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U.S. Braces for Tens of Thousands of Migrants as Border Rule Expires; Suspect Accused in Chokehold Death to Face Manslaughter Charge. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired May 12, 2023 - 07:00   ET



NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): -- credits with the Phoenix Fire Department with the rapid aggressive response that extinguished the fire quickly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there was a lot of propane and a lot of fire load that was there, tons of palates and so it was an intense fire super fast.

CHEN: Dozens of Phoenix firefighters put the fire out and helps keep it from spreading to neighboring homes.

But for Fire Captain Todd Keller, Dana Lambert, the retired firefighter, rescue crew member and father, was the hero that day.

CAPTAIN TODD KELLER, PHOENIX FIRE DEPARTMENT: He's got a lot of experience. And I can tell you that he coordinated with our firefighters on scene to help make this scene and this incident go smoothly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every fireman that is in a blue shirt would do exactly like I did. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. The ones like this are victories that help balance it out.

CHEN: Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Wonderful to see what they did. Natasha, thank you.

And CNN This Morning continues right now.


HARLOW: The newer era of U.S. southern border Title 42 officially expired at midnight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If anyone arrives at our southern border, they will be presumed ineligible for asylum and subject to steeper consequences.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 400,000 migrants may attempt that journey to cross that U.S. border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're boarding up like if it were a hurricane coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The D.A.'s office has decided to move forward with a manslaughter charge.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Attorneys for the man being charged, they're right, he risked his own life and safety for the good of his fellow passengers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an extraordinarily difficult case for any prosecutor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about the law. This is about justice, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An NBC Universal executive is in talks to take over as the new CEO of Twitter.

ELON MUSK, CEO, TWITTER: I think it's very important for that to be an inclusive arena for free speech.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Musk says he will now become Twitter's chief technology officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tammy Ma is among the scientists who've been chasing nuclear fusion for generations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's no longer a question of whether. This is a question of when. Let's get to work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My boss called me and I burst into tears.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jokic gets the deflection, spot up, free Murray, you bet. The Phoenix Suns' season is over, Denver the first team to advance to the conference finals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's two in a row. Jayson Tatum, welcome to Philadelphia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Game seven, I need you to come with energy, no excuses.


HARLOW: What was his humble brag?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm humbly the best player in the world, one of the best players. He was --

HARLOW: He's humbly. But he is, right?

MATTINGLY: Yes. Well, it's true. I appreciate -- HARLOW: You told me who he is this morning.

MATTINGLY: I appreciate self-confidence and I think it's important for the day-to-day life. I also -- did you see Nikola Jokic?

HARLOW: Jokic.

MATTINGLY: See, I learn.

HARLOW: One thing I can teach Phil in sports, the one thing is how to pronounce the Serb's last name. That's it.

MATTINGLY: And what I love about it is that you taught me in front of the entire television audience on live T.V.

HARLOW: I have to make my husband proud.

MATTINGLY: And the first of many errors of my weakness this week so far.

HARLOW: Djokovic, Jokic, and Doncic. It's all you need to know.


HARLOW: But we begin with serious news this morning. This morning, Title 42 is over. It has ended at midnight last night and perhaps we will see chaos on the southern border. That's certainly what even the administration is expecting and warning of. The border patrol is bracing for tens of thousands of migrants who have been waiting to cross into the United States.

New overnight, the head of homeland security is sending a stark warning the border is not open. That is what he is saying. Around 60,000 migrants staged themselves along the border as the clock ran out, according to the Border Patrol chief. And there is new concern that border facilities will become dangerously overcrowded.

Overnight, a judge blocked the Biden administration from quickly releasing those migrants without giving them a court date.

MATTINGLY: Well, for days now, we have seen migrants rushing to the border from the West Coast to the Gulf of Mexico, some traveling hundreds of miles, families making the dangerous swim across the Rio Grande with babies and toddlers in their arms only to face razor wire on the other side.

All the while, the Biden administration has been surging troops, federal agents, government workers toured the southern border as time ran out on Title 42, which allowed them to turn away migrants before they could seek asylum during the pandemic.

HARLOW: Rosa Flores joins us live in the ground in El Paso. Rosa, thank so much for being with us. You have been there not only for the weeks leading up to this, for years covering this issue. And that is the epicenter of what is to come now that Title 42 has expired. But I am interested in what you've actually seen happened since midnight. ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, we've been monitoring this, Poppy. And we haven't seen a big spike or surge at least here where I am. What you see behind me is the border wall and the area behind that is where migrants congregate and wait for immigration authorities to transport them for processing.

