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CNN NEWSROOM

Immigrant's Tale From Mexico to New York City; Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Holds News Conference on Dismissals of U.S. Attorneys

Aired March 13, 2007 - 14:01   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry, in for Kyra Phillips.

"What I meant to say." When quizzed on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," General Peter Pace says that he should have stuck to policy instead of voicing his personal beliefs.

LEMON: And fired up over firings. Leading Democrats go on the war path over the firing of eight federal prosecutors, and a top aide to attorney general -- to the attorney general hits the eject button. We're waiting to hear from Alberto Gonzales in a live news conference at any minute now.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Top of the hour. Live news conference expected to happen at any minute, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This news conference is on the fallout from the firings of several U.S. attorneys. He is scheduled to speak, as I said, at any -- at any minute.

And you can see our cameras are waiting. As soon as that happens, we'll bring it to you live right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

CHETRY: Meantime, he was asked and he answered. Now he's clarifying. Joint Chiefs chairman Peter Pace issuing a statement last hour saying that he should have been more focused on his support of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and less focused on his "personal moral views."

The nation's top man in uniform is referring to an interview that he gave to the "Chicago Tribune".

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GEN. PETER PACE, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: My up bringing is such that I believe that there are certain things, certain types of conduct that are immoral. I believe that military members who sleep with other military members' wives are immoral in their conduct and that we should not tolerate that. I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. So the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" allows an individual to serve the country, not -- well, I'll just stop there. That allows individuals to serve the country.

If we know about immoral acts, regardless committed by who, then we have a responsibility. And I do not believe that the armed forces of the United States are well served by saying through our policies that it's OK to be immoral in any -- in any way, not just with regards to homosexuality.

So from that standpoint, saying that gays should serve open in the military to me says that we, by policy, would be condoning what I believe is immoral activity. And therefore, as an individual, I would not want that to be our policy. Just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so and so was sleeping with someone else's wife that we would just look the other way. Which do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior between members of the armed forces.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CHETRY: So, gay rights advocates are now demanding that General Pace apologize. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has represented gay troops kicked out of the military, calls his comments "... outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces."

LEMON: Well, President Bush came into office seeking stronger ties with Mexico, but then came 9/11, war and stalled immigration reform. Now Mr. Bush is hoping for a fresh start, ending his Latin American trip in Mexico with two days of meeting with president Felipe Calderon. The major issue, immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States respects rule of law. But in the debate on migration, I remind my fellow citizens that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River. That there are decent, hard-working, honorable citizens of Mexico that want to make a living for their families.

And so, Mr. President, my pledge to you and your government, but more importantly, the people of Mexico, is I'll work as hard as I possibly can to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And Calderon has criticized current U.S. immigration policies, especially plans to build 700 miles of fence on the border.

CHETRY: Coming to America, starting a business, raising a family, it's been the dream of an untold millions of immigrants and would-be immigrants for generations. And millions have achieved it. One is a New York florist who might seem to his countrymen back in Mexico to have it all, all except a valid visa or a work permit or a green card. CNN's Soledad O'Brien has his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For Miguel, this is his American dream.

(on camera): Is your business pretty successful?

MIGUEL, IMMIGRANT: Thank god, yes.

O'BRIEN (voice over): His flower shop is thriving, but Miguel thinks he would be doing even better if he were living here legally. Miguel crossed the border into the U.S. 10 years ago.

MIGUEL: It's really, really, really scary, but it happened.

O'BRIEN: Miguel's wife and their two children live with him in New York. The children were born in the States and are American citizens. Miguel is reluctant to show their faces or give his last name.

(on camera): You pay rent?

MIGUEL: Yes.

O'BRIEN: You own a business?

MIGUEL: Yes.

O'BRIEN: You pay taxes?

MIGUEL: Yes.

O'BRIEN: All those things. People might think a surprise to have no documents.

MIGUEL: When you need to open a business you have to call the IRS, and give you -- they give you a number.

O'BRIEN (voice over): Miguel grew up in Oshacopan (ph), a two and a half hour drive outside of Mexico City. Locals say nearly half the town has left for jobs in the States after the textile mills here closed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are no jobs here.

