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California Governor Declares State of Emergency; Pilot Spots Drone Near Delta Flight; Possible MH-360 Debris Found in Island Being Transported to Paris; Undocumented Immigrant Accused of Murder in Ohio; Immigration Becoming Prominent Issue in GOP Debate; Women Coaching Men. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 1, 2015 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:01] COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Albert sent -- had the same sentiment. "If you win, fought a woman. If you lose, fought a woman. It's a lose-lose for any man to step in the ring. She is worthy but society is not ready." So, you know, that's an interesting point. And Rousey has the same thought. She said in an interview with the "Daily Beast" that although she would give herself a chance, she thinks she could be the man, she doesn't think it would send the right message.



PAUL: To see a man hit a woman, yes.

WIRE: Exactly.

PAUL: That's not going to go over well. All right.

WIRE: But thank you so much for the comments. Great as always.

PAUL: Coy, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy.

All right. Stay with us. We've got a busy morning of news.

PAUL: Yes. The next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.

BLACKWELL: Breaking news out of California, nearly two dozen wildfires burning. Many of them out of control. Hundreds of thousands of acres scorched. Now one firefighter has died.

PAUL: And talk about a close call. A small drone just 100 feet from the wing of a landing passenger plane. As the tiny remote-controlled plane -- the drone, we should say, experts say are becoming a growing problem in the skies.

BLACKWELL: Plus an undocumented immigrant charged with murder and the attack comes after police learn his immigration status. This morning finger-pointing from the local and federal government over who is responsible here.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

PAUL: One minute past 8:00 right now. And so grateful for your company, as always. Thanks for being here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: Yes. We are following this breaking news that we want to share with you about these wildfires that are raging across California right now. We're talking about 23 major fires that are burning as we speak. And that's prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency this morning. That declaration allows the National Guard to step in here and bring with them nine helicopters. And those choppers are being used to push back those flames, obviously.

BLACKWELL: Sadly, one of the fires has claimed its first victim, 38- year-old Dave Rule of South Dakota. Rule had been with the Fire Service for 14 years. And capitol flags in the state will be flown at half-staff in his honor.

PAUL: One of the largest fires burning right now, the one you're seeing here, the Rocky Fire, is 18,000 acres burned already and just 5 percent contained.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in now Dominic Polito. He's the public information officer for that area where the Rocky Fire is happening. The information center that runs the response.

Dominic, give us the latest on conditions and where this fire is headed.

DOMINIC POLITO, SPOKESMAN, CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE: Sure. As you guys said, we're up to 18,000 acres right now. The fire is burning in treacherous conditions as far as the terrain goes with a lot of steep inaccessible terrain which causes the fire to make great heated runs up the aspects of the hill and continue on. Luckily as of now the Mother Nature has given us a cool offshore wind that has brought in some humidity and has betted the fire down a little bit for this evening.

Yesterday it was making a run towards many of the towns in the area to the west. But with the cool air in the night, it is going to be east out so we're hoping that it stays going that way for a little while.

BLACKWELL: All right. Dominic, I know that without rain humidity is something you can hope for. I understand that, you know, in these cases fighting from the sky with the helicopters that drop retardant and water in many cases over the fire helps, but any ability to fight this from the ground? I mean, what are the resources available in tamping this one down?

POLITO: Yes. We have a lot of resources on the fire, about 1300 personnel. And the priority for our resources is really the people and the residents. So we're allocating a lot of those resources around structure protection, which is what you guys see from the air where the firefighters are surrounding each home and defending the homes as the fire passes.

BLACKWELL: Any numbers?

POLITO: And we are -- sorry?

BLACKWELL: I'm sorry, go ahead and finish that thought.

POLITO: No. I was going to say, and then the other resources we use to create containment lines which is where you see the bulldozers and the hand crews scraping soil so that the fire is stopped at the lines.

BLACKWELL: Any numbers of structures that are threatened, homes, businesses? And can you quantify the number of people who have been displaced?

POLITO: I can tell you that about 6,100 structures are threatened right now. And unfortunately, we have had 28 structures destroyed and two damaged. I'm unsure of the amount of people displaced.

