First 100 Days

Americans debate the impact of Trump's travel ban

This is a rush transcript from "First 100 Days," February 3, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST:  Breaking tonight, new challenges to President Trump's travel ban.  One week to the day after the controversial executive order was issued.  Welcome to a town hall edition of "The First 100 Days," everyone.  I'm Martha MacCallum.

So for the past week, we have witnessed political fireworks, protests and now legal maneuvering over the president's executive order that temporarily restricts entry into the United States from seven Muslim majority nations.

The president and his supporters argue that this is a matter of national security.  Detractors say that it flies in the face of American ideals and the U.S. constitution.  So tonight we look to separate fact from fiction. And in moments, we will be joined by a powerful panel representing all sides of this hot-button issue.

But we begin with Trace Gallagher, reporting from our West Coast newsroom on how we got here.

Good evening, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening, Martha.  The executive order was the result of extreme vetting President Trump promised during the campaign.  It barred nearly all travelers except U.S. citizens from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

It also suspended the refugee program for 120 days to give the Department of Homeland Security a chance to review screening procedures.  But there were questions as to how much guidance homeland security and the Department of Justice were given about how to implement the order.  Even many who support the intent of the order criticize the rollout and the chaotic aftermath.

Because when the order was signed, some visa holders and refugees were already flying to the U.S.  Upon arrival, they were detained and in some cases, turned around.



ANISA THOBHANI, ATTORNEY:  They gave us no time to repair so you're getting on this flight, thinking that, you know, when you go to America with a valid visa, you're going to be able to get through, and then you can't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are a group of attorneys, translators and other volunteers.  We represent over ten non-profit organizations and ten private firms.


GALLAGHER:  And while pro-bono attorneys show up at airports across the country, so did protesters, by the thousands.



ANDRE SEGURA, ACLU ATTORNEY:  I think the president is attempting to divide us and I think that the people here, especially who came to the airport to protest to stand up for these people are saying we're not going to define that.


GALLAGHER:  The White House began pushing back with the president saying that if he had announced the ban ahead of time, he would've tipped off, quote, "A lot of bad dudes out there."  That in turn prompted criticism of Trump's use of the word "ban."

The president responded by tweeting, quote, "Call it what you want.  It's about keeping bad people with bad intentions out of the country."  But the White House then said this.



SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  That's not a ban.  What it is is to make sure that the people who are coming in are vetted properly from seven countries that were identified by the Obama demonstration.  A ban would mean people can't get in.  We've clearly seen hundreds of thousands of people coming into our country from other countries.


GALLAGHER:  We should note federal judges in New York and Washington State issued emergency stays preventing travelers from being sent back to their home countries and yesterday, an Iranian man who had been sent home became the first person allowed to return to the U.S. following a federal judge's ruling.


MACCALLUM:  Thank you very much, Trace.  So let's bring in our panel, a group of lawyers, veterans, civil rights advocates, law enforcement, political strategists, and everyday Americans who feel very strongly for or very strongly against President Trump's executive order.  So let's bring everyone in.

Good to have you all with us today.  Thank you very much for being here.

I want to start with James Pechi in the back row there.  You are a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan war.  Your personal feelings when you heard about this executive order and how you think it's going so far.

JAMES PECHI, IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN COMBAT WAR VETERAN:  So when I first heard about it, you know, what I thought was the ability that the president is giving homeland security in the appropriate different departments the chance to take some time and to think about what's actually taking place.

You know, what's going on, who are they letting in, what are the review standards, who are the agencies involved, how we are doing it and why we are doing it?

When I saw that, it was great.  I was like, OK, well, this is a good chance for us to a pregnant pause and to see what's going on.  When I started to look it, so I do analytic, social analytics, I went and looked at who is really driving the conversation.  There's a lot of left-leaning publications and, you know, media outlets that are deriving this news in a completely downward spiral that this is some kind of like bad, negative connotation towards the people.  It's not that.  It's about protecting Americans and protecting us in our ability to be able to, you know, move forward and go forward.

MACCALLUM:  And it's such a good point, because part of this is what the words actually say and how it's enacted, but the other part of it is how it's perceived and that's a very powerful thing and everybody is nodding, that that's such a huge part of this.

