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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Pentagon Says China's Military Buildup Destabilizing Asia; President Bush Declares United States Will Aid Israel Should Iran Attack; Senate Moving Forward With Immigration Reform Bill That Would Give Amnesty; Mexican President Vicente Fox's Amnesty Agenda; Jeff Sessions Interview; Radio Talk Show Hosts Debate Immigration Issues
Aired May 23, 2006 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the Pentagon says communist China's massive military buildup is destabilizing Asia and could present a long-term challenge to the United States and U.S. interests.
And the U.S. Senate is marching toward an immigration reform bill, so-called, that would result in tens of millions being added to the U.S. population at an estimated cost of nearly $100 billion over the next decade.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Tuesday, May 23rd.
Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.
The Bush administration may be awakening to the geopolitical and military challenge posed by communist China. The Pentagon today delivered one of the strongest warnings yet about communist China's huge military buildup and its escalating strategic threat to U.S. interests in the Pacific-Asian region. The Pentagon says communist China's military is now stronger than ever and Taiwan no longer has the ability to prevent a Chinese invasion, should that ever occur.
Meanwhile, President Bush today declared that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. President Bush discussed Iran's nuclear threat and other issues with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the White House.
Jamie McIntyre tonight reports from the Pentagon on communist China's dangerous military expansion. Suzanne Malveaux reports from the White House on the summit between President Bush and the Israeli prime minister.
We turn to Jamie McIntyre first -- Jamie.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, this is the annual report that the Pentagon sends to Congress, and this year Congress is hearing about China's increasing military strength.
J. MCINTYRE (voice-over): A decade ago, experts insisted the only way China's low-tech military could defeat Taiwan was in mock invasions like this exercise conducted with the Russians last summer. But the Pentagon's new report on China's rapidly growing military power concludes, "The cross-Strait military balance is shifting in the mainland's favor..."
The report notes China has deployed 400,000 ground troops to three military regions opposite Taiwan, an increase of 25,000 since last year, and has better armed them with more tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery pieces. In addition, China has aimed nearly 800 short-range missiles at Taiwan and is adding about 100 more each year.
But the Pentagon report suggests China's massive military buildup is aimed at far more than simply preventing Taiwanese independence. "Current trends," it says, "could provide China with a force capable of prosecuting a range of military operations in Asia, well beyond Taiwan, potentially posing a credible threat to modern militaries operating in the region."
DAN BLUMENTHAL, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: China is propelled on to the world stage because it has interests all over now. And so the military is thinking of ways to secure those interests.
J. MCINTYRE: China's been pumping billions into its military for years. It says its defense budget for 2006 is $35 billion, up a healthy 15 percent over last year. But the Pentagon insists the real amount is more like $70 billion to $105 billion.
The report notes, "Several aspects of China's military development have surprised U.S. analysts, including the pace and scope of its strategic forces modernization." In this case, "strategic" refers to nuclear. And while the report says there's no evidence China is abandoning its no first use of nuclear weapons, it is both "quantitatively and qualitatively" improving its long-range nuclear missile force.
J. MCINTYRE: And the Pentagon's report concludes that should China ever invade Taiwan, Taiwan's survival would depend almost entirely on the speed with which the United States could come to its rescue. So part of China's military strategy is to have enough military might to give the U.S. some serious pause -- Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Jamie.
Jamie McIntyre, from the Pentagon.
Later in this broadcast, two of the country's most distinguished authorities on communist China and its strategic military buildup join us, Frang Gaffney and Gordon Chang.
Today President Bush declared that the United States will come to Israel's aid should Iran attack Israel. The president's comments came at a White House news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Two days ago, Olmert told CNN Iran could make a nuclear bomb within months.
Suzanne Malveaux reports from the White House -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, there were a number of issues that these two leaders punted on, namely negotiations over a two-state solution, their dealings with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. But both leaders were very clear on this point, they thought it was very dangerous the idea of a nuclearized Iran, and both leaders saying it was not something that they would tolerate.
President Bush making it very clear that the United States stands behind Israel on this point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States and the international community have made our common position clear. We're determined that the Iranian regime must not gain nuclear weapons.
I told the prime minister what I've stated publicly before. Israel is a close friend and ally of the United States. And in the event of any attack on Israel, the United States will come to Israel's aid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Now, Lou, of course very important to note is President Bush did not explicitly say that this was U.S. military aid. This is something, of course, that you read between the lines.
The president also not making a commitment that would be any kind of preemptive strike in the case that there was evidence that Iran was poised to strike Israel. Israel in the past has actually struck Iraq in the case of 1981. This is not something that the president really has signed or endorsing on, but clearly saying that he believes the diplomatic solution is important. But the United States does have the backing, of course, of Israel.
DOBBS: Suzanne, thank you very much.
Suzanne Malveaux, from the White House.
