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President Ends Protection for Dreamers; Hurricane Batters Caribbean; Florida Teams Prepare for Storm; Diplomacy in North Korea; Possible Solutions for Dreamers. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired September 6, 2017 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:31:32] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: My challenge to the president is that you've talked very glowingly about these kids. Help us. Help us in the House. Help us in the Senate. I think he -- you're a good man. Get involved personally. Work the phones. Try to find a consensus here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, that was Senator Lindsey Graham issuing that challenge to the president to help Congress pass immigration reform after the administration announced an end to the program that protected dreamers from deportation. Well, now, the president is tweeting that if Congress fails he will have to get involved. The president says Congress now has six months to legalize DACA, something the Obama administration was unable to do. If they cannot, I will revisit this issue.
Senator Lindsey Graham joins us now. He is the co-author of a bill that would provide dreamers a pathway to legal status.
Senator, thanks so many for being here. Great to see you this morning.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: When you say President Trump help us, what does that look like? What do you want him to do?
GRAHAM: Well, I want him to, one, define what border security looks like and see if we can do a deal where we secure our border in return we give the dream act kid the what they deserve, which is to stay in the country they call home. They know of no other country. They're a great value to America. So we'll pass the Dream Act for better border security, to make sure we don't have 11 million more illegal immigrants 20 years from now.
CAMEROTA: But don't we know what the president's border security looks like? It looks like a wall.
GRAHAM: Well, we do need a wall in certain places. But John Kelly is probably the smartest guy I know about border security. He was head of Southern Command as a Marine. So my advice to the president would be, you come up with a boarder security plan that's reasonable, that will secure our board. Then I think I can get Democrats on board for the idea of border security plus the Dream Act, because we actually need to do both.
To those Republicans who say if you -- no matter how sympathetic the Dream Act kids are, if you give them legal status without doing anything else, you're incentivizing more illegal immigration, they're right. So let's do two things, make a down payment on fixing a broken immigration system and give these kids the life they deserve.
CAMEROTA: So, in other words, you think that the border wall plan is not the reasonable plan that you want to see?
GRAHAM: Well, I've been to the border a lot. A 2,200 mile wall is not necessary. And, quite frankly, I don't think it makes a lot of border security sense. You need walls. You need fences.
But the president, if he said my border plan is good, most Republicans would fall in behind him. So the challenge for the president is to give us something to work with on border security that would be meaningful, that could get through the House and the Senate, that would secure the border. And the challenge for a guy like me is to try to get Democrat the on board for the compromise of border security plus the Dream Act.
You've got some talented people in the Trump administration. General Kelly and others could, I think, put together a very good border security plan. And of all the people in America who have credibility on securing the border, I would put President Trump at the top because he made this the central issue of his campaign.
CAMEROTA: Well, you may have just heard the spokesperson for Attorney General Jeff Sessions on with us, Sarah Isgur Flores, who basically said it's not the White House' job to legislate, that's up to Congress. You guys are in charge of this plan.
GRAHAM: Well, I would say this. That President Obama and President Bush failed to go forward on immigration. We all tried. But the time is right now.
The president was right to cancel DACA because it is unconstitutional. These 10 Republican attorney generals probably did us all a favor by forcing the issue. But what he did was give us six months. But we're not going to pass a bill without presidential help.
[08:35:06] David Gregory's right, the president needs to sell this deal. He's a deal maker. His voice in the House will matter a lot. So the president's going to have to help the Congress find a compromise is there to be found. And I think he will. And I think he has the ability to do that.
CAMEROTA: And the reason that you think that Congress can't do it without the president's leadership is because you haven't yet? I mean you just have no -- GRAHAM: Yes.
CAMEROTA: You have no faith that two sides can come together without the president applying some pressure?
GRAHAM: Let me -- you know, I've been working on comprehensive immigration reform for a decade. You know, John McCain has been the -- you know, the father of this idea on the Republican side. I've been helping Senator McCain. And I've like a comprehensive solution.
But 70 percent of Americans really are sympathetic to these kids and 70 percent of Americans want better border security. Nobody in the Republican Party has a stronger voice on border security than President Trump. So if I said the border was secure, you know, I'm Lindsey Graham (INAUDIBLE) a lot of Republicans on the right. When President Trump speaks on border security, Republicans in the country will listen. And he does have a good heart for these kids. So this is the best chance I've seen for him to make a deal that would be a win/win for America.
CAMEROTA: But you're saying that the centerpiece of his vision, the border wall, is a deal breaker?
GRAHAM: I'm saying that border security, defined by John Kelly, is what I would be looking for if I were President Trump. Somebody who's an expert on the issue. And most everybody understand a 2,200 mile wall would be ineffective, quite frankly. There's some places you don't need a wall at all. Sensors and drones can do the job.
But come up with a border security plan. Let somebody like John Kelly advice the president. And the president needs to own border security. It needs to be something that we can pass. And in return, Democrats are going to have to understand that most Americans want to treat these kids fairly, but they also want to secure their border. There's a deal to be had here and the president's got to help sell it.
