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Coast-to-Coast Protests As Immigration Fight Boils Over; "American Jail" Premieres Sunday at 8pm ET; United Shades of America Airs Tomorrow At 10pm ET/PT; Trump to Name Nominee for Supreme Court. Aired 12n-1pm ET

Aired June 30, 2018 - 12:00   ET



ALICIA KEYS, SINGER SONGWRITER: -- I was also given a home check. The investigator ensured me that in a week they would have results, that for the New Year, they would surely give me my son. I got so excited, I even bought some Christmas presents for my son. I have them. I still have them.

They're still wrapped in the Christmas wrapping paper. They gave me deep sorrow every time I see them. First, they tell you in a few weeks you will have your child, then in a month. Then in another month, but they never fulfill their promise.

With such delay, I have asked myself what am I doing wrong? Have I not sent everything they asked from me? I want them to at least allow me to see him one day if only for a while.

What mother would not want to have her son in her arms if only for one moment? So, please hold this mother in your heart and never forget her family struggles.

AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS: My name is America Ferrera. And I am here not only as a brand-new mother, as the child, the proud child of Honduran immigrants. And not only as an American who sees it as her duty to be here defending justice.

I am here as a human being, with a beating heart, who can feel pain, who understands compassion and can easily imagine what it must feel like to struggle the way families are struggling right now.

It is easy to imagine that I would hope if it was my family being torn apart, if it was my brother being arbitrarily criminalized, if it was my sister being banned, that someone would stand up for me and my family.

It is that simple. This fight does not belong to one group of people, one color of people, one race of people, one gender. It belongs to all of us. What makes humans remarkable is our capacity to imagine. We have an imagination. Let's use it.

As I read these words from a grandfather who was fighting to be reunited, who is fighting to be reunited with his granddaughter, I want you to imagine that this is your child. That you are this grandfather. These are his words.

The names are changed. I am the grandfather of Theresa who is currently detained at Shiloh Residential Treatment Center. I am currently living in a duplex apartment in Oakland, California. I work every day as a food vendor. I want to be her sponsor because she is my granddaughter and I am her grandfather.

I spent a lot of time with Theresa when we both lived in El Salvador. I came to the United States when she was 5 years old and have helped to financially support Theresa and her mother ever since. I think I would be a good sponsor for Theresa because I want to take care of her and I am able to do so.

In February 2018, a home investigator came to my house. She asked me a lot of questions and had me fill out a lot of paperwork. I got the impression that the home investigator didn't think I made enough money to be able to support Theresa and myself. I know I don't make a lot of money.

But I make enough to care for Theresa. Everything I have, I will give to her. I have not heard anything since then. When I reached out to the social worker at the Shiloh Treatment Center, she told me that the Office of Refugee Resettlement threw out my application.

And that they are going to transfer Theresa somewhere else. The last time that we talked, she told me that she was starting to feel desperate. I told her not to lose hope. And that we are just waiting to see what the government says about me. Please remember these words and, Theresa, please do not lose hope.

[12:05:04] Hold him in your heart. We cannot forget.

KEYS: America and I are here to say we know we all feel and we all believe. That is our democracy is at stake. Our humanity is at stake. We are out here to save the soul of our nation. We need all the children reunited to their parents. We demand to end the zero- humanity policy.

We need to save the Supreme Court. And we need to vote. Because when we vote, we win, and so, America and I want you to Join us to say we're not backing down. We're not backing down! We're not backing down! Thank you for your strength. Thank you for not backing down.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you're listening to Alicia Keys and America Ferrera there. Their impassioned pleas, we're not backing down and also reading a letter from a grandfather who was trying to go through the process of being able to get a little girl back in his life and back into a familiar setting.

Alicia Keys saying our humanity is at stake. America Ferrera saying this fight does not belong to one kind of people, one race, one gender. It belongs to all of us.

Our Rene Marsh is back in the crowd there in the nation's capital. People being galvanized, inspired and touched by these many speakers who have taken to the stage there. RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: They certainly are. I will say that the words that you just heard on that stage very much reflect what I've been hearing from people here. Reflects a lot of the messages that I'm seeing on signs here.

