Jul 14, 2014|
Angela talks with George Fowler of the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform about how best to handle the country's immigration crisis.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Happy Monday everyone I hope you're having a good -- had a great weekend. And hope you didn't get wet it was a little storming out there for awhile. But I think it's going to be a good week I know it's going to be a good day -- and I'm very excited about the three hours we have ahead of us beginning with a subject that John. Is on not the minds of so many people a very complex issue and that is what's happening on the border of Texas with over 50000 children. Crossing into America what are we gonna do. We have the great lawyer George Fowler here who's gonna talk to us about his thoughts on would love to hear from you as well. In our second hour we're gonna have I'm very excited my costs and -- -- -- and Jammer. Of the 97 and we're gonna do trending show what is trending this week. Love these shows is a real economy to think about what's going on. And that our third program is gonna being. Sort of what's what's been happening in the French Quarter but probably on a more positive note. -- still sort of reeling from the shootings that left nine people shot in and the poor young woman dead. A couple of weeks ago but from that. The community in that lives and works in the French Quarter. They're getting together and they're talking about how they might be able to form -- security district. So it's going to be interesting but we're gonna begin Gwyneth. We have all seen the pictures tens of thousands of children crossing the border into America. Fleeing their own countries of El Salvador Honduras and Guatemala. There are now upwards of 52000. Children being housed in shelters. While the ponderous process of interviewing them and finding them temporary housing with either family friends or others. President Obama has asked congress for three point seven billion dollars in emergency funds for humanitarian. And legal costs associated with reviewing the miners immigration status. Congress and the president of course are still bickering about that and the issue of how to stop the flow of these children. With some estimating that it will be 90000. By the end of the year. Here to talk about what's going on them what needs to be done in the short term and the long term. Is George Muller founder of the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation. And -- very well known local attorney. And in thirty minutes were going to be joined by Ira mailman who was a media director for fair the Federation for American Immigration Reform. But let's talk first to our wonderful friend George Allen so always so appreciative. That you could join us today. I guess it's the image it's the image that we've all seen of these little kids. Just boring and going to the border telling the border agents taking in and now we we are 52000 strong and growing. What is happening why these children we know they're escaping horrific. Poverty. Gangs. Their own form of perhaps local terrorism and they're afraid. This right Angela thank you for having me on the show them obviously. This issues important to me. As it is it is any American that some of us. Weren't born in the United States say they came to the United States. As you know as a refugee. From Cuba from Castro's Cuba and my wife came over Christina Kim who were with her three losses as we -- Twelve years old a mother sent her to the United States is it time. The dictator in Q who was planning to send them to Russia so. So I've got a lot of emotions. Tied into that and I loved the Latin American community. Here worked closely with them. So I guess the first of the first question I have is why is this happening and why is it happening right now. And one of try to be as fair as I can in -- analysis. I know that in 2008. President Bush. Allowed. More complicated. More. Detailed process to repatriate children. From non contiguous countries to the United States those of people from Central America Mexico being contiguous country. He did that to address children who abused. While they were in Mexico. When they were making their way to the United States illegally. And then right before the election President Obama and winning twelve in June 2012. He passed the directive saying that certain children have been here fifteen. Of these five years. Could remain in in -- country. That got him a great deal of the a Latin American vote in the United States. As I told you before the interview and talked Mitt Romney who didn't seem to be interested in addressing. The Latin American vote the way I thought he should be. -- -- because whether we like it or not it's it can be very important in the two and sixteen presidential elections in. And -- feel that that. Mitt Romney really was addressing the issues that way he should have but in any event. That 2012. The executive order from the president sent a message. To the people of Central America that if they got their children to the United States that could ultimately become permanent residents. And citizens. And then some things happen. In the last few months but as. Immigrants have been interviewed. Look for this interviewed Angela and ask why you hear now. Now this is you know June July when he fourteen. Why did you come now and that's because they receive messages. In their countries that. If they sent their children here make it stay in the United States I'd. A call upon good investigative reporters -- Go find out who was that I was telling them that they could stay in the United States another thing that happens that this administration stopped. Sending a lot of these children. Back. And a lot of people back the the deportation proceedings have slowed and considerably. And that was a deliberate. I believe -- -- administration. Which in in my view is an invitation. Open invitation to the Central American. Parents. -- bring their children become with a mother for example the mother in in state and there's some of these legal directed them talking about so. So I really think we need to do better understand. You know what caused this because now we have a political