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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/16/21

Guests: Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, Chase Strangio, Nanette Barragan

Summary

The right-wing media is undermining the vaccination efforts done by the administration by pushing anti-vaccine propaganda. Americans are starting to get their $1,400 stimulus checks. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is interviewed on Amazon`s business practices. Republicans introduce anti- transgender bills across the country. Republicans seek to use border challenge for political gain.

Transcript

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: All right. Well, Zeke Emanuel, I appreciate you. That is tonight`s REIDOUT. Be sure to join me tomorrow. My special guests will be the brand new secretary of HUD, of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge, in her first interview since she was confirmed. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN. A crucial vaccine effort hampered by those stoking fear and skepticism, putting people`s lives in danger for profit.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: How necessary is it to take the vaccine? Don`t dismiss those questions from anti-vaxxers.

HAYES: Then, the President pushes for economic relief while Republicans returned to old scare tactics on the border.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (D-CA): There`s no other way to claim it but a Biden border crisis.

HAYES: Plus, Bernie Sanders on the $1,400 checks that are starting to arrive in millions of American bank accounts. The desperate plea from parents as dozens of new bills target trans kids in sports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don`t take that away from my daughter or the countless others like her who are out there. Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. You know, in a dramatic twist, two of the countries that have had the hardest time dealing with the Coronavirus are now doing the best jobs of vaccinating people.

In many ways, the United States and the United Kingdom have had very similar pandemic experiences. I mean, we got a lot in common. Obviously, we speak a common language. We both had right wing populist leaders who both caught COVID. And both societies have been absolutely hammered by this virus.

And now, those two countries are basically the best big countries in the world at vaccinating their populations. Obviously, the U.S. is much bigger, but both countries are taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime scientific miracle to try to stamp out the disease.

Remember, in less than a year, major drugmakers, right, manage to develop vaccines and run trials with tens of thousands of participants before they were approved. And we have reams of safety and effectiveness data with two vaccines approved by the FDA under the Trump administration, another under the Biden administration. There have been more than 110 million doses administered in this country. And so far, so good.

You may have seen several European countries have suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which I should note has not yet been approved in the U.S. after reports of blood clots in people who have gotten the vaccine. But AstraZeneca said there have been 37 reports of blood clots out of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the 27 countries E.U. and Britain. In fact, it said, the incidence of clots is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size, and is similar to that of other licensed COVID-19 vaccines.

So, this issue which has gotten a lot of attention, but understandably, right, we`re all at the front edge of this science here. It`s showing up in 0.000002 percent of cases. All of these vaccines have been subjected to incredibly, if anything, overly cautious review processes. I mean, given the stakes, right. And right now the U.S. and the U.K. are crushing it.

Now, arguably, the most powerful person who doth bestride those two worlds in the English-speaking world is of course, that man, media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Now, Rupert Murdoch is at high risk if you were to get COVID because Rupert Murdoch is quite old. So, just two weeks after the Pfizer vaccine was approved in the U.K., The Guardian reported, "a convoy of Range Rovers delivered the 89-year-old billionaire to a dedicated vaccine center in Henley, Oxfordshire, where normal hours are understood to be extended at the last minute." You know, a favor for Rupert.

And Rupert Murdoch got the vaccine, put out a nice statement about how great the NHS was, and the reason he did is because the Rupert Murdoch`s of the world, the wealthy and powerful people, they understand the vaccine is our best shot to protect themselves from severe illness and to bring this virus to heal.

And Rupert Murdoch did not want to get COVID because he wanted to make it to 90 which he did last week. Congrats and happy birthday. Rupert Murdoch does not want to die of premature death. But that is not the message the rest of us are getting from the multi-billion dollar enterprise Rupert Murdoch owns and that has made him so wealthy.

Because you see, you are not in Rupert`s club. You`re not in his social circle. You viewers out there in TV Land are where they throw up the chump for the common people where they disingenuously stoke skepticism and fear in the most cowardly way possible by posing as brave truth-tellers in the guise of just flinging nonsense at people and leading to more people getting sick.

This has been true throughout the pandemic. There`s a nightly drumbeat on Fox News specifically from Tucker Carlson that is undermining our best chance to get out from under this disease.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: When do we finally get to repeal Corona law? And what about this vaccine? Why are Americans being discouraged from asking simple, straightforward questions about it? Questions like how effective are these drugs? Are they safe? All of this should prompt some pretty tough questions for our public health experts in this country.

