tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC June 20, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
that is going to do it from here in mcallen, texas. craig melvin here. i'll see you back on "today" tomorrow morning. meanwhile, taty tur st katyg by to pick things up right now. president trump has indicated he will sign an executive order allowing families to be held in immigration detention together. he previewed the move earlier with lawmakers. >> we're keeping families together but we have to keep our borders strong. we will be overrun with crime and with people that should not be in our country. this has been going on for 50 years. longer. this has been going on under president obama, president bush. this has been going on for many, many years. we're going to see if we can solve it. this is not something that happened just now.
we're going to see if we can solve the immigration problem like we've solved so many other problems. >> but the president did not need to sign anything to stop these separations. it was not law. this has not been going on for years. it was the result of a policy announced by his own administration. all he actually needed to do was make a phone call to his ag. this is a move to control the narrative. this is a mo of to make him look like the hero who signed something to try and stave off the political criticism and, of course, his biggest fear -- appearing weak. >> the dilemma that if you're weak -- if you're weak -- which some people would like you to be. if you're really, really pa theticalthet ical -- pathetically weak.
perhaps i'd rather be strong but that's a tough dilemma. >> the administration's policy has already resulted in more than 2,300 children being ripped away from their parents between may 5th and june 9th. that translates to about 67 kids every day. these children have been put in cages. they're in tent cities. they're be sent across the country. and we learned last night, among these children a toddlers, infants. the associated press reports babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the u.s.-mexico border have been sent to at least three tender age shelters in south texas. quote. lawyers and medical providers who have visited the rio grande valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. "t "the detroit free press" reports today in the middle of the night an 8-month-old and 11-month-old arrived in grand
rapids, michigan weeks after being taken away from their parents. the ages of these children are alarming foster care employees who say they're younger than ever and they are petrified. just last friday, a homeland security official told reporters they do not separate infants. two customs and border protection officials told nbc news the minimum age of separation was 4, unless the parent had done something more than cross the border illegally. we now know that is simply not true. these families hope that at some point they will be reunited, but we also learned yesterday from the former head of i.c.e., some of these separations could be permanent. so what happens now? does the government have a plan to ensure all families, all children, who have been separated are reunited? and how long will that take? nbc's hallie jackson is at the white house. chris hayes, the hoest of "all in" on nbc news is with me this hour from mcallen, texas. so is msnbc's jacob soboroff,
who's one of the few reporters actually allowed inside the detention and processing center. cal perry is in tornillo, texas in one of the tent cities housing the children. and julia ainsley has been following the story for us, as well. hallie, start with you. how is the president going to square signing this executive order if he does in fact do this and stop it from making it look like he's backed down, making it look like he is weak? >> so it is one thing with what the president says, katy, and it is another with what is the actual reality of the facts on the ground. the president, if in fact as we expect this executive order does not reverse that zero tolerance policy, if in fact it overrides that flores settlement we've been talking about, the president will technically be able to say he hasn't reversed his policy. however, in effect, that is exactly what has happened. this is and about-face. it is reversing the impact of the policy the president himself
put into place. as far as squaring it, it might beficu for donald trump given that just five days ago he stood on the south lawn with my colleagues here at the white house and said you can't have an executive order to change this, to end the separation, the creased rate of separation of kids from their parents. in fact, i think we have that sound we can play you from just friday. >> excuse me. by one vote? we don't need it. you need 60 votes. we have the one vote -- excuse me. we need a one vote -- we have a one-vote edge. we need 60. so we need ten votes. we can't get them from the democrats. wait, wait. you can't do it through an executive order. >> reporter: but here we have an executive order that's obviously going to be going into place per the president. let's talk about logistics, then let's talk about the outstanding questions. all signs point to the president continuing on this to campaign-style rally in duluth, minnesota. we haven't heard of any schedule changes to that. he's supposed to be leaving in the hour. if he is going to sign this thing, it is going to happen
during your show. we expect that to happen some time in the next few minutes here or to get more information about it before the president gets in that motorcade to head over to joint base andrews to get on air force one. those are the logistics of what we expect to happen. but there is a lotf queions here regarding not just details of the executive order. we haven't seen text of it that we can report yet. though we do know, broad strokes, that some of these families will be moved to the front of the line, you could say, in order to have their applications for asylum processed. but there are some questions. one, something you referenced the top of your show -- this has happened. the administration can't go back six weeks in time and undo the things that have happened in those six weeks. these kids being separated from their parents. so logistically, how do you repair that? how do you reunite these kids and their families? operationally, how do you make that happen? there is also a question of time frame if in fact this is a temporary solution, what does that mean? how long is that? what is the pressure now on congress? does this mean congress is off the hook? the answer is no.
the president still wants what he says is a legislative solution, though again he could end up reversing the zero tolerance policy. nonetheless, the white house is still putting out a full-court press. it is our understanding the president's in there with roughly two dozen members of congress trying to make a personal plea to get them on board with this bill that's supposed to be voted on tomorrow. secretary kirstjen nielsen within the hour will be up on capitol hill doing the same thing with other lawmakers. there are also questions about indefinite detention. if in fact these families are held together, kids and parents, will that be an indefinite tentiowhich then creates legal problems down the road. so i think that we are waiting to see what exactly and what exactly this text talks about. bottom line, this is all about pressure. president trump got it from the hill, he got it from some of his closest allies, closest friends, people that have said to us, yeah, we talked to the president and it is not good.
