tv U.S. Senate CSPAN June 17, 2013 12:00pm-5:01pm EDT
senate bill does not have crapo of two years if you can get in sequence to the second step is built and complete a double barrier fence originally authored by representative, former representative from san diego and dumb and hunter and in fact president clinton to his great credit signed the bill. he wanted three barriers and he gave them. it's not just build a border fence for 2,000 miles. its 700 miles of the approximately 2,000-mile border and it's a predetermined area that high traffic areas where there are built up urban centers that are there and you have infrared cameras, lighting and sensors to detect incursions' as
well. third in sequence is a concept of enforcing law. when that happened and it couldn't get there until the first two components for their of the armed soldiers building the infrastructure necessary and when they enforced, we saw the numbers drop dramatically. so that is what is called the proof of concept that should be brought to all other sectors. i oppose the senate -- what is referred to as the gang of eight plan because they offer all of these other items of the path to citizenship prior to ascertaining and guaranteeing the border is secure in a ball is enforced. secretary napolitano almost a daily basis proclaims the u.s.-mexican border is secure. as part of the legislation why i favor this as opposed to the
senate bill is the senate allows the secretary of homeland security six months to come up with a plan to secure the border. my question is i believe there was the job the last four and a half years is to secure the border and when you look at members of 123,000 that have been apprehended where i live in the tucson sector that is last year, ladies and gentlemen and affects those that were apprehended and not that got away. just over a year ago in our county, pinal, leadville law enforcement agency effort with the largest drug bust in history, two to $3 billion against members of the cartel. 76 members arrested, 108 firearms, not handguns but rifles and ak-47s.
these are what we call clues that the border is not more secure. the secretary and others point to the death in the numbers -- dip in the numbers and that's a reflection of the economy. i stand in support of mr. gowdy's safe act and we've seen as moving before in 1986 and if we go down that path it's not going to end well and it's an to have a devastating effect. thank you for allowing me to speak today. >> thank you, sheriff and we will now recognize mr. crane to read >> good afternoon, a ranking member conyers and members of the kennedy. we are still reading through this a fact introduced by congressman gowdy however my reaction is one of appreciation and support for his efforts. i applaud the congressman and his staff for creating a bill that makes public safety a
priority that reforms enforcement. unfortunately, the gang of eight legislation reflects an absence of all enforcement input as it contains no tangible plan for border security and essentially ignores interior enforcement altogether while simultaneously treating it that his citizenship for members of criminal street gangs and most other criminal aliens. we hope the members of both parties in the house and in the senate will review the provisions of the safe act as the gang of eight legislation ignores interior enforcement and continues practices which have led to the current immigration problems. with the visa overstays accounting for approximately 40% of the 11 million aliens currently in the united states illegally, s. 744 speaks only of increases to border enforcement not interior. investments in border security will never address the problem
of the visa overstay which again accounts for nearly half of all illegal aliens currently in the united states. investment on the border will also do nothing to ensure everyone who successfully crosses the border illegally is apprehended and removed the as that is also i.c.e. interior enforcement. since 9/11, the border has tripled in size while the interior and was and component appears to have become smaller. i.c.e. is tasked with removing 11 million illegal aliens in the united states as well us 30 million legally in the u.s. or subject to removal for status violations generally criminal convictions. in short, i.c.e. police's 40 million people in 50 states, wan and puerto rico with just 5,000 officers, the fourth half the size of the los angeles police department.
of those 5,000 officers, hundreds work as the tension guards in detention centers instead of performing law enforcement duties due to the elimination of the guard positions during the transition from linus to dhs. the transition also split the 5,000 officers into two separate positions with two different of rest authorities thereby crippling the agency's ability to use a handful of officers across the full spectrum of the immigration enforcement. the gang of eight comprehensive reform ignores red flags at i.c.e. and does nothing to reduce the enforcement in the agency tasked with that mission. it is a fact takes aggressive steps to fix these problems and abs additional officer provisions -- positions for all officers and tax law in force the agency of the detention centers replacing them with the
detention guards, provides additional trial attorneys, support staff and much needed protective equipment for officers and agents who face growing criminal populations that are increasingly violent and confrontational. in order to combat the problem within the united states and keep dangerous criminals off the streets and the drafters of the act reviewed current immigration walls and identifying areas of concern in an effort to eliminate loopholes for criminals and keep him in these safe. as a fact ads upon aggravated felony charges involving the sexual abuse of children, homicide, manslaughter, child pornography, firearms offenses, passport fraud, stocking and child abuse. and makes the gang members of the portable, contains a criminal aliens we can't deport and expands on charges for espionage, crimes against the government and other criminal
activities. it provides support for local law enforcement and strengthens i see edt there's keeping criminals off the street. in conclusion, it is our opinion that the approach taken in the safe act is the approach needed to fix our broken immigration system to effectively address the thousands of concerns throughout the nation's broken immigration system we must take a diligent systematic approach of reviewing the current law, practices and resources to prevent repeating the mistakes that currently exist and ensure a future loss can be effectively implemented and enforced thank you. that concludes my testimony. >> sharon, welcome. it's been a distinguished members of the house of representatives i give greetings from north carolina to a i believe that you all in congress have one of the toughest jobs in the nation today.
you are being asked to fix a broken system in the u.s. and make sure that your legislation will provide a solution the last many years to come. i come before you not as an expert on border security i'm just one of 3,080 shares in america asking for your help solving the immigration problem. between 2011 and 2012 while working with the task force in my county 12 mexican cartels associates were arrested in our county along with lots of marijuana, cash, kilos of cocaine, rifles and firearms. the share of mentioned earlier he had a drug related murders in the past five years. according to the drug and was the agency report, north carolina in second place compared to the atlanta region by the mexican drug cartel and the we're operating in almost 1200 cities in america putting it in two to three days here is the relationship, two to three
days the illegal drugs trafficking can be anywhere in the united states and also in rockingham county north carolina. since 2010 the process working with the federal i.c.e. and of persons are charged illegal in the u.s. and the determinism returned back to be rearrested. it's cost us $330,000 to house those inmates and approximately 66% were charged with traffic related offenses. i traveled to arizona and texas the past three years to see what my fellow sheriff's or dealing with along the border and experiencing drug-trafficking of illegal immigration and other things across the southern border of mexico and disinformation is being shared with chefs and north carolina and across the u.s.. while i was at a briefing i had the opportunity had to ask a question of secretary nepal, and ask why we haven't declared the drug cartel a terrorist organization and what is the reluctance of the administration to place a regular military force on the southern border with mexico in her answer was we
are not at war with mexico to the can you imagine how frustrating that was to me because i tend to differ with the secretary because of the past six years, 58,000 mexican citizens have been murdered by the mexican drug cartel just south of our border. that is a drug war. i have read the proposed house bill to 78 and these are my comments. i will state that allin pao was all law enforcement in america to cooperate making the community safer. federal agents get the congressional backing that they needed for a long time. the bill will allow them to cross federal land without fear of sanctions and legal blocks and the bill places oversight and accountability on the secretary of homeland security. the bill provides needed funding for immigration resources and detention officers and the bill doesn't reward municipalities of chosen to become sanctuaries cities in violation of a u.s. immigration law and reduces the chances of criminals of all types from receiving benefits and status in the country because i believe the senate
bill 744 we talked about earlier i believe that it does give a path to citizenship for those criminally charged illegal in our country. the bill improves the process and also establishes i.c.e. advisory council to congress. i've read the provisions of senate bill 744 introduced by the gang of eight committee and i reviewed your safe at 20 to 78 and your house bill will restore the rules of law and immigration enforcement in america as well as the authority reserved for the agents to conduct proper immigration enforcement with those powers protected by congressional legislation. senate bill 744 fails to me that in my opinion, and i believe this provision fell wouldn't provide amnesty for criminal fine leaders but endanger the public which i am sworn to protect. i do not believe it has an intention of the violators because if it was the intention the biometric trafficking would be used in all international ports of entry and cost the state and the senate about the decline of that usage in my
opinion you can't place the cost on one single american life when it comes to homeland security. secretary napolitano said this wasn't an immigration bill with a public safety bill. my comment is if it was a public safety bill, how come the law enforcement wasn't involved in the crafting of this bill? border security seems to be secondary to amnesty. i personally thank you all for giving me the opportunity to come forward today and i look forward to any questions you might have. >> thank you. mr. shaw, welcome. >> thank you mr. goodlatte and mr. conyers thank you for holding this hearing. march 2nd, 2008, the american dream came to a halt for my son. jamiel shaw ii also known as jr mac was known as a football superstar destined for greatness when he was gunned down three
doors from my home while his mother was serving in iraq. he was a junior at los angeles high school and already being looked at by universities such as rutgers and stanford. the last time i spoke to my son he was on his way home from the mall. i can still hear his voice. be right home, dad. i'm right around the corner. he never made it home and our lives are permanently separated. the last time i saw my son he was laying on the ground dead. according to a coroner who testified at the trial, he was shot in the stomach first and while he was lying on the ground with his hand covering his head before his life the bullet went through his hand and straight into his head. on the day of my son's funeral the l.a.p.d. came to inform us that they had captured the person that they believed had murdered jamiel. we also learned he was executed by the gang member from mexico with a history of violence and we often hear supporters of
people that are here in illegal that say the children by no fault of their own and if that makes everything right many people overlook the fact their parents may be traced to violate the law and the parents of my son's killer made a choice to leave their country illegal and entered america illegally and their alien some made the choice to join the gang. the alien charged with murdering my son had been previously arrested in november, 2007 for assault with a deadly weapon and battery on a police officer. yet he was given a release from jail on march 1st, 2008 on saturday night. the next day he executed my son and left him for dead like he was a piece of trash in the street. according to the district attorney's office in los angeles, he was executed because of the color of his skin and his spider-man backpack. we learned from the sheriff of the l.a. county sheriff's
department that the order of latino gang banger inmates to kill black males when they are released from jail. so why aren't politicians out rage? could it be because some politicians care more about potential votes of illegal aliens granted amnesty rather than the safety of u.s. citizens? the share of had a gang member in custody there was already in the country illegally and yet they still released them back into the streets to murder our children. why? politicians say they want the violent ones. but too often when they catch them they simply release them back into the community only to commit more crimes. to this day we still don't know why the share of department released an illegal gangbanger from jail and why was he given a six months earlier release. why i.c.e. didn't pick them up from jail if it was called by the sheriff's department for
pickup they refuse to tell us what happened. according to the report conducted by the senator dianne feinstein several years ago the majority of all of the usa consist of illegal gang members in spite of this report senator feinstein still supports the useless gang the provisions in the gang of eight illegal immigration bill which rewards the illegal gangs with a path to citizenship. why? why would elected officials reward the gang bangers in the country illegally with amnesty and pathway to citizenship. the trial of my son's killer finally began on april 24th, 2012. may 9th, 2012 he was found guilty of first-degree murder for which the jury recommended the death penalty on may 23rd, 2012. on november 2nd, 2012, the judge upheld the jury's verdict and sentence. my son's killer is now in san
quentin on death row waiting for his execution and my son's body is now in the a knollwood cemetery mortuary -- excuse me -- and california waiting for justice. my family and i supported a mall called jamiel and we continue to support jamiel's law. blight 2278, it would deport illegal day in the members from the usa. like h.r. 2278, jamiel's law wouldn't wait for them to commit other crimes but would deport them from being in a gang while living in the country illegally. this is why we strongly support the strengthening and for high in force that act h.r. 2278 also known as the safe act. thus the fact makes being in the game and being in the country illegally a deportable offense. we hope all the elected officials will support the congressman gowdy's bill. i would like to and by saying
five years have passed and there are still many unanswered questions regarding the execution of my son. i would like to ask everyone here, everyone listening who supports the people here illegally and everyone who wants to help people a question. well what you do if your child was shot in the stomach and shot in the head by an illegal alien documented being a member negligently released from jail? would you still support illegal immigration and unsecured borders? i think not. thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my beloved son, jamiel shaw ii, who i love with all my heart and soul. thank you. >> thank you, mr. shaw for that compelling testimony. you have all of our shared sympathy for the dramatic loss. mr. randy krant, welcome. >> mr. chairman, ranking member conyers, other members of the
committee, it is a privilege for a local prosecutor who is charged with a duty of faithfully executing ball in their jurisdiction to come before this committee and have an opportunity to be heard. i want to tell you i can only imagine the difficult job you have of balancing and weighing all of the competing interests and needs and fundamental fairness. but the fact remains that like politics, all crime is local. at the end of the day it is the states and the localities that have the ultimate responsibility to protect their citizens by faithfully executing a law. sitting behind me today is my chief deputy in charge of prosecuting crimes against children. one of the things we have learned in prosecuting those
types of crimes the those are the elements to the successful law enforcement, and i believe that mr. gowdy's bill helps those three things that is it enhances the communication, collaboration and coordination of all dedicated law enforcement officers who are trying to protect and serve. if we do not have the communication and the coordination and the cooperation, the local law enforcement is handcuffed. every day across the court house is in each state in each town and the channel at and each little city there will be a commonwealth attorney or district attorney, a victim witness at the cat sitting somewhere explaining to a family why a tragedy has happened to their loved one and the context of crimes against children we have learned that we can cooperate with our federal colleagues. we can create a seamless web of
protection to protect children from internet creditors to work alongside and cooperation with atf enforcing firearm walz with the drug administration and forcing the narcotics trafficking and working in a multi disciplinary task forces that involve local, state and federal. this isn't an either or solution that has to be a purposeful solution. in our county in bedford county sitting behind me today is mr. garrey that -- bab. his son was struck and maimed by a drunk driver that was an illegal alien. this particular driver had previous convictions for driving suspended and manufacturing drivers' licenses. at the time that they struck adam, it became his second
conviction. this bill if that situation happened again, someone would be deep portable. in my written testimony on the indicated that at the time mr. ramose might not have been be portable, i learned today that he may have been deported. the reason that i indicate that, part of the issues between local and federal law enforcement is those communication channels where we can obtain the information that we need when we sit down with those victims and explain to the families what has happened to the offender? when will they be released? anything that can assist us to provide that information would be of great assistance to local law enforcement but again the key elements are communication, coordination and cooperation. i believe this bill gives the opportunity to do that. as a commonwealth attorney as a prosecutor it is my job to clear the innocent as it is to convict
the guilty. i believe all dedicated prosecutors that operate from that paradigm share that view. nothing prevents local, state and federal agencies working together in cooperation with the first step is to fully fund and man the personnel of the federal level that have the primary responsibility to do that. this bill would allow that to be done in the but also allow local and state prosecutors, law enforcement and other dedicated professionals to work alongside. one of the key interest to prosecutors is that it would provide training and education and the ability to learn and to work alongside. some members of congress is my request that you consider this bill in the support for word. thank you. >> ms. sabine durden, welcome. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
>> put closer to you as well. >> to testify today. last year around this time my life seemed ordinary. my only child, my best friend and support system shared a house, the bills and responsibilities. we enjoyed each other's company and in three years we were never a part first again three weeks. he brought nothing but pure joy into my wife and i still loved just being his mom. he was born on june the rate 22nd, 1982 in germany at the age of ten we moved to the usa and adapted to our new life. i was a german immigrant myself and became a citizen. domenic enjoyed the program and later got his private pilot's license. he took an internship with a local tv station and also volunteered with locally emergency response force and at different fire stations.
in 2002 he received a voluntary of the year award for giving over a thousand hours of his time. dominic was always a 4.0 student. he accumulated 87 letters of recommendations and 111 school and worker award certificates some of them from former president bill clinton and u.s. senators dianne feinstein and barbara boxer to the dominant also received a 2013 presidential award from the california public safety radio association. seven years ago he became a 911 dispatcher for the department and worked very tough and stressful job. he loved that task and every time he was on duty, the deputies out in the field would be saved and in good hands. they called him the best dispatcher a round. the goal was to become a helicopter pilot for the police department. law enforcement was his passion and he was a huge part of their
lives and families. his laugh and presence would light up the room. life was a great in so many things and wonderful events to come. but however, life changed brutally on july 12th, 2012 at 5:45 a.m.. my world as i knew it was torn to shreds and my heart ripped into pieces. my only child, the love of my life and reason for being was taken from me in the blank bennati. no words can describe the excruciating deep and agonizing pain you feel when you get that kind of call to tell you that your precious life that you brought into this world will not come home anymore. it's difficult to explain to you what and how i feel of not having my incredible sum of around anymore. at home there was filled with joy and laughter is now an empty white house and the pictures, the locket with his ashes are not my neck and the precious memories are all i have left.
