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Lou Dobbs Tonight

President Bush Convenes Two-Day War Summit at Camp David; Will U.S. Troops Soon be Leaving Iraq?

Aired June 12, 2006 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the top U.S. commander in Iraq says gradual U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq could begin within the next few months. We'll have reports from Baghdad, Camp David and the Pentagon tonight.
Also, hurricane warnings in effect tonight along the Florida Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Alberto is strengthening. We'll have a live report from the scene on Florida's Gulf Coast.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Monday, June 12th.

Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

President Bush and his top war commanders are meeting tonight in Camp David, Maryland. The two-day-long war council is being held as the number of American deaths in Iraq has risen to almost 2,500 and as the duration of this war approaches the length of our involvement in World War II.

We begin tonight with three reports.

Ed Henry at Camp David following today's war council meeting. Jamie McIntyre reporting from the Pentagon on the latest speculation on U.S. troop withdrawal. And John Vause in Baghdad, where U.S. military officials today released detailed new evidence about the death of al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

We begin with Ed Henry -- Ed.


In fact, the president is trying to pivot off some of the good news coming out of Iraq, the death of al-Zarqawi, as well as the formation of this new government, trying to capitalize on that with this war summit here at Camp David. The president immediately tried to shift the burden of responsibility for success in Iraq to the new Iraqi government.

He's clearly trying to basically shift the responsibility, push the U.S. into a more supportive role, but he's stopping short of calling for major troop cutbacks, basically saying that he has to wait for facts on the ground. He realizes he's leery of going out on a limb because of the fact that the violence is continuing in Iraq. Take a listen to the president.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Success in Iraq will depend upon the capacity of the new government to provide for its people. We recognize that. We're encouraged by the formation of a unity government. And we recognize our responsibilities to help that new government.


HENRY: Now, the president is hoping to get -- the president is hoping to get a better assessment of just how quickly the Iraqi government can take over security in their own country. Tomorrow the president will be bringing in his counterpart, the Iraqi prime minister, as well as key members of his cabinet, by secure video conference. They'll be participating in this war council at Camp David.

Earlier today, the president also brought in by video conference his war commanders over in Iraq. They gave him an assessment of the situation.

The president tried to walk this delicate balancing act between cheering the death of al-Zarqawi, but also stopping short and trying to lower expectations by saying that, in fact, this does not end the war, the death of one man. But Democrats are saying that the president, by holding such a high-profile summit, is, in fact, raising expectations, needs to come forward with some sort of new direction new policy, and what the president is trying to do is shift, instead, that pressure.

Instead of putting it on himself, trying to shift it to the Iraqi government. Time will tell whether or not they'll be up to the task -- Lou.

DOBBS: Ed Henry, thank you very much, from Camp David.

As President Bush meets with his war council, the Pentagon is signaling that some U.S. troops may be set to leave Iraq soon.

Jamie McIntyre is live at the Pentagon with that report -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, those signals are somewhat mixed. And, in fact, they're some of the same signals we've been hearing for months.

You're right, General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, has indicated again that assuming Iraqi forces continue to increase their capability, he thinks he may be able to reduce the number of troops in Iraq by the end of the year. Pentagon sources put that optimistic projection at a reduction of about 30,000, bringing to about 100,000 the number of troops at the end of the year.

But don't look for any troop reduction soon. These will be accomplished by not replacing as many troops there when the rotations come up. And one of the units, CNN has learned, that had been told to hold up in anticipation of possible troop cuts is now being told to prepare and pack up in Schweinfurt, Germany for their scheduled rotation. An indication, Lou, that those troop cuts, while they may be later in the year, are not something we're going to see at least in the next month or so -- Lou.

DOBBS: Jamie, thank you.

Jamie McIntyre from the Pentagon.

Six more of our troops have been killed in Iraq. The Pentagon today is reporting that one soldier died Wednesday in Mosul, another was killed by an IED explosion Thursday in Baghdad.

And Friday, one of our soldiers died in an IED explosion while on patrol in southern central Iraq. And a U.S. sailor died from his injuries when his vehicle hit a landmine Friday in Al Anbar province. And two Marines were killed in Al Anbar Province as well Friday.

2,497 of our troops have died in Iraq since the war began, 18,256 troops have been wounded. Of those, 8,436 so severely they're unable to return to duty.

Across Iraq today, more than 50 people were killed in new sectarian violence. In Baquba, a bus explosion killed four, wounding 11. There were also new insurgent attacks in Baghdad today and the town of Balad, north of Baghdad.

The U.S. military announced it killed seven insurgents in new raids and captured one of al Qaeda's senior leaders in Iraq. American troops have conducted now more than 200 raids on Al Qaeda in Iraq, using information found at the al-Zarqawi attack site.

