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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Battle on the Border; Interview With Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, President Billy Nungesser; Interview With Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Aired July 30, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
Tonight: the latest on the skirmish and the battle on the border, a fight over how to secure the country, stop illegal immigration, and enforce the law. It's been going on for decades. It is heating up yet again.
This week, Arizona's tough new immigration law took effect. But, before it could, a federal judge suspended key parts of it, the provisions mandating police check the immigration status of people they stop, and requiring people in the country lawfully -- lawfully -- to carry proof of status at all times.
Now a majority of Arizonans and Americans supported the law as it was. A substantial minority oppose it vocally. We will show you the protests, bring you the debate, talk to the controversial sheriff, Joe Arpaio, at the center of the battle, "Keeping Them Honest."
But, first, Randi Kaye has the latest.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, BP's plan to permanently seal its ruptured well has hit a snag. It had hoped to start a static kill, pumping mud and cement from above into the well's blowout preventer, as early as Sunday. But, today, the effort was postponed until possibly Monday or Tuesday.
That's because workers need to clean out debris they found in one of the relief wells being drilled. The debris is preventing a final section of pipe casing from being installed. That casing is essential for reinforcing the relief well and keeping it secure during the static kill.
Tom Foreman has more for us tonight -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Randi.
What they want to do is make sure that relief well is ready in case the static kill doesn't work. Let's explain the static kill first. What they're going to do is pump fluid down into that blowout preventer we have heard so much about -- this is kind of like the top kill they tied -- tried before -- then down into the line.
This fluid is much heavier than the oil. And, in theory, it will exert downward pressure on the oil and ultimately stop it. They can do this because, with that cap on top, the oil is now at a more constant pressure, instead of fluctuating with bursts of gas, bursts of oil that give them a hard time.
That's the idea of the static kill. If it really works, they will try to put some concrete down here and fill it up, but important to remember, there are two pipes are here, a big outside one about like that, and an inside one. If they do this, they will fill the inside one, but the outside one will still be open.
That's where we get to the next part of it, which is the relief well. The relief wells are coming in from the outside. They're getting much closer. If this works properly, what they will do is pump down in through after they cut in with the drill from the side, and they will pump concrete in, which would fill up that outside area.
And then they would follow it up by completing filling the inside area. All of that together would permanently seal this well off, Randi -- at least, they hope.
KAYE: All right, Tom, thanks very much for that.
Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the federal response, said today the nearly constant flights that check for surface oil on the water from the air are barely detecting any oil, beyond thin sheens -- this as BP's incoming CEO, Bob Dudley, said it's time to start scaling back cleanup efforts.
At the same time, he said BP will not abandon Gulf residents once the well is permanently sealed.
But not everyone is buying that promise.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser joins me now.
And, Billy, I want to play for you exactly what Bob Dudley said today, and then we will get your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT DUDLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BP GULF COAST RESTORATION ORGANIZATION: In terms of the effort, no, it's, not too soon for a scale-back.
We haven't permanently, finally killed the well. I don't think we will see any more oil going into the beaches.
And where there's no oil on the beaches, you probably don't need people walking up in down in hazmat suits. So, you will see that kind of a pullback, but commitment, absolutely no pullback.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: So, is it time, in your opinion, to scale back on the cleanup efforts?
BILLY NUNGESSER, PRESIDENT, PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LOUISIANA: Absolutely not.
You know, he may be talking about the beaches in Florida. Louisiana is getting slammed. For the last two days, we have oil out there all over, same places and other places we didn't have oil.
KAYE: Your guys have been up in your own helicopter, and you have seen the oil.
NUNGESSER: You know, I don't know what's going on here, but Thad Allen takes a flight, sees no oil. BP starts pulling assets out. They're all on the same team here against coastal Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
KAYE: Because you went to the same areas, you're saying, where he has said that they didn't see oil, and you're saying that -- that you did.
NUNGESSER: It's a dog and pony show. The oil is out there. It's all over. But that was rehearsed, to take that flight. Either they were looking up or they were flying 3,000 feet, not looking down. There was oil all over.
And then, the next day, all of a sudden, assets start leaving Plaquemines Parish and Saint Bernard. It was choreographed well.
KAYE: Yes. Let me ask you about that, because I know you had a meeting with the parish presidents and Thad Allen. And you talked about that you would all be included on the decision-making at the...
KAYE: ... at the local level, on the state level here.
KAYE: So, what happened? Because I know we have some photos tonight that really show otherwise.
NUNGESSER: What happened? They lied. Absolutely no assets would leave until we get together on Tuesday. We're meeting Sunday to present a plan to them.
KAYE: So, this is boom.
NUNGESSER: They lied.
KAYE: These photos that we're looking at, this is boom that was taken...
NUNGESSER: That is the same boom that -- that the Coast Guard wrote a letter that -- when they were taken to safety for the tropical storm.
Now, today, when we pull it over, the sheriff pulls it over, they say it's the (INAUDIBLE) boom.
KAYE: So -- but this is boom that you were never even told was going to be removed...
