A wall won’t solve America’s border problems | Will Hurd

Anne Milgram: Congressman,
I was about to introduce you and say a little more — Will Hurd: Hey, Anne. How are you? AM: Hi, how are you doing?
Thank you so much for joining us tonight. We’re so lucky to have you here with us. I’ve already explained
that you’re actually in Washington because you’re working. And I was about to tell folks that you represent
the 23rd district of Texas. But maybe you could tell us
a little bit about your district and describe it for us. WH: Sure, my district in Southwest Texas
is 29 counties, two time zones, 820 miles of border
from Eagle Pass, Texas all the way to El Paso. It takes 10 and a half hours to drive
across my district at 80 miles an hour, which is the speed limit
in most of the district. And I found out a couple of weekends ago, it’s not the speed limit
in all the district. (Laughter) It’s a 71-percent Latino district, and it’s the district that
I’ve been representing for now my third term in Congress. And when you think
about the issue of the border, I have more border
than any other member of Congress. I spent nine and a half years
as an undercover officer in the CIA, chasing bad people all across the country. So when it comes to securing our border, it’s something I know a little bit about. AM: One of the things I learned recently
which I hadn’t known before is that your district
is actually the size, I think, of the state of Georgia? WH: That’s right. It’s larger than 26 states,
roughly the size of the state of Georgia. So it’s pretty big. AM: So as an expert in national security and as a member of Congress, you’ve been called upon
to think about issues related to immigration, and in recent years,
particularly about the border wall. What is your reaction
to President Trump’s statement that we need a big, beautiful wall
that would stretch across our border, and at 18 to 30 feet high? WH: I’ve been saying this since I first
ran for Congress back in 2009, this is not a new topic, that building a 30-foot-high
concrete structure from sea to shining sea is the most expensive
and least effective way to do border security. There are parts of the border where Border Patrol’s
response time to a threat is measured in hours to days. If your response time
is measured in hours to days, then a wall is not a physical barrier. We should be having technology
along the border, we should have operation
control of our border, which means we know everything
that’s going back and forth across it. We can do a lot of that with technology. We also need more folks
within our border patrol. But in addition to doing all this, one of the things we should be able to do
is streamline legal immigration. If you’re going to be
a productive member of our society, let’s get you here as quickly as possible, but let’s do it legally. And if we’re able to streamline that,
then you’re going to see some of the pressures
relieved along our border and allow men and women in Border Patrol
to focus on human trafficking and drug-trafficking
organizations as well. AM: Congressman, there’s also been a conversation
nationally about using emergency funds to build the border wall and taking those funds
from the United States military. What has your position been on that issue? WH: I’m one of the few Republicans up here
that has opposed that effort. We are just now rebuilding our military, and taking funds away from making sure that our brothers and sisters,
our wives and our husbands have the training and equipment they need in order to take care of us
in far-flung places — taking money away from them
is not an efficient use of our resources, especially if it’s going to build a … you know, I always say
it’s a fourth-century solution to a 21st-century problem. And the reality is,
what we should be focusing on is some of the other root causes
of this problem, and many of your speakers today
have talked about that. Some of those key root problems
are violence, lack of economic opportunity and extreme poverty, specifically, in the Northern Triangle:
El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. We should be working — AM: I was going to ask
what you would recommend United States government does
to address the underlying, what we call push factors, or root causes in those three countries
in Central America? WH: One of the things I learned
as an undercover officer in the CIA is be nice with nice guys
and tough with tough guys. And one of the principles
of being nice with nice guys is to strengthen our alliances. We have a number of programs
currently in these three countries that USAID and the State Department
is doing to address this violence issue. And we know, in El Salvador, one of the problems was
that the police were corrupt. And so we’ve worked with the Salvadorians
to purge the police, rehire new folks, use community policing tactics. These are tactics the men and women
in the United States of America and police forces use every single day. And when we did this
in certain communities, guess what happened? We saw a decrease in the violence
that was happening in those communities. And then we also saw a decrease in the number of people
that were leaving those areas to try to come
to the United States illegally. So it’s a fraction of the cost
to solve a problem there, before it ultimately reaches our border. And one of the reasons
