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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Hundreds of Thousands Demand Immigration Reform; Economics of Immigration

Aired May 1, 2006 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone.
We are just steps away from the corner of Wilshire and Labraya (ph). There are people all around us, some of the hundreds of thousands of people all across the country. Most are Latino, many of them here illegally. But, also, there are many simply supporting them. They walked off their jobs or skipped classes. Some march for immigration reform, some for outright amnesty.

Above all, they came out today, out of the shadows, to make a point.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): From coast to coast and in dozens of cities in between, immigrants, both legal and illegal, were on the march.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is time that 11 million to 12 million people who work so hard each and every day, that contribute with their sweat and their equity and their hard work to this great nation are saying, we are ready to embrace the American dream. We are ready to embrace America, and we hope that today America is ready to embrace immigrants.

COOPER: It was billed as a national day without immigrants, a chance for America to see what would happen if immigrants didn't work, didn't send their children to school or spend money in stores. Instead, they took to the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's important that we -- we do a boycott today to show that we are important.

COOPER: In California, home to the country's largest illegal immigrant population, there were demonstrations up and down the state. Centered by a massive American flag, an estimated half-a-million demonstrators moved through the streets of Los Angeles to City Hall.

In Chicago, more than 300,000 marched to a rally in Grant Park. And schools in some parts of the city reported, their attendance was down between 10 percent and 33 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are at a crossroads.

COOPER: In New York, protesters formed a series of human chains in the city's five boroughs, then marched down Broadway to the federal courthouse. The picture was much the same in cities all across the country, from Washington, D.C., to Homestead, Florida, to Las Vegas, Atlanta, to San Diego, along the Mexican border. Even embattled New Orleans saw some protests. Some companies and small businesses shut down for the day continue. Tyson Chicken closed 12 of its 100 processing plants. Perdue closed eight of its 15 plants, all in anticipation of a shortage of workers.

But not all immigrants agree with today's action. The group You Don't Speak For Me spoke out against the protests and the reasons behind them.

COL. ALBERTO F. RODRIGUEZ (RET.), U.S. ARMY: We understand the important contribution immigrants have made to the economy and the industry of this great nation. But the difference is that we and millions of others, like us, did it legally. We're all here today to tell those illegal protesters, you do not speak for me.

COOPER: The protests proceeded peacefully all across the nation, but the issues behind them remain far from resolution.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, that's the big picture in very broad strokes.

From a distance, the crowds today resembled those last month, when millions marched to make the same point. The aerial shots are impressive, no doubt about it, filled with people packed together, but they don't tell the whole story.

For that, you had to get up close, in the thick of the crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Today's demonstration in downtown Los Angeles at times seemed more like a giant block party than an act of political protest. There was plenty of food and music and thousands of flags, Mexican and Salvadoran, but, most of all, American.

(on camera): There are several hundred people carrying an enormous American flag, which is probably very visible from -- from above. There was a real sense, after the first major demonstration, that there were too many Mexican flags shown and not enough American flags.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Organizers this time have made a real effort to have -- to have as many American flags visible as possible. And they're all over the place.

(voice-over): The crowds came for different reasons, supporting a patchwork of causes. Most, however, called for some form of amnesty for illegals and immigration reform.

ALBERTO, PROTESTER: Sixty-seven percent or somewhere in the 60 percent of the United States wants that. The president wants that. We all want that. That's all we want, comprehensive immigration reform.

COOPER (on camera): As contentious and divisive as this issue is, when you're actually in the demonstration, I mean, it -- it has actually got a real festive atmosphere. People have brought their families, young and old, little children in strollers.

It's -- it's, in some ways, a celebration, a celebration of what some people here will tell you is a newfound power. A lot of people in the crowd are chanting: "We can do it. We can do it."

I think many feel that, really, for the first time, their voices are being heard.

DORIAN WOOD, PROTESTER: We can do it. We are doing it. You know, people are coming together. And this is only the beginning. But, I mean, this is a debt. You know, bringing people together, you know, everybody just coming together and doing something, that's the way this country was founded. We're here to celebrate that. We're here to celebrate why it is that America is America, you know. You know, si se puede!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Dorian took the day off from his job as an administrative assistant.

