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tv   U.S. Senate Democrats Speak Against Travel Ban as Acting AG is Fired  CSPAN  January 30, 2017 8:59pm-10:52pm EST

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another story, "the washington post," "dissent memo circulating in the state department over trump's policy on refugees and immigrants." for this one, foreign service officers have written a memo and have shared it with the "washington post" in opposition to president trump's executive order. and here are excerpts from a leaked dissent memo by u.s. foreign service officers regarding the executive order. it will immediately sour relations with these seven countries as well as much of the muslim world, which sees the ban as religiously motivated. these governments of these countries are important allies and partners in the fight against terrorism, regionally and globally. by alienating them, we lose access to the intelligence and
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resources we need to fight the root causes of terror abroad before the attack occurs within our borders. it will increase anti-american sentiment. it will have an immediate and clear humanitarian impact. it will have a negative impact on the u.s. economy. looking beyond its effectiveness, this ban stands in opposition to the core american and constitutional values. this ban stands in opposition to the core american and constitutional values that we as federal employees took an oath to uphold. the united states is a nation of immigrants, starting from its very origins. the concept that immigrants and foreigners are welcome is an
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essential element of our society, our government and our foreign policy. so, too, is the concept that we are all equal under the law and that we as a nation abhor discrimination, whether it is based on race, religion, sex or national origin. combined together, that means we have a special obligation to maintain an immigration system that is as free as possible from discrimination, that does not have implied or religious -- or actual religious tests, and that views individuals as individuals, not as part of stereotyped groups. banning travelers from these seven countries calls back to some of the worst times in our history. laws enacted in the 1920's, which lasted through the 1960's,
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severely restricted immigration based on national origin, and in some cases race. the decision to restrict the freedom of japanese americans in the u.s. and foreign citizens who wanted to travel to settle in the u.s. during the 1940's has been a source of lasting shame for many in our country. decades from now, we will look back and realize we made the same mistakes as our predecessors. shutting borders in a knee-jerk reaction instead of setting up systems of checks that protect our interests and values. we do not need to place a blanket ban that keeps 220 million people, men, women an children from entering the united states to protect our homeland. we do not need to alienate entire societies to stay safe, and we do not need to sacrifice
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our reputation as a nation, which is open and welcoming to protect our families. it is well within our reach to create a visa process which is more secure, which reflects american values, and which would make the department proud. again, this is a dissent memo circulating in the state department over president trump's policy on refugees and immigrants. and this is what donald trump's executive order does. it makes us less safe. it is wrong. another story. from a ""boston globe"" op-ed. matt gallagher, who is a veteran. the headline -- trump rejects the muslims who helped us." the bravest person i've ever known went by the nickname serge
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knight. he was as fistly imposing as the infamous music producer, but he was calm and big-hearted, with a smile as wide as a canyon. a sudanese muslim, serge served as my scout's platoon interpreter during the deployment to iraq in 2007 and 2008, and he went on every patrol and mission with us, no matter the circumstances. he had survived multiple roadside bomb attacks, had lost three young children to the bombings in the first gulf war, and yet still believed in america and what america represented to him and his family. although he doubted he would ever get to our country, he aspired for his children to do so. perhaps my grandchildren will go to school with your kids, he once told me with typical paternal charm. i'd like that very much.
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and i felt the same. we all did. he was one of us. president trump's recent executive order on muslim refugees and immigrants works to ensure that such a dream never comes true. muslim allies, including interpreters like serge in iraq and afghanistan have done more for the united states during the past 16 years of war than most americans will even think of doing in their entire lives, yet we're abandoning them in their hour of need, wrapping ourselves up in a big, billowing flag of fear and pretending it's safety. we're also abandoning middle east refugees fleeing the very terrorists we professed to combat, who have seen their homes and lives destroyed and now seek shelter on our shores,
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the same way that immigrants have for generations. this is a national disgrace. the president's executive order betrays american values and weakens our national security all at once. our country was founded as a haven. trump and his administration seem intent on turning it into a medieval fortress. in november, shortly after the election, i joined a nonpartisan group in washington, d.c., to advocate for muslim refugees and immigrants, veterans for american ideals, a project of human rights first. there was a great pall over the city and a deep sense of urgency for what awaited, even in republican offices. no one knew then what we all know now -- trump really did mean to do what he said on the
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campaign trail. time and again, democrats and republicans alike told us the united states already has in place the best and most thorough refugee and immigrant screening process on the planet. a prominent republican advisor assures us that trump's -- quote -- extreme vetting idea was just a ploy to rustle up votes. a national security official suggested that we should be more thankful that congress had saved the special immigrant visa program for interpreters and translators who served with the u.s. military and maintained that the amount of issued visas was sufficient despite the overflowing backlog of requests. a shouting match ensued. enraged veterans can have our own sort of diplomatic style. i look back at that week with both pride and despondency.
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on one hand, to see so many young american veterans standing up for the principles of our nation, often the very same principles that led them to enlist in the military to begin with was stirring. we tried, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, to convey to politicians the importance of remaining true to our muslim brothers and sisters in arms. we also tried to remind them of the secondary and tertiary effects of not honoring the bonds forged in combat. on the other hand, bearing witness to how easily dismissed entire lives and formative experiences can be by fellow citizens, let alone elected representatives, was rather dismaying. even in our era of yellow ribbon patriotism and star-spangled banner grandiosity, veterans' stories of heroic muslim
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translators and brave, dedicated local iraqis and afghans were sometimes met with hollow stares and empty platitudes in washington. what we were telling these officials defied their preconceived notions about vets and muslims and how vets of the taro wars were supposed to feel about muslims. what we were telling them was american security was dependent on opening our doors to as many vetted refugees and immigrants as possible, not barricading ourselves and saying we're not that america anymore. what we were telling them was what we knew. more than any other group of americans, what the hearts and souls of the middle eastern people were, and that those hearts and souls were so very much like our own. these are just some of the stories of what donald trump is
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doing to people here in america, to americans abroad and to people around the world. this executive order is illegal, it is unconstitutional, it is immoral, and it must be overturned by congress. i understand that under the rules, the majority can stop any senator after speaking for an hour postcloture, but there is a bit more i would like to say, and so therefore i ask unanimous consent to speak for up to ten additional minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. warren: thank you, mr. president. i will stin with the story that was published this morning in "the boston globe." this is from a veteran who was writing of his own experiences. he says trump's executive order, which seeks to keep radical islamic terrorists out of the united states, will only
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embolden those very same people who already had a near-zero chance of gaining entry to our country to begin with. this order proves too many isis and al qaeda talking points are true about what the united states really is and will serve as an excellent recruiting tool for those organizations and others. this executive order isn't about national security. it's about fearmongering for ends we can only guess at. this shouldn't be a partisan issue. as my friend, phil clay, winner of the national book award and marine veteran pointed out last year, ronald reagan's city on a hill speech outlined an america for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness toward home. i get that people are scared,
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clay continued, but it's only during frightening times when you get to find out if your country really deserves to call itself the home of the brave. donald trump's zero-sum world view and flimsy understanding of the intricacies of modern war and terrorism threaten to undermine our republic. his policy on american refugees and immigrants must be checked and resisted by citizens of all political stripes, legislators of both major parties and the judicial courts. after 16 years of war, much of my generation of military veterans stands with middle eastern people. we sweated, labored and bled with and sometimes died for. it's going to be a fight, but it's one we're not going to lose. the legacy of america's past is at stake, as well as the soul of
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its future. matt gallagher is the author of the novel "young blood" and" the miami our, kaboom, embracing the suck in a savage little war." he is an iraq war veteran and a former u.s. army captain, and he wrote this morning in "the boston globe." we are here tonight because this country is in crisis. we are here tonight because it is a constitutional crisis, because it is a moral crisis. we are here tonight to stand up and ask the rest of the united states senate to overturn donald trump's executive order. we have that power. all we need is the courage, the courage to stand up and do what is right.
