour with us. i sincerely appreciate it. i send you to washington with our friend and colleague andrea mitchell. thank you very much.
good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we have breaking news from the white house. president trump meeting with congressional republicans this hour. telling reporters in the room he will be signing something in a little while on immigration. he said he would be preemptive and matched by legislation. we're going to get tape from the meeting. we begin with nbc white correspondent kristen welker president is poised to reverse himself fp on the zero tolerance policy and effectively sign an executive order he is signaling it will end the family separations. we don't have the