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tv   Washington Journal Anna Giaritelli  CSPAN  July 27, 2019 5:39pm-6:19pm EDT

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>> if he were more information on members of congress, porter c-span's congressional -- order c-span's congressional directory. it's available on the c-span store. >> the supreme court ruled 5-4 on friday to allow the trump administration to begin using pentagon money for border wall construction. the court overturned an appellate court decision and "the new york times" reports the administration can tap the money while litigation proceeds.
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that will take many months. here is more about the to build a efforts wall at the u.s. southern border. coversnergy artillery --anna giaritelli has spent a lot of time on the u.s.-mexico border and we look at her recent piece, construction or lack thereof of border wall funding . a single mileuilt of border fence after 30 months in office. the supreme court will let president -- let the president do just that, accessing pentagon funds for $2.5 billion for those funds. you have been on the border and you looked at this. why hasn't the new areas of
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fencing been installed why haven't knew border walls been built? guest: it's a combination of factors. the first two years president trump was in office, he had republicans in the house and senate, so there was no excuse not to move on this. it also comes down to how they plan during the transition, and during the end of the election, they got about $340 million of funding for 40 miles of wall in got, and in 2018, they $1.37 billion for far more. the issue they have had is senior administration officials will choose to work on the replacement project because it is easier, they have already -- they are replacing somebody so they don't need land approvals, the environmental approval, which they have been throwing around and a lot of the cases. they can move on those, but the other long-term projects, the new fencing and new areas, some
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towns on the border are not open to it, so that is making it more difficult. but, it comes down to planning and really moving on it. the army corps is putting up 1.7 miles of fence per month for a this host: historically, is that a lot? guest: it is pathetic, tiny. the bush administration, under the secure fence act, put up 600 to 700 miles of fence. half of that was the normandy barrier, a vehicle barrier, kind of like a metal, steel version of what you see at gettysburg along the fields there. so it is a lot easier to put up, but certainly, the army corps is taking forever to get anything done. the trump administration has a 2020 to keep, right? host: what does that promise practically entail in terms of policy?
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what does the administration want to get done by 2020? guest: the army corps top officials said we are going to have 450 miles of border fence done by the 2020 election. host: new fencing? guest: total fencing. there is 50 right now, so they are 1/9 of the way. you heard that earlier this spring, he was saying that. now, you are not hearing that so much. the white house contacted me after my story went up and pushed back very hard. customs and border protection and all of the border patrol regions tweeting, posting on instagram saying "we have put up that," but the truth is there is not a single mile offense in a new area. i think they are realizing that we are not getting construction done as fast, so it is something they have not been messaging on because who wants to say "hey, it has all been replacement."
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even in the response to the story, the white house said "we are focused on going forward, focused on having 120 miles done in the next year and a half." until it is done, it is still being built. host: the supreme court okayed the administer ration tapping into $2.5 billion of the pentagon funding. you mentioned the frustration the administration has had with getting funding. what will that $2.5 billion by them? guest: it will do a decent amount, if they can get it done by next november, when trump needs to show he has done something. they have projects in all four border states, replacement projects, but they have new projects. thee are 70-80 miles in south texas rio grande valley they are moving on. the money approved yesterday, so to speak, will go to new and replacement projects across the southern border.