this is enough pain for a lifetime but it gets much worse. i was informed that the driver of the truck that killed by some instantly was a 24-year-old from guatemala here illegally without a license, without insurance or a legally registered vehicle and on a probation from a prior dui. to add even more pain and grief, he had a lengthy and arrest record and has been in and out of court and prison prior to this. he was arrested for grand theft and armed robbery in november of 2008 and given three years' probation. in august, 2010, he was arrested for a dui and probation violation and given three more years of probation. in may, 2012, he was arrested again on the diy while on probation from the prior year dy and given probation again. less than 60 days later he killed my son. since 2008, he had been given a
free pass to do whatever he wants without consequences for actions from our law. he knew he was unlicensed, he knew he wasn't allowed to drive but july 12th, 2012, and he did what he has been doing all these years, flaunting our law. he hit and killed by some instantly at all he got charged with was a misdemeanor for making an unsafe left turn. he was in jail for a short time, posted bail and then taken into i.c.e. custody where he was granted bail by a federal judge and walked out after paying $10,000. the man who risked everyone's life unlicensed was free to continue to break all of our malls. in last month's sentencing, the judge read 16 impact letters that cried out for a tough sentence. he was allowed to speak and took no response of the the common ownership, showed no remorse or offer any apology. he told us god takes life, gives life and he was simply on his way to work.
from happening to another family, another fine young person. the bill will improve immigration law enforcement so more criminals and illegal aliens will be removed from our communities and fewer will try to come in the first place. it will allow i.c.e. to deport criminals quickly without waiting months or years for an immigration judge. the bill will make, makes anyone who is convicted of two dui offenses deportable. the bill will give more resources to i.c.e. to do its job. this is badly-needed because "ice age"ents want to do their duty and do not have enough enough funding to deport illegal alien criminals. illegal alien criminals have
no worry about being caught or deported they behave with lack of responsibility for their conduct and safety of others. the bill would allow local governments and law enforcement agencies by helping i.c.e. capture. he would not have been released on bond while awaiting trial and he would not have been a risk to others. please don't let one of your loved ones become the next victim. pass the safe act this year and thank you so much for letting me testify. >> thank you, miss durden. on behalf of all of us we express our sympathy for you with your loss. >> chairman goodlatte and ranking member of the committee. it is my pleasure. >> make sure the green light is on with your microphone. is it on? >> how about now? chairman goodlatte, ranking member conyers and ranking members committee. it is my pleasure to be here today. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the safe act and why it would
have serious and far-reaching negative consequences if enacted. the safe act, if enacted would radically change the laws and policies governing immigration in the united states . i want to focus on three key way it is would do that. first it would obliterate federal oversight and control over our nation's immigration policies. secondly, it would put into the hands of state and local jurisdictions the ability to detain. essentially without limit, potentially indefinitely, individuals based solely on suspicion that they might be removeable from this country. third it, would radically increase detention for nothing more than civil immigration violations. the impact of these changes would be nothing short of disasterous on american families and communities. it would lead to patterns of unjustified and unconstitutional detentions as well as patterns of
unconstitutional racial profiling based merle on one's appearance or the fact they may speak with an accent. what i would like to do is focus on just two provisions in the safe act and explain them a little bit. of course i'm happy to answer any questions that the committee members may have afterwards. so first, the safe act would allow not only every state but also any locality within the state to passively or criminal laws, so long as those laws mirror federal immigration law. this would not be a patchwork of 50 state immigration regimes. it would be literally thousand upon thousands of different regimes. make no mistake, and let's be clear about this. this is not cooperation of state and localities with federal officials in terms of enforcing immigration law. it puts states and localities in the drivers seat and the federal government in the back seat. i want to give you an
example how this plays out. a couple years ago georgia tried to do exactly this. we sued them in court. they passed a state criminal penalty to criminally prosecute individuals who are harboring transporting undocumented individuals. they said, this mirrors federal law. we can do it. however, when they were defending that law in court they made clear that they intended to prosecute u.s. citizens, teenagers, who were driving their mother to the grocery store to get milk. and so the question before the committee is, is that good policy? does that make sense? do we want to prosecute overnight every day acts of kindness by u.s. citizens to their family members? the second provision i would like to highlight has already been referenced this morning in opening statements. it is a provision we've seen before. it just takes a different form. this provision would overnight, allow for
criminal penalties, criminal prosecution, against the 11 million americans in waiting who are undocumented now and members of our communities, and our families. and again, the question is, do we want to criminalize that mother, do we want to spend precious resources detaining and deporting people who are part of our communities and part of our families? we don't have to guess at what would happen when you give this kind of immigration enforcement power to state and local governments. the evidence is piling up. again it is referenced in the written testimony. it has been referenced this morning. we see it in federal finding after federal finding from the department of justice against the 287-. about programs run by maricopa county and alamance county. we also see state efforts to implement their own immigration laws taking effect. i will give you an example this one is from alabama. when alabama's racial profiling law was allowed to
take effect we stopped a hotline with our legal partners to take calls from individuals about what was happen and what we heard was story of a story of a story of individuals who were being stopped based nothing more on their skin color. i would like to urge the committee to reject this beyond-handed, wrong-headed and single-minded approach to the deep issues in our immigration system. >> thank you, miss tum lynn. miss martinez? >> thank you, acting chairman goud di and ranking member conyers for the opportunity to testify on behalf of nclr. there is clearly too much tragedy related to letting this issue continue unresolved. for the last two decades the problems in our immigration system largely prompted one prescription, enforcement. while enforcement is
essential, alone it can not fix all of those problems which are solveable if we don't keep providing a one-dimensional response no matter its consequences. the strengthing and fortifying act unfortunately adding strength to a old prescription that has not cured our ills but will have detrimental side-effects. it includes some needed provisions insuring enforcement agents have equipment they need for securing criminal smuggling rings and human smuggling rings, the benefits are far outweighed by some of its other provisions. and let's be clear. no one disputes that the perpetrators of the crimes and tragedies described here today should stay in our communities. that should not happen but this bill would make arizona's sb-1070 the law of the land, known as the show
me your papers law, 1070 was condemned by the country's civil rights community because it legitimatized racial profiling and in every facet of mainstream america was represented among those opposing it including members of law enforcement. frustration over federal inaction to fix our broken immigration system led many americans to express support for it. not because they thought 1070 would fix the problem, but because they wanted action. since then the message coming from states that debated copycat laws in 31 states rejected that approach, while the six that adopted it face lawsuits and injunctions, the message was that the only the federal government could fix our immigration system the way that is required. this committee has the ability to provide the real solutions. it is imperative that you fix the system, not make things worse. but rather than assert
congress's responsibility to restore an orderly system, this bill propose as massive and unnecessary delegation of authority. the effect of that delegation will be to create a patchwork of laws that will add more chaos, not more order, to our immigration system. there is widespread evidence that delegating to states and localities the enforcement of federal immigration laws threatens civil rights. that has been mentioned here by members as well as miss tumlin by expanding such practices h r2 278 would lead to racial profiling and wrongful detention because everyone who looks illegal would be subject to law enforcement stops, arrest and detention. it would cry criminalize otherwise innocent behavior. the legislation would increase the possibility, for example, that a church taking in undocumented children after their mother got deported would be subject to harboring charges. to some, the violations of
rights and values of show me your papers policy may seem like collateral damage. to the nation's 52 million hispanics, 75% of whom are united states citizens, the damage is not collateral at all. according to the pew research center, one in 10 latinos and immigrants, latino citizens and immigrants alike report being stopped and question about the immigration status. that means over a few years, most hispanics face a virtual statistical certainty they will be stopped by police based on their ethnicity. if that were happening to all americans, i suspect we would not be having to this debate. a patchwork of immigration laws is bad for the nation and is a recipe for disaster for the latino community. at a time when momentum is building for the immigration reform our country deserves, it is disharting to be taking a look back instead of forward. our country deserves better.
the way you restore the rule of law is to have a legal immigration system that takes the legitimate traffic out of the black market, allows immigrants to come with visas and vetted rather than with smugglers and allows immigrants who are working and raising families in the u.s. to come forward, go through criminal background checks and get in the system and on the books if they qualify. the enforcement and deportation only approach can not get us there. adding more layers may seem to it the politically easy thing to do and this committee has been doing almost exclusively that for the last 20 years. in this case, those proposed new layers in the name of immigration enforcement will have serious negative effects across the country and especially in communities where people look like me. i urge you to take this matter more comprehensive approach and pass the real solutions that we need and i agree with mr. labrador who
said we need a comprehensive approach to immigration because it is the right thing to do and it is the right policy and i urge him him and all of you to make true solutions reality, thank you very much. >> thank you, miss martinez. chair will recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. backus for his questions. >> thank you. thank you. let me address the two witnesses at the end of the table. i think you know that i have advocated for a comprehensive approach, because i don't think we ought to have two classes of long-term residents. i even support a pathway to citizenship but i do think it ought to be earned. and, let me ask you about someone with two dui convictions. do you think that they have earned citizenship or do you think we ought to alou them
to stay in our country? >> well, if we are talking about the senate immigration bill which i think was referenced earlier as allowing a number of very criminal offenses that were described here, as allowing those people to earn citizenship, that is not the case. and we wouldn't agree with that. i think that -- >> someone has two d dui convictions, would you agree that, they do endanger public welfare and safety and the lives of, not only our citizens but of other undocumented people in our country? >> i think that offenses that endanger the public safety and national security need to be taken into account. >> do you think a dui, do you think that is -- >> that is part of the legislation that we are supporting in the senate bill. >> so if someone had two dui
convictions they could -- >> i believe that is in the current legislation, is that correct? >> yeah. >> i would say the following. what i would support is that for each applicant, that their individual circumstances including the records are taken seriously and looked at. >> i really think that someone that is guest in our country, that commits two duis, because, a dui is education that they are acting terribly irresponsible. i don't think that is earning citizenship in any way. what about a gang member of a gang that has sworn, or is uses violence? >> so, again, what is in the senate bill right now is that individuals who are gang members are excluded from that bill, if that is proven. but again, i do want to be very clear. >> all right. >> that one thing we're concerned about is, suspicion.
and particularly when you judge --, in a gang based on suspicion -- >> i think there, right. i agree with that. but, you know when it comes to violence, i consider duis a violent crime. it certainly can lead to some tremendous violence. and i think that, advocates of a dui bill are, going to have to think about raising the bar because, when you raise it, you may eliminate 100,000 or 50,000 people in our country, but, you may, those that are behaving in a responsible manner you're not excluding. let me ask you this. in alabama and i spoke against, i ran in an election when 70% of the people in my district supported the immigration bill and 61% of the people in my district strongly supported it. and i won almost 70% of the
vote. didn't lose one voting place. so they gave me a pass. but, i didn't oppose the fact that, and don't think that we can enforce a comprehensive immigration bill without the assistance of local law enforcement and, i don't see how you enforce our criminal laws and our statutes, or any of our laws once they become laws without assistance of local and state law enforcement. that is the only enforcement we have in most of the counties i represent. we may have two i.c.e. agents, and, i do, and i hear you say you want it comprehensive. you want it consistent. but then you, you, do you not recognize that local law
enforcement is going to have to have a major role in enforcing all our laws? >> so, there's a difference between assisting and leading, and in with respect to law enforcement i would say the following and really grounded on what law enforcement officers have been telling us for the last several years and even before that, about what they need to do their own job. first and foremost law enforcement officials including scores of law enforcement officials that wrote an amicus brief to the supreme court last year regarding arizona's law. we need local control. we know best how to make decisions to police our communities and make them safe. in addition they have said when people are afraid to talk to us, when members of immigrant communities will not come forward and report crimes to us, we can not do our job. it is astounding what is in
the most recent report that is cited in our written testimony about, what latinos say about coming forward to law enforcement. a whopping 28% of u.s.-born latinos, u.s.-born, u.s. citizens -- >> i understand but i guess i'm saying can we have enforcement and interior enforcement which i think we all agree we have to have without local law enforcement being involved and empowered? >> the gentleman's time is expired. would recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is a very unusual situation we have here today. we never have eight witnesses at a time. this sets some kind of a record but, we welcome you all anyway and, i want to
ask about how this bill, attorney tumlin, is even more stringent and maybe unconstitutional than a bill passed seven years ago called hr 4437? and it, essentially tried to do some of the things but not all of the things that that are present here in h r2 278 because we're doing more than -- hr 2278. we're dog more than
enforcement. we're turning over the responsibilities normally of the homeland security and the immigration authorities to local police. so this isn't a matter of taking powers away from local enforcement. this is a matter of having them begin to become immigration agents. what are your thoughts in that regard, ma'am? >> thank you, ranking member conyers. absolutely, this bill, this safe act goes well beyond what we saw in hr 4437. it does so in three ways. at least. first, as you indicated, it absolutely surrenders control to state and local
jurisdictions in terms of enforcing immigration law. it allows them to create their own crimes and civil penalties to arrest, detain and investigate individuals for those. and, it mandates the use of federal resources and federal dollars to detain individuals on those charges. so the state and localities decide. they have got the crimes and the federal government is going to pay when they lock them up. second, it mandates detention of noncitizens after the expiration of their underlying state or local charge. after any, without probable cause, and it even does so indefinitely without a time limit for anyone the state or local jurisdiction believes might be removeable from the united states. it does that without providing training, oversight, and control. it allows local officers who are not versed in the complexities of immigration
law to make those decisions and would have severe consequences. last as other ranking member alluded to it with will radically increase individuals criminalized for nothing being present in the country without status, no matter if they have been here, five, 10, 15, 25 years. >> thank you so much. mr. castro from the national council of la raza, did you want to add anything to the discussion that i just had with the attorney tumlin. >> i think the main thing here, and i do agree with mr. krantz, the either/or approach doesn't work. we may need to find a balance. we may disagree with the balance is. but i think having laws that basically put a bull's-eye on the foreahead of
americans 52 million latinos is probably not striking the right balance. i think we can do better than that. we need laws that indeed are going to remove the types of criminals that are talked about because i do agree, particularly, in the immigrant community, those criminals prey upon that vulnerable population first and foremost. we are not advocating for them to remain there or elsewhere. but again, it's about balance. and thing bish issue here is we have seen now through several court proceedings, findings and lawsuits, that unfortunately these, this type of delegation of law to the state and local level is indeed, leading to racial profiling. and, there are disagreements to be fair, in the law enforcement community. obviously we've heard from some of the, those testifying here that they would like to go full throttle on those policies. but that should not obscure the fact that there are very
important voices in the law enforcement community that either don't support those policies or at best conflicted because the effect that they have on community policing and their ability to fulfill their first and foremost mission, which is the public safety and to first do no harm. and the last thing i would add is, is, if i may, congressman, congratulations on your landslide election. i don't think that your voters gave you a pass. i think that they, as majority of americans, and there's a poll of 29 states that came out today, actually support a comprehensive solution and want this problem dealt with. so i think don't they give you a pass. >> you know, i thank you both very much and, i just want to observe that this is going to cost a lot of money if this were actually put into practice.
and most states and localities can't afford it. and i can attest that the federal budget can't take it much either. but thank you very much for your opinions and being with us today. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman from michigan. the chair recognizes himself for five minutes questioning. miss tumlin i was going to ask you initially to reconcile to me, support of city council members practicing sanctuary law but lack of police officers to enforce federal law but i will go another direction. to my, friends who are in local d.a.'s offices and local law enforcement, pay close attention to what you heard so far. you are good enough to investigate homicide cases. you're just not good enough for us to trust you with immigration cases. you're good enough for, for drug cases, even though that area has been occupied by
title xxi for decades. you're good enough to help with drug cases. you're just not good enough to help with immigration cases. you're good enough to help, despite the fact that the second amendment clearly occupies that field if you want to talk about preemption. it clearly occupies the field, title 18, 922-g, 924-c. all the federal firearms statutes, you're good enough to have your own state firearms laws. you're just not good enough to help out with the immigration laws. even though the federal system has the hobbs act to take care of armed robberies, it is okay for states also to have armed robbery stuts. we don't just tell the feds you're the only ones could can occupy and drugs and firearms and robbery cases? so i'll tell you this, i have worked with state prosecutors and federal prosecutors and state and
local law enforcement. if you're good enough to do homicide cases, then i trust you to do immigration cases. and i think it is a shame that anybody doesn't. if you're good enough to investigate the most serious crimes in this country, but yet we're worried about you understanding the complexities of immigration law? i've heard a lot about respect for the rule of law. i'm interested in the respect for the rule of law. i'm much more interested in adherence to the rule of law. because nothing undercuts the fabric of this republic like people picking and choosing which laws they're going to enforce, when they're going to do it, when it is politically opportune nor for them to do it. so i'm happy to talk preemption. i'm happy to talk stare decisis. i'm happy to talk supremacy clause.
i'm happy to talk enumerated powers or any other legal concept you want to talk about it. what i will not do let state and local prosecutors and state and local law enforcement and be disparaged we trust you to handle homicide cases but we'll not trust you to handle immigration cases. that i will not do. i started this debate, months ago saying i am happy to find a synthesis between the respect for the rule of law that defines us as a republic, and the humanity that defines us as a people. i am happy to do that, to search for that synthesis. but i am not going to pursue humanity at the respect for rule of law. i'm not going to do it. sheriff, you think you're capable of enforcing immigration laws if your jurisdiction, if your jurisdiction decides to pass ones that are not inconsistent with but
consistent with federal law, do you think you're capable of doing that. >> absolutely, mr. chairman. and this is, to your point, and i appreciate your remarks, because it is quite frankly was offensive to hear that. i have close to 700 men and women that work in our sheriff's office who risk their own personal safety, their lives, and often times, for those who are illegal. we do not differentiate. we have several hundred of my staff who are hispanic. what are we saying about them? . .
