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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

New Amnesty Push; High Cost of Illegal Immigration; Pirate Standoff; Auto Bailout or Bust

Aired April 9, 2009 - 19:00   ET

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


LOU DOBBS, HOST: Good evening everyone. Here we go again. The Obama administration making amnesty for illegal aliens and open borders one of its top priorities, the Obama administration has decided to bring in more foreign workers, even as many U.S. citizens are struggling to find jobs. Also illegal aliens already in this country costing citizens billions of dollars in higher costs for health care, education, and the result of depressed wages. We'll have that special report.

And more good news on the economy tonight, we'll be telling you about the positive economic indicators that the rest of the media ignores. And we'll have the very latest on that standoff between pirates who are holding a U.S. ship's captain hostage off the coast of Somalia.

We begin tonight with President Obama's new push to compel amnesty for 12 to 20 million illegal aliens. The White House apparently deciding to allow those illegal aliens to remain in this country -- rather legally -- the president is blatantly pandering to ethnocentric special interest groups as well as corporate elites who supported his candidacy and who have sought to illegally employ illegal aliens. Candy Crowley has our report from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For several years, it brought outrage to the streets...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (INAUDIBLE)

CROWLEY: ... ignited town hall meetings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When is the Republican Party going to come out and say we've got to do what's right for the country?

CROWLEY: It's played a role in elections, both won and lost. And it's never been resolved. Now the White House has let it be known a comprehensive immigration bill remains a priority.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's an issue out there, a big issue out there that the previous administration and Congress worked to try to address. And it's something the president is committed to addressing as you said, throughout the campaign trip.

CROWLEY: As a candidate, the president promised immigration issues would be a priority in year one. He won 67 percent of the Latino vote. Fierce critics of his plan say that's exactly what this is about.

DAN STEIN, FED. FOR AMER. IMMIG. REFORM: There's no way the American people are going to understand a move, a big move for an immigration amnesty now as anything other than a naked party power grab of putting party interest above public interest.

CROWLEY: The president said throughout the campaign that among other things he wants better border security and reform of the information bureaucracy. But what stokes the opposition and has made this issue so divisive is illegal immigrants. The president proposes what supporters call a pathway to citizenship and critics call amnesty.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People who have been here for a long time, and put down roots here have to have some mechanism over time to get out of the shadows, because if they stay in the shadows, in the underground economy, then they are oftentimes pitted against American workers.

CROWLEY: Though both sides of the debate fired up press releases and offered up interviews, there is time yet.

GIBBS: Obviously, there are a lot of things on his plate and a lot of pressing issues relating to the economy. I don't think he expects that it will be done this year.

CROWLEY: Immigration, it appears, is a lesser priority.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: Politically, it would probably be more advantageous for the White House to push for an immigration bill this first year. It's traditionally a pretty popular time for presidents, and certainly so far for this one. But this year or next, it's an uphill climb for immigration reform, which ignites pretty passionate debate from the streets to the airwaves. Lou?

DOBBS: Absolutely. And the ideas that the president, this administration, the Democratic leadership would wait until next year on election year, it appears that the strategy would be to pursue this year, doesn't it?

CROWLEY: Well you know, what they're doing is saying, we're going to start in May. And we're going to set up groups of people and panels who are going to discuss this and come up with some recommendations. We heard from Capitol Hill today that they would have some hearings. So the process starts, but it does not sound the way I understand what the White House is now saying.

It doesn't sound as though they will have a bill and push it through Congress -- try to push it through Congress until next year. So it's talking about, talking about it.

DOBBS: All right, Candy, thank you very much. Candy Crowley. We'll continue talking about it. President Obama has been highly critical of me and others who support the rule of law in this country, even though we are a nation of laws. The president prefers to talk about being a nation of immigrants. The president as a candidate, accused me once of shouting on the issue. Let's hear what he said during the presidential campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We're not going to be able to solve the problem if we're just shouting about it, you know, like Lou Dobbs and folks on television. Let's actually try to solve the problem. And if we do, then we can be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants as well. When I hear Rush Limbaugh or you know, Lou Dobbs or some of these people talking about how we need to send them all back...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: By the way, for the record, let me be absolutely clear, I've never called for illegal aliens to be sent back, as the president said as a candidate. I have called consistently for the federal government to secure our borders, our ports, to control immigration and to enforce our immigration laws. And further, I put forward a syllogism that I've asked every proponent, supporter and advocate of amnesty to defeat.

