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tv   Washington Journal Jessica Vaughn  CSPAN  March 9, 2018 6:16pm-6:59pm EST

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congressional black caucus chair cedric richmond and a douglas descendent give remarks. you can see the ceremony at emancipation hall at 7:05 p.m. eastern. sunday night at 8:00, charles calhoun, author, re-evaluates grant's presidency. mr. calhoun explains why president grant was considered an unsuccessful chief executive by many early 20th century historians despite his domestic and foreign policy achievements. he argues that president grant was actually an influential president, dogged by political enemies and scandal. we are back joining us this morning from west newton, massachusetts, jessica vaughn, policy studies director for the center for immigration studies. miss vaughn, what is your group and your stance on immigration? >> we are a research institute that studies the effects of immigration on american society, and we study immigration policy
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and demographics and labor market and fiscal costs, really refugees, the whole waterfront of immigration policy from the standpoint of the national interests and trying to promote policies that work for our country and for americans rather than for special interests. >> what does that mean, then? are you conservative, libertarian, progressive? how would you define it? >> the immigration issue doesn't really fall into the usual idealogical categories. we are nonpartisan and we have conservatives and liberals on our staff. what our motivation is is to find an immigration policy that works for the country and our research has shown that immigration levels right now are too high, too skewed toward immigrants that are going to struggle to be self-sufficient in the country and also, too much illegality, so we think
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that there's a need for more immigration enforcement. >> what is a znsanctuary city a how does your group view those cities and the impact of it on this country? >> a sanctuary city is one that has a policy or ordinance or it can be a state or county, any jurisdiction that has a policy or practice that undermines the federal government's ability to enforce immigration laws. and specifically, it deliberately tried to make it more difficult for the federal enforcement agencies to get custody of deportable individuals, usually criminals, and otherwise interfere with their ability to do their job. there are about 300 of these jurisdictions across the country that we found through our research. most notably, the state of california, which has adopted some policies that went into
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effect in january. the legislature passed three laws and the governor signed them, that go farther than any other part of the country has gone before. sanctuaries have been around since the '80s but have never had -- have gone this far in trying to deliberately obstruct the work of the federal government. >> the attorney general has responded by saying this week, the justice department of the u.s. would sue the state of california over these laws. what are these laws? >> well, there are three of them. one of them would prohibit law enforcement agencies from cooperating fully with immigration and customs enforcement and the border patrol. the other prohibits employers from cooperating with i.c.e. in doing work site operations to go after illegal employers and illegal workers, and the third one tries to regulate or provide
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oversight of i.c.e. detention of criminal aliens that happens within california. >> so three laws that the u.s. government is going after california for. what is the basis for this? is there precedent here for the u.s. government to sue a state over this issue? >> there definitely is. there are a number of cases that have been decided and there are some existing federal laws that give the trump administration some very solid legal footing on which to bring this lawsuit. the most recent example is the lawsuit against the state of arizona that was decided by the supreme court in 2012. the state of arizona passed some laws that wanted to allow the state to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws and make sure
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that they were enforced very rigorously in arizona. the supreme court ruled that states can only go so far. they may not interfere with the way the federal government wants to enforce immigration laws, because the constitution gives the federal government authority and responsibility over immigration laws so that there will be a uniform immigration law across the entire country. and they said that arizona's went too far in a number of ways. there's another case back that was raised in 1996 when congress passed a law that said no state or local government can prohibit its officials from communicating with federal immigration authorities, and the city of new york, which had a sanctuary policy at that time, sued over that law that congress passed and they ultimately lost in the supreme court also. so i think there's some very strong precedent here. >> what is the supremacy clause? >> the supremacy clause says
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that -- establishes that federal laws are superior, in other words, they trump state and local laws, and again, immigration in particular is one in which there's an obvious need for the federal government to be the controlling authority. >> want to invite our viewers to call in and give us their questions, their comments, on this issue. the u.s. government suing the state of california over its immigration laws. democrats 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. republicans, 748-8001. let's listen to javier becerra. >> california is in the business of public safety. we're not in the business of deportations. i believe it's a low blow for
