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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 21, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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>> these were emotions that i had been dreaming about for so long. >> getting to the heart of the matter. proud to tell your stories. al jazeera america. this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm tony harris. a new day in cuba, after an historic meeting between president obama and cuban president raul castro. the two leaders faced reporters in an extraordinary news conference. republican front runner donald trump finally reveals his global policy brain trust. casualty of war, u.s. marine pays the ultimate sacrifice, and he is being remembered by
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president obama. and sweet beginnings from former inmates, finding a way to make a new beginning in a jar of honey. ♪ and we begin today with president obama's historic visit to cuba. he is the first u.s. president to set foot on the island in nearly 90 years. mr. obama hailed it as a new day in relations. mike viqueira reports from havana. >> reporter: this was the moment, president obama and president raul castro, shaking hands for the first time on cuba soil. they talked for two hours behind closed doors, but when they emerged it was the clear that the acrimony, 54 years wouldn't be forgotten.
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asked by an american reporter why cuba has political prisoners, castro bristles. >> translator: what political prisoner? give me a name or names. or after this is over, you can give me a list, and if we have those political prisoners they will be released before this night ends. >> reporter: arrests and short-term arrests of dissidents in cuba have risen in the past years. sunday just hours before mr. obama arrived a protest by a group known by ladies in white was forcibly dismissed. castro also took president obama to task. >> translator: i think human rights issues should not be politicized. that is not correct.
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>> reporter: castro says if change is to come to cuba. it's for cuba alone to decide. president obama agrees, but on tuesday he'll meet privately with a small group of dissidents. >> i have met with people who have been subject to arbitrary detention, and that's something i generally have to speak out on, because i hear from them directly and know what it means for them. >> reporter: castro asked for an end of the trade embargo. >> one of the best ways to help the cuban people succeed and improve their lives would be for the u.s. congress to lift the embargo once and for all. [ applause ] >> reporter: inviting american business along for the trip is designed to make it harder for republicans and other opponents to resist or reverse the opening to cuba.
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and the white house is providing images and photo ops along the way to emphasize the history being made. the two leaders were all smiles at the end of the press conference. >> we'll talk to mike in the next 25 minutes or so. for some cuban americans this big change is anything by positive. al jazeera's andy gallagher with more. >> reporter: inside these studios, these broadcasters have a unique mission, seven days a week, they transmit to the people of cuba, and say theirs is a message of resistance. for ten years they have been reporting on cuba's opposition movement. and for many year president obama's visit is a step in the wrong direction. >> he is befriending raul
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castro. the only positive move towards cuba is to use the leverage obama has to call for free elections on the island. >> reporter: that is a sentiment echos by many. for many here, any move towards normalization isn't well received. sylvia arrived as a teenager and has spent her adult life fighting for change on the island. she thinks president obama's visit sends the wrong message. >> we are going to go there at a moment when there's more repression, when our visit will certain to empower those in power. >> reporter: among the mostly older cuban americans there is still deep scepticism.
