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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Government Releases New Oil Leak Estimate; Immigration Battle
Aired August 2, 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: Tonight: The government puts out a new estimate of how much oil has leaked from BP's well, and guess what? It's higher than BP ever acknowledged -- details on that head.
But we begin "Keeping Them Honest" on a new front in the battle over illegal immigration. After a week that saw protesters in Arizona taking to the streets and a federal judge blocking the most controversial aspects of Arizona's tough new illegal immigration law, Arizona's governor recently suggesting she might be open to modifying that law. The state is appealing the federal judge's ruling.
But tonight some lawmakers are now advocating drastic action, a hearing to look into changing not the state law, but the United States Constitution itself. Senator Jon Kyl from Arizona wants to hold hearings to consider altering the 14th Amendment, which, among other things, defines who gets to be an American citizen. The 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, says -- and I quote -- "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."
Now, in terms of illegal immigration, that has meant that any child of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. has been automatically been granted citizenship. Now, those who want to change the 14th Amendment say granting illegal immigrants' American-born kids citizenship gives an incentive for people to come here illegally and have a kid.
Senator Kyl asked the question, if both parents are here illegally, should there be a reward for their illegal behavior?
Well, changing this part of our Constitution or considering it is supported by more than just Senator Kyl right now. There's Senator Lindsey Graham as well and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In Arizona, State Senator Russell Pearce and John Kavanagh, a state representative, have been pushing for this change in law as well. They say the 14th Amendment was never meant to apply to illegal immigrants. It was meant to apply only to African-American descendants of slaves.
And Kavanagh says -- quote -- "If you go back to the original intent of the drafters, it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon illegal aliens."
Now, it's true that when the 14th Amendment was ratified, there was not illegal immigration. It really wasn't an issue until the early part of the 1900s. But, "Keeping Them Honest," there was plenty of debate at the time about whether the children of some immigrants should be citizens.
Senator Edgar Cowan of Pennsylvania was particularly concerned over Chinese immigrants in California -- quote -- "a flood of immigration of the mongrel race," he called it. He opposed the 14th Amendment, but he lost.
Here's what the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service wrote in 2005 in their study of the history of the 14th Amendment. They said -- quote -- "Although the primary aim was to secure citizenship for African-Americans, the debates on the citizenship provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment indicate they were intended to extend U.S. citizenship to all persons born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction, regardless of race, ethnicity or alienage of the parents."
Now, we try not to take political sides on this program. That's not our job. But we do care about facts. So whether you support or oppose altering the 14th Amendment, you can argue illegal immigration as we know it wasn't a huge concern behind it, but you can't say it was only focused on African-Americans.
Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, co-author and co-sponsor of the state's new anti-immigration law, favors altering the 14th Amendment. I spoke to him and CNN political contributor and Democratic strategist Paul Begala a short time ago.
COOPER: Paul, proponents of changing the 14th Amendment argue that it basically rewards people who are here illegally by granting their kids citizenship. Aren't we incentivizing people to break our laws?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, of course not.
First off, it's a civil violation. Second off, people come here for the work. They don't come here to have babies. They can have babies anywhere they want to have babies. But the notion that we should attack one of the fundamental freedoms of our Constitution -- now, the 14th Amendment was put in after the Civil War, after 600,000 of us died for the notion of freedom.
And one of those freedoms is, if you're born here, you're an American, and you shouldn't have to pass anybody else's test of political correctness to be an American.
COOPER: Senator Pearce, what about that? You have basically proposed a change to the Constitution.
RUSSELL PEARCE (R), ARIZONA STATE SENATOR: Well, I have got to tell you, this is interesting, the great spin he puts on it.
The 14th Amendment was written in 1866, ratified in 1868, belonged to one group of people only, African-Americans, to give them their rightful place at the table that they were being denied after that war. It had nothing to do with foreigners at all, legal or illegal. There was no illegal...
COOPER: I have just got to jump in, because, actually, that's not true. We have been doing some research.
PEARCE: What do you mean it's not true?
COOPER: Well, the Congressional Research...
PEARCE: Well, hang on. Let me...
COOPER: Let me just say. The Congressional Research Service...
PEARCE: Hang on. Let me finish.
Well, in 2005, the Congressional Research Service did a report. And they point out that the original debate over the 14th Amendment, while overwhelmingly about African-Americans, it was also, among both proponents and opponents, about Chinese immigrants here and whether the children of foreign workers, of Chinese workers, should actually...
PEARCE: No, hang on.
COOPER: ... get citizenship.
PEARCE: That's -- OK. Let's -- let's go back to the case. That's not true.
First of all, it was clear. And on the debate on the floor, Jacob Howard and Senator Cowan, both those senators made it clear it was -- it did not apply to aliens or foreigners in any manner. That was the debate on the floor.
And then let's take the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins at the United States Supreme Court that said it absolutely doesn't apply to them. In fact, it didn't even belong to American Indians. They say, because they belong to a tribe, have alienage -- allegiance to a tribe, belong to a tribe and were born on sovereign nation, it didn't apply to them. There's no doubt where they were born.
