tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC June 12, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern for another live hour of "politics nation." my colleague, alicia menendez, picks up our news coverage now for a special hour on the vice president's trip to central american including what is causing the crisis at the border and what the united states can do about it. alicia. >> thank you, reverend sharpton. i'm alicia menendez. as we come on the air the president is england furthering his policy agenda at the g7. it is his first appearance as president on the world stage, today unveiling an infrastructure plan to help the developing world compete with china. biden's build back better world initiative helps to narrow the
infrastructure need in the developing world, exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic. world leaders signed on to it with only one sticking point remaining, how to confront china's human rights abuses. biden's plan is getting praise from allies like france whose leaders seemed to offer an explicit critique the former president, following four years of donald trump's america first foreign policy. >> i think it is great to have a u.s. president willing to cooperate, and i think that what you -- what you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership. >> the g7 wraps up tomorrow. then wednesday it is off to geneva where biden will meet with russia's vladimir putin. we are told the president will hold a solo press conference after their meeting, foregoing the usual bilateral press conference where he would be side by side with the russian dictator. as biden focuses on improving
america's standing on the world stalg, vice president kamala harris carries on her charge of addressing an infliction of migration from central america, a topic we will be devoting the entire hour to covering. not just problems, but solutions made harder, of course, by republicans who follow in donald trump's lead, refuse to see it as the humanitarian crisis it is. instead, another opportunity to play politics. >> one thing we know, and that is a border crisis is plaguing the farmers, the ranchers, the residents of the entire border region. >> we have a border crisis on the southern border. come to texas, come to the rio grande valley, come to mcallen. more importantly, stand up and be willing to enforce our laws to fix it, because that's not what they're doing right now. >> but if you want to get serious and be serious about this issue, then you have to look at the very reasons that migrants are coming here like violent crime and the effects of climate change, which is why the vice president during her trip to central america this week was focused on providing a
multi-faceted aid package providing humanitarian assistance and long-term areas migrants are fleeing from, an investment that will take time to yield results. >> i've been very clear from the beginning. there is not going to be a quick fix. we have seen progress, but the real work is going to take time to manifest itself. will it be worth it? yes. will it take some time? yes. >> all of this following through on policy that began with president obama who requested a billion dollars in assistance for central america back in 2016. policy which president trump then tore apart. >> i have ended payments to guatemala, to honduras and el salvador. no money goes there anymore. i'm not paying them anymore because they haven't done a thing for us. >> a move made without a shred of acknowledgement of the united states's own role in creating the conditions migrants are
fleeing from. this issue is complex but at the heart is humanity, understanding the horrors these migrants are facing, why they view risking their lives as worth it. as nbc's kerry sanders found when he traveled to the region. >> reporter: to better understand the arduous journey children take often alone we traveled high into guatemala's mountains where we found sophia la torna. >> my issue is to help in places where there's a humanitarian crisis. >> reporter: she explained some parents believe letting their children leave is the responsible thing to do. >> they've seen their neighbors' children die of hunger. they don't want the same for their children. they're desperately looking for ways to get the children to have some food, to be healthy, to grow up, to have a chance at life. >> reporter: why the united states? >> it is the dreamland, you know. it is the place where dreams -- where dreams are made of. >> reporter: the regional problems are much deeper than simply hunger. two category four hurricanes hit
just weeks apart last year, and then there's the systemic corruption and crime. >> nbc's kerry sanders reporting there. we want to play for you now an interview with vice president kamala harris addressing commitments made for a dozen u.s. companies and organizations to help central america. finding help is one thing. working with countries with a history of corruption another. as she told telemundo's jose diaz-balart earlier this month. >> reporter: how can you get rid of corruption when dealing with governments with corruption? >> that's one of the topics i raised in my travels and you're right. when we talk about corruption, it is an issue and a concern i expressed very clearly, my concern about an independent judiciary, about the independence of the press, about the independence of the ngos, the nonprofit organizations who are advocating for people who