BLACKWELL: All right. Dominic Polito there with the Rocky Fire Information Center as they are try and tamp down this one, 18,800 acres burned, and very little containment at this hour.

Dominic, thank you so much.

POLITO: You're welcome. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Also more hot weather ahead in California which means those firefighters will not be getting a break.

[08:05:04] Ivan Cabrera joins us now from the CNN Weather Center with more.

Ivan, give us a look ahead here.

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Victor, and it's not just that one fire which is spectacular enough. But we're talking about over a dozen major fires out burning in California. Of course what makes this terrible to fight is the ongoing drought that we've had for four years.

Take a look at this. California, 46 percent of the state under exceptional drought. Upwards of 70 plus percent under extreme drought. That makes conditions very difficult for firefighters to fight. Yes, it's a tinderbox in California.

Let's show you what's been going on specifically with the Lake County Fire. 18,000 acres, 5 percent containment and as you've just heard, 6100 structures, that is up now under threat from this fire.

Let's get to the forecast, we're going to show you what's going to be happening over the next several hours here. They do have that marine layer that he talked about there. We got a flow from water through the overnight hours. We're getting humidity up. No rain but that does help. And then during the afternoon as temperatures -- look at this -- begin to climb into the 80s and then low 90s, the winds pick up as well and the relative humidity begins to go down as well. And that's going to be the case as we head through the upcoming weekend here with temperatures into the 90s.

A bit of a break as we head into Monday, 89. So hopefully by then they'll have containment a little higher up. But what makes it difficult, the weather conditions and of course the fact that we have the drought and the very steep terrain that makes it very difficult to actually get to where the fires are burning -- guys.

BLACKWELL: Ivan, thank you so much.

PAUL: I want to talk to you now about this developing story that we're following. A dangerous close call between a drone and a commercial airliner over New York City. The drone reportedly comes within 100 feet of crashing into a Delta flight that was about to land.

CNN's Nick Valencia has been examining this and he's got the latest for us.

Nick, what have you learned?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very scary stuff, indeed. Good morning, Christi. The FAA telling us that this happens more than 20 times per month. The latest incident at JFK, the nation's busiest air space.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, about a mile back there was a drone flying just on the southwest side of this abandoned airport here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At what altitude would you say that was?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say probably about 100 feet below us, just off the right wing.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Delta Flight 407 prepares to land at JFK airport with 154 people on board. The jet just 1,700 feet above the ground when the pilot spots a drone on the southwest side of the plane just about 100 feet below.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 407, did you, by any chance, get the color or type?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not close enough to be able to tell.

VALENCIA: Then, JFK tower warned other pilots of the possible danger flying around them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: JetBlue 943, use caution on arrival. The one that's ahead of you reported a drone at the Floyd Bennett Field over there so you might see that over there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're on (INAUDIBLE) so we're probably considerably higher than he was but we're watching out for it.

VALENCIA: Phil Derner of weighed in. Derner said without a doubt this was a close call. He explains a drone flying within 100 feet of a plane can easily get sucked into an engine or worse.

PHIL DERNER, NYCAVIATION.COM: These drones are made with aircraft aluminum, similar parts to, you know, the aircraft that it's about to strike. Going into an engine can destroy an engine. Going into the cockpit window can injure a pilot or even kill a pilot.

VALENCIA: Scares like the one at JFK this happen more often than you think. The FAA reports 25 drone incidents each month. In the case of Delta Flight 407, the plane landed safely. But now the FAA is investigating the incident.


VALENCIA: Now there are laws that limit drones and where they can fly. They are not supposed to fly above 400 feet, according to the FAA, or get within five miles of a commercial aircraft. Investigators looking for the operator of this drone. They could potentially face federal charges -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Nick Valencia, we appreciate it. Thank you.

VALENCIA: You bet.

BLACKWELL: We have with us now aviation attorney and former military pilot Justin Green.

Justin, good to have you. Let's start with just some punctuation on the potential danger here. What's the threat?

JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ATTORNEY: I think you just have to look at the miracle in the Hudson. Geese took down a commercial airliner coming out of New York. A drone could also take down a commercially airliner so it's a very serious and growing problem.

BLACKWELL: Are there laws being broken here, considering that, you know, this wasn't right on the property or very close to the property of the airport but was in the flight path of this landing jet?

GREEN: Well, what's interesting is that the industry and the growth of drones is getting ahead of the regulators. The regulators are trying to deal with this growing problem. And I don't think it really matters what rules are out there because the people flying these drones don't know what the rules are. And that is I think is most important problem.

You know, I went to -- I went to the military flight school. I have a commercial license. I've been a trained pilot of a commercial aircraft. Private pilots are trained on how to fly the aircraft, where to fly, where not fly, how to keep separation.

[08:10:12] But people buying drones have no training at all. I can buy a drone today and give it to my 14-year-old kid and he can fly it on his iPhone. And that -- you know, that's the problem is the people breaking the rules don't even know what the rules are.

BLACKWELL: So before we get to a question -- and we're going to have you back in the 10:00 hour Eastern to talk more about this. But before we talk about future laws that could, you know, be enacted, should there be licensing for drones? I mean, how do you get over this hump, yes, there are laws but the people flying the drones don't know -- don't know what they are?

GREEN: All right. I think what's going to be -- I don't think we're going to go to licensing, especially for smaller drones. For larger drones, I think you're going to see a licensing regime. Commercial, to fly commercial drones is a actually very involved process with the FAA. The private drones are the ones, though, that are flying into the air space. The private drones are the ones getting close to airplanes.

And the private ones are really kind of the Wild West right now. So in the future, I think what's going to happen is a real education plan and I think there's going to have to be prosecutions. But finding the drone operator is almost impossible. I doubt very much we're going to find who flew this drone, who put it within 100 feet of that Delta aircraft.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's always the difficult part. As I said, we'll have you back here at the 10:00 Eastern hour.

Justin Green, thanks so much.

GREEN: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: Well, the plane debris thought to be from missing Malaysian Flight 370 is in France this morning. What investigators are trying to determine as they search for answers which is from the beach to the lab.

Plus, outrage in Ohio. An undocumented immigrant held on a $10 million bond after a violent crime spree. Now people want to know why police reported him to the feds but nothing was done about it.

Also, a new coaching gig for Women's Hall of Famer. Nanny Lieberman, is now part of the NBA. She joins us live to talk about her journey into the ranks of the male dominated league.


[08:15:19] BLACKWELL: What could be a critical clue in the mystery of what happened to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 should arrive at the state-of-the-art laboratory in Toulouse, France in just a few hours. A piece of the plane's wing or at least one of the wings, and officials are confident it's from a Boeing 777. It arrived at the Paris airport just a short time ago aboard an Air France jet from a remote West Indian Ocean island where the debris washed ashore. And now it's being taken in a sealed box by car to that laboratory.

CNN's Saima Mohsin is just outside of that lab.

Tell us what's going to happen over the next few days, short-term and long term?

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hi, Victor. While the piece will be brought here where a team of experts and analysts with high tech equipment will be looking at it very carefully indeed. Now in the short-term, I'm going to step aside and show you it's very quiet. This is a facility run by the Ministry of Defense, by the way. And they take a look at all sorts of aeronautical issues here.

And it's shut for the weekend so no work is going to be carried out until at least Monday morning where perhaps the scientists will get their first look at this. And when we understand on Wednesday, not until then, are the experts that are flying in from all around the world going to come to take a look at this piece and start assessing it and analyzing it.

And those experts by the way include members from judiciary from Malaysia as well as here in France because four French nationals there, families, have filed a civil case that they want answers should there have been hijacking or terrorism involved. So there are judicial experts and there are air crash investigators coming, including from the NTSB in the United States.

Now what are they looking for? Of course, they want to know that this is definitely a piece from a 777 aircraft. And we know that the only one that's missing right now is flight MH-370. They then obviously have to match it from being from Flight MH-370. And finally taking it forward what exactly what happened. So what they'll do is they'll take this piece and it's a part of a wing. We believe it to be the flaperon from the right wing of an aircraft.

