tv DHS Secretary John Kelly Discusses Central America CSPAN May 5, 2017 6:51pm-7:20pm EDT
johnson surly, ms. cooper's interviewed by congresswoman karen bass of california. >> when did you first meet madame president chris mark. >> i've known about her all my life. >> what did you know about her? >> she became famous in 1979, 71980, i was 13 or 14. i knew who the minister of finance was. she knew my parents and so, she was somebody that as a child growing up in liberia, she was always speaking truth to power, she was always criticizing the same government that she worked for and then in 1985 when she was arrested and thrown into jail by samuel godin, i heard all about that and she became, at this time, a political icon. >> watch "after words", sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span twos book tv.
>> next, homeland security secretary john kelly looks at immigration laws and what can be done to make them stronger in the future. he spoke at an event hosted by the atlantic council for about 25 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. thank you for joining us today. as people are filling into the room, i will start giving the secretary a schedule. my name is jason, i'm a director of the atlantic council latin american center and i'd like to extend and especially welcome to secretary kelly, president, two or three task chairs, foreman for affairs maria, and ambassador. [inaudible] and the many investors joining yesterday. feel free if you want to take
out your phones to treat using about this event, # central america now. it gives me great pleasure to announce that after a year of intensive deliberations today marks the findings of our northern triangle security economic opportunity task force which is now available on our website. this is a blueprint for how the us and the country of el salvador, guatemala and honduras can work together to enact sweeping change. the three countries are at a crossroads. the region has seen a 50000 murders over the past three years, high-profile corruption scandals and nearly 10% of the regions people have left. tighten investment to the plan of the alliance of prosperity have been instrumental in pushing local leaders to enact change. why should this be a concern for the us? left unchecked the security rule of law and economics of all the challenges of the region will continue to push more unauthorized migrants north and will continue to make the region a prime transit area for illegal
drugs en route to communities all across our country. of course, being across our state, closest neighbors, their fate and prosperity bears other repercussions for us interests. what happened in san pedro, honduras impacts americans in abilene texas. that's a fact. what we need assertive action. if we take more concrete decisive actions now, the prospects will be bright. if we don't, it will get much worse. about a year ago we form this task force is part of an independent effort to put forth a long-term strategy for support in partnership with the region. this is not a group of washington insiders trying to come up with the answers of what will propel catalytic change beyond the borders. the four cochairs and 25 members represent the three countries, the united states and broader sense of america. our work was informed by three country poll conducted by gallup so that we can be an insured that our concerns really reflected the concerns of the
people. after secretary kelly's remarks we will have a panel with our cochairs and presents to look at the solutions of the text force. one man who understands the northern triangle importance is john kelly. mr. secretary, we are honored to have you here today. about a year ago when i was first forming this test horse i reached out to you to be our us cochair and when you agree to do so i remember recalling how lucky we were to have a leader who understands a wealthy essential issues america and tackling them holistically and collaboratively. it's not just me that thanks this. our task force cochairs, members and countless leaders across the region recognize you on a daily basis for your leadership in the region. i'd like to note that secretary kelly i no role in the drafting of reports or the findings of the group but secretary we are honored to have you at the getting stages of the task force the secretary requires no introduction but i would list a few of his achievements.
spending three years deployed in iraq, he was promoted and confirmed by the u.s. senate as lieutenant general, he then served in the senior military to secretary of defense robert gates. he was promoted for a four-star and given command of the united states southern command in which he commanded until january 2017. he was then confirmed as department of homeland security secretary on january 20th, 2017. mr. secondary, thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be with us today. we look forward to your marks and comments for a quick discussion "after words". join me in welcoming secretary john kelly. [applause] >> in the interest of time and i have a really hard to stop in about 25 minutes. it's an honor to be here. in the 39 months that i was the head of the united states southern command, i learned a huge amount about latin american
generals and the difficulties and challenges of central american in particular. because of the nature of the job there, that is to say, very little likelihood of any kind of state on state war, it was all about, as i looked at it, partnering with people to help them help us stem the flow of drugs, stem the flow of illegals migration movements and everything in between. i would just tell you that in this job as hard as we worked in my last job to make a difference , and we did make a difference, i won't go into it right now but the fact is the alliance for prosperity, we had to frankly, in order to get that accepted by the united states government we had to outmaneuver the interagency because they weren't interested. even though the alliance for prosperity was those three countries getting together, regional approach, regional solutions, but their own money against it, there were many that were not interested in the washington interagency.
