tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC June 20, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
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 congressional movement on immigration on capitol hill all
day long. at this hour we are expecting homeland security secretary kirsten nielsen to meet with republican lawmakers. attorney general jeff sessions was there earlier. the moves by the trump administration today come after days of national and international outrage. and they fly in the face of what the administration has been claiming all along. >> congress and the courts created this problem, and congress alone can fix it. >> we need ten votes. we can't get them from the democrats. wait, wait. you can't do it through an executive order. >> it turns out the president can fix it after all. joining me with the latest is nbc muse white house correspondent kristen welker and national security and justice reporter julia ainsley. kristen let's start with you. we were expected the president to have already signed this executive order. it seems as though that hasn't happened yet.
i'm interested to know the latest there. also what does your reporting say about what the tipping point was for this president? >> in terms of what is happening here at the white house, moments ago the group of reporters referred to as the pool was just called back. presumably, president trump is going to be signing that executive order within the next several moments, if not within the next half hour. so we will of course bring that as soon as it happens. we'll have that reporting, and hopefully those images momentarily. so that is just breaking here as we come on the air n. terms of what the tipping point was, we are trying to drill down on the exact tipping point. but let's look at the past 24 hours. lawmakers have been increasingly criticizing this president this policy saying it has to end saying these family separations have to end. democrats calling for kiersten nielsen to resign. republican lawmakers being very clear this policy needs to
enthat there can't be children held in cages at the border. the criticism was bipartisan, and it was mounng. it went beyond capitol hill. you had the pope weig in overnight. you had ceos way weighing in. you had the united methodist church essentially criticizing jeff sessions saying that his actions amount to child abuse. os a member of that church. so you had this ground swell of opposition to those heart breakimages that we've all been watching throughout the week. that played a role. so the political pressure, very intense for this president. and then there was personal pressure as well. of course you reported last night that when president trump was on capitol hill he told lawmakers that he discussed the images with his daughter ivanka trump. and then we learned today that the first lady, marshall trump was also pressing the president behind the scenes saying this has to stop, you have to put an end to this. of course what is so striking is that the president, and the dhs
secretary has been saying for days congress has to act. congress is the only body that can effectively enthis. well, ultimately the president is putting an end to it himself. he is the one when started this zero tolerance policy. what we know about the executive order that he is expected to sign, it's to the going to end the zero tolerance policy. it keeps that in place. which mean that all adults who cross the border unlawfully will still be subject to prosecution. the difference under this executive order is that they won't be separated from their children. they will be held with their children. overriding a law that was put into effect back in 1997 in saying look children will stay with their parents even as they go through this long process of so that is what we were expecting. and of course nothing is done until it's done in this white house. we are all waiting to see what the actual text has to say. >> of course, and that actually is the perfect segue into julia ainsley. you have new reporting about what happens next. because at the end of the day as
kristen points out this executive order does not end the zero tolerance policy. everyone will continue to be prosecuted. which puts a serious strain on the resources. how is the government going to essentially house all of these families that are pouring across the border? what kind of numbers are we looking at? >> i would be happy to share the numbers i just got with you. i understand from the current budget for this year there are over 3,335 beds allocated for family detention centers. i understand a lot of those are already full. and you are looking at between 300 and 400 people coming across as families every day. under that rate, these places would fill up in about eight days and they would need more space. there are ways that they could build more temporary cent tent cities like we saw for the children. as we reported this morning, tent cities cost almost $800 per night, about $500 more than it would be per person per night to
keep these people in permanent facilities. there is another piece of this, show. someone pointed out to me to look at the ryan b.a. bill, if this passed. there is $7 billion set aside that can be used on family detention centers. if something hib this passed -- it could be that during the negotiations for this someone had the foresight to say if we are going the defy court decisions that said that we couldn't hold children for longer than 20 days, in other words if we are going to detain children indefinitely with their parents we are going to need to drastically increase family detention sides, and that ryan ril bill would do it. it could be the work around that the president needs. right now from what we understand with this executive order they are going to run into hurdle logistically and legally if they want to prosecute every family coming across the border and hold these people indefinitely. >> julia, could you explain for our viewers, this executive order would affect something
called the flores settlement. essentially the u.s. government would ignore that. what does that mean exactly? >> in 1997, there was a settlement in a decision at a federal level that said you cannot hold children for longer than about 20 days. that was sort of nebulous at the time and was reinterpreted in 2016 when the obama administration attempted to hold families for a longer period of time. a judge went back and said that 1997 decision means that the obama administration is in fact holding children too long. 20 days is really the settled time limit on how long you can keep children that really upset how the obama administration had planned to do this. they were planning on keeping families together, and putting the cases for families up at the top of the docket so their cases to easily basketball adjudicated. if that sounds familiar, if it sound like something you heard today it's because it came out of president trump's mouth. he wants to keep families together for long periods of
time and move their cases up to the top of the court docket. but it wasn't legal in 2016. it's unclear hoits' going to be legal now. >> julia ainsley thank you for the clear and succinct explanation of something that's usually difficult to get your head around. kristen welker we will be back with you once we hear that the president has signed that order and of course we'll see you tonight on nicely news. the president is getting ready to sign that order ending family separation but the debate over immigration reform is far from over. the house is expected to vote on a bill tomorrow that the white house appears to support. here's how speaker ryan explains what's in it. >> this is very good compromised legislation. not only solves the child separation issue at the border, it also solves the border, solves daca, solves a lot of our he can broen immigration parts. right now we are focused on passing this legislation that's coming on the floor tomorrow.
