tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 20, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
was inevitable and the audience, instead of going to the audience, the audience came to him and will forever. >> we have to go. it's 11:00. on his last tony speech when he accepted it two years aek teves in the theater winning a pie-eating con tense when he was a kid. he said that was nice, but this is better. what a life, what a career. james lipton, thank you very much. we need you on a night like this to give us the perspective on this career. thank you very much. really, really appreciate you coming in. >> thank you. coming up, more of msnbc's special coverage tonight of the president's primetime address. >> good evening. i'm chris hayes alongside rachel maddow and this is msnbc's special coverage on president obama's speech to the nation. on immigration which as you can see will start any minute now. there are crowds outside the
white house and we should not gloss over the fact that this was something that was genuinely brought about by grassroots activism. >> by some very, very aggressive very canny grassroots activism. >> the president -- >> yes >> it is really -- there's an old adage in politics, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. and this is -- it's very similar to "don't ask, don't tell." where we saw activists chain themselves to the white house. they weren't quiet. they didn't just kind of allow, you know, get in line. they were very loud. >> and they didn't just attack the people who they were most diametrically opposed to. i talked with one of the founders of united we dream last night and we'll talk to her again after the speech but she talked about this decision that they came to when they realized that they were banging their head against a brick wall when it came to talking to republicans like john boehner and the other house republicans who, inarguably, were the most responsible for their plight and so they decided, listen, we want to get some bang for our buck. we want it to have effect so we're going to go after our allies instead of our enemies. >> what they've seen from the
beginning is the president who campaigned on comprehensive immigration reform in 2008. he won latino and asian voters by massive and historic margins and has supported a bipartisan bill. unlike everyone else, they've passed by large majorities. and tonight the president will be making his announcement about executive action. >> tonight, i'd like to talk to you about immigration. for more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations around the world. it's kept us youthful, dynamic and entrepreneurial. it has shaped our character as a people with limit also possibilities, people not trapped by our past but able to remake ourselves as we choose. but today our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it. families who enter our country the right way and play by the
rules watch others flout the rules. business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. all of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in america without taking on the responsibilities of living in america. and undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibleties see little possibility but live in the shadows or risk their families being torn apart. it's been this way for decades. and for decades, we haven't done much about it. when i took office, i committed to fixing this broken immigration system, and i began by doing what i could to secure our borders. today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history and over the past six years illegal border crossings have been cut by more
than half. although this summer there was a brief spike in unacompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is lower than it's been in two years. overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. those are the facts. meanwhile, i worked with congress on a comprehensive fix. and last year 68 democrats, republicans and independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the senate. it wasn't perfect. it was a compromise but it reflected common sense. it would have doubled the number of border patrol agents while giving undocumented immigrants i pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started to pay their taxes and went back to the line. and independent experts said it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits had the house of representatives allowed that kind of bill, a simple yes
or no vote, that would have passed with support from both parties and today it would be the law. but for a year and a half now, republican leaders in the house have refused to allow that simple vote. now, i continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of commonsense law. but until that happens, there are actions i have the legal authority to take as president, the same kinds of actions taiken by democratic and republican presidents before me that will help make our decisions more fair and more just. tonight, i'm announcing those actions. first, we'll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of ill crossings and speed the return of those who do cross over. second, i'll make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrant, graduates and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy.
as so many business leaders have proposed. third, we'll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country. i want to say more about this third issue because it generates the most passion and controversy. even as we are a nation of immigrants we are as also a nation of laws. undocumented workers broke our immigration laws and i believe that they must be held accountable, especially those who may be danger. that's why over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80%, and that's why we're going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. felons, not families. criminals, not children. gang members, not a mom who's working hard to provide for her kids. we'll prioritize just like law enforcement does every day.
but even as we focus on deporting criminal, the fact that millions of immigrants in every state of every race and nationality still live here illegally. and let's be honest, tracking down, rounding up and deporting millions of people isn't realistic. anyone who suggests otherwise isn't being straight with you. it's also not who we are as americans. after all, most of these immigrants have been here a long time. they work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs. they support their families. they worship at our churches. many of their kids are american-born or spent most of their lives here and their hopes, dreams and patriotism are just like ours. as my predecessor, president bush, once put it, they are a part of american life. now, here's the thing.
we expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. we expect that those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. so we're going to offer the following deal. if you've been in america for more than five years, if you have children who are american citizens or legal residents, if you register, pass a criminal background check and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you'll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. that's what this deal is. now, let's be clear about what it isn't. this deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. it does not apply to anyone who might come to america illegally in the future. it does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently or offer the same benefits that citizens receive. only congress can do that. all we're saying is we're not going to deport you.
