Return to Transcripts main page
Mom Searches For Family After Desperate Border Scramble; Number Of Border Encounters Down From Last Week; Charities Helping Migrants With Food And Shelter As They Enter The U.S.; Ceasefire Largely Holding Between Israel And Islamic Jihad; Interview With Former Texas Governor Rick Perry About Immigration And Politics; At Least Two Dead, Five Hurt In Yuma, Arizona Shooting Involving Teens; Interview With State Rep. Teri Anulewicz (D-GA) About Gun Laws. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired May 14, 2023 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.
We begin this hour at the U.S.-Mexico border. It's been three days since the end of Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that slowed the number of migrants allowed into the U.S. With Thursday's expiration, many border communities were bracing for a surge of migrants. But at least for now, that has not happened yet. Homeland Security officials say there were about 4200 encounters yesterday as they call them. That's a big drop from the day before.
And yesterday's numbers are less than half of the 10,000 seen at the U.S.-Mexico border in the days before Title 42 ended. Just minutes ago, we heard from President Biden as he completed a bike ride. And here's what he had to say about the situation down at the border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How do you think things are going at the border, sir?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Much better than you all expected.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any plans to visit the border?
BIDEN: No, I think -- pardon me?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any plans to visit the border?
BIDEN: Not in the near term, no. No. It would just be disruptive, not anything else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: With the end of Title 42, much of the focus is on the numbers. But for the migrants at the heart of this crisis, the focus is on family. That's what drives them to make this grueling and sometimes dangerous journey. And for those who enter the country, the agonizing wait is only beginning.
CNN's Rosa Flores introduces us to a Venezuelan mother desperately hoping to find her family.
DIOCELINA QUERALES, MIGRANT FROM VENEZUELA (through text translation): How is it possible that they are sending back a mother with children? They shouldn't do that. I would have preferred that they send me back and not my daughter with the baby.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Diocelina Querales is one of the thousands of migrants who crossed the border into Brownsville, Texas, shortly before the COVID-era border restriction policy Title 42 expired.
QUERALES (through text translation): People are crossing like crazy because whoever doesn't cross is going to be stuck there. So people went crazy crossing, crossing, and for nothing, because they are sending people back.
CARLOS NAVARRO, PASTOR, IGLESIA BAUTISTA WEST BROWNSVILLE (through text translation): Guys, we are going to do one thing right now. I would like the ladies to be first to go, and if we have children, too, please. OK. The ladies, please, rows of three guys. Rows of three. One, two, three. One, two three.
FLORES: Some residents of Brownsville are helping, like Pastor Carlos Navarro, whose church Iglesia Bautista West Brownsville provides food, supplies, and shelter to migrants passing through.
NAVARRO: You see this number of people here. This has never been seen it before. What we're trying to do is just to alleviate something with them, give them food, some clothing, and all that. But this number that you see here, we haven't seen it before.
I have to be empathetic because I'm a migrant myself. I came from Guatemala 41 years ago. So I see myself in them, and I understand, you know, how to take care of them. A little bottle of water, not taking a shower for two, three days, no shoes, no underwear. So I was there. I was on the other side.
People from Venezuela, those are the most -- the larger group that's coming.
QUERALES (through text translation): If we're crossing this way, it's because we're not in a good way there. There in Venezuela things are bad. There is no work.
FLORES: Diocelina left Venezuela with 10 of her family members. She says she crossed the Rio Grande clinging to an inflatable mattress while other relatives swam beside her before the family was separated at the border. QUERALES (through text translation): We came all in a group, as a
family. And they send my daughter back. They sent my daughter and the baby back and I am worried about this.
FLORES: Now her family is split up. Her daughter and grandson were sent back to Mexico while Diocelina, her mother and brother wait in the U.S., hoping to reunite with her daughter-in-law and other grandchildren.
QUERALES (through text translation): I am in so much distress worrying. Starting at 4:00 a.m. I am there waiting, looking, looking at the buses to see if they've arrived or they haven't.
FLORES: Without any other way of reaching them, Diocelina must wait for buses filled with migrants who were detained by Customs and Border Protection, desperately hoping to be reunited with her family.
