This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," June 19, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Good evening from the border area, absolutely. I'm Laura Ingraham. This is "The Ingraham Angle." We're coming to you live from the US Mexico border, just south of San Diego as Sean said. The Angle is here so that you can see for yourselves what is really going on here. And during this emotionally charged crisis over children, some of whom have been separated from their illegal immigrant parents, we're going to show you how the Trump administration is actually trying to protect these children and give you a look at their real living conditions.
We'll also get the inside story from active border agents putting their lives on the line and cracking down on the human smugglers who are also putting these children in grave danger. And meanwhile, Democrats give away their game, this is great, by turning down legislate fixes, who would want to fix this after all, proving that they would rather hurt the President than help children.
Plus Newt Gingrich taps into his vast historical knowledge and reveals why the left is so quick to jump to hysterical comparisons to the holocaust. And what about the tragedy, by the way, of separating American families? A father shares the agony of losing his own son, brutally gunned down a few months ago, here in California by an illegal.
But first, protecting America, protecting the children, that's the focus of tonight's ANGLE. The President has described what we're seeing on the border as a crisis, and it is. Today he explained the legislative trick bag that he's in due to a tangle of at times, conflicting immigration laws that are on the books.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We can either release all immigrant families and miners who show --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Well let's remember there were family detention centers but a 2016 court ruling effectively shut them down. A decision cheered by international migration activist who consider all detainment to be a human rights violation. And due to the Flora settlement, that's a court settlement, a minor cannot be held in custody for more than 20 days. So the administration is left with few choices, it's either enforce the law and arrest the border crossers, separating those families, or just let everybody into the country, no questions asked.
Now that also would include human traffickers, drug smugglers and others who are exploiting that they're travelling with. So do you see how irresponsible, and even cruel it would be for the administration to just wave all family units in without even vetting who these people are? Well predictably, Liberals have attempted to focus our attention on images of children, heartbreakings for sure, separated from their parents at the border.
But I have a question, where were they just a few years ago when Barack Obama faced a similar surge at the border? I don't recall the same type of wall to wall media outrage then, or the nasty charges that Obama had opened concentration camps for illegal kids. As someone who has spent a lot of time myself, in Central America, I know how desperately hard it is for the children there and the terrible abuses that they endure both at home and in some cases when they come to the United States, that long trek, that entire way. And we're all really concerned about the wellbeing of children and keeping children with their parents, of course, is always the ideal. But the truth of the matter is, the Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielson said it right yesterday, of the 12,000 kids in US custody, its 2,000, not 12,000, but 2,000 of them have been separated from their parents. The rest basically were abandoned, they had not families. Lost in this easy scapegoating of Donald Trump, of course, is a Bush era law that got us into this crisis that we're seeing now at the border.
So while its well intention, this flawed piece of legislation, was designed to curb human trafficking, it had a slew of unintended consequences. It was called the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008. That law does not allow the government to immediately deport minors from any country other than Canada and Mexico so no non-contiguous countries. And according to the New York Times, the legislation requires that they have an immigration hearing, an advocate and counsel.
It also mandates that they are turned over to Health and Human Services and placed in "the least restrictive setting that is in the best interests of the child and to explore reuniting those children with family members". Well that's exactly what the Trump administration is doing. These kids are placed in one of about 100 resettlement centers that are the "least restrictive setting for the child". Far from the caged kids canard that has been sold to us on television 24/7, this is footage that HHS had provided to a number of media outlets of a facility here in El Cajon called Casa San Diego.
As you can see, they're perfectly clean classrooms, a medical clinic. Walls that are adorned with superheroes and religious cards and the kids, thankfully, are given hot meals every day and there's an outside area for the 65 children who are housed there to play and recreate. It's not ideal but it's not a concentration camp and don't say that.
According to the staff at Casa San Diego, only 10% of the kids there were actually separated from their parents. 90% of those residents were trafficked, sent across the border alone. This house is similar to Casa Padre in Texas. It's the largest government contracted Youth Center in the nation. One of the dozens funded by you, the US taxpayers. Once a former Walmart, NPR witness boys at Casa Padre, "shooting baskets, kicking soccer balls, playing video games, watching a movie, sitting in classrooms where they were taught about US government and they were even learning Thai Chi and they got a meal of chicken and vegetables. That's the NPR's description.
