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Federal Agents Conduct Immigration Raids Nationwide; Interview with Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired February 11, 2017 - 07:30   ET



[07:31:07] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you on a Saturday morning. Thirty-one minutes past the hour. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

President Trump plans to announce new national security measures next weekend that could include a new executive order on immigration.

PAUL: The president says he now may sign a, quote, "brand new order". He may do so as early as Monday. The White House says it will not immediately apply a federal court's decision blocking Trump's travel ban to the Supreme Court. Instead, sources tell CNN the president is considering possible tweaks, such as explicitly stating that the ban does not apply to legal permanent residents.

In the meantime, immigrant families are in a panic of sorts after federal authorities launched a new wave of raids. Immigration and Customs officials are arresting hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half dozen states this week. The move illustrates this first large scale enforcement of President Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration. And immigration officials call the arrest, quote, "routine".

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said this.


JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: First of all, they're not rounding anyone up. The people that ICE apprehend are people who are illegal, and then some.


PAUL: Now, ICE says many of the arrested individuals have prior felony convictions, including violent charges such as child sex crimes, weapons or assault charges. About 160 undocumented immigrants were arrested in Los Angeles alone this week. Agents also conducted operations in Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.

BLACKWELL: And let's talk about it now with Joey Jackson, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Jessica Stern, criminal and immigration defense attorney, and Jack Kingston, former senior adviser to the president's campaign and former Georgia congressman.

Good morning, everyone.




BLACKWELL: Jessica, I understand you tell our producers your offices have been flooded with calls from undocumented immigrants, concerned about what to do. And they're describing what is happening when they get visits. Tell us what you're hearing.

STERN: That's right, Victor, our phones are ringing off the hook along with other colleagues of mine for people, families, that are now reporting that their loved ones, their husband are just recently picked up in these raids.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will go out of their way to say they're not raids, they're not rounding people up. But I'm not sure how else it can be described. It is a circumstance that hasn't quite been done like this in the past.

While there were routine raids that happens occasionally under the Obama administration, who they're going after in this situation does seem to be different. It's not people necessarily with criminal convictions. It's folks that were living peacefully here, potentially for many, many years. And possibly a pending driving without a license case or something minor seems to be what we are seeing is the most common denominator for the people being arrested right now.

BLACKWELL: Well, how about that, Congressman, President Trump then candidate Trump, says there has to be a deportation force. That famous speech in Arizona he said he would be investing or doubling down on ICE's deportation effort. Is this the deportation force? Not focusing on bad dudes, but in the case of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, this is a mother who's been here since she was a teenager now being deported back to Mexico.

KINGSTON: Well, actually, in the case for Ms. Garcia, she had been arrested for criminal impersonation in 2009. She, since 2013, knew she was going to be eventually deported.

I'm not sure why she wasn't more proactive, because as a mother, you would think she would be. But she knew that her time would be coming up.

[07:35:02] And that's the way it has always worked.

Remember, Barack Obama deported 2.5 million people and that does not include the year 2016. So, for the left to say, "Oh, is this new stuff," this is absolutely not new stuff. This is routine. What they do is they try to go after the class one, the most violent

illegal aliens. And then along the way, if they find that our out there, then they do arrest you and deport you, even if you weren't the target. If you are, you know, some way in the way, that's the way it's always been. Now, the last couple of years of the Obama administration, that was a little fuzzy really, but during Bush and early years of Obama, that was the business at hand.

And so, for the critics to suddenly say this is new and this is a big change, it's not accurate at all. And anybody would look at the Obama deportation record of 2.5 million people knows that.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, go ahead, Joey.

JACKSON: Congressman, most respectfully, I beg to differ with you. There's everything new about this. And this is nothing like we've seen before. In an effort to justify the recent deportation of a mother who has two children who's been since here she was 14 years old.


BLACKWELL: Hold on, Congressman.

JACKSON: I don't see the rationale in that justification.

KINGSTON: Read the case. Read the case.

BLACKWELL: Congressman, please? Can you just hold for a second? One at a time.

Joey, go ahead.

JACKSON: If the objective is to get rid of people who represent a threat in this country, if the objective is to protect border security, if the objective is to protect us from people who are engaging in drugs and human trafficking, I fail to understand, Congressman, the justification of taking a mother, yes, it's true, she indeed false Social Security numbers, she was living here under false Social Security number, that's a crime. That's not to be justified.

The president clearly has an enforcement duty and responsibility. But if you're going to talk about an executive order which indicates that people who represent a threat to this country should be removed, I fail to see your rationale, Congressman.

KINGSTON: Rationale is --

BLACKWELL: Congressman --

JACKSON: -- what they did with ICE, how do you justify it?

BLACKWELL: Jessica, before I come to you. Go ahead, Congressman.

