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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Pro Illegal Protests and Marches; Honoring National Law Day; Immigration Politics
Aired May 01, 2008 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, HOST: Thank you, Wolf.
Tonight pro amnesty and left wing groups ignoring national law day -- it is National Law Day in this country. They ignore the fundamental values of the nation and demand an end to the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. We'll have complete coverage of this travesty.
Also communities across the nation suffering devastating consequences from our illegal immigration crisis, but the mayor of New Haven, Connecticut is pandering to socioethnic special interest groups. He's making his city a safe haven for illegal aliens. Did I mention this is National Law Day? We'll have that report.
And new evidence that Senators Clinton and Obama are in a statistical dead heat in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination. Will Senator Clinton surprise her foes and pull ahead of Senator Obama? I'll be joined by three of the very best political analysts. We'll have all of that, all the day's news and some very interesting guests straight ahead here tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Thursday, May 1. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody and happy Law Day.
This is National Law Day, Law Day USA, 2008, proclaimed National Law Day first by President Dwight David Eisenhower. Thousands on this pro-law day, thousands of pro-illegal alien activists and their supporters instead joined up with left wing groups and held protests and demonstrations across the nation.
But those protests were much smaller than in previous years, considerably smaller. And the demonstrators were demanding that the federal government immediately stop arresting illegal aliens and they demanded that amnesty be given to 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country.
Now ironically these protests coming on the same that day that this nation by law celebrates National Law Day, honoring our rule of law. We have coast-to-coast coverage tonight of the marches, the protests and the impact, if any, on the presidential campaign.
We begin with Jim Acosta in New York City -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, hundreds of protesters rallied here in New York, thousands marched in the streets and other big cities across the country to demonstrate against immigration raids and deportations. But the turnout was nowhere near the hundreds of thousands of people these rallies drew two years ago. And so far in places like Chicago no reports of major unrest, such as what unfolded at a demonstration in Los Angeles last year.
Organizers launched these marches two years ago they say as a way to put pressure on the government to respect the rights they say of the undocumented, but some in this movement worry that that message is being lost out here in these events that are unfolding today. We talked to one immigration advocate who says he didn't take part in today's demonstrations because other groups, anti war groups and anti globalization groups have glommed (ph) onto these rallies, muddying the message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And this was a conscious decision not to come?
EDWARD JUAREZ, INT'L IMMIGRANTS FOUNDATION: Absolutely. This was a conscious decision not to come, not to participate precisely because of the fact of the organizations that are involved in these kinds of events they really do not project who are the immigrants of today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And immigration groups that we talked to today say this year is different. Demonstrations, mass demonstrations may have worked in 2006, but some Latino and immigration rights groups are hoping for this year instead Lou, is a march to the ballot box this fall.
DOBBS: Well they can't very well march to the ballot box if they're not citizens, can they?
ACOSTA: Well you know the folks who are citizens, who do express some sympathy towards the undocumented they're in fact planning on going to the ballot box this fall and actually we've seen those numbers increase...
DOBBS: Surely I mean I may, Jim, they would be going to vote anyway, would they not as citizens?
ACOSTA: They are. Yes.
ACOSTA: Groups like La Raza and other groups that represent Hispanics in this country; obviously they have a different point of view than you do, but...
DOBBS: Whoa, whoa, whoa...
ACOSTA: ... what they're hoping for is that Hispanics...
DOBBS: Whoa, whoa, whoa...
ACOSTA: ... across the country will show up at the polls in big numbers.
DOBBS: Look, Jim, Jim, you said who...
DOBBS: ... represents Hispanics in this country? You said they represent...
ACOSTA: Yes, they do. They represent some of the Hispanics...
DOBBS: Some of the Hispanics...
DOBBS: Some of the Hispanics, all right. Now we're talking. Because Hispanic Americans like every other American (INAUDIBLE) organization by any stretch of the imagination.
Jim Acosta, thank you very much.
Those pro amnesty rallies taking place in Los Angeles tonight as well. Organizers and police say they hope there won't be a repeat of the violence at last year's protest.
As Casey Wian now reports, three separate marches converging on downtown Los Angeles at this very hour.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yes, we can, marchers chant, but the May Day immigration protesters have failed to accomplish their main goals. Comprehensive changes in immigration law, an end to deportations, and a moratorium on workplace raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We consider that the raids are a violation of basic human rights.
WIAN: Three separate marches converged on L.A. City Hall. Two were organized mostly by Latino and other ethnic advocacy groups. The third was put together by American Apparel, an L.A. based clothing manufacturer that has lobbied for illegal alien amnesty and an end to ICE raids. It gave 4,000 employees the day off to march. Los Angeles has more illegal aliens than any other U.S. city and on the eve of the rallies the demonstrators were welcomed by local officials. CHIEF WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPT.: We, the police, will be here to ensure that the immigrant community and its supporters can exercise their First Amendment rights in a peaceful way. So we encourage you tomorrow to come to these rallies, to come and enjoy.
MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, LOS ANGELES: We're committed in this city to embracing every Angelino, whether they're born here or not, whether they're legal or not.
WIAN: Last year's rally at MacArthur Park ended in a violent confrontation with Los Angeles police. Scores of officers, protesters and journalists were injured. And the LAPD has spent the past year refining its crowd control tactics. But there were smaller crowed to control this year in Los Angeles and other cities. Many reported turnout only about one-tenth the size of last year's pro amnesty marches.
