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Trade Tariffs Proving Costly for Iowa Farmers; Sanjay Gupta's "Champions of Change" Highlights Feeding America; Tattoo Removal, a Life Changing Option for Many; Trump Policy Reversal Causes Chaos And Confusion; GOP Congressman: Fire Trump Adviser Stephen Miller Now; Lawyer: Reunification Could Take A Month; Detained Mom Trying To Find Son Taken At The Border. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired June 23, 2018 - 08:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my goodness.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Just crashes into that post and went airborne. It hits a sign, goes airborne, nearly flips, goes in between the gas pumps and crashes to that stop. Incredibly the driver walked away without injuries.

PAUL: My goodness, CNN affiliate, WLBT reports, the woman was going 100 miles per hour. She's been charged with driving under the influence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 3,000 children still separated from their families and in legal limbo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we saw was a lot of kids in cages. They're bewildered and scared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The second straight day, they were no officials to explain how the children will be reunited with their families.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's absolute chaos on the field because there is no clear guidance being given to the field because there's no clear plan back in Washington.


PAUL: I want to wish you a good morning, and thanks for being here. You know, this morning, it's chaos, confusion, conflicting stories on the border. And soon, there are going to be members of Congress who are going to try to get some answers. More than a dozen lawmakers in fact heading to facilities like the ones you see here where children have been sent after being separated from their parents and families are held in limbo.

BLACKWELL: And it's been almost three days now since President Trump signed the executive order stopping the family separations that he started. But almost 1,800 kids are still waiting to be reunited with their parents. A senior Republican aide admits to CNN that even members of Congress do not know what is supposed to happen next.

CNN's Boris Sanchez is at the White House with the latest on what the Trump administration is saying. We are going start at the border with CNN's Polo Sandoval where members of Congress are heading this morning. Polo, good morning to you. What are you expecting and what are they expecting to see?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, yesterday, a visit from Republican lawmakers. Today, several Democratic legislators will be traveling here to the Rio Grande Valley, this southernmost tip of Texas, considered to be one of the busiest for Border Patrol apprehensions.

And as we learned yesterday after hearing a local U.S. attorney, also one of the busiest when it comes to prosecutions. Since the implementation of zero tolerance, prosecutors here seen a 266 percent increase in the prosecution of illegal entry cases.

These are cases that we have seen in the past, however, but not to these levels here. So, where do the numbers stand right now when it comes to some of the children currently being held by federal authorities?

At this point, the numbers showing 2,458 children under 13 years old throughout the country in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. About 482 of those are children ages 5 and under.

Important to add some context to that number, that 2,400 number that includes those children who were separated from their parents and also the unaccompanied minors. That has been the constant issue that Border Patrol agents here in South Texas have been struggling with since we saw the issue in 2014, that massive rush.

That is exactly why this facility was built in less than a month to try to accommodate some of those growing numbers. As we heard yesterday from the Border Patrol's top chief in the sector, they expect those numbers to get very close to those levels again this year.

So, they are prepared. That is what we expect to share with lawmakers as they arrive on the ground here in the coming hours -- guys.

PAUL: All righty. Polo Sandoval, we appreciate it. Thank you.

Boris, now to you. We know it's been three days since President Trump signed this executive order. Is there any guidance forthcoming as to how to reunite these children with their families?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christi and Victor. No specifics yet coming from the administration. A spokesperson for Health and Human Services put out a statement saying that they were spearheading this reunification effort, but they didn't give us any clear indication of where these families would be held.

If they were still going to be detained and further what the administration plans to do with families that are currently crossing the border. There have been meetings here at the White House over the past few days according to sources between administration officials and the heads of these agencies to sort out how to reconcile this executive order that President Trump signed on Wednesday with the administration's zero tolerance policy that has created these family separations.

Sources indicate that the president, himself, has not been part of all these meetings. Perhaps that's why we have seen confusion, contradictory statements and statements that had to be walked back by agency officials. The president, though, is trying to change the narrative.

He's trying to set the focus away from this political and humanitarian crisis and aim it somewhere else. Yesterday, he took the stage at a press conference or presentation with the families of people who lost loved ones in the hands of undocumented immigrants.

