Return to Transcripts main page
Travel Ban Affects Seven Muslim Majority Nations; Protests Against Ban at JFK Airport; Trump Signs Three New Executive Actions. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired January 28, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:00:00] REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: America is the greatest nation, the greatest people in the world. I have a special immigration visa passport, me and my family. Because I worked with the U.S. government. I support the U.S. government (INAUDIBLE). But when I came here, they say, no, they take me out as I break the rules. I do something wrong. I surprised, really. We are surprised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: New York congressman Jerry Nadler also saying that 11 people, 11 additional people are still being detained right now at JFK airport. As we mentioned, this travel ban affects those seven Muslim majority nations.
Important to note, not included in the ban, the four countries where the 9/11 hijackers came from -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. The executive order also stops the admission of all refugees to the United States for four months.
Also not included in this executive order, the establishment of any safe zones within Syria for refugees trying to flee the civil war. But that is something that the president said he would while on the campaign trail, by is that no included? We are going to debate it all ahead.
But joining me now is our Rachel Crane. She is live at JFK.
There's a big protest, obviously, behind you, Rachel. What are the details about this man who was detained and now just released?
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, you are right. This protest, I had to put out, has really grown in size over the afternoon. And those hundreds of people out here, peacefully protesting, calling for the release of those 11 detainees here at JFK. Also calling on President Donald Trump to reverse the executive order.
And like I said, a very peaceful protest. We have seen children here. We have seen puppies. One little girl told me that she loves refugees. That refugees are what makes America beautiful.
But in regards to the lawsuit that was filed today, about the two Iraqi men who were detained, one of which was at least, one of which still remains detained here. We just got an update in a press conference in which congressman Nadler and others said that they still do not have the names of ten of those detainees here calling on the department of homeland security to release their names. We also know that the two Iraqi men that are involved in the lawsuit were handcuffed when they came to the United States and detained and they were interrogated for hours, Poppy.
HARLOW: Rachel Crane, live for us at JFK. Do let us know when you hear more because representative Nadler has said that 11 other people are detained there. Thank you very much.
Also this, when it comes to people with green cards that are traveling abroad, what does this all mean? Sources are now telling us that President Trump's executive order will also impact those with green cards if they are traveling abroad.
Ryan Nobles is live for us this afternoon at the White House.
I mean, what is the latest on that? Because this encompasses hundreds of thousands of people who are legal resident of this country.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. I mean, this executive order impacts people on many levels if they live in one of these seven countries that are impacted by the executive order. But it's those with green cards that they are finding the situation to be particularly confusing because they are of course legal residents of the United States. Under normal circumstances they should be able to walk up to a counter at an airport and buy a ticket and get into the United States without much trouble. But according to this executive order they will now be stopped and prevented from entering the United States. And instead will have to go through a waiver process in order to make their travel plans.
And this could be difficult because it appears that there is some confusion within the department of homeland security as to exactly what that waiver process will entail. Keep in mind, this is a group of individuals, who have already completed a lengthy vetting process, to obtain that green card. So this is now a second level of vetting that will required in each case before they can travel there.
And officials within the department of homeland security believe that this is such a serious situation that they are actually recommending if you live in the United States right now, if you're here in this country and you are from one of those seven countries, but hold a green card, they are recommending that you do not leave the United States at this point - Poppy.
HARLOW: Ryan Nobles at the White House, thank you very much.
I want to take you now to northern Iraq where word is spreading that all travel to the United States by Iraqi citizens is now canceled. Our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is in Erbil, Iraq for us where it is just past midnight.
Many families, obviously, who may have been planning to travel, all of that now on hold. How are Iraqi citizens receiving this news? ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are stunned
just like everyone else is. At this stage. Really struck (INAUDIBLE)
HARLOW: All right. It looks like we lost Arwa. But she did file a piece for us. Let's watch.
[16:05:04] DAMON (voice-over): Dilal (ph) and her husband were in Sinjar when ISIS stormed through the area on a killing and kidnapping rampage. They barely escaped. For them, that was the end of any notion that they could build a future in Iraq. Dilal is not her real name. But she is afraid that by speaking out she might ruin whatever chance remains to reach the United States despite it being the land of free speech.