WIAN: Now the latest information we have from the Los Angeles Police Department is about 8,500 marchers are participating in these three marches this year. That compares to up to 25,000 they estimated attended last year's marches. They say there haven't been no major incidents so far. Only two arrests, one for fighting and one for misdemeanor marijuana possession.
And Lou, I got to tell you that all around the perimeter of this rally are groups of Los Angeles Police Department officers, groups of sheriff's deputies standing around with nothing to do. It's a welcome change from last year, Lou.
DOBBS: Well absolutely. Now I got a little confused there. Was that Bill Bratton saying come down and have a great demonstration basically enjoy the food, enjoy the day?
WIAN: Absolutely. Both he and the mayor encouraged everybody in Los Angeles to come out and support the agenda of these folks. The mayor said that. Chief Bratton didn't. He encouraged people to come out and no matter their legal status, you know exercise their First Amendment rights, as he said.
DOBBS: Well I mean that's kind of fun there in Los Angeles. I mean you guys have got a really neat city. I mean the chief of police just -- I mean he's come a long way since he was chief of police here. I've known Chief Bratton a while and that's sort of -- frankly it looks -- every opinion expressed on this broadcast is my own, as you know, Casey.
And I'm about to express one. By the way, it's not necessarily the opinion of this network or any other organization or any person on this planet, but I hope a few people join me. I mean he looks downright kind of, just sort of accommodating, some what silly and I kind of like the tenor of it all in Los Angeles. It's sort of fits somehow, doesn't it?
WIAN: Well it does, Lou, and I go to say that the other side has been accommodating as well, at least they have changed their tactics, the pro-illegal alien amnesty crowd. You see a lot more American flags at these marches...
WIAN: ... than you did last year and the year before, so they've changed as well, Lou.
DOBBS: Well and you know what, and as those groups get smaller, I think they're started to say you know straightforwardly understand the nonsense of illegal aliens and their supporters demanding rights and demanding action. Those days are over. Somebody convinced them of that in 2006.
It was pretty clearly demonstrated to the demonstrators that isn't going to work in this country. We're going to proceed rationally and I think effectively and humanely toward a resolution, but we're sure as heck not going to be putting up with demands from those who are seeking privileges. Casey, thank you very much. Let's hope it's all so reasonable and it looks like a beautiful day for a demonstration or anything else in the city of Los Angeles.
Thank you, sir.
WIAN: You're welcome, Lou.
DOBBS: And by the way, anyone there celebrating Law Day? Did Chief Bratton mention it was Law Day?
WIAN: No, he didn't. He left that out.
DOBBS: Oh, that's a shame. Did Mayor Villaraigosa mention it was National Law Day?
WIAN: I haven't heard a mention of Law Day in Los Angeles...
WIAN: ... outside of hearing you talk on our air, Lou.
DOBBS: That's a shame. Because you know for 50 years May 1 has been Law Day in American, celebrating that we are a nation of laws. I can't imagine how that got lost in that demonstration seeking amnesty for lawbreakers. Can you?
WIAN: Well, these people want the law to stop being enforced in many cases. They're saying we want ICE raids to stop. We want deportations to stop and we want the law changed. That's their take on it.
DOBBS: You got it. Well happy, happy Law Day, Casey Wian in Los Angeles.
Most of today's demonstrators wouldn't know that today isn't immigration day, but rather Law Day. It was President Eisenhower who first proclaimed law day in 1958, a day of national dedication to the principle of government under laws.
Louise Schiavone has our Law Day report.
LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): May 1, immigration day? These demonstrators would have you believe that, but they've actually hijacked the date from the legal community.
WILLIAM NEUKOM, PRES., AMERICAN BAR ASSN.: Never enough people know that it's Law Day.
SCHIAVONE: Who, truth be told with the help of President Eisenhower, snatched it from among others the communists who rolled out tanks and soldiers as a show of force on International Workers Day and before that...
REP. BRIAN BILBRAY (R), CALIFORNIA: Actually traditionally it has been one of the basic pagan holidays for a celebration of spring.
SCHIAVONE: Law Day has been expropriated plenty of times.
CHIEF JUDGE ROYCE LAMBERTH, U.S. DISTRICT COURT, D.C.: Right now it's one issue. Five years from now, I don't know what the issue will be, but I doubt if it will be immigration. It will be something else. And throughout all of this, 50 years, we've always come back to the rule of law, the importance of the rule of law, the importance of an independent judiciary.
SCHIAVONE: Which is what the American Bar Association was thinking when they pushed for Law Day a half century ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to redouble our efforts to reach out to people who sort of take the law for granted.
SCHIAVONE: Not everyone is that philosophical.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely ironic that on Law Day that there are people in this country both legal and illegal who want to sort of damn the enforcement of law.
SCHIAVONE: Also ironic the fact that it's Law Day appears to have gone virtually unnoticed by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
SCHIAVONE: Lou, President Bush acknowledged Law Day with a proclamation, affirming the nation's commitment to what he called a robust system of ordered liberty -- Lou.
DOBBS: I like that. But I really don't like the fact that this government, this administration, public schools across the country weren't celebrating Law Day. Isn't that remarkable?
SCHIAVONE: You know what? It's not just Law Day May 1, all of May is law month. And one of the things that the ABA would like to see is the reinstitution of the teaching of civics, the teaching of actual American history in classrooms so that students really get to know what the laws are.
