tv Democracy Now PBS February 14, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
02/14/17 02/14/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the last thing canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern themselves. amy: as canadian prime minister justin trudeau meets donald trump at the white house, we speak to a leading indigenous activist who fears the two leaders are on the same page for building more oil pipelines, despite the political differences. then as a growing number of people are arrested in immigration raids, we speak to two new york immigrant rights organizers who fear their days in the united states are numbered. >> i have a criminal record.
i am a noncitizen. they are going to come for me and i might be lost. amy: and we will look at the new head of the fcc and republican efforts to kill net neutrality. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump's national security adviser michael flynn has resigned following revelations he spoke with the russian ambassador that u.s. sanctions during a late december phone call. flynn now says he misinformed vice president mike pence and top white house officials about contents of the call. the phone call was on december 29, the same day president obama imposed sanctions against russia and expel diplomats in retaliation for the alleged russian hacking of the u.s. election. lieutenant general flynn has claimed the phone call involved only small talk.
but u.s. officials who reviewed a transcript of a wiretap of the conversation say flynn discussed the sanctions -- a move that violates a 1799 us law, the logan act, which prohibits unauthorized people from negotiating with a foreign government. donald trump was not president at the time. "the washington post" reports former acting attorney general sally yates had warned trump's administration weeks ago that flynn might be lying about the call. last month, trump ousted yates after she refused to defend his muslim ban. on monday, "the washington post" reported the justice department had warned the white house flynn's call and his lies about it made him a blackmail risk. his resignation monday came after a tumultuous few days in which flynn increasingly lost support from trump and key white house officials, even as members of trump's inner circle publicly contradicted each other about flynn's fate. on monday, counselor to the president kellyanne conway went
on msnbc to say flynn had the full confidence of the president. one hour later, white house press secretary sean spicer told reporters trump was evaluating -- "evaluating theituation." on monday night, trump accepted flynn's resignation and appointed retired army lieutenant general keith kellogg to be the acting national security adviser. many are now asking what, if anything, trump himself do about flynn's conversation. longtime "new york times" editor tweeted -- some are even calling for impeachment hearings. flynn has been one of trump's most criticized and controversial picks for top positions. he is well-known for his anti-muslim worldview, having called islam a cancer and saying fear of muslims is rational. his son, also named michael flynn, was fired as a member of
trump's transition team after he shared fake news pushed by right-wing websites. among the conspiracy theories he pushed is one claiming hillary clinton and other prominent democrats were running a child sex ring from the back of a washington, d.c., pizza restaurant. the trump administration is also facing criticism for its very public handling of the north korea ballistic missile launch. the news of the launch broke on saturday night as trump and other white house officials were dining in the restaurant at the trump-owned mar-a-lago resort in florida, where trump was hosting japanese prime minister shinzo abe for the weekend. as trump and top officials moved to coordinate the united state'' response, other mar-a-lago diners gawked at the scene, including diner richard deagazio, who posted a series of photos on facebook along with the comments -- "holy moly !!! it was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that north korea had launched a missile in the direction of japan. wow. the center of the action!!!"
the display of dealing with classified information in public through fire from both senate and democrats -- senate democrats and republicans, including arizona senator john mccain. rhode island democratic senator sheldon whitehouse and new mexico democratic senator tom udall said -- "this is america's foreign policy, not this week's episode of "saturday night live." we urge our republican colleagues to start taking this administration's rash and unprofessional conduct seriously before there are consequences we all regret." on monday, the u.n. security council condemned north korea for the missile test, which is a violation of u.n. security council resolutions. on capitol hill, the senate has voted 53-47 to confirm steven mnuchin to be the treasury secretary. mnuchin is a former goldman sachs executive who has faced widespread criticism about his bank, onewest, which has been called a foreclosure machine. under mnuchin's ownership, the
bank foreclosed on 36,000 families, particularly elderly residents trapped in reverse mortgages. it was also accused of racially discriminatory lending practices. on monday, oregon democratic senator ron wyden criticized mnuchin's role in the housing crisis. >> a lot of people in those communities cast their votes in november based on a trump message that real change was coming. heads are going to be spending tonight, the news from the senate. in just a few minutes, this body will vote to confirm as treasury secretary steven mnuchin, known by many as the foreclosure king. amy: mnuchin is one of at least six of trump's top advisers and cabinet nominees who are tied to goldman sachs. the list also includes -- national economic council director gary cohn, trump chief strategist stephen bannon, securities and exchange
commission chair nominee jay clayton, senior white house adviser anthony scaramucci and senior counselor for economic initiatives dina habib powell. during his bruising confirmation hearings, mnuchin also faced criticism for not initially disclosing about $100 million in assets. "fortune" magazine recently reviewed financial disclosures by mnuchin and reported that he's as much as 10 times richer than previously thought, worth as much as $400 million. hundreds of fast food workers rallied in multiple cities to demand fast-food mogul andrew puzder withdraw his nomination for labor secretary. in anaheim, california, hundreds of fast-food workers and their supporters marched on the corporate office of puzder's cke restaurants, the company that franchises the fast-food outlets hardee's and carls jr.'s. in st. louis, missouri, hundreds flooded into the lobby of hardee's corporate headquarters to protest puzder. workers also rallied at hardees and carls jr. outlets in austin texas, st. paul, minnesota, and , in other cities.