That deploys effectively when you look out of a plane window, if you've ever taken a flight and look out, you'll see that it comes after the plane comes into land. Now what the experts will be able to do is look at where it came away from the plane. That edge there can give them so much detail. Did it come away midair when the plane was still up in the sky? Did it come away in the water if the plane hit the ocean?

And they will take it forwards. They might be able to analyze it for explosives, et cetera, if it was indeed a terrorist act. So that's the work that will carry on in there. And also they're going to look at barnacles that are on that piece to find out how long it was on the ocean floor exactly. So there's a lot of information they can get from it when it finally gets here this evening -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. A lot indeed.

Saima Mohsin there in Toulouse for us. Thank you.

PAUL: So let's talk to sea operations specialist Tim Taylor.

Tim, thank you so much for being with us. Here's the thing. The debris was found 2300 miles from the search zone. My question to you is, what will this tell us and based on the currents that you have studied about the accuracy of the current search zone for the rest of the plane itself?

TIM TAYLOR, SEA OPERATIONS SPECIALIST: Well, it can land some additional information. The Australian -- the University of Australia has current models that are extremely accurate. And frankly, since the accident they have been collecting data and building these models on real time information. It's not like they're going back in history and trying to understand what happened over the last year and a half. They've been monitoring it all along. So this data that's in their model is really, really accurate moving forward.

This is an end data point. This is one end data point. They're going to need many more to be really accurate in modeling backwards. One is great but it's still not enough to change their search area. I think they're going to focus on the search area. And then try to effort finding more debris of any nature to search this plane.

PAUL: Well, and we know that there are remnants of a suitcase that were found washed ashore on Reunion Island as well, in that same vicinity. How likely do you think it is that more debris will be found at this point?

TAYLOR: Well, the suitcases may not be from the plane. There's lots of things that float ashore. There's lots of trash in the ocean. So that these things have to be confirmed and vetted.

[08:20:07] And it's very highly unlikely. I mean, this part of the plane floating is pretty miraculous. This got some air pockets inside. Normally something like this would not have a floating buoyancy characteristics. It would tend to potentially sink. You're going to find seat cushions that flotation devices and trash in the plane and luggage and things that have a higher potential to float and they're going to have different characteristics.

This wing section was 98 percent under water so it's going to be driven by the currents, not necessarily the wind where, say, a floatation cushion may be driven with the wind in totally separate beach and another part of that area of the world. So if these are eventually found and proven to come from the plane, then you can plug them into that model and work backwards.

PAUL: Interesting. All right. Operations -- sea operations specialist Tim Taylor, we appreciate your expertise, sir. Thanks for being with us.

TAYLOR: All right.

BLACKWELL: Donald Trump gets ready to hit center stage for the first GOP presidential debate of this cycle. How will his stance on immigration impact the debates and the other candidates?

Also, two families holding on to hope. The Coast Guard's search for two teens, missing at sea has been suspended. But the family, they are giving up hope.



[08:25:04] CAPT. MARK FEDOR, MIAMI COAST GUARD: This one was particularly painful because a lot of the people that were out searching have kids about the same age.


BLACKWELL: The Coast Guard says its search for two teen boys missing, these boaters, has ended. But the 14-year-olds' families, they're not giving up hope and they say they'll use a gofundme campaign to continue to look for them. It's raised almost $370,000 in just four days. The boys went missing at sea July 24th. Their boat capsized. It was found on Sunday dozens of miles off Florida's Atlantic Coast.

PAUL: And the Coast Guard -- take a look at these pictures we're getting in. Medically evacuated a 35-year-old woman from a cruise ship. This is near San Diego. Apparently she was experiencing acute abdominal pain so she was evacuated by helicopters, as you there, and taken to a hospital for emergency care.

BLACKWELL: You know, the United States is really seeing two extremes this year. NASA released an animation -- you're looking at it now -- showing rainfall accumulation in the U.S. from January 1st to July 16th.

Now we know that on the West Coast, California's dealing with these wildfires, the drought across the west, but on the East Coast, drenching rains have pummeled that half of the country.