And honestly after they heard those two speaker, Alicia Keys and America Ferrera, it just jolted them with a little bit of energy and they're starting the chanting again. Just want to set the scene. We are in Lafayette Park. It's right outside of the White House.

Of course, the president is not here this weekend, but he certainly may be watching these images here of thousands of people. As far as we can see, Fred, we're seeing a sea of people out in the park by the White House, holding the signs. Simply here to make their voices heard.

They have two messages. Not only that they disagree with this administration's immigration policies, but of course they want to speak directly to many of those immigrants. Many of the people who want to come to the United States and let them know that not everyone here in the United States is in line with the immigration policies that are in place.

So, we are here now, we will start moving in a matter of hours. We'll make our way through the park with the masses and we'll be starting -- stopping first at the Department of Justice. Then walking down Pennsylvania Avenue and making a stop, again, near to the capitol building, so that will all happen in a matter of hours.

Right now, the speakers continue on the stage on the other side of the park here. Fred, in talking to many of these people, they've come from very far away. They're not all here from Washington, D.C. actually, Ma'am, where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually from Maryland, Chevy Chase. She's from Michigan.

MARSH: What did you two think about the speech we just heard from Alicia Keys?


MARSH: And America Ferrera.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, very moving.

MARSH: I mean, what is your message? I know I spoke to some people who said they're not necessarily talking to the president, but they're talking to the immigrants who want to come here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would rather have immigrants than racists.

MARSH: How about you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree and I'm talking to both the president and immigrants and to all the Republicans who are unwilling to fix this problem.

MARSH: So, Fred, that is a situation here. Again, a large turnout. There was another march similar to this on Thursday. That was all women. Many of them were arrested, showing a form of civil disobedience when they got to the U.S. capitol. But the numbers here today far outnumber what we saw on Thursday. Back to you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, Rene Marsh. We'll check back with you. Now let's go to Chicago. Where people have been gathering there. Let's check in with our Ryan Young.

[12:10:07] It looks like the crowd has grown.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Fred, what a massive crowd showing up here. They have some 500 marshals to get the crowd through the streets as they start marching. It's one of the hottest days of the year here in Chicago.

A lot of people have been getting together, having a conversation in the shade, to try to avoid this. Look, we've been talking to some people who are passionate about the idea why they're here. Tell me why you felt you needed to be here today to be a part of this march.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a starting point, I think we're in a battle for the soul of the country and this is really a question of who we are as a people and as a nation. Personally, I'm the grandson of one of the 2 percent of Polish Jews to survive the holocaust so there's not really a choice in this moment for folks like us. Got to be here and stand up in solidarity.

YOUNG: The president says, you know, we're a nation of laws and we're having to do this to stop people from coming in and committing crimes in the country. When you hear words like that, is there a reaction from you in terms of the words used to talk about these families?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, what we're talking about here is people, number one who want to be in our country, who are going a long distance to be part of who we are as a people.

And number two, we are talking about families with young kids. These aren't criminals. They're just asking for a chance to survive and we're sending them back home often to their deaths.

I don't really understand how there's a debate in this country about what we're going to do with young families and children. That argument rings hollow for me.

YOUNG: Senator Durbin, we talked to him last half hour. He says the people must come out and vote. Can this turn into votes in November?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll about find out. I saw earlier was folks registering people. For a lot of people who have not been active in this movement broadly, right, the election obviously turned people on.

But this is one step in that process. And so, the more they engage in these moments, the more power they feel in this community, the easier it is to take the next step and to understand.

The difference that I would point to, though, is it's not just about voting. We've got to go so much more work inside of our communities between elections to build those coalitions and if all you're doing is saying show up in November and you don't pay attention or the party's not working to engage the community between now and then, people aren't going to show up.

YOUNG: Thank you so much. You see all the signs people brought. There are signs all across the way. They expect to probably start marching in about the next 20 minutes or so. What we've seen is a lot of people coming together and having conversations about what will happen next.

WHITFIELD: All right, Ryan Young, thank you so much. We'll check back with you. Appreciate it.

