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Bush Addresses Nation on Immigration
Aired May 15, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, President Bush sending National Guard troops to the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration. Bush unveils the plan to the nation in just a moment. Is this the solution to the immigration issue?
And breaking news tonight. That third indictment we predicted in the Duke rape case has been handed down, another lacrosse player now formally accused of an alleged gang rape of a local student-turned-stripper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID EVANS, ACCUSED DUKE LACROSSE PLAYER: My name is Dave Evans. I`m captain of the Duke University men`s lacrosse team.
I`m absolutely innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening, everyone. Thank you for being with us. We are on standing by as we wait to take you to hear President Bush as he addresses the entire country on the immigration issue. Let`s go straight out to CNN`s Anderson Cooper, standing by. Anderson, you have just come back from the border. You stayed night and day there, looking at what`s going on. What are we up against, and what do you think Bush will propose?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Nancy, of course, the big headline for the president`s speech is this proposal of sending some 6,000 National Guard troops. It sounds perhaps a little bit more militaristic than the nuts and bolts, when you really look at the details. I mean, they`re not talking about armed troops manning and patrolling the borders, they`re talking about some 6,000 National Guard troops in several states, you know, answering phones, building roads, helping out with administrative-type things, helping out with sort of building up and supporting the border patrol...
GRACE: Hold on. Here we go. Let`s go live to President Bush.
GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In recent weeks, Americans have seen those emotions on display.
On the streets of major cities, crowds have rallied in support of those in our country illegally. At our southern border, others have organized to stop illegal immigrants from coming in. Across the country, Americans are trying to reconcile these contrasting images. And in Washington, the debate over immigration reform has reached a time of decision.
Tonight, I will make it clear where I stand and where I want to lead our country on this vital issue.
We must begin by recognizing the problems with our immigration system.
For decades, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders.
As a result, many who want to work in our economy have been able to sneak across our border. And millions have stayed.
Once here, illegal immigrants live in the shadows of our society. Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal.
Illegal immigration puts pressure on public schools and hospitals, it strains state and local budgets and brings crime to our communities.
These are real problems, yet we must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith and lead responsible lives. They are a part of American life, but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law.
We`re a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws. We`re also a nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition, which has strengthened our country in so many ways.
These are not contradictory goals. America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time.
We will fix the problems created by illegal immigration, and we will deliver a system that is secure, orderly and fair. So I support comprehensive immigration reform that will accomplish five clear objectives.
First, the United States must secure its borders. This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security.
Our objective is straightforward: The border should be open to trade and lawful immigration and shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers and terrorists.
I was the governor of a state that has a 1,200-mile border with Mexico, so I know how difficult it is to enforce the border and how important it is.
Since I became president, we have increased funding for border security by 66 percent and expanded the Border Patrol from about 9,000 to 12,000 agents. The men and women of our Border Patrol are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances. And over the past five years, they have apprehended and sent home about 6 million people entering America illegally.
Despite this progress, we do not yet have full control of the border, and I am determined to change that.
Tonight I am calling on Congress to provide funding for dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border. By the end of 2008, we will increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000. When these new agents are deployed, we will have more than doubled the size of the Border Patrol during my presidency.
At the same time, we are launching the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history.
We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas.
We will employ motion sensors, infrared cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles to prevent illegal crossings.
America has the best technology in the world and we will ensure that the Border Patrol has the technology they need to do their job and secure our border.
Training thousands of new Border Patrol agents and bringing the most advanced technology to the border will take time, yet the need to secure our border is urgent.
So I`m announcing several immediate steps to strengthen border enforcement during this period of transition.
One way to help during this transition is to use the National Guard.
So in coordination with governors, up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border.
The Border Patrol will remain in the lead. The Guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads, and providing training.
Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities; that duty will be done by the Border Patrol.
This initial commitment of Guard members would last for a period of one year. After that, the number of Guard forces will be reduced as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come on-line.
It is important for Americans to know that we have enough Guard forces to win the war on terror, to respond to natural disasters and to help secure our border.
The United States is not going to militarize the southern border. Mexico is our neighbor and our friend. We will continue to work cooperatively to improve security on both sides of the border, to confront common problems like drug trafficking and crime, and to reduce illegal immigration.
