Colorado’s Morning News, Ken Buck, June 18, 2018

Station:    KOA, 850 am

Show:       Colorado’s Morning News

Guests:    Buck, Ken


Date:        June 18, 2018


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HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH: [00:00:03] President Trump [is] expected to sit down tomorrow with House Republicans, trying to work on a new immigration policy. The meeting comes, of course, as controversy is boiling over on the policy of separating kids from their parents at the border. [We have] reaction now, from the other side of the aisle — you just heard from Democrat Ed Perlmutter. Here’s Republican Congressman Ken Buck. Good morning.


ZESBAUGH:  [00:00:22] Do you agree with your colleague on the other side of the aisle who says job one has to be stopping the policy that separates kids from their families?

BUCK: [00:00:29] I rarely agree with Ed, but I like Ed a lot. But no, I think that it is terribly unfortunate when kids are separated from their families. But the reality is there has to be a responsibility taken by parents who bring kids to this country illegally or who don’t go through the proper asylum procedure when coming into this country. Putting kids in a detention facility with adults is a dangerous situation that’s not done in this country in our criminal system. And where these families are going are to detention centers. And so there is a public safety issue for these kids that has to be taken into account also. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a terribly unfortunate situation. But I think that the Trump administration — and previous administrations — have had a tough time dealing with how to deal with — or how to address — families that are that are coming into this country legally.

HOST MARTY LENTZ: [00:01:29] Two things can be true. Yes, this is from a previous administration 00 some of these policies — yet at the same time the Trump administration seems to be enforcing it by separating their kids. Congressman, isn’t it as simple as the President calling you — you’re in his Party — to say. “Hey, we need to get this policy done but we can’t do it by separating families.” What would you say to that?

BUCK: [00:01:48] Well, I think we’re going to see an immigration bill passed this week that deals with the DREAMer issue, that deals with separating families at the border, and deals with several other issues. We have to start the whole conversation with border security. If we don’t have border security we could just continue to add [to] this problem. If a Mexican family comes into this country illegally, they can be returned to Mexico right away. If a family from a non-contiguous country — Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador — comes into this country, we have to go through a very long, burdensome, cumbersome process. And so that’s one of the things that I hope we change this week in the new immigration policy, is be able to expedite the procedure to send people back to their home country when they have entered illegally.

ZESBAUGH:  [00:02:36] You mentioned Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador — many families that are fleeing those dangerous countries. Are you getting the sense that asylum is being granted, anymore?

BUCK: [00:02:46] Asylum is being granted, but it’s a very rare circumstance. You need a specific threat — and credible threat — to leave a country. So, if you’ve gotten a threat from one of the criminal gangs in one of those countries because you have cooperated with police or for some other reason, then asylum can be granted. We typically see asylum from countries where there is a genocide occurring, or other act where large groups of people are being targeted because of their tribal connections or because of their religious beliefs. And those are the instances where we see asylum both in Europe and in the United States. And so while there are high murder rates and Guatemala, El Salvador, [and] other countries in Central America, that doesn’t justify asylum in America.

LENTZ:  [00:03:43] On that note, though, the DHS had Kiersten Nielsen. Does she understand her own rules? Because from what I understand, to seek asylum you have to be on our soil to do so. But she makes it sound like, “Well, you can seek it. But that doesn’t mean you can cross the border.” So again, is there some sort of disconnect with the rule?

BUCK: [00:03:57] No, you can seek asylum by going into an embassy or consulate in a foreign country. And that’s the preferred — that’s how we prefer someone to do that, so they’re not in this country waiting for a decision. But the immigration lawyers and the folks on the left have gamed the system. They have told people coming into this country illegally. “If you say that you are seeking asylum, you will then be released from a detention center and you will have to show up for a hearing.” And so, it is a way to get into this country illegally, get out of a detention center. And then some people show up for the hearing, and some people don’t. And it is only after someone is caught that oftentimes they say, “Oh, I’m seeking asylum, and t rying to — you know, because of some threat that occurred in my country.” So–.

ZESBAUGH: [00:04:44] That was certainly –. Yeah.

BUCK: [00:04:48] We just — we can’t allow that to happen. We have to we have to follow the rule of law as it pertains to asylum.

ZESBAUGH: [00:04:53] That was certainly true in 2014, with Obama, and it ended up hurting him because he had so many people here coming illegally, it raised that issue nationwide. And it meant that the midterms turned over, and you had something like nine Republican senators elected. Do you think it will work in the reverse in this midterm election?

BUCK: [00:05:11] It’s going to be interesting. I think there are a lot of issues. I think the economy is strong and I think that’s going to help Republicans. I think there are some other issues, like Republicans being in power. Typically the party out of power helps Democrats. And so, think that there are a number of issues and it will be interesting to see what happens in September and October.

LENZ: [00:05:30] Thank you for your time, Congressman. We appreciate it so much.

ZESBAUGH: [00:05:32] Thank you.

BUCK: [00:05:33] Thank you.