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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  January 16, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST

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very few during this administration. how many of them -- does your report say how many of them came from countries subject to the travel ban and how long each of them had been in this country? >> i don't have that information at hand, sir. as you say, you're right, it is over a 15-year period, that one particular -- >> will you get to me how many of them, by the numbers, how many of them were foreign born and then a country subject to the travel ban? and what was the amount of time they'd been here? >> yes, to the extent that information is available. yes. >> well, it is all should have the number of where they were from and how long they'd be here. >> yes, sir. oftentimes, what you know, what we might have is where they came from. that would be what their visa would indicate. >> i understand. >> within the data we have,
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absolutely. >> i was a prosecutor. they'd have in the reports how long they'd be here and what they were doing. last week in the oval office, president trump reportedly said the most vulgar and racist things i've ever heard a president of either party utter. in fact, i've never heard any president, republican or democrat, utter anything even similar. now he denies using the specific word. there's been some saying maybe he used a different word, maybe he didn't. madame secretary, you were in the room. you're under oath. did president trump use this word or a substantially similar word to describe certain countries? >> i did not hear that word used. no, sir. >> that's not the question. did he use anything similar to that, describing certain countries? >> the conversation was very impassioned. i don't dispute that the
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president was using tough language. others in the room were also using tough language. >> was he -- >> if i could, the concept and the context, i believe, in which this came up was the concept that the president would like to move to a merri itmerit-based s. he'd like to no longer look at quotas for -- >> did he use what would be considered vulgar language? >> the president used tough language in general, as did other congressman in the room. yes, sir. >> the others aren't president. you imply the president was articulating support for a merit-based immigration system, like those in australia. but when he downgraded haiti, el salvador and africa, a country where we are trying to have some ability to match china and
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others in influence, he didn't say it was because we needed more phd students or skilled workers. he said he wanted more people from norway. being from norway is not a skill. and with the standard of living in norway better than ours, you're not going to have too many people from there. what does he mean when he says he wants more immigrants from norway? >> i don't believe he said that specifically. what he was saying was he was using norway as an example of a country that is -- what he was specifically referring to was the prime minister telling him that the people of norway work very hard. so what he was referencing is from a merit-based perspective, we'd like to have those with skills who can aassimilate and attribute to the united states. moving away from country quotas and into a merit-based system. >> norway is a predominantly white country, isn't it?
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>> i'm -- i actually do not know that, sir, but i imagine that is the case. >> okay. now, the obama administration focused on limenforcement. the ability is limited. you can't handle every single thing. >> that is correct. the obama administration focused on those who pose public safety threats. president trump has expanded those. now he has those who could be charged with a crime as a priority. that means millions of undocumented immigrants are subject to removal. they are a priority for removal. one of the things i learned as a prosecutor, if everyone is a priority, nobody is a priority.
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because you can't do them all. in texas, border patrol agents detained a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy on her way to a hospital for surgery. one hell of a threat she was. in ohio, the father and sole caregiver of a 6-year-old paraplegic boy is facing deportation. just yesterday in michigan, a man brought to this country at the age of 10 was deported after living here for over 30 years. torn away from his wife and children who are u.s. citizens. he's never committed a crime, and he pays his taxes every year. now, that's how we're using our limited enforcement resources? is it to strike fear in the hearts of everybody, whether he does anything wrong or not, or do they tell them they can be targeted any time? i'm sure the 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is scared.
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>> sir, first of all, i am not sure where we would agree on the facts of that texas case, but we're happy to -- >> submit the facts. >> i'm sorry? >> submit the facts. >> she was not detained. we actually helped her and escorted her to the hospital and turned her over to hhs. to your larger question, what we focus on in terms of enforcement priorities are those who have committed crimes and those with final orders of removal. our statistics show that is, if fact, what we're doing. last year, 92% of those that were arrested and taken into custody by ice were criminals. so i understand that there will always be exceptions. there's a lot of misunderstandings in the press. i'd be happy to work with you at any time, if there is a case of concern, to make sure that we understand -- >> on that, we do ask questions of your department. on occasion, on occasion, we've gotten answers. let's try to get answers to all of them. you know the president says he
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wants to build a big, beautiful wall, have mexico pay for it. the president's promised mexico will pay for it. we open an account that mexico can put money in to pay for it. i'm sure the president wouldn't make that promise if he -- and not tell the truth. what arrangements do we have with mexico to pay for it? >> sir, as the secretary of homeland security, what i'm concerned about the getting the front line -- >> do you know whether we have arrangements with mexico to pay for it? >> i know that we have arrangements with mexico to secure our borders. >> do we have arrangements with them to pay for the wall as promise trump promised the american people they would do? easy answer, yes or no. >> i am not aware. i don't know what you mean by arrangement. we have a lot of agreements with them to increase border security. >> are any of them to pay for a wall? >> how do you mean pay, sir? through fees? do you mean through -- there is a variety of ways.