The Pentagon said today Zarqawi survived almost an hour after the first 500-pound bomb hit his hideout near Baghdad, and it released new details about the massive injuries that killed him.

John Vause reports from Baghdad.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The autopsy which was carried out over the weekend shows that Zarqawi was inside the house at the time of the airstrike. They say they know this because he died from the primary blast injuries, essentially the shock wave caused by the explosion. The fact that there was relatively few external injuries is indicative that he suffered massive internal injuries.

And General Caldwell gave this assessment from the coalition medic who tried to administer first aid...

MAJ. GEN. BILL CALDWELL, U.S. ARMY: The medic ensured Zarqawi was breathing; however, he noted the breathing was shallow and labored. The medic then checked his carotid pulse, which was barely palpable and quickly deteriorated, in which he determined, therefore, that Zarqawi's death was imminent.

VAUSE: Zarqawi lived for 52 minutes after the airstrike but died from massive internal bleeding. His lungs had been damaged by the blast.

The purpose of this autopsy, to provide irrefutable proof to counter speculation and propaganda. According to the U.S. military, Zarqawi's body was treated with cultural sensitivity and also with the utmost respect, in their words, the same as if it was a member of the coalition forces.

Discussions are still under way between the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi government as to what to do with Zarqawi's remains.

John Vause, CNN, Baghdad.


DOBBS: Al Qaeda in Iraq today announced that a virtual unknown will succeed al-Zarqawi. Al Qaeda says the new leader will continue Zarqawi's violent insurgent campaign in Iraq.

The United States today announced North Korea is making plans to test an intercontinental ballistic missile with the potential of reaching the United States. U.S. military officials say the test could take place within weeks. It would be North Korea's first long- range missile test in nearly a decade.

And Iran today insisted it has a "absolute right" to develop its nuclear fuel technology. Iran also said it would refuse to suspend that program as a prerequisite for a nuclear talk with the United States. The new comments come as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency today blasted Iran for failing to cooperate in his three-year investigation of Iran's nuclear activities. Russian and China are said to be opposed to any U.S. ultimatum that would force Iran to suspend its nuclear program before talks begin.

Two weeks after the U.S. Defense Department identified communist China as the greatest potential threat to U.S. military power, the Bush administration now wants to give communist China greater access to sensitive American technology. American companies will no longer need special export licenses to sell electronics and other technology that could be used by China's military.

Louise Schiavone reports.


LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In an attempt to walk a fine line between reducing trade deficits and limiting threats, the Bush administration is proposing new rules of the game for U.S. trade with China.

JAMES LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: People have been trying for more than a decade to come up with a way to increase U.S. trade to China to safe end users without helping the Chinese military. This is a better try than some of the ones we've seen in the past, but it's a very difficult problem. And it's -- it's not clear if this will work.

SCHIAVONE: The proposal was previewed in a "Financial Times" op- ed by Commerce Undersecretary David McCormick, who noted that, "China's rapidly growing military capability is highly dependent on the acquisition of foreign technologies." And demanding that, "A small number of the most sensitive 'dual use' technologies with both civilian and military applications require additional oversight."

This would free up the sale of U.S. technology goods that seem destined for absolute civilian applications. Things like computers and video games.

At the same time, Commerce wants to tighten controls on some technologies that currently have none. The early reviews are mixed, at best. Business groups say proposed new restrictions on dual use goods are stifling.

BILL REINSCH, NATIONAL FOREIGN TRADE COUNCIL: These are not military items. The largest items we're talking about here are items that would go into commercial aircraft, parts and components for commercial aircraft, and software, including mass market software.

SCHIAVONE: The security-minded say business is forcing the door open even as a burgeoning military threat looms.

FRANK GAFFNEY, THE CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: The same business interests, the same demands from China, the same urgings from those who would like to improve our relations with China, wear down those walls, wear down the further concerns about maintaining core capabilities and confidences in this country.

SCHIAVONE: The Bush administration insists it's sensitive to charges from human rights groups that China is one of the world's most reckless arms exporters, with $1 billion in annual trade (INAUDIBLE) violence in countries like Sudan and Nepal.


SCHIAVONE: Lou, the signals couldn't be more vague here. Commerce officials are talking about these changes, but the proposed regulations haven't even been published yet -- Lou.

DOBBS: Louise, thank you very much.

Louise Schiavone from Washington.

Still ahead here, our exclusive report. Taking you inside this nation's largest multimillion-dollar document fraud operation. Tonight we'll tell you how one family helps countless illegal aliens commit felonies and remain in this country illegally.

Also tonight, we continue our exclusive series of reports of our democracy at risk and the massive potential electronic voting fraud in the upcoming midterm elections. And why the ACLU objects to new efforts to crack down on employers of illegal aliens.