[08:05:12] And the president made a comparison between the pain that these families feel and the separations that his administration has caused. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 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 are not separated for a day or two days, they are permanently separated because they were killed by criminal, illegal aliens.


SANCHEZ: Two quick notes, the president muddied the waters yesterday even further after weeks of saying only Congress could fix the immigration issue, and the family separation crisis -- he, yesterday, told Republicans to stop working on any deal on immigration until after the midterm elections.

Secondly, the president is headed to Nevada in just about an hour or so. He's going to take part in a fundraiser for Senate candidate, Dean Heller, and he's going to be speaking to the Nevada Republican Convention happening today -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Boris Sanchez, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now, CNN political reporter, Rebecca Berg. Rebecca, good morning to you.

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, Victor, thanks. BLACKWELL: You have these members of Congress headed down to McAllen to look at some of the facilities there along the border. What is the prognosis after what we heard from the president saying Republicans stop wasting your time for legislative action on this?

BERG: Well, Victor, Republicans, in spite of the president's tweet are still working through this on Capitol Hill. Now, will they reach a legislative compromise that ultimately becomes law? Probably not.

The reason, though, that they are going through this exercise on the House side of the Capitol is because you have these moderate Republicans, in particular, who come from districts where this is a major issue and they want to show that they can moderate and reach across the aisle on immigration and forge a compromise.

They were threatening to bring a discharge petition to the floor of Congress, to the floor of the House of Representatives to force this issue on House leadership. This is a way to overt that sort of nuclear option and find a way to bring Republicans together to find a compromise.

So, this is really to help the moderates in the House Republican conference go back to their voters at home to say, look, I have tried to find a solution on this issue. But the president's tweets don't really help that, it doesn't really recognize the political situation that they are grappling with and that is at the root of these discussions on Capitol Hill right now.

BLACKWELL: You mentioned some vulnerable members of the party in Congress. I want to play, in a moment, Congressman Mike Coffman, one of those running in November.

BERG: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: He mentioned Stephen Miller, who is the point person in the White House on this policy, but also the travel ban at the beginning of the administration, arguably, each rollout was fumbled. We all remember that the people at the airports protesting and the confusion on how to execute each of those programs. Here is the Congressman Coffman.


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: Stephen Miller advised him on the border, on this recent problem in terms of tearing families apart. The lack of understanding of the significance of how that played out has Stephen Miller's fingerprints on it. So, you know, I think the president is in need of an adviser.


BLACKWELL: Essentially, calling for Miller to step down or be fired. Is that plausible? I mean, he survives the other problems with his trying to execute immigration policy. What is his -- is he vulnerable now? BERG: Right. Well, Victor, as you know, the president doesn't even

always take the advice of his own White House advisers, so I think it's unlikely that he is going to be listening to Mike Coffman or any other member of Congress on personnel issues.

But I'm so glad you raised Mike Coffman in particular because this is exactly what I was talking about a few minutes ago. He is one of these Republicans, in a very competitive district.

CNN rates his district as a tossup and not only a tossup district, but it also has among them the highest proportions of DACA recipients and DACA eligible children. So, this is a district where immigration, in particular, is going to be an issue that really hits home for people.

People have a personal connection to this issue in his district. You can point to a number of other toss-up districts in California, Florida, New Jersey, where it's the same exact situation in.

So, that's why you see these moderate Republicans speaking out, their careers, essentially are on the line, and they are feeling the political heat on this issue.

[08:10:04] BLACKWELL: All right. Rebecca Berg, thanks so much because I understand essentially if next week is going to start with any less chaos or confusion than the last one ended. Again, thanks.

BERG: Thanks.

PAUL: Well, one immigrant mother's desperate search for her son, amid all the confusion. We'll introduce you in just a moment.

BLACKWELL: Plus, dozens of organizations are reaching out to help families separated at the border, including the Texas Civil Rights Project. The president joins us next to tell us what they are doing to help.

PAUL: And later, the European Union hits back at U.S. tariffs putting their own tariffs on 3 billion worth of U.S. goods. So, how are you going to feel that impact? We'll talk about it.


BLACKWELL: Well, despite the administration's claim that 500 families have been reunited at the border, the status of thousands more separated families is still unclear this morning. One immigration lawyer representing families inside a detention center tells CNN this reunification process could take up to a month.