including family members. melania trump and ivanka trump. though we should note, melania trump is the only one on record speaking out. >> color me skeptical, i don't believe ivanka trump has done anything unless she comes out and says, "i told my father to do y, y ax, y and z." that's just me. chris, how will the families be reunited? is there a plan in make to make sure that those infants that have been taken away are reunited with the correct parents? do they have any idea whatsoever how they're going to go about doing this? >> there's no plan. as of now, there is no unified policy. it is even unclear -- this is something that i think is particularly distressing. it is even unclear what internal record keeping there is. when you're in a hospital, you give birth. the first thing that happens is they put an ankle band around the baby. that's a bar code that matches to the mom.
when you try to leave the hospital, they scan them both. that's been put in place in the last ten years to make sure that babies and moms don't get separated. right? there's nothing like that. so just to be clear, whatever the process is to reunify kids with their parents is going to be essentially ad hoc one by one through multiple agencies, across the multiple agencies that are detaining them. if in fact what happens today when the president signs this executive order, which is again unnecessary to rescind his own policy, although not rescind it, to modify it, those agencies are now going to have to work on getting together. one more thing to think about here. it is very clear as we watch reports come in from michigan, a report last night from east harlem in new york city, reports in california. what is happening is, each bureaucracy -- the i.c.e. bureaucracy, the doj federal prison bureaucracy, are essentially looking at a spread sheet and says where there are open beds to put people, then dispersing them to the four
winds. there are moms currently in a federal prison in washington state. there are kids taken from their parents who have been sent to michigan and to new york. you now have this population dispersed across three different federal bureaucracies -- doj, dhs and hhs, and across the entirety of the continental u.s. and now the work begins to get those people matched with the right parents and get them into the same place. >> it is interesting because the other day when kirstjen nielsen was asked where are the girls? where are the girls being held? have you seen them? she didn't really have any information on this. so that meant that dhs was not talking to hhs on this. there was also reports a few weeks ago -- about a month ago about hhs not being able to keep track of all the children that it already had, that it was looking after, those unaccompanied minors before this family's separation policy got into gear. so it seems pretty clear that if you are talking about communication between multiple agencies, there are some serious hiccups there. that's why i want to bring in julia ainsley on this.
these are the agencies you cover. you've talked to people within them. is anybody right now having a conversation, at least laying out plans, about how to streamline this communication, how to ensure that these families get reunited with their kids as quickly as possible? i know you talked to a former i.c.e. official yesterday, head of i.c.e., who said that there are going to be some scenarios where some of these separations are permanent. >> that's true, katy. the former head of i.c.e. says sometimes what happens is the parents are deported back to their home countries and they don't have a way to navigate our legal system and find their children. on top of that, there are more crises ahead, unfortunately, even after this executive order, because the people i've talked to, the rank and file, even leadership in these agencies like dhs, says they just started to hear last night whisperings of this executive order and they're really not prepared. numbers i can share with you now, i just heard from an administration official there
are 3,335 beds available for family detentions. these are special centers. they were created, a lot of them, under the obama administration that can hold children with their mothers. we right now, katy, have just over about 430 people -- family units -- that would be a mother and a child would be counted as two -- coming over every day. so if the president wants to hold these people indefinitely and not do catch and release and enforce his zero tolerance policy, these are going to start filling very quickly and those tent cities that we saw built for hhs to hold the children could likely have to be built again now to hold children with their families. >> julia, how much do these tent cities cost? >> i was about to answer. yes. so those tent cities cost $775 per bed per night. that means that when you erect something very quickly, you need to have medical resources. you need to bring in basically any contractor that you can get
immediately. the government really loses a lot of its bargaining power to get the cheapest price. what they want are these permanent structures. we know it cost about 3$300 to hold families in permanent structures. they would be increasing that to almost $800 to this rushed program now. >> chris? >> i just -- just an important point to stress here on two fronts. two of the arguments the administration makes on immigration very often are about the sort of criminal threat of immigrants and about the cost that immigrants bear. to julia's point, they've created a system that's far, far more costly than what came before it. they are now talking about massively expanding a variety of federal bureaucracies, they are shoving more and more people into federal courts. those require resources. they need more immigration judges. all the decisions they've made have been to ratchet up the size of the federal bureaucracy and the cost to the public of dealing with the policy that they have created.
>> let me ask you this other question. a lot of folks out there say, listen, there is a crisis at the border. they need to do something to stop this from happening. they need to do something to stop these families from coming over, to deter them from coming over. this was a worst case scenario. let's talk about the facts on the ground in terms of who was coming over the border, the numbers. what is the reality on the border today? >> so that's a great question. there's a few days i think to think about this. one is to think about what this policy has done to the focus of federal resources. we talked to someone today who was saying before this policy, 90% of people that were in federal court, that were being prosecuted, were people that had criminal records. 90% had some prior records. they were being prosecuted because they had records and 10% had no record. since zero tolerance, it's flipped, which means the vast majority of people now being run through the system have no prior record and no prior record of entry. these are first-time misdemeanor entries.
