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Lou Dobbs Tonight

Iran On Collision Course With The United Nations Over Nuclear Weapons Program; Bush Administration Relationship Between Commerce, Trade, And National Security; President Bush Today Said He Doesn't Support Monday's May 1st Boycott; Hispanic Students Dropping Out Of Public Schools In Record Numbers In Denver; State Department Released Annual Terrorism Report; Jeremy Church Honored With Silver Star

Aired April 28, 2006 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, a major turning point in the nuclear crisis with Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has refused to stop the enrichment of nuclear fuel. Can Iran be stopped without military action?
We'll have complete coverage for you tonight.

And President Bush allows Dubai to buy weapons factories in this country just months after the collapse of the Dubai ports deal. Dubai will now control plants that make vital military equipment.

We'll have a special report on the relationship in this administration between commerce and trade and national security.

Also tonight, the illegal alien lobby says millions of people will take part in protests, demonstrations and boycotts Monday in support of amnesty for all illegal aliens in this country. It is nothing less than a massive walkout designed to paralyze schools, businesses, and, as some organizers say, to shut down our cities. Among my guests tonight, a leading supporter of those demonstrations and the boycott.

And the Bush White House facing a barrage of criticism over soaring gasoline prices, illegal immigration, a lack of border security, and an outright war on our middle class. Can President Bush recover from his collapsing poll numbers?

Three of the country's top political analysts join me here tonight for all of that and a great deal more right here.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Friday, April 28th.

Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

Iran tonight is on a collision course with the United Nations over its nuclear weapons program and its refusal to meet U.N. deadlines. The International Atomic Energy Agency today declared that Iran has defied the United Nations and has accelerated its production of nuclear fuel. President Bush said the world is united and concerned. The United Nations will meet next week, hardly united, to begin a process that could lead to sanctions against Iran.

Kitty Pilgrim reports now on the showdown at the United Nations over Iran.

Aneesh Raman reports from Tehran on Iran's refusal to compromise.

Suzanne Malveaux at the White House, reporting on the president's determination to force Iran to back down.

We begin with Kitty Pilgrim here in New York -- Kitty.

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, the next step is for the U.N. Security Council to begin to talk about action. But some members of the Security Council are dragging their feet.


PILGRIM (voice over): Protests against Iran in New York today, outside the U.N., by Iranian dissidents calling for sanctions. And inside, the U.S. ambassador stressing a sense of urgency. Ambassador John Bolton insisted the Security Council will take action as soon as possible.

JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Evidence of Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, its extensive program to achieve a ballistic missile capability of longer and longer range and greater accuracy, constitutes a classic threat to international peace and security.

PILGRIM: Bolton is pushing the Security Council to seek a resolution under Chapter 7. That makes it enforceable by sanctions or even military action. And the U.S. State Department is saying U.N. or no U.N., Iran must be held to account.

ADAM ERELI, STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: Should it not be possible to act in the Security Council, there are other ways to work with states and organizations to take measures that -- that isolate Iran.

PILGRIM: The United States, France and Britain want tough solutions.

EMYR JONES PARRY, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: We're consulting the United States closely.

PILGRIM: But Russia and China want to protect their energy interests in Iran.

WANG GUANGYA, CHINA AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: All we want is to work for a diplomatic solution.

PILGRIM: Playing a double game, voting to refer Iran to the Security Council, but now dragging their feet on tough action.


PILGRIM: Iran has defied the United Nations at every deadline. It ignored the 30-day grace period which just ended. So next week, permanent members of the Security Council, plus Germany, begin to discuss what action should be taken -- Lou.

DOBBS: Russia and China committed to no sanctions whatsoever against Iran.

PILGRIM: That's exactly right.

DOBBS: So the United Nations can do nothing.

PILGRIM: It's going to be an extremely tough sell. Russia and China seem to be immovable on this.

DOBBS: Thank you very much.

Kitty Pilgrim.

The Iranian president today declared that Iran will not give up its nuclear program under pressure from the United Nations. The Iranian president said Iran is already a nuclear country and could soon become a global superpower.

Aneesh Raman reports from Tehran.


No immediate reaction from Iranian officials to the IAEA report, but earlier today we heard from Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said again the country would not suspend its nuclear civilian program but also said essentially that Iran is willing to watch with the IAEA, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, to resolve any unanswered questions.

President Bush has said he wants this matter resolved diplomatically. The big question from Iran's point of view will be where.

Iran has said it will work with the IAEA, will be as transparent as it can. But if the matter is handed over to the U.N. and the Security Council there, and action is taken against Iran, the country will suspend involvement with the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog and will essentially pursue its nuclear program in secret.

All week we have heard defiant words from Iranian leaders. They have said from the start that it is a civilian nuclear program and that it is of the table, any talk for them to suspend the uranium enrichment.

Strong words as well pointed directly at the United States. They are fearful perhaps of an American military strike down the line, warning that if America attacked Iran, Iran would respond by attacking American sites around the world.

