August 2nd, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Illegal immigration & the U.S. Consititution: Join the live chat

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Tonight, the government puts out a new estimate of how much oil has leaked from BP's well... and it's higher than BP ever acknowledged. And the big news on the immigration front is that some lawmakers are now advocating drastic action, or a hearing to explore such action, to change not the state law but the United States Constitution. We'll bring you all the angles.

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
August 2nd, 2010
09:36 PM ET

Leaving Arizona

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

This morning Gary Tuchman, photojournalist John Torigoe and I woke up in Santa Fe, NM.  We came here hoping to speak with illegal immigrants who have moved here from Arizona. We had read reports and heard rumors of people fleeing Arizona since the passage of the controversial Arizona law SB 1070.

We found a lot anecdotal information that people moved here recently, but no one we spoke with could give us the name of a person who had actually moved here. 
We lined up some interviews and on our way we noticed a large group of men looking for work. They were standing between a Catholic church and a park hoping someone would stop by and hire them for the day.

The men told us they were in the country illegally, but were happy to be in New Mexico, a state that they feel is inviting and compassionate toward illegal immigrants. I asked if they had noticed more people here from Arizona than usual and all said yes. They pointed to one man in the crowd telling us that he had come directly from Chandler, AZ.
The man identified himself as Hector. He says he's been here for 2 weeks and is living with some friends about 50 miles away in Albuquerque.  He says he left fearing he would be arrested and deported in Arizona where he worked as a mechanic for 12 years.  He has a wife and 3 children who were all born in the United States.  He says being deported would be a hardship on his family, as he would have to leave his kids behind.
Inside the Church we met Pedro, he tells us he moved here from Phoenix 2 months ago.  When he first got here he slept in the streets while looking for work.  He is in his 40's but has spent half of his life in the United States. He was a handyman in Phoenix and like Hector, had steady work.  He now says he can get work from time to time, but it¹s hard to find work in New Mexico even if the people here are more accepting of illegal immigrants.

Marcela Diaz, with the advocacy group 'Somos un pueblo unido' says she welcomes more immigrants to the community, but warns there aren¹t many jobs to go around.  She says that the smaller population and a bad economy contribute to some very trying times for people looking for work. Diaz suspects that if people relocate here from Arizona, it may only be for a short time. 
Both Pedro and Hector tell us they are willing to give New Mexico a chance, but they fear they may have to move on and moving back to Mexico may also be in their future.

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Immigration • Ismael Estrada
August 2nd, 2010
09:12 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Immigration and changing the constitution

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

There’s new word tonight on just how much oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico before BP capped its ruptured well last month. Scientists charged with determining the flow say that roughly 4.9 million barrels of oil have seeped into the Gulf. That’s slightly more than the previous estimate of 4.5 million gallons.

The amount is important because it will determine the fines that BP will ultimately face. We’ll have more on the new number and what it means tonight on 360.

We’ll also have the latest on BP’s effort to kill the broken Macondo well. There’s been another delay. A leak was discovered today as BP was preparing to conduct a final test before the so-called static kill begins. The test has been postponed until the leak is fixed. We’ll take a close look at what exactly BP plans to do to kill the well. It’s a two-pronged approach. If all goes well, mud and then cement will be blasted into the well casing from above and below. If this sounds familiar it should. We all remember the “top kill” that failed. But there are some differences this time around. Namely, oil is no longer gushing out of the well head. Tom Foreman will explain it all, including the risks.

Also tonight, the battle over illegal immigration has erupted into a fiery debate over changing the constitution.

Some Republicans, including Senator Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Jon Kyl, and Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce want to change the 14th amendment, which defines who is an American. Keeping them honest, are they wrong about the facts? And why are they pushing for a dramatic change in the constitution now, when before they supported far less severe reforms? We’ll look at these questions and more.