Now, I should add that the expectations from officials had been mixed about what was going to happen as soon as Title 42 lifted. There were some officials who were expecting a spike and then there was the U.S. Border Patrol chief, Raul Ortiz, saying, look, that spike has already been happening.


It's been happening for about a week, and he was not expecting a huge spike of 17,000 or 18,000 migrants as soon as this lifted.

But, look, the Biden administration has been planning for this for more than a year now. And in a nutshell, what the administration has been doing is implementing policies that allow for legal pathways into the United States but it also builds legal consequences into those policies. And the newest one of those and probably the more controversial ones is the asylum ban on immigrants who have crossed through other countries and have not sought asylum in those countries.

Now, that is one of the first legal setbacks that I want to share with you this morning because the ACLU, overnight, filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration claiming that that particular policy puts asylum seekers in very dangerous situations.

Now, the second legal setback that the administration is facing is a blocking by a federal judge of the administration -- allowing the administration to release migrants without court dates. Now, I should mention that this has been done in the past and CBP issued a statement overnight saying that this ruling by this federal judge not only puts the migrants at risk but also federal agents, CBP officers that are working in facilities because they could be overcrowded.

But, Poppy, I should mention that these are just two tools that the Biden administration is using. There are myriad of policies. I won't get into the minutia because there's a lot of it, but there are a lot of different policies and tools and, of course, the surge of resources that this administration is flooded to the border to make sure they're prepared.

HARLOW: We'll talk to Secretary Mayorkas about all of that ahead in just a couple of minutes. Rosa, thank you.

MATTINGLY: Well, the crisis at the southern border is being felt all the way here in New York City, where the mayor is now bussing migrants out to the suburbs.

Polo Sandoval is live at the Port Authority. And, Polo, this all come after the Republican governor of Texas sent thousands of migrants to New York and other so-called sanctuary cities. Well, what you are seeing right now? POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Phil, we should not that even before the overnight expiration of Title 42, New York City has been in migrant crisis mode as its struggle find accommodation and housing for what's currently close to 40,000 asylum seekers that are still in the city's care. So, it gets to be seen exactly how much that number will continues to rise now that Title 42 is no more.

But what is for sure is that that number will rise in the last, as we have been seeing that for the last year, 200 to 300 asylum seekers arrive a day and many more they will be arriving here in New York's bus Port Authority today.

So, what the city is doing right now, basically considering all options. That includes the Mayor Eric Adams potentially pressing forward, at least eventually, on his efforts to off-road the asylum, volunteer relocation from New York City to some of the nearby suburbs.

In fact, we saw that just yesterday as he did send a couple buses to nearby Burke (ph), New York, a short drive north of the city. That prompted come criticism and some outrage from Orange County officials. They say that they simply lack the resources to take any people up there more than the asylum seekers that they've already seen.

So, what we're really seeing now, the Title 42 is a thing of the past, is the growing call here in New York City for President Biden to potentially interject here and the form an executive action or something else to offer a form of humanitarian assistance to some of the asylum seekers here potentially giving them the right to work legally. Because when you speak to these asylum seekers, as I have Phil, they will tell you time and time again that they want to be able to make a living and basically work out of a city shelter.

MATTINGLY: Polo Sandoval, great reporting, thanks so much.

Next hour, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will join us live in our 7:00 A.M. hour.

HARLOW: Former President Donald Trump is appealing a $5 million judgment against him in the E. Jean Carroll case. Carroll accused Trump of raping her in the 90's at a New York department then defaming her by denying her claims in a federal jury this week found Trump liable for sexual battery and defamation. Trump denies knowing or ever meeting Carroll.

The verdict has no legal effect on his presidential candidacy. He, again, denied the accusations and made dismissive comments about Carroll just 24 hours after that verdict, right, the verdict that include defamation. He did he that at the CNN town hall in New Hampshire.

MATTINGLY: In just hours, Mark Pomerantz is expected to testify before Jim Jordan's House Judiciary Committee. Now, Pomerantz was a former top prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.'s investigation into former President Donald Trump. Jordan wants to speak with Pomerantz as part of the probe into that investigation which, of course, ultimately led to the criminal indictment of the former president. Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg initially asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order to stop Jordan's subpoena but that request was denied. Pomerantz authored People Versus Donald Trump, an insider account about his time investigating Trump.


The judge noted the D.A's office waived the right to privilege over any information in the book because Bragg's office didn't take any legal action before or after it was published.