So now, really, what we're waiting to see is how the U.N. acts, and then in turn how Iran responds -- Lou.

DOBBS: Aneesh Raman reporting from Tehran.

President Bush today declared Iran's nuclear defiance is not acceptable. The president said the diplomat efforts to stop Iran are only beginning. The president did not say anything about the possible use of military force against Iran. But in the past, President Bush has refused to rule out military action.

Suzanne Malveaux reports from the White House -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, really, despite Iran's defiance, President Bush made it very clear that he wants to disarm Iran diplomatically, peacefully, that this is not an isolated United States situation, but this is an international effort. And President Bush tried to stress that Iran is different than Iraq.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The diplomatic process is just beginning. We're forming a strong coalition of like- minded countries that believe that the Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon. And I've told the American people that diplomacy is my first choice. And it should be the first choice of every American president in order to solve a very difficult problem.


MALVEAUX: And Lou, of course it is going to be a very difficult problem. As you know, the U.N. Security Council, the permanent five members, are divided on this issue. The United States, Britain and France, of course, on one side pushing for it, certainly open to limited sanctions. Russia and China, on the other hand, very lucrative oil and economic deals with Iran, simply resisting.

This is going to be a tough sell, as you know, for this White House.

And turning the corner, just to demonstrate a little bit in terms of the sensitivity, the delicacy the United States is dealing with Iran and its allies, today President Bush, unique situation, meeting with the president of one of Iran's neighbors, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, as you know, of course, a critical ally, one of just two Muslim nations to put troops on the ground for the U.S.-Iraq war effort, also, of course, the supplier of oil.

And -- but this is something that's somewhat controversial. Some international observers say, look, Azerbaijan has human rights abuses, it's a corrupt government. Today Bush administration officials say they believe there are democratic reforms, at least some steps that are being taken by that leadership -- Lou.

DOBBS: Suzanne, thank you.

Suzanne Malveaux.

President Bush today allowed a government-controlled company in Dubai to go ahead with its takeover of nine vital U.S. defense plans. Those factories make parts for American tanks and U.S. military aircraft. Earlier this year, another deal with Dubai for major U.S. port terminals collapsed after massive protests.

Lisa Sylvester has our report.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The U.S. Abrams battle tank is the backbone of the U.S. armored forces. A key component, the turbine fan is made in only one place, Doncasters' Georgia facility.

Doncasters, a British company, wants to sell this military components factory and eight others to a Dubai state-owned company. Today, the deal was green-lighted by the White House over the objections of some lawmakers.

REP. JOHN BARROW (D), GEORGIA: If we end up selling off something we wish we hadn't, we'll find out only when crunch time comes. And then we'll be scrambling around trying to figure out how we can keep our tanks in the field rolling. When they find out how -- when we find out that somebody else is flying jets on our spare parts, we won't know until it is too late.

SYLVESTER: The deal is similar to the Dubai Ports World transaction that sparked a firestorm. But this time, criticism on Capitol Hill is more subdued.

The White House agreed up front to have the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. conduct a national security review and secured supply guarantees from the company.

BUSH: I signed off on it this morning because I am convinced at the recommendation of the CFIUS committee, as well as our military, that it's a sale that should go through.

SYLVESTER: But skeptics disagree.

ALAN TONELSON, US BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COUNCIL: The president signing off on this Doncasters deal shows once again that this administration is completely clueless about economic security issues. Once we transfer control to a foreign entity, the U.S. government loses great control. That's the critical threshold, and we're too careless about crossing it.

SYLVESTER: The UAE is an ally of the United States, but critics question, what assurance does the White House have that the country will be a loyal supplier in the future?


SYLVESTER: And as part of the CFIUS review process, the White House is supposed to send a report to the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives with a detailed explanation of the review findings. Now, the White House today sent a report, but sent it to the speaker of the House and sent it classified. Lawmakers, including Representative John Barrow, are now demanding to see the full report to ensure congressional oversight and accountability -- Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, Lisa Sylvester, from Washington.

The White House equally determined to push forward with the Dubai ports deal. At one point, President Bush threatened to veto any legislation that would have blocked the sale. But that deal collapsed after massive criticism within Congress and the assertion that the transaction could harm U.S. national security.

Critics said Dubai had close links with some of the September 11th hijackers. And Dubai is a center for nuclear proliferation.

That deal raised serious concerns that radical Islamist terrorists could infiltrate a major U.S. port and bring with them nuclear weapons. There were also charges that international arms traffickers used ports in Dubai to smuggle weapons around the world.

That brings us to the subject of our poll tonight. Do you believe that the Bush administration by improving the Dubai Doncasters deal has once again put commerce and trade ahead of U.S. national security? Yes or no?

Please cast your vote at We'll have those results here later in the broadcast.

Coming right up, President Bush weighs in on the controversy over planned boycotts and protests on the 1st of May to support amnesty for all illegal aliens. And he even has a view on the Spanish version of our national anthem.

