Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Ending Amnesty for Youth Immigrants; Colombia Prepares for Pope's Arrival; Nuclear Survivor's Warning from the Past
Aired September 5, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:14] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, the American dream could be over for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants already in the
United States after President Trump rescinds a program allowing them to stay. The mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti joins us. He calls the move
a dangerous mistake.
Also ahead, the president of Colombia is getting ready to welcome the pope as a leader who has negotiated peace after 50 years of war. He appeals to
Trump to stay off Twitter during this North Korean nuclear crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT: Please insist through diplomatic channels, through dialogue because insulting each other from one side to
the other and escalating the aggressiveness will only have a bad result.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
President Trump sent his attorney general out before the cameras today to make official the worst nightmare for almost 1 million young, undocumented
immigrants inside the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration
is being rescinded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: With that, the American dream which has inspired the whole world for countless generations will officially end for these youngsters in six
months' time as DACA dies.
The Obama administration policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allowed temporary work permits for 800,000 young Americans under 16, who
were brought into the country by their parents.
Now the future for all of these students, workers and professionals is being thrown into chaos.
By delaying action for six months, President Trump is outsourcing the problem to Congress. He tweeted, "Congress, get ready to do your job."
But Congress has a dismal track record on immigration and is already hugely overburdened with looming budget deadlines, threatening another government
shutdown and with millions of Americans desperate for government relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
So what does today's announcement mean for those 800,000 Americans left in the lurch?
We'll talk to the mayor of Los Angeles in a moment. But first CNN's Dan Simon reports from California on the plight of these dreamers.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're the face of the so- called dreamers. Each with a unique story about DACA.
(on-camera): Can you explain how DACA has helped you?
IVAN VILLASENOR MADRIZ, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY GRADUATE: Sure. Well, I'm employed.
SIMON (voice-over): All four are current or former students at UC Berkeley.
MADRIZ: I was able to graduate with zero student debt. I was able to work my whole way through.
SIMON: Ivan Villasenor Madriz came here with his parents at 9.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think just being able to have the sense of security, can be pulled over with the police and not freak out.
SIMON: At more than 200,000, California has more than a quarter of all DACA recipients in the country. The most of any state. A majority from
Mexico. But Joel Sati came here with his mother from Kenya also at the age of 9.
JOEL SATI, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY PHD STUDENT: There are a lot of black, undocumented immigrants who have not been -- who have not been
part of the movement. I don't know whether or not that's a problem. I think that is a problem that the movement must really contend with.
SIMON: Sati, a PhD student credits a lot of his success to the program.
SATI: And DACA has allowed me to, you know, set out my professional ambitions in a way that is similar to people who do have status. So I
don't feel like I'm being limited from any opportunities as far as my career path goes.
SIMON: Juan Prieto traveled here from Mexico at 8, and says eliminating the fear of deportation improved his mental health.
JUAN PRIETO, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY GRADUATE: I stopped working under the table and stopped working long hours for minimal pay.
SIMON: He only wishes the rest of the undocumented population would be afforded the same opportunities.
He had this message for the president.
PRIETO: If he was really thinking the card, he would realize that we are humans tied to other people who were terrified might get deported.
SIMON: And that brings us to Valeria Suarez, who has been living with that fear permanently.
VALERIA SUAREZ, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY GRADUATE: I am part of that 10.2 million people who didn't get DACA.
SIMON: Valeria missed the cut off to be eligible for DACA. She came here at 16, too old to qualify. She's an example of a system designed to help
the young and undocumented that has been far from perfect.
SUAREZ: That rage and that fear and that insecurity that a lot of people are feeling now because DACA might get repealed is the same fear and rage
that many of us have been feeling for decades.
[14:05:00] SIMON: And as for whether they think Congress can clean up the mess and come up with a new immigration system they see as fair --
(on-camera): Any optimism about what will happen in Washington?
I hear your silence.
Dan Simon, CNN, Berkeley.
AMANPOUR: A worried silence indeed.
The Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is chair of the United States Conference of Mayors, and he's a strong supporter of DACA. He's called
Trump's action cruel. He's joining me live now from L.A.
Welcome to the program, mayor.