That and a great deal more coming right up.


DOBBS: Millions of illegal aliens in this country rely on forged documents in order to work.

We have two reports tonight. Lisa Sylvester takes us inside the national crime family that controls the illegal alien document fraud industry. And Casey Wian reports on the ACLU's objections to a government plan to crack down on illegal employers.

We begin with Lisa Sylvester.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Document fraud is a multimillion-dollar industry. One family, the Castorenas, dominates the U.S. market. Headed by Pedro Castorena, a fugitive on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's 10 most wanted list.

MARCY FORMAN, ICE: Over the past decade, ICE investigations have turned up cells of the Castorena organization in virtually every major city in the United States.

SYLVESTER: Manuel Leija-Sanchez was the group's Chicago kingpin until he was arrested last year. One neighborhood, Little Village, alone brings in more than $2.5 million a year. Now his stepdaughter is providing insider information on how the group operates.

SUAD LEIJA-SANCHEZ, STEPDAUGHTER: As a little girl, I used to count their money, and I would get $50 in return. I would put envelopes of $5,000, another envelope of $2,000, and an envelope of $1,000.

SYLVESTER: Groups of six to 12 called a cell work the streets to pull in commerce. Two shifts a day, seven days a week. Venders keep a portion of the money and pass the proceeds up the chain to the parent company.

Congress' immigration reform that requires illegal aliens prove how long they've been in the country will only boost sales.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's all about documents. And they can make documents that look just as real as the documents that you and I carry in our wallets.

SYLVESTER: Suad decided to speak publicly after a conversation with her grandfather. She asked if terrorists could use these documents. He said...

LEIJA-SANCHEZ: "We are doing this for business, for money." So it doesn't really count for them whether you're a Mohammed or a Julio or somebody else, as long as you have the money to pay for it.

SYLVESTER: A set of a driver's license, Social Security card and resident alien card costs less than $250.


SYLVESTER: Suad is now working with immigration officials. She is in hiding, afraid that her stepfather will retaliate when he gets out. And for his role in the Chicago organization, Manuel Leija- Sanchez was sentenced to only a year -- Lou.

DOBBS: Well, she is certainly a courageous woman with integrity for which we should all be grateful. One year? That's the sentence?

SYLVESTER: It's pretty astounding. And it's one of the concerns that she has, is because she's been working with immigration officials. She thought that they would put him away for a long time. But it shows you part of the problem with this entire system. Somebody can be essentially the kingpin of a major city and running the document fraud business and still only gets one year.

DOBBS: Incredible.

Lisa, thank you very much.

Lisa Sylvester.

Suad is, as I said, a very courageous young lady. I do want to ask one other question, and that is, is she receiving federal protection in this?

SYLVESTER: She's been talking to Immigration and Customs Enforcement about getting federal witness protection, and they've indicated that it's something that they would like to do with her. But she says that that's -- even that, she's not even certain.

It's very unclear now with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. They know about the family, clearly, they know about how dangerous this family is. But yet, when they have somebody who is willing to help them, they're not really giving her the protection that she needs.

DOBBS: Well, we'll continue, please, to follow her and to follow this entire -- one conviction in this. An important one, but hardly sufficient to shut it down.

Lisa Sylvester, thank you.

A retired New York City police officer used a fake Mexican matricula consular card to enter the Department of Homeland Security. Matricula consular cards, of course, are issued by the Mexican government. And federal rules say they are not valid identification at government buildings.

The retired officer is a member of 9/11 Families for a Secure America. And he used his fake I.D. to find out gaps in homeland security. His fake I.D. lists his place of birth as Tijuana, and his street address is 123 Fraud Boulevard.

DHS, in a statement, told this broadcast that it is following up on allegations and, "We seek to ensure that an incident like this does not occur again."

Still ahead here, critical to any immigration reform is a crackdown on employers of illegal aliens. A need for a crackdown on illegal employers is also one of the few points on which the House and the Senate agree. But the American Civil Liberties Union opposes efforts to require employers to verify the legal status of their workers.

Casey Wian has that story.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The House border security bill and the Senate's immigration reform proposal don't have much in common, but both would require employers to verify the legal status of every newly hired worker. The ACLU is opposed.

TIM SARAPANI, ACLU LEGAL COUNSEL: Any employment verification system that is being proposed will create a large national identity database, which we oppose on principle because it leads to the government's collection of massive amounts of the most sensitive personally identifiable information about every single person in America.

WIAN: Congress wants to require all employers to participate in the Basic Pilot employee verification system. It began in 1997 as a voluntary program and was plagued by inaccuracies. But by 2003, Basic Pilot correctly authorized employment nearly 98 percent of the time and was praised by 96 percent of the more than 4,000 participating employers at 15,000 job sites.