WOOD: You know, I might get in trouble. I probably will get in trouble, but you know what? I wouldn't want to be anywhere else today. You know, God bless America!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER: God bless America, that was something we heard a lot today, as immigrants, legal and illegal, and their supporters stepped out of the shadows and into the fray, making sure their voices were heard.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And this is actually the second demonstration today. The first one was at city hall, which I just showed you that piece about. Take a look at some of the pictures right now.

As far as the eye can see, there are people here just filling the streets, listening to speeches, milling around. As I said, it is a very festive atmosphere.

As for the economic impact, it may not be what organizers had hoped for. Again, a number of meat packing and chicken processors in the Midwest and South shut down today. Goya, the largest maker of Latin foods in the country, suspended most deliveries. And McDonald's said locations in parts of the country would close early or only offer drive-through service. But, by and large, transportation and shipping and agriculture got through the day with barely a glitch. In other words, today will probably end up being less about dollars and more about votes and voices in a growing national debate.

For one side of the story, I talked about it earlier tonight with CNN's Lou Dobbs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Lou, what do you make of today's demonstration?

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Well, I -- I think it's terrific. I think you're -- it's riveting the nation's attention on the issue of illegal immigration, on the issue of border security. And it's going to -- I think it's going to be a net positive for the public interest.

COOPER: How so?

DOBBS: Well, I think that it's making clear what the demands are of millions of illegal aliens and their supporters.

And I think, as has happened throughout history, as you well know, Anderson, when we see people take to the streets and to demonstrate, which is a wonderful right, even for those who are not citizens of this country, it -- it enriches, it enlivens the national debate. It focuses attention, and it raises the public consciousness about the need for truth. And the search for facts has now officially begun.

COOPER: Also, I think a lot of people, it seems, have had a belly full in the last couple days hearing Mexico possibly legalizing...

DOBBS: Right.

COOPER: ... carrying small amounts of -- of drugs and also the -- the issue of the national anthem sung in Spanish.

DOBBS: Right.

COOPER: Do you think people in this demonstration realize the -- the extent of anger out there that there is about that?

DOBBS: I -- I don't -- don't think so.

I think that they are sincerely interested in -- in finding a legal path to citizenship. And I don't think that they're aware even of who's supporting and, in some cases, directing these demonstrations and these boycotts. But, at the same time, we have the legislature of the government of Mexico endorsing boycotts and demonstrations. And at the -- and, at the very same time, legalizing heroin, cocaine in small amounts.

It's just -- it's a cultural divide that -- that I -- I'm not certain can be bridged quickly or glibly by the movement's leaders. We are -- we're importing Mexico's poverty. And we are -- we are a safety valve in this country for Mexico's increasing social pressure.

But, unfortunately, instead of these people demonstrating in the streets of Mexico City or throughout Mexico for reform of what has been a corrupt and incompetent government, a nation beset by 50 percent poverty, we're watching it happen in the streets of America. And that's -- that's more than a shame. It's -- it's tragic.

COOPER: When you see the pictures of the first demonstration, there were a lot of Mexican flags -- this demonstration, far more American flags. Do you think that's a real representation of -- of the -- the what's behind this, or do you think it's -- it's public relations?

DOBBS: I think -- my guess is, it's just about equal measure.

But I will take the public relations, even, because this is the United States. And, frankly, it -- it nauseates me to see any flag, other than the American flag, when involved in a protest or a demonstration. As you know, Anderson, I'm not a guy who's too keen on Americans celebrating their differences.

I would much -- much prefer we celebrate our commonalities, our similarities and our bond as American citizens in this country. I don't think we do enough of it. And I think we do far too much of the other.

COOPER: Lou Dobbs, thanks.

DOBBS: Great to be with you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We will have another view -- we will have another view from Univision's Jorge Ramos coming up.

And, as always, you can see much more of the immigration story every night on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT,' Monday through Friday, 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Illegal and legal immigrants can be found in every state. As for the top three destinations, since 2000, here's the raw data.

Number one, where we are tonight, of course, California, more than a quarter of this state's residents are foreign-born, followed by New York and Texas. And the bottom three, Wyoming, West Virginia, and, dead last, Montana, which, according to the Department of Homeland Security, has less than 3,000 illegal immigrants -- the raw data for tonight.

