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President Biden to Address U.N. Assembly in New York; No Deal Yet Between Automakers and Union as Rep. Hakeem Jeffries Joins the Strike; Trump's Interview with "Meet the Press" Filled with Lies; Death Toll at least 4,000 in Libya Flooding; Migrant Crisis in Overwhelms Lampedusa. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 18, 2023 - 02:00   ET




LAILA HARRAK, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to all of our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Laila Harrak. Ahead on "CNN Newsroom," Biden's big week. The U.S. president tackles Russia's war in Ukraine, climate change and China at the U.N., all while dealing with an impeachment inquiry and a possible government shutdown in Washington.

And we're on the picket lines with striking workers in Michigan as it approaches day four. Are the big three automakers and the UAW any closer to a deal?

Plus, Donald Trump leaves the friendly confines of right-wing media to actually meet the press. Will he bring the truth with him? Well, there's some fact-checking.

It's 2:00 in the morning in New York where U.S. President Joe Biden will kick off a busy week in the hours ahead. Mr. Biden will be attending the annual United Nations General Assembly. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will also be there, appealing for more support for Ukraine amid its counteroffensive against Russia. The two leaders are expected to meet later in the week.

While off the international stage, Mr. Biden is facing a number of challenges in Washington. And that includes the possibility of a government shutdown later this month and an impeachment inquiry launched by House Republicans.


UNKNOWN: Mr. President, what is your response to McCarthy opening an impeachment inquiry?



HARRAK: And CNN's Arlette Saenz is in Washington with more on Mr. Biden's trip to New York.

ARELETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden will put his diplomatic skills to the test this week as he attends the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York City. He arrived there on Sunday and on Monday is set to hold some campaign fundraisers before diving into those meetings on Tuesday. The president will deliver remarks before the U.N. General Assembly and officials say that he will talk about America's vision for leadership in the world and also make the case that countries need to work together in order to solve some of the world's biggest problems.

This is all coming as the president has tried to highlight his alliance building as a selling point heading into the 2024 election. But there also will be a lot of attention on who President Biden will be meeting with on the sidelines of the summit. He'll meet with Brazil's President Lula da Silva on Wednesday, and also on Wednesday he's set to sit down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This will be the first time the two men are meeting since Netanyahu came back into power last year.

But it does come at a time when there had been questions about whether such a meeting would even occur after the White House has expressed criticism and frustration with Netanyahu's government moving to make some judicial reforms in that country. Now, when the president wraps up in New York City, he'll head back here to Washington. And on Thursday, here at the White House, he will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who also will be making the rounds up on Capitol Hill.

This would give the men a chance to speak in person about the counteroffensive that's underway against Russia. But the meeting also comes at a time when Biden is pushing Congress to pass more aid for Ukraine, but that is meeting significant resistance from Republicans in the House. Arlette Saenz, CNN, the White House.

HARRAK: And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be attending the U.N. General Assembly in person for the first time on Tuesday. And after that, he'll head to Washington to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House and with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill. Mr. Zelenskyy is pushing for more support from allies including long-range missiles and artillery.

Ukrainian lawmakers told CNN that their guns are firing some 6,000 shells a day, but the military wants to shoot more than 10,000. Mr. Zelenskyy is also eager to show his U.S. allies that Ukraine's counteroffensive is making gains on the battlefield. On Sunday, Ukraine liberated a key village south of the city of Bakhmut.

CNN investigative producer Katie Poiglase joins me now live from London. Katie, good morning. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy will make an in-person appearance at the U.N. and he is certain to be the center of attention.


KATIE POIGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: That's right, Laila. He is going to be on the global stage once again, meeting with leaders from around the globe, really to remind them about how important his counteroffensive is and how much he needs support from many allies around the world as this war continues. Now, he's going to be meeting with various leaders on the sidelines while he also gives an address at the U.N. General Assembly.