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but when you speak to younger cuban americans mostly who were born in the united states, they view things very differently. raul is sympathic to how many older cuban americans feel, but is ready to embrace a new approach. >> folks of my generation, tend to be a little bit more curious about what changes in policy could yield. i don't have the scars and the trauma of being in exile the way my grand parents do. >> freedom for cuba! >> reporter: ultimately everyone cuban in miami wants better things for the island. but it's how that is done that causes the -- restriction. at the bottom of the hour we will look at one u.s. company hoping to taked a vintage of the new relationship. foreign policy dominated much of the agenda at the annual
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a-pac meeting. hillary clinton used the meeting to denounce donald trump as unpredictable and dangerous. and trump revealed the names of several of his foreign policy team. the team is headed by alabama senator jeff sessions and includes a former defense department personnel, oil and energy experts, and a former advisor to mitt romney. the g.o.p. front runner just wrapped up his speech. and john terrett has been watching it from washington for us. john? >> that's right. tony good evening, my friend. let's remind you about what a-pac is. it's the largest jewish israeli lobby group in the country. very, very powerful organization. last year they worked hard to stop the white house from
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ratifying that iran nuclear deal. 18,000 people have made the pilgrimage to d.c. again this year, and that despite the fact that only 3% of jewish people make up the population of the united states. donald trump came here with two black marks against him. number 1 that he had been havering the issue of if he become president he would move the u.s. embassy. and number 2 he said he wished to remain neutral in the negotiations between palestinian and israel. just now donald trump came out absolutely swinging against the iran nuclear deal. not surprisingly he slammed it. >> i have been in business a long time. i know deal making, and let me tell you, this deal is
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catastrophic for america, israel, and the whole of the middle east. [ applause ] >> the problem here is fundamental. we have rewarded the world's leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion, and we received absolutely nothing in return. >> reporter: well, one thing of note, trump used an auto queue which is not something you see very often, and he said if elected president he will meet with prime minister netenyahu immediately. he said that hillary clinton is a disaster. he said that she and president obama have treated israel very, very badly, so he is trying to link the secretary to the iran deal. >> yeah. yeah. and john, let's see the democratic front runner, hillary
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clinton had something to say about donald trump at a-pac, didn't she? >> yeah, it was around last year, then it is all about election nearing this year. her husband helped to negotiate the oswald ordeal. and even though that didn't really go any further, the israelis really appreciate the work that president obama put in on that. today candidate clinton really went after donald trump for those remarks that he said on a couple of occasions that should he win the presidency, he would like to remain neutral in order that the palestinians would trust him a little bit. this is what mrs. clinton had to say. >> yes, we need steady hands, not a president who says he is
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neutral on monday, two-israel on tuesday, and who knows what on wednesday, because everything is negotiable. [ cheers ] [ applause ] >> well, my friends, israel's security is nonnegotiable. [ cheers and applause ] >> all of the 2016 candidates are appearing at a-pac today, except for one, bernie sanders who issued his middle east point. he said unconditional recognition by all of -- recognition by all of israel's right to exist is very important. he also said that peace means security for every palestinian. peace will mean ending what amounts to the occupation of palestinian territory, and it's absurd to suggest that building more settlements in the most appropriate response to the most
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recent violence. >> all right. john thank you. so the candidates are gearing up for more presidential primaries tomorrow. for the republicans 107 delegates are up for grabs. the biggest prize is arizona. there are also contests in utah and american sa -- samoa. michael shure is in salt lake city with a preview of the race in utah, and why donald trump could help turn the republican state, what, blue? michael? >> that's exactly right. all because of donald trump. that's what people are talking about here in utah. it is an inedible thing, because utah has not voted for a democrat for president since 1964. in that was lyndon johnson, and it looks as if donald trump were to be the nominee here, tony,
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that they might go that way. we spoke to somebody who has watched many of the collections since 1964, a professor at the university of utah. this is what he had to say. >> they are taking back by his arrogance, his general answers to -- easy answers given to very complicated difficult problems. he's seemingly ignorance to the fact that governing is not easy. governing is hard. >> reporter: and tony that's exactly what people are talking about everywhere. but here in utah you have governors, former governors, senators all working to keep donald trump from winning the nomination. it's not as if when they endorse ted cruise it's because they want ted cruz, it is because
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they want to stop donald trump. >> can you just be careful. there is a mail truck backing up on you there. so, all right. it is just that utah voters -- they just don't like the brash new yorker? >> reporter: well, you know, it's a little bit about that. it might be utah mailmen who didn't like the brash new yorker either. [ laughter ] >> reporter: but here is the thing. nearly two-thirds of the state are mormomormons. and donald trump talking about building a wall, zero tolerance for muslims, that goes against the teachings of the mormon church. and a lot of these people that go on their missions go into south america, and africa.
