tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC June 22, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT
in iraq. his friends say he'll be remembered as warm as he was stoic and interesting one-on-one as he was interested in the lives of everyone he met. charles krauthammer was 68 >> that's our broadcast on a thursday night. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc headquarters here in new york. >> tonight on "all in." >> they walk through mexico like it's walking through central park. it's ridiculous. >> the president's catastrophe continues. >> what happens to the kids now they've been separated from their parents. >> tonight, new confusion and chaos.
as an administration that stripped 2,000 children from their parents cannot answer how they plan to reunite the families they tore apart. then "all in" expleusive video. migrant children led through an airport without parents in sight. plus, through the propaganda. >> president trump did the right thing. >> and the photo ops. >> i'm looking forward to seeing children. >> how the resistance to president trump's family separation came through. >> we are here for them tonight. >> when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we are as you can see back from the border. hear me well, this story is far from over. tonight, a new phase in the immigration crisis of the president's own making, the humanitarian crisis he precipitated as trump administration prepares to hold families together in indefinite
detention. government agencies tell conflicting stories about the current policy and almost 2500 children remain scattered around the country with no clear plans to reunite them. the president today insisted he's not backing away from the so-called zero to rabs for unauthorized immigrants despite having caved to pressure over his family separation policy. >> if we took zero tolerance away, you would be overrun as a -- you would have millions of people pouring through our border. if you took zero tolerance away, everybody would come right now, there would be getting their little belongings unfortunately and they would be heading up. you would be -- you would have a run on this country the likes of which nobody's ever seen. >> and wait, just to be clear i want people to understand this, the zero tolerance policy was started six weeks ago. okay? so you got to ask yourself, was
the country being overrun 11 weeks ago? or eight weeks ago? is the president telling the truth what's going on? those comments offering more evidence of regardless of the denials from other officials, the crack down was explicitly intended to deter more people from coming to the u.s. as part of that crack down, today the justice department asked a federal court for permission to detain children in u.s. custody with their parents for as long as the government wants essentially. under a 1997 consent decree, kids cannot be detained more than 20 days. the president's new order calls for migrant children to be hild with parents for as long as it takes for the parents to adjudicate their asylum claims keeping them indefinitely in family detention centers. that approach was tried by the obama administration and ultimately and properly rejected by a judge. but even as the trump administration moves to detain migrant families indefinitely, we've seen a couple signs not everyone is on board with zero tolerance.
a senior official at u.s. customs and border protection told "the washington post" today the agency will no longer referply grant parents who come here illegally with their kids for criminal prosecution. the official said agents were instructed last night to stop sending parents with children to federal courthouses. the justice department denied there's been any change in policy and said prosecutions would continue. get this according to a source i spoke to earlier today, in the border city of mccallan, texas, charges were dropped this morning against 17 people who had been arrested for illegal entry because those people are heads of households, in other words because they came with children. each of those 17 parents already had their children taken away. the question now is, where those children are. government will not identify where it's keeping roughly 2,500 children ripped away from their families. we know some of those children are in texas while others sent as far as virginia, michigan and
right here in new york. officials told nbc news there's no plan in place to reunite the children with their families but according to homeland security secretary kristen nielsen, that is not the case. >> secretary, is there any plan for reuniting the children already separated from their parents? >> we have a plan to do that. as you know -- hhs reuniting as quickly as we can. >> we do it in the backhand which appears to mean after parents have been proscued. today melania trump made a surprise visit to a shelter and a spokesperson asked us not to read anything into the fact when she did she was wearing a jacket that said i really don't care, do you, in giant letters in the back. obviously she was not trying to say any messages about the level which she cares. >> i'm here to learn about your facility, and i also like to ask you how i can help.