DILAL, IRAQI CITIZEN (through translator): My dream was to go to America because it's the strongest country in the world. We feel that it's safe. It's the safest country. It has the strongest human rights.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And this is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entities.
DAMON: But with one signature, that vision of America shattered. Dilal says her husband worked as a translator for the U.S. military for years. And applied for asylum under the special immigrant visa program. It was granted. And he arrived in America last summer. On Saturday, Dilal was on her way to finally reunite with him.
DILAL (through translator): I was about to get on the plane, and they called my name. I went and they said you can't board. You can't travel. I was shocked. I cried. Why? Why me?
DAMON: Dilal was given this document from homeland security at the airport that basically tells her how she can put in an inquiry and figure out why she was denied boarding, although, that is pretty clear at this state. What isn't clear is when she can apply again and what she's supposed to do next. So she and all the others are basically right now in a state of limbo.
She is hardly on her own. The temporary travel ban on seven Muslim majority nations to the U.S. and the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees has left countless people reeling. Wondering how it is that the new leader of the so-called free world can have so little compassion for their suffering.
DILAL (through translator): My brain isn't working. I'm in shock. If I think of something, I start to cry. I'm not crying because I am weak, but because I had small dreams and I thought if I went to America, they would benefit from my small dreams. And I could make them come true there and I could be safe.
DAMON: What's your message right now to President Trump?
DILAL (through translator): My message is that we don't hate President Trump. We don't hate anyone. We love the American people. Have mercy. We don't have mercy in our country.
DAMON: But mercy, even for those that have suffered the most does not seem to b be on Trump's America-first agenda.
DAMON: And Poppy, there is a level of understanding amongst people where they do recognize that the U.S. and other countries want to protect themselves from potential acts of terrorism. What they are struggling to reconcile, though, is how it is that this ban is meant to help America accomplish that. Because for them, it simply does not make any sense.
HARLOW: And Arwa, that story is one of so many as your piece ended with those wide-eyed little girls. I mean, that is one of the key questions in all of this. This is a complete refugee ban, even on children and mothers of young children. What are the other stories you have heard as people have reacted to this news?
DAMON: You know, you not only have the stories of people that were hoping to travel today. You also have various stories of people that have been told not to bother traveling, to try to forgo their travel plans. And if we just focus on refugees from countries like Iraq and Syria at this stage, given everything that they have been through, all of the violence that they have witness and somehow survived, all the hopes they put towards this American dream and seeing it fulfilled and having the fresh start, that has all come crashing down right now.
And then of course you have nationals from the other countries that are encompassed in this ban. At this stage people who wanted to go to America to continue their studies. People who wanted to visit family members. All of them at this stage don't know what to do are not able to receive any guidance on when they can apply. You actually have families at this point that cannot reconnect with one another. That won't be able to see each other for who knows how long because of this ban that has been put into place. Not to mention that authorities have been caught completely unawares as well. And therefore, are unable to advise people on when they can travel at this stage.
There are so many unanswered questions. But really, Poppy, at the crux of all of this is this fundamental question of why is America doing this to us? No one can understand that at this stage. If we're talking about terrorism, and America wanting to protect itself by shutting itself off at this stage to those that are most vulnerable, and really it's only directly feeding into the ISIS narrative. But the west doesn't care about Muslim nations.
[16:10:13] HARLOW: Which is what Iran said today, the Iranian government this will only embolden their extremists and supporters.
Arwa Damon, live in Erbil. Thank you so much for that piece and that reporting.
Coming up next, we are going to reaction from lawmakers on the impact of all of this, including Ilhan Omar. She is the first Somali- American lawmaker ever elected. She won the election in November in her home state of Minnesota, the state with the largest Somali community in the country and she joins me next.
I'm Poppy Harlow. This is CNN.