KINGSTON: Because it's the law of the land. It's the law of the land. I'm sure you read the case, I'm sure if you just know anything about our system on immigration, that you know that this is the way it's always been conducted --


BLACKWELL: Hold on, Joey, let him finish.

KINGSTON: If she was a felon, if they go after a violent criminal and they find her along the way, she signed an order in 2013 knowing that she would be deported and that her time was up. Now, I believe --

KINGSTON: She checked in to immigration, Congressman, eight different times.


Congressman, let me ask you this, what Donald Trump said during the campaign and late in the campaign, and certainly after his election, he said he would be going first after violent criminals. You bring up the 2009 conviction of using a fake Social Security number, but Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos does not qualify as a violence criminal. Should she be on top of the list in the first three weeks of the administration to be deported?

KINGSTON: She is not the target and people like her have not been the target. Yet, people like her, along the way when they go after the targets if they find somebody like Ms. Garcia, they do deport her, in accordance with the law of the land. You know, this is what Barack Obama did, this is what George Bush did --

JACKSON: No, it is not.


KINGSTON: Barack Obama, 2.5 million. I'm sure you are raising hell that about Barack Obama --


BLACKWELL: Congressman, Joey, hold on for a second.

JACKSON: I know we're in an era of alternative fact but we really should tell the viewers what the facts are. And the fact is, if you want to talk about a conviction for a false Social Security number and equate that with violence and say well you know what --

KINGSTON: I'm not.

JACKSON: -- you know what, your time is coming, the fact is she checked in with immigration officials as was her duty, as her responsibility, every other time, she was released to her family. So, if we're going to have a conversation about border security, if we're going to have a discussion about --


BLACKWELL: Hold on, hold on. Congressman and Joey, hold for a second. Jessica, let me get you back in here. What are you telling the people

who call your office, what should they do?

STERN: Well, this is different from what we've seen in the past, because before we were able to say under President Obama that if you didn't have a conviction for a significant crime, then you were not going to be a priority for deportation. Now, what we're seeing is that people without convictions. So, this is different from even Ms. Garcia's case or violence criminals, people that just have pending cases.


STERN: -- pending traffic violations, we are not able to really clearly advise at this point, beyond saying, be careful, when you have a knock at your door. Understand who's there. Don't open it unless there is a warrant. That's what we're dealing with right now, because there are police officers going to people's homes saying we're looking for someone else, and then they're arresting family members for simply no violation beyond something minor.

[07:40:10] BLACKWELL: Jessica Stern, Jack Kingston, Joey Jackson, thank you for the conversation. We got to wrap it here. But we, of course, will continue to talk about it.



PAUL: Meanwhile, Democrats are ditching an old playbook. They're searching for a new way to win back the House. The Dems' new strategy, that's next.


BLACKWELL: Sixteen minutes before the top of the hour nearly.

House Democrats are doing some soul-searching -- let's call it -- this weekend at their annual retreat in Baltimore. This afternoon, candidates running to chair the national party will strategize the months ahead. Talking about what they need to do and which direction the party should go in.

PAUL: Part of the discussion means dropping some of the old ideas that have not benefited them in the past. The new focus: how can they make up lost ground and win back the House majority?

PAUL: And one of the speakers at today's Democratic forum is Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. He is joining us this morning.

Governor, good morning to you.

GOV. DANNEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Good morning. It's great to be with you.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you. So, before we get to your agenda today and what you'll be talking

about with the Democrats there in Baltimore, let me ask you about the news of the day and the news that the president will likely will issue a new executive order in the coming few days, to take new actions to keep Americans safe. I know that you were supportive of the Ninth Circuit continuous blocking of that last order.

What do you want to see? What do you want to hear from the president in this potential new order coming out next week?

[07:45:01] MALLOY: Well, it would probably help if it's not written in crayon. Which is a way of saying hopefully they'll do their homework. They'll understand the Constitution of the United States. They'll understand that people have rights even if they're not citizens, if they're residents of the United States. These are important and fundamental issues that need to be addressed in any order.

Listen, Democrats are for security. We don't want to let terrorists into our country. On the other hand, you don't abrogate the rights of your citizens and your residents with the kind of order that the president foolishly rushed out. He made himself look bad, worse yet, he made America look bad.

I mean, this is being used as a recruiting tool and those very countries that he says he's concerned might rise to terrorism. It doesn't make any sense. It didn't make any sense.

He should have reached this decision within hours of releasing his original order. It took the Ninth Circuit to push back on him, so that he couldn't deny all of the mistakes that were made.

Let's see what happens in the next one. Hopefully, it's not written in crayon.

PAUL: So, Governor, what would have to be in that order for you to support it?

MALLOY: Well, listen, I think it has to be clear that this is about security and vetting processes, and the like. But let me -- let me segue into something. When we talk about refugees, these are the most screened people who come into the United States, period.

Now, let me point something out here. The terrorists in Brussels were born in their -- in that country. The terrorists in Paris were born in that country. Somehow, we still let people from Paris and Brussels come to the United States. We don't have a ban on them.