to these children to, reunite with their families. as quickly as possible. >> i'm joined by msnbc correspondent jacob soboroff who has been reporting intensively on this. no one seems to know at the agencies what's going on. is that a fair characterization. >> sounds like yesterday and the day before that and when this policy was in place. the same thing it sounded like when she was standing on the white house podium briefing where the girls are. i think i do, maybe i don't. it's up to dhs, hhs, no. it was the same thing whether or not the kids detained were going to be grandfathered out of it. i was asked hhs what's going to happen. first they said it's up to hhs, actually, no, we made a mistake about that, it is as confusing and as big of a cluster as it's always been. >> last night, yesterday you and i were tracking this. first they said we're not going
to lift a finger. we're not going to try to reunite the kids. there was a little bit of walk back of that. now she's saying we do it on the back end. they have not announced any expedited process for reunification. >> it's the same as always. several calls i made, they said the goal of hhs is to reunite unaccompanied minors with their families but that's always been the goal. that doesn't mean anything other than they'll go through the process on go end up in a foster home. >> they put out a statement that was deceptive. they said, of course, it's our goal to reunite them with a sponsor or relative. that is not the same as get them back to the person that took them here and was taken away from. >> that doesn't mean we're going to undo the terrible mistake we have made with this executive order and put them back with their parents they were separatesed from. they could very well end up in a situation and never see their parents again. >> there's word that there's
authorization coming down for 20,000 beds to be made available on military bases. >> that's right. >> what is the deal with that plan. >> so military bases as we were talking about last night, sort of are this carveout that allow the federal government to do things in this unlicensed way, they're not being detained in i.c.e. detention which means they would have to let them out after 20 days unless they could get around the existing law in some ways. those 20,000 beds are 20,000 human beings we don't know ultimately what their future holds. >> and what jurisdiction will control over them which is the crucial question. >> that's exactly right. >> there's also the fact that there's lots of confusion at the doj level. i talked to a courthouse source this morning, they said they let these 17 people go. doj immediately says that's not true. >> i was amazed to hear there were some people trying to brush it off and the government saying that was a oneoff people, those 17.
that just happened this morning in mccallan. >> jacob, you've been doing fantastic work on this. i want to make sure people watch your special on sunday, the dividing line. your reporting as good as anyone on this issue. you don't want to miss it, this sunday 7:00, 6:00 central. >> let's turn to someone who represents the border region. beto o'rourke represents a stretch of the border around el paso, texas running to unseat ted cruz. what is your understanding where things stand now as someone who serves in the united states congress. >> the crisis before us as you pointed out is that we have upwards of 2,500 children who have been taken from their parents after parent and child survived a 2,000-mile journey the length of mexico. made it to this country just when they thought they had found shelter and asylum and safety, the trauma visited upon those kids they're still enduring till
we can get them together with their parents. it's unclear if the administration dysdoing at all to make sure that they are reunited. temporarily at least they'll stop taking kids from parents but this idea to build out 20,000 beds for additional days and months and maybe years of detention shows that this administration, the president admitted it today is using these punitive traumatic measures to try to deter essentially lawful asylum seeking on the part of people leaving the most dangerous countries in the world and one thing i've got to tell you, by cbp's own admission, family unit apprehension is down 4% to date this year over last year. unaccompanied alien children is up only 3% over this same time last year. so insofar as we have a crisis. >> wait a second, wait a second. >> the administration is making the crisis. >> the numbers are down year over year? >> if you look at fy-18, may
30th to fy-17, may 30th, this is from cbp's own website. looked at it before i came on your show. the numbers are down for family units, up slightly for unaccompanied alien children. they are provoking this crisis, deepening it by sharing information from are the office of refugee resettlement with i.c.e. so that as we're trying to place kids with relatives in the u.s. recent i.c.e. is first scanning them, picking up some for deportation and were unable to release the kids to relatives in the u.s. there be continuing to warehouse these kids and artificially creating a crisis of capacity. so when you see cbp officers and you may have seen this in mccallan and reynoso rejecting lawful asylum seekerses from entering this country providing incentive for them to come in between ports of entry and arresting them, and taking their kids, they created this crisis. this didn't exist till donald
trump and administration decided it make it a crisis. >> the president said something astounding this morning. he said we shouldn't be hiring juks by the thousands as ridiculous laws should demand. we should be building the wall, and here's the crucial part, not let people come into our country based on a lee phrase they are told to say that is their password. he's referring to asylum enshrined in u.s. law and international law widely recognized as a human right. what do you think of him call dg a password. >> this is terrible. it's inhumane. we know what we're doing to asylum seekers. i think i've shared meeting a young mother who fled honduras with her 7-year-old daughter who tried to cross in between ports of entry but she didn't run away, didn't try to evade protection. she thought this was the way you present yourself for asylum. to be rastded then contravenes
our own laws certainly does international law, is inhumane and up to us to decide if this is un-american. that might be decided in the courts, it might be decided if congress gets a backbone in the legislature. but one way or another, we're going to be judged for what we do, for what we failed to do at this moment. just to put it into context, if you go back to the beginning of the george w. bush administration, had you 1.6 million apprehensions along the u.s./mexico boarder. last year it was something like 400,000 apprehensions. we have the capacity to address lawful asylum claims. we're the wealthiest and most powerful country on the planet. those who lawfully belong here where they can prove credible fear, that esno telling what they will do for the united states. jobs they'll create, the art they will produce, the families they will raise here. that's the story of this country 230 years and counting and we lose that at our peril. this is going to be decide right now. it's up to all of us. president made this decision.
