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tv   QA Ginger Thompson  CSPAN  August 12, 2018 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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mexico has long been a part of my live. i spent weekends there with my friends and their grandparents. i have become interested in mexico for a long time. when i became a journalist, the fact i spoke spanish gave me a bit of an edge over my colleagues because there weren't a lot of spanish speaking reporters in news rooms. i was working in the "los angeles times" and to say that about the "los angeles times" is quite something. i spoke spanished, covered spanish-speaking communities and i think in doing that, you know it became a natural progression that i would go to mexico for short assignments and applied at the baltimore sun to be their
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latin america correspondent and that. but from the beginning writing about people in spanish speaking communities was of interest to me. >> how would you describe the difference between el paso and juarez? el paso is one of the safest cities in america. and juarez has become one of the dangerous cities in mexico. it is a very blooming industrial town. el paso is dependent on military financing and it's a military base and military hub and they, they are divided by the border and the families in those communities are very interekt
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candidate. people go the hospital on both sides of the border. families shop together and go to restaurants together. it's an interconnected community and this idea of a wall is a loose concept. people don't feel divided as much as connected? . >> i think for a long time, people in washington have a different understanding of the border than people who lived on the border. i understand it in a way when i come to washington and hear people talk about the security problems and divisions between
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those people i think that isn't at all representative of what is going on down there so i think it's easy and immigration has opinion a third rail in american politics and it's an easy target for politicians who want to sort of blame others for problems that we have the robert. i do think i bring a background allowing me to have an understanding of these that don't have my background. >> when growing up what service were your parents in? >> my father was in the army and he was an electrician.
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and joined the army because he was a young man in florida able to finish high school but not able to go to college. this is his way to get an education and get a job to support himself and his family. >> where did he meet his mother? >> they met in pennsylvania. he was based in a military base outside of harrisberg, pennsylvania where she is from. >> how many places have you lived growing up? >> we lived in kentucky, and went back and forth
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sow miss ticks. and people have a sophisticated mrsing of the world m ways sometimes we don't so they're. >> so this is 38. 38 million mexican dees krend yents that live in this country. how many americans live down there? >> i'm not sure but it's not
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many in the north and there is a large enclave of american ex-pats. >> prison gdp is $20,000. >> no. >> what kind of lives do they lead? >> it's hard to generalize in mexico you know? this parts of the country farming is the economic industry and other parts, tourism so it depends and it has poor people that earn $2 or $4 a day and everything in between the way
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the united states does. what happens is that there is a larger percentage of people who are don't feel they have opportunities for education and loans are complicated and so when looking at reasons many people came because they're not coming in the same numbers anymore. right? for a while, many mexicans came to the united states seeking better opportunities for education because their minimum wage is lower than our hin mum wage. so looking at those economic pactors it's easy to see. >> someone talking about the
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fact there have been, we've lost a million jobs because of nafta. how much has gone to mexico? >> there has been asia is a bigger draw in terms of mfing jobs for the united states. there have often times factories are putting together beginnings in the united states so initial assembly happens on the u.s. side of the border and larger
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left parts happen. the idea there has been a generator of jobs and opportunities is hot quite right. >> how do you explain 2000 journalists have opinion killed in mexico? >> mexico's biggest problem is with the rule of law. right? with immunity. murders happen in mexico, 98% about unsolved. just unsolved. so so that the weakening of
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institutions, when it comes to the justice system is what has created problems of violence had that country in general right? so it's mexico with more murders so fostinstut yugss want to send a signal to their societies to stay silent. they to after journalists and because of that large number of
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journalists have opinion killed. >> i was careful and i think that there is a level of protection because we're american and because cartels don't want to bring the wrath there is intim nation but there hasn't been murders of american journalists. >> if about americans were to travel to mexico and a lot do how much of the country would
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have you no crime and won't even raise it's ugly head? >> i'm not sure there is any place there is no crime at all. many beaches are not. and so i don't suggest people to to acapulco. but cancun seems to still be fine. and i think that staying this the tourist areas of cancun rather than going into the sort of more you know nontourist areas for lack of a better word are important. mexico city in many ways is a safe place to visit and spend time but i think it all requires
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the same smarts, keeping an eye open. you know? and a lot of the same ways you do in barcelona on the trip you need to be careful of street crime in mexico city. but large parts, there are many cities that i think are still safe and good for tourists. >> what is the difference in the way the mexicans approached the border between the united states and mexico and the way we do. >> that is a if opportunity for change and they see the border as opportunities for travel in the americans sort of concept of
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the border is about a threat and we see it as a kind of place we'd like to avoid. so we don't see it as an opportunity kind of focus. we see it more of a scary place. i tell people i'm perfect the border they think that you go across and i, you though say i went across all the time. i walked across and it was easy as if i was crossing a street. it's not that way anymore sadly. >> what st it mean that a
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primary source of support. many mexican mi dpchlt rants send more remittances than many other nationals in this country back to their home country and that pays for everything from building roads, schools, and hospitals in places where the there that relationship is a very important one to the mexican government. >> correct me if i am wrong.
