July 28th, 2010
10:19 PM ET

Immigration Law Showdown: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Within hours, Arizona's new immigration law takes effect. Although, a federal judge has blocked some key provisions. We'll have all the angles. Plus, a bizarre court case with allegations a defense contractor wanted a memory erasing pill and his alleged connection to pornographic videos, one million dollar race horses and a $100,000 jewel-encrusted belt buckle.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
July 28th, 2010
08:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Part of Ariz. Immigration Bill Blocked, Essence Magazine Controversy

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

A federal judge in Phoenix has blocked a key part of Arizona's immigration law set to take effect in just hours.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has ruled police may not inquire about the immigration status of people they detain, even if they suspect them of being in the country illegally.

"Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," wrote Bolton, in her 36-page ruling.

There are seven lawsuits seeking to block the law, signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April.

In a statement released this evening Brewer said she's "disappointed" by Judge Bolton's ruling.

"This fight is far from over. In fact, it is just the beginning, and at the end of what is certain to be a long legal struggle, Arizona will prevail in its right to protect our citizens," Brewer added.

"We have already made some progress in waking up Washington. But the question still remains: will Washington do its job, and put an end to the daily operations of smugglers in our nation, or will the delays and sidesteps continue?," asked Brewer in the statement.

The Justice Department issued a statement shortly after the ruling saying it believed the court ruled "correctly."

"While we understand the frustration of Arizonans with the broken immigration system, a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement and would ultimately be counterproductive," the statement said. "States can and do play a role in cooperating with the federal government in its enforcement of the immigration laws, but they must do so within our constitutional framework."

"This administration takes its responsibility to secure our borders seriously and has dedicated unprecedented resources to that effort. We will continue to work toward smarter and more effective enforcement of our laws while pressing for a comprehensive approach that provides true security and strengthens accountability and responsibility in our immigration system at the national level," the Justice Department said.

Tonight on 360°, Anderson will talk with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, who supports Arizona's immigration law. See how the ruling could impact his department.

Solead O'Brien will also give us an up close look at the videotape law enforcement watches to train for the new law. Critics say the law sanctions state-sponsored racism? We'll let you be the judge.

And, we’ll dig deeper on the legal fight with CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, a former federal prosecutor.

We're also following the controversy linked to the popular black woman's magazine Essence. The new fashion editor is white, and that's not sitting well with some people.

Anderson will talk with Michaela Angela Davis, a former Essence editor. She wrote on Facebook, "It's with a heavy heart I've learned Essence Magazine has engaged a white fashion director. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally. The fashion industry's historically been so hostile to black people, especially women."

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
July 28th, 2010
04:53 PM ET

Teenage girl 'averts tragedy' by calling 911... on her mom


A teenage girl “averted a tragedy” by calling 911 from inside an out-of-control car to say her mother was driving drunk, New York State Police said.

Jamie S. Hicks, 48, of Islip, New York, was charged with felony driving under the influence and was released on bail, authorities said. She is due back in court on August 17.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/jamiehicks_web.jpg caption="Photo Courtesy New York State Police" width=292 height=320]

According to investigators, Hicks was behind the wheel of a 1995 Buick LeSabre Sunday evening with her 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son as passengers.

The car was on Interstate 84 near the Connecticut border when the daughter called 911 to say her mother was “weaving in and out of traffic,” authorities said.

“Her initial call was that she was fearful the mother was driving erratically and speaking incoherently,” Capt. Robert Nuzzo of the New York State Police told CNN.

In a subsequent call to 911, “all the operator hears is an argument in the vehicle,” Nuzzo added. The car was stopped on the side of the road when troopers arrived to investigate, Nuzzo said.

The daughter told the officers that her mother was intoxicated, police said. Hicks failed field sobriety tests and was taken back to the station for processing, according to police, who said her blood alcohol level was .18%, more than twice the legal limit.