But as you mentioned earlier, he will also be going on to Washington. And it's not just to meet with Biden. It's also to meet with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle as this concern about U.S. public support for the funding of Ukraine and the worry that it may be declining and this need to shore up support, particularly as we move into these winter months. This counteroffensive, while it has been making some marginal gains, the progress will be getting more challenging as the weather gets colder.

It will give Russia more time to shore up those defensive lines and make it difficult for Ukraine to continue making progress. And really what Zelenskyy aims to do here is to ensure that not only that U.S. support is there, but demonstrate to them why it is so key that he continues to need this military equipment, this ammunition, this support from the United States. And one of these key things are long- range missiles that we've been discussing.

And the reason for that is because long-range missiles can get behind enemy lines and target key areas that Russia is using for this war. So, for example, we looked last week at a variety of Ukrainian attacks in the area of Crimea. One of the major attacks was on the port of Sevastopol last Wednesday. Now it's suspected they used long-range missiles.

Again, that is because that they can reach so far to target areas such as that port, which had a key ship repair facility that is crucial for really for Russia's war in Ukraine, key for rebuilding ships that may get damaged during the offensive as it continues. This is what Ukraine desperately needs. And while it has some long-range missiles, it doesn't have the U.S. ones that they want, which are the ATACMS, these Army Tactical Missile Systems. They can reach over 180 miles.

Now, Biden is said to be considering giving these to Ukraine, but he has not yet made a final decision. And this is a key thing that Zelenskyy really wants to get out of this trip. More assurances that more weaponry, more missiles will be delivered to Ukraine.

HARRAK: All right. Crucial week ahead. Katie Poiglase, thank you so much.

Well, in the coming hours, negotiators for the United Auto Workers are set to meet with representatives from carmaker Stellantis, while the union sat down with General Motors on Sunday and with Ford the day before. A source familiar with the talk says no new contract offers have been put forward since before the strike deadline last Thursday. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich has more.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Negotiations continue between the Big Three and the Union. On Sunday, General Motors had their day negotiating at the main table. On Saturday, it was Ford. And on Monday, it will be Stellantis. But no word on a deal as progress seems to be slow. The last offers that the Big Three put on the table were before the strike deadline. Those offers were around 20% increases in wages over four years.

We know that the Union has been demanding 40% in wage increases for the next four years. Now, there has been a rotating cast of elected officials who have come by the picket lines. Sunday, we saw Hakeem Jeffries, the highest-ranking Democratic official, take to the picket line with UAW workers. I had a conversation with him about how he thought negotiations were going. Take a listen.


YURKEVICH: The union has really not backed down from their demands. The negotiations are all about compromise. Do you think that they need to compromise a little bit to get this deal done?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): I think that as President Obama indicated, UAW workers bailed out these companies. They are around today because of the sacrifices that were made by the UAW. And it's time that the UAW benefit from the fruits of their labor and their sacrifice.

YURKEVICH: We've already seen some of the Big Three have to idle workers and lay off workers as a result of these targeted strikes. I wonder, are you concerned at all? I know you're here in support of these folks here on the picket line, but are you concerned at all about the economic impact on the industry, on the economy, especially as folks are still grappling with high inflation?

JEFFRIES: This pain and this sacrifice involved in any righteous struggle, and this is a struggle that is righteous, the cause is just. Lifting up the great American middle-class dream for these auto workers and future generations of UAW workers is a critical fight and it will also raise the bar for workers all across America and that's why you're seeing so much support and solidarity across the country.


YURKEVICH: And this week, acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior White House advisor Gene Sperling are expected to come to Detroit to try to help with negotiations.


UAW president Shawn Fain has made it very clear he wants the administration to stay out of talks, but the two coming to town at the direction of President Biden, who is hoping they can move a deal forward and prevent any further targeted strikes from taking place at plants across the country. Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Wayne, Michigan.

