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Trump Administration Sets the Stage for Mass Deportations; CPAC Drops Milo Yiannopoulos Over Pedophilia Comments. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired February 22, 2017 - 07:00   ET


CUOMO: All right. Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is coming up. For our U.S. viewers, we're getting after it on NEW DAY right now.


[07:00:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The definition of who is a deportable criminal has expanded.

MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have to have an immigration policy that reflects the will of this nation.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Republican lawmakers are facing hostile constituents at town halls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me finish my answer, please!

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I hope you feel better now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame on you! Shame on you!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame on you! Shame on you!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame on you! Shame on you!

TRUMP: The anti-Semitic threats are a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a cancer of anti-Semitism in the White House, and its purveyor is President Trump.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

Up first, some major developments on immigration to tell you about, and it's putting millions of people living illegally in the U.S. at risk for deportation. The Trump administration has vastly expanded enforcement policies to include any undocumented immigrant, even suspected of a minor crime. The White House is rejecting the charge that President Trump is pursuing mass deportations.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This as the Muslim community awaits details of the president's new travel ban, and the Jewish community reacts to President Trump's condemnation of anti-Semitic threats.

We're just 34 days into the Trump presidency. Let's get after our coverage. Senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns, live at the White House. What do you know, Joe?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the administration says it's taking the shackles off of immigration officers and enforcing existing law, but this is a much more robust enforcement of existing law. For the past couple of years the focus has been on deporting criminals convicted of serious crimes. Now, people who are accused of crimes, even suspected of crimes, could be deported.


TRUMP: We will have strong borders again.

JOHNS (voice-over): Under the new guidelines the majority of the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants could now face deportation.

SPICER: Everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time, but the priority that the president has laid forward and the priority that ICE is putting forward, through DHS's guidance, is to make sure that the people who have committed a crime or pose a threat to our public safety are the priority of their efforts.

JOHNS: But the Trump administration's new guidelines direct immigration and border agents to deport any undocumented immigrant charged, convicted or even suspected of a crime. Even minor crimes like a traffic violation or shoplifting; and crossing the border illegally is technically criminal.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Anyone who is found in an undocumented status would ultimately be apprehended and deported, with due process totally eroded.

JOHNS: The rules, replacing more restrained policies followed by previous administrations. Under Obama, ICE focused mainly on deporting those convicted of serious crimes. And anyone arrested within two weeks of illegally crossing the border could face expedited deportation. Now, anyone arrested within two years of crossing the border could be deported without due process.

Immigration officers now have greater authority to decide who stays and who goes.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R), CALIFORNIA: The tightrope that the administration will have to walk will be what do they do with the people that are here? What do they do with the young people? Someone who was 2 years old when they were brought to this country. And that's going to be difficult.

JOHNS: The White House emphasizing that President Obama's program protecting DREAMers, those brought to the U.S. as children, won't be targeted.

TRUMP: They were brought here in such a way. It's a very -- it's a very, very tough subject. We're going to deal with DACA with heart.

JOHNS: But the hardline immigration policy is sparking fear in immigrant communities.

GREISA MARTINEZ, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: We're concerned about what Donald Trump means for our family. Does that mean that we will be separated from our mother, just like we were separated from our father nine years ago?

JOHNS: Meanwhile, President Trump caving to pressure, condemning rising anti-Semitism during a visit to the African-American History Museum.

TRUMP: The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.

JOHNS: Before this, the president skirted the issue in news conference since taking office.

TRUMP: I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life.


JOHNS: President Trump meets today with his brand-new secretaries of state and homeland security before they fly off for meetings in Mexico. And they've got a huge challenge ahead of them to try to establish relationship in a country that has become increasingly infuriated with the president's rhetoric -- Alisyn.

[07:05:04] CAMEROTA: Joe, thank you very much for all of that.

Joining us now is Matt Schlapp. He is the chairman of the American Conservative Union and head of the CPAC conference that gets underway today.

Hi, Matt.


CAMEROTA: Great to have you. We will get to CPAC in a moment. But first, do you understand President Trump's new guidelines for who will be deported under his immigration plan? SCHLAPP: Yes. Look, I know what I've read. And I think that your reporting on it this morning is accurate with what I've read. And it sounds like a president who's doing what he said he'd do when he ran for president.