it was complicated, it was difficult. we outmaneuver them. without lobbying, course we can never do that but by informing and educating the washington congress, and members there, we got them interested in the alliance for prosperity. it was us money put against it but first and foremost, it was central american money that created it and the three presidents created the alliance for prosperity. that's taken off very well. what we also attempted to do was to not only get after the drug flow which is entirely due to the drug command in the united states, heroin and methamphetamine and cocaine. the reason for the drug flow is because of our drug demands and we do almost nothing about it. yes, we try to rehabilitate drug addicts and we try to arrest our way out of this but we do very little in my country, the united
states of america to try to get out of this incredible drug demands is a pretty hard drug and is a direct result of what's happening in central america to break down the society, lack of police effectiveness and a lot of other things. as we try to get at that, we also in my last, try to get at some economic development for you may ask why is a four-star marine general interested in economic development in three countries in the northern peer and the answer is because that's a solution to a lot of things that plague them that caused them to leave their country, move north through illegal migration and then back to the drug issues.
having a major conference in miami in mid june. we have a whole range of people coming. we have canada, panama, costa rica, colombia, a great partner in the region, colombia, as well as we think some european countries coming in as well as the eu for the first day being prosperity to talk about the investment and what those countries have to do to open their economies to more investment. the vice president of the united states at our request will lend his support to that end i believe we have the secretaries of commerce and treasury and others coming down for their views on what we can do to help you and of course the countries in question, guatemala, el salvador, their presence all
friends of mine and a great organization of the development bank will be there to lend their support in terms of the first day on prosperity. and again this is all in miami the second debate will be secure to become a better policing, better border protection. and in improvement in the police. there is corruption and terrible intimidation. they are afraid for their families and for their parents. these cartels as you well know as well as i do are horrifically violent and they hold neighborhoods and cities in the grip of fear that includes police of many cases come any ce point of all of this is to raise the awareness so that we can start to make a difference because byte making a differen
difference, the drug demand reduction and improved police and courts and human rights which are to say the least building a great direction since the time of the 1980s. we can maybe make a difference there. as i told president donald trump, the securing of the southwest border begins 1500 miles south. we have unbelievably good partners in that side of the world. the colombians are absolutely, absolutely the best friend and ally as we have in this regard him as part oin that part of th. the costa ricans are all the way up to stem the flow of illegal migration and drugs. so, in my view mr. president, it really begins down there. if we can improve the condition, we can do an awful lot to
protect the southwest border. partnering with mexico is critical. we do that with great friends. i count many of the senior ministers and friends of mine we interact all the time it had great cooperation. that's part of it as well. securing the border with physical barriers and other places controlling technology that will go a long way as well and i will just end with this and have a few minutes for a question or two. because of what we have done in terms of implementing the law humanely, with dignity for those we apprehend, but to execute the law which is my responsibility under a quick to point out if you don't like the immigration law, then do your duty and change the law. i can't carry them all out across the spectrum so we do
have priorities that if you don't like it, change it. because we have begun to execute the law we are not doing anything different than the obama administration did, except they are executing or forcing walls across the spectrum. but it appeals to the churches and evangelical movements to ask their people to stay home come away with this attempt to improve the economics of central america and because of all that.