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it's about immigration and caring for people who are not like them. >> good point. >> looking at the polls here, bernie sanders seems to be doing -- you know how i feel about these polls -- but he seems to be doing better than hillary clinton with voters. why is that? >> well, let's look at these polls. you see hillary clinton up by two. within the margin of error but hillary clinton up by 2 against donald trump. you move to bernie sanders. bernie sanders up by 11. so the mere fact that bernie sanders is doing so well speaks to his libertarian stiebing -- streak. and less than a mile from where i am standing, bernie sanders just ended a foreign policy speech here in salt like city.
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juxtapose to what is going on in washington at the a-pac conference, talking about israel and palestinian, bringing peace to that area, that's what he is talking about here. and hillary clinton has an association with bill clinton. never been popular in this state. the mere fact that she is ahead of donald trump, speaks volumes about the way they see donald trump in this state. >> we have streetcars and mail trucks. can we get you moved for the 8:00 show? >> i couldn't be safer, toni. >> all right. michael shure thank you. the governor of michigan unveiled a 75-point plan to address the water crisis in flint. and the major of flint said herr plan to remove old pipes is moving forward. the governor's plan includes health, infrastructure, and economic measures for the city.
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up next, killed in action. what the pentagon is saying about the marine killed in the fight against isil. and refugees still trying to cross from turkey into greece.
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when it comes to the fithings you love,. you want more. love romance? get lost in every embrace. into sports? follow every pitch, every play and every win. change the way you experience tv with x1 from xfinity. al jazeera america. the death of a u.s. marine in iraq is raising new questions about a mission that is supposed to keep american troops away from the front lines. it comes as the u.s. military is expanding its role, helping iraqi forces take on isil.
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>> tony, the pentagon belatedly announced the deployment of more marines to iraq. as many as 200 marines have been dispatched to iraq to protect iraqi forces and the americans who advise them. at the air force base in delaware, a reminder that even as u.s. troops in iraq are only advising and assisting iraqi forces, they are still in an active combat zone, and therefore, in danger ever day. >> one of our outstanding united states armed service members, marine staff sergeant lewis f cardinal, of california was killed in northern iraq as we assisted the iraqi government in dealing with al jazeera america. >> reporter: the second u.s.
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fatality in the anti-isil came bane came just a bay before the president arrived in cuba. >> it's a reminder that even as we embark on this historic visit, there are u.s. armed service members who are sacrificing each and every day on behalf of our freedom and safety, so i'm grateful to them. >> it's a reminder that as the u.s. tries to do more to help iraqi forces, it increases the risk to u.s. troops. he was in a unit that quietly slipped into iraq two weeks ago. their mission was to set up a base about 50 miles south of mosul, and about 10 miles behind the front lines where thousands of iraqi forces have begun to
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amass for a offensive against isil. the u.s. military wanted to keep the deployment of the marine artillery unit under wraps until it was fully functional. >> they had been practicing with their guns. checking distances, doing operations such as that, so you can't hide it forever. i mean it's cannons. so people are going to find out, and in this case the enemy found out. >> reporter: the pentagon says isil launched two rockets from several miles away. one landed harmlessly off of the mark, the other did not. and the base took some small arms fire, and that two enemy fighters were killed in that exchange. and while u.s. troops are not on the front lines, they are in the
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line of fire. tony. >> jamie thank you. the head of the syrian delegation says the head of bashar al-assad will play no role in the ongoing negotiations. the special envoy says the government's refusal to discuss assad could put an end to the ceasefire that has been in place for two weeks. zana hoda has this report. >> reporter: this man was hoping his request for asigh um in europe will be accepted. but he may have arrived too a late. europe has been closing one border after another. but now there is an agreement that will make it harder for migrants and refugees to stay. >> translator: we are out 3:00
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am on march 20th. they took us to the camp and registered us. they toll us to wait. we don't know what will happen us to. they are separating syrians and iraqis from pakistanis and other nationals. . we can't go back to syria because of the war, and in turkey we couldn't make ends meet. >> reporter: he was taken to a camp. turkish monitors are now in lesvos to help supervise the implementation of that deal. hundreds are arriving for help as well. >> there is a level of confusion. for the people that arrive it is not clear. there are people that feel that after the registration they can travel through greece and try to cross the border with macedonia and so on. that is absolutely not the case anymore. now you have [ inaudible ] as