now it's for us, the american people to decide it. >> congressman beto o'rourke, thank you for your time. for more to what happens to migrant children, i'm joined by the former acting director of customs and border enforcement. you have expressed skepticism and fear if not panic about the capacity of i.c.e. to coordinate with hhs0 to reunite parents and children. why are you worried about that. >> i don't think anyone thought about this when they launch this had plan. i don't see any signs there was planning at all. you run into rules and regulations when you apprehend kids at the border, have you guardianship, foster care. we're beginning to see that now when the administration rescinded the policy but there doesn't appear to be a plan how to get the kids reunited with their parents. >> i want to play you something sessions said today and whether you find it credible. him talking about whether they ever intended to separate children and families. take a lis.
>> and the american family don't like the idea we're separating families. we never really intended to do that. what we intended to do was to make sure that adult who's bring children into the country are charged with the crime they've committed. instead of giving that special group of adults immunity from the prosecution which is what in effect we were doing. >> do you think they never intended to separate children. >> they definitely intended to separate children. prosecution along the border has been selective. we only prosecute a lipped number of people that cross the border unfall ofly. you think with himmed resources you don't want to prosecute parents trying to flee violence florida state central america over people bringing drugs in the united states. one thing i don't think the media covered yet is who was not prosecuted while we prosecuted these parents in the u.s. attorney offices, u.s. courts very limited resources. they are overwhelmed. drug smugglers and people trying
to get back into the country. the ratio of people with criminal records noncriminal records it, flipped on its head meaning 90% are first time misdemeanor entries honduran moms el salvadoran dads. >> i guarantee you there are people smuggling drugs whose cases were not taken during the same time period they were prosecuting parents. >> they're appealing to flores because they want to hold people indefinitely. flores says you can't do that. let's put that aside and say you can't do it. there's this idea what are you going to do? you're going to release them into the interior of the country. >> you're shaking your head. >> there's a simple fix called alternatives to detention. the problem is it's got to be paired -- i understand people's frustration. you let families into the united states, the reason they feel they're gaming the system is because the courts deprioritize the cases.
you can come into the united states as a family, maybe it takes three, four years before your hearing. i can understand the frustration. hire more judges, put people on atd, frankly, it's zero tolerance. you'll have tough results but it's more humane than ripping kids out of their parents' arms. >> most of these people you would agree, the vast majority there's no public safety reason to detain them, right? >> no, chris. >> people have this idea i was down there talking. it's literally moms with kids. it's desperate people. there is no reason to hold them in jail. >> chris, honestly one thing that's a problem with the system at large it's not truly rick based. you're not detained like are you in the criminal justice system. but in the criminal justice system, you're detained if you present a flight or public safety ring. in the immigration true, there's a complicated set of laws govern who will be detained. people detaineded are subject to mandatory detention. a lot of discretion has been utilized because we don't have
resources. the president's idea of building 20,000 beds is not going to happen. it costs i.c.e. $350 to $450 per bed for family detention. looking at $5.3 billion annually. >> they don't have that in their budget. >> they're at the end of it right now. they've been detaining at higher levels than budgeted for. >> the other thing about alternative detention, there's a program that was stopped intensive case management about a third or fourth of the cost. >> $4.50 a day compared to who $450 for a family. >> $4.50 you give someone a case manager and they showed up for case hearings 99% of the time. >> maybe in the 20, $25 range. >> not $450 a day. >> no, over $300 million to maintain about 2500 family detention beds. you're going to build 20,000? congress is going to an appropriate $3 billion to spend
on that when you can do the atd and have just as much security impact. this isn't about being soft or tough, it's about being smart. >> thank you for being here. an all in inclusive, haunting video of children being led through an airport. a teen, no idea where she's being taken. that audio in two minutes. hi!