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the trump administration to deny our men and women who wear the badge the funding they need to keep us all safe by coercing us to try to do what they want us to do. that is not a good public safety technique to try to coerce us to do what they want us to do. in california, we don't confuse coercion with cooperation. neither should the trump administration. i look forward to making these arguments in court and we will continue to stand up for our police and our sheriffs whose funding has been threatened by the trump administration and for the policies that have -- we have enacted to increase trust in our communities and that our officers and sheriffs are sworn
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to protect. we intend to make sure public safety is job one for law enforcement in california. we respect the federal government's right to take on immigration enforcement. >> california attorney general there. jessica vaughn, your response? >> well, this is the primary argument that's been used really both on the left and right against the federal government's issue here. they are saying the tenth amendment specifically prohibits the federal government from commandeering state and local resources to do its work. but that's not really what's happening with immigration enforcement and that argument was rejected in this 1996 lawsuit that i mentioned before that new york city brought. the federal government is not forcing local governments to do something on its behalf. what they are seeking is, and what the federal law requires is
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that state and local governments cannot prohibit police officers or local government officials or in the case of california, private employers from cooperating with the feds in a lawful manner. and so that's really key to this. the government is also saying that california cannot substitute its judgment or implement an immigration policy that's different than the federal government has and that very importantly here, they cannot single out immigration authorities for non-cooperation policies when they wouldn't dream of interfering with the u.s. marshals or another state government, or the fbi or d.e.a. they are really singling out immigration authorities for non-cooperation because they disagree with the federal government's enforcement of this
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law which of course, is very important to many americans. it's not an obsolete law that doesn't deserve to be enforced. it protects job opportunities and public safety and so on. so they are seeking to enjoin this law and -- the three laws of california, and especially because attorney general becerra whom we just heard from has threatened employers and threatened law enforcement agencies with prosecution if they cooperate with i.c.e. or with the border patrol. so this is a very difficult situation for california employers, if they are notified by i.c.e., for example, that i.c.e. wants to inspect their payroll records for illegal workers, many of them would cooperate willingly with that, but the california government is saying no, you can't. so they are in a position where they have to either violate federal law or violate state law. california sheriffs are in the same position. that's why they have opposed the
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california law. they want to cooperate with i.c.e. but they are not allowed to do so. they don't want -- sanctuary policies result in the release of criminals. i.c.e.'s priority for enforcement is that small fraction of the illegal population or of other non-citizens who are causing problems in the community, who are committing crimes. that's their target for enforcement and law enforcement agencies in california know that, and they want to be able to work together. they know that it's important for law enforcement agencies to work together. and so that's why they oppose the california legislation and don't want to be in this difficult situation of being caught between these two responsibilities of following, you know, potentially being prosecuted by their own attorney general versus lawfully cooperating with immigration authorities. >> to louisville, kentucky. rob is joining us, independent.
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you're first, rob. good morning. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i think sessions is not going far enough. he's going to have to try jerry brown for treason and then once you convict him of that, because jerry brown is breaking the law and the illegals are breaking the law. try him for treason. once you get him, then convict him, no money time, no money fine, no jail time, deportation for life. you have to cut the cancer out of the body or the body dies. >> jessica, let's take rob's point. >> well, there's no doubt there are many american citizens, criminals especially, that it would be -- many people think would be better off in another place but you know, we have a lot of different kinds of people in our country and that's what makes our country great. what i.c.e. is trying to do is go after those criminals who are
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not citizens, because we can remove them from our communities and prevent them from disrupting our communities and committing more crimes and more harm in our communities. those are the ones that i.c.e. is going after. i think the department of justice has a good strategy here. sessions wants to establish these principles and i'm sure this is going to go all the way up to the supreme court, and that will go a long way in addressing the proliferation of sanctuary policies across the country, because once these principles are established and decided through our federal courts, that will be a road map for dealing with all of the other sanctuary policies that are causing problems. >> let's listen to the governor, jerry brown, his reaction to the attorney general sessions announcement this week. >> this is completely unprecedented. for the chief law enforcement of