We'll have that report.

Our education system is failing a lot of young people. We'll have a special report for you tonight on the impact of illegal immigration on the education of American citizens and our public schools.

And, has Iraq become a safe haven for radical Islamic terrorists? We'll have a live report from the Pentagon. All of that and a great deal more coming right up.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Not only has the Democratically-controlled California State Senate voted in support of the massive demonstrations and boycott in support of illegal aliens and amnesty for them, but members, Democratic members of the California State Senate will also walk off their jobs Monday so they can join those nationwide boycotts.

We reported here last night on the California Senate's vote to support Monday's boycotts even though these boycotts will, of course, harm at least part of the California economy and will certainly disrupt its schools. Senators will check in to work Monday, we're told, to ensure that they will be paid for that day, and then they will leave. Members of the

Democratically-controlled California State Assembly will also walk off their jobs Monday. They'll also be paid for doing so as well.

President Bush today said he doesn't support Monday's May 1st boycott by illegal aliens and their supporters. But President Bush once again urged Congress to pass comprehensive, as he puts it, immigration reform legislation that would legalize millions of illegal aliens in this country, a principal goal of Monday's boycott and demonstrations.

Dana Bash reports.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He may speak Spanish every chance he gets, but President Bush says the national anthem should be in English.

BUSH: I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English. And they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.

BASH: At issue is this, "Nuestro Himno," a Spanish language version of the anthem released Friday by Latin pop stars who call it a tribute to America's immigrants.

It has already provoked outrage on conservative blogs and elsewhere. And supporters of immigration reform in both parties fear the song could backfire, especially among lawmakers who say if illegal immigrants want to stay legally they must assimilate.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: I personally am not going to dwell on something based on some song.

BASH: At a meeting with Catholic cardinals pushing for immigration reform, the Senate Democratic leader would not give his opinion.

REID: Well, let's look at the positive. Let's not look at the negative. Let's not look at someone waving a Mexican flag.

BASH: But top Democrats are worried about activists looking and sounding anti-American and encouraged organizers of massive immigration protests earlier this month to wave American flags.

Lawmakers are also concerned the national boycott Monday of everything from jobs to schools planned by immigration activists could knock progress on reform legislation off track.

And on Capitol Hill, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles encouraged people to go to work and school. CARDINAL ROGER MAHONY, LOS ANGELES ARCHDIOCESE: I think that any kind of action or strategy that could give us a negative backlash of some kind is unhelpful in passing legislation we need.

BASH: The president too called it a bad idea.

BUSH: I'm not a supporter of boycotts. I am a supporter of comprehensive immigration.


BASH: And the controversy over the national anthem is getting attention fast in Congress. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander says he will introduce a symbolic resolution on Monday saying that the national anthem should be sung in English only. That is something that Mr. Alexander says would give senators an opportunity to remind the country why that's important -- Lou.

DOBBS: And the idea that there could be a backlash from these boycotts and demonstrations doing absolutely nothing to slows down what looks to be a nationwide protest and nationwide boycotts.

BASH: The idea that they're -- that they're calling on these boycotts not to happen, no, it doesn't sound like -- it doesn't seem like they're making much of a dent in what seems to be -- will be probably millions, they say, maybe -- even a million, I should say, in Los Angeles alone that will stay home from work and school.

DOBBS: One of the things this broadcast of course is exploring -- Dana Bash, thank you.

One of the things that this broadcast is exploring is whether or not there should be a middle class citizens' reaction to these demonstrations and as to what form that response should be. And we're going to be exploring it on this broadcast over the course of the next several days. And we hope you will join in, in that dialogue.

Colorado has one of the fastest growing illegal alien populations in the entire country. This illegal alien crisis is one of the forces that is putting extraordinary pressure on the Denver school district, where Hispanic students are dropping out of public schools there in record numbers.

Bill Tucker reports tonight from Denver.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): There are numbers that pass you by without notice. And then there are numbers which stop you dead in your tracks.

TONY LEWIS, DONNELL-KAY FOUNDATION: Latino graduation rates in Denver are about 43, 44 percent. So, fewer than one in two kids is graduating high school.

TUCKER: The dimension of the problem becomes even greater when you realize 57 percent of the school population in Denver is Latino. The reason the kids say they drop out comes down to three, according to the researchers: stressful lives brought on by living in low- income, high-crime neighborhoods; the kids feel disconnected from large, anonymous schools; and number three may be the most important: peer pressure.

ALAN DAVIS, UNIV. OF COLORADO, DENVER: Peer groups were constantly encouraging them not to go to class, not to study for tests, and so there wasn't very much peer support for doing well in school.

TUCKER: Denver is not admitting defeat. It's adopted incentive pay packages that not only award teachers on improved student performance, it provides incentive pay to teachers who agree to teach in the city's poorest academic schools. The superintendent has implemented new, aggressive assessment standards to detect whether kids are performing up to grade level.