that you have violence and crime is political corruption and the lack of central governments
to protect its citizens. And so this is something
we should be continuing to work on. We shouldn’t be decreasing
the amount of money that we have that we’re sending to these countries. I actually think
we should be increasing it. I believe the first thing —
we should have done this months ago — is select a special representative
for the Northern Triangle. That’s a senior diplomat that’s going to work to make sure
we’re using all of our levers of power to help these three countries, and then that we’re doing it
in a coordinated effort. This is not just a problem
for the United States and Mexico, this is a problem for the entire
western hemisphere. So, where is the Organization
of American States? Where is the International
Development Bank? We should be having a collective plan
to address these root causes. And when you talk about violence, a lot of times, we talk
about these terrible gangs like MS-13. But it’s also violence like
women being beaten by their husbands. And they have nobody else to go to, and they are unable to deal
with this current problem. So these are the types of issues that we should be increasing
our diplomacy, increasing our economic development aid. AM: Please, I want to take you now from thinking about the root causes
in Central America to thinking about the separation
of children and families in the United States. Starting in April 2018, the Trump administration began
a no-tolerance policy for immigrants, people seeking
refugee status, asylum in the United States. And that led to the separation
of 2,700 children in the first year
that that program was run. Now, I want to address this with you, and I want to separate it up front
into two different conversations. One of the things
that the administration did was file legal court papers, saying that one of the primary
purposes of the separations was to act as a deterrent against people coming
to the United States. And I want to talk for a moment
about that from a moral perspective and to get your views. WH: We shouldn’t be doing it,
period. It’s real simple. And guess what, it wasn’t a deterrent. You only saw an increase
in the amount of illegal immigration. And when you’re sitting,
debating a strategy, if somebody comes up with the idea of snatching a child
out of their mother’s arms, you need to go back to the drawing board. This is not what the United States
of America stands for, this is not a Republican
or a Democrat or independent thing. This is a human decency thing. And so, using that strategy, it didn’t achieve the ultimate purpose. And ultimately, the amount
of research that is done and the impact that
the detention of children has — especially if it’s over 21 days — has on their development and their future is disastrous. So we shouldn’t be trying to detain
children for any more than 21 days, and we should be getting children,
if they’re in our custody, we should be taking care of them humanely, and making sure they’re with people that can provide them a safe
and loving environment. AM: I would challenge you
even on the 21-day number, but for the purposes of this conversation, I want to follow up
on something you just said, which is both that it’s wrong
to detain children, and that it’s not effective. So the question, then, is why
does the administration continue to do it, when we’ve seen 900 additional children
separated from their parents since the summer of 2018? Why is this happening? WH: Well, that’s something
that you’d have to ultimately ask the administration. These are questions that I’ve been asking. The Tornillo facility is in my district. These are buildings that are not
designed to hold anybody for multiple days, let alone children. We should be making sure
that if they are in our custody — a lot of times for
the uncompanied children, we don’t have a … we don’t know of a patron or a family
member in the United States, and we should make sure
that they’re in facilities where they’re able to go to school and have proper food and health care. And if we’re able to find
a sponsor or family member, let’s get them into that custody, while they’re waiting
for their immigration court case. That’s the other issue here. When you have a backlog of cases — I think it’s now 900,000 cases
that are backlogged — we should be able to do
an immigration hearing within nine months. I think most of the legal community
thinks that is enough time to do something like this, so that we can facilitate
whether someone, an individual, is able to stay in the United States or they’re going to have to be returned
back to their home country, rather than being in this limbo
for five years. AM: If we think about
the asylum system today, where people are coming and saying
that they have a credible threat, that they will be persecuted back home, and we think about the fact
that on average, it’s about two years for someone
to get an asylum hearing, that many people are not represented
as they go through that process, it makes me think about something that they say in the health care
space all the time, which is that every system
is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. And so as you think about this and think about how we would
redesign this system to not do what we’re doing, which is years and years
of detention and separations and hardship for people seeking — and again, asylum being a lawful