So, the crowds are swelling nationwide. We've seen Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and then in L.A., people are starting to gather as well. So, all these demonstrations are centered on the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy that forces separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents.

Joining me right now from Washington is CNN political commentator, Alice Stewart, and from Miami, CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro. Good to see you both, Ladies.

All right. So, Ana, this realization that there was no real plan in place to reunify kids and parents. If this is the case, how is it that you see any of these children will ever be reunified with their parents and no less within this court order of 20 days?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think a lot of this is going to get sorted out by the courts. If they are holding families for more than 20 days, there surely are going to be legal challenges. We see there are legal challenges going on now. We see there are parents suing to be reunited with their kids.

I think we're going to see -- and there is yet to see a lot of court action in this. There's also the political action. What we're seeing today, there are over 700 events going on around the country. As politically different as Alabama and Massachusetts because people around this country are outraged.

This has touch add common nerve. A level of humanity. That feeling of being a mother or family, of having human empathy that has cut across demographics. So, what could I think it's going to take?

It may take Republicans losing in November. It's not enough just to go out and march today. You must register to vote. You must make a difference. You must hold people who are complicit with this administration and this cruel policy accountable.

[12:15:08] WHITFIELD: Alice, we heard from Senator Durbin today. The question being asked, is the White House, is anybody really listening? Dick Durbin said, you know what, you may not listen today, but you will hear the message come November. But is that really what's at issue here? It's really an issue of compassion. How can you not put yourself in the position of any number of these parents or kids and not see how difficult it would be for you and your family?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's what we're hearing from a lot of these people out of this protest today, is let's see some compassion, and they are demonstrating to the people that have been separate. Look, I'm an American and I sympathize with you while it may not appear our government does.

I think Dick Durbin hit a good point, but the key, as he says, the real sea change will come November, but the key is marches are one thing, protests are one thing, but as Ana said, registering to vote and actually voting, that will make the sea change.

If all this doesn't turn into votes, then this will, there's not really a point with that. But in terms of this compassion, when we've seen Melania Trump make a second visit to the border, that goes a long way to show we care --

WHITFIELD: But does it?

NAVARRO: No, it doesn't, Alice --

STEWART: The very first question she asked when she was there is how often do the parents talk to their kids? She was instrumental in my view in getting the president to sign the executive order to stop families --

WHITFIELD: Then why isn't she instrumental in helping to expedite the reunification? Because we are seeing conflicting numbers from seven kids who have been reunite with their parents to 500, but you know, if she's got influence, then one would think that means reunifications would be picked up as a result.

NAVARRO: The very first question that Melania Trump asked when she went on a visit to the border was I really don't care, do you? That was the very first question she asked. I'm a little over these staged photo ops.

I'm a little over, I'm a little unaffected by hearing Ivanka and Melania are having influence on the president when what we've seen is an executive order that was a sham, because it did not need to be signed.

It is a unilateral policy created by this administration, by this DOJ, with the affirmation of this president. So, we saw a sham order that was signed but then not executed because they absolutely didn't have a plan to do it.

And there are still 2,000 plus kids that are separated that are wailing for their mommy, sleeping under foil blankets. Really, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, girls, you got more work to do.

WHITFIELD: So, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said, you know, this is about babies, mamas who want their children back. This was Senator Warren today in Boston.


SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The president's deeply immoral actions have made it obvious we need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom. Starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our morality and values. This moment is a moral crisis for our country. Dr. Martin Luther King said there comes a time when silence is betrayal. We will not be silent.


WHITFIELD: So, the issue of ICE and this movement of getting rid of ICE, Alice, I mean, the momentum seems to be building on that. The president tweeted about it today. But he took it further, saying, well, first it's, you know, ICE, and next it will be police.

STEWART: Sure. We have to remember why ICE was created. After a lot of these terrorists came into this country and they went undetected. The lax immigration laws allowed them to stay in this country. We need to have ICE to help protect our borders.

WHITFIELD: You heard Senator Durbin who said look at ICE, they're going after toddlers, not terrorists. So, things have changed is what Senator Warren is saying.