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what you see in the video you'll only see here on "all in," the small group of migrant teenagers many in matching outif is being marched single file out of the airport after getting off a flight at 2:00 in the morning. then put into a van by their handlers destination unknown. we have this video thanks to my next guest who quietly spoke to a kid on the flight who told him she had been detained and had no idea where she was beak taken. joining the man who took the video, tim wilkins with the group people's action. tell me about the context in which you saw these kids? >> i was on an american airlines flight from dallas to mccallan. it was delayed so left after midnight. and there was this group of very clean cut, very polite young people who i noticed in the airport only when i got on the flightdy realize when i saw there the wristbands and matching clothes.
that there was something going on here. there were a total of six spread out through the plane with the two chaperones in the front and two in the back. >> i want to play your interview with this teenaged girl. take a listen. >> can you tell me how are, how represent? >> no, i can't tell you any of that. >> do you work for the u.s. government. >> i can't tell you anything. >> where are you taking these children? >> i can't tell you anything. >> so that obviously wasn't the girl that you were interviewing. that was the person who was with the kids who wouldn't give any information. >> that's correct. after while i was on the flight, i managed to speak discreetly with a young lady sitting in the row in front of me who was, had, been detained three days earlier from guatemala and had been swept up with the others and were told we're taking not told where or why. >> let's listen to that right now.
>> how many many are you? >> six. >> did you come here with your families? >> alone. >> how many days were you detained? that is until now? >> three days. >> talking to her on the plane sitting behind her. >> i was sitting right behind her and discreetly introduced myself. >> now, she says she came alone. i want to be clear here because there's been pitching of like children taken away from parents and unaccompanied minors which is something that existed before trump administration under the obama administration. she says she came alone. for all we know, these are people not take everyone their parents? >> based on age of this first group that i observed, they were all young teens, 14, 15, 16. my guess is that they arrived in this country alone.
when i left mccallan the next morning, monday morning, lo and behold there was another group of minors sitting there and that group included two toddlers a boy and girl clearly not older than 6 years old. >> one of the things i think people are discovering is both that children are being separated from their parents and being cast to the four winds like those toddlers if indeed they were take everyone their parents. also there's this sort of like crazy system that has existed under people's noses stretching back to the obama administration of dispersing these unaccompanied minors across the country. >> absolutely. there are some here in the new york area being resettled as we speak. >> yeah. it's interesting too that the airlines have now started to sort of race a hue and cry about this. we had some information from one flight attendant who sais said she was lied to by i.c.e. and said it was a soccer team. they look sort of in uniform. and american airlines has now said we have no knowledge the
federal government has used american to transport children separated from their parents due to the recent immigration policy but we would be supremely disappointed to learn that is the case. we therefore request the can he federal government to refrain from using american for transporting children from their families. >> as of this moment, they can consider themselves informed that detained children have been traveling on their flights. i was on the flight. i spoke to the young lady who confirmed that fact. i certainly hope they'll follow through on the promise. >> do you know if anyone else associated with the airline knew? >> i witness add interaction in the dallas airport where the two handlers the burly man you see in the video had an exchange with the ticketing agents. clearly to get seat assignments. i thought it was curious but i didn't even though they were traveling as a group till i saw them reunite in the mccallan airport and realized they were the handlers. clearly either american has a
standing arrangement with i.c.e. or with dhs, but clearly there's some arrangement in place. >> it seems unlikely an airline, this is the sort of thing you would imagine has been sort of contracted in bulk rather than just sort of one off purchasing of tickets. >> correct. we know they have these agreements but they would have had to identify these passengers in.so way. they all had their prison bracelets with names on them. >> right. tim wilkins, thanks for being with us. >> thank you. next tracing the policy of family separation some of the very first days of the trump administration. the evidence we first reported that problems family separation has been in the works for much longer. the administration wants you to think. right after this.
