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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Battle on the Border
Aired August 6, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey. Good evening. Thanks for watching.
We're focusing on a very big week in the battle no the border over illegal immigration.
First up tonight, it's not just on the border anymore. We will take you to Virginia, where the attorney general there is emulating Arizona's get-tough approach, cracking down after a deadly car crash involving three nuns and an illegal immigrant. Critics, though, say he's playing politics. You can decide for yourself.
Also tonight, the growing push to address the problem by literally rewriting the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which defines who is an American. We will talk to one congressman who has had enough.
And later: With all the talk of ending sanctuary cities in Arizona, we will show you what's happening across the border in New Mexico, what life looks like for some illegal immigrants who have been living in this country, hiding in plain sight, and trying to eke out a living for decades.
All that and more in the hour ahead -- but, first, the latest news from Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, thanks.
Topping the headlines tonight: the decorated Army lieutenant colonel who doubts the citizenship of President Obama.
Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin appearing before a military judge today to face charges of disobeying an order and dereliction of duty. He refused to ship out to Afghanistan, claiming the order was invalid, because President Obama has not proven he was born in the United States.
Well, today, he declined to enter a plea until his motion to dismiss the case is heard.
Now, just for the record, here is a computer printout of President Obama's birth certificate. Hawaii's Republican governor says it's legit. And here is the birth notice in the Honolulu paper, but neither the colonel nor a surprising number of Americans seem to believe it.
In a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, 11 percent say Mr. Obama was definitely born elsewhere. Another 16 percent say he probably was.
With that as the backdrop, here is Anderson's interview with Lieutenant Colonel Lakin and his lawyer from earlier this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You say you're -- you're refusing your orders because -- quote -- "There is significant evidence or unanswered speculation that Mr. Obama is not eligible to be president."
You said that in a -- in a note to General Casey.
Now, ignoring the idea that you actually cited speculation as a justification for your decision, but to say there's significant evidence that the president was not born in America is just false.
I mean, you're -- you're an honorable guy. You've served your country incredibly well. You're a doctor. Do you honestly believe President Obama was not born in Hawaii?
PAUL JENSEN, ATTORNEY FOR LIEUTENANT COLONEL TERRENCE LAKIN: Well, Anderson, let me answer as his lawyer. You know...
COOPER: Well, no, no, no.
COOPER: Excuse me.
COOPER: Wait. This is a doctor...
COOPER: Wait. Excuse me. This is a doctor. This is a man who served his country for 18 years. I think he can answer a question by himself.
JENSEN: I think that the lawyer should protect the client from incriminating himself.
You say it's false. You're not prosecuting this case.
COOPER: OK, Lieutenant Colonel, if you call up the state of Hawaii and you ask for a birth certificate, you're sent a certificate of live birth. That is the official document.
And the president has...
JENSEN: That is not correct.
COOPER: And the president ...
JENSEN: That is absolutely not correct.
COOPER: And the president has released -- and the -- the president has released that certificate of live birth -- there it is.
Two newspapers, in 1961, had birth announcements provided by the state of Hawaii Health Department. The Republican governor of Hawaii sent someone to personally view the birth certificate at the Department of Health, and says it's there.
JENSEN: You know, that's not...
COOPER: Again, can the colonel not talk for himself? The guy's an adult.
JENSEN: You said that that's a birth certificate, Mr. Cooper. Now, you want to tell the truth to your viewers.
COOPER: According to the state of Hawaii...
JENSEN: That's not a birth certificate.
JENSEN: That's an abstract, a computer-generated abstract.
According to the state of Hawaii, the certificate of live birth -- and I'm quoting from the State of Hawaii Health Department -- the certificate of live birth is the standard form acceptable by federal agencies.
So, are you saying, Colonel -- but you're not actually saying anything, but I would appreciate it if you actually would, and not hide behind your attorney -- are you actually saying that all soldiers who currently serve who are from Hawaii should be suspect, because that's what they provide?
LT. COL. TERRENCE LAKIN, CHALLENGES OBAMA'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE: This is a -- this is a constitutional matter. And the truth matters. And...
COOPER: Well, and answers matter. Can you answer my question?
Should all soldiers who are from Hawaii and who have given certificate of live births as their proof of citizenship, should they all be suspect now?
LAKIN: This isn't a matter about all soldiers. This is a matter about... COOPER: Well, you're saying the president...
LAKIN: ... that are -- require -- that require a natural-born citizen.
COOPER: In your complaint to General Casey, Colonel, you say -- quote -- that you're not seeking any "grandstanding or publicity for this action."
How can you seriously say that? I mean, you -- you put out a YouTube video with your -- talking, frankly, more than you've talked here tonight. You have this group paying all your legal fees, the American Patriot Foundation Legal Defense Fund. They have provided the attorney who's sitting next to you. And they're fund-raising based on you. They're raising money using you.
LAKIN: I attempted all avenues I could over a year ago.
I submitted an Article 138, which is the only way that I could research how to -- how to address this issue, asking and begging my leadership for guidance in how to -- how to address this issue. And the answers that I got were not forthcoming.
JENSEN: Now, Mr. -- Mr. Cooper, you...
COOPER: Lieutenant Colonel, let me...
JENSEN: The standard is not satisfying you. The standard is satisfying the Constitution.
