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Border Insecurity; Criminal Illegal Aliens; Deadly Imports; Illegal Alien Amnesty

Aired April 14, 2005 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, border insecurity. President Bush defends his plans to legalize millions of illegal aliens. My guest tonight, a senator who plans to legalize a million illegal farm workers.
And deadly imports. The invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans. Highly-contagious diseases are now crossing our borders decades after those diseases had been eradicated in this country. We'll have that special report.

And unfair trade. Our exploding trade deficit with China, the export of American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets. Finally some members of Congress are beginning to pay attention. But is it too late? I'll be talking with a leading economist who says America has lost the battle to attract the world's most talented people.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS, for news, debate and opinion, tonight.

DOBBS: Good evening. President Bush today declared he does not support a blanket amnesty for illegal aliens. The President also acknowledged the federal government must do a better job of enforcing border security. But at the same time, President Bush delivered a strong defense of his plan for a guest worker program. Critics say that plan will simply encourage millions more illegal aliens to flood into this country.

Senior White House correspondent John King reports -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And Lou, those critics also say the president's guest worker proposal would reward millions who already have broken the laws of the United States and entered this country and are working illegally in the United States, but could get temporary legal status under the president's proposal. Mr. Bush making his latest case for this controversial proposal during a question-and-answer session.

He spoke today to newspaper editors here in Washington. Mr. Bush was asked about a separate immigration issue. But during the answer he made a spirited defense of his guest worker program.

He says, number one, it would confront an economic reality in this country that employers need the workers. Mr. Bush also said by having the guest worker program that Border Patrol agents could focus on drug running and gun trafficking, a terrorist threat perhaps, and not have to worry about millions of illegal workers trying to get across the border.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It seems like to me what we ought to do is be as open as open about it and say, look, if you're a willing worker and willing employee and you can't find an American, here's a legal way to work. Here's a document which enables you to be here legally, so that if you decide to go home for a little bit, you can.


KING: Mr. Bush well aware, of course, that many in Congress, especially conservatives in his own Republican Party, say that guest worker program, again, would reward people who broke the law to enter this country. Mr. Bush trying to make the case that his plan is not amnesty.

In doing so, Mr. Bush said those guest worker documents would be temporary. Meaning the worker would eventually be required to go home. Mr. Bush insists this is not rewarding criminals.


BUSH: I don't believe in blanket amnesty. I think it would be a mistake. I think that wouldn't -- it would -- all that would do is create another incentive for eight million people, or whatever the number is, to come.


KING: Now, critics, of course, say that those guest worker documents, whether they be for two years or four years, could be renewed. They say that would be amnesty, effectively amnesty for those who broke the law to enter into this country.

Mr. Bush making a different case today, Lou, making his case yet again for this program and voicing confidence. He says he's beginning to sense movement on Capitol Hill, he hopes to get this legislation he says by the end of the year.

DOBBS: Thank you very much. John King reporting from the White House.

Later here, my guest will be a leading Republican senator who is trying to legalize a million illegal aliens working on our farms. I'll also be talking with a professor who says it's simply un-American to deny citizenship to any child born in the United States, even if born to illegal aliens, so-called anchor babies.

A U.S. Senate committee today heard a scathing indictment of the federal government's failure to deport criminal illegal aliens. More than 400,000 fugitive illegal aliens are in the country, including many murderers and rapists. Incredibly, those criminals have little fear of being caught, little fear of ever being deported.

Casey Wian has the story.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man in charge of detaining and deporting illegal aliens for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement until last year says the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State have done little to develop a cohesive and comprehensive immigration enforcement strategy. The result, almost a half-million fugitive illegal aliens are loose in the United States today.

DAVID VENTURELLA, FMR. ICE DIRECTOR: If the goal is to deter individuals from violating our immigration laws, we are not achieving that goal, because these individuals suffer no consequence for their unlawful actions.

WIAN: For example, the United States now has detention space for 19,000 illegal aliens. Incredibly, one million others have been released from custody pending deportation hearings. Eighty-five percent of those ordered deported never show up.

Another problem, delays in court proceedings and a six-month time limit on alien detentions. This Justice Department attorney says murderers, rapists and child molesters are being released.

JOHNATHAN COHN, DEP. ASSIST. ATTORNEY GEN., DEPT. OF JUSTICE: Another example is Twon Tai (ph), who has raped, tortured and terrorized women and vowed to repeat his grizzly acts. Among other crimes, Mr. Tai (ph) repeatedly raped his friend's girlfriend over the course of several months, beginning while she was six months pregnant.

He then monitored her phone calls and threatened to poison her with cocaine and harm her other children if she tried to kick him out of the House. He also threatened to beat up his own girlfriend slowly until she died. And he later threatened to kill his immigration judge and prosecutor after his release.

WIAN: The man now in charge of alien detention and removal says the agency is making progress.