A judge erupts in court. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he have a passport? Does he have a green card?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Not that either.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, then how the hell do I know it's even him?


BLACKWELL: Maybe not an eruption but just a series of logical questions. An undocumented immigrant being held on a $10 million bond after a violent crime spree. The controversy, police reported him to the feds but nothing was done about it. We've got details of that story still ahead.

PAUL: You know, thousands of people rely on blood cell and bone marrow transplants to live. But it can be really tough. The biggest obstacle is to find the right match even among registered donors. So there's a woman who struggled to find her match and she decided to do something about it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was diagnosed with severe (INAUDIBLE), which is a really rare bone marrow failure disease. And it requires a bone marrow transplant to cure it. And we learned about the huge need for more donors.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But organizing a few bone marrow drives in Kentucky wasn't quite enough for Sam, sister Alex and neighbor Taylor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's 15,000 people a year looking for a bone marrow transplant and the reality is that only half of them will find a matching donor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we said, why just Kentucky? Let's go to universities all across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: SAM stands for Sharing America's Marrow, or S-A- M in honor of Sam.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: SAM is signing up donors to the Delete Blood Cancer Registry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do a check swab and that puts you on the donor registry. The bone marrow donation is an outpatient procedure. 75 percent of the time the donor gets blood sample through a donor that's similar to giving platelets or plasma.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can like suffer a little bit of discomfort for someone else, I guess, if I actually can help save a life.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sam is in remission but has a 50 percent chance of relapse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The potential of it returning is very scary. But it keeps us moving forward and it's always in the back of our minds to find that match for me. But for the most part, we try to just help out the people who are in their fight right now.


PAUL: And for more information on how you can impact your world, go to Stay close.


[08:31:56] BLACKWELL: For the second time in about a month, an undocumented immigrant has been accused of murdering someone. This comes after authorities in Ohio were aware of that person's status but did not detain or deport that person. We're talking state and federal.

The suspect in this case Juan Razo returns to court on Monday facing a murder charge along with an attempted rape charge. Reporter Suzanne Stratford from WJW has more on Razo's first appearance in front of a judge.


JUDGE MICHAEL CICCONETTI: I can't set the bond high enough. I cannot set one high enough, so I'm just going to set it at $10 million.

SUZANNE STRATFORD, WJW REPORTER: A hefty bond set by a determined Judge Michael Cicconetti to ensure 35-year-old Juan Emmanuel Razo isn't easily bailed out.

CICCONETTI: Does he have a passport?


CICCONETTI: Does he have a green card?


CICCONETTI: Then how the hell do I know it's even him?

STRATFORD: At times, the judge becoming agitated during Razo's arraignment in Painesville Municipal Court Tuesday afternoon on one count of attempted murder. So far additional charges are expected stemming from a crime spree Monday that started with the attempted rape of Razo's 14-year-old niece. Then led to a massive manhunt and ended with one woman shot and wounded on the Lake Metro Park's Green Lake corridor trail and another woman murdered.

This exclusive photo obtained by Fox 8 News shows Lake County authorities finally capturing Razo after he reportedly shot at deputies.

CICCONETTI: -- had somebody that we don't even know who he is, why he's in this country, why he's here illegally and why he allegedly committed a murder.

STRATFORD: While Razo showed little emotion pleading not guilty, the judge became choked up when addressing the victim's family members.

CICCONETTI: I'm so sorry that you have to be here. From my heart I feel so sorry for you.

STRATFORD: Investigators say 60-year-old Margaret Peggy Kostelnik was shot inside of her Ravenna Road home.

MAYOR DAVID ANDERSON, WILLOUGHBY, OHIO: Senseless, just totally senseless.

STRATFORD: Willoughby Mayor David Anderson says Peggy had been a city employee there for 27 years and most recently served as his assistant.

ANDERSON: She was a person that truly cared about the job she did and the people she served.

STRATFORD: A tragic loss that some think could have been prevented. Lake County Sheriff's deputies first stopped Razo this past July 7th for behaving suspiciously. Razo admitted to being in the U.S. illegally and was reported to border patrol but released.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he had committed no crimes so he was not taken into any custody.