QUERALES (through text translation): I looked and the girls are not in there. I looked like this and they did not come. It's all men. Horrible, horrible. You want to explode, to cry, but I have faith. Because I think there are still buses coming. Oh, here comes one. I get excited every time I see a bus. If the buses keep coming, I will stay here. I can't leave until they get here. I have to wait for them. I have to wait, to wait. Let's have faith, we have to have faith. They are going to come.
FLORES: Nearly a week after she reached the United States, Diocelina received news that her daughter-in-law and grandchildren are being processed for release. However, the question of when her family will be reunited still remains unanswered.
ACOSTA: Again, that was our Rosa Flores with that very heart-wrenching report. We appreciate that very much.
Let's now go to the White House, CNN's Arlette Saenz joins me live.
Arlette, what is the administration saying? I guess what's the president saying about these lower-than-expected numbers at the border? We just heard from him a few moments ago during that bike ride. What did he have to say?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, President Biden told reporters that things at the border are going better than expected, and he acknowledged that numbers have gone down when it comes to the number of encounters on the border, and said that he hopes they ultimately will continue trending that way. But he also argued there is still much more work to do, and that includes Congress acting on comprehensive immigration reform, something that we have not seen any tangible movement towards in recent months.
But what you've heard from the administration today is them really defending their policies and also arguing that the policies and plans that they've put in place for months and the warnings that they've been sending out to migrants, that that has led to these lower encounters at the border. Take a listen to what the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on CNN a bit earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We have communicated very clearly a vitally important message to the individuals who are thinking of arriving at our southern border. There is a lawful, safe, and orderly way to arrive in the United States. That is through the pathways that President Biden has expanded in an unprecedented way. And then there's a consequence if one does not use those lawful pathways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAENZ: Now, Mayorkas also said it's too early to say whether there has been a peak yet in the surge of migrants. But of course there are other challenges facing this administration amid the lifting of Title 42, including capacity issues at those CBP facilities.
ACOSTA: And Arlette, the country is also facing this looming deadline on the debt ceiling. What did the president have to say about that today?
SAENZ: Yes, President Biden struck an optimistic tone. He said that he is likely meeting with congressional leaders on Tuesday, though added that his team is still working out the final details for timing. But he also said that he ultimately believes that they will be able to reach an agreement when it comes to the debt limit. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Well, I've learned a long time ago and you know as well as I do, it never is good to characterize a negotiation in the middle of a negotiation. I remain optimistic because I'm a congenital optimist. But I really think there's a desire on their part as well as ours to reach an agreement. I think we'll be able to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAENZ: Now top economic officials here at the White House and at Treasury said earlier today that the talks -- the staff-level talks over the weekend have been constructive. The president said one area where he is waiting for further answers on from Republicans is their proposals when it comes to work requirements for aid programs.
We also know there have been talks about permitting reform that are also on the table at this moment. But all eyes could be on Tuesday if that is, in fact, the date that President Biden sits down again with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to try to work out something when it comes to the debt limit.
ACOSTA: All right. White House correspondent Arlette Saenz, thank you very much. Now let's continue this discussion about what's happening down at the
border and talk to one of the organizations helping the migrants who are choosing to come to the U.S. Sister Norma Pimentel joins us from the border city of McAllen, Texas. She's the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.
Sister, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it. What are your thoughts on what we're hearing from the administration on this Sunday that the numbers of migrants coming in across the border are lower than expected? Is that what you're seeing on your end of things?
SISTER NORMA PIMENTEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY: Yes, that's correct. We have definitely prepared for greater numbers of people arriving. We have no clue as to what was really going to happen.
This has never happened before. And so we were expecting very high numbers, and we were prepared to receive so many families, and yet actually today, the numbers are way lower than what we had even yesterday.
ACOSTA: And do you know why that is?
PIMENTEL: Well, my only assumption is the fact that people are afraid to cross through the river. It's not safe, and I think most of them are families and children that prefer to make sure they can be able to enter the United States correctly through a legal, orderly way, and that option is there. So I think that is what has encouraged them to not risk their lives and enter through a point of entry.
ACOSTA: And when you talk to these migrants -- and I know you talk to so many of them in the work that you do, which is a thankless job on many occasions, so hats off to you for what you do. But what are these migrants telling you? Where are they coming from? What kind of stories do they have that can give us some sort of indication as to what they're going through?