CAMEROTA: Yes. So the -- I mean, it sounds to me as if his criteria is broader than what we have had in the past 8 years, and now it can be basically anybody who is here illegally, by dint of them being undocumented, is eligible for deportation.

And my question is do you fear that that will be unmanageable, impractical and that it will end up tearing some families apart?

SCHLAPP: So let's start from the beginning. And everybody who is here illegally is already potentially able to be deported.


SCHLAPP: Anybody who's here illegally now, what President Obama did is he started a program that actually looked at serious criminals. And Obama deported over 3 million of these folks who are here illegally with -- who are not documented.


SCHLAPP: And so much so that the left, at one point, called Obama the deporter in chief. And President George W. Bush, the president I served, really ratcheted down and deported the numbers of deportations increased greatly in his second turn so what you're seeing is a trend for a decade now, where presidents of both parties were saying, "Look, this undocumented problem is a serious problem, and we have to start being honest with the American people."

We say we're going to solve it. We have to start solving it. I think that's what Donald Trump's trying to do.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but just to be clear, it sounds like President Obama though, you're right. He did deport many people. He prioritized violent criminals. He prioritized violent criminals and dangerous criminals. That's not what President Trump sounds like he's going to do.

SCHLAPP: I think it -- I think you're right. I think the -- how you define whether or not someone is a criminal over and above the fact that they're here criminally, but the fact that they might have committed other crimes, how do you -- how do you define that, and how do you get to be on the priority list to be-- to be sent back to your country, is what was done?

CAMEROTA: Yes. So does it worry you that Mr. Trump's is more broad?

SCHLAPP: No, it doesn't worry me. I think still their focus is going to be on sending back those who are, you know, violent criminals. Those who have committed serious crimes.

But I do think it's important for us all to be honest, which is when someone is here in an undocumented state, you're here illegally. And Democrats and Republicans have passed these laws over the years. And, you know, this -- it's a tough issue.


SCHLAPP: But it -- time to have some candor. Remember what George W. Bush said, Alisyn, and you and I talked about this during campaign. George W. Bush, who's seen as more moderate on immigration, said that everybody who's here illegally, we should allow many of them to file to be here legally, but they all have to go home first. Everyone has to go back to their country. And that was considered a reasonable step.


SCHLAPP: I think -- I think making sure that people understand when you're here illegally that part of the process is you have to go home is a reasonable step.

CAMEROTA: We should point out that you are married to a lovely Latina who we know very well, Mercedes.


CAMEROTA: She's Cuban-American.

And again, I mean, just one last note on this. You know, you heard in that piece that Joe Johns just brought us that children are afraid...


CAMEROTA: ... that their mothers are going to be deported under these newer, broader standards. Do you worry about that?

CAMEROTA: Yes, absolutely. These are human beings, Alisyn. My heart goes out to people who are in an uncertain state.

That being said, the last time the country handled immigration, in 1986, Ronald Reagan was president, somebody who's a hero of these CPAC people who will be coming together. And amnesty was a big part of that. And unfortunately, there was a moral hazard associated with that amnesty, where it almost encouraged more people to come over illegally instead of less.

And I think one of the things that Donald Trump is trying to do is to send the message very clearly that you shouldn't try to cross the border illegally. You should only try to come legally. And that helped solve the problem for the future. The problem with the people who are already here is a -- is a touchy one. And I agree with that.

CAMEROTA: Matt, let's talk about CPAC.


CAMEROTA: Controversy has already come to...



SCHLAPP: Of course.

CAMEROTA: And you -- you had to distance, like, the Breitbart provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos. Now do you understand why college campuses didn't think that he should address the student body?

SCHLAPP: I do think that the tapes that I was made aware of over the weekend, which talk about, you know, basically criminal sexual contact with children is -- is beyond any barrier for political speech.

That being said, you know, what he was doing on college campuses is talking about the political controversies of the day. And I do think it's a very troubling sign that college campuses mostly run by people who don't have politics, obviously. Try to shut down voices on the right. You know, Milo is just one of these voices, Alisyn. There's dozens of people who spend their time going to college campuses to give the conservative or libertarian point of view.