Congress had to pass three acts, one in the 1800s, the other one in 1901, the other one in 1924, giving citizenship to the Indians. There's no doubt where they were born. That's the most abused phrase in there. It says, born and naturalized, and for whom we have jurisdiction. We don't have jurisdiction to foreigners. We don't have jurisdiction over those who break into our country. It needs to be fixed. It's the greatest inducement. It is a crime to enter this country illegally. It's a crime to remain in this country. Yet you provide probably the greatest inducement available, an unconstitutional declaration of citizenship to those born to noncitizens.
COOPER: But there was a vigorous debate about whether or not Chinese immigrants, the children of Chinese immigrants who were working, and people who were opposed to the 14th Amendment back then were worried that the children of Chinese immigrants, that Chinese immigrants would overrun the state of California, because there were so many of them coming to work, and that their kids would automatically get citizenship.
PEARCE: Right, but that actually came much later. You have the Wong Kim decision also that dealt with that.
The courts have been pretty clear on it. And then you have -- and then you have the case in 1942.
BEGALA: So, why do you want to change it? Senator, excuse me for interrupting while you're talking...
PEARCE: Why do you want to abuse it? It was never intended that...
PEARCE: No, hang on.
PEARCE: It's wrong. It's unconstitutional.
BEGALA: The 14th Amendment...
COOPER: Paul, go ahead.
PEARCE: Wait. Wait. You ask me why I wanted to change it. Let me tell you why. Let me tell you why.
BEGALA: The 14th Amendment is the Constitution. The 14th Amendment can't be unconstitutional, Senator. It is the Constitution.
PEARCE: Whoa, whoa, whoa.
PEARCE: That's a great spin.
COOPER: One at a time.
PEARCE: That's a great spin.
COOPER: Paul, let me...
PEARCE: Well, he asked me a question. I would like to respond to it.
COOPER: Let Paul go ahead, and then we will let you respond.
PEARCE: OK. OK.
BEGALA: I'm sorry to inject reason in this, but part of the Constitution cannot be unconstitutional.
PEARCE: Well, illogic.
BEGALA: OK. Well, that's fine.
Second, if it only applies to African-Americans, which is clearly wrong -- and the senator is wrong about his history -- he's wrong about his constitutional scholarship -- then you don't need to change it.
He wants to, and some others -- Senator Kyl, his senator from Arizona, has picked up this cudgel, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. It has become a big talking point among some in the Republican Party.
BEGALA: And the notion that we're going to attack one of our fundamental freedoms, and why? Why?
PEARCE: You know...
BEGALA: Well, actually, illegal immigration is down. Deportations are up. Enforcement is up.
This Democratic president has been far tougher on border security than his predecessor in the Republican Party ever was.
BEGALA: But Senator Pearce didn't want to change our Constitution when we had a Republican president.
There's something about having a Democrat in the White House that he apparently just can't stand, and he wants to change our Constitution.
PEARCE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, time-out.
COOPER: Senator Pearce, go ahead.
PEARCE: OK, enough -- enough of the misinformation. Simply not true.
I was on this when President Bush was there. I was not a President Bush fan when it came to his failure to veto spending bills. I did not support him with this open-border amnesty approach to things.
BEGALA: Did you want to change the Constitution then?
PEARCE: Interior enforcement is down.
Yes, I did. It didn't -- but hang on. It doesn't change. It takes clarification. I'm not one to change the Constitution. You're the ones that want to alter and abuse the Constitution. It was never intended -- the 14th Amendment was ratified, reckon -- there was no illegal at the time.
COOPER: We're going to have -- they're basically just getting warmed up. We're going to have more with Senator Pearce and Paul Begala after the break, including Sarah Palin's charge that President Obama lacks, well, a certain part of his anatomy. I will leave it for her to explain.
And let us know what you think. Join the live chat now under way at AC360.com. You can talk to viewers in America, around the world watching right now.
Also ahead, is Arizona's new law causing a flood of illegal immigrants elsewhere? Sanctuary states? We will take a look at that.
Also, the two Arizona fugitives, one convicted of murder, and their alleged accomplice still on the run. Police want your help -- details ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: We're talking with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce and Paul Begala about dealing with the illegal immigration problem by changing the U.S. Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, which says that anyone born in this country is an American citizen.
Russell Pearce and others support the move changing it, saying the amendment was never intended to apply to illegal immigrants' children, only African-Americans. In a moment, "Keeping Them Honest," a fact-check with historian Eric Foner.
First, though, digging deeper on this notion that such drastic steps are only on the table because the federal government isn't doing its job securing the border.
Paul Begala weighed in on that.
BEGALA: First off, illegal immigration is down. Customs enforcement is up. Deportations are up.
BEGALA: If you believe in border security, you ought to be singing the praises of Barack Obama.
Now, what he and -- what President Bush and he agree on is that, what are we going to do with those who are here, Senator? What do you want to do with them? What the president wants to do and many Republicans -- Senator McCain supported this and others -- is to make them pay a fine, make them pay back taxes, make them learn English, make them register.
This is punishment, Senator. What punishment would you have?
PEARCE: Yes, let's reward illegals.
BEGALA: What punishment would you have? What would you do with them, sir? There's 12 million of them here. What are you going to do with them?
PEARCE: ... a novel idea. Hang on. One question at a time, OK?
BEGALA: Right. What are you going to do with the 12 million?