NUNGESSER: No. No. We had to pull them over...
KAYE: ... which was part of the deal.
NUNGESSER: The sheriff's office had to pull them over. And we caught 12 of the trucks. I don't know how many left before we caught those 12.
KAYE: Let me ask you very quickly about the fishermen, part of the vessels of opportunity program. If the cleanup efforts get scaled back, what is going to happen to these guys?
NUNGESSER: Well, they have been -- we -- they have been promising for three weeks to add fishermen. They have taken a bunch off. So, that gap is -- is crushing the fishermen.
So, I'm glad BP agreed to pay one more month compensation until we can get the new compensation plan in place, but 30, 40, 50 fishermen a day show up at my office. They say, get ready. We're going to put you on.
Whoever is handling that for BP has failed miserably.
KAYE: Because Thad Allen has said that, you know, we have -- if we have less cleanup work, you have the contractors and then you have the fishermen, they can't keep them all on.
KAYE: So, what should they do?
NUNGESSER: You know what? Thad Allen is going to BP school on how to deny. He is in denial.
Come down to Plaquemines. We will show you the oil. You know, they were removing five barges today, take -- standing them down. Our guys were there unloading 1,250 gallons of oil.
And they say, wait. Where are you going with this equipment? We have got oil all over. But we have been told to stand down. Who told you? Houma.
Houma is like the Wizard of Oz.
And you're saying, if you want, take -- take your guys, but keep let -- leave the equipment, and -- and we will do it, right?
You know, every time there's a problem -- Venice did not know the blimp was in Plaquemines.
KAYE: Right. NUNGESSER: It saw oil for five days.
NUNGESSER: Now they're moving it out. Who told you? Houma.
I can't get a name out of Houma.
KAYE: Right. Right.
NUNGESSER: Houma is like the Wizard of Oz, a little guy hiding behind a curtain.
KAYE: All right, Billy, we're going to have to leave it there.
NUNGESSER: It's crazy.
KAYE: It is -- it is a really tough situation. And I know you are going to stay on top of it and keep giving them a hard time to get what you need.
Thanks a lot for joining us tonight.
NUNGESSER: Thank you.
KAYE: That is the latest from the Gulf -- now back to you, Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks.
Up next, we will take you to the front lines in the battle on the border, with the Arizona deputies drawing fire for their crackdown on illegal immigrants and their controversial sheriff, who says he's just doing the job he was elected to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: We go out with my volunteer posse. I have a 3,000-volunteer posse, with about -- 400 carry guns.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You sound like a cowboy.
ARPAIO: No. Yes, you know, I do act like a cowboy. But, instead of going after horse thieves, I go after car thieves. Things have changed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sheriff Joe Arpaio joins us. Also tonight, that fence along the border, lot of big promises made over the years, a lot of money spent, $2.5 billion, four years gone by so far. The work is mostly done, but the fence isn't, and it's probably not what you expect. We will show you why.
COOPER: Well, recent polling shows two-thirds of Arizonans approve of their new immigration law in its original form. Hundreds of protesters turned out on Thursday to voice their opposition to the law and especially to Maricopa County's outspoken Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Since long before the law went into effect, he has been sending out his deputies out on sweeps to round up suspected criminals. Many turn out to be illegal immigrants, which leads critics to say these are just immigration raids by another name, something that is supposed to be a federal, not a county, job.
Gary Tuchman takes us "Up Close."
TUCHMAN (voice-over): They're very mad.
Hundreds of demonstrators on the streets of Phoenix, with people being arrested for disorderly conduct, angry about the new Arizona immigration bill, and particularly angry at this man, who they feel is inhumane.
SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: It doesn't make any difference with me. I'm going to continue to do what I have been doing.
TUCHMAN: What Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been doing for years is trying to determine if many of his people his department arrests are illegal immigrants, and then shipping them to federal authorities for possible deportation.
ARPAIO: So that they're every day they're out in front of this building for two years, calling me Nazi, Hitler, every name in the book they have been doing against this sheriff. Because if they can't make you stop one way, they have to throw the race card in. That doesn't bother me.
TUCHMAN: So, why does Arpaio have the right to ask people if they're illegal immigrants if that portion of the law has not been allowed to take effect yet?
Well, it's a little-known fact that dozens of counties, including Maricopa County, Arizona, have a partnership with the federal government that has permitted them to make those determinations. Arpaio revels in his reputation as a tough guy.
ARPAIO: I'm turning off certain activists that don't like what I'm doing. I'm probably turning off some employers who hire illegal aliens for the cheap payment, money. So, I turn off some people. But you know what? I serve the 4 million people that live here.
TUCHMAN: On the day part of the new immigration law went into effect, Arpaio and his department went on a crime sweep, deputies driving into the city's neighborhoods -- in this case pull willing over a Mexican-American driver for an expired registration tag. Because the driver had a proper license, though, he was only ticketed, no taken into custody.
This man, though, wasn't as fortunate.
(on camera): So, they arrested you for not having a registration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Did they ask if you were legal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huh?
