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CNN NEWSROOM

Heydi Gamez Taken Off Life Support; Second Democratic 2020 Presidential Debate Lineup Set; Two Hundred Million People Under Heat Watches and Warnings for the Weekend. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 19, 2019 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:30:19] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: All right, welcome back. So this morning, "Politico" is reporting that the Trump administration is considering cutting the number of refugee admissions to nearly zero next year. If that happens, that would be down from a cap of 30,000 this year.

And this comes after the House Oversight Committee chair, Elijah Cummings, ripped into the acting secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, amid concerns over the deteriorating conditions at migrant detention facilities.

At one point, Congressman Cummings asked if the Trump administration had a, quote, "empathy deficit." Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD), CHAIRMAN, OVERSIGHT AND REFORM COMMITTEE: What's that about? None of us would have our children in that position. They are human beings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: The crisis at the border is a nightmare for one migrant father from Honduras and his 13-year-old daughter. You have to see this story to understand the magnitude of it. Our Ed Lavandera reports.

(BEGN VIDEOTAPE)

MANUEL GAMEZ, TEEN'S FATHER (through translator): This is the hardest thing for a man. To know that the most important thing in his life is gone.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Manuel Gamez is living a nightmare, watching his life unravel. He's on his last walk to say goodbye to his 13-year-old daughter, who's been on life support since she attempted to take her own life in early July.

And the pain of knowing his attempts to cross the border failed to make it in time, is too much to bear. LAVANDERA: Manuel says he was in a detention facility in Texas when

he got the news that his daughter had tried to commit suicide by hanging herself.

GAMEZ (through translator): I promised her that we would be together. I think she lost faith.

LAVANDERA: Gamez was given an ankle monitor and a two-week humanitarian parole so he could see his daughter one last time.

LAVANDERA: Why do you think your daughter did this?

GAMEZ: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)

He says she lost hope that they were going to be reunited.

GAMEZ: Yeah.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): This family story captures the often- excruciating reality of desperate families separated by a border. In 2014, Manuel Gamez was an undocumented immigrant who had spent seven years living on Long Island, New York, working as a mechanic. His father was taking care of his daughter in Honduras.

LAVANDERA: Manuel says that his father was killed by MS-13 gang members in 2014, for not paying extortion bribes. And that after that, he decided to send his daughter here, to the United States, to live with family members in New York. And that she was granted asylum.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Gamez thought if his daughter had been granted asylum, he would as well. But he was denied. After that, he crossed the border illegally twice, hoping to reunite with his daughter who was now thriving, learning English and dreaming of a career in medicine while living with his sisters.

But Heydi would often break down in tears because she missed her father. Jessica and Zoila Gamez Garcia are Heydi's aunts. Zoila was the one who discovered her after she attempted to take her own life. Earlier that night, Heydi was distraught over learning her father was once again caught by Border Patrol and was being held in an immigration detention center.

ZOILA GAMEZ GARCIA (through translator): She often cried when we would tell her that her father couldn't come. She would cry and lock herself in her room. And when she didn't feel like talking, she would tell me, "I don't want to talk." I would say, "That's OK," and I would give her space.

JESSICA GAMEZ GARCIA (through translator): I feel I didn't know how to take good care of her. I feel like I failed her. I don't know what it was. I don't know why. I don't know why I didn't know how to protect her.

LAVANDERA: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH) What are you going to tell your daughter, there at the end? GAMEZ: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)

LAVANDERA: He says he's going to ask her to forgive him and that -- for failing her.

GAMEZ: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)

LAVANDERA: He says that it was never his intention to leave her alone.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Manuel Gamez was by his daughter's side when she was taken off life support. As he stood by her the day before, he caressed his daughter's hands and face and whispered, "We love you. Don't leave us."

And now, Manuel Gamez prepares to be deported.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[10:35:00] LAVANDERA: Manuel Gamez has to turn himself in again to immigration authorities by July 27th, a little more than a week away. His lawyer says that they are trying to file some sort of motions that will grant him some type of reprieve. But because he has entered the country twice illegally already, that becomes a much more difficult fight -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Ed Lavandera, thank you very much. That is extraordinary reporting and it brings the humanity of each and every one of these cases to light. Ed, thank you for that. We'll be right back.

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[10:40:02] HARLOW: All right. The lineups are set. We now know who will take the stage together for the CNN Democratic debates at the end of the month. Ten candidates will participate each night.

TEXT: CNN Democratic Presidential Debates, Tuesday, July 30, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Live from Detroit: Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney, Steve Bullock

HARLOW: On night one, Bernie Sanders will go toe-to-toe with progressive Elizabeth Warren.

TEXT: CNN Democratic Presidential Debates, Wednesday, July 31, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Live from Detroit: Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Bill de Blasio

HARLOW: On night two, a lot of eyes will be on the former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris.

Let's bring in DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa and Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia.

