tv U.S. Senate CSPAN June 24, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT
come at this amendment is it does too much for the border. even some of my colleagues who are opposed say it does too much, even though they propose similar things themselves. my good friend from texas says we don't need more border agents but had proposed some himself. my good friend from texas also said, well, we really need technology, but there was no technology in his bill. and my dear friend, senator coburn, who i very much like and admire, first says we need money for i.c.e. agents, not border patrol, but i.c.e. is funded to deport about 400,000 people a year. well, most of the 11 million will become citizens and not be deported. we have more than enough i.c.e. agents to deal with the much smaller number who are going to be here illegally, certainly in the beginning, and i think throughout the bill. dr. coburn said we don't have
more money for uscis officers. we do. $3.6 billion more. and finally, dr. coburn talks about the trigger. look, let's face it. for many on the other side, the number one priority is securing the border. for many on our side, the number one priority is achieving a path to citizenship. the amendment proposed -- the bill proposed by the gang of eight we believe did both, but certainly there were many on the other side who thought that the amount we were putting into the border security wasn't enough, wasn't adequate, so we're willing to augment that in the corker-hoeven amendment which i'm going to talk about in a minute. but certainly what we don't want to do is choose one in place of the other, and the problem with the 90% which senator cornyn proposed was that under many
different types of status quos and circumstances, an act of god, an administration that was decidedly against a path to citizenship and counted things differently or held up the count, you could envision no path to citizenship. that was out of the question for us. and so what we tried to do is say you can have both, and we also said we're going to do border security first, but what we made sure in the triggers -- and there are four triggers, five triggers now with the amendment in this proposal, is make sure that the triggers could not be used deliberately by somebody who was opposed to the path to citizenship as a way to block them, whether that be a congress or a president or somebody in the administration. and so we have come up with the right compromise. we have not split the baby in
half, which is what senator cornyn and i gather senator coburn want to do. we have had both. we have satisfied those who are for border security and those who are for a path to citizenship, and only when you satisfy both will you get a bill. you can't do it with one and not the other. so let me go over the border security part here and why it will work. first, to say that the experts were not consulted, as my good friend from oklahoma said, is really not fair, particularly to senators mccain and flake who were probably greater experts on what is needed at the border than any of us. they may not be chairman or ranking member of the committee, although i believe that senator mccain is on that committee, but they live on that border, and to boot, senator mccain has tremendous military experience in terms of surveillance. and what we have done is looked
at each sector. there are nine. they're different. the senator from texas' sector has a river, and it's private property that goes right up to the edge of the river. it would take 30 years to build a fence on that side of the property because you need eminent domain, and i'm sure there were some ranchers who said i want a fence right by the river. that's where the cattle come graze and drink. there are parts of the arizona sector that are heavily populated, where a strong fence is needed. and there are parts that are so rugged and have so many roads -- no roads, that fence would be a waste of money. and what our bill relies on is different approaches in each of the nine sectors, but the best approach. and that didn't just come out of the air. that came with senator mccain sitting down, working with senators hoeven and corker, but also working with the department of homeland security as well as
those who work in the border patrol as to what is needed, and that is in the bill. we heard the objection from others that they don't trust d.h.s., either this one or a new one to implement what is needed, so it is in the amendment. now, why do you need so many men on the border and women on the border? why do you? well, let me explain. our american people demand that we really make the border airtight. that's what some have proposed a 2,200-mile fence double. that's what they wanted. the cost would be in the -- i think it might go to the hundreds of billions, but it also wouldn't work in many areas for the reasons i mentioned. but they want it airtight, so here's what we have. in the air, we have adequate eyes in the sky, whether it be drones or airplanes, so that every person, every single
person, 100% observe -- observability, 100% situational awareness is what it's called, any single person crossing the border will be detected. every single person. whether it's night or day, whether it's sunny or stormy, the technology not available ten years ago allows us to do just that. and then we have proposed a large number of border patrol. it is true, there are enough agents that 24/7 you could station somebody on the border every thousand feet all the way from the western edge of the border in san diego, california, to the eastern edge of the border in brownsville, texas. why? because the minute, the minute one of those eyes in the sky tea technicals someone approaching the border, there will be an adequate person, -- adequate
personnel there to say we'll detain you or turn them back. it's obvious. it's what the experts tell us will work, and it's very explainable to the american people. so yes, there is a lot of resources on the border, and yes, each of us if we wrote the bill might do it in a different way or put in more money or less money, but no one can dispute that the border becomes virtually airtight, virtually airtight. and that means those who cross the border will be few and far between. now, two things else i'd like to mention. it's expensive. and this bill -- and this amendment doesn't come cheap.
but the c.b.o. report was a game changer because it said what everyone understands, but it verified it. it gave it the good housekeeping seal of approval. we all know one of the great economic engines of america -- or we should all know, many of us do -- i know the president, madam president, you know it being an immigrant yourself, that one of the greatest economic engines america has had to propel it and make it the greatest country in the world are immigrants. immigrants are willing to risk everything. they cross stormy oceans, trek across deserts to come to america. what a beautiful, wonderful thing. i'm so proud that out my window, my den in brooklyn, new york, i can see that lady who holds the torch. and to the whole world, she symbolizes what a great country we are.
and people come. anyone who doubts whether america -- the sun is setting on america should just look at how many people risk their lives to come here, how many people separate from families to come here, how many people uproot themselves to come here. if america weren't such a great, attractive place, we wouldn't have the problem of so many illegal immigrants. people want to come here. and when they come here, they work. boy do they work. you know, to be able to send ten bucks a week to your mother or kids in the wahaka province or the philippines or in bosnia, it's a huge thing. it gives you joy. that's why they are sometimes willing to work under the kinds of conditions we don't find acceptable for people who are here illegally. but it's the greatest economic engine there is.
immigrants form companies because so many of the smartest and brightest come here. immigrants make our meat factories and our farms work because even those who may not have such an education are willing to work under this very difficult conditions to earn enough money to feed themselves and maybe send a little home to their families. they are the greatest economic engine we have, the greatest. republicans say the way to get this economy going, cut taxes. democrats say the way to get this economy going, spend money. you can decide, folks, which one you believe in, but no one disputes that a greater economic engine than either of those is the blood, sweat, toil and tears of our immigrant communities, not just starting today but from the day in my city when the new immigrants were called english because the dutch had settled new york and didn't want these newcomers to come in. in fact, the two oldest high schools in america are in new
york city. they're both private schools, but one is called collegiate. it was formed by the dutch reform church in 16-something. 38, i think. i don't know. i ask unanimous consent to get the proper date and put it in the record. and when the english came, they didn't want to go to a school with this dutch reform church, so they formed the trinity school for the episcopal english, the anglican english. and there was all kinds of tension. of course there's always tension, but when these new english people came, they worked hard and the dutch saw that. peter styvesant recognized it. and made new york, actually, the reasons many have written we have become the greatest city in the world, because unlike other cities, we would take everybody, as long as they worked hard. it's one of the reasons my people settled so heavily in new york in america.