The audio recording and transcript of the girl’s 911 call will not be released, said Adam Stiebeling, Deputy Commissioner of the Putnam County Office of Emergency Services.

Nuzzo praised the teen for her quick thinking. “She was a terrified young girl who made a conscientious decision to get her mother arrested,” he said, “but it averted a tragedy.”

Follow the Falcon File on Twitter @FalconCNN

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 28th, 2010
03:40 PM ET

Toobin: What does Arizona immigration ruling mean?

Jeffrey Toobin
CNN Senior Legal Analyst

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/27/toobin.arizona.immigration/tzleft.toobin.cnn.jpg caption="The judge ruled that certain provisions are unconstitutional, but parts of the law she approved." width=300 height=169]

A federal judge has granted an injunction blocking enforcement of parts of a controversial immigration law in Arizona that is scheduled to go into effect Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton ruled the federal government "is likely to succeed" in its challenge of the legality of one of the most controversial sections of the Arizona law. That provision required police to "make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested" if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally.

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst, spoke with T.J. Holmes on "CNN Newsroom" and offered his immediate reaction to the ruling and what it could mean for Arizona and other states.

What exactly did the judge rule?

The judge ruled that certain provisions are unconstitutional, but parts of the law she approved. The most controversial of which is the duty forced on law enforcement officers to determine if immigrants are people reasonably suspected of being illegal are in fact illegal. That has been struck down temporarily.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Jeffrey Toobin
July 28th, 2010
02:19 PM ET

Read the ruling on Arizona immigration law


A federal judge has blocked one of the most controversial sections of a tough Arizona immigration law, granting a preliminary injunction Wednesday that prevents police from questioning people about their immigration status.

That provision required police to "make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested" if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton's ruling, in response to a motion filed by the federal government, came with scant hours to go before the law goes into effect.

Read the full ruling here...

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration
July 28th, 2010
01:15 PM ET

Opinion: Reformers should listen to Arizona

Tamar Jacoby
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/28/jacoby.arizona.immigration/tzleft.jacoby.tamar.courtesy.jpg caption="Reformers, starting with President Obama, need to find this common ground " width=300 height=169]

The federal judge presiding over the Obama administration lawsuit against Arizona's immigration enforcement law has yet to decide whether to stop the measure from going into effect on Thursday.

But the American public has already made up its mind. After three months of bitter, unrelenting debate, 60 percent of voters are still strongly in favor of the law.

Proponents of immigration reform, including the president, have largely ignored this support for the law, writing it off as anti-immigrant, if not downright bigoted.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration
July 28th, 2010
01:13 PM ET

Opinion: Oil catastrophe wasn't just an accident

Carl Safina
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/28/safina.oil.lessons/tzleft.safina.carl.courtesy.jpg caption="Carl Safina says precise size of oil disaster and impact on wildlife is not known" width=300 height=169]

The blowout is stopped. The oil disaster that began with an explosion 100 days ago has not ended by any means. But we seem to be seeing a murky ending to the beginning of the crisis.

We have an enormous amount of floating oil, and Gulf waters polluted by oil and dispersant.

Most estimates range from 2 million to 4 million barrels (84 million to 168 million gallons). The higher end would make it the largest unintended release of oil ever. (In 1991, Saddam Hussein's army intentionally released about 400 to 500 million gallons into the Persian Gulf to slow American troops.) Added to the Gulf of Mexico's troubles: about 2 million gallons of dispersant, a major intentional pollution event in itself.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Opinion
July 28th, 2010
11:48 AM ET

Meet the skateboard bandit


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/skateboard1_web.jpg]

The FBI released Wednesday video of an armed bank robber dubbed the “skateboard bandit.”

Clad in black, wearing a paisley bandanna and carrying a skateboard, the suspect is wanted in connection with two hold-ups in the San Diego area.

