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Argentina's Team Heads Home As World Cup Champions; Elon Musk Tweets Poll Asking If He Should Step Down As CEO; Rising Numbers Of Migrants Sparks U.S. Border Crisis. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired December 19, 2022 - 10:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A nation of basking in pride. Argentina prepares to welcome their national heroes after Messi and his

teammates win the World Cup in Qatar.

And should I stay or should I go? Elon Musk asked Twitter users if he should quit his job as CEO. But will he listen to the results? Also.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're here on the edge of the Rio Grande in Juarez, Mexico. Not everyone is trying to cross over. The

people you see kind of standing behind me. They don't want to cross just yet. They're waiting for Title 42 to be lifted.

KINKADE: And it's a looming humanitarian crisis on the U.S. southern border as thousands of migrants "to cross." We'll go live to Texas.

Hello. I'm Lynda Kinkade live from the CNN Center. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. Good to have you with us. Well, Argentina is was celebrating its

World Cup victory over France after one of the most thrilling finals in the tournament's history. They beat defending champions France on a penalty

shootout netting Argentine soccer legend, Leonel Messi his first World Cup title.

In Argentina, there was sheer euphoria as large crowds partied in the streets, of course in France, a disappointment despite a stunning comeback

led by superstar Mbappe. We have reporters in the French and Argentine capitol. CNN's Jim Bittermann is in Paris. But I want to start with Stefano

Pozzebon. He joins us live from Buenos Aires. Good to have you both with us. So, Stefano, certainly bringing that messy magic. What a game. It

really did have it all.

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed. I mean, the little wizard made it again, I guess, the very, very last attempt he had to reach the only

trophy that was still missing from his cabinet. It was a fairy tale and the ultimate homecoming for an Argentinian player who left the country when he

was just 13 to play for Barcelona in Europe and then returns to bring this joy that the Argentinians have been waiting for for more than 36 years.

I think yesterday it was a moment where really the Argentinian spirit, the viber of the -- of the fiber of the nation exploded with joy at the

results. And we were able to witness some of those moments, we were down in the crowd. We are now here on the top of our hotel but in the crowd down in

the -- in the big avenue that is just behind me, there was just completely packed with fans and supporters who told us how proud, just sheer pride of

being an Argentinian. Take a listen to what one of them told me.

And -- but -- and after that, it was a party that kept going, Lynda, for hours and hours. Until the very early hours of today. Now the focus

transitions towards when will the team arrive here in Buenos Aires in the night between Monday and Tuesday and then on Tuesday tomorrow, there will

be a holiday to celebrate the national team as they parade from the airport and down to the presidential palace.

A few blocks from here in -- where I am in Buenos Aires and of course receive a welcome of heroes, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes. Certainly, heroes indeed and that will be a massive celebration. No doubt. I want to go to gym better than in France. I have to

feel for France. They won last year. They were down two-nil at the start of the game but they had an incredible comeback. So, even though they lost it

really was quite an amazing effort.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: More twists and turns in a drive along Brittany coast, Linda. I think Didier Deschamps (ph)

coach of the French team has described it best. He said, you know when you're down and out and then you fight your way back and you think you're

going to win and you don't win, it's a little hard to digest. And I think that's kind of what the French fans were feeling.


But part of what they're feeling too is what President Macron said last night when he tried to console both the fans and the nation. Here's what he


KINKADE: OK, yes. So, it seems we don't have that sounds, Jim, but just take us through the French president's words.

BITTERMANN: I guess -- I guess -- I guess we don't have that sound but basically, the president said that the cream allowed the country to dream

once again. And he also said, it's a young team, and they'll come back and that's what the Mbappe, Kylian Mbappe who was the star of the show

yesterday as far as the French were concerned, he's going to turn 24. Tomorrow's his birthday.

And he says, nous reviendrons which is to say in French, we'll be back. And as a consequence, that's -- I think what the spirit of the franchise today,

they're going to be back again in four years' time. Lynda?

