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New Biden Action Would Shield Undocumented Immigrants Who Are Married To U.S. Citizens From Deportation; Poll: Immigration Is Third- Most Important Issue; Soon: Biden Announces New Immigration Executive Action; Poll: 62 Percent Of Voters Favor Deporting All Undocumented Immigrants; Trump Campaign: Biden Creating "Invitation For Illegal Immigration"; Freedom Caucus Chair May Lose To Trump-Backed Primary Challenger; McGuire Attended Stop The Steal Rally On January 6. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired June 18, 2024 - 12:00   ET




DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Today on Inside Politics, Biden's border balancing act. The White House is unveiling a new plan to shield undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens from being deported. As the president's campaign hopes it will please the very same people he angered with more aggressive border rules, he announced just two weeks ago.

Plus, he loves me, he loves me not. That's how Dr. Anthony Fauci describes his complicated relationship with Donald Trump and his new memoir. This hour part of his conversation with our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta, about how difficult it was to correct the former president in front of the American people.

And why are so many Republicans turning on one of the most conservative members of Congress, hint in today's GOP, don't piss off Donald Trump. And right now, voters are having their say as they cast ballots in one of the years' most bitter GOP primary races.

I'm Dana Bash. Let's go behind the headlines at Inside Politics.

First step, the power of the pen. President Biden is poised to announce a sweeping executive action to protect immigrants living in the U.S. illegally but who are married to American citizens. The White House says, it could provide relief to more than half a million people and be the most significant action to protect undocumented immigrants since the Obama era dreamers' plan.

CNN's Kayla Tausche is at the White House. Kayla.

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dana, President Biden later today will announce that executive action that will authorize undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens as well as their children to apply for lawful residence without leaving the country. The Biden administration says that those individuals, those spouses must have already been married before this point and must have already been in the United States for a decade prior to today.

The administration expects that about 500,000 spouses will be impacted by this order, and about 50,000 children. And those individuals are already eligible to apply for green cards, but they would have to do so under prior law outside the country. And if they were found to have been in the U.S. unlawfully, then they would have had to remain outside the country for up to a decade.

Now that prior eligibility is a distinction that the Biden administration believes could help this order, survive any legal challenges that are sure to be brought as had been brought to presidents of either party when they announced executive actions, targeting this very issue.

The President Biden today is hoping to do a few things with this order. Number one, to quell some of the frustration among immigration advocacy groups who are angered about rules to restrict asylum that he announced just a few weeks ago. Many of those advocacy groups will be here at the White House when he signs this order and announces it later today.

There's also an expectation that he wants to neutralize immigration as a hot button issue, ahead of next week's debate and ahead of the broader homestretch into the November election. And then finally, experts say, he could really boost the economy with this order, allowing half a million people to seek better paying jobs would have that effect. And those are all things that President Biden really wants to do, Dana.

BASH: Yeah. No question about it. Thank you so much for that great reporting. And we're going to look at a new poll out this morning, which gives you a sense of how critical this issue is this election year. You see there, immigration comes in third, when voters are asked about what issue matters most of them this year. That of course, is after protecting democracy and inflation. And Trump leads on the question of immigration by 10 points, when voters are asked who they prefer on the issue.

For more, let's talk to a terrific group of reporters. Axios's Hans Nichols, Laura Barron-Lopez of the PBS NewsHour, and CNN's very own Lauren Fox. Hello, everybody. Laura, you've done so much great reporting on the issue of immigration on just the policy. I think it's fair to say quagmire stalemate. I mean, you name it. It's just been an absolute mess for decades and decades because Congress can't do anything, which has led to first Donald Trump and now Joe Biden doing different but equally, sort of aggressive executive orders.


LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, PBS NEWSHOUR: That's right. And this, of course, comes after Republicans said that they weren't going to vote for the bipartisan Senate. A deal that President Biden supported and would have signed into law, but this comes almost exactly -- exactly two weeks after the last executive action where President Biden cracked down on the ability for asylum seekers to declare asylum between ports of entry at the border. So, more harsh executive action there. One that was criticized heavily by immigrant advocates, by Democrats within his own party. And then he follows it two weeks later with this one, where he's trying to say, look, I am taking a more humane approach of balancing out the last executive order.

And this is one that a lot of Democrats that I've talked to think, could potentially help them politically because of the fact that in their -- polling across Democratic polling firms, as well as some -- among some Latino pollsters show that when you ask voters, even some Latino voters who are not necessarily very happy with President Biden.