[08:15:08] EILEEN BLESSINGER, VOLUNTEER ATTORNEY: My understanding is there's no process set yet. They are still in the process of figuring out the procedure for that. What I was told was it might take about a month just for that reunification to happen. The people inside the jail actually had no idea that was even a possibility. They are getting information from the news. They had no idea. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: In the meantime, Health and Human Services has more than 2,000 children in its custody. CNN correspondent, Ed Lavandera spoke to one detained mother that is desperately trying to find her son.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The phone call came from inside the Port Isabelle Detention Center in South Texas. On the line is an undocumented immigrant, who asked that we not identify her by name. She's from Honduras and was separated from her 9-year-old son 11 days ago after crossing the Rio Grande illegally.

I asked her how she's feeling. "Not good at all," she says, "it's 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."

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 is was going to be for so long." The 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: From inside her South Texas law office, Jodi Goodwin, is trying to find 22 children. She represents 25 undocumented immigrants who have all been separated from their children for about two weeks.

(on camera): Most of them don't even 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's 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 (on camera): Highly frustrated for them?

GOODWIN: Very frustrating. Each time I see them, you know, they ask, 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 data base 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 is in a wing of the detention center with 70 other mothers who were also trying to communicate with their children.

I asked her what message she would like the world to hear. 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 and certainty and confusion that his daughter must be experiencing because of this separation. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Brownsville, Texas.

PAUL: In the midst of all this confusion, there are organizations are reaching out to families that have been torn apart here. One of those groups is the Texas Civil Rights Project. Their president joins me now, Mimi Marziani. Mimi, thank you for being here, we appreciate it.


PAUL: We just heard there, of course, that HHS does not have a publicly accessible data base when you are talking about trying to pair these children back to their parents. The government says 500 have been paired back. Do you know how those 500 got to their parents?

MARZIANI: No. No, we have no information about that. As you mentioned, for the past six weeks, our lawyers have been on the front lines in South Texas working with families. To date, we have interviewed 381 parents and we have no knowledge that any single one of those parents has been reunited with their children, nor have we been given any information about the process for reunification.

PAUL: Can these children help you find their parents? I'm sure we are trying to understand the peril that you are dealing with right now.

MARZIANI: Right. Right. It's an excellent question and, unfortunately, only the government has it has answer to that. The reality is, these families were separated, the parents were put into immigration proceedings while the kids were put into detention.

[08:00:00] And I presume that the government has some easier mechanism than we do to put everybody back

the reality is, these families were separated, the parents were put into immigration proceedings while the kids were put into detention. I presume that the government has some easier mechanism than we do to put everybody back together, but, unfortunately, that information has not been shared with us.

PAUL: I want to listen here to another gentleman who spoke with Brooke Baldwin earlier from the Texas Civil Rights Project, Zenen James Perez. She was talking about how are you going to identify the people and get them back together? Let's listen to what he said.


ZENEN JAMES PEREZ, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT (via telephone): One of the things that we heard earlier on, one of the ways they were going to keep track of getting together is they would take a picture of them, a parent and a child and use that as an identifier for the future.


PAUL: Any of these pictures that he says were taken as an identifier to help reunite these families?

MARZIANI: No. Again, we have seen no concrete steps that the government is taking for reunification. I'll know that our organization has gotten an outpouring of concerned citizens contacting us and people volunteering DNA tests and database help and all sorts of assistance.

And that's wonderful, but I think the really important thing to remember is that the Trump administration manufactured this crisis and they have the tools and the information to get us out of it and they have to do it quickly. They have to come forward to the American people with a plan to reunite these families quickly and safely.

PAUL: Mimi, do you have a sense of how many families are still coming across the border and how many children are being added to these detention centers?

MARZIANI: So, we don't have a sense of how many families are still coming over. What I can tell you is that in court on Thursday, there were 17 parents who had been separated from their children. That happened right before the executive order, but none were prosecuted, and all were released.

Now, we don't know what happened after release and how they are, if or how they are being reunited with their kids, but their criminal charges were dropped. And then on Friday, in court, there were no parents there, which suggests that the administration has stopped prosecuting families claiming violence or parents claiming violence who are coming over the border. We don't know what's happening to people now.

