tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 20, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
07/20/21 07/20/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> a consortium of news outlets including frontline have been investigating the use of spyware called pegasus any israeli company that sells it to foreign governments. >> anything on the phone including pictures, contacts, listening to calls. amy: the israeli cyber
surveillance company says it's powerful spyware is meant to target criminals but is being used by client countries to spy on activists, politicians, dissidents, and journalists. israel allowed nso to keep doing this with saudi arabia even after the saudi journalist jamal khashoggi was assassinated in its consulate in turkey.'s fiancé was one of pegasus's targets. >> i remember the first day after the murder, a lot of times they tried to hack my email. and gmail was sitting to me -- sending to me emails someone trying to open your account. amy: we will speak with the secretary general of amnesty international dr. agnès callamard, who as a u.n./rep.
turner: that an investigation into -- special rapporteur led an investigation into khashoggi's murder. in the latest attack on immigrant communities, federal judge has struck down daca. we will look at what is next with a daca recipient who is lived in the u.s. for nearly 30 years. love that a more, coming up. -- all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. researchers have found india's death toll from covid-19 may be 10 times higher than the country's official tally. a new report by the center for global development finds there have been as many as 4.7 million exss deaths india sin the starof the pandemic. india's official death toll from the pandemic is 414,000.
this comes as covid cases surge across the globe. indonesia reported over 1300 deaths monday, the highest single day toll since the start of the pandemic. but public health experts fear the actual toll is far higher. in japan, the number of covid cases linked to the olympic games has now reached 71. the opening ceremony is set to take place on friday where cases write a six-month high in tokyo. in the united states, covid-19 cases have tripled over the past month as the highly contagious delta variant radly spreads across the country, particularly in areas with low vaccination rates. cases are now rising in all 50 states. on monday, president biden urged everyone eligible to get vaccinated. pres. biden: if you are kind vaccinated, are not protected so please get vaccinated.
get vaccinated now. it works. it is safe. it is free. it is convenient. amy: on monday, the american academy of pediatrics recommended all students over the age of two, as well as teachers and staff, wear masks when they return to school even if they have been vaccinated. however, many states have banned school mask mandates. in related news, a federal judge has ruled indiana university can proceed with its plan to require all students get vaccinated before returning to campus. meanwhile, twitter has temporarily suspended republican congressmember marjorie taylor greene for posting misinformation about covid-19 and vaccines. acting haitian prime minister claude joseph says he plans to transfer power today to ariel henry, a neurosurgeon who was appointed by president jovenel moïse shortly before he was assassinated on july 7.
both joseph and henry had claimed power following moïse's death. over the weekend, the united states and other members of the so-called core group threw its support behind henry who will become haiti's seventh prime minister in four years. on monday, state department spokesperson ned price dended the biden administration's decision to intervene. he was questioned by the associated press's matt lee. >> we are taking the side of the haitian people. >> the guy whose name had not taken office. >> we are taking the side of the haitian people. this has been an ongoing dialogue between stakeholders. >> whether they want to admit it or not, there was a shift and what you have been saying prior to that statement, were in support of the acting prime minister and then all of a sudden on saturday, when the other members of the core group came out in support of mr. henry. >> we are supporting the inclusive dialogue.
amy: in news from peru, the socialist teacher and union leader pedro castillo has been officially declared the winner of the june 6 presidential election after right-wing presidential candidate keiko fujimori failed in her attempt to overturn the results. castillo won by about 44,000 votes. he spoke to supporters on monday. >> we will reject any -- we peruvians all manage true economic development guaranteeing legal and economic stability. i asked that keiko fujimori not place barriers in the way so we may move forward and make us a government of all peruvians. amy: in iraq, at least 35 people died monday in an explosion at a market in the sadr city neighborhood of baghdad. the market was packed with shoppers preparing for the eid al-adha festival.
more than 60 people were injured. isis claimed responsibility. in afghanistan, three rockets landed near the presidential palace in kabul earlier today while afghan president ashraf ghani and other top officials were taking rt in eid prayers. the incident was aired live on television. amy: there were no immediate reports of injuries. the taliban denied responsibility for the blast. ben & jerry's has announced it will stop selling its ice cream in israeli settlements in the occupied west bank saying it is "inconsistent with our values." supporters of bds, the boycott divestment and sanctions movement, hailed the decision which comes after years of pressures by groups, including vermonters for justice in palestine. this is mahmoud nawajaa, coordinator of the palestinian bds national committee.