SCHLAPP: They are often shut down. I think, look...

CAMEROTA: Yes. I know those stories.

SCHLAPP: We're divided. We're divided -- we're divided in this country. I watched the segment before, which I thought was excellent. We're divided in this country in so many ways. Shutting down speech isn't going to help us work things out.

CAMEROTA: OK, but -- but let's just focus on Milo, because I think that he is a very interesting Exhibit A about whether or not it's shutting down speech or it's attempting to have some decorum. OK? He is a professional provocateur. He crossed the line for you. He crossed the line for many college campuses. So just so that I'm clear, Matt, you were OK with all the misogynistic things that he has said in the past?

SCHLAPP: No, I'm not OK with it.

CAMEROTA: So why did you invite him?

SCHLAPP: Because I think when he's talking about these other questions that have political controversies, I'm OK with having -- first of all, an invitation is not an endorsement. We have all kinds of people speak whose views might, in cases, be repugnant to mine and to others of our attendees.

But we want to foster a debate. Conservatives can handle disagreement and debate on the stage. I just felt like with a student -- with an attendee group that is up to 50 percent college age and younger, my kids are there...

CAMEROTA: Yes. SCHLAPP: ... these questions around pedophilia and sexual contact with kids was going to distract from that political conversation.

I think when we're having the political conversation, I'm OK with it. Look, I condemn the alt-right. I don't think that anything goes in politics, but I do think it's a problem for conservatives and for liberals when we shut down the political debate. I think, oftentimes, the political debate is what puts a light on intolerance.

And people -- Americans can see that, and they can make their judgments.


SCHLAPP: I believe our CPAC attendees can do the same.

CAMEROTA: I hear you. But, I mean, aren't people allowed to have a line for what they consider repugnant?


CAMEROTA: You have one. You just cancelled him.


CAMEROTA: So what if my line is the misogyny? Let me read you some of the headlines, just so people know what we're talking about: "Here is why there ought to be a cap on women studying science and math." He doesn't like the idea that women can study science and math.

"The solution to online harassment is simple: women should log off." These are ones he's written. "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy." "There's no hiring bias against women in tech. They just suck at interviews." He then says gay rights have made us dumber. It's time to get back in the closet.

So I hear you. Your line is pedophilia. Why aren't some college campuses allowed to say their line is misogyny?

SCHLAPP: Well, they're allowed to. It's not a question of what they're allowed to. I'm just saying what I think it's better. You know, Alisyn, a lot of times somebody with my politics is immediately called a hater. And we're given a title. We're given a category. And we're oftentimes told that we're intolerant and not allowed to speak. It happens a lot on campus. It happens a lot, by the way, corporate America. It happens a lot in social media, where conservative views are hushed. And I think it's a mistake.

We're not going to solve our problems as a country, and the conservative movement isn't going to come to agreement on issues by shutting down the conversation. We ought to have the conversation. But of course, there are limits. And I think what you're really telling me it was the right thing for us to do to take back this invitation, because there are certain topics that are just beyond the pale. CAMEROTA: Yes. I like conversation, too, Matt. I like conversation,

and I like open conversation, but you know, everybody has their line, I guess, is the point.

But let's talk about another conversation that you're going to be having at CPAC, and that is President Trump. He is going to come and speak there. He avoided it last year, possibly because he thought maybe people wouldn't think he was conservative enough. What do you expect this week?

SCHLAPP: You know, I think it's a great honor that he's coming. You know, just as a historical fact, we haven't had a president, a Republican president come in his first term since Ronald Reagan came in 1981. So this was a big moment for CPAC and for our attendees and for the conservative movement. I think he's making quite a statement, a statement of respect to the conservative movement, which is the heart and soul of the Republican Party that "I'm going to dance with the one who brung me," which is what Ronald Reagan said. And I think they're going to appreciate it very much.

You know, Alisyn, like a lot of Trump speeches, I actually don't know what to expect. I hope it's from the heart, and I hope he talks to us about what he wants to do with his agenda.