And that is straightforwardly -- we in my judgment, cannot meaningfully reform our immigration laws or policies if we can't control immigration. And we cannot control immigration unless we control our borders and our ports. If the president wants to defeat that logic, I would be glad to embrace his idea of amnesty.

An overwhelming majority of Americans refusing to be intimidated by the pro-amnesty open borders movement, by the way, it is a broadening and highly organized movement. Ethnocentric special interest groups combining with business groups, they're all well organized and funded. A recent Rasmussen poll now shows two-thirds of Americans believe gaining control of our borders is more important than legalizing illegal aliens.

A Zogby poll shows almost 60 percent of Americans say amnesty for illegal aliens would harm this country. The Obama administration's push for amnesty for illegal alien couldn't come at a worse time for many American who struggle to survive this recession. The unemployment rate has soared now to the highest level in a quarter- century. But despite that, the Obama administration seems determined to flood the U.S. job market with even more cheap labor. Lisa Sylvester has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirteen million Americans are looking for work. Another 5.5 million are only able to find part-time, not full-time work. The state of the economy may make it difficult for the White House to sell its plan says immigration lawyer, Kris Kobach, who opposes comprehensive immigration reform. KRIS KOBACH, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: If they try to grant them amnesty now, when so many Americans are struggling to get a job and put food on the table, it's going to be mayhem.

SYLVESTER: But those pushing for citizenship for illegal aliens believe the time is right. A friend in the White House, Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress and it's before the campaign season for the mid-term elections. Alfredo Gutierrez runs a pro- illegal immigrant Web site. He says it's time to bring illegal aliens out of the shadows.

ALFREDO GUTIERREZ, LA FRONTERA TIMES: Clearly arriving at a crisis point and has to be resolved and so all of us need to take this issue in a very rational, reasonable and thoughtful fashion.

SYLVESTER: Open borders advocacy groups argue that only illegal aliens who were already here working would be put on a path to citizenship. And they would not be taking away jobs from Americans. But others like Texas Congressman Ted Poe note that Obama's plan could lead to chain migration.

REP. TED POE (R), TEXAS: If we allow someone to stay here that is illegal and allows them to have some form of amnesty, then they get to bring the whole family over.

SYLVESTER: Poe says U.S. jobs and resources are already scarce.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: Representative Poe notes that the United States is already a very welcoming country with nearly two million visas granted last year for temporary workers and their families. And another one million green cards handed out. Still, Democrats plan to proceed with comprehensive immigration reform and hearings are being scheduled for later this month. Lou?

DOBBS: Lisa, it is remarkable. The distortion of -- by the amnesty advocates failing to note that every year this country brings in more than three million people to work and to under the visa programs -- more than three million. We naturalize over a million people as U.S. citizens, as you point out, a million receive green cards. And yet, the debate takes on the tone as though the United States is not welcoming, is not the most racially diverse country on the planet. I mean it's really remarkable the level of propaganda supported even by this White House.

SYLVESTER: Yeah, as you note in those numbers, I mean the United States is the most welcoming country in the world. And at a time when so many people are struggling to save their homes, to keep their jobs, this is going to put an enormous amount of pressure on the job market. And that's something that you know, lawmakers need to consider as they go through this debate, Lou.

DOBBS: Lisa, thank you very much -- Lisa Sylvester reporting from Washington. The United States, as Lisa and I just referenced, is the most racially-diverse nation on this planet. The latest birth statistics demonstrate the fact. In fact more than 50 percent of all births in 2007, the last year for which we have reliable data, were white; 25 percent were Latino or Hispanic; 15 percent, African-American; six percent, Asian and Pacific Islander.

Now take a look at what we are doing with immigration. The Latino population in this country is growing much more rapidly than any other racial group in large part because of the number of Hispanics that we are naturalizing as U.S. citizens. Now think about this when you hear the propaganda about well the reason we want to stop illegal immigration is because we're a nation of races who don't want to bring in any more Latinos.

The issue is illegal immigration. We bring in almost half, half of our naturalized citizens as Hispanics and Latinos. Last year the Department of Homeland Security said 12 percent of those citizens were white; 46 percent Latino; 32 percent Asian; only five percent African.