i know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. well, it's not. amnesty is the immigration system we have today. millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time. that's the real amnesty. leaving this broken system the way it is. mass amnesty would be unfair. mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. what i'm describing is accountability. a commonsense, middle ground approach. if you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. if you're a criminal, you'll be deported. if you plan to enter the u.s. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up. the actions i'm taking are not
only lawful, they're the kinds of actions taken by every single republican president and every single democratic president for the past half century. and to those members of congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where congress has failed, i have one answer, pass a bill. i want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. and the day i sign that bill into law, the actions i take will no longer be necessary. meanwhile, don't let a disagreement over a single issue be a deal breaker on every issue. it's not how our democracy works. and congress certainly shouldn't shut down our government again just because we disagree on this. americans are tired of gridlock. what our country needs from us right now is a common purpose, a higher purpose. most americans support the types
of reforms i've talked about tonight, but i understand the disagreements held by many of you at home. millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. so we don't like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to american citizenship. i know some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are or take our jobs or stick it to middle class families at a time when they already feel like they've gotten the raw deal for over a decade. i hear those concerns, but that's not what these steps will do. our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society. and i believe it's important that all of us have this debate without impugning each other's character. for all the back and forth in washington, we have to remember that this debate is about
something bigger. it's about who we are as a country and who we want to be for future generations. are we a nation that tolerates the hip crock kra si of a nation that pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility and give our kids a better future? are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents' arms, or are we a nation that values families and works together to keep them together? are we a nation that educates the world's best and brightest in our universities only to send them home to countries that compete against us? or are we a nation that encourages them to stay, create jobs here, create businesses here, create industries right here in america? that's what this debate is all about. we need more than politics as
usual when it comes to immigration. we need reasoned, thoughtful compassionate debate that focus on our hopes, not our fears. i know the politics of this issue are tough, but let me tell you why i have come to feel so strongly about it. over the past years, i've seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs without taking a dime from the government and at risk any moment of losing it all just to build a better life for their kids. i've seen the heartbreak and anxiety of children whose mothers might be taken from them just because they didn't have the right papers. i've seen the courage of students who, except for the circumstances of their birth, are as american as malia or sasha, students who come out bravely as undocumented in the hopes of making
a difference in the country they love. these people, our neighbors, our classmates, our friends, they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. they came to work and study and serve in our military. and, above all, contribute to america's success. tomorrow, i'll travel to las vegas and meet with some of these students, including a young woman named astrid silva. astrid was brought to america when she was 4 years old. her only possessions were a cross, her doll and the frilly dress she had on. when she started school, she didn't speak any english. she caught up to other kids by reading newspapers and watching pbs, and she became a good student. her father worked in landscaping. her mom cleaned other people's homes. they wouldn't let astrid apply
to a technology magnet school, not because they didn't love her, but because they were afraid the paperwork would out her as an undocumented immigrant. so she applied behind their back and got in. still, she mostly lived in the shadows until her grandmother, who visited every year from mexico, passed away, and she couldn't travel to the funeral without risk of being found out and deported. it was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her and today astrid silva is a college student working on her third degree. are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like astrid, or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in? scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger for we know the heart of a stranger.
we were strangers once, too. my fellow americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. we were strangers once, too. and whether our forbearers were strangers who crossed the atlantic or the pacific or the rio grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in and taught them that to be american is more than what we look like, what our last names are or where we worship. what makes us americans is our shared idea that all of us are created equal and all of us have a chance to make of our lives what we will. that's the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. that's the tradition we must uphold. that's the legacy we must leave
for those who are yet to come. thank you. god bless you, and god bless this country we love. >> president obama speaking tonight from the east room of the white house going high at the end there talking about scripture and reaching to the big picture of america. but also getting very, very specific about what the deal is, as he put it. what he's offering and about the politics to those members of congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where congress failed, i have one answer, pass a bill with a little bit of a tone. >> yes. a fascinating speech, it was two speech, the first part was practical and tough, he did the thing, the time-honored tradition of democrats talking about immigration reform which they've been doing for 20 years because they've been counseled by others to do it.