PIMENTEL: Well, they're going through a very difficult time, and they've traveled from so far away. They've managed to get themselves to the border of the United States in Mexico, and if you walk and see them right now, and those conditions are terrible. But they're there with the hopes that they may be able to have an opportunity to enter legally, safely, orderly, and to be able to offer their children a space where they can be safe.
That's all they're looking for. And so I think that's what we're seeing, you know? Families, children. And, yes, of course a lot of young men that are entering. I think all of this has to do with the fact that Title 42 just attracted them to come because it's going to be lifted and they're going to have a chance to enter. So now they're seeing the reality that it's not quite that so, you know. You enter, and if you don't do it correctly, you could very easily be deported back to your country. ACOSTA: And some border officials are cautioning that a surge could
come later with perhaps up to 14,000 migrants arriving every day. Is that the kind of estimate that you are getting prepared for? I can see all of those chairs behind you. Are you prepared if the numbers were to spike in the coming days?
PIMENTEL: Yes. Well, we definitely are. We have been prepared. We worked together with the city government, county government, with all of us coming together so that we make sure we are prepared so that people are not outside, homeless, and unsafe, and so the community is safe, the immigrants are safe, and we can honestly work together. And I think that thanks to our collaboration, we're able to successfully make that happen.
And we are ready to make sure that we can provide them with a safe space. And so, yes, if that should happen later on, numbers increase, we're prepared for that, and we hope that we can help every single person that arrives and has been given to us to make sure that nobody's hurt and that everybody is safe. That's our concern. These families have been through so much, and they need care. They need protection.
ACOSTA: All right. Sister Norma Pimentel, thank you very much for your time. Thanks for what you do. We appreciate it.
PIMENTEL: You're most welcome.
ACOSTA: All right. Coming up, just one day after announcing its largest aid package to Ukraine, Germany welcomed President Zelenskyy to Berlin, and the Ukrainian leader is now visiting another European country. Details on that are ahead.
Plus, celebrations after the announcement of a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad. But after days of border attacks there in that part of the world, will the truce hold?
And later, the status quo is not acceptable. Those words from a state lawmaker in Georgia as Democrats push for a special session to toughen gun laws in that state. We'll talk about that coming up.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
ACOSTA: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is hinting that the long-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces will begin soon. The comments come as the president is touring Europe, vying for support from his European partners. Shortly after arriving in Paris today, he tweeted that he plans to discuss important bilateral relations with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Earlier Zelenskyy was in Berlin, where he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and thanked him for pledging nearly $3 billion in defense and financial aid. The Ukrainian leader also called on allies to help Ukraine bring an end to the war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Our territorial integrity and security as well as the territorial integrity and security of all European nations must be guaranteed. Now is the time for us to determine the end of this war this year. This year we can make the aggressors' defeat irreversible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: In the Middle East, a cease-fire between Israel and Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian territory there appeared to be holding. The tenuous truce comes after five days of heavy and deadly cross-border attacks from both sides.
CNN's senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman has seen that fighting up close and has this report from Gaza.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The cease-fire in Gaza appears to be holding. We're in a building in the northern end of the Gaza Strip that was struck by an Israeli airstrike at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, just five hours before that cease-fire was supposed to go into effect.
Now this building was four stories high, 40 to 45 people were living inside, including several handicapped individuals. Now what happened was typical of how these things play out. Somebody in the building received a phone call from the Israeli military saying get out immediately, we're going to bomb this building.
The problem was with the handicapped people, it was very difficult to get them out very quickly. Some of them can barely walk. So it took some time but as you can see, building is utterly destroyed, their money, all of their possessions is here under the rubble. Now their immediate concern is how are they going to live without a place to stay? And what they told us is they're just sleeping outside in the open essentially.
Fortunately, it's not raining these days but sleeping outside. They're wondering how they're going to get by given the difficult economic situation here in Gaza. There isn't a lot of money. The government, led by Hamas, doesn't have the resources to really take care of these people, let alone rebuild this structure. And of course, when we speak to people, we really get a sense of exhaustion.
This is the third time in the last three years there's been major hostilities between Israel and Islamic militants in Gaza. And the expectation is that yes, there is a cease-fire now but how long is it going to last? It could be just a few months, maybe just a year before it all happens again.
