The Cycle | January 29, 2013
>>> now during my first term we took steps to try to patch up some of the worst cracks in the system. first, we strengthened security at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants . we put more boots on the ground , on the southern border than at any other time in our history and today illegal crossings are down nearly 80% from their peak in 2000 .
>> we just heard the president's immigration plan, a key difference between his and that bipartisan senate proposal is making the path towards citizenship hinge on a, quote, secure border . but what exactly does that entail and how do we go about doing it? joining us now to discuss the changes to set the immigration plan in motion is lieutenant colonel anthony schafer. tony, when we talk about increasing security at the borders, i'm hearing things like drones at the border . what are we actually talking about here?
>> we are talking about something to be established as a standard both sides agree upon because one man's secure boarder is another man's iron curtain . we have to be careful. but the bottom line is this. i'm not anti-immigration. i'm anti-fiery deaths of our citizens and something to deal with. it's not only the criminal element that hides itself within the context of crossing the border but the folks we are worried about, terrorists that exist out there. this is where national security tom comes together with homeland security and do we want to depend on deck no long? we depended on that under the bush white house . it was rejected pretty much by everybody. the solutions didn't really please a lot of people. we tried the wall a little bit. not working so well in some spots. some others it's going pretty good and learned from afghanistan. ground sensors, drones. all those technologies are coming home and we need to a place to put the technology and this may be a use for the troops that could go down there as they have been guarding the border for a couple of years.
>> lieutenant colonel, i want to ask you your personal repons to the things you heard today and the movement of a pathway to citizenship for a lot of immigrants because you talk about in your e-mail to us, your family emigrated here at the turn of the last century, the fernandez family coming here. this is personal for you, as well. you remember in terms of your cultural history of your family coming here.
>> i do. and my family took a job in central, southern kansas, cherriville and a copper smelter and i understand based on my experience there's a great desire to come here but we need to look at from the perspective who do we bring here and why? new zealand you have to have thousands of dollars to become a citizen there and other places why people want to come here and not so much it's bad but culturally, some places have real problems. governance is bad and south america , for example, that's where foreign policy comes in to it. we have to work with governments to make things better in their own countries and an investment of soft power looking at sequestration and look at when's important. border , working with allies to stop certain terrorist acts and using soft influence to make things better for folks in latin america .
>> colonel, ronald reagan promised border security and i think a lot of republicans feel a little disillusioned about that. and when you talk about our allies --
>> -- obvious to the south, mexico , on the board and brian terry, what are the kinds of things we should be asking of mexico ? what are the kinds of solutions we should be looking to mexico to bring to the table to solve a mutual problem?
>> glad you brought that up. my next book, it comes out in june, we talk about regarding criminal and terrorist activity and what should be done by the friendly governments. frankly, they have to do more to help their people want to stay in mexico and the other countries further down and a huge drug problem that continues. the war on drugs has not worked well. i worked that become in the 1990s and trying to stop zones in a transit zone, latin america up to our border and we have to look at the allies to help them solve their own problems and ultimately helps us solve our own problems but reagan got a promise of securing the border . it did not happen. and now the question becomes, what is the standard that both sides can agree upon to become the standard for securing the border ?
>> well yeah. that's my question to you, tony. looks like the stumbling block already in the senate plan and what president obama laid out today.
>> where okay, we can start the pathway to citizenship if this panel to consist of governors of border states down to the southwest and others down there in the southwest, we are talking about like jan brewer , rick perry , people like this, if they declare the border secure and as toure said, if they're in the mood to, they could say not secure, not secure. what in your mind is a fair standard to make a secure border ?
>> two things. i think we have to as you already pointed out and talked about by the other panels, find a way to basically make sure the people here are on a path to citizenship. bring families over in a controlled way. bring the families over. great idea. you control it. you don't fight it.
>> so i'm sorry to interrupt. part of declaring the border secure is having in place already the path to citizenship. is that what you're saying?
>> right. i'm saying that you have to have control the fact that families want to come. deal with that right up front or they try to sneak across. you have to accept that. what w that said, look at technology, what has worked and then figure out away to make people come across to track who comes across. i think this is something that's imperative and don't forget i didn't talk -- didn't talk about the northern border which ain't much better in many ways and we have to look at this as a comprehensive issue.
>> tony schafer, thank you as always.
>> great, thank you.
>>> up next, what the la the i no community is feeling about the president's proposal and is anything actually going to get done? stay with us.
>> this is not just a debate about policy. it's about people. it's about men and women and young people who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way in to the american story.