And one of those questions is how effective is this Coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine? Don`t dismiss those questions from anti-vaxxers. Don`t kick people off social media for asking them. Answer the questions, especially now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I mean, those questions were the subject of two, eight-hour-long Zoom meetings publicly televised by the FDA where they went the data on precisely that question. I watched part of it. These are not hidden. I mean, of course, it is fine. It`s understandable to ask questions, and it`s fine and understandable to be skeptical. This is all new.

No one is saying get the vaccine or we throw you in jail. It is a free country. And Tucker Carlson knows this. Obviously, Tucker knows there are really easily accessible answers to these questions about the vaccines. He`s not stupid. He just thinks his audience is.

And so he feeds into their fears by lying that shadowy people are refusing to answer these legitimate questions that are out there. How effective the vaccines? Well, we have clinical data, 94 percent, Johnson and Johnson 70s. They`re just questions. Can`t people ask questions?

And this, by the way, is the most cowardly way to do this, I say this as something with the platform myself, behind -- to hide behind podium contrarianism, because he can`t just say it outright, the vaccine will kill you unless he wants to find himself gone the way of well, Lou Dobbs.

So, tell your family and your friends who might be watching something else right now, here is the data that we have. Here`s one example, right. Let`s look at what is happening in long-term care facilities in the country. These are not clinical trials. This is the actual data. This is what`s happening in the U.S.

Once people started getting vaccinated in long-term care facilities, cases and deaths starting to fall precipitously. Look what is happening in Israel where a CDC study found mass vaccinations led to drop in severe COVID cases. Johns Hopkins Medicine is a really helpful page for the doctors answer questions like is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? What are the side effects the COVID-19 vaccine? And Can I get COVID-19 itself from the vaccine?

And the answer in every instance is vaccines, as best we know, from the data we have appear to be safe for almost everyone. And again, that`s not like the word of God, right? We`re all human beings trying to figure this out. It`s the overwhelming consensus of scientists based on the data, based on rigorous clinical trials, and now, millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of doses of real-world use. That`s what we got.

Again, it`s not perfect. The world is complicated. We all make decisions under uncertainty. But that is what we have. The best evidence we have is that these are safe, they`re certainly super effective, and we know how bad COVID is even though lots of other people spent a whole year lying to people about how bad it was.

And that -- you know, that`s the really hard thing to come face to face with throughout this last year. There`s been a lot of errors people have made. There`s been good-faith errors, and there`s been bad faith errors. Lots of people, people in media, public health people, policymakers, Republicans and Democrats, right?

Lots people made good faith errors. They just made the wrong call, bad judgments, because it`s a bad terrifying disease and it`s new, and they`ve gotten stuff wrong, while trying to do their best to help others. So, that`s a big category of errors, right?

But there has been a force in our life for this pandemic between Donald Trump who went out of his way to get his vaccine in secret, and Rupert Murdoch`s media franchise and a whole ecosystem that have demonstrated nothing but bad faith, bad faith fully knowing what they were doing, putting people in danger, and getting people sick because they think it will rate.

And we still have to deal with this because overcoming this cynical bad faith misinformation is the final hurdle for herd immunity. Both before and during his time as a U.S. Senator, Al Franken had more than little experience observing and dealing with Fox News, while NBC News Reporter Brandy Zadrozny is specialized in disinformation, specifically around health. And both of them join me now.

Senator Franken, I want to start with you about the kind of ways in which our informational consumption in this country, our political discussions, and now these health discussions, you know, get shaped in your experience in the U.S. Senate, your experience in politics by this kind of bad faith cynicism.

AL FRANKEN, FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATOR FROM MINNESOTA: Well, I`ve had some experience with Fox News, both before and since being in the Senate, and they do -- I wrote a book called Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, a fair and balanced left and right. And look, there are two universes of information right now. There`s information. And there`s disinformation.

And Fox News, and OANN, and Newsmax, and others deal in disinformation. And the Republicans in the Senate and in Congress have in large part bought in to that. That`s why even though 70 percent of the American people favored the COVID relief bill, every Republican voted against it. And now, they`re going to double down by suppressing votes. That`s their game plan.

