Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Speaks at D.C. Women's Event; DOJ to Take DACA to Supreme Court; Husband/Father Deported to Mexico after 30 years in U.S.; 13 Siblings Rescued in California, Parents Arrested. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired January 16, 2018 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, details about the 13 siblings police say were held captive inside their California home and tortured by their own parents. One of the daughters, 17 years of age, escaped through a window and used a deactivated cell phone to call 911. Investigators are calling here a hero for her bravery that led to the rescue of her 12 brothers and sisters and for sending her parents to jail.
That 911 call led to a gruesome discovery. These siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, some shackled to their beds with padlocks. Investigators say they appeared so malnourished, they thought the oldest was still a child.
Sorry to interrupt. We're going to come back to this in a moment.
Let's go to President Trump at a women's event in Washington.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sit down please, please. I wasn't very far away -- (laughter) -- so I said, I'd love to do this. This is fun.
But I want to thank you all and, really, for the job you've done. I know Ivanka just left. We really appreciate it. It's been incredible. You know what we've done in our tax bill, and you know how successful it's been. And we had women front and center. I think you all know that.
But I'm honored to stand here with the women across the administration -- from all across the administration. They have been incredible. I just look, and our Kellyanne has been something. Everyone -- everybody up here. There's Pam Bondi doing such a great job in Florida. We're proud of you, Pam. Everybody up here has been a friend and very, very special.
I want to thank First Lady of North Dakota Kathryn Burgum for being with us today. Kathryn, thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.) Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, Rebecca. Great job, Rebecca. (Applause.) Good. Huh? We're doing okay in Wisconsin, that's for sure. It's a great place. And also, Pam Bondi. Again, we want to thank you, Pam. Thank you very much.
Arkansas -- great state. How did I win Arkansas by so much when she came from Arkansas? (Laughter.) I don't know. Something going -- but Leslie Rutledge, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, Leslie. Thank you, Leslie. Appreciate it.
Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and in charge of our campaign in Michigan. And when we won Michigan, I said, I got to keep her going because Michigan hadn't been won in decades. So, Ronna McDaniel. Where's Ronna? Ronna is here someplace. Thank you, Ronna. Great job. Great job. (Applause.) Thank you. You're representing everybody very well on television, and I love your appearances.
But women represent half of the population, but they care about 100 percent of the issues that face the nation, that's for sure. We're making incredible progress. The women's unemployment rate hit the lowest level that it's been in 17 years. Well, that's something. (Applause.) And women in the workforce reached a record high. More women in the workforce today than ever before. That's really terrific, and especially since it's on my watch. I feel very proud of that.
I have to tell you a statistic that just came out recently, as you saw, that the black unemployment rate -- the African American unemployment rate is the lowest it's ever been in the history of the report. So we're very honored by that. It's really a great, great thing. (Applause.)
We've enacted massive tax cuts. You've seen it; you've seen what's happening. I have to tell you that -- far beyond our expectations. We thought in February, people would start to see their paycheck have a little more money in it. And, you know, you pick up that extra $200 or $300 all of a sudden on a monthly basis, and sometimes on a weekly basis, that has a big impact.
So we thought it would be February, and little did we know when the companies started -- AT&T started it -- but these companies started giving out $1000 to everybody. All of a sudden, it was one after another. Now the few that haven't, they're all saying -- the employees are saying, "What about us?" (Laughter.) So you know that's going to happen. So it kicked in a lot faster than we thought.
But the stock market is way up again today, and we're setting a record literally all the time. And I'm telling you, we have a long way to go. And had the other side gotten in, the market would have gone down 50 percent from where it was -- 50 percent from where it was. Remember that. It was stagnant, and it was going down.
And all you have to do is look at the GNP from the beginning. Just take a look at that GNP. And you look at it, if it's -- any way you want -- you can look at any statistic. You could look at GDP, you could look at any statistic and take a look at where they were. But GDP in particular, it was stuck and heading down.
And we took off restrictions, we took off regulations. Now, we still have plenty of regulations, although we're cutting a lot of them too. (Laughter and applause.) But you don't need nine different regulations.
We're looking now at Dodd-Frank because we have to free up so the banks can loan money to great people -- (applause) --because the banks haven't been able to do that. They were restricted. A person came up to me at a recent stop and said, "You know, all my life I did business with a certain bank. And now, all of a sudden, they can't do business with me. I've always paid my debts. I've always paid my loans. The bank loves me, but they're prohibited from doing." Now they're going to be able to do business with that person again.
So we're doing a real job on it. But the regulations had a lot to do with the success. Don't let anyone kid you. Without taking off those regulations -- I mean, look at what we've done just in terms of pipelines -- 48,000 jobs from almost day one -- 48,000 jobs on, really, things that were never going to get built. They weren't -- we have plants all over the country that are getting built.
