*Parody Song*: It's a government shutdown!
Proft: Before we return to that topic, quickly, we were having a detailed discussion about immigration policy, in the context of a government shutdown over Democrats intransigence on DACA, and wanted to get Pete from Arlington Heights in. Pete, you're on Chicago's Morning Answer.
Pete (caller): Hey good morning! I am a 62 year old product of an illegal alien. My dad came here in 1949 from Italy, and by about 1950 he was turned into ICE and apprehended and told...he had his day in court, they told him he had to go back, and he didn't. He broke the law, again...he married an American citizen, and after that, he went and he turned himself in, and they told him "Number one, you were told to leave. Number two, we have no record of you coming into this country so you need to leave, and then your wife can send for you, and do it legally." He said "You are absolutely right, and I apologize." He left, my mother did the papers, and he came back legally. So...and I have written to Durbin, to Duckworth, and to my Congresswoman, and they just basically ignore me, because I would like them to distinguish between legal immigrants and illegal. And they just refuse.
Proft: Now, Pete...when was your dad on The View with Whoopi Goldberg?
Pete (caller): *laughs* He wasn't. And I would like to go on The View, and let Whoopi know "Don't worry, it's a process. This man has to leave, and he can come back!" No matter how you feel about it!
Jacobson: But his wife's an American citizen.
Pete (caller): Pardon me?
Jacobson: His wife is an American citizen, and he didn't qualify for DACA because he's too old. So they're going to try and work on him coming back.
Pete (caller): According to chain migration, he can come back! He has children, and he has a wife that's an American citizen. That is inaccurate that he can't come back. He can!
Proft: Thanks for the call and your story, Pete, appreciate it.
Jacobson: We really do.
Proft: Turning now to the government shutdown, and the portion of the conversation on the DACA/Border Security deal, we're pleased to be joined again by our friend Sean Duffy, of course, Republican Congressman from Wisconsin's 7th District. Sean, thanks for joining us, appreciate it.
Duffy: Hey, it's great to be with you guys, thanks for having me on.
Proft: Paul Ryan said yesterday, "Look, we don't want to do continuing resolutions, we passed appropriations bills to avoid doing continuing resolutions, but Democrats are digging in and trying to leverage this crisis (in quotation marks), to get a deal on DACA without...a compromise on DACA that includes border security, and we're not going to do that." To which of course a Time reporter said, "I'm sorry, what did you just say?" So, can you explain where the caucus is on this topic, as explained by Paul Ryan, and how this plays out in the next...oh wait, let me check the CNN shutdown clock...in the next 16 hours and 18 minutes?
Duffy: Ha ha ha ha...yeah, tune in for that CNN Shutdown Clock. Listen, if you look at the Republican House of Representatives, we have had a hard time agreeing on a whole bunch of different issues over the past year. I don't agree with CRs, there are some issues that aren't getting done in this funding bill that I want to get done, but this is bigger than a lot of the smaller issues that we have individually. See, you saw Republicans last night stand together, and I think five Democrats, and vote to pass a CR, short-term month long funding bill, that also funds the Child Health Insurance Program, and we get rid of some Obamacare taxes. We've now sent it to the Senate, and the Senate in essence, with basically the Democrats in the House of Representatives, have basically said, "We are not going to give you any of our votes unless you put a clean DACA bill in this legislation, which means we want you to give legal citizenship to people who came here, no fault of their own, as children, and make them citizens." And our position is twofold; One, by the way, just to take a step back, some of your listeners might say "Why do you guys need Democrats, you have control of these two chambers?" Well, in the Senate, their rules are you need 60 votes to pass this bill, there's only 51 Republicans, so because of the rules you automatically need nine Democrats to pass this bill, which means they have leverage to actually shut the government down if they don't give you their votes. And so we're in a position where we say listen, we WANT to deal with...with these kids...well they're not kids anymore, they're adults. But we also want to secure the border. We also want to end chain migration. Because of chain migration...your last guest was just mentioning it, the DACA kids who...their parents who are illegal, who brought their kids over illegally to our country...if we make the DACA people citizens, because of chain migration, they can bring in the parents who brought them in illegally?
Jacobson: Don't they have to wait 22 years or something?
