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@THISHOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
California City Erupts Over Immigrant Transfers; No Bond for Hot Car Death Dead; Holiday Gas Price Hike; How Hot Dog Competitors Do It; Seinfeld Celebrates 25 Years since Debut
Aired July 4, 2014 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama speaking there at the naturalization ceremony that is being held in the East Room at the White House today thanking the members of the service -- the military service for their service to the United States. A country to which they didn't officially belong to until today. Their naturalization ceremony on going there.
Interesting too to see that the president took the opportunity, as one might expect to make a pitch for fixing the broken -- as he calls it, the broken immigration system. He talked about the fact that we are a nation that welcomed immigrants to our states -- our shores, rather, quote, "It is part of our DNA and makes us stronger."
This as we see debate and frustration and anger and tension brewing at the border. The other side of immigration ahead. We'll take a look at that. More buses filled with undocumented people expected today in California. Protesters there in one city say they'll be ready. Just like they were on Tuesday.
One of our contributors is slamming the Border Patrol for the way it handled the situation. We'll talk about it all next.
PEREIRA: We just heard President Obama welcome newly naturalized citizens and talk about how if the U.S. wants to keep bringing the best and brightest into the country, it needs to fix the broken immigration system. And at this hour, it would appear that the system is showing its flaws as officials in Murrieta, California, are begging people to stay calm.
The city is expecting more undocumented immigrants from Texas to arrive today at a Border Patrol processing center. The city manager tells the "L.A. Times" this scene from Tuesday, this scene has given Murrieta a bad name. You see dozens of angry protesters there managing to chase off three busloads of people, with almost 150 Central American women and children. Those folks are promising a repeat today. Maybe even in greater numbers.
We had an interesting talk about all of this yesterday with CNN contributor Ruben Navarrette and Border agent Hector Garza. Want to keep the conversation going today.
And gentlemen, thank you so much first of all on the Fourth of July, on this Independence Day, for joining us. I know you probably would like to be with your families somewhere. But we appreciate you both joining us. And also I just want to say first of all, the three of us, I look at all three of our last names, obviously there's been some immigration in each of our past. So I want us all to keep at the heart of it what the important thing is here, that we have something that needs to be fixed.
Given that, Ruben, you called what you saw happen in Murrieta un- American. You slammed not only the protesters but the Border Patrol. In your estimation, what went wrong there?
RUBEN NAVARRETTE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, a couple of things went wrong. First of all from the side of the protesters, what they did wrong was they took these old placard slogans, all these dusty rhetoric from 20 years ago, dusted it off, tried to apply it to this case when it really doesn't apply.
These are on the bus not immigrants. They're refugees. They did come from Mexico seeking a job. They came from Central American countries seeking a safe haven. So it really is apples and oranges. And they basically took -- if you look at all the rhetoric that came out of those protesters, talking about an invasion, protecting our borders and the like. It's all tired dusty rhetoric that doesn't apply.
Now the Border Patrol screwed up because think about this, you had a Border Patrol van, the Department of Homeland Security, DeCal on the side, driven by a Border Patrol agent. They were turned around in fact by a mob. The mob stood in front of the van -- the bus. Stopped it and forced it to turn tail and run the other way. That's not how cops should behave.
I'm the son of a cop. My dad was a cop for 37 years. Where I come from, you block a federal law enforcement agency vehicle, you get handcuffs, you go to jail, that's what should have happened. These people should have been arrested.
PEREIRA: Hector, let's bring you in because we know you and your colleagues are on the frontline of this. You're seeing this every day. You're an active working border agent. Do you feel in the border that you're on patrol there that you're caught in the middle?
HECTOR GARZA, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: Well, first of all, let me mention that I am a spokesperson for the National Border Patrol Council. I am also a Border Patrol agent. Our organization actually represents the non-bargaining unit of Border Patrol agents that work the field every single day.
GARZA: But I do want to mention in regards to the other situation is that these people are actually expressing their opinions and they pretty much know what they expect out of them. I applaud them for actually coming out and protesting in a nonviolent manner and I will continue to encourage them to continue in a nonviolent manner as well.