70% are not abused by the traffickers and young boys. 70% of people that are not risking their lives, 70% reduction of people that are not paying their life savings to come into the united states. the message is if you get here you will be turned around within the law relatively quickly. it's not worth wasting your money. [applause]
it's providing the right conditions in the countries of the northern triangle. for you, how do you see the balance for the economic development for the flaw. how do you see balancing those multiple interests? >> the reason why the majority of the people come to the united states is it is driven by economic opportunity or the lack thereof. i will be the first one to point out the overwhelming number of people that have come more good decent people. they were looking for a better way to make a living. the issue in many cases it pains me to say this they are victimized when they get here by
a system that doesn't pay them enough money let me put it that way. they are victimized and overwhelmingly lower educated unskilled workers, they come here primarily from the rural areas and get to the united states, and an awful lot of them a majority is a good people by the group but because of a lot of different reasons, the young men are often times relatively large numbers drawn into crime, not all of them, but some of them, the ms 13 is full of people that have come here from that part of the world that are criminals. an awful lot of young women get taken into other kinds of trade. not all of them, but many of them. those that don't go in those directions don't get drafted into that and work under the
table. and as i say when we do take them and they are working for slave labor where there's not an agricultural part cleaning pots and pans and restaurant in washington, d.c.. they work for slave wages under the table. if we can give them a reason to stay home, you have to come here. the communities are in central america. that's where they go to church and that is where their friends are. they come here for economic opportunity. if we can give any reason to stay home where they can have, not talking about high-tech jobs comes talking about agricultural jobs and the unskilled labor job investments, those kind of labor
intensity jobs. i was talking to a good friend from honduras who was in my office. he told me that he has reduced the amount of violence in his country by one third and that is a remarkable thing. but as a columbia level stories related to their troubled times before the beginning of columbia is the reduced violence by a third and expects to add 600,000 jobs to his economy, and that is without this boost that will come as a result, so it is the economics that we have to improve and we are not talking about huge money that may be the cost of running military operations for a day. if there is one quick question
from the audience, there's multipoint hands up i think i saw yours first. senator bob casey was outraged at the fact that the young womn had been deported to honduras along with her 5-year-old son. he said he tried to stop the deportation but you didn't respond or act. i'm wondering can you speak to that and do you think that she is in danger now? >> i've returned those five times to date to call back from senator casey and staff. in every report, the customs
you into the system because of a credible fear on the claim. we went by a step-by-step process and i think the legal system goes all the way to the supreme court they refuse to hear them on the case because there is a solid wall about how to deal with people that come here in this case to claim asylum or credible fear and over
back on an airplane safely back to their country of origin. why did it take so long? because when they come in and say the words credible fear and give a few examples, the system takes over and puts them through a series of judges and some people in my organization six times they were denied their request to stay in the united states ultimately the final denial was in april and he had no choice. you can't pick and choose. by law they are required to enforce in the accepted to talk
to senator casey. he couldn't get me yesterday that he did talk to tom as ice and i will try for the rest of the day and rest of my life to talk to him but i will give him the same message this person exhausted all of the legal protections in thprotections int could united states as passed by the united states congress gave her and we had a court order to remove her and we did we can't disobey the law and with that, i have to run. [applause] >> while we reset the stage
when you get out of the car and that kind of thing, so i couldn't wait when i got old enough i graduated from college and i wanted to be a fish and game worden myself. >> coming up next month, we have the elements of fiction and after that, the craft of writing a memoir and following that, we will have a presentation on writing biography. so we keep it as raw as possible to touch on any potential writing interest if 602 feet tall, 800 feet thick so it is thicker than it is tall and we get a new idea of how massive it
is. it's like a six speed story for the building in front of the slayings tetons. >> he once called for the removal of pluto as a planet. author and physicist neil degrasse tyson will be the guest on and up. >> allow me to tell you that our moon as small as it was compared to earth has five times the mass of pluto. welcome to the company of informed people regarding pluto.