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Trump Changes Focus on Immigration to Crime Victims; Separated Families Desperate to Reconnect; Republicans Perplexed over Immigration Policy; Migrant Kids Allege Abuse; E.U. Tariffs Now in Effect on U.S. Goods; 2018 World Cup; Struggling to Survive in World's Wealthiest Country. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired June 23, 2018 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
IVAN WATSON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Donald Trump fires back at his critics, saying stories of sadness and grief at the U.S. border are "phony"
Meanwhile, families separated at the border struggle to reconnect.
Plus Brazil bounces back at the World Cup. The team's late surge was an emotional moment for Neymar.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Ivan Watson and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
WATSON: Some 500 families separated as they cross the U.S. southern border have now been reunited, that is according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. But that means more than 2,000 children remain separated. And so far, no plans have been announced on how those children will be reunited with their families.
Adding to the chaos and confusion soon after they are taken into custody, children are transferred from Customs and Border Protection to the Department of Health and Human Services.
At the same time, President Trump is trying to focus attention from families separated at the border to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. Here is chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump appeared to make light of children separated from their parents at the border, turning his attention to families who say their relatives were killed by undocumented immigrants, calling them permanently separated.
TRUMP: These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones. The word permanently being the word that you have to think about, permanently.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president then took a swipe at undocumented immigrants, suggesting they commit more crime than native born Americans, despite studies that show that is not true.
TRUMP: The answer is it's not true. You hear it's like they're better people than what we have than our citizens, it's not true.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The mayor of El Paso, a border city, begs to differ.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: El Paso is the safest city in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no issues on the criminal side.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Two days after the president seemed to reverse course and announced he was halting the practice of separating migrant children from their parents...
TRUMP: We're going to have a lot of happy people.
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- the White House briefing room sat empty. For the second straight day, there were no officials to explain how the children will be reunited with their families.
But there were plenty of reminders the issue isn't going away. Protesters played audio of separated children outside the home of the Homeland Security secretary...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-three hundred babies and kids. I think the American people need to hear this.
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- as did Congressman Ted Lieu up on Capitol Hill.
As some of the children were returned to their mothers, lawmakers who have visited the detention facilities talked about the kids who are still locked up, in cages the administration is hiding from the public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we saw was a lot of kids in cages. We weren't allowed to talk to them. But the real issue here is these kids are removed from their parents, so they're bewildered and they're scared.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Attorney general Jeff Sessions even tried to cover up his own comments, telling Christian broadcasting that the administration didn't intend to split up migrant families...
JEFF SESSIONS (R), U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: It hasn't been good. And the American people don't like the idea that we're separating families. We never really intended to do that.
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- even though he warned of that last month. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSIONS: If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. And that child may be separated from you, as required by law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA (voice-over): Over on FOX News, one host said the kids coming over the border just aren't American enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS HOST: Like it or not, these aren't our kids. Show them compassion, but it is not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA (voice-over): No surprise the president is now abandoning efforts to pass immigration reform, tweeting, "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after the November elections."
That's after he tweeted earlier this week, "Change the laws, get it done."
TRUMP: We're also wanting to go through Congress. We will be going through Congress. We're working on a much more comprehensive bill.
ACOSTA: Still the question remains whether the administration really has a plan to return all the children who were separated back to their families. As one top GOP congressional aide put it to me, quote, "I'm not sure what the plan is." -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
WATSON: Also on Friday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, quote, "We cannot allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief."
But here is the thing, those stories were real enough for him to take executive action. And they have been documented by reporters along the border and across the country. Our Ed Lavandera talked to a woman desperately trying to --
WATSON: -- find her 9-year-old son.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senora?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The phone call came from inside the Port Isabel detention center in South Texas. On the line is an undocumented immigrant, who asked that we not identify her by name. She is from Honduras and was separated from her 9-year-old son 11 days ago after crossing the Rio Grande illegally.
LAVANDERA: (Speaking Spanish).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).
LAVANDERA (voice-over): I ask her how she is feeling.
"Not good at all," she says, "it is a trauma we will never forget, all of the mothers who are here as well as the kids. The truth is, we never imagined this would happen."
LAVANDERA: (Speaking Spanish).
LAVANDERA (voice-over): I asked her how she was separated.