STEVEN CAMAROTA, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: The privacy concerns don't seem to be reasonable. Right now the government, through the Social Security system and the IRS, track every job that you've ever had throughout your whole life. And then they pay you benefits based on that information. So all that this would be doing with the immigration system is preserving the integrity of that process.

WIAN: The ACLU says mandatory verification is not likely to stop employers from paying cash to illegal aliens under the table. It also warns that American citizens could be temporarily prevented from working if their file contains errors.

SARAPANI: When this system is up and running, when we have as many as 500,000 citizens who aren't able to get their next job, then people are going to be flocking to the ACLU asking us to take strong legal action on their behalf.

WIAN: The ACLU says it does want to prevent illegal aliens from working in this country. But rather than a mandatory verification system, it prefers more immigration agents to enforce existing laws at work sites.


WIAN: The ACLU says it's worried the government is about to create the employment equivalent of a no-fly list. Now, supporters of mandatory employment verification say that that would be a good idea because most of the people on the no-work list would be illegal aliens -- Lou.

DOBBS: Absolutely. The ACLU, this -- their job is law. Is, in their judgment, a legal basis right now to contest this idea?

WIAN: They haven't taken it that far yet, Lou. They say they're working with Congress and the Senate to sort of water down, if you will, the provisions of this employment verification proposal that's in both bills.

They want more protections for consumers, and I guess less burden for employers, which is something that's a concern that's shared by U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But right now they say that any thought about lawsuits is only speculative -- Lou.

DOBBS: The ACLU, for its reasons, lining up with the supporters of amnesty, illegal immigration and open borders, corporate America, demanding cheap labor and pursuing its agenda. It all adds up to the same thing: war on the middle class in this country.

Casey, thanks a lot.

Casey Wian.

Still ahead here, electronic voting machines will decide the outcome of critical congressional races in this country. But can you trust them to accurately count your vote? A lot of experts say absolutely not.

Our special report coming up.

And the most comprehensive poll of American attitudes on illegal immigration, border security and the debate under way in Washington. We'll have those exclusive definitive poll results coming right up.

And three of the nation's leading experts on illegal immigration will be here to examine the cost of illegal immigration to our economy and our society.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: The all-important midterm congressional elections are now less than five months away. And nearly one-third of all votes in this country will be cast on electronic voting machines. But rising doubts about their accuracy and integrity threaten to undermine confidence in our democracy.

Kitty Pilgrim reports.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At the board of supervisors meeting in Alameda County, California, accusations flying against electronic voting systems.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All you need to do is hire a kindergarten level computer hacker and the votes are yours.

PILGRIM: The county put the electronic machines in place three years ago after the contested 2000 presidential election problems. The Help America Vote Act provided funds for local and state governments to upgrade their voting systems.

REP. RUSH HOLT (D), NEW JERSEY: One of the unintended consequences of that legislation was that all over the country jurisdictions, counties, states, and so forth, hurried out to buy electronic voting machines in an effort to get away from hanging chads and butterfly ballots. And they bought machines that are unauditable. And therefore a recount is meaningless.

PILGRIM: A 2005 GAO report on electronic voting confirmed the worst fears of watchdog groups and election officials. "There is evidence that some of these concerns have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes."

Lowell Finley is an activist who is suing state and local election officials over the use of e-voting machines.

LOWELL FINLEY, VOTER ACTION: The real danger with electronic voting is with insider fraud, who just need a few minutes of access to a voting machine or to a tabulating computer and they can wreak havoc.

PILGRIM: Twenty-six states now have passed legislation that in one way or another calls for voter verified paper audit trails.


PILGRIM: Now, we talked to election officials in the states of California, New Mexico and New Jersey who defend their recent primary results. But in the case of New Mexico, they've decided to go to an all-paper ballot system for the upcoming election, Lou, just to put to rest any fears that the voters may have about the systems.

DOBBS: Put to rest their fears? I would say those fears are rising right now.

PILGRIM: We talked to election officials today with those three states who had primaries last week. And they said they defend their results, but clearly everyone is re-examining their systems.

DOBBS: This is -- this is becoming a very, very troubling exercise in that we have people defending results who can't even defend the process or the technology because it's proprietary and it's not being shared. And therefore, it's not auditable, as Congressman Holt points out. And without that ability, how do you conduct a recount reliably and transparently?

PILGRIM: And some of this is on the local level, where local officials are just saying, well, they used it, we maybe should use it. So it's sort of not understood fully, I think is the fair way to say.

DOBBS: Not understood fully, and perhaps becoming more understood and more alarming as a result.

Kitty, thank you very much.