HARLOW: Just hours from now right here in New York, we're expecting a Marine veteran to turn himself in the killing of a homeless man on a subway. The Manhattan district attorney's office says they expect to arrest 24-year-old Daniel Penny and charge him with manslaughter. It's been almost two weeks since Penny held Jordan Neely in a deadly chokehold.

Witnesses say Neely was acting erratically on a subway train in Manhattan and they described Penny approaching him from behind, putting him in that chokehold, pinning him to the ground until he was unconscious.

Now, the law firm representing Penny released a statement saying in part their client, quote, risked his own life, safety, for the good of his fellow passengers. And they go on to say, we are confident that once all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are brought to bear, Mr. Penny will be fully absolved of any wrongdoing.

Joining us now is CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst John Miller. John, you know the issues here in New York City, inside and out. Is this really complicated and complex and it gets the bigger issues here in the city of mental illness, how we treat people with compassion and how we keep people safe?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND ILELLIGENCE ANALYST: That's why prosecutors struggled with the path here. Detectives do the interviews that day. He could have been arrested that night, May 1st. The D.A. said we want to learn more. And then the question was, do we just put this into a grand jury, bring in all the witnesses, play the video, bring in the medical examiner and ask them if they want to indict on and they could give them a selection of two or three charges or do we arrest him and then bring that to a grand jury?

So, yesterday, they made the call. He's going to surrender in two hours. He will be brought to arraignment where they will talk about the issue of bail. And then next week, that will go to a grand jury where they'll hear from those witnesses. But they decided to charge first.

MATTINGLY: Is it certainty that an indictment will follow? Process- wise, how does this work?

MILLER: So, never a certainty, but, as you know, the old saying is can you indict a ham sandwich. The high likelihood is that when a prosecutor who controls the process and the secret grand jury lays out that evidence and then ask the grand jury for a charge, that usually happens.

This case may be different in that you've got a couple of wild card elements here. They intend to bring on everyone who was on that train, testify as to what they saw, what they heard and whether they felt threatened.

The wild card is, does Daniel Penny, the defendant here, waive immunity at his own peril, go into the grand jury and tell his story there on the idea that if he convinces them of two things, one, I felt a threat against me or others on that train that I had to intervene, and, second, that I never intended to kill him. Because the key to this charge is, you caused the death of another human being, whether intended or otherwise actually unintended, and, two, you did so recklessly.

So, his first shot is in the grand jury but the district attorney is going ahead.

HARLOW: I think -- well, certainly, I immediately, when this was first reported and happened, we thought about Eric Garner here in New York City --

MILLER: And then George Floyd.

HARLOW: Yes, and then George Floyd in my hometown of Minneapolis. What do -- how do those -- those are police officer-induced deaths in this manner. How do those inform what may happen here?

MILLER: Well, police got out of the chokehold business after Eric Garner largely, certainly after George Floyd. It used to be a trained technique.

Poppy, when I went through the LAPD academy, our class was trained in the carotid artery chokehold to get a resistant suspect under control on the idea that it would make them pass out and then they would wake up in a short while later. Clearly, this has been re-evaluated in terms of the risks.

The interesting thing with Daniel Penny is it is highly likely his defense lawyers will show, that he was trained in the Marine Corps in the exact same technique where they, as we did in the LAPD academy, had to practice it on each other and that nobody died from it.

HARLOW: But just because you're trained that way, it doesn't mean that it's going to be ruled acceptable.

MILLER: No. I mean, his got a bar to reach here and so does every other witness in the minds of the grand jurors. And that bar is was there an imminent threat of force by Jordan Neely, who is a man who clearly needed help and wasn't getting enough? And if so, was this reckless to do because a reasonable person would have known it would cause his death? So, we're at the beginning of the story, not the end still.

HARLOW: Really appreciate the analysis, John, thanks very much.

MILLER: Thanks.

HARLOW: So, take a look at this. These are live pictures of the border this morning in Yuma, Arizona. You can see the line growing even though it's just 4:00 in the morning there.

Up next, we'll be joined by Republican Congressman from Texas Pete Sessions about ending Title 42.



MATTINGLY: As of midnight, Title 42 was no more. That's the COVID era immigration restriction that allowed border authorities to quickly deport certain migrants.

Now, for weeks, thousands of migrants have been lined up at the southern border. Now, states like Arizona and Texas are asking for federal help to deal with the expected surge.

Now, you're looking at live pictures of a growing line on the border in Yuma.

And joining us now, Republican Congressman from Texas Pete Sessions, he is also a member of the Financial Services and Oversight Committees. And, Congressman, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

I want to start with -- I think everybody is kind of waiting to see what was going to happen. What have you heard from local officials, from folks that you talked to regularly down back in the district and just in the state generally about what they've seen so far?