[16:14:19] HARLOW: Welcome back. One of the seven countries included in President Trump's executive order temporarily banning travel to the United States for seven Muslim majority countries is Somalia.
In this country Minnesota is home to the greatest number of Somali refugee. Last year alone more than 1400 Somali refugees moved to Minneapolis. In November, Representative Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American lawmaker ever when she won the election to represent Minnesota's Cedar River side neighborhood, that's right outside of Minneapolis. She's a refugee who fled Somalia from Minnesota in 1995.
Thank you for joining me.
REP. ILHAN OMAR, MINNESOTA STATE HOUSE: Thank you for having me, Poppy.
[16:15:00] HARLOW: Obviously, I have been tracking your candidacy and your election because it's in my home state of Minnesota and you certainly made national headlines for this. I want to first get your reaction to Somalia being included in President Trump's executive order banning this travel and what it means for your constituents.
OMAR: I think I'm a little disheartened and disappointed to see Somalia included. As you said I am a refugee from Somalia. I'm also half Yemeni. So both of those countries are included in this Muslim ban. And you know, it's really disappointing to see our country fighting against its own ideals of, you know, being a country that is supposed to be welcoming to everyone.
HARLOW: What are your constituents saying to you? Because I would assume that many of them have family in Somalia, some coming hoping to have that family come join them in Minnesota.
OMAR: A lot of my constituents and Somali members of the community are confused, scared. And are trying to make sense of what this means. They know that they go through an extreme vetting process to make their way here. I was just having a conversation yesterday with a friend of mine who lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota. His wife has been going through the process of relocation for three years in Somalia. And she's just gone the clearance to come here. And now he knows that she, you know, won't be able to join him and we are allowing our country to divide families. This ban makes it hard for families that have done everything possible legally that they could do to be reunited with their families.
HARLOW: I should note that this ban were in place when you were in a refugee camp, you may not have been admitted to the United States and may never have become and made history, becoming the lawmaker that you now are.
But I do want to get your take on the opposite side of this argument. Let's listen for a moment to what the president said on the campaign trail when he was running at a rally in Minnesota.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Here in Minnesota you have seen firsthand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval. And with some of them then joining ISIS and spreading their extremist views all over our country and all over the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: As you well know, Minnesota has struggled to combat the spread of radicalization amongst some Somali youth there. First it was al-Shabab that was recruiting in Minnesota. Now it's ISIS. I have been there. I have reported on it firsthand. In September a young Somali man stabbed ten people at that mall in northern Minnesota for example and the feds investigated it as an act of terrorism. Does President Trump have a point?
OMAR: It's important for us to remember that extremism and terrorism doesn't have a nation. It doesn't have a religion. And it is also really important for us to point out that you know, some of the perpetrators of 9/11, the countries they come from are not included in this ban. So what we are doing right now is we are exploiting, yes, we are exploiting the ignorance of some parts of our communities and the fears that they might have of a faith that they don't understand and neighbors that they haven't taken a chance to learn the struggles and the processes that they've gone through to get here.
It is also important for us to remember that many of the people, many of the countries that are included in this ban are countries that have been going through a civil war. Some countries that are fighting and have successfully been able to Trump tumble a dictatorship. And we have aided and abetted them in the guise of trying to further democracy in the world.
For us now to turn our backs on them, and for us to say it is OK for us to get you in the mess that we have gotten you in. But now we are going to welcome you and we are not going to help you get the opportunities, our forefathers have gotten in the United States.
It's a shame and I'm saddened by that many of our community members here in Minnesota, regardless of what background they have, are saddened by the turn of events that we are witnessing here in our country.
I was just talking to someone here in this studio, who was telling me about her great grandfather, who is Irish and came to this country because of famine and hunger. And we know that the current refugees in Somalia, are fleeing the country because there is famine and drought. And so we -- it's important for us to understand and make the clear connections, and know that it is not because we have a faulty vetting system. It is not that we are facing a domestic threat from people, from these countries. But it is for us to be duped into campaign rhetoric and divisive and hateful messaging that is supposed to divide us. And we as a country should celebrate our diversity and continue to fight for the unity we believe we should have.
