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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

A Million Mourners Pay Respects to Pope; Congress Urged to Renew Patriot Act

Aired April 5, 2005 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LOU DOBBS, HOST: Tonight, remembering the pope. A million people have already filed past his body. Tens of thousands more waiting in line tonight in Vatican City. We'll have the latest pictures. My guest, a leading authority on the papacy who says there's never been such a huge public display of affection for any pope.
Also tonight, the part of the illegal alien immigration crisis that no one is talking about: women and children being smuggled into this country, forced into prostitution. I'll be talking with a congressman who's introducing legislation to stop the babies of illegal aliens from receiving automatic citizenship in this country.

And secret trade agreements. The Bush administration pushing Congress to support a new so-called free trade agreement with Central America. But why is the Bush administration refusing to release a highly controversial and critical report about the appalling wages and conditions of workers in Central America?

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS, for news, debate and opinion, tonight.

DOBBS: Good evening.

About 200 world leaders are expected to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II Friday. Former presidents Bush and Clinton will accompany President Bush and Mrs. Bush to Rome. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will also be in attendance.

The announcement came as tens of thousands of mourners waited in line for hours to pay their final respects to the pope. The Vatican tonight says a million people have already filed past the pope's body.

Delia Gallagher joins us now from the Vatican -- Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Lou.

That's right, yes, more than a million people are -- have come through already to the Vatican. What you cannot see is there's a long line that goes down from the square of St. Peters and then snakes around the side streets.

So it's at least, I would say, three or four side streets in -- behind the Vatican that are filled with people 35 people wide. So I mean, there are just huge crowds. The problem now is the Vatican has to close the basilica on Thursday night in order to prepare the pope's body for the funeral on Friday. So the concern here is that everybody get through and gets their chance to see the pope -- Lou.

DOBBS: And of course, amongst those who will want to pay their respects to the pope will be the president and Mrs. Bush, President Bush and President Clinton, amongst the other world dignitaries who will be there. Will they also be paying their respects, their respects, when they arrive in Rome at Vatican City?

GALLAGHER: Well, there's been a special preferential aisle set up for heads of state who are arriving and who will be arriving to go through and to be able to pay their respects to the pope without having to wait in this big line with the rest of the faithful.

DOBBS: And among the issues that have arisen, certainly, and that is where the pope will be interred. What can you tell us about that?

GALLAGHER: Well, today the book of the funeral rite was released. This is a book that is sort of held in secrecy, as it were, until it is needed. It was revised by the pope in 1988 but still maintains most of the traditions of papal funerals throughout the centuries.

Some of the interesting items that will be happening, three things on Friday. One is the closing of the coffin, which is a private ceremony with some of the cardinals, in which they will place some medals from the pope's pontificate. In times past, they have placed coins from the pontificate, giving the year. In this case they will be placing papal medals, silver and bronze.

And then there's a "rogito (ph)" that is read. That is the summary of the pope's life, so that gives us some idea of what the pope has done throughout his life. That is read out officially, signed by the cardinals, put into a lead tube and put into the coffin. The pope is also, of course, buried with his bishop's ring and with his miter. That is his bishop's hat.

Then that coffin is closed. It's a wood cypress coffin. The funeral begins and then the burial takes place in the crypt underneath St. Peter's. And in the crypt, again a private ceremony with a few cardinals, and they will be saying prayers over this first coffin and placing it into a second coffin. It's tied with a red ribbon, sealed with wax, placed into a second zinc coffin and then into a third coffin and then to be entombed in the place that John XXIII had been buried.

The pope's only request was that he be buried in the ground, and that is what will happen on Friday.

DOBBS: That request obviously within the will. No further instructions of note?

GALLAGHER: Well, let me say that that request was -- may be in the will, as well, but it was also made "vido voce" (ph), as it were. It was made out loud by the pope. So that was expressed before he died. The will will be read tomorrow in the general congregation of the cardinals. Now, how much of that we will be able to know, I cannot say. There is, of course, secrecy over these general congregations. But if there is anything in particular, some as perhaps some kind of expressed desire to be involved some way, a relic sent to Poland, for example, then perhaps that would come out.

But at this point we'll have to wait and see. Tomorrow that will be read by the cardinals.

DOBBS: OK. Delia Gallagher reporting from Vatican City, thank you.

Turning now to Washington and Capitol Hill. FBI Director Robert Mueller today called on Congress to give the FBI new broader powers to fight the war against terrorists and radical Islamists. Mueller and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urged Congress to renew every part of the Patriot Act despite opposition from some leading Republicans and Democrats.

Justice correspondent Kelli Arena reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Under a provision of the Patriot Act federal agents secretly entered Brandon Mayfield's home.

