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COVID-era Immigration Rules Officially Ends; Federal Judge Blocks Biden Administration From Releasing Migrants From Border Patrol Without Court Notices; Daniel Penny Will Be Charged With Manslaughter In Second Degree; GOP George Santos Pleads Not Guilty To 13 Federal Charges. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 11, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to this hour where we bring you "Tomorrow's News Tonight." But there is a big story tonight to bring you, and that is the expected surge at the border as the Trump era policy used to quickly turn away some migrants is set to expire in less than an hour.

We have our great lineup of reporters with me tonight. We have Polo Sandoval, Athena Jones, Shimon Prokupecz, and Eva McKend. Ed Lavandera is also standing by for us live in El Paso, Texas where this is happening.

So, in less than hour, that Trump era policy that quickly turned away migrants is going to expire. Thousands of men and women and children are waiting just across the border and federal officials are bracing.

Paulo, what can we expect in the next hour and coming hours?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know the chief of Border Patrol actually painted a picture of what we could expect, which is we may not see those numbers. In fact, our colleagues there on the ground have been reporting some of this, that we may not see those numbers that were anticipated.

We have seen, though, some significant numbers in the last couple of days. There are about 10,000 apprehensions in the last 48 hours, and that is really what is straining authorities, as you will hear from the ground in a few moments.

But I think that what we will talk about in a few moments also is really the impact on what will happen in cities beyond the border. Right? Once that Title 42 settles after tonight, will we see a noticeable difference? We certainly will see it in some of these major cities.

CAMEROTA: And Polo, why are they telling you we may not see the surge that was anticipated?

SANDOVAL: Well, because we began to see that surge days ago. Right? It is like there has been, even to a certain extent, misinformation that's been circulating among some of the migrant groups that are south in the border, staging in Mexico, hoping to make their way into the United States. Many of them have this sort of false pretenses that if they make it here now, then they stand a better chance of securing asylum. That, again, we cannot trust enough, but we hear from U.S. authorities it is not true.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So, the thing is with this whole notion of all these thousands and hundreds of -- hundreds of thousands of people could potentially be coming here, where did -- where did that start? How did that start, sort of that idea that perhaps there could be this influx?

SANDOVAL: You know, some of the big numbers that we really start to see was after the pandemic. Remember, Title 42 is enacted in March of 2020. The goal of it was to limit the spread of COVID-19. But that quickly turned into an immigration band-aid, and that is why this is -- kept getting kicked down the street over and over again.

I remember reporting from the U.S.-Mexican border 13 months ago, anticipating the end of Title 42 in a few weeks' time. That -- the courts then get involved, they postponed that, and here we are now in less than an hour, it will come to an end.

CAMEROTA: Let me bring in Ed because he is on the ground there. So, Ed, can you just describe for us what you are seeing at this hour?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think what we are seeing is not going to be, you know, this -- you know, the clock strikes midnight and all of a sudden, you know, thousands of people start running for the border. I don't think that is the way this is going to unfold.

And as Polo has mentioned, you've already started seeing that surge in the days leading up to -- I think the numbers in the last few days have been 10,000 apprehensions per day, which is record-setting. But the Biden administration has been saying for several months that the numbers of people crossing after this is lifted could be anywhere from 15,000 to 18,000 per day.

The border patrol chief kind of starting to walk that back and perhaps not convinced that that is not what we are going to see. But, you know, there are a number of people stuck right now between the Rio Grande and the border fence.

It's important for people to know that the border wall that you see, especially here in Texas, does not actually sit on the international borderline. It's a distance away. The international borderline goes through the middle of the Rio Grande. So, you can't build the wall there.

So, there is this kind of what's known as "no man's land," and that's where many of the migrants have been able to arrive and wait there behind the border wall as they wait to get processed. There have been about 2,500 or so in the last 48 hours, and they're trying to process a lot of those people. [23:05:04]

But the real question will be what happens to the people who have been sitting and waiting on the Mexican side of the border for months and months, and what decisions are they going to make now that all of this is going to change here so dramatically in about an hour.