PEARCE: You know, I have got a novel idea. I have got a novel idea. And if you will just let me talk, instead of you talking over me, because -- I have a novel idea. How about, let's enforce the law? Today, you come in here, you get a job from illegal employers, you have free education, free health care, handcuffs on law enforcement, don't enforce the law. And Obama has not stepped up to the plate on border security. We have begged for border -- in fact, when we asked Obama for help, we got sued. So, clearly, he's not on our side or the side of the American people.
PEARCE: Hang on.
PEARCE: Let me finish.
COOPER: Wait. Let him finish. Let him finish.
COOPER: Go ahead.
PEARCE: Let me finish. I mean, golly.
PEARCE: They will leave on their own. Listen to me.
PEARCE: OK. Read my lips. They will leave on their own. Enforce the law. When you reward lawbreakers, you get more lawbreakers. When you ignore the law, you get more lawbreaking.
How about just enforce the law? We have good laws. We don't need comprehensive reform, amnesty as it's known in Washington, D.C. We need comprehensive enforcement. And it does work.
In Arizona, illegal alien population is down over twice what it is on the national average, and that's because here in Arizona, we're enforcing the law.
COOPER: Paul, do you believe that those currently who are here will leave with greater enforcement?
BEGALA: Well, we have greater enforcement. And, no, people are here, and we have to figure out what to do.
And there's 12 million people who came here, violating a civil provision in the law.
PEARCE: No. BEGALA: OK? And, again, what I want to do, and most reformers want to do, is punish the people who have broken the law, punish them by finding them, punish them by making pay back taxes, punishing them by making them have to learn English, making them register with the government, then making them go to the back of the line.
That's five very significant punishments for what is a pretty minor infraction. But the 12 million who are here, what the senator doesn't want to say, and he's not being intellectually honest, is he wants to deport them. He wants to put them on buses and ship them back across the border.
PEARCE: I want them to leave on their own.
BEGALA: It would be the largest movement of humanity since Pakistan was created in 1948. It would be the largest movement of humanity...
BEGALA: Excuse me, sir.
COOPER: Let Paul finish.
PEARCE: Not true.
BEGALA: It would the largest movement of human beings on the North American continent since the Trail of Tears, which -- under Andrew Jackson in 1833, which did not work out very well back then, Senator.
BEGALA: It's nuts. Your position is not rooted in reality. It's rooted in politics. You want to beat up on a Democratic president, even though he is enforcing the border better than the Republican did, and he has got punishments for those who are already here and then allow them to live life.
PEARCE: First of all, that's not true.
COOPER: Senator Pearce...
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: ... to Paul's point, what would you do with those who would not leave? If there's 12 million, do you think all 12 million will leave on their own?
PEARCE: First of all, they will leave. Most will. It was done under Hoover. It was done under Eisenhower. They will leave on their own.
Secondly, he's ignoring the fact, the 1986 immigration act, the comprehensive immigration act, amnesty, was Reagan's worst mistake, and he admitted it. What you have got is three million that were legalized then. They thought it was 800,000.
Today, you have 23 million illegal aliens in this country taking jobs from Americans. No wonder they come. Every time somebody like him is on the phone -- on the TV, then they roll out the red carpet and more are going to come, because they expect to be rewarded for breaking our laws.
COOPER: We have got to...
PEARCE: It's absolutely outrageous. It's time to enforce the laws. I know it's a novel idea in Washington, D.C. Some of us know it works. We believe in it. And that's what has got to be done, and they will leave on their own.
BEGALA: We are enforcing -- we are enforcing the law, but we're not going to shred the Constitution. And that's what you want to do.
PEARCE: Those outrageous terms have to stop.
BEGALA: We're not -- no, we're not going to let you change the Constitution. We're enforcing the law, Senator.
PEARCE: It's not true. You know it's not true.
BEGALA: We're not going to change the Constitution and deny people fundamental...
BEGALA: ... in our country.
COOPER: Guys, we have got to leave it there. Senator Pearce, I appreciate your time, Paul Begala as well.
PEARCE: They're not here legally. It's called a crime.
COOPER: Gentlemen, thank you. Thank you.
BEGALA: ... punish them.
COOPER: Try not to let people talk over each other. I know. I apologize. It's annoying when you're sitting at home. But there's only so much you can do at some points.
Though we read the excerpt about the 14th Amendment from the Congressional Research Service report from 2005 earlier, we wanted to consult with an expert about the history behind the 14th Amendment.
So, with me now from Columbia University is Eric Foner, one of the preeminent historians of America and Americans before and after the Civil War.
Thanks very much.
ERIC FONER, HISTORY PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I did.
COOPER: ... Senator Pearce's argument saying that the 14th Amendment, this was never the intent, to apply to the children of aliens.
FONER: Well, you know, I think that's not true.
The 14th Amendment was debated for months, and the wording was very, very carefully worked out. If they had meant to exclude any kind of people, aliens, children of aliens, they would have done so.
COOPER: It wasn't just about African-Americans, although that was the main...
FONER: No, it was primarily to establish the unquestionable citizenship of African-Americans, which, before the Civil War, the Dred Scott decision has said no black person could be a citizen.
