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U.S. Government: 2,053 Children Still Separated From Parents; Trump Tweets Support For Immediate Deportations; Erdogan Declared Winner Of Snap Vote; Saudi Arabia: Intercepted Two Houthi-Fired Missiles; Official: U.S. To Present Denuclearization Timeline; Prince William Starts Historic Middle East Tour. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 25, 2018 - 00:00   ET



CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: U.S. President Donald Trump is calling for deportations without legal procedures adding to the confusion at the U.S. border with Mexico.

In Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is celebrating reelection, this one comes with sweeping new powers that the opposition says it's too soon to declare a winner.

Plus, the right and the fight to drive. Saudi women legally get behind the wheel for the very first time.

Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It is great to have you with us.

U.S. President Donald Trump is not backing down from his tough stance on immigration. In a tweet on Sunday, Mr. Trump said that those caught illegally trying to enter the U.S. should be deported immediately with no court hearings or judges. He tweeted the U.S. cannot allow, quote, "all of these people to invade our country."

This comes as the U.S. government deals with how to reunite the families that were separated in April and May by the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security more than 2,000 children still in government custody won't be reunited with their parents until the parent's deportation proceedings are completed. Well, that's not sitting well with many at the U.S.-Mexico border. They want families reunited immediately.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher has details from Texas.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're actually here in Tornado, Texas, and if you look behind me, you can see this border check point. Beyond there is Mexico and just a little bit of this way is this tent city that we are hearing about where they are keeping these children. I am going to be touring that tent city in just a matter of hours. We are going to get a chance to take a look with our own eyes as we have been able to do in some of these other facilities.

Once again, no cameras, no recording devices or phones, just pen and pad, but at least get a look at it. Yesterday, there were a lot of people who showed up here to protest the fact that are still at least 30 children in that facility that were separated from their parents underneath the Trump's administration's zero-tolerance policy.

There were celebrities, civil rights activists. We even ran into a woman who survived the Nazi occupation (inaudible). Her father was killed she said for supporting and sheltering Jewish people during that time.

She told she came to speak out at this event like so many others because she felt like she had to say something because she was old enough this time. She wanted to speak out. This is something -- this particular protest, we noticed the significant feeling of solidarity not as much anger, more looking forward.

They were trying to speak directly to the Trump administration asking them to speed up the reunifications, be more transparent with what's going on, and to stop denying asylum to individuals who are coming across the border.

Again, a little later, we are going to tour this facility, try to see what it looks like in there because of that last transparency. We will be bringing that to you throughout the day.

But again, people continuing to make sure that this stays not just in the hotlines, but also, they want on the minds of those in the Trump administration.


VANIER: U.S. lawmakers have been in South Texas to see firsthand the conditions in which the children are being held. Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke to CNN about what she saw.


SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It's a disturbing picture. There are children by themselves. I saw a 6-month-old baby, little girls, little boys. There are mothers with their babies and with small children.

Family units are together if it's a very small child, but little girls who are 12 years old are taken away from the rest of their families or held separately. They are all lying on concrete floors in cages.

There's no other way to describe it. They are big chain link cages on cold concrete floors and metal blankets handed out to them. People are all just waiting and frightened.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: So, what does the law say about all of this? What's allowed and what's not allowed? Let's ask Holly Cooper. She is the co- director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California Davis School of Law.

Holly, the president tweeted that when somebody comes in, we must immediately with no judges or court cases bring them back from where they came from. Is that possible?

HOLLY COOPER, CO-DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DAVIS SCHOOL OF LAW: It's not possible unless he wants to violate Supreme Court precedence and the Constitution because both require that immigrants are given procedural due process.

And especially when you're seeking asylum, you have rights to pursue your claim to relief in front of an asylum adjudicating officer as well as the immigration court.