it was a tradition that lasted a long time. boston was bigger than new york, philadelphia, but they were closed to outsiders. new york was open. and so the greatest economic engine america faces, america needs, rather, are immigrants and their hard work, whether they are ph.d.'s in nuclear physics or cutting sugar in florida or louisiana. the c.b.o. vindicated that report. amazing. we're busy talking about mr. bernanke and how he could twist the dials and g.d.p. growth might go up .3%. do you know what c.b.o., the impartial c.b.o. showed? if we did our bill, which both brought 11 million workers out of the shadows and brought hundreds of thousands more in in the next decade, millions more in, whether through the future
flow program or family unification, g.d.p. would go up 3.3%. i know of no government program or tax cut that even professes to do that much. and in the second decade, it would go up over 5%. so of course, of course this is good for america. and we want to secure our borders, and we want to rationalize our system and we want to be fair on a tough but earned path to citizenship for those who cross the border illegally. and the bill with the addition of the corker-hoeven amendment can convince everybody that they do it all. and one other point. those who said well, this new corker-hoeven amendment will cost money, well, it will, but let me read you what c.b.o. has
just said in the last half-hour. the amendment, corker-hoeven, would significantly increase border security relative to the committee-approved version of the bill and it would strengthen enforcement actions against those who stay in the country after their authorization has expired. therefore, c.b.o. expects that relative to the committee-approved version, the amendment would reduce both illegal entry into the country and the number of people who stay in the country beyond their -- the end of their authorized period. i say that to my colleague from texas who is on the floor and others who say this won't work. c.b.o., illegal immigration will decline as a result of the corker-hoeven amendment. and here is something else c.b.o. says. all told, c.b.o. and j.c.t., joint tax committee, joint committee on tax, expect that enacting the amendment would, like enacting s. 744, the base bill, reduce the federal deficit over the next ten years and the
second decade following enactment. fewer illegal immigrants, higher g.d.p., more jobs, reduce deficit. who could oppose that? i don't know of anybody, madam president, if they care about america. and so once again, on the border stuff, my colleagues just won't take yes for an answer. this is is the toughest, strongest, most expensive border provision that we have had. it is augmented, of course, by the entry-exit system and the everify which my good friend from alabama has been calling for for a long time. illegal immigration will drop dramatically. g.d.p. will go up, jobs will go up and the deficit will go down.
pass this amendment and pass this bill. it's good for america. i yield the floor. mr. leahy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: madam president, at 5:30 today, the senate is going to vote on the modification to the leahy amendment, which is the package put together by senators hoeven and corker. and the distinguished senior senator from new york, who has led the so-called gang of eight in putting together this bill is on the floor and has just spoken, as has the -- or will, i believe, the
distinguished majority whip, who is on the floor. now, i indicated on friday when i spoke about this, this is not the amendment i would have drafted. i think every one of us if we drafted the bill, each one would draft it differently. but republicans demanded these aggressive border measures to secure their support for the overall legislation, and while it means spending an enormous amount of money because their amendment will increase republican support by spending this money for this historic comprehensive legislation, i will support it. ultimately, the comprehensive legislation is the most important thing. i appreciate that this package includes a provision senator murray and i have worked on that takes an important step towards restoring privacy rights to millions of people who live near the northern border.
over the past decade, the department of homeland security has periodically set up a border patrol vehicle checkpoint nearly 100 miles from the canadian border in vermont. many vermonters have questioned whether this is an effective border security measure, whether it is just a waste of money, and why we are doing this when 100 miles from the friendliest border any country has ever known. my provision will make significant progress in addressing that check point by injecting some oversight into the decisionmaking process for operating checkpoints so far from the border. while i am -- this is an important step in the right direction, i am disappointed the version in the hoeven-corker amendment is limited to the northern border and i'll continue to work on this issue
so all americans can have their privacy rights protected. most of us appreciate our privacy rights and don't like to be stopped for no particular reason. today's vote for cloture of this republican package is a vote for bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. it is a vote in favor of taking the bold steps needed to confront the current situation and give the many millions of people living in the shadows the opportunity to come into the lawful immigration system. and i applaud those senators, both democrats and republicans, who have come together to get us here. now is the time for this whole body to come together in support of fixing a broken immigration system that hurts all of us. it stifles our economy, it keeps our families apart. we've gotten to this point through compromise, but we not have compromised on the core of this legislation that is intended to set so many on the
path to become full and lawful participants in american life. and in that spirit of compromise and cooperation which we fostered through 140 amendments, almost 140 amendments agreed to by bipartisan votes in the senate judiciary committee, i will support this amendment and will urge my colleagues also to support it. a senator: mr. president? madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i mandate want to thank the senator for his leadership on this issue and make a few brief comments in support of the amendment. first of all to hose who have been traveling and are just coming in this is a cloture vote on the amendment only. there will be further cloture votes down the road. this amendment was 115 pages long in leg language, takes about 30 minutes to read, we've
had it out there for 75 hours so people have had plenty of time to look at this. but let me just say especially to my colleagues on this side of the aisle, what this this amendment -- this amendment should be measured against is the base text of this legislation, the border plan, the border security piece would be put in place by the head of homeland security, right now that's janet napolitano. she'd have 180 days to put that in place, and then the trigger ten years down the road is that the homeland security person says that it's 90% in place. what this amendment does is put in a much stronger border security regime, it has five triggers in it before anyone can receive a green card. number one, 20,000 border patrol agents deployed, trained, and in place. secondly, $4.5 billion worth of technology that is necessary for us to get 100% situational
awareness on the border. thirdly, 350 miles of new fencing on top of the 350 that we now have. fourthly, everify system being fully implemented and in place. and fifthly, fully implementing an entry-exit visa program which is one of the reasons there have been so many overstays. so what i would say to my friends on this side of the aisle, you're measuring this -- you're measuring the base text, which says nothing about what we're going to do, to this amendment, which specifically spells out those things that have to occur before anybody can move from temporary status to green card status. some people have talked about the cost. this is a $46 billion investment, much of it is one time, but the fact is that this only goes in place if the bill passes. and as you know, the bill
generates $192 billion to the u.s. treasury over a ten-year period. i've never had an opportunity to vote for a bill that did that. lastly, let me state that governor brewer, who knows more about border security than i think anybody on the senate floor, she's been ben dealing with that in arizona for a long time. today she mentioned she said in front of a national audience that this, in fact, was a victory for arizona if this amendment could be passed. c.b.o. has scored this today, and i want to tell all my members that as opposed to the base text, as opposed to the base text, which, again, just says that a plan will be put in place after 180 days, we don't know what that is, but this will significantly reduce the amount of illegal immigration that we have in this nation. so i would say to folks, i know there are folks that are going to vote against the bill regardless of what it says. i would saws just say please,
look at -- i would just say please, look at this amendment. this amendment is a strengthening amendment. every republican who cares about border security and people on the other side who care about border security should support. i hope everyone will get behind this. i think this puts in place a balance, and i think if this amendment is passed we will be doing something great for our nation. i urge everyone to vote yes. thank you, madam president. mr. cruz: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: mr. president, we're about to vote to end debate, a debate that never really began on an amendment that is 1,200 pages that was filed on friday afternoon after many senators had left town, and we are now voting at 5:30 on monday as many senators are stepping off the airplane. this is the 1,200 page amendment. we have seen this play before. it is reminiscent of obamacare, yet another bill that we were