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they are working on stuff right now in san diego, california, new mexico, in yuma, arizona, in el paso, texas, but again, by the time -- now that the court has approved this, it delayed them for months and months, but this has been approved in the spring. that pushed the administration's addenda -- agenda getting it done. they often sub contract the process out giving it -- taking more time to get it out. it will probably be one of those things where you don't see the administration messing into -- messaging a lot on. is ournna giaritelli guest. we talk about border security and we get into other issues as well. we welcome your phone calls. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8002 four independents independents and all
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others. usa today said we looked at every mile of u.s. mexico border and you can too. there's a real gap once you get down to the rio grande valley. where are the biggest challenges for the administration and getting border off -- border wall funding up? guest: the areas hit really hard, there is nine regions along the southern border, according to border patrol. the second most arrivals are coming right now in the el paso, texas region. the region includes all of new mexico. there is no border patrol new mexico area. new mexico, you largely have barbed wire fencing. i have been down there a couple of times and climbed over it just to say i am now in mexico, it is that easy. those areas are also the areas where two kids died in december
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after coming into border patrol custody. it is where 100, 200, 300 people at a time are being dropped off on a charter bus, crossing the same fence, and surrendering to border patrol agents at that base. it is completely unsecure. the issue is that you have so many people crossing in these areas without any fencing that the administration is focusing on securing areas near the rio grande, where you have populated areas, so if someone crosses they can immediately -- host: blend in. guest: exactly. traffic, i've seen it before, where you have the fence completely down to the ground, they have taken the wire down, and vehicles go right through. vehicles will typically carry narcotics, not people. host: in your interactions with customs border patrol, has it been fairly open in terms of
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showing you access on reporting on? guest: in san diego, california last week -- they are very open with showing the outdoor spaces. i have not been a border patrol or ice detention facility station going on 13 months. host: you did get pushback from the actin customs -- acting customs and border patrol commissioner. said to lou dobbs on foxbusiness the other night. >> let me tell the american people the facts, the truth. right now, there has been miles and miles of new wall being built. currently, 52 miles at strategic locations in el paso, san diego, and the list goes on. replaced allhave dilapidated and ineffective wall. if you ask the men and women of border patrol, each of those 52 miles was a new wall. right now, under construction is
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another 50 miles of replacement border of the old dilapidated, plus 13 linear new miles. in addition to that, we have another approximately 100 miles of new, linear wall approved, funded, and we are getting ready to construct in the rio grande valley, one of the central and strategic locations for that. this will all be completed in 18 205hs, with almost 205 -- miles of border wall being built. we are still counting on the funding to come through from dod which will produce another 200 200 -- 200 to 250 miles. the: the reporter on report, from the washington examiner. guest: i like mark morgan. he is a good leader and very open with the press. i notice he is calling the report ridiculous but not denying it. he says miles and miles. 13 to 1400 miles -- 1300 to 1400 miles that the resident promised
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in his most infamous promised, to secure and put up a big beautiful wall, are still wall is. they don't have a fence, probably don't have a barbed wire on a lot of it. the administration is pushing back hard, but even in pushback, if we have miles and miles of it, they are not explaining we have 52 miles. they are talking details or saying what is being done. they are focusing on long-term. it will be interesting in the next few months to see how much they are able to get done, especially in light of the campaign coming up. host: has their task been more complicated by the influx of migrants from the border, having to focus on the migrants instead of focusing on construction projects? guest: it's not something the border patrol would do. customs and border protection's, they are the ones overseeing construction. they have resourced that out to the army corps, but in terms of
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agents, they are totally focused on people, not touching the wall in any physical way. host: we have a number of calls including jimbo here. go ahead, jimbo. caller: thank you for the opportunity. "washington journal" is the last place where the average man can get up and speak and have everyone hear them on the entire planet. a couple of comments here. first, we could build a great wall of china from brownsville to san diego, and it won't stop the three fourths of the people who have overstay their visas. three fourths of the people who have entered this country illegally have done so by overstaying their visas. building a great wall of china from the gulf of mexico to the pacific ocean will not stop that. the other thing is this, these moneys would be better off spent enhancing our port of entry, because that is where most of the drugs come through, parts of
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entry -- port of entry. if we were to invest imports of entry into system in which a travelingre people's or student visas expire, making sure we know where these people are, that would be so much more successful. host: jim, thank you. guest: i did a story a couple of months ago because i wanted to see where are the are coming in. has three arms, aaron marines, the port of entry field operations, and border patrol. the seizures and pounds were split between a third of each of those branches. it was interesting to see that there might be more cocaine or something coming off of the sea, but in terms of pounds of drugs coming in, it was split between the port of entry, and at the air and sea. host: in terms of hardening
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points of entries, are we doing that? are they strengthening those places? guest: the cbp is doing that. one of the places they are focusing on is laredo, texas. they are strengthening the technology they have there and using it as a port of the future to see "hey, let's try this new infrastructure, and if that works, we will deploy it to the other parts." there are 328 port of entry across the country. host: what new technology are they using? use a large x-ray machine, which is used across the southern and northern border to scan trucks on secondary inspection at they expect might have something on board, but the new stuff they are getting into, they haven't totally shared what they are using, for security reasons, but they will eventually share it with oppressive it goes well. that might be something that brings democrats to the table to say "we can work on this together."