HARRAK: Natasha Lindstaedt is a professor of government at the University of Essex. She joins us now from England. Very warm welcome, Natasha. No quick resolution on the horizon in the United Auto Workers strike. What are the political ramifications of this industrial action and do you think this could potentially become an electoral issue? NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX:

Well, it could. There will be big political ramifications if this goes on for a really long time. I should note that the average autoworker strikes in history have lasted, at least the last 30 years, have lasted about five weeks. This could be bad if this went on and on because it will have an impact on the local economies in some of these swing states, but also on the national economy as a whole.

And Biden, as he has proclaimed himself the most pro-union president ever, he's really has -- a bit of a tricky situation here because he's going to want the strike to be resolved as soon as possible because of how closely connected it is to the economy. But he has no choice, but he has to appear to be as pro-union as he can. He needs to be on the side of the autoworkers.

And this is difficult because, as you already mentioned, there are some really important demands here that might not get met that soon, that these autoworkers want to have more pay, that they see that there's a huge divide between what the CEOs are making, some in some cases 365 times as much as the average auto worker. And the auto workers have been saying, you know, there's a 40 percent increase in CEO pay, whereas we can't even afford to buy the cars that we're actually making.

So, in terms of what the democratic values are, this would be to be on the side of the auto workers, but he's dealing with the way the nation perceives his ability to run the economy as a whole. And recent polling by Suffolk University and "USA Today" has revealed that it's not so great, that 70 percent of Americans don't think that the economy is going in the right direction, 84 percent think it's due to the cost of living, and only about a third think that Biden is doing a good job running the economy.

And in head-to-head polls against Trump, Trump is actually 10 percent ahead of him in terms of the way Americans think that he will be better able to run the economy compared to Biden. And so, Biden's going to want this to be resolved quickly without him appearing to lose sight of what the needs are of the autoworkers.

HARRAK: And that's not the only crisis that President Biden is currently facing. I mean, there are so many challenges this week. There is also the looming government shutdown at the end of the month. Are there efforts underway to break the impasse on Capitol Hill and avert a shutdown?

LINDSTAEDT: There's always efforts to try to avert a shutdown. And every time we saw this, particularly during the (inaudible) administration where we were getting to the brink of shutdown or feeling like at the very last minute, there was some sort of deal that was sorted out. It seems to be that this will pass in the same type of way. I think they will try to avoid it.

But if they don't, Biden will have to go on the offensive and claim that this is really the Republicans that are instigating this shutdown, that this isn't the Democrats that want this and that they're trying to find a solution. As we see in the recent economic speech, he was going on the attack of the Republicans, particularly with their economic credentials and what they're up to and what are they offering the American people, what is their plan? And I think he's going to have to focus on that as well while also trying to ensure that the shutdown doesn't happen.

HARRAK: Also on the president's to-do list, an impeachment inquiry. What consequences will this have for President Biden's re-election campaign?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, I think you know it's a pretty bad week for Biden, that the impeachment inquiry is probably the best news of all the different things that are going on. I think the impeachment inquiry is actually going to backfire. It showcases that there's actually infighting within the Republican Party that House Leader Kevin McCarthy is trying to appease this very right-wing, MAGA wing that wants to get rid of Kevin McCarthy and wants to pursue more extreme policies.

And we see, as a result of this, we have had this impeachment inquiry. mess. Impeachment inquiries tend to backfire, as I mentioned, just in general, because it seems like a little bit of overreach here.


And this is something that if they keep pursuing it, every time they try to investigate and find information, they don't really have any facts or proof that there was any wrongdoing that took place (inaudible). So, this will probably backfire.

HARRAK: Natasha Lindstaedt, thank you so much.

LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.

