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Farmers Worried about Immigration Policies; Dow Dips Slightly; ISIS Vows Revenge; Chris Brown Charged with Assault. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired August 31, 2016 - 09:30   ET



[09:32:08] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump will travel to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto today. The visit comes just hours before what Trump's campaign calls a big speech on immigration where he is expected to once again make the case that undocumented immigrants are taking American jobs. A point he hit at a rally in Washington just last night.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There is no better evidence of the fact that Hillary Clinton' immigration policy, which brings in illegal immigrants and -- well, is that a true statement? It brings in illegal immigrants and refugees to take jobs from our hard-working African-American and Hispanic citizens, and they want those jobs.


COSTELLO: So are immigrants really taking jobs Americans want? CNN Money correspondent Cristina Alesci has been digging into that and she joins me now to tell us what she found.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: So many industries rely on a predominantly immigrant workforce, right? But not many business owners want to talk about that, precisely because of statements like that, that they're taking -- they're giving jobs away to immigrants. But U.S. farmers are very vocal about the fact that they are very much worried about Donald Trump's immigration policies and here's why.


ALESCI: Joe Delbaski (ph) has been farming this land for years. He's fought drought, bugs and disease. But one of his biggest obstacles has nothing to do with mother nature.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: On day one, I'm going to begin swiftly removing criminal illegal immigrants from this country.

ALESCI: Donald Trump's pledge to crackdown on undocumented workers propels him to the Republican nomination. And if he follows through, it would destroy Delbaski's business. JOE DELBASKI, FARMER: Every cantaloupe in this field and every

cantaloupe that goes to the store and goes to your table is picked by an immigrant's hand. Now, you take away those hands and you don't have those fresh fruits and vegetables anymore.

ALESCI: Undocumented immigrants are the life blood of agriculture. More than half of all farm workers are not supposed to be here.

PHILIP MARTIN, UC DAVIS: Starting in the 1980s, there's been a constant influx of new people from Mexico.

ALESCI: Recently, that steady influx has slowed.

ALESCI (on camera): When did the light switch go off for you to say, oh, my goodness, things have really drastically changed and I'm in trouble if I don't change with them?

DELBASKI: I think it happened like six or eight years ago. We didn't have excess labor. It was like, we barely had enough labor to get by. And there were actually times in the last six years where we were actually short crews.

ALESCI (voice-over): Short on labor, farmers have left crops to rot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I pick it a day early, you have disappointment. If I pick that piece of fruit a day late, it's a disaster. Competition for labor is fierce, and so we've actually lost either a pick or a whole variety simply because we couldn't get the labor that we need.

[09:35:08] ALESCI: Competition is driving wages higher. The average is $12 an hour, up 5 percent in the last year. But the higher pay isn't bringing more Americans to the fields.

MARTIN: I don't think we will ever get Americans back in the fields in large numbers picking crops.

ALESCI: Farmers say the jobs are here right now and Americans won't do them.

DELBASKI: We can't get Americans to come and do that.

ALESCI (on camera): You can't?

DELBASKI: No, we can't.

ALESCI: You really can't?

DELBASKI: We have --

ALESCI: What if you pay them more?

DELBASKI: Right now we have about 300 employees harvesting cantaloupe. We probably have two people who are not immigrants in -- in those 300 people. And we will hire anybody that comes here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some Americans, they come and done it. They do it for one hour and they left.

ALESCI (voice-over): Jorge Nigreti (ph) has been working on farms for decades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You carry a lot of weight all day long.

Up on the ladder with the 20 pounds of fruit, 10 pounds of fruit.

ALESCI: Like Nigreti, many farm workers are getting older.

MARTIN: Typical farm worker traditionally has been a 28, 29-year-old, but now they're a decade older, 38, 39.

ALESCI: It's part of the reason that America is producing less of its own food. Today, the U.S. imports 20 percent of its food. That number grows every year. U.S. agriculture is built on the backs of undocumented workers. And it's not clear the system can function without them. In fact, Trump promises to get American jobs back, but his policies could have the opposite effect, sending food production and farm jobs elsewhere.

MARTIN: It's not as if restaurants are going to close because there's no U.S.-produced peaches. There will still be peaches. They may be grown in South Africa or Chile or some other country.