CAMEROTA: But Ed, what is going to happen to all those migrants? Are they going to be turned away when they get to the U.S. border tonight at midnight?

LAVANDERA: Well, there is still a process of being able to request asylum, if that's what they want to do. So, there are a number of ways to do that. You can come through a port of entry. You can still come between ports of entry, but that becomes a little bit more complicated situation

I think one of the things to actually look for, and it's really important for people to understand this, since this policy has been in place for the last several years, you have this phenomenon where people cross the border between ports of entry, so that is an illegal crossing, but they immediately turn themselves in to border patrol agents.

So, it has been kind of like this organized chaos. If you've spent any time in these border areas, you see mass groups of people, they simply just turn themselves in.

I think in the coming weeks, you are going to see -- I've been starting to see signs of this, where if the process becomes too difficult to get in, we are going to start seeing those numbers of people who are trying to evade arrest and trying to get away from border patrol agents. I think those numbers are going to start ticking up rather quickly. That's something that we will be watching.

CAMEROTA: Okay, Ed, stand by for us throughout the program because, obviously, we are going to -- checking back with you. But as you were alluding to, Polo, it is not -- for a while, this crisis was contained at the southern border.

And now, it has, you know, drifted north and New York is bracing and Denver is bracing and all of these various mayors or governors have said, you know, we can't handle the capacity that is coming here. So, what is going to happen in the days to come?

SANDOVAL: It's the next chapter that we really need to be talking about right now. You are looking at a map or -- looking at a map that shows some of the cities that, according to (INAUDIBLE) officials, many of these recently arrived asylum seekers are asking to make it to cities like Denver where they do have emergency protocols there in place. Of course, Dallas and Houston, some of the major cities.

CAMEROTA: So, they are asking to go there or governors are shipping them there on bus?

SANDOVAL: It's a combination of both. New York City continues to be sort of the north star for so many of these asylum seekers because they either hear about the services being offered here or they do have friends and relatives. This is something that is so important in our coverage.

Many of these are Venezuelans. Many of these lack the social ties. And this is why once they make it here to New York City, they don't have a couch to crash on, right? They don't have family or friends that would take them in.

And that is why we see -- when you look at the numbers, Alisyn, we followed this for a really long time, these numbers of total asylum seekers that have been processed by New York City officials are over 60, 000, approaching 65,000. Out of those, nearly 40,000 are still currently in the cities care.

And this is the next part of the story here. If we continue to see asylum seekers instead of about 200 a day up to a thousand a day, you are looking at just tens of thousands of people in New York with the inability to work.

And this is why -- what I'm hearing from my sources at the city level. They have been urging President Biden with a stroke of the pen, which we all know is not that easy, to annex some sort of executive action that could allow many of these asylum seekers to get to work.

I spent some time on Monday in Queens, New York, in a work center that brings in many of these asylum seekers and gives them orientation. Thirty-two of them that were sitting in front of me, I asked them, what is your main priority? And everybody said, we just want to work on the books.

PROKUPECZ: But what happens if they don't find jobs?

SANDOVAL: They continue to, basically, be a burden on the system. And I have heard from many of these asylum seekers who tell me, untie my hands --

PROKUPECZ: But for how long? How long could they be --

SANDOVAL: It could be years. Remember, you're looking at two million pending asylum cases in the system. It's a system of backlogs. It's a system of bureaucracies. And so, whether people want them here or not, the reality is that they are going to be here long after Title 42 expires.

And so that's really the political hot potato that keeps getting tossed back and forth, how do you put these people to work out of the shadows because the asylum process is going to take years, in some cases even a decade.

CAMEROTA: Just one second. Eva, just give us the politics of this. I know you've been covering that. So, what's happening on Capitol Hill while all this is happening?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: We have seen that this is administration has tried to mirror many of the policies that Trump implemented. So, what we are seeing is something very similar to remain in Mexico under this administration where they are trying to or saying now that these asylum seekers first have to apply somewhere else.

