tv Durbin Merkley on Immigration Order CSPAN January 31, 2017 12:23am-12:59am EST
week on borders in very weak on illegal immigration. it is time to get serious about protecting our country . for the time being the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia is in charge of the justice department assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, this mr. durbin: mr. president, this .f >> mr. president 11th day of the trump presidency to save their tumultuous is an understatement and over the weekend was unsettling to
many people all across the united states. pocket -- candidate trump s made it clear he had strong feelings about refugees, immigration, but no one anticipated those executive orders that were issued but the net result of jfk or so many other airports that international travel route -- travelers that the laws of the united states or change ricans of the executive order. confusion as a result there is a lot of confusion and uncertainty and hardships were created and individuals were turned away. indef for the record this decision to indefinitely suspend the
emission of syrian refugees into the united states is not based on fact. since 9/11 or the war in syria began only have not had a single but if instance in of terrorism we have not stepped up to it mitt the syrian refugees but have gone to great an extraordinary links to give those background checks as consuming as one can imagine to vilify their safety to the united states overwhelmingly these are the deadly war gone on for years i i sit down with them in chicago. it is heartbreaking to think
they may be were lucky enough to make it to refugee camp then waiting for years to to be cleared by the united states if passed to be a heartbreaking process sent through all they have endured losses that they can never forget injuries and deaths of people that they love these are men and womenho v escaping death the war that have ravaged their country and they try to come to the estates for safety and security the history of refugees in america is one is admirable but unfortunately before world war ii it was a sad chapter in our history. not only did we into word -- enter 120,000 japanese in camps for fear they would betrayed the united states but time and again big
mystery sugar president roosevelt and congress refused to allow those who were escaping the holocaust of nazi, germany to come to the united states.obert and never was made by senator wagner to would mitt 10,000 jewish children into the united states so parents would have the peace of mindhe they would not be killed in the war of the of holocaust was defeated on the floor of the united states senate. prior to our entry those who tried to escape to come to the united states were turned away by the united states the most notorious example was the s.s. st. louis sailing from germany first goes to have an iq the then miami florida
and was turned away with 900 passengers to feared for their lives because of the anti-semitism taking place and nazi, germany. several hundred were rejected by the united states not given refugee status and forced to return to germany and several hundred perished in all holocaust. after that bitter experience the united states decided we would set an example for the world with compassion we stepped up time and time again to be that place of security and safety to point proudly to the fact when the cubans were fearful of a communist takeover fearfuled for rights and liberties they came to him in states c of tens and thousands now ay
proud part around the nation to point to the u.s. refugee policy by which they finally made it to the safety of the united states. . . a dictator, fidel castro, who was declaring his loyalty to the soviet union, and yet we were readily receiving tens of thousands of refugees from cuba in the midst of that cold war. talk about a chance and taking a chance. these men and women who came to the united states were not vetted for months, years, in many cases not at all. they were allowed into our country. thank goodness we did it. it was the right thing to do. and time and again, whether it was refugees coming in from vietnam after the end of that deadly war or whether it was soviet jews persecuted by the soviet union trying to escape,
coming to the united states, we opened our doors and said the united states of america will set an example for the world when it comes to refugees. that defined who we were and who we still should be. and now this new president is ready to walk away from that. if we had one instance of a syrian refugee coming into the united states after that vetting process who caused harm to our citizens or engaged in an act of terrorism, if we had one, then perhaps this president could start to make his case. cops could start to make the case. all he has is fear, unproven fear. we recall they set to the nation standing here on the steps when he was inaugurated in march 1933 we have nothing to fear but feas itself. it is fear itself that is
motivating the president to mako decisions inconsistent with more than 50 years of american history and inconsistent with american values. when you meet these refugees how can you say there's no room for you in this country that's whate he said. they were supposed to implement the order that they were caughti by surprise priding themselves t when given instructions that important financial security but this case financial security wa, the motive. political security was the i motive.ons and some of them were horrible. a man came to the united states from one of the countries designated by president trump
after having risked his life for american soldiers and was rewarded with an opportunity to come to the united states and detained at the airport, threatened to be returned toll iraq and finally after 19 hours allowed to stay. story after story of the family is coming to see someone who was on the deathbed, their lastt chance to be together, families that have gone overseas for what they thought were just casual and easy trips were subject to detention and some turned away. it certainly wasn't in the interest of the security and itr wasn't handled in a professional manner. it was impulsive and not decisive. an it was ill-conceived and here wd are today as i stand here in the senate. d
i'm happy to report almost a dozen republican senators have joined us in expressing reservations about the policy. it gives me hope that maybe in a bipartisan basis we can rein in some of the excesses of the administration and god forbid the basic constitutional issues. that has been raised by the executive orders. it's no coincidence that he's countries are predominantly n muslim countries and it's noen coincidence president trump went on a christian broadcasting station an and said preference would be given to christians. this calls to question the basic values of the question.