"They betrayed us," she said. "They told us they weren't going to separate us from them and we never imagined it was going to be for so long."
Department of Homeland Security officials have vehemently denied that immigrants have been misled in any way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are things that you can do specifically to help out with the children.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): From inside her South Texas law office, Jodi Goodwin (ph) is trying to find 22 children. She represents 25 undocumented immigrants, who have all been separated from their children for about two weeks.
LAVANDERA: Most of them don't know where their kids are at this point.
JODI GOODWIN, ATTORNEY: None of them know where their kids are. I don't know where their kids are.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Goodwin says her clients have tried calling the numbers provided by the federal government to track where their children were sent but that hasn't worked. Only three of her clients have even spoken to their children.
GOODWIN: It is just not a system where you punch in a parent's name and it pops out the child's name. It just doesn't exist.
LAVANDERA: Could be highly frustrating for them.
GOODWIN: It is very frustrating. It's very frustrating. And each time I see them, they ask, any news? Do you have any news?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): While there have been a number of emotional reunions between separated families, there are still many families struggling to just connect over the phone.
The Department of Homeland Security says there is not a publicly accessible database to track the shelters where undocumented children are being kept. DHS says the adult detention centers have phones where the parents can call their children.
The Honduran immigrant on the phone tells me she in a wing of the detention center with 70 other mothers, who are also try to go communicate with their children. I ask her what message she would like the world to hear.
LAVANDERA: (Speaking Spanish).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).
LAVANDERA (voice-over): She says, "President Trump, for one second, put yourself in our place. The only thing we want is for them to give us our children back."
LAVANDERA: Government officials say the reason the children's database isn't widely accessible is because of security concerns. But the fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of undocumented immigrants, who have been detained for weeks who still haven't been able to find out where their children are, much less talk to them.
I spoke with one Central American man who has been detained nearly three weeks. He told me his greatest concern is worrying about the anxiety, uncertainty and confusion that his daughter must be experiencing because of this separation -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Brownsville, Texas.
WATSON: To provide some much needed context here, I'm now joined by Navid Dayzad. He is a veteran immigration lawyer who joins us from our Los Angeles bureau.
Good to see you, Navid. Thanks for coming in this evening.
NAVID DAYZAD, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Thank you.
WATSON: Let's get started on, of course, immigration. It has never been an easy process for coming to the U.S. When it comes to policies of the last month or so, you've had a zero tolerance policy imposed. And just within the last week, an executive order from President Trump that is trying to maintain family unity.
Have any of these moves further complicated the work that you are trying to do to help people get legal status here as residents or citizens of this country?
DAYZAD: Yes, unfortunately, these policies and the most recent executive order have not been well thought out. The administration created the problem with a zero tolerance policy and then replaced one bad solution with another bad solution.
Unfortunately, the policy is aimed at ending the trauma of family separations. But it has just replaced it with the trauma of prolonged detention of families and children in jails until they can go through the criminal procedures and then the immigration procedures.
WATSON: Do you get the sense that all of the judges, all the different agencies and departments that are involved at different facets of this work, that they all know what the policy and what the guidelines are right now?
DAYZAD: Absolutely not. There are conflicting statements. And, in fact, it is impossible to execute this new executive order within the confines of the law. As I mentioned, the executive order calls for prolonged detention of the kids with their parents. But there is also laws that protect these kids and says --
DAYZAD: -- that kids should not be held in ICE custody for more than 20 days at a time. They also don't have the beds, enough beds to house these families together. This is a solution that is unworkable from day one.
WATSON: Now the crisis of the last month or so, the separation of children from their families, more than 2,000 of them in just six weeks, that has highlighted immigration. And it has kind of shone a spotlight on trends that had already been developing, I believe, under past administrations.
You already had large numbers of what the state defines as unaccompanied alien children in federal shelters.
So can you kind of explain the evolution of a policy that probably some of your colleagues were critical about before President Trump was elected and enacted zero tolerance?
DAYZAD: There has been judicious use of criminal prosecution for people who enter the United States improperly. What is different, Ivan, is that now the administration is criminally prosecuting everyone and using detention in place of alternatives that are much less costly to the taxpayer and much more humane.