90% of the people prosecuted. that tells you that these are people, by and large, who are exactly who they say they are, which is people who are fleeing horrible circumstances in the northern triangle in central america, who are coming here undertaking one of the most dangerous trips that exists in the entire world. and if that doesn't deter them, there is little the u.s. government can do to deter them. when we talk about people flooding the border, this is the most arduous trip that exists in the world right now. it really is. the levels of sexual assault are -- multiple advocates say for women it is essentially 100%. they are traers ers traversing dangerous cartels. anyone that's undertaking, making a calculation that things are so desperate and so bad where they are that they need to take on that risk to try to get to the border -- >> but here -- >> -he ide --
>> but take that example. take that information, that statistic. the administration will say, we're going to try and tell people not to try to attempt that journey for that reason. we don't want them to do this. put some color on that. >> we should say, that was very similar argument that the obama administration made back in 2014 when they were dealing with the swell of unacmpanied minors. three things i would say to that. one, first and most important is, what that ends up being is you get into a kind of bidding war with the cartels about who can be more monstrous. right? if the thing people are fleeing is some of the most horrific violence that's happening in the western hemisphere which is in central america where 12-year-old boys are being recruited into gangs and beaten and shot and killed if they don't join. if that's on one end and people are fleeing that, what is the deterrent you are going to do to folks at the border that's going to be worse than that. right? you end up having to do monstrous things so that the tip
of judgment tips in your favor. the second thing i would say, people should keep these numbers in perspective. the united states is home to 330 million people. we're talking about tens of thousands of families that are coming in the summer months. i talked to someone yesterday who said before the obama administration started doing long-range detention in 2014, when people would be essentially processed, then released on their own reconnaissance, all had a family member or contact they went to when they were released. they got a court date, had a pending asylum claim and court case, then went and lived with family in north carolina, again at no cost to the taxpayer, certainly not $800 a night. there is no public safety reason, by and large, for the vast majority of people that these people are a threat to public safety. that has to be stressed. >> it feels like this debate about immigration -- donald trump would brag about this wn
he was on the campaign trail. nobody was talking about immigration until i came along. in some respects that is true. he made it a much bigger issue than it was. the undocumented immigrants coming across the border, correct me if i'm wrong on the numbers, were down significantly since i believe some time in the early 2000s, down significantly than where they were. donald trump comes along, he starts campaigning, campaigns on building a wall, campaigns on all of this crime, ms-13, murdering families, he used a couple examples. the first time that i sat down with him in the interview i did in july of 2015 i presented him with statistics that defied what he was saying. pew stats that said, listen, border cities are not places where there is an increased amount of crime. undocumented immigrants coming across the border were not committing more crime than those who were born here. those who were born here, by
larnlgd, commit a lot mo large, commit a lot more crime than those coming across the border. this crisis of immigration has been manufactured by a man who used it to get into the white house and the man who believes that it is going to be good for him going forward in terms of the mid-term elections. his approval numbers among his base and potentially for 2020. >> i think that's exactly right, by and large. the statistics that you talked about in terms of crime. there's also the fact that net flows from mexico particularly are basically at a 10 or 15-year low. and have been. they're essentially zero. the net flows between the u.s. and mexico. that's been the case. the other thing to keep in mind here is, no one talked about immigration. if you look at the charts of spending on cbp, on border security and border patrol, on the number of i.c.e. agents, the number of cbp agents, it just goes like this in every single chart. we've been pumping billions and billions and billions of dollars and putting tens of thousands of federal employees in to this region of the country. we've basically created a kind
of like permanent microstate here, sort of federal jobs program, essentially, down along the southern border. the final thing i would say here when you talk about the sort of reality to his base and reality on the ground, we talked to people in mcallen. people in mcallen have all sorts of different views on immigration, but by and large, it is a place that's used to people coming across the border. it is a border town. people talked about growing up and going back and forth. before it got as militarized as it has. tonight the president's going to duluth in minnesota and there is going to be a crowd of people in duluth who are panicked about the people crossing down here in mcallen that they will never see. while the people in mcallen are by and large fine with it. that to me sort of epitomizes, jacob, the issue. >> that's exactly what we saw. >> at the end of the day, there is no crisis on the border. i mean that's the most simple way to put this. people are not flooding across.