Now to one of the most trusted voices in the Latino community, Jorge Ramos, a television anchor and author who is helping to shape the debate over illegal immigrants. We will talk to him next.

And, just ahead, I will talk with him about the day's events and an explosive question. Ahead, we will see if the statement really holds up if -- as hundreds of thousands of people march for immigrants' rights, another protest against a Spanish version of the national anthem continues. Take a listen to what it actually sounds like.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And we are here in the crowd of demonstrators who have come out today.

What is your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Beatrice Cortez (ph).

COOPER: And your name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Douglas Coranza (ph).

COOPER: Why did you come out today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I came to support my community.

Our community is out here, expressing the -- their desire to obtain rights, to fight for dignity, to obtain legalization. Our community contributes, and all these people work all day to contribute to this country. And we want to be able to also receive the rights that every citizen has.

COOPER: There are some who have said that there may be a backlash because of this demonstration today, because of people leaving their jobs. Does that concern you at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I think that, you know, if people are leaving their jobs, it is because they feel that they're not being heard under other circumstances. And, unfortunately, leaving your job is a way to also affect the economy. And that is not our desire, but it's our desire to be heard.

So, I think it's -- it's really a call to everybody. I -- we don't feel that this is an issue about the Latino community alone, but all the communities that are fighting for dignity and human rights, and that we should be heard without having to walk out from our jobs. We don't want to do that, but we have no other choice.

COOPER: There's a lot of American flags in the crowd today. In the first demonstration, there were a lot of Mexican flags. And that -- that caused something of -- of some tension. I think organizers wanted a lot of American flags.

Why do you think it's important to -- to have the American flags out here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think people feel appreciated, feel appreciated. People are trying to show that appreciation also. And I -- I will say that it is important for American people, the majority, to -- to understand, you know, that this country is made up by immigrants. That is what we are showing here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, also, this issue is not about nationalism. It's an issue about dignity and human rights. And we are emphasizing that. We feel part of this country.

COOPER: Was -- do you think it was a success today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It's a success.

COOPER: OK. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a national demonstration. It's not just in Los Angeles, as you already know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: We are -- and we're showing that. Take care.

We are going to have a lot more. We are going to talk to Univision's Jorge Ramos when we come back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, everyone. I'm Erica Hill from Headline News.

We will have more of the 360 special, "Out of the Shadows," in just a moment.

First, though let's get you caught up on some of the other stories we're following tonight.

No progress so far in peace talks concerning Sudan's troubled Darfur region. The Sudanese government says it is ready to sign a peace deal on the table, but rebels have so far rejected it. The U.S. State Department is sending its number-two official to Nigeria to help with talks. Fighting in Darfur has now killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

Did U.S. troops come close to catching the most-wanted man in Iraq? Today, a Pentagon official raised that possibility, saying Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may have been inside a home that was near a U.S. special forces raid. That raid took place last month in a town southwest of Baghdad. The information came from captured insurgents.

A journalist imprisoned for two years in Afghanistan is back in the United States tonight. Ed Caraballo was released on Sunday. The cameraman and two other Americans were convicted in 2004 of torturing Afghans in a private jail. He denies those charges.

And a big victory for Anna Nicole Smith. Today, the Supreme Court said she could revive her suit to inherit the estate of her late husband. The former playmate of the year has had a long-running feud over the estate with the son of her late husband -- now, by the way, that estate worth a cool $1.6 billion. The ruling, though doesn't officially give her any money, just the right to go after it -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Erica, thanks.

Coming up, working in America in jobs Americans refuse to do, that's what illegal immigrants say they are doing, but some in Washington believe they're taking work away from U.S. citizens. Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest" -- next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, here in Los Angeles and Miami and Houston, more people get their news from Jorge Ramos than any other anchor. He is the main anchor for Univision, and he's the author of several books as well, including, most recently, "Dying to Cross."

Jorge Ramos joins me now from New York.

Jorge -- Jorge, thanks for being with us. What do you think today's...

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION ANCHOR: Good to be here.

