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Dreamer Speaks Out About Heated Immigration Debate; Japanese Broadcaster Apologizes For False Missile Alert; Georgia Firefighters Rescue Children from Burning Building. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 16, 2018 - 07:30   ET



[07:33:40] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Lawmakers are supposedly struggling to save a bipartisan immigration deal that would keep Dreamers in the United States.

Now, you keep hearing the term Dreamers and you hear the numbers, but there are faces, there are families, and there are realities that very well could be affected negatively, and soon, by this.

The story is very personal, especially for Angelica Villalobos. She confronted House Speaker Paul Ryan on this issue a year ago at a CNN town hall. Listen to what he said to her.


ANGELICA VILLALOBOS, DACA RECIPIENT: It's clear that if DACA gets repealed my daughter will lose her mother and -- I'm sorry -- she will lose her mother. And I want you to know that DACA has helped me.

Why do you -- do you think that I should be deported and many of the families --


VILLALOBOS: -- in my situation should?

RYAN: No, no. Look, first of all, I can see that you love your daughter and you're a nice person who has a great future ahead of you, and I hope your future's here.


CUOMO: That was then. What about now?

Joining us is Dreamer and activist Angelica Villalobos. It is good to have you with us.

VILLALOBOS: Thank you for having me.

CUOMO: These have to be very difficult days for you. What is it like for you and your kids to watch what's going on in Washington right now with the Dreamers? [07:35:05] VILLALOBOS: I think it's very hard to keep coming home after work and a school day for the girls and having to watch the news being very intensive for what's going on around, especially with the whole immigration deal that is going on that they still haven't make up their mind.

CUOMO: What do you think is going to happen? What are you afraid of?

VILLALOBOS: I'm afraid of going back to a country that I haven't been in 21 years that I don't even think I remember. The fact that I will be coming to a country that I don't know and, you know, whether I'll be bringing my kids with me or not.

I think we all see the violence on the news where I come from -- Mexico -- and it's very difficult to even think about having to start thinking about making a different life.

CUOMO: Do you even hesitate when you think about whether or not you consider yourself an American?

VILLALOBOS: No, I don't.

CUOMO: And when you hear people talking about well, Dreamers are illegals -- they're illegal aliens here -- is there any part of that phrase that connects to you in terms of how you see yourself?

VILLALOBOS: At first, before I started being an activist and getting involved in the movement, I think that part that always hurt me in the sense that people need to get to know people like me to see that we're not being like something -- you know, the media out there -- our Congressmen try to portray us as criminals.

Now, these days, it's more like -- it's still the same thing. A lot of people have very, very little knowledge on the subject about immigration. Some of us are here because the U.S. has been in our countries where they have made laws there very difficult as far as helping the government. I guess you could say the wrong government.

And, you know, there's reasons why we had to migrate. So it's been very difficult about hearing people still in 2018 having -- you know, having congressmen and people around us that doesn't -- they don't get to talk to us and get to know us a little bit better.

CUOMO: You make an interesting point. You know, one of the things that's on the table right now is what they call amnesty and that's a sticking point for the GOP. They don't want an amnesty vote because it sounds too forgiving to members of their base.

You say this isn't about amnesty. Why not?

VILLALOBOS: It's not because you should -- you know, if we think about the amnesty back in the eighties, what they're proposing now this days is way different.

Back in the day when amnesty was approved you get to become a legal permanent resident after years and you did went through a background check that -- you know, they didn't have as much as technology they do now. Now they go through fingerprints and all of that and they verify with the FBI before giving you a benefit.

Ours will be limited. They're trying to give us a pathway to citizenship for like 13 years. Like things like that and they're requiring more things now. And because of the technology and everything they're really screening for people who have committed serious crimes that will make them ineligible for a benefit.

CUOMO: You know, the last thing I want to do is add to your anxiety and there is hope. You know, there's such general approval by the American people to help Dreamers like yourself be in this country. No matter what party -- Independent, Republican, Democratic -- the poll numbers say everybody wants the right thing to be done by the Dreamers, so there should be hope.

But this story of Jorge Garcia out of Michigan, I'm sure you're well aware of it. We introduced our audience to it last night. This guy, a similar situation to you, Angelica.

I mean, he was brought here as a kid, 10 years old. He's never been back to Mexico. He doesn't know Mexico as his home.

He's a father, he works, he's a taxpayer. He's never even had a traffic ticket.

They threw him out of the country. He had to say goodbye to his family.

This has to be the nightmare for you. What did it mean to you when you saw Jorge's situation?

VILLALOBOS: You know, it's very difficult because we relate to situations like that, being a parent. I'm going to be very honest. I think the hardest part of my situation is having kids because they don't understand the situation.

And even -- you know, even after talking to my daughter about almost eight years ago when I told her that me and her dad were undocumented -- we couldn't -- we didn't have DACA at that moment. And having to start explaining to your kids that one day for a reason of getting pulled over with -- you know, any traffic violation we could end up being deported and they end up being here by themselves.