[16:21:09] HARLOW: Representative, before I let you go. I have been wanting to have you on this program for a long time even before this news broke and obviously I want your take on that as we just discussed. But also just your personal story. I mean, 20 years ago when were you sitting in Kenya, in a refugee camp, did you ever believe that you would be able to come to the you United States at the age of 12, first to Virginia and then Minnesota, at the age of 14 get involved in local politics and then make history becoming the first Somali-American lawmaker in the country?
OMAR: Actually more than ever today I have been thinking about that. I have been thinking about the young girls that are sitting in a refugee camp in the back and the young girls who are sitting in refugee camps throughout the world, waiting for their second chance, for the opportunity to truly fulfill all of their dreams. And for me when I was eight years old for those four years before I arrived in the U.S. I couldn't imagine what my life would become. And now I have gotten the opportunity to come here to get full education to be able to have kids here and be a productive member of our society. And now have the privilege and the opportunity to be a lawmaker in our wonderful state in Minnesota. And to contribute positively is an opportunity, and it is the example of what it means when we give people second chances.
And that is what a lot of these refugees are looking for, what a lot of these immigrants that are arriving in our country are looking for. They are just looking for that second chance. That opportunity to live a happy life where they have liberty and justice.
HARLOW: Representative Omar, thank you for being with us today.
OMAR: Thank you for having me. And thank you for talking about this and raising the conscience of our community members.
HARLOW: All the best.
Still to come, President Trump's executive orders are already facing legal challenges. More could follow. An expert immigration attorney joins me next he is actually the first ladies immigration lawyer. He is going to detail all of this ahead.
[16:27:12] HARLOW: Reaction has been swift to President Trump's executive order banning nationals from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United States. Several legal challenges are expected. Some lawsuits have already been filed.
Michael Wildes joins me now. He is a U.S. attorney and an immigration attorney as well as a professor. He is also a federal -- former federal prosecutor and represents Trump models, as well as representing the first lady, Melania Trump over the summer in her immigration case. He is here to talk about all of it for us.
Nice to have you. MICHAEL WILDES, U.S. IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Pleasure, Poppy.
HARLOW: When you look at the legality of this, the constitutionality of this that's being challenged by some attorneys. They say some are arguing it on the grounds of the establishment clause, saying it violates the establishment clause, some are saying a violates the fifth amendment. How do you see it?
WILDES: I think there's a lot of problems with it. I see right away when you look at section three, where it says actually, it bars entry to aliens from those seven nations. Well, when it says aliens from those seven nations. What you about dual nationals? We have a client where the parents were both American citizens, the individuals born in Iraq, and he is carrying a U.S. passport. Are they going to bar him? Are they going to bar dual nationals? Are they going to bar people who visited those countries as the next step? There needs to be a clarification of what the president was trying to accomplish.
And I do believe that the president was consistent, is sincere and genuine about creating a vetting process. The problem is, we have 11 million plus people already here. Targeted seven nations. Mind you, the preamble to the executive orders talk about the 19 hijackers, they all came from Saudi Arabia.
HARLOW: Sixteen of the 19. The others came from the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon who are also not included on this list.
WILDES: So a lot of these individuals, if not all of them, had real genuine visas. And if you're targeting seven countries and even putting an executive order in place without notice. Of course you can't give notice and effectively do this from an enforcement point of view. The real question is, Poppy, if you pull the lens back, is this the right way to treat people? I have a physician right now, an Iranian doctor, who a few weeks ago his green card was approved. He is now in Italy saving a child's life. He can't come back here. He doesn't have the documentation.
HARLOW: So there are a lot of questions, including what will this mean for green card holders. The White House is saying this is going to look at on a case-by-case basis.
WILDES: But that's not (INAUDIBLE). They said aliens coming from. So it's so broad. And you can imagine that DHS officers and CPBO are going to handle it in different parts of the country differently until then.
HARLOW: When it comes to immigration law, which states that you cannot bar someone from coming to the United States because of their religious orientation, at the same time presidents tend to have much more discretion when it comes to, when it comes to immigration law rather than say the constitution. Does the Trump administration have ground to stand on in that case?