And because of that, we`ve got to deal with the filibuster. I know Harry Reid was just in Joy Reid about that. I have been pushing something that Norm Ornstein and I have worked on together for a long time, which would be a reform of the filibuster, which would put the burden on the minority.

The Republicans in this case, instead of the Democrats having to come up with 60 votes in the filibuster, Republicans would have to come up with 41 votes to sustain a filibuster. And then they`d have to stay on the floor, and they have to debate. And the debate would have to be germane, and I think the Voting Rights Bill would be a good one to do this on.

And I know my Republican colleagues, they`re not going to want to be on the floor at 3:00 in the morning. This is -- I`ve been talking to my Senate former colleagues, and I know Joe Manchin, and I know that Kyrsten Sinema have said they will vote to overturn the filibuster. But Joe Manchin went on a number of the Sunday shows and said, he is very open to reforming it.

HAYES: I mean, I think that the sort of that question of minority control, and particularly when it interlocks with this sort of alternative ecosystem is kind of the loggerheads the country finds itself, you know.

And I think, Brandy, on that point of sort of alternate information ecosystems, I mean, I want to be very clear here. Like, I think we all have people in our lives, we know, love, respect, who are skeptical, right, or hesitant, or don`t trust big pharma, which again, that`s not a crazy view. And no one should feel like powder bullied into this, right?

But there is this question of like, how you, in good faith, sort of bring information to bear when the stuff people are getting access to is often not being disseminated in good faith?

BRANDY ZADROZNY, MSNBC REPORTER: Right. Well, you know, it`s normal to have questions, especially in times of crisis, right? But misinformation really thrives when people have no faith in the institutions, right, that are there to protect them or help them. And, you know, Tucker cross it, but not just him, a lot of Fox News opinion people, they spend each and every day chipping away at that trust.

These messages have an effect. I mean, right now, polling suggests that 50 percent -- 49 percent, half of Republican men aren`t going to get the vaccine. And that`s because these messages, you know, really come through. And, you know, the most odious part about Tucker`s shtick is, you know, like you said, he likes to just ask questions.

You know, he likes to claim that no one will answer the honest questions. But you know what, Tucker Carlson has one of the biggest platforms on the planet. If he had real questions, he could probably get doctors or scientists or experts to come on his show and ask these questions. Instead, he invites COVID deniers to come on his show. But he doesn`t want answers, right? You know, he wants his audience to be afraid, and it`s working.

HAYES: And I wonder too, Senator, what would the sort of the role of the Republican Party in this right? I mean, you know, you did see a little daylight with McConnell on sort of COVID unmasking, right. He would do his little videos like with the Senate Republicans last year where they have a mask and McConnell saying like, oh, I don`t go to the White House. Like, that place wigs me out. It`s a germ factory over there.

But it also strikes me that in some ways, like the platform of the Republican Party and Republican Senators and elected officials is dwarfed by those news systems anyway.

FRANKEN: You know, he -- McConnell will go anywhere at any time. He will change his story as we`ve seen lay. The thing about it is I had Andy Slavitt on today on my podcast, and these are incredibly effective. There has been -- no one has gotten sick. You get this -- when they -- when they say 95 percent effective for Pfizer, no one is going to get very sick who has gotten it.

You`re not going to be hospitalized. You`re not going to die. This -- and we need people -- enough people to take this to get herd immunity as Dr. Fauci has said between 70 and 85 percent, depending on things like -- that we don`t know, about variants and stuff like that.

This is incredibly crucial information. Tucker Carlson knows what he`s doing, and it is so cynical and so wrong. And this is really what this whole culture of putting out this disinformation is about. And it`s awful, and it`s doing a huge disservice to everybody.

HAYES: Yes. Whoever you are out there, there is good information to find this. The Johns Hopkins thing we talked about, the data really is remarkable. It is just is the data, you know, one way or the other. Al Franken, hosts of the Al Franken podcast and Brandy Zadrozny, thank you both.

FRANKEN: Thank you.

HAYES: All right, people are starting to see that stimulus money hit their bank accounts. It has been such a long wait. People are having a little fun with the news, imagining all the things they will do money. Like, when that direct deposit hits, time to upgrade to thick mints this year. What`s that about daylight savings? We don`t need to save anymore. We can afford the sun now. Or my personal favorite, what would the Chicago Bears do with some stimulus cash? Pick up Andy Dalton, apparently.