TUCHMAN: Did they ask if you were legally in this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't ask me that. They just -- nothing. They just took me out of the car, right here on 35th Avenue, I mean, in the middle of the street of nothing here.
TUCHMAN: Are you legally in this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm legal.
TUCHMAN: Do you think they pulled you over because they think you're an illegal immigrant?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because of the color, like everybody, yes.
TUCHMAN: Like the color of your skin?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Arpaio says he, nor his department, are racists. He insists they're doing what they're supposed to be doing.
(on camera): You sound like a cowboy.
ARPAIO: No. Yes, you know, I do act like a cowboy. But instead of going after horse thieves, I go after car thieves. Things have changed.
So, we have my deputies, and we go in certain areas where crime is prevalent, and during the course of our -- maybe only 15 hours, we arrest many violators of the law. And just by chance, about 60 percent that we arrest happen to be here illegally.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The sheriff says that the controversial elements of the new immigration law are eventually enacted, the only major change for him would be keeping illegal immigrants in his jail instead of giving them to the feds.
His opponents will be fighting him every step of the way.
ARPAIO: All right. Let's go to do our right thing.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Phoenix.
COOPER: Well, fair or not, Sheriff Arpaio has become, to many, the face of SB-1070, even though his department was already doing voluntarily much of what the original bill mandated.
We spoke at length with Sheriff Arpaio the evening after the ruling against portions of it came down.
COOPER: You've said that the ruling today doesn't really make a difference for you, that your deputies are permitted by federal -- by the federal government under a special program to check immigration status of people in your custody. But you did support this law. So, what effect will the judge's ruling have?
JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA, SHERIFF: Well, we're still going to stop those that are in the area illegally.
We have a crime suppression operation coming up tomorrow, our 17th. We are going to send out posse and deputy sheriffs. And if we come across any people here, pursuant to our duties, we are going to arrest them, turn them over to ICE, or book them into our jails.
COOPER: But if there are already programs under which law police can help enforce federal law, why do you need this Arizona law?
ARPAIO: Well, this law that -- the part that she struck out so far, when we come across an illegal immigrant, I was hoping that we could arrest that person under that misdemeanor law, in lieu of turning them over to ICE.
But, right now, we will keep turning them over to ICE. We will do our duties, doing our enforcement. If we come across any illegal aliens, we're going to do what we have been doing for three years, enforcing the human smuggling law, the employer sanction law. Those are both state laws. We have been doing it -- 40,000 people, we have arrested, detained, or investigated in our jails.
I would like to have seen this law go through, but we're still going to do what we have been doing.
COOPER: Why would you prefer to hold them in your jails, as opposed to just turning them over to federal immigration authorities? Because under current law, you can turn just the illegals over to federal immigration authorities and therefore not incur the expense of putting them in jails, right, which the new law would require.
ARPAIO: I don't care about expense. I have tents, very cheap to put them in tents, if they're convicted.
But you know, when we stop someone and there is a violation of the law, regardless if there's a criminal violation, they're here illegally, they are going to be booked into our jail, instead of turning them over to ICE. So, that's the way we operate. And I...
COOPER: But what's the disadvantage of turning them over to ICE? What does ICE not do that you do?
ARPAIO: Well, we -- they violated a law. They should go to jail and do their time if they're convicted, and then we turn them over to ICE. Why should we give them a pass just because they're here illegally?
COOPER: You're allowed to check the immigration status of people in your custody. But now, because of this ruling, other law enforcement groups and anyone will not be required, if I'm correct -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- to check the status of people they stop for whatever reason while on routine parole.
COOPER: Is that correct? So, if a police officer is on routine patrol, under this -- under the judge's blocking of this law now -- or excuse me -- under this law, it would have been, before the judge blocked it, that under -- on a patrol, routine stop, say, for a broken taillight or something, police, Arizona police, would have had to check the immigration status. Now, because she's blocked it, that requirement is not there, correct?
ARPAIO: No, no. They said require. You can still do it.
COOPER: Right. You can still do it. You're just not required to do it.
ARPAIO: Yes, that's right. But I'm going to do it. So you're not required, but it can still be done. But I would hope that the law enforcement not worry about this new law and use that as a reason with the politicians and chiefs of police not to enforce the law.
COOPER: The critics of this law, as you well know, say that if a police officer stops someone for jaywalking or a broken taillight and suspected they were an illegal immigrant, they would be required to act on that. And the critics say that gives police officers too much power, in particular, what makes some what makes someone a suspected illegal immigrant, that U.S. citizens are going to be hassled, that people of color Gates be hassled far more than white citizens.
You say that's completely not true?
ARPAIO: Listen -- listen, we have had the Justice Department a year-and-a-half investigating us for alleged racial profiling. I think we have done pretty good.
I don't think that law enforcement, the local police are going to racial-profile. I'm convinced they are not. They know how to do their jobs. And when they do come across people, pursuant to their duties, and they find out that that person is illegally here, they're going to take action, I hope.