need support. i have made it also very clear during this trip and before that if we are going to maximize the capacity of american ceos in the private sector, which i'm bringing together, or the united states government to invest and to support the region, then we have to address the issue of corruption because it is actually a deterrent to the -- to involvement. we want to make sure that any resources that we contribute to that region end up in the hands of the people that were intended to receive it and not the sticky hands of corrupt actors. so, you're right, it is one of my highest priorities. let's be clear, the corruption has a real impact on real people. it is about whether families can have access to the resources they need or do they have to pay somebody off to get what they need. it has an impact on their access to education, an impact on their access to basic needs. so it is one of my highest
priorities. >> do you think the united states bears any responsibility in having created some of those root causes in central america that are causing people to flee? >> listen, i am never going to suggest that we shouldn't remember history. but right now my focus -- so the answer is that, yes, there has been u.s. involvement in the past that no one should be proud of, and we should not deny the fact of it and we should -- we should be honest about it. but to move forward we have to understand, and i certainly feel very strongly that we are neighbors in the western hemisphere, and the world and i think the pandemic made it clear if it wasn't before, the world is increasingly interconnected and interdependent. by that i mean that whatever happens in that region, speaking specifically of guatemala, honduras, el salvador, whatever happens in that region affects what happens in the united states and vice versa.
so our responsibility then has to be as a neighbor. if you live -- you know, in any neighborhood we live in, if your neighbor is having difficult times it is the right thing to do to help them out, also because it will impact your quality of life. so the same is true from my perspective in terms of u.s. involvement in that region going forward. >> the vice president with telemundo's jose diaz-balart. another factor effecting immigration, political warfare here at home. cheap attacks like this. >> build that wall! build that wall! build that wall! >> so a question we must tackle, how to fight against rhetoric like that, rhetoric that's all but cemented in the republican agenda. joining me raoul ruiz. thank you for spending time with us, congressman. you met with vp harris a few weeks ago. you discussed ways to address the root causes of migration
from latin america. do you think she heeded your advice? >> absolutely. i was very proud of her accomplishments and she definitely met with the right people, was in the right plaus place at the right time to address the root causes. we know that these massive cyclical migrations up north will happen due to poverty, the violence, food insecurity, hunger, the lack of hope due to corruption. it has nothing to do with the united states. so if we don't address the root causes, we are going to continue to see the cyclical nature, and as a doctor myself it is like treating the symptoms and not the cause. so what she is going to do is treating the cause so that we can end this. >> you are, of course, among the members of congress here in the states who are taking the lead on immigration reform. do you think that her trip changed the contours of that debate? >> i think that it definitely brought more attention to that debate. but right now we are still
pushing forward with a full-court press to try to get the senate to work together in order to pass the farm workforce modernization act, the dream and promise act we passed out of the house. also, if we no longer are pursuing an american's jobs plan or american's families plan with individual bills and we move toward a budget reconciliation, then we are going to make sure that we make the strong case, the congressional hispanic caucus will, that immigration reform is an economic budget issue to the parliamentarian. >> one of the things i think makes what we are talking about so complicated is you really are talking about long-term investment in the region, and what that means in part is that you won't see the result of that investment overnight. how do you set markers for success along the way so that you can measure whether or not progress is being made? >> well, i think that the orderly and legal migration is
going to be a marker. if we can really set up those migration processing centers, those child/youth processing centers in those countries that president trump demolished, if we can work with the mexican and guatemalan governments in order to provide security at those borders in guatemala and mexico, if we can make sure that we process the asylum-seeking claims efficiently and have their day in court, all of that is -- are going to be markers to determine if we are having success, including reinstituting their agricultural industry that was demolished due to the hurricanes as a result of climate change. so those are things that we can really provide hope to the people in those countries so that they don't have to take that desperate decision to travel north, the dangerous journey, and they can have hope and a good life in their own
countries. >> congressman raul ruiz, thank you so much. vice president harris's trip not without controversy. some fellow democrats and others taking issue with this statement monday in guatemala. >> i want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the united states/mexico border. do not come. do not come. >> an investigative journalist and author of "hate monger" stephen miller, donald trump and the white nationalist agenda. jean, these were prepared remarks, not off the cuff. what does it say to the rest of the world about the u.s. as a place where people can seek safety and refuge to have the vice president of the united states telling the migrants not to come? >> well, the message that it sends is, you know, deliberate disdain for the rights of asylum seekers under federal and international asylum law.