Now, if you want to find out if you`re getting your check or when it`s hitting your account, do not go anywhere. We`re going to tell you exactly where to go to find out next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Americans are already starting to see their stimulus checks at their bank accounts after President Biden`s sign the new rescue plan and law last week. It gives 85 percent of households at least $1,400. If you`re wondering where your money is, the IRS has set up an online tool for that. You can go to irs.gov, click on get my payment, which is a great link.

On Thursday, President Biden laid out the ambitious goal of getting 100 million payments into people`s pockets in just 10 days. And I have to say, the speed and the scope of the way they`re going about this is really unlike anything I`ve seen in the time I`ve covered politics. Middle-class families across country waking up to thousands of dollars in their accounts, $5,600 for an average family of four, to help them make it through the last part of the worst period in American life in recent memory.

And that`s part of the reason the American Rescue Plan is super popular. 75 percent of Americans approve it, according to a recent CBS News poll. But its passage was really not preordained, particularly the part of the direct payments. In fact, for a while, it looked like it was not going to happen at all. But the Democratic Party unified around this package and around these payments in a way that is really astounding.

One of the most influential figures in that coalition is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chair of the Budget Committee, who has been working very hard along with his colleagues to present this united front and get this done. And Senator Sanders joins me now.

Senator, what does it mean to have the government do something, which is to say the President signs a package, and for people a week later to see money in their bank account?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Chris, that is huge. It shows that, in fact, not only can government respond to the crises and the pain that people are feeling -- and you are right. If you are struggling, working-class family today worried about eviction, worried about feeding your kids, and suddenly you got a $5,600 check, man, that is extraordinary.

But it also shows that we`re trying to get a level of efficiency in the government of competence that we have not had before. So, it`s not only doing the right thing, it`s doing it properly.

HAYES: You know, you`re obviously very proudly a socialist. You`ve called yourself a socialist for many years. And there`s this concept I was thinking of sewer socialism, which I think was about Milwaukie. There was a variety of socialist mayors there.

And the idea behind it was like, look, you want people to have the government do stuff, you better deliver on the technical parts, right? Like you better implement, otherwise, people are not going to trust you. And I think that, you know, two of the things we`re seeing now in vaccination and the checks is an attempt to do that.

SANDERS: That`s exactly right. And we have to continue to do that. To me, Chris, what was so important about this legislation is not only the $1,400, not only beginning effectively to deal with a pandemic, not only cutting childhood poverty in half, not only getting money to states and cities who desperately need it, not only extending unemployment, not only developing great summer programs for our kids, community health centers, all over this country will be expanded. It is that and much more.

It is finally seeing the United States Congress taking a hard look at the problems facing working families and responding rather than listening to corporate lobbyists, rather than listening to wealthy campaign contributors. They are actually paying attention to the needs of the American people.

And that is what the Democratic Party has got to continue to do. And if we do that, we`ll transform this country and will become a political force that will not lose control of the House of the Senate.

HAYES: You have a hearing tomorrow in the Budget Committee, which you now chair. It`s a second hearing about sort of inequality, and particularly the ways in which it`s been shaped in the -- in the COVID era. And I believe you invited CEO Jeff Bezos of Amazon to come. I believe he declined. What do you want to ask him?

SANDERS: Well, not a radically different question that I wanted to ask the Walton family last week when we did a hearing on minimum wage. Walton family is the wealthiest family in America, yet they pay their workers starvation wages.

And what I wanted to say to Jeff Bezos, who by the way, with a little bit of prodding from some of us, raised his minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. What I wanted to say is Jeff, you are worth $180 billion, B, $180 billion. You are the wealthiest person on earth. Why are you spending millions of dollars trying to defeat a union organizing effort in Alabama where your workers are fighting for decent wages and decent working conditions? What is your problem? When is enough, enough?

So, tomorrow we`re going to deal not just with Bezos and the union organizing drive in Alabama, but what we`re going to deal with is the whole issue of income and wealth inequality and the fact that in many ways, Chris, this country is moving toward an oligarchy. We have two people today, Bezos and Elon Musk, two people, own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of the American people, where CEOs today are making over 300 times what their average worker is making.