COOPER: Because what the critics ask you, though, and I would like to hear an answer, though, is, what makes somebody -- what makes somebody suspicious -- a police officer suspicious of someone being an illegal alien? If you stop someone for a taillight, what is the suspicion of being -- what's reasonable suspicion of being an illegal alien?
ARPAIO: Well, here we go into criterias, as many criterias will follow, and we will spend all day doing that.
But, basically, if they don't have any identification, that they admit being here illegally, that they say they have not registered with the federal government -- I can go on and on. There's a lot of criteria to pursue this type of investigation on illegal immigration. It's not just one criteria.
COOPER: Sheriff Arpaio, appreciate you being with us. Thanks.
ARPAIO: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next: debating the law with State Senator Russell Pearce, who sponsored it, and the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Also, the fence along Mexico that took years to build and cost billions of dollars, but is it working? And, if not, why not? We will show you what we found out.
COOPER: The battle over Arizona's immigration will likely end up in the U.S. Supreme Court. And while the protests and boycotts continue, it's worth noting that most Americans support the measure. Whether you're for it or against it, though, there are key factors that fed this firestorm and turned Arizona into the front lines of the immigration battle.
Tom Foreman shows us how it happened -- Tom.
You know, Anderson, in the early 1990s, the federal government stepped in hard to stop illegal crossings here in California. And what happened was they shifted over here to Arizona. That's where the illegal routes went and ever since there's been growing frustration over there about the feds not finishing the job.
For example, when President Bush failed to push through a bipartisan immigration reform bill in 2007; that's why some in Arizona say they had to act at the state level. And that just added to a whole series of events that happened that made this wildfire grow.
And the first had almost nothing to do with the southwest. It was 9/11. Think about this. This was an event that was carried out by immigrants. And in the weeks immediately afterward, there was a great deal of talk about tighter immigration regulations, especially for people who might be here illegally, and the need to secure borders in places like Arizona.
And second, politics came to call. Think about this. In the 1990s, 2 percent of the electorate was Latino. Now it's 9 percent. Both political parties are furiously competing for their votes, especially in states with big Latino populations like Arizona. And that has pushed this issue, including immigration reform, all the issues that this community might be concerned with, into the limelight further, Anderson.
So those are two big factors.
COOPER: Also, then, obviously, concern over crime, especially most recently the killing of a rancher right on the border; the economy also are big driving forces, as well. I mean, those always -- those issues always come up when illegal immigration is on the table.
FOREMAN: You're absolutely right, Anderson. Let's start with this crime issue. Overall crime in the United States and in Arizona is declining. Make no mistake about that. Illegal immigration appears to be up in Arizona, but stats show violent crime, in particular, is down.
But there have been some high-profile crimes attributed to illegal immigrants or drug runners, which Anderson, we reported on here. That has energized the argument that public safety is being compromised.
And as for the economy, I want you to look at one more factor here that you have to consider about this. If you look at Arizona on the map, it has about 9. 5 percent unemployment, the national average. We don't know for sure how many illegal immigrants are here, but this state is home to one of the larger immigrant populations. We know that.
Historically, when Americans worry about their jobs, they often blame immigrants for taking them. And our latest CNN/Opinion Research poll shows the group most worried about illegal immigration is blue- collar white men, meaning the group that's most directly competing with immigrants for low-skill, low-wage labor jobs.
So you can see how all these forces have led many Arizonans and one in four Americans now to say overall they're angry about illegal immigration -- Anderson.
COOPER: Thanks, Tom.
Russell Pearce was a driving force behind the law. The Arizona state senator co-sponsored the immigration bill. He joined us earlier, along with the Reverend Al Sharpton, who has led protests against it.
COOPER: Senator Pearce, this is your law. It's now been struck down. At least the key portions, or maybe the most controversial portions have been blocked, I should say, not struck down, just blocked, by a federal judge, who said that enacting some of those provisions would cause what she said was irreparable harm to the United States.
What do you make of that?
RUSSELL PEARCE (R), ARIZONA STATE SENATOR: Well, she goes farther than that. She's actually tried to support the Obama administration policy of nonenforcement.
She -- she realizes the problem is bad and says, I don't want that to go into place, the policy, not law. She doesn't want it to go into place because she's afraid it will overwhelm the ICE. That's really outrageous.
The nice thing is, you need to understand, the important part of this bill did go into effect. As of today, it is illegal in the state of Arizona to have a sanctuary policy. The handcuffs come off from law enforcement and they go on the bad guys.
COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, the piece of this which has attracted a lot of attention around the country is the idea of police officers stopping people, being required to ask them for their papers if -- if they have -- are suspected of committing some form of crime.
So, to play devil's advocate here, if police officers are only allowed to question someone's immigration status after they have stopped them for another offense, what's so wrong with that, in your mind?
AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Because the -- what is wrong with it is that you have to have a set of laws that go for everyone.
When I was in Arizona at the request of a lot of the people in our organization that lived there, the real fear is that, when you are stopped and you may look Hispanic, you will be subjected to a different line of questioning and procedure than if you didn't. And that is profiling.