the nationwide protests came as republican senators said they four will not support puzder's nomination threatening to derail , his confirmation vote. "the washington post" reports republican senators susan collins of maine, lisa murkowski of alaska, tim scott of south carolina, and johnny isakson of georgia say they may oppose puzder. puzder's confirmation hearing is scheduled for thursday after being delayed four times. he's facing increasing criticism for reports of widespread sexual harassment at his chain restaurants, as well as labor and safety violations. he's also under fire for allegations of domestic violence against his ex-wife, who even appeared on the "the oprah winfrey show" in disguise in 1990 to speak about being abused. politico reports senators have now viewed that march 1990 episode, which was titled "high-class battered women," after the oprah winfrey network turned over a tape of the show to lawmakers. puzder's ex-wife has since retracted the accusations of abuse.
in more news on trump's cabinet nominations, the senate has unanimously confirmed david shulkin to be head of the veterans administration. shulkin, a physician, served as va undersecretary during the obama administration. he's the first head of the department of veterans affairs to have never served in the military. president trump's muslim travel ban has received two more legal blows. on monday, u.s. district court judge leonie brinkema in virginia granted a preliminary injunction against the executive order being enforced against virginia residents or anyone who either works or studies at virginia public universities. in her ruling, the judge wrote -- "maximum power does not mean absolute power." also on monday, seattle u.s. district judge robart ruled the lawsuit against the travel ban should proceed quickly in lower court -- a decision that ruled against the justice department, which wanted the case to be put on hold. robart was the federal judge who first ordered a nationwide
suspension of trump's travel ban, sparking a twitter rant from the president, who called robart a so-called judge. last week, a federal appeals court in san francisco unanimously upheld the nationwide suspension of trump's executive order, which sought to temporarily bar all refugees and citizens from seven muslim-majority countries from entering the united states. resistance to the muslim travel ban, as well as trump's crackdown against immigration and immigrants currently living in the united states, continues nationwide. in milwaukee, wisconsin, tens of thousands of people marched monday for a "day without latinos, immigrants and refugees." the massive march was called to oppose milwaukee county sheriff david clarke's plan to cooperate with trump's deportation crackdown and allow his deputies to be used as immigration agents. sheriff clarke sparked controversy with his speech at the republican national convention when he celebrated
the acquittal of a police officer charged in the case of freddie gray, who died from injuries sustained in police custody in baltimore. monday's march in milwaukee is the latest in a series of mass demonstrations since trump's inauguration, which also include a massive march in raleigh, north carolina, on saturday, when an estimated 20,000 people flooded into the streets for the north carolina naacp's annual "moral march on raleigh" to demonstrate against president trump and north carolina's anti-lgbt legislation hb2, also known as the bathroom bill, which denies transgender people the use of the bathroom, changing room or locker room , that matches their gender identity. u.n. secretary-general antonio guterres says he "deeply regrets" the u.s.'s decision to block former palestinian prime minister salam fayyad from serving as the next u.n. special representative to libya. u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley blocked his appointment friday, claiming the u.n. has been biased in favor of
the palestinian authority and that the move was intended to show u.s. support for israel. this is u.n. secretary general guterres. >> i believe he is the right person for the right job at the right moment. he has qualities that are recognized everywhere. ps a confidence that nobody denies -- he has a confidence that nobody denies. lydia requires the kind of capacity that he has. i think it is a lost for the libyan people that i am not able -- amy: in pakistan, a suicide attack targeting a protest in lahore killed at least 13 people tuesday. jamaat-ur-ahrar, a faction of the pakistani taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded more than 80 people. it struck a rally of hundreds of pharmacists and drug manufacturers who were protesting against government regulations of drugs. this is lahore resident hassan babur. andhere was peace
tranquility recently. yesterday's incident once again showed that these things, incidents of terrorism, have started taking place once again. amy: and a former black liberation activist who spent 35 years in prison -- 27 on death row -- is free. zolo azania was convicted of killing a police officer during a 1981 bank robbery in indiana. at his trial, he was an outspoken member of the republic of new afrika, and maintained his innocence. an all white jury sentenced him to death, but the state supreme court twice overturned his death sentence. he was later given a 74-year sentence and was released early last week after earning credit for good behavior. >> i am released february 6. a monday. my whole life changed. evenarth even -- the air smelled different. i want to thank everyone who supported me over the years. everyone who has supported me