COOPER: ... protests accomplished?

RAMOS: A lot.

I think the boycott, the demonstrations, and the TV coverage have made visible what has been invisible for many years to most Americans. And that is the presence and incredible contributions of undocumented immigrants. It is almost impossible, Anderson, to spend one whole day without benefiting from the work of undocumented immigrants.

I mean, they harvest the food that we eat. They build the homes where we live. They take care of our children. And whenever we go to a restaurant or to a hotel, maybe we don't see them, but we depend on them.

Well, Anderson, today, we saw them. And these kinds of demonstrations, I believe, are creating a shift in political opinion. And, most importantly, I think they are influencing a lot of members of Congress, in order to eventually legalize 12 million undocumented immigrants.

COOPER: Does it also, though, mobilize those who -- who might feel somewhat of a backlash, I mean, people who get angered by seeing Mexican flags waved in the streets, or -- or people -- or people hear the -- the national anthem being sung in -- in Spanish? Does that concern those -- those who are marching today, you think?

RAMOS: First of all, we have to remember that we live in the most diverse country in the whole world. The strength of the United States is based on its tolerance for diversity and its acceptance of immigrants. But, on the other hand, also, you have to realize that, for 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows, they have nothing to lose at this point. After the House of Representatives approve a bill that would criminalize their presence in the United States, what else do they have to lose?

So, we have seen this historic -- I mean, you're in one of them -- we have seen these historic demonstrations in which immigrants are clearly saying: First, we are not criminals. We are not terrorists. And, second, we are a great contribution to the United States. Immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, they maintain inflation under control. They take jobs that Americans simply do not want to take. They pay taxes. They create taxes.

And, also, I mean, they -- they pay for the Social Security of a rapidly aging population. So, it is a great business to have immigrants in this country. Many people, many Americans did not realize that until this day.

COOPER: I want to play something that was said at a press conference today by someone from a coalition called You Don't Speak For Me. Let's listen to what a retired U.S. Army colonel had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COL. ALBERTO F. RODRIGUEZ (RET.), US. ARMY: The bold and absolute defiance of our laws by self-identified lawmakers, taking to our streets and neighborhoods with impunity under the banner of Mexico, and -- I know you have seen it -- the (INAUDIBLE) banner. To demand Americans surrender to mob rule is reprehensible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: How would you respond to that?

RAMOS: Basically, I mean, we have to understand that the majority, the vast majority of undocumented immigrants in this country, Anderson, they are not criminals. They are not terrorists, and, quite the contrary.

I mean, they contribute a lot to this country. The most comprehensive study ever conducted about undocumented immigrants in this country by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that all immigrants, both legal and undocumented, contribute more than $10 billion to the economy of this country.

And that was conducted about 10 years ago. And new studies might say that their contribution goes as much to $22 billion a year. So, in other words, the -- the majority of immigrants in this country are fantastic. We all come from immigrant families, unless you're a -- a Native American.

So, maybe some people, of course, as in any other group, you might mind some negatives. But, in general, the presence of immigrants in this country is incredibly positive, incredibly positive.

COOPER: Jorge Ramos, appreciate you joining us -- Jorge from Univision.

Thank you very much.

The hundreds of thousands of people who came out of the shadows for today's demonstrations want Americans to know that they are not criminals. You saw a lot of signs here today saying just that. They say they want to work. On average, illegal immigrants earn $5.45 an hour. That comes out to under $9,000 a year.

President Bush supports a guest-worker program, because he believes illegal immigrants perform jobs that Americans simply won't do. Not everyone, however, agrees. Tonight, we are "Keeping Them Honest."

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A successful growing season at Angelica Nurseries comes from 2,100 acres, four million plants and 130 Mexican workers.

BERNIE KOHL, ANGELICA NURSERIES: From my perspective, I don't need cheap labor. I need labor.

FOREMAN: And Bernie Kohl says they're all legal participants in the guest-worker program, and not much would get done if he counted on only Americans.

KOHL: Many of the jobs in agriculture, and in this nursery, are very tough, physically demanding jobs, working in very cold, wet environments, to very hot, dry environments, and working with very heavy plants. I mean, our -- our...

