June 30, 2021

The Melting Pot – Are Current Policies Fair for All? – with Susan Tully [Ep. 78]

The Melting Pot – Are Current Policies Fair for All? – with Susan Tully [Ep. 78]

Do you have a lock on the door to your house, car, or office? Do you have a fence around your yard or a security guard at your business? Would you be willing to remove security measures to allow anyone – or everyone – to enter and use your property in whatever way they choose, at your expense? Some of the people who would answer yes to the personal security questions are the same people who demand that America have open borders with little to no screening and with pathways for dependency and citizenship for those who enter the country illegally. America is a melting-pot, and we are proud to be a nation that draws immigrants from all over the world. However, our current immigration policies have created a flood of illegal immigrants and the victimization of many through crime and human trafficking. Listen as Linda interviews Susan Tully from The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), regarding how current policies are impacting our security, economy, workforce, education, and more. Are current policies fair for all? Listen to decide for yourself!

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Linda J Hansen: Thank you for joining us today.  This topic is so important, but first I’m going to ask you a few questions.  Do you have a lock to the door on your house?  How about your car?  Your office?  Do you have a fence around your yard or a security guard at your apartment complex?  You might have security cameras at your home or place of business.  Do you have them at your cabin or vacation home?  If so you are taking wise precautions to keep you and your family or employees safe.  Would you be willing to remove those locks or security measures to allow anyone or everyone to enter and use your property in whatever way they choose at your expense?  Would you have little to no screening as to who would enter your property and make use of your resources?  Most people would answer “no” to those last questions although they may be supportive of humanitarian efforts to help those without access to such resources.  However, to host and fund countless numbers of people for any reason is not realistic or safe.  Yet some of the same people who could answer “yes” to the personal security questions are the same people who demand that America have open borders with little to no screening and with pathways for dependency and citizenship for those who enter the country illegally.


America has always been a nation of immigrants.  Most of our ancestors came from a different country.  America is a melting pot and we’re proud to be a nation that draws people from all over the world as they seek freedom and opportunity.  However, contrary to popular belief, there were limits and legalities to becoming an American citizen when people poured into Ellis Island or even when they fled to Florida from Cuba after Fidel Castro gained power.  Immigrants have added much to the prosperity of our nation.  We want to continue welcoming legal immigrants to join our country as citizens.  However current immigration policies are causing great harm to immigrants as they are caught in a web of crime and victimization. The safety and security of the immigrants and every American citizen are at risk when we have policies that do more harm than good.


Here to discuss those policies is my special guest, Susan Tully.  Susan Tully serves as the Senior Field Representative and Law Enforcement Relations Manager for FAIR which is the Federation for American Immigration Reform.  Susan joined the FAIR staff in 2002.  She is a former business owner, manager for municipal code enforcement, immigration coordinator for the Coalition of Government Officials in southern California, and president of Citizens Committee for Immigration Policy.  Susan manages FAIR’s extensive and national Field Program.  She develops members and activist support and educates the media and the public on immigration issues.  This is such a critical issue in our society today.  So thank you, Susan, for taking time for this interview.  Welcome.


Susan Tully: Thank you, Linda.  It’s a pleasure to be with you.


Linda: Ahh, it’s great.  I’ve known Susan off and on.   Our lives have connected over the last couple of decades, I think, as we’ve been involved in different political endeavors.  I’m just really grateful to reconnect and get your insight as to these immigration policies.  When you think about immigration now, what would you say is the most important issue facing our country today?


Susan: Without a doubt, it’s been since President Biden has taken office and the fact that he has systematically step-by-step opened borders, encouraged illegal immigration.  Never before in the history of this nation has any President actually done everything he can to help facilitate illegal immigration, which is what’s happening right now.  At the largest rate, it’s unprecedented.  Never in the history of this country have we seen so many people flooding to our borders to come here, claim asylum, or come through illegally.  


There are two different groups of people who are coming through here.  There are the families and the unaccompanied minors who are going through Texas, claiming asylum.   But there are hundreds of thousands of criminals who are sneaking through, don’t want to be caught at the same time, upwards of about 200,000 a month.  They are known criminals.  Many of them have been deported for crimes that they’ve committed here before.  I was just down in Arizona. The border patrol and sheriffs told me they had one gentleman who had committed countless felonies, had been deported nine times, and had just been caught one more time at the southern border.  So it is absolutely terrifying to think that we have 200,000 who are coming through the borders each and every month that we know absolutely nothing about, and they’re getting through.  So the numbers that they apprehend are one out of three people who attempt to come in, so the other two are getting away.  And we are on track right now, Linda, to see two million people this year come through.