O'BRIEN: Miguel's father, Julio, works construction, but it's not enough. Every week Miguel sends $200 or so back home. His two brothers and sisters, also living illegally in the United States, help, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I feel proud about building the House because my kids' sacrifice had a purpose.

O'BRIEN: The money they've made in the U.S. is improving life here in Mexico. The two-room House Miguel grew up in now has rooms for everyone. But there's a good chance Miguel will never come back, and his mother, Margarita, has never seen her grandchildren.

MARGARITA, MIGUEL'S MOTHER (through translator): A mother needs her kids around. I miss them. It's been difficult.

O'BRIEN: Back in New York, Miguel says he'd like to be legal, own a bigger shop, hire more people.

(on camera): What do you think about this country?

MIGUEL: I think it's great. It's very -- it's very good. Just the only thing to immigrants, illegal immigrants, they give us a lot of -- like, they hate us, because they think that we just come to take and not to give.

O'BRIEN: Soledad O'Brien, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: All right. We want to get you back to Washington, where we're still awaiting that press conference from Alberto Gonzales, U.S. attorney general. He's expected to talk about this fallout from the firing of several U.S. attorneys.

As soon as that happens we will let you know. He's running a little bit late. It's scheduled to happen soon, but just a little bit late.

In the meantime, you can bet, this has been the talk on Capitol Hill, of course. Congressional Democrats calling for some sort of answers on this. Just a short time ago, Nancy Pelosi and also Steny Hoyer spoke out about this issue, and here's what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Our U.S. attorneys are on the front line against terrorism, public corruption and violent crime. Reports in this morning's newspapers allege that the decision to fire U.S. attorneys reached the highest levels at the White House and were prompted by President Bush for political reasons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STENY HOYER (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Speak no evil, hear no evil are over. The new Democratic majority is doing the job the American people expect and deserve and that our founding fathers expected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, again, we're awaiting that press conference in Washington from Alberto Gonzales regarding the fallout from the firing of several U.S. attorneys. Democrats, of course, wanting to know who knew what and when and if anyone called for the U.S. attorneys to be fired.

We'll bring this to you, this press conference, live just as soon as it happens right here in the CNN NEWSROOM -- Kiran.

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: That's the rundown. And it's a quarter past the hour. And here is a story -- it's about 16 past the hour. Here's a story we're working on right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

We're expecting to hear any minute, very shortly now, from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the furor over the firing of several prosecutors. In a statement, Gonzales is praising his top aide, who quit among the controversy -- amid that controversy.

Joint Chiefs chairman Peter Pace wishes he had said less after telling the "Chicago Tribune" he thinks homosexuality is immoral. Now Pace says he was trying to explain his support of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and should have kept his personal views to himself.

Let's get you now live to Washington. A look at the flags there.

Not there yet, but he is expected to get there very shortly. We just got the two-minute warning about a minute ago.

Alberto Gonzales, U.S. attorney general, is going to make a statement there, talking about the firing of all these U.S. attorneys. And the person who is going to be listen to it and providing us some analysis on that is Kent Alexander. He is a remember, former attorney general, northern district here in Georgia -- right? And also the chief counsel at Emory University.

Here he is. Let's take a listen.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

ALBERTO GONZALES, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Some things that I believe in.

One, I believe in the independence of our U.S. attorneys. They are the face of the department. They are may representative in the community.

I acknowledge their sacrifice. I acknowledge their courage to step into the arena on behalf of the American people.

Secondly, the attorney general, all political appointees such as U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president of the United States.

Third, I believe fundamentally in the constitutional role of the Senate and advice and consent with respect to U.S. attorneys, and would in no way support an effort to circumvent that constitutional role.

I believe in accountability. Like every CEO of a major organization, I am responsible for what happens at the Department of Justice. I acknowledge that mistakes were made here. I accept that responsibility. And my pledge to the American people is to find out what went wrong here, to assess accountability, and to make improvements so that the mistakes that occurred in this instance do not occur again in the future.

Finally, let me just say one thing. I've overcome a lot of obstacles in my life to become attorney general. I am here not because I give up. I am here because I've learned from my mistakes, because I accept responsibility, and because I'm committed to doing my job. And that is what I intend to do here on behalf of the American people.

With that, I'll take your questions.

