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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Expected to Sign Bill that Would Make Illegal Border Crossings a State Crime; Jury Deliberations Underway in Paul Pelosi Attack Trial; Wray: Threats at Whole Other Level Since Israel-Hamas War Began; UAW Deal with GM Too Close to Call in Contract Vote. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired November 15, 2023 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Cross the border and face arrest by police, not just Border Patrol. That is what a new proposed law in Texas is threatening to do to anyone crossing the southern border illegally. Republican Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the bill passed by state lawmakers yesterday. The ACLU is calling it, quote, one of the most radical anti-immigrant laws ever. And is vowing to sue the Governor. CNN's Rosa Flores is live for us in Houston with more details. Rosa, what more can you tell us about this legislation?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, this legislation is sending ripples of fear throughout the Latino community in the state of Texas, which makes up about 40 percent of the population of this state.
But let me take you through this bill. Because what it does is it creates a new state crime for the illegal entry into this state, and it also gives law enforcement the power to arrest and also to remove individuals from the state. Now Governor Greg Abbott has maintained that all he's doing is dealing with the border crisis when the federal government is not doing its job.
Now, critics of this bill, which include 30 former immigration judges who have said and issued a statement saying that this bill is unconstitutional because it maintained -- they maintain that immigration is a federal function. Now other critics say that this will lead to the racial profiling of Latinos across this state. Now this is important because this bill gives law enforcement -- and this is all law enforcement, including local police -- the power to enforce this bill.
And if you look closely at the language. The bill specifically says that it prohibits the illegal entry and also the illegal presence of an individual in the state. Now this bill has been compared to the controversial 2012 Arizona bill that was dubbed, "Just show me your papers" bill. That landed in the U.S. Supreme Court. And the U.S. Supreme Court maintained that immigration law and policy is a function of the federal government.
Now, critics also are very worried about how this is going to play out throughout the state. All of this was debated in the Texas House floor yesterday for hours, and the author of the bill maintains that this bill is constitutional. They don't know how much it's going to cost, but they say that it will not lead to racial profiling. Here's some of that debate. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOLANDA JONES, (D) TEXAS STATE HOUSE: The big elephant in the room. People from the southern border are people of color general -- generally, and they're Latino. You come from the Canadian border and they're white. People don't want to talk about that. It makes me sad. Because the state sanctioned racism.
JOE MOODY, (D) TEXAS STATE HOUSE: We chose to demonize and vilify people. To take away their humanity and their dignity. And the tragedy of that conversation is that those are the same people who look at our state and our country and still see hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: Now, that was Representative Moody out of El Paso. He also mentioned, Brianna, the El Paso mass shooting from 2019. And what he mentioned was something that historians that I've interviewed always mention. And that is that anti-Latino rhetoric paves the way to dehumanize individuals and also for the mistreatment of individuals. And I should mention, Brianna, Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign this bill into law, and the ACLU has already said that they plan to sue -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yes, we'll be hearing much more about this. Rosa, thank you so much for the report -- Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Well, right now the jury has begun deliberations in the federal trial of the man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband. David DePape took the stand for the first time yesterday, at times becoming emotional. He admitted to attacking Paul Pelosi after his plan to target the former House Speaker fell apart and acknowledged that conspiracy theories about the 2020 election fueled his motives.
CNN's Veronica Miracle is live right outside the courtroom. So Veronica, when do we expect a verdict on this?
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, the jury got the case just before lunch, and they just started deliberating, so it could be a matter of hours. It could be days. And once this federal case wraps up, then his state case will begin.
Now, in this federal case, he is facing two charges that the jury will have to decide on whether he assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. And the attempted kidnapping of a federal official. And David DePape's defense attorneys really wanted the jury to focus
on two words -- federal official. Because they argue that David DePape did not go to then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home because of her official duties, because of her job as House Speaker at the time. They argue that he went there because she was a top Democrat and she was spreading lies on behalf of the political party. And so they said that his acting on account of politics is different than acting on account -- on account of her official duties and her official title. They wanted the jury to make that distinction very clearly.
On the other hand, the prosecution said he very much went to then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's house because of her official title. He said they showed videos of after the arrest and also played audio from his interview with investigators where he said she was the leader of the pack. That this was a suicide mission and that he was sick of all of the lies coming out of Washington, DC.
Now if he's convicted on these charges, as well as those charges from the state case, he faces decades in prison -- Pamela.
BROWN: Veronica Miracle, thank you so much for that.
Well, today on Capitol Hill, a warning from the FBI director about potential attacks on U.S. and with Israel war with Hamas. More on that up next.
KEILAR: As the war between Israel and Hamas intensifies, FBI Director Christopher Wray is warning of growing dangers here at home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. That includes homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization and domestic violent extremists targeting Jewish Americans or other faith communities like Muslim Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: We have CNN's Evan Perez, who is here with more on this. And you know, listening to this, you have Director Wray saying threats are at a whole other level since this war began. What are they seeing?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the number of threats that they're seeing against, you know, anti-Semitic threats against Jewish Americans against Arab Americans and Muslim Americans is off the charts. I mean, they -- this is something right after October 7th. In a very unusual move, we actually had director Wray get on a call with a bunch of reporters and talked about just how much this had grown just out of nowhere. And so the one of the concerns that they have, Brianna, is the thing that we saw during the rise of ISIS. Where people sitting around consuming some of this stuff. Decide that they're going to act out and do something. And something in America, obviously, there's a lot of access to guns. It's very easy to do. And so that's a huge concern for them.