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being emptied by all of the ancient population. let's say the refugees that arrive before, so the 19th. >> reporter: these people are being sent to mainland greece. once they reach the mainland, the asylum speakers will be placed in shelters while they wait to see if they are eligible for the relocation program. but for now they are stuck in greece. under the agreement, the migrants and refugees who alive on greece's islands from march 20th onwards will not be allowed to travel to mainland grease. they will say in centers like this one, until their asylum applications are processed, and there is a possibility that they may be sen back to turkey. greek officials say there hasn't been any significant changes in the number of arrivals. there is concern among asylum
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seekers and aid workers of mass deportations. they say if properly processed most would qualify as refugees. but now there is a new reality. >> reporter: a man and four others were arrested in a raid in france on friday. neave barker has more from brussels. >> reporter: new footage of the moment of the moment that the man believed to be salah abdeslam was shot by police. his capture marked the end of a four-month manhunt. his arrest also giving investigators new leads. police are now looking for this 24 year old. who is closely linked to salah
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abdesl abdeslam. his dna was reportedly found on explosions used in the paris attacks. >> translator: there are other individuals who must still be found, so they can give an account of themselves. i would like to acknowledge the huge work done by all of our teams on both sides of the border and express my condolences to all of the victims of this drama. >> reporter: he has been held in a maximum security prison where he has been cooperating with investigators. he told investigators that he planned to blow himself up during the paris attacks but backed out. he may also have been planning more violence. the lawyer hired to defend him insists the claims must be checked. he said he plans to sue the french prosecutor for allegedly
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revealing details of the investigation. police have also revealed more details about how they found abdeslam. in a brussels cemetery is the unmarked grave of his brother who blew himself up in the paris attacks. he was buried the bay before abdeslam was arrested. a small group of mourners gathered here. but police were listening in. what they overheard here allowed them to tighten the net on abdeslam. it was finally a suspicious piece of delivery that gave away his exact location. he is now fighting extradition to france. he is expected to appear before a judge on wednesday when the court will order his continued detention. neave barker, al jazeera, brussels. and still ahead on the fram,
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forging a new trade relation with cuba, the americans that are leading the business revolution on the island. and arizona's strict immigration laws. how the state is fairing.
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president obama is now attending a state dinner in havana. the event is up with of the main events of the president's historic event to cuba. tomorrow mr. obama meets with
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political disdenged -- dissidented. >> the truth of the matter is we have given president castro lists in the past. and they have responded intermittently to our engagement. and this is an example of why it was my belief this would be a more successful mechanism for us to advance the values that we care about than an embargo and silence and no communications. >> joining us now from havana is maria pena, she is a d.c. correspondent for spanishtive. good to have you on the program. it's a pleasure. so the press conference was hopeful, but also a little awkward. because president obama wasn't exactly excited about answering questions about improving human
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rights. so what was your reaction when you heard castro, essentially say give me the list, right? give me the list of political prisoners so i can release them. >> exactly. i think -- yes, in fact i think it's one of the most tense moments during that news conference, because they started off on a very positive note, although president castro was a little more doubtful, saying there are a lot of thornny issues ahead, like the lifting of the embargo, the return of the guantanamo bay, so when it came to the question and answer period the report from cnn asked why do you have political prisoners, and when will you release them. at least he acted like he didn't hear the question. and then he came back forcefully and said what political prisoners? give me the list.
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and i'll release them tonight. and then he shot back later in the news conference, that, you know, the u.s. has a double standard in this regard, because when you talk about human rights, cuba offers universal health care and free education. and he said, you know, the u.s. really doesn't have the moral authority to be telling cubans about human rights. but there is a recognition that that is a thornny issue in the bilateral relation, so thoepfully -- the good take away is that they both committed to continuing advancing on all of those issues to have full normal we relay shuns between these two countries. right after they did the news conference, president obama went on to a floral of entrepreneurs.
