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IDF Denies Claims It Has Laid Siege To Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital; Israel Says It Has Taken Control Of 11 Hamas Military Posts; Growing Resistance To U.S. Support For Israel War Effort; GOP Holds Conference Call On Spending Bill; SAG-AFTRA Board Votes To Move Tentative Deal Forward; Red Cross: Health Care System In Gaza Passes "Point Of No Return"; Migrant Allegedly Shot By Texas Brothers Breaks Silence; Biden Honors Veterans At Arlington National Cemetery Ceremony; Converted Hotel Provides Shelter And Hope For Homeless Vets. Aired 3-4pm ET
Aired November 11, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN HOST: Hey everyone, thanks for joining me. I'm Omar Jimenez, sitting in for Fredricka Whitfield. We've got a lot to get to. We're going to start with Israel's war against Hamas. Hospitals in Gaza are facing a critical situation amid growing calls for an end to the bloodshed.
The IDF says fighting is intensifying across the enclave, including near one major medical center. Today, the IDF denied claims by a senior official at the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza that the Al- Shifa hospital is under siege and surrounded on all sides by Israeli forces.
The Red Cross says that Gaza's health care system has passed the point of no return. Many of Gaza's hospitals are now out of service amid Israel's ongoing military operations. And earlier today, Israel opened another evacuation corridor for civilians to move south.
Meanwhile, in an emergency summit in Saudi Arabia, Arab and Islamic leaders today demanded a complete ceasefire. Opposition to the war is also being expressed on streets around the globe. Pro-Palestinian protests were held today in London, Brussels, Paris, and even near President Biden's home in Delaware.
We have a team of reporters covering all of these developments. Ben Wedeman is in southern Lebanon, but let's begin with Oren Liebermann, who's live in Israel near the Gaza border. Oren, what are you hearing about the situation on the ground there?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Omar, since we last talked an hour ago we have heard much more activity as well as heavy fire. There were -- there was intermittent artillery up until now, now we are hearing that much more frequently and I suspect here in the couple minutes that we'll chat. We'll hear some more of that as well. We've also heard fighter jets up above. And although we've heard that artillery we haven't seen where it's landing suggesting it's landing farther south than where we're currently standing and what we can see. We also heard not all that long ago some small arms fire, machine gun fire which sounded like it was just a couple miles behind us here as we stand in the city of Sderot which is essentially on the northeast corner of the coastal enclave.
So the activity the pace of it and the intensity of it from what we can tell has certainly picked up since we spoke one hour ago. In terms of the situation on the ground, there is intense fighting in Gaza City. Israel said, it had Gaza City surrounded several days ago and they are moving into the center of Gaza City that has brought and there you heard what sounded like artillery right behind me. That has brought fighting very close to the largest hospital in Gaza the Al- Shifa hospital with intense fighting in that area, both according to what we're seeing from social media as well as what we're hearing from the IDF, and what we're hearing from officials there inside Gaza.
The Director General for the Hamas controlled Ministry of Health says the hospital itself is surrounded with tanks, surrounding that area and that getting in or out has become very difficult if not impossible. Meanwhile, the hospital itself faces critical shortages of food, fuel, water, and electricity and that has made the situation incredibly dire there.
The Director General also said though the main complex, the main building of the hospital itself wasn't struck. That there had been strikes, the damage nearby facilities including maternity ward and external clinics. The generator of the hospital also took damage and that according to officials there cut off incubators in the neonatal intensive care unit. Three babies dying as a result of that.
As you pointed out, conflicting narratives over what's happening there. The IDF says the hospital -- the east side of the hospital is open and that it's possible to get in and out of the hospital. In fact, the IDF says they are in constant touch with the hospital officials there that they will help evacuate babies and children from the pediatric unit tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a humanitarian quarter was opened up for seven hours today over the course of the past several days. We have seen tens of thousands of Gazans fleeing south along that quarter away from where the fighting is most intense in northern Gaza. The Israeli military says they've taken control of 11 Hamas military posts in northern Gaza as they continue their operation. They say, they're moving towards attacking the underground infrastructure, the tunnels and that will be incredibly complex simply given the nature of that level of fighting as we keep an eye on what we can see from here. And we will certainly keep you updated on the situation as we learn more about it, Omar.
JIMENEZ: And for our viewers who may not be looking at a map, you're near the Gaza border where you are, but there's also been fighting along Israel's northern border as well. What have you been learning on that front?