VICTOR CERDA, ACTING ICE DIRECTOR: And that's why in 2004 I had 16 fugitive operation teams deployed across the country. These teams apprehended a record 11,000 fugitive aliens with final ordinance of removal, an increase of 62 percent from the prior fiscal year.

WIAN: But senators criticize the agency's failure to immediately input most names of aliens into a database regularly used by local law enforcement.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: It just would strike me that you're not serious about it. I hate to say that. But if you were serious about the absconders, Mr. Cerda, wouldn't you -- first thing you would do would be to put their names in the system?

CERDA: I would agree in that approach. It's a multiple approach. There's not one single solution. WIAN: ICE says it's trying to ease its detention space crisis with a pilot program, outfitting low-risk illegal aliens with electronic monitoring devices.


WIAN: Though not the subject of the Senate hearing, the Minuteman Project was a frequent topic of discussion. Several senators praised the minutemen for trying to bring attention to the root cause of all these other problems, the nation's failure to control its borders -- Lou.

DOBBS: No question the failure to control our borders is where all of this begins. But Mr. Cerda being asked by Senator Sessions why those names are not put into the national database, why in the world -- I understand there are multiple approaches, as Mr. Cerda has suggested, but why not that one, as well?

WIAN: Well, Mr. Cerda said there is another database that those names are in. It's available by a phone call, to a center on the East Coast. But as Mr. Sessions says, the law enforcement officers that he's spoken with don't even know that phone number exists.

So the ICE official promised to do a better job of getting that number out to local law enforcement people. And hopefully they will be able to get in contact with that database better than they have in the past -- Lou.

DOBBS: And perhaps we could, Casey, follow up to find out when they do put those names into that database. Casey, as always, thank you for that terrific report.

And Casey Wian from Los Angeles.

We have already reported here on the tremendous burden that illegal aliens put upon our national health care system. Tonight, there are rising fears that once eradicated diseases are now returning to this country through our open borders. Those diseases are threatening the health of nearly every American as well as illegal aliens themselves.

Christine Romans has our report.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here in Los Angeles County, tuberculosis is a serious public health problem. Dr. Jonathan Fielding and his public health staff treated 931 people last year with TB, a disease hospitals are associating with illegal immigration from Asia and Latin America.

DR. JONATHAN FIELDING, LA COUNTY HEALTH SERVICES: Forty-five percent in Los Angeles County of our new tuberculosis cases are -- are from Latin America, Mexico, and other parts of Latin America. And a significant percentage of those are people who are not documented. So that is a problem. ROMANS: Tuberculosis is a nasty disease. Coughing, sneezing fatigue, night sweats. It takes at least six months of aggressive treatment to cure. And it is contagious.

For each infected patient, Fielding's staff tests an average of 12 other people who came in contact with the TB patient. That's 12,000 people a year in LA County alone.

Nationwide, these seven states account for 60 percent of the TB cases. And those same states are magnets for illegal aliens.

Dr. Ken Castro is the director for TB elimination at the Centers for Disease Control.

DR. KEN CASTRO, CDC: Those persons who enter the country illegally are often at risk for tuberculosis, don't necessarily have access to the necessary medical services, and would potentially pose a threat to others.

ROMANS: He says stopping TB at the border is unrealistic and recommends attacking it through public awareness in at-risk groups. Others say those at-risk groups shouldn't be here in the first place.

DR. MADELINE COSMAN, MEDICAL LAWYER: We have some enormous problems with horrendous diseases that are being brought into America by illegal aliens. Some of these diseases we had already vanquished, such as tuberculosis. And other diseases we have only rarely had here in America, such as Chagas Disease, leprosy, malaria.

ROMANS: Indeed, many of the diseases public health officials screened out at Ellis Island are again finding their way back into hospital emergency rooms.


ROMANS: Lou, anyone coming to this country legally or seeking asylum must undergo medical testing to detect and treat these sorts of diseases. But if we don't know who is coming over, we don't know the magnitude of the diseases they have, how they are being spread and where to.

DOBBS: Extraordinary is the only reaction I can offer. First, the health officials saying it's unrealistic to stop this at the border.

This is a refrain we hear from everyone who wants to -- even health officials concerned about public health. The fact that we're somehow helpless to defend this country, to secure our borders? What in the world is that about?

ROMANS: He says in his experience have you to go at the at-risk groups in their neighborhoods, in the populations here in this country and attack the problem from that way. Not stop it at the borders.

DOBBS: Well, certainly that makes great sense, as well. But to stop future cases it seems clear that one would have to secure our borders. Secondly, these other diseases, tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria?

ROMANS: It's interesting, because the woman in our piece told us that there were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years. Leprosy in this country.

DOBBS: Incredible. Christine Romans, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

DOBBS: Still ahead here tonight, holding China accountable for its unfair trade practices. How some members of Congress are now calling upon the White House to actually take action.