told we've got to pass it to find out what's in it. and, unfortunately, it seems, there are some republicans eager to go along with the democrats in the mad rush to pass this bill. in the 2007 immigration debate, close to 50 amendments were considered. in this debate, only nine have been debated. i introduced seven substantive amendments to improve this bill. not a single one has been considered on the floor of the senate. a senator: would my colleague yes for a question? mr. cruz: i would happily yield except we have just five minutes left. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent i be given one minute both for the question and the answer. the presiding officer: is there an objection? mr. cruz: assuming the time does not come out of my own, i have no objection. mr. schumer: that is part of my question. does the gentleman deny out of those thousand pages, about a hundred of new, and every
senator over a weekend should be able to read a hundred pages of important legislation? mr. cruz: as my friend from new york knows well, the amendments are interspersed through a very complicated bill, and analyzing where waivers have been given, what the intersection is of new provisions with old provisions is not a simple endeavor and indeed in this particular body, it is not unbeknownst to this body to slide something in text. and my point is very simple: what is the rush? why are we proceeding gangbusters? and the only explanation that makes sense there are many senators it seems in this body perhaps on both sides of the aisle that very much want a fig leaf. they want something that they can claim we are supporting border security when, in fact, this bill does not. i would suggest, madam president, if you contrast this amendment to the amendment i introduced, you can see the difference between a bill that actually would protect
border security versus something that is merely meant to tell gullible constituents that we've done something. the first and most important difference is this amendment provides legalization first and then border security maybe at some time in the future. and, madam president, we have seen this before. in 1986 it was the same promise congress made, and we got the legalization, we got the amnesty and we never, ever, ever got border security. in contrast, the amendment i introduced reflects the will of the american people to have border security first and only then the possibility of legalization. secondly, this amendment does not require operational control of the border. current law requires that. this amendment weakens current law on operational control. my amendment would require that the problem actually be solved. thirdly, this amendment does
not require a biometric entry-exit system. it weakens current law. current law requires it. this amendment takes that out. instead, it requires essentially a photo i.d. i would suggest, madam president, for anyone who perhaps has known a teenager, you would know that the difficult of securing a fake i.d. with a picture on it is not very high. any flea market in the land will allow it. fourth, this bill weakens the requirements of statutes on secure fencing. it weakens current law on border security. fifth, this amendment is not offset. my amendment was offset so it's brand-new spending in this amendment with no offset. and sixth, this amendment has no real enforcement. the amendment i introduced said if the changes within it on border patrol agent were not implemented within three years, 20% of the salary of political
appointees at d.h.s. would be reduced, 20% of the budget reduced and it would be block granted to the state to fix the problem. fundamentally, this is about political cover. it's not about solving the problem. and i would suggest the approach is one we're all familiar with. it is the approach that perhaps in childhood we knew well. it is an approach that says i will gladly secure the border text tuesday for legalization today. now, if we were naive, if we had not been through 1986, if we had not seen congress play this same shell game with the american people, perhaps we would fall for it. but i don't think the american people are that gullible. everyone wants to fix our broken immigration system but at the same time we shouldn't be replicating mistakes of the past. this amendment and the underlying gang of eight bill grants immediate legalization
and the border security changes will never be implemented and the border will not be secured. that's not a solution the american people can be proud of, and i urge this body to reject the amendment, to vote against cloture and reject the underlying bill. i yield the floor. mr. corker: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i understand that there will be numbers of people on my side of the aisle that are going to vote against the immigration bill, in some cases regardless of what it says. but i do want to say that this amendment is not about anything relative to amnesty or anything else and if i could -- if i could read what c.b.o. said about this amendment to all of my members. the amendment would significantly increase border security relative --. the presiding officer: the proponents' time has expired.
mr. corker: could i ask unanimous consent for one minute extension? thank you. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: this came out of c.b.o. today. i want to say this to all the members on my side and i know that from another way the wind is blowing, and i cannot read from a blackberry. so i would just urge everyone to look at the c.b.o. language which says if this amendment is passed, it will strongly increase border security and strongly decrease illegal immigration in this country. i don't know how any republican who says they support border security could vote against this amendment when you're comparing it against the base language, which is in the bill. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: one and a half minutes remains for the opponents.
a senator: madam president? officer the senator from alabama. a senator: the senate's not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mr. sessions: madam president, this is not a vote on the corker-hoeven amendment. it's a vote on a complete substitute of over a thousand pages that includes all aspects
of the bill before us. it includes the amnesty, include the failed entry-exit visa. and if we vote for cloture tonight, we will be transferring complete control of the entire process of this immigration bill to the majority leader, harry reid. you can hear the whistle in the distance right now as the train is arriving to the station. if senator reid and corker and hoeven are able to cut off debate today, the next vote will come in about 30 hours on another substitute vote in 30 hours after that. senator reid has filled the tree. there will be no amendments allowed. mr. leahy: regular order. the presiding officer: the opponent's time has expired. mr. sessions: -- without the approval of the majority leader. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cotour. the clerk: we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the
standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to close debate on the leahy amendment number 1193, as modified, to s. 744, a bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is: is it the sense of the senate that debate on amendment number 1183, offered by the senator from vermont, as modified, to s. 744, a bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes, shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having roted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. cloture having been invoked, the motion to recommit fails. the majority leaderment. mr. reid: [inaudible] with the exception of 15 minutes for senator portman and 20 minutes for senator inhofe and that the time count postcloture. the presiding officer: is there an objection? mr. inhofe: the mic was not on. i would like to have your opinion, please. mr. reid: 20 minutes. mr. inhofe: going first? mr. reid: we'll put you first. rearrange the time. inhofe 20, portman 15, and inhofe goes first. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i would say to my friend -- i'm sure he's ready to
speak -- i may have a little closing business here. i may have to interrupt you. if you would be good enough to allow me to do that, we would take only a minute or two. please go ahead. mr. inhofe: yeah, mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: first of all, i appreciate the majority leader making this arrangement. i was wanting to get a little more time than that. however, let me just mention two bills that i plan to -- one to reintroduce and another to introduce. i think they are tombly tonight because of something that's going to happen tomorrow. first of all, mr. president, tomorrow i'm going to reintroduce a bill to make -- making it clear that states are sole regulators of hydraulic fracturing process and there is a reason for bringing this up in the next bill up tonight. i'm pleased to be joined by senators vitter, portman, roberts, enzi, sessions, coburn, crapo, rirks scott, johnson and
lee. since 200, mr. president, the come to spik -- since 2008, mr. president, the domestic oil production that is increased by 40%. 40%, mr. president. this has never happened before. that's just in the last -- in the last -- since 2008, in the last four years. the interesting thing about this is that because of the new applications for such processes as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, we have been able to do this. but the most interesting thing about it is that with a 40% increase, that's 100% of that has been in the state or in private land. now, that's something that is critical because we keep hearing from this administration that they somehow want to take credit for the fact that we've had an increase in that period of time. when the fact is that that has all been done in private land or
in state land. not any of it has been done in federal land. in fact, the -- there is a congressional research service came out and i'm going to quote from them right now. this is earlier this year. they said "all of the increase in u.s. oil production from fiscal year 2007 to 2012 took place on nonfederal lands and the federal share of the total u.s. crude oil production fell by 7%." that means, mr. president, that while we increase 40% that which was on federal land addressed by 7%. -- decreased by 7%. it goes to show that the real consequences of the administration's war on fossil fuels. the president has made it difficult to obtain drilling permits. many producers have stopped working on federal land altogether. for those that remain, the process is dysfunctional and