VANIER: OK. So, tell us about the specific case of asylum seeker. I'm not sure all our viewers know the difference, but when you are seeking asylum, usually you are claiming that you are fleeing violence or that some form of prosecution. That puts you in a special category and that is the majority case for these people crossing the border. What are their rights?

COOPER: That is correct. So, it depends on how that person enter. If they enter through a point of inspection and asked the individual officer who is inspecting them for asylum, then they are given a credible fear interview with the asylum office. If they pass that they are allowed to go before an immigration --

VANIER: What is a credible fear interview?

COOPER: The credible fear interview is almost like a litmus test. It's a test to see if the person has a claim to relief and if the asylum officer believes that they do then they will allow them to go before an immigration judge to pursue that claim with a full hearing.

VANIER: So sorry to cut you off, so that means that's when you -- the first time -- that's the first time that you explain to the U.S. government your story and the reason for which you are fleeing your country, correct?

COOPER: That's the first time you'll be telling an officer at the point of inspection, look, I'm afraid for my life, I'm fleeing, and then they give you the asylum interview and at which point, you are supposed to have the burden to prove that your life is in danger and you're fleeing for your life.

VANIER: How long does it typically take then for immigrants to get an answer, and asylum seekers to get an answer on whether they can stay in the U.S.?

COOPER: It can generally take between four weeks to, you know, several months in some cases. Typically speaking I can say the average time is about 30 days once they have come to the point of inspection and claimed that they are fleeing for their lives.

VANIER: Back to the president's point, he wants to fast track this. How can that be done?

COOPER: I don't think that it can be done legally. I think that we have laws in this country we have to abide by them. We must provide a vehicle for people to pursue political asylum in this country. Unless he wants to violate our country's laws it's not possible to undo that obligation that we have internationally and domestically in our laws.

VANIER: There is currently a backlog of estimated 700,000 cases in the federal immigration courts. How did that happen? How does that get fixed?

COOPER: Well, it happened because the Department of Justice has decided to -- you know, a number of people into deportation proceedings without providing the commensurate resources to the immigration courts. So, the immigration courts are tremendously backlogged.

Because each individual judge is essentially conducting a death penalty case with resources of a traffic court. Most judges have technology that dates back to the 1980s. It's just really difficult with the surge of cases that immigration courts to keep especially when they are supposed to be providing due process and giving each person their day in court.

VANIER: Now Track which is a nonpartisan immigration research center affiliated with the University of Syracuse says that actually court cases have become longer. It takes now more time than it used to under the Trump administration to get a final response to these immigrants and these asylum seekers. Is that something that you've observed?

COOPER: Yes, I think what's happening is immigration court the judges have to write out opinions. Often times when they want to decide in the immigrants' favor, they are required to give lengthy decisions because the government is reserving appeal.

So, sometimes the judges have to write 20-page decisions, which makes the process in time take longer because the judges are trying to respect the law and give immigrants the process that they are afforded under the Constitution.

VANIER: All right. Holly Cooper, thank you very much for giving us this context. Thanks.

COOPER: Thank you.

VANIER: Europe is also dealing with its own immigration crisis. E.U. leaders met Sunday in Brussels for informal talks on how to handle the influx of migrants on the continent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it's a European problem, but also highlighted the need for direct deals with E.U. countries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We all agree we want to reduce illegal migration though we want to protect our borders and that we are all responsible for all topics. It cannot be the case that some only deal with primary migration and others only with secondary migration.

Everybody is responsible for everything. Wherever possible, we want European solutions. Where it is not possible, we want to bring those who are willing together and find a common framework for actions.


VANIER: Sunday informal meeting comes ahead of Thursday's official summit where migration and asylum will be the main topic.

[00:10:05] Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks like he will tighten his grip on power after Sunday's elections. The head of Turkey's Supreme Election Board has declared Mr. Erdogan the winner and it appears the president's coalition will hold on to parliament as well.

Mr. Erdogan called the snap elections in April, a year after winning a referendum to strengthen the presidency. The opposition disputes the results, but Mr. Erdogan says he has been handed a mandate.

