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CNN NEWSROOM

White House Launches New Push On Border Plan; Children In Limbo As Border Crisis Rages; Democrats Challenging Hobby Lobby Ruling; Police: Google Exec Killed By Call Girl

Aired July 10, 2014 - 10:00   ET

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


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Carol Costello. Thank you for joining me. This morning, we start with the growing crisis along the U.S./Mexico border. Just a few hours from now, a Senate committee will get its first chance to examine the president's nearly $4 billion request to aid children across the border by the thousands and packed into detention centers.

Meanwhile, the president is headed back to Washington later today after facing one of his harshest critics on immigration reform. That's Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry urged the president to take action and get Congress moving. One action Obama did not take though, a visit to the Texas/Mexico border that is a move that has angered many politicians including Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPRESENTATIVE HENRY CUELLAR (D), TEXAS: I'm interested in him looking at the kids, the kids that I've talked to, innocent little boys and girls that have come across traveled over a thousand miles that one third of the girls have been abused and raped on the way up here, the last young kid was an 11-year-old little boy from Guatemala that died of dehydration, that is the face that I want him to see. Don't take any cameras, Mr. President, but go down there and see what we're facing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Let's go now to CNN's senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. He is at the White House. And Jim, when a president is getting an earful from the right and the left, he's in a very tricky spot?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He's getting it from all sides, Brianna. As you mentioned, President Obama will be spending one more day down in Texas doing some fundraising and giving a speech on the economy. He might mention the controversy and crisis surrounding that influx of immigrants across the U.S. border. But aides say he won't be making a trip down to the border before he heads back to Washington where he's plan to address the crisis is far from a sure thing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): For President Obama and Texas Governor Rick Perry the showdown was more of a sit down, chatting in private on Marine One, and then at different ends of a round table discussion in Dallas on the crisis at the border.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Just had a good meeting with Governor Perry.

ACOSTA: The president later told reporters his beef is not with Perry, it's with Congress, over his nearly $4 billion request to deal with the emergency.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Are folks more interested in politics or they more interested in solving the problem? If they're interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved.

ACOSTA: Perry was less charitable releasing a statement calling for the National Guard and more drones on the border, adding the crisis has been created by bad public policy, in particular the failure to secure the border.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: He showed up at Sandy, why can't he show up on the border of Texas?

ACOSTA: Back in Washington, critics from both parties slammed the president's decision to attend fundraisers in Texas.

SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: He's visiting Democratic fat cats to collect checks.

ACOSTA: Instead of traveling to the border.

REPRESENTATIVE LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: It does bother me. I wish the president of the United States were going down and visiting the children and visiting the site.

ACOSTA: The president wasn't budging.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: This isn't theater. This is a problem. I'm not interested in photo ops. I'm interested in solving a problem.

ACOSTA: But White House officials are worried critics just might kill the border bill.

SENATOR TOM COBURN: The person who just asked for $3.7 billion for less than $20 million we can fly them all back first class, think about how stupid our policy is.

ACOSTA: As the president told Perry he won't use an executive action this time around.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I had to remind him I'm getting sued right now by Mr. Boehner apparently for go ahead and acting instead of going through Congress.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Democrats are raising concerns about a White House proposal aimed at speeding up deportations of the Central American children. Top administration officials meantime will testify at a congressional hearing today on the president's emergency funding request. A top White House official said the officials will tell Congress without that money, they could run out of space to house those children very quickly -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Jim Acosta, thank you so much.

And while politicians in Washington are battling it out over solving this crisis at the border it's important not to lose focus over those who are caught in the stalemate. 50,000 children who have been picked up at the U.S./Mexico border since last October. The majority of those kids escaping violence and poverty in Central America.

They come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and some families are trying to help including Gabriela and Luis Hernandez, who join us now from Texas. They're actually trying to foster a child, who is coming to the U.S. from Central America.

Gabriela, you are now a citizen, but you came to the U.S. illegally as a 3-year-old. What's it like seeing images of these young children without their parents at these border facilities?

GABRIELA HERNANDEZ, TRYING TO FOSTER CHILD FROM CENTRAL AMERICA: It's very heart breaking because all these children want to do is better their lives. They try to cross the border and try to get an education and get a decent job, to send money back. It's heart breaking to see the images right now.

KEILAR: And Luis, you hear politicians say, our system right now is set up so that these kids are encouraged to come across the border. I mean, do you agree with that?