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this is why we came to the united states senate, to stand up and do what is right. i call on the rest of the senate to overturn donald trump's illegal, unconstitutional and immoral executive order. mr. president, i yield. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. booker: mr. president, i rise today in gratitude for this opportunity to speak on the senate floor. i want to express a lot of gratitude towards the senator from massachusetts. she has been an eloquent advocate for the truth of our country. she has spoken here on this hallowed floor, but i have now also watched her speak in the streets, speak at airports, speak at rallies. she is one of those people who, like so many americans,
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literally millions of americans over these last few weeks, is saying with a chorus of conviction that they will not be silenced when the cause of our country is at stake. so i join with her tonight and some of my other colleagues in standing up to really speak from the heart. i think that this floor has seen many partisan speeches but this is not to me about republican or democrat. in fact, this is not a speech i ever imagined i would be giving in the united states senate. i never thought that i would be here today talking about something that quite honestly was unimaginable to me just months ago. this is a time that i could not have foreseen and i fear that my generation of americans may be perhaps should have known that moments like this are possible, that we who believe in the
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values of our nation, we who believe in the ideals enshrined in our constitution such as religious liberty, we should know that every generation of americans has to prove worthy of these ideals and stay forever vigilant in their protection and never to get so complacent that you think that this could never happen. the ideals that we enjoy were fought for and struggled for and often bled for and folk died for, that we in our generation with the privileges that we enjoy, the blessings of liberty that we luxuriate in, we have an obligation to stay vigilant, to ensure that moments like this never come, and if they do, that we stand with conviction and speak out against them, work against them to resist any retrenchment of american values.
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what donald trump did in his executive action issued this past friday is in no uncertain terms a break with american policy. i believe it is a violation of our very constitution that is illegal, unconstitutional, as well as immoral. more than this, it very specifically makes this nation less safe and not more so. i want to repeat that. it makes this nation less safe and not more so. the ban was said -- put forth in a climate of fear intending to try to appeal to people's fears, trying to tell people that doing this executive order was going to make us safer but that in its essence is illogical when you look at the facts. not only should it be known that
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it blocks immigration from seven majority muslim countries, seven countries where not a single perpetrator of terrorist attacks on american soil have come from these countries dating back to well before 9/11. in fact, well before the 2000's, well about the 1990's. in fact, not since the 1970's, over 40 years on american soil, nobody from these countries has -- no american has been killed by anyone in these countries of terrorist attacks. in addition to that, what this ban is doing is it's shutting down the refugee resettlement program. for about four months. and suspends the syrian refugee program indefinitely, despite the fact individuals entering the united states as refugees undergo the most heavily vetted resettlement process of any
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population traveling to the united states. so understand this. if you are trying to come into this country, student visas, visas waiver programs, there are so many ways to come into this country without going through the refugee process which takes between a year and three years. and you're not just going through the vetting of the department of state but the department of defense, the department of homeland security, the f.b.i., the national counterterrorism center, numerous agencies over up to three years are vetting you and let me tell you right now again, people who go through this program history is showing you have not seen in any recent years that folks who are going through these programs pose a terrorist threat to american
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lives. and so the very argument being used to push this ban is illogical and has no basis for any of the experiences we've had in this country. a former chief counsel for u.s. citizenship and immigration services remarked that no competent terrorists would choose the u.s. refugee process as a preferred strategy for gaining entry into this country. subjecting yourself to the one to three years, the vetting from multiple agencies, more than any other entry is not a way for terrorists to gain access to this country at all. and so what we see is that this terrorist ban is putting focused -- excuse me -- this executive order is putting focus in areas that do not produce safety but
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do have the collateral consequence of making us less safe. the order indefinitely suspends a resettlement of syrian refugees in the u.s. the majority of these folks are women and children who are fleeing barrel bombs, chemical attacks, military attacks on homes and schools. they're fleeing famine. they're fleeing starvation. they're fleeing the same violent extremism that we ourselves are trying to fight against. while the syrian face violence, terror and oppression, the president of the united states has chose ton equate helpless refugees with those who are actually perpetrating the terr terror. and despite the fact that we have this stringent years' long vetting program for iraqis and
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afghanistans who risk their lives to help americans by acting as interpreters, the ban ends astonishingly, it ends the special immigrant visa program and substitutes it with nothing. what is this special immigrant visa program that many of my colleagues have spoken about? it's a program that is specifically there for iraqis and afghanis who helped america and their families in danger, who put their next -- their necks out for us. they put themselves out there to assist our service men and service women. it actually is there to help people that because of their service to us as a country have now had their lives endangered where they are.
