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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Source: Pres. Trump Told GOP Lawmakers That "The Crying Babies Doesn't Look Good Politically"; GOP Lawmaker: Meeting With President "Didn't Move The Ball"; Pres. Trump: Secy Nielsen "Did A Fabulous Job" Answering Reporters Questions; Atty. Gen. Sessions: Detention Centers Not Like Nazi Germany; Trump Aide Stephen Miller AG Sessions At Center Of Plan; U.S. Pulls Out Of U.N. Human Rights Council; One Doctor On A Mission To Help Children In Haiti And Around The World. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 19, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:45] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Chris Cuomo is off tonight. Top in the hour, there's breaking news on the President's trip to Capitol Hill. He spoke to House Republicans without rates rising about the administrations policy of separating migrant parents from their children at the border. The President as you know says only Congress can fix this. The facts say otherwise. That said, with more than 2,300 kids now separated from their parents, what did the President accomplish tonight?
CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us now from the Capitol. So, what more are you learning about what happened in the President's meeting?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, their office is inundated with phone calls, calling for a change in the family separation policy. Their members exceedingly uneasy about the direction that Trump administration is going. House Republican leaders want to the President to be laser focus on immigration.
He touched on immigration, but he also gave a freewheeling address to House Republican members that involved everything from his talks to North Korea, his strategy on trade. Even telling Republican members to relax on their criticism because he would have it all figured out. And when it came to immigration itself, a somewhat ambiguous endorsement of two House Republican proposals and they're trying to consider on the House floor later this week.
Here's basically what I've been told by members that run the room. The President made clear that when it comes to finding funding for his wall, trying to address the DACA population issue and briefly he mentioned family separation, he endorses Republicans, as he said, 100% in their efforts trying to get that done. The real question, though, Anderson is whether or not that will be enough to actually help House Republicans get either of these bills over the line. I think the bigger issue, though, and the one that's been top of mind for all Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill the last couple of days has been the family separation issue. Interestingly enough, members I talked to who were in the room said the President did, in fact, address it. But his point was he seen the pictures as he said of children crying, and he understands that it's potentially politically damaging. What he did not do is say there was any chance in the near future that he would reverse his policy. His bottom line, as members describe it, was basically you need to do something legislatively, because the White House and the Trump administration, they're not shifting that policy anytime soon Anderson.
COOPER: How much momentum is there in Congress right now to change the child separation policy?
MATTINGLY: Yes. So just to lay this out and this blunt reform as you possibly can. Senate Republican says they want to try a targeted approach to fixing this issue. Senate Democrats say they're not going to play ball at all. The President as you know it can change this on his own, and he should do just that. House Republicans have these two proposals, one of which addresses the family separation issue. They're going to try and move that on Thursday. They don't know that they have the votes for that and Democrats don't support that, either.
And even if those House proposals, one of them or both of them pass, there's no future for them in the Senate.
Here's the bottom line legislatively. There is no clear path forward right now on Capitol Hill. There is nothing waiting in the wings for them to grab onto if any of those legislative efforts fails, and as I noted, the President has made clear he's not changing direction any time soon. So what's that all mean? As Republicans and Democrats are increasingly uneasy across Capitol Hill, as they continue to hear from constituents or outraged by this, there's no clear fix at any point in the near future as the pictures, the stories and the videos continue to come from the border, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Phil Mattingly. Phil, thanks very much.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins has late reporting from the White House. She joins us now. What are you hearing, Kaitlan?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we saw the White House has to put out that statement after the President left that meeting on Capitol Hill to really essentially clear things up. There was confusion right after the President has emerge from different members to had different accounts essentially of what the President had told them with some saying that he outright supported the compromise bill, and then others saying, no, he seemed to voice support for both.