QUESTION: Mr. Attorney General, can you explain what the White House role is, specifically when your successor, Harriet Miers, suggested that all U.S. attorneys should be changed over? Is that the seed that started all of this? How does that connect to the actual termination (INAUDIBLE)?

GONZALES: As we can all imagine, in an organization of 110,000 people, I am not aware of every bit of information that passes through the halls of the Department of Justice, nor am I aware of all decisions. As a general matter, some two years ago I was made aware that there was a request from the White House as to the possibility of replacing all the United States attorneys.

That was immediately rejected by me. I felt that was a bad idea and it was disruptive.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALES: What I know is that there began a process of evaluating strong performers, not as strong performers, and weak performers. And so, as far as I knew, my chief of staff was involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers, where -- where were the districts around the country where we could do better for the people in that district. And that's -- and that's what I knew.

But again, with respect to this whole process, like every CEO, I'm ultimately accountable and responsible for what happens within the department. But that is, in essence, what I knew about the process -- was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on. That's basically what I knew as the attorney general.

Yes, Laura (ph)?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALES: Kyle Sampson has resigned. I accepted his resignation yesterday as chief of staff. He's transitioning -- yes, as a technical matter, he is still at the department as he transitions out and looks for another employment.

With respect to the first part of your question, I work for the American people, I serve at the pleasure of the president of the United States. I will say that in doing my job, it is easier to have the confidence of members of the Congress. And I will continue to do the very best that I can to maintain that confidence. And that's what I intend to do, continue to do my job on behalf of the American people, ascertain what happened here, and assess the accountability and take corrective actions.

Obviously, I am concerned about the fact that information, incomplete information was communicated or may have been communicated to the Congress. I believe very strongly in our obligation to ensure that when we provide information to the Congress, that it's accurate and that it's complete. And I'm very dismayed that that may not have occurred here.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALES: Well, again, as I accept responsibility for everything that happens here within this department -- but when you have 110,000 people working in the department, obviously there are going to be decisions made that I'm not aware of in real time. Many decisions are delegated. We have people who are confirmed by the Senate, who by statute have been delegated authority to make decisions.

Mr. Sampson was charged with directing the process to ascertain who were weak performers, where we could do better in districts around the country. That is a responsibility that he had during the transition. It is a -- he worked with respect to U.S. attorneys and presidential personnel at the White House.

That was a role that he had when he was in counsel's office. That was a role he had when he was at the Department of Justice under General Ashcroft. And so naturally, when questions came up with respect to the evaluation of performance of U.S. attorneys, it would be -- it would be Kyle Sampson who would drive that effort.

Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALES: Again, I accept responsibility for what happened here. And I regret the fact that information was not adequately shared with individuals within the Department of Justice and that consequently information was shared with the Congress that was incomplete.

And -- but the charge for the chief of staff here was to drive this process. And the mistake that occurred here was that information that he had was not shared with individuals within the department who was then going to be providing testimony and information to the Congress.

Yes? QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALES: I just described for Pete the extent of my -- the knowledge that I had about the process. I never saw the -- I never saw documents. We never had a discussion about where things stood. What I knew was that -- was that there was an ongoing effort that was led by Mr. Sampson, vetted throughout the Department of Justice to ascertain where we can make improvements in U.S. attorney performances around the country.

Yes?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALES: Well, let me just say that one of the things that we discovered is that we do not have, in my judgment, an adequate system of communication with our U.S. attorneys around the country. When these U.S. attorneys were advised that changes were going to be made, quite frankly, they should have been told why those changes were being made. And I regret that that didn't happen. That should have happened in this particular case.

Yes?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALES: We stand -- I stand by the decision. Again, all political appointees can be removed by the president of the United States for any reason. I stand by the decision and I think it was the right decision.

Thank you very much.

LEMON: OK. You have been listening to a press conference, Alberto Gonzales. The attorney general on the controversial firing of several federal prosecutors.

And joining me now with some insight is a former U.S. attorney right here in Atlanta. Kent Alexander is now general counsel for Emory University.

We're sitting here listening to this and it sounds like, you know, he comes out really strong -- I take responsibility for all the mistakes that were -- mistakes were made and I take responsibility for them, but I didn't know about them. It sounds like he's taking responsibility and then not so.