HARRAK: Absolutely. Now, former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate and indicted public figure, has given his first broadcast interview since leaving the White House. And as expected, it was packed with dubious departures from reality. Mr. Trump sat down with Kristen Welker on NBC's "Meet the Press." The wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday covered his false claims of election fraud, abortion, Afghanistan, a Russian pipeline, inflation, and January 6th. The capitol insurrection which she falsely blamed on then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


KRISTEN WELKER, NBC HOST: I want to know who you called on that day.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: By the way, Nancy Pelosi -- I don't have -- why would I tell you that? Listen, Nancy Pelosi --

WELKER: You don't want to talk about that?

TRUMP: -- was in charge of security. She turned down 10,000 soldiers. If she didn't turn down the soldiers, you wouldn't have had January 6th. WELKER: Did you call military or law enforcement?

TRUMP: What?

WELKER: Did you call military or law enforcement at the moment the Capitol was under attack?

TRUMP: I'm not going to tell you anything.


TRUMP: Let me put it this way. I behaved so well. I did such a good job.


HARRAK: Well, his claims against Pelosi are simply not true. Mr. Trump also said he was and would be, again, the most anti-abortion president in history, and he made these startling comments about abortion.


TRUMP: You have New York State and other places that pass legislation where you're allowed to kill the baby after birth.


HARRAK: Well, that also is patently not true. So, from January 6th to abortion to Afghanistan, to the 2020 election, to inflation, Trump got it wrong. Here's CNN's Daniel Dale with details on all the false claims Trump put forward.

DANIEL DALE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: It was an interview filled with false claims, some of which I'm comfortable calling lies. And I think abortion was one of the topics on which he was most dishonest. So, he claimed during this interview that New York State and others have passed laws allowing people to kill babies after birth. That is out and out wrong. No state has done so, Republican or Democratic. That is infanticide illegal in all 50 states.

New York, in fact, passed a 24-week abortion limit with exceptions after that for the health and life of the pregnant woman and the viability of the fetus. And that of course was not all. He repeated his false claim that Nancy Pelosi had been in charge of capital security on January 6, 2021. That is false, as is his claim that Pelosi rejected an offer of 10,000 National Guard troops that he made.

There was no evidence he even made the offer. Pelosi says she never received such an offer. And in fact, it is Donald Trump, the president of the United States, who had the authority to order the National Guard to the Capitol on that day. He repeated his out and out lie that he won the 2020 election, that he was cheated, that it was rigged. Of course, we know this is false.

He made a claim that he had heard that there were no people on the terrorist watch list encountered at the southern border under him in 2019, that the number has exploded today. In fact, the number in fiscal year 2019 was actually higher to this point in the fiscal year than it is this year under President Biden. He repeated his false claim that he had killed the Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipeline until Biden revived it. In fact, he never killed it. It was about 90 percent complete before Trump imposed sanctions on it during his presidency. And then, still during his presidency, Russia announced that it was going to resume construction.

He also exaggerated even on facts where the actual truth, the actual facts, would be helpful to him. For example, he claimed, talking about inflation, that the price of bacon has gone up by, he said, five times under Joe Biden. Well, it has gone up, like a lot of things, but it's gone up about 11 percent, not five times, not even close. He also said that the U.S. left behind about 85 billion, he said $85 billion worth of military equipment upon the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The actual number is significant, but again, nowhere close to what Trump said. It is about $7 billion.

HARRAK: Still to come, rescue crews in Libya are working to recover the dead after floods ravaged a port-side city. But difficult terrain and poor materials are making the process difficult.

And some new commitments to take on the migrant crisis in European countries like Italy. Just ahead, details on the latest move by the European Union chief and Italian prime minister to help ease the situation.



HARRAK: Cleanup continues in Libya from deadly flooding that swept through the city of Derna just over a week ago. It's still unknown how many people have died, but the United Nations has revised a previous death toll of more than 11,000. They now cite the World Health Organization's number of nearly 4,000 lives lost. While some 9,000 people are still considered missing and treacherous conditions are making search operations difficult. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has more.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Libyan and international teams have been working tirelessly out at sea trying to recover the bodies of the thousands of victims of last week's catastrophic event that hit the city of Derna. And we have seen Libyan teams here trying their best to try and get out to sea to try and reach the bodies of those victims. But what we're hearing from the international teams that have been working on this for days is that this has become a near impossible mission.