And I think that just we have that possibility, which was addressed by this judge, is a violation of people's civil rights that are legal citizens that may appear a certain way.
COOPER: Senator Pearce, to that point, if a white person with blond hair is pulled over, do you think they will be as -- come under as much suspicion as a person of color would?
PEARCE: You know, immigration -- you know, illegal is not a race. It's a crime. Those statements are absolutely outrageous by Congressman Sharpton.
I mean, it prohibits racial profiling in this bill, which, by the way, the federal law doesn't. The law makes it a secondary offense, so you have to have lawful contact, which, the Supreme Court, in a 9-0 landmark decision called Muehler vs. Mena five years ago, said you don't have to.
We went beyond what we were required to do. And it's demeaning to law enforcement to assume they're looking out there to violate people's rights. We have internal affairs. We investigate bad policing.
But don't start to demean a law that is enforcement of law. It has been the law for 50 years. Arizona is going to enforce it. You know, let's talk about the real damage, $2.7 billion dollars in Arizona to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens, Rob Krentz, a rancher on the border, during the debate of 1070, 12 police officers just in the city of Phoenix murdered and maimed by illegal aliens.
Apparently, that's collateral damage to the open-border anarchists that don't want our laws enforced.
SHARPTON: No, I think all of that is horrific. No one wants to see law enforcement killed or, for that matter, young people killed...
PEARCE: Well, apparently, they do.
PEARCE: Apparently, they do.
COOPER: Mr. Pearce, let him respond. Let him respond.
SHARPTON: No one wants to see law enforcement killed, or, for that matter, young teenagers killed at the Mexican border that happen to be Mexican. We don't want to see anyone killed.
And when we're talking about law, that is what the judge talked about. The state of Arizona or no other state has the right to supersede federal law. We live in a nation of law. We can have different opinions, but we can't have different facts.
The fact is, immigration is under the domain of the federal government. You can't have Arizona say, well, we can look at -- for certain things here if there's some illegal contact. Then, in Florida, they will say, oh, if you look like you might be from Cuba. Or, in Brooklyn, New York, they will say, you may look Haitian.
SHARPTON: We cannot have this kind of thing.
And, by the way, I'm a minister and head of the National Action Network. I'm not a member of Congress. Again, we can't have different facts, Senator.
PEARCE: Well, Mr. Sharpton, let me clarify a couple of things very clear with you, because you have really misstated some issues here.
First of all, apparently -- have you read Senate Bill 1070?
SHARPTON: Yes, I have.
PEARCE: I know -- I know nobody takes the time to read it.
SHARPTON: No, I read it. I read it...
PEARCE: Well, I would like for you to..
PEARCE: ... know what is in it, because none of you -- hang on -- none of what you have said is in that bill.
So, apparently, you haven't read it, just like Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano. Let me tell you what the bill does. It is the rule of law. It mirrors federal law.
And, secondly, do you understand, if Congress wanted to preempt the states, what they have to do is pass plenary -- they have a plenary provision. They have never done that, never been preempted.
And, also, you're contradicting the Fifth, the Sixth, the Eighth, the Ninth, the 10th Circuit Courts, which said states have inherent rights, inherent authority, inherent authority, to enforce these laws. The United States Supreme Court, in Muehler vs. Mena, just five years ago, 9-0. Even the liberals agreed the states have...
SHARPTON: Senator, it is very strange that you're...
PEARCE: No, hang on.
PEARCE: Hang on. You're misstating something. I can't let you do that.
SHARPTON: It is very strange, though, that you're assuming that the attorney general...
COOPER: We're almost out of time.
So, Senator Pearce, just finish your thought. And then I want Reverend Sharpton to respond.
PEARCE: Once they cross that border, it's never been a federal issue. It's always been a partnership, just like DEA working with ATF or other federal agencies. It's absolutely a mischaracterization. States have an inherent authority and responsibility. Once they cross that border, it's our citizens, our neighborhoods, our health care, our education, our criminal justice system. It's our citizens that we're obligated to defend.
COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, why don't you respond?
SHARPTON: We're also obligated to protect American citizens that have not come across --
PEARCE: Yes, this law does.
SHARPTON: May I finish? That have not come across any border that are citizens here that should not be profiled because they look or appear or have some reasonable suspicion by Arizona state police. There are more boots at the border now under this administration than there ever have been. This is not about the border. This is about American citizens that could be profiled. I think it's also very presumptuous to assume the attorney general of the United States, the Justice Department and this judge didn't read a law that they brought to court. At least give us credit for being able to read and say that is not the law. The federal government should not be superceded.
COOPER: I appreciate both your times. Thank you very much.
Years ago, way before the Arizona law, remember all the talk about building a border fence? A lot of promises made. A lot of money spent. But it's not what a lot of people expected. We'll take you along the border to see for yourself.