But also just the fact that they've known for years and for a long time that there are people who were associated with Hamas here, mostly doing fundraising. And so the concern is, you know after October 7th, you have to worry that Hamas might do some kind of attack here in the United States. Not something that they've seen so far, but it is a concern. And that's one reason why he mentioned there's a number of people who are associated with Hamas who are now under investigation.
KEILAR: Yes, it's chilling to think of people going from sympathy to action. But like you said, we've seen it before. Then also in this hearing, Republicans were really zeroing in on the Homeland Security Secretary.
PEREZ: One of the things that I found really fascinating with this hearing that stretched over a number of hours -- of way, way, way more hours than I thought was going to. Was the fact that every time we heard from the director or from someone who was trying to describe how the threat had changed from October 7th, they got interrupted. The Republicans on that panel didn't really want to hear that. They wanted to yell at Alejandro Mayorkas, who they were trying to -- they've been trying to impeach. Yesterday during a vote they decided to refer it to the committee. But a lot of their focus today was on Mayorkas and trying to you really holding to account for what they say is the poorest border. And what they say were problems associated with the border. And so that's what you saw a lot of what this folk -- this hearing became about today.
KEILAR: Yes, he becomes this punching bag for this issue that they really want to talk about. Evan, thank you so much for monitoring that for us. We appreciate it.
And the Union deal with the big three automakers, it is at risk of falling apart we're learning. So we're going to explain why and whether the strike could actually restart. We'll have that next.
KEILAR: Now two other headlines that we are watching this hour. The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating a deadly crash in Ohio. Officials say that three students, two parent chaperones and a teacher were killed while travelling to a high school band performance. This happened Tuesday morning on Interstate 70. The Ohio Highway Patrol says a tractor trailer struck the coach bus that was carrying the students and that led to a chain reaction crash.
Also New Jersey first lady, Tammy Murphy, is throwing her hat in the ring and vying for Senator Bob Menendez's seat. Menendez facing federal corruption charges, of course. He pled not guilty last month. Murphy will face off in the Democratic primaries against Menendez, and also progressive Congressman Andy Kim.
And pop superstar Pink is teaming up with Pen America to give away 2,000 banned books at her concerts in Florida this weekend. Titles include "The Family Book" by Todd Parr and Amanda Gorman's, "The Hill We Climb." Representatives with Penn say Florida school districts had the highest number of book restrictions in the country last year -- Pam.
BROWN: Brianna, workers at several large auto factories rejected the latest contract offer that was hammered out by the UAW and management after a strike that lasted about six weeks. It's a sign that the contract is not so popular along the assembly lines. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is here with us. So what's the latest on voting, Vanessa?
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: This is a situation where every single vote is going to matter. You have 11 locals at General Motors that have voted down this deal. You have two at Stellantis and two at Ford. Now that may not sound like a lot when you're talking about hundreds of locals voting. But at these particular plants -- a lot of these are assembly plants where you have the majority share of workers that are voting. And when you have thousands of workers voting no that drags down the yes votes in favor of this deal.
So as it stands now at Stellantis, 73 percent have voted in favor, at Ford, 66 percent. But at General Motors -- this is the one we're watching very closely -- just 54 percent of membership has voted in favor of the deal, with 20 percent of the membership outstanding yet to get those vote totals. And this is going to be very close.
And I think the question is why, when UAW President Shawn Fain and the automakers have said that this is a historic deal, a record deal, you have so many people voting this down. Here's what we're hearing.
According to some of the workers we've spoken to, legacy workers or folks who have been there longer say that they believe that they're not getting the same wage increase, as the same percentage wage increases as some of the younger workers or newer workers. You also have to remember just how much the Union promised their members in these negotiations. They promised 40 percent in wage increases. They promised retiree healthcare and a return to traditional pensions.
They didn't get that. And you have some folks who maybe are still upset about that. Not getting everything that was promised to them. The question is, what happens if one of these unions, one of these unions at GM, potentially goes on strike, votes down this deal. Well, you could have a situation where in a couple of weeks we see General Motors Union members back on strike. And that's going to be a really tough situation as you're heading into the holidays as you have a lot of these auto companies just trying to get back up and running after a six week strike.
The Union is not commenting on this. The automakers are not commenting on this. They want to see this play out. But from the beginning, if you remember, Shawn Faine, UAW president, said that they're going to try to get the best deal. But ultimately ,Pam, it Is up to the membership and you are seeing that play out right now. It's tight at General Motors. We're going to have to wait to see until next week the total and what the votes look like. But every single vote will matter in this case -- Pam.
BROWN: It certainly will, Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you so much.
And thank you for joining us. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts after this short break. We'll be back here tomorrow.