KENT ALEXANDER, FMR. U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, that was my take, as well. It's very unusual to fire eight U.S. attorneys at one time.

I started in the Reagan administration as assistant U.S. attorney, was in the Bush I administration, left, came back as U.S. attorney in the Clinton administration. That covers about a 20-year span. And I've just never heard of this happening.

As far as his comments, the attorney general's, I think it was good he took responsibility. He's absolutely correct, U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, but something didn't seem to stack up here.

LEMON: Yes. Now, he is saying that the chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, had -- was sort of given the charge to look at the weak performers and point them out, and then I guess a possibility was to get rid of them. Let's take a listen to what he had to say -- what he said about it, and then we'll talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GONZALES: There began a process of evaluating strong performers, not as strong performers, and weak performers. And so, as far as I knew, my chief of staff was involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers, where were the districts around the country where we could do better for the people in that district?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Now, it seems -- it seems that, again, you said it's unusual that eight people -- is it unusual to identify who's weak and who's strong and then all of a sudden come up with eight people around the U.S. in those roles who were not performing at last to their -- by their standards?

ALEXANDER: Well, it's unusual to publicly disclose that. I think in any administration you have got weak and strong performers, and people are asked to leave at different times, but it's usually not done in such a -- such a public way.

LEMON: Yes.

ALEXANDER: So, this was highly unusual. I just have never seen anything like it during my affiliation with the Justice Department.

LEMON: Yes.

What do you think the fallout is going to be? He, again, is taking responsibility for this, but there are people who are saying this is really his major challenge here, one that he might not be able to get over.

Do you agree with that?

ALEXANDER: Well, that might be the case, and that's Congress' decision, obviously. I just have -- I have a hard time joining together the idea that things go on in the Justice Department the attorney general doesn't know about.

LEMON: Right.

ALEXANDER: That happens, for sure. But when it comes to U.S. attorneys, these are presidentially appointed prosecutors in every district in the country, and I think in most administrations the attorney general would know what happens. I take him at his word that he didn't know, but I think therein lies the problem if that's the case.

LEMON: Now I'm quoting here from a published report in one of the newspapers this morning. It said in early 2005, Harriet Miers, then the White House legal counsel, asked a Justice Department official whether it would be feasible to replace all United States attorneys when their four-year terms expired, according to the Justice Department. The proposal came as the administration was considering which political appointees to replace in the second term.

That was -- and Dana Perino this morning, the White House spokesperson, said, yes, that was so.

ALEXANDER: Well, let's put it this way, if you change from Republican to Democrat, Democrat to Republican, that's common practice. In the same administration it's not common at all.

LEMON: But all of them?

ALEXANDER: All of them -- all of them actually do change from administration to administration. I came in after the Bush administration. All are virtually all changed over. But in the same administration, you just really don't see that very often.

LEMON: Right, when it's happening in the same administration.

ALEXANDER: The idea is basically this: when you're appointed as U.S. attorney, it is a political appointment. You know, it is a -- the president appoints you, but once you step through those doors in the U.S. Attorney's Office, partisan politics should be left at the door and then you're representing justice, you're not representing a political party.

LEMON: Now there are people who are saying the only reason that did not happen is because it would tax the Justice Department too much, otherwise, it may have been done. They may have gotten rid of as many people as they wanted to.

ALEXANDER: Well, that would have been unfortunate. There are a lot of great U.S. attorneys who are sitting right now. And to see all of them go would have been a problem and, yes, it would be very taxing to the Justice Department.

LEMON: All right. Kent Alexander, former U.S. attorney here in the northern district in Atlanta, and also the chief legal counsel for Emory University. Thank you so much for joining us today in the...

ALEXANDER: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: ... CNN NEWSROOM.

CHETRY: Well, someone else who was also listening to the comments by Attorney General Al Gonzales, our own Ed Henry, White House correspondent, who was traveling with the president in Merida, Mexico.

And, Ed, any comments from the White House on those statements from Al Gonzales?

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, in fact, Kiran, they're letting the attorney general speak for himself here, as you know, and have been noting. White House spokesman Dana Perino as well as spokesman Tony Snow have been out there this morning trying to get the White House side of the story out.