I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from the northern Gaza Strip.
ACOSTA: Our thanks to Ben for that report.
Coming up next, politicians on both sides of the aisle agree the U.S. immigration system is broken. So what will it take to fix it? Former Texas governor Rick Perry joins me next. There he is. He'll be with us in just a few minutes. Stay with us.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
ACOSTA: Some surprising developments at the U.S.-Mexico border. The number of migrant crossings has dropped significantly in the days since Title 42 expired. Just last week, border officials has seen record numbers of migrants trying to enter the U.S. but in the last three days or so, Department of Homeland Security officials say they've seen a 50 percent drop in migrant crossings.
And joining us with more on this is former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who also served as energy secretary during the Trump administration.
Governor, great to see you. Really appreciate it. I know you had to deal with border issues as well when you were governor. Why do you think we're hearing about these lower-than-expected numbers so far?
RICK PERRY (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: Yes, before we start, let's just wish every mother out there a Happy Mother's Day.
PERRY: And what a great day to reflect on how blessed we are to have some wonderful women in this world. So back to your question, and, listen, taking a snapshot in time is a snapshot in time. This issue has been going on -- as a matter of fact, I was digging around in my office. I don't know if you can see this or not. This is a Homeland Security Committee briefing book I just happened to see on my disheveled office in here.
It's dated 2014, and we're dealing with the field hearing crisis on the Texas border surge of unaccompanied minors. You remember that. That was nine years ago. So this has been going on for a really long time. We've had now three administrations that dealt with it. I'm very biased in my observation as I think we had this issue in hand four years ago with the programs that we had in place. The message was clear.
It's not just a casual walk across the border to get into the United States. And so I think you have to go back to some really strict enforcement of the border. You have to have a system in place where you can allow for legal immigration, and you have to have these countries south of the border working with you. And I think we may have failed there more often than we were successful in getting these countries in Central America and Mexico.
So there's a lot of work to be done, and we've got a real problem on our hands, and we don't know who these people are. And that's the real challenge. So -- but we need to -- we need to come together. This deal ended in a circle and pointing to the left and saying it's their felt. We know how to do this, so let's, you know -- saying this is easier than it is to get it done. I recognize that. But the Biden administration needs to get serious about what's going on on the border.
ACOSTA: Well, as you know, your state has been in the news a lot over the last few weeks. Just last week, we saw that mass shooting in Allen, Texas, one of a rash of massacres we've seen in Texas in recent years including the tragedy in Uvalde just last year. And last week, I had to ask you about this because you served as governor of the state of Texas, a statehouse committee voted to raise the minimum -- age, I should say, from 18 to 21 to purchase an AR-15 style rifle. But that measure failed to advance.
What do you think? Do you support raising that purchase age in Texas?
PERRY: You and I are going to talk about an issue that really may have a lot more to do with that than raising the age of whether someone can have a weapon, and that's this issue of mental health. And, you know, that is where we need to be focusing a lot. We need to make sure that our schools are secure and that we have the security around those schools.
And that requires weapons. And in the state of Texas, we're going to keep the weapons. We're going to -- should be increasing the amount of security that we have around places and people that we love. That's how you stop bad people with weapons, not by raising the minimum age when someone can buy a weapon.
ACOSTA: And let's talk about mental health. I know that this is something that you've been working on when it comes to veterans. You know, this issue of mental health has been an issue in the veteran community for some time now. For several years, though, I've wanted to ask you about this. You've been an outspoken proponent for the legalization of psychedelic drugs for therapeutic use.
We're talking about things like magic mushrooms as they're commonly called. Tell me why a conservative former Texas governor thinks that's a good idea.
PERRY: Yes. Ten years ago if you said my name and psychedelics are going to be in the same sentence, I would say you're crazy. But there are a lot of things that have happened in my life that have really changed my mind about it. You know, I grew up in the '60s. I was a total and absolute against legalization of drugs, and I still am from the standpoint of recreational use and what have you.
But these compounds, when they're used with the right dosage, well, obviously the right diagnosis first, the right dosage, the right guiding through these experiences and the follow-up, those four things together, and we're seeing some extraordinary benefits from. Let me just give you one example up in New York in the V.A. There's a Dr. Rachel Yahouda who's overseeing a program there. I think they had two phase three trials behind them now using MDMA, the old rave drug ecstasy.
