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THE SITUATION ROOM
Interview With Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; President Obama Changes U.S. Immigration Policy; U.S. Stops Deporting Some Young Immigrants; New Policy Impacts Hundreds Of Thousands; McCain Blasts Billionaire Romney Backer; China Spy Network Compromised?; One Father, Two Wives and 20 Kids
Aired June 15, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: President Obama announces a sweeping change in immigration policy, lifting the threat of deportation for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants.
I will talk about the new policy this hour with the woman in charge of implementing it, the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano. She answers critics who say the announcement wreaks of politics.
Plus, details of a very rare breach of White House protocol during the president's announcement. We now know who the reporter is who interrupted and visibly irked the president of the United States.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Less than five months before Election Day, a dramatic and controversial change in immigration policy by the Obama administration. It announced today it will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children if they meet certain requirements.
Among the requirements, the person cannot be more than 30 years old and must have entered the United States before age 16 and lived in the country for at least five years. They must also be in school or have graduated or be a U.S. military or Coast Guard veteran.
And they cannot have any felonies on their record and cannot be deemed to pose a threat to the United States. It's a move that's expected to impact hundreds of thousands of people. But it's also steeped in election-year politics. Some Republicans are calling it flat-out amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Our White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar, is beginning our coverage this hour.
Brianna, this move aimed at a very important voting bloc, to be sure.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf, the timing here no coincidence. This is aimed at Hispanic voters, a bloc President Obama needs some help from; 67 percent of Hispanic voters who cast their ballots in 2008 did so for President Obama, just 31 percent for John McCain.
And as a candidate, President Obama said he would tackle immigration reform. Well, it's a promise he did not make good on. And with an eye to November, a number of his Hispanic supporters have been pressuring him to do more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR (voice-over): President Obama made an unexpected trip to the Rose Garden to highlight his administration's announcement that it would buy time for young illegal immigrants facing the possibility of deportation.
OBAMA: These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they're friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one, on paper.
KEILAR: As the president was halfway through his remarks, a reporter for "The Daily Caller," a conservative news Web site, interrupted him, asking the president what the change means for American workers.
OBAMA: Excuse me, sir. It's not time for questions, sir, not while I'm speaking.
KEILAR: President Obama continued his remarks, but came back to the man.
OBAMA: And the answer to your question, sir -- and the next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question -- is this is the right thing to do for the American people. They -- I didn't -- I didn't ask for an argument. I'm answering your question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Now, Wolf, as you can imagine, that garnered a whole lot of attention.
Neil Munro through "The Daily Caller" put out a statement saying that basically it was an accident, that he was trying to time his remarks for when the president was wrapping up.
I did ask Munro right after the remarks why he did it. What he said to me was it was because he needed to ask questions that you all, meaning the White House press corps, wouldn't ask. I was two people over from him, Wolf, and from what I could tell no one thought the president was wrapping up. So it seemed deliberate, I think it's fair to say.
BLITZER: Did he apologize for so rudely interrupting the president of the United States in the Rose Garden?
KEILAR: No, he didn't.
He said in his statement it was an accident. And his employers, the founders of "The Daily Caller," including Tucker Carlson, are standing by him and his question.
BLITZER: Did Tucker Carlson and "The Daily Caller" apologize?
BLITZER: All right. I think we're going to get some more on this story coming up. Stand by. Thanks very much, Brianna.
The new immigration policy mimics some provisions of the Democrats' DREAM Act which failed to win enough Republican support to pass Congress. So what are lawmakers saying about this brand-new Obama administration policy?
CNN's Athena Jones is joining us right now.
Athena, what are you hearing where you are?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, reaction from members of Congress has been swift today, as you can imagine. Democrats are celebrating this announcement. But Republicans are blasting the move by the Obama administration and questioning the president's authority to make it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES (voice-over): Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to answer shouted questions about the Obama administration's new immigration policy. But the reaction from other congressional Republicans was strong.
Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, calls the move an amnesty that would encourage fraud and illegal activity.