Kitty Pilgrim.

Taking a look now at some of your thoughts.

Bill in Illinois, "Lou" -- referring to Congress -- "wine tastings, Mongolian statehood and 60th anniversary parties are all a good use of time, in the opinions of our lawmakers. Especially if they are able to divert attention away from the illegal alien issue."

And Carol in Washington, "Congress' failure to represent anyone in this country certainly leaves them with plenty of time to concentrate on the real important issues like Mongolian statehood or Thailand's anniversary."

Ron in Michigan, "Lou, can you help me out? I constantly hear the phrase, 'government of the people, for the people and by the people of the United States of America.' I get the 'of' and the 'by,' but I cannot figure out the 'for.'"

"Could you please have is a poll that reads, 'Of the below listed, who do you think is for the people of the USA? A, the Senate, B, the House, C, Congress, D, President Bush, or E, none of the above?' Perhaps the results of your poll will help millions of U.S. citizens finally figure out the answer, or we will find out if such a thing still exists in this country today under this present government and administration."

Ron, we have taken your suggestion this evening, and that's our poll for this evening. And here it is.

Of the below listed, who do you think is for the people of the USA? The Senate, the House, Congress, President Bush, none of the above?

Cast your vote at We'll have the results later here. And we'll have more of your thoughts in the broadcast.

A family court judge was shot in the chest inside a courthouse in Reno, Nevada. The judge was standing near a window in his office when he was shot. Police are now looking for a sniper. S.W.A.T. teams have been called in. They've closed several blocks around the courthouse. The judge has been hospitalized and is in serious condition tonight. Violent crime is on the rise in this country. The murder rate jumped 4.8 percent in 2005, according to the FBI's new crime report. The overall rate of violent crime, in fact, rose more than 2.5 percent. This is the first significant increase in our crime rate since 1993.

The Midwest had the greatest increase in murders, robberies, rapes and aggravated assaults at 5.7 percent. Authorities say they're not sure yet whether the spike in the crime rate is an anomaly or the end of a downward trend over the past 13 years.

Coming up next, the first major storm of the season takes aim at the Florida coast. We'll have a live report on Tropical Storm Alberto as thousands of Gulf Coast residents are bracing for impact.

Also ahead here tonight, the great American giveaway. Just when you think you've heard it all, our lawmakers are outdoing themselves again. Tonight it's our airlines. They don't care who they sell them to. And three of the nation's leading experts on illegal immigration, our border security crisis, join us. They will authoritatively down the cost illegal immigration tonight. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Hurricane warnings tonight are in effect along 200 miles of the Florida coast from just south of Tallahassee to Long Boat Key. Tropical Storm Alberto is quickly gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico as it charges toward Florida.

Officials are now predicting the storm will produce hurricane conditions within the next 24 hours. Alberto is the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane -- of the hurricane season. Susan Candiotti is live for us tonight in Clearwater, Florida, and has the latest. Susan?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Lou. We're in a short break right now from the rain we've been hammered with all day long. However, after an unrelenting and punishing hurricane season of 2005 that started nearly year ago to the day with the first named storm, once again the state of Florida is under a state of emergency.

Governor Jeb Bush has ordered mandatory evacuations for several counties located in low lying areas. He has put about 7,500 National Guardsmen on stand-by and close to 20 shelters are being opened throughout the state.

Meantime, traffic and rain has been steady throughout the day and some vacationers have actually checked out early from their hotels all the way from the Florida Keys up through the panhandle. And there is talk of up to eight to ten inches of rain throughout the state of Florida, prompting a lot of people to pick up sandbags.

Here's the projected path of the storm. They're talking about the possibility of Alberto becoming a hurricane around midnight tonight and could make land fall in the early morning hours, as we check out that path. Somewhere around the big been area between Steenhatchy and Cedar Key, that's a possibility. And by 2:00 tomorrow afternoon, it is possible, it could finish crossing the state coming out between the Florida and Georgia borders. So Lou, this is mainly a rain event, but a particularly nasty one. Back to you.

DOBBS: Susan, thank you very much. Susan Candiotti.

The White House tonight continues its push to allow foreign control of our nation's airlines. Congressman James Oberstar of Minnesota believes this is a key national security issue and it as an outright giveaway in his opinion. He's introducing legislation that would force the White House to report to congress on any discussions relaxing ownership rules. Congressman James Oberstar, the ranking Democrat on the House Transportation Committee joins us tonight. Congressman, good to have you with us.

REP. JAMES OBERSTAR (D), MINNESOTA: Thank you for inviting me.

DOBBS: Congressman, how it is that this Transportation Department has just basically taken it upon itself to roll back, what is it, 65 years of both convention and regulation and just say, take control -- to any foreign interest -- take control of our airlines?