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the united states to come out here and engage in a political stunt, make wild accusations, many of which are based on outright lies. that's unusual. particularly a fellow coming from alabama talking to us about secession and protecting human and civil rights. i do think this is pure red meat for the base and i would assume but this is pure speculation that jeff thinks that donald will be happier with him and i'm sure donald will be tweeting his joy at this particular performance. but it's not about law enforcement. it's not about justice and it really demeans the high office to which he has been appointed. >> jessica, let's take unprecedented and based on lies. >> no, the impact of sanctuary policies is real in california, and we have seen too many cases where criminal aliens who had
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already been convicted of serious crimes, felons, violent crimes, who had been arrested by local authorities, that i.c.e. discovered through fingerprint sharing that takes place through a program called secure communities, that issued a notice to these law enforcement agencies that they wanted to take custody of them, the local agencies ignored that, released these people back to the streets and they unfortunately went on to commit horrific crimes in which people have literally been killed because of sanctuary policies, because these criminal aliens were on the street. and that's a problem. there have been 10,000 criminals, deportable criminals that i.c.e. has identified that sanctuary policies released that have gone on to commit additional crimes. these are needless crimes, needless victims. i estimate that about 5,000 of them are probably in california. so there is a real potential for
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harm to the community that is caused by these sanctuary policies. they're not fake. they're adopted for political reasons, not public safety reasons, and that's why the federal government really has to step in here, not just to preserve its authority, but to prevent these kinds of things from happening. >> steven in charlotte, north carolina, democrat. >> caller: yes. how are you doing today? thank you for taking my call, by the way. i have some serious concerns about all this. for one thing, my main concern of course is the white house. i'm very unhappy with the white house and their chaos and everything. i think we have got a horrible president but nevertheless, that's besides the point. i don't dislike him, i don't hate him. he has done some good things. but my whole point is why is it that every time there's an illegal alien as it's referred to in this country being blamed for every single solitary little thing that happens in crime,
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when just as many americans who are legal citizens in this country commit just as horrific crimes as well? now, i will say this. i do agree with tightening up the borders. i do agree with getting rid of the ms-13 and the violent people and stuff like that. but you will find that most of these people that have come here like the daca recipients, for example, the daca people, they are good people. they are hard-working people. they are decent people. >> let's get a response. jessica? >> sure. that's what i have found through my research is that immigrants or illegal immigrants are neither more nor less likely to commit crimes than anybody else. that's what the data shows. that's what my research has found. again, that's why it's important to emphasize that i.c.e. is primarily going after that small fraction of people who are in the country illegally who are committing crimes. that's what this is about.
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their priorities for deportation. but it also has to be acknowledged that allowing illegal employment causes a lot of problems as well. it denies job opportunities for americans and these turn out to be those americans who, for whatever reason, haven't had the benefit of a lot of education and so are in direct competition for scarce jobs that they are qualified for that they need to support their families and so that's why it's important to go after illegal employment as well. it's often exploitive for the illegal worker. that needs to be shut down. that's a very serious problem. so i.c.e. is the agency that does that. we need the ability to go into employers and check paperwork and make sure that u.s. workers and legal immigrants are not being bypassed by employers who are illegally hiring people in
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the country who are not authorized. that's a huge magnet for illegal immigration. that's what keeps these criminals smuggling organizations wealthy and what keeps them making money, that as long as people think they can come here to work illegally and get away with it, they are going to keep trying. that's very dangerous. we cannot allow that as a country. so that's why immigration laws need to be enforced, why i.c.e. needs the ability to do its job and why the state cannot substitute its judgment for the federal government's in this area of the law. >> orange park, florida, david, a republican. >> caller: yes. i wanted to ask if local or state officials can be held criminally responsible if they illegally harbor illegal immigrants, that i.c.e. is looking for and they don't turn them over. can they be held criminally responsible? >> okay. jessica? >> that's a good question. yes.