WILLIAM KOHUT, PRINCIPAL, SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL: We've built in some after school tutoring support, a Saturday school program. We're proposing a credit recovery type program next year where students -- we know that we have some students who have to work to support their families and they work late. And sometimes that's why they're here late.

TUCKER: But at the end of the day, it is not about what's tried. It's about what works.

MICHAEL BENNETT, DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS: And we are seeing drop- out rates that we're horrified about. The community can do something about that. And what we need to do is insist on results. And we should be judged on whether or not we're delivering those results.

TUCKER: Sadly, there's nothing unique about Denver's drop-out rate. It's not a Denver issue. It is a national issue.


TUCKER: Lou, the school behind me is Emanuel High School (ph). It's 70 percent Latino. It's scheduled to close at the end of this school year and be closed for a full year while the city officials try to figure out what they can do to fix this enormous problem that they face -- Lou.

DOBBS: It is a problem at least that Denver recognizes, Bill. Southern California, all parts of the country, faced with tremendous illegal immigration, overcrowded schools, which is denying an adequate education to U.S. citizens. And Hispanic students dropping out at a rate nationwide of 50 percent.

This is simply unacceptable, and it is one of those things that our policymakers are not even addressing.

TUCKER: It's unacceptable to the policymakers here. And one of the things they don't address directly but they admit is a problem is the immigration issue. They note that it presents problems with language skills, and it also presents cultural problems that they have to deal with.

DOBBS: Right. Bill Tucker, thank you very much, reporting tonight from Denver, Colorado.

Coming up here next, terror cells, foreign fighters, armed militants multiplying in Iraq and spreading terrorism around the world. We'll have a special report for you.

And supporters of illegal immigration preparing for Monday's nationwide protests and boycotts. I'll be talking with Javier Rodriguez from the so-called "Great American Boycott" -- that's what they call it -- of 2006."

A great deal more as well coming up right here. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Insurgents have killed two more of our troops in Iraq. A soldier was killed by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad. A Marine was killed in combat in Al Anbar province. 2,396 of our troops have been killed in Iraq since the war began three years ago, 17,762 of our troops have been wounded, 8,137 of them wounded so seriously that they cannot return to duty.

Today the State Department released its annual terrorism report. That report showing terrorists are trying to turn Iraq into a safe haven for global terrorists.

Barbara Starr reports.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A new State Department terrorism report makes clear Iraq remains a key battleground for homegrown insurgents and those trying to incite sectarian violence, as well as global terrorist networks.

AMB. HENRY CRUMPTON, U.S. COORD. FOR COUNTERTERRORISM: For some terrorists, Iraq is also a cause. Networks that support the flow of foreign terrorists to Iraq have been uncovered in several parts of the world.

STARR: The challenge for the new government and the U.S., still staggering levels of violence. According to the report, in 2005 alone there were some 2,800 terror incidents resulting in death, injury or kidnapping. As a result of those incidents, more than 20,000 people were killed, hurt or kidnapped.

Behind the statistics, a brutal reality. Attacks against Iraqi civilians doubled in 2005, according to the State Department.

The report says terrorists want Iraq for themselves.

CRUMPTON: Al Qaeda and affiliates are desperate to claim Iraq as their own. This is why Zarqawi fears a viable Iraqi nation and foments terrorist attacks and sectarian violence. STARR: Secretary Rumsfeld making it clear he has big hopes for the new Iraqi leaders.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: They're serious people. They recognize the difficulties of the tasks they're facing. And they intend to get about the tasks of governing this country in a responsible way. So I come away very encouraged by them.


STARR: And, Lou, just how deadly is Iraq for U.S. troops? Well, in the month of April, 68 U.S. troops died in Iraq. That is more than double the number the month before in March -- Lou.

DOBBS: And the highest number of casualties so far this year, unfortunately.

Barbara Starr, thank you very much, reporting from the Pentagon.

Let's take a look now at your thoughts.

Herb in Texas wrote in to say, "Illegal immigration is an oxymoron. Crossing a border uninvited is no longer immigration but an invasion, or at least unlawful entry. How are we ever going to fix a problem that we can't even correctly identify?"

Steven and Flo in Oregon saying, "When illegal immigrants and their supporters take to the streets May 1st, we'll be taking to the stores in support of the U.S. economy and legal immigration."

Alan in New Jersey, "Dear Lou, Do you mean to tell me that on May 1st the elite will have to care for their own children, cut their lawns and cook their own meals? How can the illegal aliens be so cruel?"

And Terri in Massachusetts, "On May 1st, do illegal aliens plan on boycotting U.S. hospital emergency rooms, too?"

And Liz in Rhode Island, "Lou, U.S. citizens already have a method of protesting amnesty legislation -- it's called voting."

Send us your thoughts at We'll have more of your thoughts later here.

Coming up next, mass demonstrations, a nationwide boycott to support illegal immigration scheduled for Monday. Javier Rodriguez calls it the "Great American Boycott of 2006." He'll be here to tell us all about it.