those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. wav watched the trump administration trying to come up with one coherent explanation for why we're straighting children from their parents. yawn kelly called it a deterrent. secretary of homeland security
kristin nielsen infamously lied and said there was no such policy. we now know there was, of course. jeff sessions said the bible made him do it. and trump is, of course, trying to blame the democrats. we know the administration was laying the foundation for this inhumane policy since the moment trump arrived at the white house. the reason we know that is because this show broke that news in march of 2017. a month after trump took office. "all in" obtained documents along with a reporter at reuters showing that the new administration had radical new plans for people at the border. in an effort to make good on a campaign promise to end catch and release, the trump administration is planning to expand the number of women and children placed in immigrant detention. "all in" has exclusively obtained meeting notes from a town hall that citizenship and immigration services an sigh lum chief john lafferty held for officers last month. in those notes he indicates dhs
is planning to expand the number of family immigrant detention beds from the current level of around 3,500 beds up to 20,000 beds. an increase of nearly 500%. also in the meeting notes, a description of a proposal to potentially end the current practice of keeping women and children together after they're apprehended a proposal also reported today by reuters. indeed, the administration now considering separating women and children at the border with children placed in protective custody away from their mothers. reuters reporting that part of the reason for the proposal is to deter mothers from migrate together u.s. with their children. >> again, that was 14 months ago. after our report aired, john kelly then the secretary of homeland security was asked about it on cnn. >> if you get some young kids who manage to sneak into the united states with their parents, are department of hope land security personnel going to separate the children from their moms and dads?
>> yes, i am considering it in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network, i am considering exactly that. they will be well cared for as we deal with their parents. >> yes, in order to deter. this policy has been this administration's plan all along. joining me is julia ansley who is the reporter who broke that story in 2017 about the administration's plans to separate families at the border and who is now the national security and justice reporter for nbc news. also with me, aclu's deputy national political director and corrector of immigration policy and campaigns. >> julia, i wanted to resurface this because there is a way in which people in the administration talked about that they were caught unan twhaurz this kind of came out of nowhere that they wanted to do prosecution but didn't think through the back half of it and if you prosecute people, got to separate. the documents you obtained, the documents we obtained, the reporter more than a year ago shows this was debated and planned and mapped out from
inside the administration from almost day one. >> i'm glad we're on the same team now. i remember i personally got these documents, the same ones you probably got and kept thinking can this really be true, could they really be thinking about separating women and children and john kelly came out and confirmed that, and you had the same thing. i still thought could this ever be reality. we've seen that play out this week. what it proves is that this not only was a policy that was floated from the very beginning. i remember that town hall, the date is february 2nd. that was just weeks after trump took office. not only was it a policy from the beginning but it was absolutely a deterrent. so the argument that we've heard this week and that we heard from secretary nielsen was that this is just a tragic by-product of what happens when you get tough on the border and you have to prosecute all of these parents. but what we know, chris, and what you know from when we got these documents over a year ago is that this was the plan. it was deter families seeking
asylum. this wasn't to crack down on criminals or those millions that trump talks about coming over the boarder >> that's key, that the separation was the point. it wasn't a by-product. it didn't flow from the decision to prosecute. in fact, it still doesn't in a way that's complicated having to do with civil detention and criminal prosecution. that was the point. lorella, do you feel like you've gotten a straight answer from the administration what the policy is now. >> no, we haven't gotten a straight answer. we don't know how and when the kids will be reunified. i feel if the administration's evil enough to take children from their parents, and to separate them without a plan to reunite them at the right time, then they're just plotting their next step right now, chris. >> let me ask you something. right now what they're trying to go back to is essentially a status quo under the obama administration. obama administration radically expanded family detention during
the unaccompanied minors coming in 2014, 2015 that was struck down by a court under the consent decree. what do you say to people who say you guys are upset now because it's trump but you weren't when it was obama. >> we organized mobilized and held the obama administration accountable. i think what is different today is the zero tolerance policy and what you're seeing it's a deliberate strategy from this administration. you see that in the case of daca and see that with these children. they're using kids, using young people to twist the facts, to create chaos and to create a new scenario and state of chaos so they can advance their anti-immigrant agenda in congress. that's what this has been about from the beginning. so they seek to separate families at the border to create chaos. they're now going to jail families. they're going to try to do so indefinitely and want to move them through the process without due process as quickly as possible.