According to the FBI, he is responsible for robbing a Wells Fargo Bank on July 23 and the Comerica Bank on July 12.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/skateboard3_web.jpg width=292 height=320]

In the Comerica Bank heist, the skateboard bandit “approached a teller and made a verbal demand for money,” the FBI said. “The robber pulled up his shirt and displayed the handle of semi-automatic pistol. The robber demanded that the teller place the money into a black backpack the robber was carrying.”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/skateboard4_web.jpg]

The skateboard bandit is described as a white man, believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s. He is between 5’9”-5’11”, and weighs about 160 lbs.

The skateboard he travels with is dark colored with two flips at one end, the FBI said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI.

Follow the Falcon File on Twitter @FalconCNN

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 28th, 2010
11:25 AM ET

Video: A day in the grapes

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

It's just before 6 a.m. in the California desert a little north of Delano. Migrant workers are showing up for another hot day on the job picking table grapes in temperatures expected to reach more than 100 degrees

Many argue that illegal immigrants come to the United States and take jobs away from Americans, but here not only are there no non-Latino workers, the labor contractor says not one has ever applied for this job... until today.

CNN Correspondent Gary Tuchman was among the workers today ready to put in a shift picking grapes that are then boxed and delivered to local grocery stores.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/workers_boxes.jpg]

Photojournalist Kevin Myers and I are with him to capture Gary's day in the vines. We called the United Farm Workers representatives to ask if Gary could spend a day working here and they agreed.

When we arrive, we immediately notice we are unprepared. People are wearing long sleeve shirts and have their faces covered with various scarves and long brimmed hats. We showed up in t-shirts and jeans.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/worker_grapes.jpg]

They tell us they wear the clothing to protect themselves from the heat and cover their mouths and noses to avoid breathing in much of the dust that can accumulate inside the vines.

As the day started, Gary was getting a crash course from other workers who have picked grapes here for decades. They were pointing out what should be picked, how they should be picked and what would remain on the vine for future picking.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/tuchman_wheelbarrow.jpg]

The grapes were placed into large white containers and taken to another worker to sort them and place them in plastic bags to be boxed. Gary was handed some pruning scissors and told to get to work.

Workers here take this job very seriously. They get paid 8 dollars an hour before taxes and about 11 cents per box packed. They work in teams of 3 and Gary is teamed up with a husband and wife who have been working in vines like these for over 30 years.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/tuchman_pruning.jpg]

The workers laugh and make jokes at Gary's expense, as it's obvious he's a novice at doing this work. They take the time to inspect all of Gary's work to make sure the company's quality control supervisor who inspects all of the boxes packed for delivery rejects none of the grapes he picked.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/grapes.jpg]

As the day presses on, it gets hotter and hotter. It's starting to become very uncomfortable, but you wouldn't know it listening to the workers laugh and sing while boxing up their fruit.

As Gary is working with his team, I talk with many of the other workers who tell me they're happy to be working. They say they have to earn as much money as they can now, because there are several months when the grapes are not in harvest and they won't be able to work.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/YOUR_IMAGE.jpg]

I ask them why they come here to work and they speak of poor wages and conditions in Mexico. They say that while they only earn 8 dollars an hour here, they'll make that in an entire day working in the fields in Mexico.

Many of them have children who were born in the United States. Some have gone to college and others are married and living productive lives here as U.S. citizens.

5 hours into the day the foreman calls for a lunch break. Gary appears out of the vines looking hungry and thirsty. After we finish the 30-minute break, Gary heads back to the vines with the other workers, 3 hours of picking still ahead of them.

One of the workers says this is the hardest part of the day, the sun is getting hotter and the shade doesn't do much for the heat. The temperature is now 102 degrees.

Gary is starting to catch on to the work, but admits the work is not only physically exhausting; it's also tedious and monotonous. As the day draws to a close, a large truck comes through the work area and starts picking up the boxed grapes. It's the end of a long tiring day and while many workers will be back here tomorrow, none of us could imagine doing this every day.

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Immigration • Ismael Estrada
July 28th, 2010
10:45 AM ET
« older posts