Return to Transcripts main page
Lou Dobbs Tonight
President Bush Tries To Sell Amnesty With Full Support Of Corporate America; Hundreds Of National Guard Troops Supposed To Go To Mexican Border Today, But Didn't; U.S. Military Officials Intensifying Investigation Into Allegations That Marines Massacred Iraqi Civilians In Haditha; Generals Discuss National Guard Deployment; Los Angeles Radio News Reporter Attacked At Publicly-Funded School
Aired June 01, 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, President Bush, with the full support of corporate America and special interests, has launched a major new campaign trying to sell his amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens. He's demanding that the House of Representatives bend to the will of the Senate and, of course, to the wishes of the president.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Thursday, June 1st.
Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.
President Bush today launched a new political initiative to convince members of his own party and, of course, the American people to support amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. President Bush today demanded the House of Representatives accept proposals for the so-called temporary worker program, a program that would give illegal aliens a path to U.S. citizenship.
But Republican congressmen insist the federal government must first secure our borders before they even consider any other measures to tackle illegal immigration.
Elaine Quijano reports from the White House on the president's refusal tonight to compromise with Republican congressmen.
Lisa Sylvester reports from Washington on the determination of corporate America and special interests to put so-called comprehensive immigration reform ahead of border security.
And Casey Wian reports from Los Angeles on the government's failure so far to deploy thousands of additional National Guard troops to our southern border with Mexico.
We turn first to Elaine Quijano at the White House -- Elaine.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, with immigration reform stalled and the House and Senate bills far apart, President Bush today tried to nudge the two sides closer together, adding to the debate some strong words for big business. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
QUIJANO (voice-over): President Bush took his immigration pitch spoke to a friendly audience, speaking to business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Business owners should not to have act as detectives to verify the legal status of their workers.
QUIJANO: But under pressure from GOP conservatives to tighten border enforcement, the president had some tough talk for his allies in the business community.
BUSH: We're a nation of the rule of law. Businesses that knowingly employ illegal workers undermine this law and undermine the spirit of America. And we're not going to tolerate it in this country.
QUIJANO: The Chamber of Commerce is one of the president's biggest supporters on immigration. The group stands firmly behind his proposal for a temporary guest worker program, a source of inexpensive labor. Yet against the backdrop of upcoming congressional elections, White House officials and Republican strategists acknowledge the issue is a heavy lift for the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think the chances are at least 50-50, maybe better than 50-50 that there will be a bill. It's too early to tell where the majority of Republicans in the House are going to come down until we see what the compromise agreement is.
QUIJANO: The president is facing heated opposition from members of his own party, conservatives adamantly opposed to anything they see as amnesty. House Republicans want border security dealt with first, but administration officials insist Washington should tackle all aspects of immigration reform at once.
CARLOS GUTIERREZ, COMMERCE SECRETARY: We should not procrastinate, and we can't just pass it on to future generations or future administrations. It needs to be dealt with in a comprehensive way now.
QUIJANO: And the president continues his immigration push next week. He'll travel to several states, including New Mexico. One stop will be a tour of a federal law enforcement training center. The unmistakable intended message, that President Bush is serious about enforcing the nation's immigration laws -- Lou.
DOBBS: This newfound seriousness on the part of the president, Elaine, did the president or any of his staff there at the White House have any explanation why the number of enforcement actions against illegal employers of illegal aliens in this country have declined through the five years of his presidency? QUIJANO: Well, what you're talking about there is something that -- sentiment that officials here are well aware of, and that is perfectly -- that really is the reason why President Bush is coming out in such strong terms, unmistakably saying that in fact this is an issue that he intends to deal with.
But, of course, as you point out, his critics will note it has taken some time for him to come to this position, in their view. Nevertheless, he is going to continue to send that message, as I said, traveling next week to several states, including New Mexico -- Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Elaine.
Elaine Quijano from the White House.
The president's speech demonstrates the huge role that corporate America and special interests are playing in what has become a national debate finally on illegal immigration and a lack of border security. Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest of all, are putting their own commercial interests, however, well ahead of border security.
Lisa Sylvester reports from Washington.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush is selling his amnesty guest worker program as a national security issue.
BUSH: It seems like to me we've got to stop the number of people who are trying to sneak across in the first place. And the best way to do that is to make a temporary worker program a part of immigration reform.
SYLVESTER: But critics say a temporary guest worker program will not curb illegal immigration.
JIM EDWARDS, NUMBERSUSA: Guest worker -- "guest worker bill," that is code for laundering the status of illegal aliens. It's a way to put people through the system in order to legalize.