STRATFORD: A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection responded to Fox 8 saying, quote, "We are looking into the facts of this case." But sadly, it comes too late for Razo's victims.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's crazy. You don't ever think of anything like that ever happening to anybody around here.


PAUL: Our thanks to Suzanne Stratford from WJW reporting there.

We want to talk about this case with defense attorney Scott Bolden. The suspect in this, Scott -- and thank you so much for being with us. Juan Razo --

[08:35:03] SCOTT BOLDEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me -- Christi.

PAUL: Thank you. He has no license, no identification, no passport -- how do you even begin to defend this?

BOLDEN: Well, the reality is that there's a lot of evidence against him. And the idea is whether he gets deported or whether he's going to serve time in the U.S. if he is convicted. The reality is, how did he fall through the system and how did on July 7th he not either get deported or get what we call a NTA -- a notice to appear before immigration court that would determine his status.

If the reports that I've been reading say that his petition was approved and that he was on a green card hold list, then that would come out. But this individual admitted that he was an illegal alien. And even though he hadn't committed a crime, you can't issue a detainer hold. But the reality is perhaps the notice to appear or immigration had taken him and issued him notice to appear would have prevented this.

PAUL: I was going to say, if your opinion, who dropped the ball?

BOLDEN: Well, in my opinion more should have been done. Listen immigration reform starts at home and our systems in our view and the people implementing them have to be -- have to do their job, if you will. And here, I think, our immigration services, the feds should have done more. There was no crime.

They're right they couldn't issue a detainer hold but the reality is we have an individual admitting he's here illegally and then he's allowed to walk because I think immigration should have said, but we can send you to the NTA department. And the NTA can come out and give him a notice to appear, which in ten days he has to appear before an immigration judge to determine whether he should be deported or not.

If he was here legally or illegally, that will determined and he will stay or be deported based on that. At least you probably would have gotten more information from him. And if he didn't want to tell who he was or he wanted to lie about it and had no identification, it would not have violated his rights by holding him. He's violating our -- the laws of the U.S. by not cooperating or just identifying who you are to determine what your status here in this country.

PAUL: Ok. And last question here real quickly, one of the things that stands out in that piece is the emotions of the judge. Have you seen that before? Is that unusual?

BOLDEN: Well, it's preliminary in the sense that it's the arraignment yet the defendant has not been found guilty of anything, but there's a lot of evidence and a lot of evidence will be presented when you're at the arraignment.

And while that's unusual, listen, I was listening to the judge and I've read this report. And I've got to tell you, it chokes me up, too. Because but for this individual being allowed to walk out of that county jail, we've had this woman who was killed would be alive. And these other two victims of attempted murder and attempted rape would not have experienced that. And that's tough. That's tough.

PAUL: Scott Bolden -- thank you so much for your expertise and sharing it with us. We appreciate it.

BOLDEN: Thank you.

PAUL: Of course. And we want to keep this conversation going. Please go to our Facebook and our Twitter pages. Let us know what you think about what we've heard here this morning.

BLACKWELL: And you remember that Donald Trump highlighted the murder of a California woman by an undocumented immigrant to expose the flaws in reporting people in the country illegally. Well now that there's this second violent incident in Ohio, will other candidates alter -- strengthen maybe their views on immigration and deportation laws? We'll debate that issue and the policies next.

Also in just a few hours, friends and family of Whitney Houston's daughter will gather to say goodbye. We'll talk to Pastor Marvin Winans who is a close friend of the family. That's coming later this hour.


[084214] BLACKWELL: Well, the killings of two women allegedly at the hands of undocumented immigrants over the last month have now given more prominence to the issue of immigration, elevated the issue. The most recent woman who we just talked about was Margaret Kostelnik. And the case that started the conversation was that Kate Steinle killed by undocumented immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez in San Francisco.