>> take another person's life. and yet we're saying here we're not smart enough to be able to ask questions and to call out to help for i.c.e. which is what we did. we're not asking for something that we didn't have. i only had 13 of my deputies who were 287-g certified. i've got a full plait in pinal county. i don't want to do i.c.e.'s job, but we should be able to talk together and work in the concert together to solve an issue. how did we get to this point that the cops are now the bad guys? and it's because that we as a country, republicans and democrats, have failed to address this issue and to solve it. so we're put in the cross hairs and are disparaged and, of course, our motivation. and this is one of the casualties of this, the undermining not just of the rule
of law, but those who preserve and protect on a tailly basis -- daily basis every person's safety. >> sheriff, i appreciate. my time is up. if we have a second round, i will get the district attorney to help me understand how city council members in certain cities are smart enough to ignore federal law and create sanctuary cities, but these guys aren't smart enough to enforce federal law. we'll get to that in the second round. with that, i would recognize the gentlelady from california. >> i wonder if i might allow mr. gutierrez ahead of me? >> certainly. i recognize the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez. >> first of all, i think as this debate has brought -- [inaudible] i'm sorry, thank you. it's almost as though this side of the aisle now is against the cops and against enforcement and is for murderers and criminals and drunk drivers.
nothing could be further from the truth. when we introduced comprehensive immigration reform, the first 400 pages of the 600 pages were enforcement, enforcement and enforcement. more police officers, more i.c.e. agents. and i think it's regrettable that we have a debate in which somehow this side of the aisle is weak, this side of the aisle is somehow unsympathetic to the murdering of children. we are not. we think those despicable foreigners that come to this country should be the first in line to get kicked out of this country after they've paid the price in our prisons and our penal systems. but, this is the debate that we're having, that all the 11 million undocumented workers in this country get reduced to drug
dealers, to gang members, to part of cartels? that is just not the truth. and so as i hear this debate today, i say to myself what happened to the eight, nine hearings we had in which people came forward to testify, and they said we can make a decision. are our crops going to be picked in foreign countries by foreign hands, or are they going to be picked here in the united states by foreign hands? either way that back-breaking, dirty, filthy work is probably not going to be done by us. so there is a reality in america. we had debates and we had witnesses come forward to say let's fix the broken immigration system, because they're not all gang bangers, they're not all drug dealers, they're not all murderers, they're not all people who are racing down the streets killing people while
they're drunk. do you know who they are? they're the moms and dads of over four million american citizen children caught up in a broken immigration system. and what do we really want? do we want you, sheriff? do we want the law enforcement agencies going after the moms and dads who are waking up every day to provide for their american citizen children? i say, no. but here's what's happening, there's just a study. 41% of latinos said they are less likely to speak -- and those are the ones that are legally in the united states. it is as though the undocumented workers in this country are somehow a pariah on which all of the evils of our society and all of the ills of our society should be thrust upon. that just is not the case. and to say to hundreds of thousands of young children -- one of the things i always consider is i certainly hope that my children are never judged by my actions. my children should be judged by
their own actions. and children brought here as children to this country should not be judged by the actions of their parents. they have -- they were not knowingly doing anything. they did not have the will to make a decision to come here or not. they've come out of the shadows. everybody says, oh, well, those dreamers, you know what they did? they applied. they said i'm here out of status, government. and you know what the government -- they didn't send them back a letter that said, welcome, come on down, happy to have you here. you know what? they sent them a letter that said come on down and give me your fingerprints to prove to me that you're not a gang banger or drug dealer. and if you can do that, i'm going to allow you to work while we fix our broken immigration system. so all i'm trying to say here this afternoon is we started so well. january, february, march, april, may, part of june. let's finish it.
let's not demonize. let's not pick winners and losers. let's just say we have got a broken immigration system, because i'm going to tell you something, and i've told mr. goudy this. i'm for e-verify so that every american gets first crack at any job in america. i'm for whatever you need on the border if you think you need more of that. i'm for more enforcement, but i'm also for humanity. i'm also for treating people like human beings. so i don't have questions for you. i simply have a plea. can't we just move this agenda forward? you can get what you want, because i'm ready to sit down and give enforcement and not question you. all i'm trying to say is, it takes 218 votes. so what are we going to do, have this fight again? we've seen this before. and you know what you got? you got millions of people when they introduced almost this identical legislation, and they came to the streets, and they
protested, and they elected people like me and others who say, okay, let's fix it. i've gone too far, mr. chairman. i want to say i joined this committee after 20 years of service on financial services to fix this problem. i'm not for criminals, but i am for a decent, humane treatment of millions of workers. not foreigners that came here to do damage, but immigrants who came here to contribute. thank you so much, mr. chairman, for your generosity. >> i thank the gentleman from illinois. the chair would now recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. coe bell. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good to have all of you with us today. sheriff page, as a sheriff in a state that does not share a border with mexico, give us an idea of the impact stricter enforcement would have on the area that you serve. >> well, it's kind of related like to my jail situation. i have a responsibility in my county to know who's coming in and out of my facility. as immigration should have the
ability to be able to track who's coming into and leaving from our country. and the problem is right now when i talk to the i.c.e. agents from across the country and i talk to their representatives, they're not getting the support from the people that should be getting support in the government to let 'em do their jobs. free their hands and let 'em do the work they need to do. what was discussed earlier here today, i'm sure that not every sheriff in america, every police chief in america wants to do immigration enforcement. but i do 100% support my federal, state and local agencies when we come together to work together as a force multiplier. i just want to be able to back up i.c.e. when they need my help and support, and the same thing with the border control when they need that request if i lived on the border. so i feel, mr. coble, that if we support our immigration officers in the state, we can do a better job identifying that percentage. and i know that all 11.5 million
people that are ill reel in this -- illegal in this country are not criminals. but we want to identify those criminals and get 'em off the street and put 'em in prison and return 'em to wherever they came from and get 'em out of this country. and that's an obligation i have. >> thank you, sheriff. >> yes, sir. >> sheriff, i think i know the answer to this question -- >> yes, sir. >> -- but what good purpose would be served when we deport the criminal aliens? i presume they're probably in charge of the local gangs, is that a valid conclusion? >> i'm sorry, i -- >> i said when, would we deport alien criminals, how is that helpful with you as the high sheriff of the county? >> as a sheriff, when we can remove criminal elements from our community, that does help to improve our communities by getting the criminals out. but, but, and i won't get too heavy into the border, but again we also have to pay attention to stopping that flow back and forth because right now, like i said, we're picking up individuals that are tied in
with the mexican drug cartel in north carolina, in my community. and it's not just my community in north carolina either. and we're concerned when we see that activity traveling two to three days from across the border into our communities. and without a good, defined, secure strategy and tactics on our border to secure it, lock it down, we're going to continue having these problems. even if we work toward fixing the immigration system, we have got to fix our borders. because if we don't secure our borders in america, every sheriff in america will be a border sheriff. >> thank you, sheriff. >> yes, sir. >> my friend from arizona, in your written testimony you discuss at length the need for a secure border. while a secure border is violate toll to -- vital to insure people do not come here in violation of the law, of what importance the a robust interior? that is away from the border? >> well, sir, it's critical. for the first part of it almost
half of the people illegally here now did not cross the border. they would never have come in contact. they came here on visas, and they overstayed. they came here legally. so whose job is it to enforce those laws, to police those individuals? obviously, we know as well that a lot of the individuals that have come to our country engaged in terrorist activities have not crossed our borders. they've come here on visas, they've come here legally. we need to be aggressively enforcing our laws with regard to those individuals. but also i think what we've heard a little bit here today about is the criminal element. there's definitely a disproportion nail number of criminals -- disproportionate number of criminals that's coming into our country and, again, that's our responsibility. the jails are full of criminal aliens, and that's not to say that every person here of the 11 million is a criminal, but there are definitely extremely large numbers of criminals coming into our country. with our limited resources that we have according to the obama
administration's numbers, we deported 225,000 convicted criminals last year. 225,000. that's half the population of the state of wyoming. that's, you know, bigger than the marine corps when i was in it. that's a lot of people, and we're not even scratching a dent in this criminal alien problem as well as the gangs. so our involvement, our enforcement is critical, critical, critical to community and public safety as well as national security. >> thank you all again. i want to beat that before the red light illuminates and say -- [inaudible] county has been mentioned twice today. it is my belief that matter has still not been resolved. we can talk about that at a later date. in any event, good to have all of you awe board. i yield back. >> the chair would now recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee, ms. lofgren. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, i would like to ask unanimous consent to include in the record eight letters in opposition to this bill --
>> without objection. >> and i would also like to ask, i want to be, make sure that i think i was precise, but i want to double back and make sure because i think what i said in my opening statement was that the justice department had concluded that the county sheriff and his deputies had engaged in discrimination, and i would ask unanimous consent to put into the record the findings from the department of justice that the sheriff's department did engage in intentional discrimination, and my colleague, mr. coble, was correct. they also filed a lawsuit which is still pending. so we're both right, and i would ask unanimous consent that both the complaint and the findings be made a part of this record. >> i never doubted it for a moment you were both right, and without objection. [laughter] >> great. you know, i, i just want to say that certainly i have a very close relationship with the
prosecutors in my county and have tremendous respect for them as well as the law enforcement agents. and i think it's incorrect to suggest that because immigration law is enormously complex and maybe not an area of expertise for my friends in the da's office, that somehow that insults them. matter of fact, i think my friend the da in santa clara county would agree that he is not an expert on immigration law. and so i guess i'd like to ask you this, sheriff babeu. you took offense, and i meant none. let me ask you this question. if you found someone who was born on november 15th, 1986, whose mother was a united states citizen, would that person have derivative citizenship if she had been in the u.s. for three years prior to that child's birth? >> through the chair,
ms. lofgren, quite frankly, right now we don't do anything in regards to that. and if we have 13 deputies who get enhanced training that actually go come back east and those would be the only deputies that -- >> well, i'll tell you, the manual for local law enforcement's about that thick -- >> sure. >> and the immigration code is this thick. >> certainly. >> and, you know, and i'm not insulting you. i value what law enforcement does. i just, i used to teach immigration law, and there are many nuances that are important and critical on whether someone is a u.s. citizen or not. in fact, you have to be five years in the u.s. prior to the child's birth. at least two of which have to have been before the age of 14, and it can include presence in not only the united states, but also possessions. and those are things about whether you're an american, not an illegal -- >> and i can answer that.
we actually have numerous situations because when through policy through i.c.e. and when the president came out and said anybody who's been here for five uninterrupted years -- >> right. >> -- longer, they shall be allowed to stay here. so what we did, our deputies -- >> if i can interrupt because i want to ask one other question. it's not about whether you can follow the policy that the president outlines or that i.c.e. outlines. i don't doubt that. >> sure. >> and i also don't doubt that you're good at arresting people who are drug dealers. i mean, great. i want you to do that. >> with that situation we would do nothing. we wouldn't even ask the question. >> but there have been, and this goes to my question, i guess, ms. martinez. you in your written testimony outlined instances where american citizens have been deported, which is a travesty. i wonder if you can -- you didn't have an opportunity to go through that, but we have come across numerous instances where mistakes have been made
including in l.a. county where american citizens were ap rehedgedded and then -- apprehended and then deported even though they were americans from birth. can you address that issue? >> thank you. indeed, there are several of those cases particularly that were documented in the recent findings about maricopa county. in terms of the discrimination, and in terms of people being deported there's a variety of reasons. somebody doesn't answer the right question, and they end up being categorized as somebody who is deportable. it has happened to u.s. citizens. i know it is extremely hard to fathom. but it does happen. and part of the reason is that the toxic nature of our immigration debate -- and that's why we are desperately in need of fixing this -- has created an environment where there's a lot
of people, american citizens and legal permanent residents, who are immediately categorized as illegal. >> i want to be respectful of the time. let me just say thank you and to the parents who have lost children, what happened to you shouldn't happen to anyone. that is not an argument. certainly, we don't want people who have done nothing wrong to be stigmatized, but our hearts go out to you. and i think there's really unanimity about going after the criminals here in this room. i yield back to you, mr. chairman. >> thank the gentlelady from california. the chair would now recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, former united states attorney, mr. moreno. >> thank you, chairman. i wish my friend, luis gutierrez, was here because i agree with him on many of the issues. i don't agree with him where he categorizes in this side by saying we want all hispanics and
illegals just moved out of the country for no reason at all. we're talking about the people who caused the death of these, this father and this mother here that should be moved out of this country. and given the fact that they had criminal records, if they were sent and deported back or put in jail when they were supposed to be and not released, their children would be a alive today. and so -- >> would the gentleman yield for just a moment? i agree with you, but if there were trials and in one case there may have been and in another there wasn't, that's for the court to determine. >> reclaiming my time, sir, as a prosecutor i know what the court should determine. but given the circumstances and based on immigration law, those individuals should have been at
least detained or -- and sent back eventually. so i'm not saying they didn't deserve a trial. that's not the issue. of ms. martinez, you very eloquently spoke to the fact of what we need to do. but i think you did not speak clearly enough on it's going to take enforcement. you did say that a large majority of americans want immigration fixed. i want it fixed also. and i know we're not going to send back 11 million people, and i'll be standing at the front of the line to argue that. but the question wasn't asked that way. if you would ask ask those people should they all get amnesty, you would see those numbers significantly decrease because i'm not only hearing it from my district in pennsylvania, i'm hearing it from people across the country. we need to deal with this, but not total amnesty. and there was a statement about enforcement levels of this administration have increased. that's not true. i'm disappointed in this administration, and i'm also
disappointed in the bush administration for not addressing this issue in the previous administration, in the bush administration. what i.c.e. has been doing, what hhs -- what homeland has been doing is those individuals sent back at the border are considered to be individuals that were here and sent back, and that's how they inflate the numbers. ms. tomlin, i am offended by your statement. i'm offended because as my, as the chairman said and my friend, my assistant u.s. attorney, when i was a district attorney in pennsylvania for ten years, the federal government, i.c.e., secret service, fbi came to local law enforcement and said help us solve these criminals, solve these crimes no matter if the criminals were dealing drugs or no matter if they were illegals. because i agree with the statement that was made that all law enforcement is grass roots. and then when i became a united
states attorney, i went right back, and i was a united states attorney for seven years. i went right back to those district attorneys and those sheriffs and those police officers and said help me enforce the laws of the federal government. and it was very helpful because most of my cases were solved by those people there. and i want to ask you a question. you certainly pick apart law enforcement in your statement. you say that locals should not be, have the authority and the power to do what they have been doing over the past several years except when this administration stopped it. that's the backbone of law enforcement. the federal government wouldn't operate without these individuals. and i take insult to that. and as far as the individual driving mom to store, to the store and getting milk and should that person be prosecuted, if they're here illegally, if they know they shouldn't be driving and he doesn't have a license, it's a violation of the law. so why would you say, why would
you say that these people aren't qualified when the federal government relies on them to enforce the law? >> are um, i appreciate the representative's question, and i think as a prosecutor of course you know that in that example the prosecution that the state of georgia was talking about was not for driving without a license. they were talking about the prosecution under their own law for harboring and in this case for transporting an undocumented -- >> it's still illegal. so you do not think that is a good law, but the law that they're enforcing for immigration or should be enforcing is a bad law? and let me ask you this question. i commend you for your cause and what you do and for the work that you are trying to do for people that are here illegally, but have you ever taken the time
to talk to people like ms. durden and mr. shaw about what they lost, about how their rights were violated, on about their child, their constitutional rights were violated, and they're not here to enjoy their children? you seem to be jumping on the fact that we want to prosecute every illegal immigrant that's here and send them right back regardless of any cause. well, let me tell you something, that's not the case. i've been a prosecutor for most of my life, and the rule of law is the rule of law. and you can't sit there and pick and choose what laws you want enforced and who should enforce them. >> so i would, what i'd like to say briefly, if i may, to the question because it is, i think it is an incendiary remark. and what i would say about the absolutely unspeakable tragedies that we heard about today -- >> but let me interrupt you because i didn't hear you
mention one word about that in your opening statement. ms. martinez did can, but i didn't hear you do it in your opening statement. and you're doing it because i'm bringing it up now. and i think you need to step back, reevaluate your cause and take consideration with the victims sw what these people are going through, and i yield back my time. i see it's expired. >> thank the gentleman from pennsylvania. the chair would now recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm -- mixed feelings. mr. shaw, ms. durden, i am sorry for your loss. it was 30 years ago -- excuse me, 40 years ago on may 29th, 1973, that my sister was killed, murdered by a black guy, and i chose not to be angry or
unforgiving about that to this day. and i just wonder why is it that you two have been brought here to share your pain about your loss with the nation. were you called because we wanted to arouse passions and prejudices against people from -- or against illegal immigrants? is it because we wanted people to think that all illegal immigrants are from mexico, they're hispanic? is it because we wanted everyone
to feel that all immigrants, illegal immigrants are criminals? or drunk drivers? or somehow the scourge of our community? is that why you all were brought here? i can't think of any reason why other than that. that you all are here. >> can i answer that? >> and i think that this kind of passion and this kind of emotion really is ill placed for our consideration of legislation before us. and i appreciate the law
enforcement personnel who put their lives on the line every day. they're asked to do more increasingly with less. and they are frustrated, because they are, they have a job to do. and if federal government can't get its act together -- which it has not done -- then it falls on local law enforcement. and there's no, there's no, there's nothing to -- and it falls on local law enforcement prosecution also. falls on our jails, the citizens are paying for that. but there's a deeper reason behind this that leads to our frustration with each other, and we end up pointing fingers at each other while there is money making going on. that money making, ladies and gentlemen, is from the profits
of incarceration. and so illegal immigrants can be a source of revenue for companies like private prison, for-profit private prison companies. skyrocketing stock value on wall street. corrections corporation of america, ceo damon henninger back in the week of february 20th on a conference call to investors assuring them that incarceration rates will remain high, and immigration detention will be a strong source of business for the foreseeable future. do y'all understand how public
policy can result in dollars in the pocket of business interests in and so what's happening is we have turned our attention away from those who are making the money, and we're blaming each other for everything that ails us, and it's really time for this game to end, the private prison corporations are members of alec, the american legislative exchange council, that drafts bills state by state and introduced here in the federal government that result in these kinds of growth opportunities for business.