We need to take a hard look at that and determine the kind of country we want to become. And I do not believe we want to become an oligarchy. I think we want an economy that works for all, not just the people on top.

HAYES: I`m reading a great book about Amazon by Alec MacGillis, which is out today called Fulfillment which I would recommend to folks watching this, which sort of talks about some of those issues.

I wanted to float a theory by you about this Democratic majority that you have now, that has put you in the chair of the budget committee and passed that that legislation on a party-line vote. Jonathan Cohen is a great healthcare reporter, has a great book out about the ACA, comparing this to 2009.

This is his take. "Sometimes 50 senators can get more done than 60. The caucus in Obama`s term was stacked with relatively conservative Democrats from Republican-leaning states, who consistently acted as a brake on liberal ambitions. Nearly every one of those senators is now gone, leaving Democrats with a caucus that seems more inclined to think big, at least for now." What do you think of that?

SANDERS: Well, I think that`s kind of right. But I think the most important point is the American people are now prepared to think big. Let`s not kid ourselves. The progressive movement for the last number of years, and grassroots organizing has had a very significant impact on changing consciousness in America.

What happened is the Democrats, we passed a very strong bill. And you know what, as you`ve indicated, 75 percent of the American people like it. And you know what, when we raise the minimum wage to $15.00 and we guaranteed paid vacation time, and we do paid family and medical leave, and when we create millions of good-paying jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, and tackling climate change, and taking on the fossil fuel industry, the American people will like that, too.

So, the issue we`re dealing with is will the Democratic Party, and we`re off to a really good start, have the courage to address the crises facing the American people even if it means taking on the big money interest to have so much historically, it had so much historical influence of the legislative and economic life in this country?

HAYES: Senator Bernie Sanders who is the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, thank you so much for making time tonight, sir.

SANDERS: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, the cruelty of the Republican bills targeting trans youth across the country. One father makes an impassioned plea. You absolutely need to hear this. And we`re playing right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: A number of states right now are debating the right for transgender children to just play organized sports. One of those states is Missouri which recently introduced House Joint Resolution 53. A bill that would effectively ban trans athletes in high school from participating in girls sports.

Unlike a lot of other bills on this issue, HJR 53 would write the ban into the state constitution. Meaning, because it`s a constitutional amendment, if it passes both the House and Senate, it would then go on the ballot for a vote.

And earlier this month, the father of a young trans girl spoke out against the bill in a public committee hearing before the Missouri house. I got to say, as someone who covers politics who`s also the parent of young children, this is some of those powerful testimony that I`ve ever seen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRANDON BOULWARE, FATHER WHO TESTIFIES AGAINST ANTI-TRANS BILL: I`m a lifelong Missourian. I`m a business lawyer. I`m a Christian. I`m the son of a Methodist minister. I`m a husband. I`m the father of four kids, two boys, two girls, including a wonderful and beautiful transgender daughter.

One thing I often hear when transgender issues are discussed is I don`t get it. I don`t understand. And I would expect some of you too have said that and feel the same way. I didn`t get it either. For years, I didn`t get it.

For years, I would not let my daughter wear girl clothes. I did not let her play with girl toys. I forced my daughter to wear boy clothes and get short haircuts, play on boys sports teams. Why did I do this? To protect my child. I did not want my daughter or her siblings to get teased. And truth be told I did it to protect myself as well. I wanted to avoid those inevitable questions as to why my child did not look and act like a boy.

My child was miserable. I cannot overstate that. She was absolutely miserable especially at school. No confidence, no friends, no laughter. I honestly say this. I had a child who did not smile. We did that for years. We did that against the advice of teachers, therapists and other experts.

I remember the day everything changed for me. I`d gotten home from work and my daughter and her brother were in the front lawn. And she had -- my daughter had sneaked on one of her older sister`s play dresses. And they wanted to go across the street and play with the neighbor`s kids.

It was time for dinner. I said come in. She asked, can she go across the street? I said no. She asked me if she -- if she went inside and put on boy clothes, could she then go across the street and play? And it`s then that it hit me that my daughter was equating being good with being someone else. I was teaching her to deny who she is.

As a parent, the one thing we cannot do, the one thing, is silence our child`s spirit. And so, on that day, my wife and I stopped silencing our child spirit. The moment we allowed my daughter to be who she is, to grow her hair, to wear the clothes she wanted to wear, she was a different child. And I mean, it was immediate. It was a total transformation.