In a speech, he took aim at what he considers Turkey's enemies. The Gulan (ph) Movement and Kurdish militants.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Turkey made its decision in favor of fighting decisively against all terrorist organizations including PKK and (inaudible). At the same time these results show we will continue to liberate Syrian lands and open the way for our guests and our country to return home safely.


VANIER: With me now is Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute. He's also the author of the book, "The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey." Thank you so much for joining us.


VANIER: Erdogan has been in power over 15 years now. How does he continue to win?

CAGAPTAY: So, oftentimes turkey is considered to be a country that adopts trends invented elsewhere in Europe or the West. I think in the case of Mr. Erdogan, it has been the opposite. I would say he is a protype of populist leaders globally. He came to power in 2002.

He delivered economic growth, built himself a solid base, a base that is composed mostly of conservative Turks that identify with him and that's Erdogan's bright side. But as a populist leader, he also has a dark side. He has demonized, cracked down on, and brutalized demographics.

They're unlikely to vote for him and as a result of that, while, by half of Turkey adores him, that includes many people they have lifted out of poverty. The other half groups that he has demonized including leftist and liberals simply loathe him and there is no space in the middle.

And we saw it here with this new election. Once again, it's a split country, 52-48. It was the case in the referendum last year that assigned Mr. Erdogan new executive powers. Turkey's completely polarized.

Erdogan wins on a populist platform where his base adores him, but his opponents loathe him because he demonized his opponents.

VANIER: Look, he's jailed tens of thousands of people without due process most of the time. He has shutdown independent media. He's been accused of interfering with the judicial process. To what extent is Turkey a democracy today?

CAGAPTAY: I would say unfortunately that while Turkey -- well, first of all, although Turkey has had free and fair elections longer than as Spain, Turkey has been having elections since 1950. That's not withstanding I would say this election was an unfair one, completely and truly unfair, the campaign that is.

Erdogan's businesses have controlled 90 percent of the media in Turkey. The government sensors online content. Elections were held under a state of emergency. That was put in place rightfully after failed coup of 2016 but extended seven times by the government of Mr. Erdogan.

And one of the opposition candidates running for presidency was in jail. So, it is hard to say that this was a fair campaign. It was completely unfair. That's probably one reason why he was able to win this campaign despite the fact that it was still a narrow majority.

VANIER: And look, the political system is going to change now. It's going to become this hyper presidential system that Mr. Erdogan has wanted for years. So, he is not going have a prime minister under him. He is going to have the power to name ministers. He is going to have a say in who the judges are. Is there anyone or anybody that will -- that can act in this new system as a check on his powers?

CAGAPTAY: That's correct. Erdogan will become the most powerful elected Turkish politician ever in Turkey's history of seventy years of democracy. He is going to become head of state, head of government, head of ruling party, simultaneously head of police, which is national force in Turkey, head of Army.

He already has a right to appoint a majority of judges to the high courts after he changed the Constitution to that effect in 2010. And now both executive and legislative branches are under his control.

VANIER: Any checks on his powers?

CAGAPTAY: In theory the parliament can check his power, slow down legislation. The parliament has to approve the budget, but the parliament is controlled by his party.

VANIER: Right.

CAGAPTAY: And he controls his party --

VANIER: He just have the majority in parliament as well.

CAGAPTAY: He did, and he controls his party through a mix of both respect and fear that he has been able to install in many members. So, it is hard to say that there are any checks on his power except for his own mind and intellect.

VANIER: Quickly, is Muharem Ince, the man who came in second position in this presidential election, is he capable of being an effective opposition figure?

CAGAPTAY: I think so. I think Mr. Ince was quite a promising one for Turkey's opposition. He was able to mobilize the base.

[00:15:07] The party that it represents, Republican People's Party known by Turkish (inaudible), CHP, had never received over 30 percent of the vote. Ince by himself was able to cross that threshold. It's still a far call from Mr. Erdogan's 50 percent plus margins, but he is getting there.