and offered me their assistance and their sympathies and condolences for the people have lost, for the people who did not make it. i've seen a lot of people get executed. amy: azania's supporters have set up a gofundme page to help the 62-year-old rebuild his life as he looks for employment and continues his activism. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. canadian prime minister justin trudeau visited the white house monday for the first meeting since donald trump took office. in a joint news conference, trump and trudeau discussed trade, national security and immigration policy. trudeau said the two had a "strong and fruitful" conversation about immigration and security, issues on which they have disagreed.
>> there have been times when we have differed in our approaches, and that has always been done formally and respectfully. the last thing canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern themselves. my role and our responsibility is to continue to govern in such a way that reflects canadians approach and be a positive example in the world. juan: during trudeau's visit, donald trump reiterated his pledge to renegotiate nafta. pres. trump: outstanding trade relationship with canada. we will be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries. it is a much less severe situation than what has taken place on the southern border. on the southern border, for many, many years, the
transaction was not fair to the united states. extremely unfair transaction. we would -- we will work with mexico. we will make it a good different both parties. i think we're going to get along very well with mexico. they understand and we understand. juan: trudeau's visit to the white house comes as he faces several challenges at home. a growing number of asylum seekers are braving freezing temperatures in an attempt to reach canada through the border between north dakota and manitoba. several refugees have suffered frostbite after trekking for hours in sub-zero weather, and aid organizations are overwhelmed. many of those seeking refuge in manitoba come from one of the seven countries targeted by donald trump's anti-immigration executive order. they say they are worried about being deported if they remain in the united states. amy: canadian prime minister justin trudeau has also come under fire by environmental activists for approving two major pipelines -- kinder morgan's $5 billion trans
mountain pipeline, and the $7.5-billion enbridge line 3 pipeline. the trans mountain pipeline would carry oil from the alberta tar sands to a port in vancouver. the enbridge line 3 pipeline would carry tar sands oil from alberta, across the u.s.-canadian border, to a terminal in superior, wisconsin. both pipelines face massive resistance from canadian first nations. for more we are going to clayton thomas-muller, a leading organizer and writer on environmental justice and indigenous rights. he is a campaigner at 350. and a member of the mathias colomb cree nation, in northern manitoba, canada. we welcome you to democracy now! can you talk about the significance of this meeting of your prime minister justin trudeau coming down to washington to meet with and hold a joint news conference with president donald trump? >> certainly. i think this visit and all of
the eyes on this visit put incredible pressure on prime minister justin trudeau. many of us representing social movements here in canada -- to theo be baffled right of justin trudeau and his administration, in particular, the departure from their commitment that the paris climate summit to 1.5 degree target in line with the call to action from small island states whose countries are literally disappearing under our rising seas, through approving two massive tar sands project you just described. and also committing to work with the racist, misogynist, islamaphobic, native american oning president donald trump the keystone xl pipeline -- a pipeline that the former president rejected in the name due to pressure from
social movements. so i think that this trip was an opportunity for justin trudeau to be a hero, to stand up in the face of all of the shock doctrineesque policy announcements that president trump has been making and to be a real climate leader and not partner with the united states on the keystone xl pipeline. it continues to be a very disturbing thing. a number of other issues as well, when you look at the woman's advocacy program for the 1%, you know, justin trudeau continues to call himself a outnist yet does not call the united states having just called a sitting member of the senate pocahontas. justin trudeau, in the election trail, said that first nations was the most important
relationship with the federal government of canada. and for him to not take a stand and call out the president over this obvious and blatant sexism and racism just add to the pile of disturbing this of the whole visit. juan: you mention the xl pipeline. at a news conference last month, canadian prime minister justin trudeau welcomed the decision by donald trump to move ahead on the keystone xl pipeline project. this is what he said. >> in both the conversations i have had with president trump now, keystone xl came up as the topic and i reiterated my support for the project. i have been on the record for many years supporting it because it leads to economic growth and good jobs for albertans. this is about the responsible approach on growing the economy, creating good jobs for canadians while we protect the environment for now and for future generations. this is what canadians expect of