GREGORY NOJEIM, ACLU LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL: His home was broken into secretly and searched. The government downloaded the contents of the hard drives of four computers in his home. It took 355 digital photographs.

ARENA: Mayfield is the Portland attorney who was wrongly accused of involvement in the train bombings in Madrid last spring.

The ACLU says the Mayfield search is an example of how the Patriot Act can infringe on the rights of innocent Americans. But Bush administration officials told Congress the law is vital on the war on terror.

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups still pose a great threat to the American people now is not the time to relinquish some of our most effective tools in this fight.

ARENA: The Patriot Act greatly expanded the government's information sharing and surveillance powers. Sixteen provisions will expire in December unless renewed by Congress. Among them, the so- called library provision, which allows federal agents to secretly request library and some business records as part of a terror investigation.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: We have heard over and over again there have been no abuses as a result of the Patriot Act. But it's been difficult if not impossible to verify that claim when some of the most controversial surveillance powers in the act operated under a cloak of secrecy.

ARENA: In response to such criticism, Attorney General Gonzales disclosed that since the law was passed, courts only approved such requests 35 times. And none involved libraries.

Gonzales also said he's open to making some technical changes in the law, but it wasn't enough to quiet the debate, even within his own party. Republican senator Larry Craig is a sponsor of bipartisan legislation to curb parts of the act.

SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R), IDAHO: Clearly the civil liberties of this country are its strength. They create its diversity. They create the great uniqueness of the American experience. And out of fear, we should not run from those principles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ARENA: Analysts say that the future of the Patriot Act may well depend on whether there's another terrorist attack on U.S. soil or if the Patriot Act is successfully used in a high profile prosecution between now and the end of the year, Lou.

DOBBS: The opposition and criticism of the Patriot Act, what is the likely result here? Will the Patriot Act be reinstituted or perhaps even expanded?

ARENA: Well, Lou, analysts point out that that Patriot Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in the days following September 11. Very much depends on the terrorism outlook at the time that those provisions come up for possible renewal. As I said if there's another terror attack on U.S. soil Congress will be thinking very differently.

DOBBS: Thank you very much. Kelly Arena from Washington.

A highly influential member of Congress has declared that violations of federal indecency regulations by broadcasters should be met by criminal prosecution.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman James Sensenbrenner, told cable industry executives he'd prefer to use the criminal process than the regulatory process to enforce decency standards. Congressman Sensenbrenner said the existing enforcement system fails to adequately target the people who actually commit the offenses.

The federal government, which has failed, of course, to secure our porous border with Mexico and Canada, today announced new measures to tighten border security with Canada, at least.

The State Department declared that from 2008, on Canadians will not be allowed to enter the United States with just a driver's license. Canadians and Americans returning to Canada three years hence will be required to show their passports at border crossings into the United States.

Also today, a Canadian government watchdog declared Canada's passport controls are badly flawed. The watchdog said too many people in Canada have the ability to issue passports, and some of those officials do not have adequate security clearance.

The Minuteman Project in Arizona is in its fourth day, and already volunteers have reported nearly 200 illegal aliens trying to cross our border. Hundreds of volunteers are patrolling the Arizona border as part of what they call this country's largest neighborhood watch program. They're patrolling the most porous stretch of border with Mexico and reporting any sightings of illegal aliens to U.S. border patrol agents.

Critics, including, of course, President Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox, have called the Minuteman vigilantes. Over these first four days of the project there have been no reports of violence or misconduct at all.

Immigration officials tonight are questioning 29 illegal aliens arrested after they were smuggled into the port of Los Angeles. All 29 suspects are Chinese nationals. They were hiding in large cargo containers on a ship registered in Panama. The ship's last port of call, Hong Kong. Immigration officials are holding the illegal aliens until they complete an investigation into the case.

And an Indiana woman was sentenced today to two years in prison for her part in running a scheme to give Chinese illegal aliens fraudulent driver's licenses. Elizabeth Lang, a former Chinese translator for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, pleaded guilty to helping more than 100 people illegally obtain Indiana drivers' licenses.

Another court case today highlighting a part of the immigration crisis that no one wants to talk about. Three Mexican citizens today pleaded guilty to charges they forced women and children from Mexico into sexual slavery in New York. The State Department estimates as many as 20,000 people are brought into this country each year against their will.

Christine Romans reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These three illegal aliens ran a sex trafficking ring between central Mexico and Queens, New York, smuggling young Mexican women into the United States and forcing them in prostitution. Two brothers from a wealthy Mexican family, Jose and Gerardo Carreto, and another man, Daniel Perez Alonso, in Spanish they pleaded guilty to the entire 27-count indictment against them, including sex trafficking, forced labor, conspiracy to import aliens for immoral purposes, and alien smuggling.