it's wrong, it's immoral, and it's hurting, it's killing america. >> time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador, for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i just wonder before i have my time if mr. shaw and ms. durden can actually answer the question? because that's one of the most ridiculous presentations that i have ever -- >> well, no, mr. labrador. >> i'm sorry. >> mr. labrador, i'm not going to stoop to the posture of -- yeah. but you cannot come here and insult another member. i think that's against the rules -- >> i just believe that if you just called them out for coming out here, and you said that they were -- >> if you have a question that you want to ask them -- >> you know, sir, i will do it in the way that i will do it. >> but don't -- >> i just think it's insulting -- >> you don't get to answer --
>> the gentlemen will boast suspend. >> the gentlemen will both suspend. mr. shaw, ms. durden, if you care to respond to the last question/statement made by the gentleman from georgia, we will allow you to do so. >>, and mr. chairman, if i might, i welcome their response. i just happened to run out of time. but because we are sticking to the time, i don't want to give mr. labrador two minutes of free time -- >> no, we're going to give mr. shaw and ms. durden the time, and then we'll go to mr. labrador. >> oh, okay. well, then we can do it like that. -- >> you, i thought you were completing a statement. apparently you were completing a statement. either way, we'll let them comment on it. >> that'll be fine. >> i'm good? okay. i would love to answer your question. we weren't brought here for any sympathy or anything. my reason for being here is to
put a face to this. that i'm not -- i don't think immigration talks about an elder lady going to church and somebody, she says she looks like hispanic, so we're going to check her immigration status. it puts, i think, a face on it with my son that, um, brought a lot of good things to the community he lived in. he took care of me. he took care of his friends and neighbors and everybody. and he was wiped out because the guy who killed him in '08 wasn't deported. he wasn't deported after his first dui or his second dui. a career criminal. it's almost like if i sneak into a restaurant and i act a fool and they ask me to leave, oh, no, or i'll just come back. and they say, no, you're not allowed here anymore. we didn't invite you back here.
you did something wrong. and then i go back, and they say, well, okay, you can stay until you tear up the place. and once it's all demolished, we'll deal with you. that's how i feel. so for you to say that we were, you know, you questioned why we were brought here, to put a face to it. when i get married to a wonderful man that's supported me, my son can't walk me down the aisle. i will never be a grandmother or a mother-in-law. so that's why i'm here. >> thank you. mr. shaw? did you choose to say anything? >> yeah. basically, i didn't like the way you did that myself, you know? because you're almost putting, like, no value on my son. because when you said your sister was killed by a black man, like, that made everything that we have to say nonvoid because it was a black man and, like, we're picking on latinos.
but what you have to understand is that, is that our kids were here. they were living here, and they were murdered by someone illegally in the country. and i came here to let people know that i don't have to say that everybody here is 11 million people or more aren't criminals. i mean, i'm here to say that you have people here in the country illegally that are criminals. you have people here that were brought here by no fault of their own. my son was murdered by someone that was brought here at 4 years old. and just because someone was brought here by no fault of their own, you guys act like that gives them some kind of carte blanche to do whatever they want to, you know? and that's not fair. if you're here illegally from day one you cross that border, everything else is out the door. it's illegal. and for you to act like if you come into our country it's not a crime, that's insulting to all americans. and to say that i came here for sympathy, you know, i don't need sympathy, you know? i get it -- i think about my son
24 hours a day, and i'm sure you feel the same about your sister. and for you to try to make it seem like i was just brought here like some puppet to make people cry and make people feel sorry for me, that's not fair. that's not fair. because we love our kids. like she was saying, my son wasn't bothering anybody. he was walking down the street coming home from the mall. like your kids probably do, go to the mall, enjoy life. my son wasn't bothering anybody. he was playing football, he budget in a gang, no gang databases, he'd never been arrested, never been suspended from school. he was three times mvp player of the year. he was running track, he was getting ready to get a shot at going to to olympics, you know? so for you to make it seem like our families aren't important and we're brought here, they brought us out here to like we're puppets, you know, to make fun of us, that's insulting to me, you know? if you'd had a nonchalant attitude, that's not fair.
the same way with the attorney and the other lady down there on the end. same way. they never talk about the crimes and the criminals and the cemeteries full of dead people, you know? and they act like just because they're here to work, that that's just, that's some kind of honor. that's not an honor. you broke the law to come into this country, you know? you brought your kids over here. that's equivalent to human trafficking. you brought an infant that had no control what they were doing to a foreign country illegally and then raised them like that, and then you want us to feel like it's our fault because what they did, mom and dad was here to work with. where's the criminality for the mother? >> thank you, mr. shaw. >> mr. chairman? if i might offer my apology to both witnesses. if i offended you, it was not my intent to do that. and certainly i'm a black guy,
and i think the point that i was making with that was that i'm not turned against all black people thinking that all black people are criminals. and i said that to demonstrate that point. and, but once again i am deeply apologetic if i offended either one of you, and i thank you for taking your time and spending your resources at the call of this committee to come here and testify. that's not your fault that you were called here. and so i appreciate both of you. thank you. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador, for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i just want to, first, thank mr. shaw and ms. durden for being here. i have five kids, and i can't even imagine what you have gone through. i want to thank ms. martinez for your words. and i think you and i, and i'm
sorry, i'm a little emotional because this is an important issue for america. and when i see the tragedy that happened to your family, but i also think about a broken immigration system that we're trying to fix, and for us to think think that we cannot reach a comprehensive approach to immigration reform without local law enforcement participating in it, i think is a mistake. and i know you and i, ms. martinez, want to have, want to reach a common agreement on what we need to do. and i think we have the same goal. but my problem is that i think it's unrealistic for you and ms. tumlen to think that we're going to have any kind of immigration reform without having some sort of participation from the local law enforcement, without giving mr. crane the tools that he needs to do his job. i have to be honest, i practiced immigration law for 15 years, mr. crane, and i had no idea that you only had 5,000 agents dealing with 40 million people.
i mean, think about that. if you think about 5,000 agents dealing with 40 million people, that's why we have the problem that we have today. that's why we have so many people in the united states illegally. and for somebody to sit here and say that you cannot do your job, mr. babeu, paul, my friend, that you cannot do your job because you don't understand immigration law, i found ms. lofgren's questioning a little bit interesting. i practiced law for 15 years. without looking at my book, i don't think i could have answered the question that she asked you because it's been three years since i've practiced immigration law. and i don't remember the answer. but i think you would have been able to train your deputies and the people in your office to actually work on this issue. and i also believe that if you
would have arrested a young man who claimed citizenship, i know you well enough that i think you would have said let's get an attorney who represents you so we can determine if you are a u.s. citizen or not. i know i'm speaking for you, but can you answer that question? [laughter] >> yes. through the chair and, many labrador, likely that scenario would never play out. and next to -- i can't even think of a time that we would proceed that far. we would call i.c.e.. we have 500 border patrol agents assigned in our county, and the times that -- the only contact we would have is if there was probable cause and there was some reason why we in law enforcement are there speaking with somebody, and then that issue came up. we're required under arizona law to ask that question if we have a reasonable suspicion. not because of the color of their skin.
not because of how they talk or how they sound. and when we get to that point, that's where if it even is an issue we use a lifeline. we call i.c.e.. i.c.e. gives us direction. and the direction and answer to the question earlier, the direction that we've been given is that person says they've been here five years, treat them as any other citizen. and that's the end of business for us. we deal with what we have to deal with whether it's a citation or contact or have a good day. that's it. that's what we're doing. >> mr. crane, you're trying to do a job to protect our nation, and i think a lot of the job that you do is trying to protect us not just from people that are here illegally, but from drug trafficking, from all these other different things. why do you think that this bill would actually strengthen your ability to actually do your job?
>> well, the first thing it does is it gives us some people to do the job with. i mean, that's probably the most important thing. i mean, one of the things that we're supposed to be doing is working every jail in the country, every prison in the country. we're supposed to be working with adult probation and parole to get convicted criminals that even slip through and go to prison and end up back on the street. i mean, we need the people to do the job. you know, things like the detainers to make sure that our detainers are actually recognized by local law enforcement, that when we put a detainer on, out there and it's, you know, ignored, then that bad guy ends up back on the street. so, i mean, there's just so many things about this bill that will help us do our jobs better. we have these two positions with two different arrest authorities. they have exactly the same training, but they have two different arrest authorities. so we end up in situations where we have two guys that need to make an arrest, and they can't do it because they don't are
those arrest authorities. it makes no sense. we're pulling our hair out out in the field. we've asked i.c.e. to make changes internally that would, you know, give those arrest authorities to all of our officers, and they won't do it. so, i mean, there's a lot of things in this bill that will help us, and we're extremely appreciative to congressman gowdy and everyone that's worked with us to try to put some things in here that will get interior enforcement back on track. >> thank you. ms. tumlen and ms. martinez, i want to get immigration reform passed. i think it would behoove you to figure out how we can figure out a way to make something like this work. because there's no way that in the house of representatives an immigration reform bill passes without actually having the assurance that we're going to feel comfortable that what happened to ms. durden and mr. shaw will not happen again. thank you very much. >> thank the gentleman. time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from puerto rico for five minutes.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon. let me start by restating my support for comprehensive immigration reform as the best course of action for congress and america in seeking to fix our broken immigration system. we need a common sense reform that will meet our nation's needs in the 21st century. and it must hold true to our american values. real reform must take into account that the challenges that our immigration faces today are multifaceted, not situations that can dealt with through isolated incidences that only address one aspect or another. that approach will not result in a better america and will squander the historic window of opportunity that presently exists while true bipartisan efforts are underway in both the house and the senate to find comprehensive solutions to these critical issues. unfortunately, the
enforcement-only approach offered by the safe act falls short of accomplishing what america needs and wants us to accomplish which is reform that works for our economy, that strengthens and secures our borders and our interior, that helps america attract needed talent and expertise, that allows undocumented immigrants already in america an opportunity to legalize their status and apply for citizenship and that improves the efficiency and fairness of our legal immigration system to vastly reduce illegal immigration. while i understand and share the majority's desire to improve our nation's security, i don't believe that the approach of the safe act, which would combine the criminalization of undocumented immigrants with the delegation of authority through states and localities to enact and enforce their own immigration laws would accomplish that goal. it is very risky, it's a very risky approach to a complicated
problem and could cause grave harm to communities everywhere by opening the doors to racial profiling, wrongful detention and the criminalization of other side innocent behavior. -- otherwise innocent behavior. and i, for one, i am very sorry for the pain that you have suffered, mr. shaw and ms. durden. i mean, and i tell you, i lost my own brother. he was the victim of a carjacking in pert puerto rico,i know your pain, and i relate to that. but we're seeking a comprehensive solution. we want to address all aspects of this. not only the pain of victims of any crime including crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, but also the pain that millions of immigrants are suffering on a daily basis while being in the shadows because the system is not working. and, of course, i join
mr. labrador in thinking and supporting that we have additional resources at the federal level to enforce our immigration laws looking forward. but, of course, that makes all the sense in the world. now, my question is for ms. clarice saw martinez de castro from the national council of la raza. in your testimony you mentioned the case of eduardo -- [inaudible] a u.s. citizen born in puerto rico where i come from. and i also relate to this. on a personal basis. who was arrested by chicago police and held for more than three days in the custody of federal agents on suspicion of being undocumented and was threatened with deportation because of his mexican appearance. do you believe that if states and localities are allowed to enact their own immigration laws including civil and criminal penalties and then given
authority to enforce those laws, situations such as the one impacting u.s. citizens like mr. caravallo which could impact me as well because of my accent and my mexican appearance will become more prevalent? >> without a doubt. and it doesn't have anything to do with being disparaging to law enforcement. which i would like to clarify and speak directly to, otherwise i'll get in trouble when i get home, because i have law enforcement, members of law enforcement in my family. what we did was actually cite facts and findings of investigations. there are bad apples everywhere. and i think that's why there are voices in the law enforcement community that are concerned about how these laws will interact with a number of things. the other thing that i would like to say is that there seems
to be an inherent assumption somewhere here that there's false lines dividing the opinions at this table. and as long as we keep having that kind of conversation, we're never going to get to the finish line here. to present my organization as somebody who doesn't think law enforcement has in this debate is simply false. what we believe, again, is that there needs to be a balance. and since there's been a lot of talk about public safety, let me just say that i do hope that when we talk about public safety and the public trust, we are, we are making sure that the latino community, 75% of whom are u.s. citizens, are counted in that public trust. because often times some of the provisions in this debate and the conversations that i hear would lead, could lead someone to believe that latino citizens
are and permanent residents are not considered part of that american public or that their trust is irrelevant. and i do think here, like i said, there is too much tragedy in this issue. we can continue to talk on top of each other, around each other, misrepresent what we say. that's not going to help us. i am sure that ms. durden can identify with the tragedies of mothers who experience the loss of their sons because they were beaten to death because somebody thought they were mexican. those tragedies are unacceptable. we need to address this problem head on. >> thank you. >> [inaudible] the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have a district that has been
very much affected by the discussions going on. i appreciate, ms. martinez, your comments. i take great offense at yours, ms. tumlen. i'm not sure why you are here today except to bring forth the point of making georgia -- of which i was a part of that state legislature -- >> and arizona and orrs who attempt -- others who attempted to do so in a way that may or may not have been in your opinion right and some part which was struck or put on hold by the courts, but the vast majority of the law was upheld. i think you're right, ms. martinez, to draw lines are not good. but to walk in to here and to take account officers, to take in account me personally or others in the legislature who honestly tried to work through these issues -- maybe not to your satisfaction -- but did so at the request of those who
voted for us, the same ones who sent me here is not a good thing. it is not helpful. because as one who is trying to work through this in a very conservative district, one in which we struggled deeply with these issues, in which there is a large hispanic presence that has made our district wonderful from a legal perspective and made a struggle from those who are there not legally. and these are issues that we have too dole woo. -- to deal with. but to simply categorize it in the way it came across -- and i was watching -- is not and will not be a helpful tool as we move forward especially for those of us who are trying through sometimes great difficulty to find an answer for this. to others, for the gentleman from south carolina and idaho and others who have tried our best to look at this, to do so does not do any good. and especially from those as i
appreciate ms. martinez those who have friends and family in law enforcement, my father was a state trooper for 31 years. and to see what he would go through and these others go through knowing that in my county, hall county, was one of the first 287-g counties. i'm, have also practiced defense work. and i have my issues. and we hold each other accountable. but to simply say the one argument that never came from me, from my sheriffs who i have great respect for was that you were basically too dumb to enforce the law. it may be i disagree with you on how you made this stop or how you did this, but the fact that you were not bright enough to enforce it, no. and to have law school questions, i appreciate and i respect greatly my gentlelady from across the aisle from california. she can outrun me any day on most legal aspects. but that's a law school question. what these gentlemen all deal with is real side of the road kind of stuff.