And I think what Mr. Erdogan has, is a populist theater. He can talk and connect to the men on the street. He is relatable, and I think that is a quality Mr. Ince has proven that he has. So, going forward if he decides to stay in politics, he will be a check and balance to Mr. Erdogan as an opposition leader.

VANIER: All right. Soner Cagaptay, great to have your insights as always. Thank you.

North Korea officially committed to denuclearization. The U.S. says it is going to start pushing Pyeongchang for follow through on those promises.

Plus, Prince William flexes his diplomatic muscles in the Middle East. We'll tell you why his trip is so historic. Stay with us.


VANIER: Saudi Arabia says it intercepted two ballistic missiles headed for Riyadh. A government statement says missile fragments fell on residential areas but didn't cause any casualties.

[00:20:07] A military spokesman blamed Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen for this attack. The Houthis control most of Yemen and have fired a series of missiles into the kingdom in recent months. The three yearlong conflict is viewed as a proxy battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Over to the Korean Peninsula now for a story that we follow closely. The U.S. is expected to present a timeline soon for North Korea's denuclearization.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, South Korea. Paula, the historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un was two weeks ago now. When will we find out whether North Korea was really serious about denuclearizing?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, what we know at this point is the secretary of defense, Mattis, is on his way to the region. He will be going to China and South Korea and Japan. Clearly, here in South Korea, he will be talking about those joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea that have been postponed after the U.S. president, Donald Trump, announced that shortly after that Singapore summit.

So, what we are hearing now from a defense official, a senior defense official is that there is going to be some specific timeline very soon. We are told there will be specific asks of the North Koreans, a specific time line of the denuclearization.

And according to this senior defense official, he is saying that they believed that there will be some kind of clear indication very soon whether or not North Korea is serious about the denuclearization.

They are saying that there will be some data points pretty soon to find out if they are operating in good faith or not. Now we did hear from the U.S. president that he wanted the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to take the charge and to lead the charge on this.

And we are hearing that they will be in contact shortly to give some kind of outline of what their idea of implementation would be -- Cyril.

VANIER: Here is something else we are watching. North Korea is also expected to show some goodwill by handing back the remains of American servicemen. What more do we know about that? I wonder whether that is particularly a data point we should look at to see if North Korea is serious about the whole process of denuclearizing.

HANCOCKS: It is certainly possible. That was one thing that they had promised to the U.S. president. There was also what Mr. Trump mentioned about this missile engine site that was going to be destroyed. We have no further clarification on that.

So, certainly, those could be a couple of these data points as the official called them that we could be looking for. We don't have timing at this point for the transfer of remains of potentially U.S. service members or other members of the United Nations Command who are fighting during the Korean War in the 1950s.

Because it's North Korea that is going to be handing these remains to U.S. officials at the DMZ we are expecting at this point. So, they have given no clear indication of when it would happen. We are expecting, though, that to happen soon, certainly within days potentially or within this week.

But no exact clarification on that and potentially they would be flown to Hawaii, which is what we heard from the secretary of defense, James Mattis, as well, where they start this forensic identification process.

We have heard from U.S. officials that potentially they are not all going to be U.S. service members. There were a lot of different countries that were represented during the Korean War. So, certainly, the key for them at this point is to try and identify those remains -- Cyril.

VANIER: Paula Hancocks reporting live from Seoul in South Korea, thank you.

The Trump administration says it will soon reveal its Middle East peace plan and the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, made it clear the U.S. will do so with or without Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Kushner, who is visiting leaders in the region criticized Mr. Abbas in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper "Al Quds" saying he doubted Abbas's ability to make peace with Israel. But Palestinian officials accused Kushner of trying to undermine Abbas and ignoring Palestinian rights.