David Tafuri, let me go to you.  Former Obama administration.  I know you are very much against this, you know.  Is it -- does make sense legally and does it carry forward in a way that makes us safer?  That's a big issue here.

DAVID TAFURI, FORMER OBAMA STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL:  I don't think that the executive order was drafted in a way that will make us safer.  The reason is that it bans people from seven countries, but those seven countries have not been a source of the people that have come here and attacked us.  None of those countries have been the place where people came from.

The attackers in San Bernardino, the attackers in Orlando, New Jersey, New York bombings, those people didn't come from any of those seven countries. So it's not well-calculating.  The purpose can't possibly be to protect us better because if that was the purpose, they would have picked up the countries that sourced those people.

I think it was an effort to make an announcement to the world that we are going to be tougher on Muslims in general.  The problem with that is that's not well calculated with our overall strategy in the Middle East, which number one, the priority should be to defeat ISIS.

I was in Iraq last month.  Things are finally going pretty well in the war against ISIS.  We have ISIS on their heels in Mosul.  And we have Iraqis, who are working closely with us who are risking their lives to fight ISIS. Think about the message it sends to those Iraqis.

Moreover, it cuts off the Refugee Resettlement Program, which is one way that we are able to reward the Iraqis who serve as interpreters for our U.S. military and who risk their lives to do that and allows them to come over here to feel safe when their lives are in danger.

MACCALLUM:  I mean, the issue of Iraq and how Iraq has dealt with in this is something that people feel very strongly about.

And, Carl, you also served -- Carl Higbie -- in Iraq.  You lost friends there.  You worked with interpreters, no doubt.  You worked with people in Iraq, who were there to help.  And the feeling is that they feel slighted by this.  That they are not sort of embraced in this, is that true or not?

CARL HIGBIE, VETERAN OF OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM:  No.  The thing is there's many interpreters who do feel that way, but there's many who don't like Johnny Walker who's been on, out on this program with you.

And to the issue of the fact that we are finally beating back ISIS, we're not.  Geographically, they are shrinking in Iraq and Syria and places like that.  But the problem is that it metastasized now to, you know, 20 or 30 different countries and that's the fundamental misunderstanding with people who worked with the Obama administration that think that they are -- we are winning the war against ISIS.  We are fundamentally not.

And anybody who says we are should obviously take a look at the global prospects of this thing.  And the Syrian refugee thing that we stopped along with six other countries, we have to acknowledge the fact that like Iran and places like that, well, some of these attackers didn't come from Iran.  They are the largest world state sponsor of terror.

So, yes, this is a start, just like -- much like ObamaCare.  Nothing was perfect when they rolled it out.  It's not perfect now, anyway, but they made changes as they go along.  Same with us.

This will be -- this is a 120-day moratorium.  Things will change down the line and they will be added and taken off and improved.  But this is a start to protect the United States of America.

MACCALLUM:  So raise your hand if you think that the roll out of this went well?

One, two.

Joe, tell me why.

JOSEPH CONNOR, LOST FAMILY MEMBERS TO TERRORISM:  I think it depends on who you're talking to whether it went well or not.  I think it's -- when according to Trump's idea.  Look, I've been in business and I've seen that times -- you get things out there to get it rolling.  Sort of what Carl just said.  If you wait until everything is perfect, it will never happen. You will go in circles.

Donald Trump was bold.  Put it out there.  He knows it's not perfect.  He knows he's going to adjust, but it's fair.  And now he's on the offensive and everyone is reacting to him, which is the way we want it.

MACCALLUM:  So someone who believes that it didn't go well, what damage do you think would potentially cause by that, Darrin?

DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER NYPD LIEUTENANT:  Well, it caused an isolation effect.  You have different people -- you have people coming from different countries and they feel a level of isolationism.  But just going back to the countries that were placed on this ban, why wasn't Belgium placed on this list?  We see strictly Muslim countries.

However, when I look at both, Belgium, they have one of the worst vetting processes out there.  And when we are taking consideration as Carl mentioned with the Iraqi interpreters, we are training Iraqi fighter pilots in Arizona as we speak.  And so that provides more of an isolationist theory from us as Americans and we need to embrace the Iraqis allies.