>> bill officially titled the border security and immigration reform act is a combination of bills and compromises among republican members only we should note. i'm joined by one of the sponsors, congressman curbelo. you have been a driving force behind this legislation. first i want to ask you about the president's executive order. during do you think this is going to stand the test of law? do you agree with this decision? >> it's something we are looking forward to because we do not want to see these separations of children from their families. if there are legal complications that's what congress is for. we should change the laws so that this administration can do what i heard the obama administration wanted to do, which is to keep families together while they wait for determinations on their immigration cases.
i think most americans can agree if we can build facilities that are family friendly where parents can be with their children while the immigration courts are working through their cases, that would be the ideal situation. family separation is always difficult. it's never good for anyone. we hope that we can move our legislation in part so we can solve this issue and also so we can solve all the other issues like providing a future for dreamers and securing the border and a number of other priorities that are in this legislation. >> congressman, do you have 218 votes to pass this legislation tomorrow? >> i don't say -- i wouldn't say we are at that number yet but i would say we are getting closer by the hour. and i would encourage all of my colleagues, republicans and democrats, to consider this legislation. there are a lot of people who have wade lip service to border security in this being over the years. there are a lot of people who have paid lip service to a solution for dreamers in this building over many years.
and no one has anything to show for it. 13 years of immigration reform didn't, and we have nothing. this is the time to act. this is the time where we can do right by dreamers. we can do right by immigrant families that are coming across the border. and we can do right by the american people by keeping them safe, securing our borders, and building a more coherrin immigration system that better compliments our economy. >> congressman, i want to ask you to kind of pull out the lens a little bit and think a little bit more broadly about how this has all played out. steve schmidt, a prominent republican voice who ran john mccain's pregnant campaign for a time kate out overnight and said he can't be a member of the republican party anymore after this debacle that it is not the party of lincoln that the act this is president took were unperson that and that is it has become the party of trump. i'm wondering for you, you come
from a swing district, you represent a community strongly impacted by many of these issues. do you still feel comfortable in this republican party? >> we really have only two parties in this country. we need to be strong and viable. my party has flaws, the democratic party has flaus. i'm trying to improve my party, get the party to the point where we can solve issues affecting the country whether it's immigration or others. these are controversial issues, issues of passion. a lot of members have been destructive over the years on both sides. i will remind you that the democratic party and its members didn't allow me to even join the congressional hispanic caucus even though i am hispanic. both parties need to improve greatly in order the regain the trust and confidence of the american people. >> congressman i apologize. we want to report now some breaking news. president trump has signed the
executive order that ends the practice of separating families, children from their parents. we want to remind you this executive order does not end the zero tolerance policy that of course led to what we have been seeing playing out in touch tragic fashion over the course of the last few days. the zero tolerance policy will remain in effect. what will change under this executive order is whether children are allowed to remain with their parents in detention centers run by the department of homeland security while their parents are awaiting an immigration decision. so this executive order essentially overrides some of the decisions that were made by courts. we have kristen welker with us now at the white house for more on this. kristen, what have you got for us at the white house? >> we are getting a readout of what the president said as he signed this executive order.
hopefully we will see the tape momentarily. but let me tick through some of the headlines and some of what trump said. he said we are signing an e.o. i consider to be very important. else' about keeping families together biwhile ensuring we have powerful border security. we are going to have very vong borders but we are going to keep families together. here's annteresting part of this. he said i didn't like the sifgts families being separated we are working very hard on immigration reform. acknowledging part of this calculation is that this got to him personally. that squares with everything we have been reporting over the past 48 hours. the fact that ivanka trump, the first lady melania trump have been speaking to president trump behind the scenes saying this has to end, these images of children being held in cages can not stand. the president also answered a couple of questions. he did revert back to some of what you would exempt him to say, saying this has been a problem going back 60 years now.
