Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Dallas-Born Teen Detained by Border Patrol, Now in ICE Custody; Senate Passes 9/11 First Responders Funding Bill; Trump Friend Boris Johnson to Become U.K. Prime Minister; U.S. Meets with Afghan President in Tense Meeting Over Trump; Two Missing Teens Now Considered Suspects in 3 Murders. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 23, 2019 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Right now there is an 18-year-old American, a U.S. citizen born in Dallas in ICE custody. And his family fears he may be deported. Francisco Erwin Galicia was stopped at a customs and border patrol check point in late June. He was with his 17-year-old brother who was born in Mexico. Francisco showed them his Texas I.D. as well as a wallet size birth certificate. But still both boys were arrested. His mother says that he was not allowed to use a phone for three weeks.

[15:35:00] While that changed this past Saturday when he was transferred to ICE and called her right away. She says though her efforts to prove his citizenship have been ignored. Obed Manuel of "The Dallas Morning News" reporter who broke this story. Also joining us, Attorney Raul Reyes, who is not involved in the case. Obed, first to you. I mean, you read the details of this, and I have to say, I am just wondering what the heck is going on here? He's an American citizen. Born here, he had identification on him. How is he in ICE custody today?

OBED MANUEL, COVERS IMMIGRATION AND LATINO ISSUES FOR THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: You know, I think there's been -- there was some confusion, I believe. We've since learned that when he was a minor basically, his mom took out a visitor's visa for him, and when he was taken into custody, that came up after he was fingerprinted. Now the question I still have for border patrol -- and we still haven't heard back from them -- is why it's taken three weeks to clear that up. His attorney has presented several documents, a birth certificate included. And that's left us wondering and I'm sure a lot of people, how three weeks on, he's still in custody.

HILL: You haven't been able to get answers from ICE or CPB. CNN has not either. We've reached out. His mother can't get an answer. Raul, when you hear this, how could he still be kept in custody legally?

RAUL REYES, ATTORNEY: Well you know, first off, I just want to say, when I hear stories like this I mean, it makes me angry, I'm saddened, but I'm not at all surprised. Because these are quite common during the -- over the last few years, and especially under the Trump administration, due to that very aggressive immigration enforcement activities that deal with what they call collateral arrest. Where they basically arrest anyone they encounter and basically ask the questions later. And there's a huge plethora of legal issues here at stake.

For example, this gentleman was likely a victim of racial profiling. Was denied his due process rights. It sounds to me based on the facts as we know them now, that he has been the victim of false imprisonment. So we have many rights here at stake.

And when we look at the data that we have received from ICE, we see how common this is. There's one gentleman in the last few years who is a U.S. citizen who was detained for 1,273 days by mistake. Earlier this year, ICE attempted to -- in Michigan, ICE attempted to deport a decorated Marine Corps veteran, again, a U.S. citizen. And the "L.A. Times" has also done investigative work showing that over a five-year period something like 1,500 people who are American citizens were wrongfully detained. And that's not even getting into other people who may have say green cards, may be lawful permanent residents or just have happened to be at the wrong time without I.D.

And remember, so important for viewers, there is no rule, law or requirement anywhere in this country that American citizens be required to affirmatively prove their citizenship.

HILL: The fact is though he has proved his citizenship. Which begs the question --

REYES: You're right, actually he has.

HILL: What's the next step here then? Obed, I know that a release, as I understand it, his attorney -- Francisco's attorney -- was approached by an ICE officer yesterday with documents to sign that he's a citizen. Where is that moving forward?

MANUEL: Yes, so I -- Francisco is clearly afraid, we've been told by his attorney to sign anything and with -- and a lot of immigrants aren't signing anything basically, means that you will be deported. Obviously, there's the fact that he was born here, and so he obviously has not just the case to stay but a case to be released. Some could say immediately. The situation, obviously, his brother was deported, who obviously he lacked legal status and signed a voluntary deportation order. But obviously, Francisco has no need to do that. And again, my understanding is, his attorney is set to meet with ICE soon, and possibly -- we're basically waiting to hear what could happen today if not tomorrow or in the coming days.

REYES: Two really quick points there.

HILL: Apart from watching your lips there but I lost your audio in the middle of your answer.

REYES: I want to say --

HILL: Unfortunately, I can't hear either one of you right now.

REYES: Oh, I hear you.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: -- I know this is a story CNN will continue to stay on and we'll continue to follow through and see what happens here. Thank you both, Obed Manuel, Raul Reyes, for being with us.

