tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 11, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
weather. >> everyone's out there walking and cycling. nice. we'll be back in about half an hour after "nbc nightly news". >> good night. nbc bay area at six. on this saturday night, immigration raids. some communities on edge after a string of deportation raids in at least six states. hundreds have been arrested this week in what federal officials say are routine operations targeting criminals. town hall tensions. angry constituents flood meetings with lawmakers demanding answers about the future of obamacare. environmental nightmare. a dangerous battery plant shut down in california, but thousands of people are living in the midst of a massive clean-up effort to rid their neighborhoods of toxic chemicals. >> and conducting change. how one high school music teacher is making a big difference in the lives of his students one beat at a time. "nightly news" begins now.
>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz-balart. good evening. we begin tonight with the growing battle over immigration in this country. hundreds of undocumented immigrants were arrested this week across the nation in what authorities insist are routine law enforcement operations. it's bolstering the hoping of many who voted for president trump because of his tough stance on immigration. for many others growing fear tonight of family separation. more than 16 million people in this country live in a household with at least one undocumented immigrant. we get the latest from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: on the same week that protest erupted in arizona as a mother convicted of using a false social security number was deported. [ chanting ] families of undocumented immigrants say they're now living in fear from california. >> with donald trump being
president, i see no hope for us. >> reporter: to north carolina. >> our communities are being terrorized. >> reporter: this week, immigration and custom enforcement raids in at least six states. i.c.e. says operations were routine and targeted criminals no different than those during the last administration. >> reporter: this is where the raid happened? >> this is where the raid happens, yes. >> reporter: an immigration attorney in atlanta says there is a sense of panic among they're clients. >> they're shocked. they're confused. it's mass chaos. hon festally. honestly. not a lot of clarity. >> reporter: trying to push back on the idea that raids were indiscriminately, i.c.e. officials in los angeles say they arrested about 164 nationals this week. 93% had criminal histories they say, and 95% were male. new secretary of homeland security john kelly defended immigration enforcement during a visit to the border near san diego. >> we have no alternative but to enforce the law. >> president trump campaigned on tough immigration policies. >> we will build a great, great
wall, and we will put an end to illegal immigration. >> reporter: but its his new executive order expanding the discretion on who can be targeted for deportation that left families terrified. most we reached out to declined to speak on camera, but raymond bartolan, undocumented because his parents overstayed their visas say immigration laws need to be changed. >> neither of my parents have criminal records, today i am increasingly worried they will come after my family. >> reporter: tonight he and millions of others are facing an uncertain future ars the immigration battle rages. an i.c.e. spokesperson tells nbc news that these latest operations were not at the discretion of the white house. still, leaders from the congressional hispanic caucus are asking to meet with the acting i.c.e. director to discuss these raids. jose. >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. after a busy week in washington, the president headed to his home in florida where he is engaging in some
weekend diplomacy with japanese prime minister shinzo abe. earlier today, both leaders took to the fairways for a friendly round of golf. nbc's kelly o'donnell has the latest from west palm beach. >> reporter: today, presidential diplomacy marked with trump's personal brand. the white house motorcade carried the president and the japanese prime minister. from the president's palm beach home at mar a lago, to a trump golf club. no media coverage permitted, but the president sent out a photo of his round with shinzo abe on twitter. all part of a three-day whirlwind of hospitality. from the white house, aboard marine one, to a patio dinner at the president's home. during the flight to florida, the president hinted that after court defeats of his seven country travel ban he is ready to try a different approach. >> we'll win that battle. but we also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand
new order on monday. >> reporter: today mr. tweeted a statistic about the refugee flow. our legal system is broken. 77% of refugees allowed into u.s. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries. so dangerous. here, are the numbers. 882 refugees from those countries were admitted during one week. from syria, 359. from iraq, 252. none from yemen or libya. the state department says the figure cited by the president is correct but points out the ban had created a backlog of vetted refugees. so the number appeared higher than usual, and the courts allowed them to enter the u.s. meanwhile, today marked another milestone for melania trump who hosted mrs. abe for a garden tour and luncheon. mrs. trump's first solo duties as the first lady. and the president will continue his international outreach this week, canada's prime minister, some time trump critic at the white house monday. then one of the president's best
friends on the world stage, benjamin netanyahu of israel, will be there later in the week. and late tonight the president tweeted his support of daughter ivanka, who's a part of the abe visit in florida, saying he's proud she is keeping her head held high after she and her fashion brand have been in the news this week. kelly o'donnell, thank you. >> tomorrow don't miss an exclusive interview with former democratic presidential candidate, senator bernie sanders speaking to my colleague, chuck todd, on "meet the press." as republicans move forward with plans to repeal and replace obamacare, some law make ergs are facing rising tensions at town halls across the country. angry constituents looking for answers about the future of health care in america. nbc's tammy leitner has the story. >> reporter: at health care reform town halls this week. hostile crowds, angry residents. the protests reminiscent of seven years ago when obama care was put in place.