I now have a confident, a smiling, a happy daughter. She plays on a girls volleyball team. She has friendships. She`s a kid.

My daughter did not choose to be a girl. She`s been a girl from day one. God made her that way. And the God I believe in does not make mistakes.

I came here today as a parent to share my story. I need you to understand that this language, if it becomes law, will have real effects on real people. It will affect my daughter. It will mean she cannot play on the girls volleyball team or dance squad or tennis team. It will mean she will not have the opportunity that all of us had to be part of a team, to be part of something bigger, greater than ourselves.

I asked you please don`t take that away from my daughter or the countless others like her who are out there. Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are. I asked you to vote against this legislation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: So, how did the Republican-led legislature in Missouri react to that incredible emotional plea? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOULWARE: I came here today as a parent to share my story. I need you to understand that this language, if it becomes law, will have real effects on real people. It will affect my daughter. It will mean she cannot play on the girls` volleyball team or dance squad or tennis team. It will mean she will not have the opportunity that all of us had to be part of a team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So, how did Missouri lawmakers respond to that heartfelt plea from Brandon Boulware against a bill that would ban his daughter and countless other kids from playing sports with their friends? They voted the bill out of committee, eight to six. Now, it goes to another committee for vote. And that sports bill is one of two anti-transgender measures currently making their way through the Missouri legislature. The other one would strip doctors of their license if they help trans youth like teenager Samantha Demichieli get hormone therapy or gender affirmation surgery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMANTHA DEMICHIELI, TRANSGENDER TEENAGER: For the past four years of my life, I`ve been using Lupron to suppress my male hormones every three months. And I get a needle the size of my index finger injected into my left arm while my right hand squeezes the life out of my dad`s hand.

Without it, I`d be standing here and I`d probably have things like facial hair, a deeper voice and things like an Adam`s apple. And I really every day try to like express myself. And I know who I am. And I know that I`m 100 percent female and I feel like this bill would be harmful to like, people like me and thousands of other transgender youth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: There are a record number of anti-transgender measures in state legislators this year. At least 78 in 25 different states, and many of them with strikingly similar language, using phrases like biological sex, biological males, sex listed on birth certificates in the nearly 50 bills that would ban trans athletes from playing on teen sports.

And the first of those bans was just signed into law by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves last week. It is set to become law on July 1st.

Chase Strangio is tracking and fighting this flood of anti-transgender youth bills as a staff attorney with the ACLU`s LGBT and HIV Project. It`s great to have you on the program, Chase.

So, I have been noting this that, you know, the two bills that Republican state legislature seem most intent on in the year 2021 seem to be targeting voting and restricting voting and targeting trans youth. These -- it really does seem like those are like the central policy priorities happening in state legislatures.

CHASE STRANGIO, STAFF ATTORNEY, ACLU LGBT AND HIV PROJECT: Yes. I mean, absolutely. We`re seeing in the midst of crises unlike any that we`ve known that where kids are not in school at all, where we are struggling in Jackson, Mississippi to make sure residents and clean water and power.

And here we are with lawmakers targeting transgender kids and their families, not only trying to push them out of sports teams, push them out of schools, but criminalize in some cases the medical providers who treat them. And this is in tandem with all of the voter suppression measures that we`re seeing.

This is animating state legislative sessions this year and it is devastating. I think if we take a step back, what you see with that young person in Missouri, what we see with that father is constituents begging their government not to criminalize them, not to take away their basic survival needs in a moment of absolute crisis.

HAYES: So, let`s -- there`s sort of two big categories here, targeting sports participation, and then gender-affirming care. So, I want to sort of take them in order. In terms of sports participation, we`ve seen this like crazy kind of cultural or moral panic that has been whipped up around this.

For people that are open-minded, but maybe haven`t given this a lot of thought, you know, there`s this sense that like, there`s -- basically, they`re going to create a loophole, right. This is sort of the argument, right? There`s going to be this big loophole, and then people are going to kind of pretend to be something other than they are so that they can like sweep in and win the Mississippi track state finals, right, in you know, girls sprinting or whatever.

Like, what do you say to folks who asked you about that or have that argument?