us. juan: what about this comment, specially in view of the fact many people expected with his election that he would bring a much more forward thinking administration in canada after years of conservative leadership? >> canadians expect justin trudeau to be a hero. on the election trail, he committed to ratifying the u.n. declaration on the rights of indigenous people. he committed to being a champion for the rights of women. he committed to being a champion for the sacredness of mother earth through adopting climate change policies this side of the border. all of these promises that justin trudeau has made tommy he has broken. and for us, one of the things that we will continue to make -- draw parallels between, of course, is that the trudeau government has prepared itself for a standing rock level of resistance to its controversial approval of tar sands pipeline this side of the border. for us, donald trump and the
role his administration has played in exacerbating the circumstances in standing rock, one can only assume, you know, that the two are more alike than we would like them to be. involved inho are social movements, resisting the example -- also feel , social movements will continue to organize in nonviolent and beautiful ways against both administrations and to we get to some kind of climate sanity that takes us off of dirty fossil fuel economy. amy: clayton thomas-mueller, you have been a presence at the resistance camps standing rock and canadian first nations have been heavily represented their, joining together with native americans from latin america and the united states as well. what are your thoughts directly
on president trump moving forward, giving the ok for the dakota access pipeline? the easement has been granted and the reports that we have is that energy transfer partners, the dakota access pipeline, on which the department of energy secretary rick perry sat on its was governor of texas, what are your thoughts on the construction crews moving forward to drill under the missouri river right now? well, it bears a solidarity to all the frontline water protectors in standing rock now more than ever. social movements, the women's rights movement, the lgbtq movement, black lives matter -- you know, this is a call out to all social movements to stand in solidarity with standing rock against the obvious conflict of interest that this administration has with energy transfer in making this decision
to approve the easement. there has been a call to support people on the front line and there has been a call for citizens to take action all across the lower 48 united states and across mother earth as well. so, certainly, first nations in canada will continue to organize and solidarity with them as we now to our own nonviolent offensive against the candor morgan pipeline -- kinder morgan pipeline, enbridge, transcanada used pipeline here in canada. juan: i want to ask you about another issue that came up in the visit of justin trudeau, the issue of trade. during monday's appearance at the white house, canadian prime ministers trudeau stressed he planned to work with the u.s. on trade. this is what he said. >> canadians are rightly aware of the fact that much of our economy depends on good working relationships with the united states, good integration with
the american economy, and the fact is, millions of good jobs on both sides of the border depend on the smooth and easy flow of goods and services and people back and forth across our border. and both president trump and i got elected on commitments to support the middle class, to work hard for people who need a real shot at success. and we know by working together, by ensuring the continued effective integration of our two economies, we're boy to be creating greater opportunities for middle-class, canadians and americans, now and well into the future. juan: meanwhile, donald trump says he is looking at tweaking portions of the north american free trade agreement that deals with trade between u.s. and canada. obviously, during the campaign, he was talking about renegotiating the entire deal.
obviously, for canada, that means a big issue because about 70% of canada's trade is with the united states. trade is anhink excellent example how much like the united states canada's economy and its economic excess is fundamentally based on the disposition -- dispossession of indigenous peoples from their lands to provide open-door access to extractive companies to take the resources from said land and sell on the international market to the highest bidder. trudeau reopening nafta with donald trump, you know, just makes me think of the bilateral free trade agreement that they are negotiating with china as well as with the european union. these trade agreements put incredible pressure on indigenous communities here in canada, where the majority of natural resources are being extracted and done so without consulting with these rights holding nations within canada, the settler colonial state.
