tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 1, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
be apart of it too. we don't have local government or the federal part of the government saying, oh, we're against this. because if just a few voices decided to challenge we think we can get a coalition of cities much larger and that is an important counterbalance for any court. especially they may win this first round judging by what i've heard about the court it is in. but it will be appealed and it's very important for americans to speak up and out and for cities to be the voice of all americans. >> are you confident that ultimately the federal government does have the authority do -- >> i think so. again, i said in political terms i think history is on our side. if we need to see the progress come through changes in laws as well at the federal level it is only a matter of time because it makes sense across the board. you know, seven out of the ten top new companies started in this country were started by immigrants or children of immigrants. i gave you the stats of 44% of your new businesses in the city of l.a. if we become a place seen as anti-immigrant or shutting off that valve, i was sharing with you a story. i just came back from asia and
when i was in seoul and tokyo and when i was in different cities in china, they were all asking how can we get more diversity? they realize this is important for competition in the global economy today. we can't afford a conversation that is backwards, saying how do we keep these people in the fringes. because they are going to be there. we need to embrace that and see our populations continue to grow in the u.s. >> two final things and then bring in the audience. first you mentioned the importance. the goal here really is citizenship in the end. not just legal status. and that will require legislation. do you think this executive action in the long run is bringing us closer or further away from a legislative consensus on immigration? >> no question i think it is bringing us closer. and to use the metaphor from before like gay marriage. civil unions, the sky didn't fall. it was a necessary first step, not the ultimate goal. as i joked with friend,
what's going to happen when gay marriage goes through? nothing. the world didn't change. gay couples get married get divorced. straight couples too. and any steps we can take forward with immigration will show it gets a little better not worse. so what do we have to fear? the argument that somehow this is going to be corrosive to our democracy or economy have not borne when we take these steps. so i think this helps us get to the place ultimately of the citizenship. and someone today who is a proponent don't ask if tell us how, because the alternative is something this country can't afford. the status quo is completely broken for all of us that deal with it. and we need you to be a part of that solution instead of just saying what you are against. and that is the challenge i think for this congress. i think that is the challenge for immigration opponents that are out there right now. it's un-american but i'm very hopeful we'll move closer. >> does the magnitude matter?
you have the house voting last week to block it. probably a majority of the senate but not enough will vote to block it. possibly every republican presidential candidate in 2016 will vote to -- will promise to whatever else repeal the executive action. does the number of people who get signed up between now and then -- assuming it goes forward -- is that a significant variable do you think on whether this stays in place? >> it is a an important variable but the question they then have to answer, okay, if you don't the -- president didn't have the power to do it will you do this legislatively and you as president, will you sign that in? i don't think as the white house this was the preferred mode of action. and i think it's a bigger question the american people will be asking any candidate, any party. what are you doing to fully integrate my cousins and my neighbors and my co-workers, you know this is no longer something in which these people don't recognize who these folks are. and the importance is when you
meet a d.r.e.a.m.er who has been a straight "a" student only known the united states gets a scholarship to go to a wonderful university and can't afford it because there is no financial aid. where are they expected -- >> i want to challenge. the supporters of the policies, the city, the advo indication groups the neighborhood groups, if there are millions of people signed up is this more likely to endure than hundreds. >> absolutely. that becomes an advocacy group. the people who are parts of these families. most of these families are blended. full citizens, people here legally and not citizens and folks who don't have any documentation. in singular families. i think you have the huge constituency. and once people get in the system, they should be able to i think with full trust and faith be able to see the end of that as well. >> all right. let's bring in the audience for a couple questions. and over here. >> i stood up here. i guess that's where they want us. it was interesting and thank you for being here today. very enlightening. a lot of questions, but
i'll boil it down to two and having covered this issue for many years i really there is a great deal of fear, and it is not just fear from the government of fear of the government or fear of your neighbor, but when you lined up and seen people cross the rio grande and they are being exploited by the coyotes trying to bring them over there is a fear now that again there will be an exploitation in neighborhoods as this comes to pass. how do you deal with that is the first question. and then the second one is i run two newspapers and three websites. and i can tell you on any given day if i'm not tweeting or i'm not involved in social media, i'm doomed. so how do you take this message to social media and deal with the naysayers who as the man wiser than me once said a lie with make its way around the world before the truth puts its boots on. how do deal with it in the media age.