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now, i want to read a series of tweets just yesterday from kirk johnson, a former usaid administrator in iraq who wrote about these folks who put themselves on the line for americans, who are our allies and our friends. this is what kirk johnson wrote. he says, i served in iraq as usaid's man in fallujah, lived alongside marines and interpreters as they fought terrorists. over a hundred thousand of these iraqis risk their lives for us during the war. they bled for our country. you said before signing -- he's talking about president trump -- that quote, we only want to admit those into our countries who will support our country and love deeply our people. and what kirk johnson writes,
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i'd like you to know, donald trump, about some of these people, home boy, lost his leg dragging a wounded u.s. sergeant out of the field of fire. he spent four years being vetted before coming here. there was hussam who built us build schools. when insurgents found on in october of 2006, they left a severed dog's head on his front step that said run. there's interpreter for troops that you command, donald trump, that died of a suicide bomb on march 14, 2008. mohammed was assassinated when terrorists who wanted to kill the trader in quotes, booby trapped his house in january 2008. ali had both of his legs amputated by an i.e.d. blast while works as an interpreter in
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november 2007. hameed died of a gunshot wound to the head while helping our troops in july 2007. i could do this all day, he wrote in his remarks. he says -- he goes on to say, those that helped us were christians and muslims, atheists, you name it. these people in fallujah and the surrounding areas were our allies when they ran through gunfire to save our troops. they didn't think about such labels. these iraqis believed in america. they loved our country. they lost their country as a result of the choice that they made to help us. your signature, donald trump,
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he's writing, just banned them. he continued, i have heard from many, many soldiers and marines, some of them of extremely high rank who believe this is a huge mistake. our senior military officers with extensionive experience in iraq and afghanistan, one told me it was heinous and counterproductive. now, why is it counterproductive? well, for one when we're conducting dangerous missions, when we're relying on people in country to assist us with our counterterrorism efforts, if they are going to take that risk, put their lives on the lines, be subject of terrorism themselves, there should be a process that allows them after proper vetting to get into this country. that has been american policy. even people who have been
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threatened and victimized and persecuted, they can't just walk into our country because some of our high ranking marines say so. they still go through vetting that often takes years. that's the process. it's the process that donald trump has now stopped. yesterday a report noted that radical jihadists, the people we're fighting against, the terrorists intending to kill us were already using this executive order as a victory, proof that the united states is at war with islam. now, some people say that claim is hard to make. this is just banning people from seven countries. well, look a little closer at the executive order. there are exceptions made for non-muslims in those countries. imagine this. we are the united states of
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america enshrined in our constitution is this idea of freedom of religion, that there's no religious tests to vote. there's no religious tests to have citizenship. there's no religious tests to enjoy the richness of a nation that believes in religious liberty. but in one action by the president of the united states who claims to be concerned about terrorism for these countries, he says i'm going to stop people from entering. oh, wait a minute. only the muslims. christians, you're welcome. if that is not a violation of our core principles, of freedom of religion that there should be religious tests to enter from these countries, that's an assault on all that we proclaim in our country to be our core values. this is not missed by our
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enemies. they're now trying to say this isn't a war between america and isis. this is not a war between america and radical jihadists. they want as their propaganda tool for people to believe that this is a war between the u.s. and islam, between america and a religion. that is a lie. but when donald trump takes actions like this that specifically target people because of their faith, he is playing into the hands of the proper gandzists that seek -- propagandists that seek to hurt us. national security experts from across the spectrum, republicans and democrats have spoken out against this order on this basis and of how it will affect our security as a country. the former director of the c.i.a., general michael hayden said this order -- and i quote
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-- inarguably has made us less safe those people that want to help us, that want to serve with our marines, that wnts to be interpreters, that want to stand up for america, what are they to think now when america has shut their doors, where they've watched others do and now they can't gain access to this country? what do those allies of ours who say the great united states of america is standing up against terrorists, muslim leaders in other countries, it's not about islam. it's about the people that are conducting vicious terrorism which is a sin on a peaceful religion. what could they say now when they have specifically targeted an executive order from our president, not at a country but at people that pray a certain way i in that country?
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we in the united states, this great nation born from the ideas of liberty and freedom, freedom to pray as you want, what are we to think? despite all of the evidence to the contrary, just two days after president trump instituted this ban, he remarked, hey, this ban is going nicely -- quote, unquote. earlier today, president trump's spokesmen referred to those being unlawfully detained as just being -- quote -- "temporarily inconvenienced." we know that the reality of the situation is much different for the families and individuals across the globe who are affected. many of them are permanent residents and green cardholders for whom this executive order has amounted to a door slammed in their face by the country that is supposed to represent
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the shining we conon the plan -- beacon on the planet earth of liberty and hope. hundreds of people of seven different nationalities have been trapped at american airports. many of them were detained for hours an end, without access to lawyers, handcuffed and interrogated, some immediately deported while many more have been turned away at the doors to their flights bound for the united states. people who followed all of the rules, who went through extensive vetting, who up-ended their lives -- doors slammed in their faces. this is not an inconvenience. i'm sorry, this is a denial of process, a denial of procedure,
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it's a denial of basic liberty and a violation of our principles. it's no wonder, though, that judges across the country began issuing stays within hours of this order becoming effect tism as we saw in new york how people like hami hamid salween, mothero traveled from an iraq to see her son for the first time in five years, a mother of a sergeant in the 82nd airborne, someone who should be honored, lawfully entering this united states and because of this order, she was detained for 30 hours, denied a
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wheelquhair and hand -- wheelchair and handcuffed before her release. on saturday night and early into the mornings, i saw customs and border officials at dulles. i left washington, d.c., and drove to virginia to go to dulles airport. i saw a customs and border patrol official seemingly defy the orders coming from a federal judge to at least permit all legal permanent residents in detention to access legal counsel. i held the judge's order in my hands. because of the kindness of a local law enforcement officer that was stationed in dulles, i was able to shuttle to customs and border protection -- i was able to submit handwritten notes
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and questions to the officials who refused to meet with me, but i did not get much of an explanation as to why they were defying a clear order from a federal judge. whether or not this was a case of bureaucratic confusion or a message from the courts getting lost, federal law enforcement officers under the supervision of the department of homeland security ignored and defied the orders of a federal judge. to me, this is more outrage, and in a nation with three branches of government -- with the judiciary with a clear role giving an order to the executive branch -- i believe the defiance of of that order also was unconstitutional. access to counsel is a principle
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in our democracy. it's about fairness and due process. failing to allow counsel, to me, seems a clear violation of constitutional norms and ideals. the judge obviously believed so, and that's why they ordered counsel to be provided. still right now we don't know how many people are being detained across the country in the wake of this executive order. or how many were immediately and quietly deported once they came here, again thoroughly vetted, in accordance with the law, but they were yet then deported upon their arrival in this country. i think congress deserves answers. i wrote to homeland security secretary jon kelly earlier this evening to seek them. this mistreatment of any legal permanent resident or visitor to this country is wrong. it is un-american.