They say that -- one team told us that they were able to recover more than 60 bodies since they got here, but right now they are not able to do this anymore.


This one team says they spotted the bodies of about 300 people, but the conditions are so challenging out there for them. They say that they don't have the right equipment to reach these really hard to reach areas, coves where these bodies have ended up, shallow waters where their boats can't go, and they just don't have the equipment and the expertise, the manpower to deal with a situation like this.

And what they're telling us is, while they did spot these bodies over the past couple of days, right now, those bodies have disintegrated into remains that they just cannot reach, they cannot retrieve because of the health hazard. And this is absolutely devastating for the so many families, survivors here in Derna who we were speaking to, who told us all they want is to find the bodies of their loved ones or their remains to give them a proper burial.

This one international team we were speaking with earlier said that they have dealt with accidents in the past, with migrant boats capsizing. They have dealt with search and recovery operations where they've managed to pull dozens of bodies in the past, but never have they had to deal with a situation with something on this scale before where they're looking for hundreds and thousands of bodies. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Derna, Libya.

HARRAK: European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni say they're working to resolve the migrant crisis facing the Italian island of Lampedusa. Von der Leyen visited a migrant reception center on the island with the prime minister on Sunday. During her trip, she outlined a 10-point action plan to deal with a surge in migration saying Europe and Italy are both committing more resources.

Well, this past week, Lampedusa saw a massive uptick in migrant arrivals equivalent to the entire island's population of approximately 7,000 people. CNN's Barbie Nadeau is live for us in Rome with more on this crisis unfolding in Italy. Barbie, tell us more about the situation in Lampedusa and how long has this been going on for?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, you know, we've just seen this uptick all summer long and it started in the spring with these smaller boats coming across from Tunisia. Now, for years and years the Tunisian Coast Guard has been able to stop the departures, but because of the geopolitical situation there, the boats are becoming small boats with very few people on, each one arriving directly there.

So that we saw last week, you know, thousands of people arrive on their own on the island, which really caused the crisis that everyone's dealing with now so far.

HARRAK: Now, we've just seen, obviously, the European Commission president visiting Lampedusa. What solutions is she proposing besides the voluntary solidarity mechanism, which are clearly is not working right now?

NADEAU: Yeah, you know, the solutions are very, very difficult. You know, she visited the island. She didn't meet with a single migrant or refugee while she was there. And this 10-point plan really doesn't address the problem, which is the countries of departure, not necessarily these transit countries, which are Tunisia and Libya, or the smuggling groups. So, let's listen to what she had to say.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: We have an obligation as part of the international community. We have fulfilled it in the past and we will do so today and in the future. But we will decide who comes to the European Union and under what circumstances and not the smugglers and traffickers. The most effective measure to counter the smugglers' lies are legal pathways and humanitarian corridors.


NADEAU: But you know, legal pathways, humanitarian corridors, that's a very complicated affair. That includes, it would include, going into sovereign nations and setting up some sort of infrastructure so people can apply to leave. And then, so few of these people that are coming over are actually from countries that qualify for asylum. So, it's a very, very complicated. You know, words mean one thing action, you know, it's going to be really hard to put in place, Laila.

HARRAK: Barbie Nadeau in Rome, thank you so much.

North Korea's leader has returned home after nearly a week-long visit to Russia. We'll dig deeper into Kim Jong-un's rare international trip in a live report just ahead.



HARRAK: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has wrapped up his rare six day visit to Russia. Video from Russian state media shows Kim boarding his personal armored train Sunday, waving to local officials as a band played. Well Kim made several stops ahead of his departure.