COOPER: You seem like a -- Lieutenant Colonel, you seem like a really honorable man.
COOPER: Sir, let me -- excuse me. I'm addressing your client.
Lieutenant Colonel, you seem like an incredibly honorable man who's obviously served his country. You're a doctor. You're an educated man.
Why is it this issue? I mean, of all the orders you've taken, of all the people you've served under, why this, why now? What is it that -- that has got you so, you know, sticking on this issue?
LAKIN: It's a fundamental of the Constitution, and my oath of office is to the Constitution. And I believe we need truth on this matter.
COOPER: I'm just going to read you a quote from Janice Okubo from the Department of Health: "Our certificate of live birth is the standard form, which was modeled after national standards that are acceptable by federal agencies and organizations."
JENSEN: But it is not the only form. It is not the only form.
COOPER: The governor of Hawaii, a Republican, has said -- and I quote -- "I had my health doctor, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health, and we issued a news release."
JENSEN: And she is not going to be testifying at the court- martial.
COOPER: Lieutenant Colonel...
JENSEN: This is a criminal case. The president should release the original birth certificate, and this will be over tonight.
These other documents and testimony are not admissible and will not be admitted in court. The issue is...
COOPER: Paul Jensen, I appreciate you being on the program tonight.
Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, I appreciate it, as well. Thank you, sir.
JENSEN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin and his attorney in May.
I will be back shortly with a 360 bulletin.
Now let's hand it back over to Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks.
Just ahead tonight: the death of a nun in a car crash involving an illegal immigrant, a guy the feds had in custody, but released. Why was he even out? We asked the secretary of homeland security -- her answer and how the tragedy is prompting a headline-grabbing crackdown by Virginia's attorney general, who joins us shortly.
Later: inside a sanctuary city facing an influx of illegal immigrants fleeing the crackdown in Arizona.
COOPER: Well, many consider Arizona the front line in the immigration battle, a flash point because of its tough new law. But there's a new front opening up, and it's far from the actual border.
A drunk driver who slammed into a car carrying three nuns has ignited support in Virginia for a crackdown on illegal immigrants similar to Arizona's.
Joe Johns has the details.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Local officials are calling it the tragedy that should have been avoided.
(on camera): It happened just up the road here early Sunday morning. Police say Carlos Martinelly Montano slammed into the car carrying the three nuns, who were on their way to a retreat at a local monastery.
Denise Mosier was killed instantly. The other two sisters were taken to a local hospital. Authorities said Montano had been drinking and they charged him with involuntary manslaughter.
(voice-over): Just one day after the accident, the Virginia attorney general, a Republican, issued a legal opinion authorizing Virginia police officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest, similar to what Arizona wants to do.
And now the Republican governor is pursuing a deal with the federal government that would allow Virginia State Troopers to enforce immigration law. What's got some Virginia officials so angry is the fact that Montano, a Bolivian native who has been in the U.S. illegally for most of his life, had been convicted twice for driving under the influence, twice for speeding, and once for public drunkenness.
The local law enforcement had turned him over to the feds two years ago. Removal proceedings were initiated in 2008, but the feds still set Montano free until he had his day in court.
COREY STEWART, CHAIRMAN, PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Well, we were absolutely appalled and disgusted, but, frankly, not surprised. We knew that Immigration and Customs officials were releasing illegal aliens who we had handed to them on a silver platter who had criminal records, that they were releasing these dangerous individuals back into our community.
JOHNS: It's not just the local officials who were up in arms. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hit the roof when she heard about it, and with her department claiming it has reformed immigration enforcement and deported record numbers of illegal immigrants, Napolitano was asking the accountability questions.
JANET NAPOLITANO, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Why is it that this individual was still out driving? He was in removal proceedings. Why were the removal proceedings taking so long? I do not, obviously, as of today, have the results of that, but I will get them.
JOHNS: Off the record, federal sources say it's pretty clear what happened. The deportation process is so backlogged and overwhelmed that Montano had essentially been allowed to stay on the streets for two whole years, waiting in line to be sent out of the country. The sisters who lost Denise Mosier last Sunday are more appalled at the political controversy than angry at Montano, saying: "The Benedictine sisters are dismayed and saddened that this tragedy has been politicized and become an apparent forum for the illegal immigration agenda."
Montano's lawyers could not be reached for comment on the charges, but Montano's deportation now looks like a moot issue. The county prosecutor predicts he will spend a lot more time in jail before he ever sees his home country of Bolivia again.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Some people are applauding the attorney general for the Commonwealth of Virginia for saying this week that police are able to stop and ask people about their immigration status. Others are saying he's playing politics.
I spoke to him earlier.
COOPER: What do you say to those sisters who say that this is being used basically just for political gain?
KENNETH CUCCINELLI (R), VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, it's certainly not being used for political gain.
It's a tragedy. And it's happened before in Virginia, Virginia Beach most notably. It -- it really is just one example of the failure of the federal government to move these people out. I'm glad that Secretary Napolitano is looking closely at why this person, who was in their custody, was not processed through or at least held. Obviously, it had terrible consequences here.
But there's no politicization here. This is just facing up to facts.
COOPER: But is there anything...
CUCCINELLI: ... and dealing with them as best we can at the state level.
