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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Special Edition: Presidential Immigration Summit
Aired March 31, 2006 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Friday, March 31.
Live from Cancun, Mexico, Lou Dobbs.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody, from Cancun, where the leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada have now wrapped up their summit talks, trilateral summit talks, and considered issues, including illegal immigration, border security and so-called free trade.
At the summit here today, President Bush used some of his strongest language yet demanding Congress pass his illegal alien amnesty guest worker program. But President Bush was unable to win new concessions from Mexican President Vicente Fox on the issue of border security.
As the summit comes to a close, illegal aliens and their supporters today staged new protests in American streets. Along with President Bush and Mexican President Fox, they apparently believe that illegal alien workers in the United States must be legalized at any cost.
Also tonight, we'll be reporting on the growing reconquista movement. This open borders movement has one of the most alarming agendas in this debate of all. We'll have a special report for you.
And a special report tonight as well on Mexico's hypocrisy in trade. Mexicans can invest in America but American investors continually shut out of Mexico.
We begin tonight with new efforts by President Bush to pressure Congress into passing his guest worker amnesty program. President Bush demanded that Congress pass his proposal, a plan that would legalize millions of illegal alien workers during his trilateral summit press conference here in Cancun. But after two days of talks, the president leaves Cancun empty-handed, without any new agreements on border security.
Elaine Quijano has the report.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Two days of meetings, and still simmering, the red-hot issue of illegal immigration, with the topic boiling over in Washington. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I want a comprehensive bill. And I've made that very clear to the members of the Congress, and I will continue making it clear to members of Congress.
QUIJANO: President Bush did not back away from his controversial temporary guest worker proposal, but when asked, he refused to say he would use his veto if Congress sent him an immigration bill without the guest worker provision.
BUSH: And I believe a guest worker program will help us rid the society and the border of these coyotes who smuggle people in the back of 18-wheelers. I believe it will help get rid of the document forgers. I believe it will help people on both sides of our border.
QUIJANO: An estimated six million illegal immigrants living in the United States are from Mexico. Mexican President Vicente Fox acknowledged dealing with the issue is a shared responsibility and said Mexico is taking steps to secure its northern and southern borders, including going after smugglers.
PRESIDENT VICENTE FOX, MEXICO (through translator): Many actions have been implemented. Many actions have to do with close cooperation with security authorities with the United States.
QUIJANO: On the Canadian side, a different point of contention. That country's new prime minister, Stephen Harper, told President Bush he is concerned about a U.S. law that will require Canadians to present a passport-like document before crossing the U.S.-Canada border.
STEPHEN HARPER, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: If we don't move quickly and properly on this, that this could have affects on trade and movement of people, conventions, you name it.
BUSH: The Congress passed a law and I intend to enforce the law. I believe this can be done in such a way that it makes future travel, future relations stronger, not weaker.
QUIJANO (on camera): As expected, there were no breakthroughs on those big issues, but the countries did agree to move forward on a number smaller initiatives. All of them aimed at ensuring economic opportunities and security for North America. And the three countries also agreed to meet again, the next time in Canada in June of 2007.
Elaine Quijano, CNN, Cancun, Mexico.
DOBBS: Mexican President Fox couldn't have sounded more conciliatory here in Cancun over the illegal immigration issue. After all, President Fox does have a powerful ally in the White House and powerful groups pushing his amnesty agenda across the United States.
Casey Wian reports.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Mexican President Vicente Fox is finally acknowledging his government's responsibility to help the United States reduce illegal immigration and out-of- control violence along our broken borders.
FOX (through translator): We have spoken about the fact that the position of Mexico assuming our responsibilities migration-wise, but we have a firm commitment of generating jobs. Likewise, we're doing our own work in crimes amongst the different drug cartels. We should continue working. There's a presence of federal forces and then the commitment to win the battle against organized crime and drug trafficking.
WIAN: During the summit, President Fox also acknowledged that responsibility for immigration reform belongs to the United States Congress. It was in sharp contrast to the Fox administration's five- year efforts to dictate U.S. border policy.
Fox's newfound cooperation is not likely to have much impact, especially now that hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens and open borders advocates are now waving Mexican flags in demonstrations on American soil. And Fox is still refusing to do anything to stop the millions of illegal aliens who gather along Mexican border towns that are staging areas for illegal crossings, saying he won't restrict the freedom of movement of Mexican citizens.
Despite that, President Bush thanked President Fox for his efforts.