REP. LAMAR SMITH (R), TEXAS: I think the American people are getting tired of this president picking and choosing what laws to enforce. That's not the democratic way. Maybe you can do that in a dictatorship, maybe you can do that in another country. But this is a president who is sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
JONES: Some members took to Twitter. Senator Lindsey Graham of scar tweeting: "President Obama avoids the hard work of fixing an immigration system which is broken and fractured along numerous fronts." Republicans say the president is bypassing Congress, which has repeatedly failed to pass DREAM Act legislation that would give young undocumented immigrants brought to America illegally by their parents a path to citizenship if they meet certain criteria.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has been working on a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, released a statement saying, "This move is a short-term answer to a long-term problem."
Meanwhile, Democrats like DREAM Act co-sponsor Senator Dick Durbin are applauding the administration's move.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL), MAJORITY WHIP: I believe that this is an important step forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Now, Wolf, we know that Republicans are questioning whether President Obama has the legal authority to do this.
So what can they do? Well, Congressman Smith told us that Congress could try to cut off money for this program to be implemented or reduce -- a resolution disagreeing with the president or even file a lawsuit and try to take the president to court for not upholding the law. But he also acknowledged to us that he thinks this will ultimately all play out in the court of public opinion -- Wolf.
BLITZER: He's probably right on that. It will play out in the court of public opinion over the next four-and-a-half months. Athena, thanks very much.
BLITZER: All right, we're finally getting some reaction from Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate.
Jim Acosta's in New Hampshire with him.
I take it that the Republican candidate has just responded to this administration's shift in policy?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That's right, Wolf.
Mitt Romney just walked off of his campaign bus for a few moments to address this change of policy over at the White House. He didn't take any questions from reporters, but he basically came out and said he agreed with Marco Rubio's statement on this issue, which is that Marco Rubio understands that this is going to come as relief to a lot of those illegal immigrants who are caught up in the situation of being young in this country perhaps through no fault of their own.
But Marco Rubio also said in that statement that he put out earlier today that he thinks that the president is ignoring the Constitution and making it more difficult to pass comprehensive immigration reform and to crack down on illegal immigration. Here's what Mitt Romney had to say just a few moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis, so they know what their future would be in this country.
I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution, because an executive order is, of course, just a short-term matter. It can be reversed by subsequent presidents. I would like to see legislation that deals with this issue.
And I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he will consider this issue. He said that this is an important matter, we have to find a long-term solution, but that the president's action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult. If I'm president, we will do our very best to have that kind of long-term solution that provides certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of the action of their parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, Wolf, I will tell you that reporters who were gathered there for Romney's statement, including myself, we all tried to ask Mitt Romney, would you reverse the policy that the president announced today, and he did not answer that question.
He climbed back on his bus and was off to Pennsylvania. And I have to tell you, Wolf, all of this comes, this announcement from the White House comes as Mitt Romney was launching a carefully crafted, pretty well-financed -- I have to tell you the stagecrafting was pretty impressive -- six-state bus tour that is going through a number of battleground states between now and the early part of next week.
And this really caught the Romney campaign by surprise. The former Republican -- excuse me -- the former governor of Massachusetts came out and really was taking some hard swings at the president on the economy on the speech that he gave yesterday.
But, really, a lot of that's getting drowned out by what the White House did today. And I talked to a Romney adviser who thinks all of this is political and a pivot on the part of the president to get away from some of those bad economic numbers that have been coming out and some of the statements the president's made on this issue in the last several weeks. -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It's interesting. He cited Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida.
And his statement very much -- I'm looking at the statement that Marco Rubio put out, very similar, with one potential significant change. Marco Rubio, as you pointed out, said that the president by this decision today was ignoring the Constitution. I didn't hear Mitt Romney say anything about the Constitution. Did you?
ACOSTA: He didn't say anything about ignoring the Constitution. So you're right. There is sort of a difference there.
But it was largely, I think, supportive of what Mitt Romney -- or what Marco Rubio had to say earlier today. And what's very interesting about that is that if you look at Marco Rubio's statement, it is somewhat supportive of what the president did. Marco Rubio's statement says that he basically understands that this will come as a relief to a lot of undocumented people who are in this country right now.
And so Romney is echoing that statement. Keep in mind, Wolf, this is a Republican candidate who during the primaries took a very hard-line stance on immigration. He said he would veto the DREAM Act. He said undocumented people in this country needed to self-deport and so on.
And, so, you know, needless to say the Democrats are already starting to make some comments on all of this. The Obama campaign put out a statement just a little while ago saying that they anticipate that Mitt Romney will be making what they call an Etch A Sketch on this issue. So, we're going to be hearing about this I think over the next several days, Wolf.