ERIC GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES MAYOR: Great to be with you. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Just tell me what some of these people -- what do they face in these days and months ahead right now?
GARCETTI: Well, these are 800,000 patriotic young Americans. Children of America is what I call them. Very personal to me because my grandfather
was a dreamer, who came over as a 1-year-old from Mexico over a hundred years ago.
Fleeing war, he volunteered like some of these dreamers did to fight in the United States army, earned his citizenship, became a small business owner.
And these young people were on a pathway to success.
They have always studied hard. They have worked hard. They've given back their communities and their country. And, today, their president told them
after saying many times they had nothing to worry about said well now your fate is not in my hands. It's in somebody else's hands.
And that Congress is a Congress that has not acted in their best interests even when there's been Republican presidents like George W. Bush and
Democratic ones like Barack Obama, who have tried to push forward a much more comprehensive and sensible immigration reform.
So our hearts go out to them. And right now they're on that nice edge, wondering what will happen in those six months. But America's mayors --
Republican and Democratic united are telling Congress to act now and to pass the Dream Act that would make them have a pathway toward citizenship
once and for all.
AMANPOUR: Well, you mentioned the power of the mayors and the activism of the mayors. And of course more an a quarter of the DACA dreamers are in
your state, in California. Something like 220,000 of the 800,000 are in California.
What can you actually do to change now this trajectory?
GARCETTI: Well, a couple of things. Many cities have set up justice funds to help provide legal counsel should deportation hearings occur if Congress
fails to act.
Second, we're going to continue to protect the identities and the information of people so that they are very worried they give their
addresses to the federal government and they wonder now if they will be hunted down in months to come and picked apart.
And I think all of us feel strongly about this because we're all about keeping families together. We're all about making stronger economies on
our main streets where immigrants contribute so much.
And research shows us that to push these folks back in the shadows, most of them won't ever get deported, it means that native-born Americans like
myself will see their wages go down because we're competing with people now who have been pushed by this administration and by the inaction of Congress
to working jobs under the table.
We have invested in these young people. They are putting their lives on the line. In fact, there is one that even died in Houston recently.
Alonzo Gian was a dreamer who died trying to save his fellow Americans during the Hurricane Harvey aftermath.
So we have to do what's right for them, and do what's right for our country. It's both moral and practical. And we need to get this job done.
AMANPOUR: Well, let's take the moral and practical and legal aspect of it. Because President Trump and the administration have called what Obama did,
the DACA unconstitutional.
President Trump has said DACA dreamers take jobs away from America. And let me quote you what he said today. "As I've said before, we will resolve
the DACA issue with heart and compassion. But through the lawful Democratic process while at the same time ensuring that any immigration
reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve. We must also have heart and compassion for
unemployed, struggling and forgotten Americans."
What do you say to that, Mr. Mayor, since those are the people who created this political revolution if you like by electing President Trump in the
GARCETTI: Well, I think it's a false division to imply that somehow by pushing DACA or Dreamers into the shadows we're going to do better for
In fact, the research shows as I just mentioned, when we have people working legally, paying more taxes, it pushes everybody's wages up because
people can't work illegally, under the table. They can't go less than the minimum wage without work and protections. So everybody is better off.
Not only do the dreamers get a raise, but those of us that are native born get the raise, too. And I am concerned with those folks who are
underemployed and not earning enough money.
But, secondly, just -- let's remember our humanity here. I'm a father. And to have parents and children split up, to have children go to countries
that they don't even know, oftentimes languages they don't even speak.
I recently had dinner with a group of dreamers at city hall. They're from India, they are from Korea, they are from Mexico, El Salvador. One of them
graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He was an Ivy League graduate who could have made a lot of money on Wall Street and even got an
[14:10:10] He's working in our public schools because he believes so much in this country and giving back to it.
So I think it's very important for us to recognize the economic hardship we will all go through if we fail to act. And it is a myth that these folks
somehow are taking jobs of Americans.
AMANPOUR: Well, I just want to read to you that a lot of CEOs who criticized this including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, who himself mentors
of dreamer. He said, "It's particularly cruel to offer young people the American dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our
government and then punish them for it."