The White House did put out a statement after that saying, essentially that he had had a good meeting with those members. Rod Shaw, the deputy press secretary, saying that, "In his remarks, he endorse both House Immigration Bills -- House Immigration Bill and then go on to list exactly what it is the White House is looking for in those bills". But right there at the end, Rod Shaw said, the President told members, I'm with you 100%. Anderson, that was the focus of the entire meeting before all of this drama over the separation of families as the border happened. That this meeting was supposed to be essentially a pep rally for the President to get behind one of these bills, to rally since support for it on Capitol Hill, because they just don't seem to have the support yet. And it doesn't seem the President really moved the needle any tonight for any members.
[21:05:04] He didn't really convince any of them that he's set on one bill, and of course you cannot remember or you cannot forget what the President said on Friday when he was asked during that interview on Fox News about the bill that he preferred. He said he would not be signing the moderate one, he did not prefer that one, one day after the White House said he did support both of them and the White House later issued a statement saying the President misheard the question, that he was supportive of both bills, would sign both. We haven't seen that kind of confidence from the President yet, and it doesn't seem that his meeting on Capitol Hill did a lot to change that tonight.
COOPER: The ambassador to the UN today Nikki Haley, announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. Talk about what's behind that decision.
COLLINS: Yes, this is big Anderson. This is the first time a country has voluntarily left that council. We saw the UN Ambassador Nikki Haley next to the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, announcing that withdrawal today, essentially siding over what they see as this frequent criticism of Israel over their treatment of the Palestinians which the United States and Nikki Haley essentially said that they believed is unfair. This isn't that surprising. Nikki Haley has been a fierce critic of this council, long saying that she wanted to withdraw or have some kind of reform. So she is withdrawing. She cited several human rights issues, notably the addition of the Congo to the Human Rights Council, in that announcement today, that you can't deny here Anderson, this does come at a time when some members of the UN are criticizing the United States over that separation policy that is happening on the U.S.-Mexico border done itself.
COOPER: Yes, Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it tonight. Thank you.
Among the Republicans in tonight's meeting with President was Congressman Bob Goodlatte, he's sponsoring one of two GOP bills. The other is called simply the compromise bill. I spoke with him earlier tonight, shortly after the meeting ended.
COOPER: Congressman Goodlatte, you were in the meeting with the President tonight. What can you tell us about it? Is it clear to you where the President stands?
REP. BOB GOODLATTE, (R) VIRGINIA: Yes, the President is very much committed to his four pillars addressing the DACA population, making sure that we have a secure border, closing the loopholes that exist when you get across that border, ending the visa lottery and using those green cards and some from ending some chain migration for a merit-based immigration system that both people who here illegally and the DACA population can utilize. I think it's a very good plan.
COOPER: Sources, I mean inside the meeting, have told CNN that the President only talked about this separation of kids from their families in the context of political optics, not the actual policy. Is that accurate and is that acceptable to you?
GOODLATTE: No, I think the President said that it was a terrible situation, it's always a terrible situation when you separate children from parents. So I think that he truly wants to resolve this issue, but he also needs to have the tools so that the children can be kept with their parents while the parents are detained for a trial on their illegal entry into the United States. And the legislation that I introduced today, which is a part of the new consensus legislation includes the provisions necessary to do just that.
COOPER: The President, though, could change the zero tolerance policy right now if he really wanted to stop separating children from their parents, isn't that correct?
GOODLATTE: Well, every President has faced this dilemma. If you stop it, then you have to release families with their children into the interior of the country with a court date that they're supposed to appear at later on. Many of them never return for the court date. So that's the reason for enacting this policy, both to send the message that this is the wrong way to seek entry in the United States, but also to make sure that when we detain them, their children can be with them, but they are going to be detained at the border and not allowed into the country until it is determined that they are entitled to be in the country.
COOPER: Is this not, though, something the President could act on immediately? I mean, even just temporarily while the bills are, you know, are moving through? It's not clear if they're going to pass or not. Couldn't the President just stop the separation of families immediately?
GOODLATTE: I think the President feels that it's very important that we address both problems at the same time in terms of making sure that we have the tools to handle the situation and that we allow children to be with their parents in these circumstances. And as you know from the media coverage, both President Obama and President Bush have had this problem as well.
COOPER: You do acknowledge this has been a change in policy.