But it was also to create a national standard of citizenship for everybody, not just black people, children of immigrants, Irish immigrants, anybody. As you said before, it was debated about the Chinese on the West Coast. Everybody understood that this meant all persons born in the United States, with a couple of exceptions.
It didn't apply to Native Americans, because they were like members of their own little nations, their tribes, and it didn't apply to like children of diplomats born in an embassy or something like that.
But the idea that this was not meant to apply to aliens, children of aliens, illegal aliens -- there was no such thing as illegal aliens then. There were no laws preventing people from entering the United States.
COOPER: Right. So, technically, they're correct when -- when somebody says, well, look, this wasn't -- the framers never had illegal aliens in mind, because, at the time, there were no illegal aliens. There were not immigration laws.
COOPER: But they did have -- they did have immigrants in mind and the children of immigrants.
FONER: There were plenty of immigrants. And the Supreme Court later rules that it applied to Chinese -- the children of Chinese. It applied to the children of Japanese.
You know, later on, Chinese were excluded from coming into this country. Japanese were. But those here who had children, still their children were recognized as citizens among the Japanese, the Nisei and the Issei, those who were immigrants and could never become citizens, but it widely accepted -- it was universally accepted that their children were citizens. So...
COOPER: So, when those argue -- when -- the people argue that this only was based on African-Americans, that's simply not true?
FONER: That's completely false. That's completely false.
They were trying to set up, after the Civil War, a new standard of citizenship for the United States, not just before -- as it was before the war, where each state kind of declared who was going to be a citizen. The Civil War created this sense of a nation, of a unified nation.
COOPER: Was it highly politicized back then? I mean, were both -- were some arguing, well, look, you're arguing -- you're demagoguing against Chinese immigrants because of politics, and...
FONER: Absolutely. Absolutely.
The majority, the Republican majority, wanted to get race out of the definition of citizenship. They felt this was a legacy of slavery, to limit citizenship to one race or another race. They wanted to go to this universalistic notion of who can be an American.
To be an American -- and this is true today, I believe -- to be an American is not to be a member of a particular race, a particular people, a particular religion. It's to accept the principles of -- you know, of American government, of democracy, of liberty. And anybody can do that.
And the children of illegal immigrants can do that. They can grow up to become good American citizens. There's no reason they can't. So, in fact, the people in Congress who are trying to change the 14th Amendment, in effect, are refuting what this senator from Arizona says, because if the 14th Amendment doesn't apply to illegal aliens' children, then why do you have to change it in the first place?
COOPER: I said this to you before the break. This is like the scene in "Annie Hall" where the guy is arguing about Marshall McLuhan. And Woody Allen says, you know nothing about Marshall McLuhan. I happen to have Marshall McLuhan right here.
COOPER: So, I appreciate your expertise.
FONER: I'm happy to be here.
COOPER: Thanks for coming down from Columbia for us. Appreciate it.
COOPER: Professor Eric Foner.
Up next: the wave of illegal immigrants you probably have not heard about, where they're headed from Arizona. Are some actually leaving Arizona to go to other states that may be more welcoming? We will look at that.
Also, be on the lookout for these two men. Dangerous convicted felons broke out of an Arizona prison. They hijacked an 18-wheeler, allegedly with the help of a female accomplice. The question is, how did they get out of that prison in the first place? And did the fact that this was a privately run prison have something to do with their ability to escape? We will talk to the guy in charge of prisons in Arizona.
COOPER: Well, a big part of the Arizona immigration law was focused on preventing so-called sanctuary cities. But we wondered if some illegal immigrants are leaving the state of Arizona to head to other states which may not be targeting them with the same focus that Arizona is.
Gary Tuchman traveled to New Mexico to find out.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hector (ph) is new here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He's 34, looking for work, and like many other illegal immigrants, you could say he's here because he felt he had to get out of Arizona. (on camera): How long have you lived in New Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New Mexico? Two weeks.
TUCHMAN: Two weeks. And you lived in Arizona before that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, for 12 years.
TUCHMAN: Twelve years?
(voice-over): In Arizona, Hector had a full-time job as a car mechanic, but with the state's new immigration law, he realized something. He did not want to be arrested.
(on camera): You were afraid?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): This man is also an illegal immigrant, Pedro (ph), also just arriving here in New Mexico from Arizona. So, how he too is looking for steady work like he used to have. In fact, by comparison to Arizona, New Mexico is welcoming to illegal immigrants.
We met Pedro at a free lunch supplied by a church in Santa Fe.
(on camera): Were you scared to stay in Arizona in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Really, yes.
TUCHMAN: And how do you feel now in New Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, very comfortable.
TUCHMAN: It's easy to see why New Mexico could be a more comfortable atmosphere for an illegal immigrant. Here, illegal immigrants can get driver's licenses. In Arizona, they can't. They can also get in-state tuition in colleges. In Arizona, they can't.
But here is something else they're also finding out. There are far fewer jobs than in Arizona.
(voice-over): Advocates who help immigrants in New Mexico say that, while they're welcomed here, they also warn them, there's not a lot of work for them.
MARCELA DIAZ, SOMOS UN PUEBLO UNIDO: We don't have a very large percentage of immigrants, in part because we're a very poor state.
TUCHMAN: We don't know how many illegal immigrants from Arizona are now heading to New Mexico, but Paul Morrison, Chairman of the Santa Fe County Republican Committee, says the state needs to draw a line.