KINKADE: Exactly. He is an incredibly skilled player. I look forward to seeing him play again. Jim Bittermann, good to have you there for us in


Well, Elon Musk gave Twitter users a chance to weigh in on his future as a social media company. But he may not be happy with the result that Tesla

and SpaceX founder tweeted earlier. Should I step down as the head of Twitter? He promised to honor the result, however unscientific the poll

might be. Well, the answer is yes. More than 17 million votes were cast, and 57 percent of respondents want him to step down.

Well, so far, his short tenure has been filled with chaos and controversy. CNN's senior media reporter Oliver Darcy joins us now from New York. Good

to see you, Oliver. So, Musk was at the game, the World Cup final in Qatar sending out this poll asking Twitter users whether he should resign as CEO.

And more than 17 million users want him to step down.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes. You really don't see this very often. Do you see posting on Twitter, a poll about whether he should

step down or not, and saying that he will honor the results? We haven't heard from Musk since this poll concluded early this morning at 6:30

Eastern Time. And he is on the west coast. So, it's really early out west. So, we'll see what he does here.

But if he actually does abide by this poll, it seems he's going to have to step down. I think we should note, though, that he has already, you know,

last month suggested that he was going to find someone else to run -- to run Twitter. And that's because he really needs to refocus his energy over

at Tesla. Tesla shares have been down quite a bit since he took over as Twitter CEO. And that's largely because investors are losing confidence, I

think that he is focusing all his energy on Twitter.

He's sleeping over the Twitter offices. He's not sleeping over at the Tesla offices. And that's where -- that's the major source of his wealth. So, I

think he's going to want to refocus on Tesla. And I think this is a poll that will give him an out to appoint another leader to run Twitter on a

day-to-day basis.

KINKADE: Yes. I mean, he, of course, bought Twitter for $44 billion, and then carried out these mass layoffs. You can only imagine morale there as

rock bottom, who would want the job of CEO? Who would be in line to take over in that role?

DARCY: That's a really good question. I mean, I think with Musk, we can't really rule anything out. I mean, I don't know if it'll be a conventional

tech executive or he might just be thinking totally out of the -- out of the box here. I just hate to try to even predict what Musk might want to

do. But I can't imagine it would be an easy job. I kind of almost think it's like working for the former President Donald Trump.

He's so erratic and he has so many different ideas and is impulsive. It would seem to be very difficult to actually work for him and carry out a

deliberate vision for the company. But we'll see. I mean, it is a high- profile job. And I think we should also -- I mean, look, I think he's going to want to step down. And I think he's going to want to work on Tesla but

this is Elon Musk. We have seen him in the past week redo a poll because he didn't seem to like the result.

So, I think we just need to hang tight here and really wait for that announcement from him whenever it may come.

KINKADE: That is true. And as you point out, Oliver, folks at Tesla do actually want him back. The shares, of course, took a hit after his

acquisitions of Twitter, right?

DARCY: Yes. They've been taking a hit all year. I mean, to be fair, the market hasn't been doing so well. But I think Tesla shares if my memory

serves me correctly, I have done worse than other car manufacturers.


And I think that is because a lot of Tesla -- the value is based on Elon Musk, revolutionizing the car industry. And if he's not working over at

Tesla, and if he is spending all -- I mean, he is sleeping over at Twitter, he is tweeting at all hours of the day, he is effectively morphed into a

right-wing troll on the platform. And so, you can imagine you'd be very nervous if you're a Tesla investor. You want him focused on Tesla not

tweeting crazy things and just getting the job done over there.

That's really not what you've seen over the past few months. And so, I'm sure that would love him to just appoint that interim CEO or the permanent

CEO or whatever. Someone else to lead to Twitter and just refocus on Tesla.

KINKADE: Yes, exactly. Oliver Darcy, we will watch this space. Good to have you with us. Thank you.

DARCY: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is expected to appear in a courtroom in the Bahamas today. The source familiar with the

matter tells CNN Bankman-Fried will likely drop his extradition fight. And once that happens, he would probably return to the U.S. quickly. Federal

prosecutors from New York have charge Bankman-Fried with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy in the United States.