DANIEL ALONSO, ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: They were accused of trafficking young Mexican women across international boards using force and fraud and coercion. There were allegations of beatings and rapes. And they were just very, very serious charges.

ROMANS: The government identified nine young female victims, two of them miners, who prosecutors say were beaten severely, raped and smuggled into the country. Three of them were forced to have abortions so they could continue to make money as prostitutes.

For their prostitution, the women earned $25 to $35 at a time. The men took it all and wired hundreds of thousands of dollars back to Mexico.

The government says the defendants and some of the victims were stopped by Border Patrol agents when think initially attempted to cross the border and were briefly detained before entering the country again through coyotes or smugglers. Other members of the Carreto family face charges in Mexico, including the mother of two of the defendants.

(on camera): These sex traffickers face 40 years to life in a federal prison at U.S. taxpayer expense. The young women they forced into prostitution remain in this country and are eligible for a T visa established for victims of these crimes. After three years they may apply for permanent residency here.

Christine Romans, CNN, Brooklyn, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOBBS: And up next, the latest poll numbers for President Bush are out. They say the president is facing a number of problems on several key issues.

And is the United States turning the corner in Iraq? We'll have a report for you from Baghdad.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: President Bush's approval rating is dropping. It slipped, in fact, four points in just two weeks, according to the latest CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll. The majority of Americans surveyed are happy with the president's handling of the global war on radical Islamist terror. They are, however, certainly not as satisfied with his handling of issues facing American families.

Senior political analyst Bill Schneider has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Its spring break, and President Bush may need it more than anybody. He's facing multiple problems, according to the latest CNN/USA today"/Gallup poll.

The economy, 41 percent approval, down nine points since early February. Social Security, the president's 60-day tour to sell his ideas for changing Social Security is a bust so far. Thirty-five percent approval on Social Security, down eight points since early February.

The Terri Schiavo case did not help. Only 34 percent of Americans approve of the way the president handled it.

Take the economy. What's wrong? Two words: gas prices.

Each spring, as the summer driving season begins, Gallup asks Americans whether gas price increases are causing hardship. This year, for the first time, a majority of Americans say yes.

Take Social Security. President Bush has been trying to sell personal retirement accounts.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We ought to allow younger workers to set aside some of their own money in a personal savings account as part of Social Security.

SCHNEIDER: It's not selling. Half of those polled were asked how they felt about personal retirement accounts if it meant reducing guaranteed Social Security benefits. Sixty-one percent say bad idea.

The other half were asked about personal retirement accounts with no mention of cuts in guaranteed benefits. Nearly as many, 56 percent, opposed that, too. In both cases, opposition has been increasing.

Take the Terri Schiavo case. Republicans portrayed activist judges as the villains.

REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: We will look at an arrogant, out of control, unaccountable judiciary.

SCHNEIDER: Does the public want Congress to change the way state and federal courts handle future cases like Terri Schiavo's? No. Thirty-seven percent support a complete overhaul or major changes in the courts. Sixty percent want minor changes or no changes at all.

In the Schiavo case, the public's problem was not with the courts. It was with Congress. Three-quarters of Americans say they disapprove of Congress' involvement in the case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: Despite all the complaints, President Bush's overall job approval rating is 48 percent, which isn't too bad. What is keeping that number up? Probably the fact that 54 percent continue to have a favorable personal opinion of the president.

People may not agree with President Bush, but most like him -- Lou.

DOBBS: Not only this poll, our poll, but others showing President Bush in the mid 40s range. This is the worst he's done in his term or terms now in office.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. Certainly since 9/11, which pumped up his ratings for well over a year, this is the worst showing that he has made. It's back to where he was going back into 9/11, when he was having some trouble on domestic issues.

DOBBS: Is there any -- is there a broader range of issues that are being polled? Because they seem to me like a rather narrow, if I may say with no criticism intended of our polling partners and ourselves, but there are a host of other issues here.

That is, the immense pressures on middle class families in this country, the issues of going beyond Social Security, to the failure to enforce border security. Immigration reform, all of these issues simply ignored by the pollsters. Why?

SCHNEIDER: Because they talk about the issues that are on the front page that are the hot topics of controversy. But I've talked to members of Congress, Lou, and they will tell you that when they go home to their constituents, two issues get asked about all the time.

One of them is the one you just mentioned, illegal immigration, particularly those who live in border states. The other is health care costs.

That's a very big topic. And Americans say health care costs and insurance costs, which are associated with it, are escalating beyond control. And they are very anxious about that. It just isn't getting a lot of attention in Washington.

