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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  January 27, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm PST

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hello and welcome to "kqed newsroom." i'm thuy vu. coming up on our program, the head of california's republican party, jim braulty, on the risks for california as it becomes a resistant strong hold against president donald trump. plus part two with my interview with leeian panetta. he shares his thoughts on the uncertain road ahead for national security and foreign policy. and a report from the border about a group of volunteers who search the desert for lost migrants. but we begin with president trump's first week in office as we look at the first 100 days of his presidency. he's taken swift action on a number of issues, including dramatically changing the country's refugee program. he also signed several executive
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orders to roll back the affordable care act, expedite environmental reviews for truck projects and issued orders on immigration including one that authorizes work on a new wall along the u.s.-mexico border, triples the number of immigration officers and cuts off federal funding to sanctuary cities. here's what president trump said. >> from day one i've said it, and i mean the immediate removal of criminal aliens. they're going to be gone fast. and finally, at long last, cracking down on sanctuary cities. >> and joining me now with a closer look at immigration are republican strategist sean walsh and kqed senior editor of california politics and government, scott shafer. welcome to you both. we will get to you the issue of undocumented immigrants in just a moment. sean, let me first ask you about something that just happened this afternoon. president trump signed an executive order that severely
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curtails the refugee program to keep out radical islamic terrorists. will that actually do anything to cut down on terrorism, or is it simply feeding into anti-muslim bigotry? >> well, i think, number one, you're sending a message to the pipeline from the origin of where these refugees are coming from, and it's probably going to slow that down to a trickle, number one. number two, with regards to refugees, it gives a chance actually for those that are here now, i think, to get enhanced screening. number three, the issue of refugees is not just simply the ones that we allow in on airplanes and on boats. it's actually the refugees now that are coming across the border in mexico from a lot of these arab and muslim countries. and so the question is that will really not do much to stop that. you're going to have to do the enhance the border patrols to deal with that issue. >> scott, you've been talking to some of the folks who work with refugees. what are their feelings among the advocates? >> it's not just refugees. i spoke with an attorney at sfo just a few hours ago, and he has
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two iranian families that have legal visas. they were waiting to come in from iran, and he told them to come now because he was concerned about how this executive order might affect their ability to get into the country. and so, you know, they're concerned about people, for example, iranian citizens who are here, and they want to bring their wives or their kids over. how is it going to affect them? it isn't just refugees. we haven't seen the order. we don't know exactly what he signed. the white house hasn't released it as we're talking right now. >> there has been some talk there are seven middle eastern countries in that order, but, again, in draft order, iran, iraq, syria in those countries. in the meantime, let's talk some more about immigration and the issue of that wall along the mexican border. it will take billions of dollars. mexico already said we're not paying for it. president trump showed some confusion yesterday when he talked about a 20% tax on imparts and then the administration kind of backtracks from that. so what do you make of all this?
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where will the money come from, and why all these different -- >> i think as we've had a week of president trump now, and i think we're beginning to see what his style is a little bit. he likes to float trial balloons. if they don't do well, he can blame the media for misreporting it or saying it was misunderstood. you know, this is, i think, a president who thrives on confusion, on creating chaos. we'll see how that works out, but we don't know exactly how it's going to be paid for. congress says we'll put the money up front, $12 billion or so, and then president trump is saying we'll figure out a way to get it from the mexican governmentme government. but even that 20% tariff, ultimately that gets paid by consumers. american consumers are the ones who will pay for it. a lot of things he's done this past week, big headlines, lots of concern or cheering but the details are a little bit hard to come by. >> well, number one, i'm not sure why everybody thinks this wall is such a new idea.