DOBBS: Now that would move us into National Education Day, wouldn't it? It gets so confusing.
SCHIAVONE: I really am confused now.
DOBBS: We're going to straighten out one confusion. You know what? This broadcast, we're going to celebrate the entire month of May -- we're going to make that our job to honor the law as law month, the month of May. We hope you'll join us.
Louise Schiavone, thank you very much.
We called, by the way, because I got a little upset about the fact that people weren't paying attention to the fact that this is and has been for 50 years Law Day in America, which no one but this broadcast seems to want to celebrate, so we called other news networks and we asked them how they planned to cover Law Day.
Perhaps you won't be surprised to learn they were simply baffled by our question. In point of fact those other networks that returned our call didn't seem to be aware that today is Law Day. This despite the fact that President Bush as we reported actually remembered to issue a proclamation today celebrating what is the 50th anniversary of Law Day in America. Happy Law Day.
Time now for our poll. The question is: Do you believe our fellow citizens know that today is Law Day, a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law?
And by the way, it's written into our law that this is Law Day. We would love to hear from you on this.
Yes or no? You're your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results upcoming.
And much more on today's pro amnesty protests during Law Day, including the marchers' blatant efforts to influence our presidential campaign on Law Day.
Lisa Sylvester will have our report -- Lisa.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, protesters marched to the Democratic and Republican headquarters in Washington, D.C. demanding amnesty. We'll tell you what happened -- Lou.
DOBBS: Look forward to it, Lisa. Thank you.
Also pro illegal alien activists refusing to acknowledge some of this country's most fundamental values. We'll have that report.
And you won't believe what one city in Connecticut is doing to undermine this nation's laws. We'll have a live report for you from New Haven, Connecticut. Stay with us. We're coming right back.
DOBBS: Today's amnesty rallies sponsored by open borders and amnesty advocate special interest groups all hoping to catch the attention of the presidential candidates among others and all three of the principle candidates, Senators Clinton, Obama and McCain they supported the so-called comprehensive immigration reform bill that was killed in Congress just last summer. Today's demonstrators on Law Day are working toward their long-term goal, which is to set the amnesty agenda for the next administration and Congress.
Lisa Sylvester has our report.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): The crowd was much, much smaller than years past. Slightly more than a dozen people protested outside the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican Parties in Washington. A later rally had a couple hundred people, pushing for nothing less than amnesty.
SAMEER DOSSANI, DEMONSTRATOR: An end to the raids, an end to the deportations, legalization and amnesty for all.
SYLVESTER: The group called the May 1 Immigrant Coalition sent a letter to the three presidential candidates asking them to support a pathway to citizenship for as many as 20 million illegal aliens in the United States. In fact, all three senators, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama already support granting amnesty for some. Obama stumping for votes in North Carolina.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's give them a pathway so they become -- they can have some legal status. It might take 10 years, but at least then they have got some prospect, some hope.
SYLVESTER: North Carolina, next up on the primary list, has seen an explosion of immigrant growth. It now ranks in the top five states, but one group advocating for stricter illegal immigration enforcement says the three candidates just don't get it, how filling jobs with illegal workers displaces and hurts Americans.
ROY BECK, NUMBERS USA: I believe all three of them are fundamentally blind to what it's like to be a working class person in this country, what it's like to be a roofer or a dry-waller, to work in these occupations that are flooded by foreign workers. They do not feel the pain that these workers are lower middle class workers are feeling.
SYLVESTER: All three candidates share roughly the same position on immigration, one reason they're not jumping to talk about it on the campaign trail.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SYLVESTER: Senator John McCain has said he supports border security first unlike the Democratic candidates, but McCain's fundamental position still mirrors the comprehensive immigration bill that failed in Congress last year, that included more funding for border security, building a southern border fence and a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. Lou?
DOBBS: Lisa, thank you very much.
Same old, same old from these Democratic candidates, a change as you note for Senator McCain, who with Senator Kennedy came up with comprehensive immigration reform. Does he really mean that he will insist on security first before moving toward any kind of reform, so- called reform of immigration laws?
SYLVESTER: You know somebody put it to me this way. They said, McCain likes to talk about border security but you never really hear him talking about interior enforcement. So as you well know, people have different definitions of how secure the border is. So I have a feeling that what we see coming out might look a lot like the old comprehensive immigration bill.
DOBBS: Well if it does, I think that whoever is elected president is going to get a real surprise once they're in office. Because not even with all of the support of corporate America and on the left the radical groups, the ethnocentric activist groups, in no way will they be able to overwhelm the will of the people so long as the people express themselves, as I'm pretty sure they will.
Lisa, thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester.
It's worth noting on this Law Day that our system of laws is a major part of what makes us the most welcoming nation for immigrants in the entire world. More than a million people from all over the world became legal permanent residents of the United States last year. Of the top three countries in the world sending us their immigrants, 14 percent of them came from Mexico.
These are legal immigrants. Seven percent from China and six percent from the Philippines. The United States also issued another almost half million visas last year to people who simply want to live here legally while working and more than six million people were granted non immigrant visas to temporarily study and to work in the United States.
Now that is not something you hear on other broadcasts, other networks and other news organizations. And you sure don't hear it from people who took to the streets today to protest against this nation's immigration policies. Look at those people and think about what they're protesting.