Also tonight, critics say this law would lead to racial profiling. You heard that from Reverend Sharpton. Police who support is say there are ways to determine if someone is here illegally. There's a video for Arizona police. We have a copy of it. We'll show it to you and what they're learning about the new law.
KAYE: Anderson has more ahead on the battle over immigration. First, a "360" news and business bulletin. Representative Maxine Waters has chosen to face a trial on ethics charges rather than accept a finding of wrongdoing by the House Ethics Committee. The Democratic congresswoman from California is accused of aiding a bank she and her husband had financial ties to.
The Ethics Committee has been advised to reprimand New York Congressman Charles Rangel for his alleged violations, that's according to a key investigator. Rangel is accused of 13 violations of House rules involving financial matters and of harming the credibility of Congress.
Northwest Airlines will pay a $38 million fine for fixing air cargo rates in violation of federal antitrust laws. The Justice Department says the airline fixed prices on shipments between the U.S. and Japan for at least two years.
And former President Bill Clinton arrived in Rhinebeck, New York, today for his daughter's wedding. Chelsea Clinton and Mark Mezvinsky will exchange vows tomorrow at Astor Courts, an estate on the Hudson River. And while the forecast includes possible late showers, the skies will be free of low-flying planes. The FAA has restricted the air space overhead. Those are the headlines. I'm Randi Kaye. Anderson is back right after the break.
COOPER: Plenty of presidents over the years have promised to secure the borders. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: We've deployed underground sensors, infrared night scopes, encrypted radios. We built miles of new fences, installed thousands of watts of new lighting. There is more to do.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: The bill authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our southern border.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There may be areas where it makes sense to have some fencing. But for the most part, having border patrols, surveillance, deploying effective technology, that's going to be the better approach.
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COOPER: A promise for a better approach. But the fact is the border fence project has been plagued by problems and the cost of billions may not be what many in the border states may have hoped for. We sent Gary Tuchman down to the border to find out.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The border fence from the Mexican side. Here in Ogales, Mexico, the Spanish graffiti says the fence a scar on the land as Arizona sheriff who strongly supports his state's new immigration law disagrees with that.
SHERIFF PAUL BABEU, PINAL COUNTY: It's proven to have worked but it has to be combined with constant surveillance in those areas and it does shut down the border.
TUCHMAN: So why does Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, and members of his SWAT team say human smugglers and drug smugglers parade through this desert 80 miles away from the Mexican border every single night, leaving piles of clothes, backpacks and water bottles behind as they plan their escape into American highways?
Because the sheriff says the fence needs to be longer and stronger. He also says his deputies have been handicapped by not being able to ask about people's citizenship. But people are going to still get past the fence in large numbers, despite the fact U.S. taxpayers have spent $2.5 billion on construction of a new fence which has taken more than four years to build.
So what's the problem? Well, the fence is probably not what you think. It turns out it only covers about a third of the U.S./Mexican border and there are only plans to build about six miles more. So while it keeps most illegal immigrants out of some areas, particularly urban areas, the rural areas are still very vulnerable.
People uses ladders, hacksaws and blow torches are used to get over, through and under the fence. But there's a lot easier way. Just find a portion of land where the fence comes to an end, go under the bar right here, and you have easily, successfully and illegally left Mexico.
But most illegal crossings happen nowhere near the new barriers. Despite all you hear about the border fence, this is mostly what you see along the 1,951 miles between the United States and Mexico, with little chain link fences like this. I'm sitting in Mexico right now. It takes very little ingenuity to just go under the barbed wire and I'm in the United States, free to go.
The new border fences are white elephants, according to this Arizona congressman. He says if you have a 20-foot fence, people will just get a 21-foot ladder.
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: I think the wall took $2.5 billion that could have been used technologically, that could have been used for higher security of ports of entry. It could have been used for personnel and diverted it.
TUCHMAN: So why isn't there more wall? You might be surprised to learn there was never supposed to be more wall under this $2.5 billion plan. The border patrol, the topography, sensors and virtual fences were supposed to provide protection. In some cases it works, in many others, it doesn't.
Another Arizona sheriff says drug traffickers have an incentive to beat the system.
SHERIFF TONY ESTRADA, SANTA CRUZ COUNTY: You've got a demand, they've got a product. And they're going to get that product to the market.
TUCHMAN: This past May, one of Sheriff's Babeu's deputies was shot and wounded in this very same part of the desert, 80 miles north of the border. The gunman never captured.
BABEU: This has basically been literally unfettered access by smugglers and illegals.
TUCHMAN: So the sheriff hopes the new law, combined with the new fence, makes his county safer, while others remain angry at the law and regard the fence as a scar on the land. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Nogales, Arizona.
COOPER: From the border to the training room, a look at the video for Arizona cops, what they are learning about enforcing this new law critics say will lead to racial profiling. Supporters say that is simply not true. We have an up-close look.
Plus you've heard the arguments that illegal immigrants are doing jobs that many Americans won't. Is that really true? We asked Gary Tuchman to do one of those jobs for the day to see if grape picking in the fields of California. What he found out may surprise you.