[16:30:21] WILDES: Historically the president has always had authority to issue executive orders. We have been fighting pirates in the high seas from when our nation started at its birth but we never stopped taking refugees. Today the president called for a halt of taking refugees.
HARLOW: But I'm asking you not your opinion but your legal expertise on whether this administration has grounds to stand on legally.
WILDES: The president has the authority to do what he did. I believe it's unconstitutional. The plenary power --
HARLOW: So you don't think it will be upheld by the courts?
WILDES: No. I don't believe it will be upheld by the courts. And I also believe that Congress has the plenary power to deal with immigration laws. They, Monday morning should be stepping out. If not this weekend, stepping into the space that the president has done because they can enact legislation. They control the purse strings. They make the laws. The president is using his discretion in how to execute them to protect us. I think inappropriately.
HARLOW: To be clear. You have been paid by the Trump family. You have been paid by the president before he was president to represent his wife, Melania Trump and Trump models, correct?
WILDES: Absolutely. But nobody paid me for my opinion. And the truth is as a lawyer, as an American, and truthfully as a Jew, I'm concerned about my brothers and sisters, my Christian brothers and sisters. The people that are now in harm's way. We cannot get this beautiful experiment wrong.
Poppy, the greatest entrepreneurial spirit hails from immigration. And it doesn't matter what visa I get or what the president or first lady did in the past. We have to get this right. Mind you, the genuineness of the president and the first lady when it comes to immigration and compliance and believing what they are is heartfelt. The way they are executing this may be a campaign promise returned. But it's completely unconstitutional and inappropriate as we are fighting a difficult economy and trying to surmount ourselves.
The greatest risk-takers that we have, people who are Americans, who will employ Americans are immigrants. Why would we shoot ourselves in the foot? What about the foreign students that are now on vacation that can't come back to go to school?
HARLOW: Michael Wildes, thank you for joining me.
HARLOW: We appreciate it.
Coming up for us, the world continues to react to President Trump's executive order banning travel to the United States from the seven majority Muslim nations. Next we speak to a former senior adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign to get his take.
You've live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:35:32] HARLOW: Welcome back. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
The world is reacting to President Trump's executive order banning those from seven Muslim majority nations from entering the United States for at least 120 days. Those seven nations on the screen are the ones that are, where the ban has taken place.
Joining me now is former congressman Jack Kingston, a senior adviser to the president's campaign. He joins me now from Washington. Nice to have you on.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Great to be here, Poppy.
HARLOW: Let's talk about what effect you think this ban will have in stopping terror. Meaning what data can you point to, that justifies that these seven nations have a tie to U.S. terror attacks or a higher incidents of bringing terrorists to this country?
KINGSTON: Well, I think the idea is that maybe that the evidence I would say is that these countries themselves don't really have a, a standard that would preclude enemies of the United States from immigrating here. When you think about Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, these are not countries that are known to love the United States of America. So I think the idea of re-implementing a ban which we have had in the past, where you can sort out who is coming in, what are they doing here? How long will they be here? I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it is a step forward in trying to organize our border security.
HARLOW: So you say these are not countries that love the United States and therefore this is justified. So what about Russia?
KINGSTON: Well, I think in Russia and you know there's a lot of other Islamic countries and other countries that aren't always fond of America. But I don't think you have necessarily the concerns and the vigilance that you may need if you're talking about Sudan. I think these countries really just frankly have higher standards. But --
HARLOW: So let's point to the standards we know, congressman, and let's pull up on the screen, what it takes for let's say Syria for example. What it takes for a Syrian person, a refugee to come into this country because there is a lot. The processing time is 18 to 24 months. They are screened by DHS, Homeland Security, the defense department, the FBI. Their enhanced review of the Syrian cases. They have iris scans, fingerprints, they have to show their identifying documents, their biographical information is done in multiple security checks. That is what they already go though. It's incredibly hard to get into this country as a Syrian, already. So what needs to change? Why does it need to be more stringent?