By some estimates, as many as three million illegal aliens have been entering the country, a million each year, proving the United States has the most open borders of any nation on the planet at a time when we are apparently in a global war on terror. But that has not led to secure borders. And the total number of illegal aliens in this country is now estimated at being between 12 and 20 million

Estimates for illegal aliens in the European Union, for example, which has a larger population than the United States, much smaller, officials in Europe say there, there are between three and eight million illegal immigrants in the 27 nations of the European Union. That total is increasing by about a half a million each and every year. Many of the illegal aliens entering the European Union, by the way, on boats that are sailing from North Africa, illegal immigration is costing taxpayers in the United States billions of dollars. Those costs have risen sharply over recent years. Casey Wian has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These day laborers outside a Los Angeles Home Depot say it's becoming tougher to find work. They wouldn't speak on camera, but one told us he was hired here on an almost daily basis a year ago. Now, it's about once a week. Nationally, the recession has increased the number of day laborers looking for work.

While the number finding jobs is down, according to the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, it acknowledges most day laborers are illegal aliens. The unemployment rate among less-educated recent immigrants, those most likely to be illegal aliens has jumped from five percent to 15 percent in just 18 months, says the Center for Immigration Studies. The group, which advocates lower levels of immigration, says that means welfare costs for illegal aliens also are rising. STEVE CAMAROTA, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: In theory, someone who is a non-citizen, who hasn't been here very long, shouldn't be able to use any welfare program. But it turns out that that's not exactly the way it works out, partly because they have U.S.-born children who can qualify, partly because states have different requirements, partly because the mechanisms to enforce the bar on certain programs doesn't really exist.

WIAN: Food stamp and welfare costs for children of illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County alone have risen 24 percent since late 2007, to $42 million in February. Add health care and law enforcement expenses and illegal immigrants cost the county more than $1 billion a year.

MIKE ANTONOVICH, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERVISOR: The checkbook is already in debt. There are no funds in the bank and yet we're having to make cuts in other areas to support the hundreds of thousands or millions of illegals that are within California and the United States.

WIAN: Health care is a major concern. Some counties nationally are cutting benefits to illegal immigrants, pushing more to overcrowded, more costly emergency rooms.

(on camera): Based on studies by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Heritage Foundation, households headed by less-educated illegal aliens use $40 billion more in public services each year than they pay in taxes.

Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOBBS: And further evidence tonight that corporate elites are utterly wrong when they say they need more H-1B temporary visas to bring in foreign workers. In fact, federal immigration officials say the government has received only 42,000 applications for H-1B visas for next year, well short of the 65,000 allowed by Congress.

And as a result, the government extended the time to apply for those visas. At the same time the government saying it's received only 20,000 visa applications from foreigners with advanced degrees, that is the same number as the quota. Companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems have all been outspoken in demanding a big increase in the number of temporary visas, even as many of those firms are laying off American workers.

Those companies supported by their numerous friends in Congress on both sides of the aisle, among them Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat who proposed the Innovation Employment Act. And Congressman Lamar Smith, a Republican, who introduced the so-called Strengthen U.S. Technology and Innovation Now Act. It turns out, by the way, that most of the applications for those H-1B visas come from companies seeking to outsource in the United States.

Up next here, much more on the coming showdown over the Obama administration's push for amnesty, we'll tell you how that political battle will likely shape up, at least initially.

And we'll be telling you about the good news on our economy. The good news you won't hear about anywhere else. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Breaking news now on that pirate ship standoff the coast of Africa. One U.S. warship is already on the scene. Two more may be on the way tonight to intercept the pirates who are holding an American freighter captain hostage -- holding him hostage in a lifeboat. The emergency maneuvers coming a day after the pirates hijacked the vessel off Somalia. The FBI among the agencies now engaged in negotiations, trying to persuade the pirates to free the captain. Chris Lawrence has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The American ships will join a guided missile destroyer, hundreds of miles off the coast of Somalia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to insure that we have all the capability that might be needed over the course of the coming days.

LAWRENCE: These unmanned drones continue flying over that area of the Indian Ocean, sending back still pictures and video. Four Somali pirates and their American hostage are onboard a lifeboat like this. But the engine is disabled, the boat dead in the water. FBI negotiators here in the U.S. have been communicating with the pirates through the Navy. The secretaries of Defense and State have spoken out on the attempts to rescue Captain Richard Phillips.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The safe return of the captain is the top priority.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We are watching this and intend to do all we can to make sure there is no loss of life.

LAWRENCE: President Obama himself has been receiving frequent updates. Why so much high-level attention for one man?

MAJ. GEN. TOM WILKERSON (RET.), U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE: It hasn't been so far into the past that an administration of a new president has been defined by how he responded to the taking of American hostages.

LAWRENCE: Retired Major General Tom Wilkerson is the CEO of the U.S. Naval Institute. He says President Obama's handling of this incident could set a precedent and signal U.S. enemies how he would deal with future hostage situations.