(on camera): Do you feel illegal immigrants who can't get legal status should go back to Mexico? PAUL MORRISON, CHAIRMAN, SANTA FE COUNTY, NEW MEXICO, REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE: Probably, yes, on balance, although I would rather they got a legal way in.
TUCHMAN: But most of them say they can't get it, so what do you advise them to do?
MORRISON: I don't know. I don't have an answer.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): We have heard the same story from many illegal immigrants. Becoming legal is not easy. Pedro says he paid an immigration lawyer to help him.
(on camera): So, you gave this lawyer $5,000 to see if he could make you a citizen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mm-hmm.
TUCHMAN: He told you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No chance.
TUCHMAN: No chance?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
TUCHMAN: And what happened to the money you gave him, the $5,000?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He gave me $2,500.
TUCHMAN: He gave you half of it back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: But he kept $2,500?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Other illegal immigrants we have talked with who have been here for years say they haven't taken steps to become legal citizens because they don't want to be sent back to Mexico to wait out the process. Often, their entire families are in the U.S.
(voice-over): Meanwhile, Hector left his wife and four children behind in Arizona until he finds steady work. But, if he doesn't, he's come to a conclusion, a conclusion he never imagined.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait for a couple more weeks, and no work, maybe I will go to Mexico.
TUCHMAN (on camera): To Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico.
(CROSSTALK) TUCHMAN: Back home?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): For people like Hector, fleeing Arizona may ultimately lead to a return to Mexico, which is precisely what many want from the new immigration law.
COOPER: Yes, Gary, it's interesting. First of all, it's interesting that so many of those men agreed to be on camera with you, considering their legal status. But, also, this is exactly probably what supporters of the tough immigration law in Arizona will say is a good thing, that this is a sign that that law is working.
TUCHMAN: I mean, there are certainly some people who support the law, Anderson, who want this to prompt illegal Mexican immigrants to try to get legal.
But there are certainly others who want them to go back to Mexico. And that is what is so interesting. We talked to a couple of guys who said, listen, we can't find work. We can give it a few weeks. And just like Hector and Pedro, they say, if we can't find it, maybe we will go back to Mexico after all these years, even though our families are not there anymore. It may be the only way to support ourselves. We can support ourselves in Arizona.
Both those men had full-time jobs. They were still illegal immigrants, but they had full-time jobs as a mechanic, as a handyman. They made decent money, but they were so scared, they felt like they couldn't keep those jobs anymore.
COOPER: Interesting. Gary Tuchman, appreciate it. Thanks.
Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following.
Joe Johns has a 360 bulletin -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, official in Pakistan now say severe flooding may have killed upwards of 1,500 people.
And the raging waters in the Northwest part of the country have disrupted the lives of 1.5 million, including tens of thousands who have lost their homes.
"Newsweek" has a new owner. Today, "The Washington Post" company said it sold the struggling magazine to Sidney Harman, an industrialist whose company makes audio equipment. Harman calls "Newsweek" a national treasure.
And Lindsay Lohan is out of jail, after a 13-day stay. She was released early this morning in Los Angeles and taken immediately to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, where she will stay for three months. Lohan was sent to jail last month for violating her probation.
And, probably, the people who run the lockup are just as happy as she is that she's out of there and on her way to rehab.
COOPER: Yes. Well, how long was she there for? Was it like a couple days?
JOHNS: Yes. Well, it was, what, a couple weeks maybe?
COOPER: Yes. Yes.
COOPER: It seems like...
COOPER: Excuse me -- just a couple days.
JOHNS: I know.
COOPER: All right, Joe, thanks.
COOPER: Excuse me. I don't know what is going on.
"Raw Politics": The battle over immigration heats up -- what Sarah Palin had to say about President Obama this weekend.
Also, the latest on those fugitives on the run from Arizona.
COOPER: Congresswoman Maxine Waters insisted today she's done nothing wrong. The Democrat from California was accused by House Ethics panel of arranging federal help for a bank her husband had a financial -- financial interest in.
The bank ultimately received millions in bailout funds. Now that, along with the last committee report accusing Congressman Charlie Rangel of violating House ethics rules, could spell bad news for Democrats as they head into the midterm elections where they may also get hammered, of course, on the issue of illegal immigration.
Sarah Palin jumped into the battle and "The Raw Politics" this weekend taking a swipe at President Obama. I talked to Paul Begala and Reihan Salam, a contributor at the "Daily Beast, earlier.
COOPER: Paul, I want to play you what Sarah Palin had to say about the president yesterday. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Jan Brewer has the cojones that our president does not have to look out for all Americans, not just Arizonans, but all Americans in this desire of ours to secure our borders and allow legal immigration to help build this country.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, it may not be the smoothest way or the most eloquent way of saying it, but I mean, does she have a point here, that really, ultimately, this is a decision in fixing illegal immigration and dealing with it is something that the federal government has to do? And I mean have they been up to the job?
PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, yes, but it ain't about cojones as the governor of Alaska who -- and I don't know if she speaks Russian, but she's clearly not very good at Spanish, because that's not something that Barack Obama lacks.