CNN's Kara Scannell is following the story and joins us live from New York. Good to see you, Kara. So, he's set to withdraw his extradition fight as

far as we understand it. Why would he do that?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, I mean, there -- we don't have any direct answers yet from the Bankman-Fried team about why there's

been this change of heart. But what we do know is that he was arrested last Monday in the Bahamas, on these U.S. charges, eight federal charges,

serious charges including wire fraud and conspiracy where prosecutors say he stole billions of dollars from his customers and used it to buy real

estate, to make other investments and to make political donations.

So, he appeared in The Bahamas court last Tuesday. There his lawyer said that they would fight extradition, but that they were also going to be

reviewing their legal options. Now since then, Bankman-Fried has been held in a Bahamian prison, it's known as Fox Hill. It has a notorious

reputation. A U.S. State Department report found that there was a lack of access to nutritious meals, that the conditions were bad where inmates were

sometimes sleeping on the floors in the cells because there weren't enough beds.

And also, that some of the cells were rat infested and infested with maggots and other insects. So not a pleasant place to be. He was not

expected to be back in court on this case until February 8th. So that's quite a long time from now. And it's not clear, though, if how much of that

factored into this or if there were other some kind of behind-the-scenes negotiations with U.S. authorities.

But by agreeing to appear today in court to waive his extradition as a source familiar with the matter told me, it will -- it will expedite this

process, expedition fights -- extradition fights, excuse me can carry on for weeks or months, sometimes even a year. So, this will speed things up.

So, after this court appearance today, assuming that there is no hitch, he is expected to return to the U.S. fairly quickly.

He will appear in a federal court in New York, face a judge, perhaps enter a plea if they decide to do the arraignment, but also have a discussion

about bail and whether he will be held in custody or if he will be released on some sort of bail and bond. Lynda?

KINKADE: And so, if guilty, he could face up to 115 years behind bars, certainly the list of charges, Kara is very long.

SCANNELL: Yes. I mean, that's right, he's facing two counts of wire fraud. Each of those counts carry a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. He's

also facing one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud -- excuse me, money laundering, that also has a maximum of 20 years. And some of the

conspiracy counts have a maximum of five years. Now, in the U.S., that's the maximum. Judges usually don't sentence that level.

But what can really influence the judge's decision when it comes to sentencing and this is down the road of assuming he either were to plead

guilty or be convicted. They take into account the value and here we're talking about billions of dollars. So that certainly puts a heavy hand on

the scale in terms of what his potential exposure could be. In, you know, as we've seen in past cases with Bernie Madoff, which a lot of people draw

comparisons too, made off had pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme.

He was sentenced to 150 years in prison, he died recently behind bars. Of course, you know, not to get too far ahead of ourselves. He still has to

appear in court. He has to, you know, make a decision about whether he's going to fight these charges, but these are certainly very serious charges

that he's facing, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes. We will be watching this case closely. Kara Scannell for us in New York. Thanks so much.

Well, still to come here in CONNECT THE WORLD. Iran's crackdown on demonstrations. How the regime is using protesters cell phones and social

media to silence them.

And the U.K. top court announces its decision over a controversial deportation plan. That all is coming up when we come back. Stay with us.



KINKADE: Welcome back. The (INAUDIBLE) in Ukraine and not getting a break. Officials say a fresh wave of Russian attacks caused more damage to the

power grid in Kyiv. They say Moscow launched 23 drones towards the capital today. 18 was shut down. But the strikes hit several critical

infrastructure facilities as well as nearby homes. Two people were injured.

Well, meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Belarus holding talks with President Alexander Lukashenko. In public comments just moments

ago, the two you discuss trade and their country's close relations but did not mention Ukraine. The Kremlin says this will be a working visit but the

trip is raising concerns that Belarus could join the fight in neighboring Ukraine.

One of Iran's best-known actresses has just been arrested days after she condemned the execution of an Iranian protester. According to Iranian-state

media and actress who starred in the 2016 Oscar winning film The Salesman is accused of criticizing the government without evidence to support her


It follows reports that another football has been arrested for allegedly participating in demonstrations in Germany. The football agent says the

former national team captain was banned from leaving Iran four weeks ago and wasn't allowed to attend his team's training camp in Dubai.