And that has just roiled progressives, angered progressives because President Biden, when he was running for president, argue that he would take a more humane approach.


And in the process, it's not as if Republicans have said, oh, thank you very much for mirroring these policies enacted under the prior administration. Politically, they get no points for doing this, for making these policies, what progressives would argue more draconian.

CAMEROTA: Athena, go ahead.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I was going to -- you know, this talk about work authorization has been a big topic for the mayor of New York City, as you mentioned, because even when you apply for asylum, it can still can take 6 to 12 months to get the work authorization.

But I also know that in New York, they are doing everything they can to try to figure out where they're going to put all of the migrants who may potentially arrive in the coming days. I mean, even if they don't see a huge explosion in numbers, there's already a very strong -- not trickle, a very strong stream of migrants coming in. And so, they've made some changes just in the last two days, announcing plans, to talk about that.

SANDOVAL: Yeah. On Friday, we all remember the Eric Adams' announcement that he was going to transport willing migrants to neighboring counties, Brooklyn and also in Orange County. That was met with some criticism and some resistance from officials there to the point that they went to court and secured a restraining order, at least in Rockland County which is a short drive from New York City.

I was actually there on Tuesday and there certainly a concern about sending people -- could be 30, it could be 300 -- if the mayor gets his way long-term, that they put them out in the middle of nowhere, basically, where they don't have transportation, they don't have the employment.

So, yes, they can be there, sort of -- as one person there described it to me, he said, you can put them on ice for four months, but what happens beyond that, because we just discussed, the asylum process takes years.

And so, this is why this is all playing out. It really has become a back and forth between Eric Adams and some of these -- I should note, of course, Republican county leaders. The question is, where do you put these numbers that will continue to add up because that pipeline, there are still people in it long after Title 42 --

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Polo, thank you very much for all that reporting. SANDOVAL: Thank you, guys.

CAMEROTA: Obviously, we are going to continue to talk about this throughout the hour. Shimon has been talking to law enforcement in Texas about they're bracing for this surge. He is going to bring us up to speed on that, next.




CAMEROTA: Law enforcement agency is preparing for the expiration of Title 42 which happens in less than an hour. Shimon, you have a lot of law enforcement sources, obviously, in Texas. What are they telling you? How they are preparing?

PROKUPECZ: Yeah. You know, given how much time I've spent in Texas, the last year or so, I think for them, the biggest concern are the folks trying to get across the border illegally and how through some of these hot spots, sneaking in and getting in.

And also, the other thing, of course, their concern are smugglers and what law enforcement officials say are these cartels that are trying to lure people in to the country and they're trying to offer people on the U.S. side money to go and pick them up and bring them in to the country.

And that is something that the state officials and the local sheriffs are all very much concerned about, you know, because what happens is, they say, many of these migrants wind up on private property, ranchers and hunters who have large acres of property.

One of the officials says, you know, you have situations where they start knocking on people's doors in the middle of the night looking for help, wanting water, wanting food. And so, it creates a lot of problems and disturbance.

The other thing is, what would happen in Texas is that there are these what they call bailouts, these car chases through towns, and horrific accidents occur. Some law enforcement officials don't chase, others do.

CAMEROTA: What are they -- they are just running from border -- border --

PROKUPECZ: From smugglers that are driving them across and bringing them in to the country, meeting them at whatever point and getting them in, and then they're running from the police, you know. So, there are those kinds of those concerns for the local officials.

For Texas DPS, they have their own whole operation outside of border patrol. It's called Operation Lone Star where they try to secure the border. We saw Governor Abbott out there the other day talking about inserting of National Guard, inserting of DPS officers. They have razor wiring across some of the borders to try to prevent people from coming in.

So, those are some of the things that they're doing on the local level while, you know, mostly, on the entry points, you have border patrol dealing with that. There is real concern that folks who are trying to take advantage of the situation are luring migrants in through false promises of money and work and also paying people to try and get them over in to the U.S.