PAUL: You know, that Senator Marco Rubio visited a detention center in Florida and he said he was not allowed to speak to the children, but that workers were doing the best under the circumstances. I believe that you have seen these detention centers. Are you confident these kids are safe? And why would a senator, we understand if they don't let the media in or something, but why would they not allow a senator into the detention centers to talk to the kids to have a better understanding of what needs to be done?

MARZIANI: I don't know why they wouldn't let in a senator. As I mentioned before, this entire process has been extraordinarily opaque. What we are seeing on the border, in addition to the heartbreak and anguish of these families is massive confusion and chaos.

There's been no explanation given. I think that what you are describing is part of this pattern. I don't know if it's a lack of a plan or I don't know if processes are hidden. I don't know what that is. I do think this is why we all have to demand more transparency and immediately.

WHITFIELD: We have had a lot of people say there doesn't seem to be a plan. A senior Republican said that to CNN a couple days ago. I want to review the president's tweet real quickly. He said, "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect senators and congressmen and women in November.

Dems are playing games and have no intention of doing anything to solve this decade's old problem. We can pass legislation after the red wave." Is there time, in your opinion, Mimi, to wait until November? We are five months out from that. To have some sort of solid immigration plan in place.

MARZIANI: Let's be clear, the Trump administration has a political interest in distracting the American people from this human rights crisis. In reality, we have a pre-existing system for dealing with families fleeing violence.

We have an asylum system and immigration courts. That system was already processing these families. What's new and what was completely in the hands of the Trump administration and is still is this zero- tolerance policy.

Whereby, families are not put into the immigration system, they are thrust into the criminal system and treated like criminals. That put into play the family separation and now thoughts that maybe will be building detention centers to hold families for the long term. None of this is necessary. The Trump administration can simply stop it.

[08:25:13] PAUL: All right. Mimi Marziani, we appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here.

MARZIANI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: The European Union is hitting back at U.S. tariffs, putting their own tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods. Now feeling the impact of this trade war, Midwest farmers.


[08:30:00] PAUL: Hope Saturday morning has been good to you so far, although it's only 8:30, I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Get in the good when you can, 8:30 is good enough. I'm Victor Blackwell. It's good to be with you. The European union put tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of American goods.

PAUL: Yes, they're joining Mexico, China and Canada, hitting back at trade moves made by the Trump Administration; caught in the middle, farmers in the Midwest. Here's CNN Nick Watt.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dark clouds over an island soybean field. There just might be a metaphore in that.

AL WULFEKUHLE, IOWA HOG FARMER: I'm worried some. I'm concerned.

WATT: What about Iowan hog farmers?

WULFEKUHLE: It's anxious times, no doubt about it.

WATT: Because in April, China slapped 25% tariff on imports of American pork.

WULFEKUHLE: The pigs you are talking $200 to $300 million impact already.

WATT: That's just Iowa. Now China threatens something similar on soybeans. The two largest economies on earth locked in a trade war over intellectual property.

BRIAN SAMPSON, SOYBEAN FARMER: We get punished, we, as agriculture, so to speak.

WATT: That was a good one. Iowa gets hit hard, a top soybean producer and the top pork producer. Did you vote for President Trump?

SAMPSON: Yes, I did.

WATT: You voted for President Trump?



WATT: (voice over) But his tariff laden trade policies might now hit his base hard. Chinese motives are veiled but Mexico now, blatantly targeting tariffs at states like Iowa that voted Trump snapping 10% on pork. Iowan Congressman Rod Blum, now among the most vulnerable incumbent Republican in the midterms.

WULFEKUHLE: We'll get more vocal as it gets more painful. We are going to try to be patriotic.

WATT: So is there a point when Iowan farmers abandon Trump?

SAMPSON: Yeah, there is a point.

WATT: There is a point?

SAMPSON: Yeah. WATT: And where is that point?

SAMPSON: Gosh, I wish I knew. I wish I knew. We might be there.

WATT: The President pledged farmers; the details remain unclear.

WULFEKUHLE: A lot of stuff he's done is good. Right now, with the trade negotiations going on, ask me in six months because it's painful right now.