on the one hand, you know, these comments were it is unclear how much they were directed at actual migrants versus the republican party that continues to relentlessly mischaracterize the biden administration's half hearted attempts at a humane immigration policy as, quote, open borders. regardless, you know, that is a message that kamala harris chose to send. this idea that, in fact, even though she acknowledges that people are not coming because they want to, they are coming here because they want to survive, they want their children's lives to be saved, at the same time she decided to say, you know, do not come, you're not welcome here. >> you also added some complexity to this conversation as you often do, and that's why i love having you on the show. you wrote in "the l.a. times", harris promised to fight corruption but left out the u.s. role in fuelling corruption. you added, when u.s. leaders
talk about corruption in latin america, it fails to before acknowledge past actions. what would it involve? >> it would involve a review of not only historic u.s. roles in worsening the root causes of displacement in the countries but the ongoing an continuing role we play. i think it is encouraging the vice president is now talking about some of the u.s. complicity, but at the same time she's framing it as something that's in the past. when you look at the biden administration's plans for central america, it -- they continue to implement the self-contradictory approach of providing humanitarian aid and at the same time enlisting the militaries of these countries that have repeatedly been involved in human rights abuses to stop immigration. so they're working with guatemala, honduras and mention cal militaries that have repeatedly been implicated in massacres of black and
indigenous communities in these countries. they're working with them to further repress the populations. that will continue to cause people to be displaced and to continue to come here. it is just, you know, the united states sort of shooting itself in the foot. >> new york congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez tweeted after harris's comments in part that seeking asylum at any u.s. border is a 100% legal method of arrival. i worry, jean, that sometimes gets lost in these conversations. >> it is lost. you know, so many times i think that u.s. politicians, and the way that the right wing media in particular frames this issue, is to cast all of the asylum seekers as, you know, illegals, dehumanizing terms, dehumanizing perspective about immigrants who are simply seeking asylum as is their right under both the united states immigration laws and international refugee laws as well. >> jean guerrero, thank you as always. now to a look at the extreme
circumstances migrants face on their journey to america. here is nbc's tom giannis. >> reporter: off the cost of san diego, custom and border protection agents taking no chances. this 31-foot pleasure cruiser stopped at a local marina. inside the cabin dozens of undocumented immigrants. >> every time we come across maritime smuggling vessel, it is overloaded, it is overcrowded, the vessel is hardly sea worthy. >> reporter: and now happening more often and just steps from the beach. in the last month alone, four migrants have died including three who drowned when their ship lost power, hit a reef and spashd into pieces. this video showing how some had to jump for their lives into the surf. border agents saying smugglers are becoming more reckless. we rode with the air operations
tasked with protecting the maritime border between mexico and california. >> a smuggler looks at a kilo of cocaine and a baby the same way? >> it is all money, it is all a commodity. that's the unfortunate reality we face every day. >> reporter: the risk migrants are taking on the ocean are part of a growing trend happening all across the southern border. from children being dropped off a 14-foot barrier to migrants hiding on moving trains, squeezing into locked rail cars and wheel wells. custom and border agents tell nbc news they believe a reinforced and heightened border wall has forced smugglers to take extreme measures. in a remote village, she visits a grave side where her daughter is buried. her daughter was hoping to find work in the u.s. when she boarded the doomed ship that crashed in san diego. her mother telling us she wants the smuggler to be punished because looking for opportunity should not mean finding death.
