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Obama, Perry to Meet Over Immigration Crisis; Israel & Hamas Trade Attacks as Tension Rise; Violent Storms Destroy Homes and Kill 5; Investigators Recreate Hot Car Scene

Aired July 9, 2014 - 08:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Deadly violence. Hundreds of rockets and missiles soaring between Israel and Gaza as the Mideast violence continues to escalate and now, a new threat with militants using rockets, more powerful than ever. Is a ground invasion now on the horizon?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Historic loss. Brazil, one of the best soccer teams on the planet, gets pummeled by Germany in the World Cup, losing 7-1. This kind of defeat is unheard of. How did it happen?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, and welcome once again to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, July 9th, 8:00 in the East.

John Berman sticking with us. Chris is off today.

We begin with the immigration crisis. President Obama is set to meet with faith leaders and Texas officials, including Governor Rick Perry. They'll discuss how to handle the influx of undocumented immigrants, including unaccompanied children along the U.S./Mexico border.

BERMAN: Today's meeting comes after the president asked to provide almost $4 billion in emergency aid to address this issue. Not surprisingly, that request is already seeing some resistance.

Alina Machado is at the epicenter of this immigration surge right now. She's in the border town of Mission, Texas, for us.

Good morning, Alina.


Yes, this is where you can really see and feel the heart of this immigration crisis. We're right on the river, right on the Rio Grande. Mexico is just on the other side. Now, President Obama, though, will not be making it down here. He's

going to be meeting with the governor some 500 miles north of here in Dallas. Now, some about 60,000 to 80,000 children are expected to cross into the U.S. alone just this year, and many of them are going to end up in the care of faith-based organizations. But there is some growing concern about how long these organizations are going to be able to keep this up.

Take a listen.


RAUL G. SALINAS, MAYOR OF LAREDO, TEXAS: What's going to happen when the faith organizations run out of money, when the donations no longer come, when you no longer have volunteers, the burden will be on cities. We're not going to raise taxes. I mean, if we use tax money and tied for money now, are we going to get reimbursed? And that's the challenge that we face.


MACHADO: Now, this challenge will likely be here for a while. The border patrol by the way has a strong presence here, just in the time that we've been here since last night, we have seen several helicopters hovering, patrolling the river to try to see if they can find any immigrants who may be crossing -- John and Kate.

BOLDUAN: Alina Machado at the border, thank you so much Alina for laying out for us.

MACHADO: And as we all know, this is an issue that gets or has already gotten clouded by political partisanship. So, we want to cut through some of the noise, cut through it all and explain why this is happening or try to get to the heart of the issue.

Joining us to discuss, Ruben Navarrette. He's a CNN contributor and a columnist for "The Daily Beast."

Ruben, you covered issues surrounding illegal immigration for some 20 years now. Yes, there is a lot of noise and a lot of passion political partisanship on this issue. But when you look at this immediate crisis, this surge at the border, where did it come from? How did it start?

RUBEN NAVARRETTE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Kate, good morning. And thanks for having me.

The best estimation we have, the best answer that question is, it came in three pieces and one was the war and desperation and poverty in Central America. It's been there for a long time, it's been aggravated lately because the youth gangs like MS-13 have been running that country, and you don't have any stable military or police force there to fend off that threat.

The second component was these organized efforts by the smuggling cartels, the human trafficking cartels to put in place false media stories in the Central American media, telling people that congress had passed an amnesty, get up there and claim it.

And the third final piece of it was, unbeknownst to the rest of it, there was a policy in place by the border patrol that had been put in place as recently as 2008 by George Bush in an amendment to a bill that basically said, if you come here as an unaccompanied minor, we don't send you back home again.

So when the kids did come out of desperation, because they'd seen the ads and their parents had seen the ads when they arrived, they were given a notice to appear and they mistook that for the permiso they had been promised. Word got back home that it was true and more people started coming.