Duffy: Oh, this is all gonna ch...nope. Nope. Not 22 years. Now maybe if you're applying to be a US citizen the RIGHT WAY, you might wait 22 years. But, this is gonna be expedited, and we bring people together very quickly. And it doesn't just stop there, you're gonna put people who got into this country unlawfully ahead of those who have applied legally, and is waiting in line. So, they're putting illegal immigrants ahead of the American people. And by the way? No DACA people are being deported on Saturday, tomorrow, or on Monday. THey have until...at least until...March 5th, and maybe until June, until...until this becomes a crisis. So, Democrats are using this, they think a shutdown is good for them, the left-wing media always takes their side, but we gotta do what's right here by way of fixing immigration laws, and our border, and we can't just give up as Republicans and do a Clean DACA bill, because then WE lose leverage because Democrats will never secure the border with us!
Proft: Well, that's the question, too. I get your perspective from conversations inside the caucus...are Republicans going to resist the temptation to blink here in this game of brinksmanship and actually hold fast?
Duffy: Well...we have some people here who are in really tough seats, and this is a really big issue for them, and they're gonna join Democrats and say "Hey listen...let's get this done." But what you have to remember though is...Donald J. Trump sits in the White House, and these bills have to be signed by him. And if he vetoes them, they have to come back and get super-majorities in the House and the Senate. So he has to agree to what we do, and he can put the kibosh on any bad deal. And so you guys probably talked about Dicky Durbin, your GREAT Senator (Proft: Yes...), comes out with an offer to give legal status and citizenship to the DACA Kids, and really offers Donald Trump nothing what he wanted. You know the $1.6 billion in the...for the wall funding? It was $1.6 billion for border security WITH RESTRICTIONS. That wasn't talked about very often. Dick Durbin wasn't going to let $1.6B go to build a wall. NEVER! Donald Trump got nothing in that deal. And it's like...does Durbin think that the President's stupid? Well he's not, he's a smart guy.
Proft: Well not to mention your colleagues in the Senate, you know Tom Cotton, Chuck Grassley, David Perdue, I mean they're not going down for that either.
Duffy: No. And so, this is a moment of truth to say as Americans, don't we have a right to look at the policies on our border and say "Is it appropriate that we fix it? Is it appropriate as Americans to say we get to decide who comes in and out of our country? Or if you pack a backpack in Guatemala and make the trip north, you get to decide if you come into our country?" We Americans believe that we have that right! And I want to deal with the DACA Kids! I want to deal with immigration reform as a whole. The people who are in my district, they help us on our farms, they're good people in our communities, they're good family people. We should help get those people into a better situation with their legal status. The problem is that we will never get any additional immigration reform done until we secure the border. Think back to...well back then I was...not a little kid but I was young...1986 when Reagan said "Okay, amnesty today, for a promise of border security tomorrow." We learned that amnesty today gives you NO border security tomorrow. It never comes. (Proft: Yeah, right.) So we want border security TODAY, and then we can actually deal with immigration reform, which Trump was talking about in that 55 minute open door meeting that he had a little over a week ago.
Jacobson: What about giving amnesty to DACA kids, or they are now adults, with the stipulation that they cannot have their parents become American citizens?
Duffy: But so...here's the problem, Amy. If you...so, that's compassionate. You...I want to get there with those people, because this is a country that, for the most part, they've only known. But you're gonna be in the same situ...if you don't secure the border, if you don't build walls and use more sensors and put more boots on that border, we're gonna have this same debate 10 years from now, because a whole new generation of people are gonna come across the border illegally, they're gonna bring their kids, and then a next generation of politicians are going to say "Well gosh, this is the only country that they have ever known!" And we have to have another fix for these, quote, kids. This never ends! And unless you fix the problem, this never ever ends, it's one generation after the next and the same thing over and over again.
Proft: I want to get your reaction to news yesterday that your colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee authorized access, to the rest of the House, to a classified report that was described as "Detailing concerns with the conduct of top FBI and Justice Department officials", generally speaking, as well as the agencies' handling of the surveillance program. Mike Conway, from Texas, saying "We have concerns, FISA concerns, that all members of the body should know." Do you have any sense of what we're going to find out? Mike Meadows went further in saying the public should see this as well.