That the most welcoming nation in the entire world, with more legal immigrants entering the United States than the rest of the world combined is not adequate for their wishes. That's a shame. And that's a little bit of what I would call an attitude problem. Up next, New Haven, Connecticut, home to Yale University, liberal elitism and other stuff that happens at Yale. Tonight, under fire for its pro amnesty agenda, we'll talk you live to New Haven next.
And thousands taking to the streets to demonstrate against the laws of this nation, as we hear on this broadcast and we hope you celebrate today as Law Day. We'll talk about that and a lot more with three of the sharpest political analysts in the country. That's next.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: The city of New Haven, Connecticut, tonight is facing challenges to its policy that grants illegal aliens identification cards. New Haven was in fact the first city in the nation to grant identification cards to illegal aliens. Now, some other cities have decided to follow New Haven's example and there are consequences.
Bill Tucker reports from New Haven.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nine months ago, New Haven, Connecticut, begun issuing identification cards to any resident who lacked documentation. It's a program that creates official identification for illegal aliens. The city defends its program, saying the purpose is to create identification for all residents. That illegal aliens are likely included because they don't ask anyone's legal status.
The mayor declines our request for an interview, but as of April 25, the city has issued more than 5,500 identity cards. But while the mayor isn't talking, his critics are. Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff told a Yale Law School audience that quote, "I don't think having identifications to enable people to live illegally is a good thing. It's inconsistent with the law as we have it."
Those critical of the program could not agree more and point out the security vulnerabilities the card creates.
NEIL BERRO, COAL. FOR SECURE DRIVER'S LICENSE: At a time when the Department of Motor Vehicles all over the country are strengthening licensing standards precisely to emphasize lawful presence requirements. This type of card creates yet another potential loophole.
JESSICA VAUGHAN, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: They actually facilitate criminal activity by enabling people to set up a new identity or to hide their criminal past or to hide their immigration status. There are all sorts of ramifications of the cards that really trump any other benefit that you can think of that they might have.
TUCKER: Opponents of the I.D. card go to court later this month with the Freedom of Information request to force the release of the names of all the people over the age of 18 who have been issued an I.D. card.
TUCKER: Now, Lou, as you mentioned, New Haven was the first city to begin issuing identification to illegal aliens. But since then, San Francisco has approved a similar plan. They are due to begin implementing it soon. There has been some discussion in New York, but frankly, Lou, the discussions in New York seem to have died.
DOBBS: Well, it is great that New Haven is doing this. Just out of curiosity, why?
DOBBS: Well I got to say I love the music there, that's great.
TUCKER: Well Lou, I have to tell you, very few people showed up. There's very few left, but they're making for that with a lot of volume right now. The reason they're doing it Lou is they're saying they have a lot of people in this town that don't have identification and they feel compelled to provide it identification for them...
DOBBS: Will they be able to vote?
TUCKER: No, they won't be able to vote, but they're not checking the I.D.s either, Lou, and that's a problem a lot of people have is if you show up and give them whatever you've got, you get identification. There's no checking it.
DOBBS: So they can vote.
TUCKER: No, no, they cannot vote. It's a city identification card. It entitles them to some city services like the library and the pool and some other city social services, but it does not allow them to vote.
DOBBS: All right. We're going to take your word for it.
Bill Tucker, thank you very much in New Haven, Connecticut.
And we want to update you on a story we reported to you last night. Congressman Anthony Weiner and Congressman Steven LaTourette created a Congressional Caucus, a middle class caucus and the first one ever and as of last night's broadcast a total of six Congressmen had signed on to the Caucus.
We are happy to report to you tonight that 16 more members of Congress signed on after our segment aired. And if you would like to know who is joining this Caucus on the middle class and see whether your congressman is a member yet, please logon to loudobbs.com or loudobbsradio.com as well.
Let's take a look now at some of your thoughts. Carole in Georgia said: "Lou, it was great to see a caucus in Congress to represent the Middle Class. I have an idea, how about a caucus called 'Proud to be an American'. We seem to have a limited supply of officials these days who actually like this country."
It is an interesting idea.
And Pam in Florida: "Dear Lou, I just looked democracy up in the dictionary to make sure I was right. I am. If I have the privilege to vote in any election and have my vote counted, why isn't it being counted now?"
Well, that's a good question and if you looked up democracy, you might notice one other thing that's the basic tenet of democracy. That is that the majority rules. Think about the last time you saw that principle applied in the United States.
Jackie in Florida wrote in to say: "Hey, Lou. I'm in my 20's and was registered as an Independent for many years. I changed to a Democrat late last year so I could vote in the Florida primary. Funny thing, it looks like my vote won't be counted. Guess it serves me right. I'm going back to being an Independent."
We'll have more of your thoughts here later in the broadcast. And please join me on the radio. Among my guests tomorrow will be Michael Holland, chairman of Holland & Company. We'll be talking about recession, the economy and the national housing crisis. And Robert Zimmerman will join me for the latest news on the presidential campaign.
We're on, by the way, the radio Monday through Friday, The Lou Dobbs Show. Go to loudobbs.com and loudobbsradio.com to check the local listings for the show.
We'll continue here in just a moment. And when we do, it'll be a statistical dead heat in the national race between Senators Clinton and Obama. And President Bush's approval rating plummets. Well, actually his disapproval rate skyrocketed. It's the highest ever in American history.
We'll be talking about that and more with our panel of the world's most amazing political analysts.