And you've addressed that to an extent. But can I ask you if you believe there is any silver lining here.
Do you think this will force Congress? I know you have spoken about it. They don't have a good record. But could this be a moment that Congress
will be force to come up with comprehensive, sensible proper immigration reform?
GARCETTI: Well, we've certainly heard the right rhetoric from Senator Orrin Hatch, from Speaker Paul Ryan and even from this president that they
believe in these young people. Now is an opportunity for them to put their money where their mouths are, to actually take action, because there's been
opportunity certainly at least for those members of Congress in the past to do it. And they haven't.
I hope that this isn't just a fix for those dreamers, but a permanent fix of comprehensive immigration reform. I spoke to the president when he was
president-elect. In a phone call between the two of us, he said he wanted to have comprehensive immigration reform.
And this hypocrisy that we have where right now it works for nobody. We must change this. And it was Ronald Reagan who did it last. So good
Republicans can get behind that same American values that are embraced by both parties, that we are a land where you can actually work hard, study
hard and do well. And I believe that's the challenge we have before them.
So if there's a silver lining, it's that now they can actually act on it. No more excuses. There's no President Obama and America's mayors challenge
you to get the job done and get it done quickly.
AMANPOUR: Throwing down the gauntlet and we'll be watching.
Mayor Garcetti, thanks for joining us from L.A.
And of course the whole world is watching because the American dream is what has inspired the world throughout the course of this recent history.
And when we come back, the threat of war persists on the Korean peninsula. But we go to Colombia next where after 50 years of violence and war, the
dream of peace is sinking in and the pope himself is coming to bless it.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos joins me next. And he also had some choice words for President Trump's
Korean Twitter diplomacy.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
The pope arrives in Colombia on Wednesday at a time when the country's fledgling peace process with FARC rebels needs a boost. The deal ended
half a century of war, but it's left the country bitterly divided.
Colombia is also embroiled in the political crisis of neighboring Venezuela because many Venezuelans have crossed the border in desperate search of
food and medicine as the economy at home falls off a cliff.
As Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos gets ready to welcome the pope, I spoke to the president from his palace in Bogota.
AMANPOUR: President Santos, welcome to the program.
SANTOS: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: You know, amid all the turmoil and such bad news from many parts of the world, it seems that your country is doing something right.
The pope is coming to bless your peace deal. How important is that for you?
[14:15:00] SANTOS: It's extremely important. First, Colombia is one of the most Catholic countries in the world. We just finished a peace process
and now we have to construct the peace, which will take some time. And he comes in the perfect moment to push us in his own words for the Colombian
society to reconcile, to leave aside 53 years of war, of death, of violence and start working together to construct that peace. So he comes in the
AMANPOUR: Mr. President, how accepting are the Colombian people now of your deal with FARC? I mean, it was one of the most violent groups known
around the world.
SANTOS: Well, they're still very unpopular, but they are now a political party trying to sell their message through legal means. That's the purpose
of any peace process. And they're going to have to win the hearts of the Colombians and it's not going to be an easy task because as you say they're
very unpopular. They have done terrible things for many, many years and people don't forget.
But the step that they took is a step that in my case I applaud. Of course, it's a peace agreement that they did with the state, with me. And
I am here to defend their right to express their convictions, their ideas but without violence.
AMANPOUR: And you just concluded a peace deal with ELN, yet another of these groups. That was just this week.
Do you think you can tell the Colombian people that war is a thing of the past now?
SANTOS: Well, I hope so, because at least the guns are silent now. The guns of the FARC, which is by far the biggest group are in the hands of the
United Nations. They are going to be converted into three monuments of peace.
This is something very, very unique because as you say the world is in chaos, many conflicts, but Colombia is destroying guns and constructing
monuments for peace.
So we hope that we have continue to construct the peace in ourselves, in our homes, in our schools and that's why the visit of the pope is so
important because he has a tremendous leadership and the -- what he says is heard with tremendous attention here in Colombia.
AMANPOUR: Let's move on to one of your neighbors, which isn't Syria's turmoil, now it's Venezuela. You've tried and failed to mediate some kind
of resolution there like many leaders. And now thousands and thousands of Venezuelans pouring over into Colombia.