Good morning to you both. This is so exciting. TERRY MCAULIFFE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

HARLOW: I'm very excited, clearly, for our debate. We'll all be in Detroit for it.

But, Xochitl, let me begin with you. We have some new reporting about Beto O'Rourke. And that his team is happy that he's going to be on the same stage with Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

And that although they don't expect this to be a clash or yelling match, they think that the two really present a different view of the Democrats' future and how to get there. And they want -- they know that Beto O'Rourke needs to shine on this stage, given the struggles he's had in the last quarter. To do so against Buttigieg, what does he need to do?

XOCHITL HINOJOSA, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, I think if we're looking back at the first debate and what happened there, I mean, it was very clear that everyone was trying to get their feet wet. People were trying to figure out, how do you stand out with a 10-person stage? That's a lot of people on the stage. And in order to differentiate yourself, what does that look like?

And so this second debate is an opportunity to really get in and dig in on the issues, talk about your policies. And when it comes to Beto O'Rourke or anyone on that stage, I mean, doing contrasts on your record is fair game.

I think we're going to be talking about the issues. Our candidates are going to be talking about the issues. We believe that CNN wants us to be about the issues. And so I think that all of that, and showing contrasts on the issues --

HARLOW: Yes.

HINOJOSA: -- is fair game. You won't see name-calling, though. You won't necessarily see people going after each other and attacking each other personally like you saw in the Republican debates in 2016. And that will be very different, between what happened in 2016 with the Republican debates, and this debate.

HARLOW: I mean, it got pretty fiery, Governor McAuliffe, in the last one, between your friend Joe Biden --

MCAULIFFE: You bet.

HARLOW: -- and Senator Harris, for sure. And let me just read you this. Because you have Joe Biden, now literally in between, sandwiched between Senator Booker and Senator Harris on our debate stage. And Booker's campaign spokesperson last night tweeted this. "Mark the date, July 31st, 2019. Joe Biden finally gets his own Senate Judiciary Committee hearing."

How does he most effectively, Governor, deal with the race issue between two sitting black senators who have said he has been, at the least, racially insensitive?

MCAULIFFE: Well, this is a big debate for Joe Biden, no question about it. He himself would admit he didn't have the best debate performance last time. So this is an opportunity for him to show the American public that he's the one that can take on Donald Trump. He's got the answers to the questions. He's got the vision to go forward.

You know, it's going to be -- listen, this is going to be a (INAUDIBLE). These two debates, the pressure on the candidates, over half of them will be eliminated after this debate, going into the September debate. So it's the last hurrah for a lot of candidates.

So I think it's going to be a very frisky, as you say, debate. I think a lot of folks are going to go after one another. They saw how it helped Castro and it helped Harris in the last debate.

I think in the first night, you're going to have Senator Warren and Senator Sanders, that is going to be a battle for the true progressive mantle in this primary season. So I think you're going to see a lot of interaction because both of them can't survive. And I think you're going to see both of them trying to lay out their agenda.

HARLOW: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: I think Senator Warren has put out a lot of -- very progressive agenda. A lot of good ideas that she has out there. So Sanders really has to make a difference in this upcoming debate.

But on the next night, with Senator Harris and with Vice President Biden, I think it would be a big mistake for the both of them to relive the last debate. People do not want to hear about 40 years ago. They don't. They want to hear where are you going to take us, I want to talk about infrastructure --

HARLOW: Well --

MCAULIFFE: -- K-12. And that's the issue.

HARLOW: I would -- I would just say, not so sure they don't want to hear about 40 years ago because we saw the fundraising bump and the poll bump that Kamala Harris got after bringing up busing in the last debate. But I'll take your point for now.

And I would like to ask you a little bit more, Xochitl, about Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg. Because you're going to have them all on the stage together, all next to each other. And our polling, at least out of the critical state of Iowa last month --

HINOJOSA: Yes.

HARLOW: -- was that it's not just Warren who's pulling from Sanders on the liberal vote, it's Pete Buttigieg.

HINOJOSA: Yes. I think that you heard Warren yesterday. And she said specifically that she's excited to be on the -- on the stage with Bernie Sanders because they're friends and they have worked to champion issues involving working-class people.

And so I think that you will see a lot of agreement there. You will also see other people on that stage, trying to contrast between these candidates. And so I think that a lot of people forget that they have worked together for a very long time.

[10:45:06] And at the end of the day, we might have differences on some of these issues, but when it comes down to it, the Democratic Party wants to expand health care. We want to make sure that we're increasing wages. All of these issues.

But how we get there is, I think, where the difference is between these candidates. And so it'll be up to the voters to really look at this and see what the candidates offer and how they differentiate themselves from others.

HARLOW: Governor, is there anything you would warn all of the candidates against? On a week when we heard the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, label the entire party as a Democratic socialist majority, which is not a label I think you would embrace, do you have a warning for most of the candidates? Of course, one of them is a socialist. But outside of that, what do they need to be aware of?