WATT: Right now, Al Wulfekuhle stands to lose $500,000 this year alone. Nick Watt, CNN, Iowa.

BLACKWELL: So now, President Trump is threatening to put a 20% tariff on cars imported from Europe. That's in response to the European Union's tariff on $3 billion worth of American goods, which is in response to President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from Europe. Here to talk about what this could mean, this back and forth as it continues, Stephen Moore, CNN Senior Economics Analyst and Former Trump Economic Adviser, Stephen, welcome back.


BLACKWELL: All right so now we have the threat on tariffs, a threat of tariffs on EU autos. I'll get it together -- cars coming in from Europe. The President tweeting, build them here. Well listen, the largest BMW plant is in Spartanburg, South Carolina. What is the President talking about and what is he trying to do?

MOORE: Well, you are right, a lot of BMWs and foreign cars, Toyotas and so on are made here; that's a great point Victor. But look, I listened to your segment on what's happening in Iowa. Let's not forget that was a state carried by Donald Trump when it was carried twice by Barack Obama and one of the ways Donald Trump won those states is his trade message of getting tough with China and other countries that aren't playing by the rules was actually very popular with a lot of those mid-Western voters. Ultimately, what Donald Trump would like to see is foreign countries buying more of our wheat and more of our cotton, and more of our pork. You know, Donald Trump believes the trade laws have not worked in America's favor. I happen to be probably more free trade oriented than he is but I think he has a point that a lot of countries imposed higher tariffs on American products than we imposed on them.

BLACKWELL: But Stephen you are right, the President won Iowa on his economic message. Do you think he would have won Iowa if the farmers knew it was going to cost them real dollars and cents?

MOORE: Well look, ultimately I think this is going to work out. I think that you're see China major concessions in the next few months. They are going to have to. Then we are going to come to sensibility with respect to the Europeans, and also Canada and Mexico where we got freer trade. Let's not forget, at the end of the G-7 meeting --

BLACKWELL: What do you see right now that says freer trade? Because the tariffs on the long list of items that I've read, you know, the list yesterday doesn't look like freer trade that the direction that either side is going.



BLACKWELL: The President is now adding the tariffs on the cars.

MOORE: Well, that's a good point. Right now, you are seeing a tit for tat situation where these other countries are retaliating. That's not going to work for them. I mean these countries need access to American markets. There's two situations. I have a lot of uneasiness of picking a trade fight with Europe and Canada; they are our allies. But I'm all in with getting very tough with China. My point is, it's a fact these European nations have imposed higher tariffs on American products and Donald Trump basically says that's not fair.

And you know what I think a lot of American workers agree with him that why should we open up our markets and when we try to sell our pork and our cotton and our bourbon and our blue jeans across the ocean, they put up big high trade barriers. That's not fair to the American worker and the American economy.

BLACKWELL: The way you are framing it, the way the President has framed it is that there were no tariffs on imparts here in the U.S. would send out or there were no import tariffs here in the U.S. The President talks about the dairy tariff in Canada. The U.S. has tariffs on varieties of peanuts and tobacco so it's not as if the U.S. didn't have tariffs before the President started pointing out tariffs in other countries.

MOORE: That's true. But hold on, though.

BLACKWELL: Go ahead.

MOORE: But look, that's true, we have tariffs. My point is their tariffs are two to three times higher than ours are. And also by the way all these countries have value added taxes, which are 10% or 15% where effectively tariffs on American goods that come in that are paid at the border. American producers are simply at a disadvantage.

Now remember at the end of the G-7 meeting, Donald Trump put on the table with the Europeans, why not go to zero tariffs, why don't all of our countries just get rid of tariffs. That's the ultimate free trade solution. We are not moving in that direction right now but I'm hopeful in the next round of negotiations it comes down to lower tariffs, not higher tariffs.

BLACKWELL: I don't know if saying, hey let's stop shooting each other is that -- that argument is supported after you fire a shot.

MOORE: Well, let me ask you this question, Victor. BLACKWELL: We have to wrap up quickly.

