Liz Watson & #CitizenPresence (LIVE)
Hi everyone this is kelly with too broad talking politics <hes> we were going to attempt a live episode. It will be slightly taped delayed a so. I am on today with a returning guest. This is liz watson. Liz was on last year when she was running for congress. She is now the executive director of the congressional progressive caucus center up but today we are talking with her because she is in texas down near the border at one of the detention acivities hi kelly thanks so much for having me. I yeah thanks for coming back on a should tell me a little bit about this <unk>. A district <unk> came to be in where exactly you are right now. Absolutely so i'm standing on a small strip aside the highway in clint texas which is just a little ways outside of el paso and i with <hes> a number of the i think there are or seven of us who are part of a group of activists called citizen presence and we're at the border patrol station include texas at the u._s. Customs awesome border patrol station and this is the border patrol station that was the epicenter of <hes> a lot of the worst aspects of the family separation policy and the chicks out mistreatment of children and and we're having a bitch were standing out here. Let me just give you the visual. We've got <hes> candle randall that we're bolting up. We're getting a number of folks honking as they drive by which i think is talking because they agree with us with acceptable and we all have a bunch of times and if it's okay with you kelly maybe i could just ask the folks who are here to tell you the state that they're from because we actually have four states represented and and it just as quick. Hello yeah the okay awesome. So why don't we start with you. Elissa i heard new york so elizabeth from new york and she's holding a sign that says <hes> what happened to give me your tired your for your huddled methods joining degree creek speaking and she drew a beautiful picture liberty crying okay hi i'm joan infirmity and and my husband's big lawyer door decided to make this whole thing tonight <hes> and it does any aliens physically present in the united states meet shows for asylum and he's pointing out those actually in our law but people don't shut off making sensible and hi. I'm james. I'm from indiana hi hannah from liz pennsylvania. I am craig from silver spring maryland. What is your scientific. Weinstein says in your silent is not a crime. I am chatroom indiana university so i'm so we've got <hes> pennsylvania maryland new york and indiana representative here with citizen presents and why did you decide to go down now. Well you know i decided to go down because i've been reading the papers i i've been seeing as everybody has right. Your twitter feed fills up with the terrible horrible things that are happening. <hes> and clint really was where a lot of really terrible things happen on the floor without blankets children being cared for by older children so being cared for by april <music> not having to pay for medicine and and you know i am a parent of kids and i just can't imagine anybody who's he's being treated that way and they're treating my kicks that way i would want the whole country to show up for that and we think it's really important that just ordinary folks show up and say does not okay <hes> it's not okay that you know the the policy of our country right now toward migrants this protein and that's showing up in a lot of different ways to the day that we got here with actually as you probably know no which was founded twenty first with the day that the administration announced that it's gonna start depending families indefinitely so their responses people think we don't like then we seperation. It's okay to change your whole family investment. That is not okay. It's traumatic for children. It's dramatic family but that's just got an out so we felt like you know we knew we knew from the headlines but it is really different to be here. We wanted to help. We wanted to see firsthand. What's going on and we wanted to you. Go back to our communities and you tell people what we saw and that's equal to get involved and have asked people to put the pressure in the administration that we need to bring to bear in order to bring this to an end. That's why we can't what would have you been able to see are you. You're right outside the facility right now now. We're standing outside the facility. It's really eerie <hes> because it looks you know i mean i can actually actually. I think i'm seeing the first signs of life inside disability. I see somebody. I think moving around it. The way we do see you know some trucks going going back and forth. There are huge number. <hes> <hes> you know from the from the parking lot very huge number like hundreds of <hes> t._v. P. truck that the but it's very hard to know what's going on and this is one of the really terrible things about what's happening right. Now is people are getting detained. We don't know where they're going. Kids getting separated from your family. <hes> and shuffled around and people are getting shuffled around and that and then remain in mexico policy that the administration has been in place has meant that <hes> when people try to come and seek asylum they're basically immediately told go back to mexico taking number. They'll sit and more for as long as we feel like it and you know they may because metering maybe in your room to twenty or so folks who are actually allowed to come in and go through that process every day and the rest. Let's just stranded whereas <hes> and that's really story that we're hearing a lot about when we were here when we got here tonight we we're actually making sandwiches people who have been processed <hes> here on the u._s. Side and <hes> are being removed from detention sent back act one