the first thing he announces get tougher on the border and described it in highly practical terms. how we're saying is we're not going to deport you. all the craziness that will emana emanate, at the core of this, we're not going to snatch you. >> it's not citizenship or a green card. congress would have to draw this stuff -- this is you're being relieved from deportation. on the tough issue he said, if you plan to enter the u.s. illegally your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up. >> and it is true that the facts bear that out in terms of illegal border crossings, being detained at the border and the facts bear out we have net negative migration to this country at this point so the president talked about all that but the last part was really the emotional compassion, he pivots away from the tough, pragmatic, look, i understand the politic, and said, let's look at who we are and i think the scripture
was particularly effective and squared the circumstancing. we're joined by janet marguia. he called the president deporter in chief. what did you think of it. >> i thought it was compelling, very powerful and really reaffirming. for us this moment is a milestone moment, i think, for so many, it's a victory for so many millions of american families who have lived in the shadows with the burden of what that means in this country. and i think it was a victory for this country because we know as the president laid out there that there will be important changes and benefits economically and from a national security standpoint. i think it was a victory for common sense, so this is a very important moment. not just for some of us who have been fighting alongside so many others for some change and
reform, but it's really, i think, an important moment for the country. >> was it striking to you there was one omission from the speech that found interesting. the number has been the thing we've all been talking about in the lead-up, how big will it be? and the number was missing from the speech. what does that say to you? >> well, i think what the president was trying to capture is the essence of what this means for us as a country and americans and i think for him, i think we all recognize that that number is going to represent ultimately our values and for us, i know we've heard it's up to 5 million possibly people, that is a huge victory for so many of us, even though we know that not everybody will be captured in that number. we know that this is just important first step but that congress can really now step in to finish the job and that's going to be an important role that we hope they will take on
because this is temporary, as you heard from the president. >> janet, rachel maddow here, thanks for being with us. i wanted to just ask, i guess your opinion on how we should describe this. obviously the last time we had something approaching comprehensive immigration reform, a main change to the law was in the 1980s under president reagan. we've is since had some changes to the law and certainly changes in the administrative implementation of our existing laws, which is in effect what tonight is. president george h.w. bush did it, president reagan dit. in the grand scheme of policymaking should we see this as one of the big changes that has happened in the last few decades? does it rise to that level? >> it does. this is going to be a historic moment for the country because we will see, i think, this country living up to its values and saying that we will welcome those who are already contributing and are tied and rooted to families and
communities and there's no doubt that that -- that will represent a significant change and it will be one of the biggest changes we've seen in decades. i guess i would just warn those folks who want to fight the president tooth and nail on this, that they're going to be fighting not with the president or taking on the president. now they're going to be taking on those millions of families who really already have been contributing and who understand what's going to be at stake here going forward into the future and so i hope that they will find a way to actually make a constructive step and offer legislation and find a way to get a permanent solution, because for so many of these families, this is going to be transformative. >> janet murguia, thank you for being with us on this big night. thank you, ma'am. i appreciate it. let's bring back in lawrence o'donnell. lawrence, again, you have been
zeroing in on what's available to the president at this point. what do you think of the speech? >> well, i want to go to chris' issue of the number. >> yeah. >> and the reason to leave it out, two reason, one is political and i don't want to get into this particular number in front of the large audience. there will be other audiences where i will want to say 5 million but it wasn't a number. what he described was a concept. what he's talking about is parents, it's very clear, it's -- this is about holding families together. there's what republicans would call the family value section of the speech where he says, are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from parents' arms? that's who these millions are. this is defined entirely by familial relationships. that's how you fall under this. but, you know, it will be as big a thing as we're saying it is unless the next president undoes it which the next president can undo it faster than he just said it and in that case, you would have had a three-year hiccup in
the history of our, you know, process here. >> i want to bring bamaria hinojosa and maria teresa kumar. how much of an exhale is there tonight given what lawrence just said about the precariousness? >> i think it's an exhale because finally people heard from the president so it was like, okay, we kind of get this and i hate to be the debbie downer but the reality is this is all a question of discretion, right. >> yeah. >> so in my front line report when i was out with the agents, this is what they said, oh, washington. >> right. >> they're doing this and we're down here doing our jobs and our jobs right now for the last several years have been detain, deport, because, you know, everybody is getting paid here. there is the i.c.e. industrial
complex and i'm sorry to say who will be getting a knock on the door at 6:00 a.m., immigration agents will be there and they may precisely be exactly the people who the president said we're going to say we're not going to deport you. >> precisely the contradiction embedded in the policy we have as a nation and in the president's speech to describe the terror of deportation while the president has actually been presiding over a lot of deportation, part of what brought us to this moment tonight. >> i think we haven't seen the whole policy but some of the stuff we should expect to see the fact that secure communities that relationship between the -- bice i.c.e. and local law enforcement will change and they actually will set up a different type of system in order to do it but i think something -- something to what lawrence was saying and i think it's very, very important is looking at, yes, something that's familial but very important it's talking about our values, but he also is sending it back to the republicans. he didn't say a number but could you imagine having to scale back