And pro-illegal alien groups protesting the rule of law on the 50th anniversary of America's National Law Day. It's Law Day, folks. Tell those people. It's Law Day. One of the leaders of the protests and demonstrations joins me here next.
Stay with us we'll be right back.
DOBBS: Joining me now, three of the best political analysts in the country. "New York Daily News" columnist and LOU DOBBS TONIGHT contributor, Errol Louis, New York bureau chief "Washington Post," Keith Richburg, Democratic strategist, Julie Roginsky.
Thank you all for being here.
Keith, we got to get right to it. I mean this is -- I don't know how much longer we can keep reporting these acts of disloyalty. Joe Andrews stepping away, former Democratic National Committee, switching from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. What an act of disloyalty. This may be the most betrayed political candidate I've seen in a long time.
KEITH RICHBURG, "WASHINGTON POST": If Bill Richardson out there in New Mexico was called Judas for his betrayal, I'm not quite sure what this is going to be called. But yes, this is -- it's fascinating on a couple of levels because he did this after this whole kind of controversy over Reverend Wright and he's somebody who knows the Clintons very well.
So it's actually interesting. It...
DOBBS: Did you read what he said?
RICHBURG: Absolutely. Yes.
DOBBS: He went through that nonsense of a vote for this is a vote for the process. It was the most -- one of the most unintelligible comments I've ever seen by anyone putting on a public statement.
JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't know. It kind of make sense to me I think. He's saying let's put this all to bed and his money on the fact that she's not going to be able to catch up with Obama in the popular vote. So he's saying, look, let's get this over with and focus on McCain. That's a sense of frustration, Lou, that we all feel, whether you support her or you support Obama...
DOBBS: Do you want...
ROGINSKY: What would -- you what I would want? What I'm dying for? Let the people vote, let -- whoever the last voters are in June, and then let the superdelegates come together and put us all out of our misery because I'm not sure how long any of us can take this with Democratic Party anymore.
DOBBS: That's true.
ERROL LOUIS, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": I think what sounded unintelligible to you is the fact that this is a superdelegate essentially talking to the other superdelegates. And it's an insider, you know...
DOBBS: So now it's a superdelegate kind of language?
LOUIS: Yes, you know, I think so. This is what it would sound like in the back room, you know, minus the profanity. And I think there are a number of people...
ROGINSKY: Shocked that you think there's a backroom in the Democratic Party.
LOUIS: Well, you know, I won't be invited in, I'm sure. But the, you know, just as he switched, I mean he came out for Clinton on the day she announced. And now he's changed and now he may go back. The fact that he's from Indiana, the fact that he's doing it at the time that he can have the maximum impact on the race, shows you that the stakes are going up for some of these folks, that they...
DOBBS: Does he not -- does he even care that he looks kind of like a Judas turkey? Is it a Judas goat?
LOUIS: Well, you know...
RICHBURG: Judas goat.
DOBBS: Because, I mean they...
LOUIS: Judas goat means (INAUDIBLE)
DOBBS: The Clintons did a lot for him. They put him in that position. They made him, if you will, and this -- you know, I -- loyalty is an interesting thing.
RICHBURG: Well, you know what they say, if you want a friend, you get a dog. I mean in politics you won't find anybody loyal.
DOBBS: You know Michelle Obama is right, America is a mean place. My goodness.
ROGINSKY: I think he's probably thinking, you know what? I've been loyal to the Democratic Party. Maybe not to the Clintons who did make me, yes, they actually did, a lot more than they did Bill Richardson (INAUDIBLE) profile.
ROGINSKY: But he's probably saying I'm going to put party above my self interest and my old friends and I guess that would be his excuse for what he's doing.
DOBBS: Another agonizing moment of -- personal sacrifice for one of the Democratic superdelegate.
Let's take a look at a picture that appeared in "The New York Daily News" today. I have to -- I was absolutely captivated by it. This is a picture, obviously of Michelle and Senator Obama. And if we can get any closer on that, I don't know whether that's possible or not, but it's a rather poignant picture on -- from the campaign trail.
Did any of you notice it? I took it from your publication or...
LOUIS: Oh sure, yes, yes. You got...
DOBBS: The "Associated Press"' picture. Well, I thought it was really very revealing. LOUIS: I got some reader mail about it actually. And it wasn't -- it didn't have anything to with my column. And it was -- yes, people -- it touched people, you know? And it showed -- to me it showed a couple of different things. One is, it was -- you know, it's a good picture, so it shows emotions and it shows them in a candid -- somewhat candid moment, although I imagine there were thousands...
DOBBS: With Michelle holding the microphone.
LOUIS: I mean there are thousand cameras around, right. But at the same time, it sort of shows some of the style that, I think, has attracted so many people, you know? A lot of the fashion magazines have dressed her up and thrown her on the cover and they've talked about the clothes that she wears and how at ease they are in -- even the...
DOBBS: Does she look at ease there to you?
LOUIS: Well, no, she -- well, you know what? She looked...
DOBBS: She looked mad as hell.
LOUIS: She looked upset. She looked upset. They're having their first, I think, serious, setback, one that they can't walkway from. You know some of the setbacks were, if, you know, arguably caused by their opponents. In this case, it's coming from within. The problems they've been having lately been because...
DOBBS: I can say, as a husband...
LOUIS: ...the minister who married them.
