Return to Transcripts main page


Deportations to Begin; Cold Snap Bringing Down Summer Temps; Airbus Releases New Seat Design

Aired July 14, 2014 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Mike, is it safe to say this will continue to be a long process?

MIKE BOETTCHER, DOCUMENTARY FILM CORRESPONDENT: It is. You know, Carol, to this day, I still have flashes, things will remind me of that -- that gun to my head in El Salvador when I thought I was going to be executed. You know, you never are totally - it - well, I can only speak from my experience. I have never been able to totally escape it. It's always there.

Now, have I learned to deal with it and to move on to other things? Yes. And I think that everyone reacts differently. I mean there are some constants. But, for me, it's something that has never totally gone away, Carol.

COSTELLO: Mike Boettcher, David Rudd (ph), thanks so much to both of you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, thousands of men, women and children now in the United States illegally, deportations about to begin, but what's the right thing to do with all of the children who made that long trip from Central America? We'll talk about that next.


COSTELLO: They battled harsh conditions to trek sometimes thousands of miles in a journey to cross into the United States illegally. Now some of the thousands of undocumented immigrants, children, will start being deported this week. Those who stay may not find a welcome mat rolled out as communities nationwide fight back saying they don't want these immigrants in their towns. Randi Kaye starts her story from League City, Texas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?

CROWD: Justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we want it?


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In League City, Texas, they are fighting mad, using their voice and vote to tell the federal government, don't even think about it. While there is no plan to bring any children who have illegally crossed the border to this community, the city council voted on the issue anyway, passing a city ordinance this week banning the processing and detention of undocumented immigrants. The message, they're not welcome here.

KIM KITCHEN, LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS, RESIDENT: We have veterans that are homeless, that can't even get medical care, but we're going to house these people on the military bases. And it just makes me sick.

KAYE: One city council member even suggesting the federal government is secretly finding shelters for the tens of thousands of Central American immigrants.

HEIDI THIESS, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS: If they are going behind the backs of local authorities to establish detention centers in communities about our size, we have to be proactive. We have to plan for this.

KAYE: And they're not just planning in Texas. In Murrieta, California, where immigrants have been arriving by the bus load, angry protesters blocked the roadway when this bus tried to reach the border patrol station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are obstructing the roadway.

KAYE: The protesters chant, "go back home." The buses turned around, car carrying 140 undocumented women and children to another community, hoping to find a different response.


KAYE (on camera): Perhaps they should try heading north to Michigan, where the Wolverine Human Services Center, which treats troubled boys, is offering to take in some of the children crossing the border. They're looking to house 60 to 120 boys ages 12 to 17.

KAYE (voice-over): Even here, though, that news doesn't sit so well with residents.

STACEY CONNELL, PROTESTOR: If you don't stand for something, you're going to fall for anything.

I love everybody. I'm a Christian. But the Bible tells me to obey man's laws. And our law says you must come to our country legally. I love these people and I have compassion for them, but we do not need them here taking our services, our money, or our children's time.

KAYE: No doubt it will get uglier before it gets better, as many people on this side of the border worry about their jobs, their children, and continue to associate the influx of helpless immigrant children with drugs.

TAMYRA MURRAY, PROTESTOR: It's going to be easy for the cartel to come in and set up operations here.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COSTELLO: So, let's talk about this with CNN political commentator and "New York Times" op-ed columnist Ross Douthat and CNN political commentator and host of Huff Post Live Marc Lamont Hill.

Good morning, gentlemen.



COSTELLO: Good morning.

So, Mark, you heard the gentleman in Randi Kaye's story. He's a Christian. He loves everybody, but the Bible tells him that you have to obey the law of the land, send the immigrants back. Is he right?

HILL: Well, I think it's a - it's so complex of an issue, we can't just say yes or no. In the case of these children coming over, sending them back does not only probably following the law, it's also probably the healthiest thing to do, but we have to do it in a way that protects their dignity and also protects their health, protects their legal rights. That's why the president is asking for more stuff. I think -- financially speaking.

But I think one of the challenges is, we have these red herrings like border security and drug cartels, as we heard in the package, and those aren't really the issues here. Border security is working just fine right now. These kids aren't sneaking across the border. They're turning themselves in, in hope of getting refuge for a few years. We have to analyze that and understand that. We do have a different set of legal challenges for these children coming in from Central America than we do in the Mexican crisis and oftentimes people are confusing those two things and it's making a logjam in Congress.

COSTELLO: Well, I will say, Ross, that the Homeland Security secretary says deportations will begin today. Senator John McCain came out over the weekend and said, deport these kids now. I mean do it as humanely as possible, but you got to do what you got to do. So is that what's going to happen?