BUSH: So I appreciate the president's commitment to security along our border, and we share the same commitment. It's very important to enforce laws.
WIAN: But that enforcement is selective at best. For example, Fox was careful to point out his government has successfully stopped nearly a quarter of a million Central Americans from illegally crossing Mexico's southern border.
WIAN: Creating more jobs for Mexicans in Mexico and cracking down on drug violence here would certainly improve conditions along the U.S.-Mexican border. The question remains, though, how much can Fox actually accomplished in the eight months he has left in office -- Lou.
DOBBS: Absolutely. If the first years of his presidency are any judge, the answer is a forgone conclusion.
Thank you very much, Casey Wian.
Here in Cancun today, President Bush couldn't stop talking about the great cooperation he's seeing from Mexico and Canada on a host of issues. But as the president was speaking, his very own trade representative was blasting Mexico and Canada on the issue of trade. U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman today released his annual report on countries with the most serious trade barriers to the United States. And guess who's on that list? None other than Mexico and Canada.
In addition to Mexico and Canada, the United States is blasting 60 other trading partners for erecting unfair trade barriers, including communist China. As the United States attacks its trading partners for unfair trade, the United States is about to add two more trading partners.
Rob Portman today announced that Honduras and Nicaragua will officially become part of the Central American Free Trade Agreement tomorrow, after the countries finally met all CAFTA requirements.
As President Bush left here today, the U.S. Senate was wrapping up its first week of heated debate on illegal immigration reform. Supporters of President Bush's guest worker amnesty program say they're picking up Senate support and seeing momentum go their way.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, says he is seeing a shift in sentiment toward so-called comprehensive immigration reform. Opponents of the guest worker amnesty program in the House of Representative, however, say the senators had better watch what they vote for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Over in the Senate, that has guest worker, temporary worker, it will be amnesty. And anybody that votes for a amnesty bill deserves to be branded with a scarlet letter "A" for amnesty, and they need to pay for it in the ballot voting box in November.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Senate debate on immigration reform is expected to last through the end of next week.
Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, today blasted the president, accusing him of scapegoating illegal aliens for political gain. Dean said the president is exploiting the issue the same way he says Mr. Bush "picked on gays" in 2004.
Dean also misleadingly portrayed the White House as supporting the Sensenbrenner legislation approved by the House. In fact, the president and most Democrats support a Senate bill that includes a guest worker amnesty program. The Sensenbrenner bill doesn't offer amnesty to illegal aliens.
We'll be back with more on Howard Dean and other of his statements.
Next, the rampant drug trade on the U.S.-Canadian border and how that money could help finance terrorism. A special report next, live from the Canadian border with the United States. And then, a movement within the United States to make certain of our States, American States, part of Mexico. Reconquista. We'll have that special report.
And Mexico wants their citizens to be welcome in the United States but puts all sorts of restrictions on Americans here in Mexico. A report on Mexican hypocrisy in trade and travel coming up next as we return to Cancun, Mexico.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Mexican President Vicente Fox announced here in Cancun that his government will extradite 24 Mexican drug traffickers to the United States. Fox says the first dozen drug traffickers will be turned over to U.S. authorities within the next few weeks.
Late last year, the Mexican supreme court overturned its ban on the extradition of Mexican citizen criminals to the United States who face life in prison. And as Mexico fails to control drug violence in Mexican border towns such as Nuevo Laredo, Mexico's attorney general is attacking the U.S. efforts to fight illegal drugs.
The Mexican attorney general saying it is now the duty of the United States to do more to fight illegal drugs. He says his nation's efforts to fight illegal drugs is far superior to American efforts.
Drug trafficking is, of course, a problem on the Canadian border as well. Whether by car, truck, or tunnel, Americans are getting more than cheap prescription drugs from Canada.
Katharine Barrett reports now from the U.S.-Canadian border in Lynden, Washington.
KATHARINE BARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's a homegrown Canadian marketing success, a stubborn problem for law enforcement. BC bud marijuana, as it's known, from the province of British Columbia is highly potent, highly priced and prized by smugglers. It and other drugs are coming in to this country at an alarming pace.
In 2005, U.S. Border and Customs officials made hundreds of drug seizures along the northern border -- 68,000 thousand pounds of marijuana, 1,600 pounds of cocaine, more than 1,700 pounds of ecstasy. All together, more tonnage than a humpback whale.
Border Control has beefed up since 2001. Smugglers have just amped up their efforts.