MACCALLUM:  Who thinks that this ban could potentially stir up more hostility?  More violence towards our country?

Qasim Rashid, please.

QASIM RASHID, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY USA:  It will stir more hostility because it's sending a very wrong message.  You have someone like Rudy Giuliani saying that the president called me and said make it a Muslim ban and make it look legal.  Now whatever he meant to say, what came out is we're trying to legitimize bigotry against Muslims.

What we have with us right now is a suspension of people from seven countries that have never harmed us.  We had a horrible situation in Canada, where six Muslims were murdered by a white supremacist and the president didn't even bother calling it terrorism or acknowledge the fact that it's white supremacy and now we are compounding that with the president removing the federal surveillance on white supremacy organizations altogether, who by the way the FBI has acknowledged and admitted is a single, biggest terror threat to America more than ISIS.

So the message that's being sent is that white supremacy terrorism is OK and we're going to let it flourish and we're going to target Muslims even though the FBI tells us that the greater threat is white supremacy.  And that is going to allow us to be more vulnerable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Who is your source?

RASHID:  The FBI.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation.


RASHID:  So now the FBI is illegitimate because it's under Obama?  I mean, these alternative facts simply don't work.  You have Kellyanne Conway citing a massacre that didn't exist.


MACCALLUM:  Well, she had since amended her answer on that and said that she talked about -- she meant to refer to it as a plot that is in the works and those people were sent back.  But, Diane, go ahead.  What do you want to respond?


DIANE ATKINS, GRASSROOTS ACTIVIST & TRUMP SUPPORTER:  Was this not the same list of countries that Barack Obama had listed?  And so why is it now that it's about isolationism and white supremacy?  No.  We have to understand that.

We have sovereignty in this country.  We have a right to protect that.  We had intelligence officers that in a hearing in front of congress said we cannot vet these people.  We do not know who they are.  They have no documentation.  They come out of the woodwork.  They don't know who they are.  Why should we put ourselves in danger?  Have a resettlement camp.  We could do things like that in Muslim majority regions, where they will be more comfortable themselves.

We are not trying to ban Muslims.  There are many countries that were not on this list, that's pause, so that's nonsense.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  We've got a lot of people who want to chime in, but we are going to take a quick break.  And I promise, we're going to get to all of you.

Still ahead, protests have erupted across the nation in response to the immigration executive order.  Many describing it as a, quote, "Muslim ban," which you just heard in this room.  Is that fair?  Is that what this is?

Up next, our panel will discuss.  We'll be right back.


JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY:  This is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system.


MACCALLUM:  President Trump's executive order on immigration has dominated the news cycle and it may have something to do with charged headlines like these.

Slate magazine wrote, quote, "Of Course It's a Muslim Ban."  Rolling Stone said "Donald Trump's Muslim ban makes us less American."  And Vox, wrote this, quote, "Trump's Muslim ban is a huge gift to ISIS."

So is that designation fair?  The administration says unequivocally no.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR:  When he first announced it, he said Muslim ban.  He called me up and he said put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.  And what we did was we focused on, instead of religion, danger.  The areas of the world that create danger for us, which is a factual basis, not a religious basis.

KELLY:  This is not, I repeat, not a ban on Muslims.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Clearly it's not.  It's not a Muslim ban.  It's not in any way associated with religion.


MACCALLUM:  All right.  So let's get back to our panel to discuss this. You just heard all of those quotes.  Yes, sir?

So I know there was a pounce on what Diane just said a little while ago. But, you know, the fact is, you know, we had eight years of an Obama administration who is pretending that there was zero problems with regard to Islamic terrorism, problems in the Middle East.  He completely turned a blind eye to it.

COUNCIL NEDO, REVEREND, PROJECT 21 BLACK LEADERSHIP:  Now people might have issues with the nuances and machinations that are going on regarding President Trump's new immigration policy, but at least he's actually trying to do something and he's actually addressing a real problem and it's a serious problem.

ZESHAN HAMID, COUNCIL ON PAKISTAN U.S. RELATIONS:  I totally disagree with my neighbor over here.  Yes, I totally disagree with my buddy over here. You see, you've got to understand one thing.  First of all, President Obama never turned a blind eye to the Middle East, OK.