At this hour, the Senate voting on a Bill to fund the 9/11 victim compensation fund through 2090. It should bring an end to a long emotional fight for first responders.

Plus, Boris Johnson as the U.K.'s next Prime Minister, we're going to speak with a man who wrote, his becoming Prime Minister is how Britain ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILL: Breaking news. Moments ago the Senate finally passing the 9/11 First Responders Funding Bill and it was a very long time in coming. Comedian Jon Stewart and surviving first responders pushing Congress to pass the extension before rewards diminish and the fund expired next year. The House passed the Bill earlier in the month.

[15:45:00] Once though it hit the Senate last week, Republican Rand Paul objected. Arguing the cost would contribute to the national debt. So the bill was delayed, and today there were more last-minute amendments from Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul. Let's bring in now CNN congressional correspondent, Sunlen Serfaty. So Sunlen, a lot of maneuvering today with these amendments. What happened in the end?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Both these Republican amendments, Erica, failed in the end. One was from Senator Mike Lee. He was concerned about the cost. And his amendment would have capped the amount of money available, the second Republican amendment from Senator Rand Paul, that would have cut from other areas of the budget to pay for this reauthorization of the 9/11 fund.

Both of those amendments failed, the final bill, as it stands now, 97 for this bill, only 2 votes against. So it does have the support to ultimately pass in the end. This bill reauthorizes and replenishes the 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund, that provides health care services to first responders suffering the ill effects of time at ground zero. Certainly there had been pressure on the backs of Congressional folks up here who have been trying to push this through because the fund that was set to expire next year was already running out of money.

And so certainly that was a huge part of the debate, the fact that you heard such emotionally charged testimony from 9/11 first responders, talking about how they desperately needed this money to help them with their health care costs. Certainly a big factor in this, of course, was the comedian and activist Jon Stewart who got involved, testified up here on Capitol Hill a few months ago.

That really gave a boost of momentum, a boost of public sentiment and attention to the fact that this fund needed to be replenished, and it now authorizes the program for 72 years, so in essence, they will not have to, in the lifetime of these first responders go through this again through the year 2092. So certainly, the end result, months long, a hard slog of many of these first responders, who have been lobbying up here almost on a weekly basis for the last few months.

And they along with Jon Stewart today were watching from the gallery, I spoke with a few of them earlier today, said obviously what an important and emotional moment this is for all of them -- Erica.

HILL: Absolutely, Sunlen Serfaty, with the latest for us from Capitol Hill. Again, finally for many of those folks that is what it is, finally. Sunlen, thank you.

The man who is about to become Britain's next Prime Minister says let the love bombing start now. Boris Johnson won his Conservative Party's leadership contest to little surprise. So this means within hours he will take over the top job from outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May. He is promising to yank Britain out of the European Union and to do it fast.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, INCOMING BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We are going to energize the country, we're going to get Brexit done on October the 31st, we're going to take advantage of all the opportunities that it will bring in a new spirit of can do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Not everyone is a fan of Boris Johnson. James Butler writing this op-ed in "The New York Times" titled "Boris Johnson is how Britain ends", and he joins me now. So Boris Johnson is how Britain ends, that's stark to put it mildly. What do you mean by that?

JAMES BUTLER, WROTE "BORIS JOHNSON IS HOW BRITAIN ENDS" FOR "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, I mean, the impetus to the article is two-fold. One is the hostility that Boris Johnson provokes among both Northern Irish and Scottish electors, So there's a lot of frustration, both of those areas voted to remain

in the European Union. Rather worried, I think that this is a guy who's come to power on the back of these very hard, very pro hard exit from the European Union.

So they're worried about that, but it's also true, I think. And I think it's important to realize this, that Boris Johnson is very much a kind of unique character, and even within his own party, many people who have worried about his suitability for the role. I mean the man is notoriously lazy, under prepared, vain, really woefully ill-suited for an incredibly high pressure and incredibly high detail job. At the moment where Britain faces a crisis that really cuts deeply across the whole country.

HILL: You know, just to pick up on that, the character of Boris Johnson, which you point out again in this piece, you go on to say he prizes victory above government. That his first ambition as a child was to be world king, you say he gets irked and petulant when challenged over budget cuts specifically. And all of this, all of what people have seen when he was both London Mayor and Foreign Secretary could be in your eyes a taste of the chaos to come. I should point out, President Trump today very happy to see that Boris Johnson will be taking over for Theresa May.