COOPER: Is there anything new, though, in what you came out to say this week? You're basically saying that police can -- can ask...
CUCCINELLI: You mean the opinion, the legal opinion?
COOPER: Yes, that -- yes, the legal opinion...
CUCCINELLI: Yes. COOPER: ... that police can ask people about their immigration status. A number of police officials in your commonwealth basically said, well, look, we already do that. We can do that.
CUCCINELLI: Right. I don't think there's anything new.
We were stunned at what an explosion it caused. We were stating the law as it is already understood to exist.
COOPER: So, in terms of what your police can do in that state -- I'm sorry -- in the commonwealth...
COOPER: ... any -- even a consensual stop -- so, somebody doesn't have to be -- just for clarification, somebody doesn't have to have run a red light. It could just be a police officer going up and talking to somebody. Is that correct? And, then, in the course of that, they're free to ask?
CUCCINELLI: Yes. Let's be real clear. Yes. Let's be clear, though. They can't just pull them over to talk to them. If they're walking down the street and the police officer is walking down the street, they can engage anyone in conversation.
If there's a stop, a legitimate traffic stop, or a criminal stop for an investigative purpose, another purpose, the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, says that, as long as they don't unreasonably extend that custodial questioning, they can ask questions about anything, just like in a consensual encounter.
COOPER: And given the past history, in the '60s, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which you have talked about very openly...
COOPER: ... how concerned are you, though, about...
COOPER: ... racial profiling, about leaving this kind of, you know, casual conversation to -- leaving it up to abuse?
CUCCINELLI: Look, Virginia, given our history, is extremely sensitive to racial profiling.
We have not had any problem with this, even as some of our localities -- you had Corey Stewart on earlier, Prince William County -- almost 3,000 people have been deported with the help of Prince William County in the last three or four years just in one county. That's how many illegals were there. And we haven't had any problems with profiling, none, zero complaints that I'm aware of, legitimate ones.
COOPER: Given that -- given that your statement basically talked about what already exists, are you -- is the -- and you're not really adding anything new to the debate.
COOPER: Are you then satisfied with the level...
COOPER: ... of effort against illegal immigrants in the Commonwealth of Virginia?
CUCCINELLI: Not exactly. I -- you know, but we're taking incremental steps to ratchet it up slowly, very slowly. And there are other things I would like to see us do.
COOPER: What would you like to see?
CUCCINELLI: So, no is the answer to that.
But -- well, I would like to see our -- see us investigating whether E-Verify is effective and operates without many errors. I would like to see more of our localities voluntarily using 287(g) authority, which is memorandum of understanding with ICE, so that their local folks are trained, like Prince William County's, so we can start deportation processes locally, rather than waiting for the feds to do that.
COOPER: Why haven't more -- why haven't more municipalities taken -- taken the feds up on that? Is it concern over limited resources, concern over racial profiling?
CUCCINELLI: Yes. Yes.
No, the primary concern is one over resources. Others -- there's more than one, but that's the main one, especially in a budget- constrained era. All I will tell you that all we can do is identify them, just like in the Montano case. The feds still have to take them. Ultimately, the feds are the place we go to find out if these individuals are illegal, and they're ultimately responsible for processing them out.
The states do not say that we can do that. We don't allege to have any authority in that area. The localities don't. They're the bottleneck, is still the federal government, as it has been for years.
So, even if more localities were doing this, we may know who more illegals are, but it isn't doing any good, if the federal government isn't willing to step up to the plate and perform its obligations and deport folks who are illegally here.
COOPER: Attorney General Cuccinelli, appreciate you coming on. Thank you.
CUCCINELLI: My pleasure.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Still ahead: A top Latino lawmaker says he's willing to take on those who want to change the 14th Amendment. My interview with Luis Gutierrez ahead.
Plus: Is Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants driving them across the border to New Mexico, a state seen as friendlier on the issue? Gary Tuchman went to Santa Fe. We will show you what he found.
COOPER: This week, we have seen the idea of altering the 14th Amendment floated as a way of dealing with illegal immigration. Some key Republicans, including John McCain and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, say they want hearings on the subject.
And so does at least one Democrat, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who says, bring them on. We spoke earlier about that and what Attorney General Cuccinelli said about immigration enforcement in Virginia.
COOPER: Congressman, you heard the attorney general from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Do you think their support -- their -- their methods are valid, that police can just go up and ask people about their immigration status?
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Well, I think we know who they're going to ask about their immigration status, and I think that's the danger.
And the attorney general probably should be very, very clear about just how it is that they go about and do that. Now, Anderson, if the new policy in the state of Virginia is to ask everyone that is stopped for any criminal behavior or what appears to be criminal behavior, I don't have a problem with that, quite honestly, if that's what Virginians elect their attorney general to do and want their police departments to do.
But I don't think that that is going to be the practical solution. Look, the fact is, Anderson, that this gentleman was released under the George Bush administration. He was arrested before for drunken driving. I want people like this immigrant from Bolivia gone, gone from our streets, gone from our nation. He abused his stay here in this country.
No one wants him here. So, that's really not the argument. The fact is, at the height of the George Bush administration, which is his last year of his presidency, they deported 370,000 people, approximately. That was the highest number in three decades, OK?