WATSON: Let's go to some of the most recent comments from President Trump where he talked about what he perceives as a link between illegal immigration and crime in this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: TRUMP: I always hear that, oh, no the population is safer than the people that live in the country. You have heard that, fellows, right? You have heard that. I hear it so much and I say, is that possible? The answer is, it is just not true. You hear like they are better people than what we have, than our citizens. It is not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Statistics show that with the increase of immigration over a broad period in this country, that violent crime, nonetheless, has gone down. Let's look at general numbers that may not directly correlate, what are your thoughts, based on what you heard the president say?
DAYZAD: The president is perpetuating a myth. In the law, we look at the cold, hard facts. And there are no facts that support this myth. In fact, studies show that immigrants have a far lower rate of criminal incidents as compared to the native born American.
WATSON: All of this, of course, in the midst of -- in a country that was founded by immigrants. You yourself are an immigrant. My mother was a refugee immigrant to this country. And it is striking personally, I think, and for many people to hear some of the rhetoric being hurled against entire communities of people who have contributed in the past to this country.
Navid Dayzad, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.
DAYZAD: My pleasure.
WATSON: Coming up after the break, President Trump retreats from his own hardline policy on immigration. And now he is telling Republicans not to bother with legislation for now. We'll examine what it might mean come November.
Plus you've probably heard of Neymar and Messi. But how about Nigeria's Ahmed Musa?
His dominant game at the World Cup -- ahead.
WATSON: Welcome back to the program.
The U.S. government estimates it now holds nearly 12,000 immigrant minors, those children are often relocated without notice among 100 youth detention centers and foster homes across 17 states. Their families may have no idea where they are.
Disturbing allegations of abuse have been filtering out of some of those detention facilities over the years. They include unsanitary conditions and forcibly giving the children powerful mood-altering drugs in the guise of vitamins.
But President Trump hasn't mentioned any of that during the present crisis. Instead, on Friday, he focused on victims of violent crime, whose loved ones died because of illegal immigrants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones. The word permanently being the word that you have to think about, permanently. They not separated for a day or two days. They are permanently separated because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: To get some analysis on this, let's bring in Inderjeet Parmar, he teaches international politics at City University of London.
Thank you for joining, sir.
INDERJEET PARMAR, CITY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Good morning.
WATSON: Frankly, for those of us who have been following this closely, it has been a very confusing week. President Trump signed an executive order to end his own policy of zero tolerance, which led to family separation in the first place. There have been so many contradictory statements this week.
Briefly, how do you view this last week when it comes to the U.S. and its immigration policy?
PARMER: What it seems to me, and obviously it is still playing out and we don't know the full consequences, but what it seems to me that President Trump has now recognized that there is an outer or an upper limit to even his hardcore supporters' support for anti-immigration policies.
When you see children being separated from their families and they are caged and they're drugged, as your report said, they have been unable to be found and relocated to their parents when they wanted to, I think then the land of apple pie and motherhood, even Republicans over the age of 50, nearly half of them do not support that separation policy.
So I think what President Trump has realized and has had to reverse himself ever so slightly, is that he cannot even rely on his hardcore base to support him. And I think he is now stepping slightly back in order to take stock again.
WATSON: Let's take a look at --
WATSON: -- another tweet from President Trump.
He tweeted, "Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!"
So he is clearly looking forward to the midterm elections.
My question to you, do you think some of the outrage we've seen could impact the midterm November elections?
Will voters still remember this five months from now?
PARMER: I think that is a big question. I think what he is trying to do is to come back from the most harsh aspect of the policy that he has been pursuing for some time. I think he sees that there is a PR disaster that has occurred.
I don't think that he will reverse himself. And I think the idea behind the Republicans dropping any kind of immigration reform now, I think, in a way, is to moderate the opposition to his child separation policy and to try to retain the galvanizing force on his electorate of the anti-immigration stance in itself.
He is flirting on the very outer edges of a right-wing political party and white supremacist kind of support. And I think he's trying to get control of the agenda again. And I think what he wants is the immigration policy to keep bubbling on because I think, for him, it is a bit of a vote winner or has been.
And I don't think that he wants the Democrats to have any kind of credit for passing any kind of legislation which prevents him from doing some of the most excessive things that he is doing.