DOUTHAT: For some of them, yes. But you have to keep in mind that under U.S. law currently, and in part because of the law we passed back in 2008, many of the kids have the right to an asylum hearing. And then many others initially, and maybe this is less the case now that it is getting so much national attention, but many others were released fairly early on with letters requiring them in theory to appear for asylum hearings.

So, you're looking at a large population in custody that has to work their way through the court system and then probably a larger population that was taken into custody and then released. So you can - it's not as simple as saying, you know, deport them tomorrow. The law won't allow for that. And you can make moves, and this is what the president is talking about and what Congress is talking about, there is a lot of argument about this, to suspend or repeal some of the provisions requiring full hearings. But the problem there is, you know, I mean as the gentleman that you quoted said, we -- you know, we're a nation of laws and this was the law when these kids came across the border. So there's a sense in which any solution to the problem is going to take a long while and a fair amount of money and personnel to work through.

And I'll just say quickly, I agree with most of what Marc said, but there is an element here where it's not so much that -- that, you know, these kids are involved in cartel business or anything like that. But the fact that so much manpower, so much border patrol manpower and money and so on is tied up dealing with this has made -- has cut down on the number of drug arrests, drug interdiction and so on. So there is - it's not entirely crazy to see a connection here to the drug trade, even if it isn't as direct as the - as involving the children themselves.

COSTELLO: Right. So the --

HILL: And I agree with that.


HILL: I just want to make sure that we don't - I just want to make sure that we don't criminalize the children in this political discourse.

DOUTHAT: Yes (ph).

HILL: And that's often what we see happening.

And I agree, the current law does allow for asylum. But the premise of the 2008 law was human trafficking and making sure that these kids weren't set right back to the people trafficking them.


HILL: We have to make sure that that complex set of legal processes for people in nine contiguous states remains in place. And I think people have made the case at least that there are regulations within the current law that we could impose differently that would allow us not to have to revamp the entire law. There's an exceptional circumstance within the current law that says that we can make different choices. If we see these as - if we frame these as exceptional circumstances, meaning that we have to treat these children like the - like the Mexican immigrant children in the sense of sending them back quickly because there's a humanitarian crisis that's enhanced by keeping them - by encouraging people to come here, we might be able to do something right now and not wait for a wholesale immigration law, which is like waiting for Goudeau.

COSTELLO: Well, I think you're (INAUDIBLE) about that. Well, well, let's --

DOUTHAT: Well, and in fairness - and in fairness, President Obama has taken the view that he has a lot of latitude, let's say, with immigration laws.

HILL: Yes.

DOUTHAT: So I think it - yes, I think it's not entirely reasonable for the White House to say, well, we have to wait for Congress to act given that they've shown a willingness to sort of, you know, pick and choose a little bit in terms of enforcement already.

COSTELLO: All right, Ross Douthat, Marc Lamont Hill, thanks so much.

DOUTHAT: Thanks, Carol.

HILL: A pleasure.

COSTELLO: I'll be right back.


COSTELLO: Remember that winter that never seemed to end? Well, this week of July is typically one of the hottest of the year. But instead, guess what, a cold snap is bringing temperatures down. And I mean way down. The weird weather does not end there. Some cities in the northeast are already under a flood watch following one very wet weekend. George Howell live in Chicago. Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is in the CNN Weather Center.

George, you have a jacket on in July.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, you know, I just had to change jackets because we had some rain come through. And got my scarf handy because temperatures are supposed to drop some 10 to 20 degrees. Here in Chicago, you know, we only get like three months of really warm weather. We don't have summer days to spare.

So look, that's impressive to talk about that. Yes. Cooler air is on the way throughout the Midwest. And then we look at what happened just over the weekend, in Burbank, Illinois, the story was flooding. We saw floodwaters overtake neighborhoods, flood basements, and even overwhelm that city's sewage system. Then in Florida, just the other day, at Disney World, the monorail was knocked out of power, people were stranded, up 30 feet in the air, simply because of power outages because of strong storms that moved through that area.

Witnesses say they saw lightning bolts, but officials there telling us that no lightning bolt directly caused that power outage there. It caused the monorail to basically lose power. Also, want to talk about what happened in Colorado. We know that at least two people died and 13 others were injured. Thirteen others injured because of lightning strikes at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Remember that this is a park that is at high altitudes there and because of these fast-moving storms, just caused a real dangerous situation for people there, Carol. But, yes, I mean, a lot of weather happening to talk about here in Chicago. I think we're getting ready for cooler weather. It is July. We're trying to make sense of it.


COSTELLO: That's just cruel, isn't it? It is very cruel. George Howell, thank you so much.

So, Jennifer, lots of folks on the Internet are calling this -- or calling the cooler weather, the cause of the cooler weather a polar vortex. Is that correct?

GRAY: Yes.