Yemen came in during the time of President Obama.

NEDO:  He never gave a critical look, though, either.

HAMID:  He gave a critical look.

NEDO:  He did not gave a critical look.

HAMID:  He tried to do whatever he can do.  The challenge over here is your labeling it.  You're not only labeling it, but you're also...


MACCALLUM:  Zeshan, you have the floor, now go ahead.

HAMID:  You're not only are labeling this, but you're also saying oh, but the Christians are allowed and this has been said, but the Christians are allowed.  Either are refugees.

The people had -- their countries have been bombed, right?  Your country -- thank God our country has not been bombed, all right.  These people need to get out, they need a refuge.  And --


MACCALLUM:  One of the issues that are raised by that, though, and I want people to weigh in on this, hold on one second, is, you know, why we didn't help after the red line was crossed, right?

You know, we weren't -- now, there's all this need for compassion for these individuals, but yet, when they were crying out to us, as you say and being killed by the hundreds of thousands in their countries, we did not really do as much as we could have to helped someone say.

NEDO:  But the fact is if you look at a lot of this countries over the -- let's talk about Syria specifically.  You know, they've had the civil war going on now for, you know, quite some time, almost five years.  The Christians were the ones that are being, probably the most persecuted there in that country.

They've been driven out of their homes by ISIS.  All the minority groups there had been pushed out, bullied, attacked by ISIS and other groups, fundamentalist groups over there.  I don't have a problem if we decide to bring Christians from Syria over here to the United States.

NUSRAT QADIR, ICU NURSE, CONCERNED MUSLIM:  I'm sorry, I disagree completely, because the biggest people that are subject to terror by ISIS are Muslims.  And they are victims of terrorism.  And any victim --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We're talking about pure numbers versus percentage --


QADIR:  No, no, I'm talking about worldwide.  Muslims have been killed more and attacked more by ISIS than any other group.  And they deserve a right in this country to be -- seek refuge from terrorism.  And that's what America --


MACCALLUM:  All right, that raises a question, you know, then why wouldn't Muslims want to have the greatest protection of our borders so that we can make sure that anybody who does, you know, want to cause harm is not able to get in to hurt more Muslims.

QADIR:  I agree with you on that.  But I think the thing is, is that our vetting process is very, very concise and very, very thorough.  If you are a refugee, everything that you go under for the two-year process of being vetted, that alone has proven to be a wonderful model, not to mention, no refugee has ever struck back here in America against Americans.


MACCALLUM:  Go ahead, Peter.

PETER LUMAJ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY:  I have to disagree with her.  The question over here is whether the president has the constitutional power to temporarily suspend immigration in the United States.  And if you go back to the 1952 Act, Immigration Nationality Act, the Congress specifically authorizes the president to do exactly what he's doing if there is a national security concern.

I came to United States as a refugee myself with my family.  We were vetted properly.  We submitted fingerprints and background investigation and blood test and you name it.  We needed America.  America didn't need us as refugees.  We needed America.  We want this nation to remain as safe as possible.

What the president is doing right now is what President Carter did in 1979 with the Iranian crisis, when we had the hostage crisis.  President Obama did the exact same thing in 2011 when we had two refugees from Iraq -- from Iraq, we had two refugees who weren't investigated by the FBI that they had blood on their hands, when they killed Americans in Iraq and they were arrested here --


MACCALLUM:  I hear what you're saying.  Jessica, go ahead.

JESSICA TARLOV, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  I absolutely hear what you're saying.  This is a narrative coming out of the right-wing at this moment that this is exactly what Obama did in 2011.  There were two Iraqi refugees who were building a bomb in Kentucky, Bowling Green, not a massacre.


And what happened was, we have to slow down.  There was not one month where the U.S. stopped taking Iraqi refugees.  The process was slowed down, but it was not halted.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I've got a question.  I've got a question over here for him.


MACCALLUM:  Is it inhumane to ask people to wait 90 days?  Is that an unreasonable thing to ask for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My question --


THERESA INACKER, 2ND AMENDMENT ADVOCATE & MOTHER:  I think what we are seeing is a shift in our thinking since 9/11.  We have been reactive in our approach to national security.

