Return to Transcripts main page


Miami Beach Imposes 8:00 P.M. Curfew On Spring Breakers; Spa Owner In Atlanta Shooting Remembered; Senator Ron Johnson Claims No Violence On Senate On January 6th; Crisis At The Southern Border; Big Tech To Face Congress On Misinformation; President Biden Finally Addresses Press On Immigration; Final Episode Of "Lincoln: Divided We Stand." Aired 5-6p ET

Aired March 21, 2021 - 17:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Police in Miami Beach, Florida this weekend cracking down on crowds of spring breakers that they say are out of control and putting the city into a state of emergency.


So this was the scene just last night in Miami Beach. Police firing pepper balls to break up crowds of partiers, most of them not wearing masks and all defying the 8:00 p.m. curfew. The Miami Beach mayor telling me the spring break crowd this year are more than they can handle which is why they are taking such drastic measures to keep the city under control.

And in Arizona, take a look at this sign of the growing discontent with COVID safety measures. You see, this was a mask burning rally outside a public health department.

We have this just in to CNN. Brand new vaccine numbers released by the CDC. As of today, more than 124 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. That's a jump of about 3 million people just since yesterday.

Let's go live now to Miami Beach and CNN correspondent Randi Kaye. And Randi, we just saw the video of police using force last night to clear the streets in Miami Beach. Just how overwhelmed is the city?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. They have a real situation on their hands, Ana. They have said that this is a spring break like no other. Just on Friday night, there are more than 1,000 people in the street and there were a lot of people on the street last night.

They did have to use those pepper balls. They had to launch those into the crowd because they have a new curfew which starts at 8:00 p.m. and people were just defying that new order, that state of emergency order, and they just would not leave the streets.

So, as you look at that video you can see what the situation was and why they are so overwhelmed. So the state of emergency is now in place for at least the next 72 hours. There is the 8:00 p.m. curfew. The causeways are closed heading from the mainland to this area, in the entertainment district.

And then you have the streets in the entertainment district like Ocean Drive where we are which are also closed to anybody after 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. the following morning. The city is meeting right now to debate whether or not they will extend that state of emergency and the curfew until spring break ends, which is effectively April 11th.

But we did talk to a handful of spring breakers here and the opinion is mixed on whether or not this curfew should be in place at all. Listen to what we were told.


GIANNI DOMOND, MIAMI BEACH RESIDENT: A lock (ph) I feel like s needed because, you know, corona is still around. I feel like a lot of the spring breakers are just not thinking about, you know, the future and what could possibly happen if they keep coming, you know, to Miami for spring break.

SAMARIA AUGUST, MIAMI BEACH RESIDENT: So, they shut down South Beach and I live closer to Fort Lauderdale. So, when they shut down here, it was just like a flux of people coming down to Fort Lauderdale and it is just like -- since South Beach is like the most, like, popular one they just trickle it down to Fort Lauderdale and that's my home. So I'm even more worried about Fort Lauderdale.

TAHJAI BACOTT, SPRING BREAKER FROM NEW YORK: I came all the way out here from New York to be out here to have fun. Like 8:00 is O.D. Maybe like 10:30 would have been fine. I would have been okay with that, or even 10:00, but 8:00, just so bad.


KAYE: So bad, a lot of people think about that bad curfew in place, but I could tell you that officials have said that since Super Bowl weekend, Ana, they have made more than 1,000 arrests here in Miami Beach. And 51 percent of them were arrests of people from out of state. So they are bringing trouble here in the eyes of city officials.

And of course, once they are here, we know that the U.K. variant is also spreading quite quickly through the state of Florida. This state has some of the greatest number of cases of that variant. People are very concerned here that they would then bring that variant elsewhere in the country. Ana, back to you.

CABRERA: Randi, thank you very much for your reporting, especially dealing with the hecklers nearby. You held it together so professionally and we appreciate it.

Two medical experts are joining us now. Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University, and Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Always good to have both of you with us and your expertise is needed right now. Dr. Ranney, what's going through your mind as you see these images of crowds in Florida?

MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY: Oh, man, I wish that folks would at least mask up. We know that masking prevents the spread of the new variants as well as the wild type virus. I expect that very few of those young adults have been vaccinated.