DOBBS: Yes. Within Washington, within the beltway, and point of fact, as you suggest, the American family seems all but unrepresented by either party it seems day to day. Bill Schneider, perhaps in our next poll we can change that.

SCHNEIDER: OK.

DOBBS: Thank you very much.

SCHNEIDER: Sure.

DOBBS: In Iraq, another four American troops have been killed. Two soldiers were killed in a major battle with insurgents in Diyala Province east of Baghdad. The military said U.S. and Iraqi troops, supported by aircraft and helicopters, engaged several dozen insurgents.

Another American soldier was killed in a bomb attack on a U.S. patrol in Baghdad. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack. And in Al Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, a U.S. Marine was killed by a bomb.

Despite those attacks, U.S. and coalition commanders are now cautiously optimistic that the insurgency has lost some momentum. The deputy commander of coalition forces declared that Iraqi troops could soon take over full responsibility for security in several Iraqi provinces.

Aneesh Raman reports from Baghdad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For two years, the dominant story out of Iraq has been a violent one. And while near daily attacks continue, politics is becoming the persistent headline. For the military on the ground, a sign perhaps of a weakening insurgency.

GEN. GEORGE CASEY, U.S. COMMANDER IN IRAQ: They are not nearly as strong or as capable as some people thought they were prior to the elections.

RAMAN: A senior U.S. military official says, since the election, insurgent attacks are down 22 percent. But while March passed with the lowest reported American casualties in over a year, official optimism is hard to find.

Nobody from the U.S. military in Iraq willing to speak on camera about what it might mean for the future, such as the fear of looking too much into recent events. But military sources do suggest the situation on the ground is changing. Iraqi security forces, their confidence boosted by the success of the election, are taking a leading roll in certain operations.

THAIR AL-NAQIB, INTERIM IRAQI MINISTRY OF INTERIOR: Experienced Iraqi forces which have been involved in many operations, they have scored a great success. And they know that.

RAMAN: Partly because, according to Iraq's national security adviser, intelligence gathering is rapidly improving, aided by Iraqis who are fed up with insurgent activity.

MOWAFFAK AL-RUBAIE, INTERIM IRAQI NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: They are coming forward more readily to tell us about the insurgents and the terrorists, their whereabouts. They are denying them shelter.

RAMAN: And U.S. officials believe the insurgency itself lacks the resources to pull off large-scale attacks on a frequent basis.

(on camera): But it takes just one spectacular insurgent attack or a heightened targeting of Iraqi forces to reset the landscape, repealing any newfound confidence. Necessary caveats, say military officials, to any notion that Iraq's primary concern is no longer security.

Aneesh Raman, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOBBS: And why our government asked for a report on Central American Free Trade Agreement countries labor conditions and why they now refuse to release that report. We'll have that story next.

And one congressman who's introduced legislation to deny citizenship to so-called anchor babies, the children of illegal aliens, he's our guest here next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DOBBS: Congress next week may finally take up the Bush administration's next major free trade agreement proposal. But the so-called Central American Free Trade Agreement does not have much support in Congress. And now some lawmakers are, in fact, accusing the Labor Department of delaying the release of a report they believe to be highly critical of poor labor conditions in many of those Central American countries.

Lisa Sylvester has the story from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Central America's labor laws offer little protection from forced overtime, child labor and discrimination. And workers are often not guaranteed the right to associate and bargain. A report commissioned by the Labor Department in 2002 examined the problems in detail, but the Labor Department has yet to release the findings.

REP. BENJAMIN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: You start to wonder with the failure to release the report, whether it was critical on the issues concerning labor practices within these countries, and that it's being withheld either because they don't want the information made public or they are trying to massage the language of the report to make it look more favorable than it really is.

SYLVESTER: Congress will debate the Central American Free Trade Agreement next week. And a point of contention, the lack of labor standards in Central America. While CAFTA has protections for corporations, like intellectual property provisions, there are no guarantees for workers.

REP. SANDER LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: What it means is that the countries that have the worst practices have an economic advantage. And that's very difficult for us to compete with.

SYLVESTER: The Labor Department insists it has a good reason for delaying the report's release.

ARNOLD LEVINE, DEPT. OF LABOR: It doesn't meet the basic standards for rigorous research and analysis that we would expect a professional organization that is working on behalf of the department to submit.

SYLVESTER: The authors are willing to publish the report on their own, but the International Labor Rights Fund has not been able to get the clearance from the Labor Department.

