This is a rush transcript from "The First 100 Days," February 21, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MCCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Breaking tonight, we are live in Jacksonville, Florida for a special immigration town hall, on the same day that President Trump's Department of Homeland Security issued two very important memos designed to crack down on illegal immigrants on our southern border. Welcome to day 33 everybody of "The First 100." I'm Martha MacCallum and this was President Trump just days here in Jacksonville before the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: The border crisis is the worst it's ever been. It's a national emergency. They get caught again, they go to jail for five years, guess what's going to happen? They're not coming back, folks. Now, our people don't want to do it. Our weak, weak politicians don't want to do it.
A Trump administration will cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities. We will end illegal immigration. We are going to stop drugs from pouring into your communities and poisoning our youths and everybody else. And we will deport all criminal aliens, quickly from our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCCALLUM: States like Florida, cities like Jacksonville, part of a movement behind the president's victory, drawn to him by a host of issues, not the least of which was talk like that just days before the November election when, as you remember, nobody thought he was going to win, but those ideas resonated in a big way and we are here tonight to speak to people who helped to elect Mr. Trump and we'll ask them how they think it's going so far in the first 100 days and their expectations that were set on immigration policy, its impact on jobs, on safety, on terrorism, and on the culture of the communities that we all live in across this country.
The November exit polling from Florida helps to tell the story of why we are here tonight. Among 10 percent who said immigration was the most important issue for them on Election Day, 69 percent of those voted for Donald Trump. Among the 23 percent who said that most important issue to them was illegal immigrants working in the U.S. have to be deported to their home country, 92 percent of those individuals voted for Donald Trump. We're going to get to all of that in moments with a town hall meeting that includes lawmakers, law enforcement, and lots of average voters who've gathered here tonight to have their voices heard.
But, first, we go to the White House and Senior Advisor to the President, Stephen Miller, who helped to craft the president's controversial executive order calling for more rigorous vetting of immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries. Mr. Miller, welcome. Good to have you here tonight.
STEPHEN MILLER, ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Hey, it's great to be here. Thank you.
MCCALLUM: So, everybody is anticipating the next rollout of the next executive order, which is supposed to clarify some of the issues that were perhaps wrong with the first one and then got too caught up in the courts. So how is it going to be different this time?
MILLER: Well, nothing was wrong with the first executive order. However, there was a flawed judicial ruling that was erroneous. The president recently read to the statute from the Immigration and Nationality Act, which clearly states, he has the power as president to impose any restrictions he deems necessary when it's in the national interest.
However, because of the exigency of the situation and the need to protect our country, and to protect our citizens, the president is going to be issuing a new executive action based off of the judicial ruling, flawed though it may be, to protect our country and to keep our people safe, and that is going to be coming very soon.
MCCALLUM: All right. (Inaudible) is 18-year-old, but he wants to know specifically how the second-order is going to be different.
MILLER: Well, one of the big differences that you're going to see in the executive order is that it's going to be responsive to the judicial ruling, which didn't exist previously. And so these are mostly minor technical differences. Fundamentally, you're still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country, but you're going to be responsive to a lot of very technical issues that were brought up by the court and those will be addressed. But in terms of protecting the country, those basic policies are still going to be in effect.
I want to try and broaden the conversation here and not get lost in all this technical minutia. Here's the reality. The United States admits more people than any other country on the face of the earth. We've got a serious problem in our country of terrorism, radicalization, and serious problems of people joining ISIS, joining terror groups, joining Al-Qaeda, and committing or attempting to commit acts of crime and terror against our nation. We have seen a huge synapses between this --
MCCALLUM: Let me jump in on you there for a moment.
MCCALLUM: Let me note that -- because here's one of the problems. Now, I know that you think the order was fine the way it was issued initially. But courts disagree. In fact, 48 courts took issued with it and that's why it's halted right now as a result of that process that happens in this country.
So, now you're about to issue another order and one of the things that would need to be addressed, it sounds like, is proving that the seven countries that you have targeted are indeed the right ones to target and that you have merit and reason for targeting those specific ones, rather than, let say, Saudi Arabia, right?
