Is the US Causing its own Immigration Crisis?



joining me now from Washington DC is Jim Jerris he was a US diplomat in Mexico and a senior foreign policy adviser to the Republican leadership in the Senate also in DC is Democratic National Committee woman yes main tyub she came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant and is now running to become a state senator in Virginia and finally in New York is Ravi rabbir he is a leading activist for immigration rights and currently faces deportation from the United States even though he's called the country home for three decades good to have you all on the program yes when time let me start with you we look at the situation on the border it is undoubtedly a political crisis for many it's a humanitarian crisis as well especially from the perspective of the left but is it also a crisis that needs to be solved at the root causes in the northern triangle of Central America where the United States needs to maybe look at its own actions in Guatemala El Salvador and Honduras absolutely well first thank you so much for having having me on today you know as you noted what's happening right now at the southern border but but globally we're in the midst of the worst refugee crisis ever and when we're talking about what the US has responsibility is and specifically in addressing our own actions and and decades decades long of years of intervention that the US has had in countries such as El Salvador in Honduras and Guatemala countries that are now plagued by violence families and children who are fleeing violence and and poverty the responsibility of the United States simply to abide by our own domestic and international obligations it's simply and simply noted that it is a legal right for those that are at our borders to be able to file for asylum right now we have tens of thousands waiting this is the crisis that we need to be talking about on addressing okay so Jim Jat res people would look at the Middle East and maybe they can make clear correlations and causations they can say well US invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused a whole lot of trouble and that's why you can see a refugee crisis from Syria and beyond it's somewhat clear is it as clear to you as somebody who worked within the system when we talk about the Central American countries and people moving up for a better life to make it to the United States is it as clear as the Middle East I I don't think so I think there's certainly an element of that and I certainly would be a critic of many aspects of American policy not just in Latin America but around the world and let's remember we have now people showing up at our border or not necessarily from Latin America we've had Africans for example showing up and crossing illegally in the United States as well I I don't think we can reduce it to that however when you hold up what is essentially an attractive nuisance to say look if you cross the border illegally you will be taken into the United States you might be held temporarily and then we're going to let you go and see whether or not you show up or your your your hearing to adjudicate your claim of asylum and of course a lot of these people I think most of these people will not show up we're basically saying the welcome mat is out if you can get to the United States you can stay and I think that is really the main contributing factor here that people say it's doable I will improve my life measurably coming from a country that's poor that's brought violence various sorts and and I and I think it's now uncontrollable okay I'm gonna bring you in Ravi in a second but in addition to Jim I want you to hear from Senator Lindsey Graham in response to that horrible image we saw of a father and child washed up on the border have a little listen to Senator Graham a solemn claim should be made in the home country or in a facility in Mexico because the reason he tried to go across the river he was told by people in Central America if he can put one foot on American soil you're home free go Ravi so I have to disagree with Jim on many points he tried to make one there is direct correlation to what happens in it and this Nolan triangle on a reason why people are coming here you look at the recent coup backed back us-backed coup in Honduras armed with elected President Zelaya who was ousted with the prison people are not leaving because of poverty I mean if you look at Nicaragua before takeover and crazy Nicaragua is one of the lawyer has a lowest power has a highest poverty level yet people will not flee in Nicaragua until the violence started there's a lot of violence that is is in a northern triangle which was created by the US you look at the drug policy the drug the drug the drug war on drugs that they instituted in these areas Guatemala Honduras Guatemala and El Salvador you look at the the the the way they they intercede and elect in the politics of the the of the country and you know we talk about policies of you know foreign policies but it's not just about foreign policies but about US interests in private and private interests which the us back so even we work with a lot of asylum seekers who are fled not on triangle who are saying that there's a land grab the the indigenous people who live on the coastline I mean they're there the lands are being taken away for them and we have to flee because they either face that or not but let me make one two quick points right I'm Jim talked about people cross and illegally that is not happening people are actually trying to go to CBP and request asylum and when they do come across it is not that they don't show up for the hearings but the fact is that I some young you eyes on users are not given the right dates and times for the hearings of people are confused including lawyers including organizations who work on this for many years they don't know what is happening because no one is getting correct information to to literally make a system difficult for everyone to try the trouble is Jim look I don't know where to begin with this that the III would agree with many of the aspects of criticism as I said in our policy in Central America and other places in the world I very rarely by the way agree with Lindsey Graham on anything if the contention is is that there are private interests located United States and this goes back many decades that helped create instability in some of these countries I I'm entirely willing to agree with that however it does not then follow that we have an obligation to allow anybody who is displaced through has trouble in his own country to come into the United States and that's end up staying permanently in most cases and because we have some kind of penance to live down or having been a contributing factor until these countries at some point if future become a paradise work before will prefer to stay home rather than come here you know it's interesting to me that the same plutocratic interests that are at work in destabilizing some of these countries are themselves very strongly in favor of open borders upbringing foreigners and we think of the Koch brothers for example who are essentially open border libertarians so III know I think the ones who get hurt in this is is in the American economy American taxpayers American job seekers who are basically him to plug the bill right board word for bad qualities but the solution to that isn't say y'all come in a solution that is you put up a wall and say you don't come in unless you come in proper legal criteria Jim I wonder what you think about