COOPER: Critics of Arizona's immigration law says it allows police officers too much latitude in stopping and questioning people they suspect of being illegal. They say it's going to lead to racial profiling and the police will go too far. Those who defend the law say that's completely misguided and point to a videotaped used by police officers to train for the new law, the tape Soledad O'Brien got a hold of. Here is her report.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arizona thought it found a way to address the criticism of its new immigration law. How do you catch people suspected of being in the United States illegally without engaging in racial profiling?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Race or ethnicity is not an issue of criminality.
O'BRIEN: The solution for Arizona? Deputies have been watching a 90- minute training tape, reading a manual, and hearing from supervisors about how the law should work. The take-away, deputies can't just stop someone for driving while Mexican. They need suspicion of a crime.
SGT. BOB KRYGIER, PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA SHERIFF DEPARTMENT: I think the perception is that we're going to be walking around knocking around on doors, saying, I need to see your papers and hauling you off to border patrol and deporting people. That's not the way it is. If we don't have a reason to talk to you, questions aren't going to be asked.
O'BRIEN: But a federal judge threw that training strategy into doubt by suspending the key provision of the law, the section that allows local police to question people they've legally stopped about immigration status at all. Critics fear that local police, regardless of training, could use any suspicious action to question immigration status.
THOMAS SAENZ, MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: They're basically being required to enforce a law that labels a crime something that is not an action. If you're engaged in jaywalking, that's an action. If you're engaged in running a stop sign, that's an action. Being undocumented is not an action. It's a status.
O'BRIEN: Federal agents, border patrol, customs, but not local deputies or police already question people about status, usually when they catch them illegally crossing the border or while investigating a workplace.
The Arizona training manual suggested local deputies could go even further.
(on camera): Some of the things listed unreasonable suspicion are not speaking English well, depending on how somebody dresses, maybe riding in a crowded vehicle. The list sort of goes on and on.
SGT. GILBERT DOMINGUEZ, PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It's a long list. Not each of those things stands alone, though. It's going to have to be the totality of the circumstances.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): Sergeant Gilbert Dominguez, whose great- grandparents came from Mexico, says he will continue to aggressively patrol the border using whatever laws exist.
(on camera): Does it ever seem weird to you're talking to people about their papers as someone who is Mexican-American?
DOMINGUEZ: No. The thing that I've always thought of is that I'm fortunate enough that they came to this country when the border was a line in the sand. It doesn't mean you're better, it doesn't mean anything else other than you were just more fortunate.
We're dealing with illegal immigration all the time.
O'BRIEN: We joined him on patrol to see how immigration enforcement works in Pima County, which shares a border with Mexico. Policing illegal immigrants is already business as usual compared to communities further away from the border. Sergeant Dominguez says they've always illegal immigrants over to the Feds.
Dominguez pulls over a car he believes is driving erratically.
DOMINGUEZ: Do you have your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance, please?
O'BRIEN: The alleged bad driving empowers him to ask for I.D. that determines immigration status. In Arizona, that's a driver's license.
(on camera): So if those guys in the car had turned out to not have documents?
DOMINGUEZ: If they had not documents, you'd take effort to identify them. O'BRIEN (voice-over): For In America, Soledad O'Brien, Pima County, Arizona.
COOPER: Up next, another angle on the immigration debate. Are illegal workers doing the jobs that many Americans won't? We sent Gary Tuchman to do one of those jobs, picking grapes in California for $45 a day.
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TUCHMAN: Benjamin is my partner today. If I don't work fast, I cost him some money. So there is some pressure, not just doing the story. Here is what I'm learning. Got to get rid of the green ones but sometimes the green ones are way down. If you miss them and they get to the grocery store, then you go to the grocery store and buy grapes and see green ones, you will complain to the store, the store will complain to the ranch and the ranch will complain to me, the worker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A lot of people want to crack down on illegal immigrants in Arizona and other border states believe they're taking jobs away from American workers. But is that really true? Gary Tuchman decided to find out firsthand in the sweltering heat of a California vineyard.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before dawn, migrant labors in the California desert. Despite triple-digit temperatures still to come, they wear long sleeves, scarves and bandanas to protect themselves from the sun and from dust.
Their job today, to pick the purple grapes you will snack on tomorrow. They're all veterans, and they're all Mexican, except for me, the rookie American, who is joining them for a full day of work, the only person in short sleeves, the only person who doesn't know what he's doing.
But I have been assigned a partner. Benjamin Rodriguez (ph) has worked in the California fields for 32 years. He knows his grapes, which are called uvas in Spanish, and he is teaching me the trade.
(on camera): Here's what I'm learning. You have got to get rid of the green ones. But, sometimes, the green ones are way down. And, if you miss them, and they get to the grocery store, and then you go to the grocery store to buy grapes and see green ones, you will complain to the store. The store will complain to the ranch, and the ranch will complain to me, the worker.
(voice-over): You make $8 an hour, minimum wage, and split 30 cents per each big box of grapes you pack between three workers. The third is Benjamin's wife, Maria (ph), who is loading up the grapes for the grocery store.