And watching them gather together in those crowds even outside gives me fear that they are going to bring that B117 variant back to their home state and spread it. I worked in the E.R. all weekend. I continue to admit people to the ICU. It is not that we need to stay home and locked up, but if we're going to go out, do it safely.

CABRERA: Dr. Hotez, the former commissioner of the FDA says he thinks it is unlikely the U.S. will have a fourth COVID-19 wave. He cited increase in vaccination numbers and antibody protection for those who've already been infected with COVID. Do you agree?


PETER HOTEZ, DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE: It's very hard to say. I mean, we're already seeing now the numbers starting to go up in Michigan and New Jersey and New York. And we know that the B117 variant is predominant in some of those areas especially in Michigan.

So, you know, when you see those numbers go up and you know the B117 variant is substantial there, it's really hard to say. And now in the spring break states, Georgia, Florida, Texas, these are some areas where also B117 variant is widespread.

So we are in a race. That's what it comes down to. We've vaccine -- gotten the single dose into about a quarter of the U.S. population so they are partially protected. There is still a long ways to go. And it could go either way right now and this is why it's really important for the governors to stay the course and to implement masks and social distancing.

Because we don't want to have to do this forever. By a month from now, we could be up to potentially 50 percent of the country partially immune from the vaccine. So, it's not in perpetuity but this is the crunch time.

CABRERA: And we are seeing states really diverging in terms of the path they are taking from this point forward. Dr. Ranney, I have to ask you about a couple of states in particular where leaders took two very different approaches to COVID-19 -- Florida and California.

So, California enacted very strict COVID-19 restrictions. Florida has largely remained open. And yet when you compare the data, they are very similar in number of cases per capita and they have both seen a significant drop in cases since the start of this year, although you can see California is a little bit of a steeper drop.

So for people though who look at these two states and say lockdowns or strict restrictions didn't really make California substantially better off than Florida, what is your response? RANNEY: So, it's a complex and multileveled response, but there are

two basic things. The first is, the data out of Florida is not fully accurate so far as we know. We know that they haven't been testing as much as California so they are not going to pick up the cases that are there. And there are some questions about the accuracy of the death data so, I don't fully trust it.

The second thing is that the two states are very different in terms of density of population, in terms of the climate. Southern California is certainly similar to Florida, but Northern California is very different. And regulations are different from compliance with regulations.

So, I appreciate that, but the drops in the rates of COVID deaths as folks are getting vaccinated and the drops when mask mandates are in place support those regulations. And again, I think there is going to be a lot of deeper dive into those comparisons that show that they really don't hold water.

CABRERA: We know what the science says in terms of how we can protect ourselves and each other. Dr. Hotez, for 10 straight days now, the TSA has screened more than 1 million passengers traveling through airports, that's each day.

The European Commission just unveiled a plan this week for vaccine passports to allow for safe and free movement within the E.U. Iceland announced it will allow any visitors who have been vaccinated or have been infected previously to bypass other border measures such as testing and quarantine. Could we see the U.S. moving in this direction?

HOTEZ: No, potentially it's not on the table right now because we have just vaccinate too few individuals. You know, maybe by the summer or fall as we get close to fully vaccinating the American people or at least three-fourths of the adults that might be for consideration.

But I wouldn't press that right now because the anti-vaccine groups are obsessed with mandates at this point and all it will do is just cause a vigorous backlash. I think we have to focus on vaccinating as many people as we can. And the fact that you've got 1 million people going through airports right now is not a good time.

This is -- what we're doing is essentially spreading the B117 variant across the nation. So, trying to limit air travel to essential air travel at this point. And again, I can't keep emphasizing enough, five to six weeks.

So even though the numbers haven't gone up significantly in Florida yet, remember how this works, Ana. It goes along what we call an exponential curb, meaning it doesn't go up a little bit more each day, it just stays flat, it stays flat, it stays flat. And then when things go bad, they go bad really fast. We have seen this already with each wave and we should expect that will happen again.

CABRERA: So true. Thank you very much both of you for being with us. Dr. Hotez and Dr. Ranney, its good the see you. Thanks for all you do. HOTEZ: Thank you.

CABRERA: Up next, as calls grow for the Atlanta area spa shootings to be investigated as hate crimes, we will take you live to Atlanta with powerful new audio as a community comes together to heal with the families and friends of the eight victims.