He spent much of the trip visiting Russian military sites, fueling concerns about a possible weapons deal. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins us now live from Hong Kong with more. Good to see you Kristie, what did the Russian and North Korean leaders achieve during this trip?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. They definitely achieved a lot, in terms of drawing closer together. It was a long visit. Almost after a week in Russia, Kim Jong-Un is on his way home by train.

He brings along with him warming military ties between Russia and North Korea, as well as a selection of parting gifts including, as you've learned, a bullet-proof vest, a set of clothing that is invisible to thermal cameras, as well as drones including five attack drones. This is what we learned from Russian state media.

Now Russia has gone out of its way to publicize this visit. On Sunday, Russian state media showed footage of Kim Jong-Un waving goodbye after walking the red carpet to board his personal green, armored train. North Korean state news agency, KCNA, has also been publicizing the visit. It hailed the trip earlier by saying this, quote, "A fresh heyday of

friendship and solidarity and cooperation is being opened up in the history of the development of the relations between the DPRK and Russia." Now on Saturday, Kim met with the Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, in Vladivostok, which is where he inspected warplanes and inspected warships.

And also, while in Vladivostok, and we have the footage of the visit there, they discussed military cooperation. And at the very beginning of this visit, of course, you will recall that Kim met with the leader of Russia at the Vostochny Cosmodrome or Spaceport where Vladimir Putin said that Kim showed great interest in space and great interest in rocketry.

Now what we don't know is this, we don't know what was discussed behind closed doors but analysts point out it is very clear what both nations want.


Russia wants ammunition as its war with Ukraine drags on. North Korea needs food aid and it needs military technology as it continues, quite defiantly so, it continues with its weapons and missile program.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies in the region are disturbed by the scenes of this deepening alliance. Earlier we heard from the United States that warning, that arms talks were actively advancing between North Korea and Russia. But no deals have been publicly announced. Back to you Laila.

HARRAK: Kristie Lu Stout, reporting in Hong Kong, thank you so much.

STOUT: Thank you.

HARRAK: And coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, more fallout from the sexual assault allegations against actor Russell Brand. Why the BBC and Amnesty International are speaking out. That's next.


HARRAK: Britain's foreign secretary says the entertainment industry has a lot to answer for in the wake of sexual assault allegations against actor and comedian Russell Brand. James Cleverly saying those in power must be better at listening to those who are relatively powerless. This Saturday, three British outlets published a joint investigation citing four women who say Brand sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2013.


Well, Brand has denied the allegations and during that time period, he worked on radio programs for the BBC and hosted comedy events for Amnesty International. Well those organizations are now encouraging anyone who had issues with him to come forward. Crews in the U.S. and Canada are working to restore electricity to residents in the wake of post tropical cyclone Lee. The former hurricane made landfall in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

over the weekend, bringing heavy rain, destructive winds and coastal flooding. Tens of thousands of customers in Maine lost power during the storm. Slightly more than 3,100 are still waiting for power to be restored. Lee is expected to weaken by tomorrow, with conditions improving slowly across the battered regions.

Climate activists took their message to one of Berlin's most famous landmarks. They sprayed the Brandenburg Gate with orange paint on Sunday. More than a dozen protestors were arrested. The group Last Generation took responsibility, saying it's time for a turnaround, away from fossil fuels. Thanks so much for joining us, I'm Laila Harrak. For our international viewers, WORLD SPORT is up next. For those in the United States and Canada, I'll be back with more CNN NEWSROOM after this short break.



HARRAK: Authorities are offering a $250 thousand reward to help them find the killer of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. Ryan Clinkunbroomer was found shot in his vehicle while stopped at a traffic light on Saturday.

Officials say this surveillance video shows a dark gray Toyota pulling up alongside his patrol car before speeding away. The Los Angeles sheriff says it's unclear whether more than one person was involved in the killing and described those involved as cowards.