[21:09:58] GOODLATTE: Well, yes, and there have been changes of policies back and forth with previous administrations as well. And the fact of the matter is, this is in response to a problem of the word getting back to Central America and other places where folks are coming from that, hey, this Trump administration has laws that tie their hands and they can't keep your children with you, so they're releasing you into the interior of the country. We've had instances of people having other people's children, we've had instances of people saying, bring your children, it will make it easier to get into the country.
COOPER: But the law doesn't really tie their hands? I mean does that -- the law doesn't exactly tie their hands. I mean it is a choice they're making on where to put the emphasis.
GOODLATTE: Well, they need to solve this problem, and Congress needs to help them, and we need to do it quickly, but we also need to make sure that we have the understanding that this is the wrong way for people to bring children here in the first place. And the responsibility of a parent who should be with their young child of bringing them all the way across Mexico, hiring human smugglers, going across the desert or across rivers, that's not good for children, either, and it's really important that we solve this problem in a way that is humane for those children. And sends the message that the rule of law has got to be respected.
COOPER: Is the current policy, which does separate children, is the separating of children from their families, is that humane currently?
GOODLATTE: I think that a policy that separates the children has got to be compared with a policy of allowing people to smuggle children into the country illegally and then continue to do that on into the interior of the country with no intention of ever returning for the hearing that's involved. So, you got to balance both of those equities and that's what the Congress is going to attempt to do here.
COOPER: You're not saying it's humane, though?
GOODLATTE: Well, look, I think children should be with their parents. I also think parents should be responsible.
COOPER: Congressman, good luck. I appreciate your time. Thank you.
GOODLATTE: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, a lot more ahead tonight including the administration's claims about the treatment of children in federal custody. We'll talk about it with lawmakers who visited some of the holding facilities.
And later a closer look at the White House insider who is credited or attacked, depending on your point of view, for bolstering the President's hard line views on immigration, Stephen Miller.
[21:15:55] COOPER: The President reportedly did not move the ball much tonight in his talk with House Republicans about immigration. One reason, according to a lawmaker in the room, he didn't focus enough on the subject, though he did tweet about it moments ago. Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen did a fabulous job yesterday. The press conference explaining security at the border and for our country, while at the same time recommending changes to obsolete and nasty laws, which force family separation. We want heart and security in America. Meantime, the number of kids being taken from their families is rising and so is the population at border detention centers and later at facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. The administration, as you know, has pointed with pride at conditions there.
JEFF SESSION, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We're doing the right thing. We're taking care of these children. They are not being abused. The Health and Human Services holds them in good conditions.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY: We have high standards. We give them meals. We give them education. We give them medical care. There's videos, there's TVs. I visited the detention centers myself.
COOPER: Also as Democratic Congresswoman Norma Torres, herself an immigrant from Central America. She joins us now.
Congresswoman, thanks so much for being with us. You hear Secretary Nielsen praise the quality of the detention facilities. I know you visited at least two of them in the San Diego area, one where families were together and one with unaccompanied minors. Do you share the secretary's view?
REP. NORMA TORRES, (D) CALIFORNIA: Absolutely not. This is zero policy that comes directly from President Trump. There is no law on any book. And if there is, I would like for the Secretary herself to point it out to me.
COOPER: I mean the facilities you visited yourself, were they acceptable in terms of conditions?
TORRES: Look, Anderson, when the Secretary and President Trump talk about immigration, it is a very broad issue. They're -- you know, we're talking about visas, we're talking about DACA, we're talking about general immigration reform. What we did, myself and several members of Congress this weekend, was we visited the children. Children, toddlers, they're inside a jail cell freezing to death, 70- degree temperature with air blowing so hard on them that they have to be covered. And to not call that cruelty to children is ridiculous.
COOPER: You said freezing to death. I mean you're not talking literally, obviously.
TORRES: Well, when children have to be covered by an aluminum blanket or, you know, a blanket that they have been given because they're sitting on the floor, the temperature in the room is set at 70 degrees but they have these giant fans that are blowing air throughout the very, very small space because they have a toilet, remember, in this cell that is being shared by two or three other families. Now, this is a facility that they are supposed to be there no more than 72 hours. How is an 18-month-old supposed to cope in a facility that is so cold, that has no natural light and has no furniture whatsoever, not even a single chair for them to sit on?