mr. crane, i want to focus a little bit on my issue in georgia. over 50 illegal aliens were released under the guise of sequestration. in the march i go to dhs and i.c.e. and asked for information about the releases, how many had criminal convictions. and what are the specific crimes committed by illegal aliens released in georgia. to date, i've never got an answer. i'm an original co-sponsor of this legislation that strongly supports the needs of fixes to our current law in conjunction with other aspect that is we need to deal with in immigration. not just one, but a lot of others. however, as we provide for additional officers and prosecutors, shouldn't we also take steps to insure that the public safety goals aren't thwarted by what appears to be politically-motivated releases of detained illegal aliens? mr. crane, i'd like to hear your thoughts on the seriousness of this situation and what we can do to prevent it from occurring in the future. >> i think it's extremely service. whether it's in arizona or
georgia, when we're cutting people to the streets that are criminals, we're not letting law enforcement know about it, we're not letting 'em know why we're doing what we're doing. i mean, i think it's extremely dangerous, and i think there's definitely -- i can tell you as an officer, those things never needed to happen. sequestration or no sequestration, we have ways of trimming our numbers back without making mass releases like that. so it's completely unacceptable, it's a public safety threat. everyone up at dhs should be held accountable for it. senator mccain himself from the gang of eight said, you know, secretary napolitano's responsible here. somebody needs to be disciplined for that, and i agree. the things that we have to do is we have to cut back whenever possible on the discretion of political appointees being the secretary of dhs or the director of i.c.e.. we have to cut back on their discretion. congress has to codify this. they have to put it in writing how these folks are going to behave. >> well, i think that is something that we've got to look at. and as my time goes out on this, i just want to say is someone
looking for an answer here, let's deal with answers, not disparaging comments. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to ask for the opportunity to respond. >> if you would suspend for just a moment, we have votes on the floor that are five minutes into -- we have ten minutes remaining. the gentleman from florida, mr. garcia, is next, and he'll be recognized momentarily. the gentleman from iowa, if he chooses to, can take the chair and ask his questions, but he'll be cutting it really close on the votes, and we will then return after the votes, and we hope our witnesses can e -- can remain, because there will be a few other members including myself, mr. dos santos, have you asked questions -- >> yeah. ms. tumlen didn't get a chance to respond. >> i understand. but we're running really close on time. >> i just think if you're going to let other witnesses -- >> if the gentleman would suspend, i'm going to do that, but i don't have very much time to accomplish it and get both mr. garcia and mr. king said
he's going to come back. okay. first, we're going to go to mr. tumlen, she can respond, and then we're going to go to mr. garcia, and we will then come back after votes. >> mr. chairman, i think it makes sense that we just go back -- i'd rather ms. tumlen speak to people when they're here. i know of her good work and organization's incredible work. i know of california race saw's good work, maybe we should all be here to listen as opposed into letting her speak into nothingness. >> i understand, but many members may not -- >> we're going to leave the last few minutes of this recorded event to take you to the u.s. senate. a quick reminder you can see this hearing and any c-span event anytime online at c-span.org. the senate today gaveling in to start their week. general speeches are up first until 5:00 when lawmakers will turn to a pair of judicial nominations. votes on those are scheduled for 5:30. we expect more debate after the votes on the immigration policy
bill. now live to the senate floor here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. o, omnipotent, sovereign god, beneath whose all seeing eye our mortal lives are passed, may all our deeds and purposes today bring honor
to you. lord, save us from pride and arrogance, and help us to be quick to see the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves and promote goodwill and fellowship among all people. today, bless our lawmakers. let their motives be transparent and their word be their bond. may they be generous in their judgment of others, loyal in their friendships and magnanimous to their opponents. sovereign god, let every knee be bent before you and every tongue confess that you are lord.
we pray in your great name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the president pro tempore: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved.
mr. reid: mr. president? tepl the majority leader is recognized. -- the president pro tempore: the majority leader is recognized. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will be in morning business until 5:00. then the senate will consider nominations. at 5:30 there will be at least one roll call on the confirmations of the nominations. the nominations are restrepo from new mexico. i'm sorry, i should know that, but i don't. restrepo and gonzales are the two nominations we have. i think restrepo is from pennsylvania and gonzales from new mexico. following those votes, the senate will resume consideration of the immigration bill. mr. president, it's been 86 days since the senate passed this budget.
we've been through this on several occasions, and we've had republican senators come and criticize the republican leadership here for not letting us go to conference. they talk about their wanting regular order so we can move forward with the financial crisis that faces this country, but they've ignored us. mr. president, we're proud of the budget that we passed. it was hard, but it reflects our priorities: protecting middle-class families and a graying economy. even though that's the case, we're still willing to work out a compromise with the republican counterparts. you know, we are not going to get everything we want. that's what conference is all about. they have been going on in this country for more than two centuries. but we believe that our sound fiscal policy would stand out as
being so much better than what they have done in the house, and we can do this through regular order of the budget process. unfortunately, democrats and republicans are not going to find common ground if we never start negotiating. as i said, mr. president, for 86 days the republican leader has objected to conference with the house of representatives. in conference, democrats and republicans could work together to work out our differences, differences between our budgets as well as our priorities. but senate republicans have objected to conference time and time again. today i read in the hill newspaper called "politico," the house republicans are more than happy for their senate colleagues to obstruct and delay. they know that a budget conference would only put the spotlight on divisions within the house republican caucus. here's what the article said -- and i quote -- "going to
conference to match the house and senate-passed budgets or making any movement on the budget now could lead to spending managed to keep mostly at bay." what they're saying is the republican leadership over here is probing the house. the -- is protecting the house. the house leadership understands, republican leadership they can't agree. they will never get out in the open as to how crazy their budget priorities are, mr. president. but as senate republicans cover for their dysfunctional house colleagues the country inches closer to another crisis, a default on our nation's bills. reasonable republicans are just as concerned as i am about this last manufactured crisis, a crisis that would undercut
progress of the last four years. those reasonable republicans have succomb to the floor repeated -- republicans have come to the floor to call on republicans to call on bipartisan budget tkpw-gss. -- negotiations. i hope they prevail. i hope they will listen to the more reasonable members of their caucus. i repeat, republican senators have arrived here on the floor on more than one occasion and criticized our not being able to go to conference. so, mr. president, if past is prologue, using the full faith and credit of the united states government as a political hostage will not only be bad for the economy, it would also be bad for the republican party. it's time republicans acknowledge the compromise, not brinksmanship to put america on the road to financial
responsibility. mr. president, for 16 years, blanca gomez thought she was an average american girl. when she turned 16, one by one her friends learned to drive. her parents sat her down and explained an important truth she didn't know at the time. she couldn't get her driver's license because she is an undocumented immigrant. her parents brought her to mexico -- to the united states when she was seven months old, because they came without proper paperwork, she was missing something really important. she said you need nine numbers. that refers to her social security number that she didn't have. a social security number, those nine numbers, open doors to american citizens that they just take for granted; american citizens. i had an opportunity to visit with blanca when i was in las
vegas recently. she is a young woman with everything going for her. she's smart. she's driven. and she loves this country with a passion that's truly moving. in fact, she doesn't remember the country where she was born -- mexico. she was seven months old when she came here. to her, home means nevada. mr. president, that is our state song: "home means nevada." and home certainly means nevada to this young woman. unfortunately, without a social security number, those nine numbers, blanca faces challenges her american-born peers didn't. all that changed a year ago this week when president obama signed a direct legislation for young people like blanca brought to this country as children. as a result of that she has her nine numbers. almost 300,000 dreamers, undocumented immigrants came to this country as children and have already taken advantage of
this opportunity. thanks to president obama's courageous action, blanca and hundreds of thousands upstanding young men and women like her can rest easy knowing nother longer in danger of being deported. they can now drive. they can work. they can get the nine numbers that unlock a successful future. i repeat: a social security number. blanca's future and the future of 800,000 young dreamers were uncertain until congress passed this commonsense immigration reform. president obama's directive is only a temporary solution. the republican majority in the house of representatives has taken aim at dreamers, and they voted recently to resume deportation by promising young people like blanca. the directive doesn't address the ten million people living in the country without the proper documentation who don't qualify for deferred action. many of these individuals are the parents or sibling of dreamers like blanca.
the bipartisan legislation before the senate is the opportunity they have been waiting for. this bill offers a pathway to earn citizenship that begins going to the back of the line, paying penalties and fines, working, paying taxes, staying out of trouble, learning english. getting right with the law. the measure would be good for our national security. it will be great for the economy. and it will be good for millions of immigrant families. the bill isn't perfect but it takes important steps to reform our broken legal immigration system and strengthen border security. i know many of my colleagues have ideas about how to improve this bill. i hope we will be able to process additional amendments soon so we can give these ideas the debate it deserves here in the senate. and after that, of course, the votes they deserve. we have five amendments pending. we could vote on four of them right away. i would also think it would be fair to add the heller amendment.
that would mean three republican amendments, two democratic amendments. my colleagues should be aware unless we begin voting on amendments soon, we'll need to work through the weekend in order to finish this bill before july 4. recognizing this is a nation founded by immigrants, i hope senators will consider every amendment to this bill with due passion. like generations before them, blanca's parents and millions of other undocumented immigrants came here seeking a better life. the famous author c.s. lewis said -- quote -- "you are never too old to dream a new dream." it's time for congress to help 11 million dreamers young and old get right with the law and unlock their potential. the chair would announce the business today, please. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. the senate will be in morning business until 5:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes
each. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: as always, i commend the distinguished majority leader for his words on immigration. we're on this bill because he set this time aside. and he, like i hopes that we will soon be voting on amendments. there are a lot of potential amendments. we had 300 filed in the judiciary committee. we were able to work through them. i don't expect that many here on the floor, but i know the leader has set aside time for us and i know his commitment to get this filled and fulfilled. and i join him on that. i think the time is right. we either do it now or we're never going to do it. so i thank the leader again. mr. president, two matters i want to talk about, but before i speak about judiciary, i want to speak about the supreme court
rule -- ruling today. facts underlie minimum mandatory sentence must be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. i continue to believe that our criminal justice system's reliance on mandatory minimum sentences is a mistake. in march, senator paul and i introduced the justice safety valve act of 2013. this is to give federal judges greater flexibility in sentencing in cases where mandatory minimum is not only unnecessary but often counterproductive. mandatory minimum sentences imprison some people, particularly nonviolent offenders, for far longer than is just or beneficial. now, looking at it just from a fiscal point of view, as a result of the federal prison
population exploded in recent years. it placed enormous strain on the justice department's budget. that means less money for federal law enforcement, less aid to state and local law enforcement, less funding for crime prevention programs, those things that make us safer, plus money for prisoner re-entry programs. sentencing reforms worked at the state level. the justice safety valve act is an important step toward the sentencing reform that our federal system desperately needs, and i applaud the supreme court's decision today. i have long felt that when legislative bodies pass mandatory minimums, it's a feel-good response to crime but it does little good.
judges need discretion. every case that comes before a judge is different. now, do judges always get it right out of the tens of thousands of cases that come before them? no, of course not. sometimes they might not, but they are far more often right than wrong, and they are always more right than a legislative one size fits all. and mandatory minimum laws are a one size fits all. anybody who has spent time in the criminal justice system, either as defense counsel or as prosecutor or as a judge knows one size doesn't fit all. we should get rid of all our mandatory minimums. then let the individual men and women who sit on the bench make
the decision. now, the other issue as we continue yet another week debating s. 744, the bipartisan immigration bill, i really hope we can start making some progress in this final legislation. the american people know that what more of us have to realize, our immigration system is broken, it has to be fixed. if we're going to have an effective solution to this complex problem, we can't focus simply and obsessively on one border or any single aspect of our immigration system. we have to address all parts of our immigration system. of course, we all agree we have to secure our borders, but we must also reduce the incentives people have to come here illegally or to over stay -- overstay their visas. that means we have to implement everify so that employers stop hiring those who are not authorized to work here.
we also have to eliminate the extensive backlogs that tear so many families apart. we have to respond to the needs of american families and technology companies and investors who create jobs in this country. we also need to remember that our history and our future as a nation is based on immigrants who are considering the legalization process provided in this bill. almost four weeks ago, the judiciary committee voted to report this immigration reform bill with a strong bipartisan vote of 13-5. i understand the congressional budget office task was a big one with a complex, comprehensive measure such as this one. we had expected their score today. i hope they are able to get us the official score early tomorrow so we can move forward and complete consideration of this bill. but in addition to the c.b.o. score we are waiting, we should also credit the extensive testimony the judiciary
committee received from former c.b.o. director douglas holtz-eakin. he testified immigration reform will increase the productivity growth of the u.s. economy, the fundamental building block and generate higher economic growth numbers than we have seen in recent years. specifically, he estimated the reform of this nature would increase growth so that the overall growth rate, real g.d.p. would rise from 3% to 3.9% on average annually over the first ten years. so the upshot of g.d.p. after ten years would be higher, a difference of 64,700 per capita versus 62,900 per capita. the higher per-capita income of $1,700 after ten years is a core benefit of immigration reform. and according to holtz-eakin,
this increase in growth would also help lower our deficit. also, the judiciary committee received powerful testimony from grover norquist. he was asked repeatedly by those who opposed this bill whether legalized immigrants lead to a drain on our safety net. his response was just the opposite would occur. he testified the immigrants come at the beginning of their working lives, which means they have paid taxes and contribute to the economy before being eligible for entitlements. now, it's not every day that i agree with these very conservative commentators and advocates, but i was happy to invite them to testify b-2 the committee and commend their analysis to members who are concerned about the approximated
cost of reforming our broken immigration system. all the valid testimony, all the valid testimony that we have received says that fixing the broken immigration system adds to our bottom line in a beneficial way. you know, america protects the most vulnerable among us. this includes survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking as well as pregnant women and children. i am proud to report that there are strong protections in this bill for the treatment of children caught in a broken immigration enforcement system. and the -- in the judiciary committee, we added to the billing's protection for domestic violence for human trafficking victims, but the judiciary committee also considered and rejected, as it should, several amendments that ought to take away protections in our safety net programs for
immigrants who need them. i know that some may want to punish 11 million undocumented people currently living here in the shadows. the bill specifically contains a steep financial penalty for that purpose. the undocumented all need to go to the back of the line, take classes to learn english, but even these tough steps are not enough for those who oppose this bipartisan bill. some may want to look like they are being even tougher on the undocumented population. we all need to consider how further punitive measures may deter people from coming out of the shadows. when children and pregnant women are put at risk by an urge to punish millions of people who are trying to make a better life for their families, as my grandparents did, we do not live up to our american values and we
do not make us a safer country. last week, senator hatch filed several amendments to deny or delay protections for the millions of people who apply for registered provisional immigrant status. and i oppose all these amendments. they are not fair. they deter people from coming forward to register. that makes us all less safe. it's a cruel irony that when my friends on the other side of the aisle talk about border security, the high cost of implementing what they are proposing is always absent from the discussion. but when we are talking about programs that help children who live near the poverty line, well then suddenly fiscal conservatives are paramount. so if we're talking about a specific type of fencing or some new expensive exit program, our concern is supposed to trump any
hesitancy about government spending, spend whatever it takes, spend whatever it takes. and at the same time dramatical ly increase the boon to set proposals given to the contracting firms to make money out of them. however, if we're talking about programs that literally feed the hungry or provide vaccinations to children, vaccination that is would make us all healthier because of the diseases it stops, then we would hear about how we can't afford those programs because of the current fiscal environment. maybe some of these contractors with their lobbyists ought to be covering those programs. maybe we will hear more need for
them. i would say from a moral point of view, an indication of how great a country we are, we ought to be saving hungry children, children who can be saved from childhood illnesses is in our moral core as a nation the most wealthy, powerful nation on earth to help them. the bill we are considering prohibits immigrants with registered provisional status from accessing the public means test for public programs throughout their time with conditional status. the condition as a result of the work opportunity and reconciliation act of 1996, even qualified legal permanent resident immigrants must wait an additional five years after they are legalized to receive any safety net protections. we're saying, mr. president, we have always put all kinds of
barriers up here. so including the five-year bar, most immigrants are working their way through the path of legalization. we have to wait anywhere from 13-15 years before having any access to safety net programs. given the penalties and the fines that they have to pay, it's wrong to further deny these low-income families protections they desperately need. like some of the harsh amendments that have been filed with respect to the safety net, i have seen similarly harmful amendments on the issue of the earned income tax credit, eitc, or the child tax credit, c.d.c., which are designed to help hardworking families pay their taxes. now, the earned income tax credit is available only to families that are working and paying payroll taxes. not some kind of giveaway. you will be working and paying taxes. the i.t.c. is a core part of the tax code.