james. You wanna talk a little bit about that but let me let me let us your for some of the other folks if it's okay with you and you see good good for you to know why somebody why college student who when he's your research on monday so why somebody you know come all the way here when they've got school starting on monday <hes> what's important to you yeah well. Justice students are starting to go back to school. It reminds me of the immense privilege that a lot of citizens in the united united states students and seeing children being separated at the border from their family. It just reminds me. Of how important is that students around the country. Even if you're from a state not along the border it's still so important for students to stand up to their fellow pub youthful members of the world don't have the opportunities views that we're afforded here in the united states so that's why i came down right before school starts just to make sure that students who are crossing the border from mexico are also being heard and kelly while james talking a truck came in and the team out <hes> but there behind me you know heavy gates and it's really hard to know what's happening wants to go in and out and definitely hard to know who's in there. We've had a number of conversations with <hes> border. Advocacy organizations elected official official cetera and i don't think anybody you know knows from day to day. Situation is constantly constantly shifting and that's part of the part it right is this the plan is to make it so difficult so dangerous so uncomfortable and so painful <hes> the people just won't give up and stop seeking asylum in the town. We're talking about refugees who are fleeing their suffering for secure shen and this is <hes> what our country does is it supposed to have this is what we are supposed to do is to have a product that a humane process <hes> for processing those claims but you know what we've what we've seen on from our administration so much in humanity still e you said that these <hes> that some of these migrants answer being told to go back to whereas in wait there indefinitely because they're not giving anything they have nothing with them except except that you've packed for them right you can allow that you're asking what question yes so that the people who are going back to juarez they they have essentially nothing with them then and they're being asked to wait however ever long they're. They're being asked to wait without knowing ahead of time yeah hi kelly. This is jet <hes> tansu question yet. It's an indefinite wait. I oregon at sports summit. <hes> we've heard recently that the newest migrants entering the border or get support second lock all the way up to january or february up to there being seeded into shelters where they have very little if anything <hes> and then cries then can't even get into shelters right yeah and if you're out on the street it's just gets worse and worse <hes> the crime rate in china where any money or material that you have people five there were has gotten pretty dangerous for the migrants were there and migrants are so worried that they're going to have to sleep out on the street and you're worried about homicide worried. If our gang rapes they're worried us you know for their life and this is why you know the u._s. Is subjecting them to by turning back and then he concerned about the conditions <hes> you know that they're being basically summarily dumped into and presumably it's for some of them equally dangerous to to turn around and try to go back to their home countries but you know that's why they were leaving in the first place yeah so we're you know repeating. She thinks what we're hearing. I mean some people are giving up and <hes> making the journey back you know they usually in many of these cases. They had to pay a ton of money to get up here so don't try anything less and they're trying to get back <hes> but but the reality is a lot of these people i mean think about it. They're fleeing persecution and they're trying to get somewhere where they can make a decent life for themselves and their families and eight the united states hanging. We don't care <hes> and we think i think i think everybody in this group thing you you know it it reflects the policy <hes> frankly <hes> targeting people of color reflects the white supremacist genesis <hes> thinking that they can hold in the united states really ugly really and you know we have been working for ordinary citizens to stand out and and that's what this group that had been present is all about. It's would you out what it is and how we all ended up here with them yet. Okay chris hi. This is close neum so presents. A is an organization that is really empowering. <hes> not activists not not politicians but regular people to come out to the border and see what's happening for themselves and you take that back to their own bubbles in their own communities and share. What's happening 'cause a lot lot of times. <hes> i know it from my own personal experience you read what's on the news and you try and share it but a lot of people are sheltered from what's really happening and when someone even know actually actually talking about it and they're they're i think a lot more people are <hes> unfortunately or fortunately so they're more willing to listen to what's happening <hes> and care kelly. I think that one of the most wonderful things that we've seen down here houses community pulling together and you see what american values are all about on display enforced <hes> with so many community organizations stone any individual. Oh people who are just you together and going whether it's warranted brain food and water and thanked burs and whatever folks shoelaces wasted because they take their shoelace any <hes> to people when they land in warren and