OBERSTAR: There's two problems, Lou. First is, you're right, for 65 years it has been the rule and for the past three years, the law, that U.S. airlines must be under the actual control of the U.S. owner. The international trade bureaucrats in the State Department and Transportation Department want to change that.

In negotiations with the European community on an aviation trade agreement, they negotiated away that actual control. That is wrong. It will jeopardize one of the few sectors that the United States has a positive balance of payments in international trade, aviation.

DOBBS: The irony of that is overwhelming. A positive balance of payments when we've run 30 consecutive years of trade deficits in this country by idiots who want to call it free trade. That's a pretty high cost for free trade, isn't it Congressman?

OBERSTAR: Well, between the United States and Europe, and I did my graduate studies, graduate degree at the time of the formation of the European common markets, so I understand what the Europeans are up to. For 62 years they've refused an international aviation trade agreement for all of Europe with the United States. Now they want to get into it.

We have a $9 billion surplus balance of payments with the north atlantic community. Why should we let their airlines and their financial interests control U.S. carriers and decide which markets they'll serve and what type of aircraft they'll fly?

DOBBS: It's amazing to me the people who think it's just fine to trade away the national security of the country to give functional operational control of our airlines to investors. Senator John McCain, this is his reaction, and this will be the -- we've just received this, Congressman. "Instead of encouraging freer and more robust commercial relations with our neighbors across the Atlantic, some," that must mean you Congressman -- it actually mean me as well, "some would rather turn inwards." That's because we're bad people, Congressman. "Principals of free competition and consumer choice should overtake the growing desire by some in Congress to embrace protectionism and rebuff the world." You terrible person, Congressman.

DOBBS: It is not protectionism at all. If you look closely into the U.S.- E.U. agreement, in the light of which they're trying to change the current law by rule, not law, you will find that the United States does not have an advantageous situation with the European community and with the United Kingdom.

Ever since Bermuda Two in 1977 under Jimmy Carter when we got skunked in the negotiations, the British have had control over pricing and market entry.

DOBBS: Congressman, they want trade agreement where we have, as you put it, gotten skunked. We have lined up a serial group of negotiators, serial idiots, incompetents going out in the name of free trade, bankrupting the country. Four and a half trillion dollars in trade debt. Now these fools want to give away one of the few, as you put it, one of the few industries where we have a positive balance of payments. And by the way, there is a little matter of national security. I mean, how do you deal with these people?

OBERSTAR: Well, you have to defeat them tomorrow during consideration of the appropriations bill. I'll offer an amendment to freeze the NPRM for one year so they can't act on it and so the Congress can have open, public hearings and decide the future of American aviation trade by law and not by action of international trade bureaucrats.

DOBBS: Congressman Oberstar, I have to tell you, you're concerning the entire audience of this broadcast. You're putting national security ahead of commerce, you're actually looking at the facts of international trade. You want to have transparency in the outcome of this issue, and you also want democracy to work, you want the American people to have representation in the result? Congressman Oberstar, you're alarming the nation.

OBERSTAR: Well, I'm sorry, but that's my job.

DOBBS: Bless your heart. We thank you very much for doing it.

OBERSTAR: Thank you.

DOBBS: You're among the few. Congressman James Oberstar, coming up here, we'll have results of our exclusive, comprehensive, national poll on illegal immigration, border security and American attitudes about the legislation now being discussed and debated in Washington. It's definitive, believe me. And three of the leading authorities on illegal immigration will join me to examine the cost of illegal immigration in those open borders. Stay with us.


DOBBS: This broadcast commissioned a national, comprehensive poll on illegal immigration, border security and the legislation now being debated in Washington. We did so because we felt if we're going to talk about comprehensive immigration reform, well we should have the definitive comprehensive national poll. And we went about it seriously and seeking those definitive answers from you and all of our fellow citizens across the country.

Asked who they believe would do a better job of securing this nation's borders, an interesting split. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said congressional Democrats, 31 percent said Republicans. Unsure doing just a little better.

But nearly two-thirds are not confident that Congress and the pass will, this term, pass comprehensive immigration reform. Only one in 10 expressed their feelings as very confident. And we should point out, this poll had over 1,000 respondents.

Concerning enforcement measures, more than three-quarters of Americans surveyed in this poll say there should be more border patrol and more federal law enforcement agents on the border with Mexico to stem the tide of illegal immigration. And six in 10 Americans want stiff fines imposed on employers who hire illegal aliens.

More than half want to send national guard troops to the border with Mexico. And 45 percent agree with building a fence along the border with Mexico, that's within -- it's about an even split within just about the margin of error.