And President Bush is allowing the sale of some of our weapons plants to a foreign government. Top political analysts take a look at the implications of that and a great deal more this election year.

And in our weekly tribute to our men and women if uniform, "Heroes," an Army reservist tonight whose heroism under fire earned him the Silver Star. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Mexican lawmakers are on their way to Los Angeles to participate in Monday's boycott and demonstrations in support of amnesty for all illegal aliens in this country. The Mexican government lawmakers last night passed a resolution showing their overwhelming support for the demonstrations and boycott in the United States. All political parties in the lower house of the Mexican Congress approved the resolution. This is just the latest example of Mexican politics trying to influence U.S. policy and U.S. public opinion in the illegal alien amnesty debate.

Illegal aliens in this country and their supporters intend to severely disrupt the nation's economy and our schools with their boycott and demonstrations Monday. The groups will not consider their boycott a success unless they succeed in basically shutting down our cities and pressuring Congress to pass amnesty for all illegal aliens.

Joining me tonight from Los Angeles, Javier Rodriguez, a spokesperson for the boycott. Javier, it's good to have you here. Thank you.


DOBBS: You think you're going to be able to shut down entire cities with these demonstrations and boycotts?

RODRIGUEZ: No doubt about it. We have the support of tens of millions of people, and not just immigrants. It's plain, common Americans in this country that have started to see immigrants with pride and support them. And as you well know, the polls are clearly indicating that the majority of Americans support legalization of undocumented immigrants.

DOBBS: Javier, let's -- President Bush today weighed in on your plans for a boycott. Here is what the president said today. Let's listen.


BUSH: I'm not a supporter of boycotts. I am a supporter of comprehensive immigration.


DOBBS: What's your reaction? He doesn't like this boycott idea.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, you know, he has no moral authority, really. Let me say that we have a letter from one of the legislators that clearly states that it was Bush's administration that included -- demanded and included the criminalization clauses in the Sensenbrenner bill.

So let's say that the president is really out of touch with our communities and with the American mainstream. No doubt about it.

DOBBS: Javier, he's not going to be very happy, nor is the Republican Party, because they have been pandering relentlessly to the Hispanic community and to the open borders and illegal alien activist groups looking for your votes. You don't sound like you're going to support him.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, of course not. No, we also can think in a broad basis, and we see several issues here, including a war that was fabricated. But look it -- the American people in several polls are indicating that they sympathize and want their workers, they want their neighbors, they want their students to be legalized. And in addition to that, they do not want any type of criminalization of any people, including American citizens.

And the reason we're having a boycott is to make sure -- to make sure that the Sensenbrenner bill, it's put to rest, totally. And to make sure that...

DOBBS: Javier?

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, sir?

DOBBS: Let me just quote you. Yesterday, Reuters quoted you as saying, if we could see that quote, "we want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here illegally." That is the message that's going to be played out across the country on May 1st, obviously Monday.

The idea that you want amnesty for everybody here, you really -- you're not going to accept anything less than that?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, let's use the contemporary term, Lou. We want an integral, comprehensive legalization of the immigrants that are in this country. And, yes, full legalization for everyone.

Now, if you remember 1986 -- and I directed the mass struggle then. There were 2.5 million people that were left out of the game. There, there in the womb of the IRCA 1986 law...

DOBBS: Wait, wait.

RODRIGUEZ: ... the immigrant rights struggle was born.

DOBBS: You said 2.5 million people were left out.

RODRIGUEZ: Excuse me?

DOBBS: You said 2.5 million people were left out.


DOBBS: You know, Congress and the president have been told and then told the American people that there are only about 2.5 million illegal aliens in the country in 1986. Turned out there were, well, a couple million more than that. RODRIGUEZ: Precisely.

DOBBS: What do you think will happen this time?

RODRIGUEZ: Precisely. Precisely. That's exactly what the message is. Don't leave any people out, because then you're going to have the same problem again as we did in 1986.

DOBBS: Javier, there's something different this time.

RODRIGUEZ: From there on, we began -- from there on, we began the struggle for immigrant rights. Now, let's say this contemporary 20-year struggle.

DOBBS: You call it a struggle. You know, I call it a travesty that those who are concerned about the people who are here illegally have not been able to voice that concern in Mexico, which is the source of most illegal immigration to this country. Didn't have the courage to defeat corruption and incompetence in the Mexican government and create a way of life.

RODRIGUEZ: Oh, that's absolutely not true. Remember...

DOBBS: Well, it is...

RODRIGUEZ: ... that your best allies, Lou, your best allies are those corrupt politicians. Meaning your...

DOBBS: They may be your best allies, not mine.

RODRIGUEZ: ... meaning the American administration...

DOBBS: Let me go to this point. What happens, Javier...