STEWART: Well, look at the numbers. In 2017, ICE arrested 125,000 aliens who had criminal records. So, that goes to show they are doing the effective work of going after those who are committing crimes and also gang members as well as those transporting drugs.

But look, these ICE members and the border patrol agents, part of the border security effort, they are executing the president's zero- tolerance policy. We heard the president tweeting out, "There's zero chance ICE will be abolished."

[12:20:06] So, this is talk from the far left and the Democratic Party. That is not going to happen, certainly not under this president's watch. They view if you abolish ICE., you're not doing the job this president campaigned on, securing the borders.

WHITFIELD: So, Ana, is this a smart campaign move or might this backfire?

NAVARRO: You know, it's not about ICE. it's about Donald Trump. It's about Jeff Sessions, his minions like Secretary Nielsen and Jeff Sessions, who both have been berated in public by Trump.

I think that's why they bend over backwards and try to do as much as they can to fan the flames and execute these orders with no leeway in order to appease this guy who seems not to have thought much of them at some point in their careers, in their term serving him.

I think they're being servile in order to remain in their jobs. It's not an issue about ICE. There's a lot of things that ICE does. Including, you know, issue the oath to citizenship. It is an issue about this administration, the tone and the fact that they are using this as they did in the 2016 elections, as Trump did in 2016 as a wedge issue. You know, the guy -- you had a guy who you interviewed right before we got on who said this is a battle for the heart and soul of America.

He's absolutely right. We've already fought one of these battles. We fought it in 2016. Donald Trump issued all these threats, said what he was going to do, used immigration as a wedge issue, attacked immigrants, and he won. And so, you know, here we are fighting the battle again. We're going to see who wins come November.

WHITFIELD: All right, Ana Navarro, Alice Stewart, thank you so much. As we continue to follow the rallies happening from coast to coast. We're also going to hear from DNC Chairman Tom Perez, coming up. Stay with us.




WHITFIELD: All right, extraordinary talent and inspiration coming from that stage near Washington, D.C. today. Just there, you were listening to Destiny Road, a youth choir, singing "There will come a day."

Various cities protesting the U.S. immigration's zero-tolerance policy leading to the separation of families. Protesters have gathered near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. That's where we find CNN's Polo Sandoval. So, Polo, what's happening now?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been a busy morning in Brooklyn, Fred. A massive crowd gathered in Lower Manhattan as they marched over the Brooklyn bridge. Now here in the plaza at the foot of the bridge. Many speakers talking about the theme of protecting families, which is really the main message we've heard from so many people here. Speak to us about what brings you out here. What is so special about the message you bring today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the idea of separating small children from their parents, it's inhumane, indecent. I couldn't stay home in the face of this. It's just one more despicable act of using children as pawns in a chess game. No concept of these being human beings, of the kind of harm that's being done to them psychologically, emotionally and to their parents as well. I think it's outrageous.

SANDOVAL: We've heard from several lawmakers who say this perhaps galvanizes voters. How does that affect --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think so, the fact that people are turning out like this in multiple cities across the country. It's a step too far. I think he can't stop treating people like they're insignificant.

SANDOVAL: Thank you so much for your time. Thank you. We'll let you get back to your family.

Fred, one of the many people we've been speaking to. It's interesting the messaging. Not only is the message of protecting families what they're here to talk about but also calling on the president to, as they say, get its act together. There's been a lot of conflicting information for several days.

It's very difficult to get a straight answer about how they plan to move forward with these reunifications. There is clearly because of what happened at the border. By the way, to keep track, of these children separated from their mothers and fathers.

WHITFIELD: Thank you so much. Again, these protests are taking place across the country from coast to coast. I want to bring in right now one of the many voices right here in the Washington, D.C. protest, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez. Tom, good to see you.

What are your impressions of the gatherings that have taken place, namely with the one right behind you there in the nation's capital?

TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: The energy here is palpable. This is a moral crisis for our nation and I'm meeting people of all faith traditions. I've had Republicans come up to me and say the party of Lincoln is dead. I'm so sorry I have -- I've met immigrants who are wondering what's going on.