What is quite interesting from this perspective in Mexico is that this is the last leg, the fifth nation in the president's seven-day tour of Latin America. Certainly they wanted the focus to be on issues like immigration reform, one of the biggest issues facing the United States right now.

The president reiterating during this trip that he wants Congress to act on it by August and he wants to get comprehensive immigration reform. Well, in fact, now that message being stepped on by this U.S. attorney story, first of all. He has had other things like Hugo Chavez also stepping on the White House message here in Latin America.

But this story really exploding out there. I think what you -- a couple of things you could take from it. One, it was interesting to see how much Attorney General Gonzales was on the offensive. And in part that is because of that power shift. This is one of those effects we saw from the last election.

Previously when these kind of stories came up, when Republicans were running Capitol Hill, there would not be so many calls for hearings, potential subpoenas to get to the bottom of this. But now this White House, the Bush administration, is dealing with a much different political reality.

They are very much on the defensive and when these types of political fire storms pop up, they now have to answer for it because you have Democrats like Chuck Schumer, who had been on CNN today saying they are going to have hearings, they are going to have investigations and potentially subpoenas to try to bring in for testimony top White House aides like Karl Rove in addition it the attorney general of the United States. So this is yet another headache that this White House, which is on the defensive already, did not need -- Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Ed Henry, traveling with the president in Mexico, thanks.

LEMON: All right. Also developing, Kiran, it is two weeks to the day that the Dow began to slide, a really huge slide. And the blue chips are sliding, once again. Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange with all of the details.

Susan, any concern? Hopefully this isn't as bad as the last one.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, you know, it's something we talked about, but not that much two weeks ago. But folks were concerned about it even two weeks ago. That is the subprime, all of these loans to people with bad credit. We've seen what it has done to individual companies like New Century, which is going to be de-listed here at the New York Stock Exchange, as well as Accredited Home Lenders. That stock is down 63 percent.

But the deterioration really accelerated just in the past hour. And that is something we talked about in the past hour. That folks entering foreclosure, hitting a record high. The number of homeowners unable to meet their mortgage payments, entering the foreclosure process, hitting a record high in the fourth quarter.

And you see what is happening, the Dow industrials were actually down 200 points in the last 10 minutes, the three major averages down at least 1.5 percent. We'll have more details, but we're following it, we are keeping our eye on your money and your investments.

Back to you, Don.

LEMON: Yes. We're going to keep an eye on that Big Board, too, Susan Lisovicz. And we'll check back with you. Thank you so much for that.

CHETRY: A nightly game of chance played along the Mexican border.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why do you feel that you have no hope here that you have to go north? (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)

(voice-over): He says for the necessity to have something in life, to have something to offer his family, a better life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: And why are so many willing to gamble so much? More on that ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: President Bush came into office seeking stronger ties with Mexico, then in the wake of 9/11, war installed immigration reform. All of that may have changed. Now Mr. Bush is hoping for a fresh start, ending his Latin America trip in Mexico with two days of meeting with President Felipe Calderon. The major issue, immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States respects rule of law. But in the debate on migration, I remind my fellow citizens that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River. That there are decent, hard-working, honorable citizens of Mexico who want to make a living for their families.

And, so, Mr. President, my pledge to you and your government, but more importantly, the people of Mexico, is I'll work as hard as I possibly can to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHETRY: Calderon has criticized current U.S. immigration policies, especially the plans to build 700 miles of fence on the border.

Well, putting it on the line to cross the line. For illegal immigrant trying to make their way north from Mexico, the risks are great and for most, the rewards are few. So, why would anyone even consider it?

Well, CNN's Ed Lavandera asked.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: This is the town square in Palomas, Mexico. It's a depressing, dirty, far-flung outpost along the New Mexico/Mexico border, an ideal place to come find the people and meet the people that are making that migration northward. In fact many of them will be catching those buses here as the sun begins to set to make that journey.

The man you see sitting there at the gazebo in the white T-shirt, he is 24-year-old Manuel Adrian (ph).

Why do you feel you have no hope here, that you have to go north? (SPEAKING SPANISH)

(voice-over): He says for the necessity to have something in life, to have something to offer his family, a better life.

In Mexico, Manuel says he can make no more than $13 a day. He's trying to reach a construction job in Sante Fe, New Mexico, that will pay him $13 an hour.