unfriendly. for instance, it takes an average of 207 days to get a drilling permit on federal lands. by contrast to that, in my state of oklahoma, it only takes ten hours. and 83% of the federal lands are off-limits sms i think that we need to understand this. all the benefits that could be out there are in spite of this administration and the policies of this administration. we shouldn't be fooled. the president may claim he likes natural gas but he's taking every step he can to impose more pw-rdsome regulations on industries so he can shut it down in favor of his beloved renewables. this war against hydraulic fracturing is part of this effort. i can remember when we had something that took place here a few months ago. it was called date night. it's because a lot of democrats when it was on national tv, a joint session of the legislature didn't like the idea when
something came up that was not popular with the people at home that happened to be popular with the democrats, so they had date night so that individuals would be scattered out and you wouldn't have all the kwepbz on one side -- republicans on one side and the democrats on one side. i thought it was kind of interesting. i won't mention her name but one of my good friends who happens to be a liberal democrat, when the president made the statement, he said there is an abundance of good, clean natural gas that we can have for the future, and i nudged her and i said are you listening to this? she said back to me, just, wait a minute, you're going to hear something else. and he came out and this is what he said. he said right after that. he said -- quote -- "we will be requiring all companies that drill for gas in public lands to disclose the companies they use because americans will not put the health and safety of our citizens at risk." in other words we're mott going to be doing high tkral lick african-american -- hydraulic
fracturing. you can't have national gas production without it. the response from the department of interior proposed new regulations that would apply any hydraulic fracturing that occurs on federal lands. these new regulations cover everything from chemical disclosure to water use and cement bonding requirements. they add a massive new layer of regulatory compliance to any operator looking to develop reserves on federal land at a cost as much as $250,000. it costs that much more -- with no environmental benefits. let me -- you might ask why no environmental benefits? it's because lisa jackson, who is the, barack obama's director of the e.p.a., stated on the record -- and this is a quote -- no case have we made a definitive determination that fracking process caused chemicals to enter groundwater."
in other words, in the last 60 years, i can attest to the last 60 years because the first hydraulic fracturing took place in duncan, oklahoma, and that was in 1949. since then over a million wells have been fracked without any groundwater contamination. so why would the president want to take the authority away from the states if they have such an excellent track record? it's because of his war on fossil fuels. i think to combat this, i'm introducing the fracking regulations are effective in state hands -- mr. reid: mr. president, through you could i ask my friend to yield? mr. inhofe: i would yield to the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate pros to s. s. res. 184. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: recognizing women and girls on world refugee day. mr. reid: i ask the resolution
be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. there be no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent we now proceed to s. res. 185. the clerk: the clerk will report. the clerk: to authorize representation by the senate legal counsel in the case of r. wayne paterson, v. united states senate et.al. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes business today it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, june 25. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be reserved for date. following leader remarks the senate be in morning business for an hour with senators
permitted to speak up to ten minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the majority controlling the first half and the republicans the final half. the filing deadline for first-degree amendments, the committee reported substitute be at noon tomorrow. further the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 tomorrow for the weekly caucus meetings, that all time during the adjournment, recess, morning business and executive session count postcloture on the leahy amendment number 1183 as modified. mr. president, if there is no further business, ask the senate recess following the remarks of senator portman. do you have more time? mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that my remarks appear in the record as if not interrupted and my 20 minutes begin over. mr. reid: following the remarks of senator portman and senator inhofe for up to 20 minutes each.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: mr. president, the bill that i'm talking about simply makes it clear that states are the sole regulators of hydraulic fracturing as they have been for the last 60 years. it includes federal lands located with borders -- with the borders of a state. so my bill would render the president's new regulations moot and ineffective and keep states in the driver's seat effectively regulating the process. and i urge my colleagues to support this. this is something that would be a major effort. if you stop and think about the people talking about the bad economy and all that, go to the oil states and see what has happened. we can be enjoying this prosperity all throughout the country. we used to think of the oil and gas production as being primarily in the western part of the united states. however, that's not the case anymore. with the marcellus chain we're
talking about pennsylvania, new york and other states that could have great benefits by opening this up. to do this, we would like to continue the state regulation of hydraulic fracturing as it has been in the past. and, mr. president, i have another bill that i'm going to be introducing. i think it's important. it closely relates to this and the speech that the president is going to make tomorrow. first of all, the 10th amendment to the constitution says the powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. that's something that we all know. we learned this many years ago when we were in school. today the framers would be shocked to know that government's annual budget is near $4 trillion a year with consistent $1 trillion deficits under the obama administration. they would also be astonished to know that the federal government
is involving itself in nearly every facet of american lives. the -- ranging from the absurd like protecting the small burrowing beetle in eastern oklahoma, companies provide contraceptives despite objections of conscience. bill bright, deceased now, had a book that he had on kind of a daily message that he sends out. the one that was today, today happens to be 175, the 24th of june, it's by malcom mugarich. he talked about -- keeping in mind this is 40 years ago. he talked about putting the frogs in cold water and then slowly heating it up and of course they end up dying in the
water. however, if you put them in and it happened all at once it wouldn't be noticeable. i think that is what he was talking about. he said this isn't happening today but it could happen. i wonder if he were around today what he would say. this isn't the way it is supposed to be. the 10th amendment is supposed to be robust. james madison in "federalist papers" 139 wrote in this relation then the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only and leaves the several states to a residuary and involuable over all objects. he continues to say the powers delegated by the proposed constitution to the federal government are few and defined. those which are to remain in the state government are numerous
and indefinite. the former will be exercised principally on external objects as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. the powers reserved to the similar states will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the state. you know, we talk about the constitution a hrolt and yet people seem to forget important parts of the constitution. it should come as no surprise as states were added to the union the federal government sold off vast quantities of its land. if the federal government were to be limited, why would they need to own a lot of land? in fact, you can see in this chart the federal revenues from the land sales were a significant component in the total revenues until just before
the civil war -plt then it dropped off. today the federal government owns over 600 million acres of land, and this chart shows just how much of the country it actually is. and it's astonishing. if you look at this chart, it shows most of it being in the western part of the united states, but it's all over the country. this land is endowed with substantial natural resources. as you can see on this chart, a substantial amount of oil and gas is located in the tight shale formations located on these federal lands. these are federal lands. it shows a great potential out there. as recently proven to be highly productive because of the advances in the technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. as a result of these discoveries, oil and natural gas production boomed across the country. in the last five years the oil production has increased by 7 billion barrels a day, 40% higher. as i said in presenting the bill
right before this one, all of that was done in the private sector and the state and while that increased by 40%, the federal lands had decreased by 7%. as the congressional research service confirmed in the last report, it said all the increase in u.s. production from 2007 to 2012 took place on nonfederal lands. president obama is the reason this land is locked up. he has made it impossible for new oil and gas production to occur on federal lands. in addition to working to shut down development in areas like western oklahoma by proposing to list the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species, he's made the process of drilling on federal lands so difficult it takes 300 days to get a drilling