>> this announcement is so important and came after years of pressure on the company to end its involvement. amy: israel's new foreign minister yair lapid blasted ben & jerry's decision, claiming it was a "disgraceful capitulation to anti-semitism." ben & jerry's ice cream was founded in vermont by ben cohen and jerry greenfield, both of whom are jewish. a moroccan court has sentenced independent journalist omar radi to six years in prison. he was arrested last year on what press freedom advocates call retaliatory charges. for years, radi has been targeted by moroccan authorities for his reporting on corruption and human rights. last year, amnesty international revealed moroccan authorities had hacked his phone using pegasus spyware from the israeli company nso group. we will have more on pegasus and omar radi later in the show. we will speak to the secretary
general of amnesty international after headlines. a florida man who took part in the january 6 insurrection has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison. paul hodgkins was filmed wearing a trump 2020 t-shirt and carrying a trump flag on the floor of the u.s. senate after trump supporters attacked the capitol in an effort to disrupt the counting of electoral votes. hodgkins is the first capitol rioter convicted of a felony to be sentenced. federal prosecutors had asked for an 18-month sentence. meanwhile, house minority leader kevin mccarthy has recommended five republicans to serve on the select committee investigating the january 6 attack. all five voted against impeaching trump after the riot. three of the republican lawmakers -- jim jordan of ohio, jim banks of indiana, and troy nehls of texas -- also voted to overturn the 2020 election. in oregon, the bootleg fire grew by over 350,000 acres monday. it is the largest wildfire in the united states this year and
the third largest in the history of oregon. there are now 80 fires burning in 13 states, including seven other large fires in oregon. in minnesota, authorities arrested indigenous leader winona laduke and at least six other water protectors monday during a protest at the shell river against the enbridge line 3 tar sands pipeline. in washington, d.c., over 100 women were arrested monday outside the supreme court during a protest calling for voting rights and economic justice. those arrested included the reverend liz theoharis, co-chair of the poor people's campaign who helped organize the women's moral march. >> we are all too aware that the extremist politicians who are suppressing and stealing our ability to vote are the same politicians who deny living wages, refuse to expand health care, exploit immigrants and
lgbtqia people and women, and so we march. amy: leyna bloom has made history by becoming the first trans model to appear on the cover of the sports illustrated swimsuit issue. on monday, bloom tweeted -- "this moment heals a lot of pain in the world. we deserve this moment. we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder." meanwhile, luke prokop has become the first active player in the national hockey league to come out as gay. the nashville predators drafted the 19-year-old player last year. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: we begin today's show with the shocking findings of the
pegasus project, an international collaboration of 17 media organizations that investigated the israeli cyber surveillance company nso group. the nso group manufactures and sells advanced spyware to governments called "pegasus" that can secretly infect a mobile phone and harvest its information. the company claims its spyware is meant to target terrorists and criminals. but data leaked to the pegasus project suggests several countries used the powerful cyber espionage tool to spy on activists, politicians, dissidents, and journalists. the consortium analyzed a leaked dataset of 50,000 phone numbers that allegedly belong to persons of interest to nso's customers. a sample showed dozens of cases of successful and attempted pegasus infections. the reporting also revealed a massive wave of attacks by nso group's customers on iphones, potentially affecting thousands of apple users worldwide. in one of the most shocking
findings, the pegasus project reported the israeli government allowed nso to continue to do business with saudi arabia even after the saudi government was -- saudi journalist jamal khashoggi was assassinated in 2018 in istanbul. in a moment, we will speak with the secretary general in one of the lead reporters. at first, pbs frontline report that follows "washington post" reporter dana priest, one of more than 80 journalists working on the pegasus project, as she traveled to turkey to verify if pegasus had been used to surveil khashoggi's fiancée, hatice cengiz. the report was coordinated by the journalism nonprofit forbidden stories, with technical support from amnesty international's security lab. >> from october 2, 2018, journalist jamal khashoggi
walked into the saudi consulate in turkey and never came back out. around the time of his murder, the powerful spyware may have been used to surveil his family. >> journalists hacked by spyware developed by the israeli company called the nso group. >> consortiums have been investigating the use of the spyware called pegasus and the israeli company nso group that sells it to foreign governments. >> anything on the phone including pictures, contacts, listing to calls. >> as part of the investigation into pegasus, washington post reporter dan a priest traveled to this temple.