His rolling out wasn't necessarily very smooth, but it's proactive and we need to change our thinking.  I think proactive is the way to approach terror.  He is taking proactive steps and I think that that's important.



MACCALLUM:  Quickly, last thought then we're going to come right back.

CHAUDHRY:  Stepping back, leadership matters.  Leadership in the Muslim world matters as well.  Right now, the narrative on Islam is defined by Daesh and ISIS.  I want to look at proven models versus shallow theories on how to address this.  As a Muslim, I want to keep America safe.

I thank Carl and others for the service that they have given, but we've got to look at proven models.  Proven models like the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community where its worldwide leader, his Holiness Hazrat Mirza, have led people in 206 nations with zero acts of terrorism.

So in order to keep America safe, and he has said, let me tell you what he said, a Muslim leader, he said our mosques are open, transparency is important to trust.  And opening up and living a democracy.  So I think if we understand Islam, if we truly as Americans understand what true Islam is versus these shallow theories and this misinterpretation, we will be able to keep America safe and that's a conversation I want to have.

MACCALLUM:  All right.  We're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back.

Still ahead, President Trump's executive order producing widespread outrage.  But on the other side of the break, we're going to show you what some of President Obama's top intelligence officers said about vetting refugees and the need to do that over the past few years.


JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR, U.S. NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE:  I don't obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees so that is a huge concern of ours.



MACCALLUM:  So President Trump and his top officials have often brought up the issue of safeguarding America as the main motivator behind the order that was signed on January 27th.  But they are not unique in that.  Top intelligence officials from the Obama administration routinely warned of the issues with vetting refugees, especially as it related to terror-rich nations.

Watch this.  


CLAPPER:  I don't obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees so that is a huge concern of ours.

JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY:  I agree with the assessment that had been expressed here earlier that this is a population of people that we're not going to know a whole lot about necessarily coming from Syria.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR:  We did discover in people who had come in as refugees from Iraq, a number of people who were a serious concern including two that were charged when we found their fingerprints on improvised explosive devices from Iraq.  And there was no doubt that that was the product of a less than excellent vetting.

JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR:  ISIL has a cadre of western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the west.  And the group is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West including refugee flows.


MACCALLUM:  Some powerful comments there.

So we are back with our panel to discuss.  So the issue that's raised here is, is it that different in terms of what the Trump administration wants to do and what their concerns are, and what the Obama administration wanted to do and what their concerns are?


RAHEEL RAZA, CLARIONPROJECT.ORG:  Yes.  I feel that we are holding President Trump to a different standard from any other world leader.  And this is the mass hysteria that has been orchestrated by the anti-Trump movement which is totally deflected from the real issue that as a democratically-elected leader of this country, he has the right to implement policies about the long-term safety and security.

They are radical Jihadist ideology that is at play is well-known to everyone.  It's not something that we can hide our heads under the sand like President Obama did for eight years and appeasement was his problem. President Trump doesn't have to be a peace people.  He has to implement the policies that will be for the benefit of both American-Muslims and non- Muslims in the whole country.

DAVID BIER, IMMIGRATION POLICY ANALYST AT CAIRO:    Both sides are massively inflating the threat of terrorism.  When you're a child and you see a random murder that occur on television, and your parents go to you and say the threat is so small.  And yet what they do not tell you, what American parents are not telling their children, apparently, is that the threat of terrorism is 300 times or 3,000 times less than the threat of seeing murder on the street.  

MACCALLUM:  We are going to the front row here, to Tiara and Patience. Your experiences first hand in a bathroom in Orlando.  

TIARA PARKER, ORLANDO NIGHT CLUB SHOOTING SURVIVOR:  The problem is, actually a lot of people, don't get me wrong with the statistics as she said a lot of the stuff -- what I went through, this man was nowhere near from any of those countries listed on that list or any other country from over there, wherever the case maybe.  He was born right here in New York and he is sitting in these chairs.  My issue is that, what we do to protect us from here?  We are our own threat.  I've never heard of somebody actually coming from overseas to really harm us.  Now the 21 years that I've been sitting here in this chair and living.  