CAMEROTA: When the president tweets this morning that if you guys can't figure it out, that he will revisit it, what does that mean to you?
GRAHAM: I think that means that his -- he's conflicts about the consequences to the Dream Act kids. He doesn't want their lives to be ruined. But, you know, Attorney General Session is right about the legality of DACA. DAPA, which is the parent's portion of this, was stricken down by federal courts. And DACA would fail. It would not meet constitutional -- the constitutional test of a federal court. It was an overreach by President Obama.
So my advice to President Trump is, sit down with really smart people, come up with a good, strong border security plan and I will help you, along with other Republicans, find Democrats that would do the Dream Act plus border security. And that would be a hell of a deal for the country. It would be a big compliment to you as president. And you would have done something that Obama and Bush could never do, which you should be proud of.
CAMEROTA: Senator Lindsey Graham, great to have you on the program. Thanks so much for being here.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we're keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma. Right now it is a monster cat five tearing through the Caribbean. It does threaten Florida. Is that a 100 percent situation? No. We have the latest forecast.
[08:42:20] CAMEROTA: We're tracking Hurricane Irma. It's already slamming the Caribbean. Earlier, if you were watching, you saw that we spoke to two Americans in Guadalupe who took this video from their hotel room. Their hotel room was getting battered during our interview and their feed cut out to us. So we just want to let you know that we have spoken with Lauren and Rachel since then. They are OK. They are still riding out the storm in their hotel room.
So now for the latest on Irma's path, let's get right to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.
How's it looking at this hour, Chad?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Still pounding Anguilla, headed to the BBI.
This weather is brought to you by Xyzal, the allergy medicine for continuous 24-hour allergy relief.
A significant storm now still headed to the BBI. Barbuda got hit over night. No contact from that island now for four hours. Not even radio contact. Fourteen hundred people live there.
There's the storm. There's the BBI. Virgin Gorda, Necker Island, which is where Sir Richard Branson has a big estate.
But this is from Barbuda. Barbuda when it actually got hit. We got 155 miles per hour wind gusts and the anemometer broke. We have no idea how much it went up from there.
There is the storm. It's still 185, gusting slightly higher. I think we're going to see tremendous storm surge right through the BBI and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There could be eight to ten feet of waters right up into all those areas that like to have those houses so close to the ocean. They may be underwater soon as that storm moves right through Anguilla right now at 185 miles per hour winds right through Anguilla.
Where does it go from here? Where does it get to into the U.S.? Does it turn right or does it just keep going straight? Right now the center of the cone is somewhere north of Bermuda -- or Cuba. As it turns, though, we are expecting a significant turn at some point. Does it turn into the Bahamas. Does it turn into Florida? We don't know. That's still 72 to 96 hours away. You have to keep watching. I hate to keep you in suspense, but the computers aren't agreeing this morning.
CUOMO: All right, so we won't know today or tomorrow --
CUOMO: If the people in south Florida have a nightmare coming their way?
MYERS: Absolutely. I don't think we'll know until it turns. Until it finally stops and turns.
CUOMO: And then once it does stop and turn, then you have to start a whole new level of projections about which part of the east coast it may come back to or not at all.
MYERS: Absolutely. No question about it.
CUOMO: All right, Chad, thank you very much. Appreciate it, Chad.
MYERS: You bet.
CUOMO: All right, as Hurricane Irma does get closer to the United States, south Florida sports teams are changing plans to deal with the storm in advance. Smart thinking. Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."
What have you got, my friend?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris.
The Dolphins were supposed to host the Bucs in Miami Gardens on Sunday. That's not going to happen. The game will now be played at a neutral site Sunday or postponed until later in the season.
[08:45:04] The Miami Marlins have a long road trip, which starts Thursday, so they'll be away from the storm, but what about their families? Team owner Jeffrey Loria doesn't want his team to worry, so he is paying for the families of players and coaches to travel here to Atlanta with the team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUSTIN MCGOWAN, MIAMI MARLINS PITCHER: Your family's first and foremost, their safety. So for the team to kind of step up and take the initiative and get our families out of here with us is a big help, and a lot less stuff for us to worry about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Alisyn, we did just get word from the University of Miami that their football game that was scheduled to be played at Arkansas State on Saturday has been canceled as well.
CAMEROTA: OK, thanks, Coy. Thanks for that update. So, President Trump is holding a pivotal call with China's president on North Korea's nuclear threat today. But after threatening China over trade, what will happen in that call? We'll look at it.
CUOMO: All right, in just about an hour from now, there's going to be a very big phone call between President Trump and the Chinese president about the security issues posed by North Korea. The task for President Trump is to try to get China more involved. But what can he offer China? And what are the stakes?
[08:50:12] Let's discuss with Democratic Senator Ed Markey. He's recently back from a trip to the DMZ and the border of China and North Korea. He believes there should be direct negotiations with North Korea.
Senator, thank you for joining us.
SEN. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you.
CUOMO: I want to reference, President Trump just spoke to Theresa May, of course the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and he said, President Trump reiterated that now is not the time to talk to North Korea. Made clear all options remain open to defend the United States and its allies against any aggression. What do you make of that position, now is not the time to talk directly?