>> it's a lot of worlds that exist unto themselves sometimes. i think it's important not to lose folks and spend time arguing rebuts from folks who may never change their mind but reach those who need help. and that is primarily what we're using social media for to reach out and say come on in. we have the citizenship centers. we have folks who know in that can answer your question, etf. but to the first piece i think you are right. it is a very fair point. that anybody who is pro-immigrant or pro-citizenship in this argument has to have their hearts break when they see the conditions on the border and cannot ignore that. can't have an open boarder. cannot say look, like i said for those children i wouldn't tell any kid that was in mexico or central affordable care act america, yeah by yourself go try to cross that border. you are putting your life on the line and looking to be exploited et cetera. so having a smart border is important together as a path towards citizenship.
to me that is very important. what we do in our towns once they get there is i think it's very important to create relationships directly between law enforcement and the immigrant community. and los angeles has really led the way. chief charlie beck. before him chief bill bratton. we really make sure folks know we have a special order, special order 40 that means if you come into contact with a police officer we're not just going to ask for your citizenship or documentation status and then send you over i.c.e. for no other reason, not just because of a criminal act but because of that. we want people to testify. we want them to be witnesses and report crimes. we have a very working relationship with immigrant communities to trust our police didn't. that wasn't always the case but they do now and helps make our streets safer and helps them feel a part of the civic life too. >> peggy ochokski with the hispanic and lifetime southern californian. i agree that the hispanic
community who is here illegally will benefit tremendously from this. but i got a different perspective on immigration when i came here to d.c. and that is that a lot of jobs that especially blacks used to do in this town, especially construction have been completely taken over by latino contractors who often use illegal workers and underbid the black contractors. i've talked to many. i've interviewed them. i appreciate your polyannaish view about the good but there is no doubt that illegals do take jobs. and what are you going -- when can you -- how can you face that? every person i talk to whose going to benefit this, their first thing says they are going to take a better job. they are going to get a better job than they have now. so who is going toedly the americans don't do. >> with all respect i don't think it is very polyannaish and
i think it's very practical and rooted in a lot of research on this. and to your question in the construction trades, and it's very important not to conflate that anybody that is a construction worker is illegal. isn't necessarily an undocumented immigrant. what we've done in los angeles we saw african-americans not being in the building trades anymore in the hotels where are or there are a lot of employment. we worked on apprenticeship programs that went into the south los angeles and worked with building trades unions to bring what is now about 3,000 or 4,000 african-americans that weren't becoming plumbers, electricians, carpenters et cetera to go specifically into that. and we found on the work site if people didn't speak spanish sometimes they couldn't get on to those jobs. so recognize that issue. we've taken that on and brought people in. same with the hotel industry where we saw a lot of african-americans no longer in
these positions. and we've worked with unite here, other unions and we've consciously drawn people now to learn those trades and get in there with good success. so there are ways to be able to deal with whatever issues come up with this. i think it's too simplistic to say quote/unquote illegals take jobs. people who are here want to work. and i think that that's great. we want hard-working people no matter what their color, religion and background. and i think there are ways to be able to do it. >> let's go to the next question. >> no, they don't have to. >> first of all, thank you for coming all the way over to the best coast. we appreciate you spending time with us in january. >> not a good argument in january. >> do you feel that individuals who are applying for citizenship should be required to learn english. >> i do, i support that. i think that that's a good thing for us to be able to have. i think that is the language of success. i think it happens in every generation that people do. it's tough for some people once you're past 5 years old to learn a new language so you'll have folks who come, you know even from their teens or early 20s and till the time they die their