And the benefits of that, the results of those trials are stunningly good. For instance, and I'll try to brief here, three doses two weeks apart to these veterans who had post-traumatic stress symptoms, either depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, suicidal thoughts, or all four in a lot of cases, after six months, after three doses, 70 plus percent of those individuals had zero symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
Jim, I don't know. To me, that is stunning results. It's one that we as a country need to get behind. It's my understanding that the FDA is going to approve for taking off of Schedule 1 MDMA in the fall. I think that is very wise. I think the V.A. is supporting that, and all Americans should. If you care about these kids' lives, young men and women who put their lives on the line for us, we were at war for 20 years, which is a whole another story.
But for 20 years they've been in combat, and to be able to give them their lives back after they literally put their lives on the line, and sadly some are between 16 and 20, are still committing suicide every day.
PERRY: We need to get serious about this. We've got some compounds that we're seeing great results with, and I think that Americans all across the board should educate yourself about it. I told you offline that this is kind of like nuclear power, that, you know, in the '60s, we were afraid of nuclear power and Fukushima and Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now we have small modular reactors that are walkaway safe, and we need to be looking at them as our transition for the new generation of clean energy, if you will, in this world.
ACOSTA: I knew you'd get some --
ACOSTA: I knew you'd get some energy ideas in there, Governor. I have to ask you about your former boss, Donald Trump. And this is something maybe you can help us out with. Back in 2021, CNN reported on a text message sent to Mark Meadows, the Trump chief of staff, on November 4th, 2020, the day after the presidential election. It said, here's an aggressive strategy. Why can't the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and other Republican-controlled statehouses declare this is B.S., where conflicts in an election not called that night and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the Supreme Court?"
At the time, Governor, you remember this, a spokesman for you told CNN that, no, you did not send that text. You were not the author of the text, but there were multiple people who confirmed to us that the text came from your phone number. Can you help us out with this? Did you send that text, and did you agree with the president's efforts to overturn the election results?
PERRY: I didn't send it, and that's kind of the interesting thing. As a matter of fact, if you go back and look at the congressional testimony, the congressman who brought that up said later, you know what, we're not really sure where this came from. I got called on it a couple times. Number one, it's not my style of speak or texting so to speak.
So again, there is a lot of misinformation out there, Jim, and that was one piece of it. So I can assure you that that didn't come from me.
ACOSTA: And let me ask you, you once called Trump a cancer on conservatism. That was way back in 2015. Given what took place on January 6th, his efforts to overturn that 2020 election, do you think you were right back then?
PERRY: You know, President Trump reminds people on a regular basis, even in Cabinet members, that I said some pretty mean and ugly and nasty stuff about him, which I did. We play hardball in our politics. But, you know, I got over it. He got over it. We worked together. And, you know, that's what people need to do today is --
ACOSTA: Do you think he should be the nominee in 2024?
PERRY: You know, I'm still trying to sort that out for myself. So, you know, he may get to hear me call him names again. Who knows? It's still early in the process, so I haven't written off that -- you know, if you'll recall, I didn't announce for president in 2011 until August. So we got a lot of time left.
ACOSTA: Does that mean that you're thinking about jumping in?
PERRY: So I got your attention now, didn't I?
ACOSTA: I think you did. I'm not taking any magic mushrooms. I can assure you of that.
PERRY: Well, you never know. You might have some traumatic brain injury that you don't know about. So let's just --
ACOSTA: No, but in all seriousness, it's something you're thinking about?
PERRY: Listen, it's early in the process. I think for any of us to sit back and say, I'm for this person or that person is a little early in my process. So, you know, it certainly is something that I haven't taken off the table, but, you know, the chances of it happening are probably a little bit slim. But who knows? There's a lot of time left, and we'll see how this all works out.
ACOSTA: All right. Former Texas governor Rick Perry, thanks so much for your time. We'll be right back. Good to see you.
PERRY: So long.
ACOSTA: In Arizona, police are interviewing witnesses in a shooting where two people were killed and another five were injured. Most of those involved were teenagers.
CNN's Camila Bernal is covering this for us.