And then the intensifying battle in Congress over whether to legalize millions of illegal aliens in this country. We'll have a special report. And my guest tonight is one senator who is calling for amnesty.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: On Capitol Hill today, the powerful House Ways and Means Committee held hearings on China and its threat to the United States. As we have reported again extensively here, our trade deficit with China is now at an all-time high and continues to rise at a staggering rate. Today, some members of Congress demanded that the Bush administration take action to fight China's unfair trade practices.

Kitty Pilgrim reports.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Congressional critics today lashed out at the administration for failing to deal with the massive trade deficit with China.

REP. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: There can be only one way to describe our current unfettered free trade policy with China and other countries, and that is that it is insane.

PILGRIM: First on the agenda of the House Ways and Means Committee, the loss of American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets.

SANDERS: Can the American worker, should the American worker be forced to compete against somebody who makes 30 cents an hour, who goes to jail if they want to form an independent union?

PILGRIM: Another issue, China continues to rip off U.S. products and reproduce them without any regard to copyright.

REP. BENJAMIN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: We're not just talking about the entertainment community. We're talking about reverse engineering, of manufactured products that we see pirated in China. We need to take action that we're entitled to take under our trade remedies against China. REP. DAVE CAMP (R), MICHIGAN: 210,000 jobs since 1995 to counterfeit parts worldwide, not just China, $12 billion a year to the industry alone. I mean, a time for reports is over. We'd like to see some action.

PILGRIM: While Congress reeled, administration officials downplayed the negative impact of our massive trade deficit with China.

KRISTIN FORBES, W.H. COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS: U.S. exports to China have grown by 115 percent between 2000 and 2004. That's much faster export growth than we have seen anywhere else in the world. Yes, the U.S. does run a large trade deficit with China, but it runs a large trade deficit with most countries in the world.

PILGRIM: But mostly, congressional critics said they were tired of a pattern of all talk, no action.

REP. SANDER LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: Everybody says to you, do something. And then you say, what, you're making progress? Nothing's happened.


PILGRIM: Now, the hearings today touched on the national security implications of having China manufacture so many of the products that the United States needs. But the Congressional Budget Office says it has not studied the implications sufficiently to comment on the strategic risks of the dependence on China. And Lou, they promised to study it in the future.

DOBBS: They are going to study it in the future.

PILGRIM: In the future.

DOBBS: Incredible. The deficit, the trade deficit with China today, is the same as the entire trade deficit for this country seven years ago.

PILGRIM: I would say that the hearings today were fairly incendiary. Everyone was fairly outraged about the numbers.

DOBBS: Well, what has to give? The administration officials who stood before the -- Chairman Bill Thomas' committee, great credit. I didn't see any emotion, I didn't see any reaction. And frankly, I heard nothing that made any sense.

PILGRIM: It was a tough session.

DOBBS: What's -- the White House Council of Economic Advisors Kristin Forbes, she's proud of the fact that exports have risen 116 percent to China?

PILGRIM: One of her cases was that we have...

DOBBS: Oh, my lord. PILGRIM: ... expanded exports to China ourselves.

DOBBS: Well, at this rate, probably sometime in 2100 they might get something close to parity. Maybe.

Thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.

Coming up shortly here, I'll be talking with a leading economist who says the United States has lost its most critical economic advantage, our status as the world's greatest talent pool.

Coming up next, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He's been visiting three countries critical in the fight against the war on radical Islamic terrorism. General David Grange will be with us next.

And then, the growing debate over whether children born to illegal aliens in this country, so-called anchor babies, should automatically become U.S. citizens. One American says there should be no debate at all. He's our guest coming right up.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld this week visiting U.S. troops and bases in several strategically important countries in the Middle East and Asia. Rumsfeld's tour included stops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. All three countries are in the front line in the war against radical Islamist terrorism. They are also close in proximity, of course, to Russia, China and India.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai told Rumsfeld he wants a long-term strategic relationship with the United States.

Joining me now General David Grange.

General, good to see you. And secondly, is Rumsfeld right now laying out where U.S. forces will be based in the future?

GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think so. At least in this region of the world, Lou. It's very strategic. It's very prudent.

The central Asia, the southwest Asia, and also in the Middle East, these are places where you want enemies, or potential enemies to actually smell the GI, to know you are right there, and right behind him.

DOBBS: And, of course, with our long relationships with Europe in particular, where we have many troops and material (ph) based and aircraft, as well, of course, and missile defense included, what is the long-term outlook for that -- for that part of the world?

GRANGE: Well, I think you are going to see a lot of the old bases. For instance, in Germany, the Cold War bases start to draw down somewhat, and position bases where there's a limited number of resources.

So you position the bases in places that are more attuned to what may happen or is happening for the 21st century in the areas we just discussed, or bring it back to the United States for rotations to some of these new areas. So I think it's a prudent move. It's well overdue. And frankly, I'm very, very happy to see that we're doing it.

