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"What Happened To San Francisco?" Airs Sunday At 8PM ET/President Trump On CNN; U.S. Braces For Tens Of Thousands Of Migrants As Border Rule Expires; New Book Sheds Light On Controversy Surrounding Death Penalty. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 12, 2023 - 07:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The city by the bay is in crisis. Once the hub of the 1960s counterculture movement, San Francisco is now struggling with homelessness, a crippling cost of living, and crime. According to the city's own controller's office, San Francisco residents feel less safe now than at any point since 1996.

This week on "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER," our very own Sara Sidner heads to the Bay Area, a place she once called home, to find out what happened to San Francisco -- watch.


SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWS CENTRAL, SENIOR AND INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): So when I first laid eyes on San Francisco I was enchanted. From where I am right now, driving over the Bay Bridge, and it looked like someone had taken an enormous vat of fog and just continuously poured it over the hills -- like dry ice being poured over a perfectly sculpted city on a stage.

And then you get down into the city and you meet these glorious human characters and you get to experience the microclimates and the terrifyingly steep hills that make the city an adventure. Then there's the glorious bridges that sit in the bay and welcome you into the shining city on a hill.

The endlessly diverse neighborhoods from Chinatown to the Mission, to the Italian enclave of North Beach, to the pristine Presidio, which gives the city its lungs. And down to the Pacific that rests below, inviting you in and then biting your skin with its ice-cold touch.

This city was endlessly magic and I loved this city. I mean, truly loved this city, and I still do -- it's just that it hurts to see what's happened to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crisis of homelessness in America has reached a shocking level in San Francisco.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The drugs attract them, the no-punishment kind of attitude, and then the resources make them want to stay. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The video showing a group of kids getting off a

Muni bus as they try to navigate their way through an entire block of open drug use.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Shoplifting in San Francisco -- it's forcing stores to close. And the thieves -- some of the most brazen you will see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mobs of looters storming and ransacking high-end stores in the San Francisco area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unprovoked attacks on elderly Asians in San Francisco.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One elderly man was violently pushed to the ground and he died. Why are people feeling empowered that they can do this with impunity?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crime, staffing shortages, and police response times are all getting worse. What will it take for the city to change?


HARLOW: Joining us now to talk more about what is going to be a fascinating report given what we just saw is our friend and fellow CNN anchor Sara Sidner. Sara, just to see your love for the city shows that you went into this with a lot of care and compassion, and actual curiosity about what happened.

SIDNER: I think we talked to so many people and it wasn't just the city leaders who often take the brunt of the criticism, but we talked to people who were homeless on the streets. We talked to business owners who have been dealing with this. We walked through the streets.

We talked to people who were addicted to drugs and who openly said to me "I love heroin." You know, just -- and said it. And said look, "I came to San Francisco. I am not from here. I'm from another part of the state but I heard the drugs were cheaper to get and easier to get, and I love heroin." That is a quote.


SIDNER: And so, the candor for which people spoke was really -- I felt so privileged to hear from people directly, but also really disturbed to see what has happened. And no matter what you say about this city it is still the most beautiful city that I have ever laid eyes on in the United States. It also has some of the darkest things happening in the open. These things are happening in cities all over the country but when you see it so plainly and when you sort of can't get away from it that is I think what has caused the consternation here.

And I just want to make this point. When it comes to things like crime, everyone thinks of violent crime, right? You think of murders, you think of rapes, you think of the worst in humanity. And if you look at murders alone, San Francisco had 56 murders in 2021 and 2022. If you look at a city of similar size -- Indianapolis, Indiana -- 271 murders. Jacksonville, 129 murders.


So the violent crime isn't high but the other things like break-ins and having your car broken in happen so often and that is what has people incredibly frustrated, as well as the open drug use.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: I think it's so interesting to step away from kind of the 30,000-foot political rhetoric and actually dig in and talk to people and figure out what's actually going on. I'm really looking forward to watching this. It's great.

SIDNER: Thanks, guys -- appreciate it.

HARLOW: We'll see you at 9:00 a.m. --

SIDNER: Yes, you will.

HARLOW: -- on your show.

See all of Sara's investigation into San Francisco. Be sure to tune into this all-new episode of "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER." That's Sunday night, 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

MATTINGLY: Well, this morning, some good news. A new survey finds that U.S. employees are more satisfied than ever. Clearly, they were talking to Poppy.

HARLOW: (Laughing).