FOREMAN (on camera): And a lot of Americans don't want to do that?

KOHL: No.

FOREMAN (voice-over): These guest workers come for three to eight months each year to make a federally-mandated wage of $8.95 an hour, above the prevailing wage for low-skilled jobs here. They live in clean dorms, rent free, pay $9 a day for all the food they want, work until 6:00, and, to remain in the program, must go home by fall.

"In Mexico," they tell me, "we would make less in a week than we make here in a day."

KOHL: No, the -- the guys are pretty well-rounded.

FOREMAN: Won't Americans do this? By law, Bernie must advertise all these openings far and near, before he can bring in guest workers. But year in and out, he insists virtually no Americans, not even the locals, will take the jobs.

(on camera): Do you think that Americans have grown lazy?

KOHL: I think we have become soft. So, we tend to gravitate toward those jobs that are easier on us.

FOREMAN (voice-over): That talk infuriates immigration critics, who say places that rely on immigrant labor undercut wages for Americans, create indentured servants, and draw more legal and illegal immigrants.

Still, where manual labor is need, it seems American applicants are often hard to find.

(on camera): Whether Americans like it or not, the simple truth is, immigrants have become a cornerstone of the American economy. And changing anything about where they work or how they work or how they get here is going to take time, and it's going to be difficult.

(voice-over): The critics say we could make a start; if people like Bernie paid enough young Americans who have moved away to cities might move back, reinvigorating rural America and the working class. He doubts it.

KOHL: Farming is a very tough job. And many of them just want out of this type of environment. It's just what the younger generation seems to want to do.

FOREMAN: And many people who hire laborers insist he is right. When they go looking for people who can take on hard, manual jobs with enthusiasm and energy, the only players come from south of the border.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Kennedyville, Maryland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, along with the economic issues, there are legal ones.

First, coming up, a town literally divided. We will take you to a place that embraces immigration in some ways, but there's also a lawsuit against a company accused of recruiting illegal immigrants. That has gone all the way to the Supreme Court.

Also tonight, as people take to the streets, calling for immigration reform, outrage grows over a new national anthem sung in Spanish with different words. We will take a look at that.

From L.A., you're listening to a special edition of 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, ahead of today's demonstrations here in Los Angeles and across the country, a new version of "The Star Spangled Banner," one sung in Spanish hit the airwaves. That has sparked some outrage across the country. Today one senator said he fears our nation's identity is being lost in translation. Others, of course, disagree.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Immigrants take to America's streets and skip work. A show of force, they say, to show the impact they have on the U.S. economy. While on Capitol Hill, a message directed to those on the streets. Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander calls the new Spanish version of the national anthem a big step in the wrong direction.

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, TENNESSEE: One language to unify us as a nation, one language so we could all speak with one another, and that language is English.

COOPER: At issue, the song called "Nuestro Himno," or our anthem sung by hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean and various Latin singers. It's not an exact word for word translation, but the very idea has sparked outrage across the nation. The way Senator Alexander sees it, the song is out of tune with society. He's introduced a nonbinding resolution on the importance of singing "The Star Spangled Banner" only in English. Also against the new anthem, Los Angeles's first Latino mayor.

MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, LOS ANGELES: I was offended because for me the national anthem is something that I believe deserves respect, and I think that the -- without question, that the vast majority of people in the United States of America were offended as well. We want -- you know, our anthem should be sung in English.

COOPER: They're joining the bandwagon with President Bush who already gave the song a thumbs down.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.

COOPER: But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sees it differently.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: I've heard the national anthem done in rap versions, country versions, classical versions, the individualization of the American national anthem is quite under way.

COOPER: There's mixed reaction in New York, a city that epitomizes America as a melting pot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the United States of America. And our language is English. And it should be only sang in English language.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that it should be sang in every language of the world. Because basically this nation was made up of immigrants.

COOPER: To Adam Kidron, president of the company that created the song, the message is simple.

ADAM KIDRON, PRESIDENT, URBAN BOX OFFICE: We're trying to give the undocumented immigrants a real expression of patriotism.

COOPER: For Kidron, it's the land of the free and home of the brave no matter what language you speak.