CAMEROTA: I mean, everything you described is troubling on a million different levels. We see why law enforcement and border patrol would be so on guard. And also, as we all know, over the past couple of years, there's been a surge in anti-immigrant violence. And so, are they preparing for some sort of backlash?

PROKUPECZ: I mean, any time there is a focus on a particular group within a particular race, particular nationality, you know, there's always the concern that there may be an uptick of hate crimes. You know, you do see that sometimes, sadly. There is certainly that concern for law enforcement to see that.

I am not so sure here in New York City where we have seen some of the migrants that are here. You walk through Manhattan, a lot of the hotels in my neighborhood that they're staying at, they are peaceful people. You know, they're just trying to figure out how to make something.


PROKUPECZ: No, no. Yes, what I am saying, but they are just outside. They are trying to have some kind of life. They have kids. They seem to be accepted, at least from what I can see.


PROKUPECZ: So far, I don't think we've seen any of that. But you raised a good point. That is certainly something that law enforcement is concerned about.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. We are just getting in to news about this.


So, let me read the statement that we have. A federal judge in Florida has temporarily blocked the Biden administration from releasing migrants from border patrol without court notices. This is according to a late Thursday court filing. The ruling takes effect on Thursday, which is tonight at 11:59 p.m., so almost midnight, Eastern time. That coincides with, of course, the end of Title 42.

As we've been talking about, this will expire in 14 days. The Biden administration is expected to appeal this. For now, the ruling takes away one at the administration's key tools to try to manage the number of migrants in U.S. Customs and Border protection custody, in some cases by releasing them from custody with conditions.

I mean, we -- here you go, Polo. JONES: This is what I have been speaking about. There's so much focus on the resources being surged to the border. Law enforcement or troops who may not be performing law enforcement duties but helping fill gaps, do they feel secure that they can get a handle on this? But also, when it comes to something like this, those resources, how much focus has been on resources to house and to keep in custody the migrants that they need to?

PROKUPECZ: Yeah. I think Polo can probably speak to that a little better. But I think that is a real concern, right? There is overcrowding. They don't have the facilities to keep all these people. So, what do you do at that point?

CAMEROTA: They had been releasing them to the community. Yes?

SANDOVAL: They did see this coming. In the last couple of hours, we heard from a top DHS official who said that for the last couple of years, they've been working to increase and expand their capacity, but still --

PROKUPECZ: This ruling, Polo, what do you make of it?

SANDOVAL: -- is fascinating because, like you said, Alisyn, it does take away a potential tool for the Biden administration to expedite the expelling of some of these asylum seekers that do not follow that route. Again, these new policies that the Biden administration is putting into place that do have some notes of the Trump administration, this allowed them to be able to clear some of those --

PROKUPECZ: So, now --

SANDOVAL: -- the result with the appeal.

PROKUPECZ: Right. So, now, they have to house them?

SANDOVAL: What this potentially did was it would expedite the return process. Right?

CAMEROTA: That's what Biden was trying to do.

SANDOVAL: Exactly.


SANDOVAL: Exactly. So, they will prevent him from doing so without court notification.


SANDOVAL: It was giving them another hurdle (ph).

CAMEROTA: Eva, this is -- this right here is exhibit A of why this has been so bedeviling for so many different presidents because without a law, without Congress passing a law, they can try to do things through executive action or through whatever President Biden is trying. Of course, you sit down.

MCKEND: Yeah. This issue is cyclical. I think that is why, frankly, Alisyn, I am reticent to characterize this as a crisis, because today, it is Title 42 ending, but in a few months from now, it will be some other policy.

And frankly, we have not seen an adverse impact in this country as a result of mass migration. What big tragedy happens when people are coming in big numbers to seek asylum? That numbers go up, the numbers go down, and we will all be okay. It's just --

PROKUPECZ: Governor Abbott will have --


SANDOVAL: I heard something really interesting from one of the NGOs that deals with these asylum seekers here in New York. He said that the profiles change. In the 80s, it was the head of the household, perhaps on our hemisphere of another, and they would leave their home, travel to the United States, work, send back support (INAUDIBLE), which changed in the last decade or so, especially in the last couple of years.

