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GOP Faces Anger over Obamacare at Town Halls; Hundreds of Immigrants Arrested in Raids; Trump, Japanese P.M. Golf at Florida Resort; Seattle Judge Extends Filing Deadline over Travel Ban; 145 Lawyers Ink Letter to Trump to Stop Criticizing Judges; Refugees Worry about Their Future in America; Calls for Ethics Violations Investigation of Conway for Plugging Ivanka's Clothing Line. Aired 1- 2p ET
Aired February 11, 2017 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A fiery town hall wrapped up in New Port Richey, Florida, a short time ago, just one of many from coast to coast today. People were begging for their frustrations to be heard. Some even shared extremely emotional stories to make their points.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to see the affordable care not replaced, but tweaked because there are good parts of it and not good. And I'd be happy to meet with you privately to share that with you.
I've had at least four patients in the last two years, since they were able to get insurance, come to me. Unfortunately, two are not with us today. One came with metastatic melanoma, who had not been able the to get treatment. And it was heartbreaking for me. We tried. But the man, his name is Tom, did pass away, and I was with him at his side at hospice the day he took his last breath. I do that -- I take my job very seriously. There are no death panels.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never, I have absolutely never had to make that decision with a patient. I should tell you, I did have one -- and I will tell a quick, private story. A man whose wife had end- stage rectal cancer, wife was in ICU for 31 days. And every day he came, she was clinically -- she was on a trach, a vent, the whole nine yards, not treatable. And every day, her husband said, I hate the government, I want to keep my wife alive to bankrupt Obamacare. I cried every day. I came home and cried for that woman because she would look at me and blink her eyes and say she was ready to go. She did finally pass, a natural death. Nobody extravated (ph) here. Nobody made her die. She died because her lungs filled with fluid and went into cardiopulmonary respiratory failure and she couldn't be resuscitated. My heart broke that day for our country, for patients. And I just hope that we get some sanity back in this country and we start realizing that we need to care about people. We can't prevent end of life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And work together. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We cannot prevent the fact that some people
can't be fixed. Some can, some cannot. We all need to work hard to provide good, quality care, affordable, to all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lived a long time. I had a wife who couldn't get insurance because of a preexisting condition. She's dead. So, I'm not here to take anything away from people. I'm a died-in-the- wool Republican. I'm a conservative. But that doesn't mean I don't have a heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Powerful testimonies and remarks from people there.
Boris Sanchez was inside that town hall in Florida. He's joining us live now.
So, what are the expectations from their concerns voiced? What are they hoping will happen next?
All right, it's not your television set. We don't have his audio either. We're going to try and work that out and get back with Boris there as soon as we can.
So, let's talk about some of the sentiments we did hear. Jay Newton- Small, she is a contributor for "Time" magazine. CNN political analyst, Patrick Healy, is also the deputy culture editor for "The New York Times."
Good to see you.
So, Jay, these are some really impassioned pleas coming from people. One has to wonder whether the White House is listening, whether Tom Price is listening, and if these sentiments will change the dynamics of this push to replace, repeal, repair, whatever the latest is of Obamacare.
JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, certainly, it has a lot of echoes back to the summer of 2010 or 2009, the summer of discontent, if you remember those town hall meetings against the passage of Obamacare. And now, you have all these protests to keep it in place, which is really striking because it's so popular, and the idea of 20 million people being kicked off the roles and not being able to get insurance or not being able to get affordable insurance is certainly freaking people out. and I think it's freaking out members of Congress. You see lot of Republican disarray. They blew through a January 27 deadline, that was self-imposed, and that they gave themselves in order to draft a replacement for Obamacare. And there is really no agreement whatsoever on the Republican side, either with the White House or within members of Congress themselves, about how they replace this bill. And you hear more and more from members of Congress, at least I do, they're talking about repeal and rebrand, so really, essentially passing the same thing, but branding it as Republican care or Trumpcare. WHITFIELD: Many were arguing from the beginning that's probably what
it was all about, this rebranding.
So, Patrick, GOP lawmakers and President Trump claim they won, largely or in part, because of the promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. So, does that mean that, you know, ignoring or dismissing emotions like that is inevitable?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think ignoring those kinds of emotions is dangerous, Fredricka. Because, you know, voters will, can change on dime, as we know, and, you know, if voters start feeling like, hey, you're actually taking away pieces of my health care, not the Obamacare language, but my health care that I really like, they're going to be, saying sort of, wait a minute, I didn't vote for that.