primary language will be lithuanian or whatever. but i do think it is a good idea and supported and something that we can do -- people want to. i've never met in my interactions immigrants who don't want to learn english but can they work it into their two jobs? do we have the adult schools to allow it. a big focus of ours in los angeles to provide those classes and through my office of immigrant affairs. >> over here. >> i'm taylor. >> hello. >> thank you for being with us as you stated from california. dreaming. how about that. but -- this may seem a little elementary and do apologize. we don't air white elephant ss in the room or in public. but do you think america could benefit at all from going back to immigration, period, and reviewing it as a whole as to really -- if we want to relegate who's immigrants and who are
native, do you think we could benefit at all from retaking that course and even going back to reviewing whether christopher columbus even actually discovered the land, what happened with the indians, so forth and so on, that we could actually get an education that would then allow all of us to make an informed decision as to comments, behaviors and actions that relate to immigration, said civil services and otherwise? >> well i think you make a great point like that we should all know our history before we say who was brought here willfully, who was brought here in chain who was here before anybody else was here and when did they even migrate here themselves? i love the line that no one actually originally came here, even those who were native here originally here 10,000 years before anybody else. i think that's important, but i think we can sometimes get so caught up in the history piece back and forth about who is right and who is wrong that we forget to solve the practical problems. and i love history. i love trying to untangle the morality. i mean we all have blood on our hands and we're all victimized.
i think everybody can lay claim in some ways to both. what is most important is what america decides is not just where you came from but where do we want to go? who do we want to be, and we see other great industrialized nations struggling with population growth. like japan and korea, the same thing, when we have an aging population and folks being brought up and a low birth rate. the focus in the united states has always been immigration, to keep the economy growing, to keep investments happening, to see innovation happening. why should we have students and who are brilliant and as soon as they invent something then say, start your business anywhere but america. so i think getting back to that history can inform the future but i do appreciate you bringing that up. >> can i ask you real quick, and we need you to go to the mike. can i ask you real quick -- >> sure. >> what california is considering would be to extend the medical program to the undocumented. would you support that? >> absolutely. we wind up paying an emergency
room. preventative care is always cheaper than what we pay. same argument on homelessness, for instance, when folks say we can't afford to house the homeless, and i say one weekend can cost thousands of dollars when they have to go into a hospital or nursing home. anywhere we could save money. >> one final question. >> going back to your original question in terms of economic impact, what do you see the economic impact of the executive action and potentially eventually comprehensive immigration reform on housing, for example, and home ownership, specifically. >> thank you for that, too. los angeles is now, unfortunately, the least affordable city in the country or the region. it's not the highest rents. you can find them other places, but given wages and rents, that gap. so we want people to earn more money. we want them to be able to start businesses legally. we want them to be -- we have a record number of jobs, we think, in los angeles but not a record number of payroll jobs.