BLITZER: Jim Acosta, thanks very much.
Candy Crowley is here, our chief political correspondent, the host of "STATE OF THE UNION."
What did you think of that Romney reaction?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't think it's all that surprising. In fact, I sort of anticipated once I saw Rubio's statement.
They talk. They have been -- Marco Rubio, when he first started his version of the DREAM Act, I spoke with him at that point when he was beginning to put together kind of the structure of it. And I asked him about Mitt Romney. I recall him saying I want to talk to him about it.
And a lot of people saw Rubio's attempt to kind of come up with a DREAM Act of his own for Republicans as a way to kind of hand a lifeline to Mitt Romney when he became the nominee. So, you know, it doesn't surprise me at all.
And also I think if you look at the independent vote and you see how favorable they feel at least emotionally about those who are in the plight of an illegal immigrant, and especially a child who was brought over here, this certainly is one of those things where it's not just about the Latino vote. It's about the swing vote. And they don't like harsh judgments on people. So it's for just both those voting groups. BLITZER: Right. Yes, no, Romney's statement -- and we just heard the whole thing -- much more moderate than some of the earlier statements we heard from other Republicans, like Chuck Grassley, for example, when they were accusing the president of amnesty and breaking the Constitution.
Steve King, the Republican from Iowa, saying there's got to be a lawsuit and all this. He was much more tempered. It did take him, what, about five hours to come up with this statement.
CROWLEY: But remember that we also heard this week that he'd spoken to Speaker Boehner. He no doubt has spoken to Mitch McConnell. And they want to have some sort of coordination here at least in the leadership.
So I'm sure there were a lot of phone calls that went back and forth particularly. And obviously I think they were taken with the Marco Rubio thing. It's going to be about process, not about the end result.
BLITZER: Yes. Let's not forget that Mitt Romney now is the leader of the Republican Party for all practical purposes. Candy will have a lot more Sunday morning on "STATE OF THE UNION" 9:00 a.m. Eastern and noon eastern as well.
We have much more on this story. Coming up, I'm going to talk about the new policy with the woman in charge of actually implementing it, the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano. She will join us. Is her agency ready for the massive amount of work that is coming up in the days and weeks to come?
Also, the news had Latinos in some cities pouring into the streets in celebration. We're going to hear from some of them.
And Senator John McCain, he actually goes after one of Mitt Romney's biggest financial supporters -- that and much more coming up in our "Strategy Session."
Donna Brazile and Alice Stewart (ph), they will -- they're both standing by.
BLITZER: We just got a statement in from Rick Santorum, the Republican presidential candidate. Let me read the first sentence. He goes after the president on this immigration shift.
"Today, President Obama blatantly ignored our Constitution, the role of Congress in making laws and the separation of powers. He showed us all that he believes he is above the Constitution and the law on health care, marriage, religious freedom and now, immigration."
Very angry statement. Much tougher than Mitt Romney's statement. That's just part of it. It goes on and on.
Latinos certainly are the single largest group impacted by the new Obama administration policy blocking deportation of some young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Lisa Sylvester's here. She's getting reaction from the Latino community.
Lisa, what so far based on what you've seen has been the reaction?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, first off as you have mentioned there is a lot of anger and outrage among conservatives across the country with the president's announcement. But for many in the Latino community, the response is the exact opposite. They are simply overjoyed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello? Did you hear about the good news?
SYLVESTER (voice-over): In the Latino community, the news spread quickly. Volunteers at the advocacy CASA de Maryland started making signs, preparations for a rally outside the White House. These signs will read.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "One small step for me," another poster will say, "one giant leap for my people."
SYLVESTER: The news that President Obama will stop deporting many young people living in the country illegally has Saul Espinas overjoyed.
SAUL ESPINAS, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: I feel welcome in a way.
SYLVESTER: Espinas arrived illegally in the U.S. from El Salvador when he was 5.
ESPINAS: You see your friends going onto college and kind of get that envious if only I was born here or something. My first thoughts were joining the military. But the first thing they told me, are you legal, do you have a green card? I was like, no. Kind of brought me down.
