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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
President Bush Preparing To Address Nation Monday Evening About Immigration; Amnesty Supporters Clash With Minuteman In Washington; Illegal Aliens Stealing Social Security Numbers From America's Children; Virgil Goode Interview; Silvestre Reyes Interview; Marines Give During And After Battle
Aired May 12, 2006 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, President Bush is preparing to address the nation Monday evening in a new effort to sell his amnesty agenda for illegal aliens as the Pentagon is now considering plans to send thousands of our troops to our southern border.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Friday, May 12th.
Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.
President Bush will address the nation Monday at a critical moment in the national debate over illegal immigration and the absence of border security. President Bush will try to convince the American people that his so-called comprehensive immigration reform, including amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, will end our immigration crisis.
The president's speech comes as the Senate begins debate on a new immigration bill that faces considerable opposition on Capitol Hill. The president may try to blunt that opposition by presenting a plan to send National Guard troops to our border with Mexico.
Tonight, Suzanne Malveaux reports from the White House on what officials say is crunch time for the president's so-called comprehensive immigration reform.
Andrea Koppel reports from Capitol Hill on the wide opposition in the House and Senate to the president's proposals.
And Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon tonight on the possibility that the military will be deploying thousands of our troops to the southern border.
We turn to Suzanne Malveaux first -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, President Bush, of course, has invested a lot of political capital on this issue. The administration is clearly aware that the House and Senate, their vision of immigration reform, still very far apart. What the president hopes to do on Monday is offer just enough for both sides to come up with a compromise. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
MALVEAUX (voice-over): President Bush is making immigration reform his top domestic priority. A senior aide says that's why he's addressing the nation from the Oval Office Monday during prime time to signal to members of Congress they've got to come up with legislation he can sign.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First and foremost, the federal government has the role to enforce our border.
MALVEAUX: Mr. Bush has been facing increasing pressure from conservatives of his own party to get tougher or border security. So Monday, the president will address that head-on.
One plan Mr. Bush is considering, a senior administration official says, is enhancing the role of the National Guard in protecting the southern border. The official said the plan would not call for federalizing those troops nor increase active duty assignments, nor would it jeopardize the guard's missions overseas or preparations for hurricane season.
BUSH: I'm for a temporary worker program that will...
BUSH: ... that says to a person, here is a tamper-proof card that says you can come and do a job an American won't do.
MALVEAUX: Mr. Bush will also argue that the country cannot enforce border control without a guest worker program that allows some illegal immigrants to stay and work and others to earn eventual citizenship. Critics call that amnesty.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I do not back down on the fundamental concept that the legislation before us today is basically an amnesty for the people who came here illegally in violation of our law.
MALVEAUX: Now Lou, a senior administration official says that this issue is right, that he feels that, of course, this is an issue that has moved forward in the last couple of months, that they're cautiously optimistic. But also, the same senior administration official saying, in order to come up with a compromise, this is going to be a very heavy lift for this president and this administration -- Lou.
DOBBS: Suzanne, as you put it, it sounds as though the president is trying to position himself for the purpose of the Senate in this case and ultimately the House, if it succeeds in the Senate, to come up with a compromise. The inference initially was, as the reports began disseminating today, that the president was taking real leadership here, had made a determination to secure the borders, was prepared on that basis to say that he could control immigration, and therefore the nation was ready to reform immigration. But that is not what I'm taking away from what you're reporting now.
Am I wrong?
MALVEAUX: Well, what we're reporting essentially is that he is considering it. And Jamie has more of the details. Perhaps a way of beefing up security at the border, and that that is one of the things that is very important.
As you know, his conservative base has been putting a lot of pressure on this president to do that. He is hoping by offering that alternative, that option, that he satisfies that part of his party. At the same time he says he wants that guest worker program, he is trying to satisfy a whole bunch of people.
Bottom line here, Lou, if he doesn't get what he wants, at least, at the very least, he can go and say to the American people, look, I got before you, here's my message, I tried.
DOBBS: Suzanne, thank you very much.
Suzanne Malveaux from the White House.
As Suzanne just reported, the president's determination to push his amnesty agenda faces significant opposition on Capitol Hill. Leaders of the Senate are proposing a new immigration bill that would give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, but the legislation faces stiff, powerful opposition in the House and from some senators who say securing our borders must be the first and top priority.
Andrea Koppel reports.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist signaled he'd support a move to send in the National Guard.
SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN), MAJORITY LEADER: If it does take states calling upon their resources -- and it could be National Guard -- to come in to secure those borders, I would support that.
KOPPEL: And Democratic Leader Harry Reid seemed open to the idea.
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: I'm glad the president's addressing this, and we'll see if this is the right way to go.
KOPPEL: Although, in an earlier interview, Reid was already highlighting potential problems.
REID: Now we have thousands and thousands of guard and reserve troops in Iraq. Now we're going to ask them to go to the border? I don't think they are able to do that.