Tomorrow here, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will be joining us for an exclusive live interview. And we'll have plenty to talk about. Please be sure to join us tomorrow, right here on CNN, of course.
On Capitol Hill, outrage tonight after a leading Democratic senator, Senator Dianne Feinstein, tried to allow every illegal alien in this country to become a U.S. citizen, amnesty for all. Senator Feinstein's amendment was defeated by 61 votes to 37. But the Senate is still moving forward, aggressively, with an immigration reform bill, so-called, that would give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in this country. Louise Schiavone reports.
LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The guest worker program of the Senate bill seemed implausible even to liberal Democrat Dianne Feinstein. She argued there was no way that an illegal who had made a life in the United States for five years or less would essentially self-deport.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: You will have large-scale fraud. People here, slightly less than two years, will present fraudulent documents to show they are here for two years.
SCHIAVONE: Feinstein's proposed orange card system, allowing all illegals to remain, was rejected by right, left and moderates as too risky for a bill that was already bordering on the politically impossible.
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Because if this amendment were to be adopted, the very delicate, fragile coalition which we have for this bill would, I think, fail.
SCHIAVONE: Indeed, as Senate leaders move closer to passage of the measure, it's becoming more obvious that they are on a collision course with the conservative House leadership.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: We're not going through this exercise to just have something die in conference. We -- we want to pass something.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Much is at stake for the nation. Much is at stake for our party. We have the White House, we have the Senate, and we have the House. If we can't solve this problem because it's politically too hard for us, people are going to turn to another group to solve this problem.
SCHIAVONE: Even as President Bush has called upon the House to work with an immigration reform bill that not only secures the borders but also creates a guest worker program, an aide to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert tells CNN that the speaker will not permit a vote on anything running contrary to the will of the majority of House Republicans.
SCHIAVONE: So, Lou, as the Senate delicately threads its own political needle this week, there's little doubt that a Senate bill will emerge. But when it comes to the next step, House-Senate negotiations, all bets are off -- Lou.
DOBBS: Remarkable. And Louise, I'll be talking here later with Senator Jeff Sessions, who has done something unexpected. He has raised the issue of what will this cost the American taxpayer, this amnesty bill, this guest worker program proposed by the Senate and now being forged in the Senate. We'll be talking with him about the economic impact here latter in the broadcast.
Louise, thank you very much.
Louise Schiavone, from Washington.
On that bill, by the way, that amendment introduced by Dianne Feinstein, a total of 37 senators, 36 of them Democrats, voted in favor of the Feinstein amendment which would grant amnesty to every illegal alien in this country, although no one knows for certain whether the number is 11 million, 12 million or 20 million. And only eight Democrats in the Senate voted against the legislation.
Among the Democrats now on record supporting that sweeping amnesty proposal, senators Hillary Clinton; Chuck Schumer of New York; Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts; and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada; and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. Only one Republican, Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, supported it.
If you would like to read a complete list of how your senator voted on the Feinstein amendment and other immigration reform amendments -- we use the term "reform" advisedly -- go to LouDobbs.com.
A short while ago, Senator Majority Leader Senator Bill Frist said the Senate will vote on the immigration bill Thursday. Senator Frist told Wolf Blitzer that he believe the Senate has held a good debate on this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN), MAJORITY LEADER: By the time we finish, we will have probably over 23, 24 Republican amendments voted upon, maybe 10, 15, or maybe more than that, Democratic amendments. And that's the way our legislative body is supposed to work. Not everybody is going to agree with it, not a perfect bill, but the best of what our legislative body can do, addressing very real issues that are out there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Senator Frist said the debate has allowed critics of the Senate's bill to present their points of view.
Still ahead here, as the Senate moves closer to voting for a bill that would give amnesty to illegal alien and do absolutely nothing for border security, one of the legislation's leading critics joins me, Senator Jeff Sessions. Senator Sessions says the Senate should be ashamed of itself. He says the bill would cost tens of billions of dollars and no one is talking about that.
President Vicente Fox of Mexico is in this country now. He's pushing the amnesty agenda for his citizens in this country. We'll have complete coverage.
And the federal government knows thousands of employers that are breaking the law and hiring illegal aliens. But your government hasn't prosecuted a single case. Not a single case.
We'll have that special report, and a great deal more.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Mexican President Vicente Fox has arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the beginning of a four-day visit to the western part of the country. Fox will spend the night in Salt Lake City. He travels then to Washington State tomorrow for talks with business leaders there.
Fox then heads to California Thursday, where he will address the California legislature and meet with Governor Schwarzenegger. Then he flies back to Mexico Friday night.
President Fox will not meet with President Bush on this trip. He won't even go to Washington. But he will be aggressively fighting for a common goal that the two men share, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and Mexican citizens living and working in this country.
We have two reports on the Fox visit to the United States tonight. Ed Lavandera is with President Fox in Salt Lake City, and Casey Wian reports on Fox's amnesty agenda.