And, again, we're fighting for our democracy here. This is -- this transcends any one issue. This is one of those where were you moments and children and their parents should never be separated.

I come here not as the head of the Democratic Party, but I come here as the father of three. This is unconscionable. I was in Brownsville earlier this week and your earlier reporting is spot on. There are parents who have no idea where their children are right now. That is absolutely unconscionable. This is not only illegal, it's an immoral. And that is why people across faith traditions, that's why people across this country are marching today.

We want to make sure that our country represents our values and that's why I'm here, to make sure we're standing up for families being together. And we're standing up for the basic value that, you know, we are a nation of immigrants.

WHITFIELD: Do you believe --

PEREZ: And we're going to keep fighting for our democracy. We're going to keep fighting for these kids.

WHITFIELD: Do you believe this is an issue that is going to determine the outcome of midterm elections?

PEREZ: I think this is one of many issues that is going to help Democrats get elected.

We believe that health care is a right for all, not a privilege for a few. We believe in women's reproductive health. We believe when you work a full-time job, you ought to get paid a fair wage. We believe that parents shouldn't be separated from their children. We believe that we should have retirement security. We believe in the right to form a union. And these are what are animating people across the country.

We've seen the energy. Democrats are winning elections because we believe that the secretary of education ought to believe in public education and our EPA administrator ought to know something about climate change. And so, we see the enthusiasm.

So, this is one of a broad array of issues. We're fighting for good wages, we're fighting for health care, we're fighting for our future, we're fighting for our democracy quite frankly.

WHITFIELD: But Tom, you did hear some criticism, if not some additional guidance coming from the Former President Barack Obama who said it's time for Democrats to stop moping. In other words, crystalize more ideas. Is that a particular challenge leading up to midterms?

PEREZ: Hey, I was with the President. I was doing the conversation with the President on Thursday night. And his simple message was, vote. Our signature initiative in 2018 here is getting people out to vote. I will, making sure that people show up.

And the way we're getting people to show up is by leading with our values, by showing people that Democrats care about health care. We believe that health care's a right for all. We believe that public education is the key to empowerment. We believe that parents shouldn't be separated from children. And those are the values that President Obama talked about the other night. And he talked about the importance of organizing and it comes down to voting.

We've got bout 130 days until the election. I often say, 130 days until the weekend. And we're going to fight every single day and even women --

WHITFIELD: All right.

PEREZ: -- in everywhere across this country. I think we can do it and that's exactly what today's rally is about, taking back our democracy.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there. Tom Perez, Chairman -- co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

All right, still ahead, more on the breaking news we're following. Millions of people across the country taking to the streets to protest family separations at the southern border. We'll take you back out to many of those rallies. But first, a preview of the new CNN's film, "American Jail," which takes a hard look at whether mass incarcerations are justified or are a major injustice. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my hometown of Easton, Pennsylvania, nothing stood taller than the jail on the hill. Every family had been touched by it. We all have tales of broken men in and out of lockup. I just assumed I would end up there too.

UNIDENTNFIED MALE: How many of you know someone who's been in jail?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute, you've been in jail?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Americans knew what was happening in prisons and jails, they'd demand change.

UNIDENTNFIED MALE: It's inevitable to end up here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the jails were filled with white kids from the suburbs and then they were making those white kids work for no money, how long do you think that operation would be allowed to last?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The criminal justice system in this country is only real function controlling poor people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I went way as a kid, it taught me nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got to change this around in here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American jail, A CNN film premieres tomorrow night at 8:00 on CNN.



[12:39:40] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back, live pictures right now. Demonstrations across the country, people are protesting to Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on anyone illegally crossing the U.S. border, the force separation on infants, toddlers and other children from their parents.

Let's now go to the southern border. We find our Diane Gallagher there at McAllen, Texas, which has been home to several protests over the "zero tolerance" immigration policies.

Again, lots of people have gathered. They often see the bus loads of people who are brought to the facility there for processing, what's happening today?