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federal law says that no one may harbor or shield an illegal alien from detection by the feds. there is a provision in the law for that and i think in certain situations, there are officials who should be held to task for that. when you have a situation like the mayor of oakland who basically tips off the entire community that i.c.e. is going to be doing an operation in her area, allowing criminal aliens to go back into the woodwork so they don't get discovered by i.c.e., a lot of people believe that was a criminal act. or when a sheriff, you know, knowingly allows a criminal alien to be released that has been the subject of a detainer, lawfully issued detainer that was issued on the basis of fingerprints where it's clear this person should be subject to removal and they let them go anyway and that person commits a
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horrible crime, they should be held responsible for that and we may see some of those types of prosecutions. the department of justice is looking into a possible prosecution against the mayor of oakland for what she did. >> royal oak, michigan, jim is watching, an independent. hi, jim. >> caller: yes. i have one comment. you say that i.c.e. only goes after the criminals. there was a case of this man, he came here when he was 10 years old. he's been here 30 years. he was married, had children. i.c.e. picked him up and deported him. now, to me, that man was as american as me and you and many americans and as to daca people, they are good americans. >> jim, we will take your point. he's saying it's not just criminals that i.c.e. is going
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after. >> yes. what i said is i.c.e.'s priority is the criminals. but in addition, there are people in this country who have been deported before, maybe multiple times, who keep coming back or people who have had their day in immigration court and an immigration judge has found that there's no basis for them to be able to stay here, that they don't qualify for a green card and that they need to go home. these are all legitimate targets for i.c.e. also. it represents only a small fraction of what i.c.e. is doing but this is important to preserve the integrity of our legal immigration system. because it's not fair to let people just stay here, you know, most illegal immigrants are fine people, but our immigration law is set by congress, it doesn't say anyone who is a hard worker or nice person or who has been here for a certain amount of time gets to stay. we have to, you know, if an
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immigration judge says you don't qualify to stay here, then that order has to be enforced or the millions of legal immigrants who are waiting for their turn to come here through our legal immigration system, who are sponsored by relatives or by employers, it's not fair to just enforce the rules on them. there needs to be a system with some integrity that's predictable and that's going to be enforced so that we can have a legal immigration system that everyone has confidence in. >> to yolanda in columbus, georgia, democrat. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. miss vaughn, i have a couple questions and i will try to be very, very brief. i was wondering through your research, can you tell me approximately how many illegal immigrants are in the united states that did not cross from the southern border, probably came in through lax, jfk, atlanta hartsfield-jackson? do you have any idea on that? >> we do. it's hard to estimate, but there
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are a number of reliable estimates out there. it appears that about 40% of the people who are illegally resident in the country, that's about 12 million people, maybe a little bit less, about 40% of them, maybe slightly more now, came in on a visa and did not -- or visa waiver, and did not leave when their time was up. we are just now starting to get better information on that but it's a sizeable percentage of the illegal population. that's one reason we have to do more with work site enforcement so that if there's no possibility for them to get a job or stay here, as if they were legal, then they will not have any incentive to overstay their visas. that also needs to be part of enforcement. that's the kind of illegal immigration that the wall is not going to stop. >> your second question? >> caller: my second question
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was, because i support overall -- overhaul of immigration, but it can't just be one sector of people that's coming in through the southern borders because when we hear all the political banter and all the research only, we talk about the southern border and when we know that there are a lot more people here illegally than just those who come across from the southern border. >> so we will leave it there. let me go to edward in keyport, new jersey, a republican. your question or comment? >> caller: i just want to know if this was a bad way to set precedent to go after the legalized marijuana states and possibly asset forfeiture and whatnot. thank you. >> well, enforcement of those -- there may be some relevance because those are federal laws and you know, one of the points that the department of justice is making is that a state cannot
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substitute its laws for those of the federal government in certain areas of the law. i'm sorry, i'm not an expert in drug law or asset forfeiture but there may be some crossover of these principles. i just don't know. we'll have to see how it plays out. >> bill in canton, illinois, an independent. you're on the air. >> caller: good morning, c-span. i'm 67 years old. i always voted democrat but i voted for donald trump because the way the democratic party protected and their main platform was protect illegal immigrants. when i heard chelsea clinton give a speech saying that her mother when she got elected would grant medical benefits for illegals under the affordable care act, my main statement is one way government could stop this is if they would publish the names of the people they're
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looking for that i.c.e. is looking for, the criminals, and then if they commit a crime, the residents of california would have the right to sue the state for not letting those criminals be apprehended. >> jessica? >> well, that's an interesting point. that's something that's been very frustrating for the families of people who were harmed by criminal aliens who were released by sanctuary policies, that they seemed to have had no redress or ability to sue. for example, on the family of kate steinle, who was killed by a released criminal released by san francisco sanctuary policy, tried suing and has not succeeded. there's a bill now before congress that was introduced by representative goodlatte and labrador of the house judiciary committee that would provide a private right of action for