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he took a lot of questions from small business leaders. you know, you have a very flowerful business sector in cuba. my understanding is that the cuban government issued something like, close to 500 million licenses last year for small business owners, and a about a third of those licenses are young people. so there is a lot of interest and thriving private sector interest -- >> marie let me jump in for a second. >> -- infrastructure. >> gotcha. let me jump in here and button up the human rights issue here. is it your take that the crux from the cuban government's perspective is anyone that the u.s. might call a political prisoner is in our eyes nothing more than a prisoner? is that castro's point of view on this? >> reporter: well, that's the
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inferred line, because he demanded the list, and sure enough a couple of minutes after the news conference was over, the exile group in miami actually released a list of 47 people that they consider political prisoners. they gave the list of the names, the location where they are being held, and so there you go, you know, these are clear demands from the exiled community, because they want more freedoms on the island. a lot of people are very upset in southern florida because of this new policy. they feel the u.s. is rewarding the castro regime for now rewards. one of the issues that was raised is that cuban abided by some 47 rules for human rights,
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and he said name one single country that respects every one of those agreements, and i tell you what the answer is, none. he was very blunt about it. >> he was. what is the truth about cuba's growing private sector? the press is reporting some 400,000 cuban entrepreneurs have started new businesses on the island. that has been made possible by changes implemented by the president. is that true? and what kind of jobs are we talking about? >> reporter: well, i was able to walk around somewhat yesterday, and i talked to some of them. they are mainly in the service sector, like you have the taxi drivers, beauticians, for instance, restauranttours, small
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mom and top shops. and the one complaint that i kept hearing over and of again was, you know, that they have this need for infrastructure, better communications, access to the internet, things that make a business grow. >> yes. yes. >> reporter: so i heard that a lot. i couldn't tell you if 400,000 of them are actually operate, but i could see a lot of mom and pop stores and people trying to set up shop. >> as someone who has covered this story from the united states and cuba, are you as confident as president obama when he says the embargo is going to end? >> i do share that optimism with the president, because when you look at the florida
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international university, every single year they have been tracking feelings of the cuban exile community, and the surveys year after year, show an increasing support for an opening with cuba, lifting the embargo, obviously they also want to see political freedoms. so the number of people opposed, you know, it's a generational gap, so you the ones that migrated during the revolution and that totally hate the castro regime. those are the ones that are still the holdouts. you have some cuban american lawmakers on the hill that are definitely against lifting the 'em bah go, because they feel the u.s. is rewarding the regime, obviously the expectation is that all of these incremental changes are going to take time, so the lifting of the 'em bah go is not goings to happen overnight. >> right.
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right. >> the president has done a lot about adopting all of these policies, and certainly there is more that he can do, but you have got to remind your viewers that only congress can lift the embargo. >> absolutely. maria, it's great to have you on the program. maria pena. >> thanks for having me. >> a pleasure. pleasure. the president is also focused on business initiatives in cuba. unu.s. business already up and running is aimed at helping farmers and boosting food production. melissa chan reports from havana. >> reporter: all revolutions start with a few individuals. >> if you look at the tractor, you can see it's very, very simple. >> reporter: and they start with a mission, which for these two is to sell these tractor to as many cubans as possible. they are the first americans granted permission by the u.s. government to build a factory in
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cuba. >> he said we need to help them increase food public defendrodu. >> reporter: this two hope toe eventually produce so many tractors they will start exporting them to other countries in south america. >> so if we achieve those goals we will be into the hundreds of thousands of units a year and employ 300 people or more. >> reporter: but it's not clear whether many cuban farmers can afford the tractor. some stopped by just to window shop. >> translator: yes, there are those who can afford it, but me, for example, i can't afford it. >> reporter: clemens is hoping that international ngo's or the exiled cuban american community can help. this group is really breaking new ground.