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host: roger is in ohio. the democrats line. --lo caller: caller: hello? host: you are on the air, roger. caller: somebody said a while ago the problem is not the border. keep talkinguys about wasting on the damn money on the wall that will do nothing? host: we will hear from ralph, washington, d.c., independent line. go ahead. caller: i'm kind of getting tired on the democrats side. they want to include these people in the census so they can get more representatives in the districts. on the republican side, they want cheap labor and want to break the back of the unions. built, andn be
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democrats are saying "it won't be effective because all you have to do is take a camera down there and see it." it's a total indoctrination. this poor woman has her husband and he got kicked out of the country. npr is supposed to be neutral is now saying -- now putting a woman on for an hour and a half being a victim of their family. you knew you were illegal, set up illegally, and we are breaking the back of the blue-collar worker. then, the democrats say we will give free medical care for illegal immigrants. we don't even have medical care for blue-collar american workers. then, you wonder why people are flooding across the border, because you have these sanctuary cities. if you ask them, it is
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continuous victimhood and republicans or anyone who does these things, whatever it is, you ask them for solutions and they don't have a solution. caller: that is ralph in washington. the bbc is showing tijuana, on one side of the wall, is tijuana, the other side is california near san diego. you were recently in the california area and the san diego area. youru watch, and in experience, are there more people than ever that you saw coming through, more traffic coming through? caller: there is -- guest: there is. there is a most since 2006-20 07. they had the highest apprehensions in the border patrols 95 your history. in the border patrol last week, they have two walls in san diego. it is really unusual. they have what they call an enforcement area so you have one wall 18 feet tall in the front,
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closest to mexico, and then you have an open area called the enforcement area, where if someone gets over the wall, they are stuck there. there's a second while parallel to the first 30 feet tall. bordereas at the don't have this, but san diego, in the 1990's, had the most people coming over in that region. they really stepped up their approach. they are finishing the second wall. one funny thing i saw, the reason, the last part of the front wall, there is a house on the mexico and tijuana side that backs up to the fence. construction has been stalled as they are trying to figure out a way to keep the house up in tijuana and put the fence literally right along the backside of it. certainly, they are moving on the replacement ball, it is just a matter of how fast the army corps can build it. host: those issues must come up all along the border in terms of obstacles in the way, homeowners, private property,
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and the federal government can't cut in by imminent main and claim that's property, correct? guest: they can't. they can skirt environmental laws, and they have done it in a handful of cases, even so, you will be dealing with smaller, local issues. host: let's hear from auburn, washington. david is on the republican line. caller: maybe they should ban legal immigration, because if the whole purpose of this increase of the population of our country, that is what donald trump doesn't like and is ,laming it on illegal aliens but there have been illegal aliens come into this country for years, not to recently -- not just recently. this has been happening for decades. [indiscernible] it's not just the illegal aliens
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and immigrations, but people having children. caller: another -- host: another piece of the immigration process announced yesterday, with the announcement from the trump administration that they have reached a deal with guatemala. the deal would require migrants traveling through guatemala, the nation next to mexico, to seek u.s. asylum in guatemala instead about the u.s.-mexico border. what sort of effect might this have on the flow of traffic from central america? guest: i reached out to dhs to a few senior officials after this because i wanted to get their non-press office opinion. since october, the start of the fiscal year, you had 737,000 people apprehended at the southern border. one third, 240,000, were from guatemala. affectt might really about 500,000 people coming through from the south guatemala
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border to its northern border, you still have the country with the most people illegally crossing into the united states being able to leave that country, theoretically -- country. theoretically, they would have to apply for asylum in mexico, but we haven't seen that yet. host: here's ed from new jersey on the democrats line. ed, go ahead. caller: ok. motherm haiti, and my -- i don't know if she grade -- school thing, but she bring me here. i got here and i graduated college, and i went to school. when it comes to immigrations, right, i've been working since 87.