here <hes> today we met with the border network for human and right to have been organizing that community i try to call for more accountability with the border agents and stop the human rights abuses <hes>. They've organized two thousand families to participate in family network and you know they said to me. You know we're we're not we. We don't want people to think of the victim victim. We are people who are coming together and we're sending our power and we're staying. We're not okay. <hes> and our communities are standing strong here. You're now taco so that that story is <hes> a really beautiful one and year when you just really it's not just people coming in from across the country august the two we are right. We are at the nation it. Do we need to be so that's probably been one of those major highlights. The trip are are there concerns about the health of the migrants. I know you know there. There's in the news now that they're not going to be getting flu shots <hes> when they're in detention facilities have to imagine that the situation in whereas could mean disease spreading rapidly yeah yeah <hes>. We're really concerned about that. You know me if we got into tension is it's an obligation asian have united states <hes> to keep them in condition then the other example you know the administration plan to make it so horrendous for six years that they effectively you know get from doing it but i'll tell you what people do keep coming back and they'd you keep coming back and when this is an odd mixture place where they have a chance making decent life for their families wait and being persecuted in their countries. They're going to keep coming and we have to figure out you mean when he to process refugee claims <hes> so i'm jewish. It's my husband's jewish. <hes> we have family who was able to come here before the started in germany and now here here are the i have family members who perished. She didn't come this israel. We have an obligation as a nation to take these asylum claim seriously ashley and not just you know do whatever we can wash people. I'm actually standing here with i. <hes> you know another anything that we did while we were here when you think about that has just talking about <hes> that we did is we went to the state right at the terrorist attack to the memorial for the mass shooting and it was just another one is an amazing community expression <hes> criteria on a day a little bit about what we thought there. Oh yeah there's just such an outpouring of love and you could just tell from the personalized more health. Each one of the people's was lost. The individual tributes such both of i mean keeps aren't took the flowers and the jewelry and personal facts and stuffed animal handle. There's so much and i just think anyone could spend just coming out of never been here before overwhelmed by what amazing they sit there. He said we have a one percents <hes> understanding and so it's an example of what you are elicited next basement. They've lived there with the very integrated community and <hes> it's not it's not question of keep. Keep the people on one side. The other you know pass on charges are really want community ashim militarizing the important truly integrated community <hes> it's it's not the store of it was just by saying you know these are this is one people here between juarez and el paso. I think of themselves you know as links thanks <hes> today we went to the amazing part schaal which is on the commemorates the shared history and the peace between whereas in el paso so <hes> and they were having tribute <hes> talking about their shared history and and it should be shared leader and it was just you know the cognitive if distance between that and what is happening here and the policies that are being of hatred dependency. They're being put in place with pretty hard takes yeah. What would you like. Everyone who's listening to to do. What are some actions that we can be taking so you know. If you have time i think being able to actually you're right. I'm from the right now. We're living living on and we have had no experience of what it's really like on the border. <hes> d it for yourself. Be able talk to your friends talk to people community. There are opportunities to volunteer and then of course i mean the reality is right that there are amazing organizations amazing anything on prophets that we've had the opportunity to meet with who needs support <hes> who need help the cell phones are just bursting after heat the folks who are making tonight. We were making sandwiches. We were we were shopping and buying all kinds of non perishable to take the stage stake out with nothing. Go make a donation. I'll go ahead kelly and host when i get home and the resource places where people can donate and i'll tell you and they can come with citizen presents which is just awesome d._i._y. Activist organisation. I that is basically thank. You folks from across the country. There is something you can do. You can make your voice heard and i. I think he's a little drop in the bucket. I'm not eh time like this. When you have a nutrition trying to normalize hatred that's trying to normalize like trying to criminal things <hes> people who are fleeing persecution. It's really important for all of us that this is not normal and and so this is the way to do that yeah so we have yeah no go ahead. Oh it was just gonna mention <hes> so my friends who this is really interesting. I decided to come. I see a whole bunch of people reached out and said yeah. You know be wanting to go through. This is why he is <hes> a nine and a small business owner from pennsylvania <hes> <hes> and originally in kansas and she's holding a sign right now kelly. I love that says what is your sign bay. You stop treating humans blake. Garbage truly be valid. What's happening