working with the journalism nonprofit forbidden stories, the reporters were given access to 50,000 phone numbers concentrated in countries known to the nso clients. they included journalists, politicians, human rights activists, and jamal khashoggi's fiancée. dana priest and producer working for frontline and forbidden stories met to verify if her phone had an fact been hacked. >> based on this, we will look if there's any trace of infection that occurred. what we're looking for is traces of software. >> i remember the first days after the murder, a lot of times they tried hacked my email.
gmail was sending to me emails, "someone tried to open your account" or something like tha >> the simple ones are like that message. the sophisticated ones, they don't leave a message. they don't need you to do anything. >> the why people say the iphone are more safe, no one can hack -- >> that is what iphone says, the company. it is not true. pegasus software, it gets inside . i don't know if it gets inside every time it tries, but if he gets inside, it can turn your microphone on so whoever is doing it can listen to what you're saying and what other people are saying.
but it also can go into your emails, your whatsapp, your contacts, your pictures, videos, and it can steal them all, make a copy of everything, and then our thought is it it is doing that against people like you who are not terrorists or criminals, then why? part of what we want to show and what we think we know, what we are discovering and what we are researching, is the user to get civilians then why would they want to know what you're doing? >> it is my personal life. it is not enough to say, please, stop -- >> after getting out the new
phone and the when she was using at the time of khashoggi's murder, dana priest sent them to amnesty international's security lab for analysis. a few hours later, while on the way back to the airport, she received a call with the results. >> i guess pretty bad news. i checked both the uploads. the new one -- the auld one has some traces. on the sixth of octob, 2018 --
followed by some additional traces on the ninth and the 12th, which as you know, pretty timely. >> yeah. wow. she has already been infected so it is great you are finding it. >> there was no proof that pegasus had been used to target one of the people closest to jamal khashoi aroundhe time of his death. in a statement, nso oup said its technology was t associated i anyway -- in any way with khashoggi's murder. in addition, frontline forbidden stories and the partner news outlets are investigating cases of journalists, human rights
activists, politicians, and others in more than 50 countries who may have been targeted for surveillance. amy: that video report is part of an upcoming frontline documentary produced with forbidden stories to air on pbs. that reporter voice, dana priest, of "the washington post" went to visit khashoggi's fiancée in turkey and found her phone infected. for more, we go to london to speak with dr. agnès callamard, the new secretary general of amnestinternatiol. previously the united nations special rapporteurn extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions. as u.n. special rapporteur, she led an investigation into the murder of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi. she was also the director of the global freedom of expression project at columbia university. welcome to democracy now! congratulations on your new position at amnesty international. this is explosive information you are releasing right now.