BAMA ATHREYA, INTERNATIONAL LABOR RIGHTS FUND: The clearance process has taken somewhat longer than it took to do the studies in the first place at this point.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: And late this afternoon, the Labor Department did make one concession. It will allow the authors to publish the report on their own. But it could be weeks before the International Labor Rights Fund receives the final OK -- Lou.

DOBBS: A final OK. This has been bought and paid for by the taxpayers at the behest of the Labor Department. Why in the world won't the Labor Department release it itself? It belongs to the U.S. government.

SYLVESTER: Well, one of the points that they are making is they said it was not the quality that they were hoping for. That when they got the results back -- and might I mention that this report cost somewhere in the neighborhood of around $980,000. But when they got this report back...

DOBBS: That's pretty close to a million bucks, isn't it.

SYLVESTER: Close. So it's quite an expensive report. But when they got the report back, they said -- at least this was their reasoning -- was that it was not of the caliber and the quality that they were looking for -- Lou.

DOBBS: Did they at any time let this organization that did the study know that before today?

SYLVESTER: No they didn't. And, as a matter of fact, that's one of the reasons why everyone has been saying that they have been stalling, because this process has actually been going on since 2003. And this is the first that we've heard of the official reason.

DOBBS: So this is just -- so this is just another silly bureaucratic game in Washington and obviously a political one, as well?

SYLVESTER: Well, it would certainly appear to be that way. And the fact that it could still be even more weeks, Lou, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

DOBBS: We never know when the games will end, or if in fact they ever will end. Lisa, thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester from Washington.

Coming up next here, should children born to illegal aliens in this country be entitled to automatic citizenship with all the rights and privileges that go with it? Why one leading congressman says absolutely no.

And the high cost of illegal immigration. Tonight, exploding population growth is threatening, in fact, our most precious natural resources. Who is in charge?

And I'll be talking with a leading authority on the papacy and the church about what he calls the unprecedented outpouring of affection for Pope John Paul II.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Now here are some of the important stories we're following tonight.

ABC News anchor Peter Jennings has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Jennings made that announcement to his co-workers at ABC today. He begins chemotherapy next week and will continue to do his weekly broadcast.

A shocking new study tonight shows how simply riding the bus to school can be harmful to your child's health. The study shows a child riding a school bus will breathe in up to 70 times more exhaust than a typical resident. The researchers found that exhaust was leaking the buses and probably affecting the children.

And hundreds of sharks, seen swimming here of the coast of Florida's Juno Beach, that beach has been closed because of the sharks. No word on how long it will stay closed. Taking a look now at some of "Your Thoughts" writing into the broadcast.

Writing in to this broadcast Garcia in Chicago, Illinois, "As the debate over Social Security heats up, the estimated seven million or so illegal immigrant workers in the United Sates are now providing the system with a subsidy of as much as $7 billion a year. Our assumption is that about three-quarters of other-than-legal immigrants pay payroll taxes, said Stephen C. Ross, Social Security's chief actuary, using the agency's term of illegal immigration." That from the "New York Times." "They would do all this but still they won't escape your inhumane remarks or mercy for fair treatment or guest worker visas."

Well as much as I respect "The New York Times" and their otherwise fine article this morning, they failed to point out the cost of illegal immigration altogether. They fail to point out that depressing illegal alien wages only add to the growing underground economy. Take about 195 to $200 billion out of the hands of working U.S. citizens in this country each and every year. And illegal aliens cost taxpayers in this country another $50 billion a year in health and social services alone.

C.A. Butler in Bangor, Maine, "We can strip search a wheelchair bound nun at Reagan International but we can't secure our borders. And I'm safer, why?

Charon Husted from Falls Church, Virginia, "Am I missing something here regarding the Minuteman Project on our Southern border?" Where "the Mexican police are patrolling their side of the border in order to spot human rights violations on our side regarding the treatment of their citizens breaking our laws, why aren't they arresting them before they cross over?"

Well you are missing something, but then we all are.

R. Kneelson with from Woodland, Texas, "The president labels the Minutemen as vigilantes. Yet,we now have a terrorist warning system with color codes signifying that Americans should be aware and vigilant. I also have neighborhood watch programs active in my area. I am getting confused as to where and when I am to look out for law breakers. And when I am required to turn a blind eye so as to avoid being labeled as a vigilante by President Bush. Suggestions?" None that aren't obvious to you already.

And Grant Tinker in Port Crane, New York, "Lou, how is it that illegal aliens can freely cross our borders while American citizens will now need to show proof of citizenship to return home, "at least in 2008. "Does America belong to Americans anymore?"

That's a relevant question, I would think. We love hearing from you. Send us "Your Thoughts" at loudobbs.com. Each of you who's e- mail is read on this broadcast receives a copy of my book, "Exporting America." Our e-mail newsletter you can sign up on our Web site, loudobbs.com.