LIEBERMANN: There has. And Omar as you asked that question, we heard another artillery round fired, a little farther away, it sounded like. But the northern border, although certainly not the sort of fighting we're seeing here, there has been constant back and forth, constant sort of lower level of conflict, as one official described it to me, somewhere between a simmer and a boil over the course of the past several days. And that continued into today with fire coming from Lebanon and Israeli fire going back across into Lebanon. At the same time, the IDF is also watching for long range strikes coming -- strikes from the Houthis in Yemen.
In fact, they intercepted an incoming projectile with the Arrow 3, that's their most advanced long range air defense system. That was used operationally for the first time within the last 24 to 48 hours or so. So Israel essentially looking at combat of different levels on multiple fronts here.
JIMENEZ: And it really gives a sense for the regional implications here and how high regional tensions already are at this point. Oren Liebermann, thank you.
Along those lines, a group of leaders from Arab and Islamic nations gathered today in Saudi Arabia for an emergency summit on the war in Gaza. And CNN's Ben Wedeman, has been keeping track of all that there.
Ben, we heard the leader of Hezbollah give a remote address to the summit. What did he have to say as we see his forces engaged in skirmishes of sorts along with Israeli forces?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Omar, one clarification, he was not addressing the summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This was -- he makes a speech like this every 11th of November. It's Hezbollah's Martyr's Day commemoration. So that was -- he was really addressing a wider audience than just the summit.
But what he did say is that the exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah are becoming more intense and they're reaching further into one another's territory. During this speech, he mentioned that Hezbollah for the first time is using attack drones to strike deeper into Israel.
And they're also using an Iranian-designed Burkan missile, which is a short-range ballistic missile with a payload of 500 kilograms. That's just over half a ton. And in fact, Hezbollah put out video of that strike using the Burkan missile. And it is massive. Right on the border, they struck about a week ago.
In addition to that, of course, he's warning the Americans that they've got to put more pressure on Israel to end its war on Gaza. He said that if the Americans, for instance, and he's referring to multiple attacks by pro-Iranian militias on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, he said that if the Americans want to avoid that sort of attack, if they want to avoid a regional war, they have to force Israel to stop its war on Gaza. Now, in terms of the actual action, just adding to what Oren was
saying just a moment ago, what we have seen today is some pretty intense exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel, perhaps 30 individual incidents.
In addition to that, according to the Lebanese official news agency, there was an Israeli drone strike on a truck near the town of Zahrani. That's 40 kilometers or 25 miles north of the border with Israel.
It represents the deepest strike of its kind inside Lebanon since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. And this afternoon, the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, commenting on the fighting on the border with Lebanon, made a rather ominous warning. He said, what we're doing in Gaza, we can also do in Beirut. Omar.
JIMENEZ: Again, just a look at the wider implications here and the tensions that we are already seeing at play throughout the region. Ben Wedeman, thank you so much, as always.
There are growing protests abroad and here in the United States over the Biden administration's continued support for Israel's war effort in Gaza. Today, pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied in protest near Biden's Delaware home.
In New York City last night, demonstrators marched through the streets, snarling traffic as they demanded a ceasefire in Gaza.
And in a notable shift in language on the rising civilian death toll in Gaza, America's top diplomat, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said Friday that, quote, "far too many Palestinians are being killed." It comes as CNN has just obtained a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Amman to the White House, saying the U.S. is losing badly on the messaging battle space.
CNN White House Reporter Kevin Liptak is in Wilmington, Delaware. So, Kevin, what more are you learning about these protests near Biden's home?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, it was a sizable protest, Omar. Hundreds of people, Palestinian protesters, getting very close to the President's house. They have dissipated mostly now, and the President arrived back at his home. He did not drive past them in any way. So we didn't necessarily see them firsthand. But it does mirror what the President has been seeing over the last couple of weeks, protests near an event he held in Illinois this week. He has been interrupted during a couple of his speeches by people calling for a ceasefire, and it does reflect this anger among a certain portion of the American population at how he is handling this conflict and this dissent is growing overseas as well.
For example, we heard today from the French President Emmanuel Macron saying that Israel's bombing of women and children has no justification in saying that a ceasefire would benefit Israel and calling on leaders, including in the United States, to join him in that call.