LUIS HERNANDEZ, TRYING TO FOSTER CHILD FROM CENTRAL AMERICA: No. Actually I believe that other countries have the same issue and I believe that giving them an opportunity, especially, you know, minors, that are already here that went through the struggles and we can -- I think we should be able to fix that.

KEILAR: That there should be some pathway. So tell us about the process that you are going through, if you would, Gabriela. You guys are trying to foster a child. Have you identified this child and what has this process been like?

GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ: Well, the initial process starts with an application. So you submit the application and then you start a series of trainings, roughly about 36 or 39 hours of trainings, and they can last up to maybe -- it can be probably until six months until we foster somebody into our home. So it might take a little bit of time, but it's worth of wait.

KEILAR: So many kids or some children may be coming ahead of parents or the parents could already be here, they're trying to come and be united with parents. If you're looking for a youngster, is it someone who does not have parents here? GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ: It's one who does not. If they have aunts, uncles, any kind of relatives here they're able to stay with their relatives. The kids coming without any parental guidance or parents with them, we'll take one into our home.

KEILAR: Luis, what has spurred you and Gabriela to do this? What makes you want to reach out and help these kids that you're seeing?

LUIS HERNANDEZ: Well, first of all, being an immigrant myself, I know what they actually go through and especially I am from a border town of El Paso, Texas, and you see that every day, struggling trying to cross over and all the journey they have to do. So as it is, adults, you know, people who actually come and struggle and go through all these phases to get to the United States, I can't imagine how, you know, minors can actually do that at 11, 10 or 17-year-old kids.

These are very mature and strong willing kids who are actually trying to look for an opportunity. So I have two kids and in my mind, if I'm able to actually help someone in this crisis, that's the reason why we're going forward with this.

KEILAR: And Gabriela, give us a sense, having the background that you have, you're now a citizen, your family went through this, and it's not an easy journey, so try to give us a sense of why these families are willing to part with their kids so they can come to the U.S.? What is spurring them to do this?

GABRIELA HERNANDEZ: You know, unfortunately, Mexico, Central America, South America, there's a lot of organized crime, a lot of gang violence and so it's, for me, it's just torture staying there, not able to have an opportunity to better yourself, to have some kind of an income, and so this is the reason why I believe that -- and we see it on the news every single day, kids are leaving their homes, leaving parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents trying to make a difference, trying to get an education and get a decent job. Like I said to send money back to their parents to better their lives, the quality of their life.

KEILAR: So you're there sort of on the frontline of things, trying to help out some of these children. Do you think -- there's this debate going on in Washington and I wonder if it's resonating with you or people around you, people saying that President Obama needs to go to the border, that he needs to have that moment, even if he's not going to make a big difference just by being there, that it sends a I guess a signal it's important visual for him do that. Do you guys think that's true?

GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ: I think so, because if you see it firsthand the way these people are living, the conditions that they live in, I think that if -- even if he just goes and looks and talks to some of these families like he does with the U.S. citizens here it will make a big difference. I'm not saying it might spur a big movement, but if he goes down and sees what's going on there how they live, he might take a second look and see it might be worthwhile.

KEILAR: And Luis, you have your perspective on this obviously. You are trying to help undocumented children, but we're seeing towns that are getting overflow of undocumented immigrants or, for instance, a town in Texas league city, it's voting to ban the housing and the processing of undocumented immigrants. When you see that perspective, I mean, what is your response to that? Do you understand part of where that's coming from and how do you react to that?

LUIS HERNANDEZ: Well, as an immigrant, I think I have a point of view where I've been there, done that, so I'm always going to say wait a minute, these are people coming here to work. But I can also see it from the struggle. It's a financial issue that a lot of people say that my grants cost to the government or public in general. I know their reasons, but in reality, it's an issue we have.

And I believe that it takes more than just, you know -- if we really want to help, we need to reach out to those who need help, in this case the kids, and I understand that the kids right now are the ones that need help and that's the reason we're getting involved.

KEILAR: So I wonder, if you're looking -- you say maybe a six-month process before you can foster a child, what then if you do foster a child? Do you potentially adopt the child? What happens?

GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ: No, actually we can't adopt. If they legally have parents living in the area we can't adopt them. They will be welcome in our home until they are adults. If they decide to get married, if they decide to move out with friends, but they'll be our temporary in our home temporarily until they decide to, you know, go elsewhere.

KEILAR: But isn't there a possibility that, as well, they might be deported?

GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ: Well, you know --

KEILAR: Or you mean because of the protection of the dreamers that they wouldn't be?

GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ: Right. So they talked about getting -- the kids that have been approved through the fostering program, they've actually had -- they've been approved to have legal status.