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in 2006 there was an authorization for $4.5 billion to actually construct a wall or a br doer. a lot of californians actually fenced off. whether it's adequate enough remains to be seen. but $1.2 billion was spent of that. this is nothing new at all really. i'm not sure why people are making such a big deal about it. >> where will the rest of the money come from now? >> there's already should be $3 billion in authorization that's out there. congress can fund based on that authorization bill, or congress can come up with the money. now, with regards to people say, well, it's just going to be paid for by consumers in california or consumers in the united states. well, consumers in california and the united states are already actually paying for undocumented immigrants. when governor wilson, 25 years ago, was governor, we estimated over $5 billion in costs the state taxpayers. i can only imagine what that is 25 years from now. so you can say it will cost $14 billion for a wall, but how much is state and federal government actually paying for
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people who are not legally in the country now? >> i know you're talking about costs for, what, incarceration or something like that. i've seen numbers as high as $10 billion, which is the entire corrections budget for the state of california. clearly that can't be accurate. what's left out of that, though, is these folks are working. they're paying taxes, taxes which they can't collect back on the back end as retirees because they're not here legally. i think when you net all that out, sean, i would imagine it's a much smaller number. >> i think there have been a number of studies that show that because the immigrants are willing to work for lower wages in many cases, that actually provides a benefit to some households in terms of cheaper prices paid for goods and services like household help, for example. those things have to be weighted in as well. >> that's an argument, and it goes into the totality. but with regards to education, i would argue we're probably well over $5 billion a year in california for educating people that are not legally in the country. if you factor in citizen
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children, i cannot imagine how much more money that is. so to undocumented immigrants in the country -- >> if you're talking about dreamers, they're essentially american. they were brought here as kids. >> and the children of undocumented immigrants in this country are citizens, the ones born here. >> they are, but they are born here as a result of people who are not legally here in the country. and the dreamers are -- it depends on how old those children are, but they actually are not legally here in the country. so you can agree whether the it the right, humane thing to do or say the kid came in at 12, and it's the right thing to do. regardless, that is still a cost borne by the federal government and by the state government. so it's a policy decision that whether you want to fund that or not, and donald trump in large part was elected based on the fact that he believes that we shouldn't be paying for those costs. so, again, whether you agree with it or not agree with it is -- >> i think what the two of you can agree on, though, is there are a lot of conflicting numbers here as there have been for
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years. >> we call them alternate facts. >> we call that on a different program. we don't deal with alternative facts on this program. i want to talk about california governor jerry brown. he threw down the gauntlet on immigration during his speech this week on the state of the state. here's what he said. >> california hass enacted several protective measures for the undocumented. the trust act, basic employment rights and non-discriminatory access to higher education. this is what made the dreamers, and you made it happen. [ applause ] we may be called to defend those laws, and defend them we will. and let me be clear. we will defend everybody, every man, woman and child who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well being of our state. [ applause ] >> so, sean, you just came back from washington, d.c. this
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morning as a matter of fact after talking to republicans. will this kind of rhetoric from governor brown only make california even more of a target with this kind of talk? >> actually -- i actually read his speech on my way over here today, and he also has several lines that he acknowledges that the federal government has responsibility for immigration policy in the united states, and courts have clearly upheld that. that's a lot of, you know, strong rhetoric that plays well to his democratic base. but i think there was a very realistic acknowledgement that the federal government is going to have a role here and a very strong one. so what they can fight and what they can't fight. so to governor brown's credit, i think he was somewhat realistic. again, if you read the text, i think some of our mayors and some of our other politicians in the legislature have not been very realistic and they're playing a very dangerous game. >> speaking of mayors, i want to also talk about the mayors of san francisco, oakland, berkeley and san jose. they all issued a joint statement vowing to fight
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trump's order on sanctuary cities. san francisco mayor ed lee talked about that this week. let's listen to that. >> in our america, we embrace our differences and understand that they make us stronger and more vibrant. we are a sanctuary city now, tomorrow, forever. [ applause ] >> so, scott, california gets about $105 billion in federal funding. where will all that money -- how will it be replaced if funding gets pulled because of the sanctuary cities? >> first of all, i don't think it would all not be pulled. for example, there's some precedent from the supreme court that says that if you're going to restrict or limit or take away money, it has to be related to the activity that the local government isn't cooperating on. this is a case by the way that conservative states made when it came to cooperating on gun control and the affordable care act. so we'll see if it holds up as
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well for liberals. i think it's almost important to say, just as the borders are not porous, we have a lot of people being deported. obama deported 2.5 million people mostly who had criminal records and, you know, had the kinds of problems that we're hearing president trump talk about. and already jails and prisons, anybody who comes in and is fingerprinted, they're sharing that information with the federal government now, already. they've been doing that for a long time under a law that was passed and signed by president obama. so i think we have to remember it's not just like people are pouring in. there are a lot of measures already that are sharing information with local governments and the federal government. >> well, i have a little bit of a different take. >> i had a feeling you would. >> most deportations have been criminals. but actually at the border under the obama administration in the last four years, folks that have come to the border literally when they cross the border run to where the border patrol officers are actually. they get a ride, then. they get taken to where family