Well, as protests continue across Iran, CNN has learned that authorities are using technology to gain access to demonstrate his cell phones and

social media accounts. The government is then using the information as evidence to suppress and in many cases arrest them. Katie Polglase reports.


KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER (voice over): Moody, reflective like many teenagers, Nika Shakarami considered her Instagram page, a safe

space for self-expression. But her death on September 20th during protests in Iran, turned her into an icon and her Instagram page into a blank slate,

who disabled it and why became yet another mystery surrounding what happened to her.

CNN previously revealed evidence suggesting Nika was detained at the protests shortly after this video was filmed, but the Iranian authorities

have always denied any involvement in her disappearance or death. Now CNN can exclusively reveal that Meta, Instagram's parent company investigated

Nika's account after she disappeared, concluding they themselves were not involved in disabling it.

In other words, it was either Nika herself or crucially, someone with access to her account that took it down. And as recent reporting by the

intercept revealed Iran's highly sophisticated system for phone hacking, it raises the question of whether social media platforms can keep accounts


When protests erupted in Iran, Nika began using Instagram as a diary for her activism but this online activity may have ended up working against



POLGLASE: After Nika's death, Uranian states began publishing evidence like this CCTV footage, attempting to clear the state of any involvement in her

death. First, they said she was pushed from this building, then she fell from it. Next, they referenced suicidal messages in documents extracted

from Nika's mobile and Instagram conversations. It was an open acknowledgement they were accessing her phone and her social media

accounts, but she's not alone.

As flames engulfed the notorious Evin Prison in mid-October, inside was Negin. She was accused of sharing activist posters like these on Telegram,

the encrypted social media platform. We've changed her name for her safety. Her words are read by an actor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEFMALE (voice over): I think they already had my telegram chats because they often talked about it. There were certain photos. I had

shared relatively political photos. They would show me the photos from that Telegram to claim I was the admin but I kept denying it.

POLGLASE: She says the Iranian authorities had obtained these chats despite not yet having Negin's phone. She believes they hacked her account, and she

now faces six years in jail.

POLGLASE (on camera): While in prison, the Iranian authorities reactivated Negin's Telegram account. She says it was to see who tried to contact her

and reveal the network of activists she was in touch with. And the same tactic may have been used with Nika's Telegram account. As weeks after her

death, two of her friends noticed her account was back online. It disappeared shortly after.

POLGLASE (voice over): Nika's family are still reeling from her death. One close family member told CNN authorities are still refusing to return her

phone. The Iranian authorities have not responded to CNN's requests for comment. While Meta said they couldn't share specifics on leakers account,

but they confirmed they did not originally disable it. Telegram told CNN in every case they had investigated the device had been confiscated or the

user had unwittingly made such access possible by not setting a two-step verification password or using a malicious app impersonating Telegram.

Still, questions remain as to whether Meta, Telegram and other tech companies are doing all they can to protect their users. As the world wakes

up to the increasingly tech savvy ways regimes such as Iran are using to monitor and hunt down activists. Katie Polglase, CNN, London.

KINKADE: Well, Britain's controversial plan to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda has been deemed lawful by the country's high court. Today's

decision comes as the U.K. faces record numbers of migrants arriving on its shores illegally, often in unsafe boats. The U.K.'s partnership with the

East African country has been a subject of fierce criticism. Several British human rights groups say they're disappointed by the ruling.

CNN's Nada Bashir joins us live from London. Nada, good to have you with us. So, the British government essentially won on this case in court. They

can now deport migrants to Rwanda. Take us through the ruling.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, this is a deeply controversial judgement. This has taken months of deliberation. We already saw previously

over the summer and emergency injunction by the European Court of Human Rights. And of course, this is all centered around the government's plan to

offshore its asylum process. Essentially, anybody arriving in the U.K. through illegal means, namely arriving in small boats off the coast of

Dover from Northern France could face potential deportation to Rwanda and they will have their asylum claims heard there.