MATTINGLY: The Conference Board said -- it's me. Did you see what I was doing there because we're hanging out this week?

HARLOW: Yes, I got it. I got it. I got it.

MATTINGLY: The Conference Board --

HARLOW: I agree with it.

MATTINGLY: -- says it is largely thanks to a tighter labor market, which has allowed workers to command better pay, benefits, and working conditions, and a greater flexibility in work arrangements.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich joins us now. And Vanessa, I find this fascinating because people have this, like, kind of bad view of the economy --


MATTINGLY: -- and direction of things. And yet --

YURKEVICH: Yet, employees seem to be very, very happy.

HARLOW: Why are people who don't get to sit next to Phil Mattingly happy at work?

MATTINGLY: And that's the age-old question.

YURKEVICH: You'd have to ask the millions of people who don't.

But The Conference Board does this survey every single year and they reported that this year employees are the most happy out of any year that they've done this since 1987.



YURKEVICH: And this is because of the tight labor market, so people can demand better wages and better benefits. And also, people are loving their flexible work schedules. The people who are the most happiest are those who are working hybrid actually more so than people who are working fully remote. Also, job switchers -- people have switched jobs in the last year or so.

And men report being more satisfied with their jobs than women. Women are still saying that pay is not at the same rate as it is with men. They're also saying that sometimes they're not getting promoted in the way that they would like and they're not getting the bonuses that they would like.

However, if you step back this really shows us that this is very much the workers' job market. They still have power and they're capitalizing on it, and they seem to be pretty satisfied.

HARLOW: I love it.

MATTINGLY: That's fascinating. That's truly fascinating.

HARLOW: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Good story. Great story.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Vanessa, thanks so much.

HARLOW: Title 42 is officially no more. It ended last night at midnight and an estimated 60,000 migrants are waiting at the U.S.- Mexico border. How will the U.S. handle this? Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas will join us next.



MATTINGLY: This morning, a major change in U.S. immigration rules. Title 42 is no longer. That's the pandemic-era restriction that officials said was aimed at stopping the spread of COVID. It was used nearly three million times to turn -- to turn migrants away from the U.S. And now, immigration officials are bracing for what comes next.

The border patrol chief says tens of thousands of migrants are at the border with many thousands more of them coming behind them. These are live pictures from Yuma, Arizona where we've been watching the line at the border grow. Now, we should mention it's not even 5:00 a.m. there yet.

Joining us now is Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas. Mr. Secretary, the president met with you yesterday with Sec. Antony Blinken and Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin about the end of Title 42.

As you've watched this play out over the course of the last several hours where do things stand? Can you update us on what you've seen, so far, seven hours into this kind of new reality?


We are seeing people arrive at our southern border as we expected and as we have been planning for. We are taking them into our custody. We are processing them. We are screening and vetting them and if they do not have a basis to remain we will remove them very swiftly under now what we can use -- our traditional immigration enforcement authorities.

We have been very, very clear that there are lawful, safe, and orderly pathways to seek relief in the United States and if one arrives at our southern border one is going to face tougher consequences, and that is what we are going to deliver.

MATTINGLY: You know, a federal judge yesterday ruled -- or stripped your ability to release migrants without court dates. First, you plan to appeal that ruling.

MAYORKAS: It's a very harmful ruling and the Department of Justice is considering our options. You know, the practice that the court has prevented us from using is a practice that prior administrations have used to relieve overcrowding.

What we do is we process, screen, and vet individuals. And if we do not hold them, we release them so that they can go into immigration enforcement proceedings and make whatever claim for relief they might. And if they don't succeed, be removed.

MATTINGLY: Can I ask you, given that -- whether it's temporary or how long it lasts, given the court order, what are you doing to prepare for overcrowding issues? I mean, are you prepared to deal with the fact that you're going to have to continue to hold more people because of what the court has done? Do you have the facilities and the resources necessary to deal with what could be a new influx of people that you need to hold?

MAYORKAS: So, a couple of things.

Number one, we've been planning for months and we've been executing on those plans. We have search personnel. We have added facility capacity. We have surged transportation resources. We will manage through the situation.


But really, what the situation reflects is the fact that we are operating within very serious constraints and the two primary constraints are as follows. One, a fundamentally broken immigration system that hasn't been fixed for more than two decades, and we need Congress to act. Two, we need Congress to provide us with the resources that we need, that we requested, and that we haven't received.