The huge influx of illegal aliens into this country is fueling nothing less than a population boom. The U.S. population could double in the next 70 years to 600 million people, in fact. And that could lead to the depletion of critical natural resources including farmland and, of course, water.

Kitty Pilgrim has tonight's special report, another high cost of illegal immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A nationwide parking lot. Experts say the way the country is going open spaces are being paved over with strip malls, freeways and airports and suburban sprawl. Experts worry the open land and farmland is being gobbled up, right now at the rate of 2.2 million acres a year.

ROSEMARY JENKS, NUMBERS USA: The middle of the country of the United States is people -- fly over it and think it's empty. Of course, that's our food production. And yet we're paving over that, as well. So, as the population increases, there's more demand for housing, there's more urban sprawl, essentially, as cities grow outward.

PILGRIM: The driving force for sprawl is population growth. The U.S. birth rate is right on track to keep the population steady, 2.1 children per woman. But experts say the U.S. population may double in the next 70 years according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Eighty-seven percent of population growth is coming from the millions of legal and illegal immigrants and their children who are born here. Some environmentalists say a level of 200,000 immigrants a year is probably sustainable, but current legal immigration is more than four times that and millions more enter this country every year illegally, 3 million last year alone.

DAVID PIMENTEL, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: Water is one of those resources that is already at risk and the -- and each person in the U.S. per day requires 1,500 gallons of water. Now, 80 percent of that is actually for food production, there's a population growth of course the shortage is going to intensify and water is one of those essential resources for food production.

PILGRIM: Energy is also critical to commerce and food production, yet the United States already imports more than half its oil each year. And consumption will certainly increase with population growth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Urban and suburban growth, the population growth already has an impact over crowding, longer commutes, higher noise levels, congestion, but what may be a nuisance now will become increasingly detrimental to the nation's food and water supply -- Lou.

DOBBS: It's remarkable, again, we made references because our viewers did to the "New York Times" story this morning, talking about the fact they would add $7 billion to the Social Security. The number of viewers who wrote in to say that, see, this is a good thing. Illegal immigration is a great thing, it will save us in Social Security. I mean, the mindlessness associated with this issue, from well meaning people. I don't mean to suggest otherwise.

PILGRIM: Well, they certainly weren't talking to the environmentalist I was talking to on this piece. Which is there is great out rage over the degree of sprawl that's going on.

DOBBS: Absolutely, the sprawl. But in addition to that the western states were primarily illegal aliens, first obviously enter the country and settle. They're in the midst of a 500 year drought. And no one is thinking rationally. They're simply allowing the government of Mexico to determine this country's immigration policy. Is that straightforward? It's That simple.

And why the United States Congress refuses to represent the American working family on this and a host of other issues is totally beyond me.

Kitty, thank you. Extraordinary report. Thank you.

Well our quota of the day tonight is from Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the Patriot Act. In response to a question about the possibility of terrorist crossing our border illegally.

The attorney general said, quote, "You've got these competing tensions of the reality of life along the border. The need to protect this country, and also the principles which I think many of us believe in, and that is that if we have immigration laws, they should be enforced."

Well it is interesting that not a single person asked the attorney general why those immigration laws of ours are not being enforced.

We told you earlier about new State Department rules that will require in 2008 Canadians to show a passport when they enter our country and Americans returning from Canada to show a passport. And that's a subject of our poll tonight. Do you think it's fair to require Canadians to present a passport to enter the United States, yes or no. Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results coming up here in the broadcast later.

My guest tonight introduced legislation in Congress to deny citizenship to so-called anchor babies. Those are babies born to illegal aliens in this country. Critics have called the legislation simply un-American.

Congressman Nathan Deal, a Republican from the state of Georgia, joins us tonight.

Good to have you with us, congressman.

REP. NATHAN DEAL (R), GEORGIA: Thank you, Lou. Nice to be with you.

DOBBS: Why do you think this legislation is necessary?

DEAL: Well, the United States is in a small minority of countries in the world that continue to grant what we call birthright citizenship, and that is, to grant citizenship to a child regardless of the legal status of the parents. Now, I think it's time that we looked at the issue and addressed it in a serious fashion. And I have legislation to do that.

DOBBS: And that legislation, what has within been the reaction amongst your colleagues?

DEAL: Well, it's difficult to get support on an issue, because we have done this for so very long, of just allowing citizenship to be granted.

But I think we're gaining support. We now have some 22 sponsors in the House. We're gaining sponsors every day.

But you know, less than a year ago, Ireland, which was the only member of the European Union that continued to grant birthright citizenship, in an overwhelming, over 80 percent voted to repeal that. And so we are really...