And in order to get to those 370,000, they had to basically go to 7/Elevens and ask everybody early in the morning if they had papers, and the racial profiling, this has been very well documented, not criminal elements, but just going out there and picking people up off the street.
Now, this administration of Obama is on record to exceed that number, over 400,000. So, what it tells you is that you can do a lot of enforcement, but your capacity has already been well-extended.
So, I think what we should do is stop looking at kind of these diversions, these distractions, about what should be a genuine discussion that we should have in this country, and come up with some good public policy that will give us a solution to the problem.
COOPER: Well, people in the states like Arizona say that's exactly what they want, that they're -- they don't want to be the ones bearing the burden of this, that they want basically you and everyone else in Washington to -- to be taking up your responsibilities and actually coming up with some sort of realistic solution here.
GUTIERREZ: Sure. And I cannot agree with them more.
I think that the federal government has not lived up to its standard of -- of applying the immigration and fixing our immigration. We should fix our immigration system.
But, I mean, as you said earlier, Anderson, come on. Now we're going to demonize children in the wombs of -- of their mothers?
COOPER: You actually say...
GUTIERREZ: We are going to change the Constitution of the United States of America?
COOPER: You kind of are challenging those Republicans who are talking about holding hearings on the 14th Amendment. You say, go ahead, hold the hearings.
GUTIERREZ: You know, when I wrote that article and published it yesterday in The Huffington Post, it was a challenge.
And here's why. Because, Anderson, when you listen to them, I think the American people are going to say, God, you know something? Attacking children unborn, especially from those who today are all -- all -- all really, really upset that, in California, they reversed the same-sex marriage, and that now that they found that to be unconstitutional and discriminatory, these are the people that are for the sanctity of marriage.
COOPER: But, look...
GUTIERREZ: These are the people that are for the sanctity of life.
And, yet, they're going to attack an unborn child and say, if that child is born, we will get rid of it from this country immediately. COOPER: It's not fair to say -- it's not fair to say they're attacking unborn children. I mean, what they're saying is that we are providing an incentive for people to come to the United States and have a child, because, automatically, that child will be born an American citizen.
Isn't that providing an incentive for people?
GUTIERREZ: Good. Good.
Yes, but, Anderson, where is the proof that anyone is coming to this country? Do you see? We have already established that it is it a problem, that people are coming here with the sole, express purpose of having a child.
Now, the Congress of the United States has dictated and has reaffirmed on almost every appropriation bill, every housing bill, every bill that comes out that undocumented workers, those that they deem to be illegally in this country cannot benefit from one government program.
Anderson, you remember when the president of the United States gave it a second try, a successful try, to reform our health care system, and he said on the floor of the House that undocumented, illegals, he called them, could never benefit from this health care. And, indeed, in the health care proposal, in our -- it says that they can't benefit.
So, what is the benefit, Anderson? The benefit is none. The fact is that they can't. And, Anderson, again, you see how we're having this conversation? We're having a diversion. We're having a distraction.
Here is what I would like to say. You want to end illegal immigration? Leave un -- leave the mothers that haven't had their children alone. You're the ones that say to us that you're for the sanctity of marriage. You're the ones that say to us that you're pro- life. You're the ones that say, let's care for the unborn.
And, yet, the consequence of that action, Anderson, is to -- those mothers won't go and seek medical attention if they think they're going to be deported. What, are we going to put immigration agents in the maternity wards across this country?
That -- look, Anderson, here's why I say it's a distraction. Because, even if we changed and meddled with the Constitution, which you so clearly stated isn't going to -- can't be done -- it would take 10 years to change the Constitution. By that time, we should have fixed this problem.
Let's -- let's do the things that really are going to change our immigration system. And let's allow, Anderson, that the undocumented, let's register them with the government, so we know who the good and the bad ones are, and we can keep the good ones and get rid of the bad ones.
COOPER: Congressman, I appreciate your time. Congressman Gutierrez, thanks very much.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
COOPER: Of course, the entire issue really came to a boil when Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070. And although a federal judge blocked several key provisions, the one about abolishing so-called sanctuary cities went into effect.
So, we wondered if some illegal immigrants are now leaving the state of Arizona to head to states that are not targeting them with the same focus that Arizona is.
Gary Tuchman reports tonight from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hector (ph) is new here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He's 34, looking for work, and like many other illegal immigrants, you could say he's here because he felt he had to get out of Arizona.
(on camera): How long have you lived in New Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New Mexico? Two weeks.
TUCHMAN: Two weeks. And you lived in Arizona before that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, for 12 years.
TUCHMAN: Twelve years?
(voice-over): In Arizona, Hector had a full-time job as a car mechanic, but with the state's new immigration law, he realized something. He did not want to be arrested.
(on camera): You were afraid?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): This man is also an illegal immigrant, Pedro (ph), also just arriving here in New Mexico from Arizona. So, how he too is looking for steady work like he used to have. In fact, by comparison to Arizona, New Mexico is welcoming to illegal immigrants.
We met Pedro at a free lunch supplied by a church in Santa Fe.
(on camera): Were you scared to stay in Arizona in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Really, yes.
TUCHMAN: And how do you feel now in New Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, very comfortable. TUCHMAN: It's easy to see why New Mexico could be a more comfortable atmosphere for an illegal immigrant. Here, illegal immigrants can get driver's licenses. In Arizona, they can't. They can also get in-state tuition in colleges. In Arizona, they can't.