KINGSTON: Well, I think the question is the documents that DHS and everybody is looking at, are they, do they have integrity themselves? What is it --?
HARLOW: Do you know that they don't, congressman?
KINGSTON: Well, that's the question. And I think that that's what --
HARLOW: You don't write laws or issue executive orders based on things you don't know.
KINGSTON: Actually you do, Poppy. I mean, I think frankly the Obama administration for years kind of had their eyes half-shut. And what the Trump people are saying is we want to find out. Now, if the Syrian documents have high degree of integrity, and then maybe we need to find that out and then you back off this thing. But you know, certainly --
HARLOW: But Congressman, can you point to a single terrorist attack in this country that was carried out by a Syrian refugee?
KINGSTON: I think you could look at DHS records and see that refugees in general have often been the cloak under which terrorists do move from country to country. And we do not know who is coming in our country.
HARLOW: But Congressman, I asked if you could point to an event that you think justifies this ban. That's endangered or killed American people.
KINGSTON: Yes. Let me point to it. Fort Hood, Orlando, San Bernardino, terrorist attacks around the world that have to do -- let me finish.
HARLOW: Let's go through every single one of those.
KINGSTON: No, Poppy, I didn't finish my sentence.
HARLOW: Congressman, you said something that's not factual.
KINGSTON: Because ear not letting me finish the sentence. And the rest of the sentence is all of these security, the terrorist attacks have to do with who is coming in, how long they been there, where they been radicalized and what's happening with this order. Its part of a greater security, one of the things that Trump never gets credit for is how do people become radicalized. And that's part of what he wants to put on the table. And I think in the case of Fort Hood and Orlando those are questions. How do these people who are already here, how do they become radicalized? So to me --
[16:40:13] HARLOW: All right. Congressman you're talking about American citizens. I want to correct this for our viewers. Nadal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, he was born in Arlington, Virginia. His parents were Palestinians. When you look at San Bernardino - it is your point. You are saying that this is justification for the ban. The San Bernardino shooter --
KINGSTON: No. This is all --.
HARLOW: The San Bernardino shooter, Syed Rizwan Farook, was born in Illinois. His parents were Pakistani. His wife, was born in Pakistan. His wife, Tashfeen Malik, was born in Pakistan, lived in Saudi Arabia, came to the United States. The attacker in Orlando was an American. So how is that justification?
KINGSTON: Because this is all part of the defense against terrorism and it's all part of immigration security. Knowing who is coming in, knowing who is here, knowing how they get radicalized, this is all part of immigration and terrorism which is what the president ran on and what he said look, we are going to kind of clean up the mess. We need to know who is in our country and what they are doing.
HARLOW: Congressman, most of those people you just pointed to are American. Most of the people you point to are American who is were born here.
KINGSTON: Poppy, don't you think it would be a good idea to find out why they are radicalized and what happens to them?
HARLOW: Of course I do, congressman. And as you well know much of this radicalization is happening online. Much of this radicalization is happening online.
KINGSTON: But this is part of his comprehensive approach to cracking down on terrorism and border security is part of it. And so --
HARLOW: Then why is it that no country, none of the four countries where the 19, 9/11 hijacker came from, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon and Egypt are not included? If that is why, why not included any of those countries in the ban?
KINGSTON: You know, if it gets to that we need to include other countries and that is in the national security, we need to do that. But, as you know, Saudi Arabia is an ally of ours and so many of these, Egypt is and so many of the other countries, where the hijackers came from.
But this is all part of the comprehensive plan that Mr. Trump is trying to get a grip on. And so you know, if you pick apart one part and say, OK, this is horrible, therefore the whole plan falls apart but it's not. You know, for example, building the wall is part of this. Increasing border patrol and I say, this is all part of it. So again -- comprehensive plan to crack down on immigration security in order to get a better grip on terrorism and the threats to America.
HARLOW: Congressman Jack Kingston, I will have to leave it there. You will be with us later. I appreciate your time.