permit from the federal government while it only takes ten hours to get one from oklahoma. 83% of the land is off limits to oil and gas production. today we're within striking distance of achieving energy independence due to this. we must be able to get to the resources that are on federal lands because they are enormous. for instance, anwr in alaska holds 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent. the rocky mountain west holds 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent. if we expanded oil and gas production to its full potential in all federal areas, the impact would be astounding. the institute for energy research issued a report based on the most recent government data about these off-limits lands and showed that if we enacted policies that allowed aggressive development of these federal lands, the process would generate 14.1 trillion dollars in economic activity and create
2.5 million jobs and reduce the deficit by $2.7 trillion. if we had -- had we stuck to the principles our founders or particular lated in the "federalist papers" and ratified the 10th amendment we wouldn't be having this conversation because the states would already be in control. what we're trying to do is make sure that doesn't -- the states can go back in control and do something that has been successful. what we need to do is get back to the basics, which i am introducing in the federal land freedom act today. and i want to thank senators vitter and all the other senators who are is cosponsors of the previous bills are also cosponsors of this bill. this bill would reestablish the principles of federalism when it comes to the energy policy of our federal lands. the bill gives states the rights to develop all forms of energy
resources, including renewables located on federal lands, located within their boundaries, their borders. to get the authority, all a state would need to do is figure out how it would release permit and regulate energy activities on its federal lands. upon a state's declaration to the federal government that this program has been created, the energy development rights would automatically trance tofer the state. the federal government would retain ownership of the land and its resources, and the royalty share would remain unchanged. split 50-50 between the state and the federal government as enumerated in the minerals leasing act. the energy information administration on friday said that the united states could become a net oil exporter by 2040 and this bill could make it happen much faster than that. there is a guy named harold hamm, c.o. -- c.e.o., one of
the most successful independent fraitors in the company, i called him up because people keep saying in the administration if you were able to do this and to drill an public lands, it would take ten years before this would reach the economy. he's talking about the high price of heating your home or cooling your home or the price of gasoline. so i said i'm going to go on a national show and they're going to ask me the show about ten years because i know that's not true. i'd like to quote you as an authority and so be honest with your answer because i'm going to use your name on national tv. if you had everything set up and you were going to go ahead and start drilling now, how long would it take that -- the first oil, the barrel of oil out of the ground to reach the market? and without hesitating he said 70 days. and then he went to and explained each step, the process from drilling to the hydraulic fracturing to the transportation and all of this and he said it would take 70
days. now, that was -- that was just a few months ago, and no one has challenged that since then. energy independence today. this is a reality we could be living in and it would dramatically improve our economy. unemployment continues to hover around 8% nationwide but in states like oklahoma and north dakota we're at full employment. why? because of energy development. with greater energy of federal energy resources we could see dramatic improvement in our economy and there's no reason not to do it. the states have clearly demonstrated they're capable of handling oil and gas development and processes and regulations. they've been doing it for a hundred years on state and private lands. why shouldn't they do it on federal lands as well? the 109 amendment trusts the states and the senate should do the same thing. i bring this up now because tomorrow there is going to be a speech, it's going to be -- president obama is going to give a speech on i would say global
warming but they don't call it that since the global isn't warming they now call it it's a climate speech. and the unilateral first steps to regulating greenhouse gases under the clean air act. we're talking about power plants and new and existing plants. energy of appliances, talking about that, renewable energy production on federal lands. but he will not be talking about the cost of these regulations. we all remember what he's already done, utility mact went in and limits on mercury, coal and oil fired power plants, $100 billion cost, 1.6 million jobs lost. boiler mact, and, maximum malachievable control technology. what this administration has been trying to do is mandate a mission -- emissions below the technology to get there. boiler mact set strict limits on emissions of hazardous air pollutants from industrial and
commercial boilers costing $63.3 billion and 800,000 jobs. the same thing is going on now with what he is not talking about but what he's planning on doing. ozone for example the next ozone he's going to be promoting from the information we have now would put 2,800 counties out of attainment including every county in my state of oklahoma. it could result in a million -- seven million jobs and hundreds of billions in costs, shut down oil and gas production in western oklahoma. greenhouse gas for refineries, first evergreenhouse gas limits on refineries, the second largest emitter of power plants. what we're talking about here if ears east going to be able to continue in his effort, on his war on fossil fuels, he's going to attempt to do it through the regulations. let's keep in mind that he tried
and they have been trying, i should say, since 12 years ago, that was the coyote treat -- coty -- kyoto treaty, all the way up to the most recent bill, the bill defeated last year, the waxman-markey bill and that would have regulated emitters of those who emit 25,000 tons or more. now, that was bad. that would have cost about $400 billion a year. however, if he is successful, he being the president, in doing this through regulations what he couldn't do through legislation, it would not be under the clean air act and wouldn't be regulating those who emit 25,000 tons or more, it would be 250 tons every more. every tool school, every hospital, every apartment building. i would like to have people aware of that as the president makes his speech tomorrow. i know he has an obligation, i know that prior to the last election he would not come out
with these regulations because that would be damaging to his reelection efforts. now he has that commitment to the far left community who would like to shut down the united states and the energy that keeps it running. so let's be attentive to what he says tomorrow and i'll be anxious to respond to his speech at that time. in the meantime, we do know for a fact that we have the ability to be totally independent from any other country, anywhere else in providing our own energy to run this machine called america. and i thank the president. and i yield the floor to my friend from ohio. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to talk about the immigration bill that's before the senate this week. we just had a vote on the
corker-hoeven amendment and i want to talk about why it's so important to fix our broken immigration system but also about a critical issue that i believe has to be addressed in order for the proposed ro reforms -- proposed reforms to work. i want to begin by annualing the hard work of a number of my colleagues including four republicans and four democrats who came together and spent months negotiating the bill year now considering. they showed a lot of courage in addressing a tough issue. it's a tough clue shyu politically, it's a difficult issue in terms of the policies. i also want to recognize senators hoeven and corker who offered that amendment today and many of the changes they have in that amendment i think are a step in the right direction because they provide more enforcement for immigration laws and i think we have to guarantee that there is a meaningful enforcement that's coupled with any legal status for people who are now living in the shadows. i think that enforcement must
include strong border protections, that was talked a lot about on the floor today. it has to include enforcement of the visa system so an entry-exit system for visa that is effective and finally has to include workplace enforcement. in my view, the enforcement policies in the underlying bill and in the amendment we just voted on are still insufficient to ensure that we ultimately can solve our illegal immigration crisis. much of the debate in the past week has been about border security. and the most significant provisions in today's amendment are focused on the border. so much so that it was described today as being a border surge, deploying an additional 20,000 border patrol agents, completing 700 miles of fencing making it harder for people to cross the southern border illegally and it's important that we have a secure border. but in reality no matter how many miles of fence we build and no matter how many agents we
station on the border i truly believe people will come to this country illegally intongs they believe -- as long as they believe that america offers a better life and a better job. as we see on some sections of the border where fences have been constructed determined people find ways to go under, to go over, and to go around it. some go around those parts of the border altogether to enter our country through our coastline or other less secure parts of the border. we also have to acknowledge that even if we were to prevent every single unauthorized entry at the border, such enforcement would not solve the problem of illegal immigration. why? because we're told that 40% of those here illegally are visa overstays. in other words, they came legally, they didn't come illegally across the border, they came legally and they've overstayed. never tunneled a border fence or evaded a border patrol. instead they came here legally andfully simply overstayed their visas. having a secure border is important for immigration system as i've said.