[07:40:25] So I think that the hardest part of being the parent is having to start preparing your kids for something like that. And people have asked me how do you prepare your 17-year-old to take of the home? She will be 18 this year and one of the things that we talk about is becoming a guardian.

You know, I don't want that to happen. I want my daughter to be herself. I want her to be able to continue with her dreams, going to college, doing the things that she wants to do without having to step in and act as a guardian just because we don't know what's going to happen. So the fact that this person was deported after so many years being in the U.S., it's really heartbreaking, especially when if we go back to what I asked Paul Ryan if he thinks that people like me should be deported and he said no. But has he really done anything to help us? The story about Jorge is not the only one that I've heard so far within the year.

So I think that it's heartbreaking to know that if I was -- if I was -- if was not a parent I don't think that I would be more concerned --

CUOMO: Right.

VILLALOBOS: -- as being a parent. But still, it's not a reason for me not to worry because I haven't been in the country --

CUOMO: Right.

VILLALOBOS: -- in a very long time that I don't even remember.

CUOMO: Now, this is -- this is all scary stuff and it's understandable.

Angelica, thank you very much for telling us your story. We will remind the Speaker of the House that he said no way in hell should people like you be thrown out of the country.

Be well. We'll stay in touch.

All right. Tonight on "CUOMO PRIME TIME" at 9:00 p.m. eastern we're going to take this issue on and find out exactly what the sticking points are, what's the state of play, and what are the promises from those in power.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, wait until you see this video. This -- a car flies through the air, crashing through a building. How a tragedy was averted in just one second.


[07:46:00] CAMEROTA: We are following some breaking news for you.

Japan's national broadcaster, NHK, now apologizing for a text alert that reported that North Korea had launched another missile. This, of course, comes on the heels of Hawaii's false alert that caused pandemonium.

Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul with the latest. Paula, what happened?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, this happened just before 7:00 evening local time and it was an alert that came out by the state broadcaster NHK. And the alert read, "NHK news alert. North Korea likely to have launched missile. The government J-Alert: evacuate inside the building or underground."

Now, there was no missile. There was nothing coming. And just a few minutes later they corrected themselves, saying, "The

news alert sent earlier about North Korea missile was a mistake. No government J-Alert was issued."

But the fact is there have been J-Alerts over recent months because there have been North Korean missiles flying either towards Japan or over the top of Japan. And certainly, residents would have been very worried by those J-Alerts and people did take cover.

So this is a very unfortunate mistake. And as you say, it's the second mistake in just a few days after that alert in Hawaii saying that there was a ballistic missile on its way -- take cover. So it's really quite remarkable that you can have two very similar alerts that are completely wrong in just a sort amount of time.

And, of course, they do provoke reactions, especially in Japan, because the North Korean missile crisis is of a concern to residents there -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Paula. Thank you very much. The timing is terrible. There's no question about that.

We're also following breaking news out of South Carolina. Four police officers were shot while responding to a domestic violence call. It happened just outside York late Monday.

Police say the suspect took off from the house and fired at officers near the scene. Two of the officers had to be airlifted to the hospital. Police are not disclosing the severity of the injuries yet.

The 47-year-old suspect in custody.

CAMEROTA: Pope Francis expressing pain and shame over Chile's sexual abuse scandal. The Pontiff making those comments during a speech to government officials in Chile.

Several churches were attacked ahead of his visits, some with firebombs.

The Pope's scheduled to celebrate an open-air mass in Santiago today and meet members of an indigenous group tomorrow before heading to Peru on Thursday.

CUOMO: We're getting a look at just an amazing video. Did you just see what happened there? That was a car in Santa Ana, California. This is dashcam video.

The car hit the median and it just launched into the second-story of a building. Surveillance video is what showed us, and it nearly clips another vehicles, flies into the air.

A second later, you see an oncoming bus drive through the same smoke that's left by the crash. Imagine if that second wasn't there what would have happened there.

It was a dentist's office. That's where that thing is right now. The driver arrested on suspicion of DUI. No one was hurt. That car

is in the second story of the building.

CAMEROTA: I mean, by seconds no one was hurt --

CUOMO: It would have been --

CAMEROTA: -- or killed.

CUOMO: It would have been catastrophic.

CAMEROTA: But, how does a car catch air like that just from hitting the median?

CUOMO: I guess when it hit the median it literally launched it like it was a ramp. So you had to be going really fast and perpendicular to the median, which means he was going the wrong way, as well.

CAMEROTA: All right. Don't drink and drive is the lesson, I feel, from that.

All right. Wait until you see this. This is one firefighter's lifesaving catch. One of the heroes who witnessed this rescue joins us, next.


[07:53:45] CUOMO: All right, you ready for a holy cow thank you for the first responder story? Here it is.

A rescue from a fire you need to see to believe. Do you know how hard that is -- what that firefighter just did catching that child? This came from a helmet camera. It shows a father desperately tossing his child. Think about how hard a decision that is for him. The father had second-degree burns.

