Where's the truth in zero-tolerance border policy debate?

Newell Normand
Wednesday, June 20th
Newell talks to Matt O'Brien, former Assistant Chief Counsel for ICE, about the latest developments in the family separation crisis at the border

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I gotta tell you the highlight of my day is going to be when I walked into the arena to see the Eagles play tonight. I don't know about you I am a big fan so I'm very excited about the and and so I'm gonna try and stay focused on that as much as possible because a lot of this other stuff that we're talking about is very problematic. So it's not going to be. Nearly as fun as going that the Eagles contest concert excuse me. We're going to be talking about a sewage water board update new issues in the third hour and in the second hour we'll have open lines and talk about both immigration and the fiscal clip in Baton Rouge and all the issues that have gone on there. And a woman jump right into this. This issue with the with immigration and joining us on line. Who is would fare federation for American immigration reform and he's also a former assistant chief counsel for ice he knows it from the inside out Matt O'Brien welcome to the show map. Very much. Matt let me just try to put this in some comic contacts or American trying to figure out what the attacks going on here because. Every time I think I've figured out I don't. The fact of the matter is it is illegal to cross the border correct. Oh so when these folks gut checked out of their hotel the night before they crossed the border and they had breakfast and they decided to not go to a port of entry. And it's an adult and their child in a swam across the Rio Grande into the United States. They got arrested right. I. And so now when we put them in a place that has a mattress. Because I imagine they stayed in a hotel the night before Wright had breakfast that morning before they came across the Rio Grande. And you know so. And then we we talk about going through the booking process and and then we don't. Bring the children into the booking facility or the detention of the adult because the adult. Has violated the law committed a crime. And we're not willing to hold the child responsible for that. So in order to address that situation the children go to one place in the adult goes somewhere else. Now to me that kind of sounds like the criminal justice system of the United States. But that's a 100% correct so. So when we're a logic commons went on air yesterday talking about this is not the America that I know. He's beloved. I I've known for forty years be in law enforcement. I've seen the kids crying on the front doorstep when we're walking the parents out of the front door. Headed to jail and I can't wait for congress to pass the bill. That is going to allow contact visits for the children. Of incarcerated males and females who happen to be their parents. And that they're gonna put seven. Billion dollars towards that endeavor. So that the citizens of the United States are treated the same as illegal immigrants. Swimming across the Rio Grande and ordered to circumvent the laws in this country. And stay within two and within the confines of this country's second happened Matt. It it's not gonna happen and I couldn't agree with you more so you'd better outline force when your whole career been around jail they'll have I. This is standard practice and what happens is that the open borders last. Has decided that they want to use mr. action fake news false information. To gin up emotion on this civic and focus the debate on feelings not facts. You know I mean we have clergy that work for us to console the victims as well as the perpetrators of families. That's what. Community policing is all about and all of these other things but we have never. Allowed contact visits. To occur in a pretrial. It's scenario. And we eat it because he alternative gears to just let him go in and let him come into the United States in letting go right. I and but we've not done that with US citizens. I mean we we who wore not flight risk in many case we set a high bond they don't get out dependent on. On a crime and they never have a contact visit with their family and in this country. We allegedly are innocent until proven guilty. A 100% correct that the lunacy and I think what people need to know about this his first of all this is only happening to people who entry in the US illegally. If you weren't that desperate need of protection from the government your own country. They numbered things she can do first looking good years you that it this year consulate and request refugee status. And the legal in nature that are identical to the standards for political asylum. I do everything in addition to the US port of entry and request asylum there so this is only applicable. To people who are crossing the border unlawfully between ports of entry. And the Internet people that are seeking out immigration enforcement authorities went bankrupt these people had every intention to speak in the United States about wedding and now. Cuddle I don't because they note they don't have the case for asylum. 100% correct a lot of these people. If they had been found by the Border Patrol would just proceeded to anti US unlawfully. Right. And and we would have ultimately. At some point coming contact with them arrested them put them in deportation proceedings. And they would have been separated from their children at a later date albeit their children may be. With a family member or somebody else or maybe they got married by that point Tom but there are gonna get separated. 