INSPECTOR PAUL NADEAU, ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE: We hear everything from commercial transport vehicles, private vehicles, people, you know, in the middle of the night with backpacks running this stuff across the border, helicopters flying across just across the line dropping hockey bags full of marijuana and coming back into Canada again. You know, where there's a will, there's a way. And what's happening over time is, some of these organizations are so much money, the sky's the limit.
BARRETT: Literally. Traffickers fly over the border, landing in the vast wilds of the 4,000-mile frontier. And not exactly NAFTA's design, but free trade, nonetheless. Cocaine from Mexico is often ferried north then bartered for Canadian marijuana.
Last year brought some high-profile crackdowns. The revelation of this smugglers' tunnel just yards from a border crossing in western Washington, and the arrest and pending extradition of Canada's so- called prince of pot, mail order seed seller Mark Emory (ph).
GREGORY GASSETT, SEATTLE DEA: His yearly impact on this country with marijuana growth was about 100,000 pounds of marijuana per year based on his seed sales. One person.
BARRETT: There's fresh asphalt on the road behind me covering up the first known smuggler's tunnel on the Canadian border. The tunnel has now been dug up and filled in, but it does raise deeper concerns. If drug traffickers have this much money, determination and known connections to organized crime, those connections could easily be exploited by terrorists -- Lou.
DOBBS: Katharine Barrett, thank you very much.
Katharine Barrett reporting from Lynden, Washington.
The minutemen will be brack in action on the Canadian border all next month. Thousands of volunteers have passed background checks and they will be ready to man nearly 800 miles of the border with Canada and Mexico beginning tomorrow. Minutemen volunteers will be conducting patrols in Washington State, New York and New Hampshire on the Canadian border, and in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas on the Mexican border.
Widening protests against illegal immigration legislation. Pro- illegal immigration groups and religious groups are sponsoring a march tomorrow in New York City.
Thousands of students today walked out of their classes in California. Two thousand students marching through San Diego waving Mexican flags.
Police say that at least 3,000 students took part in protests in Las Vegas today. They marched to city hall, the county courthouse and the Las Vegas Strip. One student was arrested for carrying a gun.
Still ahead here, some Mexican citizens and some Mexican- Americans have formed a group to see states like New Mexico and California be turned over to Mexico. It's the reconquista movement. We'll be telling you about that in our special report tonight. And did President Bush make any progress today to help secure our broken borders? Our distinguished panel of guests tonight are Ed Rollins, Michael Goodwin and Joe Kline. We'll be talking about these issues and more as we return to Cancun, Mexico.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: There are some Mexican citizens and some Mexican- Americans who want to see California, New Mexico and other parts of the Southwestern United States given over to Mexico. These groups call it the reconquista, Spanish for reconquest. And they view the millions of Mexican illegal aliens in particular entering the United States as potentially an army of invaders to achieve that takeover.
Christine Romans reports.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In San Diego today, another sea of Mexican flags echoing the nationalist theme in protests earlier this week.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ROMANS: Chants celebrating La Raza, the race, and signs proclaiming the true history of the Southwest. A Southwest they say still belongs to Mexico.
Long downplayed as a theory of the radical ethnic fringe, the la reconquista, the reconquest, the reclamation, the return, it's resonating with some on the streets. It's the idea that the Southwest United States is stolen land called Aztlan.
LARRY BIRNS, COUNCIL ON HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS: These places that these Mexican immigrants want to go, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas, were all parts of Mexican territory in the 19th century and were swiped from Mexico.
ROMANS: A surprisingly common theme among open borders advocates, even some Spanish language media. This billboard last year declaring Los Angeles a part of Mexico, not California.
California Congressman Dana Rohrbacher calls the attitude arrogant and dangerous.
REP. DANA ROHRBACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: And now we see that hundreds of thousands of these people, if not several million, are willing to wave the Mexican flag and not seek assimilation in the United States, but are instead declaring their allegiance to Mexico while here illegally. This can cause huge problems. If only a fringe element of them want to commit acts of violence in the future to -- in order to push their claim of legitimacy in terms of their right to this area that we now occupy in the United States, it can cause great damage and loss of life in our country. ROMANS: Perhaps why this California police officer this week encouraged these protesters to fly the American flag.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you should be flying are American flags, and I'll tell you what else.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: No!
ROMANS: Aztlan has long been the provident of the radical fringe. A lot of open borders groups disavow it completely. But the growing street protests in favor of illegal immigration, Lou, are increasingly taking on the tone of that very radicalism -- Lou.