[12:40:17] DIANA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, and this is kind of the epicenter of this where (ph) this central location, because so many people were galvanized by those photos from McAllen processing center which is not far from here. Those children and their parents in those cages right before they're separated in those silver blankets. This is a community that has long had protests dealing with ICE and border patrol. And you can see, they're smaller in numbers in the larger city of mainly because they're smaller in population. This right here, Elizabeth Rodriguez and you said this is something that has been a passion of yours advocating for the migrant community for years now. Out here today though, seeing the rest of the world with McAllen, protesting with you, how do you feel?

ELIZABETH RODRIGUEZ, PROTESTER FROM ALTON, TEXAS: It's definitely a great sight to see so many coming together to give us support here in the Rio Grande Valley. This is something that we have long -- for a long, long time been fighting for. This is a great county, great region that has served to our community, that has great history of people migrating back and forth. And to see all these people here supporting our cause, it's overwhelming. It's a great feeling to know that this issue is finally getting the attention that it deserves.

GALLAGHER: Now, a lot of the people across the country, it is mainly about making sure that these families get back together. It has been a much slower process than the government initially indicated that it was going to be. But you've said that this is about even more than that. This is about more than some are saying abolishing ICE. This is about complete reform for you.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, definitely. I think that in order for us to better -- to treat our migrant community better, we do definitely need -- we need complete immigration reform.

GALLAGHER: Does that include getting rid of ICE that some are now calling for?

RODRIGUEZ: I would say that what we need to do we need to take a close look at the policies that have clearly not been working. We collect data and continuous research on this stigmatic topic that has brought to light the fact that these policies do not work. They do not work for the people that need these opportunities the most.

GALLAGHER: Thank you so much. I appreciate it, Elizabeth. And, again, out here in McAllen, Fred, sort of the epicenter of all this when people think of those photos, they're thinking of what is happening in McAllen. The people here want the rest of the world to know that they are out here and they have been out here and they appreciate the rest of the country joining them now.

WHITFIELD: Hard to forget the images seen and the sounds heard. Diane Gallagher, thank you so much.

All right, coming up, the President has selected a day to announce his U.S. Supreme Court nominee and now he says he has narrowed his list as well. We'll discuss the impact of the nomination when we come right back.

And we'll also have much more on our breaking news coverage of immigration protests happening across the country, but first on this week's episode of "United Shades of America", Kamau Bell visits Hawaii and talks to those who were there during the attack on Pearl Harbor. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)




BELL: Wow, you don't look 79.


BELL: She don't look 79.

(voice-over): Once I realized how old they were, I realized something else that kind of scared me. They had lived through Pearl Harbor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I was three years old, a Japanese plane came over our house in Haleiwa (ph), yes?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will never forget it. The effect of the war, yes, of all this happening to us, yes, I see the tears, I see the scaredness and everything. Then our neighborhood with all this different nationalities, all of a sudden, we're not talking to each other. And you know, when we grow we go, why, what did we do? It's not us. It's the freaking system, the damned government, United States of America who turned us over 200 years oppression to the Kanaka people. Why?


WHITFIELD: Don't miss "United Shades of America" airing tomorrow night 10:00 Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.


[12:49:02] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Demonstrations are intensifying across the country. This is Washington, D.C. right now where people are protesting the "zero tolerance" policy on immigration. Let's listen in now to Leah. She's 12 years old and the daughter of undocumented immigrant parents.



LEAH, DAUGHTER OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT PARENTS: I love you more. Why would thy hurt us (ph) like that? It is unfair that they got to spend time with their families today while there are children in detention centers and in cages all along missing their parents who are thrown in jail.

[12:50:10] LEAH: I live with the constant fear of losing my mom to deportation. My mom is strong, beautiful and brave. She is also a person who taught me how to speak up when I see things that aren't fair.

ICE wants to take away my mom from me. I don't like to live with this fear. It scare me. I can't sleep. I can't study. I'm stressed. I am afraid that they will take my mom away while she is at work, out driving or at home. I don't understand why this administration won't support mothers who just want a better life for their children.

This needs to change. We cannot allow them to hurting families, communities and children. I know that together we make things better for families and kids.