KOPPEL: Both sides were optimistic an immigration bill could be worked out, but as Senator Jeff Sessions made clear on the Senate floor today, that isn't going to be easy.
SESSIONS: Republican leadership and Democratic leadership, they want to move something through. But something isn't good enough. We ought to do the right thing.
KOPPEL: Senator Sessions and other conservative Republicans are obviously strongly opposed to offering illegal immigrants amnesty, but a top aide to another conservative Republican suggested that if President Bush does indeed try to beef up security along the U.S.- Mexican border, that might be able to win him some key votes.
This aide saying a spoonful of security helps the amnesty go down. But then again, Lou, there is the Herculean task if it does pass through the Senate of trying to marry this legislation with the House, which, as you know, has already passed a border-only bill last year -- Bill. I mean -- Lou.
DOBBS: Andrea, thank you very much.
Andrea Koppel reporting from Capitol Hill.
Pentagon sources say President Bush could order the deployment of thousands of additional National Guard troops to our southern border. Some National Guard troops are already deployed along the border, a handful, several hundred. And only in a very limited role.
Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Pentagon has been asked to draw up options for the military to help beef up security along the U.S.-Mexico border. And Pentagon sources tell CNN one idea under consideration is to have the federal government pick up the tab for several thousand additional National Guard troops to be activated in the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Under that option, the guard troops would remain under the control of state governors as they were during Hurricane Katrina and would be limited to a supporting role, providing logistics, intelligence and surveillance help to civilian authorities.
That's already being done on a small scale by several hundred guard troops. But the numbers could jump to several thousand.
FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: This is a job that we can train our forces to perform. We can utilize the panoply of sensors and detection devices and monitoring equipment and military hardware to ensure that we do not continue to be subjected to what amounts to an onslaught every single day.
MCINTYRE: Still, don't expect to see U.S. troops on the front lines patrolling the border, officials say. But with helicopters, unmanned spy planes, and sophisticated computers and communications, the guard could be one the Pentagon calls a force multiplier for the overburdened U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement.
Active duty U.S. troops are barred from domestic law enforcement by a Civil War era law known as Posse Comitatus. But National Guard troops under state control can perform some law enforcement functions.
Still, the Pentagon is anxious to avoid the sort of controversy that erupted back in 1997 when a U.S. Marine supporting counter-drug agents shot and killed an unarmed goat herder along the Mexican border.
MCINTYRE: The Pentagon says in theory it could sustain a force of up to 10,000 guard troops along the border without affecting other operations. But Pentagon officials say it's way too early to put any number to how many troops might be deployed, and they insist that the deployment, if it happens, will be temporary until the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency can hire additional permanent personnel -- Lou.
DOBBS: Jamie, thank you very much.
Jamie McIntyre from the Pentagon.
Later here, I'll be talking to two leading congressmen who sharply disagree about the use of our troops on the border with Mexico, Congressman Virgil Goode, who proposed the idea, and Congressman Sylvester Reyes, who says troops should not be used on our border.
One border state governor tonight is saying he strongly opposes the deployment of National Guard troops along our border with Mexico. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California said the federal government, not state government, should secure our borders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: Going the direction of the National Guard, I think, is maybe not the right way to go, because I think that the Bush administration and the federal government should put up the money to create the kind of protection that the federal government is responsible to provide, not to use our National Guard soldiers that are coming back from Iraq, for instance. And they have spent a year and a half over there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: As you can see, it has already begun. Governor Schwarzenegger emphasized he strongly believes, however, that our borders should be secured.
Federal troops are prohibited from performing law enforcement missions under a law passed after the Civil War, as Jamie McIntyre just reported. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 outlaws the use of the Army to execute the laws, which means federal troops cannot make arrests, seize property, or search people. However, in extreme cases, the president can invoke the Insurrection Act which allows him to use federal or National Guard troops for law enforcement.
Joining me now to sort this out is our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeffrey, the use of troops barred by Posse Comitatus but available under this other act.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Well, certainly that's possible. And also, the National Guard is not covered by Posse Comitatus. So there's no change in law required for the president, in conjunction with the governors, to order the National Guard to the border right away.
Posse Comitatus only bars active -- active Army and Navy troops. Coast Guard can be used, too.
DOBBS: Regular military?
TOOBIN: Regular military.
DOBBS: And the idea that the president would be -- would be required to invoke the Insurrection Act is unlikely.
TOOBIN: Unlikely, but the law can be changed by Congress any time. In the early '80s, when President Reagan was very big on fighting the drug war, he changed the Posse Comitatus law to allow the federal troops, military troops to be used in stopping drugs. If Congress wanted to tomorrow, they could say troops can be used for the borders, too.
DOBBS: I'm sorry. Did you say something about the drug war?