You know have massive family units that are coming definitely from our hemisphere with the Venezuelan factor, you have Haiti, you have Cubans, you have Nicaraguans as well. But then also, add Ukrainians, add people from Afghanistan as well. So, you have entire family units. Multiply that one person by two, three, four, five people, that's where the challenge is now.

MCKEND: But I think the posture and the suggestion though is that Americans have something to fear, that this population is overrepresented when it comes to criminality. And it's just false. It's not true.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. You're right. Native born Americans are responsible for more crimes than our immigrants. That has been demonstrably proven in the numbers. But, as you know, there are some networks who have made cottage industry out of scaring their viewers about an influx of other cultures coming. And so, look, we hope that they can figure it out, certainly at the congressional level.

MCKEND: It's a racialized cultural battle, and we have seen politicians primarily want the issue rather than a solution.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Thank you all very much for this. Also, there is a major development in the New York subway chokehold case. An arrest is imminent and a manslaughter charge is being filed.


Athena is going to fill us in, next.


CAMEROTA: In New York City, the 24-year-old who held another man in a fatal chokehold on the subway is expected to be arrested tomorrow. The Manhattan D.A.'s office says Daniel Perry will be charged with second degree manslaughter in the death of 30-year-old Jordan Neely. Athena is covering this for us. What is going to happen next?

JONES: We know that he will be arraigned. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow. That's where we should learn more about the charges, second degree manslaughter.


It involves causing the death of another recklessly. It has a legal definition. And so, we are going to hopefully learn more about that tomorrow as well as the Neely family, the family of Jordan Neely. Their attorneys are going to be having a press conference sort of around this whole arrest. It's 11 a.m. tomorrow.

But we do have a statement from Daniel Penny's law firm, the law firm representing him. It says, when Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers, his well- being was not assured. He risked his own life and safety for the good of his fellow passengers. The unfortunate result was the unintended and unforeseen death of Mr. Neely. 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. That is from the law firm, Raiser & Keniff, that is representing Daniel Penny.

CAMEROTA: So, it took 10 days to reach this decision, to file charges for the D.A. Is that long?

PROKUPECZ: Is it long?

CAMEROTA: Longer than usual?

PROKUPECZ: Yeah. Potentially. Clearly, people in the city who protested and took to the streets felt it was long. And generally, yes, in a case like this, it could be viewed as, why did it take so long given the fact that the D.A. had the results from the medical examiner so quickly, which essentially ruled that he died by compression to the neck, a chokehold, and then also said a homicide but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is murder.

But in any case, they had the evidence, they had the information. A lot of people were very upset, including his family. The fact that they brought him back, they took him into custody to question him, and then they released him, that was sort of where the controversy and why people were so upset.


PROKUPECZ: And is the D.A. here feeling the pressure and now finally authorizing this arrest? There is some possibility because they have not indicted him.

CAMEROTA: Not yet, until tomorrow.

PROKUPECZ: They could have. They could have presented a case to grand jury. CAMEROTA: Right. So, what were they doing during these 10 days?

JONES: Many people saw one of the first videos that came out. It was taken by a freelance journalist. It was posted to Facebook. It was taken during the chokehold. So, you don't see what leads up to it.

We understand the investigators were looking at a number of other videos, other evidence that other people -- videos other people took and also speaking with witnesses about what they saw, what they experienced, what was going on before Daniel Penny approached Neely and put him in a chokehold. That is why it took a while. They would explain that's what they've been up to. They have not been sitting on their hands.

PROKUPECZ: They are going to put this before the grand jury. No doubt, I'm sure he is going to testify in his own defense here.

CAMEROTA: I mean, I think we've just heard a preview of that from his attorney. Polo, I was so interested to hear that you had seen --


CAMEROTA: -- you had seen Jordan Neely on the subway.