PATIENCE CARTER, ORLANDO NIGHT CLUB SHOOTING SURVIVOR:  The only thing that the executive order does is, create anti-American sentiments in the Middle East and places where they haven't even (inaudible).  They hate us already, but we are increasing that.  The way that the executive order was implemented, it wasn't the right way.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We can debate that.  


ROBERT BARTLETT, VETERAN OF OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM:  What we are trying to say, you know what, 109,000 or 109 people, whatever the true number is, is all that matters.  The reality is, is that we have 300 million Americans that he is trying to protect.  Some people are going to get hurt in this process.  That is a reality.  The military fights for everybody and so does Trump.  That is a reality.  Hold on one second here.  The reality is this.  
Is that you've got people who are going over and fighting these wars who spent years away from their families.  They spent a few months being held up in some process to be vetted, it's not a big deal.  It's better than being blown up by Iraq, because we care about the country.  

TARLOV:  I respect every single person who served for our country.  I thank them until the end of time.  I'm curious about when this ban or whatever we're calling came out.  There were visa holders who weren't allowed in. We have heard now there are over a hundred thousand visa holders, green card holders.  

BARTLETT:  There is 300 hundred million.  


IMAM HAMMAD AHMAD, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY USA:  Speak out when you do it like this.  You demonize an entire religion of people, but terrorism has no religion.  When I was in Uganda, I lived there for six months.  There is a Christian-based terrorist organization.  They are called Lord's Resistance Army.  They are raping, killing, naming Muslims in the name of Christ, but we did not talk about them like this.  Terrorism has no religion.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We are supposed to be a problem of being a Muslim. It doesn't really make (inaudible).  

DIANE ATKINS, POLITICAL ACTIVIST:  Terror investigations and every single state right now as we speak, right here in the United States.  We are not saying ban Muslims, pick on Muslims, we are all Americans.  

MACCALLUM:  Jerry you go ahead.  And then I am going to go to Oscar.  



MACCALLUM:  Hold on a minute.  Guys, take one second.  

ODOM:  First of all, it is un-American to discriminate against anyone based on raise religion or anything like that.  I'm a veteran and also a retired law enforcement officer.  When somebody made a comment before about the intelligence community, a lot of people don't know that what type of information they have and it is a lot more than what we think.  I was in the intelligence community and I heard things of the public would cringe if they heard the sort of things that were taking place.  Now the execution of it, the rollout may have been bad, but if you look throughout history, the executive orders have been given out since Washington.  Some of the orders that may have shut the (inaudible) were also Abraham Lincoln, when he gave out the executive order about the emancipation proclamation.  Truly, when he gave out the executive order regarded the desegregation of the troops. Eisenhower when he gave the one desegregation of the school, so some times we shocked the conscious.  This gives an opportunity for both sides of the aisle for these 120 days to look at this and to see if the vetting process has changed.  What happened yesterday may not be the same today when it comes to the intelligence community.  So just because something didn't happen the way you thought a few days ago, today it may be something new. If I had this information, I'm not going to say I'm going to do this because the latest intelligence says that we have these types of threats. We can't tell everybody everything that we know because there will be an issue.  And the thing is, like I said, and I let go of the mic.  The thing this is that, discrimination against anyone is wrong.  Discrimination and the thing are, I agree, because it is threat, the thing is those 120 days.  

MACCALLUM:  we will be right back.  Up next President Trump controversial executive orders sparking massive protest in airport and cities across the nations, so if the order constitutional?  That is the question that arrived in courts across the nation earlier today.  It will provide you with both sides of the legal debate straight ahead so that you know what you think about this at home, you can decide.  We will be right back.  


MACCALLUM:  President Trump's executive order on immigration prompted a legal showdown in the weeks since his signature.  The fight over constitutionality of this move has played out in courtrooms across the land.  Just this morning, new hearings taking place in Massachusetts and in Virginia.  The fight continues to provoke strong feelings on both sides of the debate obviously, as you seen here tonight.  Here now Constitutional Professor Jonathan Turley and Carol Rose, Executive Director of ACLU. Watch.  


CAROL ROSE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ACLU:  This order violates the first amendment, religious freedom, this order violates the first amendment protection for free speech and right to petition the government.  This order violates the equal protection clause end of the due process clause of the constitution and it's a clear abuse of power.  It must be pushed back.  