He throws her to a firefighter. The firefighter makes the catch of a lifetime.

A family was rushing out of giant apartment fire in Atlanta but lifesaving rescues though started before the cameras were rolling.

And joining us now is someone who was there and who made a different. Captain Jackie Peckrul, of DeKalb County Fire and Rescue, she was one of the first responders. Rescued a couple of kids from that burning building, including a 4-week-old.

First of all, thank you for being you. You guys are the best of us. We depend on you when it matters most and you came through once again. Thank you.


CUOMO: What else could I say? So, the camera's not on yet. You show up at the scene, you get your ladder ready -- you call for a ladder -- you see the situation, you see people on the porch. You start climbing up the ladder and what happens?

[07:55:03] PECKRUL: Well, I had a plan in mind to get up on the balcony with the family and help them onto the ladder, and have another firefighter on the ladder helping them down. But I get about halfway up and I -- and I look up and there's blue and it's a baby falling towards me.

So my hands just -- I throw up my hands and catch the baby and at that point, we're just reacting. No more plans.

So took the baby down and --

CUOMO: A 4-week-old baby boy --

PECKRUL: -- gave it to --

CUOMO: -- was in that blanket.

PECKRUL: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: A 4-week-old baby boy.

PECKRUL: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: Is it true that he didn't even wake up from his nap the entire time? Is that true?

PECKRUL: I don't think so. I think he slept peacefully --

CUOMO: Oh, my goodness.

PECKRUL: -- the whole time because he didn't squirm or anything, so --

CUOMO: All right. So you hand off that baby. Already, that has to be like one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences you can have.

You get back on the ladder, you go back up, and there are more kids.

PECKRUL: Right. There's another little girl and I think her mom came down at this point. And I've just got my hands wrapped both around them.

Our ladder -- that's such a steep angle right now that we were really worried about them falling off. And I'm just assisting them down. As soon as my feet touch the ground I grabbed the little girl and I take her to the paramedics.

And I run back to the ladder and I start up and the screams are just getting terrifying from the porch at this point. And I look up and the fire is really overtaking the porch and the father's ducking and he's trying to get on ladder, and he's still got his other little girl.

And, you know, unbeknownst to me, engine seven had just arrived on scene and Captain Stroup comes running up and yells "just drop him" and the father drops the baby to him. And I just freeze and I say a prayer. Lord, let him catch this child and he does. He makes the most amazing catch I've ever seen.

And then, the father comes down and everybody makes it off safe and sound. The father did receive second-degree burns but he's going to be OK, and the family's going to be OK. So we're just very thankful that we could all work together and make it happen.

CUOMO: The love of a parent, right, that even though he knows he's getting burned up he's not going anywhere until he gets his kids --

PECKRUL: Oh, absolutely.

CUOMO: -- out of there.

PECKRUL: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Amazing dedication, and you guys exhibit the same as if these were your own kids.

You don't even recognize it, Cap, but before when you were saying that you were on the ladder and it was really steep and you had the kids, you said that you were worried that they were going to fall, not you.

PECKRUL: Right. Well, I mean, my job is to risk my life to save others. That's what I do.

And, you know, if it's my children and if it's my life, I want somebody that's ready to risk their life to save me, so I'm going to give them that same respect.

When I go to work and I put on the uniform -- the same with all of the brothers and sisters I work with. When we put on our uniform we're ready to do whatever it takes to make sure that everybody gets home to their family.

CUOMO: Do you realize how special it is that you have an ability, a desire, a drive to keep going up a ladder that is headed straight into hell fire because there are people who need to be saved? Do you recognize how special that is?

PECKRUL: I just thank God that he gave me the will and the ability to do this job. Sometimes it does feel like we're walking in hell and I just trust that God's there with us and going to get us all out alive.

CUOMO: Well, you know what? God needs help down here and that's what you guy's role is because you are angels on earth and there is no picture that shows it more than this. There's never been a more important catch in that firefighter's life than the one he made that day. And you made a couple before he even got there.

Cap, thank you so much for bringing this story to us and restoring all of our faith.

PECKRUL: Well, thank you.

CUOMO: There are people out there doing the right thing. The best to you.

PECKRUL: The best to you, too. Thank you.

CUOMO: I mean, are you kidding me? What kind of story -- who does that? They are angels among us.

All right, we're following a lot of news. What do you say, my friends? Let's get after it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The threat of a government shutdown becoming more of a reality with each passing day.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: We will not fund the government without a DACA deal.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. President, close the deal. It's not going to be done on Twitter.

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: My bigger concern is that his remarks don't blow up the Dreamer-DACA agreement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reaction has been over-the-top.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: I don't know who said what. This is starting to look like a bunch of kids in the back of a minivan.

CAMEROTA: A host of Trump campaign and White House staffers set to testify this week as part of the Russia investigation.