We also saw this week a majority of the Democratic caucus in the Senate writing to the White House asking for more information about the $14 billion request that President Biden has made for emergency military assistance for Israel and asking for guarantees that Israel would take steps to mitigate civilian casualties.
And so all of this is applying pressure on President Biden on his position on Israel. Of course, he has to shoulder to shoulder with Israel throughout this defending its right to defend itself, saying that it, in fact, has a responsibility to go after Hamas. But at the same time you do hear the shift in tone, for example, from the top diplomat Antony Blinken saying that far too many Palestinians have died and saying much more needs to be done to protect civilian lives.
What President Biden has been doing is applying pressure on the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to enact what they call humanitarian pauses. And the White House did say this week that Israel had agreed to four-hour pauses each day to allow aid to flow in and allow civilians who want to flee to get out.
But when President Biden was asked about this this week, he did say that he had hoped that Netanyahu might have agreed to that a little bit sooner. Omar.
JIMENEZ: Yeah. Kevin Liptak, thank you so much.
A lot to talk about here. I'm joined now by Ron Brownstein. He's a Senior Political Analyst and a Senior Editor for the Atlantic. Ron, so good to see you. We are seeing more protests across the country and unease in the Biden administration over the ongoing attacks in Gaza and the rising death toll.
Look, there's diplomatic considerations here. There are -- I mean, so many different considerations here from a policy perspective. But there are also considerations from a political one as well. How concerned should the White House be about political fallout with Democratic voters in particular?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, look, this is a very difficult issue that genuinely divides the Democratic coalition. There was national polling from Quinnipiac University last week in which Democrats were divided basically 50-50 over whether they supported the military aid to Israel as compared to three quarters of Democrats supporting aid to Ukraine.
Now, part of it is that there are not a lot of Democratic leaders who have a lot of trust in the instincts of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has identified as overtly with the Republican Party, as any foreign leader has identified with any political party in the U.S. in my lifetime. So there are a lot of cross pressures on President Biden here.
But it is worth noting that his approval rating among voters for handling this, while not great, is better than his approval rating on almost any other issue. I mean, of course, that he's trying to set a basically supporting
Israel, but putting up some yellow light, some warning signs about not, you know, don't -- don't proceed past this line. That's what they're trying to hold to, their enormous pressures from the left and the right from that course that he's trying to set.
JIMENEZ: And those pressures don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. And look, President Biden and the Democrats, in theory, had a good week in some regards, specifically a good election week. Democrats won the governor's race in the red State of Kentucky. Democrats are in control of the State of House in Virginia. Voters in Ohio overwhelmingly voted to approve abortion protections, which has political implications as well.
Now, the President is taking credit for some of these election results, even with polling showing him trailing Donald Trump in some key battleground states. But what do you think these election results say about Biden's chances in 2024? Do you see their two paths as related here?
BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, look, I think they are actually revealing. Look, the polling is very clear. It's unequivocal, and it's been consistent for months. That there are lots of Americans who are unhappy about the economy, who are disenchanted with Biden's performance, and a majority, significant majority, consistently say in polls that they are worried that he is too old to execute the responsibility to the presidency for another term.
But what the election of 2023 showed us, which is pretty much the same thing the election of 2022 showed us, which is that there is another side of the ledger. And that is when Democrats can run campaigns that focus on what Republicans, Trump-era Republicans, would do with power, there are a critical slice of voters who are disappointed in Biden, unhappy about the economy, and still will vote for Democrats because they don't want to empower Republicans to do what they want.
And we saw this most clearly in Virginia, which I thought was the most revealing result this week. Because Biden's approval there, even though he won the state, is under 50. Voters in polls gave Republicans double-digit advantages on the economy and crime, similar to what we've seen nationally, real kitchen table issues. And yet Glenn Youngkin, the Republican governor, failed in his goal to unify control of the legislature, largely because there were too many voters, particularly in big suburbs outside of, in Northern Virginia and outside of Richmond, who did not want to go along with the Republican cultural agenda on abortion and other issues. And if there is a path to reelection for Joe Biden, that is exactly what it looks like on those issues in those places.
JIMENEZ: Well, and election chances is one thing, but we've also had, or on the Democratic side, some governing setbacks that could happen, play out, I should say, in the next year, election cycle, really, is that Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced he wouldn't run for reelection in West Virginia. Well, look, there are questions about whether he would have won
reelection to begin with, whether he stayed in the race. But no question it would make it harder for Democrats to hold on to the Senate.