100% because that's the risk. Any better at risk when it would be now it's the first time. It'll do that I've seen folks the advocates for immigration. Talk about violators of the law being brave people. I I can't square that up can you. You know like it but if you look at the language it's used to describe these people you know they talk about. Undocumented. Immigrants. Which gives the impression that these people who merely forgot to undertake some ministerial task. And but for the fact that they did which and government opted to wait on line you see but haven't violated any laws that if you look at the average American. It failed to register insure my vehicle. And expect when I get pulled over how the police officer this year is that beauty. But what this is just undocumented vehicle optics this and so it's not a big deal. Yeah I mean we put people in in jail and in the state Louisiana if you don't have. Compulsory liability insurance. But that's correct you have a group of people that are attempting to meet in to the United States. And the people on the open borders side of this issue want everyone to believe that it's not really violation of the anything but the fact is that it's civil violation. And it's also a crime cult improper entry binding it the first time with a misdemeanor but subsequent offenses make it. So when I come when we come back out of the break I wanna talk about discretion. And where this lies the law is clear. And how is it that executive discretion. You know where the president can say we are not going to enforce that law no matter what the downstream applications are. Because my understanding. Of the take care clause. In my reading of it as a lawyer. I'm not so sure you have that authority to do that in if you do there why are we even passing these laws if someone can unilaterally say. We're not gonna enforce. We'll be right back soon and when we return we'll continue our conversation with Matt O'Brien from there this is new rule and every Dario. We're talking to Matt O'Brien from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. And you know if you don't think that this is a problem in the fifteen months of the truck administration. 37500. Unaccompanied minors were caught at the border. And more than 61000. Family members that's 2500. A month the baloney unaccompanied minors at the border. And 4000 as a relates to family members. From 2010 to 2016. 2362966. Adults apprehended. And around about 400000. A year. That worked hawked. So Matt tell me we catch a lot. What are what what are the studies reveal and about how many come that we don't even come in contact work. What the problem there's no accurate study found that because the people that we missed we don't know about. Until we really don't know how many of these people make it Kruup. Now estimates indicate it's much higher percentage than the people who aren't cut. I simply because usually somebody Border Patrol agents there's virtually no barriers on the border. And you're talking about a 253500. Mile stretch that has to be protected. So the fact is that well catching it small proportion these people. So now wanted to talk about this discretion. I mean I really. Have a difficult time understanding how this actually works. Where the law's the law but we can have the discretion to do what we wanna do as a relates to enforcing the law. It would certainly think that's fine basically immigration context Nolan could pictures the chief of the New York police department. Published monthly list but what parts of the New York penal code Yoshi was going to enforce. For some reason when it comes to immigration and that's OK and so. Very administration and stick curry political favor with various constituencies. Are perceived. Constituencies. Selectively enforce the immigration that's not how it is supposed to work. Basically what you have is the effective usurping the function of congress. Yes so you know when we talk about this 1997. Federal consent decree referred to as the glories decision. In negotiated a settlement during I think was Bill Clinton's. Administration. That week we had to release rather than detain all undocumented immigrant children. Whether they crossed with their parents or alone. And never really created this situation. Whereby if there was a desire to keep them together as of familial unit. You basically had to release the whole family. Into the general population of the country correct. That that's correct. And it was sort of an absurd settlement agreement to be in which speak. Oh no it wasn't new it was intended. I think I'm I think it was intended from a political standpoint. Because no one thought that anyone who would ever go in adopt a zero policy tolerance. As Gerald tolerance policy because of the downstream applications. I agree with you completely I think it was intentional it was absurd from the perspective of the citizens. Of the united states of that they. Include government com. Simply because. In a situation. Where the government with the engaging in a contractual agreement. He'd basically treated the way a lot of its ability to deal with the situations that are encountered on the border. So granted in improving anything other than the ability of these illegal aliens and their kids did into the United States. And I actually made the job of the law enforcement officers worked on the boarded that much harder. It completely minimize the Border Patrol. I mean it when I read when I read the decree I was like this is the craziest thing I've ever read in my life. I mean it completely gut it immigration enforcement for the most part. Well it did turn it into the social services program rather than national security and public safety process. And it should be the latter not the former. Now there are those on the left that are saying now well you know the immigration challenges in 1997. Were different than they were today. You didn't have the national. You know it's a security issue Homeland Security issue you didn't have this she didn't have that. We have a lot of the same indicators in 97 common out of some of the most violent times in this country then. As we do now. That's a 100% correct nothing has really changed. It's set up now you have the added risk of international terrorism which is growth. Significantly from 1997. Into the 2000. So let's talk about presidential discretion. So the attorney general says. We adopt a zero tolerance. Policy. How can the president over com that in the enforcement. Of that law. And telling no you know two and. Well its original works for the president so. There