the president said today in that meeting that we're going to have millions of people coming across the border. last time we had over a million people come across the border was in 2006. last year just under 300,000 came across the border, the lowest level since 1972. if the president took the time to read his own dea reports he would know that spillover violence is not a thing. mexico is violent, they are some of the most violent cities just south of the border. but it just doesn't come into these cities here. juarez is on the other side of the border from el paso. san diego is on the other side of the border from tijuana, mexico's most violent city. those three cities are three of the safest cities in the united states of america according to fbi crime statistics. so the president -- we know the president doesn't read. but this is how it manifests itself in terms of the border policy. >> julia, do you have any fact checks, any stats on ms-13 that you can throw in and help us with? how much of a problem is that gang? i know it is a problem, but how many of them are coming over the
border specifically to commit crime and join that gang? >> according to the latest fbi statistics -- it's probably early spring -- i know they were pretty widespread. they were in 46 states across the u.s., but the numbers of the whole gang were lower than 10,000. i think they were about 6,000 or 7,000 identified members by the fbi of the ms-13 gang, which is very low when you think about the fact that there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the united states. so that's a very low percentage. for the president to try to paint all undocumented immigrants as members of a gang is preposterous. and especially there is a very good chance that many of those 6,000, 7,000 ms-13 members are actually american citizens themselves. >> we want to bring in cal perry down there in tornillo. cal, what are you seeing down there? why aren't authorities even allowing you to get your eyes on
thee tent cities? >> they won't let us anywhere close. there's buses coming and going. two empty ones go in in the last 30 minutes. i don't know there is a plan in place. i'm quite sure there is not. we went to a public road, county road, about two hours ago. my cameraman zoomed in on the officials there and they started literally building a berm with dirt to block the shot. there's this concerted effort to not let us know what's going on. this facility behind me, what's going to happen to the unaccompanied minors? we saw a group heading out last night. we saw a party ice truck full of ice headed in. i don't think they're prepared for the influx we are seeing here. i think that's pretty clear. the security around the camp -- you can see over my right shoulder -- it is a wired federal facility. basically in the middle of nowhere. it is 500 miles in either direction to the nearest big city america. as jacob said, juarez is just
over my other shoulder. how are they going to handle this going forward? i don't think they know, katy. much of this just seems to be about theater. i'll just pile on to the conversation we're having. seems to be about theater about what kind of america we want to have. there seems to have been a sea change in the last year. it seems as though we're just not putting an emphasis on the rights that we used to. certainly not on individual liberties. certainly not on a day that is international refugee day. we dropped out of the u.n. human rights council. i read a headline in "the hill" newspaper that said china was disappointed america dropped out of the human rights council. >> name the countries that are not in the human rights council as of now. as of today. >> in the u.n. human rights council? >> yeah. who is not in it? i believe it's iran, north korea, and us. >> i don't know. libya? iran? yeah. that makes sense. look, this is the biggest story in the world right now. the reason we're covering it for
an hour is this is the story people around the world are talking about. i got on a plane in london. it's all people at heathrow were talking to me about. what is the international community going to do? the answer is if president trump and the game has changed. the reality is different today than it was a few years ago. for people here, it is just incredibly difficult. educators said, look, you drive a wedge into society when you have these policies. that's going to take years to reverse. not days. not weeks. >> let's reset and remind everybody. we are awaiting something from president trump -- we believe it is probably going to be an executive order, is it a temporary executive order? is it a permanent executive order? we don't know. we don't know if cameras will be allowed inside to watch him sign this executive order. you know how much he likes signing things in front of cameras. what we do know is that he's supposed to go to a campaign rally, head out for it at 3:00 p.m. today in minnesota. he's going to duluth, minnesota. interesting that he canceled the congressional picnic tomorrow because of what's going on.
but he did not cancel his fund-raiser at his hotel last night where they were literally popping champagne as if nothing was going on, or that he's canceling his campaign rally. but again, that's what we are waiting for. we are waiting to find out any details from the white house or the president about this executive order, if he is signing it, when he is signing . we only have broad strokes. but again, i don't believe anything until i see the president say it with his own mouth, until i see the president sign something. chris hayes -- and jacob, i do want to bring in jacob on this. i know you've been reporting on the kids. but have you heard anything more about where the girls are? >> hold on. chris is fired up. >> no, no. go. >> i just warranted to say before since you were resetting, one thing about the executive order, it just is important not to lose sight of what's happened here just looking at the tweet from kirstjen nielsen two days ago saying we have no policy of separating children. full stop. that was a lie.
it w a lie then. and the idea that the president said i can't do it through executive order, this is something congress has to fix. it is the law. all of that to the extent they signed something today to stop this specific part of it which is separating parents and children just shows the fact that they have been lying about the policy from the beginning. not just lying about the policy, they played -- they obfuscated about it. jeff sessions and kirstjen nielsen did a big press circuit about zero tolerance when it first started but they refused to actually own and be honest about what it was doing to children. and now today finally, a little bit of accountability on that score. >> katy, if i could just continue to pick apart i mean the president's immigration and border strategy. >> go ahead. >> xwasbased on the stuff that says, ms-13, jeff sessions said the people of central america are by culture violent and that's part of the reason that he didn't want to use domestic
violence or gang violence as a reason people can come into this country. not far from my house where you grew up as well in los angeles, ms-13 started in koreatown, in los angeles. the 18th veet gang thstreet gan. to pin it on central american culture and say central americans don't have a right to come to this country to declare asylum because they are violent people is a ridiculous, ridiculous concept. it was bill clinton and his administration that deported ms-13 and those gang members from the city of los angeles where it all started in koreatown. next to a 7-eleven. >> jacob soboroff. guys, stick with us if you can. i want to bring in some of the trump white house reporters that we talk to on all sorts of issues. ashley parker is with us. betsy woodruff is with us. jonathan lhnathan lemire has ju us. i believe the thing donald trump fears most is appearing weak which is why he's always