United States government process — for people seeking
to enter our country lawfully. What should we do? WH: I tried to increase
by four billion dollars the amount of resources that HHS has in order to specifically deal,
ultimately, with children. I think we need more immigration judges
in order to process these cases, and I think we need to ensure
that folks can get representation. I’ve been able to work with a number
of lawyers up and down the border to make sure they are being able
to get access to the folks that are having these problems. And so this is something
that we should be able to design. And ultimately, when it comes to children, we should be doing everything we can
when they’re in our custody, in order to take care of them. AM: So I have two more questions for you before I’m going to let you
go back to work. The first is about our focus
in the United States on the questions of immigration. Because if you look
at some of the statistics, you see that of people
who are undocumented in the United States, the majority of people
have overstayed on visas, they haven’t come through the border. If you look at the people
who try to enter the country who are on the terrorist watch list, they enter overwhelmingly
through the airports and not through the border. If we look at drugs
coming into the United States, which has been a huge part
of this conversation, the vast majority of those drugs
come through our ports and through other points of entry, not through backpacks
on people crossing the border. So the thing I always ask and I always worry about with government, is that we focus so much on one thing, and my question for you
is whether we are focused in this conversation nationally
about the border, every day and every minute of every day, whether we’re looking
completely in the wrong direction. WH: I would agree with your premise. When you have — let’s start with the economic benefits. When you have 3.6 percent unemployment, what does that mean? That means you need folks
in every industry, whether it’s agriculture
or artificial intelligence. So why aren’t we streamlining
legal immigration? We should be able
to make this market based in order to have folks come in and be productive members of our society. When it comes to the drug issue
you’re talking about, yes, it’s in our ports of entry, but it’s also coming in to our shores. Coast Guard is only able to action 25 percent of the known
intelligence they have on drugs coming into our country. The metric that we should
be measuring [is] are we seeing a decrease of deaths
from overdose from drugs overseas, are we seeing a decrease
in illegal immigration? It’s not how many miles of fencing
that we have ultimately built. And so we have benefited from the brain drain
of every other country for the last couple of decades. I want to see that continue, and I want to see that continue
with the hardworking drain. And I can sell you this: at last Congress, Pete Aguilar,
a Democrat from California, and I had a piece of legislation
called the USA Act: strong border security,
streamline legal immigration, fix DACA — 1.2 million kids who have
only known the United States of America as their home — these kids, or I should say
young men and women, they are already Americans, let’s not have them go through
any more uncertainty and make that ultimately happen. We had 245 people that were willing
to sign this bill into law, it wasn’t allowed to come forward
under a Republican speaker, and also the current Democratic speaker
hasn’t brought this bill through in something
that we would be able to pass. AM: So I want to close, and you are, perhaps, most famous —
I don’t know if that’s fair — but you took a road trip
with Beto O’Rourke from your district to Washington, DC, and you’ve become known
for reaching across the aisle and engaging in these
bipartisan conversations. And one of the things
I’ve seen you say repeatedly is to talk about how we are all united. And I think, when we think
about the language of immigration and we start hearing words
about enemies and militarization, I think the real question is:
How do we convince all Americans to understand what you say
that more unites us than divides us? WH: Crisscrossing a district like mine
that’s truly 50-50 — 50 percent Democrat,
50 percent Republican, it’s been very clear to me
that way more unites us than divides us. And if we focus on those things
that we agree on, we’ll all be better off. And I’m not going to get
a perfect attendance award for going to church, but I do remember when Jesus
was in the Second Temple and the Pharisees asked him
what’s the most important commandment, and he said to “Love thy Lord God
with all your heart, mind and soul.” But people forget he also said,
“Equally as important, is to love thy neighbor like thyself.” And if we remember that
and realize what it would mean, and what you would
have to be going through to be living in a situation that you may send your child
on a 3,000-mile perilous journey, because that’s what you think
the only thing for their future, the only thing that you can do
to make sure their future is bright, if we all remember that situation, and think what we would do
in that situation, I think we’d also be better off. AM: Thank you, Congressman.
Thank you so much for joining us tonight. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “A wall won’t solve America’s border problems | Will Hurd