SYLVESTER: The announcement has given a new charge to the Latino community. They've been pressing Washington lawmakers to pass the DREAM Act that would provide a pathway to citizenship or permanent residency to students living in the country illegally. Opponents have called that amnesty. And the DREAM Act has stalled in Congress.
For Ricky Campos, the president's announcement moves them closer to their goal.
RICKY CAMPOS, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: I didn't know it was going to be a day after my birthday. And it will be a birthday present for me. I am so excited.
SYLVESTER: They head to the White House chanting "yes, we can." With a clear message for the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: Yes, that message of gratitude. Now, Ricky Campos wants to be a doctor. Saul Espinas says he would like to have a career in law enforcement. They both say this announcement means they'll be able to work, earn money for college and they will hopefully be able to reach their goals in the future, Wolf.
BLITZER: A lot of happy young people out there across the United States. We're going to have much more on the reaction from the Latino community. That's coming up. Thanks very much, Lisa.
Republicans accused President Obama of sidestepping Congress and overstepping his own powers. I'll talk to the woman who's going to put the president's brand new policy on hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into effect.
And a milestone for the Pentagon. We're going to tell you how it plans to honor its gay and lesbian troops.
And from a hit Super Bowl commercial to a real-life medical drama, the little boy who captivated the country as a mini-Darth Vader has major surgery.
BLITZER: Pentagon is doing something it's never done before. Lisa Sylvester's monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
What's going on, Lisa?
SYLVESTER: Hi, again, Wolf.
Well, June is officially gay pride month. And the Pentagon will salute its gay and lesbian troops. The Defense Department plans to hold a gay pride event later this month for the first time ever. It's been nearly one year since the military scrapped its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay and lesbian service members.
And tourist paradise, Acapulco, Mexico, was bracing for a possible brush with Hurricane Carlotta this weekend. The powerful storm is packing 85-mile-an-hour winds as it turns in the eastern Pacific. The National Hurricane Center warns that it could bring life threatening flash floods and mud slides.
And how much would you pay for a piece of history? One of the very few original Apple computers sold for nearly, get this, $375,000 at Sotheby's today. That is twice what many thought it would get. The Apple 1 computer dates from 1976 and helped usher in the computer revolution that we live in now. And you may have heard of its creators, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, sound familiar?
I want to give you an update now on a little boy who became a sensation as a mini-Darth Vader in this Volkswagen ad. The 7-year-old Max Page is recovering from open heart surgery for a congenital heart defect. His doctor says he's doing well. Max's mom asks CNN viewers in an email for prayers for her son to have as little pain as possible as he recovers. She said Max's little brother made him a special recovery pillow.
That story just almost brings me to tears, Wolf. I'm among those certainly sending out wonderful prayers and well-wishes for Max Page, Wolf.
BLITZER: Me too. I think all of our viewers are as well.
Adorable. Adorable sweet little guy. We wish him a very speedy recovery. Hope he does more commercials in the not-too-distant future.
Hundreds of thousands of immigration cases are impacted by the sweeping new policy announced today by the Obama administration. So, is the Homeland Security Department ready for this change? I'm going to talk about that and much more with the secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano. She answers critics who are calling all these changes pure politics.
Plus, there are new developments in the spy scandal involving China and the United States.
BLITZER: More now on our top story. Today's dramatic announcement by President Obama unveiling a new policy that will allow some illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay in the country, for now at least, at least for the next two years, without fear of being deported.
I talked about that and more with the woman in charge of implementing this new policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And joining us now the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. Madame Secretary, thanks for coming in on this busy day.
You caught all of us by surprise especially as we went back and looked at what the president had said back in October 2010. He said I am president, I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself.
We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the executive branch to make it happen. I'm committed to making it happen, but I've got to have some partners to do it.
He was referring to comprehensive immigration reform. But now he and you are taking unilateral executive action to begin this process. Why now?
JANET NAPOLITANO, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Well, this is a logical progression from a series of decisions that we've made over the last several years to focus immigration enforcement on those who violated criminal law in addition to immigration law, those who are repeat violators and those who are recent border crossers. We have also been putting unprecedented resources at the boarder so that illegal immigration attempts at the southwest border haven't been this low since before 1971. But even as we've been enforcing the law -- and we have removed a record number of individuals from the country, there is this group, this group of young people brought here through no fault of their own.