we think because a lot of those are either now people starting their own things or off the books and we need to bring people onto the books. that gives me more money to pave my roads, to hire more police officers, to have paramedics. so the economic effects, the $2.8 billion we estimate, but it's also an effect on my city. i can't afford not to have integration of immigrants because we have to pay for that. it's the same thing as poverty wages. you know, we often say, well, let's not raise the minimum wage and then we all pay for it anyway in the emergency room or food stamps. when people aren't home to help their kis with homework. we have after-school programs we pay for. let's find a way for people to become citizens, get a decent wage, have access to housing and even home ownership. that to me is the american dream. that's what i'm fighting for every single day in l.a. and i know a lot of my colleagues are around the country. >> you give us a lot to think about. join me in thanking eric garcetti. [ applause ]
>> thank you so much, mayor garcetti, for joining us. our next panel is new faces, new places, a conversation with mayors. and joining rahm on stage are the honorable steve hogan, mayor of aurora, colorado, the honorable ralph becker, mayor of salt lake, utah, and the honorable tom tait, mayor of anaheim, california. and joining ron on stage is amy sullivan, correspondent of "national journal" and director of next economy program which will help moderate. i will turn it over to you. >> hi, amy. welcome, mayors. let me start and amy and i will kind of take turns grilling you, but let me start with a point we discussed with mayor garcetti, which is that although there are a few big cities that have a lot of undocumented by the estimates that would be potentially eligible for executive action, in fact, the best estimates from the migration policy institute is that this sis substantially dispersed, much
more than, for example, under ronald reagan in the 1980s. with we hook at the top 20 counties they only account for 40% of the total pool of the eligible population. there is a lot of people out there. orange county with anaheim, estimated 157,000 people. eligible suburban denver, 41,000, salt lake county, 22,000. when we think -- when we get beyond chicago and new york and l.a., is the infrastructure in place to work through this process in cities of your size? mayor? >> i think the short answer is yes. the city of aurora is about 350,000 people. we are already a city where the caucasians are a minority. 6% asian, 19% african-american, 28% hispanic, 1% to 2% whatever. that leaves less than 50%
caucasian. and it's been that way for a while. and we find ways to get things done. we have no choice. the federal government doesn't work. the state government is dealing with many of the basic issues that the federal government used to deal with. that leaves local government to do the rest, and we think we do it pretty well. >> yeah, certainly in salt lake city, in listening to pay yore garcetti we certainly wish we had the resources of a larger city like los angeles, but i think we're confident that a combination of city government, non-profit faith-based organizations, partnerships at the state level that we are pretty well prepared to be able to house our immigrant population and provide for them. salt lake city is a refugee resettlement city. we've got 50,000 refugees have
resettled over 100 languages in our public schools in salt lake city. we are in the continual effort around dealing with folks who are either in poverty or come to our country or come to salt lake city in need. it is a remarkably giving society and community. we're the number one service volunteer state in the country. state and city in the country so we feel we can address this. we're anxious to incorporate our new citizens into our community. >> and how do you feel? >> anaheim is the largest city in orange county. about 350,000. very ethnic. 70% ethnic, i think 55% latino, 20% asian. we're the largest american populations in the united states. it's wildly diverse. we were listening to mayor garcetti and were thinking, man, he's got a lot of resources, a
lot of formalized stuff going on. we just get things done. so basically we've been doing it in our city. we treat people as people and regardless of status. if people -- if there is a crime that's being committed, our police officers go and it doesn't matter whether they're here legally or illegally or documented or undocumented. it doesn't matter. so we treat people as people, i guess. as far as when these programs start rolling in, we rely on a lot of the non-profits, the charities that do a lot of work with us. >> will the city undertake its own effort directly? >> don't know. don't know. >> yeah, we are. we're in the midst of it right now. >> mayor? >> probably not, but that's only because we're in a fairly unique status. we're actually in three different counties and we have five different school districts, so we end up being more of a facilitator. but certainly there are programs
that city government is in charge of, and as was said, we don't care. we just deal with people and make it work. >> amy sullivan the director of the next america project joining us. >> thank you. governor, i wanted to follow up on what you mentioned and if you could talk about your experience in salt lake with the mormon church or the jesus christ church of latter-day saints working on the refugee program you've had. because a lot of cities, i know, are feeling some financial strain and will need to lean on some local actors as this process goes through, and perhaps that could be kind of a model of what you've seen happen already and what you expect in terms of the cooperation with some local people. >> yeah. i think our goal in salt lake city is to be as inclusive and welcoming as we possibly can be for everyone who comes to our