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>> well, usually, when somebody is paid for, you pay for it with money. >> that's -- i understand that. i'm saying, there are many ways to do that in collect that. >> are they paying for a wall? >> my priority is to increase border security and to build that wall that will work. that's my priority, sir. that's what i'm focused on. >> then let's talk about that. it's estimated that building a wall will result in taking land from 900 ranchers and other landowners in two texas counties alone. that's two counties. i'll insert that letter to the chairman if i'd like to the reco record. >> without objection, so ordered. >> what is your estimation of eminent domain cases to ranchers and other american landowners that would be required to build a wall? >> sir, the initial wall that we're building right now, as you know for this year, is replacement wall. >> i'm talking about the wall -- >> i couldn't possibly give you
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how many people will decide in the future to have an issue with imminent domain. >> if you build a wall on the u.s. side of the border, you need a no man's land between the wall and the rio grande river. how many acres of american land do we have to cede to mexico to do that? >> we have to look at the terrain, traffic and accessibility. you're right, we have to tailor the solutions for each part of the border to make sure that we don't have to do anything that's unnecessary. whether that's additional land acquisition -- >> if we don't have an agreement with mexico to pay for it, and if many say a wall is last century's technology, with that $18 billion, how many more agents could you hire, or tsa screeners to shorten lines at our airplaneorts, which has bec
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ridiculous. or how many coast guard cutters could you build to rescue those at sea and protect our ports? >> all i can tell you is walls work. we have examples of that. we have documented data. i don't know about anybody saying it is last generation's technology. 2006, as you know, we had a bipartisan agreement in the secure fence act, which senators obama, clinton and schumer all voted for. so i disagree that it is last generation's/last century's technology. >> and parts of the wall was built. >> parts of it. >> we're talking about a wall the length of our country. >> we're not. the president has made that clear. >> i'm not going to play back a lot of his campaign speeches about the wall, the great, big, beautiful wall, the length of our southern border paid for by mexico. i've heard a lot of promises in my decades here. i'm waiting to see this one
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fulfilled. thank you, mr. chairman, for the extra time. >> i think since you were at the same meeting i was at tuesday, the president said 700 miles additional wall. >> 722, yes, sir. initial down payment. >> okay. >> madame secretary, thank you for your willingness to take on what is probably one of the most difficult jobs in the united states government, and that is the leadership of the department of home daland security. it is also one of the most important jobs in the u.s. government. i want to continue the line of questioning from my friend from vermont about the border security. it's no surprise to you that i come from a state that has 1200 miles of common border with mexico. what we're talking about is what measures are going to be put into place to provide that border security, which my constituents all want. they want security. >> yes, sir. >> so i have been struck by your
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use of the phrase "wall system" and just want to explore with you a little bit what you mean by that. one of the people that i've taken advice from is rio grande valley border sector chief mandy padio, who i believe you were with recently. he told me in his vast experience with the border patrol, that border security is composed of three elements. infrastructure is important. you can call it a secure fence, as we did in 2006. you can call it a wall, as the president does from time to time. but it includes not only the infrastructure but also technology. of course, the border patrol agents to be able to respond, senators when they go off, radar and the like. is that what you mean when you talk about a wall system? some configuration of those three components, infrastructure, technology and personnel? >> yes, sir. the president has asked us, as
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you know, to look at operational control of the border. the wall system, therefore, is infrastructure, technology, personnel and i would add, it is also closing the loopholes so we can promptly remove those necessary. we look at impedimpedence and d. do nation awareness, the sensors and cameras, et cetera. access and mobility, so the border patrol agents can respond to threats. then we look at mission readiness, which is having the personnel that we need to be able to do the job. >> because of the impact to local communities in texas and elsewhere along the border. do you have any objection to consulting with local stakeholders as they try to come up with innovative solutions to the border security challenge?