4 million people? we're not talking about 100,000. we're not talking about 200,000. we're talking about 4 million. once you give them a taste of freedom, that you've been able to get people out of the shadows that's going to be incredibly hard to scale back that number for any president. >> there is a detail still unclear. the president said they're allowed to stay in this country temporarily. we don't know what that means, the sense is three years and do you get to apply again and stay temporarily again. we don't know yet. that's administrative. that hasn't been clarified. >> and the path to a green card and path to citizenship is something this president -- no president -- >> it's not in here. >> and congress has to do that. >> i think when the president was talking about, it's been 511 days since the senate passed the bill. they can act -- if the -- >> tomorrow. >> they can say tomorrow let's have a vote so this idea that they don't have anything to work with is not true. >> one of the things -- one of the radical responses the
republicans could have, they could pass a piece of legislation, i know it's hard to imagine, but it's one of the things they could do. joining us is andrea mitchell, host of "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. big question, big picture, how this speech lands, particularly how it lands at the other end of pennsylvania avenue in congress. >> well, in fact, that's the biggest challenge, because i think out in the country, you're going to find that there is more of a welcoming attitude towards this if people listen to what the president said. he redefined amnesty. he said amnesty is the current broken system. amnesty is not what the critics are saying it is but i talked to a leading democratic red state senator just tonight who had been briefed, the caucus was briefed by the white house chief of staff denis mcdonough and he said it was a tough go for mcdonough because some in the caucus believe the president has made it impossible by taking this step so shortly so soon after the midterm shellacking
that he took which they blame him for, by the way. that he is then made it impossible for any of the republican moderates that they were working with very quietly to do anything that is constructive. now, that said, this senator then conceded but he couldn't have done it beforehand because harry reid made it impossible for him to do it before the midterms so the president was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. >> the senate did find a way to pass -- >> absolutely. >> -- quite a bipartisan and quite a tough bill last year and the house republicans is where that died and i feel like the thing that i don't understand from washington, sort of the beltway discussion about this is if anybody ever saw any path toward the john boehner-controlled republican house ever doing anything on immigration, no matter what it was, i mean, has that ever been seen as a possibility regardless
of whether or not the president acted? >> i mean, that is exactly the problem. 68 votes for this more than a year ago by -- from the senate, the house did nothing about it. now this new house is going to be even more resistant to it. i was really struck if i could just for a moment say that some -- a conversation i had with jose diaz-balart, there are two washingtons, and this washington, the senate caucus room does not bear any connection nor does john boehner's caucus from any connection with the rest of the country. on my way into work today at the gym i talked to a woman i've known for 15 years at least, the receptionist at the desk and instead of just the usual good morning, she said, this is going to be good news for us tonight. and she's never talked politics to me. then my next stop, two other people came up to me and said, what is it going to be? what's in it? this is people we've had normal conversations at the starbucks every day but an emotional conversation today so these are
the people who are affected by it in washington and outside of washington and las vegas where thele president goes tomorrow, not the people in the senate or house caucus rooms. >> andrea, what you just said is exactly, exactly my experience and my expectation that this ends up becoming a huge landmark moment in people's lives who we have never seen as political actors before, everybody who knows somebody that will be affected will be changed forever by what just happened. andrea mitchell, great to have you here. thanks. >> thank you. i should say when i came to work today i was looking forward to speaking to some republican elected office and extended invitations to dozens individually and to any house republican who might want to join us tonight to talk about the president's remarks on immigration through the nrc and majority leader john boehner's office and reached out to several senate republicans, no one took us up on the offer but the response to president's executive action from members of the gop elsewhere has ranged from cautious disapproval to outright freak-out. in the latter camp our lawmakers
like alabama's representative mo brooks who told slate, the president might need to be thrown in jail. at some point you have to evaluate whether the president's conduct aids or abet, encourages or entices foreigners to unlawfully cross into the united states of america," he said. "that has a five-year pen city in jail stoeshted with it." republican leaders have been trying to steer their them p members away from trying to shut down the government or impeach the president, they have had to walk a delicate line in the face of an outraged gop base. >> the president had said before he's not king and not an emperor. >> if he imposes his will on the country in defiance of the people, congress will act. >> we will fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path. >> it's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. >> all the options are on the table. >> so, what happened tonight was big and we do not know. it is genuinely uncertain what
the response will be. government shutdown, move to impeach or will the gop establishment decide or convince their base this is not the right battle to fight. joining me now republican strategist steve schmidt and i think it's a karl rove line when you're arguing process you're losing and i feel like the republicans do not want to talk about the substance. they just want to talk about the process. the president's a king, the president's an emperor and do not want to talk about depo deportati deportation, am i right? >> there are important constitutional principles at stake with regard to the separation of powers and may not make for good tv but they're essential to our ability to function as a constitutional republic. let me make a couple of points about his speech tonight, first off, for much of that speech, it was remarks that could have been given by george w. bush or by john mccain celebrating the spirit of immigration in this country, i am a longtime advocate for immigration reform. what we saw tonight marks the