MATTINGLY: Can you explain? I think one of the things that people have a difficult time getting their heads around is you saying, which is true -- you guys have been preparing for this for months. It has been an inevitability. The administration has known it was coming. And yet, the president noted that it would likely be chaotic and it's not really a good read on whether or not the preparation is going to be enough, especially in the short term.

How is that possible if you had so much time to prepare and yet still aren't totally sure that you'll be able to basically not have some type of chaotic situation at the border?

MAYORKAS: I've been very clear for months that the situation is going to be challenging when we transition from the public health authority of Title 42 to our immigration enforcement authorities. I've been very, very clear and open about that.

I've also been very clear that we have confidence in our plan -- that our plan will take some time but our plan will succeed. And I say that with confidence because our plan has worked in the past.

The president extended lawful safe and orderly pathways for individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela on January 5. And for those individuals from those countries who didn't use those pathways we delivered a tougher consequence. We saw a more than 90 percent drop in the number of encounters of those individuals in a matter of days.

And so we've seen success. We will achieve success. It will take time. And to avoid -- to avoid the number of people arriving at our southern border we need to fix the broken immigration system. And by the way, a broken immigration system that was dismantled by the prior administration.

MATTINGLY: No -- and I understand. I know it's been a difficult two- plus years trying to put together the plans that you wanted to implement when it comes to that system.

I do want to ask one of the biggest issues when you talk to officials on the ground, whether federal or state and local, is the disinformation -- the information that you guys are trying to get out. And you put out a statement last night. You've been very clear that the border is not open.

You know, one of our colleagues on the ground said it appears the Department of Homeland Security is making a very clear effort to kind of showcase the law enforcement efforts. Federal agents in black jackets and handcuffs were walking around Sacred Heart Church in El Paso asking migrants to turn themselves in. ICE was giving access to reporters for removal flights -- something I think the Obama administration did as well.

Is it intentional? Are you trying to make very clear from a kind of more muscular law enforcement perspective through pictures that this is not what maybe people are hearing from the other side of the border?

MAYORKAS: We have an obligation to counter the ruthless actions of the smuggling organizations. Not only do they inflict tragedy and trauma on the migrants -- on vulnerable individuals -- but they spread misinformation. They spread lies to deceive those vulnerable individuals into placing their lives and life savings in the hands of criminals that only care about profit and not people.

So we have been communicating for months accurate information and we've been building on those communications and only amplifying and enhancing our efforts.

Just a couple of days ago we announced a new digital campaign. We've got to send accurate information to the migrants so they're not deceived and lied to, and possibly lose their lives at the hands of really ruthless criminal organizations.


Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a very complex and dynamic situation. Thanks for taking the time for us this morning, sir.

HARLOW: A really important conversation.

MAYORKAS: Thank you. Good morning.

HARLOW: A really important conversation on what is happening right now at the southern border and what can actually be done about it.

Meantime, ahead for us, Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip may have been spared from execution for now. There are questions about his original trial and questions about his conviction. So what does justice actually look like? We'll be joined by a legendary human rights attorney next to talk about it.

MATTINGLY: And several top Republicans responding to former President Trump's performance at CNN's town hall. What they said coming up next.




Richard Glossip's life has been spared, at least for now. The Supreme Court stayed the execution of the Oklahoma death row inmate and the court is now considering a petition for review. Glossip has been on death row for a quarter-century. He has nine execution dates put on the calendar after he was convicted of hiring someone to murder his former boss.

But the Republican attorney general and several pro-death penalty Republicans in the state say he didn't get a fair trial. And an independent review is also raising doubts about his guilt.

This situation is not that unique, according to the legendary death penalty defense attorney Stephen Bright. He is the co-author of a brand-new book "The Fear of Too Much Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Persistence of Inequality in the Criminal Courts." And you may remember him as a CNN Champion of Change last year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listening to him talk is like listening to justice.

HARLOW: He's a force of nature and he has dedicated his entire life, really, to fighting for equal justice.



HARLOW: He has argued for capital punishment cases before the Supreme Court and he has won all of them.

In the rights of -- in the words of human rights champion Bryan Stevenson, "We are truly fortunate to have these writings and the extraordinary Steve Bright to guide us in our understanding of what justice requires. He is generously preparing us for the work that remains -- the rest is up to us."


It is my honor to welcome Yale Law School and Georgetown Law Professor Stephen Bright, my former teacher, to the program.

BRIGHT: Hi, Poppy.