like any other tax credit that adjusts federal tax liability based on family circumstance. it's not, it's never been considered public benefit, but some amendments have been filed seeking to deny the eitc for all registered immigrants for eternity, even after they have obtained legal status. one of these amendments was offered during the committee process. we rejected it. i was strongly opposed to any amendment to deny hardworking families from participating in these tax credits when they are paying payroll taxes. you know, we give huge tax benefits and loopholes to billionaires. yet a hard-working family, shouldn't they be entitled to these tiny benefits that are dwarfed by what we give to millionaires? let's start paying attention to the people who really need our
help. some who oppose comprehensive immigration reform have raised a false alarm this immigration bill would drain our social security trust fund and bankrupt our medicare system. nothing could be further from the truth. in fact, the opposite was true. in an editorial on june 2, 2013, entitled a $4.6 trillion opportunity, "the wall street journal" states unequivocally that immigration reform will improve social security's finances, not take away from it. will improve it. it said the immigrants unquestionably narrow the funding gap. more generous immigration is a wise step toward solving the entitlement crisis in washington. i would ask consent, mr. president, that that editorial from the "wall street journal" be printed in the
record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: i thank the chair. the goal of this bill is to encourage undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows so we can bring them into our legal system and then do what all of vermonters tell me, americans everywhere tell me, that we all play by the same rules. i mean, that's a sense of fairness we should agree to. if we create a reason for people not to come out and register, it's going to defeat the purpose of this whole bill. it makes all this work, two dozen hearings, the hours and days, weeks of markups and consideration, makes it for naught. the amendments that seek to further penalize the undocumented, it would just encourage them to stay in the shadows. these steps aren't going to make us safer and they are not going to spur our economy. one of the many reasons we need immigration reform is to ensure
that there is not a permanent underclass in this nation. as part of this effort, we need to continue the vital safety net programs to protect children and pregnant women and other vulnerable populations. too often immigrants have been unfairly blamed and demonized as a drain on our resources. the facts prove the opposite. we're a nation of immigrants. as i've said many times on the floor my paternal grandparents came from italy to vermont seeking a better life and created a whole lot of jobs when they did that. sent their children to college and saw their grandson become a united states senator. my wife's parents came from the province of quebec, speaking french, she was born here. her family contributed to the
economy of vermont and our whole region in the jobs they created. and raised three wonderful children at the same time. we're a nation of immigrants. let's fight to maintain our tradition of protecting the vulnerable. let's allow the american dream to be a reality for all those who are in this country because they want to be in this country. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. before i do that, mr. president, time is not now divided from one side to the other, is it? the presiding officer: it is not. mr. leahy: mr. president, then i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: thanks, mr. president. mr. president, i come to the floor to talk about doug bail. doug bailey died last week at age 79. "the new york times" reported on tuesday that doug bailey helped define the role of political consultant in the 1960's and 1970's and that he founded the hotline. he was much more than that to me and to countless of others who for whom he was an example of how to live a public life. now, i'm aware that when offering a eulogy, it is good form to speak more of the deceased than of one's self, but that's hard to do with doug because he cared so much about
everyone he met and everyone he worked with. i first met doug bailey in washington, d.c. in the spring of 1977. i was here for a few months working with howard baker, the former senator from tennessee, who had just been elected to be the republican leader of this body. he'd asked me to come work for him. i think part of that was to consult, lick my wounds from having lost the governor's race a couple years earlier in tennessee. mr. wasn't much prospect for a political future for me then because the "nashville tennessean" had written there wouldn't be another republican governor in tennessee for another 50 years. so i was here in washington and i was here, i became energized by the republican senators. it looked to me like jimmy carter was already in trouble and my friend, wyatt stewart, introduced me to doug bailey. at that time, he and his partner, john deeredorf, represented seven of the 12 republican governors in the country who were still in office
after the watergate debacle of 1974. doug came to nashville, sat down with my wife, honey, and tom ingram and me and we talked about -- about the idea of another governor's race, this time in 1978. doug's view was that i had lost, among other things, because i wasn't very interested in campaigning, that i campaigned in a blue suit and talked to republicans and to rotary clubs. and so the talk was about what would be authentic, what did i really like to do. and i ended up, to make a long story short, walking a thousand miles across tennessee over six months in a red and black shirt, followed by a group of four university of tennessee band members in a flatbed truck and every now and then, several times a day, we'd get up on the truck and play "in alexander's washboard band." doug put all that on television and i won the election. now, to some, that would seem like an ultimate political gimmick, but if you'll think
about, it the idea of the walk across tennessee was a good more -- good deal more authentic than the photo ops and the press releases and the five-second sound bites that often are what we end up with in politics today. but let me just say it this way -- i'd never been elected governor if it hadn't been for doug bailey. he also did something else that i'd never saw anyone else do, no other political consultant, he actually wrote a plan and we actually followed it during the campaign. but the important thing for me to say today was that political consulting was not the end of doug bailey's help. he came to nashville once a week during my first term as governor not so much to talk about politics but about how to be a better governor, which was his idea of how to be a political success. our conversations were usually not about how to follow but how to lead, how to deal with the political implications, for example, of wanting to have three big road programs and do
it on a pay-as-you-go basis so we could attract the auto industry to our state without running up debt. and to persuade all the republican members to vote for three gas tax increases, which every single one of them did. doug's advice was that a good tactic was to do the right thing because it will confuse your opponents. they won't understand what you're up to. and his advice about recruiting people to work in the cabinet, for example, was, don't just invite someone who might take the job; make a list of the four or five best persons to do the job and then ask the best one. you might be surprised. that person might be waiting for an opportunity to serve in public. that was some of the best advice i ever got, because some of the best persons were waiting for the right opportunity for public service. all this sounds hopelessly naive in a time, especially today, when there's so much cynicism about politics. but that's the way it was then
and that's the way i was trained and that's the way i try to do my job. i would wake up every day literally thinking about almost nothing else other than how i could help our state move ahead. i called doug bailey throughout the last 30 or 35 years whenever i needed good advice. i called him when the democrats swore me in early to remove a corrupt governor who was selling pardons for cash in tennessee, and he gave me a few words that i used to speak to the public on that day. one of the best pieces of advice he gave me when the first president bush called me when i was the university of tennessee president, president bush asked -- i knew that he was going to ask me to be the new education secretary. i had about two hours to think about it. doug said, ask these two questions. one, mr. president, may i come up with a plan subject to your approval? and, two, may i then go recruit a team, subject to your
approval? well, that may not seem like much but after i was announced by the president, i walked into the white house personnel offi office, they tried to tell me who to hire, and i said, i don't have to do that, i already have the president's assurance that i can recruit a team subject to his approval and i was able to recruit david kearns, former head of xerox, and diane ravich and others who never would have ended up in president bush's administration. and he was delighted with that, the president was. doug always had a project. some of them were zany. some of them were down right brilliant. one of the most recent was to try to -- to try to persuade someone to run for president on an independent ticket on-line. he didn't succeed in that. he was starting another project when i saw him last at a dinner at the end of january in washington this year. ironically, doug bailey was an expert in the technology, tv ads, and the hotline, which have
contributed to today's polarization in politics. but he withdrew from politics after awhile and from political consulting because he didn't like what politics had become. he thought that more elected officials needed to understand that there's a difference between campaigning and governing and that differences should be resolved in the middle rather than entrenched in the fringes or on the extremes. in a tribute, judy wood roughruf wrote about perhaps doug's greatest passion and his greatest legacy -- inspiring youngsters like chuck todd and norah o'donnell, whom he paid almost nothing to work at the hotline, to care about and be involved in america's political system. and i am sure that chuck and norah would -- would tell you that doug considered it even more important and an even
nobler calling actually to serve in government and that he spent most of his life teaching and helping those who were willing to do it. i would never have been elected governor without doug bailey's help. more important, whatever success i had as governor and in politics, i'll give doug most of the credit for. it's been a long time since i regularly checked with him before i made a political move, but when i did, i always felt like the next step was a surer step and a step more likely to be in a direction that served a larger purpose other than my own political existence. i've never known a person who cared more about each person he met in every issue he tackled. so i wanted to come to the floor today and express this tribute to a public life well lived and to offer my condolences to his wife, pat, his children, kate and edward, his brothers and his
grandson. mr. president, i ask consent to include, following my remarks, "the new york times" story about doug bailey's death and judy woodruff's blog about his passing. it has afterwards lots of comments from other people and i've not seen a blog in a long time where all the comments are positive. usually that's not thecase. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor, and i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i have one request for a committee to meet during today's session. it has the approval of the minority and majority leaders. i ask consent it be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: last saturday was the first anniversary of a very historic day. on june 15, 2012, president barack obama announced he would grant temporary legal status to immigrant students who alived in the united states as children. this status known as deferred action for childhood arrivals or
daca, allows these young people to live and work legally in america on a temporary basis without fear of deportation. june 15, 2012, is the day that i'll never forget. it was personal. it was 12 years ago that i had introduced legislation known as the dream act. this bill gives immigrant students who grew up in this country a chance to earn their citizenship. i've worked hard to pass this bill for 12 years, and during that time it has been my honor to meet hundreds of the young people who would be eligible for the dream act. i don't know when it started, but we have started calling them and they call themselves the dreamers. they were brought to the united states as children. they grew up in this country, and they have overcome some amazing obstacles. they're tomorrow's doctors, engineers, teachers, soldiers. they're young people who will
make america a better country. but for most of their young lives, they have been trapped in a legal limbo, fearing that they could be deported away from their families, away from their homes, away from the only country they have ever called home with just a knock on the door. yet, they have developed amazing lives with great potential. they are educated here in america, and they have a great potential to make this country even better for future generations. it just doesn't make any sense to walk away from the so many talents that they can bring to us. in 2010, senator richard lugar of indiana and i joined together across the aisle to ask the obama administration to grant deferred action to dreamers. president obama wanted to give a chance to act before using his executive power. he said i know i have the authority, but let's see if you
can pass the dream act. well, we brought it to the floor of the senate. remember -- i remember that day, mr. president, because it was a saturday if i'm not mistaken. that gallery was filled, filled with young people in caps and gowns who were watching the debate on the floor of the united states senate on the dream act. we needed 60 votes because we faced a republican filibuster. we have always faced a republican filibuster. 55 senators voted for it, which by most standards is a sufficient majority but not by the u.s. senate standard. we fell short. five votes short of defeating a filibuster. i watched those students file out of those doors, and then i left the floor of the chamber, walked downstairs to meet with them. there wasn't a dry eye in the room. they had just watched their dreams disappear right here on the floor of the senate. five votes short.
see, the house which you were serving in, mr. president, had already passed the dream act under the leadership of speaker nancy pelosi, howard berman, zoe lofgren, and especially my colleague from illinois, luis gutierrez. you had risen to that challenge. we had our chance and fell short by five votes. after that republican filibuster of the dream act, president obama decided that he needed to take charge. he established the deferred action for childhood arrivals, to give those dreamers and thousands like them across the country a chance to come out of the shadows and be part of america. what has happened since then? in the last year, more than 539,000 have applied for daca. so far, about 365,000 applications have been granted, 140,000 are still being considered. i'm proud to say my home state
of illinois has the third most daca applicants. more than 28,000. and the third most daca recipients. approximately 23,000 young people. it wasn't too surprising because shortly after the president announced this program, we held -- congressman luis gutierrez and i held this kind of gathering at navy pier, which is kind of a seminal site in downtown chicago. we invited those who wanted to apply for this deferred action to come. we thought what are we going to do if 400 or 500 people show up? and then we were worried no one would show up. we didn't know what to expect. well, we knew the night before what was coming. the line started forming at midnight. midnight, these families stood there, mom, dad and their son or daughter, waiting for a chance for that son or daughter to apply for this decision by
president obama of deferred action. many times, the parents were undocumented themselves and even risked deportation showing up, but the thought of saving a child in their family, giving that child a chance was enough for them to take the risk. well, it turned out over 12,000 people showed up. we were overwhelmed. we couldn't even come close to processing the applications that were involved. we knew then this was an idea whose time had come. it's especially important to note the one-year anniversary of president obama's announcement as we consider what's going on on the floor of the united states senate this week. we're debating comprehensive immigration reform. the reality is that daca is overwhelmingly popular with the american people. the american people i have always trusted have in their heart of hearts a goodness, an understanding and a caring.
they saw these young people brought here as babies, as infants, as little children, and they knew they had not made the decision, their parents made the decision to come here. if anybody did anything wrong and violated any law and overstayed a visa, whatever the circumstances, it wasn't the child, it was the parent. and they understand the basic element of justice, not just in america but in life. and it's this -- you don't hold a child responsible for the wrongdoing of a parent. most americans understood that and want to give these young people a chance. on election day last year, hispanic americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of president barack obama. there were many republican members of congress, including my good friend senator john mccain of arizona who heard that message loud and clear, and that's in no small part why we are considering comprehensive immigration reform today, because within this bill is the dream act.
not just the dream act. the strongest version of the dream act that's ever been written. it's also important to note what happened to the dreamers in the last year. these young americans who are finally able to work legally in america have stepped forward to contribute their talents already. the center for american progress and the bipartisan partnership for a new american economy has concluded that giving legal status to dreamers will add $329 billion to america's economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030. the economic benefit of legalizing 11 million undocumented to cook even great. according to the study for american progress, if comprehensive immigration reform becomes law, undocumented immigrants will increase their earning leading to $822 billion in economic growth, $109 billion in increased tax revenues, moneys that will be
paid by the currently undocumented immigrants who will become legally part of america in the next ten years. it will also create an estimated 120,000 jobs every single year. it is a growth engine. it always has been a growth engine in america. this nation of immigrants when it builds on the strength and commitment of newcomers is a stronger and better nation and continues to lead the world. how could we have forgotten that lesson of history? conservative economist douglas holtz-eakin concluded that immigration reform would actually reduce federal deficits by $2.7 trillion, add a full point to our economics growth and raise g.d.p. per capita by approximately $1,700. you know, i started several years ago coming to the floor of the senate not just speaking about the dream act but telling their stories.
it was something that i came to because i finally witnessed their courage and realized i had to share it here on the floor of the senate. when i first started talking about the dream act, undocumented young people who could be deported in a moment, torn away from their families and their lives, sent to a place they could never remember and facing a language they couldn't speak, they would very quietly wait until my meeting was over and come out in the darkness by my car as i'd go to leave meetings in chicago and say senator, i'm one of those kids who would be helped by the dream act. they didn't want anyone to see them for fear of being deported. but over time, they came to realize that standing up with the courage to tell their stories, they risked deportation but they put a face on this issue. it wasn't some politician giving a speech, it was a real life. and that's what they did. and as they came forward to tell their stories with their courage, i came to the floor of the senate. i want to take a moment now and
thank a man who is sitting to my right, joe glog bi. show -- glogby. show has been a staffer from the beginning and i know he will celebrate this just as i do, understanding as i do the lives that will be impacted by this decision if the dream act becomes the law of the land. the dreamers are an amazing group. the stories that i told on the floor included dreamers who grew up in 17 different states, from arizona and texas in the southwest, missouri and ohio in the midwest, north carolina and georgia in the southeast. these talented young people came to america from all over the world, 19 different countries represented, and from every continent except antarctica. yet all of them share something in common, america is home. they're only asking for a chance to give back to their home. today i want to spend a minute or two and update the senate on what happened to these dreamers
since they received daca, this deferred status, last year. angelica hernandez brought to america when she was 9 years old. she graduated from arizona state university, an outstanding senior in the mechanical engineering department with a 4.1 g.p.a. she just finished her first year of graduate school tht at stanford university why she is working on a mast master's in civil engineering with a focus on energy. her cream dream is to goat her career to renewable energy. after receiving daca, this summer angelica will work at a solar energy start-up company. this is pierre barristaine. pierre and his should sister were brought to the united states from peru when they were children. he didn't speak a word of
english but of received a bachelor's degree with honors from har vaferred university. he is pursuing a master's degree at hard var divinity school. he cofounded a nonprofit organization which involves criminal defenders in the process of repairing the harm they've done. since he received daca, pierre was awarded one of only 10 harvard public service fellowships so he can expand this organization. this is carlos martinez. cawrms are cawcialos and his brother were brought to the united states when he was only 9 years old. he graduated with a degree in computer engineering from the university of arizona. he received job officers from intel, bimm and many -- bill and many high-tech companies. he couldn't work because he was undocumented so he got a master's degree in software systems engineering at the university of arizona. after receiving daca, carlos is final able to work in america as
an engine engineer. this come he startsd as a engineer with b.i.b.m. out of more than 10,000 applicants who applied to i.b.m., carlos martinez was one of only 75 people that they hired. this is nelson and john madlaeno they came from venezuela, nelson us a 11, joon was 9. they went to georgia tech university, one of the most selective engineering schools in america. nelson graduated with a degree in computer engineering and john is an honors student majoring in biomow electric collar engineering. john is working in a anyby owe medical lab-reaching gras coma and -- gras coma. knells is working as a product
engineer at texas instruments one of america's top high-tech companies. oleg queso from albania at the age of 5. what a superstar. valedictorian of her high school class, she is now a pre-med student in the honors program at the university of michigan. her dream is to become a surgical oncologist. can we use more of these? you bet. in 2011 i invited her to testify at the dream act. she was the first undocumented person to testify before the united states senate. after receiving deferred action this fringe sprirng, ola interned in the office of my friend, senator carl levin. here is someone that a few of those following the debate may raise. tola olabumi.