We begin with Ed Lavandera -- Ed.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, President Vicente Fox is scheduled to give three speeches in his 24 hours here in Salt Lake City. He just wrapped up his first one.
Not a single mention of the word "immigration" in his first speech to business leaders. Instead, the Mexican president focusing completely on talking business, encouraging more business trade between Utah businessmen and businesses in Mexico as well.
But he is on his way now to a meeting with Mexican immigrants at a community shelter here in Salt Lake City. It's expected he might address a little bit of those immigration issues starting tonight. If not, he's scheduled to speak before the Utah legislature tomorrow, and that's where organizers of this trip say they are very anxious to hear what the Mexican president has to say.
But the organizers of this trip say he -- they know he's walking a fine line, where President Vicente Fox, they say, does not appear to be influencing American politics, especially while the immigration legislation is being debated in the Senate. But everyone here knows full well that part of this trip is to encourage people out here in the western portion of the United States to buy into what he would like to see happen in the immigration debate -- Lou.
DOBBS: Ed, you said he's meeting with immigrants. Are those legal immigrants or, by chance, do you mean illegal aliens?
LAVANDERA: Many of the immigrants that will be meeting here today are legal. Although, you know, presumably there might be some illegal immigrants in the audience as well.
DOBBS: OK. Ed, if the -- if the statistics hold true in Utah, as well as the rest of the country, I suspect you are right.
Ed, thank you very much.
Ed Lavandera, covering President Vicente Fox's visit, beginning with Utah.
It is no coincidence that Utah is the first stop on President Fox's tour of the United States. Governor John Huntsman of Utah has been an aggressive, avid supporter of Fox's amnesty agenda for illegal aliens, or Mexican citizens in this country illegally. Now it is time for President Fox to return the governor's favor and reward Governor Huntsman.
Casey Wian reports.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This Mexican military incursion was fully authorized. A Mexican air force jet carrying President Vicente Fox was not just invited to Utah, but encouraged to visit by Governor Huntsman.
PRES. VICENTE FOX, MEXICO: We fully support the businessmen from Utah and Mexico.
WIAN: Last year, Huntsman traveled to Mexico, hoping to discuss business opportunities with President Fox, who is more interested in so-called immigration reform. Huntsman promised to promote a guest worker program and eventually help convince the Western Governors Association to support the idea. Now Fox is repaying Utah's governor and visiting a state with a growing reputation as an illegal alien sanctuary.
Last year, Utah approved a law granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens. They also received reduced in-state tuition rates at state colleges. And the governor wants to hire Mexican teachers to teach English to immigrants in Utah schools. Open borders advocates want even more.
TONY YAPIAS, PROYECTO LATINO DE UTAH: I hope we can strengthen those ties, we can strengthen the -- our cultural education and business relationships in Mexico.
WIAN: Utah's dominant religion, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaches that a lost tribe of Israelites are the ancestors of indigenous people in Latin America. Mormons have converted a million Mexicans to their faith, and many welcome them to Utah with no regard for legal status.
Utah's minutemen plan to protest Fox's presence in their state.
ALEX SEGURA, UTAH MINUTEMAN PROJECT: It seems the only thing he does is continue to push people towards America to help offset the costs of these people in his country. And he hasn't really come up with an economic plan in Mexico to help alleviate those very problems.
WIAN: It's estimated Utah has about 100,000 illegal aliens, and the number is growing rapidly. Utah is also a part of the territory some militant Latino activists refer to as Aztlan, the portion of the southwest United States they claim rightfully belongs to Mexico.
WIAN: You could call this the Vicente Fox Aztlan tour, since the three states he'll visit, Utah, Washington, and California, are all part of some radical group's vision of the mythical indigenous homeland -- Lou.
DOBBS: Casey, thank you very much. I was just struck by the idea that the Church of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, seems to be looking south just as avidly and aggressively as the Catholic Church to add to a few folks to those pews.
WIAN: Absolutely. As we reported, a million Mormons now in the country of Mexico. It's one of the fastest growing, if not the fastest growing religious group in the country. The Mormon Church has opened 12 temples there -- Lou.
DOBBS: That's aggressive, indeed, or successful, depending on your perspective.
Casey, thank you very much.
President Fox won't be addressing identity theft by his citizens in this country, whether legal or illegally. As many as 80,000 illegal aliens live in Utah. That's the best estimate.
Utah's attorney general apparently not getting the word from Governor Huntsman, as a growing number of those illegal aliens are using stolen Social Security numbers for their work papers -- 132,000 Utah residents had their Social Security numbers stolen in 2000. That's five percent of Utah's population. There hasn't been an update since then.
Congressman Chris Cannon of Provo, Utah, probably doesn't want to see President Fox when he's in Utah either. The congressman is a strong supporter of guest worker programs and so-called comprehensive immigration reform, and that support cost him the state Republican Party endorsement. Congressman Cannon now faces a primary next month. The challenger supports securing the border first and enforcing existing immigration laws.