only this time the anger isn't aimed at democrats but at republicans who want to repeal the law. >> when the aca was passed in 2009, my party had virtually no input. no input. >> reporter: florida congressman gus bilirakis scrapped his prepared statement when the crowd of several hundred turned hostile. >> don't you get the message? >> lisa dakota confronted the congressman. >> we're in danger, and it's time to step up for preexisting conditions. >> reporter: a mother worried her autistic daughter will be dropped from her insurance if aca is repealed. >> i'm self-employed. so i have the perfect storm. [ shame! shame! shame ] >> similar scenes at town halls across the country this week. >> i'm fighting congress for my life. >> reporter: in salt lake city, anger as a town hall hits capacity. [ chanting ] >> reporter: in sacramento, constituents made emotional pleas for representative tom mcclintock to
reconsider repealing aca. >> my wife had two open heart surgeries on my fixed income we will not be able to afford the medication that she now takes and she will die. >> reporter: republican lawmakers say they will continue to hold town halls, determined to hear from their constituents. >> we're going to make sure that we continue to create environment for people to voice their opinions, voice their opposition. >> reporter: the only thing that might quell some of the anger, a look at what republicans have in store to replace the aca. tammy leitner, nbc news, new port richey, florida. nationwide protests today against planned parenthood and abortion. thousands showed up for protests and counterprotests in more than 200 cities around the country. nbc's morgan radford met with demonstrators on both sides of the issue. >> what do we want? >> body autonomy? >> when do we want it? >> now! >> now! >> reporter: duelling rallies across the country.
thousands taking to the streets to voice their opinion on abortion. ♪ we are family and whether planned parenthood should receive federal money. >> this is a slaughterhouse. >> reporter: first the defunding rallies. where hundreds of anti-abortion demonstrators took to the streets in cities like pembroke pines, florida. >> and i'm pro-life. 100%. [ speaking spanish ] pro-life. >> reporter: indianapolis, indiana, and new york city. planned parenthood doesn't use federal fund for abortions. that's been prohibited by law in almost all cases since 1976. but many are calling on congress and president trump to reallocate funds to health centers that don't perform abortions at all. >> really the push to defund planned parenthood is so tax dollars don't go towards something that we think is morally wrong. >> reporter: what about those who say, look, you are a guy you don't know anything about our bodies and what we need?