Forty percent want employers who hire illegal aliens to go to jail. And fully two-thirds of Americans surveyed agree with deportation of illegal aliens -- again, two-thirds. A quarter disagree. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed would like to see the number of illegal aliens in this country decline. And fully 26 percent say the numbers should remain the same while two percent want to increase the number of illegals.

Robert Rector joins me now from the Heritage Foundation. George Grayson, professor at William and Mary College and one of the nation's leading analysts of Mexico's political system. And Barry Chiswick, economics professor at the University of Chicago. He joins us as well. Good to have you all here.

Professor Grayson, let me start with you. You say this legislation the Senate just passed will actually benefit Americans less than the illegal aliens who would receive amnesty.

GEORGE GRAYSON, PROFESSOR, WILLIAM & MARY COLLEGE: Yes, I think one of the ironies is, Lou, that it will make some Americans second- class citizens. And excuse my referring to notes here, but I want to be concise.

For example, if a guest worker alleges that he has been terminated without just cause, then he can have an arbitration hearing, which is paid for by U.S. taxpayers and possibly get his job back. If an American worker, who happens to lose his job, wants to contest the firing, he has little grounds to stand on because he's hired at will.

DOBBS: Professor Chiswick, you have said -- one of the things that's happening in this country is people won't speak directly about numbers. You, Robert Rector are certainly the exceptions, Professor Grayson. What is the impact of illegal immigration on this country? Can you tell us, professor?

BARRY CHISWICK, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: The impact is quite substantial. And probably the most significant impact on the labor market is that it reduces the employment opportunities and earnings of low-skilled workers who are citizens of the United States. And this is something that I think is unfortunate that there's too little public attention focused on this.

DOBBS: Now you testified to this before the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with a number of your colleagues and I didn't hear anybody sitting on that committee seem even remotely interested in what you were saying. Is that unfair of me?

CHISWICK: Well, I think you're on the mark in what you said. I think the people without a voice in this country are the Americans who have low levels of skill, who are competing in the labor market with others who are immigrants and native born, and they seem to lack a political voice.

DOBBS: I will tell you categorically I think the middle class and those who aspire to it in this country, professor, are the least represented group in all of Washington D.C. by either Democrats or Republicans, and if you're a Republican and a Democrat and you disagree with me, tough, because I absolutely believe it. What do you think, professor?

CHISWICK: Well, I think that's consistent with what's going on regarding this debate on immigration.

DOBBS: Let me talk to...

CHISWICK: So I think you're right on the mark.

DOBBS: ... Thank you. I'll take that University of Chicago professor every time. Robert Rector, you singlehandedly with your research got them to roll back the number of by a lousy 40 million. They were only concerned about 40 million immigrants who could have come into this country during a two decade period. They rolled that back to 66 million thanks to your research. Are these people out of their minds?

ROBERT RECTOR, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: I think that every time we do immigration, what we do is we do it completely against the will of the American people. The American people by a ratio of about 4-1 want less immigration, not more. But here we have a bill that grants amnesty and citizenship to every illegal, just about and then on top of that, it's going to double legal immigration. And mainly the people coming in are going to be people -- high school dropouts, who tend to have children without being married. We are vastly expanding the welfare state.

DOBBS: We should point out, though, as we understand them to be American citizens, one out of three children born in this country today is born out of wedlock.


DOBBS: And I believe in seven states, the number is more than 40 percent. So we have plenty of those problems before we import them.

RECTOR: We already have a vast welfare system. We spend close to $600 billion a year. What we're doing now is importing a vast new welfare clientele from Central America. And we simply can't afford to do that. That's what this bill does.

DOBBS: It's incredible. Professor Grayson, let me ask each of you the same question and I'd love for you all to chime in on this, but begin with you, Professor Grayson. Your research, that of George Borjas at Harvard, and a few other people, rigorous, intelligent, scholarly work, which, of course, Congress is ignoring -- but why in the world aren't our academic economists, sociologists, researchers and scholars, why aren't they coming into this issue with real research and weighing in on these issues of such national importance?

GRAYSON: Lou, it's not politically correct. We have to play the victimization card. And everybody in the third world are victims of the rabid (ph) dogs of capitalism, of the IMF, of Washington. And so, what you have in academia is just lots of bleeding hearts.

My view is that if the guest worker program were for college professors, editorial writers and immigration lawyers, there would be a lot more opposition to it.

DOBBS: Is that right, professor? Professor Chiswick?

CHISWICK: Oh, yes, thank you. Well, Lou, nations have myths...

DOBBS: Sorry, there's so many professors around here, I wasn't being very definitive.

CHISWICK: All nations have myths. And one of our myths is that any and all immigrants are equally desirable and equally beneficial for the national economy. And we know from substantial research that that simply is not the case. That high-skilled immigrants have very different impacts than low-skilled immigrants.