COOPER: The President, you know, continues to say that this is Congress' problem to fix. You see it in that tweet that he just sent calling it a nasty law. The administration I mean obviously put the law in place and it's their policy on how they are following through on this law, and yet the President does act like he cannot do anything about it.
TORRES: The President created this policy. The President created this mandate and gave it to his chief of staff who then directed his entire administration. They are following his direction. If the President wanted to be a humanitarian about how he deals with toddlers, he can stop this and he can do something about it today.
COOPER: If in Congress Republicans put forward a focused plan or focused bill to stop the separation of families, is that something you would support?
[21:20:05] TORRES: Well, I would absolutely want to look at that. And I myself I'm looking, as a member of the rules committee, looking where we can introduce legislation, maybe amendments, to deal with this issue alone. We know that this is a bipartisan issue. We know Republicans from the Senate and Republicans in the House are both outraged about seeing the images that are coming out with children lying on the floor, covered with these aluminum foil paper type of blankets. That is inhumane.
COOPER: Congresswoman Torres, I appreciate you being with us. Thanks very much.
Attorney General Sessions raised some eyebrows last night appearing on Fox News and mentioning Nazi Germany in an answer to a question about the immigration that's on the southern border. Up next, I'll talk with Attorney Alan Dershowitz about what the Attorney General had to say.
COOPER: Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about Nazi Germany last night on Fox News and answer to a question from the host about criticism of President Trump's zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration. Here's how the exchange went.
[21:25:04] LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Nazi Germany, concentration camps, human rights violations. Laura Bush has weighed in, Michelle Obama, Rosalyn Carter, we got all the first ladies going back Eleanor Roosevelt, she's apparently weigh in as well. General Sessions, what's going on here?
SESSIONS: Well, it's really exaggeration, because and Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country, but this is a serious matter. We need to think it through, be rational and thoughtful about it. We want to allow asylum for people who qualify for it. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: With me now is Harvard law school's Alan Dershowitz. He's the author of the new book called "The Case Against Impeaching Trump." Professor Dershowitz, I'm wondering what went through your mind when listening to this comments from Attorney General Sessions when asked about comparisons to Nazi Germany, his only kind of issue seemed to be that the Germans, the Nazis were trying to keep Jews in the country.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Look, what's going on in the border is bad enough without making comparisons to Nazi Germany at all. Michael Hayden shouldn't have made a comparison posting a picture of Auschwitz, and the attorney general of the United States should not be misleading the American public about what happened in Nazi Germany. In the first phase, the Nazi Germany, they tried to get rid of all the Jews, send them out of the country. No country in the world would accept them and that's when they decided to exterminate all the Jews, to murder them in death camps.
The idea of making these kinds of comparisons is inadvertently a soft form of holocaust denial, because it makes the listener think, oh, my gosh, that's all that happened to Jews in Germany? They were put in detention centers? So they will kept in the country. I think we need to stay away from making these kinds of analogies to Nazi Germany. What's going on at the border is bad enough, and the President has the power to stop it. I have to tell you, as a constitutional lawyer I'm appalled at the President's statement that he doesn't have the power to reunite these families.
COOPER: You're saying he does.
DERSHOWITZ: Of course he does. The same Article II that gives him the kinds of power he complains in another context gives him the power to see that the laws are faithfully executed. And the way to faithfully execute laws is not to separate families. He has so many other options. You can deport the families as a unit. You can detain them as a unit. I'm not suggesting any of these are good ideas, but the worst idea is to separate a three or four or five-year-old child from their parents no matter how good or bad the conditions are.
The very act of separating a child from a parent with somewhat potential trauma is just unacceptable. And nobody seems to agree with it. Nobody in the administration seems, the Republican Party many are opposed to it, many in the White House are opposed to it, many -- and President's own family are opposed to it. He just has to stop it. He has to sign a document today or make a phone call, and he personally can put an end to it.