end of any possibility to pass comprehensive immigration reform over the rest of the president's term with this republican congress. i think it is extraordinary that he gave an address to the nation where he did not state the number of people who will be covered by this. one thing is clear listening to the activists who have appeared on set tonight, nobody believes that this is anything other than a first step and certainly he made a moral case that makes it very difficult not to embrace people who have been illegally in the country for three years and i think from republicans, activists who were supportive of his action, everybody knows that when he said that your chances of getting deported if you arrive here tomorrow have gone up is simply not true. at the end of the day here, though he may have the legal authority to do this and that will be 'tissed in the courts,
this move is unprecedented and it is not analogous to what either president reagan or president bush 41 did with executive orders in the face of congressional approval of legislation. this is a unilateral executive action, a massive expansion of the powers of the executive at the expense of the legislative branch and one need look no further than the possibility of a republican president in the future who decides to use his prosecutorial discretion to exempt millions of americans to pay an estate tax, so while i am someone who has always been a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, tonight's action, i think and i think republicans across the country will react to it in this way, two weeks after the president was repudiated, writ large in a national election from coast to coast this is an incredibly divisive action, he -- >> steve, let me stop you there
for a second. >> -- declaring war -- let me stop you. there's nothing to stop the president in january barnstorming the country to build public support, to pressure congress to change this law and that's what we do in this country. we do things like this by changing the law, not by executive feedback. >> there's two argument, the process argument this is sort of outside either outside the law or outside the form nos. you can make an argument it's not within the norm. i'll put that to the side. to the argument it kills the chance for immigration reform, you can't kill something that's already dead. let's be honest here. that house, that house has passed one immigration act that would deport the d.r.e.a.m.ers. you or i understands that. they've had the biggest majority
since the 1990s. the idea they would pass that is frankly preposterous. >> well, now we'll never know and so what i would say is that the lack of ability to pass a bill, whether it's with a democratic house or a republican house does not give the president the ability by executive fiat to rewrite the immigration laws in my view outside of the norm for many, many millions of people. we should understand, i think, that there is a deliberate reason the president did not mention the number of people who will be enfranchised then. we know from polling that the overwhelming majority of americans including republicans support a humane solution to a fundamentally broken immigration system but i think the analysis that the american people will be supportive of this understanding how outside the norm of it is just completely wrong. this will push the president's poll numbers lower across the
country and make our politics more divided than it has been. >> steve schmidt. thank you very much. we should be clear, there is no enfranchisement in any legal sense. no one will get the right to vote, outside the purview of executive action. back with us congressman luis gutierrez for executive action on immigration. do you want to respond? >> yes, first of all, stop whining and crying about what the president did tonight. you control the house of representatives. under most normal circumstances, they said they didn't want the senate bill. well, guess what, they had the votes. they could have passed the house bill. we could have gone to conference and could have resolved our differences but in a very cynical manner in june john boehner, the speaker of the house said despite all my efforts and your efforts, mr. president, i'm not going to call a bill on immigration. i'm just not going to do it and the president fulfilled his commitment to use his pen as he
did today. so, listen, even today, chris, this -- these executive orders and there are multiple executive orders are going to go into effect january 1st of 2015. it will take 180 day, let me underscore that, 180 days before anyone of the 5 million people that are affected can go and apply for a work permit. takes 180 days. you control the senate. you control the house. call us, we're ready to work. this is a first initial step and an important step. and i want to say to everybody, i think what the president did tonight was wonderful because a community of people that have been demonized during the last elections, one senator after another, one member of the house on the republican side after another used the porous border coming with criminal mexicans and saying ebola was coming and
isis to win their election. tonight the president humanized that community of people and i think that that's the debate and discussion the republican party is afraid of. if you don't like what the president did, then act. you control the house, you control the senate. >> congressman gutierrez, i want to ask one other thing steve raised which we've heard over and over again from republicans in washington which is that they don't believe in the border security part of it. literally, not that they don't think it's a good idea but don't believe in it, don't think it's real. the first thing the president announced in his three-part plan was further resources to the border yet more resources to stop people interest crossing, catching them and sending them back. steve said no republican in the country believes that is true. that's obviously a fake assertion. what's behind the refusal to believe that deportations are at an all-time high and border enforcement is at an all-time high. why is that seen as a myth? >> look, if you want to make it
about people from latin america and use want to sue xenophobia and bigotry you want to mix up the facts. the fact is that 40% of the undocumented didn't come through that border. they came through l.a.x. they came through jfk. they came through o'hare and came through miami and came here legally to this country and overstayed. and one of the congressman it said when they crossed into america, because it's always about crossing into america. well, guess what, they fly into america and they come on boats into america and they come here to do a number of different things and they overstay. they don't want to talk about it. they always want to make this about our neighbors to the south so i think that's part of it. the fact is the president is very clear. but, listen, rachel, the senate bill, they said they wanted 30,000 more voter patrol agents. you know what democrats did? we found a way to fund 30,000 more border patrol agents.