Toyota is now moving back. Mexico -- it's very interesting -- Chrysler is leaving Mexico and moving back to Michigan. (Applause.) That's -- you haven't heard that one. You haven't heard that one in a while.
And one of the important things we're doing, as you know, doubling the child tax credit, and that's something so important to all of us. So women-owned small businesses in America will now be able to deduct 20 percent of their business income, which is something that people didn't expect that they would be seeing.
My presidential budget was the first in history to include a nationwide program for paid family leave. (Applause.) And we're partnering with communities to end the scourge of drug addiction that has plagued our country. I mean, you talk about a problem; that's a problem that we are working very hard on.
That's -- Pam has worked very hard. Everybody here, even if they're not totally involved with that, they're all working hard on it. And some people, within the family themselves, unfortunately, they're really working because they have people within the family that are in trouble. So that's number one on our list.
If you look at what's gone on, there's never been a time like this. And it's a worldwide problem. Some areas take care of it through very, very tough measures; we don't. We're not prepared to do that, I guess they say, as a country. But we have a tremendous, massive drug problem, and drug population, and we have dealers all over the country, and we are hitting them hard -- the dealers. The dealers are being hit hard.
But what they've done to families and what they're doing to the country, it's something that we are very focused on. Whether it's the opioids, whether it's drugs, as you hear in the traditional sense, much comes through the southern border. You know that. People don't like to talk about it. They say, "Oh, why do you mention that?" Because it happens to be true. But they come in through many different places and means, and they come in many different ways.
But we are on the drug problem as much as you can possibly be on it. And we're going to get it taken care of, one way or the other. And frankly, the tougher we get, the better it's going to be, the faster it's going to go away. We have got to get really tough on that problem because it's eating away at the heart of our country.
So with that being said, I just really appreciate you all being here. It's an honor. Again, when I heard, I ran across the street. Now I'll run back. (Laughter.) Now I'm going to run back to the Oval Office. (Applause.)
But we really have -- we've made a tremendous amount of progress. And it's now eleven and a half months and we've made a tremendous amount of progress in a very, very short period of time. When you look at what's gone on with the employment, when you look at what's gone on with the stock market, we've created now almost $8 trillion worth of value just in the stock market. That's not mentioning all of the other things that there are.
So we have a country that's on the right track. We're working on immigration and immigration reform, and hopefully at some point we'll be able to solve that problem. If the Democrats really wanted to, they could, but they really sometimes don't want to. But we're working on it and we'll get it done one way or the other, I hope.
So thank you all for being here. It's an honor. And I will see you all soon. So many friends. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you.
[14:39:42] BALDWIN: Speaking of immigration, we should point out that the president is correct in talking about the stock market and that the Dow crossing that 26,000 correctional for the first time ever today.
But on immigration here, the Department of Justice is now saying it plans to take the fight over DACA all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
So, let's go to CNN justice correspondent, Laura Jarrett, on that.
What's going on?
[14:40:07] LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Brooke. The Justice Department is taking an extraordinary step today. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing that that controversial decision on DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, where the federal judge said the Trump administration couldn't just get rid of it, all of a sudden, well, now Jeff Sessions is taking that fight on appeal to the 9th Circuit and to the Supreme Court.
In a statement moments ago, he said, "It defies both law and common sense for DACA, an entirely discretionary nonenforcement policy implemented unilaterally by the last administration after Congress rejected similar legislative proposals and courts invalidated the similar DACA policy for adults, to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco."
He goes on to explain this is taking the rare step to the Supreme Court even though a lower court is the one that said the renewal applications had to go forward. They're now escalating it to the Supreme Court, Brooke. And it's interesting, because that decision from that lower court in
San Francisco happened a while ago. We haven't seen any movement from the Justice Department so far. But clearly, just as Congress is ramping up its discussions with the White House on DACA, on this program, the Trump administration, at least from the Justice Department, has decided to work this out in the courts -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: You have all these movements with the court.
Laura Jarrett, thank you so much.
Let's put a face on this for all of you. An emotional turn in the fight over immigration. I want you to watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: What a scene. Two confused children and a grief-stricken wife, sobbing, clutching on to that father and husband before ICE agents escort him to a plane bound for Mexico. It's a heartbreaking good-bye that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Jorge Garcia was brought to the United States by a family member at 10 years of age. He had been living in Detroit the last 30 years. If he were a few years younger, he would qualify as a DREAMer, but he missed it, so he doesn't. Under the Obama administration, Jorge was able to receive multiple stays, but under the Trump administration, he has now been deported.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham saying perhaps his case should be reviewed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Senator Grassley asked me about deporting people who are criminals. Fine. I think we're doing that as we speak. That's something to consider. Now the young man who got deported yesterday, 39 years old, apparently, is something we need to look at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: With me now, Jorge's wife of 15 years, Cindy Garcia.