What a radical agenda.
Still ahead here tonight, the U.S. government could easily prosecute illegal aliens stealing the identities of American citizens should they want to. Instead, your government has chosen to do nothing. A special report coming up. And Senator Jeff Sessions will be here. He says our nation's immigration crisis will be even worse than anyone ever imagined if the Senate does go ahead and pass comprehensive immigration reform. Senator Sessions is our guest. We'll be talking about some hidden costs in this amnesty agenda.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: A government source tells CNN tonight that authorities waited almost three weeks to alert the public about the theft of personal data on more than 26 million veterans. The government announced yesterday that the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of every living veteran from 1975 to today had been stolen from the home of a Veterans Affairs data analyst.
The Veterans Affairs Department says the theft appears to be a random burglary. Officials said they waited so long to alert the public because they didn't want to immediately tip off burglars to the significance of what they had stolen.
Tonight, there's further evidence of government negligence and incompetence emerging from the Social Security Administration. The federal government knows thousands of employers are hiring illegal workers. It even knows who they are, but it hasn't prosecuted. It has not prosecuted a single case.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fake work papers with stolen Social Security numbers. The government has a list of the top 100 employers who hire illegal aliens and file fake Social Security numbers by the hundreds, or even thousands. The names on the list are not public. And the offenders are not prosecuted.
One congressman is outraged.
REP. CLAY SHAW (R), FLORIDA: One of the things that we can do, which I think would be a very good idea, Phil English and I are co- sponsoring a bill that would say, hey, if they don't match up, if they are illegal, then you can't deduct their wages from your income tax. That will stop it real quick.
PILGRIM: But the government's own report show lack of enforcement year after year.
2002: "Hundreds of thousands of unauthorized workers have used fraudulent documents."
2004: "Many suspended items involve the agricultural industry, which has transient employees who may not have work authorizations."
2005: "An employer who used one Social Security number for 2,580 different earnings reports in a tax year."
2006: "Even the best information will not make a difference if the relevant federal agencies do not have credible enforcement programs."
More than half of the worst offenders are employers in just three states: California, Texas, and Illinois.
Labor lawyers say illegal workers are often protected by unions in their industries who pressure employers not to follow up on extensive verifications.
PETER STERGIOS, ATTORNEY, GREENBERG TRAURIG: We have certain unions who vigorously will interpose themselves as shields where they can to protect employees' rights to work, irrespective of the status of the documentation.
PILGRIM: Ninety-five percent of employers on the top 100 worst offenders list were in three industries: services, restaurants and agriculture.
PILGRIM: In at least six reports in recent years, the Social Security Administration inspector general has recommended that his agency coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security to clear up the fake work papers. They haven't done it yet. The president could change all of this with an executive order, but, Lou, he hasn't done it either.
DOBBS: I wonder why not?
PILGRIM: You know, well, we had...
DOBBS: You know, Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general, talking about reporters. He wants to enforce the law when it comes to reporters. But there is a laundry list a mile long of laws this government isn't enforcing.
This president is talking about comprehensive immigration reform, and he won't even go after culpable employers, who are really the source of this problem on this side of the border. Amazing.
PILGRIM: It's unbelievable.
DOBBS: It's incredible. This government is absolutely dysfunctional.
PILGRIM: There are just too many vested interests in keeping it the way it is.
DOBBS: Too many vested interests, corporate interests -- let's say it like it is -- and special interests.
Thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim. Go to our Web site, LouDobbs.com, if you want to report Social Security fraud. You'll find the Social Security Administration's toll-free fraud hotline. Also, a link to the Social Security Administration's Web site for reporting fraud.
Now, I can't promise you at all that these people will do anything about the fraud. They don't seem to really like to do much of anything in terms of enforcing the law. But nonetheless, if you want to go through the exercise, it's LouDobbs.com. We'll help you as best we can.
Taking a look now at some of your thoughts.
Nancy in New York, "Lou, please ask someone who is against English as a national language why we only help those speaking Spanish. In order to be fair, shouldn't all forms, signs, et cetera, be in every language of every immigrant?"
And Elliot in California, "I was recently in Mexico. Believe it or not, there were no street signs there in English. There were no bilingual schools. There were no English directions at the laundromat."
And Rosy in Connecticut, "Lou, my goodness. Where did the question of which language should be used in the United States come from? This is America, damn it. We speak English. What is the problem? Excuse my attitude, but I've had it, Lou."
Well, I'm actually right there with you.
And A. Perez in Texas, "Lou, I am a Latin-American and I can clearly state LULAC does not represent me. They should change their name to LUMAC, League of United Mexican Citizens."
And Joanne in Michigan, "Dear Lou, take away all the perks that are allowing illegal aliens to live here off our government... free welfare, healthcare, et cetera, and watch them turn and run."