Prince Williams is also testing his diplomatic muscle on a five-day tour of the Middle East. He will be the first British royal to pay an official visit to Israel and to the Palestinian territories. The Duke of Cambridge began his trip in Amman, Jordan on Sunday. Our Max Foster is traveling with the prince and filed this report.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Prince Williams first visit to Jordan and the least contentious part of his five-day visit to the region. His host is his Jordanian counterpart, Crown Prince Hussein, even driving him from the airport to their first engagement.

These are both two young royals. The king of Jordan gets along very well with the queen of the United Kingdom, but this is about the future and securing the Hashmight (ph)-Windsor alliance into the future.

[00:25:06] (on camera): These two young men are destined to be king. They are both very keen on promoting young people as well. The crown prince took Prince William to his foundation, which is all about empowering young people particularly through technology.

The crown prince pretty adept to technology himself with a huge following on Instagram where he portrays himself as a working prince with his charities and causes, but also his role in the military. He is an action prince. We also see him out and about with young people doing selfies with his siblings and also some extreme sports as well. If anyone epitomizes emerging royalty in connection with the youth it is this crown prince.

(voice-over): Later, a more formal affair with the reception in honor of the queen at the British Embassy in Amman and attended by the highest echelons of Jordanian society.

PRINCE WILLIAM, UNITED KINGDOM: The ties between our royal families stretched back over many generations. My grandmother, the queen, and his late majesty, King Hussein, attended (inaudible) exactly one month apart in 1952.

The queen to this day talks fondly of the special bond of friendship that existed between them. Your Highnesses, I look forward to continuing to strengthen this bond between our families in the years to come.

FOSTER (on camera): Another set of engagements for Prince William in Jordan with the crown prince on Monday. He is becoming more and more states manlike as he gets older, but the big test of his diplomatic skills will come on the next leg of his trip when he moves on the Israel and the Palestinian territories and a very carefully crafted set of engagements to take in all of the political and religious sensitivities of this region. Max Foster, CNN, Amman, Jordan.


VANIER: Coming up, as Donald Trump calls for immigrant deportations without due process, we will discuss with my panel next. Stay with us.



VANIER: Welcome back I'm Cyril Vanier. Your headlines this hour Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won re-election, in Sunday's snap vote.

That's according to the head of the countries supreme election board. But almost all those counted state media report Mr. Erdogan's coalition is also still in control of Parliament. The opposition is disputing the results.

The U.S. will present the time lines in North Korea on denuclearization. A senior defense official says that it will soon become clear whether Pyongyang is acting in good faith. On it's promise of complete denuclearization. A pledge made during the Singapore Summit earlier this month.

Back to our top story, the immigration debate in the U.S., joining us now CNN Political Commentators Dave Jacobson and Ben Ferguson. First I want to read one of the latest tweets by Donald Trump.

It says "We can not allow all of these people to invade our country. When somebody comes in we must immediately, with no judges or court cases bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy." Dave your reaction? DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No Mr. President there's something called due process. This is something that is one of the core pillars of our democracy. And thank God for other institutions in our country that surely will make sure that such a process is followed.

The reality is Donald Trump is fully (inaudible), reckless, and a racist. This is just further ammo for him to divide our country. And the bottom line is the American people are on the side of these individuals who are coming across our country. And their families are getting separated.

Overwhelmingly even republicans in Donald Trumps base, the 30 plus percent that he sort of held onto through out the first his presidency has started to splinter to because of this action where he is splitting up families at the border. It is totally abhorrent.


BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well first the splitting at the border is not happening anymore. We know that because of the executive order last week. Second of all the President of the United States of America became the President of the United States of America because of the fact that he stood tough on immigration and because of the fact that he talked about building the wall, and the Presidents point that he's making is we have had for far too long too many ways for people to come into this country easily illegally. And then be able to stick around for an extended period of time. We need to expedite moving them back to the country they came from.