What he's trying to do here is get a handle on this. It is a federal problem. That's right. And I do feel for some of the people in Arizona and these other states who are suffering under it, and I understand the impetus behind it.
But if the governor of -- former governor of Alaska could get her own party on board, they could actually pass some pretty strong immigration reforms and punish those who are here illegally, secure the border and move forward.
But it's the Republicans who are blocking it.
COOPER: Is that true, Reihan?
REIHAN SALAM, CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY BEAST: I think there pretty clearly is a cojones gap in this case, and it's that, if the president really believed that now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform, he would have to make the case for it.
There are a lot of folks in the American public who resist this idea, who take a very different view. And if he really backed it, he would go out, barnstorm and make that argument.
Time and again, a lot of people on the left have been frustrated with the president's failure to make the case for the public option. And here again, I mean why isn't he actually making that argument even though -- is it because there's going to be a short-term political cost? And if that's the reason, I mean that's what we -- that's what cojones are all about in politics.
COOPER: But if it's an argument over -- you know, this ridiculous term, I mean couldn't the same thing be said of Republicans? I mean John McCain has totally changed his position.
SALAM: Absolutely. Absolutely.
SALAM: It's 100 percent lack of cojones on their parts. If they really believe that we need a comprehensive reform, then it's cowardice. If they've had a genuine change of heart, that's another matter. But that's we don't know.
There are a lot of folks who are saying that the president was being cynical for raising comprehensive immigration reform now, knowing that it wasn't likely to get a bipartisan consensus.
So -- I mean has that been vindicated by the fact that he's slinked away seeing that the public resist it? It's a legitimate question.
COOPER: I want to talk you both about other issues going on. Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel, both Democrats, obviously, both facing charges of violating congressional ethics.
Paul, what's going on? Should Maxine Waters, should Charlie Rangel step aside for the good of the Democratic Party?
BEGALA: Heck no. I'm a dissenter on this.
COOPER: You think they should go to trial and play it out in trial?
BEGALA: You bet. You bet.
BEGALA: They are entitled to a defense. You know, we've heard the charges against them. They're very serious, they really are. And they are troubling. But they have a right to defend themselves.
For goodness sakes, if an accused terrorist in domestic court has a right to defend himself, why in the world doesn't a member of Congress?
I don't actually think it hurts the Democrats either. I mean they've got so many problems because of unemployment and the economy that by the time you get to their ethics problems -- that, you know, at the bottom of it, it does show actually.
Democrats put this process in place. It's gone after some of the most powerful and popular members. I would hasten to add on the Republican side you've got Senator Ensign, the Republican in Nevada, embroiled in a really tawdry scandal.
And Senator Vitter of Louisiana -- his opponent I did some consulting for so I have a bias there -- also involved in a really tawdry ethics scandal.
And so neither party has a monopoly on virtue.
COOPER: Reihan? SALAM: I've got to say, I'm very impressed by Paul because a lot of Democrats who are in tough competitive districts would love to see both, you know, Congress members Rangel and Waters resign very, very quickly. And a lot of folks on the right are very eager to see senator Ensign resign as well because it does complicate the story.
COOPER: Although since you have Bill Crystal basically telling Republicans just be quiet on the Charlie Rangel thing, let it play out.
SALAM: Yes. I mean, you know --
COOPER: Which is, I guess, you could argue as sort of the -- you know, there's no need to get in the way of this thing, they're destroying themselves pretty well as it is.
SALAM: That makes sense. Here's the thing. I mean in every case, for example, during the 2006 cycle when there's a lot of talk about Jack Abramoff. There were some Democratic scandals, as well, but the question is, does it fit in narrative. Does it fit a bigger story?
COOPER: Reihan Salam, appreciate it. Paul Begala, as well, thank you.
COOPER: Quick program note for tomorrow. A program note. We've been working on a special "360" investigation into accusations that Craigslist isn't doing enough to block ads that sell sex including sex with underage prostitutes.
Craigslist is the largest classified advertising Web site in America and the company says it screens all ads before they're posted and rejects any that appear to be selling sex. Despite that, our correspondent Amber Lyon found some pretty explicit ads posted. She confronted the founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBER LYON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You guys say in the blog that you'll remove any ad that looks like the person might be suggesting they're going to offer sex.
Look at this ad. It says young, sexy, sweet and bubbly. Clearly here she writes 250 an hour. I mean what do you think she's selling in her bra and underwear? A dinner date? And she's in her bra and underwear?
LYON: What are you guys doing -- CRAIG NEWMARK, CRAIGSLIST FOUNDER: Have you reported this to us?
LYON: But you guys say you screen all these ads manually in your blog.
NEWMARK: Have you -- I don't know what this is.
LYON: But in Jim Buckmaster's blog he says these are being screened --
NEWMARK: Have you reported this to us?
LYON: Why do I have the responsibility to report this to you when it's your Web site? You're the one posting this online. I just want to know, I mean -- OK.
It's just we've run into a lot of victims and a lot of advocates that pretty much call your site the Wal-Mart of child sex trafficking.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We'll have Amber Lyon's full report on Craigslist tomorrow on "360."
Coming up next, two dangerous felons on the run after breaking out of an Arizona prison. How were they able to do it? And was careless security to blame? Our story next.