Joining me now from New York to talk more about the controversy over the Spanish anthem is Adam Kidron who, as I just mentioned in that report, got the song produced. And in Atlanta tonight, D.A. King, president of Dustin Inman Society Group Against Illegal Immigration. Gentlemen, thanks for being with us.

Thank you.

COOPER: Adam, why did you decide besides you know selling CDs, which is the obvious, why did you decide to produce a version of the "Star Spangled Banner" in Spanish with different words?

KIDRON: In the compromise when the senate sort of broke down and people started to call the undocumented immigrants illegal aliens and started to want to criminalize them, we felt, as a Latino record company, who derives huge amounts of our revenue from the Latino community that we wanted to make a little bit of a stand. And what we wanted to do was we wanted to show that the Latinos that we relate to want to be Americans, but they don't need to leave their culture at the border.

COOPER: D.A., does that make sense to you?

D.A. KING, PRESIDENT, DUSTIN INMAN SOCIETY: Not even a little bit Anderson. If completely rewriting the American national anthem in an additional language is some indication of the willingness for people in this country to assimilate, I think it's a miserable failure. For people like myself, who try very hard to make Americans who aren't as aware as they should be, of the consequences of illegal immigration, this is one of the better things that's happened in a very long time. I put it in the same category as the recent rallies and the boycott of today. This is opening the American people's eyes as to what the true agenda of the people who are coming here illegally really is.

COOPER: Adam, do you get that? I mean, do you get the backlash against this? I've been traveling around southern California this past weekend. And there's a lot of people who are very upset about this. Do you understand that?

KIDRON: We understand it because we see it. But in truth, the backlash started before we even started to record the anthem. What happened was, this compromise in the senate collapsed. And instead of the undocumented immigrants looking at a future whereby their work was going to be rewarded with the right to stay in America as American citizens, this was taken away from them. So it's not a case of the anthem destroyed the compromise, it's the compromise fell apart. And then the anthem came about because we wanted to say, hang on a second. There's something else here. These people who have contributed so, so much.

COOPER: But Adam, why change the actual lyrics to the anthem? It's one thing to have it sung in Spanish to help people understand what the lyrics are. Why completely rewrite the thing? I read the lyrics. It's unrecognizable.

KIDRON: No, it's not true that we've completely rewritten it. What happened was, that there's one line, "the rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air", which we changed to "when freedom is near, you're going to fight for it harder." And we changed that for a very particular reason. The national anthem was written over a British song in, I think, 1814. At that time, bombs, rockets, they were something exotic. They were something of wonder. We now know, a couple of hundred years later, that they're not only a thing of wonder, but they cause immense pain and heartache whereas really the point of the anthem is that we're all together in a democracy, we're all together in freedom. So we changed that one line. We took a bit of liberty, less interpreted liberty than we've taken with most songs that we record, but we did it for a very particular purpose.

KING: I think we have to admire Mr. Kidron's honesty. At the outset, he said that he had written, rewritten the national anthem in this country for people who are here, he described as being undocumented. I called them illegal aliens because that is a legal and proper term. At present he's saying he has not completely rewritten the national anthem. I just read it. It's not what I grew up with, and I'm curious about a verse in there about "let's break the chains." Is this some reflection on people who have come into this country against our rules illegally across our borders and now consider themselves to be in chains? It's very confusing to me and a lot of other people. Maybe Mr. Kidron could explain that for us.

COOPER: Actually, Adam, that was my next question. What about that?

KIDRON: There is a remix version which we haven't put out where an 11-year-old young Latino girl in English does a rap, as Condoleezza Rice said, rap is now a pretty ingrained part of our musical language. And actually, what she's saying is that the process -- this debate is causing enormous divisions between families. And the point about the anthem and the point about America and since the age of 14, I wanted to live here, is because it's this wonderful, diverse place where so many different nationalities and faiths are respected. And so she's saying, from an 11-year-old's perspective, my goodness, this is so destructive. Families are separated. And what really needs to happen is that people of all colors, of all faiths need to come together around America. And that's the point of the anthem.

COOPER: Okay.

KING: That was the point of the original national anthem --

COOPER: D.A., very quickly, final thought from you, D.A.