DOBBS: It's interesting that people have lost sight while we send federal troops to Colombia and other countries to fight against the drug lords and to carry out the war on drugs that Mexico remains the number one source of trafficking into this country of heroin, of meth, and of cocaine and marijuana. Perhaps it could also be employed to finally rejoin that battle.
TOOBIN: It's not a legal problem. It's a matter of political will.
DOBBS: Absolutely. And it looks like we're beginning to see an expression of that will that Washington is paying attention to.
Jeffrey Toobin, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
That brings us to our poll tonight. Do you support using the United States military to secure our nation's borders? Yes or no?
Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have your results coming up here later in the broadcast.
Coming up next, protesters demanding amnesty for illegal aliens square off against minutemen volunteers in our nation's capital. We'll have that special report.
And a major new crime wave sparked by our illegal immigration crisis, and American children are the victims. We'll have that report.
And as the Pentagon considers plans to send thousands of additional troops to our southern border, we'll hear from two congressmen who strongly disagree on whether our military should secure our borders.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Illegal aliens and their supporters once again gathering on Capitol Hill today, demonstrating and demanding amnesty for all illegal aliens in this country. The amnesty supporters also tried to clash with members of the Minuteman movement who arrived in Washington today after crossing the country trying to rally up support for strict border security.
Lisa Sylvester reports.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two sides.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are against racism, the xenophobia.
SYLVESTER: Very different views.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't put up with it anymore. This is an invasion of our country.
SYLVESTER: Pro-amnesty demonstrators showed up at a Minuteman rally in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Racists go home! Racists go home!
SYLVESTER (on camera): The two sides exchanged chants, with one side screaming "Racist!" The other side saying, "Sovereignty is not racism."
(voice-over): Riot police were called in. At one point, a mini scuffle broke out between pro-amnesty supporters and police.
The Minuteman Project says groups demanding amnesty are trying to govern by mob rule.
JIM GILCHRIST, FOUNDER, THE MINUTEMAN PROJECT: They're not assembling to protect their rights. They are assembling to strip us of our rights.
SYLVESTER: Richard Corus (ph) is a Mexican-American opposed to amnesty. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's going to force down wages for poor people, including the United States Hispanics. It already has. It keeps the poor Americans from progressing out of poverty as well.
SYLVESTER: The Minuteman rally capped a six-state, cross-country tour that ended at the U.S. Capitol. Jim Delissio was part of the caravan, and he had a message for politicians.
JIM DELISSIO, MINUTEMAN CARAVAN: We want to start holding them to the task of strengthening our borders. If not, they should not be elected.
SYLVESTER: Opponents of amnesty want their voices heard: secure the borders and stop illegal immigration. What's at stake, the minutemen say, is nothing less than U.S. sovereignty.
SYLVESTER: Despite the tension, there were no arrests today. But it's clear that the rhetoric of the pro-amnesty group has sharpened. They're likening the minutemen to Nazis and the Klan. The minutemen categorically deny being racist or xenophobic. They say at least 20 percent of their membership is made up of minorities -- Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much. A regrettable clash, but as throughout demonstrations on the part of both those supporting amnesty for all illegal aliens and the minutemen volunteers themselves, they've managed to comport themselves very correctly.
Lisa Sylvester, thank you very much, reporting from Washington.
As the Senate prepares to take up immigration legislation this coming Monday, and as the president prepares for his nationally televised speech on immigration and border security Monday evening, it is obviously important for all of the country's elected officials to hear from all of us, our thoughts on the illegal alien crisis and the border security crisis.
To send your thoughts to congressional leadership, write Senate Majority Bill Frist at frist.senate.gov, or write to House Speaker Dennis Hastert at speaker.house.gov. And if you'd like to e-mail your senator, it goes to senate.gov, or your congressman, go to house.gov. Or you can go to LouDobbs.com, which facilitates all of the above.
On Capitol Hill tonight, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats, after all, will not be pushing for impeachment of President Bush should they win back the House in November. As she had intimated and called for a large-scale investigation, should the Democrats retake the House in November, now the minority leader says impeachment is completely off the Democratic table.
Republicans had first hoped to use the threat of impeachment by the Democrats as a way to rally their base in the upcoming midterm elections.
Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean under fire tonight from gay rights groups. Howard Dean told the Christian Broadcasting Network that the Democratic Party believes "marriage is between a man and a woman." But the Democratic Party's 2004 platform called for "full inclusion of gay and lesbian families."
Dean admitted that he had misspoken, that he had made a mistake after a gay rights group complained and returned a $5,000 contribution from the Democratic National Committee.
Coming up next here, illegal aliens are stealing our children's identities. The government is doing absolutely nothing to stop it. We'll have that special report for you.