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people harmed in certain situations, very serious situations, where it can be determined that it was because of a sanctuary policy, and that's part of a larger bill that may get, we hope will get some consideration in the house actually very soon. we will see what happens with that. >> elizabeth, turners falls, massachusetts, on our line for democrats. >> caller: yes, good morning. thank you for taking my call. democracy now this morning, there was a clip showing i.c.e., border patrol agents tearing away a mother, she looked to be in about her 30s, tearing away from her three daughters who were crying and screaming and literally throwing her into a border patrol vehicle and said that she was a criminal because she crossed the border illegally. now, it seems to me that there has got to be a better way to deal with someone like her. and this happens all the time. there was a gentleman a few
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calls back that talked about a man who had to leave his family, who were also crying. people like you make the excuse all the time or the justification that that's the law. but congress makes no effort to overhaul the immigration system to avoid this kind of tearing up of families. i think in a nation that is supposed to be christian, this is about the most un-christian thing that could be done. i blame the president and everybody else who supports him on this for this horrible behavior. >> miss vaughn? >> i'm sure that was hard to watch. i don't know the circumstances of that or you know, what the border patrol's reason was for handling that case the way it did. now, sometimes there are people smugglers who are bringing in children who are not their own and you know, the real problem
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here is that when we fail to enforce our immigration laws which have an important function, as i described, then there's an incentive for people to try to cross the border illegally and they are going to keep doing it as long as they think that they can get a job here, that they can live here without any problem. that's why people keep turning over their life savings to these criminal smuggling organizations that put them in danger to cross the border illegally. that's why i think it's wrong for us to incentivize that kind of behavior by not enforcing our law and this influx at the southern border right now from central america with a lot of families and people sending their kids unaccompanied to be taken by smugglers to cross into the united states because they have heard there's going to be an amnesty for young people, for example, or because they have heard they will be released and
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allowed to join friends and family who have come in legally before to wait for an immigration hearing that's going to take place years in the future, these are dysfunctional parts of our immigration system that need to be corrected so that people will not make that dangerous choice and that we can have a more orderly system of immigration and you know, and not have this constant pressure at the southern border. i think that is a moral obligation that we have as a nation to send that message that our laws are going to be enforced, they are going to be enforced humanely but don't go to the trouble of trying to come here illegally because you will be sent home. there's no point in spending your money on that. >> john, mckinleyville, california, republican. you're next. >> caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. you touched on this earlier. what happens in california doesn't necessarily stay in
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california. these criminal illegal immigrants aren't necessarily going to stay in california. they are going to filter out many of them into the rest of the country. >> that's right. >> caller: that's why the federal government has to have the authority to make and enforce our immigration laws. >> john, i apologize. i thought you were done there. jessica? >> yes. that's a good point. that's why the constitution and our founders gave authority over immigration policy to the federal government, not to allow each individual state to come up with their own policies, and that's why this case is so importa important, to clarify that states cannot nullify federal law or substitute their judgment, that there's a national interest here. he's right, if someone is released in california, they can go to nevada, arizona, wherever,
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make their way to the east coast, that's why border security at the southern border or the northern border is important to people in iowa and georgia as well, that this affects all of us as a country and it's appropriate to have a federal immigration policy that by the way, congress decides, not the president. >> james, marysville, washington, independent. >> caller: good morning. i would like to hear the definition of harboring. she keeps saying harboring and switching it with another word which isn't true. i would like to ask another question. whatever happened to the tenth amendment to the constitution of the united states? >> okay. harboring and the tenth amendment. >> sure. under immigration law, harboring is shielding someone from detection by federal immigration authorities and that is a crime,
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and that can be, you know, maybe paying for someone's smuggling fee and putting them up on your property and employing them. thps a form of harboring. or it could be taking someone out the side door out the side door of the courthouse when you know that i.c.e. is there to arrest them and that they're waiting to carry out their lawful responsibility, so it can take different forms and i would not be surprised if in the next few years we see this further defined by cases that come up in federal court. as far as the commandeering argument goes and the tenth amendment that you raise, obviously, that's a legitimate question and going to be discussed as part of this case, but it has been established that simply asking for cooperation and police not be prohibited from communicating with
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immigration authority, that's not really commandeering. what the federal government wants is not to force police or other officials to do their work. they just want them to cooperate with i.c.e. and the border patrol as they would with any other law enforcement agency in the country or world and want obstruct the feds from doing their legitimate job that americans want to see enforced and that has an important purpose and it's been found in the courts that this is unlikely to be a situation of commandeering. since i.c.e. is not demanding. they may impose consequences on jurisdictions that don't comply, for example, they're seeking to withhold federal law enforcement grants from sanctuary, but that's not exactly commandeering. it's not coercing, and i think there is good case law to back up the administration's position on that. >> beth is watching in evanston, democrat. your question or comment?