MOORE: We have running hard; we've been running this very large trade deficit. A lot of these countries have been stealing our intellectual property and the point that Donald Trump has made, that actually resonated with voters is the current situation isn't working for us. Year after year after year, we are running the trade deficits. Year after year after year they continue -- countries like China continue to steal our intellectual property. How is that free trade?

BLACKWELL: That's an argument...

MOORE: But how is that free trade when...

BLACKWELL: that is an argument many people who disagree with the tariffs agree with you on. The country has to get a handle on the theft of intellectual property in the U.S., the question is this trade war the best way to get to China when you are attacking the EU, you're attacking Canada and you're going after Mexico.

MOORE: That's a good point.

BLACKWELL: Especially when NAFTA negotiations are going on and they are so, so vulnerable right now. But I got to wrap there.

MOORE: I agree with you. I would like to see isolating China which is the country that matters the most and is, by the way, cheating and stealing the most.

BLACKWELL: Stephen Moore. Got to wrap there, thanks so much.

MOORE: Yes, thank you. Yes.

BLACKWELL: You too. PAUL: All right, ahead, a car goes airborne right into a gas station

and you are going to see it all, and more. We'll tell you what happened, stay close.



BLACKWELL: Well this week some CNN anchors have been telling extraordinary stories of people in organizations making a difference. A special series called "Champions of Change" - "Champions for Change" sorry. Did you know, right here in the United States more than 41 million people have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for other basic necessities.

PAUL: You know that's a reality that is simply unacceptable to our Dr. Sanjay Gupta so he decided to find out what can be done to solve America's hunger problem.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL REPORTER: I didn't believe it. It starts with these adorable children. Four out of five kids in this classroom are food insecure, not sure when or if they will get their next meal. Covering hunger, even widespread hunger, famine, have been the most emotionally tough stories I have covered in 17 years of being a journalist. Welcome to "SGMD, The Frontlines of Famine." I'm in Dadaab, Kenya, in one of the largest refugee camps in the world. Still, I wasn't ready to believe how bad the problem was back home. What is happening in the United States is, by no means a famine, but 1 in 8 Americans, 1 in 6 children struggle with hunger.

CHARITY MILLS, MOTHER OF FIVE: So what I have found is that poverty lives right next door to all of us. It can happen to anybody. It happens due to some sort of catastrophic event you are not expecting.

GUPTA: And there's something else, the face of hunger might surprise you. It surprised me. There's something else. The face of hunger might surprise you. It surprised me. Charity Mills, mother of five, her husband, back in grad school, retraining after the recession -- every meal, now dependent on the generosity of others.

MILLS: There was a time when we were 100% dependent on it and that was a difficult time.

GUPTA: And so, today, the organization Feeding America is all about feeding Charity Mills and her family.

GUPTA: You do this every morning?

PAUL LOBATO: Yes, every morning.

GUPTA: It's incredible work.

LOBATO: It is. I love it.

GUPTA: Here in Colorado Springs, Paul Lobato and I are on a mission to collect food that might otherwise go to waste.


There is food that will be picked up today that will help feed people tonight.

LOBATO: Yes, sir.

GUPTA: Forty percent of food goes to waste in this country. How do you live in a society where 40 percent of food goes to waste and people are hungry? I think when people recognize the wastage that happens in the fields, on the docks, in stores, in people's homes, they will feel empowered to do something about it.

Today, Paul and I bring back almost a 1,000 pounds of food to be inspected and sorted and a lot of it lasts longer than you think.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that's the biggest surprise that meat in a can would last that long.

GUPTA: So five years after the expiration date? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.

GUPTA: I did not know that. That surprised me.


GUPTA: When you spend time in a place like Feeding America and meet some of their two million volunteers, you realize, everyone here has a story about hunger like my champion for change, mary.

MARY LASCH, VOLUNTEER, CARE AND SHARE FOOD BANK: I know the pain in the stomach. The sadness. You are scared to say anything. You know, my parents worked at a five-star resort in the Poconos. My dad was a chef, but, yet, his kids were hungry because of abuse and neglect, he didn't feed us, but he fed hundreds of other people, daily, but, not his own kids.

GUPTA: How much of what you went through at that time is part of what you are doing now?

LASCH: That is what drives me. If I can make a difference in one child's life a day, I feel that my work is done.