defaulted to the hardest line position on anything. when we were talking about terrorism, he was saying we should bomb the families of terrorism. when we asked him about abortion, he said women should be punished for abortion. muslims should be banned from entering the country. we need to build a wall to keep mexicans out and build a wall or separate families to make immigrants not come across the border. he always defaults toward the hardest line position because he thinks that's what makes him look strong because the hardest line position was what got him the loudest cheers. we heard him say it just a moment ago in the white house when he was meeting with those lawmakers. he said i don't want to look weak. i'd rather look strong. it's weak to allow people to come over the border and keep them together and allow a catch-and-release. i am going to default toward being strong. how does he -- is this potentially why we're seeing so much delay for this executive order? do you think there could be an internal struggle going on right now with the president trying to
figure out how to maintain this idea that he is a strong, powerful man, while also backing down from a policy that nobody likes? >> you're exactly right. this is a president who prides his toughness and sort of virility above all else. in talking to a senior aide, what is he going to do? is he looking at images? does he realize there is a backlash, what is his thinking? they even put it in terms of strength and weakness and said, look, he's not going to go wobbly on this. we are currently reporting it out. to be clear, we don't understand yet the full scope of the debate inside the white house, but our understanding is, yes, not everyone thinks this -- a lot of people do think this executive order is a good idea and he's sort of been beseeched publicly and privately to come out and do something to stop separating the families. but there are others in his administration who absolutely do not want him to do this and they think that he is enforcing the rule of law. they think that is how he should handle immigration. they think it is his mandate as
president and they understand that there are some who could interpret this as him going out and kind of reversing everything he's been saying for the past few days. so there is a bit of a debate and the president has to find a way to do this without seeming to utterly contradict and undercut his administration's public message this entire week. >> i know, chris, you want to bring in betsy woodruff? >> yeah. betsy, i want to ask you about the interplay between the white house and "the hill" is working. that's something you report on a lot. it was fascinating to watch the president go to the gop yesterday. he barely talked, as far as we know, about immigration. he got a standing ovation. he mocked mark sanford who was not there. it is very clear if you look at statements from members of congress, vulnerable house republicans and the senate, they understand this looks terrible. i wonder what the dynamic says between what the republican leadership and the white house has been on this? >> they've been getting hundreds of calls without that much of a
sort of grassroots organized effort to push that response. it's something that's been overwhelming some offices. i think the tension here between the hill and the white house is probably at a level that it hasn't been in recent weeks. the reality is that particularly for these vulnerable republicans, many of which are from states that have high immigrant populations, the images that we have seen, all the reporting, the audio of children streaming who have been separated from their parents, that's something voters really relate to. this story is something that's really urgent and really pressing for voters, particularly for independent and for swing voters. so people on the house, especially house republicans who are worried that their chamber is going to flip are probably more concerned than they have been in recent weeks about the impact of this news cycle on their ability to keep the house under control and they blame the white house for that. they see this very much as the responsibility of the white house, the responsibility of the justice department, essentially taking the republican party and turning it into the party of family separation. >> betsy, hold on though. what was the deal with that
spectacle we just saw in the white house a moment ago with all those republican lawmakers praising the president for dealing with this issue and even lindsey graham who said this was of the president's own making, trying to find a way to be complementary of him. what do you make of that? >> i think there is a concern among certain house republicans, like the ones who are in the white house, about publicly distancing themselves from the president, particularly for some immigration hardliners. but even liths himself has also been critical of this family separation policy and has said it is bad news and needs to be reversed. i think as they are seeing increasing pressure on the white house to make a change we're probably getting a sense that members of the house are hoping that by playing good cop rather than bad cop they can be a productive member oe conversation. this is not something republicans are happy about privately. it deeply concerns them. >> i imagine that the president doesn't actually want to sign this executive order, that the president wants to use this and continue to use this as leverage
to get his wall built. leverage to end visa lottery and chain migration. >> there is no question the president welcomes the fight on immigration. he has told people that we've reported around him the last week or so, he feels like this is a winning issue for him and his party. he thinks this is the number one reason why he's elected. his very tough stance on immigration during the campaign, which of course includes the wall, is what propelled him to victory. he thinks that if republicans are similarly tough before mid-terms, that would be beneficial to them. he is frustrated how little progress there has been on the wall and there's been -- he sees this opportunity as a chance to almost re-establish his credentials as a hawk on immigration believing his base is going to go with him. there has been some push-back because of the imagery of the children. that's something white house aides have been uncomfortable with. >> why won't those key white house aides go on camera and say i'm uncomfortable with this? i'm a little tired of the anonymous official saying we don't really like this, or the
anonymous official saying, well, you know, it was ivanka who really didn't like this. or you know it is the first lady who really doesn't like this. >> it is striking. in fact i think it is telling that last night it was a closed-door meeting of republicans that president trump says to them ivanka says she's worried about this. yet ivanka trump does not do that publicly. we just wrote a story asking that very question -- where is ivanka trump on this? she is someone who said she wanted to be in this west wing as a force for good. she has embraced issues for the family, for children. and yet this is the most perhaps the most moral -- the biggest moral crisis this white house has faced when it comes to those issues and she's at least so far nowhere to be found. >> silent. >> ashley, i wanted to ask you about the -- there is a politics of this that jonathan, betty and katy were just talking about. but there's also a belief system. stephen miller who many people have pointed to as sort of the driver behind this. and if you read the rhetoric, if
you see what the president said the other day, we won't be a migrant center refugee camp, that's very clearly coming from him. he is an ideological believer, he and jeff sessions, in, essentially, making sure that immigration, legal and unauthorized, into the country is choked off, and that the demographics of the country stay the way they are and don't shift in the direction they're shifting. this is a first order deeply held principle of stephen miller since he was a young man at santa monica high school. right? >> yeah, that is right. this is someone -- he had these views, as you said, in high school. i covered congress when he worked for then senator sessions. and this was the key driving issue. he was most passionate about. the way to understand it according to people i've spoken with, is not that he and sessions are necessarily these puppet masters but they are the people to push the president toward his own sort of hard right instincts on immigration.