Linda: It’s amazing.  With all these people coming through, we have no idea who they are.  In the age of Covid, we’ve seen that many are not being tested.  We’ve seen the inhumane conditions in which they’ve been housed, and if you could call it that, in some ways.  The thing that concerns me the most about all of this is the human trafficking that is happening with adults and children at our borders.  Just to think about these small children who are being used by adults not only like rent-a-kid-type things where they are being brought back and forth across the border to be “the child” of the supposed parents, but also for those who are being used to pay off the cartels.  It’s just heartbreaking to see the sexual trafficking, the labor trafficking.  What can we do?


Susan: The only thing that we can do is contact our members of the Congress and say what President Biden and Vice-President Harris are doing or not doing has to be stopped.  President Biden inherited the most secure border this nation has seen in forty years.  All experts…I was just, like I said, at the border this past weekend, with the former official of ICE for President Trump, the former chief of border patrol, numerous other administrative people who had been in border patrol for forty years and said there had not been a more secure border than what we had under President Trump.  


It’s all gone.  It’s all gone.  And it’s a free-for-all.  And all we are doing is facilitating as you’ve said, human trafficking, sex trafficking and enriching the Mexican cartels because no one gets through the …we don’t have any control at all on the southern border.  No one gets through the southern border without paying the cartels a minimum of $8,000 per person if you’re from Mexico, $17,000 if you’re from anywhere else.  So this is putting billions of dollars in the pockets of the Mexican drug cartels.   


Linda:  It’s heartbreaking and I think that’s a story that doesn’t always get out.  I think people hear a little bit about it.  But because maybe it doesn’t affect their life today, they don’t think as seriously about it.  But I’ve seen videos where the cartels are even in some ways more armed than our military and they’re lawless.  It is just horrendous.  I heard you speak recently and you mentioned that profits from human trafficking had exceeded those of drugs for all these different cartels.  


Susan: All experts believe this will be the first time, the first year, that that in fact has happened, that the human trafficking profits will exceed drug trafficking.


Linda: Um-hum. It’s just horrible. And the toll on these individuals, emotional and physical toll is just so heartbreaking.  And I do want to touch, too, that violence with those cartels, the violence has increased so much on the border.  I’ve heard from ranchers and property owners, business owners.  The amount of violence, can you address that a little?


Susan: Well, you know when you were talking about 200,000 a month of criminals sneaking through.  These are people who are ruthless; in fact, you don’t know what their background is.  You don’t know what they are capable of.  Many of them have committed homicides or assaults or other crimes like that.  So since you don’t know who they are, you don’t know what they are capable of.  If they are afraid they are going to be captured, or one of the biggest problems is they have no resource when they come through the southern border.  They are traveling very light; sometimes they may be carrying drugs to help pay off what they owe the cartels.  They have to do what the cartels tell them to do.  So they don’t want to be caught and so that makes them very dangerous.  Now whether they are armed or not, that’s, you know.  Probably many of them are, but on the other hand anything can become a weapon.  So even law enforcement is told…we were in Sierra Vista for a special event with law enforcement over the past weekend and all of the law enforcement officials who were driving from Phoenix to Sierra Vista were told, “If you’re driving in a car, do not stop for anyone and make sure you are armed and have your gun very close to your person.”  Just to travel down there.  This is the I-10.  


Linda: Wow.


Susan: This is the Interstate 10.  Lots of families are on this in summer for vacation and the law enforcement themselves are being warned to make sure they are armed and don’t stop to help anyone.


Linda: Um-hum.  This is so heartbreaking because we don’t, you know, I think in America, we want to help people.  So if we saw someone, we could easily subject ourselves to a crime if we do stop like we normally would.  This is just, I think, something that needs to get out to the American public.  I do think that business owners can help their employees to understand the ripple effects of immigration, but they can also be alert to the human traffickers in the midst.  I mean as they see human traffickers making proposals to their workers, or there are employees who come in and they just don’t know the whole story.  There are also signs we can watch out for that would help us to know if some of these criminals are coming to our communities.  Would you be able to share a couple of those?


Susan: Well, there’s no way of knowing actually where they’re going.  They don’t have enough detention facilities.  Many of these people aren’t being processed at all.  They’re having to be turned loose.  Now again we’re talking about two separate groups of people here.  There are the families and the unaccompanied minors who want to be caught.  They want to be processed because the chances of them getting to a hearing to talk about whether they actually can fit the asylum claim or not could be years away from today, years, probably three to four and so they know that they can stay here.  They are being given work permits and in some cases they are giving them everything that they need in order to set up and live here until their case comes up for review.  Those people want to be caught.  