is. Prosecutorial discretion as entry you're familiar with having having probably had to deal with many of those species. In your career this year and as an attorney. So what that means is that the government prosecutors. Where parties active branch. Have the opportunity to Levy charges at their discretion in order to make sure they go forward with the case that is complete accurate and correct. And they refrain from prosecution witness would be an injustice. We're situation where they're not going to be able to make it tastes and it would wins out on the public's ability to gain justice. Because of double jeopardy. That has been expanded immigration contacts. Which successive arguments. That. We can do administrative leave this site. Matt I gotta get to a break can you hold that we'll pick it up right after the break. Aren't a problem off all right we got ago we gotta get your break we'll be right back to 6018 somebody or Texas said he 770. Rebecca were talking amount O'Brien who is a director of research for the federation for American immigration and reform and now we're talking about this disk notion of discretion and prosecutorial. Discretion. But when the president steps in and says we're no longer gonna have this zero tolerance policy. We've heard all about all of this argument before about you know the V. Russian collusion investigation and it in when president steps in that would be obstruction of justice. Does he have the authority to call the attorney general onside I don't want you to enforce this law. Well I don't think it has its target copy attorney general of that watch you enforce this law. I think he does have the authority to beat but he did tell the attorney general's statement and for too long we've been defaulting to civil enforcement year and what we should be doing music teaching criminal enforcement. Because that's what colossus. Because that's what the process and that's been the big problem in the immigration areas they've expanded this notion of discretion. And use this as an excuse to deal with civil penalties. Rather than ever using the criminal penalties that were Ari on the books. You know I am not understand the sources of executive power you know to command which is to compel people to do what they would otherwise not do in to persuade by. Setting the agenda and things of that nature and to defer. By steering resources you know in a regulatory environment if congress wanted to defund. Homeland Security they could do so. But to step in and say this is the law it's a criminal violation but I'd do not watch you enforcing this law. That is a very dangerous proposition. And when you carry that to locals. You know and say the same thing not only notion of immigration. But with all of the law enforcement leaders in this country and if you would empower them to say. Enforce the ones you want. To worry about it you have discretion. Earlier works at war. Well it doesn't and what happens we do that is the whole system checks and balances fall apart. And so well. Presidential administrations should have been going selectively portions of the immigration law. You can also say that congress that they really want to dish changed. Should've actually got men and have a debate about it argued it and then vote on it as our system is supposed to work. Rather than allowing all these little policy change is basically eat out. The immigration line create so many exceptions to undermine by itself. Now would we talk about docket that no courts ruled that what. These executive department did was not acceptable or arm I think of something else. Well I don't think it's a little complicated because the basic came from the district court judge in Texas. Bill with the expansion of that death cult stop by yeah and that's. The problem was that the judge never got the opportunity to deal with the docket the issue itself. And I think that both the Republicans and Democrats. Made the mistake of treating duct as if it were somehow legitimate. And they had of course the crazy cases we came on the ninth circuit some of the other let the dangers fictions. But acted as if this works somehow legitimate exercise it couldn't be repealed. It would be complied with the administrative procedures act. You know so where where where do we go now I mean I wouldn't you know it. Everybody's rushing now to try and find some temper media ruby the nation for this you know in congress. But that just puts his back to square one that they've not done what they need to do in order to deal with the immigration issue. Once and for all. Then you know I don't find a punt all of this disingenuous. At so many levels. And you know to do this patchwork system they're not doing their job and Chuck Schumer up they're saying here president I'll lend you mop and you can do this or why have that you could you know why haven't David Diehl and. Well they have been doing. Because church you are all the people that fit well into his way of thinking. Don't want what the American people want American people elected Donald Trump because they want their borders under control. And for the media's having a bit about this because it disturbs it bill it's sensibilities that affected the capitol tree well what's going non. This applies to very small segment of people who have made that choice. And what really bothers me about this is. People are talking about psychological damage to the children well these things police parent may eventually. Not to seek refugee status in their own country. And means choice to read Lou keep their children from the culture that they are familiar with cheap United States. That was well it's obviously played by the parents in this that should say that this is while some. Horrible American government policy wish simply enforcing our laws is just incorrect. Yeah I mean I don't get it I mean I read an article two we're not the only one dealing with this issue in fact. Angela Merkel the chancellor in in Germany's dealing with this issue as well she's about or open borders and a lot of folks within her own allied parties. Are against her. And the EU's have