community, and so whether it's an immigrant, whether someone is homeless, whether someone is wealthy, in a new corporation, we really want our folks to feel like we have an inclusive environment. in salt lake city and in utah, we went through a fairly unique experience, i think. when the wave of anti-immigration action started to occur in arizona and was literally the wave was sweeping into utah, as you might expect, the leadership of the state, political leadership, certainly the business leadership, the non-profit leadership on every end of the spectrum came together and said, wait a minute, this is not who we are. and over a period of a couple months developed something called the utah compact and said we as a state and as a society want to foster these principles in the way we address immigration and didn't specify particular legislative solutions but recognized the federal system is broken, that we want to support and not have families
separated, that we want to take advantage and integrate the prosperity that comes from immigrants come nothing our society and a number of other factors and said, this is how we want to operate. and it stemmed that tidal wave, almost, that was coming over utah, and it is a set of principles that really has served us well in saying, hey, we are a very conservative state, but we do not want to be treating people in a way that is either discriminatory or in a way that is inhumane, or in a way that doesn't recognize the benefits that come from immigration. so that spirit seems to prevail, and we have incredibly generous folks, both privately and publicly, that allow us, i think, to get more things done. we at the city level, that's what we're about. you know, we could argue idealogy all we want, but when it comes down to it, it's serving our community. >> let me ask from your own experience but also looking more broadly in your role as chairman
or co-chair of a task force and as, you know, leading the league of cities, do you expect any resistance from the state, which is a conservative state, and which is i believe one of the states on the lawsuit if you are out there trying to implement the executive order, do you expect you'll face any resist and are there other cities that might face resistance from their governments? >> i'll just say there is a continuous tension in our state that you see in the anti-immigrant sentiments. they're loud and they're a very strong voice in our state. but so far whether you're talking about providing tuition in-state tuition benefits or whether you're talking about providing the basic services that people need, i think our state has been pretty welcoming. the litigation that the state of utah joined on -- you'd have to ask them. to me it seems inconsistent with the kind of
spirit we reflected. in the utah compact, but i think we're going to have to sort of let it play itself out. there are still people who operate in an ideological realm and are maybe appeasing certain views, but i'm not seeing that reflected in the way we're taking our actions. >> do you think cities will face any meaningful resistance from states and some of the more skeptical states? >> certainly not from california. >> right. >> it's -- >> that would not be high on the list of threats. [ laughter ] >> yeah, no -- >> i'm talking about your colleagues with the task force and so forth. if you look at texas or arizona or florida, some of these other places where we have large concentrations in urban areas that may want to as you're describing aggressively implement the order, do you think any of them will face pushback in their states? >> as mayors, what brings us together is we often deal with issues and solve problems. that is really where the rubber hits the road.
so we have to deal with this and that's why you have a bipartisan group of mayors on the task force got together. we got a letter signed, 150 mayors signed a letter asking for comprehensive immigration reform. including securing the borders and -- but also allowing those who live below the shadows to come out and be part of the american dream so you had broad support from that -- >> ki follow up real quick? >> sure. >> given that, do you think the president acting on his own here with his executive action, does that move it closer or further away from a comprehensive solution of the kind that you've endorsed? >> well, you'll get debate amongst mayors on that. i wish it didn't happen because i think it moves us away. it throws in another constitutional argue. because there is such a big issue, there needs to be a law, and there needs to be a law that everybody can get behind. it would just make it easier. i guess i like i think the action he took.
i don't like how it happened. >> mayor hogan, does this bring us closer or further away from a final resolution? >> i don't think it matters. again, cities have to deal with whatever the result is, and we'll deal with it, whether it relates to school programs or whether it relates to police relationships with minority communities, whether it's driver's licenses, whether it's lunch programs in the summer when school isn't in session, it doesn't matter. we as cities will deal with it. obviously i wish it were taken care of, but we'll deal with it, whatever the result is because we have no choice. there is no government under city government. we have to do it. and if the feds can't do it or the state can't do it, we'll do it.