WILKERSON: If they're captured and held, how the president and the administration respond in using America's total power, not just military power, do we pay ransom? Do we go after them? However that could well define the first term of his presidency. (END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE: Yet obviously, there are potentially some larger implications to this crisis. Evidence one, by the number of high- level administration officials who seem to be taking a daily active role in what's happening. And now we're learning that the Navy again is sending two more ships to the area. One is a guided missile frigate equipped with a couple of more helicopters; the other is a smaller amphibious assault ship with a full surgical team. Lou?

DOBBS: Chris, there is also another implication here for the United States, and that is to put three ships on the line. Full warships into contest with three -- is it three pirates now aboard the lifeboat holding that captain hostage? This is not exactly the image the United States would like to have before the world either, is it?

LAWRENCE: No. Four pirates onboard a 28-foot disabled lifeboat, holding the captain hostage. But again, I think you see here, you know, the attention that this has gotten. Both of these are coming down from the northern part near the Gulf of Aden, where they had been patrolling as part of that multinational coalition going after the pirates.

That's where all the activity was. The pirates figured it out. They moved down to the eastern coast of Somalia. And now the Navy is moving its ships down. The Navy says it's not just for this one particular hostage situation. It's just that the attacks have increased in frequency in this area, so they want to reposition.

DOBBS: All right, Chris, thank you very much -- Chris Lawrence from the Pentagon.

Well so far this year, there have been 66 attacks on ships in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. The International Maritime Bureau says 13 of those attacks led to the hijacking of ships. Somali pirates are holding 14 ships in all right now. More than 250 crew members and so far, none of the International Navies patrolling the region has tried a rescue operation to win the release of those hostages. And the attacks go on without any effective response by industrialized nations.

Turning back to this country, more than a dozen wildfires are raging across Oklahoma tonight. Home owners there are evacuating several towns from north-central Oklahoma all the way down to the Texas border. Dozens of homes and buildings have been destroyed. Several highways have been shut down. At least 7,000 people are without power, firefighters trying to race ahead of those fires, trying to contain them. No injuries fortunately have been reported.

Coming up next, President Obama's plan for amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, how many millions, somewhere between 12 and 20, we think.

Also tonight, should the nation's biggest car makers be getting a bailout or should they be allowed to go bust? We'll have the latest polls and some good economic news to report, news you'll only hear here. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Well some good economic news to report tonight, weekly jobless claims dropped 654,000 claims down 20,000 from the previous week. And a larger decline than expected and a bank reporting a profit, a profit to be, Wells Fargo forecasting that it will earn a record $3 billion in the first quarter, exceeding Wall Street expectations.

And the U.S. trade deficit dropping sharply to $26 billion because of a decline in imports and for the fourth week in a row the mood of American consumers rising just a bit, rising to the highest level in more than a year -- that according to the latest Gallup survey. And consumer spending rising for a second week in a row; all of that helping push the stock market higher; the Dow Jones Industrials up almost 250 points; the Dow now at 8083.

And one sector of our economy that isn't doing well at all is the auto industry. Despite receiving government loans of more than $17 billion and the possibility of more billions to come, General Motors and Chrysler remain on the verge of bankruptcy. More Americans tonight, however, are saying let them go bankrupt, as Bill Schneider reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): In 1953, former General Motors President Charles Wilson told a Senate committee "for years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country."

Does the public believe that today? No. According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, more than three-quarters of Americans say don't give GM and Chrysler more government money. Let them go bankrupt. Same thing they say about banks and financial institutions. No more bailouts. GM is reported to be preparing for a possible bankruptcy.

FRITZ HENDERSON, CEO, GM: If we're not able to accomplish this outside of bankruptcy, we would be in bankruptcy.

SCHNEIDER: Do Americans think that would be a crisis or cause major economic problems? In December, they did. Now -- not so much.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The number of us that said that bankruptcy or a bankruptcy-like process was something that was needed to get GM and Chrysler you know on their feet again.

SCHNEIDER: But would Americans buy a car from a company in bankruptcy? Only 37 percent say they would. Enter Mr. Goodwrench -- make that President Goodwrench.

OBAMA: Because starting today the United States government will stand behind your warranty. SCHNEIDER: Will that make a difference? You bet, 57 percent say they would buy a new car from a bankrupt company if the federal government stood behind the warranty. Does the public think President Obama has gone too far in getting the federal government involved in the way businesses are run? Only 35 percent think he has. Most Americans think the president's actions have been about right or have not gone far enough.