But when we’re talking about the criminal element which is the largest number of all, who don’t want to be caught, who are coming through and trying not to be apprehended, there is no way of knowing where they’re going, what they’re doing, whose community they’re coming to and there’s no way for me to tell you or anyone else what to look out for because there’s just simply no way of knowing.  This is why law enforcement is so upset right now because, as you know, there are illegal immigrants living in the United States who have been here for years in every state in the country.  And so depending upon who they know, where they’ve been in the past, if they’ve been here and been deported, there’s no way of telling for sure where they may be going.  And so they pose a huge risk to all Americans at this time.


Linda: You brought up some good points about the secure border that was established under President Trump’s administration.  I know the mainstream media and many on the left criticized him greatly and they accused him of children in cages and not caring about the immigrants.  But I’d like you to address that a little bit because, from my perspective, what I saw was true care and concern for the immigrants so they could enter the country legally and in a humane and safe fashion.  They could be cared for properly.  The children were cared for in a compassionate manner and always they were trying to reunite with parents.  I think the misconceptions that are out there need to always be addressed and contrasted to what has happened under the Biden administration.  If you could maybe even go from like, say, the Obama administration to the Trump administration and now to the Biden administration, I would like to help people understand that maybe what they’ve seen in the headlines is not actually what is happening on the border.


Susan: Well, it is not an accurate depiction at all.  In fact, the children in cages actually happened under the Obama administration not the Trump administration.  The pictures that were used in those stories were actually pictures that were taken during the Obama administration and not the Trump administration at all.  But the truth is the children were never put in cages, they were held in detention for 72 hours required by law.  The law in the United States requires all children be processed within 72 hours and then turned over to health and human services, which they were.  But until they are turned over, that 72 hour period, they have to be held in a detention facility.  They cannot be put with their parents because their parents are with other adults.  That would be harmful potentially to children to house them with adult males or adult females.  


In this country when someone is detained, if somebody’s committed a crime, a family is involved and they had to take them into custody, the mother would go into female custody, the father would go into male custody, and the children would go into juvenile facilities.  So that’s what happens with these children while they’re being processed.  But the thing that nobody ever says, that needs to be told, is that nobody has to stay in detention at all—the children or their parents.  All they have to say is, “Never mind.  I want to go home.”  And then they would release them.  While everyone is talking about, nobody ever says, “They are not in jail.  They are being held in detention. They’re not being released until they try to find out who they are and what they’re claim is.  If they want to move forward, they have 72 hours to process them, put them in the hands of health and human services.  Period.  End of story.  


But if at any time the child or parents say, “I want to go home.”  They would be released.  They are only held because they don’t want to go home.  They want to stay and go through the process.  So they are not prisoners.  They have never been held prisoner.  They are free to go home at any time.  They choose not to.  And nobody ever says that.


Linda:  Um- hum.  That’s a really good point.  I thank you for bringing that up because there has been so many misconceptions about what happens.  I really appreciate that you are bringing to light the fact that these policies have been there really to protect the children and protect the individuals.  Could you explain what President Trump did that helped to provide a more safe and secure border?


Susan: Well, one of the things was the stay-in-place protocols, meaning the people had to stay in Mexico and offer up their asylum case to be reviewed before they even allowed them to come into the U.S.  A lot of them decided they weren’t going to stay in Mexico long enough to do that.  In fact, I heard the number the other day.  Less than 20% of people who apply for asylum coming to our borders actually are granted asylum.  It’s because we don’t really allow, our policy does not allow people who are not persecuted—they have fear, critical fear of their life.  “I want a better life,” is not asylum.  You’re not allowed to have asylum just because you want a better job or a better way of life.  You have to be actually actively persecuted.  You have to prove that.  So less than 20% actually can prove their case and be given asylum, around the world into the United States.  The truth is they’re trying to use a loophole that doesn’t usually work for them.  By putting in place that they have to stay in Mexico, that helped with a lot of that.  


The second part of it was they’re traversing multiple countries to come here and then claim asylum.  So they went back to enforcing that if you were from another country which would not be Mexico, but Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, anywhere else.  The asylum laws around the world say that once you are out of your country where you’re being persecuted, that’s where you are supposed to apply for asylum.  You can’t shop for the best country that you want to claim asylum.  If you are being persecuted, your life is in danger, you should be applying for asylum in the first country you come to.  That again stopped many of the people from attempting to traverse multiple countries in order to get to the United States.  So we were down to a fraction, just an absolute fraction of people coming through this country at the end of the four years under President Trump.  Now it is the worst flood and free-for-all that this nation has ever seen.  So that’s the differences.