>> that was tom giannis reporting. our special hour focusing on immigration is just getting started. next, how u.s. investment in latin america including the aid announced by the vice president this week stacks up with other u.s. investments abroad. later, what is the next move we can expect from this white house? we'll get that answer from one of the president's advisers. next hour, you do not want to miss my sit down with the cast of "in the heights." first to richard louie tracking the other big stories we are watching. richard good saturday to you. breaking news in austin. we just learned one suspect is in custody following a shooting in a popular entertainment district downtown. in all 14 were injured, two critically. police saying one suspect remains at large. a motive remains unclear. russian president vladimir putin told nbc news that relations with the united states are at a historic low, but in advance of next week's summit with president biden he can work
with president biden. more of nbc's keir simmons' interview with putin later today. throughout the weekend, hear his full interview. a global exclusive is monday across all nbc news platforms. imagine hearing a midair message like this. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. we would like all [ bleep ] males to the front of the aircraft to take care of a problem with a passenger. >> another unruly passenger, this time aboard a delta flight from los angeles to atlanta. it forced an emergency landing in oklahoma city. it is unclear what caused the midair meltdown. more american voices right after this short break. can voices rigr this short break "american voice after this short break. "america after this short break
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as we talk about investment in stram america, let's talk about el salvador. according to the office of the united states trade representatives, the foreign direct investment from private american companies to el salvador in 2019 was about $3.4 billion. for the other northern triangle countries it was $1.3 billion for honduras and $746 million for guatemala. that's compared to $860 billion in fdi that went to the netherlands, the country that received the highest amount in 2019. trailing them was the united kingdom at $851 billion and luxembourg at $776 billion. on the federal side investment was on vice president kamala harris's agenda when she toured
guatemala where she talked about the importance of investing in agriculture. >> one of the biggest basis for the economy in guatemala is agriculture. if you have ever met or know a farmer, you have met some of the most innovative people in the world because they have to adapt, because they have to be creative, because they have to be thoughtful about creating out of a situation that may be unpredictable something that is productive. so we are investing in guatemala in that regard. >> with me now a senior fellow at the center for american progress and terini parte is a reporter for the white house journal. i want to start with you. vice president harris said the u.s. would invest $30 million over three years to launch initiative for young, primarily indigenous women, in guatemala.
why target that kind of investment? >> the vice president's aides have been very clear they want to focus on young women, the youth in the country and the agriculture industry including the coffee industry in that region. the reason they want to focus on those kinds of investments is because they believe long-term, consistent investments in those industries, in those types of programs could make a difference in terms of addressing the root causes of migration. not only do they want the government to invest in those programs, but they're also calling on private sector investments in those industries in that region, because they believe that a consistent approach to this could make a difference and counter the sort of imbalance we have seen in foreign aid from the u.s. to these countries as administrations change, as control of congress can change. policies towards these countries have been changing as well as
fluctuation in foreign aid to these countries. >> let's take a listen. >> you can't say you care about the border without caring about the root causes, without caring about the acute causes, which include the fact you are looking at populations from central america who are plagued by hunger and the devastation caused by the hurricanes and, of course, the effect of the pandemic. >> i want to add a piece there, dan, and get your take on it, which is government corruption. i mean the partners that they have here are not necessarily the partners that they want. how do they root out and work around that piece? >> by making civil society kind of local organizations working on the ground their partners of choice. the governments are the partners of necessity and they need to, quite frankly, work with them the least amount possible. i think the administration gets that, and that the real change agents in these countries are folks who spend every day working to make these more
sustainable societies, often against very deeply entrenched powers that be, that stand in their way, that are often aligned with the government. so it is really a question of how the u.s. uses its money and how it uses its political and diplomatic weight, and how much money the united states is bringing to bear. >> tarina, aide have said that they hope to reduce reliance on u.s. foreign aid and boost nonprofits and the private sector as a way to circumvent what dan was talking there. how do they see it being done and what threshold determines when these countries are no longer in need of this you aid? >> i think it is a tough question in terms of how long it might take. what they're trying to do is bring in the private sector, so the vice president recently announced commitments from 12 companies to invest in these countries. a lot of the investments were in