MICHAEL WEBB, XIAOJIE TAN'S FORMER HUSBAND: Our lives are changed forever. And it's not fair.




CABRERA: Fear and frustration are gripping the Asian-American community. After the horrific shooting spree in Atlanta killed eight people, six of them Asian women. Nationwide, calls are getting louder to stop hate towards Asian-Americans as pressure mounts for hate crime charges to be brought against the suspect. Today, in New York, that message rang loud clear.


CABRERA: You hear them chanting "Stop Asian Hate". CNN has also learned today the church where the suspected shooter attended has removed him from their membership ranks denouncing the attack and honoring the victims today during Sunday morning service.


LUKE FOLSOM, ASSOCIATE PASTOR, CRABAPPLE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH: We are going to grieve. We are going to lament. We are going to weep with all of those affected by this heinous crime as they deal with unimaginable pain and sorrow.


These were eight individuals created in the image of God whose lives were taken by an inexcusable act of murder. In just a moment, we are going to say the names of the victims and have a moment of silence to honor them, to mourn for them, and to pray for their families and loved ones.


CABRERA: I want to go now to CNN's Natasha Chen who is joining us there in Atlanta. What more are you learning, Natasha?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, I just heard a very similar sentiment honoring the victims right across the street, but it was in Korean. The church service was being held at Gold Spa there with multiple churches of different denominations in the Atlanta area, in the Korean community.

Now, none of the victims of Korean decent actually attended those churches, but you could see the outpouring of love across languages, across denominations here. I sat down with the family of one victim yesterday. The family of Xiaojie Tan. And they said they really -- their hearts go out to all the families who lost a loved one. And they are also thinking of the suspect's family whom they say must be struggling as well.


CHEN (voice-over): Xiaojie Tan's family says she was living the American dream. After moving to the U.S., Xiaojie, whom friends and clients called Emily, started as a nail technician before working her way up to buy two spas outside of Atlanta. Beloved by her family and customers and neighboring business owners, Tan was killed just two days before her 50th birthday.

JAMI WEBB, XIAOJIE TAN'S DAUGHTER/MOTHER KILLED IN SPA SHOOTING: I was just planning to get a cake and have a big dinner after work.

CHEN (voice-over): Her only child, Jami Webb, had plans to meet up with her mom last Sunday but she overslept. She would never have the opportunity to see her mother again.

J. WEBB: When I thought that I have all this time with her -- I mean, just because I missed that Sunday meeting with my mom, I thought we can always meet, like any Sunday, any other day, just like before.

CHEN (voice-over): Instead, two days later, Webb spent six hours in a hospital waiting room as news of a shooting at "Youngs Asian Massage," her mother's business, dominated the headlines.

J. WEBB: I was just hoping that it was not my mom, it's not my mom.

CHEN (voice-over): But by the end of the night, her mother was one of eight people killed at three different spas in the metro Atlanta area. Webb says the extended family is still in China and no one has had the heart to tell Webb's grandmother.

J. WEBB: They were celebrating the birthday. And my grandmother was the only one who doesn't know my mom that she passed away.

M. WEBB: Our lives are changed forever.

CHEN: Yes.

M. WEBB: And it's not fair.

CHEN (voice-over): Tan's ex-husband, Michael Webb, said Tan was perpetually determined saving money so carefully with the exception of splurging occasionally on an expensive hand bag. A woman who rode on the back of a bicycle after her water broke to get to a hospital in the middle of the night to have her baby girl. Webb said Tan often worked seven days a week and talked about retiring and traveling the world. M. WEBB: And she will never get to enjoy that. She worked to die.

CHEN (voice-over): He said Tan was always vigilant about protecting her business and employees from certain kinds of customers.

M. WEBB: She used to tell me a lot of times she would throw customers out because they would come in and think that they could, could have sex. And she would -- she said, "Get out of my business," you know, and she would throw them out. She was a strong mother hen over that business and the people that worked there. She protected it.

CHEN (voice-over): And now the community, especially Asian-Americans are holding vigil at its front door. The fact that six of the eight victims were Asian women, the fact that these businesses were owned by Asian people, is hard to ignore.

Jamie Webb says she understands the Asian-American community's overall anxiety over the rise of anti-Asian assaults. But this family is not ready to connect that with Tuesday's killings right now.