Manchin also hinted he may be open to a third party run for president, at least just based on actions he's done. Should Biden be worried about a Manchin presidential run? But even more so, what are the implications and fallout of Manchin deciding not to run for reelection?
BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, let's talk about the Senate first. I mean, one of the macro trends of modern American politics is it's become virtually impossible for either party to win Senate seats in states that usually vote the other way for president.
You know, there are 25 states that voted for Joe Biden in 2020. Democrats now have 48 of their 50 Senate seats. There are 25 states that voted for Trump. Republicans hold 47 of their 50 Senate seats. And the only three that Democrats hold are all up in 2024.
Joe Manchin was one of those three, always I thought the one most likely to lose the Democrats. Hopes of holding the Senate are largely -- will largely pivot on whether the other two last remaining Democrats in Trump's seats can hold their seats, which are Sherrod Brown in Ohio and Jon Tester in Montana.
You know, in the last two presidential elections, 2016 and 2020, there is literally one senator over those two cycles who won in a state that voted the other way for president. And, you know, since about half the country leans toward blue and leans red in presidential years, what this means is that we have a Senate that is now always on the knife's edge, Omar. It has become almost impossible for either side to get a big majority that can last for more than a few cycles.
JIMENEZ: Yeah, and of course the majority very slim right now and has the potential to be shaken up in a pretty big way this cycle around. But if the indications from this most recent election week hold true, issue-based politics could end up being a big wave for Democrats, we will see.
Ron Brownstein, thank you as always. And I just want to point out, last time you joined me, it was very early in the morning or late at night, whatever you want to point out. So it's nice to see you in the daytime.
BROWNSTEIN: In the sunlight.
JIMENEZ: Yeah, exactly. Thanks, Ron.
All right, coming up, the government is set to run out of funding in less than seven days. It's a big test for the new House Speaker, Mike Johnson. Can House Republicans come up with a plan in time?
Plus, the Actors Union National Board voted to move the tentative contract forward with major studios. What's next and what we know about the historic deal? Just ahead.
JIMENEZ: Right now, House Republicans are holding an urgent meeting to strategize a funding deal to keep the government running. Congress has until November 17th. It's coming up fast to reach an agreement. CNN Capitol Hill Reporter Annie Grayer has more.
So Annie, what's the latest you're hearing about this meeting?
ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: So Omar, I'm just told that during this call, Speaker Mike Johnson, announced his plan for what he wants to put on the floor this week for government funding. And his plan is a two-pronged approach where some government funding is going to be extended to January and some will be extended into February.
This was a plan that was pushed by the right wing of his caucus and honestly has been complicated and confusing for a lot of members to figure it out. But the big picture here is this is a non-starter in the Democratic-controlled Senate who doesn't want to take up government funding in this way.
But what we now see based on what Johnson just told his colleagues is that he is embracing what the right wing of his conference wanted and not going ahead with what the more moderates wanted. So this tells us a lot about Speaker Mike Johnson and how he's conducting himself as Speaker.
This was his first big test and he's clearly aligning himself with the right wing with this plan that he just unveiled.
JIMENEZ: Yeah, of course, there were questions coming in about what dynamic, what direction he would choose to help dictate the direction of this deal. We're getting some glimpses now. We'll continue to stay on it. Annie Grayer, thank you so much.
Now, up next, a United Nations agency says people of Gaza are being choked by bombardment and siege. We will show you how one hospital is dealing with the horror of war.
JIMENEZ: The SAG-AFTRA National Board voted yesterday to advance a tentative agreement with major studios. The historic deal came after 118 days of grueling negotiations, during which 160,000 actors were forced off set. The agreement ends one of the most disruptive chapters in Hollywood's history, sending relieved workers back to their productions zone.
CNN National Correspondent Camila Bernal is live from Los Angeles. So Camila, what can you tell us about the terms in this contract? CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey Omar. So union leaders
here are saying that they are historic, that they are extraordinary. Those are the words that they're using because they were able to make achievements and make gains on a number of fronts.
Two things that they say took them a long time. They say they were negotiating up until the very end. One of them being Artificial Intelligence. And they say, what they got in this deal was consent, being able to tell AI creators that they need to explain really what it is that they're doing so that the actors and actresses can make an informed decision on whether or not they want these creators to use artificial intelligence. They also say that they were able to gain payments, right, for the use of artificial intelligence. So that was huge for a lot of the union members.