there was more understanding of the future than any other. they said three things in the constitution, three things over 200 years ago.d most importantly they said each person have freedom of religious belief or to believe nothing and that would be under the bill of rights. the third element, religion couldn't be used as a litmus test for public office. and that's it when you think of all of the wars and persecution the fact that we have escaped is because the list of the document
and now comes the president decides to rewrite the book, to ignore the constitutional direction and mandate. to say on a broadcasting company we are going to favor christian refugees coming to the united ud states commit that t, that to ms unacceptable andun wi unconstitutional. inconsistent with who we are and what we are and the values we te treasure. my grandfather brought my grandmother over and i did have one thing in my office upstairs my grandmother carried with her to the country. it was a prayer book. she was a roman catholic in the russian orthodox religion that was pushed by those are.
the contraband was brought into the united states and it means the world to me a woman of courage was willing to risk a lot bringing small children into the country carrying with her that prayer book. so religion means a lot to my family not just on a personal basis that what america means when it comes to religion and when this president is so casual with a constitutional guarantee, i don't believe that he is serving the united states were honoring the history before you. there've been so many issues that have come up during the 11 days of the presidency, but the president's decision to turn away innocent people fleeing persecution, genocide and terror
to ban immigrants on the basis of religion is the worst in my view. this attack is not only un-american but it risks alienating 1 billion muslims most conservative in the count country. republicans have said over and over again don't do this. there are countries that are our allies fighting terrorism and if you alienate them it is going to lessen our ability to. furthermore this is a recruiting tool. they will use this action by president trump to verify the belief and the credo that the united states is anti-muslim.e f he had the wisdom and showed tha leadership to come before the american people to say we were not going to condemn the muslim
religion. we were going to go after those that corrupted if you honor it as a religion of peace. sen senator dianne feinstein is a ranking democrat on theution judiciary committee. she introduced a resolution i'm proud to be one of thend cosponsors of to refuel and resend the reprehensible executive orders on refugees and immigration. we are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in the history of the world more than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. the scenery in conflicts such as more t humanitarian crisis has killed hundreds of thousands and injured more than a million and displaced half of the population in the country in some areas
children literally starve to death. the conflict has forced more than 4.7 million refugees to ch flee. around 70% of them are women and children who are looking for a safe place in this world. half the children today are not in school because of this conflict and because of the forces that have dispersed them around the world. millions in and outside of the humanitarian assistance.ident tr last week same week the president signed this executive order the united nations issuedc an appeal for $4.6 billion to meet the basic needs of the refugees and the strugglingri beli countries. one of our best friends and allies in the middle east has made more sacrifices on behalf
of refugees per capita than any nation on earth. what message does that send that while they risk the safety and security to absorb the refugees around the world as anwill no unofficial policy the united states will no longer even t consider allowing the refugees to come to the united states. how can we ask the king of jordan to risk the country forfu the refugees when president this trump said they are not allowed in the united states. earlier this month i'm happy too report 1,700 jewish rabbisfu called on our governments to maintain and strengthen the refugee program for the refugees of all ethnic and religious backgrounds this weekend i was so proud of the catholic cardinal in chicago who came out
and said the executive orders of donalwith donald trump are not consistent with american values and certainly not with the beliefs of the catholic church. religious leaders all across the country are speaking out. they understand this is more than a political test. it's a moral test of who we are as americans. refugees were fleein fleeing res that were hostile to the united states. we gave them safety. the refugees are the carefully vetted investigative of all travelers. before they are admitted, they go through security screenings that are almost unheard of. all of that takes place before they can consider stepping foot in america. the theory and refugees go syri extreme betting and i have news for the president of the theory in refugees all over the world are going through betting
it places into the argument they are waging war against islam. the former director of the cia and the security agency under president bush and obama have to say about the executive order. here's what he said. it is a horrible move. it is political, ideological driven by the language of the campaign and frankly campaign promises. promises in the campaign there were hypethatwere hyped by the n of the threat. we are living in the worst g. hottest narrative possible that there is own by eatin -- the sty that they were being told.
frankly at the humanitarian level it is an abomination. that statement wasn't made by the democratic national committee. it was made by the former director of the central intelligence agency and the national security agency under president bush and obama. we should be serious about closing the loopholes. think of the hundreds of thousands who go through no betting not even fingerprintingt before they get on a plane to come to the united states. let's look at this seriously instead of real security threats, president trump is focusing on innocent people,days children, families that are fleeing terrorism. today's refugees like millions before them all over the world will be proud americans who
contribute through the society and economy. albert einstein was a refugee. thank goodness he came to the united states. so many leaders today are a major operations in high-tech companies or immigrants in the country in some cases refugees. let's not continue a deception of blaming immigrants and refugees for the security and economic challenges. let's work together to build a r better america including new americans where the parents were born or how they pray. i yield the floor.