DOBBS: Well, when General Grange is happy, I think most of the rest of us would be pleased with the decision.

Let me turn to Senator Patty Murray, putting forward an amendment to the supplemental bill, $2 billion, for veterans affairs benefits, for VA benefits. We're hearing crosstalk, as we often do in the U.S. Senate, that that money is necessary for our veterans and that it is not.

What is your judgment?

GRANGE: Well, I think it's a big mistake not to add the supplemental to VA benefits. Now, what's the right number? Lou, I don't know what the right number is.

But I do know from a secretary of Veterans Affairs in previous shows that he had a prioritize in order to pick what was the most important to him to support the veterans. Well, the veterans, the military, the GIs, they signed up and expect to be treated accordingly to their contract.

And you just don't say, well, we can't do this part, but we'll do that part. I mean, this is an obligation to the GI that risks their lives overseas, and it's going to cost money.

It costs money for a great military. It costs money to take care of those GIs once they go back into the private sector. And it must be done whatever it takes. You can't cut corners on this.

DOBBS: In fairness to former Secretary Principi, he cleaned up a mess that frankly he inherited at the VA Hospital. So the next stage is obviously to get it done right, and I doubt -- Dave, I think I agree -- I think we would agree on this, there isn't an American who doesn't want our veterans taken well care of, don't you think?

GRANGE: That's right. And, you know, it's an old Roman Legionnaire statement about, if you leave our bones to bleach in the sun in the desert, beware of the legions. Well, with a democratic country you don't have to worry about what they meant. But you do you have to take care of the GI before, during and after combat.

DOBBS: Our responsibility. Thank you very much. General David Grange.

Coming up next here, the push in Congress to legalize millions of illegal aliens in this country. Our special report is next. And I'll be joined by a U.S. senator playing a critical role in pushing that legislation. Also, the political circus surrounding the confirmation of U.N. ambassador nominee John Bolton. I'll be talking with a longtime associate of John Bolton who says that process has become nothing mire than an exercise in character assassination and ideological vendettas.

And then, the world's brightest and most creative minds have long come to this country to nurture their talents and put them to work. Now an author says those talents are going elsewhere. The United States standing to suffer greatly. We'll be talking coming right up.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: The illegal immigration crisis in this country has become one of the biggest, most divisive issues facing our Congress. Tonight, some members of Congress want to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal working in our agricultural industry. But other lawmakers are determined to tighten our immigration laws and to actually provide border security.

Bill Tucker reports.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It looks like a civil lawmaking body, but what's brewing on the floor of this Senate has the makings of an old-fashioned bar fight. It puts the House and the Senate in sharp conflict over the issue of immigration and sets up a fierce battle over resolving their differences.

MARK KRIKORIAN, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: The meetings between House and Senate representatives over hashing out a common bill could indeed get kind of ugly. And if the Senate passes a bill with no immigration provision, no amnesty on it, the House has already passed a bill that has this driver's license security provision the Senate doesn't like. And so it really becomes a question of who blinks first.

TUCKER: While the House approved and attached the Real ID Act to the spending Bill, the Senate is busy considering attaching bills to support amnesty for illegals in support for foreign workers.

The agricultural bill sponsored by Senator Larry Craig of Idaho would grant amnesty to nearly a million illegal farm workers and their families. And there's also a bill sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski which would let employers hire more foreign workers for seasonal work.

SEN. JIM JEFFORDS (I), VERMONT: The need for these workers has not and will not diminish.

TUCKER: Raising the question, what's going on in Congress?

LAMAR SMITH (R), TEXAS: Yes, well, I think the chances that the Real ID Act with its driver's license component, making sure that people who get drivers' licenses and use them for ID purposes are in fact in the country legally has a very good chance of surviving.

TUCKER: As the debate proceeds, some are hopeful of a positive outcome.

ROY BECK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUMBERS USA: I think that for American citizens who want to see more enforcement, want to see more protection for American workers, the ranker in the Senate is a very good sign.

TUCKER: In plain language, it's a fight worth watching.


TUCKER: And tonight Congressman J.D. Hayworth from Arizona and 72 other members of the House signed off on a bill asking the Senate to pass an amnesty-free war-time spending bill. But, Lou, can or will the Senate resist the temptation?

DOBBS: So in effect the Senate is caught in two very powerful forces? And the president's position on this in terms of the Ag Jobs in particular?

TUCKER: He has been very silent on this. But as you know in the past, he has indicated he would support it and would sign it if it came to his desk.

DOBBS: The real I.D. Bill, he supports that as well. All right, Bill Tucker, thank you very much.

Joining me now Senator Larry Craig of Idaho. As Bill Tucker just reported, Senator Craig is the co-sponsor of the controversial ag jobs legislation that would legalize million illegal farm workers in this country. Senator Craig joins us tonight from Capitol Hill. Senator, good to have you with us.