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-- right now, i'm working with white males and -- not even don't like a college degree. but, i have a college degree. host: what is your question or comment? caller: my question is, what is the whole thing about immigration? threat?he when trump started talking about , people that are coming from outside, or when he --ls haiti caller: ok, ed, we will let you go there. is there any reaction where the president makes strong comments abound migrants? has that had an effect on the flow from the people from
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central america? guest: if anything, it has worsened it. since he came into office, in early 2017, you had apprehensions at the southern border hit the lowest in 45 years. it was 13,000 people being taken into custody for illegally crossing in those months. that is when the acting dhs secretary took over the country's top border all. at that time, in those two plus years, they went from 13,000 people crossing illegally to 132,000 in may. there's a lot of things my sources throughout border patrol, cvp, and dhs have said that he should have done at that time, but certainly, you have had president trump in office -- besides the economy, probably the biggest topic to come up -- pews research released a report
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saying immigration became a bigger issue on top of what it was. whether it is because of what president trump is saying, it is certainly a forefront issue. it seems to be getting a lot of global attention as well. caller: going back to that -- host: gordon -- going back to the border wall, one of the bbc charts of the entire border from san diego to mata morris, a number of years ago, there was a talk between the joint park between the u.s. and mexico. there are difficult stretches for them to seal, if you will, between california and the gulf of mexico. have they thought at all about how they will do that? caller: at this point -- thet: at this point, one of border patrol sectors, has one of the lowest seizure rates. from eagle pass all the way out to el paso in january on
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a back road, to not even i-10. there is no radio, you don't get a station. so, the threat for border patrol is so low that, unless something started moving through the area and was seen to continue, i don't think you will see any type of barrier erected in that region. host: let's hear from terrence calling from hollow lulu, on the republican line. caller: good morning. to answer the previous caller's question, the problem trump avenue is not with legal immigration, it is with illegal immigration. it is about securing this country not only from drugs and people sneaking into the country, but also human trafficking. they don't traffic humans for prostitution or whatever, or the sex industry, through the port of entry. that is a big issue. i'm not concerned because i see what is happening that the democrats so discredit themselves that trump will only -- not only when the reelection,
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but he will take the house and keep the senate. it where we will have lawyers won't be able to hire illegal immigrants. -- employers won't be able to hire illegal immigrants. then, if you came across the border illegally, you will never become a citizen. you have to leave the country and apply in your home country or apply for whatever citizenship or whatever you want. you have to apply in your home country or another place. caller: thank you, -- host: thank you, terrence. anna giaritelli, thoughts? guest: the democrats have leaned with the squad, as we are calling it, does that help republicans take back the house? if they do take back the house and keep the senate, and president trump, have stalled on the wall, can they do what they need to do? do they have a plan saying they will move on this funding for this type of border barrier?
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we will move on these legislative fixes you hear everyone in congress talking about, but no one necessarily moving on in a meaningful way. host: i want to go back for a little history. in your article, roughly 700 miles of the 200 mile border fence has some sort of barrier as a result of the secure fence act, passed by congress during the george w. bush administration. it was the first major piece of legislation that funded the construction of berries -- barriers along the southern borders. what with that act do if it was fulfilled to fruition? guest: it was fulfilled to fruition. he finished it. i believe, last time i rode on it, it was about $2 billion towards 600-700 miles of barrier , which is about 15 million miles -- $50 million per mile not going very far. that ended up costing about $3
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billion putting up that much. they finished it right before 2010. host: how controversial was that? guest: it was not controversial at all. now,,ed to how it is granted, this was four to five years after 9/11, but democrats were supportive of this. everybody seemed to agree that we need to strengthen our southern border because there could be -- there is the potential for someone to come over who is not seeking asylum, not even may be a drug smuggler or human smuggler, but someone with bad intentions. it was done at the time and they had it done for a lot less money. host: we will go to charlie in atlantic, texas. let's go to him on the republican line. caller: thank you. what is the federal penalty for visa over stays and/or fines? guest: there's not really a federal penalty. when you illegally cross into
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the country your first time, it is a misdemeanor. the second time and after is a felony. for visa over stayers, what the cvp has been doing at airports, specifically, they are using facial recognition now at a number of airports nationwide as a pilot program to see, this person did overstay may be a year, and they will have a cbp p officer- cv correspond that person and say we know you have overstayed, but typically, they will put that person on the plane, make a note in the file, and that person is out of the country. they will not say, let's bring ice in and report you. you are already leaving the country. host: here is silver spring maryland, john, democrats line. caller: thanks for taking my call. i think we are missing the whole point. donald trump is using immigration to get his agenda.
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he has his talking point that this judge has already given to him last night. that is beside the point. what needs to be done here, congress should do their job. if the republicans and democrats don't come up with a solution about immigration, we will have this talking point. i'm sick and tired every time democrats, attack and democrats attack the borders and show pictures of kids, remember, this country has laws that we need to follow. as an immigrant who came to this country, we followed the law. you have to go through the right door and apply. you have laws that provideyou hu asylum. donald trump cannot stop that asylum. i think we need to understand one thing, some people are abusing the system. when you see kids coming, the parent they are with, they are not their parents. it is mind boggling that we have
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this kind of issue. i feel sorry about the immigration officers who are standing there, doing what the congress is supposed to do. ina, realistically, appreciate the things you have done, the investigative things, but the reality is, unless congress makes laws, we will have this confusion. that is the bottom of it. caller: all right, john. anna giaritelli. guest: i agree with him. every time i talked to a border patrol agent on to rank-and-file, a regular guy or woman working the job, it is, we have no way out. we are working overtime and doing everything we can. we are waiting for a solution and nothing is coming. we don't see an end to this. host: the associated press, the numbers, migration to the u.s.-mexico border, an unprecedented number of families are coming to the border, resulting in dangerously
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overcrowded detention facilities, and they are just looking at one day in the el paso dell norte processing center. detention center is operating at a drizzly overcrowded levels. let's hear from al in watertown, tennessee. independent line. caller: here is some basic finance. will have paid for itself, because each and every one of these illegals consumes far more government welfare than they will ever produce in tax revenue because they are on -- are all non-educated. the democrats want illegals as voters, the republicans want illegals for cheap labor. how do you stop it without a wall? you jail. you don't crime but incarcerate employers that employ illegal aliens. how many employers have been jailed? hardly anybody. the next thing you do is stop all of your welfare payments to these non-businesses.