Now do those centers look like Dachau to you, Auschwitz? As we reported last night, it costs the US taxpayer about $35,000 a year to keep each of these children housed and cared for in these facilities. But do not confuse the temporary central processing center in McAllen, Texas, completed with fencing and Mylar blankets with the HHS run refugee centers for young people. They are not the same thing but the media are maliciously trying to confuse the two and make people believe that children are being shuttled into cages to languish for month and months.
The online virtue signalers, of course, want to keep the emotional heat on this story high, turn it up high so that they smudge the hard facts surrounding it. But the funny thing is that most of those claiming to have this upper hand and compassion towards those seeing a better life, they've never actually been to Central America, and they've never actually witnessed what really helps the kids there. I'll tell you what the best option is, not to lure them on a dangerous journey north with their families or alone. But to give them and their families assistance on the ground and support organizations, many of them faith based, and embedded among the people, that provide them with aid, self-sustainability and real development possibilities. I've seen it first hand, it's amazing, it's inspiring work, groups like Food for the Poor and others. And it certainly didn't come from the government. I've been with these people in remote villages in Guatemala and elsewhere and you know what? Most of them want to stay home and given the opportunity, they would.
That said, Congress needs to change our laws so that immigrant families can remain together. Allow the reinstitution of family detention centers so genuine asylum seekers can await trial without being separated from their children. And at the same time, border agents should be allowed to turn back family units from all countries. We simply do not have the manpower, or the money or the resources to stay in the international foster care business. Investigating the relations of every child that enters the US illegally and housing them throughout that entire lengthy process.
In the meantime, the President is in kind of an impossible situation. He has a moral obligation to protect the American people and these children now in our care, even as the current law puts those obligations sometimes in conflict. It's time for members of both parties to stop playing politics with the border, and the helicopters. Stop playing politics with the border and these immigrants and act, if you really care, do the right thing. And that's the Angle.
Let's bring in our first guest joining me here at the border, Hector Garza is a border patrol agent and vice president of the National Border Patrol Counsel and border patrol agent Terry Shigg, he's the president of the local 1613 Chapter of the National Border Patrol Counsel. Good to see you Hector, hey Terry, how are you man.
HECTOR GARZA, US BORDER PATROL AGENT: Good to see you.
TERRY SHIGG, US BORDER CONTROL AGENT: Good to see you.
INGRAHAM: So you heard what I just said. We've been hearing a lot of stories about how horrific it is for the families crossing the border and they cross illegally, it's a harrowing journey. But you guys are understaffed, overwhelmed ditto for the HHS folks trying to do their best here.
GARZA: So we see on a daily basis Laura, we see these kids being abused on the Mexican side. We know when some of these female children come across, their parents send them with Plan B medication because they are expected to be raped along the journey when coming through Mexico, Central America and that's horrific. So our number one goal as border patrol agents is we have to take care of these people when they come into our custody and that's exactly what our agents do. We treat these people with dignity and respect and that's our job and of course we have to protect the border. But we need help from Congress, we need to change those laws that allowing these loopholes to continue.
INGRAHAM: Terry you patrol this area, this part of the border, it goes right into the ocean, the border fence goes right into the ocean. Tell me how significant the burden here is for border control even with this pretty significant fencing.
SHIGG: For us it's pretty significant. It takes away the resources that we have. We have a limited resources. There is a legitimate way to do it and that's what the ports of entries are there for. Any time someone crosses any area other than the port of entry, that's when we border patrol, we always say we work in the dirt. We don't in the clean, pristine ports of entry. And when you come into those areas, it takes those resources away and that's where the cartels, that's where they win. That's what they want us to do. They want to our resources away so that they ca get their billion dollar industry going to keep their product coming across the United States.
INGRAHAM: Yeah Hector explain how it is that a 15 year old boy, from let's say from Honduras, manages to find his way to McAllen, Texas or Rio Grande or in one of the sectors that are east from here, from Imperial Beach? How do they get here? They get here with the help of cartels, right?
GARZA: Well basically through the Mexican cartels. They're the ones that are basically orchestrating these activities and they're doing it for a reason. Because they want to tear up our resources because while we're catching these 15 year old kids, they're snuggling terrorists, dangerous weapons, dangerous narcotics, sentinel, cocaine, you name it. So that's all organized by the cartels and we have to a make sure that we stop that. We can't be tied up with that type of work.
INGRAHAM: There has been a ten-fold increase in the number of credible fear claims among those who are entering the country, often times with children, but not always with children. It was one in a hundred, that was back in 2011 and now it's one out of ten. Is that an indication that you have, Terry, that people have the script?