DOBBS: I can say as a husband, I would not have wanted to be sitting on the top of that bench right there at that particular moment. What was your take?
ROGINSKY: Well, you know, I think we expect these candidates to be superhuman. That they're -- you know, they're dressed up and they trotted out and they're expected to be upbeat for 24 hours a day and the press was always on them, the cameras are always on them. Here's a candid moment of two people in a marriage, she may not look thrilled, he may look like he's comforting her and kind of patting her in the back.
But look, I mean, for once, we actually have a genuine emotional feeling for once in this whole election. I can't remember the last time we had that.
DOBBS: That was sort of the take away that I had, too.
All right. We're going to be back with our panel here in just a moment. And we're going to get meaner than the Dickens about all of these presidential candidates.
And we're talking -- speaking of meaner than the Dickens, the president of MALDEF will join me to talk about those demonstrations today and what his organization wants to achieve on the issue of, I'll say, border security and illegal immigration, amnesty, and other issues. Stay with us on this wonderful, wonderful National Law Day.
We'll be right back.
DOBBS: I'm back with Errol Louis, Keith Richburg and Julie Roginsky.
Let me turn to Senator McCain, because he is so -- he seems so lost out there by himself. He's not creating controversy or scandal. He seems to be just moving ahead with a well organized campaign. Are appearances deceptive?
ROGINSKY: I don't know how well organized but he's -- I mean he's running around his wife's plane, you know, enjoying the beer money revenue, but you know, it's John McCain, I think -- it's true. I'm sorry.
DOBBS: Well, since you said that, I've got to say in shorter -- something somebody said to me. Which of these three candidates would you vote for? Two of them are lawyers who married lawyers. One of them is a U.S. military hero who married a woman who has a beer distributorship. Which way do you want to go with this?
ROGINSKY: I think I'm pretty much done voting for the guy that I'd rather have a beer with or his wife for that matter. I think we saw how well that worked out the last eight years.
DOBBS: I was bringing (INAUDIBLE) perhaps a particular male perspective and I apologize for that.
ROGINSKY: Oh no, I love beer, just not with, you know, not certainly, McCain.
LOUIS: Well, in between his sightseeing in Appalachian, and the other things that he's been doing, I think he's got to really start thinking, as does the entire Republican leadership, about what they're going to do about -- about these numbers. You know when you see wrong track numbers as high as they are now...
LOUIS: ...when you see the level of the incumbent presidency as -- his popularity as low as it is, it signals there's -- that the people are ready to turn the incumbent party out. And you know, when you add to that, the 29 percent of the voters who say that they think his age is too advanced...
LOUIS: ...to be president of the United States, he's get a serious of problems. He's got to get his story straight and start telling it. DOBBS: How much of that, though, is mitigated, Keith, by the fact that Congress has an all-time low approval rating and all three of these folks come from the United States Congress?
RICHBURG: Well, that's a big problem. But you know, I think the elephant in the room here for John McCain is Iraq. I mean you -- look at the numbers -- 65 percent of the people think that we shouldn't have gone in the first place and they want a timetable to get out. And he's on the wrong side of that.
ROGINSKY: I'll also add something. You know, the reasons Bush's approval ratings are so bad is, A, Iraq, but B, more importantly, the economy. Well, guess what, John McCain has endorsed both of those policies. He's endorsed Bush's the tax cuts and actually want to contribute more the deficit with all of his proposals and in addition to that also wants to stay in Iraq for up to 100 years. So where is Bush different from McCain on the two issues that people hate Bush on?
DOBBS: Well, I think you're exactly right. But let's also examine the possibility here of that you're one of these two Democratic candidates telling the American people they're going to raise your taxes, because anybody who tells you that they can - they're only going to raise the taxes on the wealthy is, frankly -- it's just -- it's wrong. There's no way you can get to those numbers. The bean will be shared.
ROGINSKY: But you know what? Let's quote the great sage, Pete Townshend, you know, won't get fooled again. How many times are you going to be fooled by people who are going to tell you, you can pay for the war, you can pay for all the internal revenue that need to be (INAUDIBLE) pay for, and I'm going to lower your taxes? People realized that's the mess that got us into a horrible economy.
RICHBURG: I was just about to say I don't think people are stupid. That was kind of a one-trick pony. Cut your taxes, cut your taxes. People see now this war is costing billions of dollars.
ROGINSKY: And the economy's in the tank.
RICHBURG: You know...
DOBBS: Don't misunderstand me. I -- by the way, just for the record on this broadcast, I have been saying for the past almost seven years now that this is a war in which we have to share the burden, share the sacrifice, and that means pay for it, that means tax in this society of ours to pay for it. It is the least, in my judgment, we should be doing.
Right now, it may be the wrong, absolute wrong time because, as often happens with fools, liars and drunks, the timing is working to someone else's advantage here, unfortunately.
LOUIS: And with -- look, with all of those problems that are confronting John McCain, the best thing he's got going for him is a Democratic Party that looks all poised to repeat 1968, 1972, 1980, and all the other years... DOBBS: 2004.
LOUIS: '84, when they got themselves thrown out of power because they refused to have anything -- put a check on identity politics, distractions, you know?
Julie, you get the last word if you want it.
ROGINSKY: Sure, I'll take it. You know, all I can say about that is the Republican Party was very disunified when McCain was in the primary. I think we'll come together after the convention. We have to, nobody wants...
DOBBS: Who was that fella you were quoting?