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they will self departs. there is no reason for them to be here if you can't get a job and you can't get welfare. they will leave on their own. caller: ok, al. anna giaritelli. guest: that is something ice, homeland and security -- homeland security investigations are doing. hsi has moved significantly on -- i believe it was up 400% under trump last year, the employment verification and going after people. you've seen a lot of -- but they call them enforcement operations, going after places where they know they are hiring people illegally and they will arrest a person working illegally, but we are really going after the employer and company for engaging in that kind of activity. host: next is dan in jackson heights, new york. republican line. here as anh, i came immigrant a long time ago.
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nation status and it took us 10 years -- 20 years to get in here. so, i really think a lot of -- can be a real problem. on the other hand, you think these people who are over stays, these people came here for a reason. they usually had to have a good reason to get a temporary visa to come here. people, ifter these don't think would be very fruitful. what is the real problem is people who come here or are brought in here deliberately to violate a law and be a law violator when they are here. you can count on these people being caught up in the dark side of our society. i think you should distinguish between the different kinds of people you have, the different kinds of contributions they
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make, the different kinds of burdens they impose, and statistics suggest it is not very useful, because this country has got to have a more open and inclusive system. we depend on these people. we need them. host: that is dan in york. anna giaritelli, i want to go back to your story on the administration not building new wall. you got a lot of pushback, perhaps from the president himself. one of his tweets, he retweeted your story and said when we ripped down and totally replaced the dilapidated barrier on the southern border, something which cannot to the job, the fake news media gives us zero credit for building new wall. we replaced many miles of new barrier -- old barrier with new walls. what's it like with the iron directed at you? guest: it's not the first time. a lot of people know, do we take this seriously and say conservative leaning outlets
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doing a conservative story very critical of the administration. the most hate mail i have ever gotten from a story was one about congresswoman aoc. the second most would have been the story right here. the imo's i got from readers saying fake news. one thing i wanted to say was, read the story. everything is there. i've had people in dhs and the white house reach out to me privately in the past we can say it was accurate, we didn't like it, but it was accurate. that's all i would say. host: let's get one more call from washington. this is lester. caller: hello? host: you are on the air, go ahead. , i only have the question, what is the wall going to prove? when it has been proven time and time again that everyone has been able to climb over it. that is the only question i've actually had.
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caller: we will wrap up there on the wall. back to the decision by the supreme court allowing the administration to move ahead with $2.5 billion. ideally, what with the trumpet administration like to get? what is their dollar figure, the most recent dollar figure, for most recent wall construction? guest: in december, the administration asked for 5.7 billion dollars, and when they didn't get it, they moved to take $8 billion from congress. at this point, the administration is not putting too much out there. they will wait until the end of the year to start working on appropriations. at this point -- it is so difficult with democrats in the house to actually say we will ask congress for more money. i think you might see, similar to what they did this year, since the court did rule in favor of them, it might be the way to go come next year, until they can possibly win back the
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house. then, actually have legislators who might be willing to give them money for border security improvements. host: anna giaritelli covers border security and homeland security issues for the washington examiner. you can read her report on ♪ c-span's wasn't in, live policyay with news and issues that affect you. coming up on sunday, a report on election security. be sure to watch "washington a.m. sundaye at 7 morning. join the discussion. mondaysenate will vote morning to try to override president trump's veto
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overriding his deal to sell arms. it is expected to fall short. the president filed three motions of disapproval on wednesday. niels lesniewski is the senior senate staff writer for "rollcall." president's veto those resolutions? believese president this is, generally speaking, undue interference by congress in his conduct all foreign policy. also believes the arms sales themselves, specifically, are


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