M. WEBB: I don't think we are trying to say that there is not racial bias in this country. There certainly is. And it doesn't seem to be getting a lot better. That's not our issue right now. We don't know what motivated this at this point. Time will tell. We just know how we feel. And we know what we lost.


CHEN (on camera): It was very clear, though, to the people who gathered across the street in the last hour, the members of the different Korean churches, they told me they clearly felt that this was a hate crime. Of course, that is being heavily debated within the community.


One thing that's absolutely clear is what level of support is coming from all corners of the city. All these flowers that are being dropped off, the signs, the teddy bears, the stuffed animals and Jami Webb told me that's something that her mother would have appreciated it especially the flowers and the stuffed animals, Ana.

CABRERA: My heart just breaks for that family. Natasha Chen, thank you for that reporting. I hope everyone will join us tomorrow night to continue this important conversation. Anderson Cooper, Amara Walker, Victor Blackwell and I will be anchoring an in-depth discussion about the fear in America's communities of color. That CNN special report is tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern right here on CNN.

Still ahead this hour, a Republican senator trying to rewrite history about what happened at the capitol insurrection. What Ron Johnson said that's causing the controversy, next.


[17:25:00] CABRERA: The outer layer of security fencing around the U.S. Capitol is coming down as we speak. The interior fencing will stay u, but this means for the first time since the January 6th insurrection anyone not just lawmakers and staff, will be able to walk around the outside of the capitol buildings.

This weekend, we witnessed a bit of revisionist history as Republican Senator Ron Johnson explained why he didn't feel threatened by the armed mob storming the building.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I didn't feel threatened on January 6th. I didn't. There was much more violence on the House side. There was no violence on the Senate side in terms of the chamber. I didn't feel threatened. I mean, I never felt threatened. It's a true statement. But then I started getting criticized. How could you not feel threatened? Because I wasn't. I didn't feel threatened, you know?


CABRERA: No violence on the Senate side, he says. What a selective memory to have. Video filmed during this attack shows broken windows on the Senate side of the capitol. As well as rioters storming the halls near the Senate chambers.

Pictures also show this so-called non-threatening man in a helmet dropping into the Senate chamber. Or how about this rioter with zip ties in the chamber as well? The insurrectionists even left this note in the chamber that reads, "It's only a matter of time. Justice is coming!" You call that non-threatening? They also repeated this clearly threatening chant about then Vice President and President of the Senate, Mike Pence.


UNKNOWN: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!


CABRERA: Now, one of the reasons Senator Johnson may not have seen this violence firsthand or felt threatened is because of officers Like Eugene Goodman who confronted protesters alone and purposefully led them away from the Senate chamber where senators, possibly even Johnson at the time, were sheltering inside.

According to Senator Johnson, though, he didn't feel threatened. He suggests he had no reason to feel that way because these rioters truly respected law enforcement. His words. Not mine. Here's Senator Johnson roughly two weeks ago.


JOHNSON: I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break a law. So I wasn't concerned. Now, had the tables been turned, and Joe this could get me in trouble, had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.


CABRERA: Not only is that defense racist, but it is also a lie. And we have plenty of evidence that these protesters didn't respect law enforcement as we watched the violence play out live, evidence they didn't love law enforcement as we learn an officer had died and we were reminded again this week of how little they respected law enforcement when the FBI released brand-new videos of rioters attacking officers hoping someone could identify and report them. For more on that, here's CNN's Oren Liebermann.



OREN LIEBERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amid a chorus of patriotic chants, the mob advanced. In the chaos, someone called for reinforcements. On the left, the man labeled by the FBI as BOLO, be on the lookout, #153, wanted for assault on federal law enforcement.

In newly released videos and images form the FBI, he is seen attacking officers with what appears to be a stick. He has a light and a gas mask in other images.

BOLO #123, wearing a striped shirt is seen in the video grabbing an officer's gas mask and repeatedly pulling it toward the door. More than 300 people are facing federal charges stemming from the January 6th attack.

The Department of Justice has charged more than 65 people for assaulting law enforcement. The FBI has released video and pictures of 10 more people seen attacking officers on January 6th during the capitol riot.

STEVEN D'ANTUONO, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR IN CHARGE, FBI D.C. FIELD OFFICE: They are captured on video committing appalling crimes against officers who have devoted their lives to protecting the American people.