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>> it's an open invitation. the only way we can protect the border is by working with state and local officials, as well as the landowners in private sectors. absolutely. >> i was at the rio grande valley on friday, saturday and sunday hunting the ever elusive wild texas quail. i did happen to go over to the -- to a wildlife sanctuary on friday, which is a unique tourist attraction, and one that's located within several hundred yards of the texas border. what i'm told there is that the smugglers, the transnational criminal organizations you eluded to before, do see that as a vulnerability. obviously, we need to meet that challenge. i know the chief and others are working hard to do that. we also need to be sensitive to the concerns, i think, of the local community about a huge economic element there, and
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something we entertain a lot of folks from up north, they call affectionally snow birds down there. when it is cold up north, they come down south. they're great. it's great for them. it's great for the economy. it is great for jobs. so that would be one example of a way to work collaboratively with the state and local officials, to come up with the right solution. i remember a few years back in hi hildalgo county, texas, using the steakeholder approach, we came up with a win-win propositi proposition. you're familiar with a levy wall. >> yes, sir. >> there was obviously a need to improve the levy system down there and protect problem values and make flood insurance affordable. but in consultation, i remember j.d. salinas, who was the county judge in hildalgo, texas, they
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put a bond election on the ballot and came up with a dual use system, which actually provided that le vi vy improvem but also provided a wall in critical areas that the border patrols, that they said they needed in order to slow down the flow of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the like. that's just one example of what i consider a win-win proposition, and where one size does not fit all. so i appreciate your willingness to work with all of us to come up with those kind of win-win situations where possible. the chief told me that the majority of people who are coming across the border and are detained in the rio grande valley sector are from central mi america. it's a high percentage, as you know. what these traffickers are doing is exploiting, as you point out, a vulnerability in our system. we pass the trafficking victims
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protection reauthorization act years ago in order to protect children from human trafficking. it's a highly worthy cause. >> agree. >> but the traffickers have figured out that since children who come from central america are treated differently than other people who enter the country illegally, they have found a way to exploit it. i believe you mentioned 90% of them who are notified of a future court hearing on their claim for asylum, for example, never show up. that's a real glitch. i know there's been some attention paid -- not enough attention paid, in my view -- to the threat of criminal gangs that exploit this vulnerability, as well. i was told by chief padia, again, they have ms-13 gang members as young as 12 years old. of course, from 12 to 17, you'd still qualify as a minor. let me ask, if border patrol identifies by the tattoos or
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other signs on somebody under 18, that they are likely a member of a criminal gang, are they permitted to detain them, or are they required to treat them the same way they would every other minor child and place them with a sponsor ultimately and only to have them never show back up for their court hearing in the future? are criminal gang members who has been to be minors treated any differently? >> unfortunately, no. we have to treat them the same. we do, if we have the information provided to hhs, and of course they have them once we turn them over to hhs. but, no, sir, it is a problem. we need to look at removability in general to make sure that we can address this gang problem. we see gangs all the way up to new york recruiting illegal immigrants and children to come across the border for the purposes of joining ms-13. >> i know when we talk about unaccompanied children, people
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think about very young children, children of tender gaugage. they don't think of a 17-year-old member of a gang like ms-13, which is exploiting this same vulnerability. i have every confidence that you and the trump administration is going to do what you say you're going to do when it comes to border security, and i believe it is our responsibility as members of congress to provide you the resources and tools and to make the appropriate changes in the law so that you can do what needs to be done. i know there have been requirements for border assessments in the past. do you have any objection to congress, perhaps as part of this negotiated border security part of the daca fix, mandating that the department come up with a plan that would provide for 100% situational awareness and operational control of the border? >> no, sir, i don't. i would encourage, if you
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haven't had the tunopportunity look at the border security investment plan we recently provided, there is some detail provided. on domain awareness, absolutely. >> i think it'd be important to put that in the law. of course, when administrations change, different administrations have different priorities in terms of border security and the like. i'd like to make sure that the focus of this administration remains part of the congressional mandate in the law. so would look forward to working with you on that. i know there's been some discussion of the daca population and, certainly, together with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis, i want to find a solution for these young adults who came here as minor children. through no fault of their own, find themselves in a dead end. i do know that there was a court decision which created some confusion the other day.
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it strikes me as wildly wrong to say that president obama can create a program and that president trump cannot end it. because, certainly, the executive authority would seem to be the same. but can you tell us about the plans of the administration to appeal that or otherwise how you plan to address it? >> yes, we defer to the department of justice, who are looking at a variety of ways in which to respond to that. what i can tell you is dhs is complying with the court order. we have begun to accept renewals for daca. we are treating the program as prece pre-september of last year. if you are a current daca recipient, you can currently a reapply while pending this court action. >> senator durbin? >> thank you, chairman. before i ask questions of the secretary, i'd like to introduce
