tv Senate REAIR Senate Democrats on Immigration Order Part 5 CSPAN January 31, 2017 3:42am-3:55am EST
are watching to see if we can rise above partisanship and deliver to them the promise that is being made real for millions and millions of americans who call this place home. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. 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 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.
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. 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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