COOPER: I mean, it can't just be a misunderstanding, though, on his part that he's not able to do that. I mean he's repeatedly said, you know, this is all the Democrats' fault and that this has to be done by Congress, and that, you know, he's as unhappy as everybody else about the images that we're seeing.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, he's just wrong as a matter of law. Look, whoever is at fault, that's the past. The question is does the current President have the power today to order that no families be separated? The answer to that is as clear as anything could be as a matter of constitutional law, especially because this President claims unitary executive. When he defends himself against allegations of obstruction of justice, he clings to Article II. That very same Article II that he uses to defend himself gives him the authority not only to fire Comey but to make sure that the laws are faithfully executed, meaning that they're not executed in a manner that offends human rights due process, basic civil liberties and the constitution of the United States.
Once people are in America, a child is entitled to due process and that means not being separated from a parent. So the President is not only wrong, he's completely inconsistent with the defenses he's been making and the defenses I've been making for him. So he has --
COOPER: So, the President could also just temporarily halt the separation of families, reverting to the policy that existed before they instituted the zero tolerance policy while Congress is working on a more comprehensive solution, which the President is saying, and his supporters are saying, is what he really wants.
DERSHOWITZ: Of course he can do that. He can simply say, as of tomorrow, no families are separated. Now let's consider other options, let's consider other possibilities. There is nothing in the law that requires separation or even permits separation of families.
[21:30:00] They make the absurd argument that when somebody is arrested, inevitably there is a separation. But normally when people are arrested, they are set out on bail, there are other family members to take care of the child. This time plans to take care of the child. This is just an outrageous misapplication of the law, and the buck stops here, as Harry Truman said.
There's only one person who can now unilaterally stop this. That's the President of the United States. Congress can then pass legislation looking at the bigger picture, but in the meantime, and we always live in the meantime, the President can stop this himself. There is absolutely no constitutional doubt about that.
COOPER: Professor Dershowitz, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
Just ahead, White House immigration hard-liner, Stephen Miller, his association with Attorney General Sessions and how their connection led to what we're seeing on the border right now.
COOPER: White House senior adviser Stephen Miller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions share a great deal of history. Miller was a key communications adviser to Sessions, while Sessions was in the Senate, both were seen as immigration hard liners. To discuss the history and how it's affected today's immigration firestorm, we're joined by "New York Times" White House correspondent Michael Shear, who wrote a detail background piece on both man, and "Axe Files" host David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama. [21:35:02] Michael, your piece really lays out how what we're seeing unfolded the border is a major part of Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions life's work, that much of what their advocated for has led to this moment. Do you have a sense if they knew it would escalate like this?
MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don't know that they perfectly mapped out the political crisis that this has become for -- especially for Republicans, but they clearly understood that the result of the policy of zero tolerance that Sessions announced would, in fact, lead to separating families from -- separating children from their parents. When I talked to Stephen Miller in his office at the White House about a week or so ago, I mean it was clear that he understood, and in fact, the idea was to send a really strong deterrent message and that this was going to, you know, be part of the a crackdown at the border that would change the migration patterns that he sees as so destructive to America.
COOPER: David, I mean it is interesting, because now the administration, you know, seems to be downplaying the idea that this was meant to be a deterrence, but certainly from comments that Sessions has made and comments that Stephen Miller has made and General Kelly has made, it clearly was designed to try to deter a long term.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Without question right from the very beginning of the administration. I mean, if it's not -- if it wasn't meant to be a deterrent, what was it meant to be? And it also appears to be, or they thought it was, or at least the President thought it was a point of personal -- a political leverage to try and get his other immigration positions affirmed by Congress, and I think that's going to be a spectacular failure. I don't think -- I think it's more likely that Congress is going to feel the need to act on this issue alone rather than embrace the President's total immigration package.
COOPER: Michael, I mean Stephen Miller is quoted in your article as saying that there is no straying from that mission, referring to what's happening at the border. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham today said that he always felt Miller's view on immigration has been, "Outside the mainstream. Is there, within this crisis, a test of who has more influence over the President, Stephen Miller or Congressional Republican?