LIEBERMAN: BOLO #170 swings directly at an officer and his camera, his face briefly visible between punches. From behind, you can see he reaches over an officer's riot shield when he tries to get closer in the attack.


BOLO #191 charges officers after pushing through the gates. BOLO #231 reaches above riot shields to spray an orange substance on officers then he throws the spray paint can. In another clip, he is seen attacking officers with a riot shield.

The list goes on. Evidence of a mob made up of mostly Trump supporters as they launched what officials have called a coordinated attack on the heart of American democracy.

D'ANTUONO: We know it can be difficult to report information on both family, friends, and co-workers, but it is the right thing to do.

LIEBERMAN: BOLO #255 walks to the edge above the riot then unleash a cloud of chemicals on a large group of officers. Overhead, American flags are waving.


CABRERA: That was Oren Liebermann reporting. A trail of diapers, children's clothing and discarded documents from home. CNN gets a firsthand look at what it's like for kids crossing the border alone, next.



CABRERA: On U.S. southern border, more than 5,000 migrant children are overwhelming U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations with hundreds being held for 10 days or more in what has been described as jail-like facilities.

We are told some haven't been able to shower or have seen sunlight for days. Here's Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this morning on CNN when he was asked whether the Biden administration changed immigration policy too quickly without having the infrastructure in place to take care of these children.


ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We will not abandon our values and our principles. We will not abandon the needs of vulnerable children. But it is taking time, and it is difficult because the entire system was dismantled by the prior administration. There was a system in place in both Republican and Democratic administrations that was torn down during the Trump administration. And that is why the challenge is more acute than it ever has been before.


CABRERA: The Biden administration setting up a new facility at the Dallas Convention Center to temporarily house more than 1,000 unaccompanied kids. We don't know what conditions are like firsthand inside because so far, media access has been denied. But an immigration attorney who got to look inside that Dallas Convention Center facility this weekend shared this.


MICHELLE SAENZ-RODRIGUEZ, FOUNDING PARTNER, SAENZ-RODRIGUEZ & ASSOCIATES: Just a ton of boys here. Tim (ph), it's just boys. But it's0 a very nice facility. It is a huge like a ballroom area and there are cots from side to side. And then there is different area -- they have a dining area where the boys are taken for their meals. And then a place for them to do activities that could be playing cards, reading books. And then there are stations where they are trying to communicate with their family either in the country or internationally.


CABRERA: More than 5,000 migrant children are still in custody with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. More than 10,500 migrant children are also in care with HHS. And now, the human face of this crisis. CNN's Rosa Flores recently caught up with a group of migrant teenagers near the border for the last few miles of their dangerous journey to the United States.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the south Texas trails used by thousands of migrants like these unaccompanied teenagers from Guatemala to make their way into the U.S.

And sometimes they encounter Deputy Constable Dan Broyles as he patrols the border with Mexico. Sixteen-year-old Kevin, gets emotional as he shares that he has been traveling for a month, sometimes without food or water. His father waits for him in Pennsylvania.

Seventeen-year-old Allen's voice breaks as he explains his grandma -- who takes care of him, stayed behind in his gang-ridden neighborhood. Border authorities in the Rio Grande Valley are encountering about 1,000 migrants a day, according to a federal source, many of them unaccompanied minors. Evidence mothers and children are on the trail litter the landscape, diapers, children's clothing and masks.

(On camera): Documents left behind by some of the migrants tell part of their story. In this case, it looks like a 34-year-old mom from Honduras and her two-year-old son, they both tested for COVID before leaving their country and tested negative.

So what do you look for when you patrol?

DAN BROYLES, DEPUTY CONSTABLE: Well, what I'm looking for is splashes of color that don't belong in the brush.

FLORES (voice-over): He also lacks down the paths that lead to the river for signs of life.

BROYLES: This is an indication sign.

FLORES (voice-over): And he shows us the arrows posted by border authorities.

BROYLES: As you can see, that's a Homeland Security bag.

FLORES (voice-over): And this one that reads, "asilo," or asylum.


FLORES: Walk to the bridge is two kilometers.

BROYLES: Is two kilometers, yes.

FLORES (voice-over): What bridge? The bridge near the Rio Grande where immigration processing begins.

This is as close as our cameras can get. Border Patrol is not granting media access, but with permission from deputy constables who patrol alongside federal authorities.