But here is something else they're also finding out. There are far fewer jobs than in Arizona.
(voice-over): Advocates who help immigrants in New Mexico say that, while they're welcomed here, they also warn them, there's not a lot of work for them.
MARCELA DIAZ, SOMOS UN PUEBLO UNIDO: We don't have a very large percentage of immigrants, in part because we're a very poor state.
TUCHMAN: We don't know how many illegal immigrants from Arizona are now heading to New Mexico, but Paul Morrison, Chairman of the Santa Fe County Republican Committee, says the state needs to draw a line.
(on camera): Do you feel illegal immigrants who can't get legal status should go back to Mexico?
PAUL MORRISON, CHAIRMAN, SANTA FE COUNTY, NEW MEXICO, REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE: Probably, yes, on balance, although I would rather they got a legal way in.
TUCHMAN: But most of them say they can't get it, so what do you advise them to do?
MORRISON: I don't know. I don't have an answer.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): We have heard the same story from many illegal immigrants. Becoming legal is not easy. Pedro says he paid an immigration lawyer to help him.
(on camera): So, you gave this lawyer $5,000 to see if he could make you a citizen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mm-hmm.
TUCHMAN: He told you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No chance.
TUCHMAN: No chance?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
TUCHMAN: And what happened to the money you gave him, the $5,000?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He gave me $2,500.
TUCHMAN: He gave you half of it back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: But he kept $2,500?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Other illegal immigrants we have talked with who have been here for years say they haven't taken steps to become legal citizens because they don't want to be sent back to Mexico to wait out the process. Often, their entire families are in the U.S.
(voice-over): Meanwhile, Hector left his wife and four children behind in Arizona until he finds steady work. But, if he doesn't, he's come to a conclusion, a conclusion he never imagined.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait for a couple more weeks, and no work, maybe I will go to Mexico.
TUCHMAN (on camera): To Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico.
TUCHMAN: Back home?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): For people like Hector, fleeing Arizona may ultimately lead to a return to Mexico, which is precisely what many want from the new immigration law.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
COOPER: Still ahead: the latest turn in the debate over immigration. Should the 14th Amendment be revised? The idea has set off a new and heated battle.
Plus: His name is Pedro. He's an illegal immigrant who has been in the U.S. for more than two decades. He agreed to talk to us about his life in the shadows -- next.
KAYE: I'm Randi Kaye. Back to "Battle on the Border" in just a moment. First, a "360 News & Business Bulletin."
BP's crippled oil well could be sealed permanently by next weekend when the process called bottom kill takes place. Additional mud and cement will be poured into the main well through a relief well, which will finalize that capping process.
A shakeup at the top of Hewlett Packard, chief executive Mark Hurd resigning today following a sexual harassment claim against him. HP said that, while an investigation found that Hurd did not violate company policy, he did violate company standards.
An update now on supermodel Naomi Campbell, as she testified yesterday in the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor about receiving unpolished diamonds as a gift, a friend of hers turned over the stones to South African police. Taylor is the former Liberian president, accused of selling so-called blood diamonds to finance rebels in Sierra Leone's decades-long Civil War.
Campbell testified that she gave the stones to her friend to auction for charity.
And there's one vote Wyclef Jean will not get in his bid to be Haiti's next president. His former colleague, Pras, who was also a member of the Fugees, says Jean's opponent is the best candidate.
Those are the headlines. Back to Anderson and "Battle on the Border," right after this.
COOPER: The battle over Arizona's immigration law may well end up in the Supreme Court. Some supporters of the measure want to see the fight lead to a change in the Constitution, namely the 14th Amendment, which among other things, grants citizenship to people born in America.
Several leading Republican senators are questioning that right, believing it benefits illegal immigrants, something they say was not intended when the 14th Amendment was adopted after the Civil War.
The issue is generating a lot of heat. I spoke about it with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, who co-sponsored the state's new immigration law, and CNN political contributor, Democratic strategist Paul Begala. They joined me earlier.
COOPER: Paul, opponents of changing the 14th Amendment argue that it basically rewards people who are here illegally by granting their kids citizenship. I mean, aren't we incentivizing people to break our laws?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: No. Of course not. First off, it's a civil violation. OK?
Second off, people come here for the work. They don't come here to have babies. They can have babies anywhere they want to have babies. The notion that we should attack one of the fundamental freedoms of our Constitution -- the 14th Amendment was put in after the Civil War, after 600,000 of us died for the notion of freedom. And one of those freedoms is, if you're born here, you're an American, and you shouldn't have to pass anybody else's test of political correctness to be an American.
COOPER: Senator Pearce, what about that? You've basically proposed a change to the Constitution.
SEN. RUSSELL PEARCE, ARIZONA STATE SENATOR: I've got to tell you. This is interesting, the great spin he puts on it. The 14th Amendment was written in 1866, ratified in 1868, belonged to one group of people only, African-Americans, to give them their rightful place at the table that they were being denied after that war. Had nothing to do with foreigners at all, legal or illegal.
COOPER: Actually, that's -- I've just got to jump in, because actually, that's not true. We've been doing some research.