amnesty working with the forbidden stories project. let's start with the example of jamal khashoggi and what this says about what to many may be the first time they're hearing about this spyware produd by israel. >>ontrary to what nso is claiming, the spyware pegasus is used to target people absolutely unrelated to criminal activities or terrism. is usedo targ individuals like the family ohuman righ defenders and journalists and human rights defenders. accoing to amnesty international, at least 18 journalists have been rgeted. i think what the projecis showing is the sle of the abuse. we already had an elemt of
evidence that spyware have en used to target human rights defenders. the pegasus project is the demonstratiothe misuse of the spyware is systemic and global. juan: what do we know about the nso group and its relationship to the israeli government? and does it just sell the software and in a logger has connection with it or does it somehow maintain and ability to monitor what its clients are doing with the software? >> so with regd to the first question, the intelligence industry is for the governme of israel, important industry. also an industry that is supposedly -- every expert by
nso is been licend by the state of israel. so that is the relationip. there is a relationship at the regulatory level as well. the nature of the relationship pretty close and pretty deep. whene talk about nso's failure to act with due diligence, we are also talki about the failure of the government of israel to abide by the obligation undernternational w. thats the first issue. withegard to nso relationsp to its clients, it is actually a pret close relationship in that nso has a capacity to close downto shut down the spyware and any kind of system it is providing to the client. [indiscernible]
does notave any oversight over the use of the spyware. we don't know that for sure but that is what they are claiming. [indiscernible] relationship that they can shut down the system, which is why we are calling on them now they shut down every single systemn place with all of the clients over the last few days. amy: this is in is a whistleblower edward snowden speaking to "the guardian" about spyware sales he says needing to be stopped. >> if you don't do anything to stop the sale of this techlogy, it is not just going to be 50,000 targets or 50 million [indiscernib] when we do that is a trade
around this technology. amy: dr. agnès callamard, would you go thafar? absolutel amnesty international, when i was at special rapporteur, i did the same, calling foa motorium over the use and export of that ielligence spyware and that dustry, mo generally, that needs to be more heavily regulated. were calling for a moratorium because we believe in the current condions and environment, iis impossible to properly monitor how it is going to be used. therefore, the onloption is for a moratorium er its sale and export. the other point i want to make following the journalist you just interview, is that indeed that spyware is a weapon. th is the only way we need to look at it. it is a weapon again democracy. it is a weapon against freedom
of the press, against scriny of government. it is a weapon against the justice and fair trial as we are seeing in turkey. and it is used meaning the government such as morocco can use the spyware to target people on the territory of another country. that goes against every dimension of international law and certainly against the u.n. charter. we are talking about a pretty bad thing. amy: you mentioned morocco and i want to talk about the moroccan court yesterday sentencing the independent journalist omar radi to six years in praise and, arrested last year on what press freedom advocates call retaliatory charges. for years, omar has been targeted by moroccan authorities brought his reporting on corruption of human rights. last yearr, youea organizatn,
amnesty international, revealed moroccan authorities had hacked his phone using pegasus spyware from the israeli company nso group. i spoke to him last year just weeks before he was arrested. >> pegasus is quite silent program. you don't feel it. it does not stay in your phone or your computer. it works using network injection so people need to be near you to make -- as a relay antenna. your phone is connected to a fake relay antenna and then the network injection works and then the program works and -- i don't know, it has a lot of features. he can use your microphone, your keyboard, your screen and get any information that is stored in your phone.
i don't know the amount of information they have stolen from iphone, but i am sure from state media they publish many information that i have exchanged even in signal, which is known that is a very safe program. i have evidence that my own conversations have been leaked from the same that are leaking my information. amy: that is moroccan journalist omar radi, just yesterday, sentenced to six years in prison. soon after we spoke last year, he was imprisoned. dr. agnès callamard, if you can comment on this case. >> of course what you're describing right now is an incredible miscarriage of justice. but it is also demonstrating how harmful if we need it to, w
harmful that spyre is. it is a violation of the ght to privacy. ut when it is being used, it is theginning -- it has a domino effectn a range of oer violations. in the case of omar radi, tt is spying -- spyware led to imprisonment. in other cases, causal relationship is difficult to establish. in other casessomewhat sh as [indiscernible] being compromisewith his phone , then murdered. we cannot make the causal relationship between the compromise and the murder, but sure theuspicions theres in the casof omar that the spying and the use of the spyware led to detention and led
to the unlawful irisonmen it is an extremely harmful tool at the head of government that will do anything to protect themselves was not and not just by the way the suit -- the usual suspect. hungry, india, we also found mexico. more than 20 journist. india, more than 40 journalist haveuan: juan: been targeted. i want to ask you about a remarkable coincidence it seems. the veryay theseevelations come forward from this international consortium, the united states government ddenly announceshat it has found china was hacking into
microsoft email and marshall condemnation from governments around the world, investigation going on for months. and also suddenly they unsealed indictments that occurred back in m of some chise hackers. as result less that in the national news, the attention was on china's hacking, not so much on the revelations of your consortium has unearthed here. how does this compare to some of the stuff supposedly that is happening, that china is involved with? >> we have focused on the privatization of the spying and focused on nso. we kw the surveil industry, the very perful -- mpletely unregulated. thats something that must
remain on the international agenda. it es not mean spying by governme is not as crucially important. of crse it is. may fall under a differt regulation. i am not following closely enough the allegations against china microsoft. i wi say the overlord is one that is out of control. whether it is followed by the government or powered by the present compy, it is eally dangerous for global pce and for democra. and it must be regulated. i can't comment on e motivation othe u.s. government and whether they were trying -the focus of nso.