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is in the interior of the country, and some of them actually get samsung galaxy 4 smartphones, theoretically to keep track of them when they come back for their deportation hearing. >> i'd love to see the data on that. >> the data is there. very, very few actually were deported under the obama administration vice vis-a-vis how many of entered the country. >> but it was a record number of deportations. >> i say millions more have entered the country than have been deported. >> okay. you good et to have the last word on that, scott. we'll fact check and i'm sure get back to you. >> sounds like fuzzy math. >> thank you, both, scott shafer and sean walsh. last week as the nation prepared for a new president say, we talked about jim braulty, chairman of the california republican party. he took aim at california law makers at their resistance to the trump administration. scott shafer as more. so as chair of the california republican party,
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which did not give landslide approval to donald trump, where does the party in california stand and republicans more generally? >> well, you know, we've been working to rebuild the party from the ground up. donald trump did not target california, but we're really excited. we think this brings a new energy to our volunteer base. we have over 300,000 trump volunteers, most of whom had never been involved in politics before. >> many in the republican party -- and i know you were scrupulously neutral during the primary. but there were many who did not want donald trump. they wanted anybody but donald trump to be the nominee, and now he's president. many of them didn't support him for president. >> most of them have amnesia by the way. they -- you know, i talked to a lot of them, hey, can you get me a job with the administration? and i said, i thought you were never trump? >> oh, no, no. >> are they out in the wilderness now? >> i don't think they're out in the wilderness, but politics is
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a team sport, and when you decide that you're going to join the other team or you decide you're not going to help your team because, you know, you lost the intramural scrimmage, that's just poor sportsmanship. >> california is setting itself up to be the chief resistance to the trump agenda from jerry brown on down. what do you make of that strategy, and how effective is it likely to somebody. >> well, i think the democrats who own state government in california ought to focus on the problems in california that they've created rather than worry about potential problems they think president trump is going to create. we have the largest income inequality in america. we have the highest poverty rate in america, and that's before donald trump was sworn in as president. that's not a donald trump-created problem. that's a california-centric problem that the people who run
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sacramento ought to be addressing. we are adding jobs in california, but we're not adding jobs that pay as much as the jobs we're losing in california. we have a huge divide between the coast of california and the central valley and interior of california. that's all not donald trump's fault. i think they would be better served if they focused on problems they can fix, which in many cases they created. >> there are still a lot of very raw feelings about the last election, and many would say that donald trump has contributed to that through his tweets and his comments. what would you like to see president trump do to heal some of those wounds going forward? >> well, you know, i think it takes two to tango. frankly, i am disappointed and frankly a little disgusted that some of the washington liberal elite have boycotted the last two republican presidents' first
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inaugurations. you know, every republican that's elected to sacramento gets lectured by the democrat leadership about how, we're in charge, and if you want to be really good, you'll find a way of working in a bipartisan manner with us. now, some of those same democrats in california don't walk their own talk. >> would you like to see this president reach out and not just wait for democrats to come to him but for him, as president -- >> well, first of all, donald trump has reached out, and if you don't know what barack obama and hillary clinton have said about republicans over the last eight years, i'm happy to get you a lot of tape from stories that played on your television station. you know, the left has a selective memory. they think they're all-inclusive and republicans are intolerant, and i'm happy to roll out scores of examples where the left is intolerant. the election is over. we celebrate the peaceful transition of power, and everyone ought to celebrate that
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peaceful transition. now to national security. this week former cia director leon panetta had sharp words for president trump, telling politico that trump's support for using torture is raising questions about the nation's credibility. and he said raising even greater questions with regards to our security. panetta headed the cia during president obama's first term, then later became secretary of defense. he also served 16 years in congress. in part two of our interview, secretary panetta discusses the importance of working closely with intelligence agencies and congress on key security issues. president trump has disparaged the intelligence community. he blames them for leaking a dossier detailing unverified efforts by the kremlin to compromise and comparing that basically to nazi germany. in this case, you know, you usually -- there have always been disagreements in prior administrations, but they take place in private. what is the risk here to this
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kind of public back and forth between a president and the intelligence community? >> i worry for several reasons. number one, it sends a message to our adversaries that because a president and our intelligence agencies disagree and are divided on the issues, that somehow they're free to take advantage of that. number two, it really does impact on the credibility of our intelligence agencies and what they do. and the reality is that a president -- any president needs good intelligence. you need to know the truth about what's going on with our adversaries. and when this kind of thing happens, it's going to impact on the credibility of what the intelligence agencies present. and lastly, it clearly underminunde undermines the morale of our intelligence officers and individuals who are out there every day, trying to determine what our adversaries are up to. these are good people.