BROYLES: Precinct 3 constable's office is in charge of approximately 22 miles of international border.

FLORES (voice-over): We've got our eyes and ears on the ground.

Did you come alone?


FLORES (voice-over): This teen says he paid a smuggler after a recent hurricane flooded his single mom's home.

FLORES: How much did you pay?


FLORES (voice-over): Or $2,500.

(On camera): How did you get the money?




FLORES (voice-over): Broyles job ends here when he sends the teens off to Border Patrol. For the teens, it's just another step in an already uncertain journey.



CABRERA: Thanks to our Rosa for that report. And now, here is Christine Romans with the big tech here in Wall Street is watching for in your "Before the Bell Report." Christine?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. It's big tech in the hot seat. The CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter testify before a House committee on Thursday. Lawmakers are expected to grill Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey about the growth of misinformation on their platforms.

The hearing comes at a volatile moment for tech stocks. Rising bond yields have pressured pricey tech names. Investors are rotating out of that sector to load up on companies that will benefit from an economic rebound.

There are fears the economy could overheat as it fully reopens. Last week, the Federal Reserve tried to reassure investors that any inflation will be transitory, that means temporary. But the calm didn't last. On Thursday, the 10-year Treasury bonds yield climbed to a 13-month high sparking a selloff in stocks.

And rising yields are likely to trigger continued volatility for stocks. In New York, I'm Christine Romans.



CABRERA: President Biden just addressed immigration with reporters on the south lawn of the White House. Let's listen.


UNKNOWN: Are you thinking of going to the border?


UNKNOWN: Do you want to see firsthand what's going on in those facilities?

BIDEN: I know what's going on in those facilities.

UNKNOWN: Hi, sir. Why do you think the message to the migrants telling them to stay home, don't come now, why do you think that hasn't resonated yet? What can be done, sir?

BIDEN: A lot more. We are in the process of doing it now, including making sure that we re-establish what existed before, which is they can stay in place and make their case from their home countries. Thank you.

UNKNOWN: And when will you allow the media into those facilities?


CABRERA: And now let's bring in CNN's Arlette Saenz at the White House. Arlette, immigration and the border crisis obviously a huge issue right now facing the Biden administration. And we're working to get Arlette for our viewers. Obviously, we heard from the DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on all the Sunday shows this morning.

He has been visiting the border. The president has been facing growing calls about his immigration policies and whether they have changed them too quickly and weren't prepared for an influx and the surge at the border, and also whether has the message the administration has been sending has contributed to people coming, thinking they have been given the green light.

And so right now, this is a growing situation that the White House is forced to confront, and forced to have to make changes in order to deal with what has becoming a humanitarian crisis at the border. Of course, they have been reluctant to call this a crisis for some time when pressed.

But they do acknowledge that it is a big challenge for them right now. Do we have Arlette, guys? Arlette Saenz is joining us now at the White House. I know you were working to ask the president some questions about this, Arlette. Fill us in on what else you learned?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, while we were out on the south lawn as he arrived here I asked the president whether he is thinking of going down to the border. And he said that he will go at some point. It's unclear though when exactly that might be as this border crisis continues to brew down there.

And I also asked if he wanted to see firsthand what the circumstances are like in those facilities where these children are being held. And he said that he is aware of what is going on in those facilities. And the president was also asked by another reporter, what needs to be done to get the message across to people to not come to the border?

And he said that they are working on that, that he knows that more needs to be done. Part of that is setting up this asylum process so that people in Central America can formally apply for asylum rather than making that trek as you've seen so many people do right now.

But this issue regarding the border, regarding those children who are traveling unaccompanied and now in border patrol custody and also in HHS custody, this is something that is presenting a challenge for this administration and something they will continue to have to answer and address.

You have heard officials saying that they are working around the clock to try to get these children into acceptable shelters and out of those border processing facilities, but this is clearly a challenge. The White House is not saying directly that it's a crisis, but it is something that is top of mind for many people.

CABRERA: Arlette Saenz, appreciate your reporting. Thank you.

From the current president now to one of yesteryear, Abraham Lincoln is known as the great emancipator. And his assassination shook this nation to its core just as the civil war was coming to an end. Tonight, the season finale of CNN's Original Series, "Lincoln: Divided We Stand" examines that fateful night Lincoln was killed. Here's a preview.