So I think he is trying to steer a path in between the most extreme, which he has been found out on, and the sort of area in which he campaigned so strongly from 2016 onwards in order so that in 2018, in the midterms, it remains an issue on which he remains (INAUDIBLE) very strong but he is galvanizing a lot of opposition.
And one of the things that has been happening is --
WATSON: Let me just interrupt you on that opposition, Professor. We've seen pretty remarkable statements coming from a number of governors, at least 10 states that have indicated that they are either going to withdraw troops from their National Guards or not going to send them at all to help bolster protection security along the southern border with Mexico.
We've also heard about airlines, for example, announcing -- three major airlines saying they won't fly any children that they believe may have been separated from their parents.
Have you ever seen this kind of outrage played out this way in the U.S. before about a policy?
PARMER: Well, I haven't seen it myself. But in 1920, the attorney general then, Palmer, as his name was, carried out raids in January 1920 and arrested 10,000 people across the country. And there was outrage after that because there was no revolution which he had predicted was going to occur from the Left.
It has occurred before. But I think what this is doing is effectively, for every politician who has been supporting a get tough policy, because they believed American public opinion was moving in that direction, I think they have now seen that this is not going to win them any support, that this policy has gone too far.
And I think that they are doing it for political calculation far more than they're doing for any kind of what I would argue is a moral position, because a lot of these sorts of things were already happening.
But it is only when the recordings and some of the pictures came out of the children crying and border guards abusing those children and so on that they began to step back. I don't think that this is a reversible -- overall a reversible position because I think the detention of large numbers of undocumented immigrants will carry on.
And I think, as you asked your previous interviewee, I think there are continuities here from previous administrations as well. So while you can roll back a little bit, I think there is a longer-term shift which is going on. And I'm not sure that the end of President Trump's regime is going to see the end of that particular kind of politics at all.
WATSON: And as you pointed out, a PR problem for President Trump. But some would argue also a moral and ethical problem as well. Inderjeet Parmar, thank you very much for speaking to us from City University in London.
PARMER: Thank you.
WATSON: Now president Donald Trump is doubling down in his trade fight with Europe. On Friday, he threatened to impose steep tariffs on European auto imports. It came the same day that the E.U. imposed new tariffs on American products. Our Clare Sebastian has more.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There was a tit-for-tat playing out in real time and in public. First, E.U. tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of U.S. goods --
SEBASTIAN: -- came into force Friday. That was widely expected and telegraphed: peanut butter, Bourbon, denim, motorcycles, quintessentially American products from politically critical states, designed to hit the U.S. where it hurts.
The E.U. was retaliating for the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum. The Trump administration doesn't see it that way.
Within hours, President Trump had tweeted this, "Based on the tariffs and trade barriers long placed on the U.S. and its great companies and workers by the European Union, if these tariffs and barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20 percent tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here."
It is not the first time the Trump administration has dangled the prospect of car tariffs. Back in May, they opened an investigation into whether foreign auto imports threatened U.S. national security.
But it is a serious threat. The U.S. is the biggest market for European cars and European carmakers already being hit from all sides in this trade spat. Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz, already warned this week its profits would be hit by the U.S.-China tariffs.
And this could also come back to bite the U.S. economy. European carmakers already manufacture many of their vehicles in the U.S. If their profits get hit, so will U.S. jobs. And a 20 percent tariff means the U.S. consumer could be paying thousands of dollars more for a European car.
However you look at it, this escalation is intensifying, where we could all end up paying the price -- Clare Sebastian, CNNMoney, New York.
WATSON: Bourbon lovers, brace yourselves. We have got some bad news. A storage building partially collapsed at the Barton 1792 distillery in Kentucky, sending about 9,000 barrels crashing to the ground. No one was hurt in the accident.
The good news, it looks worse than it is. Many of the barrels are still intact and can be salvaged. So you can raise a glass to that at least.
Coming up, Brazil get a surprise challenge from Costa Rica at the World Cup. How it took more than Neymar to get a win -- ahead.
Plus Argentina fans are in agony; how they are coping with the painful loss to Croatia. All that coming up after the break.
WATSON: Welcome back. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ivan Watson. Here are the headlines this hour.
WATSON: Let's do some World Cup. The Super Eagles were soaring Friday at the World Cup in Russia. Nigeria took on Iceland in a dominant 2-0 win. Fan favorite Iceland is a newcomer to the tournament but they just couldn't stop Ahmed Musa. He got both goals for Nigeria, keeping their World Cup dreams alive.