SYLVESTER: Immigration reform groups say what's needed are employers' sanctions, a topic the U.S. Chamber of Commerce probably didn't want to hear.
President Bush proposed for the first time increasing the penalties for hiring illegal aliens. As it stands, fines under the Senate bill could be as low as $100. Senate legislation goes easy on corporate special interests. In fact, even catering to big business.
Employers who broke the law by hiring illegal aliens are given amnesty. Companies do not have to check existing employees to make sure they are in the country legally, only future workers. And corporations are guaranteed a steady flow of unskilled labor, 200,000 guest workers a year, and more than one million permanent immigrant visas.
The Economic Policy Institute says big business wins, hard working middle class American workers lose.
ROSS EISENBREY, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: Increasing the labor supply at a time when we have stagnating and falling wages can only make the problems worse. It's going to reduce their bargaining power in a way that just, you know, won't help the average family.
SYLVESTER: Business groups have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress on the amnesty plan. So far it's paid off. The Senate legislation has lots of perks for corporate America but relatively little pain.
SYLVESTER: The employment verification system that's in the Senate bill would not take effect until a year and a half after Congress appropriates $400 million to set up a database. In fact, there's no guarantee Congress will ever approve that money for work site enforcement. But the amnesty provision, those would take effect as soon as the bill came law -- Lou.
DOBBS: Lisa, it is startling that this president and that Senate have the temerity with all of these facts being put before the American people to continue to carry out this charade. Is anyone in that -- in that city embarrassed by this -- this entire display?
SYLVESTER: Well, it's a very good question. And as you well know, lawmakers are back in their home districts. So they should be getting an earful from their constituents, who clearly see that a lot of these policies and what's being brought out of the Senate as being pro-business and not necessarily in favoring the worker -- Lou.
DOBBS: The idea that the president would raise penalties, and with a straight face suggest that -- actually, it was a stern face -- while not enforcing the penalties, what possible difference could it make if the penalties were raised on business, so long as this administration refuses to enforce the law?
SYLVESTER: Well, not only are -- is there a lack of enforcement, but even for these companies, the fines, a fine of $100, that's basically the cost of doing business. They just write that stuff. They don't even really care about that. It's certainly not a deterrent -- Lou.
DOBBS: Lisa, thank you very much, as always.
Lisa Sylvester from Washington.
Tonight, the Bush administration is already falling behind on its promise of sending National Guardsmen to support our Border Patrol on our southern border. Hundreds of additional National Guard troops were supposed to begin taking up their positions on our border with Mexico beginning today. But few, if any, of those National Guard soldiers are in position tonight. Casey Wian reports.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The plan to use National Guard troops to back up the overwhelmed Border Patrol isn't so simple after all, though President Bush made it seem so today.
BUSH: We'll be training 6,000 additional agents. But in the meantime, I'm going to send 6,000 National Guard down there.
WIAN: Two weeks into the president's plan, the effort is bogged down in bureaucracy, confusion and conflict. Just last Wednesday, Guard officials told Congress the first wave of 800 troops could arrive at the border today. They haven't, because state governors have been slow to act on the president's request.
For two weeks, Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to approve his state's Guard deployment.
JOSEPH DUNN (D), CALIF. STATE SENATE: Nothing can be done by the California National Guard under the authorization of the president until Governor Schwarzenegger issues a specific order. Correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.
WIAN: Today he gave that approval. Still, California Guard officials testified this week most of their boots won't hit the ground until mid-July. And California lawmakers are now outraged the state is now paying for costs associated with implementing the White House plan.
COL. DAVE BALDWIN, CALIF. NATIONAL GUARD: We have notified the National Guard Bureau that we think it would be appropriate that the federal government reimburse the state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what, if any, response have you received from the federal level?
BALDWIN: At first, a bit of confusion, because they don't understand...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's disconcerting.
WIAN: Also disconcerting, the California Guard's admission that troops could be deployed longer than the two years described by President Bush. That could easily set a precedent.
JOHN PIKE, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: Well, I think you have to be concerned that after the National Guard gets into this mission that they might have a hard time getting out of this mission. The Congress has authorized additional personnel for the Border Patrol, has not authorized the money to hire a lot of those people. And so I think that the department of planned security, the Border Patrol, may be looking at these National Guard troops as being free government money.
WIAN: Free, at least until the National Guard is needed elsewhere.
WIAN: One Texas National Guard official sold "The El Paso Times," "We're lucky enough nothing is on the horizon pushing us to hurry up. We can take our time and plan this right."
Apparently, there's no urgency, Lou, to the thousands of illegal aliens crossing our border every day.
DOBBS: Oh, that's obviously the view of this president and the United States Senate.