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two guests that i've brought here today. alejandra is a second year student at the school of medicine in chicago. alejand alejandra, would you please stand? alejandra grew up in savannah, georgia. in addition to medical school, she volunteers at a clinic educating patients about disease prevention. she wants to be a obgyn serving in under-protected cultures. thank you for being here. without the protection of daca, she does not have a legal permission to work in america. you cannot become a doctor without a residency. a residency is a job. if daca is eliminated and her protection is eliminated and her right to work is eliminated, then her future as a doctor is in doubt. john, would you please stand? john came from venezuela at the age of 9. in high school, he was commander of the air honors society in
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junior rotc. graduated from georgia tech, one of the best engineering schools in america, with a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering with the highest honors. he works as a chemical engineer. his dream is to serve in the united states military. john, thanks for being here. that's what this debate is all about. that's what daca is all about. there's been a lot of talk about terrorists and threats to america. we stand as one. not as democrats or republicans but as one saying, let's keep america safe. but for goodness sakes, not at the expense of the young people i just introduced. that is what this conversation and debate is all about. madame secretary, i hope you remember me. we were together at two meetings last week. i would like to ask you about one of those meetings. it occurred about noon on january the 11th. you were a few minutes late. i know, asked forgiveness but
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were called at the last minute to attend. some things were said at the meeting that i believe we have to address today. people across the united states and around the world want to know what this president believes should be our priorities when it comes to immigration. i'm going to ask you, as best you can, to recall what you heard the president say when it came to those priorities. what do you remember the president saying about immigration from african countries to the united states? >> what i heard him saying was that he'd like to move away from a country-based quota system to a merit-based system. so it shouldn't matter where you're from. it should matter what you can contribute to the united states. >> how did he characterize those countries in africa? >> in -- i don't specifically remember a cat gorizatiegorizat
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africa. as you know, there were about a dozen people in the room, cross conversations, rough talk by a lot of people in the room, but what i understood him to be saying is let's move away from the countries and let's look at the individual and make sure that those we bring here can contribute to our society. >> do you remember the president saying expressly, i want more europeans? why can't we have more immigrants from norway ? >> i do remember him asking about the concept of underrepresented countries as a fix. this was in the conversation about removing the diversity lottery and how we could reallocate that. i remember him asking, if we do that and we then assign those two countries that are unrepresented, aren't we just continuing non-merit-based immigration? so from that perspective, i think he did ask, would that cover european countries or by its nature, would that mean that we are further establishing immigration to purposefully exclude europeans? >> what did the president say
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about immigrants from norway? >> i heard him repeating what he had learned at a meeting before, that they are industrious, a hard-working country, they don't have much crime there or debt. in general, i heard him giving compliments to norway. >> you said on fox news that the president used strong language. what was that strong language? >> let's see, strong language, there was -- apologies. i don't remember specific word. what i was struck with, frankly, as i'm sure you were, as well, was just the general profanity that was used in the room by almost everyone. >> did you hear me use profanity? >> no, sir. neither did i. >> did you hear senator graham use profanity? >> i heard tough language from senator graham. yes, sir. >> what did he say? >> he used tough language. he was impassioned. i think he was feeling strongly about the issue, as was everyone in the room. and to underscore a point, i think he was using some strong language. >> do you recall that the strong language he used repeated
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exactly what the president had said prior to that? >> i remember specific cuss words being used by a variety of members. >> i'm not going to ask you to say those words here. but i will just say for the record, senator graham spoke up in a way that i respect very much, countering what the president said about countries in africa. reminding the president that his family did not come to america with great skills or wealth, but they came here, as most families do, looking for a chance to prove themselves and make this a better nation. in a defensive, senator graham's strong words repeated exactly the words used by the president, which you cannot remember. let me ask you another question -- >> if i could, sir, i do want to say that i greatly appreciate not only senator graham's leadership but yours, as well. i know you're passionate about this. afterwards, i approached you and asked that i'm happy to talk to you any time to try to work on this deal. i do think that senator graham,
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very em papassionately describet he believes america is about and what we should move toward. >> do you suppose a path to citizenship for daca recipients and those in the d.r.e.a.m. act? >> we have to find a permanent solution, yes, sir. >> i hate that phrase, permanent solution. do you support a path to citizenship? >> i believe that as part of the discussion and to make sure that we don't continue temporary populations that continue to exist, we should talk about that. i'm not here to get in front of the president or any final decisions on that particular issue but, yes, i'm happy to discuss it. >> do you recall the president saying he wanted $20 billion now, and he would build this wall within one year? >> i do remember him saying that he was concerned that given the appropriations cycle, that any deal we made now would be limited to this year's appropriation. i remember him asking, is there a way to authorize the full down payment of the wall, such that we could have assurances that we could, in fact, build it. >> so let's take a look at what your department has done when it
