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New Push for Immigration Reform; Super Bowl is Sunday; Obama Honors Miami Heat at White House; Reporter Scores Big Hit with Kids App.

Aired January 28, 2013 - 13:30   ET



RAFAEL ROMO, CNN LATIN AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT: As an immigrant who was brought to this country by his parents when he was 4, the 19-year- old qualifies for what is known as deferred action.

President Obama's policy allows some young immigrants who meet age, education, criminal background requirements to stay in the country temporarily without fear of deportation, but it does not allow them to serve in the armed forces, which is something that Arizona resident, Maria Diaz, is also trying to do.

MARIA DIAZ, UNDOCUMENTED ARIZONA RESIDENT: Would you be willing to join the military yourself? And if you aren't, then why would you turn down somebody who is willing to die for a nation, that it's all they have known?

ROMO: Diaz was brought to the United States when she was 3 years old and has never lived anyone else. As an undocumented immigrant, she's ineligible for in-state tuition and she's looking for an alternative.

DIAZ: Higher education was going to be nearly impossible because the tuition rate was three times more than an in-state student.

ROMO: During his inauguration speech, President Obama said one of his agendas for his second term is immigration reform.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are listed in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.

ROMO: But those who oppose his policy say current immigration laws need to be enforced and border security improved. Only then, they say, can such changes be considered.

DAN STEIN, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: The president himself has said he doesn't think these laws are enforceable. How on earth will Congress ever be convinced to pass a package of the kind he's talking about when no guarantees can be made to the general public that the laws will be respected?


Give us a sense of what happens to these guys? What are their other options?

ROMO: Very, very limited. The only real option that they have is an option that didn't happen, the Dream Act, that went to the Senate in 2010 and failed. And that's what they've been waiting for.

Now, the Dream Act, we're talking today about immigration proposals. This is a proposal these young kids have been waiting for since 2005. Essentially, what it does or what it would do is, kids who were brought to this country by their parents illegally and have never known any other country, and speak more English than anything else, they would have an opportunity through an orderly process to apply for permanent residency and eventually for citizenship. But again, it's tried a couple of times, different Senators from different sides of the aisle have tried different times, and it has failed.

MALVEAUX: What are their feelings now? They must be frustrated. They keep going through this process and they seem to be on the losing end of it.

ROMO: It's a feeling of hopelessness. That is probably the reason why you have seen more and more daring acts by these kids. I remember covering the story last year about a sit-in here in Georgia. You see kids who go to immigration offices, who are specifically in this situation, and then you see many others who simply go to a registration office and try their best to get registered at colleges, universities, for Selective Services, for the military, for anything they can think of to make a point. They know they won't be successful. But they're just trying to make a point.

MALVEAUX: Are they hopeful at all that what's taking place at the White House, the fact that you really do have Senators, people coming forward saying, look, we are going to offer you something here?

ROMO: What they're talking right now about is momentum. It seems there are willing Senators. It seems like -- the president made it very clear in his inauguration speech. And also movements around the country that give them hope. But, again, till they see the signature on a bill, they really have no other option.

MALVEAUX: It's a very heated emotional issue still. There are still some people who do not agree that they should be allowed to become citizens as well?

ROMO: It is true. If you talk about the other side of the argument, people say illegal is illegal. They were brought to this country illegally and they should not have a second chance to, what they say, break the law. But I have met with these kids. And what they say is, what am I going to do? I don't know -- really, know the country where I was born. I don't speak any other language than English, so the United States is my country.

MALVEAUX: Rafael, thank you. Appreciate it. Lebron James expected to be at the White House soon. The president honoring him and the Miami Heat for the NBA championship. We'll bring that to you live as soon as it starts.


MALVEAUX: Wow! That is awesome. Lebron James made news this weekend after a fan made a half court shot during a Miami Heat game. James bolted from the huddle to congratulate, hug and tackle the fan. That is the money shot. Unbelievable. That guy won, by the way, $75,000. Wow, good for him.

Of course, Lebron James is at the White House this hour. He's not hugging or tackling anybody just quite yet. The president will be honoring him along with the Miami Heat for the NBA championship. Take a look at live pictures there, as they get ready. We'll bring it to you live as soon as it happens.