Casey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of that state from which you're reporting this evening, saying that he had a lot of questions and reservations about this. Why has the governor changed his mind?
WIAN: We don't know the details of the agreement yet, but we do know that the governor was concerned about losing the effectiveness of the National Guard if they were deployed to the border for a long period of time, and also worried about a consistent issue that this state and others have had with the federal government, and that's who's going to pick up the tab?
The state is already, as we reported, bearing some costs for the National Guard even considering how it's going to deploy on the border. They want to make sure that the federal government is going to pay for that. And apparently the governor has gotten assurances that that will happen -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, we'll find out about those assurances later here in the broadcast.
Casey Wian from Los Angeles.
Thank you very much.
Later here, I'll be talking with the National Guard's top officer, Lieutenant General Steven Blum, and General David Grange will join us. We'll be talking about the role of the National Guard and the global war on terror, about its new role in the border patrol mission, and delay in moving into position on our southern border.
Still ahead, new developments in the nuclear confrontation between Iran and the rest of the world. We'll have that story from Washington.
Also, military commanders ordering troops to have compulsory ethics training after reports that U.S. Marines massacred unarmed civilians in Iraq. We'll have that special report tonight.
And the federal government failing to enforce our immigration laws, and local law enforcement officials are furious. And when trying to enforce their responsibilities, they're being met with protests by groups supporting illegal aliens. We'll have that report and a great deal more coming up here tonight.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Military commanders in Iraq have ordered their troops to undertake compulsory ethics training. This training following reports that Marines killed 24 Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha last November.
The new training will reinforce what the military describes as "core warrior values." All 130,000 troops, American troops in Iraq, will be receiving that training within the next 30 days.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is demanding talks with the U.S. military to establish new rules for detentions and raids on Iraqis.
U.S. military officials tonight are intensifying their investigation into allegations that some Marines massacred Iraqi civilians in Haditha. Investigators now believe the Marines involved in that incident did not provide an accurate account of what occurred.
Tonight, there are new details about the possible role of officers higher up in the chain of command in any possible cover-up.
Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of the big questions surrounding the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha is why the cover story that they were killed by a roadside bomb and resulting firefight held up for months from November until February when "TIME" magazine began raising questions about it? The answer, according to Pentagon sources familiar with an investigation done by Army Major General Eldon Bargewell (ph) is that the Marines involved in the killings allegedly gave false information about what happened and their superior officers allegedly failed to scrutinize their accounts.
There was another failing as well, sources tell CNN. Marines who arrived afterward were confronted and in some cases even photographed bodies that had been shot at close range, but did not challenge the official story. The mother of one Marine, Lance Corporal Ryan Briones, who was assigned to help clean up and document the scene, told CNN her son knew he had witnessed an atrocity.
SUSIE BRIONES, MOTHER OF LANCE CORPORAL RYAN BRIONES: It was horrific. It was a terrible scene. The biggest thing that keeps to his mind is the children, you know, that were there.
MCINTYRE: In the wake of the findings of investigators, all 150,000 U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq are getting refresher training on the law of war and the responsibility to protect non- combatants caught in a war zone. The message is simple and direct. MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, MULTINATIONAL FORCE SPOKESMAN: I don't think there is any question in our mind, if you're carrying a locked and loaded weapon, you're not going to pick it up and aim it at somebody unless you feel your life is threatened.
MCINTYRE: So, Lou, the message to U.S. and coalition troops is, it's not enough to obey the law of armed conflict yourself. You have a responsibility to speak up if others around you aren't following the same rules -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, the charges are horrific. If found to be true, they will be devastating to all of us, and to, of course, the Marines who were not involved in that -- in that situation.
The Pentagon has now had a number of months to deal with this issue. You have reported ably on the first "TIME" magazine account. This seems to be taking a very long time, if I may say, Jamie, to get to the truth.
MCINTYRE: Well, there are -- you know, there's a criminal investigation. That's going to result in charges. That process takes some time. In fact, a lot of times they keep the investigation open, even as court-martials begin, because new information could be developed in the course of the trial.
So -- but we do expect that we're going to see the results of this administrative review about whether there was a possible cover-up fairly soon, possibly this month.
DOBBS: Jamie, thank you.
Jamie McIntyre from the Pentagon.
The United States and five other countries today reached agreement on a new approach convince Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. That agreement announced after the president said the United States could hold direct talks with Iran for the first time in more than a quarter century.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and officials from Europe, China and Russia today offered to suspend United Nations action against Iran under the condition that Tehran stop its enrichment of uranium.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGARET BECKETT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We urge Iran to take the positive path and to consider seriously our substantive proposals which would bring significant benefits to Iran. We will now be talking to the Iranians about our proposals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: They will be talking apparently with the Iranians about that proposal, but the Iranians have already responded, saying that this new strategy now just about 24 hours old is dead on arrival. Iran has already declared that it will not under any circumstances end its enrichment of uranium.