he defended saying look this is something that we saw under former president obama. of course under former president obama their families who were detained but we didn't see this scale of children being separated from their families. he ended by saying we have to have strong borders. that is the crux of this. this has been a campaign promise. thoos why he was digging into the fight insisting that only congress could resolve this crisis at the border. but today he reversed course to some extent, signed with the stroke of a pen an executive order that's going to end these family separations. >> kristen, i think it's important to point out, i mean the president at one point was critical -- story, we are going to go to the president. >> while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border ask. border security will be equal if not greater than previously. so we are going to have strong, very strong borders, but we are
going to keep the families together. i didn't lik the sight or the feeling of families being separated. it is a problem that's gone on for many years, as you know, through many administrations. and we are working very hard on immigration. it's been left out in the cold. people haven't dealt with it. and we are dealing with it. step by step. just like we dealt with north korea. we dealt with iran. we dealt with an economy that was heading in the wrong direction. we dealt with a lot of different problems. this is one that has been going on for many decades. so we are keeping families together, and this will solve that problem. at the same time, we are keeping a very powerful border, and it continues to be a zero tolerance. we have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally. with that, i would ask mike pence, vice president, if he would like to say anything. >> thank you, mr. president.
and i think what the president has made clear is we believe it is a false choice between whether we are a country of law and order, a country with borders, and a country that demonstrates the compassion and the heart of the american people and respect for families. by taking this action, the president will make it possible for us to continue to engage in enforcing the law against individuals who violate our law, come into our country illegally, but now will be able in that prosecution in the immediate days forward to keep families together as that goes forward. but we are calling on congress to change the laws in this record. and in a broad range of areas that will secure our borders, and give us strength and confidence that we are once again going to take the steps necessary to end the crisis of illegal immigration in america. >> i think the word compassion comes into it. but it's still equally as tough, if not tougher. secretary nielsen? >> i thank you for your
leadership, sir. we look forward and expect the house to act this week. we ask them to do their job. the laws need to be changed. this is a problem that president after president has dealt with for decades. this one is willing to stand up and pick it. we ask congress to do their part. thank you sir for your leadership. >> thank you very much. great job. okay. you are going to have a lot of happy people. can . >> it's been going on for 60 years. 60 years. nobody has taken care of it. nobody's had the political courage to take care of it. but we are going to take care of it. it's been going on for a long time. >> do you think you are backing down? >> no, no, the border is just as tough. but we do want to keep families together of the this is a problem.
if you look at some of those horrible scenes from a few years ago, to me they were horrible scenes. they were just terrible. and that was during the obama administration. other administrations have had the same thing. we are keeping the family together. so this is it. and also, there may be some litigation. we are also wanting to go through congress. we will be going through congress. we are working on a much more comprehensive bill amount of lot of good things are happening toward immigration and proper immigrati immigration. but we have to have strong borders. and ultimately we want to see it done right. and it will be done right. but what we have done today is we are keeping families together. the borders are just as tough, just as strong. they can come in through ports of entry if they want. that's whole different story. and that's coming in through a process. and the process is what we want. so i want to thank you all very much. i think this is something that --
thank you very much, everybody. we will get the wall. we will get the wall done. yes? >> ivanka trump show you photos of the children being separated. >> no, ivanka feels very strongly. my wife feels very strongly. i feel very strongly about it. i think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it. we don't like to see families separated. at the same time we don't want people coming into our country illegally. this takes care of the problem. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> that was the president, vice president pence, and homeland security security kir ten nielsen. with me now, chris hayes the host of all in here on msnbc. he is in mcallen, texas. he will be with us for the remainder of the office. back with me, kristen welker is at the white house. what a switch, the president sitting there behind the desk signing this executive order saying anybody with a heart
would feel this way after he said previously that we can't have immigrants infesting america. >> it is a remarkable reversal because in addition to the points you are making i have been talking to senior administration officials behind the scenes who were adamant as of this morning this president wasn't going to back down. this is a reversal. there is no other way to look at this. the president just days ago saying that there was no way for him to take action to resolve this crisis on his own, that congress alone had to act. of course we put the question to him. he put the zero tolerance policy in place. so he could reverse it with a single phone call. but the president, his dhs secretary who you saw there in the oval making the case that, no, congress had to resolve this issue. now today the president taking matters into his own hands because the pressure just became too intense. it became too bipartisan. you had criticism from democrats, yes, but republicans
as well who said this cannot stand. and then you heard him reference, perhaps some of the most significant pressure of all coming from his own daughter ivanka tlurump and the first la who has been according to a source familiar with the matter been discussing with him behind the scenes that the situation cannot stand. the president reversing course. importantly from a political perspective not reversing course on his zero tolerance policy. you heard him pressed, is he backtracking? he said no, we still have some of the toughest borders. he can make the case the zero tolerance policy is still in fact and use that to pry to pressure congress to get something done. will it work? we will have to see. >> chris hayes take fous the ground there in texas. how has the sense changed on the ground since the news that the president was going to do this? what will people face?