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125 million people live there? >> yes. >> there are 1.3 million afro mexicans. >> yes. >> 83% of them are roman catholics. >> that is is right. right. >> so drug enforcement agency, u.s. customs enforcement, ice, and border patrol. have you done stories about how those three relate to mexico? >> i have done a lot of my work is helping mexico fight the drug
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war and helping mexico control the movement of it's people. immigration has the drug enforcement administration has a long history in mexico since 19 1970s and rug enforcement administration has more agents abroad and we are dea agents helping that government.
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helping the military. and we do that this ways we don't always talk about because doesn't like to talk about how it's allowed learn law enforcement to rate. we're there in. >> ice grew out of homeland security after september 11th.
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what are the of work has been involved in finding undocumented immigrants that are not only on the border which i think people agree is the right thing to do but to go into schools and hospitals and churches and courtrooms to and that has opinion a of controversial thing. these immigrants have families here. have misses here. and have so going after testimony created some tensions between imrant communications to cooperate with them and there is
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this conversation now to protect against potential so domestic violence and homicide. >> what year did you leave the times? >> in 2014. >> why did you do that?
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>> i was committed to investigative reporting and i lf you ares ewing investigative story was the goal of making change. and i was interested in writing in ways that went beyond -- >> how st it operate? >> it's a nonprofit and we look
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for stories that expose harm or wrong doing being committed by unlick agencies and with write about hospitals to schools and ed gs cal programs and civil rights little payings fence school vikts and so criminal justice stories so this is the whole range.
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>> an act rif democratic two some gave 10ss hillin to start it up. how much is involved in part of the politics? >> so we're sort of an equal opportunity investigative thus organization and we sort of identify wrong doing where we see it. and it doesn't depend on partisan politics. >> we have a range of supporters now from open society we have
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number that's increased oer the last couple years so we have a broughted range of people that punned organizations. >> you to the involved on a story of with what is this? this is a good set up. june 22nd of this year and imagine being ripped away from your mother or father and not knowing if you're going to see them again. and being placed with strangers.
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megan the horror and fear you would see while doing that. what must that sound like? >> room 17. gentleman will. >> american people -- >> rule 17 of the house prohibits the use of that device. >> why don't you let american people hear what they're say something. >> have you seen that before? >> i haven't seen that. no. >> he turned in on an audio recorder what are we hear something. >> the cries of immigrant children just had been separated from their parents in a border patrol detention facility.
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an audio i obtained a month and a half ago or so with the help of a civil rights attorney on the border. she'd obtained this tape and asked what i thought about it. i thought we ought to try to publish it. it wasn't an easy decision for the source of the tape that felt that the tape could put them at risk for being identified and fired but allowed us to publish the audio. >> where was it made? >> i can't say exactly but a border patrol detention facility and we're able to verify it was
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authentic by there is a little girl on the tape, a salvadoran girl named jimena and she's six. you can hear her on this tape asking a border patrol official to let her make a phone call. she's saying please let me call my aunt. very her number memorized and she rattles off the number. i call that had number and found a woman in houston who is jimena's aunt and talked to me about her niece about their tension and she'd gotten a call from her niece from a border patrol detention facility. >> what are the circumstances the mother and daughter came across the border?
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>> the mother is a salvadoran woman says she was walking with her daughter and boyfriend in salvador. she lives outside of san salvador and said she's talking with her boyfriend and he was shot by a gang leader well known in the community and told her if she was to say anything about who committed this crime, she'd be next. >> was he killed? >> the boyfriend was killed. right. and so she stayed quiet. and he continued to threaten her and her daughter and she just at some point felt she couldn't take it anymore. and that she was afraid something would happen to her little girl. they fled and came to the united
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states. >> where did they access? >> at reynosa across the rio grand. and we have a picture of them that were picked up and detained and that is where they're detained. >> what happened to them? >> detained and held two days and a border patrol official asked her child to come with him and she said why are you taking my child? he said to her you're going to court today. don't worry. your child will be here when you get back. she got back from court, and her child was not there. and they were separated for a month and two days. >> where did the mother stay?
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where did the daughter go? >> the mother stayed in a detention facility called port isabel. and the daughter mroen to a shelter in arizona. in phoenix, arizona. and she's kept there. the mother kept in texas. they had their first phone call ten days after they were separated. and the little girl was able to within touch with her aunt. there are no records kept of which kid belonged to what adult. their cases were separated and
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asylum cases were separated and no agency sort of kept records that linked them and because jimena remember that had phone number she can tell authorities who she belonged to. >> what was the law in that situation? >> what happened is that they began to enforce what is called operation 0 tolerance. it called for everyone who crossed the border without documents to be criminally prosecuted for illegal entry.
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you'd typically get a fine and now, they're criminally prosecuting these folks and in the process they said they needed to be taken from their children this, is again, meant to stop people from coming and so they separated something close to 3,000 children from their parents from the time this policy was implemented until the time when a judge ordered an end to this policy or forced administration to retreat from the policy first and then, the
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court ruled. >> what kind of facility was the mother and daughter kept in? >> the mother kept in a traditional immigration detention facility. she was in sort of a bunk, a room with dozens of bunches that there were some 70 women that slept in buveng beds and things like that. the child was kept in a children's shelter in arizona. you know, i don't know exactly what the shelter looked like. and there have few reporters given access to these and used to be routine but once this
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began, the coverage of the policy began and administration shut down and made it difficult to go into the facilities except on a guided tour. >> there are a bunch of stories during that time period american airlines said they won't fly these children. >> not all airline as freed to do that. there is a period of a couple days where a couple passengers that caused a bit of an outrage. my understanding is that didn't go on long because the fact is
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that these children needed to be transported and moving them was fog to be worse for them. i don't think the decision lasted long because jimena was flown to phoenix and reunited with her mother and flown back from phoenix to houston. >> someone had to have come from her. >> and and you're on a train coming down from new york and what happened. >> i call on the train saying jinena's mother is about to be released and i thought she was
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going to be reunited with her and i thought being able to follow the story from the time of the situation to the time of the reunification was important. readers wanted to know i was inundated with calls and notes from people saying please keep us informed about what is going on. is there some way i can help? so there is a lot of public interest in what is going to happen to this family. there is a way to watch the process and see how the government was going to fix this
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mess of separating these families. how are they going to put these families back together? and so so i barely made it. i got there she'd just gotten been released and i man managed to find a fabulous photographer who met her outside of the facility and with her lawyer and she and i met for the first time in a hotel lobby. we'd come face-to-face and we'd spoken by telephone. >> where are the two now? >> they're both in houston.