so it is highly problematic of his conversation is happening in a vacuum from first nations governments, which is one of the orders of governments here in canada, and, certainly, social movements are watching this discussion around reopening of onta with a heavy lens indigenous sovereignty. amy: your speaking to us from manitoba were many have been brazing -- braving freezing temperatures to reach canada from north dakota. there are reports of at least two men who lost all of their fingers to frostbite after a 10 hour journey across the border. this is omar jamal. ,> it is worth the risk otherwise we wouldn't do it. i hope we can get the attention to do something about this. amy: that was omar jamal of the
somali community of minnesota. your response to immigrants leaving the united states and going over the border and what he is describing he faces, clayton? there has beenk many disturbing stories about migrants coming across the border in search of a better life and in search of freedom from donald trump's cure any in in theressive -- tyranny eyes rates that are taking place across the united states. justin trudeau, being like any politician, has used this opportunity to get some point in the media by saying our doors are open, but we know that it is just not that black and white. , and the climate justice movement, we understand that within our lifetimes, we will see the migration issue grow into the hundreds of millions because of catastrophic climate destabilization and
violent, predictable violent weather related events. these problems are only going to compound -- again, another reason why i think trudeau has missed the mark in saying setdians do not want him to a good example and how we deal with a regime of the united states that is blatantly white supremacist, blatantly islamaphobic, blatantly against working in a good way with its local indigenous population. justin trudeau can do better. amy: as we begin to wrap up, there was a very interesting question asked by canadian journalist of trudeau in trouble. she said -- joint president trump, you send to suggest that syrian refugees are a trojan horse for potential terrorism while the prime and is to hug refugees and welcomes them with open arms. so i would like to know, are you confident the northern border is secure? clayton thomas-mueller, your
response, ? look, i think canada is a different than any other country in the world dealing with radicalism. we just had a radical christian fundamentalist terrorist attack in quebec city against a mosque just the other day. the trump administration, sean spicer, quoted it as been assessed with the moroccan dissent when the reality of it was it was white christian fundamentalism responsible for this terror attack. i think canada, just like any other country in the world, has its own challenges to deal with as far as security. however, i think the exacerbating tensions in the middle east, perpetuating hatred against islam, you know, these are all textbook ways of how not to address the problem of
islamic,m, may it be christian, or zionist or any other form of it. again, like i said, our prime minister has a chance to be a hero in the rise of charity, and he needs to do better in canadians expect them to do better -- certainly, first nations expect the most of him in how he conducts himself, especially on the keystone xl pipeline and issues a standing rock. juan: i want to ask you, you mention the attack in the mosque in quebec. we have seen in many european countries, the rise of right-wing populist movements. a lot of them into immigrant in nature. what is happening among canadians? are you seeing the rise of a populist right-wing movement in that country -- which has always had a tolerant viewpoint toward immigration. >> know, i think one plus one equals two.
the rise of fascism, the rise of islamophobia and blatant white supremacy and patriarchy in the united states and the president of the united states has had a dramatic impact on emboldening .acists here in canada this is one and one make two. that is why for us, we continue to hammer on the prime minister, on matters of climate denial is some, i matters of xenophobia, canadians expect more of our government. our government and canada's international image has always been one of human rights defender. even when they have not even done a good job at that, but they've always perpetuated that image. i think it is important that justin trudeau, you know, walk lightly as he moves forward and how deep he decides to get in
bed with donald trump. amy: clayton thomas-mueller, thank you for joining us leading , organizer and writer on environmental justice and indigenous rights, with the "stop it at the source" campaigner at 350.org. he is a member of the mathias colomb cree nation, in northern manitoba, canada, treaty 6 territory. this is democracy now! you we come back, a story may not hear very much about in the mainstream media because it is about the media and loss around the internet. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to look at president donald trump's newly appointed chair of the federal communications commission, ajit pai. he has begun to attack the neutrality rules and other consumer protections. in a series of actions earlier this month, he blocked nine
companies from providing affordable high-speed internet to low-income families. future the fcc's support from an effort to curb the exorbitant cost of phone calls from prison and also said he disagrees with the 2015 decision to regulate the internet like a public utility. amy: or more, we go to los angeles where we're joined by jessica gonzalez, deputy director and senior counsel at free press. gonzalez was formerly on the fcc's open internet advisory committee and diversity committee. she is also the former executive vice president of the national hispanic media coalition. jessica gonzalez, welcome to democracy now! talk about the significance of to beevation of ajit pai to head of the fcc and the stance he takes. >> ajit pai is the new sec chairman and should come as a surprise to no one that he poses a significant threat, not only to net neutrality, but also to the digital divide. in his first week in office, he
talked a good game about bridging the digital divide. actions speak louder than words. there is a very, very troubling history of voting against reforms to both bring affordable access to poor americans, low-income americans, to people of color who disproportionately lack home internet access, but also a troubling history of voting against net neutrality. he voted against the lifeline order to modernize lifeline and bring affordable log in to low income families. he voted against the rate order to help bring high-speed internet to high schools and libraries and poor neighborhoods. he voted against net neutrality to get the internet opens up people who do not usually get a spot in mainstream media can't tell their own stories, can organize for justice, and can make a living. we are very concerned. we have a close eye on him. we cannot trust what he says. actions speak louder than words.