i mean there is so much to resolve from what has already happened, children who could potentially remain separated. we had a former dhs obama official say some of these separations could be permanent. then there is the question of running out of space. >> first all i would love to see the tech to the executive order. this is something the white house will often do announce something and not send us the text. it's hard to know what to make of it. i don't have the details. i don't know if they have released it yet. i was in federal court in mcallen today around the noontime break. we were told usually there are hearings in the morning and hearings in the afternoon when they are being in the people who they are mass of the wering for misdemeanor unlawful entry. there is some speculation that was in advance of this order because they wanted to see what it would do. the big question becomes logistically on the ground here. two questions. one, does cbp stop what they are
doing right now, not just child separation. there is a question whether they will continue to turn people away at the ports of entry. does that change? does the executive order -- homeland security has to match across 2600 kids those kids with their parents, get them together. that is no small feat. there is no unified tracking system. those are three different bureaucracies and they are spread across the entirety of the united states. that now becomes a priority logistically for the agencies to undertake. >> chris, do we have a sense of how many parents have been deported while their kids have remained in the united states? we have seen a couple of news reports. do we have any sense of the scope of that problem? >> i'm sorry.
i had something in my ear there. will you we pete the question. >> sure. no problem. we have seen some newspaper reports of children who have remained in the united states while their parents have been deported. do we know what t sco of that problem is, how many kids there are like that, and how we may solve that problem? >> that's a great question. we have that -- those stories as individual interviews and reporting that various people have done with those families. gabe -- goddy schwartz was down in guatemala and has a woman that that happened to. the short answer is we have no idea. in fact, we have been given very little data. we have been hounding them. the hhs and dhs will respond with top line numbers but the answer to that question is not only do we not know as a public what the answer to that question is, it is unclear if the government knows. that's scary thing here. is the thought of people getting lost in the system.
now that the order apparently -- again, haven't seen text -- we don't answer that question. don't know if the government can answer that question. >> kristen welkerities let's talk about the politics of this and how we got to this point. i feel like you and i have had conversations on the air over and over again about policies the democrats have criticized this president for. there have been a lot of calls of critics of republicans to hey stand up and say more to president trump. this was finally the thing that got the president's party to say no way, we are not going to go along with this. >> because the images were just so powerful. and i think that they realized that were a humanitarian perspective it couldn't stand these images of children in cages. frankly, from the political standpoint it couldn't stand because they are facing midterm elections which are going to be
very tough. republicans are concerned about losing seats and potentially losing the house. even though this issue energizes some lelts of the president's base. there is no doubt about that. when he was speaking yesterday to business leaders he was met with applause egging him on and encouraging hip to keep fighting. however the sense was there just wasn't enough support for what was happening. and the fact that there was frankly confusion about where these children were going to go, what their fate would become, of that adding to all of the consternation around this. add to that significant missteps. the dhs secretary last night dining out at a mexican restaurant. she was heckled by protesters. she ultimately left early, before eating. then of course a trump adviser, outside adviser, corey lewandowski, his former campaign manager making troubling comments as it related to a girl who was separated from her
family who had down's syndrome. those types of political missteps i think compounded the pressure that the president was feeling to do something. so finally, finally he did take some action today. >> certainly that pressure was very easy to feel on capitol hill. i couldn't find anybody frankly that was willing to defend this poli its face. craze hayes you have caught up with jacob soboroff who has been doing incredible reporting from the border. what is he hearing? >> i want to bring in jacob in a second. first i want to make sure that folks are clear having watched the president sign that that of the actual history here. if you watched that clip of the president you would be forgiven for thinking that someone just informed him that the policy he signed and executed was designed to rip children away from their parents. that was the point of the policy. in 2016 we obtained notes internal to dhs from a whistle blower wofs disgusted a year ago
when they started floating the policy. they knew they would be creating a humanitarian disaster that no president had ever done. so they held off and didn't do it. they pulled back. everyone inside the architecture of the federal government from jeff sessions to kristen nielsen to mike pence to donald trump all of the people in that white house knew what they were doing when they put into effect this policy separating children from their parents. let's be clear. it wasn't that the president just found out this was happening or ivanka just showed him pictures. it's clearly been the case they have known for the last six or eight weeks precisely what they were doing. >> something about this chris tells me it may not get better for the kids in the immigration system watching the president today. you may not have kids ripped apart from their families but
they may now be sitting in indefinite i.c.e. detention. we don't know what is going to happen with these kids on top of the 2500 kids disbursed throughout the country. the thing that strikes me most about this, is that the president nor the secretary of homeland security has been anywhere near this place. the secretary of hold never showed up at the facility at the center of this. the president is going the exact opposite direction tonight from the border. if he wanted to make a statement how he wants to change things down here he would have shown up here. instead he is going to minnesota. >> chris on the point to underscore what jacob was saying, julia ainsley made the point earlier in this hour that what they are proposing to do under this executive order is exactly what the obama administration wanted to do in 2016 so they wouldn't have to separate these kids and it was illegal because of this indefinite detention. >> we should be clear.