SHERIFF ROBERT LUNA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: I'm going to continuously refer to them as cowards because that's what they are, cowards. To attack a deputy sheriff in uniform in a black and white, who's just sitting at a red light, about to go out and serve our community.


HARRAK: Well authorities are asking the public to come forward if they have video that may have captured the shooting. U.S. Border Patrol officers are again separating some migrant children from their parents as the number of migrants overcrowds detention facilities. That's the conclusion of a new report which says the overcrowding is forcing officers to put children in separate holding areas from adults.

The report's author says some children were separated from their parents for days and did not know how to request a visit with them. A customs and border protection official says separating families is a last resort, but it happens for safety reasons. It's important to note the separations are different from the ones that happened during the Trump administration, when a zero tolerance policy kept families apart, and in some instances, parents were deported without their children. American 'Dreamers' are facing a new legal setback. A federal judge in

Texas has ruled against the Biden administration's efforts to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. It shields undocumented immigrants from deportation who were brought to the U.S. as children. The order doesn't impact those currently protected but, as CNN's Camila Bernal explains it, it's creating new uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of immigrants.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The success of this Mexican candy family business is in part thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

IGNACIO VIRAMONTES, BUSINESS OWNER AND DACA RECIPIENT: When we got DACA, it was like a boost. Like a catalyst. And then things just happened faster. Things were easier.

BERNAL (voice-over): Licenses, loans, leases, all possible after Ignacio Viramontes began benefitting from this Obama era program. Now, Ignascio and his two siblings benefit from DACA. They make part of the more than 580 thousand so-called 'Dreamers' in the U.S.. Undocumented immigrants, often arriving to the U.S. at a young age, eligible for work authorization and shielded from deportation. But a federal judge in Texas this week ruled that a regulation intended to preserve DACA is unlawful.

JEAN REISZ, CO-DIRECTOR, USC IMMIGRATION CLINIC: The time is running out, and I think that even if the Biden administration appeals, which I believe they will, and I think it will go all the way up to the supreme court, looking at our supreme court and looking at the law, I think it's likely that the supreme court would find it unlawful. And then, it's over.

BERNAL (voice-over): Jean Reisz, professor and co-director of the Immigration Clinic and USC's Law School says the ruling could force a more permanent solution.

REISZ: People are reminded of the uncertainty, how much time do they have left? Years, maybe. And I think it really puts pressure on reform.

BERNAL (voice-over): At the center of the issue is the scope of the president's authority. Which is why, for years, congressional leaders have tried to come to an agreement over immigration reform and failed.

ALEX GALVEZ , IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: I think the agreement is there. But I think because certain factions of congress have taken such a position against DACA, that it's very hard to come back to the middle and save face.

BERNAL (voice-over): Immigration attorney Alex Galvez says that at the end of the day, it's the beneficiaries of the program that suffer.

GALVEZ: The 'Dreamers' are in limbo once again. It's a political ping- pong. Yes DACA, no DACA, yes DACA, no DACA. BERNAL (voice-over): The Texas ruling does not impact current

beneficiaries. But it does prohibit new applications. Yet the reality is that Ignascio does feel impacted.


VIRAMONTES: Even though I'm living, like, comfortably right now, always in the back of my head it's like, what if one day somebody decides to come and end DACA?

BERNAL (voice-over): Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


HARRAK: In Haiti, a heartbreaking story of abuse of power, where UN peacekeepers have left behind communities traumatized in the wake of their reported misconduct. CNN's Paula Newton met with several families who say they were exploited or abused by UN personnel while peacekeepers were stationed in the country between 2004 and 2017. Some fathering children and leaving mothers struggling with both poverty and stigma long after they left. Here's our CNN AsEquals report from Western Haiti.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The UN's promises weigh heavily in Haiti. At its long abandoned compound at the coastal outpost of Port Salut, there's barely a trace of the peacekeepers that served here. And yet, much has been left behind. This woman, who asked to be referred to as Rosalynn, due to the stigma of her situation, says she has been cast aside.