SHIGG: Oh absolutely, that's one of the blessings and curses of the internet. As soon as somebody gets across and they find out what works, what they do, they get on Facebook, they send an email, they get on their cellphone and talk to the people at home and tell them, "Okay, that's trial and error, this is what worked, this is what we told them through the script that was gave to us, tell them these exact words". And you know they'll stick to that exact script, no matter what you ask them, they'll go back to that script. We even have people, we found them with the script on their person --
INGRAHAM: And they actually have it printed out?
SHIGG: They actually have it printed out.
INGRAHAM: I mean it's pretty obvious, you can't have a ten-fold increase in a few years. A former border control agent Jen Budd had this to say about the job of separating children from their parents. She basically said that you should be literally, there's no excuse for these agents to not literally lay down their guns and badges to say that this is unlawful. She was a border agent for a number of years. She said you all should refuse to do this, lay down your arms, lay down your badges.
GARZA: So what's unlawful Laura, is actually allowing these criminal cartels to use these children for their criminal activities. And the other thing is that these cartels will get these kids and pair them up with people that are not even related to those people--
INGRAHAM: How do you tell whose, this is what I'm saying, how do you tell who's who? If someone says, "Well, this is my child", I mean who are you to say it's not their child? I mean I don't even understand how you do your job in that regard?
GARZA: So in those cases our agents have to conduct these extensive interviews of both parties. And sometimes it's very difficult but sometimes it's very easy. Sometimes you can really tell when someone is a family unit or not and that's when we see abuse of the immigration system.
INGRAHAM: Terry do you ever see children who come here, who themselves are afraid of the adult they're with?
SHIGG: Oh that's happened on many occasions and look, we are parents. A lot of our guys and gals are mothers and fathers, we have kids of our own. So our instinct is to protect that child, is to make sure that that child's safe and that's we are trying to do. Is it a bad situation? Maybe, but we're doing the best we can with what we have and our main objective is to make sure that that child is safe.
INGRAHAM: Terry you were saying just before the show started, for people to understand the flavor of what happens here at the border. Mexico has a sewage pipe, I've been covering this issue of the sewage pipe for years, that pumps raw sewage right into the Pacific Ocean. It goes northward to the beaches, obviously up in La Hoya, Delmar, up the coast where the navy seals train as well, and you've seen this first hand too. Just an environmental disaster at the border.
SHIGG: Yes and the news spin to that is what the Mackle-Dora's built and the companies going to Mexico. Now we have pesticides, toxins, heavy metals, all those things on top of the sewage that's coming across and that's what our agents are working in every single day.
INGRAHAM: When you guys are dealing with this issue day in and day out, and then you hear people, mostly on the left but not always, claim that you guys are tantamount to Nazi concentration camp guards by "shuttling these kids into cages"?
GARZA: That's very inaccurate. Our agents go out there every single day and try to treat people with respect and dignity, that's exactly what they do. We go out there, even if we have to take care of the kids while they are in our custody, we provide support for them, we're able to bring in some toys for them while they're in our custody. And these are all things that our agents do on their own. We don't have policies on how to bring toys to kids while you detain them.
INGRAHAM: When you bring heart to it, and that's hard because like me you both are parents. Thank you for doing what you do for this country. We really appreciate it, thanks so much, and great stuff. Turning a blind eye to the law just encourages human smuggling that puts these kids into such terrible danger so let's expose the harsh realities of that seedy underworld, with the human trafficking expert and former ICE and INS agent Claude Arnold who has such vast experience in this.
Claude you just heard from Terry and Hector. I mean it a heartbreaker because nobody wants to see this type of trafficking of children, it is a wide spread problem. It's not just children hopping on the train and having a nice ride up to the border, that's not how it works. From your perspective with all your years of experience, what is the gritty truth that the media refuses to reveal to the viewers about what really happens to the hands of these cartels?
CLAUDE ARNOLD, FORMER ICE AND INS AGENT: Well the fact is these are criminal organizations and it's driven by the drug trafficking organizations Laura. And these people to them, not just the children, they're commodities. They represent money, they represent revenue and as the border patrol agents pointed out, for the drug cartels it's a twofold thing. It helps them divert resources so they can engage their more lucrative drug trafficking operations. But at the side they also collect money by collecting fees for these people being smuggled through their approaches to the border.
And so of course they don't really care about these people and they're willing to exploit the children. That's why they are doing things like paring children up with adults who are not their children. They're willing to stick them in tractor trailers and unsafe conditions. There have been several media counts of that recently. Again, they're just a commodity to them and it's no different with the children.