They often haven't been to their country of origin. They don't speak the language. They're in school or they're in the military. They've not been in trouble with the law. We need to within our discretionary authority defer action against these individuals. And that's what I'm announcing today.
BLITZER: Lindsay graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina says the president's decision -- what the president is doing is choosing politics over leadership because all of the critics are now insisting this wreaks of politics. You want to respond to them?
NAPOLITANO: Well, I would say, no. First of all, this was a decision out of my office, as the secretary of Homeland Security. And it was a decision made after we looked at what we've been doing over the last three years.
And as you know, one of the things we've been doing over the last year is re-examining all 340,000 pending immigration cases and trying to restack them in line with our priorities and trying to administratively close cases that are low priority.
But as we've done that, we've now -- we've seen this whole category of young people and we need to go a step further. And this is the next logical step. And that is to actually defer action.
BLITZER: You're talking about, what, 800,000 potential people who would qualify for this new status?
NAPOLITANO: It's really difficult to say. There are those who are in removal proceedings now. We will either find them or we're asking them to help us self-identify. There will be hot lines and web sites up over the next couple of days.
And then there are those who haven't been in touch with the immigration system, but they've been living under a cloud. And within 60 days they will be able to go to a CIS office.
And if they meet the criteria -- they're going to have to demonstrate they meet the criteria, they can be given a grant of deferred action.
BLITZER: What about the parents of these children? The children come forward now, they identify themselves. Should the parents be concerned that potentially they could be deported? They would now be identified as illegal immigrants.
NAPOLITANO: No. We are not going to do that. We have internally set it up so that the parents are not referred for immigration enforcement if the young person comes in for deferred action. However, the parents are not qualified for deferred action. This is for the young people who meet the criteria that we've set forth.
BLITZER: What social services would these young people be qualified for? Will they be qualified to receive Medicaid benefits, food stamps, school vouchers, stuff like that?
NAPOLITANO: No. No. They won't be -- again, there's deferred action now given in certain cases. And they don't qualify for those types of benefits. The one thing they may qualify for is a work authorization card if they can demonstrate economic necessity.
BLITZER: Is this the pathway to citizenship for these young people?
NAPOLITANO: Not at all. In fact, that's where Congress needs to act. We continue to urge the Congress, you know, pass the Dream Act. Look at comprehensive immigration reform, the immigration system as a whole.
I've been dealing with immigration enforcement for 20 years. And the plain fact of the matter is, is that the law that we're working under doesn't match the economic needs of the country today.
And the law enforcement needs of the country today. But as someone who is charged with enforcing the immigration system, we're setting good strong sensible priorities.
Again, these young people really are not the individuals that the immigration removal process was designed to focus upon.
BLITZER: One final question, is the Department of Homeland Security, ICE, Immigrations Customs Enforcement, are you ready for what is about to happen because presumably you're going to be swamped with phone calls, appearances, these young people want legal status.
NAPOLITANO: You know, we're cautioning people, we need to take it, you know, kind of incrementally. Instructions have gone out to ICE and CBP today that they're not to put these young people into removal proceedings.
We will begin the process over the next weeks of identifying those already in removal or whoever received a final order of removal to consider them for deferred action.
And there will be phone numbers and a public advocate that these individuals can actually call beginning next week if they think they qualify.
And then for those who haven't been in the immigration system yet, they haven't been put into any kind of a proceeding, but they want to come forward, that will have to be to a CIS office.
And that will be within 60 days. And, again, we are posting on dhs.gov, initial information, initial frequently asked questions. But we're going to have to work together with the community, with the country, to do a smooth implementation as possible.
BLITZER: Janet Napolitano, thank you so much, the secretary of Homeland Security. Good luck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Senator John McCain goes after one of Mitt Romney's biggest financial supporters borrowing a line from Democrats saying, corporations are not people.
Plus, a Chinese official accused of spying for Washington. Did he compromise China spies in the United States?
BLITZER: President Obama says he's trying to fix the country's broken immigration system, but critics say he's making an end run around Congress and violating the constitution.
Let's talk about it in our "Strategy Session." Joining us are CNN contributor, the Democratic strategist, Donna Brazile, and also joining us the Arkansas Republican strategist and former Rick Santorum spokeswoman, Alice Stewart.