And the House votes to send troops to our southern border. Congressman Virgil Goode sponsored that legislation. Congressman Sylvester Reyes voted against it. They'll both join us here next.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: This nation's illegal alien crisis has triggered a serious nationwide identity theft crisis. And when our officials talk about identity theft, they seldom mention illegal immigration and the role it's playing.
Prosecutors tonight say illegal aliens are increasingly stealing Social Security numbers from America's children. In their efforts to work in this country illegally, illegal aliens are jeopardizing the future of some of our youngest citizens.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): According to tax records, this little girl in Utah was driving 80 miles a day to work in a steakhouse. She's clearly not doing that. Her Social Security number was being used by an illegal alien for work papers. Her mother was outraged.
KELLY SMITH, MOTHER: That somebody could buy my daughter's Social Security number without any of us knowing, that it could have gone on for 16 years, we were lucky that it got caught when she was 5. But it still went on for five years.
PILGRIM: The attorney general's office uncovered the fraud and called the family, but Utah estimates at least 80,000 illegal aliens live in the state and a growing number are using stolen Social Security numbers for work papers. For Utah, it's a newly-discovered crime that has grown in the last five years, but now the crime is epidemic.
RICHARD HAMP, UTAH ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL: In the year 2000, 132,000 Utahns had had their Social Security numbers compromised by someone else using them for employment purposes, more than likely mostly illegal immigrants that were here using them. That was roughly about 5 percent of the Utah population back then, which is a huge number. There's no other crime that I know of that affects 5 percent of the population at once like that does.
PILGRIM: Utah began aggressively pursuing Social Security fraud when it found widespread abuse in its public assistance program. The federal government hasn't been nearly as aggressive.
KIRK TORGENSEN, UTAH CHIEF DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am just dumbfounded that we as a government can sit back and know that that information is there, know that that individual, the legitimate person with a number, could be victimized, may be being victimized, and that we're not doing anything to notify that person.
PILGRIM: The national office of the Social Security Administration says numbers from children are often stolen from medical paperwork when they are infants. Children are targeted because discrepancies are less likely to turn up until they look for a job in their teenage years.
PILGRIM: The Social Security Administration today told us by law they're not allowed to contact people when their number is stolen. They say it would require Congress to change the law for them to be able to inform people when they've been victimized. So people can go for decades without finding out -- Lou.
DOBBS: Did the Social Security Administration tell you what law prevented them from doing that?
PILGRIM: Actually, they did not.
DOBBS: The fact of the matter is, I think the Social Security Administration is, to put it politely, full of it. And I think they're rationalizing a failure to safeguard Social Security card holders.
PILGRIM: They told us they can only speak to the IRS about it, that's it. But I believe that it's more complicated than that -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, certainly our Congress and our president, who have at least some time on their hands here to deal with this issue, might want to deal with this rather quickly.
Kitty, an excellent report. Thank you.
Taking a look at some of your thoughts.
Brian in California, "The next time I want to give George Bush a piece of my mind, all I have to do is pick up the phone and say, 'Hello, George. Are you listening?'"
And Steve in Florida, "Lou, am I the only one who thinks it's ironic that the government knows that I ordered a pizza with everything last Friday but can't locate the four million or so expired visa holders?"
Jack in Texas, "Lou, I've written several letters to the leader of our great nation expressing my disapproval over his failure to secure our borders and control illegal immigration, but President Fox has yet to reply."
Marjorie in Wisconsin, "Lou, can you tell me, is a country without secure borders a sovereign nation at all? And is a government that does not enforce the laws it enacts a government at all?"
Those are profound questions.
Send us your thoughts to LouDobbs.com. We'll have more of your thoughts later here in the broadcast.
Next, the Pentagon considering plans to send our troops to the Mexican border. I'll be talking with Congressman Virgil Goode, who is leading the fight in Congress for the deployment, Congressman Sylvester Reyes, who says the time is wrong and this is not the way in which to secure our borders.
Three of the country's most respected political analysts join me as well with their thoughts on the president's immigration address coming up Monday night and the issues facing the nation tonight.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: New evidence tonight that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. United Nations inspectors have discovered traces of highly enriched uranium in vacuum pumps from a former Iranian nuclear site. Officials say those samples contain uranium that was enriched almost to the level required for nuclear weapons. The samples come from an Iranian research facility that was dismantled two years ago and which was covered up.
The widening investigation of Washington influence peddling has reached into the highest levels of the CIA today. Dusty Foggo, the man who ran day-to-day operations at the CIA until he resigned from the post Monday, is now under investigation for ties to corrupt defense contractors. Foggo was appointed to his post by Porter Goss who abruptly stepped down as director of the CIA last week.
Today federal agents raided Foggo's home and his office at the CIA. Investigators want to know if Foggo steered CIA contracts to a friend suspected of bribing disgraced former Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham, who is now serving an eight-year prison sentence.