What is your view? What is your advice to Maduro? What is going to happen in Venezuela?
SANTOS: Well, the Maduro regime has been shifting towards a dictatorship. I would consider that regime today a dictatorship. And of course this is
something terrible for the Venezuelans and for the region. And that's why we have not recognized this constitutional assembly.
We are pressing the transition to recuperate democracy in Venezuela. It has not been easy. It will not be easy, but we have to continue. We have
to persevere. Because a dictatorship in the middle of Latin America in a country which is important as Venezuela is something very bad for
AMANPOUR: And what do you make? What is your reaction to President Trump who earlier said, you know, there may be a need for American military
intervention into Venezuela?
SANTOS: I was very clear with Vice President Pence, who came the day after President Trump made that announcement. A military intervention will not
be accepted by Colombia or by any other country in Latin America. This is not the way to go about this crisis.
We have to use other means to try to recuperate democracy in Venezuela. But a military intervention is the worst path to achieve that goal. So he
has no support from Colombia or from any other Latin American country.
AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you to weigh in and your analysis on the war of words, the war of rhetoric, the war of Twitter and state media between
President Trump and North Korea?
What do you think somebody like Kim Jong-un thinks when the president of the United States threatens fire and fury and other such things? How do
you all feel about what's going on.
[14:20:00] SANTOS: Well, we don't like it. We think that the Twitter is - - the worst way to manage a good diplomacy, and we think and I think that through diplomacy, through dialogue almost any problem can be solved.
And if you start escalating in words, then the possibility of escalating in real terms, in military terms will become a closer possibility -- that
would be a terrible thing for the world.
So my advice is, and I think the advice of most of the world, is pleas insist through diplomatic channels, through dialogue because insulting each
other from one side to the other and escalating the aggressiveness will only have a bad result.
AMANPOUR: President Santos very wise words indeed in these troubled times. Thanks for joining us from Colombia.
SANTOS: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now from mediating a peace deal to recalling the most appalling war as nuclear chatter becomes common place.
We imagine nuclear survivors who live to warn us of their terror. That's next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world casually trading atomic threats.
North Korea warns the United States to expect more gift packages, nuclear and missile tests, as long as the current tension continues to escalate.
This after they tested a device much more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.
Kim Jong-un's threats and President Trump's fiery responses have made lose nuclear talk the new normal, which is sending chills through Hiroshima's
As our Kyung Lah reports, they are trying one last to raise a red flag of warning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING IN FORELN LANGUAGE)
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A childhood horror that never fades. At 87, Fumiko Kato still feels the moment her city of Hiroshima
became the world's first victim of an atomic bomb.
"We were all blown to the corner of the room," she says. "Bodies on top of each other like a mountain. I was at the bottom."
[14:25:00] Kato was in a building less than a mile away from where the bomb fell. A concrete wall shielded her from the initial blast.
Of the girls pictured here, Kato was the only survivor on August 6th, 1945. Japan remained at war with the allies ignoring final demands to surrender.
"The atomic bomb dropped in the morning," she explains, but suddenly it became night from the mushroom cloud.
"People outside, their bodies burned, their skin hanging down and peeling. Walking like they don't know where to go. I witnessed the terror of a
In the war of words from North Korea to America's president, she hears the echo of history.
In 1945, President Truman issuing a warning to Japan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY S. TRUMAN, 33RD U.S. PRESIDENT: If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never
been seen on this earth.
LAH: And now President Trump to North Korea.
TRUMP: They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
LAH: "Arrogance" says Kato, who has not just seen, but lived it. "I don't know why President Trump doesn't think of a peaceful solution. They don't
understand the terribleness, cruelness of nuclear weapons. Trump needs to educate himself."
More than 260,000 people die in Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the nuclear bombs and their fallout.
"They're treating this like it's some kind of a joke" says Shozo Kawamoto (ph). "Trump and Kim Jong-un," he says, "It makes me angry. They don't
AMANPOUR: Kyung Lah reminds us that these survivors who do understand are in their 80s and 90s now. The generation is dying out and with them the
only firsthand witness to the highest and most terrible price of nuclear war.
And that is it for our program tonight. Remember you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and
Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.