The other thing that they were able to get here was money, essentially, and Fran Drescher, the president of the Union saying this is a new pocket because this is the money that's coming from streaming. And what they accomplished here is success-based bonuses, that money will then go into a fund and a percentage of it will go to some of the actors and actresses that are in those very successful shows, the other will be distributed among union members. But this is something that they say is completely new.
Now, they also made gains when it comes to wages, overall, a 7 percent increase for general members, and for some of the lowest paid the increase is about 11%. So, they're very pleased with the amount of money that they were able to get with benefits, with things like provisions for hair and makeup or sexual harassment, a number of things that they say were important for a lot of different people. And everybody that I talked to has been telling me, look, we are ready to go back to work, it has been extremely difficult, and they just want to go back to doing what they love.
Here's what one actress told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE HURD, ACTOR & SAG-AFTRA NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE MEMBER: So, I'm proud, I'm happy, I'm emotional. But I'm the most thing I'm so happy that people are going to get back to work. And we're going to get to start to do the beautiful sacred storytelling that we love, which is art.
I've got my highlighter ready. I'm just like, give me a script. Give me a script. I'm so ready. I'm so ready. We all are. We all are. And some people have already started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNAL: And this strike along with the rioter strike has been really devastating for Hollywood. I mean, productions had been shut down for months now. And a lot of people just wanting to go back to work, things will start to pick back up again, get back to normal. But a lot of people that I talked to also telling me, look, we're probably going to start to really get back to normal in January. So, it is going to take some time. But there is optimism now for summer movies and future shows and people who are saying we're ready.
Now they do have to ratify that vote and that vote time will be beginning on Tuesday, but then we'll go on until the beginning of December. So, we won't have that final answer until the first week of December.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN HOST: And there were a lot of significant issues to work out here to find some sort of common ground on it. It appears they've done so. So, we will see once that is officially ratified.
Camila Bernal from Los Angeles thank you so much.
Still to come for us, two Texas brothers allegedly shot at a group of migrants, injuring one and killing another more than a year ago. Now the injured migrant is speaking out. What she told CNN, next.
JIMENEZ: The Hamas controlled Health Ministry in Gaza says the Al- Shifa Hospital in Gaza City remains under complete siege and its staff and patients are unable to leave. Now the Israeli military is denying the hospital is under siege and it also claims an explosion at the hospital on Friday was caused by misfired projectile launch from inside Gaza apparently targeting nearby Israeli troops. The shocking video obtained by CNN shows the desperate plight of civilians who are sheltered in and around hospitals in Gaza.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has our report. And I'm going to warn you it's very graphic and disturbing.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Night 34 of this war fought held to Gaza's hospitals. Death so close for these medics outside allowed the hospital they recited their final prayers. The hospital says several were injured in the strikes and two ambulances were completely damaged.
It was one of several hospitals struck in what was a night of horror for those sheltering and medical facilities in northern Gaza. On a Friday, more heart ache came with these devastating scenes at a ship a hospital complex. The haunting screams of those who survived this blast, dazed, confused, searching for loved ones amongst the dead and injured. Images that infuriated humanitarians like Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert, who volunteered at a shift in the past.
MADS GILBERT, NORWEIGAN PHYSICIAN: President Biden Mr. Blinken. Mr. Blinken, can you hear me? Prime ministers and presidents of the European countries, can you hear me? Can you hear the screens from Shifa Hospital? From a loud this hospital? Can you hear the screams from innocent people? Refugees sheltering, trying to find a safe place been bombed by the Israeli attack forces, hospitals that are the temples of humanity and protection.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): But this is a ward with no red lines and hospitals are no sanctuary for the tens of thousands crammed into these hospitals, desperate to be protected from a war like no other Gaza has ever seen.
For weeks, the Israeli military has been calling on civilians to move south to get out of harm's way they say, but so many have been reluctant to heed these calls, air strikes and death have followed Gazans to the south, nowhere is safe in this besieged territory. But as the Israeli military opened up a humanitarian corridor amid intense fighting in the north, tens of thousands had no choice but to run in scenes that evoke dark memories for Palestinians of an exodus from decades past one from which there has been no return.