Another way to help during this period of transition is through state and local law enforcement in our border communities. So we will increase federal funding for state and local authorities assisting the Border Patrol on targeted enforcement missions.
We will give state and local authorities the specialized training they need to help federal officers apprehend and detain illegal immigrants.
State and local law enforcement officials are an important part of our border security, and they need to be a part of our strategy to secure our borders.
The steps I have outlined will improve our ability to catch people entering our country illegally.
At the same time, we must ensure that every illegal immigrant we catch crossing our southern border is returned home. More than 85 percent of the illegal immigrants we catch crossing the southern border are Mexicans, and most are sent back home within 24 hours.
But when we catch illegal immigrants from other country, it is not as easy to send them back home.
For many years, the government did not have enough space in our detention facilities to hold them while the legal process unfolded. So most were released back into our society and asked to return for a court date. When the date arrived, the vast majority did not show up.
This practice, called "catch and release," is unacceptable. And we will end it.
We are taking several important steps to meet this goal.
We`ve expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more.
We`ve expedited the legal process to cut the average deportation time.
And we`re making it clear to foreign governments that they must accept back their citizens who violate our immigration laws.
As a result of these actions, we`ve ended catch and release for illegal immigrants from some countries. And I will ask Congress for additional funding and legal authority so we can end catch and release at the southern border once and for all.
When people know that they`ll be caught and sent home if they enter our country illegally, they will be less likely to try to sneak in.
Second, to secure our border we must create a temporary worker program.
The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop.
To secure the border effectively, we must reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across.
Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time.
This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing.
Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.
A temporary worker program would meet the needs of our economy, and it would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law.
A temporary worker program would reduce the appeal of human smugglers and make it less likely that people would risk their lives to cross the border.
It would ease the financial burden on state and local governments, by replacing illegal workers with lawful taxpayers.
And, above all, a temporary worker program would add to our security by making certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.
Third, we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud.
Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility.
A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law and leave employers with no excuse for violating it.
And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.
Fourth, we must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are here already.
They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship. This is amnesty, and I oppose it.
Amnesty would be unfair to those who are here lawfully, and it would invite further waves of illegal immigration.
Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree.
It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border.
There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently and someone who has worked here for many years and has a home, a family and an otherwise clean record.
I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law - - to pay their taxes, to learn English and to work in a job for a number of years.
People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship. But approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.
What I have just described is not amnesty; it is a way for those who have broken the law to pay their debt to society and demonstrate the character that makes a good citizen.
Fifth, we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one nation out of many peoples.
The success of our country depends upon helping newcomers assimilate into our society, and embrace our common identity as Americans. Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language.
English is also the key to unlocking the opportunity of America. English allows newcomers to go from picking crops to opening a grocery, from cleaning offices to running offices, from a life of low- paying jobs to a diploma, a career and a home of their own.
When immigrants assimilate and advance in our society, they realize their dreams, they renew our spirit and they add to the unity of America.
Tonight, I want to speak directly to members of the House and the Senate: An immigration reform bill needs to be comprehensive, because all elements of this problem must be addressed together or none of them will be solved at all.
The House has passed an immigration bill. The Senate should act by the end of this month so we can work out the differences between the two bills and Congress can pass a comprehensive bill for me to sign into law.
America needs to conduct this debate on immigration in a reasoned and respectful tone. Feelings run deep on this issue. And as we work it out, all of us need to keep some things in mind.
We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger or playing on anyone`s fears or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain.
We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions and that every human being has dignity and value, no matter what their citizenship papers say.
I know many of you listening tonight have a parent or a grandparent who came here from another country with dreams of a better life. You know what freedom meant to them, and you know that America is a more hopeful country because of their hard work and sacrifice.
As president, I have had the opportunity to meet people of many backgrounds and hear what America means to them.
On a visit to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Laura and I met a wounded Marine named Guadalupe Denogean. Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean came to the United States from Mexico when he was a boy. He spent his summers picking crops with his family, and then he volunteered for the United States Marine Corps as soon as he was able.
During the liberation of Iraq, Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean was seriously injured. And when asked if he had any requests, he made two: a promotion for the corporal who helped rescue him and the chance to become an American citizen. And when this brave Marine raised his right hand and swore an oath to become a citizen of the country he had defended for more than 26 years, I was honored to stand at his side.