GRAY: Well, a polar vortex is really not something that can come down and get you. It always stays around the poles. And so when we're talking about this, we'll call it just a polar plunge, how about that? Winter-like -- well, not winter-like even, just a polar invasion. We're getting a dip in the jet stream and it is not weird to get a dip in the jet stream, but it is weird to get it in July.

A dipping this far south and so we are getting those cooler-than- normal temperatures across the Great Lakes region. And so we're not going to get winter-like temperatures, they will be about 10 to 15 degrees below normal. So it is all relative. Temperatures will be starting out in the 40s and 50s across some areas, which is about 10 degrees below normal in Chicago, 56 degrees waking up on Tuesday morning in Marquette, look at that, mid-40s, 46 degrees on Tuesday. And then high temperatures are actually going to feel very nice.

Chicago, you'll have a high temperature of 71 degrees. Tuesday and Wednesday, Marquette, 60 degrees on Tuesday. That's going to be one of the chillier spots.

But along with this, Carol, does come the threat of severe weather, large hail, damaging winds, isolated tornadoes this afternoon and that extends all the way through the northeast -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. We'll be careful.

Jennifer, thanks so much.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, no room, no problem, as if airline seating isn't tight enough, one manufacturer of planes wants to make things even more crunched. Up next, we'll show you what could become -- doesn't it look like torture? But those are seats on an airplane.

We'll talk about that next.


COSTELLO: It's an even possible to squeeze more seats on to an airplane. Well, airbus has a new idea on how to do it. They've submitted a patent for a brand new seating design. Take a look. It looks like a torture device, doesn't it?

I can't even tell what that is, Alison Kosik.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's like you're sitting on a bike, so, you know, I don't know, do you do spin cycling at all? Do you take those spin classes?


KOSIK: So how do you feel when you get off that bike? What comes to mind is you're sitting in that seat that you're looking at on a plane. It's going to feel like you just got off a horse, not a plane, right?


KOSIK: When you get -- when you get to your destination.


COSTELLO: It almost seems you have to pedal to power the plane, too, to save on fuel.

KOSIK: I know. You know what, I bet that's coming next. I wouldn't be surprised.

So the deal was this, is that this is a real patent by Airbus. And yes, it definitely does look like a bicycle. There's no back rest, there's no tray table, there's not even a headrest, and you don't even get a lot of legroom.

So why in the world would a passenger plane be designed this way? It all comes down to money, doesn't it? Packing in more people to bring in more revenue. So the idea here is to slim down today's bulky seats so you can squeeze a lot more passengers into the plane.

Now this coin here -- here's the good news for you, Carol. It's more idea than reality. Airbus says this type of idea even they admit will most likely never be developed but in case the future of aviation makes it relevant, what Airbus is doing here by putting this pattern through, it wants to make sure it's -- it's protected. It says right now this idea is simply conceptual.

But here's another thing to think about. This isn't the first crazy idea from Airbus. It's also got a patent for a cockpit without windows. That plane would --


KOSIK: Yes. Because that plane would only fly using instruments and technology. There would be no visual component. Nuts, right? A robotic plane. So why put in all these crazy patents even with the idea knowing that, listen, none of this may even be -- comes to pass because you look at the business of flying, it's changing. There are always new developments.

Imagine this for a moment, Carol. What if flying from New York to L.A. didn't take six hours, but 10 minutes, then I ask you, would you put up with bicycle seating like this just for a 10-minute flight, would you?


KOSIK: Really?

COSTELLO: Unless -- unless it was really, really cheap to buy those particular seats then I might consider it.

KOSIK: But to get through L.A. from New York is 10 minutes instead of six hours.

COSTELLO: Yes, right.

KOSIK: Just to go through that torture for 10 minutes? Come on.

COSTELLO: Maybe I would do it -- OK. I would do it for 10 minutes. But it just --


KOSIK: I know it's crazy.

COSTELLO: So uncomfortable. I hope that comes to pass. That 10- minute thing. That's a good idea.

Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

KOSIK: Yes. Sure.

COSTELLO: We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: Checking some top stories for you at 59 minutes past. Two and a half years after it crashed and killed 32 people off the coast of Italy, the Costa Concordia cruise ship is floating again. That's according to the company's CEO. The ship will eventually be towed away. And one of the biggest maritime salvage operations in history. Workers slowly lifted the vessel by pumping air into tanks attached to the ship. Its final journey is to the Italian port of Genoa to be dismantled.

PayPal is refunding money to people who donated to the Georgia family whose toddler died in a hot car. The family started an online fundraiser after Justin Ross Harris was charged with the murder of his son Cooper. The family raised more than $22,000. But the page was taken down after prosecutors alleged that Harris visited a Web site about a child-free lifestyle and sexted with several women while his son was dying in that car. Harris has pled not guilty.