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all of the other groups event cubans, domestic countries or countries from europe. >> this is not the biggest market in the world, but 11 million people is about the size, population wise of illinois where i live, and that's the sixth largest state in the union, so there are a lot of opportunities. >> reporter: soon other american businesses plan to enter the market. business interests, including the u.s. chamber of commerce have called to end it. >> our entire foreign policy has been focused on the castros, where it should be focused on the 11 million cubans. >> reporter: the impact of the american embargo on ordinary cubans is hard to assess. out in the countryside, farmers best options are opt dilapidated
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decade's-old russian imports. >> translator: all of our machinery is old. and we need to upgrade and improve our technology in order to advance and move forward. we need to make progress. >> reporter: clemens believes a prosperous cuba will arrive very soon. >> if we look at what happened in china and vietnam, where they changed their business model, i tell everyone cuba will move faster for the simple reason of the cuban people. >> reporter: no one questions that cuba will look very different for the next generation. melissa chan, al jazeera, havana. up next, using honey bees to help inmates get their lives back.
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arizona has some of the toughest anti-immigration laws in the country. a crackdown has reduced the number of illegal workers by some 40%. and it's a major issue heading into the primaries. adam mays joins us live from phoenix. adam. >> reporter: yeah, it is a huge issue here in the state of arizona. just a few minutes ago, secretary of state hillary clinton wrapped up a rally and went after joe arpaio, he is basically known as the toughest
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sheriff in america. bernie sanders is holding a immigration townhall. arizona voters consistently rank immigration as one of their top issues, and it's putting the more main stream business-minded republicans here in the state of arizona kind of lost, because many of them are still haunted by the economic fallout from tough immigration laws that passed here six years ago. >> we're going to have a big beautiful wall that nobody is crossing. >> reporter: donald trump's message on immigration is perhaps more polarizing in arizona than any other state, considered to have the toughest anti-illegal immigration laws in the country. this man was a sponsor of sb-1070 one of a handful of controversial immigration laws that went into effect in 2010.
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since then the number of undocumented workers in arizona has dropped by 40%. what do illegal immigration contribute? which primarily would be tax money, and that is very little. most are not well educated. they are working in jobs where they pay very little federal income tax, very little state tax, and even worse, on the other side of the ledger is they cost a lot. we have to give their children an education, which is expensive. most of them don't have medical insurance, so when they go to hospitals, which can't turn them away, they wind up not paying, and that pushes it on to the hospitals, which pushes it on to everybody with insurance. when you look at medicare care, policing, and the fact that they pay virtually nothing into the treasury, it is a big drag on
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the economy. >> reporter: but dig deeper and the lines aren't so clear. patrick owns a landscaping country. arizona passed a host of immigration policies here, how did that impact your business? >> not great. we lost some really good employees and we kind of had to re -- rechange the way we do our development and hiring processes, and try to increase our pay to attract more and better potential employees. >> reporter: he is not alone. a report in the wall street journal describes numerous small businesses and farms with problems finding workers, and battling shrinking profits. >> we would be stronger if weed has workers from the brood and inlegal system. we would love to have congress fix our visa issues. i mean it's -- it's a terrible mess. >> reporter: glen hammer is president of the arizona chamber
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of commerce. he is dismissive of reporteds showing that gdp grew slower because of the laws. but he said current republican rhetoric isn't helping. >> mexican citizens spent $7 million every single day in the state of arizona. that's a lot of money. our largest export market is mexico. our next closest is canada, which is a hair over $2 billion. so the stronger our relationship can economically with mexico, the more prosperous the state will be, so our focus is on increasing trade opportunities with mexico. >> reporter: back on the campaign trail in arizona -- >> we should be building more bridges, not more walls -- >> reporter: democrats are trying to seize on sb1070 fallout by energizing latino
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voters. >> let me do the worrying. >> arizona put in very tough laws on illegal immigration and the result was illegal immigrants fled the state, and what has happened here -- some of the business owners complained that the wages they had to pay workers went up. but what he state of arizona is seeing, is the dollars they are spending on prisons on education, on welfare, all of those have develops by hundreds of millions of dollar. >> i think unfortunately a lot of businesses actually would close the doors. >> reporter: but proposants of an immigration crackdown are more popular. and politicians oftentimes win votes for speaking out. >> these people are stealing our