DOBBS: Christine, thank you very much.
That brings us to the subject of our poll tonight. Do you believe American working men and women and their families will be included in any consideration of the immigration reform legislation now being undertaken by the U.S. Congress?
Please cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have results later here in the broadcast.
Students at an Arizona high school burned the Mexican flag today. They burned it after taking it down from the flagpole in front of the school's ROTC building. That's where some other students had raised it, above the American flag. Six students now face disciplinary action over the incident.
Time now to take a look at your thoughts.
Matt in Nevada says, "Lou, it looks beautiful there in Mexico. Could I move to Cancun and not have to learn Spanish, have free medical care, pay no taxes, have subsidized housing, food stamps, and if I commit a crime, be innocent until proven guilty?:
You were doing all right with just one of those. You could probably get by here with English. The rest I think might be an issue. It would be certainly a lovely place to try.
Clarence in Kentucky, "Two thousand dollars is a pretty good deal for free health care, food stamps, welfare, et cetera. I pay more than $2,000 for my own health insurance, plus 20 percent of my medical bills. What's wrong with this picture?"
And Ronald in Wisconsin, "I'm proud of my half-Italian, half- German heritage, but I have loyalty to only one country. And that is the good old USA. I only want one flag flying at our schools and any other publicly-funded building."
Phil in Georgia, "Lou, I heard Mexico has a guest worker program for Canadians. That's wonderful. I've got a better idea, though. They should have one for Mexicans."
We love hearing your thoughts. Please send them to us at loudobbs.com. We'll have more of your thoughts later in the broadcast.
Coming up next, Mexico wants its citizens to be able to freely live and work in the United States. But when it comes to Americans in Mexico, an entirely different story. We'll have that special report on the Mexican hypocrisy.
And did President Bush stand up to Mexican President Vicente Fox on the issue of illegal immigration? No. They're in agreement.
Border security? Nope. And so-called free trade? We'll discuss those issues and more when our distinguished panel of political analysts join us.
We'll be back, live tonight from Cancun, Mexico.
DOBBS: We're reporting here from Cancun, the site of the trilateral summit meeting among the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, which concluded today.
We're taking a look now at some of the other major stories of the day.
The Army announcing that U.S. soldiers in Iraq can wear only body armor provided by the U.S. Army. The Army says soldiers cannot wear armor they've bought on their own, even if they consider that armor better than GI-issued.
The Army acknowledged today that there had been problems with providing body armor to all our soldiers, but the Army says soldiers in Iraq now have all the body armor they need. That has brought protests from veterans groups already.
In Washington, D.C., today, a former deputy chief of staff to Congressman Tom DeLay pleaded guilty in the Abramoff scandal. Tony Rudy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in Washington federal court. He remitted that he accepted payments arranged by Abramoff while working in Congressman DeLay's office. Rudy is the second former DeLay aide to plead guilty in this case.
Illegal aliens and their supporters say living and working in the United States is a universal right that should be extended to everyone, regardless of citizenship. But the Mexican government clearly restricts where foreigners can live and what they are allowed to do when in Mexico.
Lisa Sylvester reports.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This week in Mexico there's a lot of talk of partnership.
BUSH: It's important to have a trade partner that has got a stable economy.
SYLVESTER: But when it comes to Mexico and its neighbors, it's not always a two-way street. Mexico has far more restrictions on Americans than the United States places on its southern neighbors.
MARK KRIKORIAN, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: The first principle of international relations is reciprocity, where each nation confers the same rights and privileges and responsibilities on the other. And that's not what we see here. Mexico's approach to the United States seems to be what's theirs is theirs and what's ours is negotiable.
SYLVESTER: Under Mexico's constitution, foreigners cannot independently own real estate within 30 miles of Mexico's coastline or within 60 miles of the borders. The constitution explicitly gives Mexicans preference over foreigners when it comes to jobs, benefits and concessions.
Mexico's lucrative oil industry is off-limits to American investors. It's controlled entirely by the Mexican government. Mexico even has a double standard when it comes to border security.
MIKE CULTER, FORMER INS AGENT: We have a country to ourselves that absolutely wants to have an open border for their people to head north, but they are insistent on controlling those people that enter their country.
SYLVESTER: Mexico has these policies in place to protect its citizens, because it's in its national interests. But the Center for Immigration Studies questions why the United States tolerates the imbalance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You teach people how to treat you, and we've taught Mexico that it's OK to push and push and infringe on our sovereign rights and to have an unbalanced relationship. And so that's naturally what they're going to keep pushing for.