Still ahead, a local district attorney arrests dozens of illegal aliens, some of them wanted criminals. So what happens when he calls Immigration and Customs Enforcement? That report coming up here next.
And more National Guard troops were supposed to be arriving at our southern border today. We'll be talking with the top officer of the National Guard about the Guard's role in border security and why those troops aren't yet on the border.
DOBBS: Tonight, local law enforcement officials all across the country say they've had it with the federal government's failure, even refusal, to help them in their fight against illegal immigration. Local officials had been pleading for help from the federal government for years. Tonight, pleas are still being ignored but they're taking action.
Bill Tucker reports tonight from Easton, Pennsylvania.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson Gamarez (ph) is wanted in Florida on child molestation charges. He's an illegal alien from Brazil. He's now in jail thanks to the efforts of this man, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli.
Gamarez was arrested while working on the construction of this new hotel. Morganelli's office routinely conducts such raids and uses state identity fraud statutes to detain illegal aliens and run background checks on those arrested. Morganelli says his constituents overwhelmingly support him. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not.
JOHN MORGANELLI, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, NORTHAMPTON COUNTY: On a number of occasions, they have specifically told my office, "If you're calling about illegal Mexicans, don't brother us."
TUCKER: Gamarez was wanted on two felony charges of child molestation. Morganelli says that for ICE, that's business as usual and unacceptable.
MORGANELLI: My view here is, is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement must respond to those of us who want to enforce our laws, who don't want our communities turned into southern California. We want to keep a safe community here.
TUCKER: Officials at ICE respond by saying, "ICE has provided extensive support even though it has a limited number of agents in Pennsylvania, each of whom is in charge of investigating roughly 400 different federal criminal statutes." While ICE is playing the limited resources game, Morganelli has joined forces with local labor leaders who are fed up with illegal immigrants on work sites working for $80 a day.
MIKE GALIO, LEHIGH VALLEY LOCAL CARPENTERS UNION: It depresses the wages of our work in the area, and also they certainly are taking jobs, just as they have taken jobs here at this site.
TUCKER: Jobs that would otherwise go to unemployed union labor. And for anyone who wants to call Morganelli anti-immigrant, he has this answer...
MORGANELLI: This is not an immigration issue. This is an issue of crime and security, enforcing our laws, and securing our border, and making sure that the people who do come to America are those good people.
TUCKER: D.A. Morganelli's attitude is not infectious.
TUCKER: So far, not a single district attorney has followed the lead of D.A. John Morganelli here in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. But, to date, Morganelli's actions have resulted in the arrest of more than 200 individuals, Lou. Unfortunately, almost all of them have been let go because ICE has refused to detain them -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, I'm sure the district attorney will be pleased to know that the president said today he wasn't going to tolerate our laws not being enforced. And I'm sure that the district attorney can take great heart in that and know that help is on the way.
Bill Tucker, thank you very much, reporting from Easton, Pennsylvania.
Tonight, we're not going to do a poll question. Instead, we're simply asking you to send us your ideas, your thoughts, your views on just what this government, this administration and this Congress are doing right. We're very interested in your ideas on that issue, and we will catalogue them. And we will share those ideas with you tomorrow.
Again, tonight no poll question. We just want to hear from you about what you think is right with the direction and the actions of the federal government, this president, and this Congress. We'd love to hear from you.
E-mail us, please, at LouDobbs.com with your thoughts.
Taking a look now at some of your other thoughts.
Doris in Kentucky wrote in to say, "Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason."
I know it's an old joke, but I like it. And Iza in North Carolina said, "Lou, I'm African-American and I'm fed up with hearing about racial profiling. This has nothing to do with race. I wouldn't care if you were orange, blue, or came from Mars. Illegal immigration is illegal and should be treated as such."
Dave in Connecticut, "Lou, you know who plays the race card on the illegal immigration issue? You! People are tired of your lies and bigotry. CNN should fire you immediately!"
All I ask to you do is -- we'll invite another response. Name one lie I've ever uttered and one example of any form of prejudice or bigotry you've ever heard in this broadcast. I'd love to hear it. We'll share it tomorrow.
Dave and Char in California wrote in to say, "No one is above the law, so say some of our elected officials. But per the Senate, this does not apply to illegals."
We'll have more of your thoughts coming right up. Send us your thoughts at LouDobbs.com.