there is pattern in two respects. one is that the family detention that was pursued by the obama administration in 2014 through 2016 was essentially struck down under the consent degree called flores in 20 is where they said you can't hold people for 20 days because you can't hold kids. here's what the trump executive order is setting up, a collision course for the courts. we have seen this twice before. it looks a similar to me as the travel ban 1.0 rescinded, followed up with 2.0, rescinded. followed up by 3.0. we have a daca rule which is awaiting further litigation. what we may wind up with here is an judicial holding pattern because it would seem this executive order is in violation of a court order. >> a big question is what
happens to children already separated from their children. >> i'm joined by two experts. dr. kraft, i wanted to go to you first. you are one of the few who has been allowed inside a shelter forrist these migrant kids. what did you see behind the scenes there? what impact do you think it's having on the young children? >> i was able to go into one of the shelters in aim of 2018 and got to see what was happening with the kids in there. and my first recollection was going into the room where they kept the toddlers. normally when you are in a room with toddlers, they are happy and rambunctious and running around and playing with toys. and this room was eerily silent. i have to tell you, there were toys and books and cribs. and it was very homey looking.
but the kids weren't saying anything and the only noise you heard was in the middle of the room from a bill 18 month old girl who was just scream asking crying and wailing and couldn't be consoled. and the worker who was there next to her was trying to give her toys and trying to give her books and trying to comfort her. but wasn't allowed to pick her up and wasn't allowed to console her. we looked at that really abnormal room with these very quiet and one crying toddler and knew that these kids were traumatized and what they needed was their parents. >> dr. redler, can you take a little bit about the physiological and psychological fix of what dr. kraft is describing? >> it's important to understand that these children who have been stressed like this have had a tremendous release of stress hormones, court sole and the other fight or flight hormones.
the problem is that these stress hormones released into the fwrans and other system organs of the body, especially in a growing child, are very dangerous. they can cause actually permanent changes in the architecture of their brain and so on. i think one point i just want to emphasize about this is that the stress and trauma is not in any way shape or form over for these 2600 or more children that are going to be there. what was chilling about what chris was reporting is the fact that the reunification process is fraught. i don't think the government knows where the parents and the children are to be matched. of the' going to be a long time. during that period of uncertainty i think we are going to be seeing more children with more stress. the other thing is i think what we've seen revealed now is a really important underlying reality for this administration, which is somehow a disregard of the human impact of some of these policies they are making. in some ways i'm telling people it's almost like a war on children that he would saw here
played out for clearly what appeared to be political reasons. and i'm really hoping that beyond getting the signature on this particular executive order that the congress does address all of this much more definitivecally, that we deal with the zero tolerance situation and make sure that things going forward -- this is not just an ad hoc, one time and one-off situation that the president is addressing. we need a much must have better understanding of what we do and how it matters to children. it's really, really important. it reflects a lot about what our country is about. as many people have been saying. and more than that, it shows a disregard for children who will in fact, many of those kids be part of our future and the recalled would's future. we have got to do better by them. i think every effort possible should be taken to make sure reunification happens and happens fast. >> dr. redler just really
quickly, what would the impact be on kids who are detained with their families? >> being detained with your parents is a heck of a lot better than being detained as a child by his or herself. i think that's okay for the time being. i'm glad that's happening. but i think the whole idea here is to get their cases adjudicated rapidly and find permanent renormalization of life for these children and their parents. they came here to escape horrible environments in their home countries. we need to be welcoming to them and make it possible for them to survive and thrive here. now obviously we have to have laws about immigration and a lot of things need to be straightened out including daca. in the meantime, yeah, it's better to be with your parents, there is no question about that. but then what? and the then what is something i think is of concern to me and my colleagues and pediatricians and everyone else who thinks about and takes care of children.