STRANGIO: I mean, taking a step back, this is the exact same thing we heard in 2016. I was on your show in 2016 when there were 50 states proposing bathroom bills because we heard that the greatest threat to women and children was the possibility of trans people using the bathroom.

And then, we realized that that was a completely contrived, fear-based myth to push trans people out of public life. And that`s exactly what we`re seeing here with sports. In 1977, when Renee Richards participated in the U.S. Open, we heard that the trans takeover of sports was just around the corner.

45 years later, there was no trans takeover in sports, but what we are doing is pushing kids out of schools, out of safety, out of the ability to be in solidarity and camaraderie with their friends. You can`t tell someone that we will honor your identity, we will respect you until 2:30 pm, and then we are going to tell you that you are not who you know yourself to be. That is not a position of affirmation and support and has catastrophic consequences for these young people.

HAYES: Let`s talk more about the gender-affirming care part of this. Because I do think there are -- again, there are people, I think, who are not bigots or have not given this a lot of thought, and they think to themselves, like oh, children and, you know, hormones or medical intervention of any kind, like I don`t know how I feel about that. I don`t know how I feel about an eight-year-old. Like, break down what these laws are doing and what our best sense of what kind of medical consensus is on gender-affirming care.

STRANGIO: Yes. So, first and foremost, there is so much fear-based, you know, misinformation being peddled around this. The reality is that young children are not getting hormones, they`re not getting surgery. We`re talking about a well-established set of medical protocols that is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the American Medical Association, the Endocrine Society. There is a medical consensus that this care is life-saving, that it helps young people affirm who they know themselves to be.

And if you listen to Brandon, the father in Missouri`s testimony, you have children who are begging their parents to be who they -- who they know they are. These kids will suffer. These kids will die without this care. And Alabama just voted yesterday to move a bill that would make it a felony to provide this treatment.

I cannot stress enough how catastrophic this will be. In Alabama, kids as young as 14 can`t consent to any medical procedure. This bill would make it a felony for young people, their families, and their doctors, all of whom would agree that the care is necessary, all of them are consenting to it, would make it a felony up to age 19.

We would then be cutting kids off from the care we know to be saving their lives, and they`re doing it because of that. These bills are being pushed in tandem. The animating principle behind them is that it is inherently harmful to be trans, which it is not. And we are sending horrible messages to children. We are sending horrible messages to their families when we know that what these young people need is love, affirmation, and support.

HAYES: Dwayne Wade had a great tweet the other day about Brandon Boulware saying, "I don`t know Brandon Boulware at all, but I do know we have something real in common. Our kids are more than bedrooms, bathrooms, and locker rooms." I thought it was really, really, really well said. Chase, thank you so much for both the work you`re doing and for coming on the program. I really, really appreciate it.

STRANGIO: Thanks so much, Chris. Good to see you.

HAYES: All right, 55 days into the Biden administration, Republicans are already attacking him on immigration. But what is really happening on the border, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): The President is allowing so many people in the country illegally without stopping the invasion and we`re being forced to educate those folks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immigration without assimilation is invasion. That can weaken our country.

CARLSON: We don`t know if they have skills that we need, whether they speak English, whether they`re gang members.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: We have a political party opening the border for illegal immigrants that come. What happened to the rule of law? I think the President should shut the border.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: A visceral elemental fear of invasion by immigrants has been a key core of right-wing messaging now for years. Under both, we should say, Democratic administrations and under the Trump administration itself which never made a lot of sense.

At the end of his presidency, Trump even used COVID as essentially a pretext to keep out unaccompanied minors, that`s children come by themselves even those with legitimate asylum claims. They just got turned away.

Now, under President Biden, we have thousands of unaccompanied minors still arriving at the southern border. And of course, just like clockwork, conservatives are swooping in again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCARTHY: This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration. There`s no other way to claim it but a Bidan border crisis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Play the hits. For years, the border has been a kind of right-wing anti-immigration metaphor. But there is of course, also a real, actual physical border between the U.S. and Mexico, which is an incredibly complex place. We saw this firsthand in 2019 when we traveled down to Texas, probably the worst moment during the child separation crisis. Even amidst the right correct moral outrage, the actual details of what were happening even then were really complicated.

And there are people have been working on these issues in all their complexity for years, including Democratic Congresswoman Nanette Barragan of California who joins me now.