Camila, once again here we are on another weekend where we're talking about a mass shooting. What more do we know about this one in Yuma?
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jim. So unfortunately police just trying to figure out exactly what happened because right now they just don't know. So they say they're trying to interview anyone that was at this gathering to figure out exactly what happened yesterday at around 11:00 p.m. That's when officers were called to a house.
When they got there, there were already a number of people that had been shot, and police also say that by that point, a 19-year-old had already been taken to the hospital and he was pronounced dead. There was a 20-year-old who was also then taken to the hospital. He later died as well. And there was a 16-year-old who was taken to the hospital in Yuma and had to be flown to Phoenix because of his injuries.
And so among the other victims who were wounded, you have a 15-year- old, two 16-year-olds, an 18-year-old. And so these are all teenagers or young adults who were essentially at this party, and something happens. And that's exactly what authorities are trying to figure out. So far they say they don't have the shooter. They don't have the motive. They don't know how this all happened.
And unfortunately this is not the first incident that we're reporting when it comes to teenagers or young adults who are being shot. Just this month, one shooting in Texas left a 16-year-old dead and a 19- year-old in Mississippi also a victim of one of these shootings. And last month, a number of shootings involving teenagers, including that 16-year-old birthday party that left four people dead in Alabama.
So unfortunately this is not something that we have not seen. We're seeing this all over the country, whether it's in Yuma, Arizona, or in Alabama. But it is something that continues to happen -- Jim.
ACOSTA: It certainly does keep happening. It happens a lot here on the weekends.
Camila Bernal, thank you very much for that continuing story there down in Yuma.
Now to Georgia, where Democrats are pushing for tougher gun laws after a military veteran shot five people at an Atlanta hospital earlier this month.
Joining me now is one of the Georgia lawmakers pushing for change in that state, Democratic State Representative Teri Anulewicz.
State Representative Anulewicz, thank you so much for being with us. I guess your thoughts on all of this? The governor has already ruled out a special session. He's accusing Democrats of playing politics with this. But where does it go from here?
TERI ANULEWICZ (D), GEORGE STATE HOUSE: So I think where it goes from here -- and thank you for having me on to talk about this and to talk about what I'm hearing and seeing on the ground here in Georgia. I think what happens next is we need to, as citizens, as the normal workaday Georgians who want to see these commonsense gun measures that the Democratic Party is asking for, to continue to keep urging not just the governor but also their state representatives, their state senators, the speaker of the House, and the lieutenant governor, who can also call this special session if three-fifths agree.
ACOSTA: And so what sorts of reforms are you and your colleagues looking at in Georgia, and how likely is it that you can get those passed and signed into law?
ANULEWICZ: So two very different answers. The three things that we are asking for are, you know, again, commonsense gun reform policy measures that are supported overwhelmingly by people in Georgia, people in the United States. And these are universal background checks. These are pediatric safe storage laws like Representative Michelle Au's bill that she had a hearing but not a vote for this year.
There are bill like red flag bills that would keep -- you know, things that would keep guns, for example, out of the hands of people who have been convicted of domestic violence. You know, we want people, if they are in danger of hurting themselves, they might be in danger of hurting someone else.
We want to make sure that law enforcement is able to make sure that those folks don't have access to guns that they could use to hurt themselves or others. So these are simple things. The likelihood unfortunately right now in Georgia, I think, is very slim. We know that in Tennessee, of course, right to the north of us, Republican Governor Lee has said that he is going to have a special session to have this conversation so that the legislature can have these policy discussions.
In Georgia, we're not having these policy discussions. In Georgia, you know, the hearing for Michelle Au's bill this year was the first hearing that had happened in six years. Six years prior was former State Senator Jen Jordan's bill which would have again addressed the issue of those convicted of domestic violence being able to have guns.
It passed that Senate committee unanimously. Republicans and Democrats on that committee, they all voted for it. And then she was told it's not going to make it to the floor because we have these gun lobby organizations. They're very, very ardent. They're very, very far to the right. They don't reflect the views and the opinions of normal Georgians, but they have a loud voice with a lot of these Republican representatives and senators and with the governor unfortunately.
ACOSTA: What do you think -- what's it going to take then, do you think?