As we have been reporting, the Pentagon may deploy thousands of troops to our southern border with Mexico. The House of Representatives voted to allow military assistance for the border patrol, and shortly I'll be joined by Congressman Silvestre Reyes, a leading Democrat of the Armed Services Committee, who is opposed to this measure. But first the Congressman who put the measure forward and who won the critical vote. He sponsored the amendment and joins us tonight from Alberta, Virginia. We should point out Congressman Goode is giving the commencement address at Southside Community College tonight, and we thank you for making the time Congressman to speak with us on this busy and important night for you.
REP. VIRGIL GOODE (R-VA), APPROPRIATIONS CMTE.: Lou, it's an honor to be with you.
DOBBS: Congressman, are you surprised that after this legislation, which you've had on the table for some time, which has always been bottled up in committee, suddenly sail through?
GOODE: Yes, we were fortunate to get 251 votes yesterday as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. This is the highest vote total for that amendment in eight years, and I was pleased that a number of Democrats also joined in supporting the measure.
DOBBS: Putting these troops on the border, is it your sense that now that there will be in fact a real effort on the part of the administration? Have you been assured in any way by the administration that they will be serious, sincere and committed to deploying troops to secure our border?
GOODE: I have not been personally assured of that, but they are certainly talking about it more now than ever before. And I hope they are becoming to -- coming to realize how important it is to secure our border and to protect from the large number of the illegals that are crossing that border and from others who would do us harm.
DOBBS: The idea that at four and a half years after September 11 that you would have to put forward this legislation, in order to secure our border, to get help in securing that border, give us your best judgment as to why your colleagues in Congress, this administration, have not been absolutely vigorous in providing security at our borders, our ports against terrorism, against illegal immigration, against a war on drugs, the principal source of those drugs, Mexico?
GOODE: Well, you're exactly right on all counts. I think it is a fear of not being politically correct, but now is not the time for worrying about political correctness. Now is the time to worry about doing the right thing, and that's securing our borders. As you said, it should have been done years ago.
DOBBS: And without your persistence it wouldn't be done now. As I say done now, at least given the opportunity to see it done.
GOODE: We hope. That's correct.
DOBBS: Congressman Virgil Goode, thank you very much for being with us.
GOODE: Thank you, Lou. DOBBS: Congressman Silvestre Reyes is a leading Democrat, sits on the House Armed Services Committee and opposes Congressman Goode's amendment to provide military assistance to the border patrol.
Congressman Reyes joins us tonight from El Paso, Texas.
Congressman, good to see you.
REP. SILVESTRE REYES (D), TEXAS: Nice to see you, Lou, and good to be with you again.
DOBBS: You're opposed to the idea of putting the military on the border. Why?
REYES: Well, Lou, I've been in Congress 10 years. Every year we go through this debate. For me, it's just cheap political theater that makes people think that those that vote for this legislation are tough on illegal immigration, they want to do something about securing the borders.
If they wanted to do something about securing the borders, Lou, they would pass HR-98. I saw your story on the Social Security. HR- 98 would solve that problem, and I will guarantee you one thing, Lou. We pass HR-98, and within a year we are going to see the flow coming into this country drop by about 80 percent. That's what we saw in 1986 after the Immigration Reform and Control Act.
DOBBS: HR-98, to be clear, is the legislation sponsored by you and Congressman David Dreier to provide for severe penalties against the employers of illegal aliens up to five years in prison, is that correct, congressman, as I recall?
REYES: That's correct. And a counterfeit Social Security card and as a result of your story that I just listened to I'm going to talk to David about putting an amendment in there that would require the Social Security administration to notify individuals whose number has been compromised.
DOBBS: Good for you, congressman. It's obviously sorely needed. I don't know about you, my reaction when Kitty Pilgrim reported that is that the Social Security Administration has to be out of its cotton-picking mind not to have advanced the interest of Social Security cardholders, which is all of us in this country, and to deal with that.
I compliment you. Congratulate you on dealing with the issue. Thank you.
In terms of border security, congressman, the idea of moving troops and obviously the president's proposal is not fully formed. We don't know whether in point of fact that will be precisely the option he chooses, but the idea of HR-98, a number of other important bills, Dr. Hunter's legislation, the chairman of the committee armed services committee, calling for fences, 700 miles of fence.
All of these issues, when we are sitting here facing an intractable, intransigent neighbor, the government of Mexico, which refuses to cooperate fully to the extent that we can shut off the supplies of cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana from which Mexico is the No. 1 source, when we permit and they encourage 3 million illegal aliens a year. Isn't it time to get that border secure, and I didn't even mention the global war on terror?
REYES: Right. Well, Lou, I spent 26 and a half years...
REYES: ...working that border as a border patrol agent and in charge of sectors in south Texas and here in El Paso that I now represent in Congress. I'm amazed that Americans around the country haven't figured out the Republicans control the House. They control the Senate and they control the White House.
DOBBS: Oh, I think they figured it out, congressman.