One thing, talking to a couple of Trump advisers, in recent days, they made the point pretty emphatically that the reason why they've gone so strong on immigration reform and the travel ban and building a wall and these sort of executive orders is because they felt those were things that they could do, or that he could move forward on, on executive orders. Whereas, Obamacare, which was something that President Trump ran on, was going to be much more complicated, was going to take much longer than he, you know, initially said. But now, is sort of acknowledging this is going to take some time.
So, you know, I think that they realize that they're going to have a lot of voters who are standing up saying you know, parts of my health care are really important to me and you have to listen to me about this.
[13:06:17] WHITFIELD: And you heard that from some of the people there in New Port Richey.
Boris Sanchez is back with us now. He was inside.
You heard people making their plea. They weren't just talking about affordable health care. Boris, we heard one gentlemen was talking about wishing Congress was more involved and talking about the separation of powers.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there were several complaints voiced here today by folks in the audience. One woman decrying the potential disestablishment of the EPA. And the crowd chanted for her.
Getting back to the question you asked me about the expectations, several people said they were hopeful that Representative Gus Bilirakis was going to take their message and stories back to Washington.
At least one man I spoke to, a doctor, who came here to share some success stories of the Affordable Care Act, said he thought it was for show. Keep in mind, Representative Bilirakis has voted against the Affordable Care Act before. He voted to defund it just a few years ago. Though he does agree with several of the provisions within the ACA, the people here in the crowd were fighting for, namely, not denying folks insurance coverage based on preexisting conditions and allowing folks that are 26 or younger the ability to remain on their parent's insurance.
Despite that, the vast majority of people in this crowd were very, very heated and angry over the potential repeal of the ACA. He said that he was here fulfilling a commitment, that he would fulfill a promise and listen to his constituents. Whether or not anything comes of it, Fred, is a different story. But as we've seen with other town halls across the country, this is likely that we're going to continue seeing in the future.
WHITFIELD: So, Patrick and Jay, if I could bring you back in.
So, Patrick, most of these town halls are orchestrated by the GOP or GOP leadership. Does this mean or is this a reflection they didn't expect to get this kind of sentiment, that perhaps they hearing from people who did echo what the GOP is saying about repealing and replacing?
HEALY: You know, it's a tricky thing, Fredricka, because their job, as Congressmen, is to hold constituent meetings, constituent town halls. They need to hear from their voters. So, that is an expectation. But I think a lot them knew that they represent they knew -- know they represent Republicans as well as Democrats and that there were going to be voters who were going to be coming to these early town halls in the Trump administration and making their feelings known. So it was sort of unavoidable, in a sense. But the danger I think for some of these Republican Congressmen is if they start branding these voters, as akin to like fake news, these are fake voters or fake sentiments being ginned up as a protest movement against President Trump, that's a really dangerous slippery slope. These are Americans, these are citizens, a lot of these people are voters. And if you start dismissing people as, well, they were organized liberal protesters who were coming to our town hall to be disruptive and make complaints, you know, these folks are their constituents. They need to be heard and represented, too.
WHITFIELD: So, Jay, a lot of this is about campaign promises, whether the Trump administration can live up to them or not. He campaigned strongly on repeal and replace Obamacare. He also campaigned on building the wall. And we've heard some numbers that are not in step with, you know, a potentially good deal. He even tweeted saying, "I am reading that the great border wall will cost more than the government originally thought but I have not gotten involved in the design or the negotiations yet. When I do, just like with the F-35 fighter jet or the Air Force One program, price will come way down."
Is the pressure mounting?
[13:10:11] NEWTON-SMALL: Well, what's really striking is that there's so much disarray on the Republican side on all of these issues. For example, the immigration ban and the wall, both could be solved if Congress would act. But there's a lot of different opinions within the Republican Party in Congress on how to pay for the wall and whether it's the best idea, or whether other cuts of border enforcement is better. Drones, for example.
WHITFIELD: Has Congress given a moment to act? There have been executive orders.
NEWTON-SMALL: That's what's also striking is there there's been executive orders in these things, and yet, some have stood and courts have struck them down, like the travel ban. And others, Congress could act in order to reinforce those executive orders, but has chosen not to act. You see Republicans not really unified on any of these issues, whether it's Obamacare, the travel ban, building a wall. That's really what's hampering them. And you see, on the other side, a very united Democratic front against these things.