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it undermines the truth of who we are, and it's pa at any timely unaccept deductible patently unacceptable. this order has treated green card hoirlds and immigrants of this nation as if they were criminals. it's torn families apart across the world and pulled the rug out from families who are preparing to begin a new life in the united states of america. and this order has betrayed some of our closest allies -- men and women who risked their lives to help american service members deployed often on hostile soil. by ending the special immigrant visa programs established to help iraqis and afghans who risked their lives to help american forces, it's unacceptable. the united states cannot turn its back on those who stepped up and stepped in when we needed them most. just this morning i read about
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an iraqi man, same, who had risked his life to work with the american government in iraq after waiting seven years to gain entry going through a laborious process of vetting under the special immigrant visa program. he and his family finally got the okay and they were ready to start their new lives in ameri america. on saturday, he and his wife and two daughters had flown from iraq to i istanbul and they were sitting in their seats ready to take off when they were removed from the plane by security officials. foreign policy magazine reported that through tears same's 7-year-old daughter asked, "why don't they want us in america?" american service members and slernt--and veterans are joinina
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growing chorus speaking out against this. take zachary. sivment kel, a former manager infantry officer who wrote about some of the iraqis he worked with who had riived everything to help the united states. he told the story of one man, frank, who had served as an interpreter for his marine corps unit. and in doing so, he had taken a bullet in his leg. frank had remained in iraq since then. zachary wrote, and i quote zachary's words, "he was still living in baghdad with daily fears for his and his family's safety. after six years of vetting, including what seemed like countless interviews and background checks by various government agencies, he had finally been cleared to come to the united states with his pregnant wife and 18-month-old
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son." "my wife and i began to prepare our guest room for their arrival, but now because of a new executive order by president trump, frank is no longer welcome." this is an american military man preparing to have these folks who put their lives on the line for him stay in his home. this special visa program is why people like mohammed and saif, elnasiri, one of my constituents, were able to dhom this country -- were able to come in this country. and i'd like to share a little bit about this family. mohammed el nasiri was finishing school when the americans arrived. as an english speaker, mohammed gang helping the americans stationed near his neighborhood working for free as a neighborhood translator. when the unit had become -- he
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had become friends with left, he decided to apply for work as an official interpreter with the united states army. but by 2004, he had been sent to fallujah to work with and help protect american military fighting there. because of his work with the american military, he recounts receiving hundreds of death notes, threatening not just his life but the life of his mother and his family. he returned to baghdad where he worked, despite these threats, as a contractor with an american company until one day he was targeted and almost aassassinated in his car. he knew at that point with the death threats and the aassassination attempt that he had to get out of the country. after moving to australia, his sister informed him about america's special visa program.
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so he applied and two and a half years later he was able to join his family in the united states. in a call to my office just earlier today, he wanted to make it clear that he'd arrived on the united states on july 3 but by august 10 he had started his job. he remarked to my team that he couldn't understand why anyone would think he was coming to america because it was easy or because he wanted something. he spent most of his savings trying to get to america and he had never taken any benefit since arriving here. mohammed met his wife in new jersey and now lives in our state, works at costco and is working to obtain citizenship. he shared that this executive order made him more sad than scared. and that it simply didn't make sense to ban regular hardworking people who were also afraid of
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terrorists, persecuted by terrorists, almost killed by terrorists, who had done so much to help our country. it made no sense toban them. "we ran away from these people," he said. "paid all the money i had to leave" for the safety of his family. mohammed's brother is is now a proud american citizen, father of two, and resident of scotchplains, new jersey. saif and his wife had worked as pharmacists in iraq but when the war began, he knew he needed to get involved. so saif worked as a translator and reporter for "the los angeles times" during the war in iraq providing support and key insights to american media and the american public. saif and his wife were able to come to the united states in 2008 through that special visa program, the siv program, and slowly worked their way through school and now as pharmacy
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technicians they have their license, pharmacy license. saif is a pharmacy manager in cranford, new jersey, a homeowner in scottsplains and a proud father of two girls. he savers this country -- he savors this country, this precious nation, he celebrates our values. he is a glowing testimony to the truth of who we are. his success is our success. his family's security and safety and thriving life in new jersey give u luster to the greatness f america. in a phone call yesterday, saif remarked that this executive order was embarrassing and hurtful, that it was clear muslims were being targeted and that he couldn't understand why those who were so heavily vetted
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like his family posed such a threat. saif and his family are heavily involved in their community in scottsplains and they make sure to offer support to those families similar to theirs who come from iraq seeking refuge. he see, they're -- you coo, they are a -- you see, they are a not just basking in their good fortune. they're hallowing one of the great tradition of our country, which is service. at the end of the call, saif remarked that he didn't think this would happen in any other country. it seemed like he was about to say this kind of religiously targeted ban wouldn't happen anywhere else, and he might have been right. but instead he said that if this kind of executive order from a leader in any other country happened against any group of people, you would never see the kind of resistance and action of
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so many standing up for them. even in one of the darkest moments in recent history, this man, this patriot, this person who served our nation's interests and continues to volunteer in service to this day, he could have been given a reason to be angry, upset and cynical. but what is beautiful about our conversations with this man is that he hasn't given up faith. he still believes in the american people. the beautiful thing about the conversations my staff has that had -- staff has had with those new jersey residents who once were serving our nation in theaters of violence and terrorism, standing up for our military, for our press, victimized by terroristic threats, shot at,
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assassination attempts, these families now here in america witnessing this executive order are saddened and embarrassed by it, but they're not giving up on their faith in america. that's our story. i stand here today, dare i say all of the members of the senate stand here today because of this tradition of our country that even when the past, when we had dark chapters from our past where others in positions of power violated our values, the faith and act ivism and engagement of american people remained. i dare say this, we are the oldest constitutional democracy on the planet earth.
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god, the genius of our founders who put on paper ideals that have been heralded for centuries on the planet earth. newer constitutional democracies literally would study our constitution and model their nations after elements of our constitution. but i'm sad to tell you that some of those countries, democracies have failed. theythey-- they had the vaunted, they put forward the same principles and ideals. but yet their country's democracies have been overthrown, have seen despots who destroyed the very spirit of those ideals. why has america persisted?