REP. PETE SESSIONS (R-TX): Well, the so far is what is the huge number of people there anticipated about 150,000 people at the border waiting to come across, and to hear that the news and the reporting about what is expected.


I heard from the first time this morning on CNN that this administration has been planning for over a year for this. But the problem that's we have with that is they did not coordinate with local people. The dangerous conditions that exist along the border in these detention centers for -- ever since President Biden became president are dangerous, the overcrowding, the embarrassment of what is happening. And now, they're going to instead of taking about 8,000 people more or less around the border, now 150,000-person surge. It will mean new drugs, new violence, new problems.

And I think that this comes from people in Washington who refuse to come to the border and actually see how dangerous this circumstance is. People's lives, people's health, people who come here after a long journey, and they face tremendous odds, we are not prepared for this. And I think we heard the report out of New York City. They cannot handle this surge. Over 5 million people have been brought in, 1 million who were not caught. Now we're going to near that. It will be 15 million people number by the end of this year. And it is staggering that we allow this.

MATTINGLY: What, in your mind, did the administration not do? Because I think if there is one area of agreement between Republicans and Democrats, the system is broken, right? I don't think there is any argument over that. I understand that administrations have unilateral authorities that perhaps this administration didn't use as much of or all of that you would have liked. But I struggle to find how the administration can do something that is going to be panacea when Congress is not able to move forward on anything to actually fix a very broken system.

SESSIONS: Well, we have been in that. And, Phil, you're exactly correct, the Congress has been in this circumstance for quite some time. But we still have to worry about the lives and the safety of the men and women of law enforcement, the Border Patrol that are there, and for now, two-plus years, we have had dangerous conditions along the border. We've had some 15 Border Patrol agents die of COVID. They are -- the rules that are being placed on them about picking up people and handling them, it is a mess. This could be done far differently, like Donald Trump did, well, okay, perhaps.

But that is not my point. My point is that this is as chaotic as Afghanistan was and the administration came back and said they were happy with it. This meets their needs. And it is an embarrassment and we're now asking for what will be Ron DeSantis' order that the federal government, who has full right and responsibility, to take this green light off and to appropriately handle what we're doing.

They have 1,500 new troops that are down there. We need to back up our Border Patrol and stop people. There is a legal process over a million people a year, and the Democratic Party does not want to take the law as it is. A million people a year is more than any other country. It's a process that we can then bring people in, assimilate them, know who they are.

Here's the biggest point, Phil. There are over 80,000 children that this administration has brought in and released and they have no clue where they are, no clue of how they're being taken care of, whether they were with a family, 80,000 children. And this is unconscionable and it's a moral issue that the Biden administration and the Democrats ignore.

HARLOW: While we have you, Representative, I do want to ask you. You sit on the Financial Services Committee, so I want to ask you about another crisis in this country, and that is the fact that there is no agreement yet on what to do and how to raise the debt ceiling.

You've endorsed Donald Trump for president. I want to play for people what he said at CNN's town hall this week about the debt ceiling and defaulting followed by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon reacting. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You might as well do it now because you'll do it later, because we have to save this country. Our country is dying.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. defaulting would be massively consequential for everyone in this room, for all Americans.

TRUMP: You don't know. You don't know. It's psychological. It's really psychological, more than anything else. And it could be very bad. It could be maybe nothing.

JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: One more thing he doesn't know very much about -- let me put it in two categories. One is actual default. That is potentially catastrophic.



HARLOW: You would agree that a default is catastrophic for our economy, right?

SESSIONS: I would completely agree. And the value system here in Washington, D.C., has always recognized that. And President Trump did. President Biden is the first one --

HARLOW: That's not what he said. Respectfully, Congressman --

SESSIONS: I disagree with Donald Trump. Do you want me to say that? I disagree with Donald Trump. He knows better. But when he was president, he negotiated to make sure that it was signed and done and gave the Democrats overwhelmingly $300 billion a year more to spend. And so he did negotiate. He was successful in that. We need that same kind of statesmanship now.

HARLOW: We really appreciate you being on. You're a key voice in both of these issues. Congressman, come back.

SESSIONS: Yes, ma'am.

HARLOW: Thank you.

SESSIONS: Yes, ma'am.

HARLOW: So, here's something to celebrate. A new survey finds U.S. employees are more satisfied with their jobs than ever. Is that you? We'll tell you why, ahead.



HARLOW: City by the bay is in crisis. Once the hub of the 1960's counterculture movement, San Francisco is now struggling.