MARKEY: Well, ultimately, that's what China wants. China wants us to talk directly to the North Koreans. So if we want the cooperation of the Chinese on the issue of this 22 percent increase in trade between China and North Korea over the last year, in cutting off the oil to North Korea, and giving North -- and giving China assurances that our goal is not to decapitate the North Korean regime but to just end its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program, then we are going to have to give to China some of the concessions which are going to be necessary in order to wind up with them as our partner in helping to isolate the North Koreans.
CUOMO: So how do you move the ball there? We've been saying this for a long time that China's the key. Have to get China to stop being so friendly with North Korea. Very often their missiles are carried on Chinese military equipment to their launch sites. So, what do we know now that we haven't known over the last decades?
MARKEY: Well, we know that China feels threatened by this military build-up in North Korea. That China doesn't want to see a nuclear arms race where South Korea has nuclear weapons and the Japanese begin to talk about nuclear weapons. So they have a stake in stability. They have a stake in a denuclearized Korean peninsula. They have a stake in a stable government in North Korea.
We should give assurances to the Chinese that that is our goal as well. And if we can do that, then we can begin to repeat what happened in 2006 when the Chinese did cut off the oil to North Korea. North Koreans went to the table. And this time, maybe, no guarantee at all -- maybe we can get a result which is positive. We haven't been able to do one in the past, but it's our best shot at accomplishing that goal.
CUOMO: Do you agree with the president that now is not the time to talk to North Korea directly?
MARKEY: Well, if he says to the Chinese that he's never going to talk to the North Koreans directly, then that will be a non-starter for the Chinese. They want that. They also want there to be an agreement in terms of the magnitude of the American military maneuverers in the South that could be aimed or interpreted as lead to go a decapitation of the North Korean government. They do not want -- the Chinese do not want a flood of millions of refugees from North Korea going into their country.
So, ultimately, the only way this is going to work is if the president does compromise with the Chinese, listen to what they need out of this, but ultimately towards the common goal of ensuring that this ICBM and hydrogen bomb program of the North Koreans are -- is, in fact, frozen.
CUOMO: All right, next topic, DACA. You are a veteran of the progress or lack thereof on this mission. What do you make of the president's move, which given in its best light is, the courts were going to move on this anyway. This is your job. You're supposed to make the law, not President Obama. I'm sending it back to you. Fix it.
MARKEY: The president is acting like Pontius Pilate. He's just washing his hands of this mess knowing that these all innocent young people who are caught in the crossfire. And rather than being presidential, rather than standing up and saying that he will be the leader in working with the Republican Party to bring recalcitrant, conservative Republicans to the table to get a resolution, he's just walking away.
And so ultimately I'm heartened by Lindsay Graham. I'm heartened by some of the words of Speaker Ryan. Maybe, just maybe, this could be the breakthrough on immigration where we find this one piece, we can find a solution to it. We all realize that these young people are not a danger to our country. But it would be far better if the president was saying that right now, if the president was being presidential.
[08:55:04] If he was being the leader, which we need, because he can't have it both ways, he can't say that what President Obama did is unconstitutional and yet simultaneously say that he will come back himself and revisit it in six months. How can you do that if you believe it's unconstitutional? So if you put it in the hands of the Congress, then be a leader and tell us what the solution should be.
CUOMO: I've got to go. Any chance that a wall for DACA is a deal that Democrats would make? Quick answer.
MARKEY: No, absolutely not.
CUOMO: All right.
Senator, thank you very much for joining us. Let's see which way it does go. We'll have you back on so you can make the case to the American people. Appreciate it.
MARKEY: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right, what are you saying? There's a lot of bad stuff in the air. You know what we need? Some "Good Stuff." And we have it for you, next.
CUOMO: All right, it's time for "The Good Stuff" as we wait to see the full impact of Hurricane Irma, interest in those who want to help what happened with Harvey is still growing. Look at this. Elementary school students in North Dakota raising money by paying for the right to come to class in costume.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We felt bad for the people in Texas that have lost their homes, money, pets, family too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard about the hurricane and we just decided that it if happened to us, we would want everyone to donate all they could.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Good kids. There are plans for a hat day, pajama day, superhero day.
CAMEROTA: Oh, I like pajama day.
CUOMO: They hope to turn over about $1,500 and they're going to give it to the Red Cross. And we're seeing a lot of efforts of kids, their parents, and it's the right thing. Keep going. The need in Harvey is great.
CAMEROTA: On that note, today is National Read a Book Day. So if those kids want to pick up a book or if people need a diversion, I have a good one to suggest.
CUOMO: Oh, boy.
CAMEROTA: It's called "Amanda Wakes Up." It a satire about a cable news network during a crazy presidential race. It may just add some levity to your life right now.
[09:00:02] CUOMO: You believe that everything in that book is kid friendly?
CAMEROTA: Not everything. Not everything. It's really best for adults, I feel. Anyway, pick it up at your favorite book store.
CUOMO: All right, there is a lot of news.