We will always be proud to welcome people like Guadalupe Denogean as fellow Americans. Our new immigrants are just what they`ve always been: people willing to risk everything for the dream of freedom.
And America remains what she has always been: the great hope on the horizon, an open door to the future, a blessed and promised land.
We honor the heritage of all who come here, no matter where they come from, because we trust in our country`s genius for making us all Americans, one nation under God.
Thank you, and good night.
GRACE: President Bush just unveiling a plan to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border. Straight to Anderson Cooper. Anderson, surprised?
COOPER: Not really, Nancy. I mean, it is largely what the White House had been sort of telling most reporters all day long the president would be saying. Not really any major new proposals. Perhaps the biggest headline, of course, is this proposal for 6,000 National Guard troops. But as we pointed out before the speech, these are not National Guard troops with weapons patrolling the border. This is in a support role for the border patrol, a temporary solution while they try to hire about 6,000 more border patrol agents, effectively doubling the force under this president.
Also, the other major part of this program, which perhaps the -- while the headlines to go to this National Guard contingent, really, the president also very strongly trying to support some sort of guest worker program that would allow some path to citizenship. His critics will immediately say, Look, that is an amnesty and that is wrong and unfair. He very clear pointing out tonight what he supports is not amnesty, in his opinion, because no one is jumping to the front of the line and they are paying back taxes and they are paying for entering this country illegally in the first place, but probably not enough to silence the critics tonight, Nancy.
GRACE: And question. How do you think the Mexican president, Vicente Fox, feels about this? I got to tell you, after he decriminalized marijuana, cocaine and certain amounts of heroin within his own country, I can`t say that I respect his opinion anyway.
COOPER: Well, we know how he feels because he apparently called the White House, spoke with the president for about half an hour. He says that he was concerned about what was described as a militarization of the border, President Bush pointing out that this was just a temporary maneuver and it was not militarizing the border. So Vicente Fox clearly not happy about this plan tonight.
GRACE: President Bush has just outlined to the country his plan to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border and the institution of biometric ID cards for immigrants. Out to Anderson Cooper. Anderson, let`s take some calls. Let`s go to David in Florida. Hi, David.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Nancy. How`re you doing?
GRACE: Good, friend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, ma`am. I just have a quick question. Since President Bush is going to be raising funds to pay for more troops to protect the border, where is that money coming from?
GRACE: Are you serious?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You bet.
GRACE: It`s coming out of your pocket.
GRACE: Anderson, I don`t need your help on this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... coming out of my pocket, and we just stopped printing money, didn`t we.
GRACE: So Anderson, he is right. And I`ve got to ask you a question, Anderson. What is the meaning of a biometric ID card? Are you familiar with that?
COOPER: Yes, I am. Biometrics -- you know, there`s biographic information, which is what an illegal immigrant will tell you, what their name is, their age is. But obviously, people lie about that all the time to police. Biometric information is fingerprint information, basically, that cannot be lied about.
But you know, Nancy, what`s interesting about that is any employer in the United States right now can check very easily on line the Social Security number of the people who work for them. So they can very easily, within a matter of minutes, find out whether their employees are legal or not. It`s as easy as logging on to a government Web site. Many employers, they all know about it, but they`re choosing not to do this. So the idea that they need some sort of biometric card to more accurately identify their employees -- you know, that`s all well and good, but frankly, if they wanted to stop hiring illegal immigrants, they could do it right now, Nancy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone`s fears, or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: President Bush unveiling a plan to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border. Let`s go straight out to the lines. With us, Anderson Cooper joining us tonight.
Let`s go to Delores in Washington. Hi, Delores.
CALLER: Hi. My question is, I`m for the troops. But what about the Canadian side? What about those 19 terrorists that came through there?
GRACE: You know, that`s an interesting question, Anderson. It seems as if that has faded from everyone`s mind regarding the terrorists, but that`s not really the issue that Bush seems to be addressing.
COOPER: Yes, well, the Canadian border, many parts of it, are unguarded. You can just walk across in many parts. We sent Gary Tuchman up there a couple of weeks ago, and there`s a place where to get across all you`ve got to do is push a button. And, you know, it`s basically sort of the honor system when you`re crossing over.
So that, obviously, is a huge concern for those who want, you know, completely secure borders. You know, they will point out, though, that the majority of people crossing over illegal, the vast majority are on the southern border. That`s why they say their focus is so much on the south.