I want to be an example to the other kids who are going through the same problem as me. I want to tell kids at the border and all over the country not to give up and fight for their family. We are all human and deserve to be loved and care for. We are children.

Our government has to do the right thing and stop separating us from our parents and stop locking us up. I won't give up fighting for the right to stay with my mom. I am not asking for a favor. It is my right to say as a child to live in peace with my mother and the rest of my family.


Families belong together. Say it with me louder. Families belong together. Thank you.


WHITFIELD: Powerful words coming from a 12-year-old, Leah, she's the daughter of undocumented immigrant parents. You hear her right there speaking of her fear that at any moment her parents might be taken away and might be deported.

She and so many are gathering, whether it be in Washington, D.C., Chicago, L.A., New York, impassioned pleas to the Trump administration, protesting the administration's "zero tolerance" policy.

All this, at a time where so many have gathered in Washington, D.C., the President isn't even at the White House this weekend. He's in Bedminster, New Jersey. However, it's hard to believe he'll be able to escape, really, the sentiments coming from so many and all corners of the nation.

The President has, now, a lot on his plate. He has already said that he is actually going to nominate a Supreme Court justice, possibly as early as a week from this Monday. To discuss all of this with me is, Greg Brower, who is a Former U.S. Attorney and is the Former Assistant Director of the Office of Congressional Affairs at the FBI. He is also a member of the Supreme Court Bar.

All right, good to see you Greg.

GREG BROWER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Thanks for having me. WHITFIELD: So, before the President tackles the issue of nominating someone for the U.S. Supreme Court, it's hard to ignore all of this that is bubbling up across the country. And in any way, would this kind of sentiment also color his decision about who he might nominate?

BROWER: Well, it certainly could. I don't think it will though. I think at the end of the day, there is a short list that's getting shorter that has been in the works for quite some time, going back to the transition period. And so, I don't think what's happening today in terms of current events or politics is going to affect that much.

WHITFIELD: The President says in nine days he'll have an idea of who he might be nominating. Might this be someone who is very similar to the 81-year-old Anthony Kennedy who is stepping down later on this month? Or will the President looking for someone who better reflects him, his character or his presidency, knowing that this person might be on the bench for some 40 years?

BROWER: Well, Justice Kennedy, of course has quite a legacy on the court more than three decades of service. He was the fifth vote in many, many significant cases over the years. A lot of observers I think would say that he most closely resembles Americans in terms of his view on some of the biggest issues that the court faces. But I think --

[12:55:17] WHITFIELD: Meaning that he's flexible?

BROWER: Well, he's flexible and he takes cases as they come. He's not necessarily tied to any strict judicial doctrine or theory and he's pragmatic. And he simply, in that way, I think reflects where most Americans are on important issues.

Having said that, I think that the President is under a lot of pressure to nominate someone more conservative than Justice Kennedy. Justice Kennedy was not a favorite of conservative court watchers in recent years, despite the fact he sided with Chief Justice Rehnquist during the Rehnquist court as much as any other justice. But I think we'll see a more conservative nominee.

WHITFIELD: Might this have been a very difficult decision for Justice Kennedy as well? I mean, he went over to the White House. He hand delivered his resignation. But he must have been somewhat contemplative about whether this is the right time. Because couldn't his resignation right now, his legacy, also be kind of undercut by who the President appoints or nominates next?

BROWER: It's a tough call for any judge, whether a Supreme Court Justice or lower court federal judge. There's no perfect time I would submit. And so, I think judges are well advised to not overthink it. They need to do of course what's right for them and their families and not try to think too much about the political ramifications.

Having said that, of course every judge and justice does think about the political ramifications of stepping down and I'm sure he went through that process himself.

WHITFIELD: All right, Greg, thank you so much, appreciate it.

BROWER: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, back to the breaking news we're following, rallies unfolding across America as demonstrators take to the streets in protest of family separations at the southern border. We'll take you back out live to these demonstrations in the nation's capital. We'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: Hello again everyone and thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Washington, D.C. Right now, thousands of people are marching --