Another big sports story we are following today, the Super Bowl, of course. All this week, we're going in depth on the NFL. While everybody is psyched up about the big game on Sunday, the league is still dealing with some long-term issues. Right now, the 49ers are in New Orleans. They got there just yesterday, in time for some sweet Mardi Gras parades.

Mark McKay is also there.

When are the Ravens arriving? Will they be in time for all the partying that's going on?


MARK MCKAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They won't miss it, Suzanne. They will be arriving shortly after a huge sendoff. There was a big rally in Baltimore this morning to send off the Ravens.

There are so many story lines at this Super Bowl. We like it, as part of the media members, to cover these story lines. One of the more prominent ones is the brother-versus-brother coaching matchup, for the first time ever that will happen inside the Super Dome Sunday. Big brother, John, against little brother, Jim. And they will certainly be the featured attraction at media day tomorrow and all week long really. Even their parents have a press conference scheduled. That's how big the Harbaugh story is.

Now, Jim's 49ers arrived on Sunday, as we did. We mention, Suzanne, they were right in the middle of Mardi Gras. These were the scenes all weekend long here in New Orleans. You had parades, floats, beads being tossed, dancing drinking. A regular Saturday and Sunday here in New Orleans. The New Orleans people say having the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, they would have it no other way.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Super Bowl next weekend. We can't wait. It will be a great time in the city. Everybody will be having a lot of fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: NFL, we're excited the Super Bowl is here. We can't wait. It's going to be a great thing for the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The city is electric right now. Between, you know, Mardi Gras, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras had to be pushed up a week. We've got pretty much an entire month of partying, which we're used to. New Orleanians can handle it.


MCKAY: Suzanne, if you think there's a break in the action, there actually will be this week. All those parades that unfolded over the weekend will take a break this week, let the Super Bowl play out, and they'll get started again next week after the big game is played here at the dome.

MALVEAUX: Mark, I don't know if you know, but those are my people there in New Orleans. They know how to party.

MCKAY: Yes, they are.

MALVEAUX: And it was fantastic. After Katrina, I remember I was there for the Super Bowl for the Saints, and it was magical. It was a moment so important for the city here. It's going to be a lot of fun, obviously, the weekend.

Tell us a little bit about the president. I know he was asked about his own feelings about football, the competitiveness, and kind of the danger now that so many people talk about.

MCKAY: Well, President Obama is a self-professed sports fan. He's meeting with the Miami Heat this afternoon at the White House. He also has concerns about concussions. He spoke to the "New Republic." He said, if he had a son, he would have to think twice about him playing football because of the concussion issue. The president weighing in.

Of course, this will be a big issue that the NFL will face during the Super Bowl week. $300 million in research that both the NFL and players union has spent for brain research. But NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has heard the concerns and he certainly won't escape the issue this week in New Orleans -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: All right, Mark.

Let's listen to that, if we can, if we have that sound from the president talking a little bit about the -- Oh, I understand we don't have that sound.

Mark, have a great time. We'll be checking in with you on a regular basis because that's where all the fun is, all the action.


I'll be calling my relatives, see if they can say hello to you. MCKAY: You bet.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Mark.

MCKAY: Sounds good.

MALVEAUX: As you mentioned, the president honoring the NBA's Miami Heat. Players are out of uniform. They're, of course, wearing suit and ties for the White House visit.

There's the introduction. They're saying, all cell phones, turn them off. It's about to happen.

Of course, we know, Obama, basketball fan in chief. He will be congratulating the team. We'll bring that to you in a couple of minutes as soon as they turn those cell phones off and get started.

And also, we're following another story. You think you have a great idea for an app? In a moment, we'll find out how a "New York Times" writer turned his idea into an app that's become a huge international success.


MALVEAUX: President Obama honoring the Miami Heat at the White House. Let's listen in.

Oh, they're just waiting for -- there we go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.


OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.


OBAMA: Everybody, please, have a seat. Have a seat.