[07:15:10] I think conservatives are tired of being outside looking in. And they're really pleased that they have the ability to have a direct impact on policy. And they want to hear practically how is this going to manifest itself over the course of the next week? So I think so far, conservatives with this election, Neil Gorsuch and this most conservative cabinet, I think they feel really good about the way this administration is starting.

CAMEROTA: All right. We'll be watching. Matt Schlapp, thank you for the conversation. Great to see you.

SCHLAPP: Thank you, Alisyn.


CUOMO: All right. We're following a lot of breaking news. There are long lines and delays at Philadelphia International Airport, because American Airlines is trying to fix a computer network problem. A spokesperson for the airline says computers did not reboot properly after a scheduled power outage overnight. The FAA is issuing a ground stop for all American flights departing from Philadelphia. Inbound flights from other airlines are not affected.

CAMEROTA: The Texas attorney general planning to appeal a federal judge's ruling that blocked the state from cutting Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. State officials have pushed to defund the organization, accusing Planned Parenthood of selling fetal body parts. But the judge has ruled there is no evidence that they were ever involved in that activity.

CUOMO: All right. For all the talk about what the criminal reality is because of refugees in Sweden, any notion that there are no problems is wrong. Riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Stockholm, residents clashing with police, torching vehicles. The regional police chiefs suggesting the rioting may have been a result of increased police pressure on criminals in the area.

CAMEROTA: Well, millions of undocumented immigrants, of course, are living in America. And now this morning they're on edge as the Trump administration appears to set the stage for what could be some mass deportations. So you have a Democratic lawmaker join us with his perspective on what happens next.



[07:20:47] SPICER: The memo regarding the executive order border security and immigration enforcement improvements outlines the steps DHS would take to secure the nation's southern border, prevent further illegal immigration and to repatriate illegal immigrants swiftly, consistently and humanely.


CUOMO: All right. And the way to do that, the White House says, is with new immigration enforcement guidelines that President Trump's new order may wind up bringing into full effect. They don't change existing law, but Senator Chuck Schumer says the Trump administration is, quote, "setting in motion their mass deportation plan, directing immigration agents to round up and quickly deport anyone who is undocumented."

Let's discuss what they have the right to do and what is right to do. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island. Senator, thanks for being on the show.

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), RHODE ISLAND: My pleasure. Good to be with you.

CUOMO: Welcome to NEW DAY. The criticism is simple. You Democrats don't respect the law. You cross the border illegally. You have broken the law, and you are subject to deportation. These guys...

WHITEHOUSE: These immigrants I think you meant. You say, "You Democrats." I think you meant "You immigrants."

CUOMO: No, I'm saying, "You Democrats." Criticism of your party's perspective on this...


CUOMO: ... that you guys want to ignore the legal reality that, if somebody comes into the country illegally, they are a criminal and they can be deported. The GOP, the Trump White House says that's all they're codifying. They're just putting into the hands of law enforcement the full power to enforce the law.

WHITEHOUSE: Well, there are a couple of ways that they can do that. One way is simply to issue more criminal warrants. Law enforcement right now honors criminal warrants that have been issued by ICE. So if they think they're more people who need to be the subject of criminal warrants, they can just go ahead and do that.

What's, I think, alarming to people is that the broad scope of his language lets the public, gives the public no signal as to who is really in harm's way here. And I think there -- with the number of undocumented immigrants that we have in the country, the idea that we're going to do massive sweeps is practically not feasible. And you get into the Palmer raids problem of a century ago when we were surrounding people of wholesale. It was embarrassing for President Wilson. It was embarrassing for Attorney General Palmer, whose -- his name has -- lives in obloquy ever since.

So there are ways in which this can go badly wrong. And it's not clear that they have the safeguards up to protect against those things going badly wrong.

CUOMO: Obloquy, good word.

The concern is this. That how do we stay safe? That's the big -- that's the big fear factor right now, right, or whether it's Muslims or illegal immigrants, or undocumented immigrants, however you want to refer to them. Except we are vulnerable to bad people in our midst. This language comes out from the White House, which basically reads as anyone that an enforcement agent thinks could be a bad guy or a bad woman, they can scoop them up and get rid of them and keep you safe. What's the counter argument?