>> mr. president, citizens across the country are very concerned, in fact more than concerned. they are terrified of the fundamental values which the nation was founded. religious tolerance, freedom of religion.nd the ability to worship as you please. we would be welcoming to the refugees and there would be a nation that embraces immigrants.
she said give me your tired, hud your poor, your huddled masses to breathe free. but the president has slammed the door on the tired and the poor and the huddled masses. it is an action the citizens in my own state have come out to protest. they've gone to the airport in s portland and mass today is around to say that we are not welcoming to the world. we are not going to slam the door shut on refugees. we are not going to single out t muslim nations and say we do not want you here. i held to town halls over the weekend. peace to town halls, the first was gymnasium about this size.
they are very upset and angry that our fundamental values are being disregarded by the president of the united states. then i went to my second town hall. i thought 600 was a lot. 3,700 came out to my second town hall. every one of them wanting to send a message to president ro trump you are taking us on the wrong road that hurts people around the world and hurts our fundamental values and that decreases our security. this order, this executive action from the president has had an immediate and painful impact. hundreds of people detained attr
airport where they were legallyn traveling here. many of them have benefited onvg extended periods some of them going for several years and finally they had in their handso the visa that says yes, i'm going to have a country and it's going to be the united states of america and the president crushed that hope. chaos and confusion, they told the administration that there is no mandate it is so destructive to the values. they came out to say stand mr. president, when you tear down women in america, we stand with the women of america. when you tear down the disabled, we stand with the disabled of
america. when you tear down african americans and hispanics we stand with african-americans and pre hispanics. and when you tear down muslims, we stand with our muslim brothers and sisters because this is the united states of america where we value religious freedom, where we value religious tolerance. this is a nation of immigrants if you're not 100% native american, then you are either a democrat or sophomore the child or grandchild or great-grandchild of an immigrant. most of us can track members of the family who came from the ravages of war or drought or
oppression to come here to this soil, this land of freedom. james madison remarked america was indebted for a settlement and prosperity. that remains just as true today as it was in madison today. here we stand. the present is denied access toa a nation to a group of people mr based on nothing more than religious beliefs. beliefs. betraying the values of religious tolerance and shutting the doors on refugees. the president said this is not a ban on those of muslim faith but of course it is because it is a
ban on the muslim nations withv an exception made for ban so it is nothing other than a ban on muslims. and this is about protecting our citizens. but let us be very clear about c that. numerous refugees have come to the land, numerous immigrants coming into their-zero attacks carried out by the nations listed in the order. we have been attacked by individuals from other a countries. from saudi arabia, egypt and lebanon. those nations are not listed on this order. what we do know is that this
doesn't make the nation safer. national security experts recognize that it does exactly the opposite. by signing this executive order, the president has betrayed the most fundamental values and principles antagonizing 1.6 billion citizens in the world and has given our enemies, given our enemies ammunition for their thoughts and narrative that america is at war with islam. because that is exactly what they've used to recruit. that is what they do to increase import fuel on the fire to persuade people to attackally america. they basically handed to them this argument, this false narrative and put the nation at risk.
what we have done now is probably because less safe today than we were friday morning before this happened because we are now living the worst is narrative possible that there is undying anisunderlying entity bm and the west. i share the view.uo it sends a message to the community they are facingss discrimination in isolation. and that message will feed the narrative that the united states is at war with islam potentially encouraging muslims to plot w violence. this is the wrong move in every
possible way. it is hasty, dangerous,t wrongheaded and puts american citizens at risk and helps our enemies. benjamin franklin once said those who give up essential liberty to purchase liberty or safety and in this case, president trumps executive order has degraded both our libertyery and security. both our liberty and safety. we have turned our back on my friends and allies helping us in the war against isis. the president has made it clear that he wants to take on isis that he wants to amplify it andb he sabotaged that effort with
this executive order. there is individuals that worked for more than a decade in the united states. this man risked his life for more than ten years in hel how e greeted when he arrives here, he's greeted with handcuffs. iraq he interpreters have earneo the right to come to america and they risk their lives and their families lives and sacrifice for us. they have assisted us in multiple ways. what about this ban on refugees? refugees are the most thorough
benefit of all of those that have come to the united states. a terrorist wants to come to the united stateunited states secree wouldn't attempt to come as a refugee. one it would be one or two years waiting, miserable conditions in a refugee camp with all kinds of vetting and they may never get permission to come. if you want intense vetting them look to how we got refugees. blocking women and children and interpreters from coming to the country that have been the most thoroughly vetted of all potential immigrants is simply wrong. in fact the model for vetting refugees is intense. just searching for a safe haven. but we have turned our back and slammed the door.
mr. president, america is better than this. for centuries we have been a beacon of hope to the world, a beacon of justice and compassion and we must restore the nation as a beacon of hope and justice and liberty and compassion. millions of americans are coming out in the snow and in the rain and some places in good weather. they are coming out in any possible condition to speak out and say this is not america, this is not us. tear down the door on refugees.
tear down this ban that has placed the nation at risk. let us together put the nation back on track. let us fight for the values that made america great for the last two centuries. let us together fight for the richness of the culture and community and the strength of our society that comes from being a nation of. we need to act urgently. mr. president, i yield the flo floor. >> the poorly drawn executive order blocking refugees fromalus around the united states sacrifices fundamental american values and does not make us safer. for the first time in memory,