MILLER: Well, the reality is these seven countries were designated by President Obama and by Congress in 2015 and 2016. The reality is that the seven countries -- look at Yemen, look at Libya, look Syria, look at the conditions in these countries. This is an assessment based on the threat that these countries pose today and going into the future. We've had dozens and dozens of terrorism cases from these seven countries, case after case after case.
But more fundamentally, it's the position of our intelligence community that these countries today pose a threat to our country moving forward and the president is acting decisively to protect our country from these threats. And the rulings from those courts were flawed, erroneous, and false. The president's actions were clearly legal and constitutional and consistent with the long-standing traditions of presidents in the past to exercise the authority in the Immigration and Nationality Act to suspend immigration when it poses a threat to our security. And that's what the president will do. In the next few days, we will roll out the details of what that action will be.
MCCALLUM: And we understand -- I'm sorry. I think we have a little bit of a delay, so I don't mean to be stepping on you. But I do understand that that's your perspective and that's the White House's argument and we'll see how that next (inaudible).
One more question to you from one of our viewers for tonight if you will. Jack Capra who is a veteran in our audience this evening, says how far is the administration willing to go to secure the southern border? Will the administration deploy the U.S. military to do so?
MILLER: Well, right now we have 20,000 fantastic border patrol agents who are doing a great job. But, Martha, I really want to try and broaden this conversation and get to the core of the issues here.
Whether we're talking about the new executive action and in the next few days we will be able to share the details what that will be and how it's responsive to the court's ruling. Whether we're talking about the southern border, whether we're talking about our guest worker programs, here's the core issue. It is the job of the president and the job of our government to protect the hard-working people of this country, to protect their jobs, to protect their wages, to protect their communities, to keep them safe from terrorism, and crime, and drugs, and wage depression.
Uncontrolled migration over many years has undermined wages, working prospects for people of all backgrounds, and all walks of life and it's made us less safe. Proper controls will raise wages, improve employment, help migrant workers enter the middle-class who are already living here, and keep us safe from threats of terror. And this president, and this administration is fully committed to doing what is necessary, lawful, just, decent, and right, to take care of and to defend hard-working, patriotic citizens and their communities.
MCCALLUM: All right. Well, we look very much forward to that second executive order and we'll watch the path and see if it makes it through the courts and that, you know, the executive branch, the judicial branch, can find their way to put this together. Thank you very much, Stephen Miller, for joining us from the White House tonight.
MILLER: Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thanks.
MCCALLUM: Good to have you with us. Thank you.
So let's bring in Jacksonville native and Florida congressman Ron DeSantis who is one of the first to stand by President Trump's original order. Good to have you here tonight, Congressman.
REP. RON DESANTIS, R-FLORIDA: Thanks for coming down to Florida.
MCCALLUM: It's great to be here. Thank you for having us. So, one of the interesting comments from General Kelly when he spoke about this the other day was that, you know, he wanted the second executive order to take place in a way that we would not find people backed up in our airports. So he was acknowledging that there was some issue in this rollout. What are your thoughts on that?
DESANTIS: Well, I think that's right. I mean, you have examples of, like a grandmother who is a green card holder coming back from one of these countries, that's not where the threat is. The threats are with people who are unvetted. These are countries that are either state sponsors of terrorism, or overrun in large degree by terrorist groups. And if you look-- since 9/11, the biggest change in the terrorist threat has been how much it's expanded in different countries. You have Somalia, other parts of Africa --
MCCALLUM: So you think more than those seven should be on the list?
DESANTIS: Well, I think that -- if you read the executive order, that's a 90-day period. They are also going to be talking with other countries. So people mentioned Saudi Arabia, so maybe Saudi Arabia doesn't have procedures that were -- that are acceptable but -- so maybe there will be changes there. But I think we have to err on the side of caution. And my view is we have immigration system, but that immigration system shouldn't make the American people assume risk for their safety by us bringing in people we don't know.
MCCALLUM: Let's bring in some of our great audience that we have with us tonight. Let me start by going to Jack Capra, who is with us tonight. You know, you listened to this conversation, Jack, and you're a veteran, so we thank you for your service.
JACK CAPRA, WOUNDED VETERAN AND FLORIDA RESIDENT: Thank you. I actually used to work with Congressman. Yeah.