DOBBS: Why (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

DEAL: ... one of the few countries that continue to grant birthright citizenship.

DOBBS: And why did Ireland make that decision? I know the answer, congressman, but I think it's instructive.

DEAL: Well, first of all, Ireland had lost population back a couple of decades back. And they had had a policy to encourage people to come. But they were the only member of the E.U., and therefore, if you were granted citizenship or the right to come into one of the E.U. countries, you had the right to go anywhere within the European Union without really presenting any further documentation.

I think they were getting pressure from some of the other European countries that objected. DOBBS: Much as a state in this country, if it was carrying out a policy that would influence the rest of this country.

The idea that immigration is being tackled, about -- estimates 200,000 to 400,000 so-called anchor babies born in this country each year. It's unclear how many, in all fairness, is -- are actually born of illegal aliens, and how many of legal, because of the way the records are kept, or not kept, in this country.

The idea that Congress refuses to accept, when we have now empirical evidence of what is happening -- Kitty Pilgrim just reported on the impact of -- even if this were legal immigration right now, the massive impact that it would have on our environment, the economic detriment to the country. Certainly employers, hiring illegal aliens, achieve a substantial economic benefit. I never want to question that, it...

Why isn't Congress capable of finding the will to actually represent, in both parties, American working families, the middle class in this country, without which the elites don't exist, and certainly without which the country won't exist very long?

DEAL: Well, I hope that Congress is beginning to get the message. You know, it started out with only the border states being the one that felt the impacts. But now states such as mine, in Georgia, that is not a border state have tremendous social impacts. And in this case, citizenship to a child born of illegal parents, immediately that child is eligible for welfare, for subsidized housing, for Medicaid, and obviously for schooling.

And the impacts are just huge on local communities, local health delivery systems.

DOBBS: Let me try it again, Congressman. Do you think that -- can you explain to our viewers why the United States Congress right now on -- and I, I mean, we can go through every issue you want. We can talk about energy, we can talk about healthcare, we can go down the line. This Congress, and let's leave the presidency out of it right now, because there's a whole different issue there.

But why isn't Congress taking its responsibility to represent working men and women in this country seriously? Has corporate America just overwhelmed our system of government?

DEAL: Well, I certainly hope not. I think that it is simply a matter of hearing from people back home. And hopefully this program tonight will encourage your viewers to write their congressman, to call their congressman, and encourage them to get on legislation such as this to change the attitude that we have.

We've got to get serious about the problem. It is overwhelming. We have to start somewhere. This is a good place to start.

DOBBS: Well, Congressman, we thank you for being here. And to follow up your suggestion, we'll remind our viewers here tonight, you can go to our Web site, loudobbs.com, and send Congress a message. There's a little box on the Web site, on the home page. Just click that and put in your state and your district, and away you go. You can send your thoughts straight to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate.

Coming up next here, why some members of Congress want to legalize hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in this country. And why my next guest says that would not be a good idea, because it's nothing less than amnesty.

And more than a million people, paying their last respects to Pope John Paul II. Father John Paris says it's an unprecedented outpouring of affection. He's our guest next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: The Senate is expected to begin debate on a proposal to offer half a million, at least half a million, illegal farm workers legal status in this country.

My next guest believes the so-called ag jobs bill amounts to nothing less than amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Senator Jeff Sessions also opposes the president's guest worker program. Senator Sessions joins us tonight from Capitol Hill.

Senator, debate on this bill to begin. What in the world happened to the real ID bill, Congressman Sensenbrenner's legislation? Looks like the ag bill to give amnesty to ag workers has taken precedence after a deal was obviously constructed.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R, AL), JUDICIARY AND BUDGET COMMITTEES: You know, I don't know what is happening in that sense, but I do think that the bill we'll bring up is a House bill which will have the Sensenbrenner language in it. I certainly hope so. It's directly related -- relative to the national security, and it ought to be on the defense supplemental bill. That's an appropriate place to put it. And anyway, he was promised that opportunity last fall.

The ag bill is legislation that would, as you say, maybe a half million or a million, and then if their families come, maybe as many as 3 million people would be legalized into this country, dealing with the entire economics of immigration. That should not be on a defense supplemental. It absolutely should not. It ought to be part of an open debate on this subject that we need to have later in the year.

But not with soldiers in the field, and our responsibility now is to get them the resources they need to do their job.

DOBBS: Yes, there's something mind-boggling about the irony of this, on a defense appropriations bill, putting an amnesty program for illegal aliens who've crossed a border, for the most part, who've crossed a border that is not even defended, nor for which there is anything that one could remotely call border security.