infrastructure in those countries. for example, microsoft is going to be investing in access to broadband. so, you know, that's a start and a lot of the companies have been reluctant to invest in the region in the past because of the corruption. so the government now believes that with these anti-corruption measures that the vice president announced, including an anti-corruption task force led by the justice department, that they can sort of work with these companies in the private sector to boost investment and also perhaps tackle corruption, which is going to be a much more difficult and long-term issue. >> dan, i don't need to tell you that there's the policy piece of this and then there's the politics piece of this, and one of the many places where those two areas overlap is i think the administration has to be able to point to some results and some successes, which is incredibly challenging because we are talking about complex problems and we are talking about long-term, sustained investment. what are those markers they can
set along the way, both to measure the policy but also to make sure that they are maintaining the political viability of these investments? >> no, absolutely and it is a delicate balance. i think a couple of things. one is on the humanitarian side. we heard the vice president talking about acute causes and root causes. addressing the immediate food insecurity in central america is something that you can measure and that u.s. assistance can help move the needle on very quickly. similarly, vaccination rates in these countries are abysmal, particularly in guatemala and honduras where less than one-half of 1% of the population has been vaccinated. the u.s. has announced its intention to send vaccines down range and prioritize these countries. it is another place. again, that's on the acute side. in terms of the root cause, some of this is, again, how do you bring pressure to bear on these
corrupt elites? that will be counted in terms of the number of visas revoked and the number of folks who have had financial sanctions against them in the united states. on the elites in these countries the thing they fear the most is having to live, work and do business exclusively in their own countries. the u.s. needs to use that against them. >> thank you both. next, 'em graduation one of the many items on the vice president's agenda. we will take a look at the other big tasks we will see harris address in the coming days. we will take you to a new camp housing hundreds of migrants across the california border. you will hear their stories, including those of children sent to the border alone after this. footlong from subway® instead! like a classic italian b.m.t.® stacked with fresh veggies. there's a subway® three blocks from here! choose better, be better. and now save when you order in the app. subway®. eat fresh.
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yes. >> not a quick fix. vice president kamala harris with nbc's lester holt. like most of the vladimir putin's agenda, solutions will not come overnight. in addition to immigration, president biden has tasked harris with protecting voting rights. wednesday she will meet with a group of texas democrats who blocked a voting bill in that state. also next week we will see the vice president take on another task, convincing more americans to get vaccinated. she will visit greenville, south carolina, monday, and then atlanta, friday. a lot of big-ticket items on her to-do list. chief among them, how to address the humanitarian crisis at our border like at mcallen, texas, where there's a new camp housing hundreds of migrants. nbc's gabe gutierrez takes us there. >> reporter: minutes after they arrive a crowd gathers begging to be referred to immigration lawyers. there's an overwhelming sense of desperation here. that desperation extends to a
nearby shelter which is at capacity. we speak with some of the children here with their parents' permission. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: 7-year-old has tried to cross into the u.s. twice with her mother. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: alicia is from honduras. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: her 9-year-old brother is now in the u.s. because he crossed by himself. unaccompanied minors are allowed to stay. now many parents here are considering whether to separate and send their kids over alone. >> that was gabe gutierrez reporting. next, a look at how the pressure of the agenda is building. harris, and a step she can take to effectively accomplish all of it. later it has been five years since the terror attack on the pulse nightclub in orlando. the city to gather next hour to honor the 49 lives lost. we will talk to the first
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look for the ecolab science certified seal. the pressure on vice president kamala harris and her vast to-do list is mounting. as seen after her recent trips to mexico and guatemala, everyone has an opinion on how she is performing. as "the new york times" puts it, the trip crystallized something crucial about her vice presidency, whether she stays on message as she did by telling migrants not to come or goes off script, she will not be able to satisfy everyone, with two of the most polarizing issues, migration and voting rights, now in her portfolio the risk of missteps so high and the problems so intractable even allies say she is in a no-win situation. sergio gone zaul's. also with us immigration reporter for "buzzfeed" news. good to see you both. sergio, you have spent a lot of