Guys, thanks very much for coming in. Let's talk about the politics for a moment, Alice. I think you'll agree that as far as consolidating and expanding the president's support in the Latino community, this will probably help.
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, no doubt. I mean, he had over 21 million reasons for making this announcement today. And those are the 21 -- more than 21 million eligible Latino voters out there in the country.
But the fact remains this unilateral decision to bypass Congress is an insult to members of Congress, but also undermines the legal immigration process and we can't have that. This was clearly a political move in order for him to appeal to the Latino-Hispanic community.
He certainly needs the help after last week. He had a terrible week in Washington and this week hasn't been much better. But he's appealing to a group of people. And it's improper. It's wrong.
It's insult to members of Congress who are elected by people across this country to enact the policies that people in this country want. But once again the president feels as though he has better ideas and solutions for this than members of Congress.
BLITZER: It's interesting, Donna, that it's not a formal executive order signed by the president. It's a policy regulation change that the Department of Homeland Security, which is in charge of immigration, puts forward.
And you heard the president and Janet Napolitano saying this is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a pathway to citizenship. This is not the Dream Act. It's simply a modest change allowing the individuals to stay in the United States for two years right now.
But what do you make to the point that, Alice, and other Republicans have been making that he's basically violating the law and violating the constitution?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, the president acted within the law. And I don't think anyone with find what he did unconstitutional. But you know, the Republicans have to make up talking points to allow themselves to say something when they have no other solutions.
Wolf, the Republicans have blocked the Dream Act from ever being implemented. In 2010, the Democrats had it passed in the House. We had Republican support in the Senate, 55 people -- individuals supported it. They blocked it.
They don't want a path to citizenship. They don't want to solve the immigration problem. What the president did today was an act of compassion to allow these dreamers, these young people, I meet a lot of them myself as someone who tours the country, speak on campuses, talk to a lot of people.
They just want to have an opportunity to work to make their lives better, their family lives better. I'm glad the president did it. This is an act of compassion.
And hopefully the Republicans one day will begin to understand that all -- that everyone who's here, especially those undocumented, they want to be Americans. They want to dream. They want to help build our country as well.
BLITZER: Let me switch gears quickly, Alice. Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire hotel owner in Las Vegas, in Macau, China, in Singapore. He's worth about $20 billion. He just gave $10 million to a pro- Romney "Super PAC."
Listen to this exchange that John McCain, the so-called Maverick, used to call him the Maverick, a former Republican presidential nominee had wit Judy Woodrift on PBS talking about Sheldon Adelson and all the money coming in. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Obviously maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the profits at the casinos in Macau.
MCCAIN: That's a great deal of money. Again, we need a level playing field. And we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and that corporations are not people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: He's talking about those casinos in Macau, China where Adelson makes so much money. But he said corporations are not people. It sounded to me, Alice, like a direct swipe at Mitt Romney who said this not that long ago. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: There are various ways of doing that. One is we could raise taxes on people -- we could raise taxes -- of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Corporations aren't people he says. John McCain flatly says corporations are not people. What are they?
STEWART: Well, certainly the point that John McCain was making in the interview was to try and reign in large contributions to campaigns and to the special interest groups.
The fact of the matter is you're not going to be able to stop the George Soros money, the Adelson money. Here is he is as you said, his net worth is over $24 billion. This $10 million is a drop in the bucket.
And the real story when it comes to campaign contributions is just last month Governor Romney outraised President Obama. And his average contribution was less than $250. So for his campaign, most of the contributions are coming from average everyday people.
And they're going to contribute to these "PACs" and the special interest groups because they're hard working people. They earn money. And they're entitled to contribute to the causes and the candidates of their choosing. That's exactly what he's doing.
BLITZER: Sounds to me like John McCain still supports campaign finance reform, which obviously is not going anywhere, at least not now. We have to leave it there, ladies. Thanks very much.
A spy war heating up between the United States and China. Top Chinese security official now sitting behind bars. Did he reveal China's spy network to Washington? We're digging deep. That's coming up next.
BLITZER: A spy scandal is exploding in China right now. CNN's Erin Burnett is going out front on this story. What's the latest, Erin?
ERIN BURNETT, HOST, CNN'S "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT": This is a pretty amazing story, Wolf. It could be someone who worked at the very highest levels of the Chinese government worked for a vice minister who was someone who had the ear of the ruler of China, Hu Jintao, turns out this person's chief deputy and assistant was a spy for the CIA.