And the newest estimate on the amount of oil that's leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, well, it's higher than -- well, way higher than anything BP ever admitted to. Details ahead.
COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment," a nationwide manhunt is underway right now for two of three inmates who cut their way out of an Arizona prison on Friday. One of the escapees was captured over the weekend.
The men are believed to be armed and dangerous. They're believed to have had help in the escape from a woman who was visiting one of the inmates.
Joe Johns tonight has the latest -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we just got off the phone with the Arizona Department of Corrections a short while ago, here is a timeline.
As you know, the three escapees, all dangerous convicted felons, came from a Kingman, Arizona prison right here. One of them, Daniel Renwick -- this is the guy you can see him underneath this picture here -- actually escaped just about 700 miles away from Kingman. That's, of course, up here in the aptly named Rifle, Colorado.
He was caught after a shootout with police, no reports of injuries.
The other two now, Tracy Province and John McCluskey -- these guys here. These guys are still on the loose. The authorities are trying to locate them, what we know about them is that they hijacked an 18-wheel tractor-trailer on Interstate 40, actually out on a ramp, right out here.
And ended up in Flagstaff, Arizona about 150 miles away. They forced the two truck drivers inside that truck that they hijacked to drive over here to Flagstaff. At that time they let them go and they all fled the scene -- Anderson?
COOPER: I mean it's pretty -- I don't know how surprising it is that they're still at large. How did this even happen, though, in the first place? How did they get out?
JOHNS: Well, there were a lot of breakdowns. A number of breakdowns. In fact, we have a little graphic for you here which is pretty useful.
The first breakdown, of course, is that there was a situation where an alarm did not sound. They went through one door, we're told. It simply didn't go off. And then they got to a perimeter fence, we're told, just before they were going to go outside, and somehow were able to use pliers to cut through that fence.
Now where those pliers came from is just about anybody's guess. At the end of the day they still got away. We've been trying to reach out to authorities there. The prison is run by a private company. And that's called Management and Training Corporation of Utah. We called them for comment, how could this happen, and so on?
They told us that they've been told by the state not to comment to the media other than reciting the bare facts.
COOPER: And they reportedly had an accomplice, a woman from outside the prison. What do we know about her?
JOHNS: That's right. You mentioned her just a little bit at the top. Here she is, her name is Casslyn Welch. What, about 43 years old or so, she's a girlfriend actually of McCluskey over here. She's on the visitor's list of the prison and McCluskey is one of the two still at large.
Authorities simply do not know where he is.
COOPER: All right, Joe -- Joe Johns, thanks. A lot of questions still to be answered. Dig in deeper tonight.
Just before the program tonight I spoke on the phone to Charles Ryan, director of Arizona Department of Corrections.
COOPER: Mr. Ryan, at this point, I mean, do you have an idea of how this even happened? And how were they able to break out so seemingly easily?
CHARLES RYAN, DIRECTOR, ARIZONA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: I believe the reason that the three inmates were able to escape is the staff at this private prison were lax in performing their duties, and because the perimeter officer may have been lax, the inmates were able to pick a window of time in which to go to the fence, cut it, crawl through the perimeter, even though it set off the alarm. Cut the other fence, and then escape.
COOPER: And what role -- I mean do we know anything more about the role that this woman allegedly played in it? This alleged accomplice?
RYAN: Yes. It appears that the woman from the outside went to the fence through wire cutters and some other items over the fence that were used to effect their escape.
COOPER: Why were these men in this prison to begin with? I mean they were all convicted of murder and yet this was, what, only a medium security prison.
RYAN: Murderers can progress from maximum to close and only as low as medium security. We have 2,689 murderers in the Arizona prison system, the majority of those are in close and medium custody. It's not the custody level that was the issue, it appears staff performance was the issue.
COOPER: And you made a point of saying this is a private prison. I mean, does that need to be looked at again? A couple of people have raised that, as -- you know, there's too many private prisons and that the standards -- the staffs aren't paid as well, the standards aren't as high. Do you think that's true?
RYAN: I don't know if the staff wage has any correlation to this or not. I am currently awaiting a visit from my staff who's been up there evaluating this. I'll see them tomorrow and the private company officials I'll be meeting with on Wednesday.
COOPER: The one man who was apprehended and captured again, have you been able to get any information from him? Has he talked at all?
RYAN: He was interviewed by the U.S. Marshall service. And he has provided them some useful information. There is a nationwide search for these two escapees and their cohorts, Miss Welch, and hopefully they'll be taken into custody very soon.
COOPER: Do you believe they're all still together?
RYAN: The two plus her, yes. We think they are still together.
COOPER: And obviously -- I mean, given their records, they are -- should be considered extremely dangerous?
RYAN: It's believed that they are armed and they certainly should be considered dangerous. If anybody spots them, they should call law enforcement or 911 and not try to intervene. COOPER: Mr. Ryan, I know it's been a busy day for you, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
RYAN: You're welcome.
COOPER: Well, join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Coming up, BP's latest plan to seal the well in the Gulf. I'll give you a demonstration on how it's supposed to work next. And new information about the flow rate.
COOPER: New numbers from the government tonight about the flow rate of oil. They now believe 4.9 million barrels have leaked out. That is on the high end of previous government estimates.