i don't know. my poi ithere is an overlord that we need to control here and regulate. amy: dr. agnès callamard, we will take a break and come back with her and we will be joined by nina lakhani, senior reporter at the guardian but one of the 17 media organizations who are part of the pegasus project. she specifically looked at the mexican journalist that was murdered and also looks at others who are surveilled as targets for potential hacking by nso's clients. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
a collaboration of more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations investigating cyber surveillance company nso group. mexico appears to have submitted more phone numbers for potential surveillance to the nso group than any other client country -- over 15,000 -- including the numbers of teachers, journalists, judges, activists, and politicians. mexico is one of the deadliest countries for journalists and human rights defenders. as part of the pegasus project, the guardian reports at least 50 people close to mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador, including his wife, children, aids, and doctor, were included in the list for potential surveillance before amlo's election. leak, the guardian also found the mobile phone number of mexican journalist cecilio pineda birto had been selected as a possible target for surveillance by a mexican nso group client in the weeks
leading up to his assassination in guerrero in 2017. he frequently posted facebook videos denouncing corruption between drug cartels and local government officials. on march 2, 2017, he posted this video d was kill just two hours late >>. strong ties between the government and the gang leader. if they don't react, more people will die. ere vide showi the deputy -- it is pathetic. amy: for more on what happened to mexican journalist cecilio pineda birta and what role could have the pegasus project played in his murder, we're also joined by nina lakhani, senior reporter at the guardian. welcome back to democracy now! tell us what happened to him and its link to the nso group. >> good morning. what we know is in the weeks
leading up to his murder, one of nso's mexican clients identified his cell phone number as a candidate for surveillance. that took you just played, a couple of hours after that, he had gone to a carwash and he was just resting in a hammock, making calls. he called his mom. he was speaking to colleagues, planning what to do that evening. a gunman arrived on a motorbike cut went to the hammock where he was line which was hidden from the road, and shot him at least six times and he died of s injuries. we were unable to confirm whether his phone was successful infected with pegasus because the last time his fun was he was at the crime scene. it disappeared after that so we
were unable to do that. what we do know is the gunman knew where to find him and we know cecilio had been receiving threats. he was worried. he had sought help from the federal government. there's a protecting -- protection mechanism and to protect journalists and offenders who are facing threats linked to their work they failed to do so. we also know -- i managed to obtain the last interview he had with the protective mechanism in which they're basically saying, look, unless you're willing to get out of the state and take this one offer we are making of relocating you, we cannot help you and we will close your case -- which is what they did. he said, look, i don't think i need to move. i have changed where i am sleeping. i don't leave my car on the street. they don't know where i am. the people who want to hurt me and might send gunman to commit,
they wouldn't be able to find a because i am moving all the time. little did he know that his phone numbers were selected for potential surveillance. so just weeks after that. juan: nina lakhani, why so many tential targets in mexico from what you've been able to tell? of course, the israeli group continues to say their software is used only to identify potentiaterrorists. is there any indication the phone numbers of the 15,000 phone numbers as potentially targeted in mexico were connected to terrorists? >> i think mexico is a very particular case. we found in delete data, more
than 50,000 individuals -- in the linked data, more than 50,000 individuals in just two years. we know mexico was nso's first client and when the nsa group started doing business in mexico about a decade ago, we were already five years into the complete failure of war on drugs. by that time, we already knew that mexican security forces and parts of the criminal justice system were implicated in dire human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced disappearances. so when nsa groups stressed during business with mexico, his first client, we already knew the so-called good guys were not good guys. i think the case in mexico, what is so shocking to me as well as the breadth of the potential
surveillance that has gone on is this claim the nsa groups claim your here fighting the good by. we're here targeting criminals. the line between good and bad in mexico is blurred. we know at the local level and the national level. we know a case you guys -- the 43 disappeared training teachers. we know in that case, people at the highest level, including the current in hiding in israel and was a key person in getting pegasus into mexico, signed -- was promoting the software and signing contracts. we also know he wanted for embezzlement and the torture and disappearance of those students,
right? we know from this investigation, at least three relatives of the 43 students were selected as potential candidates for surveillance. so were a lawyer and a human rights leader who is representing the families. so were at least two of the dependent experts who had diplomatic status at the time were sent to investigate the case. i need, what we see from mexico is a free-for-all. anyone and everyone was potentially -- was being identified as potential targets for surveillance. juan: in terms of the surveillance of the familynd campaign operators of lópez obrador, that would have seemed to have been called for by someone in a very high position of power within mexico itself, no? >> it is really astounding.