>> julia, i read the court filing from the department of justice today in which they were petitioning to change the terms under which they can hold people. they want to hold families for indefinitely and sort of family jail indefinitely. it appears that they're saying if you don't give us that, we're going to go back to separating parents and kids. but i can't imagine they're going to do that. am i wrong, am i misread tag document. >> no, i think the argument that they're laying out and you're not wrong at all, the argument they're laying out is we don't keep them indefinitely. we will be forced to separate them because that's the only way that we can carry out this law. but as larella knows, there are alternatives to detention. heard one of your previous guests talk about that. you can do ankle monitors, have people call. they've found if you assign a case manager, it's much more likely that people come back to court. there have been studies done on that. the argument they'relying out probably won't fly. we fellow the judge, judge gee
is the one who came out strong when she interpreted this 1997 flores agreement to apply to what the obama administration was doing in 2016 when they were holding women and children past a certain period. they said this applies to children with their families not just children who are unaccompanied. this could be something they have to keep appealing over and over, but another thing i just wanted to build on is that it's not just chaos. i think they actually want to instill fear. i remember reporting that when you did, chris. i remember thinking that gosh, if this never happens, what we've reported is already on the front page of every newspaper in latin america. maybe that's what they want to do. instill fear to get these numbers down. so while this court process plays out and while they detain people longer than they should, whether or not that's months or you know, more than 20 days, they will do something through
instilling fear that they might not be table to do through a policy. >> it's worth considering. >> i think it's. >> go ahead. >> it's fear and pain, right? what they're trying to inflict is so much pain that people who may be seeking asylum don't come to the united states, don't show up at a port of entry and claim asylum so that people who are here leave the country. they're overarching ideology when it comes to immigrants in the united states and frankly, people of color is that they do not belong here. that we do not belong here. that is the root of their policy and ideology as they set out to undo protections for young people who are legally in the united states right now as they seeking to separate families and rip children from their parents, as they end temporary protected status for people here for 20 years, as they launch and announce their muslim ban. that is their core strategy. it's attrition through -- it's deterrence and it's attrition through enforcement, right?
security for himself. you see, pruitt spent roughly $3.5 million in public money on his personal security detail during his first year in office which includes at least 20 people who protect the administrator around the clock which is as far as we can tell totally unprecedented for this position. when you see a headline like this, scott pruitt spent over $1500 in taxpayer money on "tactic it will pants," why is scott pruitt lover of specialty lotions spending 15 hunted on tactical pants? that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours. ♪ everything is working, just like it should ♪ >> scott pruitt who is despite all odds still employed as administrator of the epa has a list of can dales a mile long. the latest sounds like a doozy. he spent over $1500 in taxpayer money on tactical pants, not just any old pants, special pants, tactical pants. what are tactical pants in the internet had some ideas? maybe they're like these chuck norris action jeans or.
one twitter user suggested maybe you need the pants to sleep on a used trump mattress. gross. but the truth of the matter is it was 40 pairs of pants at 40 bucks a pair for the epa's criminal investigative division and protective security detail agents to have proper attire for arrests, disaster responses and training. so in the end it appears like they were actually sensible tactical pants with a sensible explanation. our old friend mattress lotion scott has yet to explain the $43,000 soundproof phone booth or the $50 a night apartment or the 1500 bucks for a dozen pens for the chick-fil-a deal for his wife or the used trump hotel mattress or the ritz-carlton lotion. with tripadvisor, finding your perfect hotel at the lowest price... is as easy as dates, deals, done!
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on never backing down and being tough and trolling everyone had to retreat and sign an executive order he did not want to sign. state tv, however, otherwise known as fox news and sinclair broadcast group things into overdrive in order to find a way to defend the indefensible on behalf of their president. last night fox news not only was the only cable news channel to broadcast the president's political rally in duluth, minnesota in primetime unfiltered. they bragged about it. trump rally live and only on fox news. other networks ignore presidential rally. yes, you were the only ones to run an unfettered live feed of a trump political rally. that is true. meanwhile, sinclair broadcast group, the media company we've told you about that owns nearly 200 local television stations around the country and forces those stations to broadcast propaganda to support the president, reports like this, the latest edition of the bottom line with boris, featuring former trump adviser boris epshteyn. >> many members of the media and opponents of the president have
seized on this issue to make it seem as if those who are tough on immigration are somehow monsters. let's be honest. while some of the concern is real, a lot of it is politically driven by the liberals in politics and the media. president trump did the right thing by addressing the separation of families if their children on his own. >> make no mistake, that stuff works. and when it's as nonstop as fox news it can be effective with the audience. but here's what else works. public pressure from an outraged citizenry which rises up to respond the way this country has this week. are republicans ever going to stop trump? the democrats? maybe the courts? no, it was public pressure that made the executive branch blink this week. it was civil society which dealt the president this massive defeat. that's the discussion, next.