MCCALLUM: -- so you're paying attention.
CAPRA: Yeah. I used to work with the congressman in Guantanamo few years ago. We both had duty there, so.
MCCALLUM: Well, welcome. It's great to have the two of you here together tonight and good to talk to you about these serious issues. You listen to Stephen Miller from the White House. What did you think about what he had to say?
CAPRA: Well, I think his main argument was right on point and I agree with that. I think this is, you know, securing our borders as a national security issue. It's not just -- of course, it's also about economics, but it is a national security issue and it's the federal government's job to keep our people safe, keep our citizens safe from external and internal threats. And so I think immigration is a big contributor to that.
MCCALLUM: Yeah. You know, obviously, the rollout of it didn't go quite as planned. You know, it brings me sort of a general question that I want to put to all of you as we get going tonight. As you look at so far the first 100 days, we're on day 33 right now. So I'm going to ask you to raise your hand for three different answers, OK.
So the first one would be, so far, are you, A -- no, you don't raise your hand yet because I want you to know all the options. You can either be, A, thrilled. I'm really happy with how it's going. Or, B, you know, it's OK, but I think there's room for improvement. And, C, I am a little disappointed. OK.
So raise your hand if you would say that you are thrilled with how it's going so far. Wow, that's a lot of folks. Look at that. OK, what about choice B, which is I'm glad, but, you know, I'd like to see a little bit of improvement around the edges. OK. So how many of you are disappointed, not happy with how it is going so far? A couple up here, one in the back there, one back there. OK, all right. We're going to get around to you and hear some of your reasons for all of that. You know, what do you think about that?
DESANTIS: Well, look, I think that Congress is --
MCCALLUM: Which category do you fit in, first of all?
DESANTIS: Well, I think Congress has gotten off to a slow start.
DESANTIS: I think the president has done much better than we have. He's following through with what he said he would do and we are kind of --
DESANTIS: We in the Congress were kind of getting to what we said we do, but we haven't quite gotten of it. I think we will, but I think they've done a better start. It's also important to say, they're not confirming his nominees. He doesn't have guy -- he's got like a fraction of a government in place because the Democrats in the Senate are basically trying to stall as many people as possible.
MCCALLUM: So, let me go to somebody over here. Kris Koproski, who is the mother of three and you think that we need to put a pause on emigration. So, are you -- how do you feel about the president so far and do you think Congress -- do you agree with Congressman DeSantis that they're not pulling their weight?
KRIS KOPROSKI, FLORIDA RESIDENT: I am thrilled with what President Trump is doing. Congress, you know, they need to get on board and specifically, the Democrats. He needs his cabinet, his full cabinet. And they're just seemed to be stopping him at every turn. There's got to be a discussion open. They've got to be willing to give a little bit.
MCCALLUM: So you're nodding your head there. Who -- is anybody in particular in Congress that you're, you know, disappointed in so far? And, you know, would you like to give them a message tonight?
CLAIRE FRANK, FLORIDA RESIDENT: How much time do you have?
MCCALLUM: I got about 48 minutes. Go ahead.
FRANK: I would say we finally have someone in office who is doing something probably not even -- the last president I can think has done anything like this was Abraham Lincoln, who is trying to reunite the country. And that's what we voted for him to do. And that's what he is doing.
Congress isn't getting behind us. I say, term limits. That way you can clean house, just like he's doing draining the swamp. There's too many in there right now that, you know, are not doing their job. Stop voting -- McCain is a pain.
DESANTIS: I am the leader of the term limits movement in the House, so we do need to do that.
MCCALLUM: All right. So you're on your third term. So how many terms should he get? How many terms?
DESANTIS: Well, our amendment is three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate.
DESANTIS: The same on Trump endorsed during the campaign. So, let's get a vote and let see what we can do.
MCCALLUM: All right. We're just getting rolling here. Great job opening this conversation up here. So, coming to the next moment, just today, the Trump administration ordered more border agents, 5,000 more, also, 10,000 more ICE agents and plans to move ahead with the controversial wall plan on our southern border, so the fallout and the debate from the floor here coming up next.