we will give them the kinds of incentives that they believe they need in order to join us. but here's the problem, immigration does not unite the republican party in the house of republicans senate. you know what unites them, being against what president obama proposes. >> congressman luis gutierrez, many thanks for that and it will unite republicans if never there was a chance of them getting over their schisms. joining us from washington, d.c. is reverend al sharpton host of "politicians nation." he's in washington because he was one of about a dozen activists and leaders who met with the president about this. rev, what did you think of the speech and what do you think the white house is expecting to happen next? >> well, i thought the speech was excellent. i think that for the president to have a near-perfect balance of talking about the border
patrol security, talking about how people that were here illegal and that were not doing what was the correct thing in terms of the law, their chances of hiding and staying just went up, that they're going to be deported, and then coming with a specific laid out policy on dealing with people who really suffered and then really gave a sense of what that suffering is, and the young lady he's going to meet with in las vegas to give a graphic description of what she went through. american people feel for real people. and i think when he distinguished between hard-working people that did all they could to take care of their families from people that were in gangs and doing things that were destructive, that distinction is what i think will continue to drive the american people to support real immigration reform. and i think he was right to
throw the gauntlet down and said if you don't want to go with what i'm going with or have a better way, pass a bill, and we hear everything from the right wing, from the republicans, but a bill. so i think it was a very not only historic first step but a very moving speech and you know it really is effective when the president has rachel maddow excited about scripture. this is a big night. >> she's more pious than you know. >> four nuns test me with that. now i'm blushing for jesus. some of the most vocal advocates have been the d.r.e.a.m.ers. young undocumented immigrants who came here as children and not been shy about confronting the politicians who they hold responsible for blocking reform and for not doing as much as they could as fast as they could.
>> how would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of 10 that you were never coming home? >> that wouldn't be good. >> i know so that's what happened to me. >> i am a d.r.e.a.m.er. >> i love you. i appreciate you too. thank you. thank you. so -- hold on, young lady. hold -- >> senator rubio, stop it with our community. >> we are here, senator rubio, came all the way from florida, because we wanted to -- [ audience booing ] >> i've taken so far actions -- [ people speaking from the audience ] >> i'm about to get to that. >> i'm actually a d.r.e.a.m.er myself and originally from mexico but raised here and graduated from arizona state university and i know you want
to get rid of daca but i just want to give you the opportunity. >> incredible activism from these kids all over the country targeting everybody including their enemies on the issue and been relentless if you're a student of direct action politic they've been a case study. kristina jiminez came here when she was 13, co-founder of united we dream and watched the president's speech with her members of her group and she joins us from outside that. how are you feeling about what the president said tonight? >> thanks for having me tonight. you know, rachel, it's a bittersweet moment, i'm a little bit in tears right now because i was able to call my dad and my mom and let them know based on the criteria that's been shared they will be protected from
deportation and that is a big victory for my family, of our community that has been really courageous in organizing and sharing our stories and putting the pressure on the president to make this announcement today and at the same time, as you saw, we had many families in our offices today and many of them will now be able to qualify and to get protection from deportation, so it breaks my heart because there's many people i know and i love, but the message is clear to us, this is a victory that we will own, we made this happen. our community made this happen and we will not stop until everyone in our community is able to have protection from deportation and be able to live in this country without fear and dignity. >> kristina, it's chris hayes. where does this movement go from here? it's a huge victory and i agree,
brought about by your activism. what is your next step? >> chris, it's clear. our work doesn't stop. we going to keep organizing and engaging more people. we know that the solution is just temporary. it's a great first step, but we need ultimately a final and permanent solution that only congress can deliver that will create a pathway for citizenship for me, my family and many other communities we work with so our work doesn't stop, it's the beginning and we will continue to organize, to protect this victory that is ours and ensure that our communities are able to benefit from this program and hold that work permit in their hands and that protection from deportation and move really from the underground economy to the formal economy, live without fear and make sure that we continue to build power so that we can have legislation. >> kristina, co-founder of united we dream, thank you very