INGRAHAM: Claude from your experience, what would be the most humane path for ending this thing with the kids at the border as much as we could end it? What would be the best path, given your experience?
ARNOLD: Right well you need to close the loopholes in the law, of course, and that's got to be done. Let's not take the responsibility off the parents because I'm hearing a lot in the media, blaming US government, blaming border patrol, blaming ICE agents. But bottom line is these parents, they know that they're going to be arrested for illegal entry. They know that there's a zero tolerance policy just like they knew before that would just be admitted and they'd be able to escape later.
They have that information. As the border patrol agents pointed out, it's on Facebook the next day. So they are the ones outing their children in this predicament. Subjecting their children to danger and subjecting their children to being separated from them, because they know they're going to be arrested.
INGRAHAM: On of our border agents from Texas last night revealed that he's seen on many occasions that when border patrol approaches a ‘family unit', the so-called parent, who ends up not being the parent, just drops the child runs. And he said we see that all the time. And so I think people have to remember that when the cartels are involved, they're all sorts of competing interests. The kids are caught in the cross hairs but we have to remember that these kids become prime targets for MS13 recruitment and I want to just reveal something to our viewers. More than a third of the 274 MS13 members and their affiliates from that Operation Matador were unaccompanied minors. So that's a third of the 200 plus that's not an insignificant number, they're prime targets for recruitment and another way that their lives are in peril because of these ridiculous governmental policies and irresponsible adults. Claude, thank you so much.
ARNOLD: You're welcome.
INGRAHAM: And stay right there we have just the man to analyze the real story behind this crisis, Newt Gingrich joins us in just a minute with his solution, don't go away.
Welcome back to the Ingraham Angle coming to you tonight from the US Mexico border just south of San Diego. This border crisis touches on so many issues, the humane treatment of children and all border crossers, how much illegal immigration our country can sustain and how the ultimate and final idea, how can we figure this out? The solution will affect the midterm elections and our nation's future. To cover all these bases, we are joined by historian and former House speaker Newt Gingrich from Virginia tonight. Newt you're also the author of the just published, number one best seller on Amazon, ‘Trump's America'.
Congrats, the truth about our nation's great comeback. Newt Gingrich, it's terrific to have you on tonight. It is amazing to me a Newt, that with Republicans in control of the House and the Senate, and the President willing to find a solution in all this, that we're still sitting here with this separating children from adults and all the predictable media hysteria surrounding the images that are indeed troubling.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPESKER OF THE HOUSE: Well look, I think it's clear that the President has two obligations and that's two and not one. It's an obligation to be humane towards the children who may be crossing the border illegally. He also has an obligation to the American people. And the people, for example, who have lost loved ones to gangs like MS13 and other people who have been illegal.
So the President, I think, is trying to balance both of those obligations. The answer's pretty simple. The answer's a very narrow bill that provides for safety of the children and safety for the border. And it's pretty clear that the Democrats in the Senate are going to basically try to stop this. They've introduced a bill which verges literally on being crazy. Senator Feinstein introduced this bill written so badly that it would cover about 80% of the population of the United States would cover virtually every government official of any kind.
It would cover Americans as well as people trying to come into the country illegally. I mean it's one of those things where three people want to do public relations sat down and banged up a bill and I think a number of Democrats are going to find it very hard to defend it when they get back home. But it's also clear that Senator Schumer would use this is an issue to attack Donald Trump than ‘help children, so let's be clear where the phony, heartless policy is, it's in the Democratic caucus in the Senate.
INGRAHAM: Yeah and Newt we just showed some images in McAllen, Texas where the immigrant processing center is. And yeah, there are fences and it looks like cages, but where HHS takes the kids, they do try to humanely take care of them, it's not an easy situation. You've got 12,000 kids, 10,000 of them coming by themselves or trafficked across the border, 2,000 separated from their parents. But they do offer them instruction, they offer them lessons, movies, sporting events, recreation outside.
I mean they're trying to do their best but they're not kept in cages indefinitely. So I just want people to understand that. The processing centers are unpleasant and we need to move people through those quickly. Newt this is what some of the people, mostly on the left, have been saying about the, again, the images that you just saw. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: The children are bring marched away to showers, I know they're being marched away to showers. Are being told they are just like the Nazis and said that they were taking people to showers and then they never came back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Increasingly Donald Trump is turning this nation into Nazi Germany and turning these into concentration camps
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't find a solution to this problem without harming children, without putting them into concentration camps?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Nazis had it perfectly correct, the declared us an illegal people, that's how it began.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Newt, Dachau, Auschwitz, concentration camps and Casa Padre.