retreat michelle goldberg, columnist from the "new york times" whose new column on the trump family separation policy just posted. and venita gupta president of the leadership council on civil and human rights, former assistant attorney general for the doj's civil rights division. let me start with you, michelle. there's been this question all along, how will the president be constrained and what will the institutions hold? and we've seen the courts step in and constrain them on the travel ban 1.0 and 2.0 and on daca. we've seen the congress constrain them on the obamacare repeal with john mccain, the thumbs down. it felt to me like this was the first time that just civil society, just literally public opinion pressure constrained him. >> yes. public outrage. and i mean, as desparing and apocalyptic as so many things were this week the one cheering part was we talked so much about outrage fatigue and people feeling numbed and powerless and overwhelmed. but i think this shows that when people are roused en masse and
when they start really calling their congresspeople and congresspeople reported being inundated with calls in a way they haven't been since the day of the affordable care act repeal and actually, you know, as maligned as this president's instincts are the people of this country have more power than they maybe are led to believe. >> what did you make of this moment, vinita? >> i think that's absolutely right. it took the level public outrage over one of the most depraved actions this administration has taken, and there have been several. or many. but look, i will tell you that for those of us that were out there pushing on what was the most immoral act that the administration's taken, the reality is that we can't be lulled into any sense of false comfort through yesterday's executive order. i mean, i remember back in 2006 when i was at the aclu we sued i.c.e. for family detention conditions at a converted medium security prison in texas where kids were being held with their
parents in the most awful, terrible, inhumane conditions in this prison that was being run by a company, a private prison company called core civic now, that had no business dealing with kids. and what i worry about is trump did such an egregious action by separating children from their parents that suddenly now what was egregious in 2006, there are some who think oh, well, now the problem is solved because of this executive order. make no mistake. indefinite jailing of children in prisons is unacceptable, and it violates the law. and that's why there's a mass mobilization still being planned for june 30th because we cannot lose sight. there are actions every day. because we cannot lose sight of the fact that where we are right now is still unacceptable. how are these families and these kids getting reunified? we still don't know. there are still 2,300 kids without their parents and without having been unified. so we've got to keep that pressure on. >> it's funny you say that because i've been reporting on some of the organizing that's
been happening and in contact with folks, sources of mine. there's this question of after this announcement was the june 30th, there's this massive mobilization happening for june 30th where they've blown out through all their goals, dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of cities it's happening, in hundreds of thousands of rsvps. like -- and there was a sort of unanimity of of course we keep going because we build on this momentum. >> right. and i think of course they keep going for a couple of different reasons. the most stark, right? is like vanita said these 2,300 people. it's just astonishing that in this potemkin solution that trump has put forward there is no plan to reunify -- >> literally not mentioned in the document that he signed. >> right. and also just there's -- i mean, it's just ma lev lens multiplied by incompetence, which i write in the piece, that you have this assault on kind of expertise in the administration. you have this guy running the office in charge of these children whose background is as an anti-abortion activist and
who as far as we know has taken no -- has taken no actions to create a kind of logistical solution to tracking these children who are under his authority. and so people need to keep the pressure on. and i think it's important for people to realize that yes, very little was solved when trump signed that executive order. >> vanita, as someone familiar with this litigation, do you think they will -- the court will let them indefinitely detain families together? >> i don't think so. the florez litigation is a 30-year-old court settlement, came after ten years of intense litigation. there's a reason why the court set a 20-day limit on the detention of immigrant children in prison-like conditions. so i don't think so. i think the problem that the court will make the right step, it's constitutional litigation, and then it remains to be seen exactly what the administration decides to do. >> what the next battle is. michelle goldberg and vanita gupta, thank you both. don't forget to get the latest episode of our podcast "why is this happening" with special guest naomi klein.
it's all about the crisis that hit puerto rico long before the hurricane made lanldfall. subscribe to the podcast on tune in or wherever you get your podcasts. that's "all in" for this evening. tonight president trump promotes zero tolerance while unleashing venom on mexico as his administration struggles to reunite migrant children with their parents. first lady melania trump makes a surprise visit to a border facility for children, but her appearance gets overshadowed by her choice of a jacket that reads, i really don't care, do u? and the carefully cultivated image of ivanka trump, notably out of the public eye during this week's ep pick policy reversal. "the 11th hour" on a thursday night begins now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 518 of the trump administration. few details. lots of confusion about how to