SANDOVAL: I'm not the only one. Thousands of New Yorkers. It is the train. It is what I take every day. In fact, that day, I had just passed through that station, 30 minutes before. And months before that, I recognized him. He stepped on to my train car. He was looking for donations but never threatening at all. He made a couple of passes up and down the train car and then moved on to the next one. It was everyday life.

PROKUPECZ: Michael Jackson.


SANDOVAL: There are so many more that recognize him from his days as a performer.

PROKUPECZ: You know, one of the things also in this case that it really highlights, you know, we all ride the subway, you know, mental health and the problems that many people are facing and what goes on in the subways, it's just so sad. He was on a list for someone who needed help.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

PROKUPECZ: There are a lot of services and needs that perhaps this individual needed that he just wasn't getting. It is just sad in the end that it came to this. It is such a horrific way.

MCKEND: That's my question as well. It is a tragedy on so many levels. It is deep. What wraparound services are for people in crisis in New York City? How did we get to this point and how do we avoid it getting to this point again?

JONES: This is something that Mayor Adams has been talking about four months. Back in November, he made a big announcement about a legislative agenda that would help deal with some of the -- kind of help fill in the gaps.

CAMEROTA: Involuntary committal. That is what he said.

JONES: He wants to make sure that people, first responders, for instance, law enforcement, people in hospitals, have all the tools they need to be able to evaluate someone who may be experiencing mental illness and therefore not aware of the fact that they cannot care for themselves. That person cannot -- if they treated, then be released in the outpatient treatment and be expected to comply because the issue is that they don't realize that they need help.


Those are some of the steps that Mayor Adams wants to take to make sure not only to give more mental health resources but also make sure that if someone does need to be potentially involuntarily committed, that there are processes in place for that to happen.

He's got five organizations that contract with the city to help people who need housing, people who need that kind of help. They're going to be meeting next week to put together an action plan to make sure that these sorts of evaluations can take place, that the person can be evaluated. And so, if someone does need to be in in-patient treatment or forced to be traded, that can happen.


SANDOVAL: That's without even talking about the public safety addition they made. They added all these officers and making sure that officers are present in most stations. There is mental health and also public safety initiative from there.

PROKUPECZ: Keeping the subways safe is vital to the city's economy.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

PROKUPECZ: It's like how everyone functions in the city. That's how you get anywhere. That's why any time something happens in the subway, it immediately gets attention.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. And they can't be everywhere. I mean, it is a huge subway station. They can't -- law enforcement can't be everywhere. But the mayor has said that they were pouring more officers, and then we will see.

PROKUPECZ: And then they were trying to do like mental health --

JONES: And this idea of potentially putting people, involuntarily committing them, that is something that the Civil Liberties Union is against. The New York Civil Liberties Union says this is stigmatizing people with mental health issues. That makes them more like to become victims of violence. When it comes to this case, I think what is going to be interesting is how many people who are deciding this are New Yorkers who would have chosen to walk away versus engage. So, that is one of the issues.

CAMEROTA: It will be very interesting to follow this. Guys, we have to go. But what happens next for Congressman George Santos, who is now facing 13 federal criminal charges? Eva has new reporting for us, next.




CAMEROTA: Truth-challenged Congressman George Santos is now facing 13 federal charges, including fraud and money laundering. Eva is here to fill us in. Eva, now what?

PROKUPECZ: I like the truth-challenged.

CAMEROTA: Truth-challenged. How else we ought to describe it?

PROKUPECZ: That's a nice way, you know.

CAMEROTA: Eva, what's next for him?

MCKEND: Congressman Santos has had a heck of a week.


PROKUPECZ: To say the least, right.

MCKEND: Today, he appeared virtually in Brazilian court. CNN, we have a presence in Brazil, so this is how we know that this played out.

CAMEROTA: Because he was wanted for something in Brazil as well.