really for americans. i think it's clear now that this has a big impact on the public and i hope that we think very carefully about our kids. >> doctors, thank you both so much for your time. i appreciate it. let's take you now to one of these tent cities to show you exactly what it is we have been talking about. cal perry is in for neotexas. we are hearing reporting here at nbc our julia ainsley that even this added capacity may be stretched to the limit really quickly. >> stretched very quickly. buses have continued to come throughout the day. two full ones that i counted. we know on friday there were roughly 200 unaccompanied minors in the camp behind me. 18 tents. there was on friday. somewhere between 300 or 400 now. we are just not being given the
information. what happens now? there was a protest earlier today. people were happy to hear about this executive order but their question, especially by school administrators who were out here in force is what happens now? what you have been talking about. clearly the system is stressed. you talked about the cost. we are talking about a cost of $5 million a month to run a facility like that even just at a moderate sort of level. the question now of what happens to these kids, listen, if the agencies were not equipped to handle it when the kids arrived how are they going to be equipped to handle it now. certainly that's the concern especially in a community like this one along the border of course. >> chris hayes, jump in. >> i just want to say there is a really key part of the executive order, the text of which we have now obtained. in one of the provisions of the executive order it instructs the department of defense to make available space on which to detain these families together. so what that means is -- what cal is standing outside of which
isn't department of defense territory but is federal land is a few of the future. what we are doing to see if this goes into effect is essentially tent cities and camps family detention camps set up on federal property and federal military bases to take these families who again will be together but may be detained indefinitely if -- that is if a court allows them. so that appears to be what's going to happen next based on the text of the executive order. what you see in the shot with cal. what cal is describing, that is a vision of a future. according to what's suggested by the executive order. >> cal perry. what are the conditions like if you are living in a tent city? what is your life like? >> it's 110 degrees here in the shade. so locals are telling me it's like 120, 125. the tents are air conditioned. but you can't get outside to play. the first day the crew was here
we saw minors playing soccer for 20 minutes but then they went inside. the thing that's chilling about it, frankly is when you stand here and youcity buses arriving. it's all -- see the buses arriving. it's all kids on the bus. chris is saying the future of this is going to be on air force bases across the south part of which is going to limit access to the media. we can't get anywhere close to it. and the reason of course is because the administration doesn't want to lose control of the narrative. >> we are limited enough with these shelters, but we are also getting reports that the department of homeland security is flying minors to other states, michigan is writing about the detroit free press has a story of an 8 month old and an 11 month old. there is so much about the scope this problem that we can't even see. >> we can see have little of it. it's sort of a pin hole we are looking through. i mentioned new york 1, a local television station in new york
found kids being transferred to an east harlem facility in the milled of the night last night. buffalo, in chicago. we have women detained away from their kids in washington state in federal prison. there are facilities outside tucs tucson. there were facilities in california in irvine. this is spread across the country. we are going to see if it can be implemented. we saw with you the muslim travel ban and we have seen it is the directive getting out ahead of the logistical capacity of the agencies charged with implementing them. now the hhs and dhs is off the hook to find ids beds. they still have unaccompanied minor but the population should go down. now they have to get to work finding all the children, locating their parents and linking them back together. that is not a small task. from my initial scan of the
executive order i didn't see any specific direction. jacob, unless you did. >> no. something that occurred to me, if the administration doesn't get an exemption from the floors settlement, they basically have 20 days to figure this out. >> a great point. the executive order directs the attorney general to petition the judge who oversees that consent degree to be allowed out of the 20 day part of that consent degree. >> if they don't, they have 20 days to literally set up tent camps on army bases around the country. >> right. there is also just a question of what the court is going to do, right? i mean, this is facially an assault on one of the conditions of the flores consent decree what was the ruling in 2017 that the administration habit poing. to this is going to be litigated very quickly. we would imagine the plaintiffs in floor are going to file a motion quickly as well. >> if we wanted to get ahead in terms of places families may be detained together they were looking at fort bliss in tech as
one of the potential places. obviously an d.o.d. installation here in texas to have hhs set up a tent camp. if you are wondering where they are going to go next that should be witness place to look. >> family detention was put into effect by the obama administration. it was decried by lawyers and organizers. they had to back off of it, especially indefinite family detention for a lot of reasons. being ripped from your parents is irreparable but being indefinitely detained as a child a 2 or 3-year-old in a tented camp on an army base is not a particularly excellent experience for anyone involved. >> if they have 20 days to solve this problem, if my math is correct that puts us just a couple of days after the fourth of july. cal perry, did you want to jump in. yeah. no. and welcome to america, where
your first look at the country is a u.s. military base. i mean -- >> right. >> yeah. quite a point. the detroit free press as he mentioned reports that foster care employees in michigan are alarmed over the number of children arriving in foster facilities because of trump's policy. the paper reports the average age of these children is 8 years old. and the youngest is just a few months. with me now, the program's supervisor for the transitional foster care program at bethany. hannah mills. >> can you walk me through what has changed in your organization's day to day work? what kinds of children are you seeing coming to you now? how is that different? with this executive order signed what happens next for you? >> sure. so we have previously been taking in these clients, unaccompanied children. since we have gotten -- excuse me, since the zero tolerance