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF LAW:  I think the odds are in his favor.  This is not a Muslim ban a court is not going to read on to it, that this is a religious test, because it excludes mostly other countries.  


MACCALLUM:  We are back now with our panel.  So, hold on we are going to go to the lawyers here first.  I haven't heard from Richard Roth.  Welcome. Is it or is it not constitutional?  

RICHARD ROTH, ATTORNEY:  It may very well be constitutional.  There are three issues.  One it is whether it's constitutional, two is whether it is defined by the statute and three is whether the procedure would work.  The Process aside, it may very well be constitutional.  You give tremendous latitude to the executive branch in any of their orders.  It is very hard for a federal court judge in letting our separation of power and our three divisions of our legislature, our congress and our executive branch to actually determine that an act by the president, which was done to protect, as it said, to protect the citizens is unconstitutional.  So I'm going to bet on the side of it being constitutional.  But it is a close call, especially in light of the way it is done.  

MACCALLUM:  Michael?  

MICHAEL WILDES, ATTORNEY TO FIRST LADY MELANIA TRUMP:  I do believe fundamentally the president is a patriot and as an immigration lawyer, I know the gaps and the gaps when it comes to vetting.  The 1965 amendment, in the 1952 immigration act clearly prohibits the president and congress from using national origin as a measure of discrimination.  It's as if the president took seven people, beat them up with a prayer, that Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the 11 million plus people that we have in our backyard are now going to act differently.  

MACCALLUM:  Then why did they not prevent President Obama when he took a pause from bringing in people from Iraq or President Carter in the 70's when he took the same action against Iran?  

WILDES:  So what happens here is a vacuum has been created Martha by the defining silence in Washington.  The plenary power on immigration law professor also vested within congress to make laws.  The president is using his discretion for our safety, mind you, to enforce the laws just like President Obama did deferred actions and use executive orders in that fashion.  Congress did not give the president the authority to discriminate...  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You are not covered in the United States constitution.  

WILDES:  Amended in 1952 act.  


PETER LUMAJ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY:  The truth is 1952, congress made it clear explicitly that the president of the United States has the power to allow someone to come to United States or disallow someone, a group of people, a class of people, if they proved to be a threat to national security.  However 1965, he passed another act that we cannot discriminate based on race or religion.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was a temporary suspension.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You forget it was an executive order that took 100,000 Japanese and put them in concentration camps.  At 40,000 of them was U.S. citizens.  We can't just say it was an executive order and therefore it must be done, 1939 we turned away a thousand Jews in the holocaust.  We can't say never again and repeat that.  

If your belief system advocates for treating women like property, your belief system allows you to kill, hold on, let me finish.  If your belief system allows you to kill, let me finish, if your belief system allows you to kill homosexuals, then that belief system has no place for a civilized world and that belief system that all Americans need to unite against Radical Islam.  I am an American Muslim.  Exactly we are done in Radical Islam.  


MACCALLUM:  What you're talking about, in terms some of the things we have seen happen and some of these Muslim countries are the essence of what the president is trying to protect against.  He is saying if you want to come to this country, you have to respect the laws of the United States of America and the basic values.  I'm going to go to the back corner here.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If anyone, anywhere in the world believes in killing homosexuals, killing black people, I completely agree that it's being banned in this country.  However, my faith believes -- Islam is against all these things.  Islam stands for universal freedom of functions and freedom of religion.  This whole debate is very personal to me.  

MACCALLUM:  Could you let him -- finish your thoughts.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This will talk about refugee ban, and religious extremism is very personal to me.  I am someone who sought refuge in the United States eight years ago, escaping religious extremism under oppression in Pakistan.  I'm a Muslim myself, and my Muslim community is persecuted.  I came here and now I am a cardiologist.  I spend my days saving American lives day in and day out as a cardiologist.  

MACCALLUM:  You feel that the language of this insults everyone in your religion.  



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Who lives in my neighborhood and that woman, born in America, tweeting Sharia Law tweet -- that woman, she is attacking women saying they don't deserve to be women, she wishes she could take their vaginas away.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  She does not represent the entire religion that you are speaking about.  