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it's not just because of the documents that are sacred and so special in the course of human events. but what makes those documents true and real, because those sentiments are not just written on parchment, every generation has had them written on their hearts and have said that no matter what i may be experiencing in this country, i'm going to dedicate myself to the principles and ideals because as great as our founders were, when they founded this country in liberty and in justice and equality under the law, it didn't apply to everyone. it didn't apply to women. native americans referred to as savages. african-americans were fractions
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of human beings. but yet the faith of a people in every generation worked to expand the concepts of liberty and freedom. they made the constitution more real. they made our union more perfect. they made our country's truth more true for more people. it's why great poets like langston hughes wrote america never was america to me, but i swear this oath: america will be. that is the call to the citizenry of this country. there have been dark days in our past, but every generation of americans, despite the dark actions of people in power, understand this truth, that the power of the people is greater than the people in power. and if we never lose faith in
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the ideals of this nation, if we keep standing and working and sacrificing and struggling, every generation can advance the ideals of our country and make us more free and more true and more real for more people. and so last week we saw yet another american leader shrink the ideals of this country, try to pull us backwards to times past when we turned our back on people fleeing persecution. what donald trump did is try to pull back on the ideals inscribed on that great statue that sits right next to new jersey, the mother of exiles, who says in poetry, among other things, give us.
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not, hey, you can come in. no. a demand. give us your tired your hungry your poor your huddled masses the wretched of your teeming shore. we will take those that are oppressed. we will take those that are being victimized. and a president turns his back on those ideals. we've seen it before. dr. lauren feldman writes to me about chapters of dark pasts. she writes today is holocaust remembrance day. i am a jew. my relatives were unable to find refuge in our country and were murdered by the nazis. my grandmother lost her beloved
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aunt, rosenik gertman, an uncle and four young cousins that she had never met. had we as a country done the right thing and welcomed these refugees fleeing the nazis, tante rokel and millions of others could have joined their family members in safety, and we could have been proud of our country instead of ashamed of the racist paper walls built by the f.d.r. administration to keep my family and others out. please tell mr. trump that we cannot go back. we must remain a beacon of
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safety and refuge for the persecuted. please do all that you can to prevent this ban from being enacted. please think of my relatives and the relatives of your other constituents and fellow citizens who needlessly and shamefully were murdered because of our fear and racism. we are better than that. you are better than that. she concludes, thank you for your time and service. dr. lauren feldman princeton. we are the united states of america. we haven't been perfect, but
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there has been a striving and a yearning in every generation to be more so. i am a product of people, black and white, christian and jewish and muslim, who even though issues didn't affect them directly, they knew that in justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. and they marched and they fought. they sat in. they got on buses for freedom rides knowing they would be bombed. they tried to cross bridges standing up against law enforcement, state troopers, governors who dared them to try to pass them. they were implacable walls of racism and hatred, but they stood anyway and they bled the southern soil red for my freedom, for our nation, for this nation's freedom.
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i worked all my career for the safety of communities. yes, we must make sure our nation is safe, but don't let fear and concerns for safety make us ever turn our back on our values as a nation. when we are threatened by our enemies, it is not a time to surrender our values. it is time to double down on them. the terrorists win if they change our free hearts and our souls set on liberty. we as a nation are called to be great, to be a beacon of liberty and justice.
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there are people now pulled off of airplanes, forced to return to communities where their lives are being threatened. we made a bargain with them. stand for america. stand with our military. stand against terrorism. there are people that went through years and years of vetting by agency after agency. and when they were on the brink of freedom, like people of old who were on ships that came into our harbor, they were turned away back to face persecution and injustice. that's not the america that i believe in. it is not who we are. and so i say to our president in
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prayer, in deep abiding faith, repeal your executive order. stand up for our principles. defend them. be the champion that millions of americans want you to be. and i say to americans, to all of us as a country, this is not a time to despair. it's not a time to give up. it's not a time to grow cynical or lose faith in our country or our values. no. remember our history. when dark times come, when it seems that people of the highest points of power are turning their back on their ideals, it is not a time to retreat or equivocate. it's a time to fight, to stand up, to resist. we are a great nation not just because of the words printed on a constitution. we are a great nation because
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people with great sacrifice and struggle fought to live those words and to make them real in the lives of every single person. america, we must now stand up. the opposite of justice is not just injustice. it is also silence and indifference. this may not affect you or your family directly, but it is a threat to all of our collective values. you go to the jefferson memorial and read those final words. thomas jefferson knew that for this nation to be great we had to pledge to each other an
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unusual level of commitment. he said we must mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. there is no honor in this executive order. but we as americans now must pledge our sacred honor, to do all we can to tear this order down so that the truth of america can rise again. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you,
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mr. president. there is a french farmer by the name of hector st. john decrevacore, and he emigrated to the united states from normandy in france in 1759 and he settled in the hudson valley. he married an american woman, and the astounding diversity of those that settled around him, his fellow farmers, was shocking to him. he said this. he said it's a mixture of english, scotch, irish, french, dutch, germans and swedes.
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there is one family that he knew that had an english grandfather, a dutch grandmother, an anglo-saxon son, who had a french wife. his four sons all married women that were from different places, of different nationalities. and hector said, he said from this promiscuous breed, that race now called americans has arisen. he asked what then is the american, this new man, and this farmer, this farmer who came to america from normandy in 1759 wrote this. he said -- "he is an american who leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. the american is the new man who
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acts upon new principles. here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men." george washington told us that the bosom of america is open to the oppressed and the persecuted of all nations and religions, and that great american philosopher, alex de tocqueville, that observer of american life, said in a letter, imagine, dear friend, a society formed of all the nations of the world, people having different languages, beliefs, opinions. in a word, a society without roots, without memories, without prejudices, without routines, without common ideas, without a national character, yet 100 times more happy than our own.
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i'm not sure if any of those are completely accurate scripgz of what an american was or is or whether those are commensurate with our understanding as to the foundations of this country, but they speak to this founding ideal of america, this place where you could come from any part of the world, with any set of beliefs, with any religion, with any skin color and become something that is uniquely new. now, there were people here before those who traveled from far far-off lands, but to be an american is in many ways an invention, an invention of the amalgamation of faiths from people from all over the world. both hector and de tocqueville talk about the leaving behind of
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prejudices when you come to this new country. inherent in that idea is this belief of new americans that the description that they faced in other places could be washed away upon coming to a country, a land at that time, in which everyone was equal, everyone started from the same place. and, of course, that has to be true because this country was founded by individuals who were fleeing religious persecution, who thought that america was a place in which they could practice their religion freely, they could be who they knew themselves to be. and the reason why you hear such anxiety and anger and sadness from many in this chamber and from many people we represent is because what happened on friday is an abandonment of american
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originalism. it is a walking back of the faith that we had held -- that we have held since the days in which scotch and irish and french and dutch and german and swede came to this country, believing they could leave behind prejudices. it feels as if we are shrinking as a country before our eyes. a young woman from stanford, connecticut, wrote me this beautiful letter, and i want to read some of it to you. she encapsulates in modern language what crevecoeur and washington and de tocqueville were saying centuries ago. she says i'm the proud descendants ant of syrian immigrants. my great grandparents'
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sacrifices to resettle in the united states have shaped my entire life. i've grown up very close to my grandfather, the first generation of his family born in america, and i know what my ancestors did to be here and how far we've come from the time in which they were persecuted and subjected to religious violence in dam -- in damascus. i was able to grow up around syrian culture and appreciate how great grandparents made it possible for my entire life to be from where they are now. to give you an idea, my grandfather went on to receive a master's degree and was a high school teacher and a guidance counselor. he also relied -- he was heavily involved in the roman catholic church and quietly served communion in hospitals each sunday. my father, second generation, also received a master's. he serves on hospital boards and he's had a successful career in human resources. with their encouragement, i have begun a career as a journalist, one that i have dreamed of since i was in high school.