WHITFIELD: Jay Newton-Small, Patrick Healy, we'll leave it there. Thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
And Boris Sanchez, who is also with us. There he is. Thanks so much.
Coming up, hundreds of undocumented immigrants arrested in raids across America. The response from their communities and ICE officials who maintain these raids are business as usual. That's next.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. We're following developments about hundreds of undocumented immigrants arrested in a series of raids across the U.S. The raids, which were initially planned under the Obama administration, targeting homes and businesses in half a dozen states this week alone, with approximately 160 people taken into custody. More than three dozen of them have been deported to Mexico. The arrests have sparked outrage and protests in some cities, but officials are pushing back, saying these raids are no different than what they do on a daily basis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[13:15:36] GEN. JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: First of all, we're not rounding anyone up. The people that ICE apprehend are people who are illegal, and then some.
ICE is executing the law. And I would tell you, I've been around a lot of pretty darn good men and women in the armed forces. And what I saw today, the professionalism that I personally observed in a very potentially dangerous environment, gave me great pride.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN Politics reporter, Tal Kopan, is following this story for me and joining us from Washington.
TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Hi, Fred. Yeah, you know, one of the interesting things about this is, as you mentioned, the planning for these raids actually began under the Obama administration. And you know, it's true that the Obama administration did carry out targeted enforcement actions designed to remove certain individuals from this country. They have largely targeted sort of serious criminals and violent offenders. And I spoke with a former Obama administration ICE official that said under the title of Operation Cross Check, as they appear to be using in this instance, according to Representative Castro from Texas, they did carry out actions similar to this.
You know, the big question and part of the reason that there's a lot of concern out there among immigrant communities is who exactly was targeted. And that's where you're still seeing some Democratic lawmakers and advocates ask a lot of questions. Because you know, we do know that since the Trump administration took office, they have released new enforcement priorities that are much broader than the ones the Obama administration took under. And they've also attacked sanctuary cities where some of these lawmakers have given some protections to undocumented immigrants. In believe, I believe we have some comments from a city councilman in Austin, Texas, expressing concern about the raid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG CASAR, (D), CITY COUNCILMAN, AUSTIN, TEXAS: You've heard of several confirmed ICE actions in Austin. We are here to denounce those actions and to let the community know that we have their backs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOPAN: But, you know, ICE is still pushing back and they say they're concerned about some of the anecdotal fear out there. And they've released a statement using some pretty strong words -- if we can put that up. The statement says, "The rash of recent reports about purported ICE check points and random sweeps are false, dangerous and irresponsible. These reports create panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger. Individuals who falsely report such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support."
Certainly, some rhetoric on both sides. We know there were hundreds arrested over the past few days. We're waiting to find out a lot more about who exactly those arrests picked up.
WHITFIELD: All right. Tal Kopan, thank you so much, from Washington.
KOPAN: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Happening right now, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are spending the day at the president's resort in Florida. Trade and security are topping the agenda.
Plus, the president firing back after his travel ban was rejected in court, and hinting that a new executive order might come as early as Monday.
[13:22:38] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. The judge who halted the president's travel ban is now giving the state and U.S. Justice Department more time to file legal briefs. Attorneys have a deadline of 3:00 p.m. eastern on Monday. Judge James Robart has said he wants more clarification from the parties on the ramifications of the ninth circuit court order.
We are also getting our first glimpse of President Trump and First Lady Melanie Trump hosting Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife this weekend in Florida. This morning, Melania Trump visiting a Japanese garden with the prime minister's wife there. And this while President Trump and the prime minister hit the links at Mr. Trump's golf club there in Jupiter, Florida.
CNN's Athena Jones joining us now from outside the president's resort.
Athena, the president has a whole lot on his mind. And any idea what they may have been talking about on the links?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. There's a lot of topics they could be talking about, among them, trade and the idea of continuing to affirm the strong alliance between the U.S. and Japan, something, in a joint statement, both nations called unshakable yesterday.
This is also about forming a strong personal relationship to the leaders. That's something very important to Prime Minister Abe. That's why he was the first foreign leader, first foreign head of state to come and visit the- President-elect Trump during in November at Trump Tower, soon after the election.