MACCALLUM:  We will take a break.  Hold on.  We are going to take a quick break.  We are going to hear, what our panel thinks, when we come back, guys.  The government officials are attempting to undermine the president by refusing his executive order, when we come back.  


MACCALLUM:  All right.  We are back with our panel for one last segment. We have been discussing this travel ban, whatever you want to call it that excludes people from seven countries.  It obviously brings up a lot of emotions and one of them is what you were just talking about, the feeling that it represents or is against all Muslims.  I think that is one of the most serious things that we have to deal with here, because I think the order is designed to protect us from violence, coming across our borders. Carl you want to say something about that.  

CARL ROBIE, VETERAN OF OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM:  One of the things it is not being looked at here is the fact that if you are not a green card holder, if you are not a citizen, if you are not here in the United States, the constitution does not apply to you.  I don't care what lawyer says what.  That is the truth.  When you have all these people saying that there constitutionally infringing on somebody's rights, some person in another country, we don't know who they are because the two year background check has nothing to check in against.  We don't want them here.  It does not help the United States to bring people we don't know here.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not all green card holders.  

MACCALLUM:  No one is going to hear what you're saying.  Right here, quickly.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Martha, what you are seeing in this room and across the country, the underlying issue is about Islam and the understanding of Islam.  People are getting their information from fake news, from alternative facts.  When you come back to real Islam, when you understand --

MACCALLUM:  I understand what you're saying.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That is what we are talking about.  

MACCALLUM:  All right I'm going to go right over here to Darrin.  

DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER NYPD LIEUTENANT:  I was lieutenant and NYPD.  I responded on 9/11 to the World Trade Center.  I was also a lieutenant in the NYPD and responded to Times Square at the attempt at car bombing.  I'm an ex-army officer, but at the same token, although I was upset with those situations, I do understand that we have an incumbent society and we need to respect people.  We have these borders that need to be fortified on the north and the south.  I don't agree with a lot of the things that Donald Trump is looking to do, but at the same token, ultimately, he is trying to keep us safe.  Let's give him a chance.  It

MACCALLUM:  I think what's happening to a certain extent here is they're trying to send a signal.  The signal is that if you wish country harm, we are going to make it a lot more difficult for you to get in here.  Is that a fair statement?  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think this is counterproductive, because the fact is. The refugees who we are banning from this country are the biggest victims of terrorism.  I see this like banning Germans after World War II and saying because of the Nazi Party in Germany, banned all Germans.  

MACCALLUM:  this is a paused, right?  We have to go through more astringent vetting process to get in the country.  


At one of the questions as does every country have the right to say, let's just take a moment and make sure that we are doing (inaudible).  Go ahead.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Why is he held it to a different standard?  Every country decides who can come and not come.  Let me finish.  There are 16 Muslim countries that don't allow Jews or Israelis to enter.  Do we ever talk about that?  It's not a ban, it's not on Muslims, and it is not on religion.  

MACCALLUM:  Joe, go ahead.  You have the floor.  

JOSEPH CONNOR, LOST FAMILY MEMBERS TO TERRORISM:  My father was killed by terrorists.  They were not Muslim terrorists, they were catholic, and they were Puerto Rican terrorist.  My cousin was killed by terrorists at the World Trade Center.  This war is to protect America, regardless of who the terrorists are, regardless of where they're from, the goal of this government.  The first priority of this government is to protect everyone in this room.  If the way to do it is by banning or stopping certain people from coming in from certain countries for certain amount of time, damn it, we have to do it, because I have been thru this before.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I agree with you.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We all agree.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That is the problem is because he did not put it that way.  He said exactly how he said stuff from the beginning.  Ban all Muslims.  

MACCALLUM:  I have to jump in.  We have to leave it there.  Thank you so much.  I really want to thank all of you for being here today, great conversation and we are going to do it again.  Thank you, everybody, for being with us tonight.  We'll be right back with more the first 100 days.  


MACCALLUM:  I want to thank everybody, great group in our studio this evening and at so many articulate positions presented and I really appreciate all of you being here.  It was very enlightening and a powerful hour.  And thank you to our viewers at home for being with us this evening. Have a great Super Bowl weekend everybody.  We'll see you back here on Monday at 7:00 p.m.


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