time with vice president harris. you probably have some sense of how she works. these are huge challenges that she is tackling. your sense of how she is approaching it all? >> i think that she's used to big challenges. i mean she has a really long career of working on hard issues. these include voting rights and immigration but a whole host of other issues. i think that the work she is doing, as you pointed out, as your other guests have pointed out during the show, this work in central america is critical to actually addressing migration at the southern border. i think it is a real shame that republicans, instead of using the issue to politically attack her, aren't working with her to actually get at these root causes issue because it is something that most of america wants. they know that our immigration system is broken and we have to change the status quo to fix it. i think we have seen announcement after announcement of the actual work to get at this issue, and that includes
expanding economic opportunity. that includes expanding legal pathways for migration. that includes expanding humanitarian assistance to address some of the acute crises like hunger in the region. so i think that she's doing an extraordinary job of actually rolling up her sleeves and getting this work done, and i think that we should pay more attention to the substance and less attention to the demand for silly photo ops. >> but i wouldn't call the issue polarizing as "the new york times" did there in what i was reading to you, but these are definitely hot button issues, immigration and voting rights. your sense of the calculus the white house has in deciding to have harris be the face of both of these efforts? >> i think that this is a demonstration and a proof point of her long track record on both of these issues. she led on immigration in the senate. she led on the oversight on family separation. she led the oversight when the trump administration decided to end daca. she was known for immigration in
her time as attorney general. this is an issue she has a long track record on. same thing with voting rights, long history on criminal justice. these are two things she has worked on for a long time and has a lot of credibility on, not only with the american public but with key constituency groups on this issues. i see that the white house putting both of these things in the vice president's purview is a demonstration of her experience and expertise on these issues. >> hamed, your sense on how the trip landed with domestic stakeholders? >> i think it is so, you know, to decide. it is such a difficult situation, it is really a challenge. i think for me i wonder how they will define what success is. it will be really hard to communicate what they did during this trip and moving forward to show they've succeeded in tackling this kind of, you know,
big issue, vague, difficult, like "the new york times" said intractable issue. the root causes of migration we've been dealing with for decades now. >> your sense of if it changes the contours around the debate being head about immigration reform in this country, in the interior, and the situation at the border? specifically title 42, does what we saw in the last few days impact any of those debates? >> i don't think it impacts the debates, but i think the reality is, you know, advocates want more done at the border, especially with the use of title 42, and think want this to wind it down and no longer turning around people, especially those seeking asylum. as we see the vaccination rates increase in the u.s. the administration will at a certain point have to figure out a plan to deal with the border that doesn't rely on this policy,
just allows to turn around everybody. that will be the next big challenge on immigration. >> sergio, it is telling to me that hamed and i have the same question after watching the vice president's trip, which is given we are talking about long-term investment, how do you define success, not just long term but how do you set markers of success along the way so that the vice president can continue to build the political will to keep this investment going? >> so one is that it is addressing, like i said earlier, some of the acute crises in the region. this is a region battered by drought and two hurricanes and extreme violence, and so people are hungry. they don't have food. they don't have housing and they don't have shelter. so the humanitarian assistance and economic empowerment programs that the vice president is launching are really important to giving people relief, but also, as she has said, a sense of hope in the region so they choose to stay. the second is getting at the more intractable issues that you have talked about or other
people have talked about across the show which deal with corruption in the region and some of the systemic violence. i believe that the administration is working on some of those things. but, again, this is work we should all support, and it is very frustrating to see the gop attacking her about not visiting the border when she is doing the work of actually building policy solutions to fix this issue. she is a senator that is -- she was a senator from california. she was born and raised in that state. she's been to border communities many times. kamala harris could move down to the border and the gop would move on to another line of attack because they've made a calculus tying her to the border is politically good for them. instead, as i said before, we know that the system has been broken for two decades under both republican and democratic administrations and it is time we actually support a bold, new approach to this issue. >> sergio and hamed, thank you both. next, you will hear from one of biden's advisers who what the