(on camera): Republicans complain about big government. But right now, public anger is focused more on big business. The public really doesn't trust either one. That's why they don't like the idea of bailouts.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOBBS: As Bill just reported, Americans are not only against bailing out the auto industry, they don't want to bailout the banks, either. The government has committed literally trillions of dollars to banks and financial institutions. But the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows most Americans, 62 percent, are opposed to spending even another penny on struggling banks and financial institutions.

Up next here, the number of single mothers in this country is soaring, particularly among white and Latinos. We'll tell you why. And the Obama administration begins an aggressive campaign to sell outright amnesty, open borders to skeptical Americans. I'll be joined by two of the country's leading authorities on illegal immigration here next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT; news, debate and opinion. Here again, America's most powerful independent voice, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Joining me now to discuss the president's amnesty call in Washington, D.C., Robert Rector, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Good to have with you with us, Robert. And Ali Noorani, who is executive director of the national immigration forum.

Thank you for both for being with us.

ALI NOORANI, EXEC. DIRECTOR, NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM: Thank you.

ROBERT RECTOR, SR. RESEARCH FELLOW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Thank you.

DOBBS: As Lisa Sylvester just reported, 13 million Americans right now are looking for work; somewhere over 21 million people trying to find work or to improve from part-time to full-time work. How can we -- how can we be supporting the levels, first of all, of legal immigration that we are? And secondly, permitting the level of illegal immigration into the country that we are? Ali, your thoughts?

NOORANI: I think what the president is saying, and what he's frankly said from day one of his campaign, is that he wants to grapple the problems that the country cares about, that America cares about. So the first thing he's been grappling with is the economy; now healthcare. And he's realizing as the majority of America is realizing that to fix the immigration system, we need to fix the economy, or I should say, vice-versa. To fix the economy, we need to fix the immigration system.

DOBBS: Whoa, whoa.

NOORANI: Yes, please.

DOBBS: Work that by for me, will you?

NOORANI: Absolutely.

DOBBS: We've got 21 million people desperate for a job.

NOORANI: Right.

DOBBS: What's it got to do with 12 million people who are here illegally?

NOORANI: That is an incredibly good question.

DOBBS: Well, thank you.

NOORANI: You are Lou Dobbs, after all, right?

As long as we have an unlevel playing field, as long as we have a playing field that allows a bad business owner, an unscrupulous employer to exploit an undocumented immigrant worker. You know who next loses there? The white worker, and then the African-American worker.

And at the end of the day, as long as we don't have an immigration solution and we have an immigrant problem where people are exploited, American workers lose, good American business owners lose, and all of us lose as a result.

To fix the immigration system gets us so much further down the path of fixing the economy.

DOBBS: Robert Rector, your thoughts?

RECTOR: Absolute nonsense. The simplest thing to think about is that if we have eight million illegal immigrant workers in the U.S. and with normal turnover, they will probably be hired into say three million new jobs over the next 12 months. If you actually enforce the law that says, you can't hire illegal immigrants, all of those job openings would be available to American workers, who are currently unemployed. It's -- I mean, the law has said for 20 years, you cannot hire illegal immigrants. We have a de facto amnesty situation now, because that law isn't enforced.

If you did enforce it, it would open up many new job openings for American workers who are currently unemployed and need those jobs.

NOORANI: Well, if I may...

DOBBS: Yes.

NOORANI: What we saw under the Bush administration is that billions and billions of our tax dollars were poured into enforcing this broken enforcement system. The fact is that that strategy failed abysmally. So if we want to talk about a solution that serves America and America's workers and America's business owners, then we have to legalize that population. Make sure they have the wage an hour protections that they can then go to the local convenience store, buy some sugar and some milk. Go to the local diner, buy a breakfast.

When we reach that point, when communities actually have a level labor market, then we can -- then we have solution. And then we have an economy that's completely turned around.

RECTOR: Legalizing these workers and granting them amnesty is a massive bailout for illegal immigration. It would, it would, it's a pillaging expedition on the American taxpayer.

To grant amnesty, even to 12 million illegals would generate over time, $2.5 trillion in social security and Medicare costs. Once you grant them legal status, they have the right to bring their grandparents into this country and put their parents on to welfare. That's another half-trillion there, minimum.

The cost is absolutely astronomical. Every time -- remember that about 60 percent of illegal immigrants are high school dropouts -- every time you bring someone like that into the United States and they form a family, the net cost to the U.S. taxpayer benefits paid minus taxes paid in, is around $1 million negative loss.