REYES: Why haven't they been able to pass legislation that really affects illegal immigration, like for instance, something innovative like funding employer sanctions. That was passed in 1986. and it was never funded.
And now HR-98, we've got a hearing, but we don't have any other activity on it. Lou, it's more than disingenuous by those that come and tell you how tough they want to be on illegal immigration.
DOBBS: Well, your co-sponsor of HR-98 is Congressman David Dreier. He's on the Rules Committee, why can't you get -- did you ask him why he couldn't get it done?
REYES: I do, and he says well, it's got to work through its process and there's a priority system. You know, like everything else, Lou, I'm as frustrated as you are. In fact, I heard your comment during the break about the Social Security people, and I agree with you. They are lying, and they are the other thing that you called them, but...
DOBBS: Well, congressman, we're not supposed to share everything that...
REYES: No, but Lou...
DOBBS: But you're quite right. I stand -- you know, you're right. I said they've got to be lying. There is no way in the world, and we're going find out who's lying and why about that on this broadcast. And we are going to be reporting it next week.
REYES: And let me tell you, I know David Dreier, Congressman Drier, the chairman of the rules, will agree with me to amending that legislation to require them to report to individuals that their Social Security number has been compromised.
But, you know, the issue is one that frustrates all of us. As I told you, I've been in Congress 10 years. I'm frustrated that all we get is a lot of lip service, and I get reassurances from many, many different people that say, we want to work with you, we want your opinion but nothing ever gets done, except cheap political theater like that amendment yesterday.
DOBBS: I have to tell you -- and then we have to go, Congressman, if I may.
REYES: All right.
DOBBS: The viewers' response in this broadcast says that basically to a person, they say they're going to hold Democrat or Republican, absolutely accountable come November. If you support amnesty, you're going down. If you support a secure border, you're getting a vote. And that's what time and time again our audience is saying.
I know it is not scientific, but the frustration level expressed by the audience in this broadcast, I will tell you, sir -- and I know you know it from your own constituents -- is gargantuan.
Congressman Reyes, it is always good to talk to you.
REYES: Good to talk to you.
DOBBS: I appreciate and we will talk soon.
REYES: All right, take care.
DOBBS: Coming up next, a politically weakened president is trying to sell illegal alien amnesty to Congress and the American people. Three of the country's top political analysts join me to discuss that and the other challenges facing President Bush.
And in "Heroes" tonight, our weekly tribute to the brave men and women who serve this country in uniform, we'll take you to an extraordinary Marine barracks at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Stay with us.
DOBBS: You know, this is not a rewind. It's been another tough week for the White House and Congress. New controversy over NSA intelligence gathering, domestic spying, a widening Capitol Hill influence-peddling scandal, plummeting poll numbers for the president and Congress, and against the backdrop, President Bush will push his plan to give millions of illegal aliens amnesty in this country.
Joining me now, Ed Rollins, former White House political director for President Reagan, Michael Goodwin, columnist for "The New York Daily News," David Sirota, Democratic political strategist, author of the important new book "Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government and How We Take It Back." Good to have you with us, David. And Michael and Ed.
DOBBS: The president, we keep talking about he's had a tough week. The president comes up with something new. He's going to address the nation on immigration Monday night. What's the motivation?
ED ROLLINS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, he'll lose three more points if he does. That's not the motivation, but, you know, the reality is his erosion is coming by -- from conservatives and Republicans, as I've been talking about for three or four weeks now, and certainly whatever solution he's going to offer, which I assume is closer to the Senate bill than it is the House bill, and amnesty may not be used, but that's what it is, it's just going to basically drive more of those conservatives away. So I don't think it's a very smart thing to do at this point in time.
DOBBS: Do you agree, David?
DAVID SIROTA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think he doesn't have much choice. He needs to address this issue in a real way. I think that, you know, as I talk about in my book, I think that what's missing from the political debate entirely on this issue is the discussion of trade.
You know, we have an immigration policy that -- the debate that's roiling this country -- part of the thing that we're not talking about is how did we get here? Why, for instance, since NAFTA has passed, we have 20 million more Mexicans living in poverty? How are we not talking about that as a source of demand for illegal immigration?
DOBBS: Well, I think you're right, David. And the idea that no one is talking about the role of Mexico in literally pushing its least privileged, most disadvantaged citizens out of its society is criminal, and yet it's official Mexican government policy. And, of course, this government is indifferent to the high costs of free trade. Your thoughts?
MICHAEL GOODWIN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Well, I hope Ed is wrong about what the president's going to say, because all of the early line is he's talking about troops on the border, there's all kinds of enforcement issues being discussed, National Guard things are out there.
So I get the sense that he is going to lean toward the enforcement. That's been the missing pillar in everything he's said. He's talked only about amnesty, really. So it sounds as though if he's going to get a deal out of this, he is going to have to satisfy those who want tougher border enforcement, and I hope that's what he is going to do Monday night.