MCKEND: This. This is stemming back from 2008 when he passed along a stolen check to a store clerk, upwards -- made a purchase with a stolen check, upwards of $1,000. For a long time, Brazilian authorities could not find him. But now, he is, of course, notorious.

CAMEROTA: And a congressman.


MCKEND: And a congressman. So, they know where he is. They got a hold of him. But he was able to avoid prosecution in this case by way of a deal where he had to pay both the government as well as the victim in total $5,000. This got all resolved today. He's not going to be extradited to Brazil. But, of course, he still has to face the music.

PROKUPECZ: May want to be extradited --

MCKEND: Yeah. He has to face the music back here at home. CAMEROTA: Okay. So, tell us about that.

MCKEND: So, he was indicted earlier this week or just yesterday on 13 counts. Some of those charges, I think that we have a graphic, include seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, two counts of false statements to the House, and one count theft of public funds.

The indictment alleges that one of the most -- more egregious allegations that he was taking an employment funds from the state of New York while he was working in another state, making --

PROKUPECZ: COVID relief funds.

MCKEND: COVID relief funds while he was making a six-figure salary.

PROKUPECZ: $120,000 and he is collecting COVID relief funds.

SANDOVAL: Yesterday outside the courthouse, he said he has a defense and he represents it.

MCKEND: Yes. He is denying these allegations. He was up on the Hill, returning to Congress today.

PROKUPECZ: Is was really interesting listening to him outside the court because he was, like, well, this is now going to let me like kind of prove my defense now. I can defend myself freely. He says, like, I want to know how they got to these numbers, I don't know, like, I'm trying to, you know. So --

CAMEROTA: He will find out in court.


CAMEROTA: But he also said what has now become the age old reframe, it's a witch hunt.

MCKEND: Right. This's Trumpian response that everything is a witch hunt, the deep state is out to get me, whataboutism, what about Joe Biden, was his argument. The problem, I think, politically for Republicans that we have seen a growing number want to distance themselves from him.

But I was speaking to a Democratic group today and they are relishing this. They view Santos as a mechanism to characterize House Republicans as dysfunctional, that Santos is emblematic of a larger issue among House Republicans. And so, the longer that he is ensnared in this controversy, Democrats will argue that he is reflection of the body.

PROKUPECZ: There's a whole ethics thing, right, that is going on. Is there any idea of when the results of the House Ethics -- I think that is right, that is what's going on?

MCKEND: That is unclear to me. Yes, there are several other investigations, the House Ethics investigation among them. [23:45:00]

And keep in mind, he also could additional charges --

PROKUPECZ: That is the thing.

MCKEND: -- as a result of some of these other investigations.

PROKUPECZ: What's really significant is that I don't think that the federal -- I don't think they're done. I think there is more investigations. I think there are indications. This is serious. It's one thing, like, we can joke about him but -- I mean, he is facing some other significant investigations.

CAMEROTA: Financial.

PROKUPECZ: Financial investigations. We don't know everything. Buy for whatever reason, a Department of Justice decided, okay, we have enough, we are going to bring these charges for now. But there is more stuff coming.

JONES: It's interesting to see him so freely speaking to the media and all of those cameras, making additional statements when this process is not over. What I think is so interesting -- is there any sense -- I don't know if there is polling at this point. He said he is going to run again. He got ways to go. But is there a sense that he has political support from his district, that they're eager to have him running?

MCKEND: No, the limited polling that we have seen is that he does not have the support of his district. I am regularly in touch with constituents in addition of both Republicans and Democrats who have no appetite for a second Santos term.

CAMEROTA: There, I said make it quick and you just said no. That was very well done. Thank you, guys, very much. We'll be right back.




CAMEROTA: Elon Musk says he has found a new CEO to take over Twitter. His time as chief executive has been chaotic since he bought the company in October. Musk says he will now become Twitter's chief technology officer, overseeing product software and system operations. He says the new CEO will take over in about six weeks, but did not reveal who it is.

"The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal" report that Linda Yaccarino, who is NBC Universal's head of advertising, is in talks for that job.