When you catch somebody at the border there is no reason for them to be here for three, four, five, or six months. And there's many people that support the president on this. Second thing is the president's approval rating is above 30 percent. And you act like there's no one behind him.

There are a lot of hard working Americans whose lives have been affected by illegal immigrants. Not only taking jobs away from American's but also those who have been affected by crimes that they do commit, there are a lot of people that come to this county for the reason they want to take a job.

We know that. Mexico's economy is dependent on illegal immigrants sending money back. It's there number one stimulus of their economy. There are some bad apples that also come in and commit heinous crimes. And the President highlighted them this last week. People that will never get to see their children again that were - been separated from forever and had to bury their children because of heinous crimes committed by MS-13 and other illegal immigrants that do simple things like driving drunk.

VANIER: But Ben, what about the obvious question that is raised by this tweet. And that Dave raised. Where is the due process here? I mean you gave a very generous interpretation of the president's words. But the president's words are actually black and white on twitter. You know no judges, no court cases. Where's the due process?

FERGUSON: Look I think you have to have due process. And this is where I would say I disagree with the President and principal on that issue. But I think the core point that he's making here is that we need to expedite this. And we need to stop being a country that is not only so nice to be with that break our laws.

But also stop being a country that's being taken advantage of by illegal immigrants who clearly understand that if they can just get across the boarder the chances of them going home quickly are slim to none. That's the reason why 10's of millions of illegal immigrants flood into this country.

Because they know our laws are weak. And they know they can take advantage of us. Americans could not get away with what we do for illegal immigrants in this country in Mexico for example, or in Canada.

VANIER: So Ben, by the way just to check on the numbers. When you say tens of millions your talking about a period of years, if not decades. The numbers now are like upwards of about 100,000 a month.

FERGUSON: Still I mean, your - still -

VANIER: So we're just not as cool (ph) --

FERGUSON: That is an insane number of people coming in per month. If you use your numbers --

VANIER: But it's also not at all the number that Donald Trump has been --

FERGUSON: That's 1.2 million.

VANIER: Sighting at his rallies.

FERGUSON: My point is there are tens of millions of illegal immigrants currently in this country. We know this. The DREAMer numbers are massive. There over a million and they think there's hundreds of thousands of people that didn't even sign up to be DREAMers, who are here illegally.

And that doesn't count all of the people that come in and out and back and forth across the boarder. That we have no idea how many hundreds of thousands are coming in, working and then going back to their host country --



FERGUSON: -- and then coming back and forth.

VANIER: I want you to listen to this. By the way to your point, there are also more Mexican's leaving this country than coming into this country. And I think if all three of us know - FERGUSON: If they're illegal good.

VANIER: But I want to listen - I want you to listen to this. Donald Trump feels that politically this issue is a winner for him. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: They think that that's a good issue for them. I don't think being weak on the boarder. Being pathetically weak on the boarder, I don't think that's a good issue. I may be wrong. I think I got elected largely because we are strong on the boarder. I really believe that.


VANIER: David is this a topic on which both the democrats and the republicans would actually prefer to keep this a campaign issue going into the mid terms? Rather then actually find a fix?

JACOBSON: There is (inaudible). I mean Dallas is going to have a fall just (inaudible). Fifty-seven percent of Americans oppose Donald Trumps boarder wall. That's a majority of the country, where over 83 percent of American's in that same poll want a docket fix. They want a pathway to citizenship. That is for these individuals who have come here through no fault of their own. Some are serving in the military. Some are classroom teachers. These are good hard working folks working here. Who just want to live a better life.

VANIER: But Dave, my question is does it help the democrats to keep this as an issue all the way into November into the midterms?

JACOBSON: I think the democrats want to do this (ph). You know like whether or not it's a political issue that possibly (inaudible) carry over into the fall campaign. I think is ill relevant. Bottom line democrats support strengthening the boarder. They refuse to support the boarder wall. But we are for boarder security. But we want a pathway to citizenship.