Cindy, thank you so much for taking a moment with us today.
My first question is just on your husband. Have you spoken to him since he has landed in Mexico?
CINDY GARCIA, WIFE OF JORGE GARCIA DEPORTED TO MEXICO: Thank you for having us on.
Yes, I spoke to him yesterday and a few minutes ago. He is sad. He's depressed. He's entered a country he does not know because he hasn't been there since he was 10 years old. So, of course, the dynamics of the place has changed since he has known it.
BALDWIN: How are you doing? How is he doing?
GARCIA: I'm trying to be strong. I just want to get my story out there. As depressed as I am, and I just want to scream and cry and lay in bed and not move, I know that I have to come forward for the people who cannot and tell our story. And how devastated we are that our case should have been looked at as an individual case and not as a whole because my husband is not a criminal.
BALDWIN: Your children, 15 and 12 years of age, how have you explained this to them?
GARCIA: It's hard because my youngest son is real attached to his father and when he wouldn't come home after 6:00, he would worry and say, mom, where is my dad? Call my dad. Text my dad. I want to know where my dad is. Now we can't see him, but we can hug him -- we can't hug him, but we can see him. It's devastating because we want to hug him, feel his warmth and be here with us. But, obviously, he cannot at this moment.
[14:44:58] BALDWIN: What do you explain to the youngest, that the government took your dad and we're trying to get him back? How do you even -- how do you explain that to a 12-year-old?
GARCIA: It's very hard because he doesn't grasp what the government did, and he doesn't understand why they took him either, because he's not a criminal. That's why we're trying to justify it with him. And it is very, very hard.
BALDWIN: Tell me just -- Cindy, tell me about your life in Michigan and what did your husband do for a living?
GARCIA: I'm medically retired from ford motor company. My husband was a landscaper here in Wyandot, Michigan.
BALDWIN: In Mexico now, in this sort of new life or space that he has found himself in, does he have a job lined up? What's his plan?
GARCIA: No. He's living with an aunt. He has to find a job because it's very hard for me to support two Households. He's trying to look for something down there. Like I said right now it's just everything is taking a toll on him because he feels alone, because he's in a country he doesn't know and he's away from his family.
BALDWIN: So, Cindy, take me back to when you first met your now husband and you fall in love. At what point do you realize, I have fallen in love with a man who came to this country as a young boy, who was in this country illegally? Did you sit for a minute with yourself and weigh the risks of committing to someone like that?
GARCIA: No, because the laws were different back then. We just figured that in 2005 we were going to do the right thing and adjust his status at that time. But because of the incompetent lawyer, it did not happen that way. And that's why we ended up where we are now in the deportation status.
BALDWIN: All right. OK. So, immigration authorities, I know they've been on your husband's case since 2009. Going through extension after extension. Will you walk me through when ICSE first contacted you since President Trump took office?
GARCIA: It was this year, November 20th was our annual visit with them. We went and they told us they were going to detain him. Our faces turned white. We panicked. We didn't know what to do. The officer reviewed my husband's case again and said hold on a second. How about you come back in two weeks with an airplane ticket saying you're leaving the day after Thanksgiving and everything will be OK? So two weeks later, we went back, gave him the airplane ticket and he was scheduled to leave. At that time, we got a phone call two or three days before Thanksgiving. The officer stated, well, your husband has no record. We're going to extend his time and let him stay for the Christmas holidays. And his new departure date is January 15th and you need to bring me a new itinerary, saying he is departing on that day.
BALDWIN: Why do you think your husband was targeted?
GARCIA: Because we tried to do the right thing. We tried to follow the rules, and because of one error, we got messed up.
BALDWIN: One error, which was what?
GARCIA: The -- at that time, in 2005, the attorney filed the wrong paperwork, the wrong information was on the paperwork and, at that time, when we went in front of the judge, I could prove that what I had and what she had was two different things.
BALDWIN: All right. So then you have this Christmas, which I guess in the back of your mind you're thinking, well, this is the last -- at this point in time, Christmas with my husband, who is about to have to go to Mexico. What did you do with your family even just in that last night together? Couple of nights ago?
GARCIA: For Christmas, we did not put up a Christmas tree, no Christmas lights. It was a very sad Christmas, new year's. My husband's birthday was the 2nd of January. That was very sad. And days leading up to his departure, we just tried to go to dinners, played board games, tried to do family things because we knew that that was going to be it. We wouldn't see him for maybe six months before we can attempt to try to go to Mexico. But it was very sad, knowing that we had to face this head on and there was no more extensions that were coming. So, there were tears that night as you lay in bed.
BALDWIN: There were? And there were tears in the airport. Thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people have seen that sobbing scene in the airport. What's the last thing you said to each other?