(on camera): Manuel has been here more than a week waiting for some money to be able to cross over to the other side. And he has no place to stay, nothing to eat, and he has living under this Christmas tree here.

What it's like sleeping under there at night? (SPEAKING SPANISH)

"Cold, loud and scared."

(voice-over): It's time to move. Migrants board the bus for Los Chepos (ph), a small village where they'll begin their walk into the U.S.

(on camera): There are about 10 people on this bus right now, many of them hiding behind the seats because they don't want you to see their faces. But the people organize these bus rides every day tell us that this bus should actually be full of people, that this is migrant season. But the migrants tell us that stepped up enforcement on the U.S. side has made it much more difficult to cross and fewer of them are trying.

(voice-over): Sixty-four-year-old Memesio Salles (ph) will cross the border tonight. (on camera): Are you too old for this trip? (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

LAVANDERA: Why are you smiling? (SPEAKING SPANISH)

(voice-over): He says: "I laugh, because if I cry it only makes the situation worse. Besides, my soul smiles."

He's looking for any job so he can build a home for his family. A backpack is all he brings.

(on camera): He brings some clothes, some food, tortillas, a piece of ham. (SPEAKING SPANISH) How long does this need to last?

He says he needs it to last about three days, but we will see.

So this is Los Chepos, the colonia (ph) of no more than about 30 people. And this little village would have disappeared years ago had it not been for the thousands and thousands of migrants who come through here every year. This is the last stop before heading north.

(voice-over): This scene plays out every night in Los Chepos, migrants chasing a golden dream.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Palomas, Mexico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: A homeless woman charged in the deadly fire in Chicago won't be back on the streets any time soon. Mary Smith was ordered held without bond today having allegedly set a string of fires near Wrigley Field over the weekend. One killed a young mother and three men in their apartments. Chicago Police say Smith has made self- incriminating statements. She faces four counts of first degree murder and two of aggravated arson.

Well, she threatened to do it and now it appears she has. Alleged Washington Madam Deborah Jean Palfrey has supposed agreed to name names, as many as 15,000 former clients. Now for an unidentified media organization, she said she'll do that.

The latest from CNN's Brianna Keilar.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The civil defense lawyer for Deborah Jean Palfrey says his client has picked a media organization to give the contact information of up to 15,000 of her former clients to. Her lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley, won't say which outlet inked the deal, but that it will become obvious when stories identifying some former Palfrey start coming out.

Sibley says at least some of the names of men who engaged in sexual acts with employees of Palfrey's company will be revealed. And he claims no money is changing hands in this agreement. Palfrey of course, is accused of running a large-scale prostitution ring in the Washington, D.C., area from '93 to 2006. She pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges of racketeering and money laundering.

Now, because of the ongoing legal proceedings, an assistant U.S. attorney working the case would not comment on what the government might be doing to prevent Palfrey from distributing the contact information of her former clients.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHETRY: All right. Well, giving another state the go ahead to require a controversial new vaccine to help prevent cancer. The governor of New Mexico says he intends to sign a bill requiring sixth grade girls to be vaccinated against human papilloma virus or HPV. It's a leading cause of cervical cancer. State health officials are working on a plan to provide that vaccine starting this fall, only, though, with parental consent. As in Texas, parents in New Mexico will be able to opt their daughters out if they object. Virginia has passed a similar law. Colorado and Massachusetts are also considering one.

LEMON: A rescue attempt turns deadly in Japan. Ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM, a stranded whale attacks a fisherman who tried to save it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. Good intentions. Sorry, though, wow, look at that, deadly results. Three Japanese fishermen tried to save a whale that was stranded in a bay by coaxing it towards the sea. The panicked whale struck back, sending two men right into the water. Then it struck again, capsizing the small boat and plunging the third man into the water. One man drowned. The other two, however, though, were rescued.

CHETRY: Well, more amazing video from Japan. Emergency inspections after a dramatic emergency landing. A passenger plane circling Western Japan for hours yesterday after its front-loading landing gear failed to drop down. Sparks flew as the Nippon Airways jet landed on its rear wheels. Its nose touching the runway. There you see it, not bad, though.