It was those three things together. I hate the term "perfect storm", but this was a perfect storm.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about each one of the issues, because they are each being discussed and also being caught up in kind of the political noise of it all. So, the issue of the misinformation that you say coming from the cartels and the smugglers, that -- how real is that? How big of a problem was that misinformation down in Central American countries? Because that that is one of the reasons Republicans point to, saying that the president essentially welcomed this in the way he talked about the issue of immigration, deportations of young people, specifically when talking about the DREAM Act.

Here's some of what he said over the past couple of years. Listen to this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Classmates of our children who are suddenly under this shadow of fear, through no fault of their own. They didn't break a lot. They were kids.

Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.

It makes no sense to expel talented young people who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans.


BOLDUAN: Was this really used as propaganda by smugglers?

NAVARRETTE: No, this part was not used by the smugglers. The smugglers created something out of whole cloth, made up a complete fabrication and lie that said that not President Bush -- not President Obama had passed an amnesty. They said specifically Congress had passed an amnesty. It was a complete fabrication.

The Republicans on this issue are incredibly thick-headed and wrong. Many conservatives have this wrong. I'm always struck in this issue and this debate the people who are most passionate about immigration are also oftentimes the most ignorant about it, and I think radio talk show hosts who I listen to all day long who don't understand this issue and they mix together the DREAM Act, which was a piece of legislation that did not pass with President Obama's DACA order, which you just referred to there, for people who had been in this country for many years with this new order signed into law by President Bush, relatively new order that allows the border patrol to keep unaccompanied minors.

The conservatives put it in one pot and stir it together and have this mush and they put it together in two or three syllables. It doesn't make sense.

It's not what happened. The cartels in a shrewd way made $400 million, $8,000 a head times 50,000 kids, and that's the motivation and created and fabricate a lie to perpetuate and make that profit.

BOLDUAN: Ruben, not just Republicans but folks also saying when you look at the numbers over the past years, the surge is not today's problem. It has been happening. It's been going on.

So, is there also an argument when you look at the administration and they're looking at the immediate crisis, they should have seen this coming all along.

NAVARRETTE: Right, they dropped the ball. Today as you said you have this meeting in Texas in Dallas between Governor Perry and President Obama.

It's not going to go well, I'll tell you that, because President Obama doesn't like to be challenged. He's very defensive. He doesn't take criticism well. We know that.

And Governor Perry will mention off the top of the meeting -- listen, pal, we told you three years ago this was happening, because in fact, the Texas Department of Homeland Security was aware of this trend of a greater number of unaccompanied minors as early as 2011, and they told the federal government, the federal government was caught asleep at the switch, they didn't do anything about it to prepare for it, and now, they're in this horrible pickle.

This is not an advantageous situation for Obama. He didn't bring this onto himself. He didn't create it. It's a nightmare for President Obama. He's trying to fix the problem, get rid of these kids as fast as he can.

BOLDUAN: Well, the fixing the problem, that, of course, is the important part right now. Let's separate any conversation about comprehensive reform from the immediate crisis, and talking just about this crisis, this $3.7 billion in emergency aid the president's asking for. Do you think that gets at a fix?

NAVARRETTE: I think it's a start. I don't and mind they're generous in the funding. I mind that they're naive as to this being a magic bullet. You know, Washington is maybe a thousand miles from the border, it might as well be 100,000 miles because the level of ignorance among folks in Washington, politician there is about the border is to profound and one of the mistakes they make is they think the more money they throw at the border, the more security they'll get in return. It doesn't work that way.

Last week, as of a couple weeks ago, the Mexican cartels were charged $3,000 a head to come into this country. If Obama gets this funding and they fortify that border the cartels will raise their prices to $6,000.

So, it's a broken system where the more money you spend to defeat your opponent, the stronger your opponent gets.