juan: in a 2015 interview with 's adjustedajit pai any regulation of the internet is harmful. this is what he said. >> do you trust the federal government to make the internet system more vibrant that it is today? can you think of any regulated utility like the electric covered or water, the that is as innovative as the internet? they are saying this has worked really well and there's no reason for the fcc to mess it up by inserting itself into areas where it has thousand before. juan: what about the issue of his view of the internet? it took the obama administration several years, only love last couple of years of obama's presidency before they finally took a clear stand that the internet was a public utility and even under wheeler, who no one expected as the chair of the fcc, former telecommunications
guy, that it would pass -- it would take that stand it has now. what would it mean if pai got the fcc vote to rescind that? dangerous. be very look, we are in an administration trying to shut down speech. we have a president and his surrogates telling the media to shut up. they're trying to silence dissent. the internet is one clear way where we know that people, movements, can control the narrative and can organize. 4 million americans wrote to the them, we15 and told want an open internet. we understand the internet companies have monopoly-like status, that they are blocking -- that that the power and the incentive to block access and a cut special deals behind our backs. we don't want that. we want to be able, once we pay the hefty prices we do to get on the internet, we want to be able to go where we want, see what we want, and access the content we want without getting shoved over
into a slow lane if you don't have the money. it is incredibly vital now more than ever that we protect an open internet and that this administration he'd the millions and millions of regular people -- i think we cannot trust ajit pai. he is walking in the footsteps of trump. we need to be very careful. juan: i would ask about the civil rights organizations on this issue, the naacp and others and this minority media, telecommunications organization. role you talk about the these organizations have played in the debate? >> there are a few organizations that represent people of color that have come out on the wrong side of this issue. it is troubling, but frankly, if you look at the grassroots, the vast majority of people of color understand this -- we understand
that we do not like the way we have been represented in mainstream media. we are portrayed as criminals, portrayed as people who pose a danger to society. we understand the internet has played a democratizing force in making sure that our voices are heard, and making sure we have been able to organize, and making sure we can really, you know, cap into the networks that we need to tap into to change the narrative in this country for the better of lots of different issues. for the water protectors, immigrant rights activists, for black lives matter. and we see the way that movements have utilized internet to change the way society perceives us. and so these groups -- there are a few of them -- they are on the wrong set of the issue. , you very troubling, but know, they don't represent most people of color.
amy: i want to ask you about ajit pai's position on the fcc's attempts to present prison phone monopolies from drastically overcharging families for phone calls to prisoners. >> this is yet another example of where he talks the talk but he walks in the other direction. in both 2013 and 2015, the fcc looked at the issue of exorbitant prison phone rates. some families of inmates and detainees are paying up to $17 for a 15 minute call. it is outrageous. the prisons are getting kickbacks from prison phone companies to charge these exorbitant rates. it is a real abuse of power. ajit pai knowledged this was unjust and the interest of inmate families may not necessarily a line with the prison phone companies. yet he went ahead and voted against two different orders to
help regulate the rates and the fees that are charged by these companies. he talks the talk, but he does not walk the walk. he felt a 20 page dissent in 2013 that mirrored some of the company's talking points. so we have to hold him accountable on this. he does not have the best interest of the community of color and poor people at heart. we need to hold his feet to the fire. juan: you are a member of the open internet advisory committee and diversity committee. have those been dissolved or what has happened? i understand you have not been called to any meetings in quite a while. >> it has been a couple of years since i've heard anything about those. they used to be active a few years back. we would meet on a semi regular basis. i do not think i have received an official word on whether or not they exist anymore, but i certainly have not been invited to any meetings in the past couple of years.