DOBBS: What happens if Monday, middle class Americans of all races, creeds and religions, voting U.S. citizens, watch this boycott and these demonstrations and decide they're going to have their voices heard? What happens then?

RODRIGUEZ: Lou, Lou, let me tell you that government employees, market employees, service employees, employees from all walks of life that are not undocumented, that are not immigrants, are going to be participating in this boycott. We have it documented. Students -- the student population throughout the country is going to participate. It's going to be a combination of undocumented students who are fighting for their rights to a full education, as well as their colleagues in schools.

DOBBS: Javier?


DOBBS: I don't know who they're fighting, because those who are here illegally are being taken care of in some cases in communities that are simply swamped with students that they don't have a tax base for, for whom employers don't provide any tax support to public education. It's going to be a remarkable day, I am sure, and we look forward to talking with you as we move forward.

RODRIGUEZ: It's going to be a wonderful day, Lou.

DOBBS: We shall see, partner.

RODRIGUEZ: We shall see. Yes.

DOBBS: Javier Rodriguez, we thank you.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.

DOBBS: An Hispanic civil rights group is suing the town of Mamaroneck, New York for closing down an illegal alien day labor site. Mamaroneck closed that site earlier this year because it had become a security risk and a health hazard. Illegal alien supporters say the town is violating the constitutional rights of illegal aliens by refusing to provide a site where they can look for work and exercise their right of free speech and assembly, one presumes.

The middle class, coming up, taking a beating as our elected officials simply ignore hard-working legal men and women in this country and their families. We'll tell you what the president didn't tell you about today's economic report.

And "Heroes." Tonight, our tribute to our men and women serving this nation in uniform around the world. You'll meet Specialist Jeremy Church, the first Army reservist ever to earn a Silver Star in Iraq. Stay with us.


DOBBS: This just in, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh tonight in Palm Beach County, Florida, arrested as part of a deal apparently to settle a long-running state investigation into a prescription drug abuse. The West Palm Beach Florida sheriff's office saying Limbaugh as a part of that settlement deal had to turn himself in to authorities tonight after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

In this settlement deal, the state charges that Limbaugh shopped around for doctors in order to obtain prescription drugs will be dismissed in 18 months. The charges will be dismissed.

Limbaugh's also agreed to continue to seek treatment from a doctor who has been successfully treating him for his addiction. And he also pleaded not guilty to fraud charges. This is a deal that sounds like it is only possible in Palm Beach County, Florida. But that's the latest for you.

ED ROLLINS, FMR. WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIR.: Unless you are the leader of the transit union in New York.

DOBBS: Well, New York is an exception in itself.

Obviously, I've been joined here by Ed Rollins and Michael Goodwin and Robert Zimmerman. We thank you all for being here.

Let's start with -- if we may move from Rush Limbaugh quickly to the president of the United States, actually coming out, Michael Goodwin, and declaring he doesn't think there should be a national anthem in Spanish. For a man who has been pandering for Hispanic votes in this country, this was a courageous step, was it not?

MICHAEL GOODWIN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Well, I think he is moving a little bit now. I think that he realizes he can't get a deal. He can't get legislation unless he brings the House in. And the house of course is resisting the amnesty or anything like it. So...

DOBBS: But that's all he wants is amnesty.

GOODWIN: I know, but he's not going to get anything if he stays to that. So today he said he was for border enforcement. And the Justice Department has been low and behold rounding up illegal aliens who had deportation orders for years.

DOBBS: Yes, that's one of the funniest things in the world. But these porous borders -- last week Homeland Security, rounds up 1,200 nationwide illegal aliens, 200 of them are deported. The rest are released into the community -- nearly all of the rest are released into the community for a later court date, which means they just went right back into society. And those deported will come right across the border.

ROLLINS: Well, the ones who deported had some kind of a criminal record and they already had warrants out for them. So they should have been arrested then.

GOODWIN: Well, they already had deportation orders.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I'm not sure how qualified George Bush is to discuss the use of the English language in any capacity. Putting that aside for a moment, this whole debate about the national anthem is really nothing more than a distraction.

It is a political ploy to avoid addressing the real issues, which is tighter border and tighter port security, which this administration has failed the country in over six years. I think that's the issue that's got to be No. 1 on the agenda.

DOBBS: You mean you are interested in border and port security when we're engaged in a global war on radical Islamist terrorism, Robert?

ZIMMERMAN: As a matter of fact...

DOBBS: That's shocking.

ZIMMERMAN: ...every Democrat is that I know.

DOBBS: Every Democrat...



GOODWIN: That's news.


ZIMMERMAN: I'll take what I can get, you know.

DOBBS: The idea that we are sitting here 4 1/2 years later discussing this and at the same time now with the Doncaster deal, another Dubai deal, in which Dubai will end up having control of plants -- nine plants in this country, providing integral parts for tanks, for aircraft. I mean, what in the world -- what in the world does it take to assert national security ahead of commerce and trade these days on the part of both parties, Robert?