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comes to building walls. as of december 6th, 2017, less than 1% of the $341 million appropriated for 40 miles of replacement funding had been expended. actual construction has yet to begin on money appropriated within the last fiscal year. so is the president realistic when he says he wants $20 billion so he can build the wall in one year? >> i think the president is encouraging us to go as quickly as we can. as you know, it is a come ple ka -- complicated issue for a v variety of reasons. we are testing the prototypes w comments, for each particular part of the wall. it will be different. >> the president made it clear that that meeting that one of the conditions for his ascend or agreement to protect daca was $20 billion so he could build
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this wall in one year. the fate of john and alejandra lies in the balance here. the president is insisting on something that is physically, legally impossible. as a condition for him to give them a chance to be here in the united states legally. now, you've seen -- because you commented on it, the fox news -- the proposal, which senator graham and i, as well as four other senators have made on a bipartisan basis, and you've rejected it. you said at one point, i believe, that -- let me see the quote here -- nothing in there that would prevent us from getting here again. are you aware of the fact that in here is the entire request of the administration for border security in this fiscal year, $1.6 billion for walls, barriers and fences and another 1 billion for technology, exactly what you asked for? if you don't believe this is going to solve the problem, which is what you said on fox news, why did the administration request it in the first place? >> well, sir, that's not all we
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requested, as you know. we requested to close the loopholes that serve as the factors that exacerbate the problem. i cannot apprehend if i cannot remove. it's not border security. >> let me add, the first meeting we had last week, we agreed, and the president agreed, there would be two phases to this conversation. the first, immediately to deal with the daca challenge and the three other elements the president -- >> including border security, sir. >> including border security. every penny you asked for. then the president said, phase two goes into comprehensive immigration reform. many of the issues which you described as must-haves. we understand that. to put the burden of immigration reform on the shoulders of these daca immigrants is not fair and jeopardizes their future and their lives. we're trying to do an honest, bipartisan approach to deal with the first phase of this. you have rejected it. >> i thank you for your passion. i hope you understand mine. i cannot agree to a deal that
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does not give the tools and resources to the men and women of department of homeland security to do the job you've asked them to do. >> we gave you every penny you asked for. >> sir, it is not the pennies. it's closing the loopholes. >> can we cut back on some of the money? we could sure use it. >> we need the wall, too. the wall works, as you know. it is part of border security. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. madame secretary, thank you for being here. i'm glad i missed that meeting at the latter part of the week, but i enjoyed and thought it was productive, when you were in the room and a couple dozen of us. i'm disappointed people can't think reasonable about this and bridge the gap. i don't think it is that wide now, if we sit down and lower the temperatures. what's the distance between the pacific ocean and the gulf coast, the total miles of border? >> dhs looked at over 2,000 miles for purposes of assessing where we need a wall. >> okay.
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but geographically, it is even a bit more than that? >> yes, sir. >> around 2,300. when your full plan for the border security is implemented, how much of that will be a wall versus fences or other structures? >> so there's three different infrastructures we talk about. there is a primary wall, a secondary wall and then, in some cases, there's infrastructure in the form of access roads or the mobility piece of the mission. but the current down payment request is 722 miles. that's replacement and secondary and new wall. >> okay. when this is fully built out, would you ever envision -- i think the president said in the meeting twice in front of the press and once or twice after the press left the room -- that he is dispensed with the motion of this large, monolione-size-f all. >> yes, sir. >> both parties have flourish when they're on the stump.
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seems the president came here, has listened to be people at the border and has determine thad the department has a good idea that involves people, technology and infrastructure. so it'd be fair to say in the face of the direct comments and the data now from the department, it would just be disingenuous to suggest that anybody is proposing a large, monolific wall? >> yes, sir, it'd be disingenuo disingenuous. >> if you learn nothing else from the amnesty of 1986, you learned if you don't address the pull factor, all you've done is inviting more people in, waiting for the amnesty. what's been your experience over the past few months in terms of daca? >> we have to reduce the pull factors. some are of the loopholes. again, i can not stress it enough. >> once they're here, it is hard for them to go. >> yes, sir. even those we apprehend, it takes over two years to get them
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through the system when they have a removable offense to begin with. >> so what's our batting average then on actually removing when somebody gets into the system? got to be fairly low. >> it's fairly low, yes, sir. i can get you an exact figure but -- >> in border security, this may be over in justice, do you take a look at how dangerous the communities are as a result? senat s one senator mentioned gang members. is there data to suggest many of the people crossing the borders that are dangerous find themselves in the hispanic communities after crossing the border, making them less safe than, say, my community? >> yes, sir. in fact, i think when i went to the rio grande valley, which was the area the senator was reviewing, we were talking about the rip crews, if you will. those are part of a tco that are raiding a house they believe
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weapons or drugs are stashed where they may have pre-positioned one. >> i've been to one. >> without the wall, the groups go back and forth and back and forth. it is a danger to the mexican side and our side, as with el. >> we were in laredo. we were in various places. laredo was one that stuck in my mind. a couple of weeks earlier, border patrol agents who were in a helicopter were shot at. they had the door with the hole in it in the briefing room. would you characterize -- i mean, a lot of people think the rio grande is wide and deep. it is relatively narrow and shallow. so much so, they have low draft or no draft boats to get to many places because you can walk across it. you're 40, 50 yards away. how would you characterize laredo in terms of safety and security? >> i wouldn't be able to tell you specifically laredo compared to others. welcome to "velshi & ruhle." we've been here the whole time, listening to this testimony by