Coming up here next, where is the National Guard? The National Guard's top officer is our guests here tonight. We'll be discussing the delay in deploying National Guard troops to our southern border with Mexico, as the president promised.
And Diana West of "The Washington Times" says the United States would no longer be a nation if the Senate's amnesty bill were to become law. She's our guest as well.
We'll also have the latest for you on a publicly funded school in Los Angeles that is being accused of promoting racism.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Hundreds of our National Guard troops were expected to arrive on our southern border with Mexico as early as next week to assist our Border Patrol, but President Bush's ultimate goal of sending as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to the border is being delayed.
The federal government and border states are arguing about just who will pay for those troops and joining me tonight from the Pentagon is the director of the National Guard bureau, the head man of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Steven Blum. And from Chicago, joining us as well is General David Grange. General Blum, good to have you with us.
LT. GEN. STEVEN BLUM, CHIEF NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU: Good to be with you, Lou.
DOBBS: General Grange, as always. General Blum, let me ask you, first the delay, do we know how long it will be at this point? BLUM: There is no delay. We kick off tomorrow morning. We'll have 2,500 troops on the ground by the end of June and we'll have 6,000 there by 60 days later. Six thousand troops in 60 days is pretty fast. I don't see that as a delay.
DOBBS: Well, let's find out how many you've got. How many are going to be putting on the border by tomorrow?
BLUM: There will be the beginnings of the first 200 tomorrow, there's actually troops there working in New Mexico and Arizona right now. But the duration task force, those that will set up and plan to receive the forces coming in will start arriving tomorrow and they'll build to a total of 200 by the 15th of June. And by the 30th of June, there will be 2,500 guardsman on the border.
DOBBS: General, let me ask you one question here, and that is -- the president made the announcement, how many days in advance of the president's announcement during his immigration speech were you alerted to the requirement for 6,000 troops?
BLUM: Well, we've been talking with the Department of Defense on this particular mission now for about a week-and-a-half. And we've been in close consultation with them all the way along, and with the governors and with the generals. This is a collaborative effort of cooperation between the states and the federal government and we don't want to make it a rush to failure, Lou. We want to do it right.
DOBBS: I wouldn't want you to either, I don't think any other American would. But general, I asked how many days before the president's speech were there discussions about deploying to the southern border?
BLUM: I say, we've been talking about this seriously for about a week-and-a-half.
DOBBS: A week-and-a-half before the president's Monday night speech?
BLUM: Yes, sir.
DOBBS: OK, I just wanted to -- I just did not understand that, I apologize.
So a week-and-a-half before. General Grange, you appreciate the role of the National Guard as much as any other soldier who has ever served. General Blum, General Grange is going to join us here.
I want to ask you both, the great concern that's been expressed by both Governor Schwarzenegger, Governor Richardson and others, that the National Guard, some of those troops have been rotated three, four, times, some even five times I understand it, into Iraq. Can we really sustain in your minds this kind of additional role for our National Guard?
BLUM: Are you asking me, Lou?
DOBBS: I'll ask you first.
DOBBS: Yes, sir. The answer is absolutely, yes, we can. And we can do this without degrading our effort in the fight overseas and the global war on terrorism and without degrading our ability to respond to the upcoming hurricane season.
Today is the first day of the hurricane season. We're very mindful of that. We're better prepared this year than last year. And by the way, Lou, I have 8,000 more soldiers than I did at this time last year. You remember our discussion about our ability to recruit, we succeeded in that.
We have the most experienced force we've ever had, and we're only going to talk about employing a little less than two percent of the entire National Guard for this border operation. We can do all three of those missions simultaneously and do them well.
DOBBS: General Blum, I wish your can-do attitude permeated Washington D.C. and all branches of government. General Grange?
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I believe he's right. I think they can. It is a priority. They have to. I think homeland security comes before all of the other missions that includes both terrorist issue in the United States as well as natural disasters.
I think part of the issue is on time, are they mobilized under federal mandate or are some of them working under the title that the governor holds in some type of collaboration, having mobilized National Guard troops for the United States itself during natural disasters. It is a process that takes a little bit of time. It's not like getting on a C-141 and flying over let's say to Kuwait, with the active duty soldiers. It does take a little bit of time to do that process.
DOBBS: I want to ask you both two questions, one question each if I may and I ask you both to respond to it. Good generals both, you wouldn't be taking on a mission without an assessment of risk and effectiveness for the mission that's assigned.
General Blum, let me ask you, 6,000 national guardsmen, presumably armed, but in adjunct support roles to our border patrol -- will you be able to secure the border with Mexico and end incursions by both the Mexican military, end the crossing of that border, by those who are not legal?