much. during the president's speech he took the time to tell very moving story of a young woman based out of nevada named astrid silva. >> astrid was brought to america when she was 4 years old. her only possessions were a cross, her doll and the frilly dress she had on. when she started school she didn't speak any english. she mostly lived in the shadows. until her grandmother who visited every year from mexico passed away and she couldn't travel to the funeral without risk of being found out and deported. it was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her and today astrid silva is a college student working on her third degree. >> msnbc's amanda was with her and tweeted. astrid said she had no idea the president was going to tell her story and joining me by phone is astrid silva and, astrid, what was your reaction when you heard
your name and your frilly dress described? >> thank you for having me. i just -- it was shock because i didn't hear the name because everybody was clapping and so when he said about the cross then the doll because that's how i came here and then i was like, that's me. >> how are you feeling about the speech tonight. what does this mean for you, for people in your family and for the movement you've become associated with? >> well, you know, my dad has an order of deportation and so with this, i think that our family will be able to know these won't be our last holidays together but i know so many families that didn't benefit and we have to keep fighting until congress does something. >> astrid, how long has your father had an order of deportation? >> he received it in 2001 after he was scammed and they actually
acted on it in 2011. >> wow. >> and he has a stay of removal. those aren't guaranteed be renewed. >> so this has been ten years that your family at least more than a decade has been living with this hanging over you personally. >> it has been the fear that every single day they're going to come back and take him in and that he won't be with us anymore. >> have you been able to talk to your parents tonight? >> yeah, they were here with me and just they're overwhelmed. it's been such a roller coaster from the fear of being deported to actually coming out and, you know, to them sharing their stories and them losing -- losing their fear, it's just been -- it's been incredible. i've been able to take my dad to congress to try and talk to our congressional representatives and it's just -- it's overwhelming. >> astrid silva, thank you very,
very much. really appreciate you joining us tonight. >> thank you very much. >> rand paul sent out a fund-raising e-mail in which he wrote this unconstitutional power grab violates the separation of powers established by our founding document and i'm 100% committed to stopping president obama's unconstitut n unconstitutional immigration executive orders by any means necessary." joining me doug hyde for the rnc. if this is unconstitutional -- >> i'm not a constitutional law, put that out there. >> i said this to steve. it seems the republicans want to argue the process but if this is the wrong way to prioritize deportations who do you want to deport? >> republicans -- >> i'm not even going to go in that direction. >> that's the question on the table. >> i'm not going and deport this person -- i think that's an unfair question and i'm not going to do that. if we want to talk about the president's speech or what congress can do, i'm happy to have that conversation. i'm happy to talk to you about
what may in a republican congress and what's not going to happen but i won't tell you we'll deport or not deport them. i'm not going to play that game. >> i'm glad you would say that but that's precisely the issue at the heart. at the heart of what the president is saying, i have the executive branch, i have this amount of appropriations and this 11.4 million people and it's my job to tell that executive branch who we are going to deport and who we're not going to deport so if this is the wrong instructions to give to that executive branch, right, then there has to be some response that says what the right instructions are. >> i think what the republican congress has been saying which john boehner has been saying certainly over the past couple of day, rand paul just mentioned it unilaterally action from the president is not the way to go. believe it or not john boehner would like to work with the president on this. i've been in enough meetings with john boehner in the past 2 1/2 years where he talked about trying to do something on immigration. there's tough ways to get it through congress and tough problems with republicans in the house and in the senate. it's not simply an issue we'll
just pass the senate bill. that's not realistic in a republican house of representatives. it's just not. >> what john boehner came back and said we want to do it piecemeal. >> yeah. >> and the president responded to that an said you want to do it piecemeal. great, let's do it piecemeal and then john boehner never moved a single piece of that whole meal and so -- >> one of the things we wanted to do and you mentioned it earlier starting with the border. these are serious issues and as congressman gutierrez mentioned it's not just the border. it's airports and coming on boats. i thought he would quote neil diamond for a second. >> that's what he has done, continued to upscale border security but tonight he just said he'll do more. part one, there's going to be increased resources on the border. >> i don't believe that we're going to see -- i don't believe he will we'll see a tightened border and one -- >> this is the tightest border we've had under this president. >> one reason we don't have as many immigrants coming over if