UNKNOWN: Booth was what we would now call a racist terrorist. He had heard Lincoln promised to enfranchise black veterans. And that is something that he cannot let happen.


UNKNOWN: But he had no plan. CHARLES LACHMAN, AUTHOR: Until April 14, 1865.

UNKNOWN: It had actually been published in the newspapers earlier that day that the president and Mrs. Lincoln were expected at Ford's Theater.

UNKNOWN: It triggers a multi-pronged plot to kill Lincoln and his cabinet members all on the same night.

UNKNOWN: Booth believed that if he could eliminate the chief figures in the administration, somehow the south might still prevail.


CABRERA: I want to bring in Michele Mithcell now. She's an associate professor of history at New York University. Michele, in a victory speech shortly after the war, Lincoln makes a historic proposal about voting rights for black Americans, and has a personal impact on him. Tell us about that.

MICHELE MITCHELL, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Well, it's interesting if you look at the amendments, the reconstruction era amendments and look at the sort of draft text and then what ended up being the actual text. And so the -- you can look at voting rights and you can see the draft text could have enfranchised a lot of people.

And so it's how you think about the term universal suffrage and universal male suffrage. And so there's a really important distinction there because universal suffrage, it sounds like it's for everybody and it is. And universal male suffrage could mean man or it could also allow immigrants, male immigrants to vote. So, it's a really complicated issue.

CABRERA: No kidding. What impact did Lincoln's assassination have on the reunification of the country after the war especially when it came to the new role of freed black slaves in American society?

MITCHELL: Well, I can understand why, and this is why it gets really -- on the one hand, you know, teaching as long as I have, because at this point I began my career teaching at the University of Michigan in 1998 and so I've had these conversations a lot of times and I understand why some students are really angry, a whole level of students, I can understand why they are angry.

And so its explaining things and, you know, I understand that. And then you just say to them, you know, well, just think about the outpouring of emotion, a whole range of (inaudible) died. And so that should tell you something.

And this is one reason why I think it's really difficult to teach the civil war without thinking about not only the 1850s but also the late 1840s, and I mean, this is kind of a joke, but what's now Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, it's really complicated.

So it's kind of a joke. If you look at Texas 1845, the 1845 Texas is not the current Texas. It's not. Look at the map, you know, it's not. It's a very interesting shape.


MITCHELL: And so it's -- the Texas now is very, very big. And then when you look at New Mexico, it's square and it had a little tail on it that was added later, and then you've got Arizona. And so --

CABRERA: Sure. But do you know what I am talking about in terms of like the impact of Lincoln's assassination?

MITCHELL: I'm getting there.


MITCHELL: This is why -- this is the sadness about it. And so, here you have -- this is really the sadness about it. Here you had a man who was able to speak to a whole range of people across -- if it's a big expanse now, if you think about the fact that there were still war battles that went on after the war ended.

After the war officially ended, there are battles going on I think in New Mexico territory. And New Mexico territory is not what it is now. And so this is why I'm explaining it in terms of the sadness about it because, I mean, it's kind of a joke but it's not.

Texas and New Mexico have a lot of antipathy but a lot of overlap. And so there's this weird antipathy between these three states, and it's because they went to do so much stuff, they don't necessarily want any neighbors in. And so there's a reason why 1912, we see about Arizona and New Mexico, why did they become states in 1912? There's a reason and it's not necessarily that -- they didn't want to join this nation. And so that's why -- yes.

CABRERA: Okay. Michelle, I really appreciate you sharing some of your knowledge and your deep understanding of history, and we look forward to learning more a lot more obviously in tonight's special. Thank you for joining us. Be sure and tune in to the all-new episode of "Lincoln: Divided We Stand." It airs tonight at 10:00 only on CNN.

All right, you got to take a look at this volcano in Iceland which after sitting dormant for 6,000 years, won't stop spewing red lava. Look at this. This is a volcano near the capital city of Reykjavik.


It erupted two days ago following weeks of increased seismic activity on the peninsula where it is located. An estimated 400 earthquakes were detected in this region on Thursday alone. The good news is officials say, the overall threat remains low.

That is going to do it for me this weekend. Thank you for being with me on this Sunday. I'm Ana Cabrera. The news continues in just a moment with my colleague, Pamela Brown. Have a great night. And go Zags.