MCCALLUM: Breaking tonight, just hours before the doors opened on our town hall meeting here in Jacksonville, Florida, the Department of Homeland Security announced the brand-new priorities when it comes to their plan to deport illegal immigrants.
The two memos from DHS Secretary John Kelly today say impart that his agency is going to use public safety to guide their decisions, while the White House made a point of saying that there will be no longer special exceptions to the rules. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: For so long, the people at ICE and CBP had their handcuffed behind them when they were going to deal with the mission of their job. The last administration had so many carve outs for who could be and who couldn't be adjudicated that it made it very difficult for the customs and enforcement people to do their job and enforce the laws of this country. But, right now, what we've done is to make sure that they have the ability and the guidance and the resources to do what they -- what their mission is. And that's it, plain and simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCCALLUM: Joining me now, Sarah Saldana. She was the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, director under President Obama. And Francisco Hernandez is an Immigration Attorney. Welcome. It's great to have both of you with us tonight.
SARAH SALDANA, FORMER ICE DIRECTOR, 2014-2017: Thank you.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me.
MCCALLUM: Sarah, he was calling you out a bit there.
SALDANA: Yes. I guess he was. But let me tell you something that is maybe not clearly known. I have been a law enforcement officer. I was a prosecutor in Dallas. I was the United States Attorney in Dallas. And I think -- significantly, I think that's one of the reasons that I was selected to be the director of ICE, because I believe in law enforcement. I believe in rational law enforcement. So, that is my focus while I was director and I think we went about it in a good way, given the fact that we had resources that were not unlimited.
MCCALLUM: All right. So, he's -- Sean Spicer was saying that under your direction and others, border enforcement officials under the Obama administration that people weren't allowed to do their jobs. That the agents felt that they were handcuffed, that they couldn't deport, that they couldn't detain to the extent that they wanted to. Is that fair?
SALDANA: The law is the law. So, with respect to detention and all of those things, we were guided by the law. We were not guided by people's emotions or feelings or thoughts. We were guided by the law. We had priorities, just like this executive order has priorities. We didn't exempt people. I guess one could look at it that way, but one could say that about the executive order, as well.
We focused on serious criminals. And, in fact, our numbers went substantially up with respect to the portion of people that we were removing or putting in removal proceedings, being convicted criminals or people who are not in the country legally and there's a reason to remove them. Again, I am weighing as a manager, resources versus the threat to public safety.
MCCALLUM: So when you say resources, would you love to have had the 10,000 additional agents that John Kelly is now going to get?
SALDANA: It would have been -- we certainly could have responded to Congressman DeSantis, wherever he is, when he drove me on the hill about why we weren't departing more people. It certainly would have helped in that regard.
The important thing to me is not volume. Ask any law enforcement officer, the important thing to me is substance. Are we protecting the American public by focusing on people who have no business being here, committing additional crimes, and working against the interest of the American people?
MCCALLUM: Francisco, today, you know, just going through the headlines and looking at different web sites, you know, the administration -- Trump administration cracks down. Illegal immigrants are scared. They're nervous about what they're hearing today and yet he also said that DACA would stay in place. That children who came here with their parents at a young age would not be affected by this. So what's your reaction to these two memos today?
HERNANDEZ: Well, first of all, I can't argue with Ms. Saldana on qualifications. I feel like a thorn between two roses, OK. But, quite frankly, President Trump has written a blank check that he can't cash. Just like the congressman said, he's going to have to get the money from somewhere. You can't just say we're going to hire 20,000 agents (inaudible) Ms. Saldana. You got to have the people.
No one is going to argue about whether you should deport people that commit repeated felonies, you're just barking up the wrong tree. But quite frankly, you've got to do something to get that money and we don't have the money. So we do have to focus, as Director Saldana said on the important things.
The deferred actions, yes, dreamers, Gob bless. Let's go and give them a green card, something to work towards, something to earn that were brought into no fault of their own, no one can argue about that. So they're in limbo, but you know what, we have --
MCCALLUM: But he didn't pay them about (ph). He said that's off the table.
HERNANDEZ: That's off the table --
MCCALLUM: Unless they have a criminal record.