Now for more on Friday's action and a look ahead to Saturday's games, I'm joined by CNN's Amanda Davies. Good to see you there. And you are no longer in front of St. Basil's
Cathedral, I see, Amanda. You've moved your position. Let's talk about Friday's games. Switzerland beat Serbia yesterday but the game had a tinge of history and politics.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Ivan, I'm in front of the Spartak stadium which is where Belgium are playing Tunisia later on. We'll come on to that.
But looking back to what happened yesterday, we have this saying that sport and politics doesn't mix.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIES (voice-over): But actually as Serbia took on Switzerland yesterday, the opposite was true. There is a lot of history between these two sides. Switzerland is a very international side with players from a number of different ethnic backgrounds.
And their two goal scorers, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri are both originally from Kosovan descent. Both have openly talked about their Kosovan originates in the past. Shaqiri actually wears the Kosovan flag on his football boots and has said in the past that, if he had his chance again, he would want to play for Kosovo.
But Kosovo only relatively recently have been recognized by the International Football Association. And the ruling when they were recognized was that if people had played in major tournaments for different countries, then they weren't allowed to swap allegiance.
And what we saw last night was a real outpouring of emotion from Xhaka and Shaqiri when they scored their goals because Kosovo is an ethnic Albanian territory that was involved in an independent battle against largely Serb forces in the late 1990s. In early 2000s, Serbia, Kosovo did declare their independence. But that isn't recognized by Serbia.
So when these players scored last night, you saw what it meant for them, not just scoring for Switzerland but also their nation of Kosovo. It's something that football authorities don't encourage, Ivan. They don't want political displays during their football matches.
So you would expect FIFA will be looking into it. But certainly a very emotive night on the football pitch here.
WATSON: And that gets messy and --
WATSON: -- probably wouldn't be welcome in Russia, either, a traditional ally of Serbia as well.
Let's talk about the upcoming games. You're there at Spartak stadium, where Belgium will be playing against Tunisia. I understand that the Belgians have had high hopes in the past only to disappoint in previous tournaments.
Any chance that luck could turn around this time?
DAVIES: Yes, all those phrases, dark horses, the golden generation, are used time and time again when you talk about Belgium. I was here yesterday to see them training. And when you look at the players that they have available to them, it is like a fantasy football team.
But traditionally they haven't managed to put it together at these major tournaments. And Roberto Martinez, who is a former player, their relatively new coach with Theirry Henry, the great France international, as part of his team, he spoke very openly about the fact that his job is to combine this group of individuals with such incredible talent, to make them into a team, to facilitate them playing to their maximum capacity on this biggest stage.
They did beat Panama 3-0 in their opening game but the view was they didn't do as well as they should have done; they didn't manage to use all their potential.
Tunisia will be another tough prospect for them today. They defend very deep. We saw that against England.
But you would think Belgium would have too much for them and they would hope to put 6 points on the board, two wins out of two games, which would give them definitely one foot in the next round.
WATSON: Amanda, are the defending champions, Germany, and our colleague, Fred Pleitgen, of course, will be watching this closely, are they really at risk of being eliminated?
DAVIES: Believe me, Ivan, having gone through Brazil four years ago, standing next to Fred and seeing him celebrating, there was a little bit (INAUDIBLE), particularly from the English perspective, chuckling at his and Germany's predicaments at the moment because it was a real shock, their defeat in their opening game to Mexico.
And there is no doubt that the pressure is on. That is what the German boss, Joachim Low, has said, that they now very much need to very much step up and get a result against Sweden.
What they know is that, if they avoid defeat, it will see them through to the final rounds of group games, knowing that they are still in the hunt. But they definitely need to improve on what we saw last time. They were very disjointed, didn't really create many chances in their opening game against Mexico.
And Sweden will be a tough opposition for them. Back in the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. They got a victory in their opening game and have been really schooled by their manager, Janne Andersen, in creating a team ethos, in the post-Zlatan era.
It has been working for them so far. But Germany know that Sochi was the scene of some big victories for them this time last year at the Confederations Cup. They will be hoping to refind that success today.
WATSON: Amanda Davies live in front of Spartak stadium in Moscow, we'll be watching all of this very closely. Thank you.