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homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen. lots of interesting questions. many on policy. some having to do with that meeting, the infamous meeting last week in which president trump allegedly used some bad language. >> strong language, as kirstjen is saying. she's being very, very careful. similar words she used earlier today on cbs. joining us now to break this down, nbc news capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt, along with bill kristol, conservative writer and founder of "the weekly standard." senator orrin hatch brought up last week's meeting. soon after it happened, he said, i want to get to the bottom of it. he's trying to. >> reporter: yeah. that's right. you've heard quite a bit of discussion about this and some back and forth, and some questions about the homeland security secretary's memory of the events that transpired. there was some back and forth and discussion, particularly of lindsey graham's role in that
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meeting. senator durbin suggesting that graham had essentially repeated the word that we have all been talking about back to the president, suggested that it was an inappropriate way to talk about those countries. for give me if i'm looking over my shoulder. we're outside of this hearing room, waiting for senators to potentially come outside. i do think what you've seen unfold in this hearing, not necessarily going to contribute to getting any closer to a deal on daca. we spoke briefly to senator john cornin, who just left the hearing, and that is what he had to say. the focus on the comments made at the meeting is detrimental to the overall attempts to get a deal here. it is really not clear how they land on the same page here on the -- on the one hand, you have senators saying, this is the only game in town. this is the only way we'll fix this before the end of the week. but you are hearing from other republicans that, hey, this is simply not going to fly. there's other negotiations that
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we have to focus on. there's a number twos group, so-called on capitol hill, the number two democrat and republican in each chamber from both sides. the on certain, of course, how do you get a daca deal through the house of representatives? it's always been the challenge. there is opposition on the -- on paul ryan's right flank to any broader immigration deal. there are also questions on the democratic side, as well, because even the bipartisan set of talks was addressing issues of policy that many democrats don't want to see. family migration being one of them. so, again, pretty contentious hearing today. this conversation about vulgarities and exactly what was said at that meeting continues, guys. >> ali velshi, s house, number two group. how did we get here? >> bill, i guess i need to understand to what degree, when it's said, this discussion about what happened in the meeting holds back the discussion on
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daca. ultimately, it may be central to how the president thinks about daca, and it is clearly instrumental in how he thinks of immigration as a hole. what do you think of this? is what the president allegedly said last week, should democrats let that go and move on to a deal with daca, or should they say, look, the country needs to know, this is how the president looks at immigration at a whole? >> i thought secretary nielsen basically admitted the president said what he is alleged to have said, though it might have been a caveat of one term other than the other. she just said everyone used tough language, which i think senator durbin said, did i? no. senator graham? probably not, just repeating what the president said. did other people in the room? i've been in meetings in the cabinet room and oval office, i don't think secretaries use tough language in the presence of the president of the united states in the oval office
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unless -- i don't think they use it anyway, probably, but -- >> unless license is given. >> yes. exactly. look, i think donald trump doesn't want to make the deal on the table, daca in return for border security. as senator durbin pointed out, they put in the administration's request in terms of border security. they want to go for, quote, loopholes. that's comprehensive immigration reform. it is ridiculous, honestly. the obvious deal is daca for border security. it's always been the talk. the appropriate thing to do first or not. if people want oppose it, fine. my advice to the democrats, i'm not one but, they should stop talking to donald trump and go to the republican senators and say, can we do this as senators and congressmen? they're elected officials. article one gives legislative powers to congress. the president can veto if he chooses. if i were a democrat, insist on a floor vote. don't let republican leadership hold it up. see where people are on the bipartisan deal that six
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senators signed off on. insist on a vote this week. if mcconnell and ryan deny it, they can say, we'll go to the country and cause a kruckus on this. give up on trump at this point, i think. >> let's take a step back. it was last tuesday when president trump seemed to be open to bipartisanship. lindsey graham said it was one of the interesting or maybe best meetings he'd seen in 20 years. he then works with dick durbin. lindsey graham and dick durbin have a constructive relationship and both have been complimentary of one another. i want to go back to what dick durbin just said. >> he was in the room. kirstjen nielsen was in the room. >> what i was struck with, frankly, as i'm sure you were, as well, was the general profanity that was used in the room by almost everyone. >> did you hear me use profanity. >> no, sir. neither did i. >> senator graham? >> i heard tough language from
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senator graham, yes, sir. >> what did he say? >> he used tough language. he was impassioned. i think he was feeling strongly about the issue, as was everyone in the room. and to underscore a point, i think he was using strong language. >> okay. so let's make something clear, what we even consider tough language. tough language is standing up and saying things that are controversial, saying things people might not like. simply using backyard, scho schoolyard vulgarity -- >> and she said, profanity. >> i want you to take us to the mindset of republicans. they want to get to their republican agenda. if mitch mcconnell or paul ryan who are not in the room want to carefully skirt their way around this to get to their agenda, that makes sense to me. but what does this mean for the tom cotton and david purdues of the world? tom cotton is a young guy. david purdue has a very good reputation. they say within 24 hours of the meeting, i don't recall what was said. how do you not remember what was said 24 hours before?