ROGINSKY: Pete Townshend. Who?
DOBBS: Oh Pete Townshend.
ROGINSKY: You know, I'm one of the greatest fans of all time.
DOBBS: And what did he say?
ROGINSKY: "Won't Get Fooled Again," one of the best Who songs of all time.
DOBBS: And better relates to...
ROGINSKY: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
DOBBS: Being more confident for the Democratic Party victor.
Thank you all, appreciate it.
ROGINSKY: Thank you.
DOBBS: A reminder now to vote in our poll -- Do you believe our fellow citizens realized that today is Law Day, a day of national dedication of the principle of government under law?
We'd love to hear from you on that. Cast your vote at loudobbs.com.
We'll be right back.
At the top of the hour, the "ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown.
Campbell, tell us all about it.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We got an election center for you tonight, Lou. The politics of illegal immigration came up on the campaign trail today. We're also going to take you to a state where a big crackdown brought some unintended consequences. And Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives the candidates health care proposal to check up. We're also going to show the state craft behind Senator Barack Obama's town hall meeting today in an Indiana barn.
Lots to talk about, all at the top of the hour, Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Campbell.
Well, thousands take to the streets demanding amnesty for illegal aliens on a day designated as National Law Day by our national laws. And our president and the presidents for the past 50 years. The president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and I will join together to celebrate Law Day.
And a new report suggesting this economic slowdown is causing hardship in Mexico. We'll have that special report and tell you how the candidates are sort of spinning that little piece of information. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Turnout across the country very light at rallies sponsored by open borders, pro-amnesty, special interest groups on this National Law Day.
John Trasvina is the president and general counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, MALDEF. He joins us tonight from Chicago.
John, good to have you with us on the broadcast.
JOHN TRASVINA, PRES., MALDEF: Good evening, Lou.
DOBBS: Are you disappointed by the turnout?
TRASVINA: No. Not at all. No, this is a day when the immigrants come out -- out from of the shadows from their regular work really keeping this country moving forward on a number of different areas. They're in the most dangerous and difficult jobs. But today they're out proudly standing up, doing what is very American, which is peaceful protest, peaceful assembly, asking Congress to change the laws, overdue change in the immigration laws.
DOBBS: Well, you say that. And perhaps many of the people you represent say that. But about -- it looks like a sizable majority of 300 million Americans say no, we're not going to do the amnesty thing. We think the law that came out as the McCain-Kennedy legislation three years ago that has been rejected twice in Congress and in most recently by the Senate just isn't the right legislation. So how...
TRASVINA: Well, once again...
DOBBS: So how...
TRASVINA: Once again you're incorrect once again. The majority of the people support these types of programs.
DOBBS: John, John, please do me a favor.
TRASVINA: They support legalization, they support comprehensive immigration reform.
DOBBS: Yes, well, the Congressional Budget Office demonstrated very clearly -- the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office demonstrated clearly that comprehensive immigration reform legislation, which you supported last year, as did a lot of other people, would have only dealt with 25 percent of the illegal immigration problem.
Secondly, it would have been, point of fact, been exorbitantly expensive and would have taken up just about three-fourths of the visas of -- for the families of those who are in this country illegally who would have been given amnesty. So those are difficult, difficult hurdles for even the most fanatical enthusiasts for comprehensive immigration reform to overcome.
Why can't --
TRASVINA: Well, you know, that's one area where you and I agree, the system isn't working.
TRASVINA: It's not working for the American people, it's not working for the immigrants, it's not working for the nation's economy.
TRASVINA: It needs to be fixed. That's why people are out today...
TRASVINA: ...to seek those kind of fixes.
DOBBS: But also seeking to -- have the U.S. immigration laws that are infrequently, but certainly with increasing frequency, being enforced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Don't you think it's a little bold to demand that laws are not -- be not enforced?
TRASVINA: Of course not. The movement for against segregation laws back in the '60s, the same kind of demonstrations. You would deny those people back in the '60s, black, white, Asian, Latinos, together fighting -- coming out and marching, you would deny those people the right to peaceably assembly? I don't think so. On this particular issue, the nation's needs to be heard. The nation's needs need to be heard.
DOBBS: All we're hearing from...
TRASVINA: The current system isn't working.
DOBBS: Right. All we're hearing from -- we've heard very clearly as has the U.S. Senate and these presidential candidates, by the way, that the majority of Americans are opposed to a blanket amnesty and will not stand for it.
TRASVINA: Well, the Tancredo part of the party didn't win.
DOBBS: Oh please, please.
TRASVINA: Tancredo did win. Duncan Hunter didn't win. The three remaining candidates Senators Clinton, Senator Obama and Senator McCain, have supported comprehensive immigration reform, as do the majority of the American people, Lou.
DOBBS: Actually, they don't, the majority, that is, of the American people. But let's get to the real issue. Why is it that corporate America on the right, if you will, and on the left, social (INAUDIBLE) centrist activist groups, you know, various left-wing groups have met on the issue of exploiting illegal labor in this country, want a free pass on it, and refuse and resist to secure our borders when at a time when the principal victims of the -- the principal source, of course, of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana is Mexico, yet the very people who purport to represent the -- some of the ethnic peoples in this country who are being most devastated by addiction and by those drugs, are refusing to secure the border?
Don't -- do you think that's irresponsible?
TRASVINA: Well, your side of the debate is allowing the United States to do nothing on these issues.