If you ask them, if they are more likely to support him. If he takes an action, like the one he is today for undocumented spouses, they start moving towards him in double digits. So, that could be critical in states like Arizona and Nevada.

BASH: That is so interesting. You mentioned what has happened in the two weeks since he announced the first tough -- very tough on the border executive action. Want to remind our viewers a part of what he said when he made that announcement in early June.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: An individual chooses not to use our legal pathways, they choose to come without permission and against the law, there'll be restricted from receiving asylum and staying in the United States. For those who say the steps I've taken are too strict, I say to you that be patient, and goodwill of the American people are going to work -- they're wearing thin right now. Doing nothing is not an option.


BASH: So be patient, because I'm going to do something that the progressives and even not just progresses, but others in the communities that you were talking about --


HANS NICHOLS, POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: Yeah, it was a clear hint. The president told us what he's going to do. I mean, he didn't tell us exactly. Look, this is enormously consequential for the half a million people that are affected. For the rest of the country, I don't want to say it's cosmetic, but this is largely about the symbolism of immigration and where you think the country should go and how welcoming you should be -- the country should be, and how firm the country should be on enforcing the border.

And I think none of us at this table will be surprised, if immigration dominates a large part of the debate. That's coming up here on CNN in just a few days, a week and a half, I think. And the Biden campaign has always known they need a better answer on immigration because they know Trump hammer is on it. And this is part of it. Whether that will be adequate? I don't know. LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And well, it's not adequate for a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill, right. I was talking to John Thune last night as they were coming into the Senate. And his argument was that, basically Biden's trying to have it both ways. And this is creating more pull factors for immigrants who may not get or may not be eligible for this program but may view it as a symbol that they should come to this country. That is the view from the Republican side of the aisle.

And last -- a couple of weeks ago, when he did the last executive order, it wasn't enough for Republicans. I think it's important to point out once again, they had an opportunity to vote on a bipartisan package. They decided not to vote it to support that and move it forward. But I do think that that gives you a sense that for people who are in the Latino community, this does send a signal. But for Republicans, this does not change.

BARRON-LOPEZ: It's not just Latino community, though, because these are mixed families. These are, you know, it's more than 500,000 that will be impacted by the actions today. And then it's also those spouses that are U.S. citizens, and they're not all Latino, those U.S. citizens, they are, you know, of different ethnic backgrounds.

And I was talking to a spouse today actually, a U.S. citizen, one that's married to an undocumented spouse who said that, in her community, in her state, people that are Republicans around her actually support this action. And the polling bears that out. That polling shows that a majority of voters do actually support, giving status to undocumented migrants who have lived here for a long time. And that's the key -- more than 10 years.

BASH: Yeah, that's a good point. Such great insight. I just want to kind of pull back a little bit. You mentioned this. Yes, there, of course, is -- there's a very specific population that will be affected -- directly affected by what the president is doing today with his pen. But just when it comes to public perception back on the kind of the politics and election year politics of this.

I what to look how -- at how different this is perceived. And one specific question, which is undocumented immigrants in the U.S., should they be deported, which is something that the former president is arguing in his -- gotten his campaign platform.

This is right now. Total, 62 percent say yes. And then when you break it down, white 67, black 47, Hispanic voters 53. Look at how much it has changed. Just going back to 2016, when Donald Trump ran for the first time. The total was only 39 percent, and then whites 45, black 33, Hispanics 17.


And Hans as I bring you in, I want you to just thank you for sitting on that because seeing those numbers -- those percentages side-by- side, and we're talking about an eight-year period really tells the story of how potent this issue is far beyond the communities who are directly affected. NICHOLS: To me the biggest delta there and the math. Can you correct my math is on the Hispanic number 53 to 70. And that's remarkable. It's -- you see something similar that's happened with the whole conversation around tariffs in China, things that Donald Trump talked about in 2016. We're out of the bounds, even within the Republican Party, and now they've entered in the mainstream.

And when I -- the topline number there is what 62 percent supporting deportation. That's a remarkable number. And, you know, again, it's just one poll, but it seems like to bear out across a lot of polls. And I don't know if it keeps track with sort of your -- sort of tough on the ground reporting.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Yeah. Well, I think that what -- it shows that again, they're asking are undock -- should undocumented immigrants be deported without really delineating, whether or not if someone who's been here for more than 10 years --

BASH: That's fair.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Or a child who's lived here the majority of the life, the dreamers, because polling across the years still shows that the majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. So, there's a bit of contradiction from the voters there. But they may be talking about more recent undocumented immigrants.