[15:50:00] In fact, here's what he said a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They call him Britain's Trump and people saying, that's a good thing. That they like me over there. That's what they wanted. That's what they need. It is what they need. He'll get it done. Boris is good. He's going to do a good job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: There you go. Saying that he is Britain's Trump. Is he, in fact, you think that much like President Trump?

BUTLER: Well, when people say he's Britain's Trump, they don't mean it in a positive way. They don't mean it as a compliment. Look, yes, the two have things in common. I mean certainly when you know there were reports from when Trump entered the White House, he was shocked at actually having to do all the work involved and very hostile to reading briefings and things like that. Similar reports emerge from Boris' time both as London Mayor and Foreign Secretary.

They also have this in common. The one thing you could say for Boris Johnson political principles of which he has very few, is that he's always wanted tax cuts for the very, very wealthy. So you know even immediately after the crisis in 2008, he was very much pro cutting tax rates for top owners. So that something that unites him and Trump. But, look, I mean there is a difference as well.

Boris is going to worry about being tarred with the Trump brush because Trump is not very popular here in the U.K. He has about 21 percent approval rating. Boris is a bit higher, a 58 percent disapprove and have negative sentiments, and 63 percent think he's unprepared for the job and so he's going to worry about being tarred with Trump brush, I think.

HILL: We will be watching, James Butler, appreciate you joining us today. Thank you.

BUTLER: Of course.

HILL: Afghanistan wants answers from President Trump after he said this at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don't want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth. It would be gone -- it would be over in literally in ten days. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Now, word of a tense meeting between the U.S. and Afghanistan. I want to bring in Kylie Atwood who is at the State Department, so Kylie, what you have learned at the meeting?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Officials are telling me that this was a tense confrontational meeting this evening in Afghanistan between President Ghani and U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. He traveled to Afghanistan this morning and he said that he was there to discuss an enduring peace for Afghanistan. But obviously those talks were complicated by President Trump's comments at the White House yesterday with the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

I'm also told that Afghan officials told Khalilzad that the comments by President Trump were unacceptable because they undermined President Ghani's control. He's the one who is in control of the country and they do not want to see outside powers like the U.S. coming in militarily and determining the future of the country. Now ambassador Khalilzad was going to depart Afghanistan tomorrow.

He is set to have some more meetings with the Afghan government tomorrow to see if they could come to an agreement over what has been a tremendous divide after President Trump's comments regarding Afghanistan.

HILL: All right. Kylie Atwood with the latest for us there. Kylie, thank you.

There is growing concern at this hour, a serial killer may be targeting victims in remote areas of Canada. This after an American woman and her Australian boyfriend were found shot to death. Their bodies were discovered last week along a remote highway in British Columbia and then a few days later, two teens reported missing were seen at a general store some six hours away. Then their burning car was found the next day.

And there's also this piece of the puzzle. A sketch of an unidentified man, rather, whose body was found near the scene of the teenagers' burning car and there is great concern about what had happened to the teens. New information, though, this morning is certainly shifting the direction of this story. I should say this afternoon. CNN's Paula Newton has been following this for us out of Ottawa. So Paula, police just holding a news conference a short time ago and now these teenagers are no longer considered missing, they're suspects?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean quite a turn here in this story, Erica. Police say not only their suspects, just 18 and 19, they believe they are the prime suspects in the murders of that young couple as you were saying and so far, unidentified man. Where were they seen? Northern Saskatchewan, a 24-hour drive from where these crimes alleged to have happened. They say they're armed, dangerous. No one is approach and they also while they released new photographs said that, look, they could be in disguise. You're talking about vast wilderness as well, Erica. If these two are

on the run and in those vast tracks of land it may take them a while to find it. In the meantime, heartbreak from all of the families involved. I know the families of the young couple just heartbroken that this could happen.

[15:55:00] How it would happen and why it would happen? But also the family of those two boys speaking out. They were fearing for their safety. Wondering where they were. Thinking perhaps they were victims of crime. Instead this entire story turned on its head and police now wondering where those two men are and they obviously are concerned that people in those areas stay vigilant because they do believe they are still a danger to the public. But right now police doing what they can to search. Erica, what I'm telling is incredibly remote territory. And again these are two men that have already on the run for at least several days.

HILL: Wow. What a twist and turn of events. Paula, thank you.

Up next, new details about what President Trump is saying behind closed doors about tomorrow's blockbuster hearings with Robert Mueller. Stand by for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:00:00]