But not everyone can leave. The fighting has trapped some of the most vulnerable to pediatric hospitals where hundreds are sheltering and doctors are calling on the ICRC to evacuate them. Israeli troops are right outside al-Nasr and al-Rantisi hospitals.
The house hospital is surrounded by Israeli tanks from all directions, this young woman says. We were asked to evacuate now. She and others with this cry for international protection and a safe passage out.
Back inside a Shifa, there's no stopping, no pauses for those on a mission to save lives. A father anxiously looks to doctors for good news, only to be told his little boy is gone.
Never have Gazans felt so abandoned alone in this land of death and despair.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN London.
JIMENEZ: -- right back.
JIMENEZ: A migrant mother of three is breaking her silence after she was allegedly shot at while crossing the U.S. southern border. Two Texas brothers were arrested on multiple charges last year for allegedly firing two gunshots at a group of migrants near El Paso, injuring one person and killing another. The FBI and Texas Rangers are investigating the incident. A prosecutor haven't formally charged anyone. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are calling the shooting a hate crime.
CNN's Rosa Flores has more on this case. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ROSA FLORES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mark and Michael Sheppard were arrested on manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges but have not been indicted after allegedly shooting at a group of migrants killing one and wounding another in West Texas over a year ago. The twin brothers told investigators they were hunting ducks then change their story to birds than to javelinas or wild pigs according to probable cause documents.
(on-camera): The brothers do admit to firing the shots?
BRENT MAYR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
FLORES (on-camera): They admit to firing at animals.
MAYR: Mike was the one who took the shot. He believed that he was shooting at a javelina.
FLORES (voice-over): Jesus Sepulveda (ph), a Mexican father of two died from a shotgun blast to the head. His family believes he was targeted because of his race.
Berenice Casillas, a Mexican mother of three was shot in the stomach.
FLORES (voice-over): Casillas says she and a group of migrants rushed towards this reservoir desperate for drinking water, when the two men drove up in a truck and parked here.
FLORES (voice-over): The migrants tried to hide. Casillas says she hid here. This is where her account and the Sheppard brothers story diverge.
FLORES (voice-over): Casillas says the brothers knew the migrants were human, screamed expletives in Spanish come out F and assess and fired twice.
MAYR: We just disagree with, with her version of the events --
FLORES (voice-over): Defense Attorney Brent Mayr says Michael Sheppard fired the shots from 150 to 200 yards away, that the brothers don't speak Spanish fluently.
MARY: (INAUDIBLE) you can see right at sunset --
FLORES (voice-over): And that the shooting happened at about 6:45 in the evening.
MAYR: At that time of night there is no way that at that distance you would be able to see and recognize that those were humans, so --
FLORES (voice-over): Mayr's timing doesn't match Casillas's account.
(on-camera): What time of day was it?
(voice-over): 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. She says this photo of her wound taken moments after the shooting shows daylight. Casillas says she recorded these voice messages.
FLORES (voice-over): and walked for about an hour before calling 911.
FLORES (voice-over): Investigative reports usually close the gap between dueling accounts and the truth. But the probable cause documents say the shooting occurred at 7:00 p.m. Sepulveda's (ph) death records say he died at the scene at 9:39 p.m. And while the FBI and the Texas Rangers are investigating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a hate crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hate crime.
FLORES (voice-over): And lawmakers have called for a Justice Department investigation. Law enforcement agencies would not discuss the case, and prosecutors have not filed formal charges against anyone.
(on-camera): Do you think it was racism?
FLORES (voice-over): Sepulveda's father --
FLORES (voice-over): -- says the brothers are racists and points to a 2018 report alleging Michael Sheppard use racial slurs while he was the warden at a migrant detention center. The DHS inspector general investigated and found no wrongdoing clearing him.
(on-camera): Did your clients fire the shots with racism or hatred?
MAYR: Absolutely not. I mean, again, how can you be a -- how can you be racist or have hatred when you're out there thinking that you're just shooting at some wildlife?
FLORES (voice-over): Casillas says she's learning to live in constant pain.
(FOREIGN LANGUAGE) FLORES (on-camera): She says that she's asked God why her.
(voice-over): She says it's simple, the migrant who was killed Jesus Sepulveda (ph) was her rock during the year.
FLORES (voice-over): And she's his only voice and chance at justice.