so our understanding on what happened on this in particular was the president wanted to be, as katy was mentioning before, tough on immigration. he was seeing numbers of people coming over the border. he didn't like that and he sort of went to his aides and said how can we stop this, how can we be tough? i don't want to be seen as weak. so immediately of course stephen miller is ready with a lot of ways that the president can be tough. one of them was implementing this zero tolerance policy. we haven't seen this yet. but one thing we were told, someone said there are a lot of other -- they used this word -- draconian immigration laws dating back decades that stephen miller and sort of -- is looking at that the president could also choose to enforce and not discretionarily look away. people like stephen miller in the west wing are pushing the president to be as tough as possible. >> there is a reason why stephen miller signed on to the campaign. there is a reason why stephen
miller survived the whole campaign. there is a reason why stephen miller has survived this long in the white house. ashley, their views align when it comes to immigration. it wasn't a mistake that donald trump came out and started his campaign by saying mexico, a sending rapists and criminals over the border. it wasn't a mistake. it wasn't something he stumbled on with building the wall. these were plans put in place by sam nunberg and roger stone, what they thought would work in a republican primary, what they thought would work to donald trump's advantage. >> you're right. there has been this myth at various points on immigration that steech millphen miller is kind of this dark puppet master pulling the president to a place where he is not comfortable going, and that's simply not true. the president is not an ideologue. he does not have a lot of firmly-held views. as we both saw on the campaign trail, trade is one and immigration is the other.
so there are moments, for instance, when the president is eager to get a deal, where he may find himself moving toward the center. or moments where he's hearing from, allegedly, his daughter. or he's seen photos that make him a little uncomfortable. so stephen miller in those places can kind of play the role moving the president back. but he's never making the president do something he doesn't want to do or do something he doesn't believe in. this is who donald trump is. this is what he ran on. this is what he believes. this is what he has been saying for decades before he got into politics. >> that's right. miller maybe shaped some particulars of the policy, but donald trump is the person who this comes from. this is what he wants. this is his vision for the country. not just immigration, but he connects it to a larger cultural issue. as we reported recently, he's seen a connection between this and the nfl players with the national anthem. where he condemned those players kneeling. he thought that was unpatriotic. he thought that was good that
his base, sort of "real americans" would respond to that and that he sees a connection with those same type of emotions and feelings with this hardline crackdownality the boa alitt th. >> chris, this reminds me what steve bannon had been saying for a long time, he believes donald trump and republicans will win on identity politics any time he believes democrats or even the media are talking about social issues, talking about social injustice, they believe that that is a good issue for donald trump. >> i think they do believe that. i also think sometimes that's a little bit of spin. i remember them saying after the muslim ban was rolled out in incredibly sloppy fashion to trigger the libs and make people cry because that's what they live for when i think some of that was sort of incredible man testing incompetence. same thing happening here. these aren't people competently carrying out orders at a basic level. the other thing to be clear on here, in terms of the
demagoguery or the base, the president off the record in private meetings refers to countries like heat as s-hole countries. he uses the word "infest" which is a word you use to describe vermin or cockroaches. he said mexico is sending rapists. that is at the core of this whole thing. the vision of the president -- he referred to people as animals that were coming over in the context of a question about ms-13. the president is -- this is who he was from the beginning and what he has said he views as his world view, that the people that are coming from -- to seek refuge here and people who come into the country as both, again, legal or illegal immigrants are a different kind of person, if a person at all.
that view which has a long history in politics is on the rise in many parts of the european right where steve bannon is touring around, where the italian interior minister says he wants a census of the roma so he can kick them out. a german hard-right party is currently pushing for renewed emphasis on preserving the purity of germany against foreign interlopers while being cheered on by the president. this is all a piece of the world view i think the president sincerely holds and connects him to very hard right figures in europe as well. >> do we have the corps lewandowski sound bite from last night? this is cory lewandowski, the president's former campaign manager, on fox news talking about this crisis. just listen. >> i mean, look. i read today about a 10-year-old girl with down syndrome who was
taken from her mother and put in a cage. >> wah, wah. >> did you say wah, wah to a 10-year-old with down syndrome? >> lewandowski's trying to say it he was saying wah wah to the democrat, not to the child. but let's be clear about who corpsly lewandowski is. he is a man who lies a lot, about a lot of things. he goes on television and he lies. he lied about assaulting a reporter. actually lied! said i never touched that reporter. then cameras showed him touching a reporter and grabbing her and loo leaving marks on her arm. he was arrested for that. chris, how does somebody like cory lewandowski remain on a super pac for mike pence? >> well, this is a real question about the moral fabric of the trump administration and the republican party and the nation politics more general. i think the cory lewandowski moment is connected to referring to children as an infestation. fundamentally, there is a
process of rhetorical and conceptual dehumanization of human beings. the woman outside a church observing mass last night who talk to mariana atencio who was turned back after seeking asylum at the border which is her legal right to do. her message to donald trump was "we are human beings." fundamentally that's what is at issue here in the totality of the political conversation that we are having. i think it is why this particular issue with watching children be ripped away from their parents has this kind of effect. because it is an operational way in which the view of someone like cory lewandowski, wah wah, the view of they're sending rapists, they're coming to infest us, we're seeing the consequences. >> it is not just migrants. it is not just them. it's anybody who they believe is going against their policies or