Now Donald Trump highlighted that and he's continued to make it an even larger part potentially of the first GOP debate we'll see this Thursday. Listen to what Trump told our Max Foster this week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it and they'll be happy to pay for it because Mexico is making so much money from the United States that that's going to be peanuts. And all these other characters say they won't pay, they won't pay because they don't know the first thing about how to negotiate. Trust me, Mexico will pay for it.


BLACKWELL: Joining us now to talk about this, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and Republican strategist Lisa Boothe. Lisa, I wonder if -- and I'd like to hear what you think about this -- if the other candidates will engage Donald Trump in a serious back and forth over immigration or if they will try to speak past him on this considering all the backlash he's received about his comments in his launch speech.

LISA BOOTHE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I hope they engage because this is an important issue. But I think it is important to differentiate between immigration and illegal immigration. Look, America, we allow one million people to come here per year legally, which is more than any other country. That's a great thing because we are a nation of immigrants.

But we are also a nation of laws. So it's important to look at the louder point of illegal immigration and these deaths in Ohio and California really put that to the forefront. And look, if you look at sanctuary cities in the first nine months of last year, sanctuary cities denied 9,000 requests from ICE to detain illegal immigrants in local police custody. 62 percent of those individuals were either previously charged or convicted of a crime.

So I think we do need to look at the aspect of illegal immigration in this country.

BLACKWELL: Maria, Secretary Clinton said that there seems to be a full and equal -- path to full and equal citizenship. Governor Chris Christie said just yesterday that it's pandering and, quote, "a path to citizenship is garbage". He was at this pizzeria when he said that.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I hope he continues to say those things, Victor. Because we have seen that the issue of immigration has been nothing but quicksand for Republican candidates in the past two presidential elections. And it will continue to be that because they will sink if they start talking about immigration the way that Chris Christie is.

[08:49:56] The fact of the matter is that the majority of Americans understand that immigration is a huge problem in this country. They also understand that the way to fix it is by passing a comprehensive immigration reform legislation that includes tough border security as well as a pathway to citizenship for those undocumented -- the millions of undocumented immigrants who have done nothing but support their families in this country, contributed to the economy in this country and contributed to the fabric of what our country is, which is a country of immigrants.

BLACKWELL: How big of a deal is this? Because this recent CNN poll shows that the issue voters care most about is the economy. Immigration policy here falls in third place. Lisa first and then Maria you finish up.

How big of a deal is the discussion over immigration this cycle?

BOOTHE: Well, look, even Hispanics in this country care about jobs. Everyone cares about jobs. That's at the forefront of everyone's mind. So that's obviously the most important issue heading into the 2016 elections.

But look, I think the difference between what Maria just said is differentiating between immigration, illegal immigration. Immigration is a great thing. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws and what we have seen with these recent deaths in Ohio and California is the breakdown of our nation's laws, the breakdown in communications between local and federal authorities.

And I think we need to take a real hard look at the laws and those broken aspects of the laws before we discuss comprehensive immigration. And look, if you look at the comprehensive immigration bill last year, that would do nothing to address the illegality at the border. That's the big problem here.

BLACKWELL: All right, Maria -- finish it up. 30 seconds.

CARODNA: So two things, first of all the immigrant population is much less likely or the undocumented immigrant population much less likely to commit a crime in this country than Americans are. So let's just put to rest the idiocies that Donald Trump has put out there. And Republicans would do well not to repeat those claims and to focus on a real solution because if now, you're going to see them sink yet again the way that John McCain did, they way that Mitt Romney did after they turned their backs on a real solution which includes comprehensive immigration reform.

BLACKWELL: Maria Cardona, Lisa Boothe -- always good to have both of you. Thanks.

BOOTHE: Thanks so much.

CARDONA: Thank you -- Victor.

PAUL: Well, women coaching men. It's rare in men professional sports but that may be changing, Coy Wire.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Outstanding, commanding, demanding -- women have made a huge splash in the men's sports world this summer. One of those women, Nancy Lieberman, became just the second female coach in NBA history. She joins us live after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WIRE: It has been a historic summer for women in men's sports. In the NFL Jen Welter became the first female coach in league history when the Arizona Cardinals named her to its coaching staff. In the NBA the San Antonio Spurs' Becky Hammonn became the first woman to coach a summer league team and as head coach she led that team to the championship. Now the Sacramento Kings have hired Nancy Lieberman as an assistant coach.