crisis. And we had the president asking for three point seven billion dollars. To address the issue the question is YE. Why and how calm those children. Were allowed to cross the border into. The United States well why weren't they stopped at the border. Why would they stopped at the border you bring up the very good point about what George Bush did in 2008. What to Obama did in 2012. You asked the right question -- now. And more importantly if it's true that the messages were sent it was my home. I -- my home what was the motivation of that or was it just that. As communities talk and if they're suffering they're really talk this event. They're afraid and they are saying you know what I know family you know young people who went over two years ago five years ago and they haven't been sent back. So if they haven't been sent back maybe it's an unspoken message and let's. It -- unspoken message but I think somebody created a political crisis. So we need to analyze who stands to benefit the Democratic Party and President Obama or the Republican Party by creating this political crisis. Right now the both feeding on it. By far. But it's it's -- it's a humanitarian crisis. If it's 50000. Hits essential -- and this is what complicates the issues. Report any. Human being we have children now. In all borders the borders and a land of the free and the home of the brave right. And you know we're a country of where melting pot people come from all of it but now these children. In -- borders. And that was created by someone or some people that that colleges who do you think it I think the message was sent by the or government or administration that they could come over and -- and I think that the you know it's it's what I was talking about the Republican Party some some of the members of the Republican Party. Don't seem to be says too sympathetic to the the immigration issue. I think it's a really complicated issues and I am glad to talk to you about it but views on the about a I think that. Now the Republican Party is changing. And I see some of the presidential candidates of change -- viewpoint Marco Rubio. When I talked to two months ago. His position and immigration is changed Tea Party view. Anymore I know the Jeb Bush's views those in pro immigration. And Mitt Romney admitted in in an article few months ago that he'd been mistake and so so it's. Political -- is being tossed around. Let I really in -- and it's unfair for me to blame the Obama administration that more proof would. I mean why are they all here right now right it's under his watch. We're going to have to take a break but you know we're gonna talk the bigger picture of immigration as well but you know each side is looking to have. No one is coming out here on let's stay with -- we'll be right back and Angel under the W well. We're back with George Fowler we're talking about the immigration crisis we're facing today. With a 50000 children and I wanna mention George Fowler has written a wonderful book called my Cuba -- It's bringing Fidel Castro to justice that is where he escaped when he was nine years old. His wife a similar situation twelve years old three sisters are arriving in America by themselves ending up in -- orphanage but. But let -- go back to the that the children were facing today. Again to first of all you've kind of given us an explanation why you think this has happened now. Now and that makes a lot of sense that all of a sudden they're just streaming in. I heard over the weekend about the governor of Texas saying asking for a thousand. On National Guard and coupled with his Border Patrol fuels he can seal off the border. My question would be. What happens because these kids are streaming in. Do we stopped them at that point and -- just can turn around and then the message gets back to their country no you can't go. Tough question Angela Bennett and you know I think that we have to protect our borders. And I think Governor Perry. Is right in suggesting that question is why why I was in the borders sealed before and who sent the message to these children in Central America. And their parents. That they could come into the United States and that the border was open and by the way why was the boarder open -- a lot of questions. That you know I'm have to respond to your west. But I do think that. We've got to address the issue of these children and other illegal immigrants in our country who got to address and intelligently. -- humane and compassionate. -- But we also have to news sealed borders of the people when they make it into the United States and make it legally not illegally. But so so that's that's my view on the border -- but you know they say that they're spending. Billions of dollars on the border now. Is it just not good enough. Well you know I I. I suspect that money is being spent but also suspect that somehow. We dropped our guard in the border and that people obese people children were able to make it he would so what's happened last. Couple months that it is allowed them to command. And and so that's why somebody needs to investigate. Why these children able they smarter than other illegal immigrants or other -- he's more able. No I don't think so. Or just buses and you know some -- would have walked I mean miles miles miles that summer -- parents are paying. Families are paying money to get these kids across my understanding is they just arrive however foot. Rail. Bus and they -- they just look at the Border Patrol and say I'm here so that then they have to take them because of that law. No no they have to make it across the border. But before that before they get to the board of the can be stopped -- the question is -- -- and a Border Patrol is inefficient. 