SHEAR: Right. Well, I think there is something of a test. I don't think the answer is much in doubt, at least for now. Stephen Miller has been one of the longest lasting people in this administration as aides have come and gone rather quickly. Stephen Miller has still been there. He started early on in the campaign. He was -- he's a person that both shares the President's kind of gut feeling on immigration, and he has been the architect, really, of the President's immigration agenda. And I think, you know, those who bet on the fact that the President is somehow going to yield to some of this pressure with people like Miller and Jeff Sessions and John Kelly whispering in his ear on these things, I think are betting on the wrong side, because, you know, my sense is that's not where he's going to go, and if he does in the end, it's really only going to be because of intense political pressure. And at this point, he seems defiant in the face of that.
COOPER: David, I mean the share (ph) volume of negative headlines and pushback from even from high-profile Republicans, do you see a scenario under which President Trump second-guesses the wisdom of what Miller and Sessions have done?
AXELROD: Anderson, how many times have we had this conversation where --
AXELROD: -- he say, well he's going to back off? Certainly this time he's going to have to back off. And one of the things we've learned is that he doesn't back off, and I think it's unfair to the President to suggest that he's somehow in the thrall of Miller and Sessions on this issue. They reflect his thinking and he reflects theirs, and that was the basis of their union together in the first place.
So I think that the combination of Trump's unwillingness to relent and his genuine belief that this is the right thing to do makes it unlikely that he'll back off, unless the Congress forces it on him and passes something by a veto proof majority that he has to accept.
COOPER: David, I just also want to ask you about the decision today by the U.S. to pull out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the U.S. council accusing the council having an anti-Israel bias. Obviously, this comes after UN high commissioner on human rights, called U.S. action on the border unconscionable. I wonder what your reaction is.
AXELROD: Well look, the Human Rights Council and its predecessor of human rights commission have always been problematical, because they're had people, countries on there who human rights abusers. They have been slanted against Israel on many instances. But, the Obama administration, at least their view was better be inside the room and try an influence that than isolate yourself and leave the room.
[21:40:00] Now whether it was prompted -- you know, John Bolton was opposed to this creation of this in the first place when he was at the UN. So, you know, he -- I'm sure had a view on this as well. But the thing that's stunning about it is that Nikki Haley in announcing this said, you know, they're trying to whitewash human rights abuses of people who sit on the council. Just one week after the President spent so much time trying to whitewash the human rights abuses of North Korea.
And by the way, North Korea and Iran are one of only three other countries that won't participate on the Human Rights Council. So the whole thing is a little bit hard to explain.
COOPER: David Axelrod, Michael Shear, thanks.
AXELROD: Sure. COOPER: Up next, an up close look at what asylum seekers are facing as they wait for a decision whether or not they can stay in the country.
[21:45:02] COOPER: Earlier in the program Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley talked about asylum seekers go through on the border. Last night in 360, Gary Tuchman showed us people about to go through that process are waiting, trying to go through that process. Gary talks to those to across the border and they're going through it. It face a lot of paper works, several interviews and court dates and a long wait for decision. But it is not stopping them. Take a look.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the first full day in America for Roberto and his son Oscar. How did they feel?
ROBERTO, IMMIGRANT: Muy bien, muy bien.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Very good, very good, Roberto says. Father and son are from Guatemala and have just had their asylum interviews by U.S. customs and broader protection agents in Ogales, Arizona. And it made to passed the first step to stay in the U.S. They said they left Guatemala because of violence and poverty. They're still fearful and don't want their faces shown.
Roberto says they were robbed on the train on the journey to the U.S. He said, machetes band (ph) it some the trains, they have machetes and guns. They took my money and my food.
They waited in Mexico for eight days. They waited in this line in Ogales, Mexico for two days camping out, before they got called in for what Roberto calls a police interview, an interview that could have expelled them immediately from the U.S. or allowed them to proceed to future court hearings.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): How long did you talk to them?