BASH: And you were talking about Republicans, you were already doing reporting on that last night. Let's talk about the former president, the candidate who wants to be in the White House again, Donald Trump.

According to a spokeswoman said about this executive order. Biden doesn't care that law-abiding taxpayers, crushed by inflation, are forced to pay for free food, housing, and healthcare for illegals. Biden only cares about one thing, power. And that's why he is giving mass amnesty and citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegals who he knows will ultimately vote for him.

FOX: There's a lot of details that are clearly missed there. That is not a factually accurate statement. But you know, when you think about the shift in the Republican Party, it's coming because of messages like that one. Think about Marco Rubio, what was his message in 2016. He is potentially on the list of vice-presidential candidates for Donald Trump. He talks about this issue much differently. Now, that is not a coincidence. That is a direct reflection of the fact that Republican voters are following Donald Trump's words. And that is a perfect example.

BARRON-LOPEZ: One thing that I also want to point out that -- that I think was referenced in that statement, as well as from other Trump campaign advisors. In response to this action today was that they repeatedly said that -- that these undocumented immigrants are going to be able to vote, come this election.

Now this is just to give out -- that's not true. That's not accurate. Many of these people will not even get you a citizenship until five years from now, assuming that it isn't stopped by the courts. And it's also a conspiracy theory that has just been widely spread by Republicans in the lead up to this election cycle --

BASH: Which is?

BARRON-LOPEZ: Which is that there are wide amounts of undocumented migrants non-U.S. citizens voting in elections, which is not true.

BASH: Yeah. OK. Thank you. Thank you for all of that, especially the clarification there at the end. Everybody standby. Donald Trump and House Republicans turn on one of their own. The Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus is in a race for his political life today. We're going to look at how Congressman Bob Good made so many enemies in his own party, and why it may cost him his career.




BASH: Republican Congressman Bob Good won his Virginia House district by 15 points in 2022, just two years ago. He chairs the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus. And yet, he may be on the verge of getting a pink slip from Republican constituents in his ruby red district. Now why have they turned against him? It could have something to do with this.


REP. BOB GOOD (R-VA): We need a speaker who will fight for something. Anything besides just staying or becoming speaker, toes regret that I must vote against the motion to table as I did, and to vote to vacate the chair.


BASH: That was Good speaking about Kevin McCarthy just before he joined seven other Republicans and ousting the now former speaker, but it could go back even further to this decision from last spring.


REP. GOOD: Just want to congratulate and thank Governor Ron DeSantis. America is hungry for courageous conservative leadership and that's on display nowhere else like it is in the state of Florida.


BASH: Now Donald Trump endorsed Good's challenger John McGuire and campaign from McGuire last night in a tele rally just ahead of today's primary.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice over): If he's re-elected Bob Good will stab Virginia in the back, sort of like he did with me. As you probably know, he was against me for numerous years and then after I won the primaries, he became a big fan. But that's not good enough because those are the people that they tend to leave you very quickly.


BASH: Our fabulous reporters are back. Hans?

NICHOLS: Well, is someone who's clearly wearing Bob Good suit from -- it feels like disqualified from --

BASH: If Bob Good is Barack Obama's --


NICHOLS: Maybe Bill Burden just -- that anyway for those watching. Look, this is so clear what's happening for those of us that follow politics and are interested in. There's such a personal dynamic here. And I suppose I should do the throat clearing and say, well what voters decide, but boy we all know what this is about. It's about Donald Trump's in his -- and Chris Watts vetoes revenge -- as the revenge tour --

FOX: And Kevin McCarthy.

NICHOLS: And Kevin McCarthy, yeah.

BASH: Yeah.

NICHOLS: Great story.

FOX: Yeah. He picked to be on the wrong side of multiple people here, right. And Donald Trump -- it's so interesting because he endorsed DeSantis. His whole argument was he wanted DeSantis to be president because he believed that it gave the Republicans a clear path for not just four more years, but potentially eight more years. And then as soon as he was out of the race, that statement that he supported Donald Trump came very --

BASH: I just want to stay with you, Lauren, because you walk the halls every day. And you understand a lot of the dynamics, the drama, sometimes it's like, you know, seventh grade drama. Maybe that's not fair to seventh graders.