PEREIRA: Well, Hector, let me ask you about that because a Murrieta city manager was saying that apparently the protesters misinterpreted the mayor's call to action. The mayor had said, hey, bring this up with your elected officials, protest, raise (INAUDIBLE). Don't literally go and protest at the border. And now he's saying that he thinks that this protest and the aggression and the anger there is making his city look heartless.
So do you hear that point and do you think that they're going about this the wrong way or do you think they're, as you said, this is just merely a freedom of speech issue?
GARZA: Yes, pretty much it is a freedom of speech issue. The Border Patrol agents are actually one of the hardest working agents out there. They're the best trained (INAUDIBLE) in the federal government. So our agents do a job -- very consistent at what we do. However, at this point, like I mentioned in the past, you know there is a lack of resources. Our agents are being tasked with an overwhelming job.
And we do need to make sure they are supplied with the proper resources, proper tools, infrastructure and technology so that they can continue to do their job.
PEREIRA: I want to get to Ruben in a second but I just want to pick up one point that Ruben mentioned, Hector. He spoke of these women and children coming here as refugees. Can you give us an idea of the difference? When you have people arrive at the border, do they -- do they have to say something claiming refugee status? And if so what is the procedure to process them?
GARZA: Well, there's obviously a long process when somebody is claiming that. Some type of credible or making the type of credible (INAUDIBLE). Now, at this point, we don't know if these people are actually came here with that status or anything like that. We do know that they crossed the border legally. We do know that they're in Border Patrol custody. And there is a process for any type of claim that they may be claiming. However, at this point we do know they're illegal aliens. I'm not sure that we know that they are refugees.
PEREIRA: OK. Hector, thanks so much for that.
Ruben, I want to turn back to you. You know, we just -- interesting to see on this day today, Independence Day, we were just looking at live pictures there from Washington, D.C. at the White House, the president swearing in 25 men and women who are service members who are now American citizens. It's very -- it's in sharp contrast to the situation that we see going on at the border.
The president, though, pledging to do, quote-unquote, "what he can" to make sure that we mix this system. Are you feeling encouraged at all? Because it seems as though this issue is at a stalemate.
NAVARRETTE: Yes, the first thing I want to say is that it seems like Hector is tired of his job. He's tired of playing cop, he wants to do my job as an opinion writer, as someone who goes on radio, on television, expresses opinions for a living. Hector is going to have to be much more well-informed if he wants to do this job. And what he misses when he talks about the First Amendment is the fact that even last night the police chief in Murrieta, California, has admitted they did wrong. Has said that today on Friday people will be arrested for blocking a thoroughfare, for stopping a law enforcement vehicle. So there's a mea culpa going on already. And Hector needs to keep up with that.
The second part of your question about Barack Obama, it was surreal for me to sit here and listen to this. I didn't recognize that man because the person that I know and I've written about for five years has deported five -- deported two million people in five years, divided hundreds of thousands of families, and expanded the use of secure communities to over 1800 jurisdictions so that local cops now enforce federal immigration law.
So for Barack Obama to come up here today on the Fourth of July and talk about this being a nation of immigrants, well, there's two Barack Obamas. I'm not sure which one we just saw.
PEREIRA: All right. Ruben Navarrette and Hector Garza, we appreciate you both. We really think this is a conversation that needs to continue. We're going to take a short break.
Ahead @THIS HOUR, we're going to have an interview also with a college friend of Justin Ross Harris. He is the man that stands accused of having left his toddler in a hot car. That child later died. This woman knew him in college. She's having trouble reconciling with the man she knew and the man that stands accused of this horrible crime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF MAGISTRATE FRANK COX, COB COUNTY, GEORGIA: And then for him to enter the car later that day after 4:00 in the afternoon when the child had been dead and rigamortis had set in. And the testimony is the stench in the car was overwhelming at that point. In spite of that, got in the car and drove it for some distance before he took any action to check on the welfare of his child. So I find there's probable cause for the two charges contained.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: Probable cause hearing there in Cobb County, Georgia. The judge denying bail, deciding that Justin Ross Harris should stay in jail and then stand trial on charges of murdering his 22-month-old son.