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in 2012, on the 100th year anniversary of my family's arrival in the united states, i was the third generation of my family to graduate from high school and enroll in college. i tell you this because this moves me every day when i go to work. how amazing is it that my family has gone from being persecuted for their religion to being able to hold jobs protected by the first amendment. surely this is something that my great grandparents could have never dreamed of when they came here, and i embrace my career with the intention to honor their sacrifices. my heart broke at the executive orders to suspend the entry of refugees specifically from syria. i have looked into this extensively and recently worked on a story as a journalist on the process. trump's order is nothing but xenophobic and racist.
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i was preparing to report on a family that was supposed to be coming to a community near me, but it now seems that family won't be coming now. how truly american it would have been for the descendant of syrian immigrants to welcome a new generation of syrians into this country. this is for many cataclysmic because everything they thought about this country seems to be disappearing in front of us. and i understand that president trump tries to sell this as something less than it is, that it isn't a ban on all muslims entering the united states. it's just a ban on muslims from a select set of countries. but these are countries that encapsulate over 230 muslims. that's almost two-thirds the population of the united states of america. including some of the most populous muslim nations in the world, and it is directly
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targeted at people of muslim faith. it's just simply not credible to say that this isn't a ban on members of one religion from entering the united states because it selects countries that are majority muslim and then includes a caveat that if you are not of the majority religion, if you are of any religion that is not the majority religion, you can get around the ban and will be given priority to come to the united states. this is a muslim ban, a muslim band that applies to over 200 million muslims around the world. and it makes us smaller and weaker and less great as a nation. but, mr. president, it also makes us weaker from a national security standpoint as well. let's step back for a second and just understand the context here.
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this country does face a threat, a serious threat. there are religious extremists around the world who have perverted the religion of islam and tried to turn it into a doctrine of violence, and they are attempting today to do great violence in the middle east and in other parts of the world, and they are trying to recruit attackers here on u.s. soil. but you are not likely to be killed in an act of terrorism in this country. in fact, on average, there have been about three americans killed every year by terrorism. now, i'm not trying to underplay the threat. people feel fearful, and as a body, we need to respond to that fear. they see these awful things
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happening on tv. and they want us to make sure that it will not happen to them. but you are more likely to be killed in this country by lightning or by an elevator malfunction than you are by terrorism. and so if you really want to talk about securing this nation, about protecting americans, then the conversation has to be bigger than just banning individuals from one country, recognizing the real threats that are posed. and let me guarantee you this -- if this ban goes into effect, if president trump is successful with support from the republican congress in sending a message to the world that america is at war with islam, then that number of three americans killed by terrorism every year, it will jump, it will skyrocket. more americans will be killed by
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terrorism. why? well, because today isis is on its heels, it is in retreat, it has substantially less territory than it ever has before, and that has robbed from it one of its primary rash analysis for existence, one of its primary arguments to those that it's trying to recruit into its fold. the idea that isis is forming a caliphate, an area of geographic control in the middle east, that argument doesn't work any longer because the supposed caliphate is shrinking. the amount of territory they control is getting smaller and smaller, and most folks can see the writing on the wall, that it is just a matter of time before the islamic state as a state is gone. but they have this second rationale for existence, this second argument that they proffer to would-be recruits, and that is that there is a war between east and west, that this is really about a long-term
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struggle between islam and christianity. and that you need to sign up with us because they, the west, america, the christian world, is coming for us. now, we know that's not true and we have watched presidents of both parties make it very clear to the world that this is not the fight that we seek to engage in. famously, immediately following the 9/11 attacks, president bush said that the face of terror is not the true face of islam. he said that's not what islam is all about. islam is peace. and yet the message that is being sent with this ban on muslims from these seven countries entering the united states is clear. the message is that the united states is at war with this
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religion, that we are at war with people of the muslim faith. and as we speak, these recruitment bulletin boards are lighting up with arguments being made as to the true nature of america's intent against the islamic people. one posting on one of these message boards said that trump's actions -- quote -- reveal the truth and harsh reality behind the american government and their hatred towards muslims. another posting on one of these extremist websites hailed trump as the best caller to islam. and another message said that the leader of isis al baghdadi has the right -- banning muslims
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from america is a blessed ban. now that's a phrase with very meaningful connotations. to the extent that these messaging boards are calling this ban on muslims entering from seven countries a blessed ban, it's rooted in a different phrase, something called the blessed invasion. the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003 became the starting point for the very insurgency that we are fighting today, and it was that invasion that was called by al qaeda, al qaeda in iraq and the affiliated extremist groups that were drawn into the fight. it was they that called that invasion the blessed invasion. today on extremist websites, the ban on muslims entering the united states is being called the blessed ban.
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this order is making this country less safe hour by hour. it is giving a pathway to rebirth for the very terrorist organizations that we had made such progress in pushing back and fighting back. and in iran specifically, it will lead to this country and our allies in the middle east losing the fight against hardliners who pose a threat to the united states, to stability in the middle east, and to our sacred ally of israel. in iran, there is a contest between moderates, and that's a relative term within the iranian political space, and hardliners who chant death to israel, who don't fear a world war or a
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conflict with the united states and with the signing of the iran nuclear agreement and the lifting of a handful of sanctions on iran, the moderates won a victory and the population of that country which is surprisingly pro-american and supported that nuclear agreement were ascended potentially foreshadowing a day in which that country would no longer be a provoke-- provocatur in the region and instead engage in conversations on how to bring stability to the middle east. now the hardliners have within hand -- have been handed a gift, a gift which proves that america is an enemy not just of the iranian state but of the iranian people because remember when we think of actions that we take against governments that we don't like, we first try to start with actions that specifically identify
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individuals in government so that we make it clear that it's not about the people of that country but about their leaders. and if that isn't strong enough, then we go to sanctions against commercial interests, against the economy at large. yes, those sanctions do filter down and hurt real people but the sanctions are levy at the economy or against commercial actors. when you enact a specific ban on the people of a country being able to travel to the united states, you are levying that punishment directly on those individuals who by and large bear no ill will towards the united states. you're telling them that it's their fault and the iranian people will turn against the united states, will turn towards the hardliners based upon thx. this ban makes us less safe. it will allow for terrorist groups to rebound.