SYLVESTER: Mexico has been weighing in heavily in the guest worker debate. It wants to help design and implement the program, but that is a decision for the U.S. government and its citizens.
SYLVESTER: And there's that old saying that good fences make good neighbor, and in this case, strong borders and respect for each nations sovereignty makes for the best neighbors, Lou.
DOBBS: Those borders are anything but strong at this point, as you and everyone else has been reporting on this broadcast. We've seen firsthand that attempt to display partnership among the three nations while reporting from Cancun this week.
I turn now to some of the reporters reporting on this summit, joined now by our correspondents Casey Wian, here reporting from Cancun through the week, Lisa Sylvester you just heard and Katharine Barrett reporting from the Canadian border.
I'm going to turn to you, Katharine, first. This was the first meeting for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. There doesn't seem to have been much in the way of advancing any dialogue about any issue, whether it be border security or whether it be illegal drug trade or even that old standby, soft wood lumber exports to the United States?
BARRETT: That's right, Lou. I think this meeting was seen even going into it as largely symbolic, but it was a chance, again, for that face-to-face meeting. And in diplomatic circles there are large hopes for a rather new beginning in relations between Canada and the U.S. which have become pretty frayed in recent years, reaching a low point a couple of years ago when one Canadian official called President Bush a moron.
Harper is seen as a new face, a new position, much more closely aligned with Bush, ideologically, economically. So just the fact that the two men were in the same room shaking hands, I think, was viewed as symbolically important.
One thing we learned here on the northern border, people right around here really view the relationship with Canada as a special one, a peaceful one, a friendly one, a neighborly one. The road you see behind me here, people talk over the back fence, that's Canada, this is the U.S. People do consider it a special and close relationship. Lou?
DOBBS: Lisa Sylvester, the idea that there is hypocrisy in this relationship. There's hypocrisy in nearly every international relationship. But it's particularly important because we're next door neighbors, and this is a land bridge. Is there any discomfort that you've detected on the part of the Mexican government and officials in that hypocrisy?
SYLVESTER: Well you know, I love this line that Mark Krikorian said which is, "What's theirs is theirs and what's ours is negotiable." Because that kind of just sums it up. Their entire attitude is this sense that there's an entitlement that somehow the United States has to essentially bow to their issues and their wants. And we see this very clearly with the guest worker program. It makes you wonder, who's President Bush actually representing? Is he representing the people or is he representing the Mexican people? It's very fascinating to see this whole arrangement and how this has been set up.
DOBBS: Casey Wian, your thoughts?
WIAN: Well, what struck me is, this is the second of these summits. Conditions along the U.S.-Mexican border have either remained the same or gotten worse in the past year. We've got border violence at an all-time high. We've got border patrol agents being shot at an all-time high. We've got the minuteman project, which was just beginning last year in Arizona, now expanding all over the United States. You wonder what kind of progress they're going to make in the next year.
DOBBS: It's -- and whether progress of any kind is possible, because this is Vicente Fox's last meeting, of course. It was Stephen Harper's first and George Bush, it's going to be interesting to see as you say, whether they can achieve anything at all. But it is clear they did not achieve much, other than introductions and adios here this week. Thank you all.
Still ahead, Bush, Fox and Harper: three leaders together here in Cancun. But will the trilateral meetings benefit the United States in any way other issues of illegal immigration, border security, so- called free trade? I'll be joined with our distinguished panel of political analysts Ed Rollins, Michael Goodwin and Joe Klein, coming up here next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: President Bush, President Fox and Prime Minister Harper have ended their trilateral summit here in Cancun, little to nothing accomplished on a host of issue.
I'm joined now by our distinguished panel of political analysts. From New York tonight, Ed Rollins, former White House political director, Michael Goodwin, columnist for the "New York Daily News" and Joe Klein, columnist at "Time" magazine.
Let me start if I may, with you, Joe. This is -- these meetings produced very little beyond a handshake, a hello and one of farewell. Where do you think we're going to go in terms of the relationship with Mexico and Canada on the critical issues of illegal immigration and border security in particular?
JOE KLEIN, COLUMNIST, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, first of all, Lou, to expect something from a meeting like this is kind of the equivalent of expecting something from a G-8 meeting. These are just photo ops.
The real action occurs elsewhere. There hasn't been real action in international bilaterals since the days of the United States and the Soviet Union.