GRACE: Let`s go to Ines Ferre, CNN Espanol correspondent. Welcome. Thank you for being with us, Ines.
INES FERRE, CNN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: If Vicente Fox is anti-this idea, then what is his proposal?
FERRE: Well, you know, Mexico has been saying that they were trying to create incentives for people and also to try and get rid of some of the corruption that`s on the border. I mean, people know that there`s definitely corrupt agents on the Mexican side. So they`re really trying to create incentives for people to stay in the country, create new jobs for Mexicans.
GRACE: But, Ines, isn`t that a day late and a dollar short? We`re in this crisis now because Vicente Fox has done nothing.
FERRE: Well, there are a lot of people who say that he hasn`t done enough, nearly enough. So you`ve got definitely that point of view. And then you`ve got the people who are saying, well, you know, he hasn`t done enough, so you`ve got a lot of people that are coming in from Mexico, from Central America, who are just coming to the U.S. to get jobs.
GRACE: And very quickly, Ines -- with us, Ines Ferre, CNN Espanol correspondent, do the numbers in Bush`s speech check out? He said 6 million people have been sent home.
FERRE: Well, he didn`t specify if that means re-entry or not. There certainly are a number of people who come -- who try to cross the border, and then they get detained, and then they come back. I mean, people try once, twice, three times. The average is about three times, they say.
And I have spoken to many people who -- immigrants who have crossed the border numerous times. They are saying that it`s becoming much more difficult to do, as some aren`t doing it as often. I know of a store owner in Brooklyn who he has gone back, but his wife has not gone back because it`s so dangerous.
GRACE: Let`s go to the lines. Mary in Tennessee. Welcome, Mary.
CALLER: Hey, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, dear.
CALLER: I`ve just got one -- I guess one big question or comment or whatever. You know, all this has gotten totally out of hand. But my question is: Why is no one putting the blame on the big corporations that`s closed all the plants -- or, you know, companies in the United States -- are up here and sent, you know, the plants to Mexico because labor was so much cheaper?
Now they can`t get the people in Mexico to run the plants because all the Mexicans are coming to the United States and wanting better jobs and more money. So the corporations are the ones that started this, but yet nobody`s, you know, putting the blame on the corporations.
GRACE: Anderson Cooper, did you hear anything in Bush`s speech regarding corporate responsibility? I did not.
COOPER: Well, he`s talking about, not in that way, that the caller was talking about, but really in the way that, you know, that employers here in the United States, corporations, small businesses, trying to make it easier for them to identify who is illegal and who`s not.
And as we were talking about before, they already have that means, that tool. It is as simple as logging onto a Web site. Because all illegal aliens use is a fake Social Security number that they pull out of thin air. They go to Macarthur Park in L.A. or any other city and buy fake documents with fake Social Security numbers. All you got to do is check the number against the real numbers, and you`ll find out in a matter of minutes.
GRACE: So to Christopher Ho, immigration and labor law expert, why aren`t employers doing this simple thing that Anderson pointed out, looking at the Social Security card online?
CHRISTOPHER HO, IMMIGRATION-LABOR LAW EXPERT: Well, that`s actually an interesting question, Nancy, because there is a lot of lack of understanding about what Social Security numbers mean and don`t mean. And, in many cases, a failure to match the numbers doesn`t mean anything at all about somebody`s immigration status.
It could be that the name has changed because of marriage. There could have been transposed digits or letters. And so simply relying on the Social Security number is not a foolproof method and, in fact, the SSA says you cannot use this to draw any conclusions about immigration status.
GRACE: You know, Anderson, that just doesn`t make sense, to say that you can`t use that as a tool to check out someone`s eligibility or their immigration status. That doesn`t make sense.
COOPER: Well, Immigration Customs Enforcements agents who I met with about two weeks ago in L.A. insist and are pushing for, in fact, that program, this computer model program, to become a mandatory thing, to become a law. Right now, it`s a voluntary program.
They say it`s certainly at least a good, first step in trying to figure out who exactly is working for you. And, frankly, you look at a lot of these documents and, I mean, it`s pretty clear that they`re phony. I mean, they`re made out of different material than the real thing or made out of the -- the holograms are not the same.