this new bill HR 26 15 being tabled in Congress the United States northern triangle enhanced engagement act to support the people of Central America and engage with these countries there isn't that an admission within Congress even though that the Democrats have have tabled this Elliot angles the sponsor is isn't this an admission that okay beyond weather conditions are bad and conditions are bad I mean objectively they're terrible on the border beyond that we need to do something deeper and further back because this is unsustainable would you accept that something is fundamentally wrong I'm not sure it should admission and I would not be particularly optimistic that this bill will do anything good again we seem to have two two kinds of policies toward the world for our friends we have all sorts of aid programs that generally don't do all that much good to tell the truth and for our enemies we have bombs and sanctions and they don't do much good either you know I would think that if we were smart which were not we would be thinking of what the Chinese are doing with their belt and Road initiative throughout Eurasia we should be looking at ways to try to integrate and build the infrastructure throughout the Western Hemisphere and actually help in a partnership with these countries I don't think this bill yeah okay some interesting ideas that yes we type at the start of the year when there's a government shutdown the Democrats were saying there's some manufactured crisis from trauma no this is nonsense there's nothing really happening on the border Trump is manufacturing this do the Democrats need to do a bit of soul-searching now and say that we got this wrong because there was a crisis because now you have the same Nancy Pelosi who's saying we're gonna table build and we're gonna protect migrant children seven months ago she was saying there's no crisis Trump is just using it for political purposes it was a manufactured crisis because this administration was go ahead this administration sure so this administration was calling little children refugees of asylum seekers and families that are trying to seek a safe haven in our country he was referring to them as as criminals as members of gangs he absolutely was a manufactured crisis what we need to do right now as a party as we need to ensure that the u.s. lives up to what it's always been and that's a welcoming country a country that has always welcomed refugees our refugee resettlement program has traditionally been a bipartisan program it's not a program that has you know been so politicized until this administration this administration has not only got it our refugee resettlement program has effectively shut down these silent process completely when we're talking about and Robbie had mentioned this that the thousands of families and children and mothers and fathers were at our borders right now at ports of entry trying to legally apply for asylum the reason why they're absolutely crossing into the Rio Grande and and losing their lives is out of desperation it's not because they're simply trying to come here because they think it's easier here there they're doing it out of desperation to save their own lives there but they've been waiting and waiting for months and months the the blame is solely on this administration because he's not even again abiding by on by our own domestic of laws and international obligations ravi rugby i want to get your thoughts on something that might seem to be a small issue but i want to fold it into this because i wonder if you think it's part of a broader systemic culture when it comes to this issue news broke a few days ago there was a ProPublica investigation about facebook groups of Border Patrol agents saying very racing racist and terrible things about the people that they were processing and blocking and so on do you believe that there's something bigger and broader at play here when it comes to the US and its perception of people trying to come in well do when you look at the way they treat immigrants migrants children families everyone who has been living here for decades or people know come in and you the only way you can justify the treatment of the of immigrants is to dehumanize them so if you are if we are made less than human it makes it easier for them to do their job to to push to exile people to traumatize people to terrorize people because this immigration policy so I I want to say this is it this policy doesn't start with this administration this this immigration law is racist and I'm not going to just if I'm not going to talk about that I'm just going to talk about the 1996 world I was signed by a democratic resident who was Clinton and that allowed or created the situation we're in right now by and then the and then the only only bring it together Department of Homeland Security so when you when you see these spores these spores are literally for them to be able to stop their conscience from acting because they if the three people IDs they in this way and they less than human they are animals they are not real it makes it okay for them because no matter what every one of those officers have a speck of humanity in them and we as new sanctuary and the work we do believes that we can touch that humanity and if we can touch that humanity it changes what has happened one final geopolitical question for you Jim and not going that far south not looking at Honduras or El Salvador Guatemala but looking at the immediate neighbor Mexico Trump saying the Mexicans are not doing anything not doing enough the Mexicans are saying we're doing the best we can is it a fight worth picking right now where the president is not on good relations with the Mexicans because they're the final country that these migrants have to pass through before they reach the United States I'm not sure it's a prickly good strategy but I think the options are somewhat limited as was mentioned at the introduction of the program I served as a consular officer in Mexico this was some time ago but I recall in those days though the Mexicans were absolutely ruthless when it came to policing their border in a way that we're never have been along our border they were they were quite violent quite repressive with people crossing illegally from Guatemala and I don't think because they were racist I arrived II raised the racism card which is the typical one that is used here and I think that it the Mexicans felt and I think they do today that la patria their fatherland is an important thing and it needs to be protected if we however as Americans feel that our country needs to be protected and whether all of these people are desperate refugees and I don't think they necessarily are in a lot of cases how many are we obligated to take a million two billion ten million a hundred billion there are a lot of very desperate people in the world and at what point do our interests as a country just like Mexico or Japan or any other country or Turkey come to the floor and they say it's all very sad about what goes on the rest of the world but we have our own country to think about it cannot accept all of these people ok well I think they're about 50 layers to this story and we've peeled back about five so I'd love to have you all back on the program sometime soon because the story is not going away anytime soon but for the moment I have to move on Jim Jerris yes Ben tyre and Ravi rugby I thank you all for joining us on the newsmakers you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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