Interviews

Rep. Correa urges president to communicate with Congress

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 31, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  All right, we're moments away from hearing from the department of homeland services, John Kelly, the secretary there, who was meeting with reporters earlier today to explain this new Trump travel policy from those coming in from seven countries, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, deemed dangerous places.  

You might recall the secretary in briefing reporters today said this was not targeted by basis of religion.  If that were the case, 46 countries that have majority Muslim populations would have been targeted.  They are not, although Secretary Kelly did seem to acknowledge that the whole thing was maybe clumsily implemented and not really shared, information-wise, with a number of airports that had problems and inconsistencies dealing with what that executive order on the part of President Trump was all about.

One of those critics joins me now, California Democratic Congressman Lou Correa.  He's a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.  

Congressman, good to have you.  

REP. LOU CORREA, D-CALIFORNIA:  Neil, how are you?  

CAVUTO:  Good.

The Trump folks, Congressman, are saying this is not markedly different than efforts we have made in the past to weed out or slow down those visiting this country from other hot spots, the very same hot spots identified by Barack Obama.  What do you say to that?  

CORREA:  Well, maybe that's exactly the issue, Neil, because if you think back at the last few years, under Obama, three to four million people were deported, more people than all the other past presidents combined, including about a million American citizens deported.  

President Trump comes in with many promises.  Then you get all these the executive orders that are being implemented without talking to Democrats and some folks of his administration.  

So what you have is chaos, people in fear.  Why?  Because nobody knows what's going on.  And, remember, a lot of these people at the airports are people that have passed clearances, have had their visas checked, many of them close to becoming American citizens.  

So, we have chaos out there.  And that's why I think maybe what we need to do is turn to the courts.  Give these folks a lawyer, so we make sure if they have any rights, due process rights, they're taken care of.  Remember, we're still a democracy.  

CAVUTO:  Well, were you worried or had the same anger about President Obama's executive orders?  

CORREA:  I was very angry with President Obama's immigration policy, absolutely correct.  And I said that publicly.

CAVUTO:  And you went to court, you went to court to protest some of those moves?

CORREA:  I didn't see any of this stuff going on, but I publicly opposed President Obama on his immigration policies.  And what I'm doing now, as an...

CAVUTO:  OK.

So, this use of executive orders, I guess we had a lot under President Obama.  We have a lot early on under President Trump.  Presidents are free to issue them.  

CORREA:  But remember something, Neil.  

CAVUTO:  But it gets a little crazy.

So where do you see this going now, particularly when it comes to this policy?  We have got to weed out or potentially slow down, which the Trump administration says it's trying to do here, bad elements from getting in here.  

CORREA:  We have to protect Americans, no doubt.  We have to protect our citizens, Americans.

Look, I came to Washington to work with Democrats, work with Republicans, to work with whoever wants to work with me.  So, let's start working across the aisle before these executive orders are put out.  

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  Well, there's a concept.  No, I admire that, Congressman.

(CROSSTALK)

CORREA:  Why don't we start working together, information?

CAVUTO:  All right, now I know you're a freshman just in here.  So when you're looking at this world, it's very much rigidly here's what the Democrats are going to do, here's what the Republicans are going to do.  

But do you think there's something to what President Trump wants to do, to look at scary areas of the world and maybe more closely scrutinize who is coming from over there?  

CORREA:  I think we have been doing that all along.  And I think if the president wants to give it a second look, why doesn't he talk to us?

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  Well, we haven't been doing a great job, right?

CORREA:  Talk to the folks.  Talk to his administration.  Don't surprise people, sign an order in the middle of the night one evening.  Not even his folks know what's going on.  That's not the way to run a country.  

Let's work together.  We're all Americans.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  I know you're new to this.  And it might startle you.  But Barack Obama signed a lot of executive orders.  

Now, having said that, you think the whole executive order thing is just a bad idea, that presidents should slow down, if not stop it?  

CORREA:  Look, the president has a right to sign executive orders.  

All I'm saying is, let's talk and confer with folks, so we can make the whole process better.  Work with all of our friends, work with Republicans, as well as Democrats.  As you know, it's not only Democrats that have concerns, people in the administration as well.  

CAVUTO:  No, no.  You're right.  So, let me ask you, sir.

(CROSSTALK)

CORREA:  I admire General Kelly.  I think he's a great man.

CAVUTO:  No, no, he did a great job today.  

But let me ask you, though.  You mentioned that we have got to find a way to avoid mass deportations, but, by the same token, to protect ourselves.  

Do you think, since it turns out that these seven countries that are being targeted account for a fraction of the people who have done us harm, that we have to pursue better the folks who are already here and start scrutinizing much more closely where they are, who they're reaching out to?

Do you think we should be doing a lot more of that?  Because a lot of Democrats, when I raise that, they say, no, no, no.  

CORREA:  We should be scrutinizing everybody.  

We have a lot of homegrown terrorism.  Remember, Saudi Arabia was a source of the 9/11 terrorists.  But the way we start is working with people, intelligence with our friends not only in Israel, but in other Middle East countries.  

That's the way we have got to figure out this whole dynamic in terms of protecting our citizens, work with people, work with our friends.  Make sure we get to the source before things -- bad things happen.  

CAVUTO:  Yes, because they will happen if we keep doing what we're doing.  

CORREA:  Absolutely.  

CAVUTO:  All right, Congressman Correa, thank you very much, sir.  Very good having you.  

CORREA:  Thank you.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  

END

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