But there is real action taking place in Washington, especially in the Senate this week. I just spent the last few days there, and what I, from what I understand, there is very heavy duty negotiations going on now within the Republican Caucus, between people like Jon Kyl and John Cornyn, who opposed the guest worker program. And people like John McCain, who favored them, and I think that as Lindsey Graham said earlier, the tide is moving very, very strongly in the direction of a guest worker program.
DOBBS: Ed Rollins, do you agree?
ED ROLLINS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well I still have to deal with the House. I think there may very well be something going on in the Senate. I think the Senate clearly wants to have something with guest workers. I think when it gets to the House, the conservatives really have drawn the line and I think to a certain extent, at the end of this year, I think the best you're going to have is some kind of a homeland security bill that's similar to what the House has already passed.
DOBBS: So you think the Sensenbrenner legislation in some form, obviously tempered a compromise just as the Senate legislation, if it were to survive, would be, one would assume. Michael Goodwin, your thoughts?
MICHAEL GOODWIN, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Well I think the Democrats are clearly going to go for guest worker amnesty, however you want to call it. So I think that it's going to be a lopsided vote if it ever comes up really, in the Senate. And in the House too, I think eventually if there is a reconciliation, Democrats will be with the McCain-Kennedy kind of bill.
KLEIN: McCain-Kennedy, Bush, add to that.
DOBBS: Do you find it amazing, Joe, that here we are with borders that are demonstrably wide open, ports that are demonstrably insecure, that the president has decided to push forward with a guest worker program, which is by most polls at least opposed by the majority of Americans? Do you find it just remarkable?
KLEIN: No. Look, the Bush administration made a decision right after September 11th about how to fight the war on terror. They could either -- they could either protect the homeland, protect the courts, secure the borders, or they could fight the terrorist overseas.
They chose the latter. They haven't done enough on the former. Now, as you know, I'm in favor of doing a lot more when it comes to securing our borders, but also part in parcel of that, we have to come up way solution dealing with the 12 million who are already here.
DOBBS: You know, part and parcel of that coming up with a solution, that's a tall order. This Congress is pushing a, this Senate is pushing an amnesty response.
KLEIN: That's not an amnesty response. That's a guest worker program and from what I understand, it's going to be toughened in the negotiations over the next few days.
GOODWIN: Lou, if I could, I mean, I don't see how the program being conceived in the Senate could ever be administered. I think you're talking about a huge, huge backlog, you're talking about, already the INS cannot track down those who have warrants on them, illegal immigrants with warrants, criminal warrants.
So I don't see how we could ever track whether someone learned English, whether they're paying taxes, whether they complied with all American laws. To me, it's an impossible program to administer and I think when that is true, then you have lost control of the borders again, because those who are here, if we can't enroll them in some kind of program, however well intentioned, there is no program, and we might as well just open the borders entirely.
ROLLINS: But the bottom line is, this election is going to be fought on this issue. There's a lot of Republicans today that are beginning to worry a little bit about losing their majorities. They don't care about the Senate. They care about their own hides.
And I think to a certain extent, maybe the Democrats and some moderate Republicans can put together a coalition to pass something in the House that measures up to what the president wants. But it will be over a lot of blood and it will be over the detriment of the new leadership of the House if that occurs.
KLEIN: But the only way to make this work is going to be something that is really going to tick off the civil libertarians, something that the president has already proposed, which is in effect, a national identity card. That's how you monitor it, Michael. And that's how -- it's the only way it can be done and it's got to be done, I think, at this point.
DOBBS: I'm sorry, go ahead.
ROLLINS: If there's ever been an issue that sends conservatives the hair up on the back of their head, for those that don't have much hair on the back of our heads, up, it's a national security card.
I think Joe's point earlier about us making a determination to go fight terrorists abroad was probably very true. But I do think there's a greater danger now of terrorism coming back to our own shore. And if that occurs between now and this election, or between the passage of this bill, they'll be a whole new focus and a whole lot of finger pointing at Rumsfeld and the White House about their mismanagement of a war and even their misinterpretation of where we should have drawn the line.
GOODWIN: Also, I do think there's a false choice being put here by people like John McCain, which is that we are either for immigration or we are isolationists. I think the real choice is between legal and illegal immigration. And I think you could have a million legal immigrants coming in every year and have control of the border. But if you have 100,000 coming in without control of the border, then you have a security issue. So I think the false choice is being put to the American people.
DOBBS: You know, I don't -- I'd like to hear what you think, because I, Ed Rollins, you're talking about the hair on the back of your head standing up. Mine stands up when we're confronted with these Hobson's choices, straw men and false choices.