Let -- Senator, let me show you what Senator Larry Craig, one of the sponsors of the ag bill, had to say recently on this broadcast, and get your reaction, if I could ask you to do so, sir.

Could we roll that comment by Senator Craig?

"We are attempting to control the border," he said. "But here is a very real human reality. On the other side of that border, the American side of that border, there is a need for a very large workforce of a certain kind."

Now, Senator Craig obviously believes, as do others in the U.S. Senate and the House and certainly the White House, that that's justification to do just whatever. What are the odds that that kind of thinking will ever be stopped in this country?

SESSIONS: Well, the Craig-Kennedy bill had 63 co-sponsors last year out of 100 senators. Now I understand the number's in the low 40s, as people have began to look at it and comprehend just how breathtakingly broad that language is. Larry Craig is a fine senator, but I disagree with him on that. I don't even think the president has agreed to support this legislation. In fact, I think it's against his stated principles. I'm not sure he would sign it. It is too broad, it ought not to be on this bill. It guarantees that a person who came here, illegally, is put on a track to citizenship. It's a guaranteed track, whereas a person who dutifully applies in a proper way is not given that advantage.

DOBBS: Senator Sessions, we are out of time. We thank you for being with us. We appreciate it. Come back soon. Senator Jeff Sessions.

A reminder now to vote in our poll tonight: do you think it's fair to require Canadians to present a passport to enter the United States? Yes or no, cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results in just a few moments.

More than a million people have already paid their last respects to Pope John Paul II. My next guest says, an electrifying connection between the pope and hundreds of millions of Catholics is now apparent. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: My next guest says the outpouring of affection for Pope John Paul II is simply unprecedented. He says that's because John Paul II was more than just a pope to millions of people.

Joining me now from Boston, Father John Paris, professor at Boston College. Father, good to have you with us.

I was just thinking about Delia Gallagher, and as I mentioned, talking about just the unending lines that are winding around the streets of Vatican City, and into Rome itself, to accommodate the people who want to pay their respects. This is, as you say, unprecedented. Why do you think this is occurring?

FATHER JOHN PARIS, PROF. BOSTON COLLEGE: Well, it's not a response to a political edict. The Chinese delegation may be coming because of political influence. These people are coming out of sheer love. They stand in admiration of this man who touched them, who touched them very deeply, who touched them personally, who got right into their souls. What you find now is not simply the curiosity for a celebrity. You find the affection for someone who is loved.

DOBBS: That love, that affection, at the same time, the idea that this many people will be accommodated in Vatican City, is it really possible that we're going to see people turned away because of the simply the lines that have formed?

PARIS: They can't all get into the Vatican City. It's very, very small, and the area right in front of the basilica is by -- large, by any standards, but nowhere near large enough to handle two or three million people. They will be literally across the Tiber by the time this ends, but they want to be there.

DOBBS: And, by the way, we should point out, those are the estimates of the number of people showing up to pay their respects, and as you say, unprecedented. The conclave, of course, to begin after the pontiff's funeral Friday. No date has been set for that conclave. Are we to attach any significance to that?

PARIS: Oh, none, whatsoever. The cardinals now are fully engaged in preparations for the funeral. There is a set time. It's within 15 days of the death of the pope. It's all in place, and it's simply a matter of doing things in order.

DOBBS: You know, Father Paris, a number of analysts have talked about the idea that there would be a caretaker pope, that there could be an Asian pope, an African pope, but has Pope John Paul II, in point of fact, set the standard so high for whomever follows him, that none of those options would be acceptable to the church? It just seems that this is a much, much different job today than when Pope John Paul II walked into that role nearly three decades ago?

PARIS: One thing he certainly did is, he demanded that there be openness in communication, that the pope be available. I think of the first pope of my lifetime as Pius XII. He was a very ascetic man, dined alone every day, rarely was seen in public, certainly never touching or even, literally, never touching, except the head of a baby. Now we have a pope who's into the crowds. He's a part of them. He wants to touch them. His hands go out. I have seen him many times at papal audiences, both hands are out, touching as many people as he can, just being with them. He was energized by being in a crowd. He was energized by being with people.

DOBBS: All right. We thank you very much, and look forward to talking to you more this week, Father John Paris. Thank you.

PARIS: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: Still ahead the results of our poll tonight; a preview of what is ahead tomorrow. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DOBBS: Two thirds of you in our poll tonight say it's fair to require Canadians to present passports to enter this country. Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow. I'll face off against the Hispanic journalist who says that our reporting on this broadcast, on immigration crisis, is one-sided. Please join us; we'll have both sides, I guarantee you, tomorrow.

Good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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