Sixty people were on-board. No one was hurt. The drama played out live on national TV. This is the latest string of mishaps, though, involving the Canadian Bombardier. Inspections are on tap for all Bombardiers in Japan.

LEMON: Well, straight ahead, entertainment news with Sibila Vargas.

Sibila, it is always good to see you. What is coming up?

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Oh, you're going to like this, Don. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gets jiggy with it. Brangelina's clan keeps growing and growing. And guess who is filling in for Regis all ahead in the NEWSROOM.

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LEMON: Hip-hop, I remember when hip-hop first started. Born in the Bronx, honored in Manhattan. Some big names and big sounds are the newest members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas joins us with that and much, much more.

Do you remember when hip-hop started?

VARGAS: No, not really.

LEMON: You're too young for that.

VARGAS: Yes, maybe. Well, it was a music celebration of rock, pop, alternative and for the first time, rap icons were honored at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

This year's honorees were the alternative rock quartet R.E.M. right there with frontman Michael Stipe accepting the award; hip-hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five; '60s doo-wop girl group, The Ronettes; punk singer and poet Patti Smith; and rockers Van Halen.

The current crop came with some controversy. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen is currently in rehab. The Ronettes' producer, Phil Spector is facing trial for allegedly killing actress Lana Clarkson. And Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are the first hip-hop inductees, raising questions in the music industry whether rap belongs in the rock institution. Nonetheless, it was an honor for all. And I say, you know what, it's OK for rap, right. Let's embrace music, all kinds of it.

LEMON: Yes. You're exactly right. We're all about open and diversity and all that stuff. You know what, the last time I heard about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, they were moving to New Orleans. They bought a place. Now I hear their family is growing or expanding. What is that all about?

VARGAS: Yes, it is. Angelina could be adding to her growing family very soon. The actress is in the process of adopting a 3.5- year-old boy from Vietnam. Officials in the City of Ho Chi Minh are quickly working on her application. And the Oscar-winner could be taking home her new son in a few weeks. Along with her partner, Brad Pitt, they have three other children, 5-year-old Maddox, adopted from Cambodia; 2-year-old Zahara, adopted from Ethiopia; and another daughter, Shiloh, who was born to the couple in May. So, their family definitely, Don, growing and growing and growing.

LEMON: Yes. And of course, we are also concerned and our good wishes go out to Regis Philbin. He announced on Monday that he will be having triple bypass surgery, Sibila. He is going to do it this week. And we're helping out to fill the void there, just, you know, for the hopefully short time while he is gone, because we do wish him well.

VARGAS: Hopefully, absolutely.

LEMON: We're helping out.

VARGAS: We do. The 76-year-old, who has been experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath is having the procedure. And in the meantime our very own main man Anderson Cooper will be filling in. Anderson is just one of a series of hosts who will be on the show for the next five or six weeks. Now today he is filling double duty and is the first to fill in. Other guest hosts will include Howie Mandel, Pat Sajak, Jeff Probst, and Donald Trump. That should be interesting.

Well, tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," stars in rehab. Do some of them check into rehab for the publicity and why are we so addicted to stories of star addictions? The story on TV's most provocative entertainment news show, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." That's 11:00 p.m. and Pacific on HEADLINE PRIME.

Did you get a chance to see Anderson, by the way?

LEMON: I didn't. I was preparing for the show. But we'll check it out. I'm sure he did a fantastic job, as he always does. And that whole rehab thing, I was thinking the same thing, every time you open a page, it's like they are walking down a runway, coming out of rehab. So we'll see, we'll be watching. Thank you, Sibila.

VARGAS: All right. Thank you.

CHETRY: In Mexico, a train ride to the American dream but locals actually call these tracks "the passage of the dead." The journey through the eyes of those willing to risk it all. "AMERICAN MORNING's" Soledad O'Brien will bring us their story coming up in the NEWSROOM.

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CHETRY: Well, it is almost out. Firefighters dousing the last few hot spots in that wildfire in the Anaheim Hills just south of Los Angeles. The fire started Sunday, forcing hundreds from their homes and burning more than 2,000 acres. One home slightly damaged. Investigators are saying it's arson. And they're looking for whoever set fire to a stolen car. That's what sparked that blaze.

(WEATHER REPORT)

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