ZIMMERMAN: There is no question, it's a bipartisan disgrace. But I think in this case what's most stunning to me about this story is the fact that the information was delivered to the speaker and delivered as classified. And the proper reporting disclosure requirements required by the Bush administration is not being done. And the oversight by Congress is not being done.

But this is the problem that's been brewing for years. It didn't start with Bush but certainly he and the Republican Congress have done nothing to address it.

DOBBS: Yes, we have -- all in all context and fairness, we have got to say the Clinton administration basically turned over the store to communist China as well doing work-arounds to turn over the long beach port exporting satellite technology, exporting all sorts of technology with the blessings of the administration.

ROLLINS: There are certain -- for many, many years we built our own submarines, we built our own tanks, we had federal shipyards and we decided that was too expensive. But it was in the best interest of national security. We are at a point today where we are going to almost have to replenish our entire fleet of tanks and everything else when we get back from this war, whenever we get back from this war.

And we may end up both the quality of the material and also find ourselves in a position where we don't control what certainly puts our men and women at risk.

GOODWIN: Well, and I think it goes to computers, it goes to telecommunications. I mean, I had a call from a man about -- he says he is the last American involved in the underwater sea cable business, that Indians are buying up all the transmission cables.

DOBBS: May I bring -- because we were the first to report that. In point of fact, all of the broadband undersea cable, most of it developed by Global Crossing, was sold for literally cents on the dollar and turned over to the Pacific, primarily to India, with the blessings, again, of CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which blessed initially the Dubai Ports deal.

This is a committee that has voted against one deal in its entire history. That's how committed it is. And, by the way, that one deal was against the Chinese in the president's father's administration.

GOODWIN: Well, and I think, Lou, that what we are going to need to do is have a policy. It isn't just kind of ad hoc reaction to a company or a country that comes in with a deal. But we are going to need a policy that protects this critical infrastructure and military issues. But so far we don't have one.

DOBBS: The middle class in this country find representation in the United States Congress, either the House or the Senate, from Democrats and Republicans, and now we're going to have to get a -- have our lawmakers, our policymakers, sign an affidavit saying you won't work against the national interest? Is that what's really required here, Ed?

ROLLINS: What's happened is because of the political polarization that's been in existence for the last six or seven years, no one is in charge. Administration obviously should be in charge but they aren't looking daily at things that really matter to ordinary people.

And I think to a certain extent, I don't want to see a president carrying a stick of lumber. I mean, I saw Jimmy Carter do that. And this president now has poll numbers down like Jimmy Carter. I want to see a president sit around a table with serious people and start trying to solve the problems of America. I don't want to see any more photo-ops. I have watched seven years, eight, six years of this crap.

ZIMMERMAN: But it is a very interesting point that Ed is making. Because during your tenure in Reagan administration there were very fierce debates. But, Ed, you always brought people to the table and that was the difference.

DOBBS: They also got things done.

ZIMMERMAN: That is exactly right.

DOBBS: Even though George Schultz famously said in this town, nothing is ever resolved.

ZIMMERMAN: No, but they did. They had a record of accomplishment. And it was many times bipartisan. You've got a climate right now where George Bush has lost even the confidence of the Republicans in Congress. There is a complete crisis of confidence in the administration.

And Mike Goodwin's column clearly reflected that in talking about the crisis of confidence. And the analogy to the Carter years is very much on target.

DOBBS: We have a quote here that I'd like to put up. Michael Goodwin saying, quote, in his column -- if I may quote you and allow you to speak to your own quote -- of our quote about your quote. ROLLINS: Pulitzer Prize winner.

DOBBS: "As Bush might soon learn, there is something worse than being unpopular -- it's being irrelevant," is that where he is?

GOODWIN: Well, I think he is very weak now. And you see what's going on in Congress. He is not in control of the immigration debate, the gasoline stuff. He is clearly behind everybody.

DOBBS: Some of us would say, thank God.

GOODWIN: Well, but he's behind the curve on everything now. And I think he's operating from a position of weakness with both parties. And so he has no control. So, yes, he is fast approaching irrelevancy because what he says doesn't move the needle for anybody.

ROLLINS: The danger is we have a thousand days to go with this administration, and we're at a point where we have probably the greatest threat of real Americans being killed in incidents not only in foreign soil but domestically. And we don't have a political confidence on either party at this point in time. And I think that's the scary thing to me.

ZIMMERMAN: But to me, the great danger that concerns me as we approach the November election is that we have a Congress that's not performing their job. They are not performing the proper check and balance on the administration.

DOBBS: Well, let me ask you. We're going into Monday, May 1, a socialist workers communist day, certainly not recognized in this country as a labor day. We had the good judgment to create our own. These boycotts, these demonstrations in support of amnesty, as Javier Rodriguez and other organizers say, for all illegal aliens in this country, do you think that there should be a middle class of workers, working men and women in this country, a middle class response to that idea that a day without illegal aliens? What do you think, Robert?