GINGRICH: Let's be clear, there are people on the left who despise and hate the United States. They enjoy smearing the United States. They're happy for the entire world to listen to their despicable, dishonest and immoral statements, and there is zero comparison. And to anybody who has been to a movie that I filmed at Auschwitz and a movie we did about Pope John Paul the second, and anybody who has ever gone to one of these camps understands how utterly, totally outrageous it is that people on the left feel that they can smear America with terms like that. There is no comparison of any kind.
On the other hand, what would they do? Have totally open borders? Have 100 million people come to the US next year? Wring their hands as American civilization drowned? The fact is, if you're going to have borders, you're going to have to police them. If you police them, you going to have to do something that people, who remember, are deliberately breaking the law. So part of this is not a question people who're victimless and magically show up, the drug cartels in Mexico actively recruit and send people north and do so partially to try to flood our system so that they can bring the drugs in easier.
Partially to make money, they charge for doing this and for several of the cartels now have gotten into the people business as a major source of revenue. So I think it's really disturbing to have people on the left who hate their own country so much that they would use this kind of language smearing us all across the world in a way that is simply, absolutely false.
INGRAHAM: Yes, $35,000 a year for the U.S. taxpayers per child who crosses the border illegally. And we take, I think, pretty good care of them considering the difficulties they've been through. Newt, this is a congresswoman, Mazie Hirono, who spoke earlier today with even more colorful language than we heard from Chuck Schumer. Watch?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, D-HAWAII: Mr. President, have a heart for a change. Take that -- pen of yours and do away with this horrendous, inhumane policy of yours that rips children from the arms of their parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: I didn't mean to demote her to the House of Representatives. Obviously she's a senator.
GINGRICH: First of all, if the president could do with it a single motion of the pen he would. There are two court decisions that block it. The law itself blocks it. But the president, I think, is prepared and eager to sign a very narrowly drawn bill.
Let me be clear, what the left wants to do is get everybody emotionally upset and then pass the kind of bill which guarantees millions of people will come flooding into the United States. I think that that is a total disservice to every American who wants to live peacefully and wants to live with neighbors that they can trust. And I think, let's have a head-on debate about this. Those people favor totally open borders, make them explain what they would do when 100 million people show up, or as gallop survey two years ago, 165 million people said they'd like to come to the United States. That's over half our population.
But second --
INGRAHAM: Newt --
GINGRICH: What she's saying is totally false.
INGRAHAM: Newt, Newt, the hypocrisy and the selective moral indignation is beyond stunning. It's disgusting. Anyone with a brain can see it, it's transparent, and we really appreciate the historical perspective and your legislative expertise. Thank you so much.
And what about the Americans permanently separated from their families?
INGRAHAM: Welcome back to "The Ingraham Angle" coming to you tonight from the U.S.-Mexico border just north of Tijuana. Dr. Jeffrey Mazin and his wife Penny know all too well what it's like to be separated from their son. Twenty-seven-year-old Alexander Mazin was shot and killed in February just miles from here. The suspect is illegal alienor Ernesto Castellanos Martinez who is still on the loose, thought to be perhaps in Mexico. Dr. Jeffrey Mazin now joins us to share his son's story. I just want to give you a hug.
DR. JEFFREY MAZIN, SON WAS MURDERED: Thank you, bless you for the opportunity to be with you.
INGRAHAM: Tell me about what happened to your son because we've been hearing about, we are like Dachau and Auschwitz, our country -- like Newt Gingrich said, a lot of people hate this country. And the pain of the families that have suffered at the hands of illegal immigrant cartels, criminals, hit-and-run, DUIS, is ignored by most of the left and most of the media. I refuse to ignore these stories. I want to hear about Alexander.
MAZIN: Alexander was a very, very special individual. He was fitness oriented. He was a very religious young man. He loved his God, he loved his country. He was quite the patriot, quite the patriot. He was a small business man. He was a good heart, if you would. And this gentleman, the young man, Alexander, was everybody's model, if you would.
He had been dating a lady for a few months, and he was working out at the gym on one beautiful sunny morning. He came out from the gym and there was a man waiting for him in the parking lot. Came behind him, shot him in the back. My son fell on the ground, face up. The man straddled him and pumped four more bullets into his chest. My son died there in the parking lot, like a rat in the street. Obviously every time I tell it, the emotion pours out of me.
INGRAHAM: Did you ever hear from any of the major politicians in the state, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, any of the major figures, Jerry Brown?