Send us your thoughts at LouDobbs.com. We'll have more of your thoughts here later in the broadcast.
In our poll tonight, the question is: "Which nation do you believe will pose the greatest strategic threat to the United States in the next decade, China, Iran, or Venezuela?"
Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have those results coming up at the end of tonight's broadcast.
Up next, Senator Jeff Sessions joins me. We'll be talking about so-called comprehensive immigration reform. He says it will trigger a population explosion and crushing, crushing, federal debt. We'll be talking here next.
And communist China's growing military strength, its geopolitical challenge to the Untied States. Two of the country's leading authorities on communist China join me.
And the country's top radio talk show hosts, three of them, anyway, will be here to talk about what they're hearing from their listeners.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Tonight Republican leaders in Congress are blasting the FBI for raiding a Democratic congressman's office. The FBI raided Congressman William Jefferson's Capitol Hill office as we reported to you last night.
The FBI is investigating bribery and fraud allegations against the Congressman. House Speaker Dennis Hastert released a strongly worded statement saying, quote, since the founding of our republic, 219 years ago, the Justice Department has never found it necessary to do what it did Saturday night, crossing the separation of powers line in order to successfully prosecute corruption by members of Congress.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today fired back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERTO GONZALEZ, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The reason it has never been done before is because we have before been able to reach an accommodation, to reach an agreement, to receive the evidence that we need to prosecute wrongdoing through a subpoena. And for a variety of reasons, that could not occur here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Well, Congressional leaders are meeting with the justice department trying to work out procedures for prosecutors ongoing corruption investigators on Capitol Hill. That prospect unnerving, apparently, a lot of our elected officials on Capitol Hill.
DOBBS: Senator Jeff Sessions is a strong critic of the president and Senator Bill Frist's so-called comprehensive immigration reform bill that's now being debated in the Senate. Tonight, Senator Sessions is presenting some new figures on just how many legal immigrants would be allowed into the country should this bill be passed and Senator Sessions is launching a last-minute effort to try to kill the legislation outright. Senator Sessions joins me now from Capitol Hill. Senator, good to have you with us.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Lou, it's good to be with you.
We did hear some further information today about stunning, staggering cost numbers, particularly in the out -- the second 10 years of this bill, perhaps as much as a half trillion dollars, $500 million, maybe $50 billion a year.
DOBBS: For the cost of this legislation? SESSIONS: For the cost of welfare, health care and other benefits that would be available to people given amnesty under this legislation. It's really a stunning number and we've never had that discussed.
And I would just note, really, this is a McCain-Kennedy bill. I hope that we'll get some support tomorrow on other issues. The president has not endorsed these kind of numbers. He needs to study this bill and he needs to be less supportive of it.
DOBBS: Senator, I wish I could tell you that I really believe President Bush would be concerned. But this is a man who said he wants a guest-worker program. He's putting together an amnesty program, whether you call it a legalized path to citizenship or whatever you want to call it.
And I don't think anyone cares about anything here in the -- well, I shouldn't say anyone, nearly anyone in the Senate. Certainly you are a clear and stalwart exception.
In that Senate, all they care about is what's corporate America is saying. This is nuts what they're telling the American people. I mean, it isn't a very nice expression; it's called go to hell.
SESSIONS: It is not legitimate. It is not a legitimate bill that ought to be passed. It absolutely should never, ever become law.
The president, I do not believe, has ever officially endorsed it. But, like everyone else, they want to just move something forward. And something is not good enough.
We have to vote and put our names on that vote, and we ought not to pass a piece of legislation that will bust the budget and will also allow incredibly large numbers into our country.
DOBBS: Now, I want to show our viewers, our audience here, what the Congressional Budget Office said the cost would be. These are their estimates and I believe that you're responsible for even prompting them to come up with any estimates, but this is what they say.
They said 6 million to 7 million applying for amnesty, and the cost of that would be $54 billion mandated spending, $39 billion in discretionary spending. This is over the course of 10 years. And the result of that would be $66 billion gained in taxes. No one's quite sure how they came up with that. But the net result would be $27 billion.
But again, that's based on 6 million to 7 million illegal aliens applying for amnesty. But all of us -- and we should be all straight about this, it's not just the Senate who doesn't know. But none of us knows how many illegal aliens are in this country. If the number is closer to 20 million or more, that's three times or more, that's approaching $100 billion over 10 years no matter what.
SESSIONS: No, you're exactly right. In fact, the Heritage Foundation believes those numbers are low.
But, more importantly, the real benefits in welfare and Medicare don't kick in until the second 10 years. That's when they surge out of control, and the numbers are incredible. That -- and because...
DOBBS: Well, have you talked to Senator Frist?
Senator Frist, by the way, on Larry King we were discussing this very issue a week or two ago; he looked right in the camera and said to me and to the American people, said, you know, we're going to have border security first. And there's no border security in anything you're talking about.