policy has been signed the number of younger children has exponentially increased. our first and foremost kind of priority is that children are with families. so we do our best to ensure that if these families have to be separated at this time we can ensure that these children are at least in loving and nurture foster homes. the aim -- we have gotten younger children. we are currently serving like i said the average age is 8 years old. we have a few that are just a few months old. we are seeing it's challenging to make contact with parents when they are we detained. sometimes lasting over 30 days. and that is devastating for a child. when they are not able to speak with their parents. >> what was the communication
like from the government agency that's contracting you or the general contractor that has this contract about what was coming down the line? in what ways were you prepared that you were going to be getting kids that were in a different situation than those you had been dealing with? did you know all of that? was that communicated to you? >> no. frankly, the family separations were happening even before the zero tolerance policy came in place. we have various clients who have been separated as early that i can remember as of october 2017. so this isn't something new that we have been seeing. it's been happening. it definitely increased in numbers once the zero tolerance policy was signed. however, we weren't really given communication what that would look look. i think was unknown how it would change the implement of our programming. so we were able to kind of adapt to the needs as we were seeing
the change in clients as they were coming. >> so, again, i just want to be clear, to follow up and make sure i understand this. there was no official communication that said look you are going to start getting 8 month olds or 2-year-olds or 4-year-olds and we want to make sure that you have the capacity and the facilities in place to care for these younger children and children who suffered this kind of trauma? none ofs that was communicated ahead of time? >> so prior to the zero tolerance policy we had been prepared to be able to accept younger clients. again, just not at the same rate as what we started to see of a the zero tolerance policy. once it was signed and the number had increased. again, this was kind of just a notice that was given to us of the zero tolerance policy. i think it was unknown as to what change we would see in the clients that were coming. >> gotcha. >> can i ask you, hannah. the president keeps saying over and over again that congress
needs to do something, needs to act. are you getting any resources right now from the government? what do those resources look like? and what would you specifically urge congress to do in this situation? >> you know, the alternative to family separation is not family detention. children and families deserve the dignity to live in the community and to if they are seeking asylum there should be ways for us to support them in the community while we are processing those claims. we have kind of support through our contracted services of this program, we have an ample amount of licensed clinicians and counsellors and teachers and support staff that we are able to provide for the critical needs of these children. as mentioned before, the level of trauma with these children is incredibly high. a part of that is also working with our foster families and ensuring that they are
knowledgeable of how to deal with trauma, what does trauma look like? how do we respond to that in order to support these children through this really really difficult time in their life. >> hannah mills with the transitional foster care program at bethany christian services. you are doing god's work. thank you for your time. i'm joined by bill nelson, florida senator who tried to visit a vilt in homestead florida yesterday but was denied entry by health and human services. senator thank you for your time today. i would like to ask you first though to respond to the president's executive order. this was just signed. what in your view does this do to address the problem? what should congress do next? >> i just got a glance at it. you just pointed out one of the problems. the court order. this goes back to a court case in 1999 called flores.
that court order says a child cannot be in detention for more than 20 days. the president's executive order today is obviously litigated and so we have this inconsistency with what the law is, no more than 20 days for the detention of a child. the president's order says he's going to detain them, but you're going to detain them as a family, and it could be for a very long time. now, the other thing that is not apparent in the president's order, there are 2,300 children in this country that have been separated from their immediate family. that is not addressed, that they should be reunited with those families. how many of them -- they're not going to be able to find their parents. this is what we're facing.
>> senator, the house of representatives is going to vote tomorrow on a bill that addresses this to a certain degree, but also makes another -- a number of other sweeping immigration policy changes. are there any circumstances under which you could vote in favor of that bill if it indeed passes the house and comes to the senate? >> well, if it were the version that i filed along with every other democrat -- >> but the compromise bill that's in the house today, sir, could you support that bill? >> i don't know what's all in that. let's see what's in it when it comes. but if they're trying to do a bunch of these things they've been trying to do to make what we need in a stabilized immigration system turned upside down, and that's the purpose of the president as well as the attorney general, then of course i'm not going to vote for that. but let's see what's in it. >> chuck schumer, your democratic leader, said he
doesn't want legislation on this, that this was the president's problem that he created and that, therefore, it's his to fix. but an increasing number of your colleagues are suggesting that perhaps a limited legislative solution is in order. do you think that is the case considering what the president did today? and would yourg you leader to support something like that? >> kasie, the devil is in the details. what is theegislation going to say? >> he's been pretty clear overall that there should be no legislation at all. so, it sounds to me like you may be open to legislation depending on the details. >> look, i'm the senator from florida. i will always make my decision on what i think is in the best interest for our country as well as my state. >> you seem a little caught between what chuck schumer is saying here. you have an opponent, rick scott, who has been pretty active on this. written to h.h.s. saying this policy should end. >> to the contrary, rick scott has not come out and condemned