All right, tomorrow on "CNN This Morning," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is going to join the show to discuss the end of Title 42 and what it means for the border and other American cities.

So, as we have been telling you, Title 42 will end in a matter of minutes. We're going to go live back to the border with Ed Lavandera right after this.




CAMEROTA: We are now minutes away from Title 42 ending. More than 150,000 migrants are waiting across the border. So, what is going to happen now?

I'm back with my panel and also Ed Lavandera, who is live for us in El Paso, Texas. So, Ed, tell us what is happening on the ground?

LAVANDERA: First, I want to get to some developing news. This is out of Florida. A federal judge tonight has blocked a Biden administration effort for what is essentially kind of a parole program for migrants taken into custody. These would be migrants that would be allowed to be released into the United States without the necessary paperwork but with some conditions.

The Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this will only apply on a case by case basis to a fraction of migrants. Nevertheless, it was intended to help alleviate the pressure on U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities that are processing thousands and thousands of migrants, which right now stands at about 28,000 migrants. We are really stretching capacity here.

The federal judge in Florida has temporarily blocked the use of these parole program by the Biden administration. How this is going to affect the processing of migrants here in the coming days is not exactly clear, but it's clearly a tool that the Biden administration was hoping to help alleviate this strain and the pressure on Customs and Border Protection officials here on the front lines.

Here tonight, it's relatively quiet. I was just speaking with colleagues on the Mexican side of the border from El Paso. They say it's very quiet. The large group of migrants that have been waiting to be processed, the number of those people have dwindled down.

As we reported throughout the evening, we weren't really expecting this massive rush of people rushing to the border when the clock struck midnight Eastern time. This is going to be something that we will have to watch and monitor here over the next couple of days and in the weeks ahead as well, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Ed, it is so helpful to have you there for us so that we can see what is really happening and not just obviously what people are fearing. Polo, it's interesting. Obviously, people, including officials, we're thinking that there might be a rush to the border, but it's not proving to true at this hour.

SANDOVAL: And the head of DHS really today put it very clearly, exactly what midnight will mean. Alex Mayorkas said that anyone coming in after midnight, which is only in two minutes, would be presumed ineligible for asylum.

Title 42, which kicked in March of 2020, three years, that is coming to an end now, will be replaced by Title 8, which will be -- people will be placed in removal proceedings. They will potentially be barred from entering back to the United States for five years and possibly face prosecution if they try to enter again. So, that is the key difference.

What we will see tomorrow, but most importantly, what we will we see in American cities in the coming days or weeks? Let's find out.

CAMEROTA: As Ed told us earlier, it may have been the last hour, basically, there is a lot of misinformation. Just scattered information. The migrants don't exactly know what a judge has done, what is in effect right now, what is ending and starting.

PROKUPECZ: They have phones. As you can imagine, on the phones, on social media.


PROKUPECZ: That's where a lot of their information is going and that where a lot of their information is coming from. That's why we seeing a lot of bad information out there. What they're reading is bad information.

SANDOVAL: That's why the Biden administration wants to get these consequences or at least use of them out to as many people as they can south of the border to try to keep those numbers from going up.

JONES: Even on Title 8, some migrants would meet the qualifications.

SANDOVAL: Absolutely.

JONES: (INAUDIBLE) fear. Is that right?

SANDOVAL: Right. The Biden administration was very clear that they have established legal pass for folks, including at regional processing centers in central and south America. That hopefully will give people incentive to turn to that versus the cartels that we just discussed, ones that are in charge of those pipelines that go all the way from South America to the (INAUDIBLE) Pass over the border and end up here, cities like New York.


CAMEROTA: Congressman (INAUDIBLE) from Texas was saying today that everybody applies for asylum, and he was saying a very high number are not actually eligible. So, we will see how they deal with that now going forward. As of right now, Title 42 has officially expired.

Thank you all for being here tonight. Great to have you. Thanks so much for watching. Our coverage continues now.