thinking back to the time 2016-2017, ricky pena nieto's government is taking in the polls. he is the worst ranking in history of a mexican president. scandal after scandal after scandal. mean way, amlo, his political party is starting to win elections at local levels. his popularity is growing. in a 2016 and 2017, year before the general election, and we see everybody close to him -- his three sons, three of his sons, three of his brothers, his wife, s politil advisers, key candidates who went on to be elected as mexico city's mayor, many other local national
politicians in the moreno party. it is not just marino. we found in the data the number of politicians from every single political party, including pena nieto's own party selected as candidates for surveillance. this is far and wide. as one intelligence expert said to me, it is the game of -- you have to know your political enemies are and you have to know what they're doing because information is power. at is what seems to have been happening in mexico. amy: i went to bring dr. agnès callamard back into the conversation, new secretary general of amnesty international. i last saw you moderating an event at columbia university around the issue of julian assange. i want to ask about the wikileaks founder, certainly a person who exposed surveillance. if extradited to the u.s. come
he cld face up to 170 five years in prison under the espionage act related to publication of classified documents exsing u.swar crimes. in a recent interview, his partner urge the dido administration to free the wikileaks founder. >> something has got to give. we can't maintain this prosecution against julian. the only thing they can do in order to be consistent is to drop the case entirely. it is difficult for me to speak about this. i think there's no doubt julian would not rvive and extradition. amy: that is julian assan's partner stella moris. she recently visited him at the belmarsh prison in london. they have two children together.
britain is not allowing him to be freed as they weigh this issue of extradition. what are your thoughts? >> i think amnesty's position is verylear, the detention is arbitrary and he should be released. we are campaigning for the release of julian assange. the allegations made against him and by the u.s. authorities raise a large number of re flags in addition to freedom of the press. but our position is clear. we are campaigning for his release. amy: and finally, i want to ask about guantanamo. guantanamo was just in the news yesterday because after an extended period of time, the first prisoner at guantánamo has
been released under the biden administration. he was released yesterday to morocco. there are now 39 prisoners. he was at guantánamo for 17 years without charge, like so many of the men there. his amnesty international -- are you calling for guantanamo to be closed? >> aolutely. amsty has called for the closure of guaanamo for almost, let me think, deces, for as long as it has beein place. [indisrnible] referred to guantanamo as the gulags as of our time.
a known space, guantanamo. legally speaking, morally speaking. created is no significance other than -- it is placg the people. the fact outside of any agreed and underood rulef law. we need to see the end of that scar. it is a scar for the united states, a scar for humidity. amy: thank you for being with us, agnès callamard, secretary-general of amnesty international. speaking to us from london. and thank you to nina lakhani, senior reporter at the guardian, which is one of 17 media organizations part of the pegasus project. next up, a federal judge has struck down daca. we will speak to a daca
amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we end today's show looking at the latest attack against immigrant communities. on friday, a federal judge in texas ruled that daca, that's deferred action for childhood arrivals. the order does not affect current recipients for now but blocks the department of homeland security from approving any new applications. at least 80,000 first-time daca applications were pending with u.s. citizenship and immigration services. they are now in limbo. daca has provided temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to over
800,000 undocumented people who were brought to the u.s. as children. in his ruling, judge andrew hanen said the program exceeded president obama's authority when he created it through executive action in 2012. president biden vowed his justice department would appeal the ruling. for more we go to houston to speak with cesar espinosa, daca and executive director of the houston, texas-based, immigrant-led civil rights organization, fee-el, which is the spanish acronym for families welcome back to democracy now! n respond to the judge's ruling and whathis mea? >> thank you for having us. it was heartbreaking to hear the news aft som time we had not had any news, negive ne o daca that we were kind of st coasting along helping new