NOORANI: That's an incredibly liberal, if you will, interpretation of the immigration system. The fact is the Congressional Budget Office -- not exactly a radical think tank -- looked at the legalization program and said we would actually get $66 billion in additional tax revenue. That's $66 billion. To continue to enforce this immigration system over a number of years is over $150 billion.

I'm no mathematician, but I would rather see a dollar into the till than billions of dollars going out of the till.

RECTOR: Absolute nonsense.

DOBBS: Let me ask you this.

(CROSS TALK)

RECTOR: Absolute nonsense. The -- it's a Washington budget trick. Look, what you do in Washington to hide your costs is you say that all the welfare costs will occur ten years after the bill passes. CBO only analyzes the first ten years. All the costs are back-loaded.

It's a way of deceiving the American public. How can it possibly not cost money to put illegal immigrants on to welfare?

DOBBS: May I ask a question?

NOORANI: Why, not? Go ahead.

DOBBS: Thank you. The issue here is amnesty for illegal aliens. We did amnesty in 1986. We were assured precisely in tones similar to yours, Ali, that there would be no longer a problem once amnesty was granted. It was -- the problem was exacerbated.

And we, it seems a straightforward syllogism I've been talking about for some time, Ali. I would like both you and Robert Rector to tell me what your response is.

I have said unequivocally, and you may defeat this with logic. And if you do, as I said, I will embrace the president's amnesty program. But I have said you cannot, under any circumstances, meaningfully reform or improve U.S. immigration policy and law, if you can't control immigration. Do we agree so far?

NOORANI: We agree so far.

RECTOR: Yes.

DOBBS: And one cannot control immigration unless we have control of our borders and our ports. That completes the syllogism. What am I missing?

NOORANI: What happened in 1986, in fact, the sponsors of that original bill in 1986 have admitted to me that was not a good piece of legislation. Because what happened is they granted amnesty. But they forgot to think about the day after. And they forgot to think about what is the future of immigration going to look like.

DOBBS: May I interrupt? They didn't forget. They promised in point of fact to secure the border. They lied through their teeth.

NOORANI: What happened, Lou, is that because they did not create the opportunities and the system that could change with our labor market -- that could change with our labor market -- that there was, we did not have an immigration system that people go through. People had to go around an immigration system.

DOBBS: Stop, please. I want to put up these numbers. Let me just, again, let me put up the number of naturalizations last year alone. Forget, forget the h1-b visas, the 13 other categories, the guest worker programs in had country, which brings in over three million people.

But gentlemen, look at this, if you would. We have -- bringing in, this is a percentage of race, of naturalizations: Latino, Asian, white and African. We are bringing in right now, there's not a race issue here. There is not an issue of not being welcoming. We are bringing in literally 1,048,000 people naturalized last year, along those racial lines, and we're being accused by ethnocentric interest organizations of being a racist country, a xenophobic country when we're bringing in more people than the rest of the world combined into this nation.

NOORANI: We're the best country in the world, that's the reason why people want to come. And the fact is that we may have naturalized so many people in the last year. But they actually immigrated - they arrived in the country five or ten years back.

And five or ten years back, remember that, the 1990s, when the economy was booming, when we were enjoying just incredible prosperity?

DOBBS: Are you negating what you're witnessing? That is, a nation that has brought in, in a recession, and continues to bring in, over three million people?

NOORANI: You're confusing, there's an issue of naturalization which means that that is when an immigrant is naturalized to become a citizen.

DOBBS: Well, thank you. Ali, you're helping me so much here. And I know that the audience is appreciative, too.

What is your point?

NOORANI: My point is that the people that were naturalized last year actually entered the country five or ten years ago.

DOBBS: I don't think that you're going to be persuaded.

Robert rector, your thoughts here?

RECTOR: The fact of the matter is that we have record high levels of legal immigration. And the fact of the matter is that when we granted the last amnesty, we never enforced the law.

In exchange for that amnesty, we promised the American citizenry that it would be illegal to hire illegal immigrants. That law for 20 years has never been enforced. There's a simple way to enforce it through a program called E-Verify. But E-Verify is not required to be used. It's very cheap; it costs about $5 per employee. And overnight, if you employed that program on employers, you could reduce the amount of illegal immigrant employment in the U.S. roughly in half.

We need to keep the deal that we made 20 years ago. It's never been enforced. That's why we have all of this illegal immigration because we have a de facto open border situation with Mexico. You can walk into this country, take a job, nothing is done about that. And then, now we're going to grant them amnesty, access to welfare, access to social security, it will bankrupt the country.

(CROSS TALK)

DOBBS: Robert Rector and Ali Noorani, I assume that you would support the use of E-Verify for employers all over the country, correct?