  1. I believe that immigration reform is necessary. I'm not a weathly man, however, how could an average citizen ((including myself) assist in making immigration reform fair, humane, and reasonable? Please advise.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  2. No one cares . America has a duty to help all the peipke they displace with their selfish wars . Get on with it .

  3. So which major media org bought out TED? This is an example of state owned youtube. Propaganda and talking points from biased news outlets. I am DONE with TED!!!

  4. it well reduce illegal crossing and save taxpayer dollars I dont think anyone thinks a wall will just magically solve all of Americas border problems but it definitely undeniably will help. and the data from where walls are already located easily shows that

  5. The wall is being constructed to keep citizens in, not migrants out. The us government has long been taken control of by both foreign and domestic elites who control governmental policies of superpowers.

  6. Traitor fake Republicans who want to "streamline legal immigration" are selling the country out from under homegrown Americans. This guy has all the same opinions leftists have on immigration. What a joke.

  7. will walls on your home keep criminals out if they want in, no it will not. However , take the walls off your home and see how many people it did keep out. walls on the border are not "the fix all" for border protection, it one of many layers or tools to help solve the problem.

  8. The wall is very effective and he is missing the main points. The wall has sensors, the wall has tower areas and cameras. At the very least it is a good start for a comprehensive system and its not even .5% of the military budget. Democrats spent more on the Obamacare website…. that never worked. Trump is also trying to get a base in brazil in the middle of south America one border away from most countries. His goal is stabilize south America and not send young people to die in the middle east where we have zero interest.

  9. So “Ted Talks” is Political now along with all the news etc etc etc❗️ Really❓ Yet another thing I enjoyed ruined by everyone in the world 🌎 thinking they know it all. By the way, you are so wrong, imo.

  10. I've never understood why this is such a "hot topic" the USA are allowed to secure thier boarders, its the right of every country serving the interests of its citizens. The wall is not intended to solve the issue, its a deterrent.

  11. It will sure help. The wall is not needed to discourage the the “south of the border” huddled masses as much as to stop or at least slow down the fully armed with military weapons, drug cartels who use those arms to violently break their boss out of jail, the human traffickers, the criminals and gang members. What is the mentality of someone who thinks that it’s OK to walk with their family including children more than a 3,000 miles for an negligible chance of legally entering the USA. I don’t blame the “masses”, I blame the people that encourage this activity with false hopes and misinformation.
    This women is simply regurgitating old, tired platitudes that are untrue and that don’t address the real issues. She should be ashamed.

  12. I am all for science and facts as the foundation of reason. it's way better than the notion that "my feelings are more important, and there for, needs a louder voice than facts". disappointing that so many have deluded themselves to thinking "us vs them" is the only pretense needed for not seeing objectively.

  13. I like how the instant reaction of some people here when something unknown tries to contact them is to shut them out. Impulsive and ignorant, just like Trump. Trump will never be my President.

  14. Not all illegal immigrants are the same. Outstaying a visa Vs illegally crossing the border, which is more likely to be more of a criminal?

  15. ANY person in the United States that is with their child and breaks the law requiring them to be jailed will be separated from their child. The illegal aliens that were separated from their children were legally done so because they were getting formally charged with 8 USC 1325 (improper entry by alien) or 8 USC 1326 (reentry of removed aliens). They were then going to serve the length of their jail sentence that would have been decided by a federal judge. It is perfectly humane to separate the child and not allow the child to have to go to jail with their parents. Why can't people understand this? Are they stupid, dishonest or is the media confusing people?

  16. Poor TED has sunk to pure bullshit. It’s cheapening the entire TED concept. This idiotic ex- CIA creep is obviously an expert in illegal immigration and drug/human/arms trafficking. CIA have been the ones RUNNING IT!

  17. As you say while cartells turned a city into a war zone for a prison escape. While MS13 kills children in their homes.

    But lets ignore the facts and history to present our feel good happy numbers to distract you from cold hard uncaring reality.

  18. The wall isn't about effectively combating illegal immigration, it's a government funded campaign stunt by Trump to rally his base of racist assholes, it was never meant to be effective, it's a symbol for the kind of America certain people want. It's a big, expensive dog-whistle meant to show just where Trump stands.