Linda: Right. I know there’s a lot of controversy about the wall.  But like I said in my opening, most of us have walls around our houses.   We’ve got locks on our doors.  We lock our cars.  We lock our businesses.  We don’t just let anybody in for whatever reason while we pay the price tag.


Susan: Walls work.  Locks work.  Processes work.  This is the most generous immigration nation in the world.  We take in more legal immigrants each and every year than the whole rest of the world combined.  And now President Biden says that’s not enough, that we should let anybody who wants to come here.  Well, there’s seven billion plus people in the world.  When will enough be enough?  How do we house the kind of people, how do we house an additional 200.000 people coming into this nation?  How do we give them jobs?  How do we care for them?  Nobody’s building 200,000 homes each and every month in this nation.  


With Covid, just coming out of Covid, that crisis, well, we could just talk about Covid awhile.  Are these people being tested?  The answer is no.  We’ve been locked down for a year and a half and these policies are just allowing people to flood into this nation.  We know for a fact, the few that they did test, about 25% of them had Covid and they are just being turned loose into our communities.  How do you square keeping us locked up for a year and a half and then letting the world flood in here with no testing at all and no consideration for Covid?  How do you do that?


Linda: Well, it’s another one of those things that doesn’t make any sense.  We see these policies that don’t really line up with common sense or equal protection under law for everyone.  The citizens are being forced to pay for all these illegals coming in as they’re being put on buses or trains or planes and being housed in different communities all around the country.  We’re being forced to pay for that through our tax dollars, but we are being subjected to some of the crime and the economic implications of this as well.  So you recommended that we contact elected officials, but how would we as citizens get the best information and be the best advocates for humane and sensible border policies?


Susan: Well, first of all, we need to simply enforce the laws we have on the book.  We have very good immigration laws.  We have very generous immigration laws.  We need to demand that everybody has to follow those protocols.  Nobody, in my opinion, can say that it’s justified to let somebody jump the border, come in here, and be entitled to everything, while other people around the world who are sitting in line, in the queue to come here, are having to wait because they are waiting their turn.  So you can’t justify letting anyone come in here ahead of them unless they are truly an asylee, in which case they should be applying for asylum somewhere other than at the border of the United States.  So we need to go back to simply enforcing the laws that we have on the books.  We need to remove people who come here illegally.  We need to deincentivise all of the things that are happening now and go back to, “There will be no benefit to you if you simply show up at the border or try to get in here illegally, that you will be prosecuted under the law.”  It’s a misdemeanor the first time someone attempts to do that and it’s a felony once they’ve been taken out of here or returned to their home.  It’s a felony if they come back.  We need to be prosecuting.  We need to be holding those people accountable.  That will stop much of the reason they are coming in here.  


But I don’t know if you heard last week that President Biden has also changed the fact that if someone comes in here and claims asylum, hasn’t been given asylum, but just claims asylum, is now already allowed to petition and have their family flown here to come with them at our expense and join them now.  What does that do?  What kind of Pandora’s Box is that?  Nobody has seen or heard such a ridiculous thing ever.  I mean, I think a lot of American citizens have family that live somewhere other than America and if it was as simple as calling up the government and saying, “I want you to fly my family here because I’m here.”  We don’t have that ability as American citizens.  But people, who just stole their way into the United States, are claiming they were persecuted, but haven’t had to prove it yet, can fly the rest of their family here on our tax dollar.  Are you kidding me?  This is just so absurd, you have to say, how would you bankrupt a country?  You know, how do you bankrupt a country?  Well you overwhelm them with very needy people who need a lot of services and a lot of attention.  We are going to have to support them because they are flooding in here so fast there isn’t anything else that we can do except for pay to house them.  And now we’re going to get to bring all of their family members that they want?  This is just like…you couldn’t even write a horror story that would look like what is happening.  It’s just unbelievable.


Linda:  Right and the economic toll it’s taking on our citizens and our nation as a whole is incredible.   Speaking of the economic things, I’ve been asking for years, like when we see these caravans come up and the people are fed along the way.  They have shoes and they have cell phones and they have water all along the way.  Who’s paying for that?  And when those immigrants were at the border with the T-shirts that said, “Biden, let us in.”  Who paid for the T-shirts?  I think that there are forces involved here that the average citizen may not be aware of or think about.  I always tell people, when it comes to policy, don’t just drive the car, look under the hood, because there’s always something else going on.  