PEARCE: What do you mean it's not true?
COOPER: Well, the congressional research...
PEARCE: Let me...
COOPER: Let me just say, the congressional research...
PEARCE: Hang on. Let me finish.
COOPER: OK. In 2005, the Congressional Research Service did a report, and they point out that the original debate over the 14th Amendment, while overwhelmingly about African-Americans, it was also among both proponents and opponents about Chinese immigrants here and whether the children of foreign workers, of Chinese workers, should actually get citizenship.
PEARCE: No, hang on. That's -- OK, let's go back to the case. That's not true. First of all, it was clear.
And on the debate of the floor, Jacob Howard said, and Senator Cohen, both those senators made it clear it was -- it did not apply to aliens or foreigners in any matter. That was the debate on the floor.
And then let's take the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins case for the United States Supreme Court that said it absolutely does not apply to them. In fact, it didn't even apply to American Indians. They say, because they belonged to a tribe, have alien allegiance to a tribe, belonged to a tribe and were born on a sovereign nation, it didn't apply to them. There's no doubt where they were born.
Congress had to pass three acts: one in the 1800s, the other one in 1901, the other one in 1924, giving citizenship to the Indians. There's no doubt where they were born.
That's the most abused phrase in there. It says "born and for whom we have jurisdiction." We don't have jurisdiction to foreigners. We don't have jurisdiction over those who break into our country. It needs to be fixed. It's the greatest inducement.
It is a crime to enter this country illegally. It is a crime to remain in this country. Yet you provide for the greatest inducement available, an unconstitutional declaration of citizenship to those born to non-citizens. COOPER: But there was a vigorous debate about whether or not Chinese immigrants, the children of Chinese immigrants, who were working and people who opposed the 14th Amendment back then, were worried that the children of Chinese immigrants, that Chinese immigrants would run -- overrun the state of California because there was so many of them coming to work and their kids would automatically get citizenship.
PEARCE: Right. But that actually came much later. You had the Huang Kim decision also that dealt with that. I mean, the courts have been pretty clear on it. And then you have -- and then you have the case in...
BEGALA: Why do you want to change it?
PEARCE: In 1942...
BEGALA: Excuse me for interrupting.
PEARCE: Why do you want to abuse it? It was never intended. Hang on. It's wrong. It's unconstitutional. I mean -- wait, wait. You ask me why I want to change it. Let me tell you why.
BEGALA: The 14th Amendment isn't unconstitutional. The 14th Amendment can't be unconstitutional, Senator. It is the Constitution.
PEARCE: Whoa, whoa, whoa. That's a great spin.
COOPER: One at a time here. Paul, let me...
PEARCE: That's a great spin. Well, I would like to respond to it.
COOPER: Let Paul go ahead and then I'll let you respond -- Paul.
BEGALA: Part of the Constitution cannot be unconstitutional.
PEARCE: Well, illogic.
BEGALA: Well, that's fine. Second if it only applies to African-Americans, which is clearly wrong -- and the senator is wrong about his history; he's wrong about his constitutional scholarship -- then you don't need to change it.
He wants to, and some others, Senator Kyl has picked up this cudgel. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. It's become a big talking point amongst some in the Republican Party.
And the notion that we're going to attack one of our fundamental freedoms and why? Why? Well, actually, illegal immigration is down. Deportations are up. Enforcement is up. This Democratic president has been far tougher on border security than his predecessor in the Republican Party ever was. But Senator Pearce didn't want to change our Constitution when we have a Republican president. There's something about having a Democrat in the White House he apparently just can't stand, he wants to change the Constitution. PEARCE: Enough...
COOPER: Senator Pearce, go ahead.
PEARCE: Enough of the misinformation. Simply not true. I was on this when President Bush was there. I was not a President Bush fan when it came to his failure to veto spending bills. I did not support him with this open border amnesty approach to things.
BEGALA: Did you want to change the Constitution then?
PEARCE: Interior enforcement is down. Yes, I did. It didn't -- hang on. It doesn't change. It takes clarification. I'm not wanting to change the Constitution. You're the one who wants to alter and abuse the Constitution. It was never intended -- the 14th Amendment was ratified -- there was no illegal at the time.
COOPER: Guys, we've got to leave it there. Senator Pearce, I appreciate your time. Paul Begala, as well.
PEARCE: They're not here legally. It's called a crime.
BEGALA: So punish them.
COOPER: Gentlemen, thank you. Thank you.
COOPER: I try not to let people talk over each other. I know, I apologize. It's annoying when you're sitting at home. But there's only so much you can do at some points.
With me now from Columbia University is Eric Foner, one of the preeminent historians of America and Americans before and after the Civil War.
Thanks very much. You heard basically...
ERIC FONER, HISTORIAN: I did.
COOPER: ... Senator Pearce's arguments, saying that the 14th Amendment, the -- this was never the intent to apply to the children of aliens.
FONER: Well, you know, I think that's not true. The 14th Amendment was debated for months, and the wording was very, very carefully worked out. If they had meant to exclude any kind of people -- aliens, children of aliens -- they would have done so.
COOPER: It wasn't just about African-Americans, though that was the main...?
FONER: No. It was primarily to establish the unquestionable citizenship of African-Americans which, before the Civil War, the Dred Scott decision said no black person could be a citizen.