BOLDUAN: That really sums up why this issue is such a problem. There seems to be valid points on both sides but they don't seem to be speaking the same language when it comes to this immediate crisis and especially when it comes to what they're going to do about comprehensive reform if they ever get to that.

Ruben Navarrette, great to see you. Thanks so much.

NAVARRETTE: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

BERMAN: Another big story developing overnight. Israel stepping up its defense effort in its conflict with Hamas. Overnight, Israel launched 160 air strikes targeting militants and it's now warning of a possible ground invasion, while trying to limit civilian casualties there. It comes after Hamas fired more than 130 rockets toward Israel. Several of them were headed to major cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well.

Let's go now to Diana Magnay who is in the region.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Overnight, Israel launched at least 160 strikes on the Gaza Strip. The Middle East on the brink, Hamas responding with just four rockets overnight. One of Hamas' rockets, an M302, just like the missile shipment Israel intercepted from Iran four months ago, leaving Israel's defense force to believe Iran is supplying Hamas with weaponry.

On Tuesday, the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip illuminated by the flames of war. Video released by the Israeli military reportedly shows various Hamas militants stealthily emerging from the Mediterranean Sea, guns in hand, ready to attack. The next shot shows Israeli soldiers crouching and wait, firing at their incoming enemies, targeted rocket attacks then reportedly eliminating the other Hamas militants, five in all were killed.

LT. COL. PETER LERNER, IDF SPOKESMAN : They came to the wrong beach party. They should have stayed on their own side of the fence. They paid dearly for this.

MAGNAY: Relentless sirens echoing the battle cries of Hamas and Israel.

My own crew and myself running for shelter at the sound of the sirens in western Israel on Tuesday afternoon. Many moments of normalcy cut short.

One Jewish wedding in Israel interrupted by air raid sirens. The bride seen crouching in fear at the altar as the ground shakes, then running down the aisle with her wedding guests seeking cover.

Even if Hamas pulls back, Israel says it's not backing down.

LERNER: We're beyond that point now. Hamas are going to pay for the attacks that they're carrying out. It's just unacceptable.

MAGNAY: Israel's Iron Dome defense system has intercepted dozens of Hamas' rockets. Meanwhile, craters and rubble dot the landscape where homes and buildings once stood, as the people who once inhabited them left injured, mourning, struggling to survive this all too familiar scene of warfare.


MAGNAY: Now, Israel says its end game is not just to stop the rocket fire coming out of Gaza, but also to seriously deplete Hamas' ability to wage what it calls rocket terrorism. It also has 40,000 or the ability to call in 40,000 reservists if it wants to. Ground troops still hypothetical but it is an option that they could deploy if they need to, if the rocket fire doesn't stop.

Michaela, back to you.

PEREIRA: All right. Diana Magnay, reporting for us -- thank you. Keep us posted on developments there.

Let's look at more of your headlines. Twelve minutes past the hour.

The Northeast cleaning up after deadly storms that killed five people. One child was killed, eight others injured by falling trees at a Maryland campsite. Tornadoes touching down in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Storm winds destroying several buildings in Upstate New York. Downed power lines left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.

Imagine this, a TV crime documentary struck way too close to home for a Missouri woman. Katrina McGoss (ph) saw her house on TV, as the torture chamber of an accused serial killer. She even recognized the dining room table, she's a renter.

McGoss wanted to move out when she found out about the house's historic history, the twisted history, but her landlord, the alleged killer's mother, would not break the lease. The St. Louis Housing Authority eventually stepped in to negotiate an end to that rental.

All right, today the second world cup semifinal pitting the Netherlands against Argentina, the winner will then go on to face Germany in the final, after a shocking and we mean shocking victory over Brazil, the host nation humiliated in a 7-1 loss to the Germans. Five goals for Germany in the first 30 minutes alone sent the crowd in Brazil into literally stunned silence. All you could hear were the tears. This is Brazil's first loss in a competitive home game since 1975.