Congresswoman, I know this issue has been a focus of yours for years. Let`s start with what`s happening now. My understanding is that the Trump administration had used COVID protocols to basically say, any unaccompanied minor could not come in no matter what, they couldn`t pursue their asylum claim. That was lifted under Biden and now there are thousands of children in U.S. custody have showed up at the border. What happens now?

REP. NANETTE BARRAGAN (D-CA): Well, Chris, first, thanks for having me on. And you`re right. Every time that there are challenges at the border, Republicans go down there not to see what`s going on, not to find solutions, but really to just try to stoke this fear and division, and try to paint migrants who look different than them as -- from different countries, as bad people.

And so, that is -- this is just another one of their playbooks that they`re doing and they did this weekend. What we`re seeing happening is a product of the Trump administration dismantling an immigration system and dismantling the investment in northern triangle countries to try to address the root problems.

We have to remember that there are children who are in these countries who are desperate. Maybe they`ve gone through hurricanes like the two that were in Honduras. They`re fleeing violence. They`re fleeing poverty. And of course, COVID just complicates that. They`re desperately making this journey to the United States because we have had a system of laws that the prior administration basically just threw out the window.

And so, just today, I got an update from FEMA within the hour about their efforts to help HHS, the Health and Human Services. The goal here is to make sure that these children get out of CBP custody as quickly as possible and into the home of a sponsor.

Chris, I don`t know if you know this, but about 80 percent of the cases, these children have family members here in the United States. So, the administration is making every effort to reunite these children with their families while they await for their cases to be heard.

HAYES: Right. So, there`s been -- there have been some criticisms that they`re staying in CBP -- by the way, CBP custody is you bad on the whole, I think it`s fair to say. You do not want to be in CBP custody very long, longer than 72 hours, which is a violation of the policies.

And then there`s concern about sort of temporary facilities. And then there`s concern, right, about the kind of incentive structure. I mean, this is -- this is really what this is about, at a subtextual level is. How much of this is happening because of signals being sent from the Biden administration, and how much is happening because of things that are happening in Central America and other places?

And on that end, the President gave an interview today, and I want to play it for you and get your reaction to what he said about that conundrum. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: A lot of the migrants coming in saying they`re coming in because you promised to make things better. It seems to be getting worse by the day. Was it a mistake not to anticipate this surge?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, first of all, there was a surge the last two years, and 19 and 20, there was a surge as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This one might be worse.

GUTFELD: No. Well, it could be. But here`s the deal. We`re sending back people -- first of all, the idea that Joe Biden said, come because I heard the other day that they`re coming because they know I`m a nice guy, and I want this --

STEPHANOPOULOS: They`re saying this.

BIDEN: Yes. Well, here`s the deal. They`re not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have to say quite clearly don`t come?

BIDEN: Yes, I can say quite clearly don`t come. We`re in the process of getting set up. Don`t leave your town or city or community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: What do you think of that?

BARRAGAN: Well, there`s one thing with the Biden administration, and that is, they`re going to follow the asylum system that we have that the former president dismantled, right. And so, that means trying to get these kids out of the custody of CBP within 72 hours, not because of the influx. We`ve certainly have seen more kids coming.

But you know, the President makes a good point there, and that is, he has been telling folks not to come because there is a system in place, certainly with the MPP. Those that were asked to remain in Mexico, he`s developed a system to try to get them process as quickly as possible into this country, something the last administration did not do.

It is a dangerous journey. And we do need to find ways to make sure to address this problem. And that really does start in investing in the Northern Triangle Countries the root of problems in the causes of why we`re seeing more and more kids come here.

And so, you know, I don`t disagree with what the President said today. On the contrary, this is a president -- and by the way, Secretary Mayorkas is testifying before Homeland tomorrow has made clear both with his statements and his opening remarks in line with what the President is saying is this is a new administration that`s going to treat migrants with the dignity and the respect and the humanity that the prior administration did not do.

And even under the Trump administration, we saw those numbers rising. So, this was happening prior to President Biden, and we should be applauding the fact that we`ve got a president who is going to treat migrants with a dignity and respect and actually follow the law, not throw it out, which is something that Trump administration did.

HAYES: We`re going to stay on whether that promises fulfilled because often it gets very complicated on the border about whether it is. Congresswoman Nanette Barragan, thank you very much.

That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.