KING: We have a national anthem. If we're going to assimilate and be a melting pot, I don't see where Mr. Kidron has added to the assimilation process. At least he's honest. He directly said he was going after the Latino market. Follow the money. Every time on things like this. COOPER: D.A. King, appreciate you joining us. And Adam Kidron as well. Thank you very much. Two different perspectives.

A small town in the center of the immigration battle, a company accused of luring workers to cross the border in a landmark case that will be felt in every community across the nation.

Also tonight, this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Tomorrow on ANDERSON COOPER 360, a special 24 hours on the border. Night eyes in the skies. How the border patrol works best in the dark. And how far illegal immigrants will go to escape detection.

Plus, to the north. You call this national security?

I'm going to hold up my passport first. Can you see it? That's me.

An honor system checkpoint at the border with Canada. What's to stop anyone from driving through?

And it's a town overrun by drug cartels and new worries terrorists see it as an inviting way into the U.S. And it's right on the U.S. border. We'll take you there tomorrow on a special edition of "360." We count down 24 hours on the border.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, the demonstration here continues. Tens of thousands of people still milling around as darkness falls. There is no sign of it letting up. There are people playing drums and people blowing horns. A very festive atmosphere as it has been all day. If you want to see the front lines on the war of illegal immigration, can you travel to the border, go to Washington or you can take a trip to Calhoun, Georgia, the rural town of just 13,000 has become the unlikely setting for the national debate. CNN's Rick Sanchez reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an important day for Calhoun Middle School.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so incredibly proud.

SANCHEZ: Proud because the entire school is rallying around one of its own, raising more than $15,000 for this 13-year-old. Did you know you had so many friends?

ERASMO AMBROSIO, STUDENT, CALHOUN MIDDLE SCHOOL: I know I had friends, but --

SANCHEZ: So many? AMBROSIO: No.

SANCHEZ: The student teacher volleyball game, a fund-raiser, is a huge hit in the school gym. And in the halls we find signs everywhere urging people to pitch in for Erasmo Ambrosio. Erasmo is Hispanic, though his nationality doesn't seem to matter much to his classmates. Do you feel like you've done something important?

STUDENTS: Yeah.

SANCHEZ: Does it matter who Erasmo is?

STUDENTS: No.

SANCHEZ: Does it matter where he's from?

STUDENTS: No.

SANCHEZ: Doesn't matter that he's an immigrant either. His parents say he's legal. What matters is, if he doesn't get a kidney transplant soon, he may die. And his classmates are determined to make sure that doesn't happen. To look around, you'd think this is the biggest thing going on in Calhoun, Georgia. Actually, though, there's something even bigger. So big, in fact, it's a case that's being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. And unlike what's happening here at the middle school, it has a lot to do with both nationality and immigration. The case involves Mohawk Industries, Calhoun's biggest employer and one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world.

JOHN FLOYD, ATTORNEY: What the complaint alleges is that Mohawk, acting together with third-party recruiters, has systematically imported, hired, harbored illegal aliens.

SANCHEZ: Attorney John Floyd represents a group of people who say they lost their jobs and/or benefits because Mohawk set out to replace them with cheap labor. They allege that Mohawk even got together with recruiters to find and hire illegal immigrants, thousands of them. Mohawk denies the charges.

JUAN MORILLO, ATTORNEY: My client does not, in any way, use recruiters to hire illegal aliens. That's absolutely false.

SANCHEZ: Mohawk acknowledges the majority of its 30,000 workers are Hispanic immigrants, and that its profits have gone up 45 percent since it began hiring more of them in the mid-1990s. Here's how Calhoun residents who saw the trend described the work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The jobs that people don't want to do.

SANCHEZ: And when asked if they're willing to do that work, locals generally reply --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Because we're spoiled.

SANCHEZ: Are the jobs going to undocumented workers? Mohawk says all it can do, all it's willing to do, is check IDs.

MORILLO: The company does that and complies fully with its obligations, but it doesn't go beyond that.

SANCHEZ: Mohawk, like many U.S. companies, says if the government wants to enforce immigration violations, it should do so itself. But Floyd says Mohawk encourages undocumented workers to apply, hires them and hides them in violation of antiracketeering laws passed by congress in 1996.