MAZIN: None, none. However, Kristin Gaspar, one of our local representatives, who is really awesome, took Alexander's story to the president directly, and presented it to President Trump. And President Trump's reaction was really amazing. He grimaced. He had tears coming down his face, shaking his head, upset. You could see the uncontrollable upset.
INGRAHAM: Nancy Pelosi went to a border facility yesterday, gave a big speech afterward, telling President Trump how dare you, basically, do this to these kids. And, look, nobody wants children to be separated from the families. But you really have been separated from your son, from a lax border policy of an individual who was already deported once, voluntary deportation, and yet he came back again across, who knows? Maybe it was up the fence a way, we don't know.
MAZIN: He also had a history of having murdered another man in Mexico. So this man is a serial killer, or a serial murderer. I call him a mass murder because he not only murdered by son, he murdered me, he murdered my wife, he murdered my other son, he murdered the family, murdered the community because the outpouring of upset from the community from our son's death has been overwhelming, really overwhelming.
INGRAHAM: What do you have to say to the politicians who are spending an enormous amount of their political energy and emotional, I think a lot of it con injured up, politically convenient emotion, for the current situation of separating families. What message do you have for them tonight?
MAZIN: Well, first of all, Laura, I wouldn't want to say it on-air. But I'll clean it up a bit. And if one of their loved ones were to have died like my son died, I wonder if their ideas and their ways of presenting things and thinking would be different. I just wonder. It's easy to sit back and say, oh, well, these poor children, this, that, and the other thing. How about we poor citizens and how about my poor son? Because he's been permanently separated from us.
INGRAHAM: I know your wife couldn't come on tonight. She was just too overcome. I want to tell Penny and your family how much we really are so sorry for your loss. And I'm going to do everything in my power to help you and try to help this country and get through this thing because this can't keep going on.
MAZIN: Well, I thank you for that, and bless you for that.
INGRAHAM: Thank you. Thank you. God bless you.
MAZIN: Thank you so much.
INGRAHAM: And Chuck Schumer, ends up slipping up, gives away the Democrats' real agenda. I don't think Chuck Schumer called you either, Dr. Mazin, right? How concerned is he about the immigrant children separated from their parents? We're going to show you in just a moment.
INGRAHAM: Welcome back to "The Ingraham Angle" coming to you tonight from the U.S.-Mexico border just south of San Diego. Earlier today Chuck Schumer let it slip that Democrats really aren't that concerned about separated immigrant kids. They prefer to keep the issue alive rather than work with the president to solve it. Couldn't give him credit for anything.
Asked why Democrats are rejecting a GOP bill to fix the crisis, the senator said, quote, "Legislation is not the way to go here when it's so easy for the president to sign it." What? Heaven forbid Democrats actually work with the GOP to fix the crisis without leaving the border wide open.
We're going to debate immigration policy in just a moment. But first we want to get another update on the situation right here on the border from Rodney Scott, chief border patrol agent of the San Diego sector. Great today you, how are you, thanks for being with us.
RODNEY SCOTT, SAN DIEGO SECTOR BORDER PATROL: Thank you for having me. And I hear there's a birthday wish that we should pass on.
INGRAHAM: I decided to come celebrate with you guys. I have got to come celebrate the birthday with the border patrol.
SCOTT: Thank you.
INGRAHAM: Thank you so much. I was here in 1997. I used to work for another network, I was here covering option gatekeeper which was the Clinton-era double fencing that was actually really -- it really worked. It was really successful. Now it's 21 years later. What's changed?
SCOTT: Well, coincidentally I was there as well.
INGRAHAM: Maybe you showed me around all those years ago.
SCOTT: I start my career right here literally in this park in 1992 and it was complete chaos. So systematically over the last 26 years I've watched the border, law and order really be restored on this border. And it's been a mix. It's been the technology, the infrastructure, the access, the roads, and effective prosecutions using the tools that we have available to us, the legal tools of the justice system as well. And you can see behind me, I would never have sat this close to the border with my back to it years and years ago. It's significantly safer than it was before. But we're not done yet.
INGRAHAM: What about the media coverage that we've see especially over the last couple of weeks? We have this crush of family units, some of them posing as family units, then we have unaccompanied minors, a similar crush as we had in 2014, 2013. And the characterization of what you are doing and your men are doing and women are doing, it's just horrific. It is like you guys might as well be in Nazi Germany and members of the SS.
SCOTT: The misinformation that's going out --
INGRAHAM: That's a nice way of putting it, by the way.