She tells me it makes her back hurt and it's hot, "But we have to work hard. It puts food on the table. We have to do it."
(on camera): Benjamin is my partner today. If I don't work fast, I cost him money. So, there's some pressure. It's not just doing a story.
(voice-over): Maria and Benjamin have five children, two of them grown. They, like all the other workers here, won't discuss their immigration status.
But, if you're legal, you would usually seek a less punishing occupation. Either way, taxes are taken out of all the paychecks. They each make a base rate of $64 for the day. After taxes, it's about 45 bucks for the eight hours.
TUCHMAN: As the hours go by, the workers sing to help make time pass, to take their minds off the heat. They're aware many people believe Mexican immigrants take away American jobs, but, over the years on this ranch:
(on camera): (SPEAKING SPANISH)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)
I asked him how many Americans he has seen in then his 32 years in the field. He has said zero.
(voice-over): Santos Montemayor is the man who does the hiring in these fields.
(on camera): So, for 15 years, you have been hiring labor crews to do agricultural work.
SANTOS MONTEMAYOR, LABOR CONTRACTOR: Right.
TUCHMAN: How many Americans have you hired over the 15 or 16 years?
MONTEMAYOR: None, not one.
TUCHMAN: I mean, has one ever expressed interest?
MONTEMAYOR: No. Not to come and work in the fields, no.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The temperature has now climbed to 102.
(on camera): As it gets hotter and the sun gets brighter, your mind starts playing tricks with you. Is it purple? Is it green? You start not being able to make out the colors anymore. These are purple, though.
(voice-over): The trucks start getting loaded up with the grapes we're picking. I'm doing some wheelbarrow duty, which can't be good for the back.
(on camera): I realized before this day started this work would be hard. What I didn't realize is just how monotonous it would be. These people do it six days a week.
(voice-over): I have never looked at my watch so much, and it's not even lunchtime yet.
(on camera): Delicious grapes hot off the vine.
(voice-over): The afternoon goes slower than the morning.
Benjamin stays on top of me to get rid of the green grapes. At 2:30 p.m., eight-and-a-half hours after we started, our final load of grapes.
(on camera): This is the last.
(voice-over): It's quitting time, and there's mass exodus. Benjamin, Maria and I have done 100 boxes. That's a $30 bonus for the two of them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Bye.
(voice-over): I wish Benjamin and Maria luck, and they head home as quickly as possible. They have to do it all over again at 6:00 a.m.
COOPER: That's clearly one grape field. What about the bigger picture? For that, we turn to Tom Foreman. Tom, are illegal immigrants taking the jobs of legal Americans?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Anderson, that really does depend on where you live.
We spent the day talking to folks on both sides of this debate and looking at studies and this is what we found. The Labor Department says that there are 130 million jobs in the United States. And Pew Hispanic Center, which does some very good work on this, says there are about eight million illegal immigrants in the work force.
Where Gary was, out in California, of if you talk about Nevada or in Arizona over here, there are a lot of illegal immigrants. They're believed to hold one out of every 10 jobs in this area. So, if you live there and you don't have at least a high school diploma, you could find enough competition for certain very hard, low-skill jobs that, indeed, you might not even apply for the wage that is being offered, especially once it's been established that those jobs are handled by other people.
But, in other places, like, say, over here in West Virginia, they also have very hard, very dirty jobs there, like coal mining, for example. And all those jobs get filled, but almost none of them by illegal immigrants, Anderson.
COOPER: So, what kind of jobs are illegal immigrants taking and doing?
FOREMAN: Well, it's anything question.
Farming is absolutely huge, Anderson. Pew says 25 percent of farm workers are here illegally. And Gary was in a state where that type of work is big, and it's a still that is heavy with illegal immigrants.
Nineteen percent of workers in building maintenance or janitorial services are here illegally. In restaurant work, it is 12 percent. They don't make much money at this. The median family income is about $36,000 a year. So, you heard the numbers Gary was talking about there. And while they do take some very low-wage jobs from citizens by working for even less, it's worth noting that they often take those jobs from earlier waves of illegal immigrants, too -- Anderson.
COOPER: And what about the notion that they depress wages for -- for the rest of -- for U.S. citizens?
FOREMAN: That's a great question. That appears to be true. But, again, it's primarily in certain jobs in certain places, not necessarily across the board.
For example, 17 percent of the people who work in construction are believed to be illegal immigrants. And Pew says that's up 7 percent from 2003. Look at that, 10 percent to 17 percent. That's a big jump in a short period of time.
Forty percent of brick masons, for example, and 37 percent of drywall installers are now here illegally, or at least believed to be. Those were jobs that not long ago were held by U.S. citizens, who today could probably not demand the same wages they did when they were the only game in town.
I know, Anderson, all of these are very complex answers, but the truth is, they are fitting for a very complex issue.
COOPER: That's interesting to see the breakdown.
COOPER: Tom, thanks.
That's our report for tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you back Monday. Have a great weekend.