ANULEWICZ: I think it's going to take -- I mean, I hope it's not going to take more tragedies, right? Like I hope it's not going to take more shootings in doctors' offices, which then have the ripple effect of lockdowns not just in midtown Atlanta, but my children's school. We live in the area that the gunman fled to, so my kids' high school was on a lockdown. The middle school was on a lockdown. All the soccer practices were canceled that evening.
So when you're talking about these mass shooting events, they're impacting far more than even the people who were directly involved. They are shutting down entire communities. They are putting entire communities in jeopardy. And so I think we as citizens, you know, we as legislators need to continue to put the pressure on the governor, continue to ask why not? Why won't you have these conversations? And citizens need to continue to ask their lawmakers, why aren't you willing to have these conversations?
ACOSTA: All right. State Representative Teri Anulewicz, thanks so much for your time. We appreciate it. A very critical issue. We'll talk to you about it again.
ANULEWICZ: Jim, thank you.
ACOSTA: All right. We'll be right back. Thank you.
ACOSTA: Tonight the CNN Original Series "THE 2010s" is back with an all-new episode examining the major trends and innovations in music. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN WITT, AUTHOR, HOW MUSIC GOT FREE: At the beginning of the decade, the music industry had functionally collapsed. Piracy had destroyed it. It was possible to believe that in 10 years, the music industry might not exist at all. They were scrambling. They were panicking, and they had to do something different.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get set to enjoy Spotify, the highly acclaimed music streaming platform from Europe is launching in the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spotify was the first service I ever saw that competed not with everything that preceded it, the iTunes of the world and Rhapsodies of the world, but it actually competed with piracy. WITT: Spotify's valued proposition to the pirates was we're going to
make this easier for you. It's going to stream out of the Cloud so you won't have to mess around with these files anymore. And you're getting access to the overwhelming majority of music since the beginning of the recorded music era for $5. It was an irresistible proposition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Joining us now is Jason King. He's the chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Music at New York University and the dean of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.
Hey, great talking to you, Jason. Appreciate it. All the tech innovations, especially streaming, had a major impact on every aspect of music. Everybody does it now, it seems. What were some of the biggest changes you saw?
JASON KING, CHAIR, CLIVE DAVIS INSTITUTE OF MUSIC, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: I mean, Jim, for sure it's streaming. That's the big story of the 2010s in music. So, you know, there's obviously lots of different kinds of apps and sites that have an impact on music whether you're talking about YouTube or SoundCloud or TikTok, redefining music consumption. But it's really those streaming platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and others that are game changers.
And they're game changers because you're less likely to own or download music in the 2010s. You're not going to hold a physical piece of music in your hand. You're probably going to subscribe to one of those companies and you're going to stream music from one of their servers. And that has a lot of pluses and minuses. For fans, that's huge because suddenly they have access to way more music than they ever imagined they could.
Also they have way more power at their fingertips to be able to help define what becomes a hit and which artists rise to the mainstream. But on the other hand, it really makes a lot of changes for a number of artists who struggle to earn revenue or traditional revenue in the music industry because of the economics of streaming sites, and the way that they impact the middle class of music.
ACOSTA: And from the 2016 presidential election, boy, do I remember that one, to the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2010s was a time of political and social upheaval. How did we see that reflected in music in the decade?
KING: Sure. I mean when people think of popular music and politics and protests, they think of the 1960s, that golden age of protests where you had artists like Pete Seager and the Sly and the Family Stone and others, Bob Dylan, making political protest music. But the 2010s I think are also as meaningful an era for the connection between political activism and music.
You have artists who are working at a very high mainstream level like Beyonce, who had never previously been political, releasing albums like 2016's "Lemonade" where she's mixing confessional autobiography and political protest, and she's stoking controversy with her appearance at the Super Bowl that same year by wearing the iconography of the Black Panther Party and harkening back to the '60s.
And this is the truth for so many artists of the 2010s where we're talking about Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, D'Angelo and his "Black Messiah" album, Solange, Janelle Monae, there's so many artists who are coming to the fore as never before and putting their, you know, politics where their music is.
ACOSTA: Yes. And it certainly was an amazing decade in music.
Jason King, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
KING: Thank you, Jim.
ACOSTA: All right. Good talking to you. And make sure to tune in tonight. A brand-new episode of "THE 2010s" airs at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. And we'll be right back.