  19. No one said …
    "A wall will solve our illegal immigration problem "
    But it will most certainly help.

    And if this jackass dosen't have the honor and respect to speak at a Ted talk in person then I dont care what he has to say.

  20. A border wall was never meant to "solve" a border problem, it is a part of mitigation to illegal immigration, how you act like they are not walking here is unfathomable, even in 2016 nearly 800,000 people walked in. Military budgeting comes primarily from discretionary funding. Your details of the border wall is lacking, and a border wall does not mean immigration policy is ignored. California CDCR's prison budget alone is $12,000,000,000 per year, working in jails and prisons for over 12 years, you would be a fool to think illegal immigration does not impact this, as California is a sanctuary state meaning they do not share info or coordinate assistance for deportations. The average cost to house one inmate in a prison is about $60,000-$80,000 per year, while in a county jail it is about $30,000 per year.
    More lawyers and judges increases the long-term cost of immigration rather than decreasing the flow.

    Federal Budget

    Budget Information CDCR’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019

    Nearly 1 million illegal aliens crossed border in 2016

    Official: Illegal Immigrants Renting Children To Pose as Families at Border

    Twice-Deported Migrant Raped and Impregnated Teen, Say Police

    Border Patrol Makes Life-Saving Rescues After Migrant Smugglers Reportedly Dumped Two Disabled People Into A River

    Border Patrol Rescues 28 Honduran Nationals From Drowning After Smuggler Leaves Them For Dead

    Border Patrol Operation Rescues Nearly 500 Migrants Smuggled in Tractor-Trailers

    5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.

    Deportations in the Obama Era

    How does Trump compare to Obama on immigration?

  21. How to make a comment:
    Step 1: Skip the video
    Step 2: Forget everything you know about geography
    Step 3: Disregard everything you know about visas & passports
    Step 4: Acknowledge that Trump can just flick his magic wand and conjure money and manpower out of thin air.
    Step 5: Go forth, my glorious creation. Spread your cheeks and let your comment out for the world to behold.

  22. Republicans have made logic taboo. If common sense was enough to sway the conservative anti-evolution, anti-climate change, anti-immigrant voter, the GOP wouldn't even exist.

  23. “Oh god why are we separating children from human traffickers, some might be their parents. Also we didn’t give a single f about this under Obama.”
    – Ted pundits

  24. We’re not talking about hundreds of billions of dollars. This is one of the easiest and most effective things to do. Suddenly dems become “consensus deniers” on the topic of border wall effectiveness.

  25. Ok so laser sensors? And then tons of ICE agents to drive around and look for the people who crossed the sensor two hours ago? Nice solution!

  26. Just by looking at the thumbs up/down ratio. Man! Ya white ppl are persistent on giving everything you know is against your belief a thumbs down.

  27. So much for Ted not being political. They have sold out. I used to like their discussions of new ideas but they seem to spew the same leftist ideas in different packages. Not even a balance of ideas, just leftist. Oh well, unsubscribe time. Good bye Ted, you had great ideas once, now it's just leftist talking points.

  28. Okay Mr. Hurd quit obstructing the President and pass any laws the administration puts forward to control the emergency on the border. And tell all you punk Democratic Representative friends to get onboard.

  29. A wall may not fix illegal immigration or stop it however, it will at the very least deter the ones going by foot in the same manner that the door to your house keeps people outside. Regardless of the deterrence we use against illegal immigration, if someone wanted to come here bad enough they'd find a way. The "trick" is to have a deterrent that makes the prospect of not using the official way seem fruitless or not worth the effort.

    While I'm not for it, a number of countries use lethal means as a deterrent and have a much smaller Illegal immigration problem than us. Granted, it's still a problem even with the means.

    Just food for thought… I don't claim to know what to do but we must do something…

  30. Its going to fail just Like all other of their mayor projects in the recent decades be it the war on drugs Intervention in the.middle east etc

  31. Put guys like me on the border. As long as we have a commode, food, water and plenty of ammo, we'll at least thin the heard

  32. Grifters And Frauds like will herd and rest of neocons won’t either but you don’t have the moral fiber to do the right thing and step down. A Chihuahua does more than will herd

  33. Was this recorded with a potato? Instead of a wall, how about a trench or a mote filled with crocodiles?

    Why is economic instability in Latin America the USA's problem?