KINGSTON: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: Straight ahead, an issue that's at the center of President Trump's agenda. So what are people that are living along the Mexico and U.S. border, where the wall is partially built and the president wants to build a full one, what are they saying about it? We went to the border with Ed Lavendera to find out.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavender in Nogales, Arizona where we are reporting from the borderlands, taking a journey from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California. Nearly 2,000 miles capturing snapshots of life and hearing the voices of the people who call this area home.
[16:46:29] HARLOW: Welcome back.
Over the past two months our Ed Lavendera has been traveling the entire length of the U.S. southern border with Mexico. And as President Donald Trump rounds out his first week in office, border issues are at the center of his agenda.
Over the next two hours you will see the rest of this extraordinary in-depth series, went to capture snapshots of life and the voices of the people who call the borderlands home.
Part two, takes us to Arizona.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): On the border's edge from Nogales, Arizona, several dozen migrants gather for breakfast inside a shelter known as the Keno Border initiative which where Jesus Garcia is trying to figure out how to get into the United States. Over a map he recounts how far he has traveled since he left home the day before Donald Trump was elected president.
So he started here in San Pedro in Honduras, made his way across Guatemala to this little town and this is where he crossed into Mexico. He says he hasn't been able to cross. He left home November 7th of last year and he has tried three times already to get across, but he hasn't been able to.
Garcia says it's the first time he's ever tried crossing the border illegally. And says it's harder than he imagined. But on the other side, a legion of border patrol agents' cameras barricades, ground sensors are waiting. Even some private citizens working on their own to stop migrants like Jesus Garcia from getting across.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the scene in the matrix.
LAVANDERA: In Tim Folley's world, borderlands are a threatening, dangerous place.
TIM FOLLEY, ARIZONA BORDER RECON: This is what the world looks like.
LAVANDERA: Folley leads a volunteer group called Arizona border Recon that patrols the border around Sasabe, Arizona, a town on the U.S./Mexico border with less than 100 people.
FOLLEY: I have been called everything in the book. I have been called the domestic extremist.
LAVANDERA: The southern poverty law center which monitors hate groups in the U.S. says Folley's group is made up of quote "native extremists." Folley sees the flow of drugs, undocumented migrants and the wide-open spaces of the border as the country's biggest threat.
Along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S. southern border, there is already about 700 miles of fencing and barricades already in place. Here in Sasabe, Arizona, this steel see-through fence stretches for several miles. But as you approach the end of town, it abruptly comes to an end like these border fences often do as it stretches out into rugged remote terrain in the Arizona desert.
Folley relies on a collection of cameras he hides in the brush to capture the movements of drug smugglers. He often shares that information and the videos with border patrol agents.
FOLLEY: You need boots on the ground. That's what is keeping you out there. Good thing we have this up here.
LAVANDERA: Foley voted for Donald Trump and wants to see all undocumented immigrants who committed crimes in the U.S. deported. An additional border agents moved closer to the Mexican border. But he is not convinced Trump or anyone else can change the reality he sees.
FOLLEY: When you're reactive to a problem. You're always going to be behind the solution.
[16:50:02] LAVANDERA: For many, like 18-year-old Maricela Ramirez, they tried to come illegally from Mexico. She was caught by border patrol with a group of migrants and quickly deported. She wanted to find work in the U.S. to help support her elderly parents. She trembles as she recalls the experience of being smuggled across the border.
I asked her if she was going to try to cross again. Her brother is still being detained in the United States. She is waiting for him to get out. And she is not really sure what they are going to do next. So she is waiting for him to be sent back here. And they will figure out what they're going to do next.
It's the cycle that never ends on the border.
As the flow of migration continues, it's not just migrants coming from Mexico, many of the migrants coming Mexico, many of the migrant that are now coming to the United States escaping violence and gangs in Central America. So this isn't just a Mexico/U.S. issue. It's really a much more multinational problem. But there as a great divide on exactly how to handle all of this as you can see from our reporting.