Harris openly wept in court as prosecutors tried to paint him as a unfaithful husband who wanted to be child-free. A dad who sexted had a dozen while his son lay dying in a hot SUV.
This is a troubling picture that's quite at odds with at least one of Harris' college friends. Here's what Kristen Riker told me a little earlier today on "NEW DAY."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PEREIRA: I can imagine this is a very unsettling place to find yourself in, somebody you know stands accused of killing his child.
I want you to give us a sense of the Justin Ross Harris that you know. You guys met in college. You were in the same graduate program, correct?
KRISTEN RIKER, COLLEGE FRIEND OF JUSTIN ROSS HARRIS: We were actually in undergrad together so it was a close group of people so we got to know each other pretty well.
PEREIRA: And did you spend much time with him?
RIKER: Yes. We had group projects and it was a very strenuous program, so we saw a lot of each other.
PEREIRA: Describe Justin Ross Harris to us, as you know him.
RIKER: He was a genuinely nice guy. He was very hard working and intelligent. He was reliable and always willing to help others in need, whether it'd be a class project or a personal matter. Before this tragedy, I'd never heard anyone say a bad thing about him. He was just an overall great guy.
PEREIRA: So I can imagine you were probably quite surprised when you heard the news. Tell me about the day you found out about this.
RIKER: I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw people that I know posting about it. We were all in shock because we all knew him. It's just still a disbelief, not knowing what to think.
PEREIRA: Do you think he's capable of it?
RIKER: The Ross I knew in college, absolutely not. Never intentional. So something just doesn't make sense. It just doesn't add up.
PEREIRA: Have you find yourself -- found yourself trying to make sense of it?
RIKER: I'm trying to stay unbiased but -- just because of the man I knew in college, he was such a great guy.
PEREIRA: Right, I understand that. That makes sense. Yesterday, we were watching this compelling, really troubling testimony going on. We heard a detective making accusations and bringing up some pretty shocking revelations about things like Ross sexting women, about searching for various things on the Internet.
What is your reaction to that? Does it fit -- does it square with the guy that you knew?
RIKER: The guy that I knew, absolutely not, but I feel it is unrelated to the actual case at hand with Cooper. But no, I could never have pictured him doing that.
PEREIRA: You don't feel that it has anything to do with this -- maybe the motive for what could have happened here?
RIKER: I don't think so. But I'm trying to stay unbiased. I'm sure other people have a different opinion.
PEREIRA: Did you get any sense there was trouble at home?
RIKER: No, I did not. Not when I knew him. Not at all. He always talked about his wife and you could tell he was happy and that he loved her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: Certainly not happy now. Guilty or not guilty, his son is still dead, 22 month old son is no longer alive.
So that's Kristen Riker. She attended college with the father that's accused of killing his father Justin Ross Harris. A story CNN will clearly stay on top of.
We're going to take a short break and go in another direction. What day is it today? It's the Fourth of July. That also means it's that time of year where people eat incessant amounts, incredible amounts of hot dogs. The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is today.
My word, I can barely stand looking at it. We'll tell you all about it coming up.
PEREIRA: All right, folks, let's get down to brass tacks. If you are planning to hit the road this weekend, you need to know about gas prices. Sorry to tell you, expect to pay a lot more at the pump. Gas prices are up sharply from last year. Hitting the highest level since 2008. The national average sits at about $3.66. Now compare that to last year. That's up about 20 cents per gallon. The weather and the crisis in Iraq are a couple of factors fueling that increase.
Yes, I know, it's a bummer.
On the subject of gas, did you really write that? Oh, my goodness, @THIS HOUR, competitive eaters are preparing for the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. I'm going to get my producer. The men will begin less from an hour from now in Coney Island. American Joey Chestnut set the world record officially a year ago. Sixty-nine hot dogs and bun in 10 minutes. He's going to try to beat his own record today.