ZIMMERMAN: Look, the bottom line is I think the idea of creating more polarization amongst the illegal alien, the illegal immigrant community and the American worker is not productive. We can't avoid the real issue, which is we have 11...

DOBBS: Then why are these boycotts occurring?

ZIMMERMAN: I am not supporting these boycotts. I think they contribute to the polarization.

DOBBS: But if they influence Congress.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, I don't think they will. I think it might backfire on Congress. To me, the bigger issue is what do we do with them?

ROLLINS: I don't think they will. And I think if they want to run around with Mexican flags as opposed to American flags, you know, there's a place for them to go. They can go back home. I think at this point in time, the bigger these protests are, the more people's backs are going to get up and there's going to be a retaliatory action taken by Americans.

DOBBS: Michael Goodwin, you get the last word.

GOODWIN: Well, I think the first round of protests did influence Congress. I think that's how Kennedy-McCain became sort of the bill that was going to pass. There was a backlash after that. Now I think we're kind of at a stalemate again, so I think what happens next week could have a big impact either way. But clearly it is going to have an impact.

DOBBS: Robert Zimmerman, Michael Goodwin, Ed Rollins, gentlemen, thank you very much.

ROLLINS: Thank you.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.

DOBBS: A reminder now to vote in our poll. do you believe the Bush administration, by approving the Dubai Doncasters deal, has once again put commerce and trade ahead of national security? Yes or no. Cast your vote please, at We'll have the results coming up here in just a few minutes.

Up next in "Heroes," our tribute to our men and women serving this nation in uniform around the world. Tonight, the extraordinary story of an Army Reserve specialist who won a high honor for valor. Stay with us.


DOBBS: It's time for "Heroes," our weekly tribute to our men and women in uniform. Tonight, the story of Army Reserve Specialist Jeremy Church and his extraordinary heroism under fire when he was a private in combat in Iraq. Philippa Holland has his story.


PHILIPPA HOLLAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was April 2004 and Private First Class Jeremy Church was the lead driver for a fuel convoy in Baghdad.

SPEC. JEREMY CHURCH, U.S. ARMY RESERVE: We started noticing tendencies that the military teaches you on recognization (ph), people not being around, lack of traffic. And we're like, well, this might not be a good thing.

HOLLAND: Quickly, they were attacked -- 200 insurgents with improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles and machine guns.

CHURCH: Two rounds came through the front window and struck my lieutenant in the head. From there, I looked over, grabbed my medical bag, put it over his eye for him, and continued to drive and fire out my window. HOLLAND: Church managed to lead the convoy back to the base but a quick count showed there were soldiers missing.

CHURCH: When I looked back outside the gates, you could see their vehicle stranded about a mile out. I just grabbed my weapon, and told them that's where we needed to go, and we jumped in a Humvee and went out there to get them. And we had pretty good resistance going back out.

HOLLAND: Under heavy fire, they battled back to the stranded soldiers and loaded the wounded into the Humvee. But there was not enough room for Private Church and another soldier.

CHURCH: I said you guys don't have enough room. Try to hurry back. Me and Specialist Cowls (ph) stayed out there, kept fighting the enemy.

HOLLAND: The Army credits Church with saving the lives of at least five soldiers and four civilians that day. Now a specialist, Church was awarded the Silver Star for his gallantry in action. He's the first Army Reservist to receive the Silver Star in this war.

CHURCH: I didn't really know how to take it. You don't really ask to get those kind of things, ma'am. You just be honored that they decided to award you it.

HOLLAND: Philippa Holland, CNN.


DOBBS: Specialist Church returned to Iraq five weeks ago. He's now serving with the 454th Transportation Company.

Still ahead here, the results of tonight's poll, and more of your thoughts. Stay with us.


DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight, 98 percent of you say that Bush administration by approving the Dubai Doncasters deal has once again put commerce and trade ahead of national security.

Taking a look now at more of your thoughts, Glenda in Illinois: "Well, Lou, if we had 20 million Chinese or Muslims coming across our borders, it would be called an invasion and they would call out the National Guard. Oh, silly me. They can't do that. They sent them to Iraq to protect their borders."

And Wayne in North Carolina: "Lou, the president obviously does not watch your show if he believes the border is secure" -- as he said this week. "Please, please send him a tape to bring him up to speed before it's too late. If his credibility gets any lower, we won't believe him when he says, 'I'm the president.'" Now, there's a thought.

And Billy Joe in North Carolina: "Before they settle the illegal immigration problem, Congress should increase the minimum wage by the same percentage they've raised their salaries since 1997. Fair is fair."

Send us your thoughts at Each of you whose e-mail is read here receives a copy of my book, "Exporting America."

We thank you for being with us tonight. Please join us here Monday. We'll have complete coverage of the boycotts, demonstrations and protests by illegal aliens and their supporters demanding amnesty.

Have a great weekend. For all of us here, thanks for watching. Good night from New York.

"THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.