ALESCI: Which may be fine for consumers, but not for American farmers and their workers.

DELBASKI: They're working and they're happy to be making money. And that's a great thing for us and it's a great thing for the American public. And every time that they pick up a fresh fruit, they should be grateful that somebody is out here in 100-degree weather picking that fruit for them.


ALESCI: So, Carol, I combed through a lot of data on immigration and its contribution to the U.S. economy. And I think what's lost in the debate is the fact that immigration of all kinds actually contributes to economic activity. Not just in the form of a larger workforce, but also in household formation and in home building. So they're contributing to the economy and I think that's really what's lost here.

COSTELLO: Here's what conservatives might say. What's wrong with those undocumented immigrants that are working in the fields being here legally, you know, getting the proper documentation and continuing to work the fields?

ALESCI: There needs to be a pathway in order for them to actually take to get that legal documentation. And right now the farmers, who are employing these people, say that that pathway is too complex and too costly for them to execute on.

COSTELLO: Interesting. Cristina Alesci, thank you so much. That was a fascinating story. ALESCI: Thank you.

COSTELLO: And -- I love that story. Thank you so much.

Opening bell on Wall Street just moments ago. All eyes on Apple after the Europeans slapped the tech giant with a $14 billion tax bill.

Alison Kosik live at the New York Stock Exchange.

Good morning.


So investors at this moment not getting too riled up about the ginormous tax bill that Apple has. The stock actually yesterday lost 3 percent during the trading day but then recovered. Overall, though, it has been a rough year for the stock, which is, by the way, widely held in a lot of 401(k) accounts. It's up just 0.7 percent after slumping quarters of iPhone sales. And we shall see what happens after Apple announces its iPhone 7 and whatever else it has to offer on September 7th.

Before I go, what day is it? Not just hump day. It's the last trading day of the month. All three of the major averages are up, up a bit in August, but for the year, the returns so far, not too shabby. A look at the Dow, up almost 6 percent. The S&P 500 up about 6.5 percent. That's good if you've got a 401(k). It usually tracks the S&P 500. We have seen stocks waver over the past few weeks as investors have been playing the guessing game whether the Fed would raise rates. Still three meetings left when the Fed could do that this year.


COSTELLO: Alison Kosik reporting live for us. Thanks so much.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, ISIS promising revenge as a top leader of the terror group is killed.


[09:44:04] COSTELLO: ISIS is now vowing revenge for the killing of one of its highest profile member. The terror group says this key deputy, who's repeatedly called for attacks on the west, is now dead. Russia now claiming that their airstrike mission killed him near the Syria/Turkey border just outside of Aleppo. CNN's Clarissa Ward in London with more on this.

Good morning.


Well, Abu Mohammed al Adnani is one of the most important leaders in ISIS, or I should say was one of the most important leaders in ISIS. He was one of the so-called founding fathers of the group, was part of al Qaeda in Iraq before it morphed into ISIS. He was largely believed to be the number two in the group, a possible successor to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. And his most public role was that as the group's spokesman. But behind the scenes he was also an integral strategist and also a propagandist for the group.

[09:45:01] And he oversaw the elements and actions of one of ISIS' most important divisions, its external branch, which is devoted to carrying attacks outside Syria and, of course, particularly in the west. Adnani was very much believed to be pivotal in this, in the recruitment, training, logistics and support of facilitating that network outside of Syria and particularly, of course, in Europe.

He also played a role in inspiring ISIS supporters or would-be ISIS fighters. He gave a speech just over a year ago where he said, if you're not a member of the group, if you don't have a gun, if you don't have a knife, it doesn't matter. You can use your car. You can use your rock. Anything you can do to kill the kufaru (ph), to kill the infidels.

So, undoubtedly, this is a very important milestone in the battle against ISIS. At the same time, though, Carol, it's important to keep this in perspective because ISIS is a very resilient organization. It adapts quickly. And we have seen over and over and over again previously with the killing of Osama bin Laden, with the killing of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, that because the strongest element with these terrorist groups is this idea of a shared identity, taking out leadership does not necessarily really deeply hurt the group, Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Clarissa Ward reporting live from London for us this morning. Thank you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, singer Chris Brown facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon. The bizarre standoff, next.