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>> i just want to make a comment for everybody listening. the center for immigration studies is not a nonpartisan group. i doubt you would find any democrats or independents who believe in this and also it was identified and i was just looking up the research and i haven't come up with a decision and it was discovered by the southern poverty center as a hate group and if you look at some of the headline, with all due respect to your speaker, i don't believe that the headlines are based on facts. >> let's get a response. >> i think my colleagues who are democrats and are board members who are democrats would probably take objection to her characterization of us, but we certainly are and your audience can look into it, and you know,
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the southern poverty law center was once a reputable organization that did some important work, but unfortunately, they've veered off into trying to black ball organizations that disagree with their point of view and really smear my organization and others as hate groups which is really unfortunate because it distracts from the real groups that do exist in our society who are hateful and carry out hateful agenda, but our agenda is not based on hate. it's based on concern for those americans and legal immigrants who are harmed by illegal immigration on the need to have a good immigration policy that benefits our country and benefits immigrants and makes us a strong country, and that our current laws are not doing that and that, you know, people are
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genuinely harmed when we fail to enforce immigration laws or have a legal immigration system that doesn't work for our country. that's what motivates us, not hate for any particular group. it's really important to make sure that people understand that while there may be negative con jens sequences with immigration that immigrants need to be treated with respect and that they are people and we can enforce the rules of our immigration system without violating anyone's civil rights or demeaning them as people. >> let's get in one last call here, mark, fort lauderdale, florida. independent. >> hi. i'm an independent and i'm a very left-leaning independent, and i have a very big interest in immigration because my wife is an immigrant who recently got her green card. it's ironic that the woman before me called your guest on
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exactly the same thing i was calling about, and to be quite honest i think she started her presentation with aly when you asked what direction does your group come from and she said non-partisan, et cetera, et cetera. the center for immigration studies, yeah. it's non-profit and nonpartisan in the fact that they are not hooked up in the open with the political party, but it is -- >> or enclosed. >> we are geared towards cutting down on immigration. >> so jessica vaughn, where can viewers go on your website to find your studies and take his last point, geared toward cutting down immigrants? >> sure. immigration, not immigrants. >> immigration. everything we do is on our website at and i hope people will go there for
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information. we would like people to look at all of our work, we're proud of it, but it is not animated by hate or dislike of immigrants. it is motivated by a desire and a need that benefits our country and not special interests. benefits americans and so that we can have -- admit immigrants who will be self-sufficient and contributing to our country and making it great, but that the levels of immigration that we have now are too high and causing distortions in the labor market, causing americans to be displaced from opportunities or see their wages depressed, but too much of it is happening unlawfully and this is causing problems. it can be a risk to national security to not know who is coming and going.
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these are all of the reasons why we need to get better control of our immigration approximately see and we do think that the numbers of legal immigrants need to be reduced primarily by reining in chain migration a little bit and emphasizing skills that immigrants bring from all over the world that contribute to the country. >> policy studies director for the center of immigration studies. appreciate the conversation this morning. >> glad to be with you. thank you. our podcast, c-span's, the weekly takes you beyond the headlines to explain in depth, one significant news story shaping the conversation in washington and around the country. you will hear from leading journalists, policymakers and experts, providing background and context. find c-span's "the weekly" on the free c-span radio app as well as itunes, stitcher and google play and online any time
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at next, a look at new tariff announced by president trump on steel and lum naluminum imports. they conducted a study on how it might affect u.s. industry. hosted by the heritage foundation, this is an hour. >> john, thank you so much, as always, for the very kind introduction. i think that we are here as always, a very timely fashion, here at the heritage foundation and speaking about the issue of section 232. i am so pleased and so grateful for our panelists to be joining us today and i'll be introducing them momentarily, but i want to start by setting the stage. we all know why we're gathered here today, but the president signed yesterday two proclamations on section


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