SEN. LARRY CRAIG, (R) IDAHO: Well Lou, it's good to be back with you. And I really do want to caution you on the words you use.

My legislation would address and allow people to earn a legal status who have been here at least a year and a half or two. We believe that would be no more than about 500,000, maybe 6 at the most. It really works to controlling our border.

And, Lou, as you know and I know, we've got to gain control of our borders. And the way we do that, are laws that work.

DOBBS: That is certainly one of the ways. I consider being cautioned, Senator. And let's go right to it.

Our numbers put it at 870,000 illegal aliens who are conducts farm work along with their spouses. And, of course, children which raises the number potentially to something in the neighborhood of perhaps 3 million.

So having been cautioned, I just thought I would go immediately to the facts to preserve my cautious stance. Let's talk about the people who would be made -- given legal and lawful status. According to our reading, an illegal alien who is given temporary status would be allowed to maintain permanent status after one year. Is that correct?

CRAIG: No, he would not be gained permanent status until he had worked at least 360 days or a five-year period. Usually that work period for agricultural is somewhere around 100 to 120 days. So there is an -- and that 360-day period would have to be gained in agriculture. So they would have to toil in the fields of America for at least three to possibly five years to gain that permanent green card status.

DOBBS: I guess my reading is incorrect then Senator. Because as I read it, say, the Department of Human Services secretary shall upon application by the alien adjust an alien status from temporary to lawful permanent resident when the alien has performed at least 360 workdays or 2600 hours in the United States.

CRAIG: In the United States in agriculture.

DOBBS: Right.

And at that point what is the end game here? It is effectively a pathway to citizenship, is it not?

CRAIG: Well, certainly if the individual gains a green card, they then like anyone else who holds a green card can make application for citizenship.

What is also important here, Lou -- and it's something we found out after 9/11, we've got 8 to 12 million illegals in our country. And, frankly, it's been 1200 days and an awful lot of political talk and nobody, nobody has done anything about it.

What I do in this provision is make sure they have a full background check. And if they are a felon, or if they have acquired their third misdemeanor, they are out of country.

So we do a very thorough background check on these folks who would fall eligible. Some would not come forward. But the reform of the H-2A law which is behind this provision you and I are talking about now creates something like the old Bresaro (ph) program where you identify the worker with the work. They sign up, they come and work and then they go home.

That's the kind of border control and legal process that we simply got to get our country back into to control these work forces and to control our borders.

DOBBS: Controlling our borders. Would you also agree that's one way to get at the root of this illegal immigration crisis?

CRAIG: Well, Lou, we've got about 7500 miles of land border and about 86,000 miles of water border, we've invested about $2.5 to $3 billion in border control since 9/11 and they are still pouring across the borders. I don't know how much more we can do. But I do know the reason they are pouring across is because the laws are not effective, they are not enforceable, and somebody has to step forward and create not only the border shield but the legal shield of the kind that I think I'm proposing.

DOBBS: Senator, let's go to a couple of statements you just made. One that laws that aren't enforceable, laws that certainly aren't being enforced. What in the world here are you really suggesting? Are you suggesting the United States just run up a white flag to our northern border, our southern border, and just say we're not going to try?

CRAIG: No, no, Lou. I'm standing in the floor of the Senate yesterday and next week and that's not raising a white flag. That's saying that the laws are bad and they got to be fixed to solve the problem. We've got more people...

DOBBS: These laws Senator -- I'm sorry.

CRAIG: We have more people -- Lou we spent 2.5 billion of your tax dollars lining up at the border trying to build that human wall across our southern border.

DOBBS: Well, let's look at the economics of that.

CRAIG: They are still pouring across.

DOBBS: Let's look at the economics then. If, because of excessive immigration both legal and illegal we're depressing wages in this country by $200 billion, we're carrying an estimated $50 billion on the part of the taxpayer, because of the need to care for illegal aliens through health and other social services. $2.5 billion sounds like a minor deposit on what should be put forward to secure our borders and to stop illegal immigration, doesn't it?

CRAIG: We've done more in three years to secure our borders, post 9/11, than we have done in the last 20.

Now the reason it isn't working as effectively as we hoped it would, and the border still remains a sieve today -- we'll do more. I've got an amendment on the floor right now with Bob Byrd on the supplemental to pour more money into it.

I want to control that border. But I am not so naive as to assume we don't have to straighten up our laws, either. It is our law that is driving the flood of immigrants into this country.

DOBBS: Well that's funny because President Bush satisfied said it was $5 an hour that was driving it. But if you think it's the laws, I'm sure the president will take note of that.

Personally, I think it's a lack of will on the part of the men and women who have been elected to represent the middle class and working American citizens, frankly, that you can put the blame squarely at their feet. CRAIG: Well Lou, I would hope you would judge me as not a person with lack of will. I'm here tonight. I'm on your program. I am subject to a high level of criticism today, because I'm the only one out there with a proposed solution to a very real problem in our country.