HERNANDEZ: And the interesting thing is, you know, if President Trump argued that President Obama did not have the executive or constitutional power to issue that executive order, well then, neither does he have the executive. So what's good for the goose is good for the gander. So, that's our fear. If we're going to go with those executive orders for President Trump, we've got to fund them. It costs money.
MCCALLUM: Let's get some questions from our group here. Hatice Iaconangelo. I'm sure I got that wrong. So what do you think about what you're hearing here tonight?
HATICE IANCONANGELO, FLORIDA RESIDENT: I am horrified. I'm horrified. This is not the country I emigrated to. Sure, when I first emigrated 26 years ago --
IANCONANGELO: From Germany. I am a native Berliner. I grew up with a wall. I know what the wall does to families. I witnessed people getting shot crossing over the wall. And I see us as a nation going towards that again. It's horrifying. Little by little, we are getting there. Berlin didn't start out just with a wall coming up instantly, the Russians shooting, everybody. It starts gradually. And it gets worse and worse.
I want us to come together as a nation and have compassion for people. Don't just shut yourself off from that what you don't understand, what you don't know. Why don't each one of you who are against immigration may be get to know a refugee? Get to know an immigrant and see where they have come from and what they have gone through in life.
MCCALLUM: All right. Let me get a response from Bill Korach who is -- you're shaking your head pretty hard there, sir. Why?
BILL KORACH, ST. JOHNS COUNTY COP CHAIRMAN: I was in Berlin when the wall was up. And the wall was meant to keep people in, because the communist system was so horrible. This wall is being designed to protect our borders. We're a sovereign nation. We should have sovereign borders. We are a nation of laws. If we don't have the rule of law, we don't have sovereignty.
IANCONANGELO: I am not against protecting the people here, absolutely not. But you don't realize, America is already so safe. This is the safest place I feel on earth. I travel overseas every year. The law enforcement does a great job. The customs office --
MCCALLUM: Let me get an answer from Elvira and then we're going to go, so quickly
ELVIRA SALAZAR, MEGA T.V. ANCHOR: Good to see you. I think the greatness of a nation is measured not by the size of its guns, but how we treat the most vulnerable members of society, and in this case, illegals or the undocumented. I think that maybe we should take a look at immigration issue in a different way.
We should go to the root of the problem. And the root of the problem is very simple. It's called Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. President Trump has an outstanding opportunity. He is a businessman. He knows how to build coalitions. He knows cultural sensitivities from other countries. He can go to those three countries that are exporting the majority of the people that are knocking on our borders and help them put their house in order.
Then, we could avoid or save the money that we're going to be investing on the 20 million -- $20 billion that will cost to build a wall along the Mexican border. And we could earmark those $280 million that we're giving to those three countries. Earmarked that for what Nicaragua did. No one really talks about why Nicaraguans are not coming and knocking on our border, because the -- and I'm not a friends of the Nicaraguan government, but they knew how to do it. And they could help us solve the problem. That's another angle.
MCCALLUM: All right, thank you very much. So, officials in Miami-Dade, Florida got national attention when they decided to stand against becoming a so-called sanctuary city. We will speak to the man behind that very controversial decision here in Florida coming up next.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, THE FIRST 100 DAYS HOST: So a point of hot contention in the immigration debate involves so-called sanctuary cities scattered throughout the country. These are cities and towns which offer protections to illegal immigrants by limiting cooperation with federal authorities. I want to start with our audience panel, and I'll ask you all a question first which is a broad question in terms of priorities. It goes to what we're talking about earlier. So I will give you three options and I want you to pick the one that you think should be the GOP priority right now, or the government's priority, or for the whole country priority, regardless of your background. So choice number one will be immigration and the wall, choice number two would be tax reform, and choice number three would be Obamacare repeal and replace. So this goes to what we're talking about over here before in terms of what they're doing first. So if you want them to address immigration and the wall first, raise your hand. Maybe a third, maybe less. Tax reform. Maybe half. All right, Obamacare, repeal and replace. So, I'd say, closer to a third of third but I would say tax reform was the winner. So you want tax reform to be a priority for the folks on Capitol Hill. So maybe they're listening to what you're saying here tonight. So, in terms of immigration, I want to bring our guest, Diane Scheriff, and her daughter, Savannah. You were originally from San Francisco, you live in this area now, right?