ROBERTO: Diez minuto el primero.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): Ten minutes first.
ROBERTO: (INAUDIBLE) trienta minuto.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): And then 36 in the second interview.
(voice-over): And what kind of things was he asked during the interviews? In addition to questions about violence in Guatemala, he says he was asked.
ROBERTO: To presidente, to gobierno -- TUCHMAN (voice-over): Did your President, your government, your
police send you here? I said, no, I came here out of necessity. This is where father and son are now staying, the Casa Alitas, a House run by Catholic Community Services in Tucson, Arizona.
DIEGO PINA LOPEZ, CASA ALITAS: Because, we help them to figure out the busing and the process and understand more of the courts. And what it means to have those accommodators (ph).
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Indeed, Roberto and all the adult asylum seekers here have ankle monitors to keep track of their whereabouts. Roberto's first court date has been set for July 2nd in Mississippi where he will be staying with a friend. He says he will attend. Dennis is here with his daughter Nicoli. They came in Ogales, Mexico from Brazil, out of economic necessity he says.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): What I have been told at home he says, is that life in America is a thousand times better.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): 11-year-old Nicoli says, I want to study medicine and become a doctor. Dennis' court hearing is on July 3rd near his friend's home --
TUCHMAN (on-camera): In Boston.
(voice-over): The initial court hearing is the first step in a lengthy process. They could still get sent back to their countries, but both men say they're optimistic.
(on-camera): Estas feliz de estar en Estados Unidos. You're happy to be here?
ROBERTO: Yes. Feliz, feliz.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): Happy for your son.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): Yes.
COOPER: Gary joins me now from Tucson, Arizona. So, Gary, how long could the whole asylum process take for somebody?
TUCHMAN: Anderson, I talked to Roberto and Dennis about that. Not surprisingly, they have no idea how long it would take. So like Roberto told us this court hearing is in two weeks in Mississippi. He thought it could be all done right then. The case is this, if you're rejected, it could be very quick. If you don't go to court, you break the law, you'll be rejected and kicked out of this country. But if he go to court, if you'll obey the law, it could still take a very long time, years. An average of two to four years. Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman. Gary, thanks.
Coming up, the story of an extraordinary doctor, working to make a big difference for orphan kids around the world. I traveled to Haiti where music and games are the forefront of her organizations efforts to promote learning. "Champions for Change" is next.
[21:52:56] COOPER: Well children who were separated from their parents undergo a sense of trauma that could have long lasting repercussions on their lives. It's happening now here in the United States with families crossing to border illegally. But it's also happening to tens and millions of children all over the world. Children whose parents can't care for them or give them up to live in orphanages or whose parents have died.
Many kids in orphanages will never be adopted. So the question is, what happens to them? An American doctor named Jane Aronson has dedicated her life to figuring out how to help kids growing up in orphanages or away from their parents. Her organization is called Worldwide Orphans and work to improve the lives of kids who are left without family members to care for them.
All this week, we're telling the stories of the extraordinary people and organizations that are making a difference around the world. This special series is called "Champions for Change" and gives us an opportunity to highlight important issues and work along side these change makers who were making a difference.
I traveled recently to Haiti with the Dr. Aronson to see some of her work firsthand through a special program designed to help kids learn and play. Take a look.
COOPER (voice-over): There's some 75,000 children living in orphanages in Haiti. Around the world, there are more than 140 million. The vast majority of these kids will never be adopted. So how can we help improve their lives? That's the question dr. Jane Aronson has dedicated her live to answering. She runs a foundation could Worldwide Orphans or WWO that works in Haiti, United States and poor other countries to developed ways to help these kids learn and love and laugh.
WWO funds programs in local schools and orphanages to help promote play as a tool of learning.
DR. JANE ARONSON, FOUNDER, WORLDWIDE ORPHANS: It's about using music as a way to learn to be playful.
COOPER (voice-over): And they train teachers to be active participants in the class. That's the school principal on the drums. (on-camera): So, these are all kids who live in the area?
[21:55:05] ARONSON: Yes. Absolutely. Hi, again.