[09:51:03] COSTELLO: Singer Chris Brown facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon after another run-in with police. It all started when a woman called 911 from inside Brown's home saying the singer pointed a gun at her head as she admired a piece of jewelry. That brought out a massive police response with parts of the hours-long standoff playing out on social media. CNN's Kyung Lah is following this story. She's live in Los Angeles.

Good morning.


Fourteen hours long standoff. And it certainly was strange even by Hollywood standards. It did begin with that call, that woman's call for help. But when Brown refused to comply with the police, that's when this escalated. And then he turned to social media to air his grievances using some colorful language.


CHRIS BROWN, SINGER: Barricade myself in my house. Have you seen my house? I'm going to barricade myself in a palace. I'm not coming out. For what?

LAH (voice-over): Singer Chris Brown's social media tirade in the middle of an hour's long police standoff. The singer, inside his Los Angeles mansion. Outside, a growing police presence. Friends interviewed by officers coming out one by one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not pull a gun on a girl?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did the girl say he did?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All these girls are crazy for Chris Brown.

LAH: The LAPD says a woman did call police for help, prompting the law enforcement response. Baylee Curran tells TMZ she's the one who called 91,1 saying during a party at his house, Brown pointed a weapon at her.

BAYLEE CURRAN, ACCUSED CHRIS BROWN OF ASSAULT: He pulled out the gun and he said, get the f out of here and threatened me with it.

LAH: As the police presence grew, the singer posted videos on Instagram.

BROWN: When I call the police for -- for stalker people that are endangering my life, they don't come till the next day. Let somebody make a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) allegation about me and, oh, yes, the whole (EXPLETIVE DELETED) SWAT team.

LAH: The rants verging on the bizarre.

BROWN: I don't give (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I don't -- I'm not running for politics. I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) if I get personal opinion. All you all can suck a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for all I care.

LAH: Brown did eventually speak with police at his front door. His long-time celebrity lawyer, Mark Geragos, by his side. Geragos is also a CNN contributor.

MARK GERAGOS, CHRIS BROWN'S ATTORNEY (voice-over): My clients position is, is that we're cooperating. There's no truth to it. And we're going to let it play out.

LAH: The Grammy Award winning singer has a history of assault charges, including felony assault of then girlfriend Rihanna. After 14 hours, this Hollywood spectacle concluding with a mundane drive downtown.

LT. CHRIS RAMIREZ, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPT.: Mr. Chris Brown will be transported by RHD detectives to robbery homicide division where he is going to be booked for ADW, assault with a deadly weapon.


LAH: And this morning he does face those charges. That charge, again, assault with a deadly weapon. His attorney this morning tweeted out an update. And here's a look at it. Again, his attorney is Mark Geragos. He writes, "thanks to everyone for their support and well wishes. Chris is out and well. The allegations against him are demonstrably false." Bond was set at $250,000. He paid that, Carol, and he has a hearing in a few weeks.


COSTELLO: All right, Kyung Lah reporting live for us from Los Angeles. Thank you.

Checking some other top stories for you at 54 minutes past.

It is history in the sky. For the first time in more than 50 years, direct commercial air service from the United States to Cuba is set to resume today. A JetBlue flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Santa Clara in central Cuba expected -- actually we think it's taxiing right now. Not everyone is celebrating the change though. Some U.S. lawmakers say they're concerned about security at Cuban airports. We'll keep you posted.

A $15 minimum wage is a no go in New Jersey, at least for now. Governor Chris Christie vetoing the bill yesterday that would have steadily raised the state's minimum wage to $15 by 2021. The state's current minimum wage is $8.38. Christie says the bill would have made doing business in New Jersey unaffordable.

[09:55:01] When quarterback Colin Kaepernick sits out the national anthem tomorrow, he'll do so in front of a large military crowd. San Diego is set to host 240 Sailors, Marines and Soldiers on the field in their final pre-season game against the 49ers. It's part of the 28th annual salute to military celebration. Kaepernick has clarified that his protest is not intended to be disrespectful to the military. Now he's getting growing support from members of the military via Twitter, some backing him with messages and photos on #veteransforkaepernick.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a break.


[10:00:00] COSTELLO: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, the stakes could not be higher.


CROWD: Build that wall! Build that wall!


COSTELLO: Today, Donald Trump sets the record straight on his signature issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best.