Now still to come, CNN interviews some of America's working poor to find out how they are struggling to get by. Our report comes on the heels of a United Nations report criticizing the U.S. for its treatment of the poor. All that after the break.
WATSON: Welcome back to the show.
Some sad news for metal fans. Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul has died at the age of 54. His band was known for some very memorable hits like this one, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: If you don't forget, Paul and his brother, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, founded Pantera in late 1980s. The Grammy-nominated band dissolved at the end of 2003. Paul then went on to form Damageplan with his brother. But their tenure was short-lived when Dime Bag was shot and killed on stage during a concert. No other details on Paul's death have been provided.
To a very different story, the American ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, is criticizing a United Nations report on poverty in the U.S., calling it misleading and politically motivated. It blamed poverty in the U.S. on failed politics and called on the Trump administration to turn things around.
Our Lynda Kinkade sat down with some of America's working poor to hear first-hand about their struggle to survive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are people out on the streets in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, you know, that are struggling for meals, for shelter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things are tight right now. Rent's high everywhere.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Had you ever been homeless before?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never, never.
KINKADE (voice-over): These are America's working poor, earning so little they can't afford a home, not even one for rent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might work today, might not tomorrow, which then puts you in a bind because you're only making like $40 to $50, maybe $60 a day.
KINKADE: So how much were you earning an hour?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than like 8 bucks an hour.
KINKADE: Right. And you're 30...?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am.
KINKADE (voice-over): Maudine Faul (ph) works several jobs in catering and cleaning. But most businesses won't give her more than 30 hours a week to avoid paying health care. She's been homeless 18 months.
KINKADE: So do you ever feel vulnerable when you're living on the streets?
MAUDINE FAUL (PH), HOMELESS WOMAN: You really cannot rest --
KINKADE: You can't relax. You're on edge.
FAUL (PH): I am.
KINKADE (voice-over): John Barber (ph) used to own his own maintenance business.
JOHN BARBER (PH), FORMER BUSINESS OWNER: I had four people working for me.
KINKADE (voice-over): Today, he's making grilled cheese sandwiches at Safe House Outreach in Atlanta. Losing everything in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit forced him on the streets for the best part of a decade.
BARBER (PH): You may not take a shower for two or three days. I wouldn't hire myself if I was looking like that. I never was really religious at that point but I started praying to God at that point.
KINKADE (voice-over): He decided to start walking, New Orleans to Atlanta, over 700 kilometers in 32 days. Safe House Outreach helped him find a full-time job. But he was jobless after just 18 months due to illness. Now he oversees the kitchen here, which serves hundreds of meals a day to the homeless.
BARBER (PH): Yes.
[04:45:00] KINKADE (voice-over): The official unemployment rate might be at record lows. But Safe House Outreach says they've seen an increase in the number of underemployed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a given year we'll see about 4,000 people.
KINKADE: This is the report being presented to the United Nations that finds if you are one of the 40 million Americans living in poverty, you're likely to stay that way. The American dream, it says, is rapidly becoming an American illusion.
KINKADE (voice-over): Across the U.S., people working for tips can often earn as little as $2.13 an hour and have to make up the rest in tips just to meet the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not livable wages. These are little tokens that they're throwing. These are the crumbs from your table.
KINKADE (voice-over): Nolan English is the director of the outreach program.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least 40 percent of the people that we serve are working and holding down two or three jobs.
KINKADE (voice-over): Around the clock, seven days a week, they send out teams to talk to people who are struggling, living below the poverty line. One man living in a park started convulsing in front of us. Had Nolan not been there to call paramedics, the situation could have been far more dire.
The U.N. report found, unlike other wealthy nations, the U.S. has neglected its signed international agreements, which state that access to health care and food are basic human rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing that could be done with this current administration would have to be a total change of heart.
KINKADE (voice-over): Lynda Kinkade, CNN, Atlanta.
WATSON: Let's take a look at Turkey. That country is preparing for the landmark elections when voters will go to the polls to elect both a president and a new parliament. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hoping to secure another victory to usher in a new system of government, one that scraps the prime minister role and gives the president sweeping new powers.