COOPER (on-camera): Wow, so, little.
(voice-over): Music and play isn't just about having fun, it's actually about helping kids grow.
(on-camera): Why have a toy library?
ARONSON: It's the idea that toys and play actually enhances learning. A very simple idea I've been that's been studied over the last probably 100 years.
COOPER (on-camera): Play actually has an impact on the brain of children?
ARONSON: It changes the physiology of the brain.
COOPER (voice-over): At the WWO programs in Haiti, it's not just orphans, all disadvantaged kids are welcome.
ARONSON: When was the last time you played like this?
COOPER (on-camera): Wow.
(voice-over): This is 3-year-old Jabenska (ph), her father abandoned her and her mother now works as a volunteer with WWO. Jabenska is not enrolled in pre-school, this toy library is where she learns.
When we first meet her, she's quiet.
(on-camera): You want to try to put that on top. Then put out here. Wow.
(voice-over): But after using the blocks to play she becomes animated and engaged.
(on-camera): Oh, no.
ARONSON: I think you have a little attachment going on.
COOPER (on-camera): She's very sweet. I like your hair.
ARONSON: Yes, see, this is what you have going on right now. You were successful in communicating with her and getting her attention, and then she got close to you.
COOPER (on-camera): Hello. Bonjour. I've heard you say a child has at least one adult to love them they can be healthy?
ARONSON: Yes, absolutely. Health and emotionally physically, because then the adult serves their secure attachment figure, that provides them with good nourishment, and education and the support they need when they face challenges. COOPER (voice-over): Dr. Aronson first got involved in Haiti after the earthquake.
(on-camera): I'm please with Dr. Jane Aronson with us, a PD nutrition --
(voice-over): We were here eight years ago in a hospital when a 5- year-old boy name Monley Elysee was rushed in. He'd been trapped underneath the rubble of his home for more than 7 days.
(on-camera): What's he's saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He want to drink some juice. He want to drink some juice.
COOPER (voice-over): Amazingly Monley survived. The 10 members of his family, including his parents did not. In the year since, dr. raison has stepped in to helped care for Monley and his two brothers.
(on-camera): I'm Anderson.
(voice-over): She brought us to meet Monley now, he's 13 and lives with his brother and extended family at Port-au-Prince.
(on-camera): Initially, after the earthquake, I mean he was kind of quiet for almost --
ARONSON: He was almost like in a state of stiffness and paralysis for the mostly and physically.
COOPER (on-camera): For about months?
ARONSON: Oh for years.
COOPER (on-camera): For years.
(voice-over): Thanks to WWO, Monely is in school and striving. He wants to one day become a doctor or a soccer player. In Haiti, soccer is a big part of work WWOs learning program.
(on-camera): Why organized activities it gives what kids a sense of normalcy?
ARONSON: Yes, they feel -- they end up -- we're having a perimeter.
COOPER (on-camera): And but even just being on a team playing a sport, I mean it changes a kids' brain.
ARONSON: Their DNA forever and it will be.
COOPER (on-camera): So if you can get to kids early enough --
COOPER (on-camera): -- with enough love and adult attention it forever changes the -- ARONSON: Absolutely. You know, we have so many examples of it. You
know, we now are watching our kids grow.
COOPER (voice-over): Monley joins us at the field as well. Watching him laugh and play like any other 13-year-old boy is remarkable considering what he's been through. He's an example of the good work that Dr. Jane Aronson and WWO are doing on the ground in Haiti and elsewhere around the world. And with more funding there's no telling what they can do to help this generation of kids grow up to be happy and healthy.
COOPER: Worldwide Orphans has a new fund raising initiatives base around the special series with a goal of raising $550,000. All donations are welcome and we'll be provide vital services to children around the world. You can find out more about their initiatives at their website wwwo.org. That's wwo.org.
We'll continue to share these inspirational stories all week. You can also watch the "Champions for Change" one hour special this Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
[22:00:08] That's all the time we have. Thanks for watching, time to hand it over to Don Lemon. "CNN TONIGHT" starts now.