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and that's not just me saying it. senatosenator mccain, senator gm have -- owe senator mccain, senator graham have said the same thing. and i guess tonight i think back to the moment in which i first heard that candidate donald trump was proposing a ban on all muslims entering the united states, and i remember the universal bipartisan derision that met that announcement. it was almost laughable at that point in time during the campaign, if you remember, candidate trump was flailing. he was weak. he needed to reassert himself. he needed to make news and so he grabbed for the most controversial, most outlandish proposal he could make. and republicans and democrats here in congress condemned it.
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speaker ryan tweeted this. a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of america's fundamental values. i reject it. governor mike pence said calls to ban muslims from entering the united states are offensive and unconstitutional. a religious test for entering this country is not reflective of america's fundamental values. i reject it. calls to ban muslims from entering the united states are offensive and unconstitutional. i give credit to a small handful of republicans here in the senate and a small handful of republicans in the house who have raised serious concerns
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about this ban with respect to what it says about american values or what it says about american national security. but there is utter silence from republican leadership. republican leadership who only months ago claimed that if there was a religious test for entering our country, they would reject it today are quiet. the idea that individuals could come to thi -- to this country without regard to their religion or national origin or set of beliefs, that has never been a partisan issue. of all the things that divide us, that idea has been one that unifies us. and so, mr. president, my hope
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is that there is still a chance that both parties can come together and recapture the essence of american originalism and can put this country on firmer national security footi footing, can continue the relentless drive against extremist groups like isis who now find themselves at a point of potential rebirth. you've heard a lot of stories on the floor of the senate today, and, you know, it's interesting. we have these incredibly compelling stories of real people who are caught today in the middle of this reckless, ill
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thought out ban. but there are 67,000 refugees that are currently in the pipeline to come to this country right now. this isn't about a hundred or 200 or 300 or 400. this is about tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing persecution and terror and torture. of course this is about the 230 million muslims who live in those seven countries who have been told that they are lesser and frankly every other muslim in the world who believes that the message is being sent to them as well. so these stories that we tell you are the tip of the iceberg isn't even accurate. this is a pinprick.
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fahti kazar and his family, here are his two girls, they left in 2011 due to the epic levels of violence that he was sure would kill his two little girls if he didn't leave. his family went to the u.a.e., the united arab emirates but the way in which it works is if you have a job you can stay but if you don't have a job, you leave. and when he lost his job, they were kicked out. and that began an epic journey for fahti and his family. these girls actually were born in the u.a.e. as i understand so he was fleeing syria to protect his family and his future children. and yet they were kicked out of
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the country they went to and fahti then began a journey to try and find a home for he and his family. he tried to get to europe via tunisia but he was detained and sent back to turkey. he eventually flew to brazil. he made his way to the united states by crossing the border with mexico. upon entry he was detained. he was transferred to miami. he was released, eventually found his way to connecticut and he applied for asylum. it was granted in december of 2015. fahti's relatives in syria were tortured, had been detained by the regime. his neighborhood was dangerous and deadly. fahti and his family were exactly the kind of people that
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this country historically has been able to rescue from war-torn countries, from terror, and from torture. his family had experienced torture. his children were they to return to syria would face potential death. and he went through all of the processes that we asked him to. he didn't go into the shadows. he didn't hide. he applied for asylum status. it was granted in 2015. he followed forms that would allow for his wife and two daughters to follow and those visas were issued last tuesday on january 24. originally they had a flight that was scheduled to bring his wife and these two little girls to the united states today but last week when fahti learned of the potential for this executive order, he paid $1,000 to move
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their flight up to friday. and so his two little girls and his wife got on a flight from jordan to ukraine, eventually to the united states. their passports and visas were taken from them. they were sent to c.v.p. their visas were rejected and they were returned to jordan. they're back that their old apartment, these two little girls are, but they got rid of all their furniture. they got rid of all their clothes. their neighbors have temporarily given them mattresses to sleep on. they don't even know where their suitcases are. and their father who is ready to greet them at the airport here in the united states may never see them. they are scared to death.
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i have two little boys who are the exact same age. i have an 8-year-old. and i have a 5-year-old. and i think about what these two little girls went through, getting ready to finally go see their dad, who had gone through an epic struggle to try to find someplace in this world where his two little girls could be safe. he found it. he found it in america. he found it in my state. -- of connecticut. he found it just like hundreds of thousands of other people who fled war-ravaged europe, who fled the bombing in vietnam, who left albania and kosovo to come live a better life, just like
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they found. and he was ready to go to the airport to welcome his two little girls, and they were told that they're not leaving. you're not going to see your dad. you're going back to jordan and potentially eventually back to syria. imagine what those two little girls went through. and imagine millions of other little boys and girls like them who had in their mind this place called america, a place that would welcome them, who would rescue them from the disaster that had become their lives, and imagine that dream that was literally hours away for these two little girls extinguishing for millions others like them all around this planet. it's up to us whether that light
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which flickered off on friday relights. it's up to us as to whether we rekindle the american dream, that idea of america from our founding. this is not irreversible. these two little girls, you could bring them here. we could choose to bring them here. it's up to us. there's legislation on the floor of the senate right now as we speak that would rescind this order. it's our decision, right? there's 100 of us here. there's only 430 down the hall. there's only 535 of us. it's our decision whether these two little girls come to the united states or they go back to the war-ravaged home that their
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father left. it's up to us. it's not up to the president of the united states alone. he doesn't get to make these decisions by himself. democracy allowser us -- allows for us to make a decision. it's up to us. i believe that we can do it. i believe that we can bring these girls here. i believe that we can undo the damage that has been done to this country's security. i believe that we can get back on a path such that isis remains on its heels. i believe that we can recapture that idea of that farmer who came to this country from a far-off land who looked in amazement at the amalgam of cultures and peoples and religions that was america. i know this sounds like
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hyperbole. a loflt people out there say, this is just temporary. it's only for a few months, it's only for a few countries, but people are listening in washington. which direction are we heading? do we really care about the things that we have always cared about? millions upon millions of people all across this country and all across this world are watching. what do we do? is this a partisan issue? or can we commit ourselves together to stand up for those basic ideas of america's founding? there are two little girls that are watching most closely, who are watching to see if we can rise above partisanship and deliver to them the promise that is being made real for millions
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and millions of americans who call this place home. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: thank you. so, mr. president, we've had a number -- a large number of eloquent speeches about the president's executive order. and while they were going on, of course, we had a monday night massacre. salliates, a person -- sally yates, a person of great integrity, who follows the law, was fired by the president. she was fired because she would
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not enact, pursue the executive order on the belief that it was illegal, perhaps unconstitutional. it was a profile in courage. it was a brave act. and a right act. and i hope the president and his people who are in the white house learn something from this. first, that we are a nation that's a rule of law, and you just can't sit down, twitter something out, then think, okay, let's enact it. this is a complicated country, and when you do something as major as what the president proposed in his executive order, you got to think it through. you go the to talk to people -- you got to talk to people. sally yates was the acting attorney general. why wasn't she consulted? maybe they would have known what she felt and maybe they would have not done what they did.