NOORANI: We would love to see a verification system that actually works.

DOBBS: Now, it's a shame. I don't know why anybody would want to come to this country. Our E-Verify system doesn't work. We're out of date with our figures. My goodness, we're xenophobic, we're racist, we're really bad here.

(CROSS TALK)

DOBBS: I'm sure it will all stop soon. Thanks, Ali Noorani, thank you very much. Robert Rector, thank you very much.

We'd like to know what you think. Here's tonight's poll. Do you believe amnesty advocates intentionally fail to note that the U.S. population would rise not by 12-20 million illegal aliens given amnesty, but rather by 20-35 million when including their families? And that is a conservative number, I assure you.

Yes or no. Cast your votes at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results here later in the broadcast.

Straight ahead, North Korea's ICBM missile test -- we'll be talking about North Korea's aggressive challenge to the Obama administration and this government's response.

And shocking new statistics about single mothers in this country. Those stories are next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Staggering new reports tonight on the soaring rate of single mothers in this country. The increase is highest among Latino and white women. This report raises many questions about young women's attitudes about sex and marriage and society's values.

Ines Ferre has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

INES FERRE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN EN ESPANOL (voice over): The number of American women giving birth out of wedlock is unprecedented; almost 40 percent of babies born in the U.S. in 2007 were delivered by unwed mothers, many of them to lower-income Americans. 71 percent of African-American babies were born to unmarried women, up from 56 percent in 1980.

Since that year, the percentage of white and Latino women who gave birth out of wedlock more than doubled; reaching 28 percent for whites and 50 percent for Hispanics in 2007.

BRAD WILCOX, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: You see less stigma around non-marital child-bearing. You see a popular culture that tends to celebrate sex outside of marriage and tends to celebrate even having kids outside of marriage. They're often reluctant to get married. But they're not necessarily reluctant to have kids.

FERRE: With 40 to 50 percent of marriages projected to end in divorce, conservative groups say a culture is emerging that's indifferent to marriage.

GLENN STANTON, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: We need to really be outraged about this. Not at the moms themselves, but at a culture that doesn't embrace marriage. That doesn't -- that really is what I call, family relativists; thinking that any kind of family form or family relationship is just as good as another.

FERRE: Demographic researchers say about half of children born outside of marriage are to parents that are co-habiting, but not married. And such relationships are three times more likely than marriage to end up in separation.

A report from the Pro-Family Institute for American Values says children in single-parent high schools are twice as likely to drop out of high school, to have a teenage pregnancy and to get in trouble with the law.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FERRE: And just two years ago, children living in households headed by single mothers were more than five times as likely to be living in poverty as children in households headed by married parents.

DOBBS: These are astounding numbers; blacks, just about the same, Latinos and whites, in a spiral here. The Hispanic family, traditionally has been, I mean, has been the cornerstone of society.

FERRE: Yes.

DOBBS: In Central America, South America, and now, we're watching and it used to be that coming in as immigrants into this country, the Hispanic, you count them for strong family values. We're seeing that just absolutely disintegrate.

FERRE: Because this trend is concentrated on second and third- generation Hispanics who are assimilating to the pattern here in the U.S.

DOBBS: Incredible. All right. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Well, coming up at the top of the hour, "NO BIAS, NO BULL." That means it's Roland Martin time - Roland.

ROLAND MARTIN, GUEST HOST, "NO BIAS, NO BULL": Hey, Lou, tonight we're getting the latest on that standoff with Somali pirates who are holding an American hostage in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa. The Pentagon is ratcheting up more pressure, sending warships to the scene while the FBI has been called in to help with negotiations. We'll have more on that in just a few minutes. Plus, we'll debate whether this is the right time for the president to take on immigration -- I'm sure you have something to say about that, Lou -- when he's already got a full plate with the economy, health care reform and two wars.

All of that at the top of the hour.

DOBBS: I think he ought to focus on U.S. citizens for a while.

Roland, thanks. Looking forward to it.

Up next -- nuclear threats from America's enemies: North Korea and now Iran, claiming it has made more advances in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. I'll be talking with a top international security analyst here next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Iranian president, Ahmadinejad today announced nuclear advances he says will bring Iran closer to achieving its nuclear weapons ambitions; Ahmadinejad making his remarks on Iran's National Nuclear Day. Among Iran's so-called achievements: testing new types of centrifuges with much greater capacity to enrich uranium and to perhaps build those nuclear weapons. The U.S. State Department responding by saying it remains highly skeptical of Iran's claims.