Now I don't know whether mine will work. I believe it will, 590 interest groups across the country: the AFL-CIO, the Farm Bureau, and you you name it, they believe this will work if it is enforced.

But frankly, we've got to do something. We're investing in local law enforcement. We're investing in border control. Now we've got to invest in a legal process that works.

I have the will, I am not standing idly by. We're debating it full-bore on the Senate floor. I don't believe that deserves a criticism.

DOBBS: Senator, let me ask you one question before you leave. Do you think you are going to get passage of your legislation?

CRAIG: Lou, I think we're very close. But you are right, it is a phenomenally divisive issue. You see most Americans and some politicians would like to talk about it -- and, oh, do we love to talk about it, but we don't do anything about it, because nobody really has an answer to this problem.

When you've got this huge economic magnet like America is, you've got to control your immigration or everybody wants to come. And for 20 years we've ignored it. Now we're faced with the reality of trying to shape it. And we're going to work hard to get it done.

DOBBS: Senator Larry Craig, we thank you for being here. And as you say, you are asserting your will on this legislation. I can't be in all candor -- my will would be not aligned with yours. But we thank you for coming here to discuss yours. Thank you very much. Senator Larry Craig.

CRAIG: Lou, thank you.

DOBBS: Our poll question tonight, "do you think our Congressman and senators actually understand -- holistically, totally -- the economic, social and national security impact of illegal immigration and failed border security?" Yes or no? Cast your vote at We can't wait to see what you think.

Coming up next, automatic citizenship for babies born to illegal aliens in this country. It's a difficult issue. Many Americans say it's simply unacceptable. Others say anything less would be unAmerican. I'll be talking with one American who says it would be unAmerican to deny those babies their citizenship.

And then, a new book claims the United States is losing its long standing competitive advantage, because we're not attracting the world's brightest talents. Its author our guest next. Stay with us.


DOBBS: My guest tonight says it's un-American to deny citizenship to any child born in this country, even if the child is born to illegal aliens. Our guest tonight, joining me from Irvine, California is professor Leo Chavez of the University of California. Good to have you with us, Professor.

LEO CHAVEZ, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: Good to be here again. Thank you.

DOBBS: The idea of a crisis in illegal immigration in this country, the fact that many who are coming into this country illegally are doing so to create citizenship for their children that are born here, and thereby giving standing to the families giving birth to those children. How do you deal with that?

CHAVEZ: Well, I think what we do is we continue following the Constitution of the United States and keep giving citizenship to children born in this country so that we can include them in the body of the nation. That's No. 1.

DOBBS: OK, I assume that we would follow the Constitution. I'm a big supporter of the U.S. Constitution, Professor. What else do we do?

CHAVEZ: Well, I think solving the problem of immigration in the United States is a separate one, really to tell you the truth, from what we do with the children who are born in this country and who are Americans by birth, and who will be Americans all their lives, because they know nothing else.

Solving the crisis of immigration, as you put it and others put it, really needs to have a great deal of thinking and a great deal of civil discourse and a great deal of argumentation around -- it's an important issue. I don't think anyone wants undocumented immigration or illegal immigration to continue in this country of ours. It's an immoral -- it's an immoral thing. And I think we want to basically have a moral society, where people work with dignity, and that they work legally.

DOBBS: Amen, brother. Let me ask you something. The fact is that a number of Hispanic organizations, activist organizations, every time this issue is brought up, illegal immigration, want to charge racism, or xenophobia. Why do you think that impulse exists out there?

CHAVEZ: Well, I think mainly because the labor force that comes here as immigrants is racially tinged. It comes from certain parts of the world where...

DOBBS: Racially tinged?

CHAVEZ: In that sense, the phenotype of those who come to this country to work are brown. And so it raises racial issues. However, for those of us who study immigration, race is a secondary factor. It really is an economic issue. And the problem of immigration and why we have so many people coming is because of the economic demand.

You know, Mr. Dobbs, I study ...

DOBBS: Would you do me a favor, Professor, just call me Lou.

CHAVEZ: OK, Lou, I study values, I study those kind of lifestyle issues in cultures. That's what we do in anthropology. And Americans have a lot of values and a lot of behaviors that just create a demand for labor that we don't provide the labor force to do.

DOBBS: Now, you are an anthropologist, not an economist, right?

CHAVEZ: That's exactly right. But the two sort of work together in this sense.

DOBBS: Just about across the board, when one is talking about society, culture and a nation state.

CHAVEZ: Exactly.

DOBBS: The fact of the matter is, that no matter what the ethnicity of those crossing our borders, from the north, the south, or through our ports, don't you agree that the invasion of 20 million, an estimated 20 million illegal aliens living in this country is unprecedented in history and that no other nation in the world would even think about considering that kind of, at the most benign expression, migration; at the most straightforward expression, illegal invasion?