SESSIONS: I have talked to Senator Frist about these costs.
I've talked to other Republicans and I've explained to them what these numbers are. But they're -- I'm not sure how much people are paying attention to it. I think they are...
DOBBS: Well, paying attention or do you really think, Senator Sessions, they just don't care?
SESSIONS: They are determined to move this bill forward regardless of whether it's a good bill or not.
DOBBS: Why? Why, Senator Sessions?
SESSIONS: I don't know.
There are a lot of reasons. One is to get it off the plate. Some senators that had made fun of the House because they're saying they were too tough, and now they're saying, "Well, vote for the bill, Sessions, you know they'll make it better when it goes to conference." I think that's sort of amusing, but -- so I think it's a responsibility of the Senate to pass a good bill and to reject a bad bill.
We will have an opportunity. Senators will have an opportunity. When we have this budget point of order, if 41 senators vote not to waive the budget, it will die and have to be pulled from the floor.
DOBBS: And, Senator, you're going to introduce a budget point of order tomorrow, is that correct?
SESSIONS: Sometime. I or one of my colleagues will, yes.
DOBBS: And what will be the impact?
SESSIONS: I'm not sure, but we will -- I think we'll have a pretty sizable vote, actually. I think some people might be nervous about the outcome of it. We're working now to try to get out this information to our colleagues so they know just how huge this number is.
DOBBS: You know, it's one of those things when I just think the Republicans can't be any more wrong-headed, out come the Democrats; Senator Feinstein introduced an amendment that will give everybody amnesty and 36 Democrats, one Republican, support that.
We put that number up -- those names up on our Web site, reported a few of them here tonight. I mean, this is a -- you talk about a rock and a hard spot, the Republican leadership versus the Democrats.
I mean, the American people haven't got much of a chance here, do they?
SESSIONS: I think the American people do need to watch this issue, and it's time for those of us in the Senate to be responsible to them in a fair and just way, and the way to do that is to vote no on this bill.
Lou, I think I'm being called back to vote.
DOBBS: Well, go get them, Senator.
SESSIONS: Thank you.
DOBBS: Thanks for being here.
Senator Jeff Sessions.
DOBBS: The senator is one of the few clear minds and voices in that Senate at this point on this issue looking at the actual facts, the causal relationships and the impact of the decisions being taken.
Well, still ahead here, the Pentagon finally admits that communist China presents a dangerous strategic, military and geopolitical challenge to this nation. It took them awhile, but they're there. I'll be talking with two of the country's most respected experts on China's military.
And three of the nation's most popular talk show hosts join me to talk about what their listeners are saying about illegal immigration and a whole lot more. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Red star rising -- joining me now, Gordon Chang, one of this country's leading authorities on communist China, author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World"; Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, co-author of "War Footing."
Gentlemen, good to have you here.
Let me start with you, Frank. The Pentagon acknowledging that there is now a tipping point in the Asian-Pacific region and China is driving it. FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: This is not exactly news to anybody who has been following China, but it's probably news to most Americans, because this is not a message that's been communicated.
DOBBS: Not to the audience of this broadcast, Frank.
GAFFNEY: That's correct. But this has not been adequately communicated, I think, beyond this broadcast, Lou, simply because particularly since 9/11, we've been trying to foster this idea that the communist Chinese are actually our allies in the war on terror. This report makes it pretty clear they are arming to be something very different.
DOBBS: Gordon, does this mean the Pentagon is waking up?
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": Well, I'd hope so. But we've got to remember, just a few days ago the Pacific commander invited the Chinese to view exercises off the coast of Guam. And just a few days before that, the NASA administrator said he was going to go to China to cooperate, which means that there's going to be a sharing of knowledge and technology which the Chinese are going to use for military purposes and that means they are going to use it to threaten us sometime in the future.
DOBBS: Do you agree, Frank?
GAFFNEY: Very much so. I think the report is pretty clear that what China is doing is not any longer defensive. It's not even geared exclusively towards threatening possibly taking over Taiwan. It's now about projecting power, both in its literal and I think elsewhere around the world with strategic choke points and advanced military capabilities designed to threaten us.
DOBBS: North Korea, Gordon, China -- communist China has not been particularly helpful there. The United States is now looking at unilateral approaches on a host of challenges. Is this tied to communist China's geopolitical interests, not only in Asia but around the world?
CHANG: I think China is trying to promote dialogue but not a solution, because it wants to keep Japan off balance and it certainly wants to keep Washington off balance. And if we look at the same thing with regard to Iran, they are trying to keep the West off balance there, so China is helping both Iran and North Korea.
DOBBS: What should be the U.S. response here, first diplomatically in terms of geopolitical strategy, and are we adequately prepared militarily to deal with what looks to be a serious challenge to U.S. strength and interests, Frank?