KEILAR: OK.

GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ: And so they could potentially, you know, in a couple weeks or so get their license, Social Security number and be on their way to living the American dream.

KEILAR: And certainly you know about that journey and that struggle. It took many years for you and we really appreciate. Gabrielle and Luis Hernandez giving us this important perspective.

Still to come, thank you guys, ahead, Obamacare suffered a blow last week with the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. The court ruled certain companies can refuse to pay for some forms of birth control for employees for religious reasons. All forms of birth control actually and now Democratic lawmakers are taking on the high court. One of them joining me after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: All right, let's check our top stories. U.S. stocks opened lower this morning in early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled more than 150 points. Right now, it's down about 132 points.

And in Texas, a man is in custody this morning accused of shooting and killing four children and two adults caring for them. Police say Ron Lee Haskel also shot and critically wounded his 15-year-old daughter. The girl managed to call 911 and she told police that her father was on his way to kill her grandparents. He surrendered after a police chase and a three-hour standoff.

Democratic lawmakers are introducing legislation to reverse the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. The decision allows closely held companies to avoid paying for types of birth control for religious reasons. Democrats say the decision turns the religious expression law on its head, allowing companies to force religious values on employees.

Those Democrats are pushing a bill requiring payment for all 20 forms of birth control and I'm joined now by one of the bill's authors, Washington State Senator Patty Murray. Senator, thanks for being with us.

SENATOR PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: Good morning. Good to be with you.

KEILAR: Talk a little bit about your concerns that are motivating you, co-authoring this bill. It goes beyond contraception, right? You're worried that this has wide-ranging ramifications this court ruling?

MURRAY: Certainly I think most women and men are surprised and shocked that the Supreme Court decision now allows the guy who signs your paycheck to determine whether or not your contraceptives are covered, but the decision by the Supreme Court itself can be very broadly interpreted. Depending on what your CEO or the corporation that employees use says are their religious beliefs, whether it covers immunizations or HIV drugs or whatever in the future and I think this is very disconcerting to most Americans.

KEILAR: So what do you think the chances are of this bill that you're proposing passing in the Senate?

MURRAY: Well, I think that most people, they don't identify themselves as I'm just a Democratic woman, I'm just a Republican woman or an independent woman, this is something that is their basic health care and they woke up this week wondering whether a basic part of their health care was going to be covered any longer because of this decision. So I think there is broad support and I'm hopeful that women in this country and their families will speak up and we can get this passed.

KEILAR: So you think you have the 60 votes necessary? MURRAY: We haven't started counting votes, obviously. We hope to have this up for debate and discussion next week. People are just looking at it now. But I think again, most Americans agree that this is not a decision that ought to be made by the person who signs their paycheck. It's between them, themselves, their doctors, their family and faith. Their employer shouldn't be in the room deciding that for them.

KEILAR: We look at the House of Representatives and I think the expectation would be Speaker Boehner would not even put something like this on the floor and I know that there's a House sort of partner bill to what you're proposing.

MURRAY: Correct.

KEILAR: If this is going nowhere in the House of Representatives, then what's the point? Not to sound fatalistic, but what would the point be?

MURRAY: Look, I have fought a lot of battles, I have worked hard on a lot of legislation, you don't give up before you start. I'm counting on the people of this country to stand up and say, you know what, in 2014, we should no longer be fighting a battle over whether contraception is your decision or your boss's decision.

KEILAR: And I wonder, you know, as we look towards -- we can't miss it's a midterm election year, knowing that even if you have the votes in the Senate that it's not going to pass the House, you wouldn't expect it would get out of Congress it becomes very much an election year issue? How do you think this is going to play out in a very significant battle for control of the Senate?

MURRAY: Well again, this isn't about Democratic women and Republican women. This is about a basic health care right. We are speaking up and speaking quickly because this ruling has left a lot of women and men whose wives or daughters are covered on their insurance, wondering where that leaves them today and we need to solve this and we need to hopefully solve it very quickly.

KEILAR: And this goes to the Senate floor soon, right?

MURRAY: Yes. The leader is telling us he's hoping to take it up as early as next week.

KEILAR: All right, we'll be watching. Senator Patty Murray, thanks for your time.

MURRAY: Thank you.

KEILAR: Still to come, Chinese hackers target American government workers, but according to the "New York Times" only selected ones, certain ones. Alison Kosik is following the very interesting developments -- Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is interesting, Brianna. Another possible cyber security threat from China. What information did hackers try to get their hands on and what's at risk? I'm going to have details coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Chinese hackers are targeting U.S. government workers this morning. According to a "New York Times" report they specifically are going after those trying to get top secret security clearances. That is alarming. Alison Kosik is following these developments. Do we know even how much information they've been able to get?