what do you say to those people? >> well, men are husbands, are fathers. men defend women and children. >> reporter: just steps away -- >> her body! her choice! her body! her choice! >> a personal choice. and every adult human should be allowed to make that choice for themselves. >> reporter: planned parenthood says defunding would leave 2.5 million people without all kinds of health care services. >> they do things around sexuality. they do things around gender. >> reporter: and a joint anti-abortion marchers, they were quickly outnumbered by abortion rights activists outside a planned parenthood. in st. paul, thousands wearing pink took to the streets. and similar scenes erupted across the country in a battle over abortion and the question of choice. morgan radford, nbc news, new york. turning now to a heartbreaking story out of new zealand where more than 600 pilot whales have washed up on a three-mile stretch of coastline. volunteers have been trying to save as many as they can, but many have already died, and time is running out to
save others. nbc's matt bradley has the latest. >> reporter: on a remote beach in new zealand, a massive rescue effort. an army of volunteers racing to save the whales. >> it's such a majestic animal. it's really strange to see them doing this. >> reporter: at least 650 pilot whales have washed up on a stretch of coastline, called farewell spit since late thursday night. rescuers say they were able to save 100 of them. tagging them and guiding them out to sea. forming a human chain to keep them from coming back. whale beachings are a frequent problem here. some call this place a whale trap, but it's almost never on such a huge scale. >> this is the third largest mass stranding we have recorded in our history. so it is a very large one. logistically, a massive undertaking. >> reporter: researchers can't say for sure why so many pilot whales have ended up on this narrow peninsula. some may simply lose their way and become
disoriented in shallow water. others may follow their friends' cries leading to their deaths. just yesterday morning, shocked volunteers found 240 more whales washed up on this shore. for many -- ♪ -- all that's left to do is comfort the dying. only a few are still alive. the hope now that those who are saved remain at sea. matt bradley, nbc news. two years after three muslim students were shot and killed in chapel hill, north carolina, members of their community are coming together to honor their legacy. ron allen has the story of a community working to heal in the aftermath of tragedy. >> reporter: it's called the lighthouse, named for a dental student, murdered with his newlywed wife and her sister, also university students. the shocking crime two years ago igniting an outcry on social media. #muslimlivesmatter. >> reporter: what does the house mean to you?
>> it was a way to bring the dream to life. >> reporter: this woman says her brother believed in helping others, the homeless in the neighborhood, refugees abroad. the lighthouse gutted and renovated will be a hub for community groups, like this aid group that serves meals to families in need. >> i hope it brings the community together. >> reporter: and that's what your brother wanted? >> they wanted what all of us wanted to pursue the american dream. >> this is my favorite part of the house. and it is a martin luther king quote, hate cannot drive out hate. only love can do that. >> reporter: working on the house and faith have helped him try to stay positive since his brother and sister-in-laws' deaths. a neighbor faces murder charges, the death penalty possible if convicted. no trial date set. >> reporter: have you made peace with this? >> i never let craig hicks bother me. >> reporter: police have said a long standing dispute about parking places led to the murders, the victims' families insist it was a hate crime. >> there was no parking.
there was no dispute. knocked the door open. shot him. period. >> reporter: the justice department is still investigating. this weekend for the first time, the lighthouse opened its doors to the community. visitors posting notes of support. >> faith and love. >> reporter: does seeing this finished make you feel better? >> it's a really hard question to answer, because nothing will ever bring them back. it will never take away the pain, but it will at least feel like we're doing something. >> reporter: trying to respond to darkness and violence with light. ron allen, nbc news, raleigh. coming up, the latest on a badly needed environmental clean-up effort in california that's impacting low-income neighborhoods. >> we'll tell you why thousands of people are crowding the streets of one of the most beautiful cities in the world in masks and outfits.
in california, the clean-up of a massive environmental nightmare is under way and it is just miles from downtown los angeles. state regulators discovered a battery recycling plant was spewing harmful chemicals over thousands of homes, for years. steve patterson visited the neighborhoods and spoke to families dealing with the fallout. >> forward three. >> reporter: inside the home of terry kano and her son joseph, life seems normal. >> close to beating you again. >> reporter: outside an invisible threat. >> there is a certain amount of risk that he's taking just walking out the
door. >> reporter: the kanos and many of their neighbors' yards are saturated with pollutants harmful to childhood development in concentrations up to 100 times higher than health standards. >> breaks my heart. >> reporter: the source of the threat, exide technologies, lead acid battery recycling facility five miles from downtown l.a. officials say the smelter inside this exide facility spewed harmful chemicals including lead over a radius of 1.7 miles. that impacts several communities including an estimated 10,000 homes. state records show the plant had been operating on a temporary permit for more than 30 years. cited by the state for dozens of violations. in 2015, exide shut down the facility and pledged to help clean up. a deal that took criminal prosecution off the table. >> it's a fight that's personal, because i live in the same neighborhood. >> reporter: this assemblyman says the socioeconomics of the mexican immigrant area led to slow reaction from state regulators. >> it was a case of environmental racism.