And I know yours as well, Joe, that the idea that the issue here is whether you're for immigration or not for immigration, is the kind of thing that Senator McCain ought to really -- he should be embarrassed.
Because, Michael, your point is exactly right. We're going to have immigration in this country -- welcomes warmly legal immigrations to this country. The idea that the president, his U.S. -- the U.S. trade representative Rob Portman today finally brings a blast against China. And my goodness, even Mexico and Canada. And you know, I've been called by this administration an economic isolationist because I want them to open markets, because I want fair, reciprocal and mutual trade. Is the Bush administration -- Michael, do you think they're turning into economic isolationists right before our eyes? Protectionists?
GOODWIN: Well I think it's not a coherent strategy. I think when you look, all the pieces don't fit neatly together. And I think for the president, clearly, even assuming it's heartfelt, which I believe it is in terms of the immigration issue, that it's clearly a political quotient to this.
That Republicans have been trying to woo the Hispanic vote. He did very well. And across New York City, for example, the Republican mayors have done well with the Latino vote. So I think that there's clearly a political quotient going on here, but it does not add up to an economic or a security strategy.
ROLLINS: There never has been a strategy in this administration from the start to the finish. There wasn't a good strategy to go to war. September 11th became the most telling day in this administration, and everything has been a reaction since then. They got ready for campaigns, they know how to win the vote by a narrow majority. They don't know how to push legislation. They don't know how to cooperate with their own team and this is the administration at the end of day is not going to have much of a record.
KLEIN: But you know -- and by the way, I think that it's no coincidence that Portman's report comes out this week, where people as head up as they are.
However, I think that we have to acknowledge, there is a good- faith effort going on by representatives of the American people, and those who are concerned about open borders right now, have the responsibility to be very specific in what they advocate to change the situation.
And that includes you, Lou, and I think that the same is true with those who are upset about the 12 million immigrants. You've said many times that we can't just ship them back. What are we going to do with them? We have to be specific. It's time for a real responsible argument.
DOBBS: I'm a man burdened by many responsibilities, many of them I gleefully take on. But Joe, I'm not going to let you assign my responsibilities, if you don't mind.
KLEIN: You're taking a leadership position in this, Lou, I want to know what you think.
DOBBS: Well, I'm taking a leadership position as you know, Joe, Ed, Michael -- I'm taking a leadership position in trying to resuscitate truth where it went to die in Washington D.C. And I see my job as trying to bring that reality and that non-partisan, independent reality to our audience. ROLLINS: I think it's very important to remember, we solved this problem once before in the '80s. There were five million illegal immigrants at that point in time. We said OK, let's make them all legal. That's going to stop the problem. We now -- they're all legal, we now have 12 million more illegals. It's a serious problem, but just legalizing them is not going to basically solve the problem.
KLEIN: And there has to be greater, broader border security now because of something that happened since the '80s and that's September 11th.
GOODWIN: And I think if we can't seal the border, we can't control the border, if we can't determine who's allowed into this country, then no program is going to work.
DOBBS: Michael Goodwin, Joe Klein, Ed Rollins, gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate it, and what we might do, since Joe's assigned me the responsibility for resolving this, why don't we have a quadrennial -- quadlateral summit and the four of us will take it on.
KLEIN: Can we do it down there, Lou, in fact, with margaritas? I'd love to do with margaritas down there.
DOBBS: Probably the result of the meetings would be enhanced considerably.
You have the chance to let the president, your senators, your representatives in Washington know just how you feel on the issues of illegal immigration, border security. If want to e-mail the president, go to whitehouse.gov. You can find your senators at Senate.gov. Your congressmen can be located by logging on to House.gov.
Or you can go to our Web site, LouDobbs.com, which will help you find the direction to your respective representative, senator and, of course, the president.
Coming up at the top of the hour here on CNN, "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer. Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Lou. We've got lots going on. President Bush facing censure from Congress. But it is it all bark with no bite? We're taking you behind the headlines.
Plus, inside the World Trade Center. We have the chilling 911 tapes. Hear what happened minutes before the buildings collapsed.
Also, Bill Clinton, one on one, he's sitting down with our own Larry King. We have it here in "THE SITUATION ROOM." And a congresswoman potentially facing criminal charges speaks out. We have that story. Finally, Lou Dobbs himself, versus Jorge Ramos, round two. It's a debate you won't want to miss.
All that, Lou, coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM." And Lou, thanks for sticking around.