  34. 13:10 she is flat out lying, 99% of cocaine 99% of marijuana 95% of meth and 40% other come through the border which is 60% of all drugs.

  35. It was brilliant to wait until 20-60 million ILLEGAL Hispanics and Latinos have flooded the country. It was brilliant to create ALL these sanctuary cities. Welcome to 3rd WORLD USA!

  36. Let’s not forget that Trump said Mexico was going to pay for that wall that is not being built, but taking our money to fund his vanity project. Berlin wall, great China wall, ring any bells? Now he’s asking other countries to interfere with our election once again. Do any of you Trumpy’s have a clue, probably not or you wouldn’t be so gullible.
    Don’t sell your souls!!!!!

  37. Fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals on this is the perception of those crossing the border illegally.

    Those crossing the border are…

    Conservatives: …criminals (commiting additional crime of crossing the border), invaders, those seeking to take your job and usurp the economy, parasites who will undermine jobs and fair wages for American citizens,those coming from cultures that were unable to form proper democratic and free societies, bringing to us their failed values and overwhelming the stretched resources of this country. People who do not speak English, and will work to undermine our national language. Lastly, future Democrat/Socialist voters.

    Liberals: …people fleeing poverty and crime, hard-working individuals who would help our economy not just by filling in the jobs hard to fill locally, but also increase our workforce and help communities with their labour and taxes, were they to be given a fair path to legal work. Women and children in need of our help, whose only crime is – at most – a misdemeanor of crossing the border illegally, and in most cases not even that, as anyone has the right to seek asylum. People who diversify and thus strengthen our culture, by bringing in their own values, cuisine, as well as language, increasing the linguistic influence and bringing in new and positive changes to our own language and culture. People who strongly believe in our democracy, freedoms, capitalism, and other aspects of society – who really wish to be a part of this society and welcome its values. Lastly, future Democrat voters.

    Truth is somewhere between. For me, it leans quite a bit to the latter sentiment. Not for everyone.

  38. Creating a wall to block something is in fact a great idea. Think of it this way… If someone just walks into your home and says I'm taking this room, what do you do?… Well this country is our home and another country/person is intruding without permission. Atleast a wall is/will be humane and a great warning not to come here without an invitation or proper permission.

  39. Funny how people will believe someone who is clueless about politics than someone who has been in politics longer, plus also has experience with border issues. A wall will not stop the illegal activity.

  40. You get caught smoking pot you go to jail…you hire illegals at your business and you are listed on the Forbes 500. The problem is over there I agree and the way we deal with it is a JOKE (nobody is laughing except the wealthy crooks)

  41. It never does, anything proposed by republican and commented by a democrat ( in a district with a 71% latino population, republican is not, for sure XD ). What is next asking a republican if quotas proposed by the democrats are a good ideia? -_- Jesus dang socialists always keep their ideias and no one else's. :/

  42. The question should be why are these folks putting themselves in dire situation to cross such border? If their lives were descent, when they were, I'm sure that would be the case. So what made their country that bad?

  43. Portugal solved their drug problem. There plenty of solutions outside of this guy's scope of focus. He is ignoring solutions while posing arguments about what won't work. While going off topic with religious stories… It's no wonder nothing can get done. Do they just put stupid people in Congress, instead of getting the intelligent and capable problem solvers?

  44. If you don't separate children who cross the border from the people who brought them, then you are giving free reign to pedophiles, kidnappers, or any other criminal that doesn't mind using children. It's either you temporarily upset families to verify identity, or let criminals reign free by not doing so. That's reality, like it or not.

  45. I remember the good old days when TED would invite brilliant scholars and researchers and genuine heroes to talk. Now it's Carlos Maza and a bunch of spies…

  46. Even drinking water doesn't make your life better, but it helps your body stay hydrated

  47. Unbelievable how “Ted Talks” is becoming a leftists socialist platform, sad. I’m sure ya’ll would feel just the same if Mexico’s was bordering Maryland 🙄

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *