Starr Forum: Abolish ICE?

Juliette Kayyem with Chappell Lawson

CHAPPELL LAWSON: So the title of this afternoon's talk is Abolish ICE-- A Discussion of US Immigration Policies. This title might sound a little histrionic, but the idea is that the controversy surrounding Immigrations and Customs Enforcement-- which is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security-- are a great window into larger policy debates about immigration, about border security, and about interior enforcement of US immigration laws.

These are obviously incredibly fraught subjects these days. The debate is highly polarized. It's often fact-free. And our system is so convoluted and massive that one can always find a particular case in the immigration world to justify any narrative, however kooky. So we are trying to cut through all that tonight and just focus on a more informed discussion of these very important and timely topics.

So logistics. I will very briefly introduce our speaker, Juliette Kayyem. She will give us her take on these issues. And then I may ask some follow-up questions of her, and then we'll have more general discussion, and we're going to end at 5:15.

So by way of introduction, very briefly-- I won't summarize her extremely lengthy CV, but Juliette is one of the most prominent public intellectuals on Homeland Security in the country. She's served in a number of senior Homeland Security positions, both at the federal and the state level, including the position she was in when I met her, Assistant Secretary of Intergovernmental Programs at the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration.

She's currently on the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she runs the Belfer Center's Homeland Security Initiative. Some of you, I think, have taken at least one of her classes there. Most of you, if you haven't taken a class from her, will have seen her on TV at some point. When you do, it's clear-- because of the demands of that medium-- that she's only able to answer questions in soundbites. And here, she will have a chance to elaborate on all of these questions in greater detail. So Juliette.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Thank you. Thank you.


Thank you. Oh, wow. We're starting to fill in. I like that.

And thank you so much for having me. The shorter time frame for this is my own error, but hopefully, many of you who are Cambridge public school parents will sympathize. The high school is having their fundraiser tonight for the scholarship fund.

They asked me to emcee. And to be honest, I've never been more nervous about anything because the combination of high school and trying to raise funds is like my two worst nightmares combined.

So I want to thank you for having me here, and for being here. Just a little bit about myself. So I have served in senior leadership positions both in the state government and federal government. That's relevant because what's at play here, in many respects, is also a real federalism issue, as to the extent to which states have a different metric, or even barometer, or gut, or moral standing to some of the stuff that's being done immigration-wise. When I served for Deval Patrick as his state Homeland Security advisor, that was during the Bush administration when their immigration policies were nothing like what we see today, but certainly not consistent with the philosophies or programs that Deval Patrick devised.

When I went to the federal government as the Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, it meant that I had to manage the will and cooperation of 50 states over 350 urban areas, tribes, and territories, all who also had different standards for what they wanted or didn't want with immigration. So that is part of what this discussion is going to be.

For this administration, when you begin the first week of your tenure as president of the United States with the Muslim ban-- let's not forget that-- it is difficult to believe that immigration isn't being used solely as a wedge issue. Go down the line of the last couple years, from the rescinding of DACA to, of course, the temporary protective status rescinding of certain populations here, to the use of the military at our border, and then most recently, a government shutdown over a wall that is unnecessary and undesirable.

You can't have a conversation about immigration and what is sound immigration policy without, in some ways, getting absorbed or overwhelmed by the noise of what immigration seems to mean to the Trump administration. But I urge you, while I fall into that tendency all the time, that response can be dangerous, because what isn't going to be an effective response is to have the pendulum swing the other way, as if any enforcement or any interior or border enforcement is in some ways looped in or part of the Trump administration's-- and I'll say it-- heartless, ineffective, immoral immigration policy.

And the reason why I urge against the pendulum swing-- as something that Professor Lawson certainly knows-- is because, in the context of Homeland Security, we've done so many swings. It is very dangerous for this country. I have been a part of the Homeland Security apparatus before 9/11. I started as a lawyer in counter-terrorism when the Department of Justice at that time had nine cases. The good old days, in 1995 to 1999.

When 9/11 happened and the department was formed only about 16 or 17 months later, it was formed in a way that is not how you want to form a major government agency, grabbing pieces of different parts of the federal government and trying to align them around a common mission, which was essentially homeland security. That included FEMA, of course, the Secret Service-- for reasons that no one can ever quite understand, maybe it makes sense-- but then the border agencies. Some of them got renamed, and others remained intact, like the Coast Guard. But generally, the department became the emergency management department, the counter-terrorism department, and the border department.

But between 2001 and 2005, the pendulum was so towards counter-terrorism-- essentially focused on stopping 19 guys from getting on four airplanes-- that it failed to nurture the other pieces of our homeland security vulnerabilities. And then 2005, of course, Hurricane Katrina came along. And that is when people like me and Chap and others in that space began to talk about our own security not in the context of a particular threat, whether it was 19 guys getting on airplanes, but in terms of something what we called all hazards, which is-- this country, as vibrant as it is, is going to have a multiple number of hazards that it faces. Some may be more pronounced at one time, or less pronounced at another time.

So we don't talk about Ebola anymore. I feel like-- is that me? No. We don't talk about Ebola anymore. This is like the morning look, right? It's like, heh.

But basically, the pendulum began to be right-sized. And so even under Secretary Chertoff-- who was criticized for the response to Hurricane Katrina-- there began to be an understanding that our homeland security was based on an all-hazards approach to securing the flow of people, goods, and ideas. That you just could not have a nation solely focused on stopping bad things from happening.

And so for that period, immigration became part of an overall holistic look at, how do we secure the flow of-- we want people to come in. People, goods, ideas, networks, as cybersecurity became part of the department's mandate. Minimize that risk, but not forget who we are as a nation, which is, ultimately, you're not going to get to zero risk. And anyone in the space will tell you that.

Anyone who tells you, we have to be safe, it's delusional. Look up in the sky right now. There are 920,000 people on domestic flights right now, and in four hours, it will be a different 920,000 people. There's no way you can have a system that is perfectly secure.

But this administration has taken those vulnerabilities and basically made them a feature, not a bug. In other words, driving the policy towards the very de minimis risk that we know exists anyway, because to close those risks would be such an investment of money, time, effort, as compared to using your resources to protect against whatever other threats there are.

So what is happening now is what I basically would view the department as the department has now done another pivot to basically being the wall department. We don't talk about the Department of Homeland Security in the context of anything but immigration anymore. The separation-- maybe now, maybe Puerto Rico a little bit, but barely. It is now the border agency. And that pivot is incredibly dangerous for the United States, because it makes us look at our vulnerability solely through the prism of enforcement in the interior and enforcement at the border.

And that is just setting that context. That's where the Abolish ICE movement came into play. It is that pendulum reaction. So now we're over here. Every immigrant is bad, lawful and unlawful. I'm doing a caricature of the administration, but nonetheless, let's just say it's not that off.

And so the pendulum or response becomes the Abolish ICE movement. And in many ways, as Chap suggested, it was a moment in time. We don't really talk about it. It's not really part of even the nascent presidential campaign. It really was a moment of time. I think when we were deciding the topic, maybe we even felt it was a little bit dated.

And that moment in time ironically-- or disjointedly-- aligned with, of course, the family separation issue, of which the two really don't have that much in common. So I want to focus on the Abolish ICE movement, and then how it got conflated into the horrific family separation movement now.

So obviously, Abolish ICE really did start in progressive cities as a response to, not the family separation, but the interior enforcement, literally the taking away of immigrants, undocumented immigrants, who had done no other thing unlawful. So the numbers speak for themselves. In 2017 fiscal year, more than twice the number of undocumented immigrants who had not done any other thing unlawful-- assuming that their undocumented status is a form of illegality-- than in 2016. That meant that ICE arrested 80,000 people, 33% percent of whom were considered non-criminal. Literally have done nothing criminal.

So this is the stories that you remember hearing in the summer of 2016. The mother taking her kids to school who maybe had been told-- someone had told on her. Or the churches harboring the long-term custodian because, all of a sudden now, his undocumented status-- under the theory that the Trump administration devised-- is, per se, unlawful.

And that took a twist or a purposeful manipulation of aligning undocumented with unlawful. Of course, we're not idiots. Obviously, an undocumented immigrant is a form of illegality. But not the form of illegality that you want to focus your resources for deportation against. Instead, the Trump administration conflated the two, leading to the arrest and deportation-- or at least deportation proceedings-- of people who had done nothing else wrong.

Against this backdrop in the summer of 2016 is, of course, also the rescinding of-- I keep saying 2016. I mean 2018, sorry. Is the backdrop of the DACA decision. Once again, not unlike North Korea, the president does something that creates a crisis that wasn't a crisis that then has to be solved only through the goodwill of the administration.

DACA was fine as it was. Not perfect. The DACA recipients or the DREAMers were not protected by legislation, but the president had at least given them protected rights and a pathway to citizenship that would at least let them live freely in the United States without fear of deportation.

So you have the combination of the changes of immigration enforcement with the undocumented immigrants who are-- according to the Trump administration theory-- per se, illegal, and therefore subject to deportation, with the changes of status of the DACA recipients who would otherwise be able to live their lives. So we're now at a stage where the first DREAMer who got a Rhodes Scholarship is going to England and does not know if he can return home next semester. This is the madness that the Abolish ICE movement walked into.

So the Abolish ICE movement came to represent not just abolish ICE, which is-- it came to represent a lot of things to a lot of different people. So there were people out there who believed-- and I think it's a small percentage of them-- the caricature that the administration tries to say about people like Chap and I, which is we're for open borders.

There may be a very small contingent of people in this room who believe that. I bet you if I engage you, I can get you to the moment in which you're not for open borders. There's going to be some group of people-- child smugglers. I think I gotcha, right? In other words, that you would say, OK, we should have open borders for them.

But there is that caricature, and maybe a group of people exist who believe in that. But what the critics of Abolish ICE were able to do is, because Abolish ICE came to represent all that we didn't like in everything that the Trump administration was doing, that is where you got the pushback by the Trump administration and their supporters of-- that the critics of the Trump administration were for open borders. And the Abolish ICE movement aligned with that.

But the truth is, if you actually drill down on what people meant when they said "abolish ICE," they meant very different things. It was just a lens where people could focus their anger. It was just, OK, this is where I'm going to focus my hatred of all of this, just, I can't believe this is happening. And it became focused on immigration and the division called Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE has only existed since the beginning of the Department of Homeland Security. It used to be INS. But remember, INS also dealt with naturalization. When the Department of Homeland Security came into being, it bifurcated-- and you can argue, maybe that was the mistake-- the bad cop and the good cop.

So where INS had both-- it's immigration, who do we not want in; and naturalization, who we want in-- the creation of the department created ICE, which is enforcement. Essentially, who do we want out?

And then another agency, USCIS, which was the good cop, which is, who do we want in? All of the good stuff. The thing that I'm sure Chap and I got to do where you get to oath people in to become US citizens.

So ICE has a number of divisions that are relevant for, I think, the Abolish ICE movement. One is, of course, the investigative services, which you're hearing a little bit about-- I can't believe I'm bringing this up in this audience-- with the Bob Kraft issue. This is the group that investigates the trafficking and the other things that are possibly going on in that case and others.

The area where we focus-- or where people who were for Abolish ICE focus-- is in the division known as Enforcement and Removal Operations. That office has-- its policies have changed basically through each administration. That office, when Obama left the administration, was one that was focused on-- it was focused on deportations. There's no question about it. A lot of you were probably critics of the Obama administration at some stages. He was called the deporter-in-chief for a reason.

But where the Obama administration focused its efforts was on two things. Family integration, not separation. So you were going to try to keep families together.

And then focus your interior enforcement efforts on, essentially, felonies. That you could not just simply say, of the 12 million people who are undocumented, they're all illegal. So we're going to focus our enforcement efforts on those who have done something bad, and we can fight at the margins about whether this drunk driving or whatever-- whether being caught with cocaine is a felony or not.

But nonetheless, at least created a division between where your enforcement efforts would go-- so undocumented felonies-- and where they wouldn't go. Just an undocumented immigrant who's minding their own business, and hopefully, if we ever get our act together, we'll have a pathway to citizenship.

That changed dramatically, as I said, with the Trump administration. And then add onto that the family separation issue, which ICE had a part of, but was not the agency that was at the border. Not to get too technical, but that's Customs and Border Protection. ICE, though, was responsible for housing these children. So all these horror stories that you're now hearing, actually, a lot of them involve ICE in HHS-administered facilities.

So Abolish ICE, and the movement, could have began to mean two different things. One would be ending internal immigration enforcement, or at least some of the policies of the Trump administration, or restricting the agency or restructuring the agency. And when the Abolish ICE movement was at its most politically viable and strong, you saw different leaders in the Democratic Party essentially take different stances in that regard.

So you had the Kamala Harrises, who came up as an AG in California, who believed, when she said abolish ICE, that it really was restructuring the agency. Basically blowing it up, having an enforcement agency, but figuring out a better way. That it was unfixable the way it was. There were others who argued-- and Bernie Sanders sometimes did-- who argued that Abolish ICE meant just a complete-- I don't want to say he was for open borders, but a minimization of interior enforcement.

And because Abolish ICE became to mean all things to all people, two things happened. One is, it was easily criticized by proponents of the Trump administration, but even maybe public safety Democrats like myself who didn't-- I couldn't quite get it. Are you actually saying that you don't want an enforcement agency? And then, of course, people would say, oh, no, we need an enforcement agency, but ICE needs to be abolished. But it also meant that I think that the movement was relatively short-lived. Because it became obvious that, at some stage, we're going to need to talk about what kind of border enforcement-- both at the border and interior-- do we want?

And I think we're actually in a good place. I will tell you politically-- I play in that space, I ran for office once-- I think we are so much better off as critics of the Trump administration, like myself, and maybe a lot of you in the room, not getting tied to the Abolish ICE movement. I think it is a trap, and an unnecessary one. Because what you really want to be discussing is, what kind of nation do we want to be in terms of our immigration enforcement issues?

And I will tell you, you're not alone in this. That's the other good news. The courts-- and even conservative courts-- have been unflailingly pretty critical even on the Muslim ban to the Trump administration and its interpretation of immigration policies. You have governors and mayors from both sides of the aisle, without getting all the way to Abolish ICE, quite critical of the Trump administration's-- now I'm going to loop them all together.


Oh my god, I turned it off. We were joking that one of my kids, after telling them I was going to be busy for the next hour and a half, I will-- Chap, it's over there. Just turn it off or throw it out the window. Thank you. It's going to say some child name, trust me. They're the only people that don't listen to me.

And so the courts are on your side in terms of criticism of the Trump administration to a certain extent. Governors and mayors-- in particular on the wall debate-- are very much on the side of, this is not how we should behave as an immigration entity. So much so, of course, as many of you know, that not a single legislature with a border-- the proponents of the wall all live in Ohio-- in Texas, Arizona, and California supports the wall.

And then, of course, the resistance-- or the people, whatever-- are also on the side of having a more humane enforcement policy without falling into the trap of open borders or Abolish ICE. And so we can learn from them in terms of what priorities we'd want to focus on, which I'll get to at the end.

But before I get there, and talking about getting out of this trap that I think was probably not a helpful one because of the vagueness of what Abolish ICE meant, is, well, where are we now? If that was a moment in time essentially culminating at the beginning of the summer of 2018 and not becoming a major issue in the general elections for House leadership, what did? What took its place?

Well, of course, the wall. That then became the rallying cry for the same debate. Open borders, closed borders.

And once again, luck-- not luckily-- just remember this, that once again, the egregiousness and the ineffectiveness of the Trump administration's policy vis-a-vis the wall bumped up against reality. And that reality was not open borders. It was that there's just a better way to do this.

And the pushback comes not from us, or people in Cambridge-- although that was helpful-- the pushback comes from the Texans who are suing the Trump administration for eminent domain violations. I love those people now. I didn't love them before, but I love them now. Because they are now waking up to what this idea of the wall meant. Forget the whole "Mexico pays" thing.

And the wall itself has now become this rallying cry for the Trump administration that has also failed in large measure. There's no wall. "Finish the wall" is a joke. He can say whatever he wants, but no rational person in immigration policy thinks, if I was given $100 as my budget for spending on border enforcement, that a wall is what we're going to do.

I don't mean to be benign about the Trump administration. They are down a very dangerous path, both for people personally, as well as for the nation as a democracy. For people personally, those horror stories are unforgettable. Not just the interior integration, but of course, the family separation. This idea that somehow family separation would be viewed as a way to deter the flow of people who are leaving countries for reasons that our immigration policy has nothing to do with.

So I don't mean to be benign about it, but just to put the debate in perspective. From a constitutional perspective, I'm certainly not benign about it. For the kind of work I do in Homeland Security, the use of the military-- not just the National Guard, which I'm kind of used to. They're under the metrics of governors.

But the use of the military-- active military-- to enforce what? And I say that honestly. Enforce what at the border?

They're sitting around putting up fences. We have people who can do that who aren't in the military. Violating almost everything we've come to believe about the civilian-military division, and elevating what's essentially a public policy problem-- which immigration is. It's a problem.

We have too many unlawful immigrants coming across the border. We want to deter them because it's a dangerous journey. We have people who don't have a pathway to citizen-- these are all problems. I'm not pretending like they're not problems.

These aren't crises, by any stretch of the imagination. This is a program that brings people to this nation, whether they come here lawfully or unlawfully, and figures out who should stay and who should go. And hopefully does it because of processes that are in place.

And there are going to be aberrations, or exceptions, or flaws in that process. Those aren't crises. Those are public policy problems.

And one of the things that worried me about the Abolish ICE movement-- and look, it may resurface itself. I don't know. But in terms of an animating political philosophy, I do think it ran its course a little bit.

But one of the problems or challenges I had with the Abolish ICE movement was that it bought into the Trump administration's theory that we were in a crisis. He's going to blow everything up. We will blow everything up.

And call me conservative, or call me fanciful that I believe everything will be fine on the other side of this, but my hope is people keep their heads and try to solve the problem, which is a pathway to citizenship for the 12 or 14 million who are here, a way of controlling borders that also recognizes asylum and refugee status, and also, third, a process that actually serves as a magnet for the kind of immigrants that we want coming into this country. Because in the absence of a very, very strong immigration philosophy or policy, you fall into where we are right now, which is a morally-vacuous immigration policy. Cruelty for its own sake. Who separates families and has no way of bringing them together?

Economic and professional impact. What's now being called the Trump slump. I don't know what you're seeing at MIT, but in terms of the number of students who want to come to our institutions, the number of people who are traveling to the United States.

So the tourism industry calls it the Trump slump. And the challenges of investment of foreigners into this country, which is something we actually should want. So that's the impact of what's going on beyond the moral issues.

So I want to end with just thinking about what a strategy would look like for immigration under no theory that I have all the answers, but just help you think through, OK, if I'm not happy with the Abolish ICE movement just because I thought it was a political trap, and we don't need to respond in kind, what would be the pieces of that immigration policy? Well, I think we should view border management like we view almost every other safety and security issue in this country, which it has three key facets. How do you minimize all the risks that are coming to this country through our borders?

It's not just one risk. The families coming over from Guatemala or wherever. So you have aviation, maritime, and border security that is bringing people to this country. So how do you minimize all the risks when the percentage of risk within that pool of people coming here is quite low?

So the rational response was, I would focus my resources not on the large pool, but on that small pool. Whether it's through figuring out who is suspected of being a child trafficker, or a smuggler, or whatever else. You would focus your resources on minimizing the risk that exists in a pool that you actually like. Generally, most people who are in and out of this country are in and out for a short period of time, and you've got to make sure that your borders are flowing. You could not stop them in any stretch of the way.

The second thing is you would learn, or you would focus on, how do you maximize national efforts to minimize whatever harm we think is out there from the undocumented class. In particular, where Abolish ICE was. Well, that would mean that you have to engage states, localities, communities, immigrant communities, and others, because they, of course, are in the scrum and would know best how to get those defenses essentially mobilized. How do you get the bad seed out of your community?

That is why it's not hokey to talk about community engagement. That is why lots of mayors did not like the secure community programs that use their law enforcement for immigration purposes. Because their argument is, I've got a cop. He's not worried about the 10,000 undocumented immigrants that may live in Somerville. He's worried whether those 9,999 will come forward because one of them is a murderer, or a rapist, or whatever.

So you would minimize all risk, maximize your national defenses. And then, maintain who we are as a nation, which is, we have a certain level of vulnerability. And I could say this all the time, and it's so rational to all of you, but our public discourse allows for no acknowledgment that to be the nation that we are, that we were built vulnerable. And that's OK.

So don't make the vulnerability the thing that you're motivated by. Make the threat the thing that you're motivated by. That is going to be a challenge, not just for immigration, but for politicians to recognize and be able to discuss.

It isn't, for example, how do you have a perfectly safe Boston Marathon down the street, or what happened here at MIT? That is not achievable. It is, how do you minimize-- how do you have a safer Boston Marathon?

How do you get rid of the risk at the borders? My answer is, it's not possible. But my answer is also not abolish ICE. It is, how do I minimize that risk and focus my defenses on the pool of people who are most dangerous?

We weren't perfect in the Obama administration, but the Trump administration has moved that pendulum so far that-- I guess I'll end with, that the next president would be smart to focus on immigration policy as part of the right-sizing of what is going on in this country right now.

So that is a lot of immigration policy in 41 minutes. I apologize. I went longer than I thought, but I am happy to take questions from you and then from the audience. Thank you so much.



I think people can see us if we sit here.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Yes, yes, that'd be great. Was it one of my kids?

CHAPPELL LAWSON: I don't know if you want to check the phone.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: What did it say?

CHAPPELL LAWSON: I just didn't know that one of your kids was named POTUS.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: (SARCASTIC) Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, no. Did it say CNN, though?


JULIETTE KAYYEM: It said Jeremiah or Leah. That's all I care about.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: OK, so I'm going to ask two questions, and then we'll turn it over to the audience. But because the talk is about ICE, let's imagine it's four years-- or two years.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: No, no, no. Please. God, Chap, yeah.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Two years hence from now-- or six years hence from now, whichever it turns out to be-- and this administration is no longer in office, and you are secretary of Homeland Security in a Democratic administration, which is not implausible. And somebody gives you the equivalent of an administrative magic wand which you can wave at ICE. You can wave it three times, let's say. You get your three wishes.

And just reminding the audience that ICE is really composed of two pieces. There's Enforcement and Removal Operations, ERO, which deals with detention and deportation, and then there's Homeland Security Investigations, which spends maybe 20% of its time total on immigration-related violations, and focuses more on drug trafficking, and counter-human trafficking, and things like that. So you can wave it at HSI, or you can wave it at ERO, or you can wave it at some other aspect device. But what would you do?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: So [INAUDIBLE] never thought about this a lot. So this is really a magic wand. I believe that place-- I've been in bureaucracies a lot-- so place aligns with function. So I tell my students in my Homeland Security class, the Forestry Department. Does anyone know what agency it's in?


JULIETTE KAYYEM: Yeah. No, you know that. Jesus Christ.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Timber is a crop. Yeah.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Right. That's not in Interior. Interior is a way that you would think about forestry. But agriculture is a different way that you think about forestry.

So my first would be-- I would actually align naturalization and enforcement as it used to be. It was not perfect. But I do think that there is something about having a agency that actually encompasses both the-- that it's making decisions on who we want in and who we want out holistically, rather than this weird bifurcation. The second now is enforcement--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Would you do that at DHS, or would you put it back in the Justice Department?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: I think it's DHS. I think you have to view DHS as-- unless you just blew up DHS, which, at this stage, is like, what are you going to do about it? But yeah, I think, if I thought about DHS-- and we've talked about this-- in 2030, 2040, if we're lucky, it will be FEMA on steroids. So it would be the agency that's looking at climate change, and resiliency, and natural disaster response. Local and state integration in our Homeland Security, and then it will have the border agencies.

The second thing I would do is actually change-- maybe there are ways that we could refine what the Obama administration did in terms of its priorities. It's so hard, because you just have to choose lines about felonies, or not felonies, and are all felonies the same, or whatever. But so we had to choose, which is, you're going to focus your enforcement efforts of removal on undocumented plus felony.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Or at the physical border.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Or at the physical border, yes. So interior. Or at the phys--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Or just recently entered.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Right. So that's a rule. It's going to have its horror cases as well. It's going to have its guy who's been here for 30 years drunk driving, and his-- who knows what the felony-- but it's at least a rule, rather than the all-encompassing thing.

And then the third is probably easy, which is, you don't separate families at the border. Or DACA. There's going to be so much low-hanging fruit to change the way we think about immigration enforcement. And between DACA and family separation, I've just won the president a second term. In other words, it's going to be so easy, and just think of what's going to happen by then.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Well, actually, let's follow up first before I get to my second question, which will be more comprehensive about immigration policy. But on the family separation. So Sessions, in April 2018, decides that we're going to prosecute every person who comes into the country illegally. And that's the trigger. There's not--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Zero tolerance, right.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: There's a zero tolerance policy. There's not a specific policy to separate families. But because of the Flores settlement in 1997, children cannot be detained for more than 20 days.

And therefore, effectively, the families will be separated as the children are released someplace and the parents are prosecuted. And then the children are going to be released to the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS, and then placed with sponsors, or families, or relatives, or someone else in the United States. But then we separated from their parents while their parents are in custody.

One way to look at this-- and I hate to be in this position because you're the opponent of the administration, so now I have to be in the awful position of channeling the administration. But if I'm Jeff Sessions, I would say, we've always separated families where there's a crime involved. If you commit a crime, you have your kids at your house, we arrest you. Your children are going to go to foster care, or they're going to-- whatever.

So we don't have a family separation policy. We just have an enforcement policy. And the goal of the enforcement policy is to send a signal to people in Central America that now is not the time to bring your kids to the United States.

OK. So tell me what's wrong with this, and how we could do it differently. Because the alternative, historically, has been what people on the right call catch-and-release. After we've got you in detention for a certain number of days, we'll give you a court appearance. We will release you into the wild.

And some significant portion of people will then never show back up again. 40%, 37%, whatever the number is, will not show back up for the court appearance, and then will continue to reside in the country illegally, so.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: OK. So first of all, just putting that-- so that is true. That's a problem. It's not a crisis.

So in other words, if the response is, this may be the only way that we are able to get people from bringing their children over, you're just weighing that against some sense of moral calibration which we're just all going to be at different levels, that it'd just be like, yeah, it's a problem, but we don't go there. And that's what Bush and Obama had both thought. So that's a first response.

The second is, of course, the thing you don't have on your side, Jeff Sessions, is that those draconian policies actually have a correlation to the--


JULIETTE KAYYEM: The flow. And that was what was so aggravating to people like Chap and I watching this, is the person who knew this was John Kelly, who had served as the head of Southern Command, which is our southern neighbor's-- military engagement with our neighbors in the southern hemisphere, and had testified half a dozen times about, there's almost nothing about US policy that changes a person's desire to leave-- imagine that-- leave where they are from with their children and go on a trek to try to find a better life for their children. They're basically choosing between version of hell one and version of hell two. Like, OK. But I'm living version of hell one, and maybe I have the opportunity to not get caught at the border and live a life in the US.

And then the third is, of course-- and can't be forgotten is-- of course, even if I'm there with you, for someone like me who tends to view process as really, really important because fewer bad things happen-- and we live in a world where it's kind of not good news most of the time, so you really do rely on processes so that you don't have the kind of abuses that we've seen. But it is still so shocking to me, in a time when you're immune to being shocked, that the department could have se-- and there were hearings this week-- separated families and children. And some great reporting in The New York Times discovered-- it wasn't like people woke up and thought, oh, this, won't be a problem, realigning them.

What happened was, because no other department, or no other president had ever thought, I will actually separate families at the border, the CBP database in which you're putting in the names of Jeremiah-- my kid, right-- would have always assumed that a child who was a minor came alone. That's the unaccompanied minor problem. But those were teenage boys. Those were 15-, 16-year-old boys who were fleeing violence and stuff.

So all of a sudden, the CBP agent has a three-year-old, Jeremiah. And literally, the database has a drop screen-- well, where is this child? Well, the child's alone, so I have to say that they're unaccompanied. So that literally, the platform never envisioned we would do this. So you're thinking--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: So you can't match them back up.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: You can't match them up. You've done nothing to guarantee that Jeremiah's parents are-- or mother is, or father is. That, to me, is like-- it's a process issue, but it's like process is-- it's like a budget. It's our values. I mean, it's a budget is a sign of our values. Who does that? And so that, to me, is also--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Magnified the core of it, whatever he wanted to do.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Magnified. Even if you could argue that our draconian policies had an impact, I should just say, as you know, it had no impact. They went up during the period of the most family separations, mostly because these families are not on Twitter, and so there is no education process in the southern hemisphere, but mostly for the reason that John Kelly understood, which is, they're just choosing two versions of hell. That's just what's going on.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: So there's two other pieces of this that we might want to mention. And again, I'm going to be in this odious position of having to channel the administration.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: No, no, it's helpful, because I obviously have strong opinions.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: So one piece is that we don't have enough immigration court judges. So that's what makes-- if the docket is 750 days, or 820 days now, before you get your immigration hearing, the chances that people will abscond is obviously much greater. Whereas if the immigration docket is 20 days, well, then you can process those people in the time that they're in detention. So that's one piece.

And the other piece is the definition of asylum. So these people are waiting for their immigration hearing because they're hoping to claim asylum, mainly-- hoping to claim asylum in the United States. And the grounds for asylum have become increasingly elastic over the last 20 years.

So what began as a way to protect people who are fleeing genocide, basically, has now been expanded into people who are fleeing gang violence, or domestic violence, who fit into a certain social category of people that wasn't necessarily targeted by the state, but is vulnerable. And that means many more people potentially qualify for asylum.

So we have a small number of immigration court judges who are supposed to clear 700 cases a year. And we only have 500 of the [INAUDIBLE]. I can't remember exactly how many of them-- trying to deal with a flow of 800,000 people. So what if we didn't engage in this family separation policy, but we did ramp up the number of immigration judges and-- as Jeff Sessions did-- try to restrict the grounds for asylum?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: And I actually am not-- this is how I began my talk, which is, given where this administration started with the Muslim ban, and how we were to perceive immigration as a racial or religious issue, and a wedge issue, it is-- Jeff Sessions does something, and you're sort of like, what? But the interpretation of asylum and asylum status had become, I think, so elastic that it had lost meaning. Not to correlate the two, but it's like using the word "terrorist" too much.

And so this attempt to actually get it back to its roots, so to speak-- which was genocide plus, or minus a little bit-- is important. Because otherwise, it loses its meaning for the class of people that it was intended to protect.

And once again, I am not opposed to greater processes. So if you get the more immigration judges-- and this is where the Abolish ICE thing, I think, could have fallen into a trap, which is, you don't talk substantively about enforcement, because it's all aligned with all this icky stuff. Instead of saying, here's my enforcement policy. Prioritize felonies, get more immigration judges, and x, y, and z. Which, to be honest, I do think the critics of the Trump administration are in a comfortable place on that right now. We'll see how the politics play out.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: What you haven't mentioned so far-- you implied it in your discussion, but that there's a reason people are coming to the United States besides the fact that Central America, in some places, is awful. But they hope to find work in the US. So there's a giant labor market magnet that no amount of physical barrier on the southwest border is going to stop.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Or that the people on the border want to stop. Or the Trump golf courses in Florida. As you know, this is-- right.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: There's a wing of employers that are arguing vigorously against any kind of employer sanctions. So what would you say about employer sanctions, either on its own, or as part of a larger comprehensive immigration reform?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: And we did that. No, I agree with that. And look, not all employers are the same. I wouldn't think a criminal fine for someone who may employ a student on an overstay visa as a nanny. I never did. My husband's a judge, so trust me, everything is kosher.

But people do that. I'm not in love with that. My girlfriends do it. I'm not in love with it. I don't like it. But it's not like that has the same moral outrageousness as what happened here in New Bedford, the brothers who have a factory. Basically, the women are living in slave labor.


JULIETTE KAYYEM: Right. So you can divide them. But interior employer enforcement, or E-Verify, or all of these programs that try to ensure that the lawful employment system is actually valid and enforced are all good things. Because I think that the thing we're not talking about is, well, you have these 14 million that are not lawfully--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Another piece.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Right. And that's the third rail that no one will acknowledge. But until you acknowledge it, you're not going-- all of these other things are going to be levels of priority, which is, how do you bring those people to a lawful status?

CHAPPELL LAWSON: But to be fair to the Republicans-- again, continuing my channeling of the other party-- past immigration reforms legalized the status of people in the United States without much in the way of border security, or at least nothing as comprehensive as we have now, and without a really workable, enforceable employer sanctions regime. So why would somebody who was opposed to illegal immigration be willing to endure some kind of path to citizenship for the people who are here undocumented without those other two pieces?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: But that's why you have those pieces. And that's why you don't fall into the Abolish ICE trap. From just pure political purposes, the strategy has got to be, we will prioritize what enforcement looks like, these kinds of employers, these kinds of felonies, x, y, and z, increase the judges, do smart stuff at the border-- because I'm not for open borders-- but get a goddamn pathway for the 12 mill-- they're not going away. And you're not deporting them, all of them. So what is a valid way to get them?

And that's the piece that no one talks about. That's the thing. All this other stuff is-- not at the margins. It's important. But as I said, these are problems that can be solved through good public policy.

And the administration, despite the numbers that show that we're in a pretty good place on unlawful immigration crossings, views everything as a crisis, and therefore, does not solve what are real problems, which is, really bad people are staying in the country. Really bad employers are taking advantage of women and children. So that's [? half. ?]

CHAPPELL LAWSON: So before I turn it over to the audience, one last question.


CHAPPELL LAWSON: You described the Trump administration's policies as heartless, ineffective, and immoral. And I think that's a reasonable overall assessment. And I won't ask you how you, as Arab-American heritage, feel about the Trump administration policies and other issues.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Yeah. Are there stronger words than that? No, I'm joking.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: But I guess I was-- are there any places where, if I were Jeff Sessions, you would say I have been unfairly maligned? Where, actually, the administration policies, though intensely criticized, are maybe not that different from the policies of the Obama administration, or not as bad as they're portrayed in the media?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Well, I think-- so I'll be honest with you. There was a political side to it with the Trump administration on DACA. I don't really worry about the DREAMers that much. I think, in some ways, the way the apparatus works is they let the president say what he wants to say, but you're just not getting the stories of ICE going in, grabbing the MIT student who's a DREAMer. So in some ways, I will applaud the apparatus for separating the madness from--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Certain populations still not being subjected to--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Right. And the other area that doesn't get a lot of mention is, actually-- and part of this is because it's being done through the Pentagon as well-- is, there is actually a lot of activity with our southern neighbors-- does not get as much play because we're so focused on the wall-- that is trying to stabilize some of these countries so that the flow, which is dangerous to the immigrant-- it is horrible. I know the president mentions lots of stories. It's a dangerous thing. So that people would find America less as a magnet, which is not necessarily a bad thing for some of these communities.

But it is hard right now, because we shut down the government on the wall, and we can't get past this stupid thing that the president promised that said Mexico would pay. And then you're like, this is a totally vibrant country with lots of people moving in and out at any given moment, and we're stuck on this--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: On this thing that will never happen.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: That will never happen. And no one wants it to happen.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: All right. So now we're going to turn it over to the audience, but I just want to poll you all first. So is there anyone here who happens to work at DHS?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: That's a good question.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: And is there anybody here who's a member of a-- what I guess I would call an immigration advocacy group? OK. Well, that's fine. Juliette has vast experience and a Harvard Law degree on many things. The one thing she won't be able to help with are the specifics of any one person's immigration situation.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: I will give you bad advice.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: So aside from that, the only ground rules are, it's an academic setting. Please try to keep your questions to be real questions. And just ask one question when you do it. We may have time for two rounds, but start with one. If you ask more than one, I will instruct her not to answer the second.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: OK. I'm good with that. Thank you.





AUDIENCE: Hi. I enjoyed the talk a lot, and I appreciate the call, because that happens to me sometimes. So it's nice that it happened to--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: [CHUCKLES] I said I'm turning it off, though. That was the weirdest thing.

AUDIENCE: So I've been an immigration practitioner for 30 years, so I've been around pre- and post-9/11. What concerns me is-- it's a little bit dull, but the office of the VOICE, this new propaganda machine, and the way that they are targeting the information, how it's being pushed out to the media outlets. And how does that damage, internally, the department?

And also, in addition to that, it seems to me from what we're seeing in our office, the results that are coming out of this service, it seems to me like the workforce in general, the rank-and-file officers are terrorized because of the-- you know when somebody's not being managed well, or somebody's being terrorized because the amount of mistakes that come out. Paperwork mistakes. Which, again, is dull and boring, but all of these things together, I'm thinking, how does that affect security?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Yeah. No, it's a good question, and I agree with you. This was a little bit what-- saying that immigration is one of the most-- and thank you for the work you're doing-- it's really intimate.

And the policies we see coming out are like sledgehammers. They are just like, get rid of this, save this. And the way the department communicates about immigrants, some of these press releases have been like, you literally can't believe that's coming from a federal agency.

And it's interesting, your approach-- what you're saying about agents on the field, that they're literally getting paid $24,000 a year, and they're under tremendous pressure to satisfy numbers. And the whole system has been-- I'm not pretending like it was perfect. You've been in it a long time.

But it's definitely been de-professionalized by the ideology so that-- I think it was much easier to have-- when there's a Michael Chertoff, or it's Janet Napolitano, a law-and-order border governor, hardly a progressive, or a Jeh Johnson, the former general counsel of the Pentagon. When you have those moderate figures running the department, it trickles down so that everyone does everything in moderation. It's sort of professional.

And I think what you're seeing is this ideology. Nielsen is-- I don't get it. In other words, what's the strategy here? So thank you for your--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: So we've got at least five questions--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: OK, I'm going to go fast.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: --and 10 minutes.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: OK. I'll go really fast.

AUDIENCE: Hi. So I just want to point out that Cambridge is really far away from the southern border. So when you mention you want this to be a national effort, and help from community, I'm just worried because most people-- in general speaking-- has only a limited understanding of this issue. So how can people here really help in a specific way?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Mm-hm. That's a great question. So two things. One, I guess I would say, it's not-- there's the border issue and there's the interior issue.

So the border issue is different. And I do urge my students to a trip down to the border. I do urge people to see what the border is. And really, it's dynamic and exciting. It's complicated.

But we've seen the numbers. The average CBP agent-- average-- encounters an unlawful border crossing once every 12 days. So people have this image, like, oh my god, there's rapists and looters running across-- this is like, the numbers aren't-- so one is, I do think educate ourselves so that we can talk about something that is right here. It's a dynamic part of our country.

And the other is that it actually is happening here. So some of these policies-- DACA and DREAMers, the waiving of the felony exclusion for deportation, or felony focus for deportation, some of them-- there's been major raids in New England of really unscrupulous employers. So there are ways in which we can be engaged and help out some great community-related services.

These guys find a vacuum. And we are a vibrant state that needs people to work in hard industries. And they're here. The New Bedford case I talked about was 200 woman. You wouldn't have known it to save your life.

AUDIENCE: Hello, I'm Richard. I think that ICE ought to be abolished because it's essentially unaccountable for what it does. And the rednecks in it can do anything they like to terrorize the people who come into our custody. Now, I don't know, when they rip child from a mother's arms, they're not subject to the Eighth Amendment, which is cruel and unusual punishments are not permitted in this country. And as far as I understand it, the purpose of that policy is instant punishment and the creation of fear.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Well, that's good. Let's take that as the question. But what--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Are the people-- I'm going to take your question to be-- and this is where Kamala Harris is, which is, it's not fixable. There should be some border enforcement agency, but the people in there, if they're willing to do what they did-- what they're doing now-- can't possibly be fixable. And I struggle with that. I'm going to be honest with you. I struggle with that because I knew those people. Obama was president only two years ago. In other words--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: All of those people are people who were appointed-- who came up through the Obama administration, including the current acting.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Exactly. And I know it has remnants of Nuremberg. And I'm being honest with you, I get torn up about this too. It's like, how could not a single CBP agent resign? I don't get this. They know what's going on.

So let's say you blow it up and you restart. And 30 years from now, you're going to have an agency whose culture is a culture that most of us don't feel very comfortable with. That doesn't mean they're bad people. It just means a lot of us wouldn't do a lot of jobs because our personalities don't fit them.

Part of it is going to be leadership, part of it is going to be training, and part of it's going to be policies. But we will have an immigration enforcement, both at the border and in the interior, in the next Democratic administration, or next administration, as we should. It's just whether you still believe it's fixable.

I'd be curious what you think. I'm not punting it. It's one of the existen-- we knew these people.

It's only two years. Sometimes, you look at this nation and you're like, wait, this is the same country that elected President Obama. What has happened here? And I'm just curious if you're--

CHAPPELL LAWSON: I guess the only thing I would add to what you said-- because you hit the nail on the head. We are going to have immigration enforcement. Interior, at least with employers who may run sweatshops. And certainly at the border, where, if we didn't have it, there would be large numbers of people-- possibly bad people-- who would come across.

So that will always be part of American law enforcement. There's no world in which, in an era of global travel networks and bad guys, we're going to stop attempting to have secure borders, land, air, sea, whatever.

I guess the only reaction I would have is, I have some misgivings about characterizing the people at these immigration enforcement agencies-- whether CBP or ICE-- as some brownshirts. Every law enforcement agency does have bad apples in it, and I'm sure these agencies are not immune. But in my experience, there are no more bad actors per capita in these agencies than there are in any other law enforcement agencies. So while I share your misgivings that people-- especially with that first travel ban--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Which was crazy.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: --did not resign--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: It was crazy. Yeah.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: --and I did lose respect for some of my former colleagues when they did not resign. Other policies are quite standard, including basic enforcement, so. Go ahead.

AUDIENCE: Hello. I just wanted to thank you first for having a great talk. My question was around the other aspects of immigration. So we spoke a lot about enforcement of illegal immigrants, and what we should do with that, as well as with the undocumented immigrants that are already here. My question was, how would we change the immigration law system such that we wouldn't have as big of a problem going forward? Specifically, I know there was thoughts, when NAFTA was first signed, of possibly having an EU-style system between that, and that at least would address some of the problems.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Say that last part, when what was signed?




CHAPPELL LAWSON: NAFTA. But given the time, why don't we get your two questions as well, and then you can take a swing at whichever ones you're able.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: And then I got to raise some money for our high school.

AUDIENCE: Well, as you mentioned, you and a lot of other critics of the president tend to caricature him. There are many elected officials in border states that support the wall, such as Dan Crenshaw, the very outspoken and thoughtful congressman from Texas. I'm sorry he's not here today.

But there's really an underlying fundamental philosophical question here, isn't there? It's a matter of you saying that you're conflating violating the immigration laws with other types of crimes. But it's really you and those semi-apologists-- and I do agree with some of your other points-- for illegal immigration that are deflating the importance of allowing or tolerating people willfully breaking the law. And that's not going to go away.

So regardless of how you do it-- and there can be a debate on the efficacy of the wall-- it's the question of whether you reward people for willfully breaking the law. Breaking the immigration law is every bit as serious but not as important as other types of far more harmful crimes, even though they commit some of those too. And it should be properly punished, not by some sort of amnesty system and a tiny fine, or a slap on the wrist, or just letting it go.

So we have to address this underlying question before we can even sort out what are the best ways to prevent, or deter, or remove. Whether you're going to do it in the first place, and whether it's important enough for you to do it, whether you come down on the side of conflation, or whether you come down on the side of deflation.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Go ahead. And this will be the last question, and then Julia can--

AUDIENCE: I don't know if this sounds stupid or not, but Donald Trump is a real estate developer. Should we think of developing condos in the border instead of the wall? That way, they're not in, they're not out. Then you have a place to find them.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: So yeah. So part of this is the-- as I said, you can't separate the cruelty from the policy. You just can't. Because once you do that, in terms of the family separation or whatever, you lost sort of-- what are we trying to do here? Because then you're conflating everything. I'm going to get back to your point, or your criticism, but I already forgot his question, which was around [INAUDIBLE].

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Solving the system overall.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Yeah. So I would start with-- and this is your pie in the sky. You have to start with people already here. Who gets to stay here and why?

Because as most of you know, the vast majority of people who are here unlawfully overstayed a lawful visa. 60-something percent of them. So this notion that our unlawful problem here is a border problem is a mismatch. It's not true.

But you have 12 to 14-- I mean, the fact that I say 12 to 14 million, that's a huge range. But figuring out, as every movement towards comprehensive immigration reform has tried to do and failed, which is-- except for Reagan, now four decades ago, oh, god, or however long ago-- is a status or a pathway to status for those 12 to 14 million.


Oh, he's alarming himself because he knows I have to go raise money. And figuring out how they move forward. That would be my first piece of legislation. Because the other stuff-- as I said, yes, DACA, I want to solve that, and that seems like a different group of people, and yes, but we can solve that.

But the whole system is built on a fundamental disequilibrium that is 14 million people. So me solving all these other problems-- you just got a huge problem.

So on the who gets to speak for the border and who doesn't. So Dan Crenshaw is from Texas. He's not a border congressman. And I think that's important because I think the people who live and die by the border are much more nuanced about what it is that we're trying to do.

So the conflation issue about what the Trump administration does in terms of conflating the unlawful status as an illegal status, unlawful, is-- certainly, they can do it. But we know that in the past, that hasn't been what Republicans or Democrats have done for a variety of reasons. But then I push back on that argument that, well, then that means that people like me, who want a much more sophisticated approach, it cannot be that those 14 million people all are inherently equal in their unlawfulness.

So I've got limited resources. I've got a country that needs people to move. How many people move across the Mexican-US border lawfully a week? A million?

CHAPPELL LAWSON: More. 3 million.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: More. So more than-- needs to move, and I need to prioritize my resources. So if I have a conflation challenge, that pales in the comparison-- my conflation challenge-- to conflating unlawful with enforcement against illegal. Period. From a resource issue.

So forget the morality, or my concerns with the morality, or the draconian-ness of the Trump administration. As a public policy issues, what I teach my students, you've got 100 pennies to deal with the problem. 100 pennies makes it easy because they don't have to divide or anything. What's your problem and where are you focusing those?

And not a single person in immigration would focus that, one, on a wall, but two, on treating 14 million people as equal to each other. That's not my conflation problem. That's the administration's conflation problem. I recognize they're unlawful, but that gets me to the discussion. It does not resolve the discussion.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: That's a great place to end.


CHAPPELL LAWSON: We have one slide, I think?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Oh. Oh, this is embarrassing because we're not selling my book, but thank you.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: Is it up there?

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Yeah. No, don't. That's too embarrassing.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: No, I'm going to say it, because--

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Well, thank you.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: --especially since you mentioned that you were going from this talk to being a mom.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: I know, except for I have to raise-- if anyone's going to be there, my biggest fear is I'm going to stand there and not be able to raise any money in the auction. This is what I live in fear of. But thank you.

CHAPPELL LAWSON: --give money to her children--


CHAPPELL LAWSON: Yes, it can. But this is a memoir of sorts. Security Mom-- My Life Protecting the Home and Homeland. But it's an unusual kind of memoir because it alternates beginning your life in government and your life as a mother.

I am probably not the target demographic for a book that has "mom" in the title, but I had occasion to read the book. I read the whole thing, and I would commend it to anybody, mom or not mom, as a great read. So thank you very much, Juliette.

JULIETTE KAYYEM: Thank you so much. And thank you so much for being so engaged. And thank you all for coming on these hard issues. And thank you both for organizing this. So thank you so much.


Thank you, that was awesome.