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they really are dedicated to trying to protect this country, and i think when the president demeans what they do, he undermines their morale. let me tell you something. some of these jobs require people to put their lives on the line, and i worry about whether or not people are going to be willing to put their lives on the line as they have to when they have a president who may not pay attention to what they're able to determine is the truth. >> the whole russian hacking issue and if and whether it affected the election continues to be a point of contention. isn't that indicative of a much larger problem than just russia? >> we're in a new world when it comes to the use of cyber and cyber attacks. and countries are developing that capability. we've seen it used to go after intellectual property. we've seen it used to create denial of services among major
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industries in this country and elsewhere. there's the potential to virtually cripple a country, take down our electric grid, take down our financial systems, take down our government system. >> in your book worthy fight, you write about your nearly four decades in public service. one of the themes was the importance of making allies. in your words, you say relationships matter. so what would it take to see bipartisan cooperation in this new environment with the new administration and the new congress? >> i think the biggest task facing a new president is to break the gridlock in washington and to be able to return to governing where you can work with the congress and administration and deal with the major issues facing this country. >> how does he do that, though? >> well, there are ways to do this. the good news is i've seen washington work. i mean when i was there in the congress, we had republicans, democrats working together,
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working with a republican president or working with a democratic president to get things done. but to do that, a president has to be willing to bring people into the room, to be able to talk with them honestly, and to make clear that he's going to trust them, and they are going to trust the president. you've got to set aside all of the campaign and all of the rhetoric of the campaign. and you now have a chance in the oval office, as president of the united states, to make decisions that can make the lives of our children better. that ought to be your fundamental focus. if you do that, if you focus on that, then i think good things can happen. >> the president's controversial efforts to build a wall along the u.s.-mexico border comes amid an already rising number of border crossing deaths. hundreds of migrants have lost their lives attempting the
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dangerous trek through desert terrain to reach the u.s. illegally. one group of volunteers who call themselves eagles of the desert make regular trips to search for migrants who have gone missing, all too often finding only human remains. in this next story, kpbs reporter joins one of these search parties. >> reporter: jose notes the gps coordinates of another human skull we found in the arizona desert. he's part of eagles of the desert. they search for migrants who go missing at the border. sometimes the volunteers save people. often, they're just locating the remains to help families move on. >> the families -- you know, this organization helps bring closer to some. >> reporter: the volunteers send the location of their latest discovery to local official who's will transport the remains for dna analysis. the volunteers hike out of the
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desert. i'm documenting their work on my iphone. >> i hope that someday we can actually stop what we're doing, but i don't see an end to this. >> reporter: border crossing deaths have skyrocketed since long stretches of border fence were built in the 1990s, rerouting migrant traffic into the dangerous desert. president donald trump has vowed to expand that fencing. >> we're going to build a wall. >> migrants are everywhere on this border crossing route. abandoned backpacks, even shredded female underwear. as we search, an unfamiliar male voice comes on the radio. it asks us to identify ourselves. >> we're all regrouping. we're walking together because apparently -- hold on. can you tell me what's happening, jose? >> so we're walking, and we usually carry walkie-talkies. we're on channel 2 and apparently someone else came onto our channel. >> the voice said it could see
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us in our yellow shirts. it demanded to know if we were border patrol. he says we're being watched by a smuggler. he says the risks have been increased as a longer fence has pushed migrants on to the same routes as drug traffickers. when things go south like this, the founder gets worried. he's trying to guide us back to the cars. [ horn honking ] >> as we hurry out, we come across a phone. they decide to keep it in case it contains proof about a missing person. >> take the case too. >> reporter: finally reunited with the cars, we drive out of the desert. in a nearby town, an indian woman uses a traditional ceremony to cleanse all of us with sage smoke. she says the spirit of the dead is clinging to our flesh and that she must remove it. back home, the volunteers charge the phone we found on the ground and discover it belonged to a man named martin sarabia. the seven most recent calls were
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to 911. i request recordings of his calls from the pima county sheriff's department. they send me the recordings. >> 911, what is your emergency? [ unintelligible ] >> hello? i'm sorry, what? >> agua. >> eventually the dispatcher transferred the call to a rescue unit created in 1998 in response to rising border crossing deaths. they failed to locate sarabia. it seems uncanny that a phone we found contains such a sad story. i think of all the other mysterious items we passed on our search. what secrets do they hold about other missing people? back in the desert, ortiz tells me he feels a duty to search despite the risk of running into drug traffickers.
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>> translator: what will happen the day we confront these people? what if they do something to us. >> reporter: he says no one else is willing to take on that risk for anonymous migrants, especially as isolationist politics gain momentum in the country. but he identify with the border crosses. the volunteers are bilingual. some were born in mexico. he says, there's no them, just us. >> if they need help, we should just help. if they're willing to leave their country and risk their life to live through all this, you know, then it must be a tough time for them. so my life is pretty good right now. so i mean why not help out? >> reporter: as long as people are dying at the border, he says, the volunteers will risk their lives to find them. jean guerrero, kpbs news. ♪ and that does it for us.
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you can find more of our coverage online at kqed.org/newsroom. i'm thuy vu. thank you for watching.
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>> donald trump lets the world know he is going to be unlike any u.s. president before him. i'm suzanne malveaux. we examine a busy week of executive orders and a diplomatic showdown, tonight on "washington week." >> a nation without borders is not a nation. beginning today, the united states of america gets back control of its borders, gets back its borders. >> after campaigning on the promise that mexico would pay for a border wall, the trump administration floats an alternative plan. to impose a 20% tax on imports from our southern neighbors. >> by doing it that way, we can easily pay for the wall. >> but will congress get behind a plan that would use taxpayer

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