Anyway, this is a headline from our friend Leigh Ann Caldwell and also Theodoric Meyer at the Washington Post. And the headline is, everybody hates Bob. It's an opportunity for all of the division within the Republican conference to come to an end. That's according to Congressman William Timmons of South Carolina. We're going to cut out the cancer.

Wow. I hope it'll send a message to other members that you need to be productive around here. If you want to stay around here said Republican Congressman Mike D. Rogers, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

FOX: Yeah. Personality matters here. This isn't just about being on the wrong side of Donald Trump, but the wrong side of Kevin McCarthy and his powerful political apparatus. So, it's also about your delivery, your style, how you work with people, your relationships. Yes, he is the head of the House Republican Freedom Caucus.

That group though, has been very divided on several issues over the course of the last several months, including the effort to try and oust the current Speaker Mike Johnson. And so, I think that it is important to point out that yes, he is in charge of this conservative group. That does not mean, he speaks for all the conservatives in Congress. And his style is one that's not particularly friendly or cooperative.

BASH: And Lauren, you heard the former president when he called into that tele town hall for Good's opponent, say he's -- he likes me now. One of the things that he is referring to is the fact that Bob Good went -- was one of the Republicans who went to New York during the trial. Watch what happened there?


REP. GOOD: We saw the perjure and chief, Michael Cohen multiple times admit and acknowledge that he has lied under oath. He's perjured himself. And yet, we're supposed to believe his testimony as the star witness against President Trump.


BASH: Well, Republicans who don't like him are not buying it. That includes one, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who went to that district, and she took a judo video. We'll show you a picture of it. Bob Good is a liar because she is standing next to a sign that says, Trump -- Good suggesting that Trump supports him. I mean, I love this picture, because it kind of looks like she was driving by with her shoes off in the car and just got and took a picture of it. But the point is that this is a lot of backlash.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Yeah. I mean, look, this is not a tossup district. This is a district that is going to go read. This doesn't determine that majority of the House. And Bob Good made the mistake of endorsing Ron DeSantis. And this is ultimately about how loyal are you to Donald Trump. Bob Good is really loyal to Donald Trump's policies.

He is really loyal to the overall campaign message of Donald Trump and immediately backed him as soon as Ron DeSantis was out, and went up, like, as you said, with a lot of Republicans to back him in the New York hush money case. So, this isn't a candidate who is even trying to distance himself from Donald Trump. He's very much in line with Trumpism. So, this is ultimately about the loyalty.

BASH: There's loyalty, and then there's loyalty.


BASH: The person running against him. He's a state Senator John McGuire. He was at the stop the steel rally on January 6 of 2021. He -- I'm going to play a little bit of his conversation with our own Manu Raju, who talked to him on CNN this morning. And just want to start by saying, there's no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen. Let's listen to part of their conversation.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But you acknowledge the election was not stolen, right?

SEN. JOHN MCGUIRE, (R-VA): I would say it was -- I would say changing the rules in the middle of the game is cheating. And I think that -- I think that Trump was robbed, and I think the American people under their constitutional right can assemble and peacefully protest.


BASH: OK. Let's put the top of that truth sandwich on there. Just say, there's no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.

NICHOLS: Yeah. I mean, he started off on the sort of the standard Republican response you get now, which is to say there were irregularities right, not going all the way, but then he -- you know, went sort of full denials in there.


Look, he may win, right? Bob Good may lose. Like -- Bob Good, like for all the talk we're doing about him right now, he - well, I mean I don't want to compare him to FDR, right. The FDR speech where he welcomes their hatred. He loves the fact that we dislike them. For those of us, I suspect everyone in this table received a phone call from Bob Good.

He does not mind picking fights with elites, with the establishment. And the gentleman who -- you know, we just saw maybe he's the beneficiary this and maybe he ends up winning, but you know, for Bob Good, this is like, he likes to fight. He may lose his seat, but he likes fighting.

BASH: Yeah, yeah. Maybe not so much with Trump.

NICHOLS: Probably not. But he likes fighting with us, right? He likes fighting with me.

BASH: Well, that's -- you would think that would just win him an endorsement from Donald Trump right, there. All right, really a great conversation. Up next. More trouble for Matt Gaetz. The latest twist in the House ethics probe into his alleged sexual misconduct, drug use. This is a remarkable moment for the House Ethics Committee. And you want to see what they did after a short break.