The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday openly fretted that Donald Trump’s new immigration orders “could create a climate of fear” for illegal “citizens.” (Yes, co-host Gayle King used the word “citizen.”) Talking to USA Today bureau chief Susan Page, Anthony Mason worried, “This could create a climate of fear in the immigrant community, if it hasn't already.”
Page agreed, “I think it has.” She justified, “Remember that two-thirds of illegal immigrants have been here at least a decade. So, they're really part of the fabric of our life. Although, admittedly, they're here illegally.”
King insisted, “But they've been contributing citizens to this country.” For the record, the dictionary definition of citizen is “a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection.”
King conceded that “most people” think if you are in the country illegally and have committed a crime, you should go back. She added, “But this policy seems to take it one step further than that. Does it?”
It takes it three steps further than that. It doesn't change the law. The law is the same as it has been for recent administrations. It's a big shift in attitude, not only from the Obama administration, but also from the George W. Bush administration.
A transcript of the segment is below:
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CBS This Morning
GAYLE KING: Susan Page is Washington bureau chief for USA Today and she joins us at the table. Susan, always good to see you.
SUSAN PAGE: It’s great to be back.
KING: So let’s start with the changes to the immigration policy because most people I know want anyone who is here illegally, who has committed crimes, sent back. I think most people agree on that. But this policy seems to take it one step further than that. Does it?
PAGE: It takes it three steps further than that. It doesn't change the law. The law is the same as it has been for recent administrations. It's a big shift in attitude, not only from the Obama administration, but also from the George W. Bush administration.
KING: How so?
PAGE: Both those administrations said if you committed a crime and you're here illegally, you should get deported. But this has greatly expanded the pool of people who are at risk of deportation and it's expanded the pool of people at risk for fast-track deportation without court hearings.
NORAH O’DONNELL: I mean, the front page of USA Today, you blare this headline, U.S. Could deport millions of people. Really? Millions of people? The White House says we're not talking about mass deportation. Which is it?
PAGE: Because the White House says they're not going to do that now. But it opens the door to this. You cannot have mass deportation, you could define that in different ways. This isn't going to happen at least until they hire new agents, expand the number of immigration judges, increase detention facilities. But this sets a policy much greater, many more deportations than we've seen in the last decade.
ANTHONY MASON: This could create a climate of fear in the immigrant community if it hasn't already.
PAGE: I think it already has. Our reporting from Alan Gomez in Miami reports the kind of fear we see with illegal immigrants and even a few scattered cases we've seen, like the case in California, where the mother who had been here more than a decade was deported, has raised great alarms. Remember that two-thirds of illegal immigrants have been here at least a decade. So, they're really part of the fabric of our life. Although, admittedly, they're here illegally.
KING: But they've been contributing citizens to this country.
PAGE: Many of them. And the crime rate for illegal immigrants, for immigrants, is lower than the crime rate for others.
MASON: Despite what is often advertised.
PAGE: Yes, although there are some celebrated crimes involving illegal immigrants.
KING: And isn’t it giving more authority to local law enforcement officials as well?
PAGE: That's right. It tries to expand some of these partnerships with local law enforcement officials that have been reduced in the Obama administration. And it also gives more power to immigration agents to say “I think you're a threat to national security. You're a threat to public safety. Therefore, you are subject to deportation.”