GARCIA: I love you and we're going to miss you. And we're going to bring you back as soon as we can. BALDWIN: Cindy Garcia, we're going to stay in touch with you. Just
thinking of you, and the best to you and your family. Appreciate your time and you lifting your voice. Thank you.
GARCIA: No, thank you.
[14:49:39] BALDWIN: Thank you.
Coming up next, we'll take you back to the story we were talking about before we needed to go to President Trump. A chilling story in California, 13 children found locked up inside this home, apparently, tortured. Police say they were tipped off by one child, one teenager, who managed to escape. We'll talk to a neighbor who lives across the street from this horrific scene.
BALDWIN: Want to get you back to that horrific story out of California. Police say 13 siblings were held captive and tortured by their own parents. Investigators describing one of these children's daring escape, which led to the gruesome discovery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. GREG FELLOWS, RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: On Sunday, January 14th, 2018, just before 6:00 in the morning, a 17-year-old girl called 911 from a deactivated cell phone and reported that her siblings were being held against their will and some were chained. Deputies responded, met with that 17-year-old nearby, and she explained that she had escaped through a window from that residence. The 17-year-old also showed some photos that led the deputies to believe that the information she was providing was accurate.
There was a very foul smell inside the residence. It was extremely dirty and, as we reported previously, many of the children were malnourished.
If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year- old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished and injuries associated with that, I would call that torture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:55:26] BALDWIN: Torture, just one of the charges now facing these parents. Each is being held on a $9 million bond.
As for the siblings, officials say the adults are all in physically stable condition. They couldn't reveal much about the minors but that they are together. They were all described as friendly, fully cooperating with police and protective services.
My next guest lives across the street from this family. She is Kimberly Milligan.
Kimberly, thank you so much for being with me. First, your reaction to hearing, listening to these authorities. This
was across the street from you, talking about kids chained to beds and torture. Your reaction?
KIMBERLY MILLIGAN, NEIGHBOR OF COUPLE ARRESTED FOR CHILDREN'S TORTURE: It's -- I'm devastated. It's so close to home, literally, that I'm just devastated. There's just no words to describe what this feels like.
BALDWIN: It's my understanding you moved to the neighborhood about two and a half years ago, and you're, what, 50 feet away, essentially, your home to their home? Did you know there was a family living there? Did you ever see these children?
MILLIGAN: So, as you mentioned, I moved in 2015 of June, and so I knew when I moved in that there was a family there of 12. That's what the number I knew. I knew that number because the contractor of the developer that built the homes informed me that, hey, your grandson, there's some neighbors he can play with over there. There's this family that has 12 kids and there's got to be somebody in his age range that he could play with. So, I always knew that there were 12 kids in the home. However, it was odd. It was odd because I never -- I've only ever seen the infant. The child was an infant at the time. This was two and a half years ago. The child was cradled in the arms of the mother that came out of the car. I only saw the infant three times ever. By the time that the infant was crawling or walking, I didn't see the infant anymore. What I thought I saw was the three regulars and that wasn't often. The three regulars I thought I saw was a 14-year-old, 11-year-old and 12-year-old, but come to find out they may be the 29-year-old, the 20-something kids.
BALDWIN: That's crazy. Just to jump in, because police are saying it was the 17-year-old who managed to escape and shimmy through a window and go ultimately call 911. Police, when they saw this 17-year-old, they thought she was 10. I think to your point --
MILLIGAN: And I could see that.
BALDWIN: You could see that? You could see that?
Did you ever try talking to them?
MILLIGAN: You could see that.
MILLIGAN: So I did. So Christmas of 2015, my son and I, we put out -- this is our first Christmas in the home. So we put out our decorations. It's nighttime. And so we're looking at the other neighbors. So we walked across the street and we saw the three. We saw the boy, the girl and the other girl. Again, we thought 14, 11 and 12. When we walked across the street, we very happily said, hey, this looks really good. They had a nativity set. They froze. They immediately shut down. I looked at it. I looked at it like they were children trying to do that mechanism where they're trying to deter a threat, where they were like, I'm invisible, you can't see me. My son and I initially caught that social cue and we immediately, hey, we live across the street. We're not trying to harm you, trying mess with you. We just want to talk about your Christmas decorations. They didn't utter one word and stayed in the same place. So we felt as though, OK, that wasn't probably a good decision. And we walked back across the street. So once again, I thought they were 14, 12, 11. But this was more than likely the 29-year-old and the other 20- year-olds.
BALDWIN: So, Kimberly, last question.
MILLIGAN: So I just --
BALDWIN: Quickly, hindsight is 20/20. I'm sure you played it all back in your mind and thought, my goodness --
MILLIGAN: Oh, yes.
[14:59:57] BALDWIN: -- maybe I should have done something. I guess my takeaway -- because there could be people watching in similar circumstances -- you never want to encroach too much on your neighbors. You want to be friendly, but something may be up. What's your message to those people?
MILLIGAN: You know, I --