this is what happens in a community when no one cares about it. >> reporter: $176 million has been approved to start the cleanup effort. fewer than 300 properties cleaned so far. exide tells nbc news it will, "be a constructive participant in clean-up efforts but insists decades of lead paint and gas exhaust contributed to the problem. >> it is almost like -- like you are watching some horror movie or a horrible dream. so one, two, three. >> reporter: the next move for kano, a lawsuit against exide and the state, but that will all take time, at the community does what it has for years in the face of unspeakable worry -- wait. steve patterson, nbc news, vernon, california. coming up -- police in florida make a daring rescue after the scene of a fiery car crash all caught on camera.
police in florida made a dramatic rescue caught on camera. this dash-cam video shows three police officers pulling a man away from the scene of an accident just moments before -- there you saw it -- his car bursts into flames. authorities say a man crashed this car into a concrete barrier in titusville, florida, able to escape the inside of his car. but he wasn't able to move much farther. the driver is expected to make a full recovery. earlier today, an emergency spillway was opened at the national dam, the first time ever at california's oroville
dam, after the main spillway was damaged by erosion. the area has seen heavy rain and snowfall in recent months. officials say there is no threat to the public or integrity of the dam. it was quite the scene in venice earlier today. people dressed in elaborate costumes and masks, packed the streets and canals of the italian city celebrating the first day of the annual carnival festival. thousands of tourists visit the city every year to take part in the celebration, and take in the unique experience. up next -- how a south florida high school jazz band teacher is changing his students' lives for the better one note at a time.
>> finally tonight, we take you to one of the toughest neighborhoods in south florida where the dillard high school jazz band is hoping for an impressive seventh invitation to a major competition here in new york. as kerry sanders reports, music is only part of the story. >> reporter: in fort lauderdale's inner city there is a demanding music teacher. >> my first name is mister, last name is dorsey. >> reporter: students say they never met any one quite like mr. dorsey. >> who was it that messed up over here? >> reporter: he expects so much. >> that's not good. >> reporter: with so little patience for excuses. >> some of you guys have the posture of somebody who is going to mess up. >> reporter: do you come at this, music while important is incidental to a much bigger
lesson? >> of course. the biggest thing that i am trying to teach is, i want them to understand that in life you're going to have struggles. >> reporter: this 17-year-old knows the struggles. he lost his father two years ago to cancer. >> there is an emptiness and if it wasn't for mr. dorsey i would probably be less of a person than i am today. >> reporter: jazz, says mr. dorsey, like the real world, there is improvization, rhythms that may be unfamiliar, beats that change when you least expect it. ♪ violins begin to play ♪ >> reporter: as impressed as i am, what would mr. dorsey say? >> i could have done more inflections. >> yeah. >> he would tell us where we would need to get to work on it. >> yeah.
>> reporter: 18-year-old rashan salam hopes to join four of mr. dorsey's previous students, who went on to juilliard. what's it like when mr. dorsey calls you out? >> it is embarrassing, he is not subtle. it is about music. but then, bigger than that, it is about life. >> reporter: the dillard jazz band will find out next week if they will go to new york to compete. >> sometimes you may come up short even if you do your best. okay? >> reporter: the lesson there is? >> the lesson is, if you do your best, and you have no regrets, you are all right. >> reporter: you won. >> you won. ♪ helpless as kitten up a tree snead >> reporter: doing your best on life's stage, even if you don't win every time. kerry sanders, nbc news, fort lauderdale. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm jose diaz-balart reporting from new york. thank you for the privilege of your time. good night. >>.
now. good evening everyone. thank you for joining us. >> today some calm have series of storm hit the bay area but the cleanup only getting started. we have team coverage for you. live in the santa cruz mountains and this is where crews have been so busy trying to clean up that mudslide on 17. >> reporter: good evening. we're right now between vine hill and sugar loaf along highway 17. you can see the southbound traffic and northbound traffic also moving along as it has been moving all day here. in fact, there's a flagger up ahead trying to warn drivers as they travel northbound in case the traffic has come to a complete stop northbound. for the first time since friday morning, traffic flowed northbound on highway 17. has suspended work to open the remaining lanes pending last