Now the government has backed this for months now. We've seen this being championed by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, by Liz Truss. And now of

course, by Rishi Sunak, the new Home Secretary Suella Braverman describing those arrivals on Britain's coasts as an invasion. And of course, she's

also previously said that we can't describe these asylum seekers as being mostly refugees.

But this stands in contrast to the government's own figures of a huge and overwhelming figure showing that those arriving on British shores are quite

often deemed to be those in desperate need of humanitarian protection, genuine refugees, but this ruling could set the pretext essentially for the

government to push ahead with its plan to deport tens of thousands of asylum seekers deemed have arrived in the U.K. illegally to Rwanda.

And we were able to speak to one of those who is potentially facing the threat of being deported to Rwanda. Take a look.


BASHIR (voice over): Another life lost in Britain's icy waters. Another reminder of the dangers faced by migrants attempting to cross the English

Channel from Northern France.


BASHIR: As many as 40,000 migrants have braved the dangerous crossings since the beginning of this year alone. Now the government is doubling down

on its plan to tackle illegal migration.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When legal proceedings conclude on our migration and economic development partnership, we will restart the first flights to


BASHIR: It was an 11th-hour legal intervention which grounded the first deportation flight in June. Now, after months of deliberation, high court

judges in London have ruled that the policy is in fact lawful. Despite fierce criticism from lawyers and refugee advocacy groups.

SOPHIE LUCAS, LAWYER FOR CLAMANTS: There are serious concerns around the functioning of the asylum system in Rwanda, as well as serious concerns

about political freedom of expression.

BASHIR: Under the government scheme, thousands of migrants arriving in the U.K. illegally could be deported to Rwanda to have their asylum claims

heard there. Among them is Yousef (ph) whose name we've changed to protect his identity. He was one of the more than 100 asylum seekers due to be

deported to Rwanda in June.

YOUSEF, SYRIAN ASYLUM SEEKER (through translator): I want to live in peace in the UK, to work and build a future here for my wife and son. It just

breaks my heart. There is no future for my son in Syria.

BASHIR: Yousef says he fled his war-torn hometown of Daraa in Syria in 2017. Leaving behind his wife and child in the hope of building a new life

for them overseas. Yousef's journey took him from Syria to Lebanon and then onwards to Libya where he says he was detained for eight months before

fleeing to Europe.

YOUSEF: We were given very little food or water, they will beat us, torturous. Then, after I left Libya, I traveled across the sea to Italy. It

was a very difficult journey. We were stuck at sea for about three days. One more day, and I think we would have died.

BASHIR: Like many refugees, Yousef then traveled to Cali in northern France, where he spent weeks living in a squalid refugee camp, waiting to

be smuggled on a small boat to the U.K. It's this very crossing that the government is now clamping down on, despite widespread concern over how

effective and how ethical the Rwanda deportation deal really is.

COLIN YEO, IMMIGRATIN LAWYER: So, there's no evidence that it's putting anybody off. We're talking about people who've fled really serious problems

civil wars, massive human rights abuses in their own countries.

BASHIR: While the High Court has now ruled in favor of the government. The court has also ruled that all potential deportation cases must now be

considered on an individual basis. And campaign groups say they are still considering all legal options to appeal the judgment.

But for those fleeing some of the worst hardships imaginable, the prospect of being turned away is almost too much to bear.

YOUSEF: They sent me to Rwanda, that it's over for me. After all the struggles I faced and a long journey I've taken to reach this point it will

be devastating. I would kill myself.


BASHIR: And Lynda, this is just one of the many cases of asylum seekers in the United Kingdom who are now in a sort of limbo waiting to see what will

happen to their asylum claims. We are expecting another hearing to be held in mid-January to see if these campaign groups the -- at -- these advocacy

groups will be permitted to appeal this judgment. But for those waiting on that potential deportation, notice this is a deeply worrying and deeply

uncertain time. Lynda?

KINKADE: Yes. Certainly, many groups say me will continue to challenge this ruling. Nada Bashir in London. Thank you.

Well, still to calm on CONNECT THE WORLD. The January 6 Committee wraps up its most important work with a very important decision. Who should be held

responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol?