The people there don't know what to do about it. Look, I'll tell you, even Christ the Redeemer on the famed Corcovado hanging his head they call it face psalm. Get it?

BERMAN: I think who wins the Netherland and Argentina game is going to go on to win the World Cup. I think Germany tired themselves out. Their legs are exhausted from scoring so much. They can't possibly score again.

BOLDUAN: The headlines were just, I mean, actually I thought they could have been --

PEREIRA: Actually, look at the headlines in Brazil actually.

BOLDUAN: They probably have curse words in them. The pictures are horrible. "Cup of Woe" -- that's a good one.

BERMAN: I saw one that said Germany scored a Brazilian times. That was one of my favorites.

BOLDUAN: Even "The New York Times" -- goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal that's seven. Dark day for Brazil. I mean, seven goals.

PEREIRA: It all happened in quick succession, too. Like I turned my head away from the TV in one second, and next thing I saw it was a billion to one.

BOLDUAN: Like a baseball game, they're just racking up the --


BERMAN: Football score, they scored a touchdown.

BOLDUAN: And that's a field goal. What?

PEREIRA: One of the higher scoring games I've ever seen in soccer.

BOLDUAN: It would be tough to be one of those soccer players this morning waking up, going out to get your morning coffee.

BERMAN: I think you're going out anywhere. I think you're locking the door and burying your head.

PEREIRA: One of the papers says, (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) which means "The biggest shame in history." It's just like people hiding their heads.

BOLDUAN: Don't read the headlines today, boys.

PEREIRA: Sorry, fellas.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, more on the case of the Georgia toddler who died after being left in a hot car. Investigators recreate the conditions inside the car that caused the boy's death. They also find new evidence in the child's car seat. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

New developments in the case against Justin Ross Harris, the father accused of letting his toddler die in a hot Georgia car.

Investigators have taken his SUV back to the scene of this incident, as troubling details about the 22-month-old's car seat are now being revealed.

I want to bring in our legal minds this morning. Joining us from Atlanta are Mo Ivory, an attorney and radio personality. And Page Pate, criminal defense attorney with us and very well connected in the legal scene down there, knows lawyers on both sides.

Paige, I want to start with you. I understand from you that the defense team, there's some toxicology reports back looking into the son, Cooper, that found nothing of any, you know, consequence in his system.

Do you think that's good or bad for the defense?

PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that's the kind of evidence, John, that could cut either way. I think the defense will take this evidence and say look, it's obvious that there was nothing here to try to drug the child, try to sedate the child, so that would be more likely he wouldn't cry out or scream if he was left in the car. So, the defense will deal with it that way.

The prosecution, on the other hand, will say there's no reason the child should have been asleep just a few minutes after leaving the Chick-fil-A.

So, like most pieces of evidence in this case, both sides will try to spin it to their favor.

BERMAN: You know, Mo, we're talking a lot about evidence, toxicology reports, rear-facing car seats, you know, why did they use that? They had just bought a front-facing car seat, the straps were very, very tight.

There are a lot of pieces and threads now that investigators are trying to put together. I know you're talking a lot about this on the radio. Have we gotten to the point where we're missing the forest for the trees here? We're still talking about a father who left his son in a car all day, basically.

MO IVORY, ATTORNEY & RADIO PERSONALITY: Sure. I don't think -- I think as we go through the legal process, we can't jump straight to the forest, because we have to do the investigations. We have to do all of the stuff that will lead ultimately to a conviction in a trial.

But I think most people and what I've been hearing on the radio from most people, is that -- make him fry, like he's done it. It's proven that he's done it. I think that as we hear these little bits of pieces coming out as we did last week at the hearing, and as we see the crime scene being recreated, I think in the public opinion, most people feel that he absolutely killed his child, and I do believe that most people also think that his wife had something to do with it.

BERMAN: Let's talk about the wife, Page, because she paid a visit to the husband, you know, how does that look for her? Does she need to be careful communicating with her husband right now?