recipients apply. all of a sudden on a friday afternoon, we get this really bad ruling from a judge which are the dampen our spirits but also relit the fire for us to fight for more permanent solution for dreamers and our families. juan: what does this mean, especially in terms of the fact the daca recipients have to reapply, even those that are already benefiting come have to reapply every two years? >> let's talk about the peoe applying right now. those of timright now may have for one ason or another, th initial filing for daca, maybe they were not old enough yet or dinot have the $495 to pay for the itial application, b for current dacaecients, tre are two majo thingthat are happeninhere. number one, the fact ware to live our lives two years at a time at the expensof another
court ruling or whater litics happening ithe country and number two, for many people who atrugglinafter the pandemic you may have lost theirobs, they are really strugglingo come uwith the money to have to repay every two years the $495. juan: could you talk a little more about what it is like as a daca recipient day-to-day dealing with planning for your future? >> it really is -- we are really in limbo f many of us. we'll put our lives on hold. we had the other issue which i uscis's taken long time to procs applicions so we have daca recipients who may have great js who may be teachers orurses but becse there is a backlog right now, they' not getting the work permits in time and there getting laid off or being let go from their jobs. on a personal level, it is heartbreaking. i recently got married and my
wife is constantly worried about what our future is going to be like if i am going to be able to be in this country. i am currently also waiting for my daca to be renewed and she is fearful of me even during monday and things like driving to work and just being here. we need to find a permanent solution for recipients but not only daca recipients but tps folders and people living our lives two years at a time. amy: to present remarks of the economy yesterday, he was asked about the whole issue of daca and immigration reform. >> [indiscernible] why do you believe the budget -- pres. biden: first of all, i think we need to find pathway to citizenship. the budget bill is no appropriate way to get around
the filibuster to be able to make a judgment as to whether or not they should have a pathway. that is for the parliamentarian to decide, not joe biden. amy: that is president biden yesterday. what exactly does this mean? what would a path to citizenship look likehat would apply perhaps not only to students and workers, buto all immigrant? >> number one, we want toee congress andhe president take action. president bid -- one of the things he said during his campaign oone of his promises was he wasoing to act on immigratn in the first 100 days of office. 100 days have been up and people are struggling to make ends meet stop not only that, always in the back of their mind is the fact they can be deported. immigrants in general, it would be a life-changing opportunity to be able to come out of the shadows, to fully integrate into u.s. society, and to live a life
free of fear, free of the constant fear you may just be working and for some reason or another you're going to be stopped by police and subsequently deported. for many people, it would be life-changing. it would be a huge stimulus to the economy because you would have more people payingnto the system. i guartee you people would want to go back up to their countries, flyback, and that would provide a lot of stimulus for our economy. there are many, many reasons to pass immigration reform. more importantly come the fact our parents are the folks who brought us here have given the country their entire lives my pents have worked very hard. i'll we ask is they be treated humanely and they get a pathway tohat we believe is what they deserve. juan: in terms of the road ahead, clearly the supreme court is not going to be charitable when it cos to the issue of that dreamers now given a 6-3
conservative majority, and there is such a close edge or slim edge of the democrats in the senate and the house. what do you see as the best road forward forgetting some kind of relief for daca ripients and otrs who are undocumented? >> i think the best th forwa is us continuehese conversations. for folksn both sides of the outer reaze immigranthad been eential workers prior to the pandemic. we have been essential rkers during the pandemic. we will continue to be essential woers becausee are th backbone of this econo. it is imrtant fo ufor folks are not daca recipients or imgrants, get on the pho and talk your legislators and tell them y believe we need a pathy to citenship for all people. at the end othe day, we want toake sure we get a bill passed and we get a bill passed
at least a tempory bill that uld allow ppleo get rk permits d be able to be her free of the fear from deportation. then we can work on a pathway to citizenship and a different approach. amy: you're also participating in a study of outreach to latinx population of houston around covi what are you finding? >> we d a groundbreaking study peopleseserve when it comes to the vaccines. peop can lk att onlin they can download the udy. what we' hoping is this can help government officials make better decions wheit comes to outach. what we reale is -- what found out is our community, nobody is talking to us. we need that to happen in order for us t he a stnger and more reliable community. amy: cesar espinosa, thank you for being with us, daca recipient and executive director