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jobs, and if that price is i have to pay $0.20 more for by big mac, then i'll pay $0.20 more for my big mac. >> john kasich is not campaigning here. but is the loan wolf of the republican candidates that is speaking out for a pathway to citizenship. however, donald trump is still a heavy favorite to win her tomorrow. >> yeah. okay. adam may thank you. for many convicted criminals, getting out of jail can be the start of more trouble. a criminal record can keep you from finding housing or even a job. but one woman is giving innates a second sweeter chance at life. >> reporter: in a small business room, a busy group of workers packaging organic honey
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products. all have criminal histories are and looking to start over. how tough has it been for you? >> it has been tough. >> reporter: tough because gary davis spent 20 years in prison for murder. but now he is getting a second chance. they are learning skills to help them find jobs. >> when you have been incarcerated there is shame associated with that. and then there is this gigantic gap on your resume. >> reporter: she teaches participants the basics of business. >> most see you almost as a bee, and afraid of being stung. so we had to take the sting out of that job-search experience for people who have been
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incarcerated. >> reporter: since 2007 more than 400 men and women have been through the woman. less than 4% have returned to prison. they are located on the west side of chicago and also on the grounds of o'hara airport. what a hive like this be able to harvest? >> reporter: we can harvest 40 pounds of honey. >> reporter: it's a delicate balance cultivating enough honey while still maintaining a healthy colony of bees. >> every bee has a role to play. there is not one insignificant bee that is a part of that colony. so it means that everybody is valued. >> reporter: a lesson learned from honey bees that many hope can lead to a new beginning. ashar qureshi, al jazeera, chicago. up next, bringing a unique talent to america. how a cuban refugee is passing
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on the art of ballet.
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in havana today, standing beside cuban president raul
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castro, president obama promised to press cuba on the issue of human rights and freedom of expression. these people say they are inspired by the historic new bridge being built between the two countries. >> we laugh. it's okay. it's beautiful. >> reporter: this man was born in cuba. he and his wife both danced in the cuban national ballet. >> open your eyes. open your eyes. >> reporter: last year the couple moved to the u.s. with their two children. he is now the artistic director for the georgia ballet. >> i feel very happy for this opportunity for my work, for my -- my dance. >> reporter: from cuba to kolb county for the rodriguezes,
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president obama's visit to cuba is being watch all over the world. >> i don't like the politic. but i think it's most important broke the ice for both country. is -- i don't know what happened then, but the first step is president obama go to the cuba. it's beautiful. >> reporter: this is the assist important artistic director f a his wife. she has been dancing since she was 9 years old in cuba. and can't believe the u.s. and her beloved island are talking. >> maybe in the future, i can come -- i can go back to cuba, and then the family can visit us here with more facilities, and i would like that. >> what are you doing? >> reporter: breaking down
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political barriers has taken decades, but for the dancers here learning from a cuban is exciting and challenging, as is the language barriers for some. >> i'm picking up a few things here and there, but he is doing well learning english, and luckily ballet, most of it is in french, so we're figuring it out. >> reporter: a joyous time at the georgia ballet as barriers are being broken between the u.s. and cuba. >> it's fraught with difficulties, obviously, but to sit down at a table, rather than picking up arms against each other, or getting into diplomatic spats with each other, i think will lead to the conclusion that we all want, and that's normalized relations with a country that's in our backyard. >> reporter: the art of ballet, being expressed with more
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diversity than ever before here in georgia. >> it's the open door, and the next step is to -- i don't know, this way, this way, this way, this way. i think it's beautiful for these cuban people. ♪ >> and americans as well. as both countries will learn from each other, like the dancers here at the georgia ballet. robert ray, al jazeera. that is all of our time. i'm tony harris in new york. john siegenthaler is up next with more of today's news right now. >> tony, thank you. president obama and the first lady are now guests of hour at a state dinner in havana. it's one of the main events of the president's historic visit to cuba. mike viqueira joins us from havana with more on the president's busy day on the island. mike? >> reporter: good evening,