DOBBS: No, no, actually, John, that is not...
DOBBS: I said secure the border. You haven't got the guts to say the same thing.
DOBBS: You secure the border -- look, I'll join with you and we'll work out -- we can sit here and talk about immigration law. But you're playing your gamings.
TRASVINA: MALDEF is an organization of lawyers. We believe in the law. And...
DOBBS: Then why don't you enforce it instead of call for its lack of enforcement?
TRASVINA: Part of - legalization, part of enforcement is legalization. It's an overall picture. So it's enforcing the law. Of course, we absolutely support it.
DOBBS: Do you want to legalize marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines? Because that's what -- those drugs are killing people in the very ethnic group that you purport to represent.
TRASVINA: Look, Lou, you can get on different subjects all you want. On the issue of immigration...
DOBBS: I'm not -- it's all about the border, it's all about securing this border, it's all about enforcing our laws.
TRASVINA: No. A lot of people come in, don't even come across the border, and they come in legally and overstay their visas. So it's not -- don't focus on the border.
DOBBS: Oh don't focus on the border?
TRASVINA: You can behind it all you want.
DOBBS: Is it that inconvenient to you?
TRASVINA: No. it's not...
DOBBS: You're the one hiding here.
TRASVINA: We're talking...
DOBBS: You're obfuscating.
TRASVINA: Lou, we're talking about addressing comprehensive immigration. The nation's needs. You had earlier on about...
DOBBS: The nation's needs?
DOBBS: The nation's needs.
TRASVINA: The American heritage of the nation of welcoming immigrations. Immigrants improving themselves and...
DOBBS: John, John...
TRASVINA: ...and improving the nation.
DOBBS: Let me ask you a question.
TRASVINA: Today's immigrants are no different than the immigrants of the past.
TRASVINA: Whether they're Pennsylvania Dutch, the Italian...
DOBBS: I'll tell you what, I'm going to ask you a question, you ask me a question. A fair deal? And we'll give an answer.
TRASVINA: It's your show. Go ahead.
DOBBS: Well, no. I'm asking if you would agree. We're friends. Don't kid anybody here. You and I have gotten along very well.
TRASVINA: Well, we get along very well, but that's about it, Lou. Go ahead.
DOBBS: OK. So let's -- are you willing to do that? I'll ask you a question, you ask me one.
TRASVINA: Yes, go ahead, Lou.
DOBBS: All right. Let me ask you this, if, in point of fact, we could secure the borders, would you be willing to secure those borders and ports, and then begin the process of reforming our laws or would you resist that idea absolutely?
TRASVINA: The two go hand in hand. Legalization is helping us secure the nation.
DOBBS: You and I both...
TRASVINA: So you have an artificial distinction between what you're saying enforce the laws and other -- everything else is reform. It's all reform. The system needs to be reformed, whether it's the border security, or whether it is the entry-exit system, or the legalization, or the long waits for family leave...
DOBBS: We could have had -- we would be on the issue right now. We could be undergoing a very vigorous reform of our immigration laws had your organization and others not resisted securing that border.
TRASVINA: Absolutely not. You're just incorrect, Lou. The people who want to debate on the bill want to move forward.
DOBBS: You get your question.
TRASVINA: I don't have a question for you, Lou. But what I want to say...
TRASVINA: ...is that we could have had comprehensive immigration reform because most of the American people want the overall perspective of comprehensive immigration reform. Not just one part of it, not another part of it. Every time Congress has done just one piece, it's failed. It has to do both. It has to address the legal immigration and illegal.
DOBBS: It's has last (INAUDIBLE). John -- it has to do what?
TRASVINA: It must address both legal immigration and illegal immigration together.
DOBBS: All right.
TRASVINA: It didn't do that the last time.
DOBBS: Oh I agree with you on that actually.
John, thank you very much. John Trasvina...
TRASVINA: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: ...on this our National Law Day. We appreciate your being with us.
Still ahead, our country's economic crisis being felt across our border. We'll have that report in a great deal more. Stay with us.
DOBBS: This country is struggling. Our economy making it harder for Latino immigrants including illegal aliens to send back money to their relatives. According to a new survey, only half of the Latino immigrants living in this country are now sending money back regularly. That's down 73 percent just two years ago.
And we're going to do something a little different here. We're going to be taking up discussion in a moment. We're going to be right back.
Stay with us. LOU DOBBS TONIGHT continues in one moment.
DOBBS: Well, tonight's poll results -- 96 percent of you say you don't believe our fellow citizens know that today is Law Day, a "day of national dedication to the principle of government under law."
I wonder why that is.
Time now for some of your thoughts.
Bob in New Mexico said: "Bush's economic plan is like using gauze to set a broken leg. Maybe the President and Congress need to take the summer off without pay. That will boost the economy."
And Fran in New York said: "Hey, Lou, you're relentless fight for the Middle Class, who have been so disregarded and disenfranchised by our government, has given my husband and I some hope for the future, and I know many others too. Thanks Lou, keep up with your awesome reporting."
And bob in Florida said: "Wouldn't it be great this year if we had the option to vote for 'None of the Above' in November? It might just send a strong signal to the elitists in both parties that Americans want a President who will truly serve the interests of this country."
Now that is a very comforting thought.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Join us here tomorrow.
For all of us, thanks for watching. Good night from New York.
The "ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown begins right now -- Campbell.