CNN's Sam Kiley spoke to some of Mr. Erdogan's diehard supporters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is freedom in this country, there is services, peace and stability. He built roads, airports and hospitals. This is a president together with his people. Therefore, I wish him all the success. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We use our headscarves, we go to mosques freely, teach Quran in courses, religious schools are free. We live in our religion Islam freely. What else can he do?
I think economy is doing fine and Erdogan brought us good services.
SAM KILEY, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is only one person expected to win Turkey's presidential elections and that is the man standing behind me. The issue for him is, can he avoid a runoff and can he save fate by holding onto power within Turkey's parliamentary elections?
WATSON: Sam Kiley joins me now live.
And I believe this is from an opposition rally, am I correct, Sam?
KILEY: Yes, it is, Ivan. You are right. We are at the opposition rally for Muharrem Ince, if there is one person who could challenge the ability of Mr. Erdogan to avoid at least a second runoff, in other words, if there is anybody that can stop Mr. Erdogan from getting 51 percent of the vote, all of the experts agree that it is Mr. Ince's comeback, who's come almost from nowhere, from a long career in parliament but not the leader of this party.
Representing a broad church of opposition all the way from radical Islamist parties right through to the staunchly secular heirs to Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. This is the man who certainly his supporters hope and certainly Mr. Erdogan might fear may force the current incumbent in Turkey to a presidential runoff.
Of course his coalition of parties also trying to eat away at the dominance of Mr. Erdogan's ruling AKP party in the parliamentary elections. He had a massive turnout in his support base in the city of Izmir, Ivan. It will be interesting to see whether or not he galvanizes quite such a big crowd here at his last rally in Istanbul.
But he is strong in the cities and it is in the countryside, really, where he needs to make gains -- Ivan.
WATSON: And I do believe that Erdogan's own final rally ahead of the election is due to begin in minutes. And, of course, in the past, he has campaigned as an underdog against the establishment.
Now 18 years later, he is very much the establishment in Turkey. So we'll see how that message translates in this coming election. Sam Kiley, live from Istanbul, thank you very much.
Now ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, Argentina nearly in tears. How the country is coping as its World Cup team struggles.
WATSON: Don't cry for Argentina. Its World Cup fans have that covered. We had to use that Andrew Lloyd Webber reference because Argentina have had a terrible start to the tournament, despite having one of the world's best players in Lionel Messi.
In fact, people are taking it so badly that one broadcaster actually held a moment of silence after the team lost to Croatia on Thursday. Yes, that really did happen. And our Don Riddell has more.
DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An Argentina fan crying in shock after her team was crushed by Croatia on Thursday. The 2014 runners-up were expected to come well because of start Lionel Messi. But in this World Cup, he hasn't been able to deliver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Messi, he keeps winning for Barcelona, he continues to deliver triumph after triumph for Barcelona, has given us nothing but defeat and sadness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We lost very badly. The truth is that they really humiliated us this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so sad. I really believed in Argentina. All the world know that Messi is the best player in the world. But today is a very sad day for all football world.
RIDDELL (voice-over): Coach --
RIDDELL (voice-over): -- Jorge Sampaoli, who also has been heavily criticized by the Argentine press, says it's not fair that so much pressure is being put on his star player.
JORGE SAMPAOLI, ARGENTINA FOOTBALL COACH (through translator): If you score in an Argentina jersey, you'll take credit for it. And when Argentina lose, it's all layers (ph) fault. I think that's quite an unfair treatment. This is a lot of pressure for a single player to bear.
RIDDELL (voice-over): Social media has been having a field day with the loss. Check out this meme.
"Don't cry for Lionel Messi and Argentina," a reference to this.
(VIDEO CLIP, "EVITA")
RIDDELL (voice-over): And then there are the comparisons between Messi and Portuguese superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored four goals in the tournament so far. Argentina fans have even been reaching out to a higher power, the pope, asking him to make Messi like Ronaldo.
Argentina now face a must-win game against Nigeria on Tuesday. Their hopes of reaching the last 16 hanging by a thread. And in the end, Messi is hoping he doesn't have to say this to his legion of fans.
(VIDEO CLIP, "EVITA")
RIDDELL (voice-over): Don Riddell, CNN.
WATSON: Oh, my. The highs and lows of the World Cup.
Well, the day's top stories are just ahead. CNN NEWSROOM continues with my friend, George Howell, right after the break.