(on-camera): I talked to one other migrant victim who says that this shooting happened during the day. Which begs the question, how did these brothers confuse humans for animals? And if they were indeed hunting, did they go out and check what they had hunted? I asked the attorney these questions and he maintains that the brothers did not know that the migrants were humans. And he says that after firing the shots, the brothers didn't go and check on what they had allegedly hunted. And so, they didn't report the case to the police.
Rosa Flores, CNN, Houston.
JIMENEZ: Thanks for that report.
Just ahead, the creative solution that converted hotel rooms into new homes for more than 100 homeless veterans. Stay with us.
JIMENEZ: President Biden honored the nation's veterans at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery today praising current service members as protectors of liberty and democracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Come together today to watch again honor the generations of Americans who stood on the front lines of freedom, to once again bear witness to the great deeds of a noble few who risked everything, everything to give us a better future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIMENEZ: Now the President laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He also recalled his son Beau's service. Saying, his son lived by a code millions of veterans have followed.
And on this Veterans Day New hope for a group of homeless veterans in Texas. Thanks to the Tunnels To Towers Foundation, more than 100 veterans now have a new home. The group's Houston veteran's village opened this week after converting unused hotel rooms into apartments.
So, I'd like to bring in Brad Blakeman, Senior Adviser at the Tunnel To Towers Foundation, which helps provide homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families.
So, Brad, for starters, tell us about this new housing in Houston?
BRAD BLAKEMAN, SENIOR ADVISER, TUNNEL TO TOWERS: Well, this is going to be a model for our nation. We pick a Wyndham Hotel, 160 bed, a hotel and converted it for homeless housing as well as those in crisis and those veterans in need, especially our elderly veterans of affordable housing. So, we converted this, we understood after we studied the problem of over 50,000 veterans on the streets that our cities just unacceptable. And we decided that it's not only important to provide a safe and dignified and comfortable surroundings in a home without affordable surround services on site for there's PTSD or substance abuse. Whenever we got them in that position, we have to heal them.
So, they'll have a great place to live. About 130 units in Houston. And then we're going to have comfort homes on that location, 500 square foot standalone homes that really makes it a Veterans Village. So, we found a model that works, housing and onsite services for veterans. And that's what we're going to do not only in Houston, but around our country.
JIMENEZ: And look thousands of veterans are driven from their homes because of housing crises. And so how is your organization dealing with that issue? But also, how is it that this is such a big problem for veterans?
BLAKEMAN: Well, you know, a veteran told me about six months ago, he said, Sir, he said when we serve, it's every man and woman that it will not be left behind. Yet when we separate from the service and come home, we seem that it's every man and woman for themselves. And they come home after serving us valiantly and heroically, and then they come home and they have problems because of their service.
So, Tunnel To (ph) Towers when we found out that this is the case, we wanted to go where the need is greatest first Los Angeles, we're in Los Angeles, we're in Riverside, California, we're in Phoenix, Arizona, we're in Houston soon to be in Florida and elsewhere.
So, we need to go where our veterans are, where they're in crisis now and separate them and make sure that they are well cared for, and everything that they could possibly need will be for them.
JIMENEZ: And you know, can you tell us a little bit about some of the plans for other cities? I mean, obviously, this is in Houston, you mentioned some other places with, with greatest needs. I mean, what is the priority when it comes to getting what I guess you provide to a certain city? What is the top list thing that you go to first?
BLAKEMAN: Right. Well, we first of all, we need to go to the places of need, we need to find where the greatest population of homeless veterans are. We have that thanks to the government's census and keeping track of where our homeless veterans are.
The next thing we have to do is make sure that we either convert a hotel, in this case a Wyndham in Houston. We've converted a Holiday Inn. In some instances that will be standalone acreage as in Manatee County, Florida. The county has gifted us nine acres, we will build a veteran's village there with comfort homes as well as apartments. But the key to solving our problem is making sure we have dignified a comfortable housing and onsite wraparound services where our veterans can literally walk out their door and get the kind of services they need.
BLAKEMAN: In addition, we find areas where there's need, of course, but also close to a VA clinic or hospital. We have to make sure that our veterans not spending hours in transportation to get the kinds of services they need.
JIMENEZ: And last thing before we go is the Biden administration announced $3 billion in funding to reduce veteran homelessness. How does that money help?
BLAKEMAN: Well, it helps greatly through the VA and HUD were provided by vouchers and no more than 30 percent of a veteran's income should they have, an income will be used for housing.