We’ll also have the latest on a manhunt underway tonight in Arizona following a prison break. Two fugitives are still at large. One felon who escaped the private prison Friday night was caught on Sunday. All three are convicted killers. Police believe a female accomplice is helping the fugitives. How did the convicts pull off their escape and how is the manhunt unfolding? That’s what we’ll be looking at tonight.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 2nd, 2010
05:55 PM ET

Video: After encounter with escaped inmates, trucker says 'glad we are still alive'

Program Note: Tune in to AC360° tonight at 10pm ET to see a full report from AC360°'s Joe Johns.

Authorities are searching for two of three convicted killers who escaped from an Arizona prison, corrections officials said early Monday.

The escapees have been identified as Tracy Province and John McCluskey, Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan told CNN Radio.

One of the escapees was captured Sunday in Rifle, Colorado.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
August 2nd, 2010
04:56 PM ET

Beat 360° 8/2/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Lindsay Lohan fan Jake Byrd shows his t-shirt displaying a mug shot of the actress as he waits with reporters for Lohan's release from Century Regional Detention Facility this morning in Los Angeles. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
August 2nd, 2010
04:34 PM ET

Don't give Obama blank check on war

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Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.

Despite all the questions surrounding the war in Afghanistan, congressional Democrats have not challenged the administration's policies since President Obama announced a surge of troops in 2009.

The release of classified documents about the war by the website WikiLeaks seemed to have no impact on Capitol Hill. The same week that the documents were released, the House approved legislation with almost no debate that will provide tens of billions of dollars for the war effort.

Even though the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee is chaired by John Kerry, who entered the national spotlight in the 1970s with his riveting testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the problems with the war in Vietnam, the panel has been relatively quiescent.

Democrats don't want Afghanistan to become a political problem for Obama. Their party is having enough trouble as a result of the recession and the deficit that they don't want to give their opponents one more issue to run on. Democrats, who have suffered for decades when being attacked as "weak on defense," also fear that any questions about the war will open them up to those attacks again.

But Democrats who have doubts about the war can't afford to be silent. When Congress doesn't publicly ask tough questions of the White House, poor decisions have often ensued.

The decision over funding Afghanistan came one week before the the 46th anniversary of the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on August 7, 1964.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Democrats • Opinion
August 2nd, 2010
04:13 PM ET
August 2nd, 2010
03:35 PM ET

Gallery: Pakistan floods kill over 1,000

Rushing flood waters and mudslides triggered by monsoon rains have engulfed large swathes of northwestern Pakistan since Thursday, killing an estimated 1,500 people as entire communities were swept away or cut off.



Filed under: floods • Global 360° • Pakistan • Weather
August 2nd, 2010
01:20 PM ET
August 2nd, 2010
11:36 AM ET

What happened to the American dream?

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Jamal Simmons
Special to CNN

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Jamal Simmons, a former adviser to the Democratic National Committee and several Democratic candidates.

Pundits and politicians alike opine that Washington has not been focused enough on jobs, and President Obama sought to expand the jobs agenda Thursday at the National Urban League in a speech on education.

The president is right to do so, but he needs to communicate with the American public in an inspirational way about how Americans can create a better future.

In the national immigration debate, the president offers a "pathway to citizenship" for those here illegally. It is time he also offered a "pathway for citizens" to reclaim the American Dream.

Americans are clearly distressed about an unemployment rate that hovers just below 10 percent, but our anxiety is not just about jobs. In a Xavier University poll, 60 percent of respondents said it has become harder to reach the American Dream than it was for their parents' generation, and two-thirds said it will be even harder for their children.

Another 58 percent believe that America is now in decline. If the greatness of America is like sand slipping through our collective fingers at the beach, voters might be angry because Washington doesn't seem too focused on stopping it.

The national anxieties are clear. Income disparity is growing, and in addition to the millions of jobs the U.S. has lost, schools are woefully under-preparing American children for global competition.

We spend too much money buying oil from too many places that cause us too much trouble, and our dependence on it is poisoning our environment.

Keep reading...

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