jessica gonzalez, they for joining us deputy director & , senior counsel at free press. formally with the fcc's open internet advisory committee and diversity committee. back, twume immigrants right activist here in new york in the face of the attempted imposition of the muslim travel ban, but also the raids that have been taking place across the country. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: performing in our democracy now! studio. to see the full interview and a performance, go to democracynow.org. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to the recent raids on immigrant communities across the united states. the department of homeland security said monday the number of immigrants arrested over the past week has risen to 680.
raids were reported in at 11 -- in at least 11 states including california, new york, georgia, north carolina, south carolina, illinois, indiana, kansas, kentucky, missouri, and wisconsin. officials said of those arrested, 75% were "criminal aliens." they described the raids as routine. but more people are being detained compared to periods of routine enforcement during the obama administration. on monday, president trump said he was fulfilling a campaign promise. pres. trump: i said we would get the rebels out, the drug lords, the gang members. we are getting them out. general kelly, who is sitting right here, is doing a fantastic job. i said at the beginning, we're ones, theet the bad really bad ones. we are getting them out. that is exactly what we are doing.
in the end, everyone is going to be externally happy. amy: well, here in new york city, immigration agents arrested at least 40 people over the last week, even though it is a sanctuary city. officials said 95% had criminal convictions. to talk more about who is being targeted, we are joined by two prominent immigrant rights activists here in new york. both of them are also immigrants whose criminal records put them at risk of deportation. abraham paulos is executive director of families for freedom, which includes many members whose lives have been affected by the intersection of the criminal justice system and immigration enforcement. also with us is ravi ragbir, executive director of the new sanctuary coalition of new york city, an interfaith network that helps immigrant families stay together. ravi faces deportation when he goes to his ice check-in on march 9. we welcome you both to democracy now! ravi, tell us your story and why you face the predation the next few weeks. >> i have a criminal conviction.
it was back in 2000, i was convicted for fraud. basically, what you have -- what caused the collapse of the mnuchin sayingt he is a foreclosure king. following their rules, i was -- convicted. because of that, i'm facing deportation. any code that was more than 15 years ago. >> yes. i have a green card. my wife is a citizen. my daughter is a citizen. with that, does not change the there's a high probability i will be detained and reported. juan: how long have you been in the country? >> over 25 years. one company the obama administration, what was happening? how are they dealing with it and what are your worries about the changes under trump? >> under the obama
administration, things were still difficult. this is a sanctuary city. we are not going into that topic right now. and he himself has created this machinery, this monster that all trump has to do is release it. he is releasing it. he asked me what has happened with my case under the obama administration. there were rules and regulations they sort of of held. one of which is while i'm still fighting my case in court, they did not support me. i still have my case in court, but under this administration, i'm not sure that will have pulling and more. juan: the new sanctuary coalition, it is my understanding they were formed a must a day after the election in november? no? talk about coalition. >> it was formed in 2007 under the bush and administration when -- they started it because of
the impact of the time of the immigrant community and the [indiscernible] like civil rights and holocaust, they had to protect their congregation. it started in 2007. i took over in 2010. we mobilized and we build the sanctuary to protect people of color immigrants. one thing things -- you need to know, in 2009, when we started, that is when the term "century city" can together because we initiated that. amy: we just did a segment last week on guadalupe garcia in texas -- in arizona, and she was deported.