DOBBS: A pleasure. And you have a good show, Wolf. Thanks.
We on this program would like to take this opportunity right now to do something we would seldom and rarely do. It is, we're going to thank and express our gratitude, if I may, to the staff of the Omni Hotel here in Cancun. They have been remarkably hospitable this week. Putting together a television news broadcast of this magnitude requires a great deal of time, hard work on the part of our terrific crew and staff here on LOU DOBBS TONIGHT. We really appreciate everyone's help from the staff here at the Omni. You've been wonderful and helped us put this show on the air for this week. We thank you very much.
And still ahead here, the story of father and son serving the United States a long way from home. Our weekly tribute to our men and women in uniform, "Heroes," is next, when we return to Cancun, Mexico. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Now, "Heroes," our weekly salute to our men and women in uniform, serving this nation all around the world. Tonight, the story of Tony Odierno. Both he and his father were serving in Iraq when Tony was badly wounded in battle. Barbara Starr has his story.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Linda Odierno watched both her husband and son go to war in Iraq. But soon after her husband came home, the phone rang with dreaded news. Their son, Tony, had been hit.
LINDA ODIERNO, SOLDIER'S MOTHER: When I heard about Tony's injury, all I could think about was how is he feeling? How much pain is he in?
STARR: On a routine patrol one night in Baghdad, Tony and his team were ambushed.
CAPT. TONY ODIERNO, U.S. ARMY: First when they shot -- hit my vehicle. It went through my door. I was holding the radio, which is in the middle of the humvee with this left arm kind of out like this. Took off that arm, and it killed my driver.
STARR: Bleeding, his left arm shot off, Tony climbed out through the gunner's hatch to help others before he finally collapsed. It was courage any father would be proud of, especially the tough general who commanded the 4th Infantry Division that captured Saddam Hussein.
LT. GEN. RAYMOND ODIERNO, U.S. ARMY: I think it hit home when Tony got hurt. But it is different when you're a father. I mean, you know, I mean, he's my son.
STARR: The son sugarcoats nothing.
T. ODIERNO: I remember in the hospital, you know, kind of first time you kind of, you know, look at your body. I mean, I got -- I mean, I had my, you know, missing my left arm. My right arm's all taped up. Sometimes when you look at your injuries, I mean, it's just hard to look at, at first.
STARR: Things changed when General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered Tony a job.
T. ODIERNO: I didn't think I couldn't do it, but just, you know, after you've been working a while again, you really -- it really gave me a lot more confidence that I really can do everything.
GEN. PETER PACE, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: The fact that he had been severely wounded to me was an important thing for me to tell the armed forces as best I could as chairman that we have space for you.
STARR: This young captain has his message.
T. ODIERNO: And it's hard. And then one day you realize that I can -- I can still live a great life. I'm still going to live. I can still live that, whatever I want to do.
STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
DOBBS: Tony, in fact, returned to the battlefield before his father. He went to Baghdad a few months ago, where he served on a brief military assignment. Tony's father, Lieutenant General Odierno, will return to Iraq later this year, where he will command a new division.
Still ahead, we'll have the results of tonight's poll, more of your thoughts, and more when we return. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Now the results of our poll tonight: 97 percent of you say, no, you do not believe American working men and women and their families will be included in any consideration of the immigration reform legislation. We thank you for voting.
Time now for a look at your thoughts. Stephen in California -- "Mr. Dobbs, your commentary on the president and Congress defying the people's will is bang on. We are not the United States of Mexico."
Lee in California -- "One word you never hear from those supporting illegal immigrants is assimilation. We're supposed to adapt to the Mexican language, culture, and it looks like the Mexican flag."
Joyce in Washington -- "Lou, not only no, but hell no to amnesty. This government seems to think if they say the same thing enough, the public will buy it."
Carl in South Carolina -- "Lou, here's a job it's virtually impossible to find an American to do: Legislate according to the will of the American people." Elizabeth in Oregon said -- "I wish somebody would inform Senator Specter that we don't need to bring illegals out of the shadows, because they left there long ago. They're now marching all over the country, shouting and demanding the rights of citizens. Timid they are not."
Send us your thoughts at loudobbs.com. Each of you whose email is read here on this broadcast receives a copy of my book, "Exporting America."
We thank you for being with us tonight. Please join us tomorrow and Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern for our special report on the illegal immigration and border security crisis. We hope you'll be with us for that. For all of us here, have a great weekend. Good night from Cancun. "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
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