SCOTT: I'm trying to be polite. It is actually very frustrating and it's extremely insulting. So a lot of it is just flat out lies. So the family separation being policy is a lie. We're leveraging the prosecution, the tools that we've had in place for years, we're leveraging them better than before. And that requires when someone goes to jail that they're separated from society to include their family. The allegations that we would actually put people in dog cages is a lie.
INGRAHAM: So those images that we're seeing are the temporary processing facilities, right. When you processed in, that's a temporary thing. Because we keep seeing the cages, like in McAllen, Texas. Those are the cages. But those aren't the longterm holding facilities for children. That's a different scenario. People keep mixing up the images. It drives me crazy.
SCOTT: I couldn't agree more. But even farther than that, they're looking at chain link fence, the same chain link fence that's around the school yards where most of your viewers probably send their kids to school, the same type of chain link fence that's around basketball courts, tennis courts, every play yard, and then they're referring to that as a dog cage. So where is the equitability in that? It's not a dog change. It's one of the most cost-effective ways that we can keep a visual of all of those kids, the families and everything to maximize their safety.
If those walls were solid and I couldn't see through them it would require 20 times the agents to actually maintain safety and security in that area. That is the right tool at the right place, and those are processing centers.
INGRAHAM: We've heard from other border patrol agents tonight that oftentimes people show up at the border with a pre-written script. Obviously many of them as has been reported many times are illiterate, obviously they don't speak English. But many of them have rudimentary education in their own language in their country, so they come with a script typed out, they know what to say, oftentimes with a sponsor name. Oftentimes the sponsor is an illegal immigrant.
SCOTT: That's actually correct. So what gets lost in this conversation as well is we're dealing with very sophisticated, organized smuggling. So when these people arrive at the border they have a script. Sometimes they're actually provided a child that's not theirs to exploit loopholes in the system because traditionally based on American values, we bent over backwards to try to make sure that families were kept together, they were not incarcerated. No good deed goes unpunished, and the smugglers identified that like they watch everything we do and identify any other weakness and started leveraging that as a way to get their clients --
INGRAHAM: And 90 percent or 80 percent never show up for their immigration hearing.
SCOTT: That's correct.
INGRAHAM: Thank you so much for your perspective, really needed amidst all the misrepresentation. Thank you so much.
SCOTT: Thank you for your time.
INGRAHAM: And of course the current crisis is just part of a much bigger problem. Here to debate from just up the road, San Diego based immigration attorney Esther Valdes, and in Florida Democratic strategist Michael Starr Hopkins. Michael, you've been watching this show tonight. Your perspective on this debate? I know we have Democrat and Republican, but let's just focus if we can on the facts, the laws that exist, the court decisions that have been handed down. I'm interested in your perspective.
MICHAEL STARR HOPKINS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. So I want to take the labels away and say that I think we're conflating two very different things. When the Trump administration put in their zero- tolerance policy, what they did was make it harder for people who were trying to claim asylum to cross the border legally. And so now what you are seeing is everyone who is crossing the border is crossing illegally, which messes up the status of what is going on, because what could have been a civil infraction is now going to be a criminal misdemeanor.
ESTHER VALDES, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Absolutely not. That's incorrect. I've been a practicing immigration attorney for 14 years here at the border. This is my hometown. I'm also the daughter of Mexican immigrants. What we're seeing is a twofold process that the Trump administration is highlighting why the laws don't work.
Not only is there a loophole for mothers with children, but we have fake families being presented at the border. And also criminal prosecution, which that's how the la has read for approximately 20 years. There's nothing new under the sun but for the fact that we're saying mom and dad, if you come in we're going to prosecute you as a misdemeanor, or as a felony.
And naturally, in America, we don't incarcerate families. What we do is we treat children humanely. We separate them. I have had the honor to visit children and represent children and win successfully asylum cases from Mexico in over seven states. Those detention centers are not caged. They're happy, and they'd rather avail themselves of what's going on in America than to stay in Mexico or Central where they're raped, pillaged, and trafficked.
HOPKINS: Which is exactly why they're leaving their country.
VALDES: That's exactly right, and that's why we treat them better, and they want to be detained here while they go through judicial process and due process.
All of the women that I represent, which are mostly women and children, they rather avail themselves of American laws because they understand they will be protected to undergo the asylum process, which unfortunately, takes many years. And that's why Ted Cruz's legislation is wonderful because he's proposing making it more expeditious and making it more rapid so these families aren't detained and/or separated.