I can tell you a few details from the golf course. This is via our producer, Liz Landers, who says the two men are golfing at a quick pace. They're riding in the same golf cart together. South African pro golfer, Ernie Els, is part of their group. And the president is wearing a white "Make America great again" cap, not surprising.
But big news was made on the trip down here yesterday, Fredricka, on Air Force One when the president came back to the press cabin after the flight began. And we, of course, took an opportunity to ask him a bunch of questions. I asked him about the travel ban and also about these new security measures he's promising. Here's part of what he had to say about the ban. He stressed he thought the government would ultimately be successful in court, but that could take a while.
Here's more of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The unfortunate part is that it takes time statutorily. We'll win the battle, but we also have a lot other options, including just filing a brand-new order.
JONES: (INAUDIBLE QUSTION)
TRUMP: Could very well be. But I like to keep you -- I like to surprise you. We need speed for reasons of security. So, it could very well be that we do that. (END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:25:24] JONES: So, you heard him there not exactly totally committing to a plan, but he said this new order could come as soon as Monday or Tuesday. Asked what he might change in any future executive order limiting travel, he said "Very little," which we thought was very interesting answer. And I asked him about those new security measures he promised in the press conference yesterday. He didn't expand much, except to say there will be extreme vetting, and we will make sure, he said, that folks coming into our country are doing so for good reasons -- Fred?
WHITFIELD: Athena Jones, thanks so much.
Let's talk more about what may happen next with this travel ban. Joining me now is CNN Supreme Court reporter, Ariane de Vogue.
Ariane, good to see you.
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Good to see you.
WHITFIELD: So, President Trump seems to be considering a number of options now that that court has once again blocked the travel plan. What are the options?
DE VOGUE: The Department of Justice lawyers are in a huddle trying to figure out the next step. That was a sweeping loss at the ninth circuit when it declined to reinstate the travel ban. And one thing the court said is, look, you didn't justify the need to reinstate it. You could have given us national security information, and you didn't.
So, now, there are several options. He could go back to the ninth circuit, to a larger panel of judges, and say your three colleagues got this wrong. It could go to the Supreme Court, but there's that 4- 4 split there, that could cause another loss. He could go back to the district court and try to bolster the case. Or as he suggested yesterday, he could rewrite or try to modify the executive order.
WHITFIELD: So, if he rewrites the executive order, as he's alluding to, and it would be released this week, does that mean this would suspend or end the court proceedings of the existing executive order?
DE VOGUE: That's not clear. It depends on if he rewrote it or modified it. And keep in mind, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asked the Department of Justice for a limited injunction, and two of those judges didn't seem interested in that. So, it's not settled, and these lawsuits are going to continue across the country.
WHITFIELD: Ariane De Vogue, thanks so much from Washington.
Nearly 150 lawyers delivering a pointed message to the president, calling on him to stop attacking federal judges by way of tweets and beyond.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [13:31:34] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Strong words coming from more than 100 lawyers this week following President Trump's escalating attacks, verbal attacks on the federal judiciary. 145 lawyers signed a letter calling on the president to retract his recent comments after a federal appeals court unanimously rejected his controversial travel ban. Trump tweeted this, quote, "The opinion of this so-called judge, which takes law enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned, exclamation point," end quote.
The letter argues that it's important for lawyers around the nation to speak up, saying this, quote, "Personal attacks of this sort are not befitting our nation's chief executive, especially in referring to a member of a co-equal branch of our government. There is no basis for the president's suggestion that Judge Robart did anything other than decide the matter before him to the best of his ability," end quote.
Let's bring in our legal guys, civil rights attorney and law professor, Avery Friedman, from Cleveland.
Good to see you.
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Hi, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And New York criminal defense attorney and law professor, Richard Herman, from Las Vegas.
Good to see you as well.
RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Hi, Fred.
WHITFIELD: So, Richard, you first.
145 lawyers who practice in federal court signed this letter, so what is the potential impact? Where does this go?
HERMAN: Nowhere, Fred. It's a nice gesture, but it's going nowhere. Everybody has to put their big-boy pants on. There's historical references to presidents criticizing the judiciary. FDR criticized the Supreme Court when they ruled parts of the New Deal unconstitutional. In 2010, President Obama pretty much blasted the Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision with the justice right in front of him, actually.
So, listen, it gives fodder to show people the fitness of Mr. Trump to be president. Let him do it. He blasts everybody who disagrees with him or he disagrees with.