it's also important because of the illegal drug traffic, because of the concern about terrorists coming over our border. so i do support having a more secure border, but i don't think it's sufficient. today i want to talk about an issue that should receive more attention. it's received a lot less than border security over the past few weeks as we've talked about this legislation. but i think it's even more important to the ultimate success of exphif immigration reform. -- comprehensive immigration reform and it's about turning off the jobs magnet. the jobs magnet for those who come here illegally for a better way of life and a better job. about effective enforcement at the workplace that is essential to bringing people out of the shadows and preventing future flows of illegal immigration. and the only way to do that at the workplace is through effective employment verification, a topic that's received legal attention during our debates that thursday far and an area that the current bill and the amendment we voted on tonight fall short. policy efforts to eliminate this
jobs mag natalee net has been a part of the discussion about immigration for decades yet it's failed to stem the tide of unauthorized workers. i'm pleased the bill would use an electric treng tropg system called everify but the bill does little to address the inadequacies of the everify system itself including the widespread use of false documents. and effective employment verification system must first verify authorization to work by connecting a work's name and biographical information to legal status and second that he is or he or she says he or she is. connecting an individual to a specific name and identity record. the goal of everify should be to provide for a simple, reliable way for employers to confirm a new employee's work eligibility and identify that person to prevent illegal immigrants from getting jobs in this country. until we do that and deal with
the magnet swot i don't think we'll get the kind of enforcement we need. the current voluntary everify pilot program out there now that is mandatory in the underlying legislation but in the pilot program, there is a way to reliably verify authorization to work. ii think that actually is fairly effective. where it has not been successful is authenticating identity because it lacks a system of verification. the best study of the pilot shows 54%, 54 of unauthorized workers are getting through the system. in other words, more than half of those who are here illegally process through the everify system are erroneously found to be eligible for work. the reason is straightforward. many unauthorized workers commit identity fraud that cannot be detected by everify. so my primary focus over the
past few weeks has been on working constructively to develop a bipartisan everify amendment to strengthen the verification provisions in s. 744 to curtail the widespread employment that fuels most illegal immigration. along with my colleague from montana, senator tester, i've introduced an amendment today that strengthens everify in five key respects. first, by enhancing protections against social security number fraud and identity theft. a critical challenge in implementing mandatory everify throughout the country is going to be combating the fraudulent use of other people's identities and seeking employment authorization. s. 744 seeks to address this challenge by allowing individuals to lock in their social security numbers for purposes of everify. and requiring audits of suspicious everify activities. the amendment also requires the social security administration to include in all of our annual statements we get from social security about all everify
queries that have been placed during that year. and for us to have a toll-free telephone number to call folks if there is a misuse of that number. this will allow us to be on guard against unauthorized workers fraudulently using our personal authorization to seek work. our amendment requires the department of homeland security to notify individuals when they identify suspected social security number fraud. in the everify system. the amendment also allows the department of homeland security to build on successful pilot programs in florida and mississippi to allow everify to validate driver's licenses and state-issued i.d. cards with information provided by the state motor vehicle administrations. this step is critical to stopping the pervasive use of fake drivers' licenses in the everify process but in doing so we must protect personal privacy so the portman-tester amendment prohibits from d.h.s. from maintaining this in a data base or transmitting it except for the purposes of everify.
our amendment requires regular referrals from the u.s. citizenship immigration services, uscis to immigration and customs enforcement, i.c.e. identifying fake documents presented during the everify process for investigation and appropriate enforcement action. and it provides for d.h.s. outreach and training to assist employers in preventing identity fraud and strengthening hiring practices. only with all these tools and efforts can we expect to curtail the widespread use of identity fraud and help prevent unauthorized employment. the second focus of our amendment is to strengthen the identity you authentication asps to ensure the system includes robust data privacy protections. to improve the accuracy of everify, the underlying bill expands the use of a photo matching process called photo tool which allows 5, with a everify immessage.
currently matching is limited to documents for which there is a verified photo in the system. unfortunately, for more than 60% of it, 60% of americans there is no such data because we don't have a passport or an immigration document. the bill therefore relies on states to give the department of homeland security access to drivers' license photos but ways st base and our experience with the real i.d. act of 2005 very few states are likely to comply. there is no assurance most states will participate in this kind of program. so while the underlying bill provides some funding and grants to ease state compliance, we believe the amount they provide may understate the cost to most states. so to help make photo tool work, our amendment doubles the available grant moneys for states that share department of motor vehicle information information and photos and are reimbursed for whatever their participation costs are, providing an incentive for
states to participate. it also claire 2350euz -- clarifies photo tool bhub implemented in time for the rollout of the mandatory everify throughout the country. it brings photo match into the system to provide better enforcement at a time when some workers will be provided a legal status. senator tester and i want to be sure that the bill's photo tool provisions do not lead to the establishment of a federal database containing additional personal information and photographs of individual americans. in fact, this will be another thing that's important to states because many states will participate if assured the data they share will not be misused. our amendment provides robust data privacy protections. one, clarifying that photo tool will be implemented so the everify opinioning --, pings with the individual queries rather than storing such state-provided information. only when there is an individual
request do they ping the d.m.v. and the d.m.v. provides the photo. two, provides the d.m.v. images may not be collected or stored or used for any other purpose other than everify and not dissem nailted in any way beyond a response to an crid vid photo tool ferry. three, provides for periodic audits to ensure the information is not being collected, or stored or. to make everify work we have to make sure employers can you a tent indicate the identity of the new hires accurately and easily. but through methods like photo match we have to safeguard privacy. we've done that in this amendment. we also enhance additional security measures for identity verification. for new employees whose identity
cannot be done by using the tool we just talked about, there are additional measures. but there's no specified time frame and little guidance in the way of standards for additional security measures. our amendment clarifies that the additional security measures must be integrated into the everify system for workers who present a document without a corresponding photo tool image. that the timing of their implementation is tied to the roll-out of mandatory everify and that failure to verify an identity with the additional security measures results in what's called a further action notice the everify process. allowing employees to appeal through the established appeals process where they have to prove that they're authorized to work. our amendment also specifies standards for design and operation of the additional security measures that are provided to include state-of-the-art technology, structure to provide prompt determinations and minimize employer and employee burdens. these specifications are designed to safeguard employee
privacy and maximize the accuracy and efficiency of identity determinations. and the amendment permits employers to choose with advanced notice to d.h.s. to use the additional authentication measures on all new hires rather than only in cases where no digital image is available for a photo tool match. for a number of employers, that's important. a fourth section of our amendment clarifies protections for employers who seek to comply with the err verify procedures in good -- everify procedures in good faith. the underlying bill identifies nationwide rollout for everify, and penalties for employers who do not comply with the mandatory employment verification process. the bill seeks tone sure that employers will not participate in practices. employers will, therefore, face the often challenging task of ensuring compliance with these new employment verification obligations while simultaneously avoiding an expanded set of unfair immigration-related employment practices. our amendment simply provides