CHAVEZ: Well, two things. No. 1 one is that I think the numbers are actually high but not as high as you put it. Probably between eight and 12 million undocumented immigrants or illegal aliens in the United States today. No. 2, I don't see it as an invasion. I see it as a response to a demand for labor because of the fact...

DOBBS: Well, Professor, as you know, language is really about some cognitive mapping here. So let's talk honestly, because we don't want to distort the reality. These are illegal aliens, from all quarters of the world, but predominantly from Mexico, Central America and South America, who have invaded the country because they crossed our borders illegally, and now reside here -- and we'll take your estimate, 10 million versus 20 million, 20 million the most recent by Bear Stearns. My question was, is it unprecedented? And can you imagine another country in all the world tolerating it?

CHAVEZ: Well, I think what happens is that you have people coming here, and we can either let people in to work legally, or we can let them in illegally.

DOBBS: Professor, please. I asked you two questions.

CHAVEZ: But we hold up a -- we hold up a sign saying...

DOBBS: You are going to flunk the quiz if you don't answer the question.

CHAVEZ: The question is an incorrect one.

DOBBS: I see.

CHAVEZ: Because it's not getting to the basic question...

DOBBS: I see.

CHAVEZ: ... of why people cross the border.

DOBBS: Well, it is the question, however, posed. And forgive the incorrectness, if you will, but it is the relevant question and it is the question put forward. Do you want to answer it or not?

CHAVEZ: I think America has always relied upon immigrant labor, and I think what we have now is a case where...

DOBBS: Professor, it's a simple question.

CHAVEZ: ... politically...

DOBBS: Please...

CHAVEZ: ... we're not letting people in legally...

DOBBS: ... don't insult the intelligence of our audience. They understand the question that I put forward. They understand whether you are answering it. It really is in your interest with this audience to be direct.

CHAVEZ: The question is, would another country allow this to happen?

DOBBS: And has it ever happened before?

CHAVEZ: Other countries in Europe, all the industrialized nations right now are experiencing immigration, both legal and illegal, to their countries, for the very exact same reasons the United States is. We try and look at this academically, and a less emotional issue, and try to understand the factors that are affecting all the industrialized nations of the world today. All experiencing immigration, and all experiencing what appears to them to be large- scale, unprecedented flows.

DOBBS: I think you and I are going to have to talk after class after that answer.

Thank you very much, professor Leo Chavez.

CHAVEZ: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: Good to talk with you again.

CHAVEZ: Nice being here.

DOBBS: Coming up at the top of the hour tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360," the disturbing story of a California teenager beaten to death with a baseball bat. Anderson joins us now to tell us about it -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Yeah, Lou, I'd be scared to talk to you after class, Lou, I think.

Coming up next on "360," a 13-year-old Little Leaguer charged with murder after allegedly beating another boy with a bat. Did teasing at a baseball game make this kid snap? We're going to take a closer look.

Plus, sex offenders nearby. Two dozen living close to where a young Florida girl disappeared. Find out what's being done to track them down. All that and more at the top of the hour, Lou.

DOBBS: Look forward to it, Anderson. Thank you very much. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour.

Why my next guess says President Bush's nominee to be U.N. ambassador is up against what he calls moral cowards. I'll be joined by a former special envoy for the president, who has been through the confirmation process more than once. Stay with us.


DOBBS: My guest tonight is Ambassador Otto Reich. He's a former White House special envoy who has himself been through a number of confirmation hearings, and who says some of John Bolton's critics to be the new ambassador to the United Nations, he says they are nothing less than moral cowards. Good to have you with us tonight.


DOBBS: When you say moral cowards, that's strong stuff. What do you mean?

REICH: Well, I think when you accuse someone of doing something that you know is not true, you are being dishonest. And moral cowards just a term that came to my mind when I saw some of those senators who have said lies about me and about my colleagues many, many times, and gotten away with it.

DOBBS: Name names. Which senators?

REICH: Well, Senator Chris Dodd. Now that I'm out of the government I can talk. Dodd -- when I was up for confirmation as assistant secretary of state four years ago -- made a number of allegations about me and did not have the courage to give me even a meeting in his office to tell him that he was wrong. And I ran into him at a reception at an embassy in Washington and I went up to him, twice, and I said, you know, what you're saying about me is not true. I would like to tell you why. He says I'll call you, I'll call you. And he walked away, and, of course, he never called me.

DOBBS: I thought that was going to be the end of that story. Some of Bolton's critics consider him a polarizing figure. They have accused him of abusing analysts, and therefore unworthy in their minds at least, or so they say, of being U.N. ambassador. Let me point out something else he said, if we could put up the quote, and I'm sure you are familiar with it, Ambassador. "There's no such thing as the United Nations," and that "if 10 floors of the 38 story U.N. headquarters building were eliminated, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." I mean, that's strong stuff for a guy who wants to be U.N. Ambassador, isn't it?