Let him do it. It's OK. I don't have a problem with it. Let people see who he is.
WHITFIELD: OK, then, Avery, there is precedent meaning that we've heard from Trump in a variety of ways, his criticism, et cetera. Here's a sample.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives --
TRUMP: -- can figure out what the hell is going on.
In addition to screening out all members of the sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles, or who believe that Sharia Law should supplant American law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So the White House has been arguing it's not targeting Muslims. But when you have those samples of him on the trail and beyond, so, Avery, his words, are they coming back to haunt him?
FRIEDMAN: Yeah. The three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit referenced those kinds of remarks, especially on the religious preference part of the executive order.
Look, of the four choices that were reviewed a little earlier, going to the Supreme Court, going to the federal court of appeal, retrying this case before Judge Robart, the real answer is there's going to be a rewrite, and instead of the Trump political team writing it, he is going to hire serious, responsible lawyers that will tailor it.
The question is, once it goes back, if you've got a new order, will the case be dismissed and start all over again. But the choices of the Supreme Court, the court of appeals and the other choices are not realistic.
Look on Monday or Tuesday for a rewrite, which is more carefully written, and the issues of religious preference and refugees will probably no longer exist. We're going to see a brand-new order.
[13:35:42] WHITFIELD: That's what I wonder, Richard, do you believe a new executive order means that this legal case will go away? That it's going to be sufficient enough of a correction, so to speak.
HERMAN: Fred, it's inconceivable, with the wealth of brilliant lawyers, constitutional lawyers in this country, that Trump didn't surround himself with them when they rolled out this executive order.
FRIEDMAN: He didn't do it.
HERMAN: But now, he's learning. He's learning he's not a dictator. And there's a judiciary branch that is equal to him. He's learning that slowly.
What's going to happen now, Fred, is they're going to rescind the current one, rewrite a new one.
HERMAN: They'll make provisions in there for people with visas and green cards. And he's going to include a country that is not predominantly Muslim. Once he makes those changes, Fred, when this new ban comes out, it's going to be enforceable. There will never be a permanent injunction issued on it --
HERMAN: -- and he will win. Those are the only changes he has to make.
He has broad discretion for national security. His arguments on that level were right. And he will win. It will not be deemed unconstitutional. And there will no standing once he handles that issue with respect to green cards and visas. He's going to win them, Fred. That's all he has to do.
WHITFIELD: But, Avery, given there have been tweeting and these past comments, won't an argument still be made, even with the new order, that intent --
HERMAN: Doesn't matter.
WHITFIELD: -- may have been justified because of his previous comments?
FRIEDMAN: Well, Fredricka Whitfield, I think you just nailed the issue. That's what the circuit dealt with, and there are some serious constitutional questions about standing and reviewability. At least they're arguing that. But, at the end of the day, even with this modification, if the court tries to look into intent, whether it's the trial court, the court of appeals, or even the Supreme Court, those issues don't go away. You can't pretend it isn't there. So, look for another challenge with a smarter, tighter, cleaner executive order coming out of early this coming week.
WHITFIELD: And we're in day 22, right? Day 22.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much. Avery, Richard, always good to see you. Thank you so much.
HERMAN: You, too.
WHITFIELD: Now, on "CNN Money," today, we take you to Denver, where it just got a lot easier to hit slopes on your next business trip.
CNN's Chris Moody shows us how.
(MUSIC) CHRIS MOODY, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Denver is a bustling western city surrounded by the stunning Rocky Mountains that welcome more than 75 million visitors a year.
If you're traveling on business but want to sneak in some skiing after your meetings, it just got a lot easier to head to the mountains. And you don't need a car.
I rode Amtrak's Winter Park Express, the only train in the country that takes you from a major city's downtown directly to a ski slope and it take less than two hours.
Traveling by rail in the U.S. can actually be more convenient than flying, even out west.
Unlike most airlines, if your plans change at the last minute, Amtrak allows you to switch your ticket without extra fees. Plus, there's no TSA. You just walk right on.
I've booked a seat on the Winter Park Express, which departs every winter weekend from Denver's newly renovated Union Station.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like nothing else in the world. It weaves through 28 tunnels. It goes in and out of the flatirons above Boulder. It goes along South Boulder Creek, through some the most remote wilderness on the front range of Colorado. It's something to see, even if you never touch the snow.