ROSALYNN (through translator): How can you abandon a child like this? She's without a father. I am raising her alone.

NEWTON (voice-over): Rosalynn has a teenage daughter who was fathered by a Uruguayan peacekeeper. The UN says she is one of at least 35 women who were in exploitative or abusive relationships with UN personnel. Peace is something this mother says she has never known. She has filed a paternity claim but argues the UN should be held accountable, as well. She says she has been left to raise a daughter on paltry sums authorized by the UN.

ROSALYNN (through translator): They know the kids, they did DNA tests and everything. They know the situation of the kids with everything that is going on in Haiti.

NEWTON (voice-over): Rosmina Joseph says she was a child when she was lured into a relationship with another Uruguayan peacekeeper and became pregnant. He was sent home and served a sentence for abuse, that's according to a UN document. Rosmina wanted us to see her home.

A place where she says dreams once stood. A plot for a house, still a barren foundation. She has no money to build here. She lives on this patch of land in nothing more than a tent. Clinging to proof and staking her claim that the UN is also responsible for the harm done to her and her 12-year-old son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he understood that you were a child?

ROSMINA JOSEPH (through translator): Yes, he knew I was a minor. It started when I was 16. I became pregnant in January, I was 17.

NEWTON (voice-over): Rosmina says while her abuser was punished, that does not absolve the UN of its responsibility.

JOSEPH: It would be much better if they had worked directly with us. They know they can help, they're just not doing it.

NEWTON (voice-over): We sat down with a half-dozen families, some of whom have received money, mostly for schooling. But all had the same complaint, they were made to feel like beggars, not victims of exploitation. And had to wait years for little money that does not meet the needs of their children.

JOCQUENCY JOMBETTI (through translator): Do you know what hurts me the most? Every time you call them, the way they treat us it's like, they treat us like we're nobody.

NEWTON (voice-over): Jocquency Jombetti says she and her son have been victimized all over again. First, fighting for paternity tests, then financial support, submitting receipts for expenses to the UN, waiting months or years for money that arrives sporadically or not at all. When money is granted, the UN decides how she should spend it.

JOMBETTI (through translator): If you get the money to pay for school, and the child dies of hunger when he's back from school, what would you do?

NEWTON (voice-over): By the UN's own admission, allegations of exploitation and abuse have been a predictable problem in UN missions around the world.


In 2017, the UN secretary-general launched what he called a new approach, pledging zero tolerance for future abusers. And he appointed Jane Connors as the UN's first Victims' Rights Advocate. Her expertise is matched by a fierce will to help. But she acknowledges the limitations of the UN system.

JANE CONNORS, VICTIMS' RIGHTS ADVOCATE FOR THE UNITED NATIONS: The UN doesn't provide compensation. And the UN is in a position to essentially create cooperation with the member state in order to reach the desired objective. I would love to see more progress, but I think you can't argue that there's been no progress.

NEWTON (voice-over): Connors says the UN has helped with school fees, some medical expenses and assisted with some paternity claims at the behest of an initiative from the secretary-general.

CONNORS: I think we have made some progress with regard to their children going to school, with regards to some of the paternity claims that have been resolved. Some are ongoing. But we have much more to do.

NEWTON (voice-over): It has been six years since the United Nations and the secretary-general himself pledged to make the rights and dignity of the victims a priority.

NEWTON: That was 2017. How far do you think you've gotten with that?

CONNORS: The commitment is there. We're improving. But it remains his imperative and I think, as I say, more is to be done.

NEWTON (voice-over): What needs to be done, these women say, is simple. No strings attached financial support. They say that will restore their dignity and allow their children a measure of accountability that the UN has so far failed to provide. Paula Newton, CNN, Port Salut, Haiti.


HARRAK: Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Laila Harrak. I'll be back with more CNN NEWSROOM after this short break.