down here and we're not just talking about in mexico on the american soil we are treating gene families children and i'll tell stories today that is haunting. I'm i'm not sure how can his back to pennsylvania but we were told that the agent has keep e._s._p. From the children crying and i i just can't imagine a child just just crying for so long and the agents you know the eight seventy agents have hearts you know he can't say that they don't love loves people and loves children. This is their job they're being. They were forced to warehouse yeah under hundreds of people that fraction but that's something that's on me and i and i think that they look we need to be treating these people. Humanely needs to be loving them and i'm not sure how we got this other than just dragging down so another thing that we can do as we can talk to our elected leaders call that email them the hey look. This needs to change. That's right and we have you know we have the opportunity to call for a lot more humanity <hes> in the way that that we're treating people who are coming into the united states that the the u._s. and i'm not an immigration expert but we have had policies in the past like the family case management of dumb you know where we allow people if you be released to family members to await court date and honestly why would you not do that because you know we ended up actually dollars. There's are not being fence. It's very expensive but a lot of money is going to private contractors a lot of cases too terrible ability. You know you're not sending those. There's probably contractor dollars. They're cared for header hanford their family eats and if the ri the data on the the family case management because there are some of the affected if you and it saves money why why isn't the government doing that you know why are they going to great lengths to put people in places that are just absolutely raw and now rather than that <hes> in some cases. I mean it's it's really serve. It's hard to get a grip on exactly what's happening in any given. We constantly moving but there's people who are in detention. There's people some people who are released sponsored the united states a lot of people who are being sent back to mexico to just wait indefinitely and that's true in border towns <hes> all across our border and and so you know we actually tried to go today to the immigration court <hes> they're now calling the m. p. P. court after the very poorly means misnamed mega protection policy which actually migration danger right <hes> and they had i. I think that they had a hundred and twenty people this morning two hundred tomorrow i mean they wouldn't let us in so <hes> you you know it is really important that we continue to bear witness and and that particular things calling attention to what's happening. I need any refusing to look away. <hes> i told myself when trump took office that i was gonna try to continue to be vigilant and i wasn't gonna let this become komo <hes> and it's hard you know you you know we also get into our own little bubbles and for me my kids and my insane dog and work and whatever else you know trying to once in a while to exercise <hes> and it's very easy so you kind of forget on a daily basis the people that are suffering in the united being you know at the hint of arbitration and we can't forget we have to remember we have to shine a light yeah so <hes> you know there's so many people here who are doing amazing work and parachuting in for a couple of days <hes> <hes> but i i think however people can continue to the with the sheer and continues to demand changes the man that your elected officials may change demand that the trump construction may change. I am so move to just listening to the stories. You guys are telling. I can't imagine what it's like to to be. There and i'm so glad that you guys are there. You know as you said bearing witness in seeing it in experiencing a being being able to bring it back to your communities as so i am very thankful the that you're there in that you're you're talking to us in helping us learn a little little more feel a little more. I think we all sort of intellectually know what's going on but but having sort of the emotional impact of that you know it's <hes> in many ways. It's really incredible. <hes> the story great that we're hearing and and we're hearing kind of all of this you know those <hes> has been through from live four days from daughters. <hes> story of i talked to a couple of teenagers yesterday. Who said you know in all of our families you the knicks got it right in terms of people's papers and we're all so worried for our family members and you know and and we were made right in the middle of all this you know and it's ground zero a lot of the trump administration you first family separation and then my protection the there's a lot of that stuff was here and you know they're dealing with all of that and then what happens right. There's a terrorist attack on your community. There's i trade in mississippi. <hes> you know folks here deserve better but i'll tell you that this is the community that it's strong and i'm doing that is a message that we heard over and over and over again which <hes> anybody's team that share and i know that they are going to get through those yeah well. I want to thank you guys for talking to me tonight. Thanks so much for everything that it you are all doing in. We'll make sure we're we're amplifying the post. You're making on twitter as well and then you know if you send that list of resources will be sure that people get that okay that sounds wonderful and kelly thanks so much for the work that you do congratulations on them cath awesome and <hes> we will definitely send the resources your way all right. Thank thank thank you all of you. Thanks so much okay bye bye.