BLUM: Let me answer your question very directly. We're not being sent there to secure the border. The National Guard is being called out in support of, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, to aid and assist to provide military assistance to civilian federal law enforcement. They have the responsibility to secure the border.
They have asked for our help. We will not be doing law enforcement work. We will not be doing border patrol or customs enforcement agent work. We will be doing supporting roles which will enable them to do their work even more effectively than they've been able to do up to now.
DOBBS: General Grange, do you think that 6,000 national guardsmen, they won't be there, General Blum says for another 60 days. Is that correct, general?
BLUM: No, sir, we'll be there tomorrow morning.
DOBBS: I'm talking about all 6,000.
BLUM: All 6,000 won't be there until the 1st of August. You'll have a substantial force of 2,500 by the end of June.
DOBBS: I rounded that off to 60 days.
BLUM: OK, sir.
DOBBS: General Grange, what do you think it would take to move in and secure the border, because as you said that is a primary role. The general referred to law enforcement, he went on to talk about the border patrol but the fact is, we're not talking about law enforcement. We're talking about protecting this nation's borders. What do you think it would take?
GRANGE: Well first of all I agree with the general that the supporting role is very critical because it does relieve a lot of the law enforcement agencies to do the arrest authority issues that are prevalent.
However, I do believe that it's short changing this requirement, and it's not just a military requirement. It's all the federal agencies. I think if we really are serious about this, and I don't mean fortifying the border, I mean just securing the border, I think we're a little short on both National Guard law enforcement and other means.
I mean, if we're going to be serious about it, let's be robust up front, especially when everybody knows we're going to do this. And you would think that would have an influx of people coming across now knowing that. I think it is better to have more up front and then phase it down.
DOBBS: As a matter of fact that's what the indications are from the border patrol, that we're seeing a lot more illegal aliens crossing that border right now, following the Senate's amnesty legislation which they just passed.
Gentlemen and General Blum, if you don't want to deal with this question, frankly, I understand. But I want to turn to the issue of the atrocities that are alleged to have been committed by a squad of marines in Haditha, Iraq. General Grange, what is your reaction?
GRANGE: Well, first of all, I think we're very fortunate for the armed forces that we have General Bargewell doing the investigation. Truly a combat veteran that understands close in combat, the emotions soldiers face in battle. He'll understand and cut through the chase on what really happened. DOBBS: Can I cut through the code there just a bit? General Grange is saying that General Bargewell is a general with considerable experience, combat experience and highly regarded. Is that a fair statement?
GRANGE: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I served in combat with Eldon Bargewell, I know.
DOBBS: And General Blum?
BLUM: If it's substantiated that what's been accused actually occurred, it goes against everything every American soldier and marine has ever been taught from basic training and every school system. It goes against our culture, goes against our values, it goes against the American way, and it will be dealt with in a very open and just matter.
DOBBS: It is, it's a disgusting allegation, if it turns out to be a reality, it's going to be, as I said, devastating. It's going to be devastating to the troops there, marines, army, all branches. To what degree do you think this process is going to simply erode the capacity of the military there to carry out effectively its mission, which is far more than the combat?
BLUM: Are you asking me?
DOBBS: Yes, General Blum.
BLUM: I think it will steal all of the others in theater to even perform at a higher standard than they normally would. The reputation of the armed forces is paramount. They represent the best of the American people abroad and at home, and I think they all are committed to the values and the warrior ethos that this nation subscribes to and what has been alleged certainly doesn't fit any of that.
DOBBS: General Grange?
GRANGE: Well, one thing this military does well is that when it has an issue like this, it takes care of it. I mean we're a military of the United States of America that in fact cleans up any mess it produces in that regard. It will set back the reputation of the forces. It will put more in harm's way, because this will be publicized all over the region.
And it will be -- disinformation will come out of it but it will instill, like the general said, a lot of toughness in those that still have to perform their mission to make sure that they're above this type of stuff and that they're very good, well-trained soldiers.
BLUM: I agree.
DOBBS: General Steven Blum, thanks for being here.
BLUM: Thank you.
DOBBS: We wish you well in yet another assignment for an already stretched but outstanding National Guard. We thank you.
BLUM: Thank you.
DOBBS: General David Grange, as always, good to have you with us.
GRANGE: Thank you.
DOBBS: Still ahead here, we'll have the latest on the controversy over a Los Angeles school principal and his statements on integration, education and culture.
And millions of illegal aliens, of course, are crossing our borders every year, drawn by the so-called "honey trap" of amnesty. "Washington Times" columnist Diana Ross -- Diana West will be joining me to discuss what she says could be the end of America. Stay with us.