>> mayor becker? >> i'll just mention again on behalf of the national league of cities, this has been an issue the national league has been involved in and studying and vetting within cities for well over a decade. and when the president made his announcement, we were there the next day saying, we support the action because it does begin to address, not complete but it does begin to address the problems that we face in city and we may disagree about whether we wish congress had taken action, but with congress not having taken action, we've supported comprehensive immigration reform. this helps us do our jobs better in cities. >> you mentioned the problems that you face in cities right now and how this may address it. i'm curious to know how each of you has been thinking about this and anticipating the process going forward in the next few months in terms of the on the ground consequences or changes that you might be able to see.
>> go ahead. >> that's a -- i guess on a big picture, i was -- i'm hoping for congress to get together and pass a law that can be signed by the president. that would be the best way of that happening. short of that, again, same thing the mayor has said. we'll just deal with whatever comes our way. our job is to serve the people in our city regardless of legal status. so, you know, we'll just keep on doing what we do. >> given the large number of people in your community who are eligible, do you think that will make a difference in terms of the character of your community, in terms of the economics, the local economy? >> well it's -- anaheim probably has 50,000, 60,000 undocumented folks. and this would affect maybe
30,000. so, if it helps them then that's all a good thing. it would be better if it helped all the folks. so if -- as i -- i kind of forgot your question there. [ laughter ] >> i just want to know what the practical consequences will be for anaheim. >> i think the practical consequences are that it will help the people in anaheim help a number of people in anaheim. >> it's a question we're asking mayor garcetti. if you think of people living in salt lake city or in anaheim, what's going to change in a positive way, and are there any negative outcomes? a backlash over -- any backlash you expect if, in fact, this does go forward? >> well, certainly someone who is currently illegal, undocumented, if they are legal, that changes a great deal. attitude, if nothing else. not quite as afraid of being stopped for a traffic light.
not being as afraid when you go into a store to buy something and somebody asks for identification. so that will be a good thing. that will be a good thing on a general psyche. i find it difficult to identify any bad things. >> any downsides. >> i mean the people are already there. they are already living every day. they are already working wherever they're working. they need help. we find ways to help. >> yeah, i think it's going to be a challenge for us. this is not an easy process for us to help members of our community work through. and we're gearing up to try to find how we can best help people. we're going to be having forums in english and in spanish, both community dialogues and assistance as best we can provide it, and we're reaching out with our other partners, really many organizations within the city and within the salt
lake region. but i'll tell you what concerns me as much as anything is the fear over the cloud that's hanging over the litigation because, you know there are people -- you know if i come forward, does that mean that at a future date this might get reversed and i now am going to be identified and profiled as someone who the government is going to come after? >> do you think it could have a significant -- a meaningful chilling effect on people's willingness to come forward? >> well, something we're concerned about. i think we'll see. obviously we haven't hit the start button yet, and we're doing everything we can to try to reach out into the community and invite people in and to provide assistance to people to work through the process. but things we're hearing in our community today is, can we trust the government in the long term? not just in terms of our immediate actions, to provide us the security we need to fully be an integrated member of the community and society. >> real quick and i'll come back.
along those lines, thinking about anaheim, what about doca? what was the experience there? was that a positive experience? are there lessons you can take from that that may be relevant in trying to implement this assuming you -- it passes the legal test and gets implemented. what was the doca experience and what can you learn from it? >> you know, it was -- in anaheim, what we do is really work with our non-profits. i guess i'm fishing there. we direct people to nonprofits for help and things like that. so that's probably the direction that we'll take. in midsize cities, we don't have a lot of resources. and thas aet's when i listen to mayor garcetti -- our resources are spent on keeping people safe and finding rec programs, things like that, and there really isn't a lot left for additional programs. that's why we work with a nonprofit community and will
remain the same. >> one of the things i was thinking of as ron was asking you to imagine some of the challenges is the fact that this executive action does not do a lot of things. one of the things it doesn't do is provide eligibility for health care, for example, for people who are eligible overall. and it strikes me that it's possible to kind of set that issue aside when you're just talking about a community of undocumented immigrants. but when you have people who have now been covered by this executive action who are still going without health insurance, that becomes more of a challenge and an issue for your communities. and i'm wondering what the possible ways of addressing that might be and whether that does, indeed, pose a challenge in terms of resources. >> well, again, i think the answer to that, unfortunately, does not lie in cities. we just don't have the authority or the power to solve the problem.