REICH: No. Any one of us who have been in the State Department and worked with the United Nations know that it's a bloated bureaucracy. I think what John was trying to say, John Bolton, with that statement, is that if we eliminated 10 out of those 38 floors, the United Nations could still exist and maybe even more efficiently.

DOBBS: Yes, the United States might well exist. Some would suggest...

REICH: I mean, United Nations.

DOBBS: Well some might suggest more floors would be worthy of elimination rather than just 10.

But the fact of the matter is, John Bolton, going to the United Nations -- is this a contest in ideology between those who say the United Nations is a world government-in-waiting and it's just -- versus those who say it's an annoying, contrivance comprised mainly of countries that are not Democracies anyway and no legitimacy at all flows from it?

REICH: I think what they are saying the United Nations has a purpose. That purpose has been corrupted over the last few years, there's been a number of very costly, very damaging scandals, as we all know, that have cost people's lives, and it needs reforming. Who better to reform such an organization than someone who is known as a very honest, very direct, very forthright, very smart individual who has had years of experience in dealing with international bureaucracies like John Bolton?

DOBBS: And he is the president's nominee and Otto Reich, I would say that the qualities you ascribe to John Bolton make him an unlikely inhabitant of Washington, D.C. in the minds of many. We thank you for being with us. Otto Reich, thank you sir.

REICH: My pleasure.

DOBBS: My next guest says this country is in danger of losing its best and brightest.

Also the results of tonight's poll, a preview of what's ahead tomorrow. Please stay with us.


DOBBS: Our next guest says for the first time in our nation's history they are in danger of losing a critical economic advantage, our ability to attract the greatest talent on the planet. Richard Florida has written a new book called "The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent." Richard Florida is a public policy professor at George Mason University. Good to have you with us.


DOBBS: The idea that we're losing talent, first of all, why?

FLORIDA: Well, I think a couple of reasons. One, what made America great was not that we had raw materials or a big market, or even that our factories were better than everyone else's. From the inception of this country, we attracted the best and the brightest and most entrepreneurial people in the world, from Andrew Carnegie in steel, to Andy Grove in semiconductors, General George Dorio (ph), who founded our first venture firm, America Research and Development.

But, now, we're cutting back. Both, we are restricting entry -- and it's not illegal. Immigrants -- we're restricting top quality scientists, and the bigger problem is that these foreign countries from Australia to Canada to Finland and Sweden are going after people like gang busters.

DOBBS: So, what do we do?

FLORIDA: Well, I think we've got to do a couple -- I was just up on the Hill on Monday. I think folks on the Hill are aware of it. I think folks in the State Department -- I worked with Tom Ridge. I was in Pennsylvania for eight years. I worked with Tom on his Team Pennsylvania Board.

DOBBS: Former governor of Pennsylvania.

FLORIDA: And former homeland security director. We have to move quick. We used to give great scientist as fast track green card. They could come to the country, they'd have that green card, they get residency...

DOBBS: Why aren't we doing it now? We have the capability and still can maintain integrity of our borders.

FLORIDA: Well, I think we got -- after 9/11, that's what I hear from folks up on the Hill and folks in State -- we got scared. Every visa officer and immigration official lives in terror that he's going to let in -- he or she -- is going to let in the next terrorists. What they are probably doing is keeping out the next...

DOBBS: The balance. The fact of the matter is, I mean, we're not talking about orangutans here, we're talking about civil servants who can be told what to do and what qualities we are looking for if we have an immigration policy that makes any sense. So, why isn't that...

FLORIDA: We have an immigration policy that's out of whack, that doesn't understand the kinds of people we need to grow and the kinds of people we don't. I think the federal -- one of the reasons I wrote this book and really focused on this issue, is I think our national government and Congress and Senate and in the executive branch, has to take this under advisement. But, right now, there are very few -- mayors get this, all over the country, governors get it, and...

DOBBS: Let me ask you this. In conclusion, then, with more than three million illegal aliens hitting the country last year, most of whom, by far -- it's about 60 percent of them don't even have a high school education and we can't bring in the best talent that we would seek?

FLORIDA: And other countries are going after the people that used to come here like crazy. They're offering -- and the students, they are recruiting those folks like crazy.

DOBBS: Richard Florida, the book is "The Flight of the Creative Class."

FLORIDA: It's great to be with you, Lou.

DOBBS: Now, the results of tonight's poll. Only 90 percent of you say Congress does not understand the economic social and national security impact of illegal immigration, and failed border security; 10 percent think they do.

And that's the broadcast for tonight. Thanks for being with us. Join us tomorrow, lawmakers in one state trying to give children of illegal aliens a benefit denied to many American students, a special report.

And then, why an American farm workers union supports a plan to grant hundreds of thousands of illegal alien agriculture workers legal status in this country.

And a leading Congressman who wants to know why millions of dollars, allocated for homeland security, still haven't been spent to protect the nation and to protect all of us.

We thank you for being with us tonight. For all of us here, goodnight from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.



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