North Korea this week also stepping up its threats by testing an ICBM that could reach Alaska or Hawaii.

Joining me, M.I.T. Professor Jim Walsh, a top international security analyst. Professor, good to have you with us.

JIM WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good to be back with you, Lou.

DOBBS: Kim Jong-Il appearing before cameras today since - in reportedly the first since he suffered what was reportedly a stroke last August. As you take a look of these images, professor, your thoughts? Does he seem well? Do you believe he remains in power?

WALSH: Well, when it comes to North Korea, it's always speculation. If you have someone saying to you they are 100 percent sure about what's happening in North Korea then you should run away as quickly as possibly.

I think the images -- he doesn't look too bad from a guy who's had a stroke. But you know, they wouldn't be showing us these images if he did look bad. They didn't show us any -- we haven't heard, at least in the analysis of any speaking that he's done that might indicate that the stroke had affected his language abilities.

Your fundamental question is who is in charge. I think it's safe to say he is in charge. There is a theory that says the military is increasingly flexing its muscles and there is concern about who will come after Kim Jong-Il? Who will be the successor? And we do not have a good answer to that question.

DOBBS: We also had -- I don't know whether one would call it a good response to the launch of that ICBM missile defying the president and the United Nations. Then our military said it was a failure after it traveled 2,000 miles, which is farther than any North Korean missile has flown before.

The nay-saying, frankly, is concerning given that North Korea is defying Western powers and doing precisely what it wants to do and achieving more than it has in the past. Are you troubled? Are you concerned?

WALSH: I think they have made some strides in their rocket program. I think as Secretary Gates said, they are really quite some distance from having something that would be a useful military weapon that they could use against the United States.

But I hasten to add, whatever they achieved or didn't achieve on the military and the technical side this was a political victory for them. That's not good news to report.

It was a political victory in that it divided the other members of the six-party talks. Japan was very upset. China was not so upset. So any division helps them and probably increased their bargaining leverage if they decided to come back to six-party talks on their nuclear program and that's the big question at this point.

DOBBS: Asia expert Gordon Chang said on this program that he believes North Korea and Iran have been in a joint missile program for a decade. He believes also that China, he has asserted here, could have reversed the course of North Korea's missile program and its nuclear weapons advancement, had it chosen to do so.

Do you agree?

WALSH: Well, I agree that China has lots of leverage. I agree that Iran and North Korea have had ties with their rocket programs for a long number of years, as North Korea has had with other countries, with Pakistan, with Egypt and others.

I think it's probably too much to expect that China is going to put its thumb down and enforce that the North Koreans disarm.

Why do I say that?

They have competing interests. On the one hand, China doesn't want to see a nuclear problem child on its border causing problems, causing the Japanese to freak out, which then causes China problems. On the other hand, Lou, it doesn't want to put so much pressure on the North Koreans that the regime collapses because if it collapses, that's bad news for China, as well.

DOBBS: All right, Jim. Thank you very much. M.I.T. Professor Jim Walsh.

WALSH: Thank you. DOBBS: Up next, the results of our polls and some of your thoughts.

Stay with us, we're coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Our poll results tonight: 93 percent of you say amnesty advocates intentionally fail to note that the U.S. population would rise not by 12 to 20 million illegal aliens given amnesty, but rather by 20-35 million, conservatively, when including their families.

Time now for some of your thoughts.

Kate in Florida said, "Lou, wouldn't it be nice if the word 'illegal' meant anything anymore?"

And Joe in Michigan: "God bless you for standing up for us. Our government is not. We must take back our government by voting them all out."

And Stanley in South Carolina: "President Obama is making all kinds of changes. Unfortunately, most of them do not benefit the American people.

Jason in California said: "Thank you for showing more concern for California workers than our politicians do."

And Tony in New York: "Touche, Lou on the Acorn investigations and for not letting them get away with false statements."

Priscilla in California said: "Surely enforcement of our laws should be our government's top priority, not pandering to the pro- amnesty groups."

You would think.

We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts to loudobbs.com. Each of you whose e-mail is read here receives a copy of my book "Independent's Day."

And a reminder to join me on the radio, Monday through Friday for the "Lou Dobbs Show" in New York, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each afternoon on WOR 710 radio and around the country at various times. Go to loudobbsradio.com to get the local listings in your area.

We thank you for being with us tonight. We hope you'll be with us tomorrow.

For all of us here, thanks for watching. Good night from New York.

"NO BIAS, NO BULL" starts right now. In for Campbell Brown, Roland Martin.

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