going against what they want. remember donald trump very infamously mocked a reporter who had a disability on the campaign trail. actually mocked the man. did an impression of him. and republicans laughed. i mean i was in that room when it happened. i was at that rally. the crowd laughed. they laughed as he did it. and he didn't face -- he faced a lot of backlash in the press and from people who condemned him for it but he never apologized for it. so the list goes on. let's also -- >> go ahead, chris. >> i just think that part of the question here for republicans on the hill -- you saw steve schmidt sort of announcing today he is leaving the republican party. i've seen really interesting sort of cries of distress from republicans as they are watching this. i don't mean elected officials. i mean just like republican voters and citizens. there's a real request about at
what point does it break in terms of what people feel they can bear, they can tolerate, they can excuse. today it seems an important day in that in terms of what this president is going to come out and what he is going to sign. even if it is essentially a bait and switch, even if it means prolonged indefinite detention for children inside federal facilities. the degree to which some sort of public pressure combined with a lot of sort of attention on this is actually moving him to move back from this policy i think is significant in the trajectory of what you started covering way back in the summer of 2015. >> when people come out and criticize the press for reporting on what the president is doing and what the president is saying, saying that we're too negative about him, that we only want to look at the bad things. the reality is, if you're uncomfortable with what we are reporting about the president, that means you are uncomfortable with what the president is doing. because we're just reporting what the president is doing. here is what he is saying, here is what he is doing. if you don't like it, you don't like the messenger -- it is not that you don't like the
messenger. you don't like the message being sent by the man sending that message. let's bring in gabe gutierrez in brownsville, texas outside a so-called "tender age" shelter. gabe? >> reporter: hi, katy. immigration advocates say this executive order has some makings of a logistical nightmare. we're here in front of a soen had called tender age shelter. some children here, babies really, being housed in this shelter. at least part of the shelter. over the last few weeks after it was retro fitted for that purpose. i'm joined by christina from the equal voice network. first, i want your reaction to two things. first, what is happening inside this tender age shelter? and also, the president's executive order this afternoon. what do you make of it? >> well, with regard to the tender age shelter, we're in brownsville right now. we're about a half-mile from where my office is. about a mile from where i live. this is something that's in our backyards. we had no idea this was
happening. i think ultimately what this illuminates for us as equal voice network is there is no transparency around this process. >> we have spoken to several immigration activists. also a congressman who visited this location earlier this week. but journalists have not been allowed inside. we have not been able to see any pictures from inside as well. from accounts of the immigration attorneys we've spoken with is that the facility itself seems clean but the overall issue is that these young children are being kept here away from their parents. that is very disturbing to some of them. with the president's executive order, since these children are so young, it will be such a challenge first of all to reunite them with their families. how do you think that this could play out in the coming days with so many agencies involved and the fact that more than 2,000 children have been separated from their families? governor cuomo from new york saying more than 100 of them have arrived in new york. how are these families reunited any time soon? >> the truth is that we don't see how the government's prepared for that process.
when a child is separated from their family, they go through customs and border patrol, then they go to health & human services. then they go to the office of refugees resettlement. it is very difficult to track them through all those different agencies. yesterday when we were in court, we saw a father who asked the judge, as he was about to have his case decided upon, when he was going to see his children again. and the judge didn't know. he didn't have an answer. so they decided to reconvene a few hours later to give him an answer. that took a number of hours for the federal government to figure out. and then after they came back together and he told him where his child was and where his wife was, the individual said, when am i going to see them again? no one in the court had an answer. >> how do you think this executive order might change things in terms of moving some of these family units to the front of the lines? what kind of problems could this create for the judicial system? >> the truth is we don't know and what ultimately worries us
is family not being kept together in detention. this is going to keep children under the oversight of i.c.e. there's going to be less oversight than we have right now. i.c.e. has a horrible track record for overseeing children. record for overseeing children. >> thank you for joining us from the equal voice network. we appreciate it. katie and chris, we will send it back to you. >> gabe, thank you very much. i'm here with jacob soboroff. you have been sort of on the trail of finding where girls are being held. the initial facilities that you were able to get into, the biggest one in that brownsville in the walmart that has been decommissioned. what do we know about where girls are being held. >> not much. we know what came in and out an "associated press" report last night that there are three shellers here in the south texas area. the only other thing we know is there are 100 shelters that hhs operates around the country in 17 states. we don't know which ones of
those are housing tender age children, little kids, babies, infants, toddlers. and we don't know where the girls are. we haven't been given photos of them. i asked for photos before weern able to get in to tour the shelters of where the girls are. i talked to a high level hhs officials who offered me photos from 2016, when president obama was president and before this policy was put into place. and we said no thank you. we are continuing to ask because there are 2500 kids that have gone into the hhs system. the girls and the toddlers may stop this executive order from happening. the kids are still the system. we don't know where they are. >> northbound 1 a local television outlet in new york city camped out on a tip last night and they found young girls being taken into a foster care facility in east harlem, new york. clearly had been flown there. katy, we have word now that american airlines d as we said