GUPTA: This is it. This is Feeding America. This feels like you are actually doing something worthwhile.


BRENNAN: This is what a potato plant looks like.

GUPTA: This is it?

BRENNAN: This is it right here.

GUPTA: People forget food comes from the ground in times. You know?

GUPTA: People forget food comes from the ground in times. You know?

BRENNAN: It's amazing, yes.

GUPTA: Former Green Beret Patrick Brennan, is my commanding officer today at this farm in San Antonio.

BRENNAN: We got this basket here, full of stuff that we harvested this morning.

GUPTA: That's all pretty good looking produce.

BRENNAN: It's fantastic.

GUPTA: The one thing I hope you will remember, if we simply stop wasting food, we can absolutely feed America. Remember those kids, the food we're passing out and will feed them and their families was food that might have otherwise gone to waste.

XANDER, RECIPIENT, SEND HUNGER PACKING: When I get those food bags I -- they're really heavy and that heaviness is love.

GUPTA: It's hard to hear about these kids. You can't believe that a kid would be hungry, first of all, then there -- they're taking food home for their family, it's a lot of responsibility, I think. And I, you know -- it's like we can do better.

It's the reason I wanted to tell the story of Feeding America. Matt Knott is the organization's president.

MATT KNOTT, PRESIDENT, FEEDING AMERICA: You know, I think it's a solvable problem actually, and as I said, we're working the scale to solve that problem to get food from every -- really every point in the U.S. food supply chain from farm to fork. Whether a surplus food, to capture that food and get it to people who need it most.

GUPTA: People like Charity Mills. The food we picked up earlier has made its way to this pantry and then to Charity's home.

MILLS: This night is spaghetti, which is a pretty typical family meal for us.

LASCH: (INAUDIBLE) has back today. Sounds good.

GUPTA: Have you ever stepped back and thought about how many people you've likely helped feed now?

LASCH: I haven't, but I don't feel like it's been enough yet. So, however I can help, as long as I can help them, I'll do it.


BLACKWELL: You can see more inspirational stories during the "Champions For Change" one-hour special tonight at 8:00 p.m.

PAUL: And still ahead, cameras capture the moment a car crashes through a gas station. We'll show you, stick close.


BLACKWELL: Tattoos. Let's talk about them. Do you have any?

PAUL: Not any I want my dad to know about. No, I don't, I have none. I have none.

BLACKEWELL: No tattoos, me either. We know people who get tattoos and they regret them later but for those who have had a change of heart about messages of hate, there's a shop in Baltimore that is ready to provide them redemption with ink.


BRANDEN, TATTOO RECIPIENT: I was never raised to be a racist. It was never part of my life until I was in prison. It was born out of pure necessity. You have to change who you are. You come to jail, you have your white gangs, your black gangs. If you step outside that, you are not only going to have one enemy, you have two. The tattoo was a shield. The day I got released, I was determined not to give up and say that's who I am and I realized that I can change this.

DAVE CUTLIP, REDEMPTION INK: My name is Dave Cutlip and we run Redemption Ink. I have been tattooing over 20 years. We help people get a second chance by removing racist and gang tattoos, for free. We started about six months ago. I have done 16 cover ups now. The demand for this, to be honest with you is overwhelming. I'm going to try to do it at least once a week either here or conventions until I can't tattoo anymore.


People are just going full bore, trying to get help. Most of them, I would have to say, they are already moved on, they just have the tattoos that are holding them back. I'm glad I have a talent that I can help somebody. Those people deserve the pat on the back, not me. They did what they needed to do to change their lives.

BRANDEN: At the end of the day, I don't want my daughter picking up on that message and didn't want my daughter thinking that type of thinking is right or asking me where I got it or why I got it. She doesn't have to see any of that and I'm grateful for that every day that she never had to see me as that person.


PAUL: All right. Well surveillance cameras at a Mississippi gas station captured the moment this speeding white car goes airborne.

BLACKWELL: It hits the sign, nearly hits the column, flips between the two gas pumps and crashes into that stop sign or the sign there to stop. Here's the great news. The driver walks away without injuries. That's it for us. We'll see you back here at 10:00 Eastern.

PAUL: Thank you for being here. Smerconish starts after a short break.