There has to be some nexus -- there has to be some value brought to what's attempting to be done. What you don't want to do is declare that terrorists have won, because we're isolating ourselves, offending our friends, inspiring our opponent.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's turn now to the Democrats there in Baltimore. There have been several huge protests here in the U.S. and around the world. This is actually the first weekend of the Trump administration that we have not seen those huge protests.

How does the Democratic Party galvanize those people, get them to the polls, and turn all of that passion and energy into votes?

MALLOY: Well, I think there's a certain reality that those -- that passion are votes ready to be exercised. People are looking at this presidency, looking how this administration is being run, and understanding a lack of truthfulness, quite frankly, that's now coming out.

They deny they talked about sanctions with Russia. Now, we know they talked about sanctions with Russia. Or at least were led to believe that based on all of the information that's available.

Let me say this very clearly on the record, if the general lied, he needs to resign. If it was covered up, anyone who covered it up needs to resign. We need some truthfulness. The lack of truthfulness will just feed this thing on an ongoing basis.

I made this point somewhere else. I'll make it here with you folks.

I mean, we have a fever pitch here in the United States of people saying they want their America back. They want an America that honors the Constitution. They want an America where the government speaks freely and honestly. They want an America that's protecting people's rights.

They also want a candidate Trump to grow up and be a President Trump and stop using the verbiage that got him elected and talk to Americans in ways that they're used to be talked to, first and foremost with the truth.

PAUL: All right. Governor Malloy, I'm sorry we're out of time. Thank you for taking the time to be with us. We appreciate it.

MALLOY: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, he's been on the job for just a few days now, but already, the newest United States senator is facing some controversy and questions about how he got that position.


[07:52:43] PAUL: There are growing concerns over the newest United States senator and how he obtained the job.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the Alabama governor was quick to name a replacement for former senator now, Jeff Sessions, as he was confirmed for attorney general this week. But that decision is raising a lot of questions about maybe corruption in the state.


BLACKWELL (voice-over): Hours after the Senate vote to confirm Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to become the next United States attorney general -- GOV. ROBERT BENTLEY (R), ALABAMA: Senator Strange, congratulations.


BLACKWELL: Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appoints the state's Attorney General Luther Strange to fill Sessions' Senate seat.

ED HENRY (R), ALABAMA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: There just seems to be some conflict of interests there. And it's caused much of the state to reel with concern.

BLACKWELL: That's because last year, Governor Bentley was accused of having an affair with a political staffer, but the governor denies the affair and any illegal activity.

BENTLEY: I have never had a physical affair with Mrs. Mason.

BLACKWELL: Bentley was facing possible impeachment until strange halted the process launching a criminal investigation instead.

JIM ZEIGLER (R), ALABAMA STATE AUDITOR: The person here appointed was the attorney general. Now the governor gets a two-for-one, he gets to appoint his own attorney general.

BLACKWELL: Critics question whether the governor appointed Strange in an effort to stop the criminal investigation and take impeachment off the table.

HENRY: He probably has that much power, but I think that would be a poor play for Luther Strange in that if he were to do that, if he were to stop the proceedings, then he enters into a 2018 election cycle where he essentially has stopped the impeachment.

BLACKWELL: State Respective Ed Henry says most voters do not want impeachment proceedings canceled. The state auditor agrees but has his own fear.

ZEIGLER: And now, Governor Bentley gets his own attorney general. So, this cloud may continue to hover until January 21st of 2019. That's Robert Bentley's last day as governor of Alabama, by the grace of God.

BLACKWELL: Early Friday evening, Governor Bentley announced the appointment of Steven Marshall as the next attorney general for Alabama.

[07:55:04] CNN reached out to the governor's office for comment on the appointment but has not heard back.


PAUL: All righty. Listen, there are hundreds of whales, I don't know if you've seen these pictures, but they're stranded on a New Zealand beach.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the emotional efforts to rescue them, we're going to take you there.

PAUL: First though, I can relate to this. I don't know about you. If you promised yourself you're going to get fit in 2017, having a little trouble getting on track. Health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour has some simple guidance for us to stay well.


STEPHANIE MANSOUR, WEIGHT LOSS COACH: The National Institutes of Health says that you're more likely to stick to a change in routine by taking one small step at a time.

Drop an extra pair of shoes by the door, that why you're reminded to exercise every time you walk in and out.

Line up some water bottles on a shelf in your fridge. This way you'll have to drink a bottle of water before you can eat the food behind it.

If you're a nighttime eater, try this trick. Put some lotion on your hands to signal that it's time to stop eating for the day.

Plus, who wants to eat a snack that tastes and smells like lotion?

Write down positive affirmations on sticky notes, then place them on your bathroom mirror. That way you can see them over and over again to help build a healthier and happier relationship with yourself.