you've looked at america in the past few years we haven't been that beacon of hope to the entire world or even to american citizens over the past few years, american families don't believe their children will have it better in the ask next generation than we have it right now. that message has resonated. >> take people out of the shadows to compete fairly for wages that americans aren't able to too because we have an underground economy where every single american is bench fitting from. we say, okay, now we'll compete fairly and raise our wages and address issues of national security because i want to know who my neighbor is but right now my neighbor i have no idea because we don't have a system. >> you've done so much reporting on this. the people you've talked to, so many people overstay their visa. why is that never a discussion? there's this on significance with the border as a physical thing. >> guess what, us taxpayers, guess how much we've paid to detain, to detain and -- a
mexican -- >> latino -- >> in 1991 it cost a thousand dollars more or less. how much does it cost taxpayers to process deport -- $29,000. what is that? what is that about? that's a ucla study. we are paying all of this money to ramp up the border when we know that that is not the problem and i think that, frankly, luis gutierrez is right. >> if you divide the amount of border resources in terms of those who are being stopped and brought back. >> it is crazily expensive now. >> to be fair there are a lot of european immigrants who overstay -- >> in chicago, you know the polish community in chicago, the irish community in the bronx neighborhood i grew up -- >> irish part in washington, d.c. >> that's absolutely true. there is one lawmaker currently serving in the u.s. senate who came to this country as an immigrant and joining me the first asian-american woman
elected to the senate and join in gentleman man, mazie hirono. your reaction to tonight's speech? >> good evening, chris. great to be here. i think this was a really big step for all of the advocates for immigration reform and what the president did tonight gives all of us hope and as you mentioned, i came here with a very courageous mother when i was not yet 8 years old. we are very poor. i certainly didn't speak english but she had a dream by bringing us to this country and working hard that she could make a better life for herself and her children and that is a dream that immigrants have and comprehensive immigration reform was purposeful work for me as a member of the judiciary committee and what the president did tonight as i said gives some 5 million people that chance to come out of the shadows to be able to work, to be with their family, to be with their children, to pay their taxes and
be a part of our community in the way that we all dream about. >> senator, what about this argument that this has poisoned the well, that this -- tonight signals the end of any -- of a possibility of comprehensive immigration reform legislatively in congress till 2016? >> i -- i don't buy that at all because we had over a year after the senate passed it's comprehensive immigration reform bill for the house to take action. there's absolutely nothing preventing the house of representatives from coming forward and working with the president and, again, with the senate to pass comprehensive sensible humane immigration reform. so for those who are saying that this is going to poison the well, i hope that that is not a self-fulfilling prophecy because the president has said very clearly this is a temporary approach and what we need to do is to have comprehensive reform that will enable 11 million
people to be on a path to citizenship and be a part of our economy. >> senator maria hinojosa, question? >> my sense is people -- i think the republican base out there might actually have understood the change of the narrative that it's not so much about the immigrants but it's about us who we are as a country. do you think the same thing in terms of the grass roots -- people living with immigrants in their communities, that that might have moved? >> when we think about -- aside from the native people who were here, the rest of us are immigrants, most of our trace our ancestry not very far back to another country. for myself i'm a first generation and we know that the majority of american public wants immigrant -- they want comprehensive immigration reform. they want these 11 million undocumented people to be able to come out of the shadows and be a part of our communities,
pay their taxes, take care of their children. the majority of the people in america want that. i think it's the republicans who are not hearing that message and i hope they do after the president takes this step and all these people can come out and be able to pursue their -- the american dream. again, this is temporary. >> right. senator mazie hirono, thank you for your time. >> aloha. >> i want to bring our panel back in. quickly, doug, the possibility there is any movement among republicans on this statutorily or legislatively? >> not much. this has been a finger in the eye of republicans. john boehner laid it out clear and mitch mcconnell did. if you take this unilateral action there will be no movement. as steve said there won't be any legislation. even though on things we should be able to agree on, if a foreign stem graduate -- if a
foreign stem student graduates they should have a green card stapled to their diploma. >> he addresses that idea of stem so you'll see folks that are not going to go to other countries or competitors they will stay in the country because they can actually realize the education they had in this country. >> it strikes me if there are areas of agreement, i would hope it would be the case that everyone could work together to sort of pass those but -- >> we just had this happen last week, a bipartisan majority in the house voted for a bill and a bipartisan majority in the senate voted for a bill but the president said i won't pass a pipeline that will create a lot of jobs for union workers. we can do this and the president will block it. >> doug heye, maria hinojosa thank you. now rachel. >> thanks at home for joining us. it was a hot day in june, the summer beforehe
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