So how can these competitors eat so many hot dogs in just a few minutes? There's also a question of why. Whole other matter. It's got to be a question of technique.
I wanted to bring in the woman who would know. Elizabeth Cohen joins me from Atlanta.
Now I'm asking from a technical standpoint, a scientific standpoint, not because you've done this before, I would hope. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: No. No. No, just
seeing that huge platter --
PEREIRA: Right? I actually suddenly don't want to have a hot dog today.
PEREIRA: OK. So let's not get too graphic because it's early in the day.
PEREIRA: There's some people eating their breakfast or eating their lunch depending.
How can the human stomach expand that much?
COHEN: You know what, Michaela, they actually train for this. They will eat lots and lots of things like cabbage that are low calorie but that stretch the stomach. So they'll guzzle a lot of water, eat a lot cabbage, that'll stretch the stomach. And you know, it's a muscle, you stretch it over time. So there's a regiment here that they follow.
PEREIRA: They actually have a regiment.
PEREIRA: You know, what's so startling to me, though, is that a lot of these people are not big people.
COHEN: Not at all.
PEREIRA: Sonya the black widow, a female, she's won this. I have to tell you, it just is astounding.
OK, let's switch topics for a second. Fourth of July revelers are bound to do a lot of partying this weekend, maybe hit a few clubs. A new study says head banging can hurt you?
COHEN: Yes, and we mean the real head banging. Not what you just saw them doing when they were eating. We mean like yes, that's exactly, you know, whipping around and, you know, almost putting your head in a figure eight. It's -- you know, most of the time I'm sure it's perfectly fine but there is this study that showed that there was this one guy, he ends up -- he's head-banging, he's a head-banger, he's at a concert.
He went to the hospital and he had terrible headaches and they said, sir, you have a subdural hematoma, which means bleeding in the brain.
PEREIRA: Oh my goodness.
COHEN: It is oh my goodness, but when you think about it, it does make some sense. I mean, when you whip your head back and forth -- (CROSSTALK)
PEREIRA: You're jostling your brain.
COHEN: You're right, your brain is banging up against your skull. So in many ways, it's not so surprising. And it's not just bleeding that can happen during head banging. Believe it or not, there is a whole list of things that can happen during head banging. For example, the carotid artery, which is an artery that runs through your neck, that can tear. Whiplash, which, you know, it's easy to see how that would happen. Air leaks in the lungs and neck fractures.
Now, you know, I'm not saying this happens obviously to every head banger, or else we would hear about this a lot more often, but it can happen. So maybe if you're going to be doing any head banging this holiday, just -- you know, just be gentle, be gentle about it.
PEREIRA: That's why I stand by my reasoning that I do not dance, I boogie. I keep it close to home, baby. That's what I do.
COHEN: There you go. There you go. That's a good idea.
PEREIRA: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you actually for taking a look at the medical and science aspect of these two stories. The hot dog one, I still can't get around. I'm afraid it's no hot dogs for me on this Fourth of July. Maybe a hamburger.
COHEN: If you want me to put you in touch with a stomach expanding trainer, Michaela --
PEREIRA: No, thank you.
COHEN: No, thanks.
PEREIRA: No. Thank you.
PEREIRA: Elizabeth Cohen, have a wonderful and safe Fourth, OK?
COHEN: And you too. You too.
PEREIRA: All right. We're going to take a short break. Actually, no, we're going to stay here because I have one more thing I want to tell you about. Can't believe it's actually been 25 years since "Seinfeld" made its debut. It went on to become one the most memorable sitcoms ever. Its plots are still re-told. Those catch phrases still being repeated. I could go on and on, yada, yada, yada, but I'll let Nischelle Turner pick up the story.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): July 5th, 1989. NBC debuts a new sitcom built around stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
JERRY SEINFELD, "SEINFELD": Wouldn't it be great if you could ask a woman what she's thinking?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a world that would be.
TURNER: First called "The Seinfeld Chronicles," the title later shortened to just "Seinfeld."
JASON ALEXANDER, "SEINFELD": The show is about nothing.
SEINFELD: Well, it's not about nothing.