before one of the thing is the disbursal that's happening. >> all over the country. >> because the hhs facilities are everywhere. they are not just located down here by the border. one of the things that saw happen today, there was a flight attend ant who gave an interview to the houston chronicle. she was told she was on a flight with a soccer team. it was a lie. it was actually children being sent to facilities who had been taken a way from their families. this is sort that has pushed people out throughout the country. and the logistical challenge if and when something gets signed by the president today f immediate logistical challenge is reuniting everyone. >> a soccer team. i'm wondering why they won't "mtp daily" us images from today, from 2018. gatty schwartz is in guatemala. he has spoken to a mother who was deported but her child was left in texas. that mom is suing. your shot is going in and out
for our viewers. hopefully we wille be able to get the report in. >> we are having some connectivity issues here. i'm on my cell phone. pardon me for the connectivity there. behind me this is basically the normal immigrant -- >> so close. unfortunately, i believe we lost -- yeah, we lost him. rooel we will try to get out. >> just in jump in katy. >> he was going to speak about ms. ortiz, who is suing the federal government because she was deported without her 7. >> we do know multiple cases in which parents have been -- they have been apprehended at the border, put into the d.o.j. funnel. they have been charged, pled to that charge, they have been issued deportation notices and they have been dert poed all while their children are in the possession -- are in the custody
of the american government through the office of refugee resettlement. they are now back in their home country with their child still in u.s. custody. that happened on a number of occasions. that's another thing we don't know a complete answer to about the number of children who are in that situation. >> if you think about the people being dertd poed, these are people who made the most desperate journey in their life. these aren't people with an attorney who can call up the united states and say track down my child. >> that's if they can find a phone an if they speak the language. a lot of folks that are gown in guatemala as gadi has been reporting speak dialects, not just spanish, they speak dialects. it's unclear if anybody in the u.s. knows how to communicate in those dialects. again, to remind everybody, we had been expecting the president to sign this executive order at
2:00 p.m. today. then it was moved back. we have never really gotten a good timing on it. it is 2:54 right now. he is supposed to be leaving at 3:00 p.m. to go to a campaign rally, today of all days n duluth, minnesota, unclear what going to happen in terms of the signing of the executive order. to talk more about the legality of all of that and what could happen if the president signs an executive order that keeps children and families together but in detention for an indefinite period of time. i want to ask former u.s. attorney and msnbc contritor barbara mcquaid. what happens? what are the legal problems if the president decides to ignore the flores rule? >> well, you know, i think in the short-term we would see maybe an end to this crisis because families wouldn't be separated. but if families are going to be detained for more than 20 days together that would be a violation of case law from this
floors settlement. i don't know that this executive order is going to solve the problem. i also read it is not going to end the zero tolerance prosecution. it's just going to end the separation of families. the zero tolerance is a foolish allocation of resources and is actually making our country less safe because if all forces are focused on misdemeanor crimes of illegal entry that means they are being diverted from more serious crimes like drug trafficking. >> in mccallen, mass criminal prosecutions are occurring. they are talking about ramping up from 70 people being proce processed a day through pleas. now it's up to 160. they want to get to 380 by august. what would that mean -- if you were running that office and you
had people who were trying to track down officers and money laundering or serious federal offenses and you had to go from 70 of these a day to 350 and what it would mean for your office in terms of the resources? >> you would have to reassign prosecutors from other units in the office to focusing on this. just to put it in perspective. in a given year the department of justice prospects about 70,000 case f. the deputy is going to continue to prosecute every illegal entry case there would be will 300,000 cases. that is more than we currently have capacity to do. unless we are prepared to hire lots of new prosecutors we don't currently have the resources to do it. even if everybody deposits everything that means prosecutors in those border districts are not going to be prosecuting other cases which i believe are more serious than misdemeanor offense of illegal entry. gun trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism, public corruption, gang violence, all of those thing are going to be
on hold while officers focus on the misdemeanors where people typically get time served as a sentence. >> thank you for that. according to julian ainsley, there are currently 335,000 beds funded under i.c.e. for family detention where women and their children could now be held presuming that the parent court hearing happens according to plan. at that rate, though, assuming that all stays the same, those 333a beds are empty, they are likely to run out of space at the current rate in eight days. eight days. barbara mcquaid. thank you for joining us and for sticking arnold. we appreciate it. chris mentioned a moment ago there are airlines -- american airlines refusing to take migrant children from the border to other parts of this country where there are detention centers that can hold them. dhs has sounded. it's unfortunate that american
air, united and fly frontier no longer want to help. despite being provided facts on the issue these airlines clearly do not understand our immigration laws and long standing devastating loopholes that caused the crisis in our southern border, buckling to a false media narrative only exacerbates the problems at our border and puts more children at risk from traffickers. we hope the airlines would be part of the solution. interesting response from dhs digging their heels in on this issue certainly. i want to thank everybody for sticking around with us this our hour, jonathan, ashley, jacob, goddy, halle jackson, chris hayes thank you to you as well. you are going to be there, you will continue to be there, you
will be there at 8:00 p.m. eastern tonight to continue the special runch. catch jacob soboroff on sunday on "dateline" for an hour long in-depth report on the border and what is happening down there. after months of traveling 2,000 miles at the border jacob has this. the dividing line. it airs this sunday, 7:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. that will wrap things up for this hour. i'm katy tur. kasie hunt picks things up now from washington. high. >> hi katy. govern to awful you. i'm kasie hunt in for ali very well she. tender age shelters housing babies separated from their families. it seems that was the tipping point for president trump who made an about-face on his administration's initial policy. any moment now we are expecting the president to sign an executive order ending the policy of separating children from their parents. then he will head off to minnesota for a make america great again rally. the president's cabinet members have been making a push for coreio