DIANE SCHERIFF: Right.
MACCALLUM: But you believe that it's not true that the jobs that are being done by illegal immigrants are jobs that Americans don't want to do.
SCHERIFF: Yes and no. I mean, I think when I lived in California, I had a nanny at first that didn't have a green card. I didn't know that. She was a very hard worker. But, there again, I think there are jobs that are open-- that would be open to Americans, that are taken by illegal immigrants. And I just feel strongly that that is a huge deal in our country, especially Florida, since we have such an influx of illegal immigrants.
MACCALLUM: Savannah, what about the issues of sanctuary cities?
SAVANNAH SCHRIFF: Well, you know.
MACCALLUM: Having grown up in San Francisco, you know, I know you lived in a city that is a sanctuary city. Don't be nervous. Particularly understandable, I scared you. Put that mic in front of your face. It's quite all right. I know the feeling.
SCHERIFF: Sanctuary cities, you know, maybe I'll sound like a bad person here, but I'm frustrated that we even have them. Because, I mean, honestly.
MACCALLUM: That's what Savannah was going to say.
SCHERIFF: It doesn't make sense to me. And the fact that they're growing now, not going away come. And again, I'm a Californian, I live there. But San Francisco, L.A., Oakland, it doesn't make any sense to not work with local law enforcement when it comes to immigrants and criminals.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much. I'm joined now by the mayor of Miami- Dade, Mayor Gimenez, and Laura Wilkenson. We've spoken before Laura. And Laura has a tough personal story. You lost your son to a person who was here illegally. And I know you have stood next to President Trump many times as he has talked about Angel Moms. So you took a tough stance and said we are not going to be a sanctuary city anymore in Miami. Has there been a backlash against that in your area?
CARLOS GIMENEZ, MAYOR MIAMI-DADE: Yes, there has been. And we have very vocal opposition to what we did. But, you know, what I say to people that tell me that, hey, I really like what you did, I tell them that, you know, I really did a lot less than what you thought I did. And the people that are vocally against it, I say, you know, I did a lot less than what you thought I did. Really, all we did is we labeled a sanctuary city by the Obama administration and the justice department because we were requesting reimbursement from the federal government for detainer requests. And what I did is I said, we know longer need to have that voucher from the federal government saying that they're going to pay us for our costs for detaining these people of interest to immigration. That's all we did. And by doing that, it basically took us off the list of being a sanctuary city. Miami- Dade County has never thought of itself as a sanctuary city. Even when we pass that resolution back in 2014, we didn't think that that would place us as a sanctuary city. So, basically, taking that off, basically now -- and now my.
MACCALLUM: The financial decision.
GIMENEZ: Yes, obviously, because we were being threatened with millions of dollars in federal funding that we need to provide services for the 2.7 million people of Miami-Dade County.
MACCALLUM: Laura, the president said that he is not going -- he is going to respect DACA. How did you feel about that?
LAURA WILKENSON: Well, I believe there is going to be a process no matter how you do it. Somebody is going to be inconvenienced. This law -- I mean, without the immigration laws being enforced, this country has run amok. At any way that he doesn't, there is going to be an inconvenience to people. But, for myself, I think if you're not bearing your child in the ground and turning around and walking away, it is not an inconvenience that you can't deal with.
MACCALLUM: In terms of your son and your situation, that young man was brought here by his parents.
WILKENSON: Yes. He was a dreamer, brought here when he was ten from Belize. He had been charged with the crime of harassment but not convicted. And then, he murdered Joshua while he was out on bond for that. He should never have gotten a bond at the very least. They're a flight risk. And you don't want to wait until they murder your kid, until you say, OK, time-out, now you are in trouble. It's ridiculous. Nobody gets sanctuary from the law. There is nothing I could do and be given sanctuary from it, and there is no reason for anybody else to have that, as well.
MACCALLUM: Do you believe that you're getting somewhere with your cause?