And this has gotten all the way to highest levels of the Chinese government. I was talking to some sources today, Wolf, about what this spy could have provided to the United States. I'm hearing it really would have been the highest level of security.
They would have had access to everything in the Chinese government. So for example, it's possible that this spy was feeding the United States information about where China's submarine fleets were, whether China was planning, what sorts of cyber attacks and methods they were planning that could have attacked the NSC or the CIA itself.
Maybe their plans for things like fighter jet program. So really feeding the U.S. very sophisticated information. The spy though was found out by the Chinese government and has been missing for a few months. So we're not sure at this point whether he's in custody or perhaps if he's even still alive.
BLITZER: You're going to have a lot more I'm sure of this fascinating story, 7:00 p.m. Eastern "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT." Thank you.
President Obama says a sweeping new change to the country's policy is not amnesty. Republican critics disagree, but is the president's White House rival Mitt Romney on the same page. We're going in depth.
And a reporter interrupts the president in the middle of the immigration announcement in the Rose Garden. The sparks that an angry response from the president and controversy over his own behavior.
And Pakistan's exploding population boom. Why it could be the most dangerous crisis the U.S. ally is facing.
BLITZER: Here's a look at this hour's "Hot Shots." In Germany, residents make flower seed bombs that are guaranteed to flourish even in urban environments. In Greece, a tourist strolls through ancient Roman ruins in Athens.
In China, a city skyline lights up in celebration of the annual Asian beach games. And in England, a little boy enjoys playing in a rainbow sand box. An innovative new attraction in London. "Hot Shots," pictures coming in from around the world.
U.S. ally Pakistan has been waging battle against the Islamist militants, but it may be facing an even bigger threat from within. CNN's Reza Sayah reports Pakistan's population is surging at a nearly uncontrollable rate.
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REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Then it was -- 20 brothers and sisters, all of the kids belonging to dad and his two wives who didn't want to be on camera.
(voice-over): The moments have so many children. Dad admits, it gets confusing. Sometimes I forget their names and I ask for help, he says and the family may still get bigger.
(on camera): They're happy to have more kids, but population fast becoming this country's most dangerous crisis.
AKBAR LAGHARI, DEPARTMENT OF POPULATION WELFARE: I consider the population problem the biggest problem of this country.
ZEBA SATHAR, POPULATION COUNCIL: It's of huge concern that we are growing at one of the fastest rates in Asia.
SAYAH (voice-over): With well over 180 million people, Pakistan's the sixth most populous country in the world.
LAGHARI: Future is bleak because of this population.
SAYAH: Akbar Laghari of the Population Welfare Department admits the government shares the blame. Pakistan doesn't do enough to offer effective family planning services and teach people about birth control.
LAGHARI: We do not have that much mobility. We do not have that much sources.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As we're doing a lot of research, these women wanted to have a child later, but they just didn't find the services.
SAYAH: Another challenge, a deeply conservative culture. Many here view birth control as un-Islamic. None of these methods is allowed in Islam says this Muslim cleric. Why should Muslims worry about population when God cares for everyone?
Today just one out of five Pakistani women uses modern birth control, a factor that fuels Pakistan's growth by roughly 4 million people every year, Pakistan is on pace to double its population in just 40 years.
LAGHARI: Everything is going to explode.
SAYAH (on camera): Everything's going to explode?
LAGHARI: Because of the population.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a frightening idea.
SAYAH: Frightening because Pakistan already suffers from widespread poverty, joblessness and energy crisis, a woeful education system and the bloody fight against Islamist militants. Imagine the same problems if the population doubled?
LAGHARI: Naturally there will be epidemics, wars, fights for food and water and for everything.
SAYAH (voice-over): The moment children are already paying the price. A family can only afford to send four of their 20 children to school. The rest work to support the family, denied their most basic rights to have a childhood, an education and dreams of a better life.
(on camera): But there's still hope for Pakistan experts say. They point to Muslim countries like Iran and Bangladesh that curbed their population despite similar challenges.
Experts say those countries started with the political will to do something and spent a lot of time and resources on family planning efforts. Pakistan can do it too, they say, but time is running out. Reza Sayah, CNN.
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