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most people do not want to leave the place where they grew up, their grandmother, the place where they play, the place where their language is spoken and the culture is familiar. when they do leave, it usually has to do with one of two reasons, either because they're fleeing some harm, or because they simply cannot satisfy their basic needs by staying at home. >> with me now, tyler moran, special assistant to the president for immigration at the white house domestic policy council. tyler, a lot of ground work laid during this trip. what do you do next? >> so let me start out by saying that the president and the vice president are deeply committed to rebuilding our immigration system after four years of chaos and mismanagement. the reason why the president asked the vice president to go down to the region is because we're taking a more comprehensive approach to the border. this trip was incredibly important to demonstrate that we are trying to create legal
channels for people to migrate. we are trying to help people stay in their homes that want to stay in their homes. we're also trying to ensure that people who need protection are able to seek protection. so we've made a lot of progress in this area. on the legal channels, we've already announced temporary visas so people can seek work. we reopened the central american miners program that the trump administration ended, so children can apply to come to the united states to be with their parents without allowing the smugglers and traffickingers to take advantage of them. also funding to address the drought, for entrepreneurs, for housing. these are going to help people stay in their country if >> the point about legal pathways is if asylum is legal, then why is this administration
telling those asylum seekers not to come? >> so we think asylum is legal, and we don't want to have a closed border. we want to have a system where people can apply for asylum in a fair and orderly and efficient way. so obviously we came in after four years of real chaos and cruelty. we had a president that dehumanized and demonized women and children coming to seek protection. he took 5,000 children away from their parents, and we're not doing that. but we're also coming out of a pandemic, so alicia, with a we've done so far is we've allowed unaccompanied children to come in and we're processing them and reuniting them with a relative or family member in the united states. we've processed almost 12,000
people. so we're building a s. we were able to have people apply for protection and they need to. but we want to find ways in the region where people can seek protection because we know that the smugglers and the traffickers are lying to people, they're taking advantage of them, that's why the vice president announced a new anti-smuggling task force and an anti-trafficking task force in guatemala. >> did this trip change the administration's thinking around title 42? >> so we are relying on the health experts both at the cdc and the dhs to give us advice. what we have to be care for of still is congregate settings at the border. so we have covid protocols in place and we need to be able to process people in a safe way both to protect our officers on the border, but also the migrants themselves. and so we know title 42 is not
going to be in place forever, but what we're trying to do is build that muscle memory after the system was essentially gutted so we're able to once again have a system that reflects american values. >> to that point, can you give us a sense of what it would take, what the marker is by which you would know it is time to repeal title 42? >> yeah. so we're depending on the health experts. but what we're doing, alicia, is we're planning. and i think what we've done is we've learned a lot from processing unaccompanied kids. the former administration didn't have enough shelter beds, so we had to set up an emergency influx facility to process kids. and we learned about how to do that in a pandemic. the same thing with mpp. we worked with international organizations on the other side of the border that tested people for covid. we were able to process them in an orderly manner to make sure people got to their destinies and help them meet their court
organizations. these are all learning experiences that we're going to use as we sort of rebuild the system, rebuild that muscle memory so we have a system in place that reflects american values. next, new reaction today to that bombshell "new york times" reporting revealing trump's doj worked to seize data on congressional democrats investigating him. is it too little, too late for accountability? if so, does it mean he can do it again should he decide to run again. while in the couldn't be debut in a greater moment. my sitdown with the cast. behind the medal. he was a father to two young daughters. he was a scout and he knew the land better than anyone. he came from italy with nothing for a new life. his family depended on him. he sacrificed so much. isaac payne
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. as we hit a new hour, new developments in the bombshell revelation of donald trump's doj and its digital efforts to go after congressional democrats. the biden doj's response, and what it could mean for trump's potential bid for a second term. speaking of future elections, the gop attacks on voting rights are ramping up. we'll dig into the new state-level plot to restrict your vote and what can be done to stop it on the federal level. plus, the city of orlando gathering to honor the 49 lives stolen inside pulse nightclub. you'll hear from one of the first reporters on the scene five years ago. wave rare sitdown this hour with the cast of "in the heights." this is "american voices."