We also know that there's a limited absorptive capacity in terms of immigration, and that slower paces of immigration are easier to absorb than large, sudden influxes of immigrants. But these issues seem to not be on the table.

DOBBS: Robert Rector, let me ask you, because as Professor Grayson says about victimization, political correctness. I mean, it's not just academia. We shouldn't lay it just there. But we've become a nation of orthodoxies and you have got to have a very specific control of language before you can even discuss these issues. But the idea that our middle class working men and women in this country and their families, those who aspire to be in that middle class are the victims. Why is that not compelling to academic researchers, to our scholars?

RECTOR: I think there's a lot that you simply can't say here. I'll say another thing that can't be said here, which is the fact that Hispanics in the United States have a crime rate that's two and a half times that of white non-Hispanics, and it seems very clear that if you basically bring in a lot of low-skilled Hispanics with dysfunctional family structure from the Central America, that both they and, in particular, their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the United States. The data is very clear on that. But it can't be discussed.

We can't really also discuss the fact that, my goodness, if you're bringing in high school dropouts who aren't married and have children out of wedlock, what are they going to do? They're going to be on welfare. It's why this is the largest expansion of welfare in at least 35 years. It is going to cost at least $70 billion a year. Those costs are going to smash into the government, exactly at the time Social Security starts to go into crisis.

DOBBS: At the same time, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, business' biggest lobbyist, Tom Donahue, says to me we've got to have those illegal aliens, because as baby boomers are retiring, we need somebody to support us.

Robert Rector, thank you very much. Barry Chiswick, thank you very much. And George Grayson, thank you. We appreciate you gentlemen being here. Please come back as we continue to explore what our Congress, our president is doing to us. We'll be right back. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Coming up at the top of the hour, "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer. Wolf, what are you working on?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Lou. Hurricane warning in effect right now. Alberto barreling toward the Florida coast. We'll find out how powerful the storm will be when it hits land. Max Mayfield from the National Hurricane Center standing by to join us live right at the top of the hour.

Also, war council. President Bush meets with his top advisers on Iraq. Will the latest successes on the ground mean the troops will come home any time soon?

Plus, campaigner in chief. Bill Clinton bringing in some big bucks for the Democrats.

And grab your remote. Congress may take action soon. You don't necessarily have to pay for the cable stations you don't want to watch. But find out why some Christian groups right now are fighting both for and against a new law. All that, Lou, coming up right at the top of the hour.

DOBBS: Thank you, Wolf. Looking forward to it.

Senator Byron Dorgan has introduced legislation that prohibits any goods produced by child labor or forced labor from being sold in the United States. The U.S. Customs Department would be responsible for enforcing the ban. Individuals and private organizations could also sue corporations that violate that law. Senator Dorgan says corporate interests are using free trade agreements to exploit cheap foreign labor. And he says the best way to stop it is to ban the import of goods made in sweatshops.

A new Iowa poll out tonight shows Senator Hillary Clinton is facing early competition. The Iowa poll commissioned by "The Des Moines Register" shows former vice presidential candidate and U.S. Senator John Edwards to be the favorite of Iowa voters, beating out Senator Clinton.

Still ahead, the results of our poll tonight, more of your thoughts. Stay with us.


DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight: 87 percent of you respond to the question of those listed, who do you think is for the people of the USA? Eighty-seven percent of you saying none of the above. And doing best, the House of Representatives.

Taking a look now at more of your thoughts.

David in Florida, "Lou, the far left fears you and the far right hates you." Well, we've got everybody happy.

And Walter in Georgia, "Lou Dobbs, have you gone crazy? Do you realize that you're telling the American people and the world the truth? Are you still a member of the news media?" So far so good.

And Larry in Oklahoma. "I wonder if the higher power that President Bush referred to was Vicente Fox?"

And Carl in New Mexico, "Our government has given away our shipping, our ports and now our airlines. What's next? Our Declaration of Independence?"

Well, Adam in Texas says: "It's too bad that jobs don't count as an American export. If they did, trade deficits wouldn't be such a problem."

And Janice in California, "I live in Los Angeles, and guess what the Wal-Mart near my home sells right next to their display of American flags? Mexican flags! Can you beat that? Conservative Wal- Mart selling out to the Mexicans. Why am I not surprised?" I'm afraid not many of us are.

Thank you, and we appreciate your thoughts. Send your thoughts to us at Each of you whose email is read here receives a copy of my book, "Exporting America."

Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow when Congressman Mike Pence, who is going to introduce tough new immigration and border security legislation will be here. We hope you are too. Thanks for watching. Good night from New York. Wolf Blitzer and "THE SITUATION ROOM" begin right now.