When you see something like this that makes no sense and there’s an unbelievable flood of money providing for certain things.  Why?  What’s the ulterior motive?  We need to look at that.  Is it in the American citizen’s best interest?  Is it in the interest of say, election integrity?  Is it in the interest of crime reduction in America?  Is it in the interest of better educational systems for American citizens?  During, I mean, just a pause on that for a second.  I remember during Covid when so many schools were closed, teachers were teaching illegal kids down at the border.  It’s like what?  Are American citizen children who are following Covid protocols, you know, cannot be taught?  But yet the teachers are being dispatched to teach illegal immigrants’ children.  Of course, we’d want the children to be cared for.  I’m not, please, I hope no one listening would ever think that we would not want to be totally compassionate and caring and nurturing to these children who are truly victims.  They are pawns in a bigger game.  We want to help them and provide for them and do everything we can to protect them from being the victims that they are in this larger global scheme really.  So could you address that, the economics of this?


Susan: Well, I don’t think that we have any clue what’s this is going to cost us.  But I’d like to ask you, we don’t have money in the bank.  We are trillions of dollars in debt.  It’s not like we are the rich country we once were.  We don’t even have, I don’t even remember the last time that we had a balanced budget.  I’m guessing it was probably what, 1996, somewhere back in that era.  But how can we keep doing this?  


It does look like it’s very orchestrated.  It looks like it’s intentional.  We know that George Soros and others have been behind some of these caravans, have funded in fact and promoted them to be set up.  How do 2,000 or 3,000 people suddenly all decide on the same day that they are going from Honduras to the United States?  How does that happen?  That’s not spontaneous.  You know that it’s not.  


What about Americans?  You know this is our nation.  This country has no income of its own that it doesn’t take away from its people in the form of taxes to give away anything.  So it means you and I are paying directly out of our pockets for that.  And I also know that as soon as President Biden opened up and the kids first started flooding in, the unaccompanied minors, back into the nation, they were using and probably still are, the San Diego convention center owned by the city of San Diego.  They had turned it into a temporary homeless facility for the homeless of San Diego. They actually threw the homeless Americans out of the convention center in order to accommodate the illegal aliens they were letting through the border. So the Americans went back on the street and the illegal aliens went into the convention center and were given clothing and food and housing and shelter and medical care while the Americans were back on the street.



That’s heartbreaking especially when you look at how many veterans are homeless.  We need to support the homeless people, but there are so many veterans who have been hurting.   It pains me to think that maybe someone who fought for our freedoms for this nation might have been thrown out for those who are not even citizens here or those who might not be here legally.  


These things are all important behind the scenes items that people need to consider when they think about what policies to support.  I talk to employers all the time about helping employees understand how these policies affect their jobs.  Well as we’re looking at this influx of workers, influx of people, there’s so much that affects every single family, every single business.  


I know that we don’t have time to so into it all in this episode.  I know we have to close.  You have another commitment.  So I hope to have you back.  I’d love to have you back, maybe in a month or so we could talk about some updates.  We could explore some other topics.


Susan: Sure.


Linda: But this issue is so important to our entire nation and to every individual in our nation.  I hope that we can do more to educate and get people involved.  Not only will we help our nation and the citizens, but we will help protect those who are being victimized by cartels and others through our border.  We want to end human trafficking and sexual trafficking.  We want to end the drug cartels.  We want to end the influx of terrorists through our border and criminals.  We want to have a border that welcomes legal immigrants and helps them to assimilate into this American society that offers freedom and opportunity.  So that’s our goal, right? (Chuckles)


Susan: Yes, exactly.


Linda: Yes, it is.  I know that people can get to you through the FAIR website which is fair, F-A-I-R-U-S-dot-org--fairus.org.  I’d like to just before we close, let them know a little bit about what the Federation for American Immigration Reform stands for.  It’s a nonpartisan public interest organization with a support base comprising nearly fifty private foundations and over 1.9 million diverse members and supporters.  FAIR is free of party loyalties and special interest connections.  FAIR evaluates policies seeking out solutions that help reduce the negative impact of uncontrolled immigration on the nation’s security, economy, workforce, education, health care and environment.  FAIR puts the interests of American citizens and future generations ahead of big business and partisan demands.  FAIR believes that immigration within proper limits can be positive.  Adhering to the rule of law is central to successful assimilation and citizenship.  


So I applaud you with what you are doing.  I thank you for your work with FAIR and all the people there working so hard to not only help immigrants be able to have humane treatment and prosperous lives, but to help immigration be handled effectively and fairly for all citizens.  So thank you so much.


Susan:  Thank you, Linda.  I appreciate the time.


Linda: Well, thank you.