WILKENSON: Absolutely, yes. Mr. Trump had said he would put a crime victim in -- a program in place. It's called Voice, I believe. And it's to help victims like myself, the real victims. And this gentleman earlier talked about getting some of the money, you know, if you can defund sanctuary cities, there comes the money. He can also take the money away from the 325 agencies in this country that help illegal aliens -- I mean, help them navigate the system. There is not one place or one program in place to help myself.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Laura. Good to have you both here tonight. So we're coming to you tonight from a state where there are many jobs that go to legal and illegal immigrants. And when we come back, we are going to hear from our audience about the president's pledge to put America first. How do they think that's going? We'll ask them right after this.
MACCALLUM: So when President Trump campaigned on the slogan of America first, a lot of that message was about bringing jobs back to American workers. But are they prepared to take the low wage jobs taken by illegal and legal immigrants? Joining us now, Javier Palomerez, he's president of the U.S.-Hispanic chamber of commerce, and on President Trump's diversity coalition. Although, he was a Hillary Clinton fan at the beginning, and Cindy Nava, a dreamer and Democratic national committee fellow. Welcome to both of you. Good to have you here today. So, Javier, first of all, you're a Hillary Clinton supporter. What made you change your tune?
JAVIER PALOMAREZ, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.-HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Well, you know, the reality of it is that -- back then, when we were convinced that our side was going to win, we asked of Donald Trump that he honored the will of the people and that he respect the results of this election. The reality of it is, he won, he is now the 45th president of the United States of America, and I'm going to do everything I can to live up to the exact same thing we asked of him. I'm going to honor the will of the people. I'm going to honor the results of this election.
PALOMAREZ: And me and my association, a 4.1 million Hispanic-owned firms in this country that contribute over $668 billion to the American economy are going to do everything we can to help this administration move our country forward. At a time that I think we need to collaborate to move in the right direction.
MACCALLUM: Cindy, you're a dreamer.
CINDY NAVA, DREAMER: I am.
MACCALLUM: So, what do you think about what happened today, and the exemption for DACA children, like yourself? And do you believe that there is -- you're talking about common ground. Is there common ground? And do you think that this administration wants to find it? And do you think the resistors and the never Trumpers also want to?
NAVA: You know, Martha, I really think that this is a first step towards what really needs to happen, which is to address comprehensive immigration reform. And this is truly surprising I think for many of us that President Trump decided to keep DACA intact. And that's great and that's good. But, right now, there's a lot to fear out in the communities. There's actually some dreamers that have been targeted. And we have families. So what's happening to our families, you know, that's always a concern. So just because we may be feeling a little bit sick here, does not mean that the community is throughout the country are. And DACA comes with many benefits such as a ban on parole, which many people are not familiar with. But advance parole is something that we can request through humanitarian clause, educational, or other -- you know, there's three clauses, and I was able to get that because my grandmother was ill in Mexico, and she was dying. And I was able to spend the five last days of her life with her.
MACCALLUM: I want to get a couple of our friends up here. And, again, Earline Shipper, so she's talking about families and keeping people together, what do you say?
EARLINE SHIPPER, FLORIDA RESIDENT: I think it's a wonderful idea that we keep families together. I'm happy that this particular decision was made. But I still think that immigration is a very serious situation that has to be controlled and we have to take care of illegals coming into the country that are going to cause harm and we should send them back.
MACCALLUM: Eric, what do you think?
ERIC WEST, FLORIDA RESIDENT: The amount of people that have come into the country that are taking welfare and other government benefits is way too much. We don't need any more welfare recipients in this country. We need people that are going to bring jobs and doctors and things to this country to help our economy. When 91 percent of the Syrian refugees or refugees that comes to this country get welfare, something is wrong. We're committing financial suicide.
MACCALLUM: Pablo Manriquez.
PABLO MANRIQUEZ, FORMER DNC OFFICIAL: Well, I think the thing to keep in mind here is that Donald Trump did inherit a mess when it comes to immigration. I was one of the people who raised my hand earlier that I am disgusted with how this presidency is going. But I was disgusted with how President Obama's presidency went on this topic, as well. I knocked on thousands of Hispanic doors in particular in 2008, telling people that President Obama was going to offer -- Senator Obama at the time was going to offer them some form of relief. He betrayed us. He betrayed us to the tune of 2.8 million deportations. And the reality is that the communities that Cindy is talking about right now do live in fear. And that fear keeps them from working with the police. For example, if a wife is being battered and she is worried that by going to the police she is going to be detained for her immigration status, that's just going to create more battered women. So.