another real difficult time trying to come to grips. And they have a lot of friction between Germany and Italy and Greece right now over how big and ultimately deal with this issue. Is that happens to be the two countries and where most of the immigrants. Come across in order trying gain entry into Germany. So this is an issue that's all around the country in and had a lot to do with the undercurrent abraxis. And all the countries are making the exact same enter in dealing with this situation what they do music treat people. That are outside the borders of sovereign nations as it's their inside and aren't subject to legal rights. Under the laws of the country. So what you're talking about here it's people who are illegal aliens who have not been it may be United States. And we have American politicians. Upset because these people are being subjected to a temporary separation. From their children and the US government spent 670. Dollars a days. Insuring these children are in Clinton's safe surroundings. In point of fact it is probably better living situation and most these children where it back in their own country. Absolutely. Now Brian thanks so much for joining us we really appreciated fair federation for American immigration and reform they say something's gonna happen today and tomorrow and we'll stay tuned and we may have you back to let us know what exactly they did his I don't know about you but I have been confused. All right we'll be right back go to the talk lines at funerals available. This is new rules on debit audio. One attacks on more people voted against trump then for him folks yell amiss and appoint decision about taken up for Donald Trump. This is about the rule law. This is about whether or not you are going to give an advantage to. An undocumented. Immigrant. Illegal alien. That you as a citizen. Don't have the benefit. A week creating a special class of folks. Which a special class of protections. That you don't enjoy. You get arrested you go to jail you have a bond set. And in this case what happens after so many days they get released into general population. After having. Committed. Either a misdemeanor. And in some cases a felony. In the facts are you as a citizen of this country do not afforded that same opportunity. Guy. Have a difficult time. Understanding. The duplicity. I understand. The emotional. Situation around separating kids from the parents. I try to point out the obvious. When. Members of the congress are sitting there saying this is not America this is not the America that I know. Were you gotta wake up and open your rise as it happens every day in this country when someone is arrested. You are separating them from their children. And in many cases when we arrest single moms. In their dole live and in an area where they have family. Their children go to this scene organization. That's all that's happening here. And in many cases while looking for a Foster parent and ordered that kid have to care in custody of that child that child I know for a fact. In many other jurisdictions across this country is actually sleeping in the office. Of Child Protective Services until they can find some other accommodation for that child. All I'm saying is is that. This is duplicitous. And we are hypocrites. When we say. That this is not happening it happens every day. You know what is happening. Mid term elections. You know it is happening. This political tribalism and politicization of this issue in order to trying curry favor with us let us not be. Missed led. Or lied to by any album. Whether they're Republicans or Democrats or otherwise. But I'm looking forward to the next congressman who's gonna step up and say. We're gonna provide the same safety. And and precautions and procedures for our citizens. A wanna see that bill is total on one talk to Salomon's city's been old dog for a while what say you sell. Are you someone that. And I. Would say in New England. I can tell you why I married an English woman in 1956. Banking that the and we had to Wear it. Put that aren't out there have been biking trip he. My wife were treated with Roddick and the United States. Let saying that the lights are hopeful meg sure it made perk is a law it will not be a Joba now you come to New York to call me today. Seeing my kids. At an American. War. Because they did not. Approximation. But lost stated they cannot at the country without him up by. That would warrant. And now I'll. Put ten days. Third game but it got. That. Back and is there any government can. They're. Become. Even. Well the U. The hot. You know sell your right the hypocrisy never ends this is a political issue. Play lane and plain and simple we have an interest to do we're doing. The downstream applications are ugly again and I understand it I wish there was a way. That we didn't have to do it and hopefully they'll find a way to do it but if that's the case. That we need to be bigger not a way to do it for all of our citizens and well look I'm I'm a guy who spent forty years in law enforcement. I have season. The dish dress in families. I've seen good people make bad decisions who have been separated from their children. And I understood I understood that I had a job to do to enforce the law. I don't see. We are they gonna square this up right now and that's what I'm having difficulty understanding got to get to a break stay on hole if you're on all we're gonna get right back to you. Out of the break this is no rule on dug them Leo. We're back and we're talking about the separation of families as a result of crossing the border illegally. And we're gonna continue this conversation. In. The next hour and on attacks on once again you're being disingenuous these people are trying to get asylum to suggest that it's the same is committing a crime in the US's. Ludacris. His style ludicrous. They tried to come into the country illegally they didn't go to war port of entry and asked for asylum like they cut. Why because they know that they don't have. The conditions are the characteristics of their situation necessary in order to get into the country so they circumvent it.