she undergo to a check in and in that is where they picked her up. she went to this check in every years.or eight you face that same kind of check-in. is this going to determine people from showing up at check-in? are you going to show up at your's? >> i am going to show up at my check-in. will be afraid they will be handcuffed. i still report three times a with many restrictions on my freedom. but still, even though it will cause a lot of trauma and terror in us, and a lot of us will still want to go to check-in's because we have no choice. we're caught between a beast and a shock. no matter where we are, we will be eaten alive. if we don't go, we will be
targeted. we will become a fugitive. we are are ready in the database. as soon as we interrupt, we will be arrested and taken away. juan: abraham paulos, you're also facing deportation. not say worried. i'm not scared about that. i came here in 1981 from sudan. there was a war happening there. i came to the u.s. to another war, called the war on drugs, the war on crime, the war on are pretty particularly in the 1990's. that was the last time immigration laws had passed in this country. -- as much asrism there is a lot of worry around the priorities and what have you, i really want to remind people that the laws have not changed. when they do change, was under a clinton administration that continues to grow. his, presidency,
had also deported more people than any other president before. then obama and we will see how donald trump does. essentially, you know, in 2003, i went for my citizenship. because of my arrest, i was denied. but it was also a couple of weeks after the department of homeland security was sort of created. what you're saying is this law enforcement agency, particularly immigration, customs, enforcement, continuing to grow. it started in the 1980's and 1990's. that is essentially my story. more recently, six or seven years ago, i got picked up in brooklyn for a robbery that i physically could not have done. city, iey do in the ended up in rikers. there is where i found out ice had an office in rikers and it that is that i leave. where families for freedom found me. amy: talk about that, ice the
net rikers. you can have two people who committed or did not commit a crime -- because you can be at rikers without being convicted -- one gets out and goes home. they serve the same amount of time. the other one is picked up by ice and taken away. >> absolutely. this is been the name way new yorkers have been getting deported. through detainer. there's another program called secure communities, the fingerprint sharing program that everyone citizen and checks them against immigration database. after you get a so-called hit, a detainer comes out -- essentially a hold says anyone held as a noncitizen in rikers will be held for immigration to pick up and start the deportation process. i want to make clear, in new york, most new yorkers who have gotten deported, the process has started with the nypd. amy: let's talk about the process starting with the nypd. on saturday, hundreds protested
the new york police department's broken windows policing strategy of arresting people for low-level offenses, which can funnel them into a process that can result in deportation. this is albert saint jean, a haitian-american fellow with the black alliance for just immigration, who addressed mayor bill de blasio. >> he has to get his house in order if you really wants a sanctuary city, a freedom city, you know, where we can feel free to walk around in our own communities without feeling like "i did something wrong just for existing." -- where little mistakes won't ruin the best of our lives. juan: what about this issue of how the city of administration, the police department, instilling with this issue? how was it under mayor bloomberg and how has it changed, at all, under mayor de blasio? >> exec at a 42 was passed under mayor bloomberg. essentially, it was this
physically regulating city agencies and data sharing information sharing. or collecting confidential information which immigration status is. under bloomberg, i mean, what you are starting to see is the nypd -- new york city is becoming a police state. at the nypd is growing and growing. last are we at 1300 new police officers. is budget for new the nypd more than education. what you're seeing is particularly under de blasio, you are seeing that no one is standing up to the nypd. you can see this which the nypd made sure they wanted to be in the room to desk so they would accept this idea or not. i think in general, we are seeing more of the same and nothing has really changed. juan: the city has said the n.y.c. id information is private information that won't be shared with other law-enforcement agencies?
>> the city says a lot of things , first of all. at first they said they needed to collect the records or keep the records, but that is what nypd said. and now they're saying they do not need to do it. what probably will not be destroyed our people's names, addresses, and photos. >> i went to address that. we use it as a tool to protect us in the space if there is a ice raid or they come into the area. , they're not taking any documents, keeping any documents, not even scanning them. some moving forward, anyone who is given it is safe throughout the process. >> but they should never collected in the first place. that is what i'm trying to say, ravi. we need this,ys and all of a sudden you don't need it, that sounds like someone made a mistake.
amy: can i ask you what sanctuary means to you? >> it means a number of things. the original meaning of sanctuary is where the physical space is -- where you can seek refuge any of the underground railroad come the slave trade, the sanctuary for the holocaust that i mentioned earlier where the building itself becomes a sanctuary. now are talking about sanctuary being taken out of the churches, out of the houses of worship into the streets, into federal immigration toto work with them to protect them and stand up. when they observe what is happening, then they can speak firsthand because their seeing what is happening. amy: talking about immigration, abraham, you are affected not
only by the immigrant roundups and the people dealing with this, but also the muslim ban. >> yeah, i was born in an islamic country. i think -- this is about race in general. we really need to call it for what it is. we're living under what's a premises and we have been for -- white supremacy and we have been for hundreds of years. donald trump is not the first supremacist to be president. we have 43 before. amy: you're wearing a t-shirt that says "deportee." do you expect to be deported? >> i am not afraid. community's should not be afraid. this is a situation we have been dealing with for a long time. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, abraham paulos, head of families for freedom. and ravi ragbir, of the new sanctuary coalition of new york city. he faces deportation when he
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