MOODY: Brad's right, the journey is stunning.
With the chair lifts just opening, we pull up to the mountain. Now that we're here, it's time to gear up.
[13:40:01] MOODY (on camera): Not bad.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Although there's a halt on President Trump's travel ban, some refugees are still living in limbo.
CNN's Victor Blackwell reports.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Dearborn, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, many of these families call themselves the fortunate ones, blessed by God. Because they escaped this --
BLACKWELL: -- the year's long civil war in Syria.
BLACKWELL: Now having survived the conflict that has killed more than an estimated 400,000 civilians, and completing the exhaustive process to resettle in the U.S., some refugees now fear they face a new threat.
TRUMP: This is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entering into the United States.
BLACKWELL: President Trump's executive order banning entry of most nationals from seven countries, including Syria.
An appellate court has upheld a temporary hold on the ban, but the president promises to fight the decision.
The January 27th order applies to new entrance only, but that does nothing to quell the fears of Shama Abadini (ph), who worries that she and her family will have to return to Syria.
SHAMA ABADINI (ph), SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translation): We'll know what will happen in the future. After we arrived, we had hopes that we will establish a new life. Now, we are frightened we'll be stopped and cannot carry on further.
BLACKWELL: She and her husband, Omar Kazan (ph), and their four children have come to Dearborn from Homs. Beyond their family's future, they say other families could face a future that's worse than deportation.
OMAR KAZAN (ph), SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translation): Some families have been split into two parts, one that arrived and the other one that was ready to get in, but was halted. Like some dads with their children, and vice versa, so this separated the families. So, if this thing continues, they will end up completely separated.
BLACKWELL: Wayne State university professor, Dr. Arash Javanbakht has interviewed hundreds of Syrian refugees and is examining the invisible psychological wounds caused by the war and the resettlement process. His research team has found that nearly half of the adult Syrian refugees they have evaluated screened positive for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Javanbakht says stressors like the uncertainty over the ban exacerbate those challenges.
[13:45:11]ARASH JAVANBAKHT, PROFESSOR, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY: They come in with the stress of immigration. They have the stress of poverty. They don't know how to cope with the environment. They have to learn about the culture. They don't know how much they're panted by the environment. With the uncertainty, which is going on now, they don't even know if tomorrow they will be in this country or not. MOHAMMED AL SAUD, RESEARCH ASSISTANT, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY: Stress
level has increased since the travel ban.
BLACKWELL: Mohammed al Saud is part of the research team.
AL SAUD: They feel like they're not going to be treated as well or things won't live to their expectations.
BLACKWELL: Al Saud as experienced similar pain. He came to the U.S. in 2008 as a refugee from Iraq.
In fact, all of the volunteer researchers are former refugees from Iraq.
AL SAUD: Living the experience myself made me decide to do what was possible to help them.
BLACKWELL: Rahan Nassif (ph) is nearly brought to tears by thoughts of family members still besieged by war.
RAHAN NASSIF (ph), SYRIAN REFUGEE: I've received a voice mail from my brother saying, "If, God willing, I see you in the hereafter life in heaven, as we won't see her other again here." These words touched me a lot as there is no hope we see each other again here, only in heaven.
BLACKWELL: His wife, Pudah Hamaga (ph) says their daughter, Zena (ph), who is 5, and Shaha (ph), who is 10, have suffered, too.
PUDAH HAMAGA (ph), SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translation): The girls had fear from the word we are returning to Syria, because they lived through wartime and heard the sound of explosions, so that left a fear in them, and do not want to return to Syria.
BLACKWELL: The researchers say the vast majority of children refugees from Syria they've spoken with suffer from separation anxiety and more than half have developed an anxiety disorder.
AL SAUD: They don't have the sense of independence or like things will be fine if you're like just a little by bit away from your parents.
JAVANBAKHT: A 6-year-old Syrian kid in 10 years is going to be an American adult. So now, this is our questions, as Americans, do we want this kid when they're an adult being integrated, functional, happy, and productive in America, or do we want them to be segregated. Also, socially economic class, person who sees others as the Americans and themselves as the group of refugees who came here. Integration is important and that's on us.
HAMAGA (ph): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
BLACKWELL: For now, this family is focusing on settling into their new life in their new country.