she was brought to the united states from nigeria when she was a child. in in 2002 she graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from washington and lee university in virginia. for ten years, ten years, after graduating from college, she couldn't work as an engineer. she spent her time working to pass the dream act. since receiving the deferred action, she is working as an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform with ther? for community change. last week she had the honor of introducing president obama at a white house event on immigration reform. i met with the president last week. i asked him about those dreamers. and he said they came into the office, the oval office and met with him and he said there were tears in everyone's eyes as people realized the opportunity these young people might finally get if we pass comprehensive immigration reform. this is he cana andeola brought to our country from her unt when
she was 11. founder and president of the arizona dream act coalition a immigration group advocating the passage of the bill. she received daca and has since been working in congress. she was the district outreach director for one of the arizona delegation's newest members, kristen cinema. and now i'd like you to meet carlos and rafael robe less. they were brought to the united states as children. they grew up in surgeon chicago in my home state of illinois. both honor student loans in harper community college. carlos is now attending loyola university majoring in education. with daca, carlos can pursue his dream to become a teacher and will have the opportunity to student teach at a suburban high school. rafael is at the university of illinois where she's majoring in
architecture. rafael is working at studio gang architects an award winning architecture firm in the great city of chicago. this is jose magana. hose was -- jose was brought to the united states from mexico at 2. graduated valedictorian in his high school. first member of his family to attend college. in 2008 he graduated summa cum laude. jose went on to graduate from baylor university law school. after receiving daca jose began working with the mexico-american legal defense fund, a leading civil rights organization. this week, jose will be sworn in as a member of the bar but he was -- which he was unable to do before president obama's executive order one year ago. to hear the stories of these young people is to realize the benefits that immigration has always meant for america. imagine what will happen when 11 million undocumented immigrants have the opportunity to come out
of the shadows and be part of america. like these dreamers, they will be able to contribute even more to this country they worked so hard to come to and work so hard to stay in and now call home. legalization will open the earning potential for millions of people. they'll be able to pursue jobs, to match the stills scils they have instead of working and being exploited in the undergrownt economy. -- underground economy. it's the right thing to do and will make america stronger. mr. president, it was so disappointing last week that the republicans in the u.s. house of representatives passed an amendment to cut off funding for this program. that's right, all of these young people who have received a chance, the first chance ever to be part of america's future would have the program shut down by a vote last week in the u.s. house of representatives. supporters of this amendment want to deport these young people. they make no bones about it.
they believe that they should leave. their belief is if these dreamers are forced out of the country, deported to some other country we'll be a stronger nation because of that. what are they thinking? to lose people like carlos martinez and tolo olobume these people can make a positive difference for america. it is shameless, absolutely shameless, for those who play lives -- play with the lives of these young people. these are people who need a chance. they don't need to be the victims of some political gambit. and it would be bad for america's future if they leave. we couldn't possibly be stronger if angelica hernandez could work on future renewable sources of energy and ola queso could not be the researcher in cancer she wants to be. the answer is clear. we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform on a
bipartisan basis right here in the senate. we have waited way too long. over 25 years this broken immigration system has not done these people justice nor has it done america justice. in the next two weeks the united states senate will conclude one of its most historic debates on comprehensive immigration reform. it's been over four months that i've been actively involved in this gang of eight, four democrats, four republican senators, we've had over 30 sit-down meetings face to face, many of them went smoothly, the discussion of the dream act did. some not so smoothly. we disagreed. and some of the disagreements were pretty vocal. at the end of the day we realized we had a larger responsibility that went beyond any single difference of opinion we might have. we reached a bipartisan agreement. now the question is can the senate hold that agreement together on the floor of the senate when the amendment process begins, and next week
when we face a vote? the values and principles that underlie this agreement are fundamental and critical. a path to citizenship not only for these young people but for many of their parents. they have to come out of the shadows, up to 11 million of them, identify themselves to a government that they have feared their qloal lives. -- whole lives. they have to register with this government and then submit themselves to a criminal background check. if they're found to have a serious problem in their background, they're gone. they don't have chance to become legal in america. but if they pass that background check, they have to pay a fine, a substantial fine, pay their taxes, and then learn english and be monitored during the course of ten years -- ten years -- in probationary status. during that period they can work legally in america, they won't be deported, and they can travel without fear of being
stopped at the border. then at the end of ten years if they have met all of the standards, all of the striewt any, paid the fines and paid their taxes, they'll have a chance to be part of a three- to five-year path to citizenship. it is a long process. for many of them it will be a great sacrifice but they offered great sacrifices with their lives already. on the other side of this, we have agreed with our republican colleagues to do even more in our power to make sure that our border with mexico is as strong as humanly possible, and to make certain that our immigration system is changed so we don't face this debate every five, ten, or 25 years. i think it's a good bill. there are parts of it that i'm very proud of, some parts of it i just don't like at all, but that's the nature of a compromise. that's how you get something done. i look around this institution, i realize how important this issue is, but i also realize how
important this issue is to the united states senate. if i asked the people of america, what do you think about congress these days, i think i'd know the answer. somebody said our approval ratings just broke double digits again, mr. president. we're up to 10% of the american people who think we might be worth having. that must include a lot of our relatives and close friends, that we made 10%. we better prove something on the floor of the senate over the next two weeks. we better prove that we can work together, democrats and republicans, that we won't break down and fall apart over one issue or the other, that we'll keep our focus on getting this job done. and then we need to turn to our colleagues and friends in the united states house of representatives and tell them they face the same historic responsibility we face. i've heard a lot of speculation about what might happen in the house. let's just focus on the senate for the next two weeks. let's do our part and do our job and let the american people witness this process as it should be. if we're successful at the end
of next week and pass this legislation, then let the american people speak up. to the members of the house of representatives. let them hear from their districts and the people they represent what they feel about the importance of this issue when it comes to immigration reform. i am confident, as i said earlier, that deep in their hearts the american people are good people. they know our roots, they know our story, they know our origin. i stand here today as the son of an immigrant. my mother came to this country at the age of 2. she was a dreamer in her day. her mom brought her to the port of baltimore and put her on a train and they linked up with my grandfather in east st. louis, illinois. upstairs in my office is my mother's naturalization certificate. it's proudly displayed because i want people to know who i am and where i came from. it's my story. it's my family story but it's america's story, that the son of an immigrant could be standing on the floor of the united states senate representing the great state of illinois and speaking to the next generation
of immigrants to america and the difference they can make. this is our opportunity. we know that america will be a stronger and better nation when we do it. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, last week i gave remarks on the floor that pointed out that promises made that the immigration bill before us was a significant move towards
merit-based immigration and away from chain immigration, i dealt with that subject. i'm not any -- i'm not aware that any of my comments have fundamentally been disputed. the fact is that of the 30 million people who will be given legal status as an immigrant on a pathway to citizenship over the next 10 years, that 30 million is three times the current legal flow of a million a year, which would be 10 million a year, it would triple the number of people given -- put on a path to permanent legal residence and citizenship. only 2.5 million of those would be admitted under this new small, actually weak merit-based section of the bill. this is nowhere close to the truly effective and popular merit-based immigration system that canada adopted a decade
maybe more ago and which is being followed and adopted in other developed countries around the world. evidence has also been introduced that -- that nonimmigrant guest workers -- that is, those who come not for immigration, to be a citizen and be permanent, but to come and work for a period and return -- that group of workers will double under the legislation that's before us over current law. so all of this at a time of persistently high unemployment and when virtually also serious academics, economic experts agree that such a huge flow will depress wages of our middle-class workers and increase unemployment. politicians blithely claim otherwise, but professor borhaus at harvard and the federal reserve in atlanta and others, though, have studied this and
they show otherwise with in-depth economic research. so there's a long list of other promises. the reason i raise this is because these were promises. if we're going to improve the working conditions of americans, we're going to shift to a merit-based system. that's not correct. and there are other promises, and i made a speech, and others have, that have clearly demonstrated the triggers in the bill don't work. the triggers are supposed to say, well, you don't get legal status or you don't get green card status until these law enforcement issues are fixed, until the illegality is fixed. and the triggers are ineffective. that's been documented. it's really not disputable, in my opinion. all the secretary of homeland security has to do is to submit a plan that she says will work.
does not require any fencing or any other action specifically and she gets to determine whether or not it's working. if it doesn't meet the standards according to the secretary, then a border commission is established but the border commission has no power. it can only issue a report and it disbands in 30 days. so these promise as that we have a very tough plan that's guaranteed through a series of triggers is not so. and today i'll talk about the daca program and how that's been undermined -- undermined law enforcement. so surely we can agree that congressional legislation is more than a salesmanship, it's more than puffing, it's more than promises. surely it represents a bill and
a bill that must be read. the words of legislation are not a mere vision designed to touch our hearts. it's not something that the sponsors can come in and say, we believe the american people are correct, they want a, b, c and d and we've got a bill that does it. and then nobody reads the bill to determine whether or not it does it. so that's what i -- what i've been trying to do. congress and the good american people do want to solve our immigration problems and problems that our politicians and government leaders have messed up for 30 years. the american people have pleaded with congress to fix this system for 30 years. congress has failed to do so. they continue to promise to do so but do not. now, that's the fact. but legislative language is the real thing. legislation is not a vision. legislation has power, power to
fix our broken system or power to allow the lawlessness to continue. thus, it is legislation, not spin, that we will be voting ona gang is of no value unless it no conservative, to my knowled knowledge. featuring senator rubio urging the passage of the bill. indeed, mr. zuckerburg apparently created a front group that's on the advertisements and it says -- they're called
americans for a conservative direction people i suppose he's saying all this on the ad when he's already said the bill is flawed and he can't vote for it in its current circumstances. the advertisement ought to be pulled, it seems to me. so, worse, virtually everything in the ad, especially in the voiceover -- not senator rubio's voice, but the voiceover is false.
it is just not an accurate description of the legislation, what it does, how it will work. it's just not. if it was, i would be intrigued by this legislation and would be interested in thinking it should, it sets forth sort of a framework most americans would agree would be a basis for immigration reform. so a conservative should be careful no matter how sincere in being part of promoting legislation that we don't fully understand or will not do what it claims to do. a commitment to truth is a conservative value. now, i like all the gang of eight members personally. i've worked with them for a number of years, and i really admire senator rubio. he's just a fantastic new member of the body. and i understand the goals that they articulate and would support most of those goals. so it's no pleasure for me to
raise these uncomfortable points, but at this very minute the billionaire and his supporters are running these ads promoting legislation as doing something i don't believe it does. and i think we should be working on that. and i know we've had a number of our colleagues, one of my -- another one of my good friends this weekend announce -- pronounce a political doctrine of the death spiral of the republican party. and i just got to tell you, we have a lot of people that make political prognostications. but the truth is who knows what political issues would dominate in 2016 or 2020 or 2030.
mr. president, is there a time agreement at this point? the presiding officer: each senator has ten minutes to speak, sir. mr. sessions: i am -- thank you. i didn't realize that. how much time is left on this side? the presiding officer: the senator has 1 minute. mr. sessions: i thank the chair. well, the best politics, in my view, is to do the right thing for the right reasons and to be able to explain what one is doing cogently and honestly to the american people, and then the people will decide. if they don't like your decisions over a period of time, you're out. so be it. is that the way the system is supposed to work? now, it's not wrong to give a decent respect to the opinions of the american people, to ask what they think about issues and how they react to issues. there's nothing wrong with that.
actually we should do that. but it's not right to pull a large and complex issue to find out what the people want and then propose he legislation that you say fulfills their desires when the legislation doesn't fulfill those desires. that isn't the right thing to do to promote good policy in america. as a matter of fact, polls show that the american people want enforcement before amnesty by a four to one margin. the polls also show a clear majority favor, actually favor lower legal flow or the same amount of legal flow into our country from immigration. they do not favor the huge inflow called for in this bill. i thank you for the opportunity to speak and maybe later would be able to talk about some of the difficulties of enforcement
on the current law. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. president. i appreciate the great work that my colleague senator durbin, senator schumer and senator rubio and others have done on the immigration bill. i'm going to be pleased this week to support their work. but i come to the floor today as i have most weeks since being sworn in to talk about the issue that dominated discussions in my state the past six months, and that is the issue of gun violence. we commemorated last week the six-month anniversary of the deadly shooting in sandy hook, connecticut, in which 20 six-and
seven-year olds first graders were gunned down and six of their teachers, as well including the gunman and his mother. a lot of families came down here last week to continue to lobby both the house and the senate. and the look on their faces, a complicated look. it's clearly first and foremost the look of incalculable grief as these families still try to figure out the first summer of their life without their loved one, whether it be a first grader who would have been heading into second grade or a mother or a teacher or a brother or sister. but there is also combination with this grief 24 look of shock, this look of shock that frappingly gets worse ever every time they come down here as they try to understand how this place could stand by and do nothing, absolutely nothing, in the wake
of the horror that newtown, connecticut, has seen. at least we've taken a vote here on the senate floor, and very much like the description that senator durbin gave earlier of his attempt several years ago to pass the dream act, we got 54 votes on the floor of the senate. and under our draconian and backwards rules, that wasn't enough to get the bill done. but the house hasn't even scheduled a debate on gun violence legislation. families in newtown, connecticut, just can't understand that. they can't understand how senators and house members can look them in the eye, can hear the story of their grief, and do nothing. they certainly can't understand it after almost, to the gay of - to the day of the six-month vearks aanother mass shooting
occurred on the other side of the country. and you almost know the story before you hear it. mass shooting, four dead, others wounded. in newtown we didn't even have to pick up the paper to know that it was going to be an assault weapon much it was going to be high-capacity magazines once again. every story is a little bit din, so this one was an assault weapon that was partially handmade. this time it was a lot of ammunition. it may not have been used, but it is just a story that gets repeated over and over and gefer again. lots of people dead. assault weapon used. high-capacity magazines. and so for those people to say we can't do anything about it, well, we can. we can, because we can keep these dangerous military-style weapons in the hands of law enforcement and people who are
hired and trained to shoot these weapons for a living. we can say that eight, 10, 15 rounds is enough. that you don't need 30 rounds in a magazine. you don't need 100 rounds. we can do something about our mental health system to reach out and give some help to people who are struggling. but we don't, and that's what's so hard for the families of newtown to understand. what's additionally hard for them to understand is this number: since those 28 people were killed in newtown on december 14, mr. president, 5,033 people have died at the hands of gun violence across this country. this chart is a couple days old, so you can probably add a handful more. and i hope people here have gotten to understand the stories of people like jack pinto and
dylan hockley, grace mcdonnell. i hope that people here have come to know the stories of the 20 little boys and girls who we will never know their greatness because they were cut down in their youth. but i want to tell you some other stories about the common, everyday, almost routine gun violence that for some reason we have just decided to live with in this country. and so i'm coming down here every week just to tell you another handful of stories about victims. and today, instead of telling detailed stories about specific victims, i just want to tell you about one weekend in new york city. about two weeks ago the weekend of may 31 to june 2 was caned of the first -- was kind of the first truly warm outdoor weekend that we had in the northeast.
and the police in places like new york city and bridgeport, and hartford, they've come to dread that first real hot summer weekend because the summers tend to come with a lot of guns and a lot of gun violence and a lot of shootings in places that maybe not a lot of americans are used to, living in the safety and security of their neighborhoods. but let kneel you what happened on that one -- but let me tell you what happened on that one weekend in that one city of new york, new york. thatted weekend, 25 -- that weekend, 25 people were shot over the course of 48 hours. six people were killed over one single weekend in new york city. it started with ivan martinez, 21 years old, who was approached at about 3:25 a.m. on friday night by a 20-year-old gunman and a woman in the bronx.