BRIGHT: Thank you for having me.

HARLOW: Thank you for being here very much.

So you named this book "The Fear of Too Much Justice," of course, in the words of the former Justice William Brennan. Why?

BRIGHT: Well, because what the court did in that case -- it was a case involving racial disparities in the death penalty in Georgia. And Justice Powell wrote the majority opinion and he said if we look into racial disparities with regard to the death penalty we'd have to look into racial disparities in all other kinds of sentencing because we have the same disparities. And Justice Brennan said that sounds like a fear of too much justice.

And I think we see that over and over again where the courts are just unwilling to do. We ought to be concerned with racial disparities in all kind of sentencing, not just in capital sentencing. But it's been invoked over and over again.

In another case, Justice Powell we shouldn't ask jurors whether they have opinions -- racial prejudice opinions because then we'd have to ask about a lot of other things as well.

In 1931, Chief Justice Hughes said well, of course, you want to ask those questions because we don't want to take the risk that somebody with that kind of prejudice would be on a jury.

HARLOW: One of the things that I think is so extraordinary about your career and what you've done, and why I think everyone needs to read this book is that you made a choice as a very young lawyer. You could have gone on and made a lot of money at a big law firm and you chose not to. Instead, you chose to exclusively represent indigent people. You represent, in your words, the most desperate, the most despised, the poorest, the most powerless people in the country. And some of them are criminals. Some of them have convicted murder. Some people question why they should deserve your representation.

Why has your whole life been dedicated to this?

BRIGHT: Well, everyone deserves representation. The legal system can't work without lawyers to represent people. If we're going to have an adversary system you have to have a lawyer to assess the strength of the government's case, to prepare and investigate the defense case, and then to present that case. And, of course, the system can't work.

Unfortunately, as we point out, there are lots of places in the system where the people who are -- have so much at stake -- even their life at stake -- don't have lawyers to represent them or don't have competent lawyers.

HARLOW: There's something going on. We just talked about the case of Richard Glossip right now and we've been covering that very closely here and on this network.

You argue that situations like this where someone has almost faced execution nine times and it turns out they very likely didn't get a fair trial, according to pro-death penalty Republicans in his state.

BRIGHT: Oh, no question.

HARLOW: You say that's not unique.

BRIGHT: No, that's not unique. And Richard Glossip is extraordinarily fortunate that the Republican attorney general in that state -- the highest law enforcement officer in Oklahoma -- went to the Supreme Court and said yes, he should get a stay of execution because we cannot defend this conviction. We cannot defend this conviction.

And he asked a very prominent prosecutor there to look at the case and investigate it and report back. He said the same thing -- we can't -- we cannot --

HARLOW: You write in your book to this point, "The conviction of innocent people, although the most striking failure of the criminal system, is only the tip of the iceberg." Is that why you say we are not living up to the four words above the Supreme Court -- equal justice under law?

BRIGHT: Right, absolutely. Because the Supreme Court once said there can be no equal justice when the kind of justice a person gets depends upon the amount of money he or she has. Nothing is more important than the amount of money a person has.

HARLOW: What do you think about what we're seeing in the state of Florida right now? Governor Ron DeSantis, who is very likely going to run for President of the United States, has passed several death penalty bills that have changed the system. One of them was passed after the death penalty was not invoked for the Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, who you know murdered 17 people. So no longer do you need a unanimous vote for a jury to recommend the death penalty.

Here is why. Here is the father, Frank (sic) Guttenberg, of a 14-year- old murdered at the school. Let's listen.


FRED GUTTENBERG, GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ADVOCATE AND SENIOR ADVISER, BRADY PAC: There are 17 victims that did not receive justice today. And this decision today only makes it more likely that the next mass shooting will be attempted.


HARLOW: What do you think about what he said, and also what Gov. DeSantis has done with the death penalty in that state?

BRIGHT: Well, I certainly understand the disappointment. There's no question about that. But at the same time, we can't every time a case doesn't come out the way we want it pass a law to try to change the outcome.

What the Florida Legislature passed at Gov. DeSantis' insistence was a law that says a jury with a vote of 8-4 can impose the death penalty. No other state has that. In fact, in every other state the jury has to be unanimous, except Alabama where it has to be at least 10 jurors.

HARLOW: Isn't it in opposition to a Supreme Court precedent?

BRIGHT: Well, yes, and the Supreme Court has at least said at the guilt phase that we have to have unanimous juries and there are two reasons for that.