LAVANDERA: Humanitarian groups who say that comprehensive immigration reform needs to be what's focused on first, then you have border patrol agents who say border security and many Republicans who say border security needs to be what is addressed initially. So that great divide hasn't been bridged yet. And that's one of the big issues facing these borderland communities -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Ed, thank you so much for that report. And next hour, Ed's journey is going to take us to San Diego,
California, a place that now finds itself on the front lines of this entire immigration debate. That straight ahead.
Quick break. We are back in a moment.
[16:53:43] HARLOW: All right. Welcome back.
This just in to CNN. President Donald Trump signing three new executive actions. He signed them just a few moments ago. Let's take a look.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello. Why don't you move over? Go ahead. I think we have enough room. How are you?
So this is a five-year lobbying ban. And this is all of the people, most of the people standing behind me will not be able to go to work or do anything adverse to our wonderful country.
OK, five-year ban. It's a two-year ban now and it's got full of loopholes. This is five-year ban. So you have one last chance to get out. Good. I had a feeling you were going to say that.
This was something, the five-year ban that I've been talking about a lot on the campaign trail. And we are now putting it into effect.
[16:55:08] TRUMP: This is the organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. You know pretty much what it represents a lot. And also a lot of efficiency and I think a lot of additional safety. People have been talking about doing this for a long time. Like many years. OK. Here, Mr. Vice president.
TRUMP: This is the plan to defeat the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, in other words ISIS. I think it's going to be very successful. OK. That's big stuff. Have a good weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Totally. It is not a Muslim ban, but we are totally prepared. It's working out very nicely. You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It's working out very nicely and we're going to have a very, very strict ban and we are going to have extreme vetting which we should have had in this country for many years.
Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, guys. Thank you. Appreciate it. HARLOW: President Trump there just signing three executive actions.
The media there in the oval office as he did that. Took a few questions.
Athena Jones is live with me outside the White House with more on that.
So you have got a five-year lobbying ban for administration officials, a lifetime ban on lobbying on behalf of foreign governments. A plan to defeat ISIS and a reorganization of the national Security Council. Do we know what's included specifically in any of these?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We haven't seen the texts yet, Poppy. But this is something that was initially announced a little earlier in the day. These were executive actions that were still being worked on, still being finalized. In fact, we don't know what their executive borders or what their memoranda. These are technical details. But we are still going to be waiting on that test.
I will tell you that in the briefing with senior administration officials, there was a question raised about these lobbying bans. How will they enforce a lobbying ban perhaps long after the Trump administration is over? They acknowledge that that's something that's necessarily easy to do.
They also clarified, of course, that when it comes to the plan to defeat ISIS, the plan is not -- the idea is not to have a plan that defeats ISIS in 30 days, but within 30 days to have the Joint Chiefs of Staff present him with, with a plan that would defeat the terror group -- Poppy.
HARLOW: And you know he said many times on the campaign trail he doesn't want to make those plans public and how he will defeat ISIS. He has criticized the administration for doing that. So who knows what we will hear, if anything at all.
Athena, it's important to note as he is signing all of these executive actions and executive orders. They don't always work, right? They don't always have the teeth to necessarily be implemented, right? They can face a lot of legal challenges as President Obama saw.
JONES: Certainly. I mean, in some cases it seems these are more statements of policy or priority. It's unclear the nuts and bolts of how they will be carried out. And they certainly could face legal challenge. We saw a legal challenge to many of the executive actions that President Obama took especially when it comes to for instance, not just DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and that so- called Dreamers, but also DACA. I remember he tried to expand that deferred action to the parents of those dreamers that basically action was halted.
And then of course you have now just even today, the lawyers for those two Iraqis that were detained in JFK. I know at least one of them has been released so far. The other was in the process of being waved in as of few hours ago. But that's also legal action that's coming. So it's not something that's going to be without its critics and people who are trying to fight -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Athena Jones live at the White House. We appreciate it. Thank you so much.
HARLOW: Top of the hour, 5:00 p.m. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
Breaking news, President Trump speaking about his controversial executive order, one that bar 134 million people from seven Muslim majority countries from coming to the United States.