that there's a safe harbor, a safe harbor protection to employers who comply in good faith with the requirements of the mandatory employment verification system. our amendment provides that the government must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the employer has knowing hired an unauthorized worker and employers that take reasonable steps in good faith to avoid unfair immigration related employment practices are not subject for liability. again, very important for employers to have this be a simple system and one where if they follow the rules they have a safe harbor. finally, our amendment expedites the everify mandatory rollout to american employers. while pregerveg the full five-year -- preserving the full five-year time line for the smallest businesses to make sure we begin rigorous enforcement efforts at the same time that millions of current illegal immigrants begin to shift to a legal status. our amendment ensures that most american jobs are covered by everify as soon as it is feasible, applying to large employers as early as two years
after enactment, which is speeding up and expediting the coverage of everify. and it includes a new strengthened trying to her ensure timely and full implementation of mandatory everify to all employees, including integrated photo tool and additional security measures prior to any adjustment to green card status. so it also has a stronger, more comprehensive trigger. in each of these ways, this amendment presents an opportunity for this senate to put forth good policy that will make a real difference if implemented. amendment's provisions were drafted with input from both republicans and democrats. they are the product of a lot of negotiations regarding business groups, labor interests, labor developed and consultation with the administration and the officials who will actually be tasked with developing and implementing this new system of mandatory employment verification. i'm pleased that senator tester has joined necessity this effort and i know that the provisions in our amendment -- me in this effort and i know that the
provisions enjoy bipartisan support in this chamber and across the nation. there's a recent poll, for instance, that shows that 82% of likely voters think businesses should be required to use everify to determine if a new employee is legal or not. so, mr. president, the question before this body is a simple one. will our comprehensive immigration reforms include serious, meaningful and effective e vai everify provisis that along with border security will stem the tide of illegal immigration or will we fail to eliminate the jobs magnet t. makes it harder to bring people out of the shadows and continue to provide a strong incentive for people to come here illegally? today i'm simply asking for debate and a vote on this critical amendment. my request does not have a political motivation. it's not about whether i support the legislation or not, although i won't be able to support it without it. it's about making this reform work. if this amendment is not adopted, i don't believe the reforms are going to work and, thus, i wouldn't be in a
position to support final passage. i was there during the immigration commission that came up with the proposal as that led to the 1986 law which was the last comprehensive effort that congress made to overhaul our immigration system. i was a young staffer on what was called the select commission on immigration and refugee policy. i spent two years there working on these issues and have followed them since and been involved in immigration policy both in the congress and in the administrations since then. but back in 1986, i saw the work that went into crafting that legislation and the hope gave everyone that we were actually going to solve the problem of illegal immigration. and then i saw those hopes dashed as the reforms failed to work. they failed to address illegal immigration in part because they did not effectively implement the workplace enforcement provisions. now, despite, by the way, strong recommendations from the commission on which i served, congress simply and the administrations subsequently did not implement the kinds of
employer sanctions at the time and the kind of enforcement at the workplace that was necessary. therefore, they left intact that jobs magnet that has driven so many to come here illegally in the past few decades since. i do not want to see a repeat of that failure and that's why i can't support the legislation without these changes. we have before us an historic opportunity. we've got a real chance to fix this broken system and help curtail illegal immigration. it goes without saying that in the world of partisan politics, such opportunities are pretty rare. time and again we've seen reform efforts held hostage by politics. and during the last few weeks, we've been reminded once again how difficult to the achieve consensus on issues relating to immigration reform. but the system's broken. the legal system and the illegal system. so we ought to take this opportunity to fix it. but we've got to really fix it. it's our responsibility to ensure that the reform legislation passed by this senate includes policies that will actually work. we're not operating in a vacuum.
not only are the people of this country watching us, but the house of representatives is watching, too. to ensure that effective workplace enforcement provisions actually become law, everify must be prominent in our efforts and central to our debate. we must make certain the house understands that a more effective everify is perhaps the most crucial element of successful reform. and that real workplace enforcement remains a priority during their deliberations as well as any eventual conference between the house and senate to work out a final package. a separate debate and a vote on this amendment is essential to sending that strong message to the house. they need to know one way or another whether there's strong bipartisan support for everify. i believe there will be. and i believe, therefore, that maximizes the chance of it being in the final product. and politically, if supporters want this legislation to have a chance of passing the house and becoming law, we've got to make certain that it's focused on preventing new illegal
immigration as much as it is on adjusting the status of those currently living in the shadows. i don't see how we can make that claim if everify is not strengthened. if it's included only in passi passing, if turning off the jobs magnet is treated as an afterthought. that's the sort of thinking you do in the 1986 reform and it's the sort of approach that may doom this reform before it's ever had a chance to be enacted. mr. president, i'm certain thafer one engaged in this debate has the best -- every that one engaged in this debate has the best intens intentions t we've got to not repeat the mistakes of 1986. that's why we've got to have a vote on this amendment, the portman-tester amendment is critical to the passage of this bill. i like to reform a broken immigration system, an amendment and bill that gets the best and brightest to come to our united states is what it's all about. that's why we're the beacon and hope and opportunity for the
rest of the world. but i've given assurances to my constituents, the same assurances i know many in this chamber have made, and that's that i can't vote for this legislation unless i'm convinced it will work. i can't support reform that does not adequately address the problem of illegal immigration at the border but also at the workplace. without a stronger everify system, i'm convinced this legislation will ultimately fail. i know many of my colleagues feel the same way. that's why i believe that this amendment -- if this amendment were brought up for a vote, it would not only pass but it would pass with a strong bipartisan vote. i'm simply asking for that vote. let's make strong and effective err verify part of immigration reform. let's accomplish something we can be proud of, something that fixes the problem that this country has struggled with for decades. something we can show how washington is supposed to work, that republicans and democrats can work together with mutual respect and nay a bipartisan fashion that achieve meaningful results. that's what this amendment is
have not been watching so the entrepreneurs -- -- meeting with the leader of the free world. so we -- we laid out a road map, and number one was making sure we win the global battle, which is around immigration reform. so the last few months the process has been working pretty well. the president set out some principles. the gang of eight work together in a bipartisan way to come up with a legislative measure, and then on the senate floor importance changes were made like border security so hopefully this week it will be passed by the senate by a strong bipartisan motion.
at least 70 votes. a third of the republicans are supporting it, which would send an important signal to the house and get this signed by the president. ultimately the nation is going to depend on talent and the immigrant entrepreneur. so winning this battle was important. ' but not just about immigration and recognize the comprehensive reform and path to citizenship, border secure, -- bored -- border security. i don't think there's a better opportunity in the past decade or a better opportunity in the next decade to make sure everybody hears our voices around the nation. and come together in a bipartisan way to pass immigration reform, hopefully this week in the senate, and with the next month or two, in the house.