KOSIK: Well, the good news, Brianna, they don't appear to have gotten any sensitive information. We went ahead and reached out to the government agency in question, the Office of Personnel Management, they aren't commenting. But here's what published reports are saying about this. Hackers broke into that agency's computers back in March. Now this is where personal information on all federal workers is kept.

Also, it's the agency that gets workers security clearance so it really does process a lot of personal information, a lot of financial information as well. The information, thankfully, seems to be safe. Ironically it comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is in China and he says various agencies are investigating -- Brianna.

Yes, still looking into it. And I know when I was reading the "Times" article it said that it's unclear if this is, you know, a hacker coming from within the Chinese government or if it's operating separately, but the Chinese government is responding, right?

KOSIK: Yes. No surprise here, the Chinese government kind of throwing cold water on this and issuing sharp words in the process. A spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry is saying that China is opposed to cyber hacking saying, quote, "Recently some American media and Internet security firms keep playing the card of China Internet threats and smear china's image."

The statement goes on to say, that they cannot produce tenable evidence. What "New York Times" is doing is pinning all of this on China. We don't know for sure, but there certainly have been big issues in the past. You look in May, the Justice Department indicted five hackers from China's military.

They're accused of trying to steal trade secrets from a host of American businesses. So what's interesting with all these cyber hackings or these alleged cyber hackings you have to really see some cooperation come from the Chinese government if you're really going to see a crackdown on cyber hacking. This is what makes it difficult for the U.S. to follow through on something like this.

KEILAR: Sure, the "Times" article was interesting because it outlined how, I guess, from the U.S. angle, that there was some infiltration of a Chinese website to monitor conversations between top Chinese leaders. It's this back and forth going on.

KOSIK: Right. Of course.

KEILAR: That's interesting. All right, Alison, thank you so much. Great story. A Google exec and alleged high-priced call girl and drugs add up to a homicide investigation in California as Forrest Timothy Hayes was dying from a drug overdose, police say the woman gathered up her things and took off. Dan Simon joins us now from San Francisco -- Dan.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brianna. This is an investigation that had been going on since last November after you had this mysterious drug overdose of a Google executive. It turns out that surveillance cameras played a key role in the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON (voice-over): She was a high-priced prostitute according to police, her Facebook page filled with provocative images. Here she is on YouTube giving a makeup lesson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So first we start with the primer.

SIMON: He was 51-year-old Silicon Valley executive who had worked for both Apple and Google. They had an ongoing relationship, investigators say, and in November of last year, they were together aboard his yacht in Santa Cruz, California. That's where Forrest Hayes was found dead. Police say the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichleman, gave him a fatal dose of heroin. A security camera aboard the yacht playing a key role in the investigation.

STEVE CLARK, SANTA CRUZ POLICE: It showed our suspect, showed our victim, showed her injecting him with heroin, showed her absolute callousness after he starts to have medical complications.

SIMON: Soon after Hayes fell unconscious, the video shows Tichleman stepping over his body to finish a glass of wine. Later, she lowers a blind to conceal his body from outside view. According to investigators, they met through the web site seeking arrangements.com. Relationships on your terms, it says, on its home page. Tichleman boasting to investigators that she had more than 200 clients. Initially police booked her on charges of second-degree murder. Prosecutors Wednesday charged her with felony manslaughter. Police say she tried to hide her involvement.

CLARK: We have her computer records, Google searches that she made and the things she did to try to get herself out of this.

SIMON: An undercover police officer arrested Tichleman by posing as a client. Police say they're investigating whether she may be involved in a similar case in another state.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON: Well, as for that undercover police officer, we're told that they agreed to meet at an upscale location and agreed on a price in excess of $1,000. When Tichleman showed up, that's when officers made the arrest and, of course, given the unseemly nature of all this, Brianna, and the characters involved, the story certainly has a lot of intrigue. We'll keep you posted on developments. KEILAR: It does. Horrible story. Dan Simon, thank you. Still to come, his state has been the epicenter of the crisis along the U.S./Mexico border. Now Texas Governor Rick Perry is talking to CNN about the one on one he had with President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: I said Mr. President, take the action, put the onus on Congress, but you first have to act, Mr. President. That's what leadership is all about.

KEILAR: You'll hear more of Perry's thoughts on what he thinks the president should do after the break.

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