Duffy: Yeah, so I'm actually going down in an hour and 10 minutes to review that document, I didn't get a chance to do it yesterday. But I think what you're seeing is shock and outrage by those members who have read the demo. And I believe this is...if you recall when we had subpoenas that were out there, Devin Nunes had subpoenas that were out there for DoJ and the FBI, they were out there for four months. They didn't give us the document, they didn't comply with the subpoena that came from the House, until the House threatened that we were going to hold them in Contempt of Congress. And then...they didn't say they'd give us the document, but they let our investigators go look at all these documents, and those investigators put this memo together. And I think what you're going to find...what I'm going to find in just a little bit, and what everyone else has talked about on television...is that there was high-level corruption at the DoJ and the FBI, that involved an American presidential election. And if that's what I see, I too am going to join my colleagues and call that these documents be released, because the only way to fix these problems is through public pressure, to say that in America, this is not how we operate. This is...we don't want these kind of partisan hacks that undermine the authenticity of my vote as American citizens. I don't want them there! And the only way you get them out is when the public calls for their ouster. And the only way they'll do that is when they see these documents. That's why those who have looked at the memo are calling for its release, because that's how you clean out the FBI and the DoJ. And, you guys know this, we give them incredible power, because we want them to help keep us safe! And we want them to have these tools that....that can surveil and tap...but if they turn that and use that for domestic purposes, and they use it for political purposes, now the system is rotting. And you have two choices; clean it out and let them keep the power, or you take the power away from them. If you take the power away from the FBI and the DoJ to surveil, then we're at more risk for another 9-11 attack and we don't want to go down that path.
Proft: Well, I tell ya, it's gonna be interesting to see what comes from that report, and if we ever get to see it, us rank-and-file plebs here on the hustings. I want to get, before we let you go, your take on this, that State Senate seat that was lost in Wisconsin, that Scott Walker suggested that legislative seat lost in a district that Trump won by 17 points, that's a real wake-up call for Republicans who've lost three-dozen legislative seats in the last year, and Trump yesterday, President Trump yesterday in Western Pennsylvania campaigning for a Republican running in an open-seat special election March 13th in western Pennsylvania, and in where you guys are as the pronouncements are made that the era of Republican control of the House will come to an end in November, and we're facing the inexorable return of Nancy Pelosi to the Speaker's chair?
Duffy: So here's what happened in that Senate seat, which is up in my district in Wisconsin. Republicans haven't left the Republican party and become Democrats. They haven't said, "Oh my gosh, I hate the at least $2k I'm going to get in my paycheck or the bonuses that are coming to Americans, and so now I'm going to be a Democrat and want to pay more in taxes!", or "Oh my gosh, I'm so angry that we've crushed and defeated ISIS, I want to see the rise of ISIS again, I want to see the videos of them decapitating their captors or burning people alive!" That's not what happened. What happened was Republicans weren't motivated to turnout. Democrats in the resist movement that you see, even in Chicago, that are frothing at the mouth, they were motivated to turnout. And so, if you look at a traditional November election, Democrats got about a third of their voters to turn out in that...in that Senate race in Wisconsin, and Republicans got a SEVENTH of their voters to turnout in that election, because Democrats are more motivated. So this is an enthusiasm issue, not an issue of people who voted Republican are now voting Democrat. And I think that's what's happening, the Republican base is not motivated. And back to our prior conversation, if Donald Trump and Republicans cede this territory and just give Democrats DACA alone, you're gonna see the air come out of the Republican balloon, and people not be motivated to show up. But if we stand up and fight and fix this the right way, and Donald Trump continues to message, and Republicans are motivated, we're gonna be just fine! It's not a big issue for us. No, but we do have some issues in some suburban areas, and we do have some folks that have left the party, they're frustrated maybe with the language from President Trump. But I think when they see their...increased paychecks because of tax reform, and we can fix the border security issues, I think they're gonna stick with us in the next election, and we are going to do all we can to keep Nancy Pelosi away from that Speakership Gavel.
Proft: All right, he is Sean Duffy, Congressman from Wisconsin's 7th District, Sean thanks as always for joining us, appreciate it.
Duffy: Hey you guys, have a good morning, thanks for having me on!