PATE: Oh, there's no question.

IVORY: Absolutely.

PATE: She needs to be careful.

I mean, I hope she's consulting with a lawyer right now. Obviously, all of those communications at the jail are being monitored. They're being recorded. Anything they could say, whether it's about the case or about the family could be used against both of them, if the case later goes to trial.

However, I don't think the state is ready to charge her yet. There's no rush here, and at this point, I think they will continue with their very meticulous investigation to try to gather up enough evidence to first charge him with intentional child cruelty, and perhaps malice murder, and then indict her as an accessory to that crime, if they're able to find that evidence.

BERMAN: Mo, you're itching to get into the subject of the wife here.

IVORY: Yes, I mean, I absolutely think that what they're doing is setting up a case against her. I actually thought that earlier this week that she would be arrested, whether a conspiracy charge or whatever the charge would be, because I felt like they were -- sort of the police were being very quiet because they were going to drop the ball that she would be arrested.

Her behavior, her actions, her -- I mean just everything leads up to her having known that this was about to take place, and so, yesterday, they had to visit a video conference visit. We don't know what the contents of that were. But I agree that she does need to stop, you know, putting herself in a position they can gather more and more.

But in Georgia, she is going to have to testify. There's not the husband/wife privilege when it deals with the death of a child or endangerment of a child. So, she will ultimately either be a witness for the prosecution or a witness for the defense.

BERMAN: You know what, I suppose it cuts both ways. Had she not visited her husband when she is called to the stand as a character witness possibly, people would say why didn't you visit your husband? Do you think there's something wrong? Are you suspicious of him? So, there is that, too.

You know, most talking a lot, Page, about public opinion here, in what is being perceived from the outside. You know, we do have this legal system that tries to separate the public opinion right now. Are investigators in Georgia, and you know the system down there better than I do to be sure, are they being more careful than they usually are? Are they doing more investigating than they usually do before we get more charges here?

PATE: John, I think so. First of all, everyone should know that the Cobb County Police Department is one of the better law enforcement agencies in Georgia. They're always very professional, very good, very focused.

But in this case, they realize everybody's watching, and they realize that if this case eventually goes to trial, the defense is going to push back at every opportunity. So they are being very meticulous about their investigation, and they have time, but not unlimited time.

Since they're holding him without bond, the D.A.'s office has to indict the case within 90 days, so the clock is ticking for him.

BERMAN: All right. Page Pate, Mo Ivory, great to have you with us. So many interesting discussions here.


BERMAN: Mo, you hear it every day, people talking about it all the time. Thanks, guys.

IVORY: Absolutely. Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, President Obama and Texas Governor Rick Perry are getting ready to meet on the issue of immigration. We're going to talk with Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn about the president's request for emergency funds to handle the crisis there.


PEREIRA: All right, there we go with the time for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

At number one, the president will meet with Texas Governor Rick Perry today to discuss the immigration crisis that is continuing along the border. Congress is divided over the president's request for $3.7 billion in immigration aid.

Violence in the Middle East escalating as Israel and Hamas launch more rockets and more missiles at one another. The Israeli military's mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in an effort to stop rocket attacks.

Parts of the Northeast cleaning up after wild, wild weather that claimed the lives of five people. Severe storms, downed power lines left more than 400,000 people in the dark.

U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico on weapons charges set to go before a judge. Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi says he is more optimistic than ever that he'll be released after today's court hearing. At number five today, the Netherlands take on Argentina in the World Cup. The winner goes on to face Germany in the final who just defeated Brazil in a humiliating loss for Brazil, 7-1. We're still reeling from it.

We always update those five things to know. So, be sure to go to for the latest.


BOLDUAN: All right. It's money time, folks.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here.

What is going on?


Well, the big story this morning, Citigroup reportedly nearing a $7 billion settlement over selling bad mortgages leading up to the financial crisis. The deal would include billions in help for borrowers.