WHITEHOUSE: That's the problem, if the -- if the enforcement is arbitrary and capricious, that's actually the standard for error in administrative law, and I think they're going to need to clarify this and say, go on...

CUOMO: Even if they're good citizens?

WHITEHOUSE: ... concerns of people who aren't...

CUOMO: But what if they're not citizens? Then they don't have the same standards as due process that you and I do. But you don't want to be running a government that is breaking the standards of due process on a wholesale basis without a reason.

We have those standards of due process in part because of our values. You know, we don't go out and trash people and, just because they're not legally entitled to our values, our values are our values. They come from within. And I think that they're going to need to narrow and clarify who they are targeting, so that Grandma doesn't worry that somebody is going to come up the stairs and pull her out of her apartment, because that's not what anybody is concerned about. The other pushback.

CUOMO: Hold on a second, Senator. And I get your enforcement. We'll make that in a second. But just to be clear for the audience, there are a lot of people who are worried about grandma and all of her nephews and nieces and grandkids who may be here committing crimes. That's why they voted the way they did in the election. You have a president who promised to do this, and now he's delivering.

[07:25:10] WHITEHOUSE: Yes, but it's going to run up against all sorts of other things like, for instance, the law enforcement desire to have law enforcement priorities met. An attorney general or a chief of police who is running a significant gang investigation in a community does not want his relationship with that community and his witness relationships disrupted, because somebody's granny got dragged out of her apartment.

He has significant gang activity. He has drug dealing. He has murders. You have things like that to deal with, and I think that is going to start to become a pushback on the administration. You can't go into a community and tell them here's a new priority for you. It's not a real public safety priority in that community and not expect pushback.

CUOMO: Well, right. You can, but there may be a cost political and otherwise. We'll have to see how that plays out.

Now, you are the author of a book, Senator, that is so perfectly timed to the battle that your own party is having within itself, let alone the greater democracy, and it's going to come to a head tonight on CNN. You've got all eight candidates. We'll need your party. What will be their message?

Now, the book is called "Captures: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy." Tell us. You have a flag picture on the cover with the word "sold" over it. What is the main argument of the book?

WHITEHOUSE: The main argument of the book is that we should not lose confidence in our democracy and in our democratic institutions because of the way they're behaving now. That is not a failure of our democratic institutions. That is an occupation of our democratic institutions by corporate wealth and corporate power. That has no business being there in the first place, and that operates as quietly as it can so that you don't see the hands of the big forces behind the scenes pulling the strings.

And what's tragic about it is that people are starting to lose their faith in the democracy that generations of Americans fought and bled and died for, because it's misbehaving due to the corporate influence. We've got to target the real problem, which is corporate influence and, Chris, it is everywhere. In administrative agencies, in elections and lobbying, influencing our courts and alternative fact land.

It's really a pretty extraordinary array of quiet tentacles of power being extended. And I think as Americans, we need to fight back. We won this battle before under Teddy Roosevelt. Franklin Roosevelt fought it hard. We can and should do it again.

CUOMO: Quickly, who should lead your party and lead that fight?

WHITEHOUSE: I'll let them sort it out. I happen to like Tom Perez a lot, because he's a Rhode Island graduate of Brown University. He's been to Rhode Island a lot He fought in real life as secretary of labor. He was a really good civil rights division leader at justice. He's got real accomplishments. But I don't, you know, we're going to be a good strong party, irrespective of who is chosen.

CUOMO: Does he get your endorsement or not?

WHITEHOUSE: I haven't endorsed anybody. He's just a guy I like.

CUOMO: All right. Senator Whitehouse, thank you for being here.

WHITEHOUSE: My pleasure, good to be with you.

CUOMO: Good luck with the book.

Quick programming note: as I said, Dana Bash and I are going to moderate this big primetime debate tonight. All eight candidates who say they should be the leader of the Democratic National Committee, the DNC. That's going to set the course for the Democratic Party. So who is the best? Join us tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern. Please be there, only on CNN -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: You and Dana are the best. That's who.

The Trump administration changing the way America targets undocumented immigrants, so could there be mass deportations? We're going to hear both sides of the argument, next.