Government scientists say that 62,000 barrels of oil were flowing out of the well every day before it was capped on July 15th. Fifty- three thousand barrels of oil each day after that. I mean BP could be fined up to $23 billion if the company is found to be grossly negligent.
Meanwhile, BP says a crucial test is being rescheduled until tomorrow at the earliest, a test that needs to take place before the company goes ahead with the static kill plan to seal off the well. BP says a small leak was discovered that needs to be repaired.
Tom Foreman joins me now from New Orleans with a look at what that static kill plan actually involves -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. BP and federal authorities are preparing out in the Gulf, off the shore here for this test. They'll pump small bursts of another type of oil into that well to see if they can force it down against the current, so to speak, about two miles below the wellhead into the actual oil reservoir.
If they have no nasty surprises during that injectivity test -- that's what it's called -- such as a leak or dangerous pressure changes, then the static kill should begin tomorrow. That will involve pumping in a steady stream of heavy drilling fluid or mud, as it's called.
And we'll show you what that looks like here. And then increasing the pressure until that mud is pushing the oil back down into the reservoir. You see how it goes for the blowout preventer there? It just pushes that down.
If it goes all the way through, they might decide then to go ahead and pump cement in to seal off that main pipe. It looks like the top kill that failed back in May but there is this difference.
Back then the oil was just pouring out. Stopping it was like trying to push a train but first you had to catch it while it raced toward you. Now with the cap on top, it's more like the train is stopped, although it's still very hard to push it backward or push it down, it's not as hard -- Anderson.
COOPER: So if the static kill works and they pump the cement into the well, why would they then continue with the relief well as they planned to, just to be extra safe?
FOREMAN: Yes. Yes, that's really it. I mean, basically this is about redundancy because there's more to plug here also than just the main pipe. You may recall, Anderson, how we stood about this spot sometime back, and I said near the top of the well, the pipe is about as wide as a big garbage can like you'd use out in your yard.
But it tapers and it goes down deeper. So where they plan to hit it with the relief well is only about this wide, maybe seven inches across. And this pipe sits inside of an outer sleeve.
So even if you seal the inner pipe, there's a lot of room here for oil to maybe leak through around it. In fact, if you do the map on this, just radius square times Pi, you'll find out that there's as much room around this pipe as there is inside. So if you seal this part, you don't see on this part, and this starts leaking, you have just as big a leap.
What they're going to try to do is if they can they will pump into this area from the top with the static kill and fill up the middle of this, if they possibly can do that, then once they fill that up, they'll come in and drill in from the side with that relief well near the bottom.
They'll cut into the casing as we've seen on our graphic before, we can show you probably in this now. And they'll pump into this area, and when they do that, it will fill the whole thing in.
That should seal it off entirely, Anderson, at least that's what the hope is. You attack it from the top. You attack it from the bottom. And somehow you get it all closed off.
COOPER: And you totally lost me at radius squared times Pi. I'm still trying to remember what all that means. But my -- it's been a long time since my math.
What are the possibilities?
COOPER: What can go wrong with this?
FOREMAN: You know, Anderson, I'll tell you what can go wrong with this. The same problem we've had from the beginning. Pressure, pressure, pressure. You have to think about that all the time.
Think about how deep they are and the kind of really seismic forces they're dealing about. That leak we heard about earlier today, that was just a hydraulic leak in their own line. Things that they're dealing with there. But the pressure you're dealing with down here, unbelievably. It delayed that injectivity test. They have to be very careful about it. They have about 7,000 pounds of pressure per square inch pushing upward.
If you had this pipe -- obviously this is a soft pipe. It's not like what they have down there. If you had a car sitting off here, this would blow it completely into the sky. Because that's how much pressure there is.
Putting that Genie back into the bottle, Anderson, is very tricky. It's been a problem all along. And it remains one -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Tom, appreciate the explanation. I'm going to be up all night trying to remember what radius square times Pi is.
There is other news we are covering tonight. Joe Johns, quickly, with the "360 News and Business Bulletin." Joe?
JOHNS: Anderson, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn has convicted two men of conspiring to set off bombs at New York's JFK airport in 2007. Prosecutors say the men tapped into a network of Muslim extremists to help plots the attack. One of the convicted men is a U.S. citizen and former JFK cargo worker. The other is a citizen of Guyana.
August got off to a bullish start on Wall Street amid upbeat reports about the U.S. economy and strong earnings from European banks. The Dow added 208 points, the S&P 500 rose 24.
And the wedding celebration for Chelsea Clinton and Mark Mezvinsky extended into the wee hours of the morning Sunday. Guests were offered a 2:00 a.m. snack of grilled cheese, brownies and popcorn for the ride home from the lavish wedding in Rhinebeck, New York.
There's one report that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was the last one on the dance floor. And knowing former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, I'm not surprised at all.
COOPER: It sounds like it was quite of a party if they were wolfing down on --
JOHNS: I know.
COOPER: On grilled cheese and brownies at 2:00 a.m. I don't know.
JOHNS: Heartburn. Nightmare.
COOPER: I'm not sure what it indicates about the party.
COOPER: Joe, thanks very much. More at the top of the hour, including the fiery debate over addressing the illegal immigration by changing what the Constitution says about who is a citizen. We'll be right back.