00 when -- I think there was a directive. This is my guest a directive to let them come mean you know and in his I was telling you politically. You know inmates. The Democratic Party very much pro immigration and they may help in the elections -- come. You know -- and it certainly -- certainly a good question wise is happening now I don't I don't have the and had to have it is one that needs to be. Answered as far as the children was sick crossover. When we got to be kind decent like we always art soupy ones are here the children for goodness sakes what we have no choice -- -- But to treat these children. Properly correctly in -- put him in an and that's not only -- of children but more self with children but even adults. -- answered you know within don't care custody and control. You know it's our responsibility. To to take care of them have two would that alternative we have. And yet there's already evidence that some communities are refusing. Literally not one community in California block the buses from -- There other -- head there's city councils make a statement we do not want -- in here. Even before their invited or further said that they're gonna arrive in your town there's some movement there of we feel bad for these kids but we can't afford to take them. Line understand I mean I understand those people mean they they need jobs. You know that. Simulators. Some of these those will take and stand the feelings. About it. I think that the problem is that or government or administration should have in shorted this did not happen and I don't think they did it. I don't think they did what they needed to do. You're very intelligent person Angela so what's the answer to why all of a sudden. I mean people have been trying to get into the United States from all over the world for as long as I remember because we are the greatest country on the planet. And you know you get over here to the United States and you're willing to work. All right abide by its laws you going to be successful. You know with -- than you know reason ability rings some can make a lot of money's. But you can be successful in just a good parent you know -- providing for your children to everybody wants come here and the problems. Of Central America have been there forever I I do great deal of legal work. To deal with the issues of corruption. And Central America and Honduras. In Salvador. And Nicaragua. In fact oh is he pounded didn't two in Latin American law institute the main focus of wage. Is addressing corruption in these countries until those countries have a rule of law. Like we have in the United States they cannot prosper and so long as they can't prosper those. Children and their parents are gonna try to cross the border into the United States but because they'll have a better opportunity to make a living. In the United States in them more than that they'll enjoy the civil liberties. You know the the equality that we allow in this country and and enjoy the opportunity. Well some of the stories have been terrific about. In what is happening in those countries that chaos essentially. You know the little kids who talk about I'm gonna they're gonna drag coming into again there's going to be a choice the death they'd seen. The you know it it's poverty even though we have four it's a different kind of poverty so. Watch one woman being interviewed who works for church on the other side on our side of the border. And that church would welcome every group in the -- clothes piled up some kids -- shoes. And which feed them and they -- as soon as they would walk and they applaud if they know these kids are terrified. Just to have smiles and say you're okay. You're okay and her her answer to what are we gonna do is what is the choice it's their death. Or -- life. It's the choice that is that they haven't been you know if we open the borders. The whole world -- on the whole world will commit them so that again goes back to. More the bigger picture of our immigration reform we're gonna have to take a break I love George Allen being here I can't think you know in a stay with this. We're going to go into the new see what's happening in -- come -- will also join with another stay with us we're talking immigration I'm Angel on -- anyway. Our guest George Fowler local attorney and founder of the Hispanic organization here. Was -- very strong thoughts on what is happening with the fifty odd thousand children arriving in our border. We are now joined by Ira. Millman who is the media director for fair the Federation for American Immigration Reform. And Ira I appreciate -- joining us as well thank you. Tell us your thoughts first on. On as George Fowler has asked repeatedly. Why now why is this happening now. What is really changed in the past few years is that perception on the part of people sent to Central America. That if you get the United States we certainly -- in the that the system is so backed up that Japan and the remaining years. And by remaining here for years you've probably -- I'll wind up getting some kind of legal status -- on the road because we're not going to enforce that the laws against duke. I don't know that there's been violence and poverty in America as long as anybody can remember. But under this administration. That the president. And its capital systematically. Undermined the -- to immigration law. Except in cases where the question. Be serious criminal. That people know that if you come to United States completely wrong you know committed serious crime you're gonna get to stamp of the administration. George your thoughts -- what he's saying not a subject. I agree. You know I mean it like that I don't know what precipitated this particular group. Coming in Kansas memo from Homeland Security. Allowing. Children. 222 I mean that was right before the elections and fifteen point -- But we're in July 2014 -- Precisely precipitated still a question I have because. Those people in Central America very intelligent. You know that somebody sent them a message that they come here. And that book what I her what I heard when I studied the issue. Is that a lot of them and say that they were told they had to be here before June 15 when he fourteen I have no idea what. Why that data is important is this memo that I have from home security. That's when President Obama. Said that children could come. Under certain restrictions certain certain changes etc. That was two years ago so. Yeah I'm I'm very perplexed about. What's happening right now but some have provoked this crisis and it wasn't in Central America somebody sent a message to the Central American people saying -- They could come to the United States that would be allowed -- And you'd -- guess is definitely