GAFFNEY: Well, I think we ought to be working on trying to bring about internal change in China. Lou, I think the only hope you have really is that you see a government come to power there that is not bent on these sort of nationalist purposes and offensive purposes. DOBBS: Frank, I've got to be honest with you. I'm one of those guys who's had a belly-full of the United States trying to affect internal change in other countries. I've had a belly-full. What can we do that's within our control straightforwardly?
GAFFNEY: Well, I think you need to arm to contend with the danger that is emerging there. But, Lou, I think to do that alone is to mistake and miss an opportunity for political warfare that I think they are engaged in against us, we need to be engaged in with them.
DOBBS: Gordon, do you agree?
CHANG: Yes, the one thing about trying to change a country, you can do it, but it takes decades and decades and we need help now.
DOBBS: Amen, brother. Gordon, good to have you here.
CHANG: Thank you.
DOBBS: Frank, thank you very much.
GAFFNEY: My pleasure. Thank you.
DOBBS: Frank Gaffney, Gordon Chang.
A reminder now to vote in our poll -- which nation do you believe will pose the greatest strategic threat to interests of the United States over the next decade? China, Iran or Venezuela?
Also ahead, we'll have more of your thoughts and three popular talk show radio hosts join me. We'll find out what their listeners are saying about things like illegal immigration, no border security, and say, communist China, for example.
And tomorrow, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will join me, making his first appearance on this program, his first appearance on network television in an exclusive live interview. You don't want to miss it. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The Senate debating illegal immigration, maybe border security, the president fighting plummeting poll numbers, Congress fighting just about every issue. So what are Americans talking about?
Joining me now, Mark Simone, radio talk show host, WABC in New York; Doug McIntyre, KABC Radio in Los Angeles; Lionel with WOR Radio in New York. Good to have you all here.
Doug, let me turn you to first. Illegal immigration, the Senate looks like it is on a forced march to, quote, "comprehensive immigration reform." Are you thrilled?
DOUG MCINTYRE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Oh, yes. It's a thrill ride, Lou. No, it's just -- it's absolutely amazing. It really does come down, and we get caught in all of these cul-de-sac, side-bar issues about it -- but it really comes down, as you said, they just don't care. They just literally don't care what the American people want.
And what's ironic is a lot of the Senate Republicans apparently are willing to do this and let the House Republicans pay the house for it in the midterm elections. And they will.
DOBBS: Lionel, do you agree with that?
LIONEL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Not at all, Lou. Of course, I do. This is one of the greatest issues, you know, a lot of times you say what do your listeners think? I don't know about that, but callers, and, Lou, you have scratched away that scab in this pure mess that we call, this maelstrom of -- I have no idea where I'm going with this.
DOBBS: I don't know, but the metaphors are being pureed.
LIONEL: There is so much anger about this. And I think unfortunately the problem is virtually insoluble. There is no issue, there's no debate as far as securing the borders. Who in their right mind would say, no, don't secure them?
DOBBS: How about the United States Congress and this president?
LIONEL: They're ineffectual.
DOBBS: Oh, you said in their right minds.
LIONEL: Right, they're effete, they're feckless, they're impuissant. They are spineless, they don't know what to do. They realized that they had to do something. The Republicans are scared out of their mind. Their main leader, G.W., has absolutely abandoned them.
I don't know what the American people have to realize what this president is not about. First of all, he hit his own core with Dubai Ports World. Remember that one? Still trying to figure that one out. And this is a war about semantics. We're not about guest worker, we're not for amnesty. We're about -- it's a mess.
And the problem is you've got maybe 20 million, and let's face it, Lou, I know people talk about the Irish immigrants, but this is a Mexican thing, all right? And I have a very simple solution in New York. If you want to arrest an illegal alien, order a pizza. When they show up, arrest them, because they are all over here.
DOBBS: Mark, your thoughts?
MARK SIMONE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I mean, this is no way to debate. You can't disagree with anybody on this.
DOBBS: Well, try.
SIMONE: I think the most amazing thing, you were like the Paul Revere on this, warning everybody long ago. But, you are like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" now, thinking that something is going to happen. Nothing is going to happen here.
DOBBS: If we can't believe that something good can come of this...
SIMON: ... nothing good. Go back to 1986 with all the stuff we passed then.
DOBBS: I don't want to go back then.
SIMONE: We've got 25 million illegal aliens.
DOBBS: That's how we got here.
SIMONE: And nothing is going to happen.
LIONEL: How are you...
SIMONE: ... the thing you need here is a wall. You need a wall. Everywhere in the world you've ever built a wall, it cut the problem down 90 percent.
DOBBS: How about this? Doug, let me ask you this -- six -- the Heritage Foundation estimates 66 million immigrants, under the terms of this new comprehensive reform, at a minimum, would enter this country, 66 million. The cost would, Senator Jeff Sessions, in the second 10 years of this program, cost American taxpayers $500 trillion. And the U.S. Senate is blindly moving ahead. What...