Today, I'm honored to welcome a little up-and-coming basketball team --


-- to the White House, called the world champion Miami Heat.


OBAMA: Now, for many teams to come here, this is a lot of cameras in one place. It's a little overwhelming.


OBAMA: But for the heat, this is what practice looks like.


OBAMA: This is normal. I know this is the first trip for some of these players. But a few of them were here a couple of years ago for a pick-up game on my birthday. Now I'm not trying to take all the credit, Coach, but I think that it's clear that going up against me prepared them --


-- to take on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.


It sharpened their skills. It gave them the competitive edge that they need. And I think part of the reason they came back today is they want another shot at the old guy.


But first, I have to congratulate the Heat on their well-earned title. You know, this team traveled a long road to get to where they are. In 2011, the Heat got all the way to the finals only to come up short. But when you fall, the real test is whether you can ignore the naysayers, pick yourself up and come back stronger. And that's true in basketball, but it's also true in life. That's exactly what these guys did. Instead of getting down, they got better. Dwyane Wade worked on his core. Lebron learned some post moves from Hakim. Shane Battier came on board. They became a more complete team, they got to know each other better and trust each other more. And they became more fun to watch.

In game four against the Thunder last year, we saw Lebron carried off the floor with cramps, only to come back a few minutes later and hit a dagger of a three-pointer to put the heat ahead. During game six, we saw him pull off one of the great performances, dropping 45 points, and had a scary look in his eye.


We saw Dwyane Wade, the heart and soul of this team, continue to do whatever it takes to win, including leading the team in blocks. And at the post-game press conferences he dressed well enough to land himself in "G.Q." magazine.


Show them your kicks here, Dwyane.


If any of you can pull this off --


-- other than Dwyane Wade, let me know.


We saw Chris Bosh get injured, but get healthy right at the perfect time and do outstanding work throughout the rest of the playoffs. And it wasn't just the big three. Mike Miller could barely walk.

Mike, you better now?


You looked broke down last year.


But still hit seven three-pointers in the final game.

I don't know how he did it, because he could not walk. He looked like an old man.


Mario Chalmers earned himself a nickname from Dwyane Wade that I am not allowed to repeat.


But he did a great job. Shane Battier has always played impeccable defense, hit big threes. Deron Howard, Grandpa, became the first member of the fab five to win a ring.

And coach continually set the tone and kept these guys motivated the entire way.

So that team mentality, with everybody doing their part, is what finally put the Heat over the top. And it's especially impressive when you think about everything they've had to deal with over the last few years.

This team inspired a lot of passions on both sides. And I'm just talking about their dance moves now.


We saw that video, Lebron.


But even though I'm a little disappointed that the Bulls didn't make it, I do want to congratulate the Heat for a well-earned championship.

Lebron said it's about damn time.


And I want to thank them for taking the time this afternoon to spend with wounded warriors at Walter Reed.

You guys are heroes to them, but they're heroes to all of us.

And let me just say one last thing about these guys. And I mentioned this as we were coming in. There's a lot of focus on what happens on the court. But what is also important is what happens off the court. I don't know all these guys, but I do know Lebron and Dwyane and Chris, and one of the things I'm proudest of is that they take their roles as fathers seriously. And, you know, for all the young men out there who are looking up to them all the time, for them to see somebody who cares about their kids, and is there for them, day in and day out, that's a good message to send. It's a positive message to send, and we're very proud of them for that.


OBAMA: So --


OBAMA: So, congratulations again to the Miami Heat.

And now we are going to take a picture that makes me look very short.


I'm accustomed to it.

But first, I'm going to ask coach to say a few words.


Thank you, coach.


Well, on behalf of Mickey Aronson (ph), Pat Riley, the entire --

MALVEAUX: The president really a basketball fan in chief, doing a little trash talking there with the Miami Heat, but also congratulating them, and also a social message that came along with that, saying that he was praising a couple of members there for being good dads.

We'll have more after the break.


MALVEAUX: You might think of it as a modern day version of the gold rush, but in this version, it is people, folks developing apps for your Smartphone and iPad and, of course, the prize could be millions of apps sold around the world.