FERGUSON: Just a lot -

JACOBSON: Ben let me finish. Not just for the DACA recipients but for those millions of individuals who are living in this country in the shadows who are participating in our economy, the hard working families and all they want is a better life for them and their children.

And anybody who say's otherwise is simply disingenuous. The reality is we've got republicans, hard edged republicans in the Trump wing who want that boarder wall. But the vast majority of the American people -

FERGUSON: American's want to have a country where people can't just break in.

JACOBSON: The majority of American's do support the boarder wall. Bottom line Cyril, (inaudible) many republican's -

FERGUSON: Let me jump in.

JACOBSON: -- compressive immigration reform. Just the border wall was (inaudible).

VANIER: All right ---

FERGUSON: Let me say - let me say -

VANIER: Gentleman I'm going to have to - Ben I'm sorry. I'm going to have to stop it here. But something tells me we're going to have this conversation again. We'll pursue this. Thank you very much. Dave, Ben thank you, sorry we're out of time.


VANIER: But we'll see you again. Saudi women can now legally get behind the wheel. CNN's Correspondent is on the ground with them, as they hit the road.


VANIER: For the first time woman are legally allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. The ban was lifted Sunday after years of campaigning by activists. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh went for a late night spin with Saudi women just after the ban was lifted.


JOMAN KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mona Al-Fares has waited her entire life for this moment and at the stroke of midnight, she was one of the first women behind the wheel and we got to ride along.


KARADSHEH: So how does it feel? Has it sunk in yet?

MONA AL-FARES, SAUDI MOTORIST: No, I'm still having like a weird feeling that someone is going to stop me now, get arrested, you know?

KARADSHEH: Did you every think this day would come?

AL-FARES: No, never. Actually, never. It was one of the things that I thought was impossible. It's never going to happen.


KARADSHEH: But many around the country say they're in no rush to get on the road just yet. They want to wait and see how one of the most conservative societies in the world will react and some just want to practice a bit more before making their way onto territory, once reserved only for men.

It's been a long and rough journey. Women who protested and defied the ban over the years were arrested, shunned by society. Some of these women will not have the chance to get behind the wheel

yet because they're behind bars, detained recently as part of a crackdown on human rights activists. Some feel, it's perhaps, a message that in this kingdom change will only come from the top down.

Many here credit their young crowned prince, Mohammad bin Salman, with a waive of once unthinkable changes in the ultra-conservative country and his so-called vision, 2030, an ambitious plan to modernize Saudi Arabia by diversifying it's economy away from oil and bring more women into the workforce.


SAHAR NASIEF, SAUDI ARABIA WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Oh my God, where am I? Am I still in Jeddah? Or in Saudi Arabia? What's happening? Because every time there's something it takes(ph) you. A new decree, something new, something -- and it was like, wow all of these changes all of a sudden.


KARADSHEH: For more than forty years Sahar Nasief has campaigned for women's right in Saudi Arabia. In 2013 she was one of the women who protested the ban by driving. She was briefly detained.


NASIEF: I'm 64 right now, and to be honest, this is not done for -- I didn't do all this for me. I did if for my kids and for my grandkids. To make sure they live in more freedom and they have their rights. I never thought I would like through it.


KARADSHEH: Nasief, like many others, wants to see an end to the repressive guardianship law where women, no matter how old or how young, can do some basic things like travel or work without the consent of a male guardian.


NASIEF: The next step, I totally am so optimistic it's going to be getting rid of the guardianship. Like the driving is -- I always said, the driving is only a door opening to a lot of other things.


KARADSHEH: For now thought, it's about savoring this moment. Joman Karadsheh, CNN, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

VANIER: Thank you for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Cyril Vanier. I've got more news at the top of the hour, but first, World Sports, with the one and only, Kate Riley.



VANIER (voce over): We can't allow all these people to invade our country. The words of U.S. President Donald Trump as he calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

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