So, I mean, there are ways to tell. Clearly, a lot of employers do not really want to know. I mean, it is -- they have an incentive for hiring illegal aliens in that, you know, it`s cheaper for them. They don`t have to pay them the same kind of wages that they`re paying other people.
GRACE: Well, back to Anderson, sending the National Guard troops to the Mexican border, we typically have not had a good response domestically by sending National Guard. For instance, you had the 1860s New York civil war riots. You had the Watts riots in L.A., Kent State, Waco, need I say more? Now, how do you keep 6,000 troops out of sight?
COOPER: Well, that`s a good question. I mean, here`s a hypothetical. If one of the things that they`re supposedly doing is building roads and building roads for Border Patrol vehicles to patrol on, what if, you know, groups of illegals are crossing over and run right into them? What happens then?
You know, do they have arrest powers? Who exactly are they working for? Right now, they`re saying that they are working for the governor for each of the those states and under the responsibility of those states, being paid for by the federal government.
GRACE: Hey, Anderson.
GRACE: I`m not saying I`m opposed to the plan. I`m thinking about the plan, but I do know this. I do know that I don`t want our people, Americans, down on the border unarmed. I don`t want that. Do you want that?
COOPER: Well, and that`s right now what they`re saying on this National Guard troops, they`re talking about them not being armed. And, you know, it`s a good question; it`s a good point to make.
GRACE: Let`s go to Heather in Connecticut. Hi, Heather.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I just think that this is ludicrous. I think it`s just a diversionary tactic by the president. The real problems in this country are not a few thousand immigrants. I really think that it`s high gas prices and what`s going on in Iraq. That`s the real problem.
GRACE: So do you believe, in any way, that this is just a way to deflect our attention, Anderson?
CALLER: Absolutely. Oh, sorry.
GRACE: Go ahead.
COOPER: Well, certainly, I mean, politics plays a role in just about everything these days. The president has been, you know, under the gun now for quite some time, nothing but negative headlines and negative poll numbers. Seeing those headlines, "National Guard troops at the border," no doubt will, you know, perhaps bring those poll numbers up, garner him some support.
The devil`s in the details. And whether or not this is really enough to kind of rally his conservative base and bolster up some of his poll numbers remains to be seen. But I don`t think -- you know, I think we`d all be naive to say that politics doesn`t play a role in these things.
GRACE: Anderson, hold on. Robi has got a question for you -- Dr. Robi?
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Yes, Anderson, what do you think the United States needs to do in order to make our borders safer?
COOPER: Well, you know, I`m not the one -- I don`t take positions on this. So but I mean, I can tell you...
GRACE: You just came from there, Anderson. You just spent -- did the whole documentary, and you were there.
COOPER: I can tell you what Border Patrol agents will say, is that, you know -- one Border Patrol agent said to me: Look, you can build a wall 500 feet tall, 50 feet deep underground, people will still find a way to dig through it, tunnel under it, climb over it.
That the key, they say, is layering of security, not just a wall, but better patrols, you know, eyes in the sky, sensors on the ground, that a real commitment takes time and money, and it`s not going to happen overnight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE EVANS, DUKE LACROSSE PLAYER: My name is Dave Evans, and I`m the captain of the Duke University men`s lacrosse team. First, I want to say that I`m absolutely innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me today, that Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty are innocent of all the charges that were brought against them. These allegations are lies, fabricated, and they will be proven wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: There you see the third indictee, David Evans, speaking out today. (INAUDIBLE) to that grand jury in the Duke University lacrosse rape investigation will be handed down, and it was.
Straight out to Kevin Miller, WPTF Radio reporter. Kevin, bring us up to date.
KEVIN MILLER, WPTF RADIO: Nancy, yesterday, Dave Evans graduated Duke, today indicted. Three counts: first-degree rape; first-degree sexual assault; and first-degree kidnapping. He was flanked by his parents and members of the Duke lacrosse team that graduated with him.
He says he`s absolutely innocent. He paints a different picture than what we`ve heard from prosecutor Mike Nifong. He said he did cooperate. That cooperation was ignored by the Durham district attorney. That was backed up today by his attorney, Joe Cheshire.
GRACE: What have we heard from Nifong regarding cooperation?
K. MILLER: Nifong did not address that. He said that he is satisfied with the three indictments and does not think, Nancy, that he will bring any more indictments against any more members of the lacrosse team.