(CHANTING) BLACKWELL: But as the fight over immigration and national security
wages on, many still wonder if they'll be forced to pack up and look for a new place to call home.
(on camera): The research teams say they plan to potentially follow these refugees for the next 20 years to assess their mental health and their growth. But they're collecting more than data. They're hoping to treat the refugee's symptoms with some culturally focused, family centered home care to address those mental health needs -- Fred?
WHITFIELD: Victor Blackwell, thank you so much.
Straight ahead, Kellyanne Conway and the calls for an ethics investigation after she promoted Ivanka Trump's fashion line from the White House briefing room, live on TV.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORESPONDENT (voice-over): From Adele --
ELAM: -- to Beyonce.
ELAM: The Grammy Awards honor the biggest names in music, and 2017 is no exception.
JEM ASWAD, SENIOR EDITOR, BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: It is the Vatican of the music business and of music entertainment.
ELAM: Beyonce leads the charge with nine nominations, including song of the year, record of the year, and the night's most competitive prize, album of the year.
ELAM: The singer's latest collection "Lemonade" faces off against Adele's "25," Justine Beiber's "Purpose," Drake's "Views," and Stergio Simpson's "A Sailor's Guide to Earth."
Awards aren't the only thing on desk at the Grammys. Expect some big collaborations. Lady Gaga with Metallica and The Weekend with Daft Punk are a few of the duets set to hit the stage.
WHITFIELD: All right, fun stuff. Now to some pretty serious stuff. Kellyanne Conway has apologized to
President Donald Trump after controversial comments she made plugging Ivanka's clothing line. Now, there's a bipartisan call for an investigation into possible ethics violations.
Here's CNN's Jessica Schneider.
TRUMP: There is not den she will not go into
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the end of a rocky three weeks, it's the TV appearance that top off a series of Kellyanne Conway's missteps.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENOR TRUMP ADVISOR: Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I would tell you.
CONWAY: I'm going shopping. I'm going to get some myself today.
CONWAY: It's a wonderful line. I own some of it. I will just give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.
SCHNEIDER: A top advisor peddling the president's daughter's fashion line. It appears to violate ethics laws, according to a bipartisan letter from the top Republican and Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, and they're asking the Office of Government Ethics to review.
The backlash prompting response that wasn't exactly backpedaling.
CONWAY: -- that letter and we're reviewing that internally. I'm just really happy that I spent an awful lot of time with the president of United States this afternoon and that he supports me 100 percent.
All I can say to America's women is, at some point in your life, you ought to have a boss who treated me that the president of United States treated me today.
SCHENIDER: This statement and a subsequent tweet showcasing the president's support didn't save Conway from being lampooned by late night.
UNIDENTIFIED LATE NIGHT SHOW HOST: From now on, the only network Kellyanne Conway should be allowed on is QVC.
CONWAY: It's a wonderful line. I own some of it. Just give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.
[13:55:10] SCHNEIDER: It was just the latest in a series of verbal lapses for the very vocal Conway.
CONWAY: Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point --
CHUCK TODD, NBC HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Wait a minute. Alternative facts? Alternative facts? Look, alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods.
SCHNEIDER: Later, presenting a falsehood herself, referring to a made-up massacre.
CONWAY: President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here, were radicalized, and were master minds behind the Bowling Green Massacre. It didn't get covered.
SCHNEIDER: It didn't get covered because it didn't happen. Conway eventually said she misspoke, tweeting, "I meant to say Bowling Green terrorists. These two men were sentenced for plotting to send weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: No, Make, they are not bad. They are alt good.
SCHNEIDER: The linguistic leaps, a persistent punch line on "Saturday Night Live."
UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: If you read the whole tweet, that is what it said.
SCHNEIDER: Conway's character showcased getting testy about having to constantly defend her boss.
UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: What do you want me to say? Yes, he said that. He's crazy.
SCHNEIDER: And even letting lose, basking in her notorious name recognition.
SCHENIDER (on camera): But it is not all laughs. Democrats and Republicans alike push for disciplinary action for Kellyanne Conway because she did endorse Ivanka Trump's fashion line. Federal law does bar public officials from promoting a product that would help out a friend or a relative.
We know that Kellyanne Conway has apologized to the president and we're told that President Trump backs her completely. Now the Office of Government Ethics can recommend a punishment, but it can't enforce it or institute it.
Jessica Schneider, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins right after this.