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over the weekend, david says, no, he didn't say it. now, here we are with kirstj kirstjen nielsen basically saying, he did. as with lindsey graham and dick durbin. what does it mean for tom cotton and david purdue? >> i don't know. ask them, obviously. >> but as a conservative, how do republicans take that? >> i think -- well, look, republicans have been rationalizing and excusing and giving themselves reasons why they don't want to defend donald trump. they can work with him and do good things if we have good relationships with them. they can work closely with h.r. mcmaster and others and prevent bad things from happening in the administration. a, as many people said, it is not the language itself but the sentiment behind the language. put that aside. i do think, honestly, they should push hard for the daca deal. i take senator durbin at his word when he says, this is bad, to leave the people hanging, even if it is a temporary court
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injunction. as legislators, they should move bewo beyond the president and put republican senators on the spot. are the republicans not going to vote if it is forced to the floor in favor of a perfectly sensible, limited, compromised daca for border enforcement? we'll get to the other things later. >> it is important you note that. it is limited. it may be easier. ka kacie, the senators are on the record skz kirstjen what the president said. she didn't really deny it, causing it strong or tough language. in the end, where do they move now? it is tuesday. some sort of deal needs to be made by friday. doesn't have to be about immigrati immigration. we have to have some deal to fund the government move foing forward. >> reporter: that's right, ali. i'm still here. look, as far as tough language is concerned, i really wish i had known that's what i should have told my teachers in school
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if i was caught using words like that. i think we all know what she is talking about here. the one thing i would say to bill's point about the senate and where the votes are, the issue here is actually more in the house of representatives. if you talk to senators here, they'll say, look, we sent a comp he comprehensive bill here. john boehner refused to put it on the floor when he was speaker. that's the problem paul ryan is facing now. it's part of the reason the white house is saying what they're saying behind the scenes. great, you got a bipartisan deal in the senate. good luck getting it through the house of representatives. so i think that's really where you want to focus your kind of energy and attention, as far as what unfolds vis-a-vis a government shutdown. part of the calculus on the senate side has been, and democrats have been insisting, look, this has to go with the spending bill we're seeing or will need. the continuing resolution of fo the government to stay open. you have to attach it to a must-pass bill or it won't pass
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the house of representatives. it is a difficult needle to thread. it's always been a challenging issue for the freedom caucus and one that animated the president's base. as you know, this is an issue that he used to land himself in the oval office. there's so much tension. one interesting thing that's happening here, too, you have d.r.e.a.m.ers who are in the hallways here. they've been politely walking up to senators and asking them, hey, what's going to happen here? what's going to happen to me? i think at the end of the day, those stories and that sort of compelling, you know, narrative is something that if there is going to be a deal, that's going to be why. again, as we have been talking about all morning, not clear how we get there. >> thank you for your analysis. bill, thank you for yours. we'll, of course, stick with the information coming out of the hearings and bring you more as it happens. right now, thousands of lives are in limbo because of immigration policy. every day, at airports around the country, families are being torn apart. >> we'll speak with cindy garcia
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who just said good-bye to her husband of 15 years after he was ripped away from her and their children. this happened yesterday. the day we observe martin luther king. extraordinary. he lives in the united states and has lived here for over 30 years. ♪ i thought i was managing my moderate to severe crohn's disease. then i realized something was missing... me. my symptoms were keeping me from being there. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. and the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission in as little as 4 weeks. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb.
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learn more at appointments available now. welcome back. we got breaking news.
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here's a live look at the senate judiciary committee hearing where homeland security secretary nielsen is being confronted about daca. that's the deferred action for childhood arrivals, legislation that protects young immigrants from deportation. >> but the big question, what exactly did president trump say at the white house meeting last week on immigration? she was there when trump called haiti and african nations the word i don't want to say. just moments ago, democratic patrick leahy asked her to clarify that. >> i did not hear that word used, no, sir. >> that's not the question. did he use anything similar to that describing certain countries? >> the conversation was very impassioned. i don't dispute that the president was using tough language. others in the room were also using tough language. if i could, the concept and the context i believe in which this came up was the concept that the president would like to move to a merit-based system.
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he would like to not -- no longer look at -- >> did he use what would be considered vulgar language, referring to certain countries? >> the president used tough language in general, as did other congressmen in the room. >> we will keep monitoring the hearing and bring you any updates. now to a gut-wrenching story from michigan. a detroit area man has been taken from his wife and children, ordered to leave the united states because he's an undocumented immigrant. brought here from mexico when he was just 10 years old. [ sobbing ] >> that was the scene yesterday at the detroit metropolitan airport, when jorge garcia had to leave his wife and two children. jorge does not qualify to stay here under daca rules, which protects young undocumented immigrants from being deported.