the gunman shot martinez wruns in the head, then he ran off with the woman. over the course of the weekend, 12 people were shot in brooklyn, eight people were shot in the bronx, four in queens. it went like this on sunday night. at 12:10 a.m., a 21-year-old manage was shot in the leg. at 2:36, a 21-year-old man was shot three times in brooklyn. at 3:30, a 20-year-old man was shot in the leg in bedford park in the bronx. at 4:12 a.m., a 35-year-old man brought himself to jamaica hospital. at 11:40 a.m., a 15-year-old was shot in the leg in the back. at 11:40 ream, middle of the day on sunday, a 15-year-old shot in the leg in the back. and a gunman opened fire at the corner of lenox.
the carnage in one weekend barely made news across this country. most people wouldn't know it if i didn't come down to the senate floor and tell this story. that is what we have come to accept in this country. this represents a dramatic drop in gun violence in new york city. so far we have had 440 shootings in new york city. that's a 23% reduction from last year. this has been a good year in new york city. 440 people have been shot, and we do nothing about it here. we can't even bring ourselves to say that criminals shouldn't have guns, that gun trafficking done out of the back of vans on the side streets of the bronx and brooklyn and queens should be a crime. we can't even do that. h. we can't even do that on the floor of the snavment that weekend maybe the most shooting was one that didn't end up in a
death. that was the shooting of a little girl named taloni margin. three men opened fire in a wild episode that weekend in brooklyn. people said that it sounded like it was the 4th of july, so many gunshots were going off in this neighborhood. it was likely gang activity. but the consequence of the shooting wasn't a gang member; it was a little 11-year-old girl who was struck through her neck. the bullet lodged in her spine, and though taloni lived, she will never walk again. listen, i grieve every single morning and every single night for the 20 little girls and boys who died in newtown, connecticut. and if that's what prompted us to finally have a serious
discussion on the floor of the house or senate about gun reform, so be it. but this is just an average summer weekend in new york. little girls getting paralyzed. shootings throughout saturday and sunday night. people getting shot in the middle of broad daylight on a sunday afternoon. and we can do something about it. we don't have the power to eliminate gun violence. we can't make bad people stop doing bad things. but we can pass commonsense laws like background checks to check if criminals are getting guns or people with serious dangerous mental illness. we can increase resources of social workers and psychologists to try to reach some of these kids to teach them other ways of dealing with their anger than just going and reaching for a gun. we can lock up anybody who takes a bunch of guns from a gun show, throws them into a sack and goes
and sells them to criminals on the streets of new york or bridgeport or los angeles or chicago. we are not helpless. we have power in this place to do something about the mass shootings in newtown, the mat shootings in -- the mass shootings in santa monica and the 5,033 people who have died across this country since december 14 in the six months since. it's not too late, mr. president. we have a chance to come back to this floor after immigration, perhaps after the summer. let cooler heads prevail and allow this body to do something about the scourge of gun violence that so far this place has had no answer for and causes the families of newtown and the families of these victims to leave this place shaking their heads. i yield the floor.
mr. sessions: earlier i reported on speeches and reports i made with the help of a good staff that i believe clearly show that promises of the gang of eight are not -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. sessions: i thank the chair and would ask consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: so ordered. mr. sessions: i earlier reported on some points and speeches i made about some of the promises from the gang of eight concerning the legislation they have offered and why they are not fulfilled in their bill. for example, the triggers and the merit-based movement they claim is significant in their legislation. i believe both of those are inaccurate. and today i wanted to point out how government officials are refusing to enforce our current law and the unease that causes all of us, and how this bill
does not fix that problem but gives even more power, discretion to the political appointees to waive, moderate, get around the enforcement requirements of this new bill that's been put in place, that requirements of enforcement that our bill sponsors say is important and must happen, but the bill does not require it to happen in many different places. so the story that i'll be telling is effective to explain why despite the pleas from the american people for 30 years that lawlessness continues to rise in the immigration area, why we now have 30 million people here illegally. senator durbin earlier made reference to the dream act that he has worked hard on, and it does present for the most part some of the most sympathetic
claims for some sort of legalization in the country. the reason congress rejected his legislation, because it overreached, not because it didn't have a chance if it had been more narrowly drafted, in my opinion. but it did not pass. in essence, the president did it anyway. the president of the united states just did it anyway. he issued a director to the federal law enforcement officers, you don't enforce this, this and this. do it like we tell, tell you to. that comes from the president to the secretary of homeland security, to john morton and all the supervisors and on down to the officers. officers are up in arms about this. the i.c.e. officers who enforce these laws have voted no confidence in mr. john morton. and i believe today or friday mr. morton announced his resignation after quite a long
time of being the center of this controversy. they said no confidence in him. they said basically he spent his time out promoting amnesty, meeting with special interest groups and not helping them do their job, and basically directing them not to do what the law plainly required them to do, putting them in an untenable position in violation of their oath to follow the law as opposed to following their boss' political directions. and indeed and amazingly, the law enforcement officers filed a lawsuit against secretary napolitano and mr. morton, and they're claiming that they are being forced to violate law. and the judges allowed this case to go forward, and it's being discussed. it's in court right now. i've never heard, as a federal prosecutor for nearly 15 years, i've never heard of such a thing where the officers are suing
their supervisors who won't let them follow plain law. this is the problem we deal with. so, over a year ago, as senator durbin mentioned earlier, the president implemented a backdoor amnesty for about 1.7 million pew estimate illegal immigrants who are here through a program called the deferred action for childhood arrives, daca. so this is a daca program. he issued a director. it covers aliens who entered the country illegally when they were under the age of 16 and not older than 31 as of june 15, 2012. congress dealt with legislation to that effect and rejected it, did not pass it. according to the published department of homeland security
guidelines, each daca applicant is required to submit biographic and biometric information along with other information to prove that they are eligible for the program. and this u.s. citizenship and immigration services, uscis, is to process the applications in just a little over a year, uscis has approved an astonishing 291,859 applicants. on may 20, kevin polankis, president of the national citizenship and immigration council, the union representing the 12,000 uscis adjudication officers who are supposed to adjudicate these matters, issued a press release reporting -- quote -- "a 99.5% approval
rating for all illegal alien applications for legal status filed under the obama administration's new deferred action for childhood arrivals, daca, policies." he reported a 99.5% approval. he attributed the exceptionally high approval rate to policies instituted by the department of homeland security leadership that essentially made it impossible to make any real effort to eliminate fraud or identify dangerous criminal aliens. you think out of 300,000 applicants, some of them aren't criminals and dangerous? they're not 16 now. many of them are 30 years of age. i mean, if you have a city of 300,000, aren't there some people in it that are not lawful in their actions?
he goes on to say this -- quote -- "the department of homeland security and uscis leadership have intentionally established an application process for daca applicants that bypasses traditional in-person investigatory interviews with trained uscis adjudicating officers. these practices were put in place to stop proper screening and enforcement." he's saying the new policies that eliminate the interviews were put in place -- quote -- "to stop proper screening and enforcement" and -- quote -- "guarantee that applications will be rubber stamped for approval, a practice that virtually guarantees widespread fraud and places public safety at risk." close quote. that's a pretty gutsy thing to
say for a person who works in the department of homeland security about their supervisors. i'm sure they gave great thought to that. this press statement goes on to say this -- quote -- "the attitude of uscis management" -- these are the political appointees -- "is not that the agency serves the american public or the laws of the united states or public safety and national security, but instead that the agency serves illegal aliens and the attorneys that represent them." while we believe in treating all people with respect, we are concerned that this agency, tasked with such a vital security mission, is too greatly influenced by special interest groups to the point that it no longer proper performs its mission." close quote. now that is a strong statement,
and it should be something we listen to as we evaluate whether or not we need to give more discretion to the supervisors in the future when we pass a new bill, more discretion than is in current law. mr. polanka sent a letter to congress in june, june 5, a few weeks ago, reiterating his concerns in light of s. 744, this 1,000-page bill that we're being asked to vote on. he wrote this about the bill. he said this bill -- quote -- "would lead to the rubber-stamping of millions of applications for both amnesty and future admissions, putting the public safety and the taxpayer at risk." close quote. he further stated that -- quote -- "in addition to the impossible time constraints imposed on each and every adjudicator to complete our assigned workloads, we are currently lacking the manpower, training and office space to accomplish our mission and
achieve what the job demands. these challenges cry out for reconsideration of s. 744 in its current form." a few days ago a report released by judicial watch revealed that documents attained through the freedom of information act confirm all of mr. polanka's concerns. documents reveal that the administration abandoned official background check procedures. in order to keep up with the hundreds of thousands of amnesty applications and speed them up under the program. for example, according to a september 17, 2012 e-mail from associate regional director gary garmand field offices could expect the benefits center to conduct just -- quote -- "lean and light background checks, with only random samples of modified cases being sent to the field for verification."
it goes on to say, about the inadequacy of the applications submitted for amnesty under the lean and light system, st. paul field director sharon cooly e-mailed staffers in october of last year with the following observation -- quote -- "as you are already aware, the applications will not be as complete and interview-ready as we are used to seeing." this is a temporary situation. i just can't tell you when things will revert back to the way things used to be." close quote. that's the kind of situation we're in today. then on november 9, 2012, last november, the entire agency was directed to halt all background checks. it is unknown how long uscis stopped conducting these, but apparently they did. they may still be.
public safety threats or national security threats require that we do background checks. so in effect, you're in the position of moving people out of the shadows, as they say. we want to move people out of the shadows. we're moving many people without background checks that are criminals, maybe connected to terrorist organizations from the shadows to broad daylight with absolute protection of legal immigration status. we shouldn't transform them from the shadows to legal status without some sort of serious analysis of who they are as the officers tell us and certainly all the 300,000 that so far have been done and probably over two million before long will go through this program, they are
not all clean. all of them don't justify being made citizens of the united states. some of them are criminal. many of them will claim they came before 16 but didn't come before 16. if nobody is checking, nobody is digging into it, then this will become a common thing. you just submit some false documentation, nobody looks at it and you're home free. not a way we should be doing this. it's a count of sliding, slipping away from real enforcement that has helped put us in the fix we're in today. so the gang of eight's bill gives a secretary who was responsible for this policy, undermining this policy the discretion to determine the specifics of the amnesty application process for the entire 11 million people that will be given legal status in the country, including the responsibility or the discretion
to determine the specifics of the information required of the applicant, how many information you want, the form of the application, paper or electronic. electronic ought for a big part of it because you can immediately check with the national crime information center on criminal backgrounds, it would be easier, whether any applicant is actually going to be interviewed or not. it requires the secretary to collect biometric, biographic and other data that the secretary deems appropriate for use in conducting -- quote -- "national security and enforcement clearances." which would be for use in those actions, but it doesn't require the secretary to do any of that, and i just noted, so determined to accelerate these other clearances that we can assume
they won't be following strictly the implications of the law that would be passed. and this is the way and why our law enforcement officers are concerned about the bill. this is what is causing them angst. if the administration does not currently do even minimum interviews under the daca program, they're not going to do it in the future when we have 11 million people being cleared. these clearances should include checks again federal and state law enforcement databases, biometric and biographic including department of homeland security and f.b.i. deabz, the consolidated watch list and look out and biometric immigration databaseses are all out there -- databases, and they are all out there for those who may be in violation of the law, have warrants out for their arrest,
for murder, drug dealing, robbery, on a terrorist want list. that's why we have these systems. i offered an amendment during judiciary markup that would have mandated those checks as well as allowed for electronic applications so that information could be easily checked against the electronic databases. they are all electronic. the appear occasion if done electronically experts will tell us will work a lot simpler, but it wouldn't have required all of this. it would have required and allowed for -- required in-person interviews where national security or public safety concerns arise. not interviewing everybody but we really probably should interview everybody, but this said, my amendment said just for those where national security or
public safety concerns arise. but under this legislation, the secretary doesn't have to interview a single amnesty applicant. but my amendment was rejected. according to the bill's lead sponsor, senator schumer, requiring such safeguards is unacceptable because it would slow things down dramatically. it would be impossible -- i'm quoting now. quote -- "it would be impossible, 18 months, almost two years before this could all be done. we would hope most folks could get it within six months." close quote. so i would say this is the plan, to say again, to say we have an effective background checking system for all those who will apply to be on a guaranteed path to citizenship, we say we have a
system, but to the american people we say that while failing to require any of that any effective way. mr. president, i don't know do we have time limit on this remarks? i see some of my colleagues here. the presiding officer: the senator may proceed for three additional minutes. mr. sessions: i thank the chair. quick turnaround of appear occasions seems to be far more important to the gang of eight than the issue of identifying people who may be a threat to public safety. criminals got warrants out for them, and may have been arrested and served time for felonies. you need to know that. they are not supposed to be given status if they have been convicted of a felony. certainly shouldn't if they have a warrant for their arrest from which they have absconded.
and despite what we learned from the 1986 amnesty, so there the failure to conduct adequate background checks in 1986 and vet for national security threats enabled both criminals and terrorists to be legalized. in a 2009 report by the homeland security institute prepared at the request of the uscis ombudsman in anticipation of immigration reform concluded -- quote -- "the potential volume of new cases generated by immigration reform legislation could overwhelm uscis capabilities and capacities." i think that's true. the report also warned -- quote -- "it is important to recognize that every ineligible, illegal immigrant who comes across the border during a preparation and implementation phases of any new legalization
program intending to apply for legal status entails yet another possible fraudulent appear occasion for a limited number of adjudicators to weed out, close quote. in other words, we will have people come right now. the information flow has picked up dramatically once they heard amnesty is afoot. if you don't have any ability to do the kind of fundamental checking here, everybody will be successful and fraudulent appear occasions will be cleared in large numbers. the bill does not -- applications will be cleared in large numbers. the bill does not require the secretary to review a single amnesty applicant including those who might pose national security threats. even the 2007 immigration reform bill mandated in-person interviews with terrorism concerns being one of the reasons. 1986 amnesty. back in 1986 required
face-to-face interviews. no routine interviews are being conducted on the president's daca program, his amnesty for those who came as teenagers, and there is no reason to expect there will be anything done in this program either, which is 22 times larger. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. sessions: thank the chair and would yield the floor and would ask permission to supplement my statement. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from indiana. mr. coats: mr. president, i come to the floor today to discuss the recent national security leaks by a former n.s.a. contractor. edward snowden. his name is known now throughout the world. some have praised snowden as a hero and a whistle-blower. i do not. anyone who violates their sworn oath to not disclose classified
information and leak national security documents that compromise our intelligence operation and harms our country's ability to prevent future terrorist attacks should not be called a hero nor a whistle-blower. what snowden has done borders on treason and i believe he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. mr. president, it's no secret we have a serious trust deficit here in this country over the actions of the federal government, and i understand, i understand the concerns and the fears of my constituents and the american people relative to some of the things that are happening here that lead them to not put their trust in their elected officials or in their government. there has been a series of scandals over the past several months including but not limited to the i.r.s. targeting of conservative groups, the actions
of attorney general eric holder and the ever-changing responses from this administration regarding attacks on americans in benz. still don't have the full story. this narrative just keeps bouncing around with change after change after change. so i understand this distrust that the american people have about anything that comes out of washington, d.c. a lot of this is being fueled by mischaracterizations and misrepresentations in the media. grabbing onto whatever is said in the guardian. of course, the guardian says and what people hear is this is what's happening to your country, this is what's happening with your government. they are violating your civil rights and violating your privacy, and none of us stand for that nor will we stand for that. but in their rush to be the first to break the news of the n.s.a. or other classified programs, to break it first on air, the media has fueled this
distrust of the american people by misrepresenting the facts. contrary to what some news reports and other sources have said, let me say this for the record. the government is not and cannot indiscriminately listen in on any american's phone calls. it is not targeting the emails of innocent americans. it is not indiscriminately collecting the content of their conversations, and it is not tracking the location of immigrant americans through cell towers with their cell phones. there are civil liberties and privacy protections built into this program that are now being released in great detail, and it's important the american people understand those and know what they are. we have to understand that this careful balancing act between protecting classified methods and sources to the detriment of
losing that and losing lives and identifying sources and really compromising programs and the need to reassure the american people that we are following the law and following the constitutional right of americans to privacy, all of this has to be put in the right context. as a side note, let me just simply say, mr. president, that it's ironic that a lot of american private companies seem to have more information about us than the government does. they may have a phone number, but these private companies -- many of the private companies know what we like to eat, where we shop, what we like to wear, what movies you order, where you shop, where you like to vacation and we're flooded with marketing attempts to -- to address that information that they have collected against us.
but that is not what the n.s.a. is doing under these programs or the programs in question. these programs are in place solely for the purpose of detecting communications between terrorists who are operating outside of our country but communicating with operatives potentially within the united states. the intelligence community does not have the time nor the inclination nor the authority to track your internet activity or pry into our private lives. and even if someone is suspected by the way of a phone call match with a foreign terrorist, and someone residing or living in america and suspected of having a link to terrorism, the government can go no further than the court to get an order to investigate any other information or material about you. and let's not forget why these programs are there in the