GRACE: To former federal prosecutor Wendy Murphy, I`ve noticed the district attorney has not taken to the airwaves. Why?
Elizabeth, let me know when I get Wendy. What about it, Kevin Miller?
K. MILLER: I`m sorry, Nancy. What was that again?
GRACE: Why hasn`t the district attorney taken to the airwaves?
K. MILLER: Again, this is a strategy, after 70 interviews, he doesn`t want to talk. He issues statements after things, and I think he`s very frustrated with how deftly, Nancy, that the press has been pretty much co- opted by the defense. The defense had a brilliant strategy today, this imagery of the parents, along with Dave Evans, saying he`s absolutely innocent, also with the lacrosse players as a show of support.
We will see this until the next hearing, until the next trial, as opposed to what we saw with Seligmann and Finnerty, where all of a sudden you had them in handcuffs and posting bond and such. What are we going to see with Dave Evans? We`re going to see him saying, "I`m innocent. These charges are absolutely false."
GRACE: Why is it, do you think, to Patti Wood, body language expert, that this young man has spoken out while the other two have not?
PATTI WOOD, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Well, I think they`re looking for a lead person to create a particular image around the story, so they`ve chosen the captain of the team, because he`s a confident person and he really presented himself well in that prepared statement, specifically at the beginning.
GRACE: It`s interesting to me, Midwin Charles, defense attorney, how he would know whether the other two were guilty or innocent. What, were they all together, holding hands at a prayer meeting?
MIDWIN CHARLES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, that`s a good point, Nancy, that you raise. I mean, one of the problems you have here when you have several defendants is that, you know, their defense strategies may turn on each other and one may implicate the other.
GRACE: Well, how does he know the other two are innocent?
CHARLES: Well, that`s the thing. We have no idea here. You know, we have to know what happened at that party.
GRACE: And that is exactly why defendants should not speak because now, when he goes to trial, and if he`s on cross-examination, he can be pummeled on, "What do you know about the other two? Were you all three together or what did they tell you?"
CHARLES: That`s exactly right.
GRACE: "What exactly did they tell you?" And they are going to be up the creek without a paddle.
CHARLES: That`s exactly right, Nancy. I mean, right now it appears as though this is a great strategy, but we all know that defendants, at the end of the day, need to keep their mouths shut.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVANS: Over the past several weeks, I`ve repeatedly, through my lawyer, tried to attempt -- tried to contact the district attorney. All of my attempts have been denied.
I`ve tried to provide him with exculpatory evidence showing that this could not have happened; those attempts have been denied. And, as a result of his apparent lack of interest in my story, the true story, and any evidence proving that my story is correct, I asked my lawyer to give me a polygraph.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Back to Kevin Miller with WPTF Radio, this is the only young man that has been indicted so far that has actually spoken out. Now, we`ve heard a lot, lot, lot from the defense team, and they keep saying, "There is no match. There`s no conclusive match."
But, in another statement, they say not all the genetic markers have been matched. So what is the truth about the human flesh found under her fingernail in the trash can?
K. MILLER: Well, Nancy, as you were covering it Friday night, Joe Cheshire did come on and did try and explain that, saying that the captains, Dave Evans among them, did cooperate from that house at 610 North Buchanan Boulevard and gave the trash can to the authorities, helped the authorities.
And in that trash can where the fingernails were, you had things that contained DNA: tissue, toilet paper, Q-Tips, and the like, which could explain which there is some residue on those fingertips.
GRACE: Human flesh on a piece of tissue.
To Dr. Daniel Spitz, forensic pathologist, let`s just get real for a moment. If there was human flesh under her fingernail, what is the likelihood it came off a Q-Tip?
DANIEL SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, Nancy, the fact that you`re dealing with a private laboratory having to have to do this testing, because it`s a specialized laboratory, indicates that you`re dealing with a minute amount of tissue. And with minute amounts of tissue or even no tissue at all, the likelihood that this is a transfer from something in the bathroom or something in the wastebasket is pretty good.