the president. he did not pick up the phone or write a letter to the president saying, mr. president, you ought to change your policy. he and the president are good friends, and that's why he does not want to confront the president. and yet, when i was turned away yesterday in homestead, florida, where a thousand children are -- and we now know that there were 94 children in there that had been taken away from their mom and dad, and a total in the state of california, by the way, of 174 of these children. and for that administration, the trump administration -- i talked directly with the deputy secretary of h.h.s. oh, we're not going to let you in because our policy is that you have to fill out a form, which we did. but you have to wait two weeks. i said to him, mr. secretary,
that's bolder dash, you know that as well as i. you've taken orders straight from the white house. i have a responsibility to get in there in my state and see that my people are being taken care of. and they denied me that entry. now, this is the kind of nonsense that is going on, kasie. >> i appreciate your use of the family friendly words bolder dash and nonsense, senator. thank you very much for your time today and for coming on. >> there you go. thanks. >> attorney general jeff sessions made a trip to capitol hill to talk with house republicans about moving on immigration, but it's what sessions is doing at the helm of the department of justice that has sparked concern among advocates. as the atlanta points out, sessions is considering ways to force judges to process more deportation cases, changes that several experts say will undoubtedly mean fewer people receive due process or fair hearings. the attorney general has also moved to firmly limit asylum
grants. joining us now, natalie natalia, excuse me, a attorney for the texas civil rights project and reverend dr. rodriguez, president of the christian leadership conference. natalia, this executive order the president signed, do you view it as a real end to family separation or what's the next -- what happens next here? >> that's a good question. and unfortunately i haven't yet had a chance to read the order itself. but we know two things. number one, the likelihood that this order means that families will be incarcerated together, meaning the children will be incarcerated with the parents, is high. the other thing i think that's important to know and be mindful of is that under the zero-tolerance policy which is set to continue, so long as these parents are being prosecuted criminally, they will be separated from their children and the children will be separated from their parents for
at least a few days. the process of prosecuting these parents for misdemeanors involves separating the kids from them so that the parents can be gathered with a group of people that are going to be going to court to handle a federal misdemeanor. the parents are chained up, cuffs around their ankles, cuffs around their wrists and chained together. then they go to court. they get charged with a federal misdemeanor. they plead, they get time served. while this is happening, the children are in agent's custody without their parents. and the recording that was released a few days ago of the children crying, asking for their parents, being in agent care, that was the same circumstance that will continue so long as every parent is prosecuted for a federal misdemeanor for coming into the country illegally. >> chris hayes? >> reverend, i wanted to ask you about your, your folks, your constituents, the people you
talk to in your flock. there has been a kind of split among conservative christians on this. we saw some groups coming out de crying it, others standing by it. where have you been in terms of conversations with the white house if any? >> as it pertains to my constituents, the nhclc, we have deemed this policy as nothing less than morally reprehensible, antichristian and anti-american. we called on the president and congress for that matter. i believe the onus falls on congress to fix this. the president signed an executive order. it will be litigated. it will end up in the court system. a permanent solution will be as expeditiously as possible. we need to find a way to keep the families together even through the process of due process. so, if they came here illegally, by the way, we called for an end to this policy, but i'm simultaneously asking for our pastors in latin america to help
refrain these families from reaching the border in light of what is happening. we need to find a permanent solution. >> reverend, you delivered the prayer -- a prayer at the president's inauguration. did anything that you saw over the last week or so make you regret doing that, or have you had any second thoughts? >> oh, no, i don't regret lifting up the name of jesus. i don't regret advancing the gospel to 1.1 billion people around the world. so, i worked with george w. bush. i served faithfully president obama. and now i'm trying to work with the trump white house in advancing an agenda that would make both billy graham and dr. martin luther king, jr. smile. so, i don't drink the kool-aid. i don't buy into one political ideology or the other. but this is critical. silence is not an option. and today's complacency is tomorrow's captivity. so i will not be silent when these policies run counter to our jew day owe christian value
system. there is a better way. we can protect the border, stop illegal immigration. find a way with compassion to address this issue of immigration. >> reverend samuel rodriguez, natalia, thank you very much. really appreciate it. chris hayes, final thoughts here before we close out this hour. i've got to tell you, our guests were just talking about congress needing to do something. color me skeptical. house has the vote tomorrow. this is all issues of all issues that has bedevilled the congress. >> because of the brenner bill which would have criminalized all people who were in civil violation of the immigration laws on the may day protest, i believe it was 2006. you had millions take to the streets across the country. and here we are 12 years later, no comprehensive legislation passed. this idea that, you know, if you
take the daca hostages you can jamb in a solution. if you take 2600 kids away from their parents that produces the solution. that has not worked. and i don't see it working this week. >> fair enough. and i'm not even sure how the two different chambers of congress get together at all on this. still unclear there's 218 votes in the house let alone any path forward in the senate. so, this is going to put this right back at the president's feet. but that bripgz this hour to a close for us. chris hayes, thank you so much for sticking around with me this hour. i really appreciate it. "deadline white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. amid a full-scale public relations crisis over its policy of forcibly separating children from their parents, donald trump today reversed course, signing a new executive order ending that policy in just the last hour. >> we are signing an executive order. i consider to be a very important executive order.