MCAULIFFE: Yes. Listen, we're going to try -- and they're going to try to go and attack the Democrats and label us as socialists. You know what they're going to try and do. Listen, we have the agenda for the country. We have the agenda to deal with health care and infrastructure and job creation.

It's going to be a nasty upcoming campaign. You see what Trump's doing right now. He's trying to, once again, divide America. I'm telling Democrats, "Don't take the bait from Donald Trump. Forget" -- you know, listen, his statements are racist. They are vile. Forget it. Don't pay attention to him. He's trying to get us into that mud bath with him, and we shouldn't do it.

We as Democrats got to lay out a positive agenda of where this country needs to go. There are people hurting today because of income inequality. We have an infrastructure mess in our nation. People are paying too much for prescription drugs. That's what they want to hear from us.

Trump, Kevin McCarthy and the rest of the Republicans are going to try and get us over into these boxes. Forget all that. We know the Americans trust the Democrats on these kitchen-table issues that will make their lives better. We've got to lead in this debate. Let us focus on those issues.

The last debate, for me, you know, we spent too much time talking about things that don't affect people at home every single day. And we've got to lean in on these issues. We want to make sure we take care of the immigrants who come into this country. But, you know, all we heard in the last debate, everybody coming into the country, no problems. Everybody's going to get health care.

And there are people sitting at home, saying, "Hey, wait a minute, what about me?"

HARLOW: What about me?

MCAULIFFE: "What are you doing for me?" We have a homeless --

HARLOW: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: -- problem in this country. Start focusing on the matters that matter to the American folks today. And that's why I think this CNN debate is going to be so exciting.

HARLOW: That -- it is going to be exciting. It's going to be must- see television, both nights. I can promise you that.

MCAULIFFE: Yes.

HARLOW: Governor Terry McAuliffe, so nice to have you.

MCAULIFFE: Great. Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Xochitl Hinojosa, we appreciate it. Enjoy the weekend.

HINOJOSA: Thanks so much.

HARLOW: All right. So triple-digit heat. Almost 200 million Americans under heat advisories, warnings, facing record-breaking temperatures today and through the weekend. How long will this last?

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[10:52:50] HARLOW: All right. Now, a look at this absolutely astonishing video of a man escaping a fire by scaling down the side of a 19-story high rise. This took place in West Philadelphia. Heavy smoke was filling the hallways last night when flames started traveling up the trash chute.

The man who climbed down the side of the building made it all the way to the ground safely. No word on which floor the fire started on. Four people, three police officers were treated for smoke inhalation. Glad he's OK.

All right. This weekend, nearly 200 million of you are preparing for record-breaking, potentially deadly, heat. Triple-digit temperatures expected in 30 states. My colleague Polo Sandoval is with us, right here in New York City, where there's a big warning already from the mayor.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And we're not alone, Poppy. I mean, just -- when you hear from experts, they'll say that at least 85 percent of people in the lower 48 will be experiencing temperatures, 90 degrees or higher, not just today but through the weekend.

So as a result, here in New York, yes, these (ph) heat emergencies have been declared here, where you have cooling shelters that are open throughout the city, to give some of the most vulnerable a place to spend the day. That's the elderly and the young. And whether it's in some of those cooling centers or out and about, people are recommending that you stay cool.

For us though, the way we do it, we come here to the famous Unisphere in Queens, New York, where the mist that's coming off the famous fountain here is enough to cool you down. And we met, actually, Roger Young, one of many people who decided to come out there.

Mr. Young, you are from Queens. And this is how you're keeping cool right now.

ROGER YOUNG, QUEENS, NY RESIDENT: Yes. Trying to catch the spritz from the fountain on a hot day like today. This is the place to be.

SANDOVAL: So I've heard that a lot of people are definitely taking care of the elderly, definitely taking care of children. What's your recommendation for people across the country, especially as those temperatures continue to rise the next couple of days?

YOUNG: If you have to be out, find a park with trees and fountains. And make a stop at each fountain and make sure that you stay hydrated. That's why I'm here, because there's so many -- a good number of fountains and trees. So you stay in the shade and drink water and --

SANDOVAL: Roger, stay cool, my friend. Thank you so much.

YOUNG: Thank you.

SANDOVAL: Again, Poppy, just keep this in mind. Every years, extreme temperatures kill more people than tornadoes and hurricanes combined. So experts saying, do not take these temperatures lightly.

[10:55:03] HARLOW: That's such an important warning, Polo, especially for young kids, babies and the elderly. We'll (ph) be thinking of them through this. Thank you very much, Polo. Stay cool, my friend.

Here's what else to watch today.

TEXT: What to Watch... 11:45am ET, Trump commemorates Apollo 11; 3pm ET, Dem candidates at AARP forum; 6:30pm ET, Biden in Los Angeles

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HARLOW: All right. Coming up next, we have new reporting on how lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, are preparing for the high- stakes hearing with Bob Mueller next week. Stay right here.

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