But it was also to create a national standard of citizenship for everybody, not just black people. Children of immigrants, Irish immigrants, anybody. As you said before, it was debated about the Chinese on the West Coast. Everybody understood that this meant all persons born in the United States with a couple of exceptions. It didn't apply to Native Americans because they were like members of their own little nations, their tribes. And it didn't apply to, like, children of diplomats born in the embassy or something like that.
But the idea that this was not meant to apply to aliens, children of aliens, illegal -- there was no such thing as illegal aliens then. There were no laws preventing people from entering the United States.
COOPER: Right. So technically, they're correct when somebody says, "Well, look, this wasn't -- the framers never had illegal aliens in mind," because at the time there were no illegal aliens. There weren't immigration laws. But they did have -- they did have immigrants in mind.
COOPER: And children of immigrants.
FONER: There were plenty of immigrants. And the Supreme Court later ruled that it applied to Chinese -- the children of Chinese. It applied to the children of Japanese. You know, later on, Chinese were excluded from coming into this country. Japanese were.
But those here, who had children, still their children were recognized as citizens. Among the Japanese, you know, the Nisei and the Isei, those who were immigrants and could never become citizens, but it was widely accepted, it was universally accepted, that their children were citizens.
COOPER: When those argue -- when the people who argue that this only was based on African-Americans, that's simply not true?
FONER: That's completely false. That's completely false. They were trying to set up, after the Civil War, a new standard of citizenship for the United States. Not just, as it was before the war, where each state kind of declared who was going to be a citizen. The Civil War created this sense of a nation, a unified nation.
COOPER: Was it highly politicized back then? I mean, were some arguing, look, you're arguing -- you're demagoguing against Chinese immigrants because of politics?
FONER: Absolutely, absolutely. The majority, the Republican majority wanted to get race out of the definition of citizenship. They felt this was a legacy of slavery, to limit citizenship to one race or another race. They wanted to go to this universalistic notion of who could be an American.
To be an American -- and this is true today, I believe. To be an American is not to be a member of a particular race, a particular people, a particular religion. It's to accept the principles of, you know, of American government, of democracy, of liberty. And anybody can do that.
And the children of illegal immigrants can do that. They can grow up to become good American citizens. There's no reason they can't. So you know, in fact, the people in Congress who are trying to change the 14th Amendment, in effect, are refuting what this senator from Arizona says. If the 14th Amendment doesn't apply to illegal aliens' childrens [SIC], then why do you have to change it in the first place?
COOPER: Said before the break, this is like the scene in "Annie Hall," where the guy is arguing over Marshall McLuhan and Woody Allen says, "You know nothing about Marshall McLuhan. I happen to have Marshall McLuhan right here."
So I appreciate your expertise.
FONER: I'm happy to be here.
COOPER: Thanks for coming down from Columbia for us. Appreciate it.
Coming up, the life of an illegal immigrant, putting a face and a name to an undocumented worker. He's been in the U.S. for more than two decades. His story is ahead.
Also tonight, immigration limbo. Teachers recruited from another country and the cautionary tale they want everyone to hear. That's next.
COOPER: There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. And more than 60 percent are from Mexico. They live in the shadows and live in fear of being arrested. Few will come forward to speak to us, but tonight, one of them did. His name is Pedro, and he's determined to call America his home. Once again, Gary Tuchman with an up-close report.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Pedro makes $12 an hour digging this irrigation ditch outside a garage here in Santa Fe. He moved to New Mexico this summer, because he's an illegal immigrant and was fearful of Arizona's immigration law.
PEDRO, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (through translator): I understand that there's a frustration, that people think there's too much competition in the workplace. I understand why some people would want us to go back.
TUCHMAN: But Pedro doesn't want to go back to Mexico. He's been in the U.S. as an undocumented worker for almost half his life.
(on camera) How many years have you been out of Mexico? PEDRO: Twenty years, 21 years.
TUCHMAN: Do you have any family in Mexico?
PEDRO: I have no more family.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Though much has been said about the benefits illegal immigrants enjoy in the U.S., the fact is many of them say life here is much harder than you might imagine.
(on camera) Where is your room?
PEDRO: My room is over here.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Pedro lives with a Mexican family whom he recently met. This is where he sleeps.
PEDRO: That is my bed. I don't have any clothes. The only clothes I have.
TUCHMAN: This room contains all his worldly possessions. He needed money. He sold some of his other things when he left Arizona.
(on camera) How hard is it to have so little? You have a sleeping bag, and you only have four shirts. You have two pairs of shoes. That's all you own in the world right now. How difficult is it for you?
PEDRO: It's really, really difficult. I think nobody wants to have this kind of life.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): As hard as life is and as long as he's been living in the shadows here, he still has big dreams: to some day get his contractor's license, to get a formal education, and to find a wife.
PEDRO: I have a lot of hope to start again.
TUCHMAN (on camera): You have a lot of hope that things will get better for you?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): To be clear, Pedro would like to be a U.S. citizen, but like so many illegal Mexican immigrants doesn't want to go back to Mexico indefinitely while waiting for the small possibility of approval, especially with no family there.
He feared that, if he stayed in Arizona, he would be arrested for a motor vehicle violation and get deported back to Mexico.