ROLLINS: I do too, I'm just doubtful.
DOBBS: And you're speaking from some experience as -- I have said for some time we cannot reform immigration meaningfully if we cannot control immigration. We can't control it if we don't secure our borders. To this point, no one has defeated that syllogism, with logic certainly, and yet the Democratic leaders are resistant to the idea of securing those borders. Why is that, David? SIROTA: I don't think that's true. I don't think that's entirely true. I know when I worked on the House Appropriations Committee, for instance, a couple of years back, we offered amendment after amendment after amendment to increase funding for border security, to -- I mean, for instance, we did an amendment to deal with Mexican trucks coming into this country unregulated. That was, again, voted down.
So I think -- I don't think that that's exactly the case, that the Democratic leaders aren't...
DOBBS: So you think they will embrace secure borders?
SIROTA: It depends on how you define the term "secure borders." Is secure borders better funding for border enforcement, or is it troops at the border, or is it walls?
DOBBS: It's -- see, we're in New York and not Washington. Here, secure borders means we're in control of the borders, and nobody comes in except people we ask in.
SIROTA: But there's this semantic debate on how you control the border.
DOBBS: Not here. There is no semantic debate. You either have control or you don't.
ROLLINS: The reality is, it's the worst environment to try to discuss anything, which is a few months before an election, and I think the best anybody can hope for would be to take that House version, take the felony charges out of there, but make -- put some money to really seal the borders, and then come back next year after you have a new Congress and decide what you are going to do about the other ...
DOBBS: Only a complete fool would think you could reform immigration law without having the ability to control those borders and control immigration. It's just -- but we're fortunate, we're blessed with a lot of those fools in Washington.
GOODWIN: I think there are two pillars to this policy where the public is. The public is against -- it's for border enforcement, but against making it a felony to come across illegally, and it's for some path to legalization but only after border enforcement.
So I think you can do that in one piece of legislation. Hillary Clinton told me she would support that, as long as you have a phase- in. Do the border first, and then slowly...
DOBBS: By the way, I think most -- I think that most of the American people -- so long as we begin with the real deal.
GOODWIN: That's right. And Bush pushes (INAUDIBLE)... DOBBS: You talked about what the American people approved. And an ABC/"Washington Post" poll done just last night, by the way, says that 63 percent -- shows 63 percent of Americans surveyed approve of the NSA domestic spying program, in effect, holding the -- call it the phone records program or what you want.
David, does that number surprise you?
SIROTA: It doesn't, because I looked at the poll and it didn't ask the question whether folks support it without getting a court order. I think that when you asked that question in previous polls on the wiretapping scandal, the numbers went significantly down. In fact, people were not comfortable with that behavior without a court order.
DOBBS: In support of my colleagues at ABC and "The Washington Post," let me say that that was implicit. How's that? But, Michael your reaction?
GOODWIN: I'm not surprised. But I think it's very early in this process. And if there are going to be Senate hearings on it, as more information comes out -- we're basically going on one or two quick stories. A lot of people probably didn't see those stories. So I think when the fact come out, those numbers could change a lot.
ROLLINS: I do, too. And I think the miserable failure that we have seen is we have 12 members of Congress who basically get all of this intelligence doctrine, and they've fallen asleep at the switch. They basically are not looking at any of this stuff, and all of a sudden other members are saying, you know, I want in this action, I want to hear what it is, and that is going to change the whole dynamics.
DOBBS: The Senate Intelligence Committee, once bipartisan in nature, Senator Rockefeller, the vice chairman, and of course Senator Pat Roberts, the chairman. Once very collegial, warm even. That has ruptured, it looks, for good.
ROLLINS: I mean, I love Senator Roberts. He was a great, A, committee chairman, and a great senator, but the reality is he's not doing a bipartisan effort here and he's not bringing Democrats into the mix.
DOBBS: Ed, thank you very much. Michael, good to have you with us. David, thank you and good luck with the new book. "Hostile Takeover." David Sirota.
A reminder now to vote in tonight's poll. Do you support using United States military to secure our nation's borders? Yes or no, please cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. The results coming up here in just a few minutes.
Up next, "Heroes," our tribute to our men and women in uniform. We'll be meeting an extraordinary Marine unit at Camp Lejeune. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Coming up at the top of the hour here on CNN, "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer. Here's Wolf -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Lou.
Poker, hookers and the CIA? Police search the home of the man who was the third in charge over at the Central Intelligence Agency. It's a very complicated story, but we are going to sort it out for you tonight.
Also, President Bush's immigration plan, he's planning, as you know, a prime time address on Monday night. We'll take a closer look at what he's expected to say.
And Saddam Hussein's new book. That's right. On the eve of the U.S.-led invasion he was supposedly finishing his novel. We have the story.