Plus, the U.S. judge has ordered COVID era border restrictions known as Title 42 to end this week. Cities along the border are now bracing for a

potential surge in migrant arrivals.



KINKADE: Hello and welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade at the CNN Center. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Good to have you with us. Well, after 17

months and more than thousands witness interviews, the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is ready

to wrap up its work. The committee will hold its final public hearing meeting and about 2-1/2 hours from now.

Members are scheduled to vote on making criminal referrals to the U.S. Justice Department. And sources tell CNN the committee is likely to

recommend several official charges against former President Donald Trump and some of his closest allies.

Joining us now to help us explain what a criminal referral might mean is CNN Senior Legal Affairs Correspondent Paula Reid. Good to have you with

us, Paula. So, the final report expected to be delivered Wednesday. What can we expect in the final days?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: This is the week for the January 6 Committee. This is the culmination of their investigation

that's been going on for over a year and a half. Now this week kicks off today with a meeting where there will be two key items on the agenda. The

first is to announce criminal referrals. And so, this is the list of people that they believe should be held criminally responsible for what happened

on January 6.

They will make these recommendations to the Justice Department. And from our reporting we know that at the top of that list will be former President

Trump who is expected to be recommended for at least three different crimes. Now we know the lawmakers have been considering potential referrals

for other individuals. But it's unclear if those people will be referred to today or at all.

And the impact of this is look, it's largely symbolic. The Justice Department is already investigating the former president and his associates

for their roles in January 6th. That has been handed off to Special Counsel Jack Smith. So, there's no guarantee that just because they made this

referral, that there'll be an indictment or that anything really changes in this investigation.

The second thing that will happen today is that the committee will vote to approve its final report. We're going to get a summary of that report

detailing everything they've uncovered in this investigation later today. But then the full and final report, as you noted, that won't be released

until Wednesday. Now there could be some viewers who are wondering why on earth are they doing all of this historically important work this week?


Everybody's busy doing their holiday shopping, very few people are paying attention to this right now. Well, the fact is that lawmakers are under a

pretty severe deadline here because Republicans are expected to take over the chamber next year. And as expected, they will dissolve this committee.

So, this is really the final stretch where they can release what they found to the public.

KINKADE: All right. Paula Reid, we will be following it closely during the next few days. Good to have you with us. Thanks.

Let's get you up to speed on some other stories on our radar right now. And South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been reelected as leader of the

country's ruling party. Members of the African National Congress voted to back him despite a recent scandal involving an unreported theft at his

farm. Ramaphosa survived a move to start impeachment proceedings against him last week.

A search and rescue operation is underway to find 31 Time Navy sailors who are missing after their ships sank in the Gulf of Thailand. Strong winds

tilted the ship allowing ocean waters to float its electrical systems. And 106 sailors were onboard when the ship sank.


A close call for passengers on an Hawaiian Airlines flight. At least 36 people were injured after severe turbulence rattled Sunday's fly from

Arizona to Hawaii. One college student says it felt like the plane was free falling. The airline says it will inspect the aircraft before returning it

to service.

Well, Texas is expecting a wave of migrants as soon as a law restricting them ends. But local shelters are beyond capacity already with migrants

sleeping on the streets and in freezing weather. We'll have a live report next.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, some are calling on the White House to extend a controversial immigration order that has been used to expel migrants at

the U.S.-Mexico border. It was put in place early in the coronavirus pandemic under former President Donald Trump. But the Biden administration

is pushing back against those calls to extend Title 42. Migrants and setting up a camp at the border waiting for that order to officially end


The mayor of El Paso, a democrat has declared a state of emergency. And now republicans and democrats alike are bracing for a massive amount of

crossings. Our Ed -- reporter Ed Lavandera is following the story for us and joins us right now. Good to see you there, Ed. So, just give us a sense

of the situation on the border right now.

LAVANDERA: Well, here the clock is ticking for -- especially for local officials and Customs and Border Protection agents who are guarding the

border. It is really a great deal of anticipation. So, exactly what this community and this border region will look like come Wednesday. But right

now, local officials here in El Paso who have already been dealing with a surge ahead of migrants ahead of the lifting of Title 42 say they are

bracing for what could very well be one of the toughest weeks of the city's history.