(on camera) What were you scared of in Arizona?
PEDRO: The police, the sheriff.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But in New Mexico, which is widely considered more tolerant to immigrants than Arizona, there are residents who think their state needs to be more strict.
(on camera) Do you feel that New Mexico needs to toughen its laws against illegal immigrants?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do they need to -- well, considering the threat, you know, terrorism, I would say yes.
TUCHMAN: Pedro says he thinks the bad guys should be kicked out, too, but he says he's a good guy.
(on camera) You've been in this country 21 years.
TUCHMAN: Do you feel more like a Mexican or an American?
TUCHMAN: Despite new pressures in the new law in Arizona, Pedro says he's digging in, more committed than ever to staying in the U.S.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
COOPER: Next, a tough lesson to learn. Foreign teachers paying a heavy price to be in America and the immigration nightmare they say they endured. Coming up.
COOPER: Not all migrant workers who come to the U.S. are illegal, and not all wind up in the fields. In Louisiana, hundreds of teachers were recruited from the Philippines. They thought they'd be helping kids learn. Instead, they claim they were victimized, forced to pay thousands of dollars for visas and treated, they say, like slaves. It's the dark side of the American dream.
Soledad O'Brien has more.
INGRID CRUZ, TEACHER: I feel angry.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ingrid Cruz and Mairi Tanedo were recruited to teach in the Louisiana public schools two years ago. They left families behind in the Philippines after being offered at least $33,000 a year to teach in the United States, about ten times what a teacher earns back home.
(on camera) What were you hoping that you'd get out of this teaching experience?
MAIRI TANEDO, TEACHER: We really wanted to be able to stay here. Most of my families are here.
CRUZ: I've been hearing stories of other teachers coming here and, you know, living the American dream.
TANEDO: My kids, I think, will have a better future if they're going to be here.
O'BRIEN: In all, Louisiana Federation of Teachers says 361 Filipinos came on temporary one-year guest worker visas, making them especially vulnerable. They say they took out thousands in loans to pay for fees for jobs.
Money went to Universal Placement International, UPI, in Los Angeles, but the teachers say they were stunned when they learned they had to pay thousands more. They complained to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
TANEDO: When we landed in L.A., we were given a new contract, which they wanted us to sign. When we read it, there's another round of fees that we need to pay after the second year.
KAYE: The Louisiana Federation of Teachers alleges recruiters threatened to send the migrant teachers back to the Philippines if they didn't pay up. Going home would mean big debts and no jobs to pay them off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a cash cow.
O'BRIEN: You could get the visa reupped twice.
MONAGHAN: Yes. Their paperwork was being held by the recruiter. So, yes, there was a very -- I think it was a very, very orchestrated business plan.
O'BRIEN (on camera): The Workforce Commission has ordered UPI to pay back as much as $1.8 million in excessive fees. The company is appealing.
A UPI lawyer said this: "There should be nothing wrong with charging a reasonable fee to offset significant expense and organizational effort." He says all parties benefited. And the Baton Rouge School District knew about the fee arrangement.
(voice-over) A spokesperson for the schools says UPI was supposed to handle all recruitment costs. UPI president Lourdes "Lulu" Navarro dealt with the teachers.
(on camera) What happens if you make Lulu mad? You're going to go home?
TANEDO: She's going to send you back home.
KAYE: She's going to send you back home.
On Thursday, the Southern Poverty Loss Center, filed a civil suit, claiming UPI forced these teachers into involuntary servitude. They accused the Baton Rouge schools of conspiring with UPI to charge 30 percent of the teachers' salaries in the first two years or they'd lose their jobs. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
They can't go home and they can't walk away. That, I think, in the real world is much closer to slavery than we should be comfortable with.
O'BRIEN (on c): Why didn't you just pack up your stuff and go home?
CRUZ: If we're going to go home, how are we able to pay those debts? In my case I borrowed the money from my parents. And it was no -- in the bank. And there's no way of earning that same amount of money back home.
TANEDO: Coming from a third-world country, even if you're a teacher, you're a professional there, there's no way you can have, you know, this kind of income.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): Both women say these jobs have not been worth the sacrifice they have made.
CRUZ: We can talk all day about the case, but once you get to the part of talking about the family, it's really painful.
O'BRIEN: Why is it so painful?
CRUZ: Because you get to think, is it worth it, the time that you're away from them, the sacrifices that you are making.
O'BRIEN: Was it worth it?
CRUZ: I'm trying to make the most of it, but it's really painful.
TANEDO: It's ironic. You know, you take care of other people's kids and yours are not there with you.
O'BRIEN: The schools say they didn't know that UPI president Lourdes Navarro had a criminal record. She was convicted of money laundering in New Jersey and pled no contest in California to charges of fraud.
In this case, no criminal charges have been filed. Navarro's attorney says she didn't tell the district about her past because the record has been expunged -- Anderson.
COOPER: That's our report for tonight. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend. I'll see you Monday.
COOPER: Good evening. Thanks for watching. We're focusing on a very big week in the "Battle on the Border" over illegal immigration. First up tonight, it's not just on the border anymore. We'll take you to Virginia where the attorney general there is emulating Arizona's get-tough approach, cracking down after a deadly car crash involving three nuns and an illegal immigrant.