>> i've been working on this for over a year, but met with a couple dozen republicans and democrats. i'm not going to talk about specifically what we have been talking about. these things are more effective done more quietly. but i'm encouraged there's a spirit of bipartisanship, and that's a recognition it's a vote for the country and continue to build our economy. too many people view immigration as a problem that we need to solve. i think many of us see it as an opportunity to seize, and while there is a political prism and a moral prism and a security prism, there's also an economic prism, and being the most innovative nation with the best talent is critically important.
>> i'm chairman and ceo of ethan allen. we had the opportunity to discussion our perspective on immigration reform and also -- immigrants and entrepreneurs. my perspective is this broken immigration system creates an opportunity. crisis creates an opportunity to inject new entrepreneurs into the system. it's got to be done sensibly, many, many issues, but we cannot afford not to fix it. and the opportunity is this, that diversity represents the diversity of the world. and that is -- i believe that is tremendously important that we bring in new blood, and also we share our experiences and stories and i came as
21-year-old and went to university of night, worked during the days, and had an opportunity to get on with ethan allen, and after 25 years, i'm the ceo of this great company. we have over 5,000 workers in the united states and many, many in different parts of the world, and that is the story of america. immigrants and entrepreneurs, and we want america to differentiate from the rest of the world by bringing in more entrepreneurs, and certainly it's a situation, about 11 million people who are here but we don't see them. >> also introduce tom, who -- from upstate new york, built his company into a leading brand and has 3,000 american workers. two weeks ago he was named the ernst and young global entrepreneur of the year.
all the entrepreneurs around, there's 50 countries that participate and we have a process of naming their entrepreneur, and two weeks ago in europe he was named the world entrepreneur of the year. >> i was invited to tell my story to everyone because actually happened in upstate new york in a very tiny little town, from closed plant, in 2005, started with an sba loan, actually a loan for small businesses, and without that sba loan we could not have built the factory and start our business. and we start with people from the community, and from that little factory we built two largest overseas factories in the world, and one in idaho, which is a major state, and
built in one year, and we employ 2,000 people. some people say it's the fastest growing startup. so i put my dream to work here in this country. came from turkey as a student, and the knowledge i had from back home, working on a dairy farm, making cheese and yogurt, never thought i would put my knowledge into here. this is a country, the american dream, is possible, and everybody has a dream, and i share my story with the president, and i'm sharing with everyone that it's really hard, work hard, feel passionate, and fine amazing people, this is the country that comes through, and i hope you all recognize what makes this country the most amazing place, which is equal opportunity for everyone, and i get to together to make sure the future will be built on that
platform, which is work hard, be passionate, and this is the place to make it. so thank you so much. >> hello, i'm an immigrant from a small town in mexico called oaxaca. i'm very thankful to be here and able to share my personal story and my family's story with the president today, and my father came in 1994ing. we -- my mother, my older sister, and my two younger -- my brother and other younger sister, and went to college without -- now able to go to college. my father has retired. my brother are building a plant. my father was -- if leave this
country, i will be able to see my children again. he was able to retire, and i think about -- immigration is not something that goes away. it is something that builds jobs. and i think my father would agree with me, and i think everybody here would. and i want to say thank you to all of you, and thank you so much. >> questions? >> are you hopeful after the meeting this bill will get through the house in any form? and what was the president's tone about the second part of the bill getting through the house? >> every entrepreneur is optimistic. there's a belief that -- two years ago when we first started talking about this in the context of -- the sense was the probability of getting immigration reform passed was
close to zero. now what's happened over the past six months, remarkable bipartisan coming together to try to focus on what is a complicated issue. a lot of sensitive and controversial aspects, but people have come together. the work of the gang of eight and others has been strong. the house has the gang of seven and they're working on a comprehensive solution but the first step is getting it through the senate. i'm confident it will pass through the senate and in a strong enough margin that it sends a signal that the country cares about the issue and wants it resolved. the house bill is different because the house is different than the senate and different paths the house leadership will have to take it. but the number of people, republicans and democrats, not just in the senate but also in the house, do believe the time is now to get this done, and we'll work together in a diligent way over the next couple of months to craft a
solution in the house, that then likely will go into conference between the senate and the house, and i'm optimistic -- it's a heavy lift but i'm optimistic the president will sign into law comprehensive immigration reform that will deal with these issues. [inaudible] >> said publicly, he is appreciative of the people coming together in a good way. he is optimistic it would happen this week in the senate. but he recognized the house is more complicated and still a lot of work to be done, and he would urge everybody to do it, all the entrepreneurs in the meeting, and people -- realize this is a broad coalition, not just entrepreneurs or community but a broad of business coalition, people in the agriculture industry, the -- and you're also
seeing a broader coalition of people coming together. a couple weeks ago, shows you the breadth of the coalition that was built to get this done. i think everybody is cautiously optimistic, a month or two has been quite strong, but a lot of work to be done of the next month or two, so not time to get complacent. time to double down and get this done. >> tell us how you hope to get the house to vote for immigration reform when they didn't pass the farm bill. >> sure. i think it's extremely important from the perspective of the fresh, fruit and vegetable industry to have a comprehensive bill passed. the ag portion of the program is extremely important to -- to have adequate labor forces.
dealing with perishable commodity that needs to be picked when it's ready and i hope the house understands how critical this is for all of us. [inaudible] >> just hope that everyone understands how imperative. it for the ag community it's extremely important to have a reliable work force, and the current situation we have is not adequate. [inaudible] >> a new father. just had a baby a few days ago but cares enough about immigration to come to washington. >> we leave the baby at home. so -- came to the u.s. when i was 18, back in 1998, and i met a lot of -- i account do it
easily glaus were no visas. so, my solution was to enroll as a student and work as mcdonald's at night to pay for that. but still, combining my business with coming to america and within a year, so we have had six people in the company, americans, but that wasn't still good enough for me to get a visa. so, i was an entrepreneur but was told i have to go back to colombia. but i was lucky, i met my wife, the mother of my daughter, and i convinced them that i was able to stay here. i don't know what she saw in the potential. and we -- i ended up -- she is an immigrant herself.
we create a company called voice bunny, and we are delighted to have the best voice actors on the planet. thousands working from home, and thousands of companies using to be able to hire workers anywhere on the planet, and one of the good things we're doing is by doing something that is -- we have thousands, thousands of clients, all over the planet, china, india, america, europe, hiring american voice actors, working from their home studio in order to give the voice for the items, for the video games they're creating. we're very proud of that, and believe this immigration reform is going to help entrepreneurs like me do this kind of thing to keep the u.s. on the leading front of
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