"New York Times" gadget columnist, Bob Tedeschi, went undercover to develop an app of his own. It is a kids app called Bobo explores light. And there is a twist to it. It became a huge hit. Number-one app in 12 different countries, even won a bunch of awards.

Bob joins us now.

So, Bob, how did you do this? Secretly, I just want to develop an app and, you know, retire. How do you do it?


BOB TEDESCHI, GADGET COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. It is not how it works. Back in 2009, I started the "App Smart" column for "The Times" and we were tracking the boom in apps. And everybody was talking about how to develop an app. They wanted to build an app of their own.


TEDESCHI: We figured, all right, let's write about that, how do you actually find a developer, build an app and get it birthed.

And so, you know, I sat with that idea for a better part of a year or so and then I came across a developer named George Lavatch, in Seattle. Tremendously talented guy. And we talked about collaborating, and both of us had a passion for children's education, and figured that the iPad would be a real ideal place to kind of explore some things in teaching children scientific concepts. And so we started down that road and found a real talented illustrator, named Dean McCaddum, in San Diego, and started pushing in that direction.

MALVEAUX: Were you shocked that it took off the way it did?

TEDESCHI: Yes. I was -- I was absolutely shocked. Going into the process of when we went to release it, I did it under a pseudonym because I didn't want -- frankly, I didn't want any preferential treatment from Apple because I was covering Apple apps. So I did it under a pseudonym and figured, well, if it didn't hit, I knew how good it was, that was part of the story. There's a lot of developers who put out good stuff and don't get that kind of audience. And when it -- when it took off, I was shocked. It was awesome.

MALVEAUX: Bob, you had to leave, though, right? You had to leave "The New York Times," leave your job in order to do this because you wanted to avoid a conflict of interest, right?

TEDESCHI: Well, sort of. I kept covering apps for another year after this was released, but what I did was, I carved out children's educational apps and didn't write about those because that would have been a career conflict, and didn't want that to pose any problems. I continued on and then have gradually stepped back from the -- from that beat.

MALVEAUX: So, Bob, what is the secret? Tell us. For those of us who are looking for their great app idea, we think we have come up with one, and somebody has already done it before.



MALVEAUX: What do you do? How do you do it?

TEDESCHI: I wish it was that easy. It was -- the trick, really, is to find, you know, three legs of the stool. You've got to have really great technology, you have to have great art, and you've got to have great content. And we were lucky in that we had three people who could -- who had expertise in those three areas, and who really had a passion for what we were doing. We worked for six months, about 2,000 man hours on this. None of us got paid during that process. And we loved what we were doing. So I think, you know, the -- that came through, I think, in the product. I think Bobo has been a hit partially because I think that sort of passion came through in the end product. And, you know, it is easy to build an app. It is hard to build a good one that will really engage people, I think, on the level you're hoping.

MALVEAUX: Yes, well, you're getting paid now and you're still writing. So that's a good thing. You must love your job.

Congratulations, Bob. We appreciate it.

TEDESCHI: Thanks, Suzanne. Thanks for having me.


It started off with a dog in the 1950s. But now, check out this little guy. You might be able to see him. He's in the strap there. It is a monkey getting a ride into space. We'll tell you which country sent him there.


MALVEAUX: You might remember this. Back in the heyday of the space race, 1950s, the Russians sent a dog into orbit. Now Iran has its own spin on it, it's on take. The country's space agency says it launched a craft 75 miles out into space, back again, carrying a monkey. It predicts that Iran will have a manned space mission in about five years. And that poor monkey that you see there, not looking so happy, he survived the flight.


Andy Sandberg left "Saturday Night Live" but was back this weekend with a video for the show's digital shorts. Check it out.




MALVEAUX: I love these. OK, this one in particular, this is a spoof on the term YOLO, which stands for "you only live once." It is the battle cry of the generation last year. But, anyway, the term became popular because of Drake's song, "The Motto." Sandberg turns YOLO into "you ought to look out." He also sings, "Try not to ruin everything and die." (LAUGHTER)

Fun stuff.

That does it for me. CNN NEWSROOM continues with Brooke Baldwin.