D. MCINTYRE: Well, Lou, you know, this is -- we've been talking about this. This is what happened when -- happens when corporatists take over the government. In fact, I don't even think that this crowd even believes in government itself.
They want, you know, the free trade of the Americas agreement. They want a common currency. They see things like language, law, history, art, tradition, and culture as impediments to the movement of goods and services.
And they genuinely don't -- you see, the big problem here is that we keep talking about this as government inefficiency, and that's because we're so used to government inefficiency. But what we got is like the white rhino, the rarest of the rare. This is the government plan coming to fruition. They wanted to flood the country with cheap labor and mission accomplished.
But, the problem is, the guys like you and talk radio show kept it alive and the minutemen humiliated the Bush administration on this issue after 9/11. And now all of a sudden, the peasants got the pitch forks and the flaming torches in both parties, by the way, and they don't know how to shut us up, because the American people are speaking really with one voice on this. They can use all the hyperbole and the rhetoric and the spin they want. The bottom line is the American people want the country's borders secured, not laminated, not perfect, but you proved to us...
SIMONE: ... you've got to make one thing clear though, you can't blame the Bush administration on this. Every administration has stunk on this.
D. MCINTYRE: No, no, Mark, you're totally wrong. George Bush has been the chief pom-pom shaker on this since day one.
SIMONE: Yes, but tell me what the Clinton administration did in eight years about this problem.
D. MCINTYRE: They did more than this administration has. You cannot blame this ...
LIONEL: ... always closing on Clinton.
DOBBS: Well I'm almost getting offended, you've offended Clinton.
D. MCINTYRE: This guy has his party running the House and the Senate and five years since 9/11, he hops on a plane and flies back to sign a bill for Terri Schiavo from Crawford, Texas, and it took him five years to discover that we've got a problem at the border?
LIONEL: Lou, this problem, there is really no debate here. We're talking about 20 million. You know in our currency of numbers, I mentioned this before, when you talk about million, million, million, you know, 20 -- a million days is 2,700 years. So we've got 20 million here. We've got three million, they say at least, American citizens born here. I want to see what kind of a superstructure bureaucracy could we ever come up with to monitor, deport, what have you?
DOBBS: We're out of time, Lionel. Thank you very much, Mark Simone, government isn't working. I think you're both right, by the way, you and Doug on this issue. The problem is, those are Democrats and Republicans, and neither one is to be taken very seriously.
SIMONE: By the way, we've don't need -- we've got all the laws, green cards, we've got everything in place legally.
DOBBS: Except the will and the leadership.
LIONEL: It is Clinton.
DOBBS: Was it Clinton?
LIONEL: I don't know, they always say that. When in doubt, blame Clinton.
DOBBS: Thanks you very much -- Mark Simone, Doug McIntyre. Gentlemen, thanks for being here.
Still ahead, we'll have more of your thoughts and the results of our poll tonight. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Results of our poll, 84 percent of you say China, Communist China, will pose the greatest strategic threat to this country over the next decade.
Taking a look now at more of your thoughts. Lee in Minnesota: Lou, I have to tell you about a crazy idea my wife had. She said, "Why doesn't the government let the people vote on an amnesty program and a border security program?" Nuts, huh?
Yes, that will of the people thing.
And Maureen in New Jersey: Common and unifying language? Who stayed up all night to think this one up? Every other ethnic immigrant learned English without all of these special entitlements and were proud to do so. Why not Hispanics? English is the national language, period. Remind me, Lou, which language do I cast my vote in on November 7th? Either way, these senators are fired.
And Debra in Arizona: Senator Clinton voted no on the Inhofe Amendment, which supported English as the official language. Yet, she authored an amendment that supported giving funds to state and local government for health and education expenses related to immigration. I can't wait until Senator Clinton tosses her sombrero into the presidential ring because I'll be waiting in line to stomp it into the American soil with every peso I can find.
And Tammy in New Jersey: Dear, Lou, so Harry Reid thinks making English our national language is racist. I'll tell you what's racist. How come there is no prompt on the phone lines for businesses that say press three for Italian, four for Japanese, five for Russian? Maybe that's why most of these nationalities assimilate quicker.
And Robert in Washington: President Vicente Fox can't run his own country. What makes him think he can run ours?
Experience at this point, I suppose.
And Mark in Pennsylvania: Lou, when the president was cruising along the border in his dune buggy, why was there no "mission accomplished" banner in the background?
We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts no matter how brutal to LouDobbs.com. Each of you whose e-mail is read here receives a copy of my book "Exporting America." Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow when White House Press Secretary Tony Snow joins me for his first television network interview exclusively here. You don't want to miss that, please be with us. For all of us here, thanks for watching, good night from New York. "THE SITUATION ROOM" starts right now with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
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