Transcript for Roundtable II: Battle Over Immigration
wh was true years ago is still true today. Who's beeping other there? You're feeling kind of self-conscious, aren't you? That's okay. A lighter moment from the president's big speech on immigration. We'll get to that in a moment. The round table is here, george democratic strategist donna, congressman luis guiterrez, and newt gingrich. I want to start with syria. The president made the decision to arm the rebels. Clinton weighed in saying see what a big mess it is, stay out. I think that's a big mistake. In fact with the former president suggested that president obama could be a fool if he were to not get in because of public opposition it our involvement. Did he force the president's hand? I don't think so. I think the administration was on a two-track strategy. One to arm the opposition, and i think second is to work toward a political solution to get assad out of office. We're spending over $500 million in humanitarian aid. There's a refugee problem in turkey and syria. They had to arm the quote, unquote right people, but the administration cautiously decided it was time to change the political trajectory of what was going on on the ground, and therefore they are going to supply the so-called rebels, some arms. What's your expense, mr. Speaker? Is this forced politically? This is an administration that does almost nothingt is methodical, careful and professional in national security. I mean, they don't take the advice of the generals -- if you were to stay what's it going to take to knock assad out, that's a huge undertaking. He has iranian and russian back, and hezbollah, he couldn't win on his own. The generals aren't pushing for that. They oppose the no-fly zone. It's all nonsense. If the iranians and the russians are prepared to arm and equip and support assad, and hezbollah and iranian volunte prepared to help kill syrians for assad, then the idea that we're going to marginally affect this is a disaster. This will turn out to be one of those cases where the united states will set itself up to be defeated, and putin will be quite happy on the part of russia to be defeating the united states. It's a badly thought out process. Congressman, are you comfortable with how the president is handling this? I don't think there's a good solution. I'm not comfortable with how the president is handling it. I don't have an opinion. I think there isn't a good solution there. Here's what I believe -- if you talk to the intelligence community concern. And you're on the intelligence committee. Here's what they're going to tell you, the best equipped and organized are those allied with al-qaeda. Those are the ones that are fighting. Now arm the opposition? Now we're trying make a decision, who is it we're going to arm? Here's what can happen. And I think it would be the worst scenario. Is that we do arm our proxies, our good rebels, and then the al-qaeda start fighting the american proxy good rebels. Assad says great, I have now split the opposition. Take iraq, you saw what happened, we had 150,000 american men and women there and during that time, over 300,000 iraqis died in the ensuing civil war? What you think that our involvement is somehow going to solve the problems? So what I say is, look, we really need a diplomatic solution. It seems the only place to move today is to force the hand with russia and putin to find a solution that can end the assad regime. I don't hear anybody thrilled with this. Well, then the policy should be just don't do something, stand there. You can with make matters worse. The administration says we're going to get the weapons into the right hands. The jennifer joan yans, the whigs, they're not over there. We don't have people like that. The secretary general of the u.N., Weighs in, there's no military solution to this. There was a military solution to the american civil war, spanish, there's going to be a military solution to this. Someone is going to win. Assad has backers who mean it. Our side, whatever it is, doesn't. What we kept hearing was the assad regime is on the brink of collapse. For two years we have been hearing this. There is no indication that he and his regime isn't becoming stronger, does not have popular support within syria in spite of the fact -- a political solution, not a military solution. Trying to bring assad to the able to get him to go our way. The table that -- the one in THE KITCHEN OF the McClain farm, someone's going to surrender. He doesn't have one thing. He doesn't have a limited pool of money. Doesn't have oil. He needs money in order to keep it going. Economic sanctions can work. Is iranian and russian money. I want to build on what george said. In the spanish civil war, the democracies effectively tried to help one side. The dictatorships effectively tried to help the other side. Military power, ruthlessness and toughness matters, virtually all is on assad's side. The united states will not be a particularly good strategy here. I want to turn to immigration, we heard from marco rubio on this. A critical week on immigration. And the speaker of the house, john boehner, interview with george wil take a listen. What's the most important thing you'll get done this year? I think immigration reform is probably at the top of the list. Signed into law? I think by the end of the year we could have a bill. Passes the house and senate, signed by the president? No question. So mr. Speaker, the big question here is will john boehner -- should john boehner go forward with a bill that does not have the support of the majority of republicans. No. I don't think he will. I think he will find a way to get a majority of republicans and find a way to get a majority of democrats. It will be a more conservative bill than the senate, and stronger on border security than the senate. Do you think a majority of the republicans will sign on to a bill that includes a path to citizenship? Sure. Dependhe path and how long. Most people have go beliefs. One is you have to dong when you have 11 million people outside the legal system. The other is you have got to control the future and the border. And you've got to have some kind of employment system that includes guest workers or you're going to kid yourself and in ten years be back here. I think boehner has been very careful. He's not going to carry everybody. But I think he will carry a majority, or he won't bring a bill to the floor. Congressman, I have heard that you're going to meet, you and the hispanic democrats are going to meet with the speak they are week? Yeah. And I think that's a wonderful opportunity to engage in bipartisanship. Do you think he's serious? I certainly hope so. I've been in congress 20 years. This is the first time that i know 25, 30 democrats, members of the hispanic congressional caucus have gone to the speaker, not of our and we want to engage in our conversation, we're looking for a solution. I hope he will embrace our coming to him and work collectively. This can not be a bipartisan issue. We can talk about benghazi, syria, we can talk about obamacare and the implementation, let's not let this issue, the one issue in which we have seen republicans and democrats come together, fall into the morass of the bickering and fighting in washington, d.C. To say it's father's day. Okay? A study just came out this week in illinois, 56,000 children were left without a mom or a dad, some without parents in the last six years. It's something we have to answer. It's a tragedy, what's happening to american immigrant families. If this bill is not pulled to the right in the house, we saw whatteve king did with the dream act. This is a major test of whether or not our political system can get real things done. And I do believe with the bipartisan support that we've seen in the senate, there's a chance, if all these poison pills are not placed in its path, that we could see a path to getting this done this year. Immigration reform. Donna uses the word poison spill to describe the amendment. It's 134 pages long to a bill that's 800-some pages. Well, it's long, the bill itself is because there are provisions, for example, special exemptions for foreign ski instructors. Important, at the behest of the good senator from colorado. This is a very complicated cube they put together, the killer Bs, BENEFITS AND BORDERS. Don't secure the borders, you're not going to pass either house. And I think the follows, how do you secure the board center i know, there's a bipartisan way, you allow people to come through the system. That releases the stress on the border. Number two, legalize the 11 million that are here so we stop depa deporting them and they continue to try to come back to their american-citizen children. AND THE MAGNET, eVERIFY, HAVE AN Pliemt verification system that allows us who are born here get the first crack at any job. But it can't be just that border. That has many other competing interests that keep it secure or unsecure. It's now tangled up with the irs and the distrust of the executive branch. Because what the bill says is the executive branch will certify with the boarder is secure. I don't believe that the republicans in congress are going to take that. They're going to vote for or against a bill whether or not it's congress shall certify, no one trusts the executive branch anymore. Donna, how much further are democrats willing to move on this? I don't think democrats -- look, chuck shooumer is looking for an answer. He's working with the gang, this is the only show I can talk about gangs, to find a solution to the border. But the 2007 immigration bill that failed had metrics that the obama administration met in securing the border. We spent billions, I don't know how much more we can do. But we'll learn once another compromise -- we've got to take a quick break.
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