MANRIQUEZ: It's true. It's true. I think the point here is that immigrants have already been betrayed by one presidency. And what Donald Trump did today by offering DACA kids hope was a good thing, a very good thing. And I applaud him for it.
MACCALLUM: I mean, the people that they're targeting are either criminals or they have final deportation orders, which means that they were notified sometimes ago. And they have been told for quite some time in many cases. They have left and come back against those orders. So those are the people who are being targeted first by the directive that we've got today. So we've got more to come back to after this quick break. So stay with us. But coming up, how do those who have come to America from abroad feel about the moves that have been taken by this administration? We're going to talk to two people from this community touched personally by this issue when we come back. Stay with us live in Jacksonville, Florida.
MACCALLUM: So as we wait, President Trump's revised order calling for more vigorous vetting of immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries. We wanted to talk to a couple of local residents in the Jacksonville area for whom this is a large issue, very near and dear to their hearts. Joanne Farhire is an immigration attorney and legal immigrants and now a citizen of the United States. And Hajdary Mohammad is a recent immigrant to Jacksonville from Afghanistan. He spent nine years helping our U.S. troops in his home country. And we thank you for that.
MACCALLUM: That is a special category of people that I know you -- I would assume feel in the initial order really got short thrift. Tell me.
HAJDARY MOHAMMAD, REFUGEE FROM AFGHANISTAN: What was the.
MACCALLUM: In terms of people who helped our troops, like you did. In the initial executive order, they were very concerned about their families that they wouldn't be able to get the men, and feel that you have given a great deal to this country, right?
MOHAMMAD: Yeah. Actually, I worked like nine years with the U.S. army in Afghanistan. So like four years for the U.S. army, and five years with the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan. So, I mean, because of my work, and my face, and my name, will become known. I am one of those people that they tried to kill. And so, you know, I applied for immigration to come to the United States. I wanted to restart my life, basically from zero to the United States. And I still got some more friends that are there right now working with the special ops in Afghanistan. And they are hoping to come to the United States for a better life.
MACCALLUM: OK. Joanne, tell us what you think about this new directive and whether or not you're optimistic about them, and whether or not people like Hajdary and the other colleagues who he works with will be protected.
JOANNE FARHIRE, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: You know I am optimistic. I am hoping that President Trump does realize that there is an issue with immigration, that the immigration system needs to be worked on. But, you know, the way he implemented the executive order before, it did impact victims, you know, the refugees that were coming in, these are people who have already been victimized. They're fleeing their countries because they've been persecuted where they have a well-founded fear of persecution.
I understand and I totally support the need for strong borders and security of United States. You know, I am a Republican. I supported the Republican president. However, I don't support the weight that this immigration ban was handled. You have to understand that these are people that are fleeing and they are in fear of their life. So to bring them into this country, they land in an airport, and then they're detained again where they spent.
MACCALLUM: And they're going to try to get that right this time. I want to get a quick thought from Ron Stafford, pastor. You're listening to all of this. We're talking about compassion and we're talking about security. What do you think?
RON STAFFORD, PASTOR AND FLORIDA RESIDENT: I think the compassion comes with the security. The president, he's working very hard to secure our borders. But yet, those who have green cards and have already been vetted, I think the compassion comes in when you can allow those people to come in.
And if they need anything else that needs to be done, then they can finish the investigation. But you must have some compassion for those who put their lives on the line for our country. Those who are here and working, we must begin to work to help them to become citizens.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, pastor. A quick break, we will be right back live from Jacksonville.
MACCALLUM: That has been a very eye-opening conversation here tonight in Jacksonville, Florida. I want to thank all of our guests and our panelist for taking the time to discuss these hot button issues that are very much in all of our minds right now, dealing with immigration in America. We would love to hear from you at home, too. Go to facebook.com/marthamaccallum, you can leave me a message or send me a tweet @marthamaccallum, #first100. Thanks for watching it, everybody. We'll see you tomorrow night. Thank you.
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