HOPKINS: But Ted Cruz's legislation --
INGRAHAM: Michael, the frustrating thing here is --
HOPKINS: Sorry, go ahead.
INGRAHAM: There's one thing. The frustrating thing here is that there were family detainment centers. However, they were delicensed by court order. So his is happening in Texas, and there were two major detention centers that were for family units. And border activists, these are international activists, I tweeted out one of the big activist groups today, they were celebrating the family detainment centers being closed because they want all of the families released in the American society. I understand that, but then don't complain when family units can't be held together because all of these places have been shut down. I guess we're just going to have to figure out a way to open them again I guess. Michael?
VALDES: Recall that it's only 2,000 children that are being separated from their families. Again, they're from two to 10 years old, there's approximately only 2,000. The other 10,000 are with their families. The 2,000 that are separated most of them --
INGRAHAM: Michael, 10 seconds to close it out, I'm not being fair to you. Giving you time.
HOPKINS: No problem. I just want to say we have prosecutorial discretion here, and we can decide whether to prosecute under civil or criminal penalties. And here what we need to make sure we're doing is not conflating criminals with people who are actually trying to seek asylum, because painting in broad strokes does not work.
INGRAHAM: Guys, thank you. I got the point. Thank you so much.
INGRAHAM: Welcome back to THE INGRAHAM ANGLE coming to you tonight from the U.S.-Mexico border just north of Tijuana. When you think about it, there is a solution for a lot of the suffering unaccompanied immigrant minors. It's a really humane one. It's one I know a lot about. It's called adoption.
Joining me now from Washington is Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of the National Council for Adoption and one of my favorite people. Chuck, it is great to have you on tonight. You and I have been so frustrated about what's happened in the adoption world over the last several years, specifically not only is it hard to adopt domestically, or harder because of abortion and all that, adopting internationally especially from Central America, Chuck, why has it become nearly impossible? Fifteen years ago we had about 2,380 or so children available for adoption. Last year, one. What's going on?
CHUCK JOHNSON, CEO NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION: Yes, over the last 10 years we've seen a nearly 80 percent decline in the number of international adoptions happening in the U.S. And we believe that part of the reason for that is a bias against intercountry adoption by career employees in the Office of Children's Issues at the Department of State.
INGRAHAM: And, Chuck, particularly annoying is the fact that international human rights advocates claim that intercountry adoption is bad for kids oftentimes. Sol people who want to help the kids, and I think they do, put up legal barriers for actual adoption. With Russia you have the problem with Putin, which is really annoying. But someone like Guatemala, my daughter is from Guatemala, I adopted her 10 year ago, it was really hard to adopt her, hard to get her out of the country. But so many American families were stuck in limbo.
And of all of these children coming to the border every day, I bet we could find a lot of American families who would be willing to adopt them, legally adopt them, Chuck. You know them, and these are some of the kids and some of the villages that I have had the great privilege of getting to know over the years. And some of these kids still have their families, others are living with extended families, very little opportunities. But there is a way to do it. Chuck, your reaction to that?
JOHNSON: There is a way, Laura, to do this. We have implemented the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption 10 years ago. It created a whole new process of checks and balances and oversight for intercountry adoption. But then we have created policies and other barriers that have not allowed us to use a much more better system. And so we're going to continue to see the decline in the number of international adoptions until we see significant change in the policies at the Department of State. And we're hopeful --
INGRAHAM: Why is this happening? Chuck, why is this happening? What does President Trump need to know? I want to break the logjam as best I can. I think it's really important, for all of these people who say they care about the kids, we need them to help on this issue of adoption, because we have tens of thousands of American families who would absolutely love to take in these children as legally part of their families. So what does President Trump need on do? Is there one particular person at the Department of State that we have to work on, or what?
JOHNSON: Well, everything we know about the president, and things that he has said recently about adoption, if you look at the vice president, he has a strong record as a member of Congress supporting adoption. We need them, and we need the secretary of state to look at this bias that's happening at the Department of State.
INGRAHAM: Well we're going to get to specifics and get a stay on this issue. Chuck, thank you so much.
INGRAHAM: Apparently tonight the DHS secretary was driven out of a Mexican restaurant. Protesters. Apparently she can't eat at a Mexican restaurant now, that's really nice.
I hope this has been a clarifying hour for you tonight. It's a really important hour for me, for all of you, for our country, our sovereignty, the kids, all of it. Border security is a very complex issue. A lot of you think it's simple and easy to do, but you saw the great men and women tonight of the border patrol.
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