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cindy, the mother has family in houston and she and jimena are staying with relatives. >> what is the mother's legal status? >> they're pursuing asylum claims. first hearing is coming up in a couple weeks and will determine whether the case will proceed. >> there are people not happy about this. >> absolutely. >> i found something you probably are saying this is a -- someone called sky trooper 70 comment after your story on the pro publica website. he or she says you've been covering this story in quotes for a month now. yet, it's hard wrenching to see
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examples of separated families, however, whether it suits your agenda or not these situations are the result of people presenting themselves at the u.s. border either as i will legal economic migrannts are asiem yim seekers a number of them are gaming the immigration system. period. let me stop there. what do you say to that? >> i think you know it's hard so sort of accuse people of gaming the system without a hearing. that is all she's asking for. right? it would mean she's coming here and somehow presenting herself as something she's not. and if that is the case, and she doesn't have evidence to pack up her claims a judge will decide that and will send her home. and i think so that is this is a
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point she's about and cross the border illegally. she and if if her claims don't prosper she'll be sent back. asking for i a. siel yum is legal. there is no game in that. it requires us to hear pleas from people who make them. and that is where she is at this point. >> more from the comment on your website. do you present these situations as if they're the fault of the u.s. government on the other hand when did pro publica last
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cover this story of 13 million children u.s. citizens living in nutritionally deficient homes or the 40,000 homeless vets, or u.s. citizens or 48 million u.s. citizen who's live in poverty? >> i think pro publica writes about people who live in poverty all the time. i would encourage this reader to take a look at our entire website. and there are people that served and not gotten what they're due about that hospital that is supposed to serve veterans. we cuff all of those things. and that this is in the the
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immigrant's fault. the government of the united states decided to take their children away without finding that these parents are unfit to raise their children. the government has to own that. there is a judge now ordering the fostto try to fix this mess because he's found that this is
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a mess. >> jeff session as announced knit march of this year right? so there is a question wasn't the media found a convenient story in a limited geo photographic location to demonstrate america's disdain for noncitizens rather than putting in the effort to focus on its national disdain for it's own citizens. >> i don't completely disagree with this person. i disagree that somehow the
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media focused on i think that you know by writing about immigrants doesn't mean we don't have to write about homelessness in fairness we're we should be telling these stories. this is how we treat newcomers.
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we call ourselves a nation of immigrants so i think examining how we treat immigrants is an important. >> i think what they say is that they can't restrict the free movement of their people. we won't want the united states government to restrict our free movement but they have opinion helpful to the united states in trying to stem the flow of central american my grants.
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mexico deports large numbers every year and a lot of them don't mean to stay in mexico. they're using mexico to get to the united states. and so so they've put money into it and so two countries put in effort. >> how many americans have opinion killed because mexican cartels send drugs to this country? where did they get the drugs?
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>> well, you know numbers of drug deaths have been soaring and we know a lot of the an issue out of great debate. and both are significant. the fact mexican cartels move drugs into the country is real and is a problem and is one
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reason it is important. can i put a number on that? i can't. and since 2001 they've never had more drug -- are those part of the drugs? >> no. it is made from mexican poppies
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there are production, producing countries in south america, peru and bolivia. and. >> it's changed and mexico began to play a larger role before i started writing about the drug
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war columbia played a role and we entered into a really sophisticated partnership with the columbian government to bring down the cartels and once those cartels understood the risk of being prosecuted in the united states they shipped shifted a lot of the transportation part of they'd produce the drug, own them and sell them to the mexicans and let the mexicans mexico is a
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leading player and cartels began to control the trade and n.ways the columbians used to. and that is when it continues to be the case but they've taken several blows in recent years and many of their leading have been arrested and some have not fully recovered and they're looking for new leadership and struggling to reorganize. there is a bit the disarray.
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>> what is your thinking to thinking whether or not the wall will be built? >> there are parts of the wall that exist. and president talks about it and parts began being built by president bush's administration just being able to put a wall on the parts of the border.
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there is a story last year about what is the border. you understand why it's physically impossible to put a wall in some so many obstacles. >> today, under the 0 tolerance policy what happens to them today? >> so what happens is that
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they'll cross and be held together until asylum interviews happen and if granted an opportunity to pursue a claim, they will be released on pond and be allowed to pursue their claim outside of detention at some point. thanks for joining us. >> thank you very much for having me. 2.
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>> a group of white nationalists were meeting in washington, d.c. in. a sponse there was counterprotest by a group called d.c. united against hate. a rally in freedom plaza in washington, d.c. portion of hour it. >> the next person coming to like, you know


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