DOBBS: In Los Angeles today, a radio news reporter was attacked at a publicly-funded school that allegedly has the backing of radical Hispanic activist groups. The reporter from KABC Radio was trying to interview the principal of the school. The principal faces allegations his facility teaches a racist agenda, using taxpayer and private money.
Casey Wian has the latest on this story for us tonight from Los Angeles -- Casey.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it really is an incredible story. For several days, KABC Radio host Doug McIntyre has been talking about a small Los Angeles school called Academia Semillas del Pueblo. It means, in English, "seeds of the town."
It's a taxpayer-funded charter school that is also financially supported by two Hispanic advocacy groups, La Raza and MEChA. The latter, of course, supports the idea of aslan, or Latino control of the southwestern United States. The school's principal and founder is named Marcos Aguilar, a Mexican immigrant. He's been quoted advocating a separatist agenda for Hispanic students.
Now, radio host McIntyre has been exposing this information on his show for several days. This morning he sent a reporter to the school to try to talk to officials there. The reporter, named Sandy Wells, says he was chased off school property and chased down the street by a large man who tackled him and demanded his tape. Wells says school security guards stood by and watched.
Now, KABC gave us a statement this afternoon saying, "We look forward to the outcome of the police department investigation." Our attempts to contact the school and principal Aguilar have been unsuccessful. The school's Web site was shut down late today. Earlier we visited it and it promoted the idea of teaching ethnic traditions to its pupils, who are all either Latino or Native American -- Lou. DOBBS: And the issue of -- well, of segregated schools is critically important. Any reference to that issue?
WIAN: Well, there is a reference to that issue in the fact that Doug McIntyre has reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District, which this school is a part of, has been investigating the curriculum of this school.
They won't say anything further than that but they did say that they've had monitors in the classrooms trying to figure out what these kids are being taught. So we'll hear more later I'm sure, Lou.
DOBBS: In other words, they don't know what they're being taught?
WIAN: Apparently not, if they have to send monitors in there to investigate them. I'm not sure how much control the LAUSD has over these charter schools. There are several of them, but they do receive taxpayer money and that's what has a lot of people upset, Lou.
DOBBS: Well, Casey, obviously, you'll be covering this and we'll be on this network and this broadcast, in particular, looking into this issue rigorously in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you.
WIAN: You got it.
DOBBS: Casey Wian.
A reminder now. Instead of asking a poll question tonight, we've decided that we'd like to ask you, if you will, to simply send us your ideas on, in your opinion, what this administration, this government, this Congress are doing right.
Now, there's a lot of discontent in the country. There's a lot of polarization, as some are fond of putting it, although there seems to be also some building majority view about the direction the country is headed.
We'd like to know your thoughts and we'll be cataloguing them here and we're going to go through every one of them and we'll share the broadest ideas with you here tomorrow night if you can e-mail your thoughts to us please at LouDobbs.com.
Coming up next here, I'll talking with "Washington Times" columnist Diana West. She says the Senate's amnesty bill for illegal aliens is simply what she calls a "honey trap" for millions of new illegal aliens. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Coming up here in just about 10 minutes on CNN, "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Lou. Nuclear talks. We're following a fast-moving story. The U.S. and other key members of the Security Council agree on a deal to try to end Iran's nuclear weapons program. There are fresh developments happening, and we're going to cover them.
Also, the coming storms. Max Mayfield, the director of the National Hurricane Center, is in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
And the president is playing to his base. Immigration and same- sex marriage become hot topics to try to get out the vote in November.
Finally, Batwoman comes out of her cave and steps into the culture wars. There is a new twist on the famous comic character.
Lou, all of that coming up at the top of the hour, and congratulations, Lou, to you and CNN. Twenty-six years ago today, Ted Turner founded this network, and you've been with us since day one.
DOBBS: The only anchor from that original cast, if you will. Thank you very much, Wolf, and it's kind of fun to think about being the youngest reporter -- youngest anchor back in 1980 and still the youngest anchor, much younger than you, for example.
BLITZER: Much younger. I've only been at CNN for 16 years, so I'm a youth.
DOBBS: Such a child. Thanks, Wolf. Appreciate it. Have a good show.
"Washington Times" columnist Diana West has written a provocative, disturbing look at the future of this nation and what would happen were President Bush to successfully push his amnesty program through. West writes that if amnesty were to become law, the United States would cease to be a nation altogether. She says it would become a honey trap, drawing millions of more illegal aliens into the country. Diana West joins us tonight from Washington, D.C. Diana, good to have you here.