Nancy joins me now live from Dallas. Nancy -- good morning to you.

Is this something for which you have always worked or was this almost the unimaginable?

NANCY LIEBERMAN, ASSISTANT COACH, SACRAMENTO KINGS: Well, I would like to think it's not the unimaginable. I have been at this for the greater part of 40 years. I've been in this game forever and I'm just honored and proud to be a Sacramento King. And just very grateful to George Karl And Vlade Divac for having the confidence in me to bring me aboard with his coaching staff.

WIRE: What gets you more excited, to think that you're in the hall of fame or that you are a female coach in the NBA?

LIEBERMAN: Well, honestly, the greatest thing you can do when you play sports is play the game because you decide probability and outcome. And then when the game says thank you to you and you get inducted into the hall of fame, it's a pretty seminal moment.

But I would have to say this ranks right up there with the basketball hall of fame, because it not only affects me because this is what I love and I'm a teacher and I've been a coach for so long. But it's affecting people all around the world because change is hard. And to make something that you do every day normal, that takes a lot of work, it takes people like you sharing what we do and the equality of life.

WIRE: We are more than happy to share this story. It is truly incredible and inspirational. What is the glass ceiling for women in the NBA? Are we going to see a GM, a head coach, tell us, commissioner? What is it going to be?

LIEBERMAN: Well, time is our greatest ally. The fact that Becky was the first woman to be an assistant coach in the NBA, what Gregg Popovich did was absolutely remarkable. Because that and then her coaching -- being head coach of the summer league, that kind of fast- tracked the mentality, the idea that women potentially could be in those first seats as far as head coach or a GM or a CEO.

You know, we didn't invent this. We just mirror society. We have Hillary Clinton who is running for president of the United States as a woman. We have an African-American who's in his second term as president in Barack Obama. The things that have happened to me in my career when they put -- well, she was the first or she did that, it's really not about me. It's just about opening doors and opening people's minds.

But we have to do the job. I mean if we are not qualified, don't hire us. George didn't hire me because I'm a woman. He hired me because he felt that I was qualified for the job.

WIRE: Lastly, Nancy, what is the message you want to send to young women out there all across the country who are hearing your story?

LIEBERMAN: I just want boys and girls to know that anything is possible. If you're willing to put the time in, work hard, and establish yourself and just not take things for granted, that anything that you want to be you can be. As I always tell my son, I am who I say I am. And you are who you say you are. You have to see it, you have to say it, to be it.

And today, proudly, after all these years in sports, I'm a Sacramento King.

[08:55:01] WIRE: Words of wisdom. We will be cheering for you, rooting for you, watching your story as it progresses. Nancy Lieberman -- thank you so much for joining us.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you.

WIRE: All right. We'll be right back.


BLACKWELL: We are about a minute and a half from the top of the hour now. And in just a few hours friends and family of Whitney Houston's daughter will gather together to say good-bye. Bobbi Kristina Brown's funeral will be held in Atlanta -- suburb of Atlanta rather. She died last Sunday about six months after she was found face down and unresponsive in a bathtub in her home.

PAUL: You know, we are also having an interview to share with you later this morning with Marvin Winans, the pastor who gave Whitney Houston's eulogy a couple of years ago. He knew Bobbi Kristina from the time she was born and he talks about what he hopes we all can learn from all of this.


MARVIN WINANS, PASTOR: We have to recognize that we have to live a life that is a model for our children because children will mimic our behavior. And so we have to exhibit the kind of behavior that we want our children to have. And that -- I think that's the message -- that's the overriding thing that I think about coming out of this tragedy.


PAUL: He had so many good things to say in that interview. It's going to air for you at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Hope you can be here for that.

BLACKWELL: Well, that's it for us this hour. PAUL: Don't go anywhere. "SMERCONISH" starts for you right now.

We'll see you here at 10:00.

[09:00:07] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish. Welcome to the program.