LAVANDERA: El Paso's mayor says he's bracing for as many as four to 6000 migrants to be released into the city per day if Title 42 is lifted on


OSCAR LEESER, EL PASO, TEXAS MAYOR: And I really believe that today, our asylum seekers are not safe, as we have hundreds and hundreds on the

streets. And that's not the way we want to treat people.


LAVANDERA: City officials have started moving hundreds of migrants who were camping out around downtown area bus stations into hotels or newly open

shelter space.

LEESER: We want to make sure that everyone's safe. And we know that the influx on Wednesday will be incredible. It will be huge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on in, guys.


LAVANDERA: In the last week, we're told more than thousand migrants have found refuge inside the family center shelter in downtown El Paso.

LAVANDERA (on camera): This is Asada (ph). She came from Ecuador with her husband. They've been traveling for 30 days.

LAVANDERA (voice over): She says the journey was brutal. Sarah Romero (ph) like almost every migrant we've spoken with, says they were kidnapped and

held for days in Mexico until they paid their way out. But they arrive at an uncertain time and the chance of winning asylum in the U.S. is far from


LAVANDERA (on camera): Are you worried that you're going to be deported?

She said they're looking for anything, they would like to either request asylum or a humanitarian visa, just something that would let them be able

to work and earn some sort of living.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Romero is one of the thousands who entered El Paso in the days leading up to the expected end of the public health policy

known as Title 42, which allowed U.S. border officials to expel migrants nearly 2.5 million times since 2020.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So here on the edge of the Rio Grande in Juarez, Mexico, not everyone is trying to cross over. The people you see kind of

standing behind me, they don't want to cross just yet. They're waiting for Title 42 to be lifted, because they're worried if they crossed now, they

will be deported.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Some are sleeping under the cover of this carwash, and many are embarrassed shelters like this one called the Hope Center

where more than 100 people sleep on these floors every night.

Kelly Perez (ph) and her husband have waited here two months. Waiting to decide when to cross into the U.S.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Where are you waiting to cross?

They're waiting to cross because we've heard so many other Venezuelans who have been deported. And they don't want to -- they don't want that to

happen. So, they're waiting for Title 42 to get lifted, to see how things play out and then they'll decide whether or not they're going to try to

enter the United States.

RICARDO SAMANIEGO, JUDGE, EL PASO COUNTY: They called the, you know, the asylum of the -- of the Southwest.

LAVANDERA (voice over): But El Paso officials know that spirit of compassion will be put to the test this week. County Judge Ricardo

Samaniego says this area has never experienced a moment like this.

LAVANDERA (on camera): When and if title 42 gets lifted on Wednesday, what is it going to look like here?

SAMANIEGO: Everybody agrees that it's not sustainable, that there's nothing that we're doing right now that sustainable. Everything is addressing and

reacting to a situation.

LAVANDERA: And Lynda, that is really the challenge that many of these border communities from South Texas to California will be dealing with.

It's just a logistical nightmare of moving people through these border communities as quickly as possible. The people you see behind me. They have

paperwork that allows them to stay in the U.S. while their immigration process plays out in the court system here.

But this isn't really -- these border communities are by and large, not their final destinations. They will await this process in other parts of

the U.S. but they're trying to move people through these border communities as quickly as possible. Lynda?

KINKADE: Yes. Huge, huge challenge. Ed Lavandera on the story for us in El Paso. Thanks so much.

Well, 13 years after the original movie, the sequel to the blockbuster film Avatar is now in theaters worldwide.


KIRI, AVATAR FICTIONAL CHARACTER: I know you think I'm crazy. But I feel her.

KINKADE: Avatar: Way of Water top the U.S. box office with $134 million giving director James Cameron his first $100 million opening weekend.

Globally, it's already brought in $435 million. It's estimated the sequel needs to make more than $2 billion to do that given just how expensive it

was to produce.

Well, World Sport with Alex Thomas is up next. And I'll be back in about 15 minutes with another hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with us. You're

watching CNN.