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he is 39 years old and misses the cut-offer age by a year. joining us, his wife cindy, who is an american citizen. first, how are you and your kids doing and how's jorge? >> jorge is very devastated, very sad. my kids and myself are also sad. it's a nightmare that came to life that we don't wish upon anybody. >> tell me what happened. jorge, just to be clear, jorge does not have a criminal record. he's not committed a criminal offense in the united states. >> no. he has never committed a crime in the u.s. since he was brought here at 10 years old. >> so what happened? how did this all develop? >> we tried to adjust his status in 2005 due to the lawyer and her incompetence at that time, filed the wrong paperwork and got us into removal status, and we had to go see a judge, an immigration judge. at that time we had our hearing and then at 2009 they decided that he had 90 days to leave the country. we filed with the uaw and
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voluntary community action program a stay of deportation for one year. after the year was up, we went and refiled another one, so that was in 2011. we were under the obama administration and we were safe, we were just waiting year by year to see if a new law was to be entered or if there was a way to fix his status at that time, and until now, there has been nothing that we can do. and that's why he got deported yesterday. >> then what exactly happened this year that caused the government to deport him, because the administration has said this is about quote, bad hombres, criminals that are a risk to our system, that are hurting people. >> drug dealers, rapists. >> what exactly happened to cause this to happen to jorge now? >> what happened was our yearly visit was in the 20th of november. at that time, they told us they were going to detain him and our faces just went pale and they
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seen that we were not expecting this, so then they told us that we could bring back an airplane ticket stating he was going to leave the day after thanksgiving, because time had run out under the new administration, that trump wants everybody who has to leave out of the country, and we explained to them that he has no criminal record. they said well, he was brought here at 10 and that was his crime, that he had committed, and because the paperwork was already in process, that he had to leave the country and they picked a date after thanksgiving. then after that, we got a phone call a couple of days before thanksgiving saying they were going to extend his time due to the fact that he had no criminal record, and they wanted him to spend christmas with his family. >> cindy, this has got to be devastating. christmas, while it's good they let him stay until past christmas, how could your christmas have been? how do you talk to your kids about this? what do you do? >> we did not have a christmas
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tree. we did not put up any christmas decorations because we were sad. we knew what we had to face head-on and it was going to be devastating. we took it day by day process and just hoped for the best. >> you said last night that you respect the law and you want i.c.e. to protect the borders so what is the solution for other families going through this? jorge has other siblings, i think some of them were born in the united states, but not all of them. >> i believe that we need a new path to citizenship. we need daca to pass. they need to look at each case individually, not as a whole, because everybody's case is different and like my husband's, he has no criminal record, he was brought here as a child. they should be able to give us a pathway to citizenship. >> cindy, what do you see happening to your family now? how will you manage logistically with jorge in mexico and you and the kids in the united states? >> it's going to be very rough, because i'm medically disabled
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from ford motor company so i'm retired, and living off low income, it is going to be very rough. our life is going to change because i have to support two households, mine and jorge in mexico until he gets a job. >> unbelievable story. >> so what are you going to do? are you trying to get him back? do you have a lawyer? >> yes, i have a lawyer. we are going to try to bring him back, file the paperwork, the waiver, and hopefully the consulate in mexico will look at the paperwork at that time and say yes, you can return or otherwise, they will either say we need more paperwork, we need more time and they will give him a new date and we will have to adjust whatever paperwork that they need at that time. >> what work did jorge do here in the united states? >> he was a landscaper when he was here. >> cindy, our hearts are with you and we hope for a good resolution to this. we pray for you and your family. >> thank you. thank you. >> that's not what this is meant to be about, right? jorge is not the poster child for what we have to fix for
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immigration. >> you and i both respect the rule of law. >> absolutely. >> what i don't understand is there are huge problems in this country. it was freezing in new york this weekend, in new england. there were kids who are homeless, who had nothing to eat. there are failing schools. there are millions of people dying -- >> and criminals out there, some of whom are undocumented in this country. jorge is not the problem. he's not high up on the list of problems. >> the opioid crisis is something millions of americans are worried about. going after 21 7-elevens doesn't seem like a massive problem or ripping jorge garcia away from his family. >> it sounds good to the base, i suppose. >> i would love to continue this conversation. >> i bet we will. we are going to. thanks for watching. find us on social media. thanks for watching. i will see you back here at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> i will be watching him at 3:00 p.m. eastern. i will see you tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. eastern. now we turn you over to our friend and colleague, andrea
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mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." right now on a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports" live from a north korea crisis summit in vancouver, canada, high stakes. world powers meeting here this hour in a desperate attempt to find a diplomatic solution to the korean crisis as kim jong-un's propaganda machine today calls president trump's twitter taunts the spasm of a lunatic. moments from now we will hear from the president, meeting today with the president of kazahkstan back at the white house even as his secretary of state here is trying to press north korea to give up its nuclear weapons at a meeting with 18 countries. shutdown showdown. a potential government shutdown appears more likely days from now, after talks over a dreamer compromise and that wall break down following the president's controversial remarks about immigration and immigrants from africa and haiti. just moments ago, the homeland security


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