GRACE: Well, you know what`s interesting to me, Wendy Murphy? That everyone is willing to do a backbend -- a backbend -- to explain why human flesh is under her fingernail. Remember a couple of weeks ago, they actually came out with the outlandish story she went in the bathroom to paint her nails? Then the story, "Oh, no, no, no, she was in there ripping off her nails." Now, there`s flesh under a nail, and the new story is, "It must have come off a Q-Tip." Well, I don`t know where they put the Q-Tip, but that`s the first I`ve heard of that use of a Q-Tip.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, right, if it had been earwax under their fingernail, I give you that. Q-Tip and earwax go together.
You know, when you really have a strong urge to disbelieve the obvious, people will latch on to even the most absurd explanations. It`s the nature of our culture, and a lot of people don`t want to believe that these seemingly -- especially this guy -- seemingly nice looking guy, who sounds good on camera -- the other two have been silent thus far- could possibly be a rapist.
It`s a really hard for people to accept, Nancy. But you know what? I was taken by the fact that he said, "I can prove where I was every minute, the whole night." Now, come on. First of all, it was a roomful of carousing, drunken guys, and it would have been a lot more credible if he had said, "You know, I`m not sure where I was all the time. I was kind of drunk."
And, look, the most bizarre thing, too, was that he tried to explain why he booked it out of his own house. He lived there; he was over the age of drinking; he`s 23 years old. And his lawyer had the audacity to suggest that he ran from the scene -- the house was empty, remember, when the cops got there, because they were all scared of something bad -- and he ran from the scene why again? Oh, because they were worried about getting in trouble for drinking.
The guy lived there. He was over the age of consent. I don`t buy it. He looks good, but I don`t buy it.
GRACE: Joining us right now is a very special guest. The alleged victim`s father is joining us by phone. How has your daughter reacted to the DNA found under her nail there at the house?
"TRAVIS," ALLEGED VICTIM`S FATHER: I really haven`t talked to her since all this come out today, but I`m sure she`s upset about it. And I know think she`s (INAUDIBLE) devastated about it.
GRACE: Sir, is your daughter prepared to go to trial?
"TRAVIS": I think she is.
GRACE: We`ve heard a lot of rumors that she wants to back out of the charges; is that true?
"TRAVIS": I haven`t heard that she wanted to back out. No.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not a crook. I`ve earned everything I`ve got.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you plead to counts one and two?
O.J. SIMPSON, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER: Absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: If I were to hurt a child, I would slit my wrists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: As we all know, just because you say it`s so doesn`t make it so. Today the third indictee declaring his innocence, David Evans.
To Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and former rape crisis counselor, what do you make of the way Evans spoke today? Body language mean anything to you?
LUDWIG: Well, you know, he was very convincing. He has a very clean- cut look, very confident, but, as we know, you`re right, Nancy, this doesn`t always make somebody an upstanding citizen. But, yes, when you compare his presentation to this woman and her profession, he`s going to come out seeming more positive, at least before we know all the evidence.
GRACE: What about it, Patti Wood, our body language expert?
WOOD: Well, absolutely. He looked very confident. There were certain phrases that he misspoke that I would really like to question him about, and specifically...
GRACE: You mean you think he had a rehearsed speech?
WOOD: Pardon me?
GRACE: Did he have a rehearsed speech?
WOOD: Very, very rehearsed. It was later on in the interview where there was some specific things that he said. For example, he said, "It did not happen," and then he had a significant eye close. Typically, that means he didn`t believe that particular statement.
GRACE: Hold on just a sec, Patti. Let`s go Levi in Tennessee. A question for Patti, Levi?
CALLER: I have a question for Wendy Murphy.
CALLER: Wendy, you`re great. Wendy, I want to know: Why is nobody criticizing the defendants and the defense lawyers for speaking out in the media while everybody was outraged at the prosecutors?
MURPHY: What an excellent question. I mean, it`s absolutely true that defense attorneys can literally lie with impunity and get away with it, where prosecutors can get in trouble even if they tell the truth, because look what happened here. Defense attorneys filed a motion to dump Nifong from the case just because he was telling the truth. That`s what prosecutors are worried about.
GRACE: Thanks, Wendy. Thank you, Levi. And thank you to all of our guests. We`ll pick it up tomorrow night.
But, tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Sergeant First Class Randy McCaulley, 44, Indiana, Pennsylvania, killed, Iraq. Always keeping morale high, survived by his wife and two sons. Randy McCaulley, an American hero.
I`m Nancy Grace. I`m signing off for tonight. I want to thank you for being with us as we travel to D.C. and down to Duke. See you here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.