right. It's lax border. Secure and -- Let me ask you viral what is the answer the for the short term so that we don't have another 50000 children arriving. And then let's talk big picture of immigration reform. Well served really did begin. Simultaneously with the president's announcement of the deferred action to -- -- rivals that was is. Cirque de facto amnesty to congress didn't pass the DREAM Act that he wanted. Back in 2011 there were about 6000 unaccompanied minors went for the United States. The surge really began and what happens is these phenomena that -- themselves. More people come more people get in the more work it back that hey this is the time to do it and what we've seen over the past few months is obviously spike in the surge. But this is the surge has been building for quite some time. And until we do something to dissuade people that they're really not going to be the stay here until we start sending people back that this is going to continue. This is so I. Very good do you feel that that's what's gonna happen that these people will be sent back. Well -- in it is unlikely because as many of them have been released. You know that -- at least relatives of people who claim to be relatives. They've -- get notices to appear but since they you know. We don't have the capacity to find all the people that they don't show up there hearings. And again the Obama administration has made it very very clear. That as long as you don't commit a crime in this country nobody is gonna come with a preview in any event. The chances that any of them are going to leave. Diminished with time the -- stay here the more likely it is you're gonna get to stay permanently. What is the answer we we were talking in the break of of stealing our borders. How could that be done. Well you know that the borders not the problem the borders a symptom of the problem -- once people understand that you can get into the United States. That you are going to be glad to -- that we're not going to enforce. Laws against employers who hire illegal immigrants instead of American workers. That you know stable government support to hand them all kinds of benefits and services until we change the realities that -- people to this country. You gonna continue to see that border out of control. Will lead or sensible policies that rely and the fact illegal immigrants make very rational decisions. They did they make a rational decision they. Then what they're receiving they need to get to that stage you're going to be welcomed here. And reports and we don't wanna be mean to people we don't want to keep people out -- say. It just that we recognize we have to recognize that the reason we have the immigration -- recent every nation on earth that immigration laws. Is because well it's always in the interest to the immigrant immigrant. Nobody comes from one country to another -- we work. It does opt in happy detrimental impact on the population of the receiving country people lose jobs -- cause billions in tax dollars that. Done to help all the people who come to the United States illegally other kids -- need education at all kinds of services that have to be provided. And quite frankly world limits would you know when Bloomberg did you buy it a lot of these services to the people we're supposed to be here much that's attracting millions more people were coming illegally. Well there's already been mentioned by some communities of not wanting to receive a little -- when you're gonna take to -- -- -- -- Because of the things you're talking about lack of funds for education and the other social services. Exactly you know at the federal government decides you know plays to 200 or 2000 -- -- in the world and it is the local taxpayers were going to be there bearing. Most of the -- You know education is the biggest. 01. That it provides almost exclusively at the state and local level the federal government kicks -- -- you know pennies on the dollar cost educated child. That Burton is gonna have to be picked up by local taxpayers. In most cases it's also going to commented at the detriment of other kids were in the school system because quite frankly the school systems don't have the resources so they have. Spread the money that they have -- importantly and you know -- it is in the classroom where you know certainly you know twenty apartment twenty but it that. A significant number of these new kids show up that's going to diminish from -- education and it affects you personally. What responsibility do we have zone. Well look in the United States can certainly help these countries. You know can -- possible. We'll have to recognize that you know we cannot change the systems in those countries the other seven billion people on the planet we obviously can't. You know as much as we would like to we we can't help every single person what we can do is try to be constructive. But we also recognize that ultimately it is up to the governments of these individual countries and up to the citizens of those countries to make sure. That they're responsive to needs in the interest of the citizens. You know there's been suggestions that we somehow go down there it fixed the problem and America. You know we're doing a very good job fixing problems here. You know well we don't do nation building very well just look at what's going on Iraq right now. That's not a strong suit. So you have to -- that we can help old let's be helpful but ultimately it is the responsibility of those governments to fix what's problem -- countries. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue our conversation about what's happening with immigration right after this I'm Angela -- -- W well. -- we are talking with -- to guest -- melman whose media director shared the Federation for American Immigration Reform. And George Fowler who of course is the local. An attorney but also founder of the new world Hispanic Heritage Foundation now 25 years old. Let's talk quickly about. What reform needs to be done immigration reform but. Georgia bringing up a very good point. It it's very interesting to look at who built rebuilt the city. Post-Katrina. And it was the Hispanics coming in and now they are here and they are. You know functioning citizens. So do we deport them. Well what I was gonna just wanted to let you know that it you know I'm very proud of Latin America communities. Contributions up and say they rebuild the city a lot of people who built this city but the Latin American communion. -- I think a lot of ways illegals. Most people tell you that they help so they did contribute by and large -- Latin American. Our family oriented they have their faith based. More -- -- -- in -- they -- they need them build companies. So in connection with -- whole analysis. And someday we'll have immigration reform. Who got a taking -- that into consideration to. Because a lot of them are great contributors to our community. And I want them to be record. Nice that -- but I think that's the balance Georgian and Ira. Is we do we are a nation of immigrants you know give me your tired your -- this is what started this country. And yet we can't take in the world so how do we say yes come in we need your help and want you to prosper. And at the same time we can't take every month. I think -- think we need to clo or borders. And then allow people. Comedian who meet the qualifications. And maybe you can allow more mortar came in after we deal with the eleven million illegals that we have in the country and that's going to be hot potato. Issue -- And in the next presidential election because whoever gets the largest share. None of the illegal immigrants but the legal. Latin Americans their vote goes to. Depending on how he treat illegal immigrants and the Republican Party in the Democratic Party. You know but -- get that because they're gonna see how their cousins and their nephews in the past of being being treated. Ultimately we need to have. A ceiling of the border and on people who -- meet the qualifications. And there's. You know it's an area of the law that in a month or specializes in immigration so there the laws. Pretty good now it's -- the whole situation seems. To have gone -- -- disarray in the last in my view in the last few months now we have seen a drop in them immigration depredations. And this year compared to five years ago a significant. Says something's happened to law. To slow down the deportation proceedings are with children we know part -- your thoughts. Well first of all we needed rational immigration policy in this country which we don't have and haven't had -- long time. What we need to do with select people based on aids and objective assessment of the likelihood to contribute. To the United States. And you know we shouldn't be independent -- the public policies there to serve the public good. Right now we have an immigration policy illegal immigration policy. The -- and that is -- once somebody gets -- the United States they can begin to petition for whole range of relatives beyond the immediate nuclear family. And so and it doesn't matter what -- vacations these extended relatives they get to come simply by virtue would that happen to be related to somebody who's here -- large numbers of people coming from and what countries. And people from most of the rest of the world -- that of the process so we need -- take a legal immigration policy -- -- -- -- like people from -- The globe peace and some individual assessment of the likelihood to contribute. The political world to enforce the law we have to recognize. That you know while we may have empathy for the people who want to come here and -- burial and human face them as people. There are people in this country who get hurt if we don't work so well as they're people who -- -- there -- kids who leads. Educational opportunities. There are taxpayers dollars yet you know it's been something other than on there and there needs. So that's what what needs to happen we have a sensible policy in the first place and then the political will to enforce the laws so that everybody. General we have been talking about immigration reform it seems like for -- what we just don't do anything we just talk about it then become uncomfortable -- What do -- do. Because you have infringed special interest that and it it from the status quo you've you've gut. Certain groups that are building constituency here that helps them with cleats and then you have the business community that likes to be able to hire lower wage immigrant work. The companies at a board outsource the jobs they can outsource. But they would like to be able to -- the workers to do the job after remain here and I think the -- in the world is the perfect example. -- the fact that weren't available workers in -- -- -- people were displaced in the world who happily come back to the city. To rebuild their homes it was the fact that the employers said hey I can hire these folks more cheaply than -- than these American workers and you know we shouldn't have policies in place so while employers undercutting American workers. Yes I know I grew a lot when you say about it I don't want to -- -- man humanity. These issues. And a lot of the people come here ultimately. Create jobs and I just take jobs and no I didn't -- -- you hundreds of people -- -- of created. Thousands and close to millions of jobs in connection with job businesses and they they started so that's part of the analysis and know we can't just be. The person comes in here and take somebody's job -- -- There are other people that they do create jobs and yes it is Tuesday in our country if you're a relative of a person was becomes a citizen you have a better chance of becoming. This is in yourself on where we can what are we gonna do split up a husband and wife. Motherhood and child and so I am I am not necessarily argue with the on the point and just pouring out. The the very humane. Problems associated it was it and I think that that yeah I agree with you we we've got to come up with -- overall solution is just a tough deal. It is a tough deal and both that you are incredible to have spent this time as we discuss and and let me tell you were gonna give you call again because this isn't gonna go away. And maybe we cannot talk again thank you iris thank you very very much George as always thank stay with -- everyone will be right back. Want to thank god George dollar once against such an interest in topic.