And Bush versus Clinton, how does the current president stack up against the previous one? We hit the streets to find out. We've got some new poll numbers on that.
Lots more coming up, Lou, at the top of the hour.
DOBBS: Looking forward to it. Thank you, Wolf.
An update tonight on the story we reported here last night. A judge in California issuing a temporary injunction tonight against California's new high school exit exam. Thousands of students failed the test even though they were tested only on eighth grade math comprehension, ninth and 10th grade level English. California sued by students, 10 of them, who failed the exam. Today's ruling could potentially allow thousands of students who didn't pass that test to graduate.
Turning now to the war in Iraq, four of our Marines have been killed in an accident in Al Anbar Province west of Baghdad. The Marines were crewmen in a M-1 Abrams tank. The tank rolled off a bridge and fell into a canal. Two thousand four hundred and thirty four of our troops have now died in Iraq since the war began three years ago.
"Heroes" now, our weekly tribute to the brave men and women who serve this nation around the world. Tonight we go to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and meet Marines who bravely gave for their country on the battlefield and now give to one another after the battle.
Barbara Starr has the story.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is morning formation for wounded Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. They sit because some cannot stand. Glenn Minney struggles with a Mother's Day card. A mortar damaged his eyes, but this medic is still the doc. PETTY OFF. GLENN MINNEY, U.S. NAVY CORPSMAN: That's my job. I'm going continue to do it as long as I can, blind or not.
STARR: In this remarkable place, Marines help each other just as on the battlefield.
GUNNERY SGT. KEN BARNES, U.S. MARINE CORPS: I have a leg injury and I can't get my room vacuumed. One of the guys will be hey, I got no problem, I've got you. You're still required with a leg injury to keep your clothes picked up and all your trash picked up.
STARR: An IED left Gunnery Sergeant Ken Barnes with nerve damage. He knows Marines don't want to need help.
BARNES: That's one of the things that's really nice about this place is you can say, hey, can you give me a hand? And they are immediately on. There are four or five guys that will be standing there waiting to help, but you've got to ask for it.
STARR: Sergeant Karl Klepper's ankle was crushed by a roadside blast.
SGT. KARL KLEPPER, U.S. MARINE CORPS: We're all broken up. We're all beaten up here, but we're not broken, our spirits aren't broken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He helps me at math. We call him Sergeant K.
STARR: As part of their rehab, Klepper and others help at the base school.
(on-camera): The Marines here today and these children have an unshakable bond, perhaps only they can understand. Many of these young students now have parents serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
BRANDON, 1ST GRADER: The Marines help us think about what we can write about and what we can help, so we can do good at math and writing.
STARR (voice-over): Lieutenant Colonel Tim Maxwell has a brain injury from a mortar attack. He started the barracks so Marines could recover together.
LT. COL. TIM MAXWELL, U.S. MARINE CORPS: They come here, stay for just a couple of days and see other Marines are wounded and how far they are in life. Instead of going home with their mom and dad and wondering, I wonder what it means to get shot in the leg. I don't know what that means in three months. Here, he'll see.
STARR (on-camera): The Marines see this extraordinary unit will keep going as long as any wounded warrior needs a place to recover.
Barbara Starr, CNN, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
DOBBS: And we wish them all the very best.
Still ahead, we'll have your thoughts. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight, 92 percent of you do support using the United States military to secure this country's borders.
Time now for a look at more of your thoughts.
Tim in New Mexico, "Republican or Democrat, man or woman, whichever presidential candidate has the courage to say enough all ready and do something about borders, I and all my friends will be voting for that person."
Jeanne in Michigan, "I just read that your ratings have gone up 43 percent from last April. I really don't give a hoot about ratings, but this tells me that the message is getting out to hard working Americans. Keep up the good work."
We are sure going to try.
And Gail in Texas, "Lou, why is it that the citizens are required to follow the laws of the land, but illegals and our own government do not have to? Did I miss something?"
We all did, and we all do.
Ken in California, "Lou, this administration has given illegal a new definition: if it suits the president, the rich and the corporations then illegal means legal. What a concept."
And Cindy in Wisconsin, "Mr. Dobbs, of course we are fools. We voted these people into office, didn't we?"
And Harry in Ohio, "My wife and I are so excited about the tax cut we are going to get, but we don't know what to do with it all. I say we should put it together and get a half -- well almost -- tank of gas for one of our cars."
Send us your thoughts at LouDobbs.com. We appreciate hearing from you. And each of you whose e-mail is read here on this broadcast receives a copy of my book, "Exporting America" and a copy of the constitution and the declaration of independence.
Thanks for being with us tonight and throughout the week. Please join us here Monday when we'll be reporting live from Washington, D.C., as the Senate takes up immigration reform, so-called, and the president addresses the nation. For all of us here, have a great weekend, good night from New York.
"THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
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