DIANA WEST, WASHINGTON TIMES: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: I want to begin with something that you wrote, "a nation has borders and defends them." If we could put that up, "a nation has broken borders and defends them. 'We' do not. Otherwise, building a fence against an unprecedented invasion by Mexico wouldn't be considered a harsh and radical position in the mainstream otherwise."
Well, when the Senate passed that amendment on the immigration bill, sponsored by Christopher Dodd, put into the manager's amendments by Senator Arlen Specter. What was your reaction?
DOBBS: It's just amazing.
WEST: Amazement, yes. Yes. It's a situation where the United States Senate, in insisting on this ridiculous two-track bill, to have supposed security along with this incredible amnesty program, is signaling to the world that we really don't believe in the concept of borders, and that's actually what I really draw from this bill, which is extremely disturbing, because if we signal that to the world, they will come, and we really will be the world.
DOBBS: That is, the world, we're certainly going to be Mexico at this rate. Because...
WEST: That's the first part of the world.
DOBBS: ... the Mexican population, a country of about 100 million people, with an estimated 20 million of their citizens already living in this country -- many of them legally of course -- but 3 million illegal aliens crossing our borders, most of whom are Mexican citizens. The idea that this administration will not enforce the border, for national security reasons, leaving immigration aside, is to most of us, to most Americans, absolutely unbelievable.
I would like to show you what the president today said to you and our audience here, because I want you, if you could, just listen to the logic of what the president of the United States uttered this morning, if we could hear that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: If the job is to secure this border, it seems like to me we've got to stop the number of people who are trying to sneak across in the first place. And the best way to do that is to make a temporary worker program a part of immigration reform.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: I have heard this president indulge in tortured reasoning and logic, but can you top that one?
WEST: I think that is a perfect classroom example of a non- sequitur. You don't stop people from sneaking across the border by offering them employment, no matter what you call it.
DOBBS: The issue, as you said, that the nation would cease to exist, what do you mean by that?
WEST: Well, the kind of provisions that are in the Senate bill, for both legal immigration that we can try to project, and then illegal immigration that we can only imagine, has the effect of a demographic tsunami, and it will be mainly Hispanic. It will be mainly Mexican.
And so, what the question becomes is, do we want to become a northern section of Latin America? Do we cease to become literally an English-speaking people, become bilingual, and/or Spanish-speaking? And with these questions, you really begin to get at the heart of the matter, a demographic, a newer demographic. DOBBS: The idea of a new demographic is to me, frankly, my reaction is, in terms of Hispanic, sort of what's the difference? Because we as a nation -- this is a melting pot. The issue of multiculturalism, however, and the issue of multi-language. That becomes a very serious issue, doesn't it?
WEST: Well, it does. I mean, I would say that we were a melting pot. I think that 30, 40 years of multiculturalism, however, have trashed that notion. We have been taught that that actually is not our design, and so we the people have become we the peoples. And when you import such a large demographic speaking one language, you have really altered the mix.
DOBBS: Diana West, I thank you for being here. We're out of time. I hope you'll come back soon. We're going to continue this discussion, obviously, on this broadcast in the weeks and months ahead. So please come back.
WEST: Very good.
DOBBS: Diana West, thank you.
Still ahead, we'll have more of your thoughts. Please stay with us.
DOBBS: Taking a look now at more of your thoughts. Jack in California saying, "Lou Dobbs -- Lou Dobbs for president. Impeach Vicente Fox!" Now, which presidency would you like me to run for? I'm interested in neither.
Ed in Massachusetts, "The Senate immigration plan should be called the guess worker plan. Guess how many, guess what they do, guess what they owe in taxes, guess their criminal and health background, and guess how many relatives they will bring over with them, and guess who they really are."
Remy in New York said, "An old saying comes to mind when I hear the Bush administration's policy on immigration. Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most."
And Tony in Texas: "For once, the elected officials are bringing together the voters. We will vote on the issues and not on party lines. I for one would like to say thank you." Thank you.
And Jan in Virginia: "Isn't it ironic that on the eve of Memorial Day, when we honor those who have served and even died to protect and preserve this country, our Senate votes to give the country away?"
Nancy in Delaware: "How many ways do Americans have to say no to illegal immigration and broken borders before our broken Congress gets the point? I guess they will hear it and understand in November." We can only hope.
And Charlie B. in Florida said: "Lou, Americans have fought and died for our citizenship, and this president has sent us to other countries to fight for their citizenship. Yet our Senate wants to give away this much sought-after privilege."
Send us your thoughts at LouDobbs.com. We thank you for being with us tonight. For all of us, thank you for watching. Good night from New York. "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now with Wolf Blitzer.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com