ALEXANDER: No, it's about nothing.
ROBERT THOMPSON, MEDIA SCHOLAR, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Of course, it wasn't about nothing. But it was about the kinds of things that stand-up comedians talked about a lot, but that sitcoms generally didn't. Issues of how one eats snack foods.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you -- did you just double-dip that chip?
THOMPSON: The issues of shrinkage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really sorry.
ALEXANDER: I was in the pool. I was in the pool.
THOMPSON: "Master of Your Domain," perhaps the most memorable episode "Seinfeld" ever did.
MICHAEL RICHARDS, "SEINFELD": I'm out.
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, "SEINFELD": Wow, that was fast.
MARY MCNAMARA, TV CRITIC, LOS ANGELES TIMES: It changed television in that it gave us a whole new way of looking at the world, a whole new kind of comedy.
RICHARDS: I didn't say anything.
MCNAMARA: It was the start of, like, the alternative family comedies.
THOMPSON: People who are not roommates, who don't live under the same roof, who aren't related, and don't even work in the same place. "Seinfeld" establishes that. So that becomes completely the norm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, now it's weird again.
MCNAMARA: I think "Friends" was obviously a young "Seinfeld."
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Get out of here.
MCNAMARA: Every successful new kind of show changes television because it makes a whole bunch of other stuff possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name's Louis C.K and he's set to be here around 2:00.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said? The doctor doesn't make appointments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, see, I know him.
MCNAMARA: "Louis" is probably the closest thing we have to a modern- day "Seinfeld."
SEINFIELD: Is this how it end?
TURNER: "Seinfeld" ended its run in 1998. There's been no official reunion unless you count this one.
TURNER: Filmed for "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The series developed by "Seinfeld's" co-creator, Larry David.
ALEXANDER: Yada, yada, yada.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
LOUIS-DREYFUS: What's that?
SEINFELD: Excuse me?
TURNER: "Seinfeld's" characters live on, just as they were in syndication, still impacting TV and the culture.
MELISSA MCCARTHY, ACTRESS: Not just influences comedy writers, it kind of influenced everything. It's like people's dialogue, people's references.
SEINFELD: We're not gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. He's just a dentist.
RICHARDS: Yes, and you're an anti-dentite.
JERRY STILLER, ACTOR: A brassiere for a man, the man-siere, get it?
MCCARTHY: Everything weird thing that happens in life turns into, like, do you remember that "Seinfeld"? It's just a perfect show, perfect.
SEINFELD: Somebody has B.O., the O usually stays with the B. Once the B leaves, the O goes with it.
TURNER: Nischelle Turner, CNN, New York.
PEREIRA: I was just asking our crew guys about some of their favorite episodes. Man-sierre, Festivus for the rest of us, opposite George, I love the puffy shirt. It's so genius.
What's your favorite? Go to our Facebook page and tell us. You can tweet us, you can go in instagram. Use #atthishour. We want to hear from you. Hey, want to tell you about something special happening tonight in
Washington, a bit of a party. Yes, a bit of a party celebrating the nation's 238th birthday. "A Capital Fourth" taking place on the west lawn of the capitol.
Tom Bergeron from "Dancing with the Stars" is going to host. Several stars are going to join. There's a long list of performers in fact, but guess who's going to be there? Kermit the Frog. We spoke with him earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: Kermit, what are you going to be doing for this extravaganza?
KERMIT, "A CAPITAL FOURTH" ENTERTAINER: Well, I'm going to be doing many things. I'll be taking care of mosquito control, I will be handling security. Stuff like that. But I'll also be singing a song with a certain female pig. I won't mention any names.
TOM BERGERON, "A CAPITAL FOURTH" HOST: No.
KERMIT: But -- and she has a surprise ending to our song, which I don't even know what it is so we'll just have to see.
BERGERON: And it's live TV. Miss Piggy has been known to go rogue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: She does go rogue. Maybe mosquito patrol will be handled by Arthur. Want to hear more from Kermit? You can go to our Facebook or our Twitter account AT THIS HOUR.
Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July. "LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now.