LLOYD: Basically, what they were concerned with are organizations that systematically hire, employ harbor illegal aliens.

SANCHEZ: It's a ruling that could send shock waves across the country and bolster claims made by many U.S. workers about having to compete with immigrant labor like Erasmo's parents who once worked for Mohawk. When you see what's going on with your son, do you feel that this is what America really represents?

ERASMO'S FATHER: Si.

SANCHEZ: You do?

ERASMO'S FATHER: Hinta bueno

SANCHEZ: Good people says Erasmo's father who's heard of America's bitter immigration debate. But this is the America he knows. The small-town America that's helping him save his son. Rick Sanchez, CNN, Calhoun, Georgia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, the illegal immigration issue seems to stir even deeper passions in border states. Coming up, we'll meet with the Minuteman civil defense corps in California as they erect a border fence or non-existent. That and more when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILL: I'm Erica Hill from "Headline News." Our "360" special "Out of the Shadows" continues in just a moment. First though, a look at some of the business news we're following for you tonight. After climbing for much of the day, stocks reversed course sharply just before the closing bell. The sell-off fueled by worries that the Federal Reserve could continue its interest rate hikes longer than expected. At the close of trading the Dow was down nearly 24 points, the S&P 500 lost more than 5, the Nasdaq fell more than 17.

The price of crude oil, though, closed above $73 a barrel today. Helping to drive prices up, concerns about Iran's defiance of a U.N. security deadline to stop enriching uranium along with refinery outages in Italy and California and violence in Nigeria which is the fifth largest source of U.S. oil imports.

And consumer spending rose .6 percent in march as personal income jumped .8 percent. That's according to the Commerce Department. Much of that gain in spending, however, was eroded by a rise in inflation. The Core Price Index which is closely watched by policymakers at the Fed climbed to 2 percent. That's up .3 percent. If you're following all those numbers, it is the largest one-month rise since October. So that's a look at your very numbers-heavy business headlines tonight. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Erica, thanks.

Time now for "The Shot." Our most interesting or compelling photo or piece of video of the day. We've chosen two for this evening. The first is empty shelves at a bakery in Trenton, New Jersey. The owners closed for the day to support the mass protests which, as you see here in Los Angeles, continues to attract thousands of people. We are here as a witness to the boycotts. And it is an image that speaks volumes.

Just ahead tonight, vigilantes or just good citizens? The Minutemen patrolling the border, and now they're taking it a big step beyond just patrolling. We're actually trying to beef up the border itself by building a fence. We'll show you how they did.

Also, the Chinese immigrants who almost died getting into the country. Now they're stuck in limbo. They can't stay here, and they can't go home.

Plus, the illegal immigrant who says she's tired of hiding in the shadows and is fighting to stay. As she studies for a diploma at one of the top universities in the country. You're watching a special edition of "360" live from Los Angeles.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And good evening again from Los Angeles. They called it a day without immigrants. That's not entirely true out here on the streets of L.A. they are all around us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(ANNOUNCER)

Stepping out of the shadows, walking off the job, taking to the streets. Illegal immigrants demanding a place in this country.

Going public, tired of hiding. She's breaking the law, and she's proud of it.

And life in limbo.

People were jumping in the water.

He watched his countrymen die to get here. He went to jail. He can't go home, and he's not supposed to stay. This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360, "Out of the Shadows." Live from Los Angeles, here's Anderson Cooper.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: And thanks for joining us. We are just off Wilshire Boulevard here in Hollywood, steps away from La Breya Avenue. All evening tens of thousands of people have been making their way to this spot, a sea of people as far as the eye can see. A similar picture you see in Denver and New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington. People, many of them illegal immigrants, left their jobs to come here. Others are here just supporting them. People who came out of the shadows to make a point. Pretty simple, really. Imagine life without us, they say.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: From coast to coast and in dozens of cities in between, immigrants, both legal and illegal, were on the march.

It is time that 11 to 12 million people who work so hard each and every day, that contribute with their sweat and their equity and their hard work, to this great nation, are saying we are ready to embrace the American dream. We are ready to embrace America and we hope that today America is ready to embrace immigrants.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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