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and, clearly that lack of consultation went up and down the line. sally yates is from a different administration. general kelly was president trump's selection. he learned of this executive order when he got a phone call from the white house while he saw it being announced on television. how can you run a country like that? i'm hearing from my constituents in new york. there are hard-core trump supporters. they're for hivment but they're a -- they're for him. but they're a small minority of new yorkers. there are many, many pro-immigrant people. they're horrified. but i would say this to the president-elect and his minions. there are 00 lost people who voted for president trump, not the hard-core. and they are appalled by the simple ineptitude of this administration.
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substantively, even more important, how can you run a country like this? how can you take a major order, major doing and not check it out with your homeland security secretary, with the justice department and the attorney general? i would say, mr. president, if this continues, this country has big trouble. we cannot have a twitter presidency. we cannot have a presidency that thinks, oh, this sounds good. let's just go do it and not think the consequences through. and, most of all, we cannot have a presidency that doesn't understand the beauty and depth of america, in this case when it comes to immigrants. we have been an amazing country. in the city in which i live, there is the big lady in the harbor with the torch. it is a beautiful symbol. americans admire and revere it.
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the world reveres and admires t why? because it says that america will be a place where people can take refuge, if they're persecuted religiously, politically, and then they can build a great life for themselves. that's a beautiful thing. and that moral force of america helps us win wars, helps us win support, helps us be the greatest country in the world that everyone admires. of course we need a strong military. of course we need a strong economy. praise god america has had both through the decades. but we also have been a moral beacon, god's noble experiment, as the founding fathers called it. and in those days, as now, we have welcomed people from distant shores and said, come be
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americans. our president is trampling on that, to be honest with you. the idea that immigrants are preponderantly criminals and pro-ponder and thely -- preponderantly terrorists? it's absurd. they are eight future of america. my state of new york, 25% of the people are foreign-born, probably as high as 40%, if you're either foreign-born or had a parent foreign-born. they're great new yorkers sms i was with a syrian refugee this week. his -- he and his wife and his children had just come. their parents were american citizens. they came to america in 1970. and the parent of mr. elias, who lived in the bronx, came here. he was a tailor. we don't have that many fine tailors in america these days. it's a lost art, so people who do it tend to be immigrants, mainly from italy is my
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experience. but he was a tailor from syria, and he then did what immigrant dozen in america -- he founds a little business. -- he founded a little business. he reapolesters boats. he made america better. he is a syrian immigrant. and his children and grandchildren were in danger. a suicide bomber had even blown up himself in front of their homehome nearly killing them. they just got in this month. had donald trump's executive order been in effect several weeks earlier, they wouldn't haven't been aiblg to get here. similarly another guy i met, mohammed -- mohammed knew english. he was so impressed by america, by the lady with the torch, by
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our values, by what we stand for that he volunteered to be a translator for our soldiers. he put his life in danger for doing that. and then he began to get threats from the terrorists. -- in iraq. he was an iraqi. and his wife was in danger. his children were in danger. he came january 5. again, had president trump and his evil order -- and that's what it is, it is evil -- gone into effect january 1, for all we know, mohammed would have died for helping our soldiers. do we have to prevent terrorists from coming into america? absolutely. the greatest source of terror are lone wolves. americans -- citizens -- and isis gets its evil ideas in its head and they do terrorist things. john mccain, my colleague's
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senior senator, who is an expert on this stuff, said this will encourage -- this executive order will encourage and increase the number of lone wolves. here's another group that needs typing. i would suggest to the president and his minions that those available in a visa waiver program, if you're a country that's generally been friendly to us there's something called a visa waiver program which means you can come into this country, very few questions asked, very little vetting. refugees are vetted for two years. that's why not a single refugee from any of the countries that were proscribed by the president has committed an act of terror here. not a single one. so this idea that this order hurts someone defending -- i heard someone defending the president saying the terrorists would have come in had they done it slowly and announced a date. well, we've had this -- for 15, 20 years we haven't had a
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single terrorist come in. what kind of absurdity is that? anyway, the visa waiver program allows people from, say, france and belgium to come into this country with few questions asked. we have seen french citizens, belgium citizens do terrorism. they'd be allowed to come into this country to do it here. why aren't we tightening that up? that's what should be done. so, mr. president, i'm going to conclude the evening. it's late. sally yates was a profile in courage, a profile in courage. maybe some of her courage, her insight, her wisdom would rub off on the people in the white house. maybe they'll back off and repeal this executive order and then we can work together and truly try to tighten up the laws , the actions of the
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administration to prevent terrorists from coming here. this resolution makes us less safe. it was poorly done in a slipshod, quick way that foretells real trouble in the white house. and most of all, it's done more to tarnish the great american dream, the great moral force of america that has made us in pare greatest country in the world. in one and two days undoing the work of generations. please, mr. president, reconsider. really think about this. don't just tweet. don't just get mad. don't just call names. think about it. change it. repeal it. it's too far gone to change. you've got to repeal it. and then maybe we can work together on tightening up some of the areas that i talked
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about. i see my friend from arizona has come to the floor. i don't want to hold him up any, so i yield the floor. mr. flake: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: the senate is about to adjourn. under the standing order we will convene at 12:00 noon tomorrow. following the prayer and pledge we'll consider to the nomination of the chao nomination. following the disposition of the chao nomination we will consider nomination of the tillerson nomination postcloture. i move to adjourn. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion to adjourn. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to.
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the senate stands adjourned until 1
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>> >> the floor and commonwealth affairs by a bush ally to make a statement on the implications of this country other recent changes of the immigration policy. it may be helpful if i described for the house the consequences of british citizens and nationals of the executive order issued last friday. let me begin by saying this is not our policy


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