FOX NEWS: Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham weighs in on the crisis at the southern border, Robert Mueller’s upcoming Capitol Hill testimony, growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran and more.
KARL: I appreciate it. Now, let's turn to Democratic Senator and candidate for president Amy Klobuchar, Senator Klobuchar, thank you for joining us.
I want to start first with these ICE deportation raids. Can you, from your vantage point, on the Senate judiciary committee, what is going on? Because as you heard, we didn't really get answers from Ken Cuccinelli.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D-MN) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do I think is going on? If you wanted to go after security risks, and there are people who are security risks, why would you alert them and say you're doing this on a Sunday and do it two weekends in a row? Why, because you want to make news, right? It's not about giving people who are security risks deported, it's
about scaring everyone in the country and it is also about changing the news from things like, pharmaceutical prices that are going up at record levels, and this president has made endless promises that he's going to do something about it or that he's going to do something about infrastructure. And we got electric grids catching on fire and levees bursting right now where I am in Iowa. That's what's happening right now. And that's what happening to people in their real lives.
So, no, I don't think this makes sense. I think that you do want deport people who are security risk to people in our country. That is true. I think that we need comprehensive immigration reform, and the president knows this, but he refuses to act because it will piss off his base.
Most of us will like to get rid of this chaos and have a much more orderly process where you take people who are following the laws, who are working, who have been in this country for years and allow them an arduous path to citizenship so they can keep working.
We don't have enough workers in our fields, and in our factories, in our nursing homes in the Midwest, this would be a much smarter way to do this, but instead, he simply wants that chaos and to distract people from the real things that they care about.
He has not kept his promises. That's what i truly believe, he wants us to be talking about this today, and he uses these people as political pawns.
KARL: Now, Elizabeth Warren this week came out with a proposal following on what Julian Castro said in the debate to decriminalize unauthorized border crossing. You said you were going to look at that in the debate. Have you? Do you support that idea?
KLOBUCHAR: I support different enforcement priorities. And of course, I'll look at the statute to see if you can make changes depending on the level of a security risk. But no, I don't support open orders and simply getting rid of this statute.
I think the answer is to have a new president. The answer is when we are on the cusp of getting comprehensive reform done, which will be so much better for our economy, the 2013 bill brought the deficit down, according to every guesstimate, by over $150 billion in 10 years because people would start paying their taxes, then you take some of that money and you can use for better order at the border for targeted reasons and then you can also look at those countries that we're talking about where we have seen this surge of asylum seekers, let them seek asylum in the countries they are, the Obama
administration allowed that in limited circumstances, go back to that policy. That would help a lot. And then at the same time, work with our allies to get things under control in those countries.BARTIROMO: Yes, I want to talk a bit about what's going on at these detention centers. You were with the vice president on Friday.
BARTIROMO: You have been really studying this and leading this effort to change these loopholes in a big way.
I want to get your take about what really you saw there, and then we're going to show some pictures of some of the men behind bars. But, first, give us your reaction to your time on Friday.
GRAHAM: I saw a system completely overwhelmed for no good reason.
Our laws are set up such that if you can bring a small child to America coming from Central America, we can only hold a child for 20 days. Then we let the entire family go because we don't want to separate families. We can't process a case in 20 days.
What did I see? Fifty-two thousand people have been released into the interior of the United States from this one Border Patrol area alone. What did I see? A system about to break. I saw brave men and women who are doing an incredible job under difficult circumstances.
And I'm going to introduce a resolution next week praising them, the men and women of the Border Patrol and their allies. I saw 900 illegal immigrants that were captured for coming into our country illegally housed in detention facilities that was meant for 385. So they had to put a tent in the back.
What I saw is a bunch of people who have been here before, broke the law before, and we're not going to let them go. I don't care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 days. We're not going to let those men go that I saw. It would be dangerous.
And also I saw that 60 different nations are sending people here illegally. We caught people from Iran, Syria, every place in the world. They're coming through our border.
BARTIROMO: Yes, they are coming from Bangladesh as well, right?
GRAHAM: Bangladesh, yes.
BARTIROMO: Yes, Bangladesh. You have got the Middle East.
So, let's take a look at what you just said. You said that the detention centers were meant to hold under 400 people.
BARTIROMO: And there's actually 900 people in there.
These pictures are some of the pictures that have unnerved people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrats, who say, look, we have these people behind bars.
You say what to those people who are looking at these adult men who are behind bars because they broke the law, they came into this country illegally?
GRAHAM: All of them broke our law.
Many of them -- many of them have done it before, and we're not going to let them go. This is not a concentration camp that I saw. It is a facility overwhelmed.
I'm willing to buy beds for these people, so they will have a better place to get a night's sleep, but I'm not going to let them go. And AOC and Democrats are trying to break the system, so that we let these people go.
They came here illegally, 700-and-something adult males, with criminal backgrounds by many of them, repeat offenders who've been caught before. We're not going to let them go. And I don't care if we have to build tents from Texas to Oklahoma. We're not going to let these people go. They're going to have their day in court. We're going to send them back.
BARTIROMO: Now, Senator, a couple of months ago, you came on this program, you said, look, when I come back from recess, I'm going to make sure to attack this issue. I'm going to look at the loopholes. I'm going to change the loopholes.
BARTIROMO: You have been working on a bill. When are you going to bring it to the floor? What can you tell us in terms of that bill?
GRAHAM: Well, I can tell you that, after this visit, this bill is more necessary than ever.
So what does the bill do? It says you can't apply for asylum in the United States if you're from Central America. So we're being overwhelmed. We have had 280,000 people captured at this area of the border this year. Last year, it was 120,000. We have released 52,000 because we can't hold them.
By next year, there will be a half-a-million. If you can set one foot on American soul and claim asylum, you're entitled to a hearing. The hearing is years away. You never show up. So you get here home-free.
I'm saying you can't apply for asylum in America anymore. You got to do it in your home country or Mexico. I'm also saying we can't process a minor claim in 20 days. Give us more time the process minor claims, so families -- 30 percent of the people with small children are fake families.
The word is out in Central America, you bring a small child to the United States, you're home-free. I want to change that narrative. My bill will stop 90 percent of this. We're going to vote before the August recess.
I'm willing to spend money to help Central America. Democrats have mentioned that. I will do that. But we have got to change our laws, or this never stops.
None of that is going on right now. Again, the president wants these images, he wants chaos because it distracts everyone from all of these other things we should be talking about. I promise you, Jonathan, that's what he wants.
And it is so sad this humanitarian crisis that is happening right now, which could be prevented by some smart policies when we’ve got people on both side of the aisle that want to let the DREAMers stay. That’s 2 million people. Right? You had Republican senators like Johnny Isakson and Mike Rounds leading the charge on that, or the people who are here legally in temporary status, like the Liberian community in Minnesota who’ve been here for decades, working in our hospitals and our nursing homes. They were just a few days away from deporting them this past year.