we just have the responsibility to deal with the problem. and that's the tough part. you know in a city like aurora, you know, we've got three major hospitals, we've got another one coming online shortly. i hope. it's a v.a. hospital, you never know. but we'll find ways through the nonprofit community, through the faith-based community, through our own programs that we can put in place and the mental health area to try to get services to people. but we can't change the law that says you're going to get health insurance. do that part. we can just deal with what's on the ground. >> i wasn't suggesting changes to the law. i guess it was more as an interim measure. how do you provide health care to, you know, thousands of people who are eligible for health insurance?
>> so i would just say shgs we're doing that now. if someone shows up in an emergency room, they get treated. and it's a very expensive way to provide health care, and so to us, and i'm speaking regionally now, not just at salt lake city, if we can find a way to better manage our health care costs and provide better health care, we're all better off as a community and as a society. so to me, in a way, with this executive order, it may not change health care, but it's not that we're not providing health care today, it's just a very expensive way we're providing it in some instances, and if we can find a better way to do it, we should. >> california is exploring it and has discussed a change in the law. what do you think about the idea of making undocumented eligible for the state medicaid program? >> well, i think it's very reasonable, and as people are being treated already, of course, and it seems like -- i
think it would be reasonable. >> do you worry there will be a back -- that it will be a bridge too far politically, that there might be a backlash, even in california on that, or not? >> probably somewhat. but i think people in california understand that there is a problem that needs to be solved. it might not be the way everyone wants to solve it, but obviously people need to have health care, medical care. they're getting it already somehow. the hospitals are treating everybody who comes, as they should. so this provides some sort of framework. >> do you have maybe one more or do you want to bring in the audience? let's bring in the audience for questions. two microphones, one on each side. >> i didn't introduce myself earlier, but i'm brian careman, and i run two community newspapers here in montgomery county and prince georges county, maryland and we deal with the issue every day and i guess mayor garcetti said something about a friend of the court brief being filinged. are the three of your cities a
part that have brief, if not, why not? >> saltd r lake city signed on just today. >> they got you before the meeting. >> that action is something that very candidly i had not heard anything about until today, so that's something i'll have to go back and talk with my city council about. >> our city most likely will not be. the council had voted not to support the action before it happened. again, i think it's -- there needs to be a law passed, and i don't know if this actually helps us get closer to that or not. >> over here. >> hi. thank you all for being here. i'm not sure if any of the mayors are republicans, but my question is for you or for your republican colleagues, fellow mayors, is it more difficult to take an outreach view to new americans because of pressure from the
national republican party? >> i'm a republican and the answer is no. i mean, i've been out front in the community and politically in terms of statements to the press, appearing at meetings. i've had numerous other republicans in colorado along with me. i'm not alone and there is no pressure, no. >> i'm also a republican. i felt no pressure. i'm -- i've chaired the immigration task force for the u.s. conference of mayors trying to get a comprehensive immigration reform. no one has ever called me on that or objected. >> can i ask a different version of that, broaden the question but with a similar kind of theme for our two republican mayor colleagues? on the other hand -- >> by the way, i am a democrat.
>> you're a democrat. i thought you were a democrat but the reality is in today's politics, most urban areas do lean democratic. most mayors are democratic. most republicans in the house represent places that are less dense, less urbanized and in many ways less likely to be dealing directly with the on-the-ground effects of this demographic change and, in particular, the immigration issue, so leaving aside the question of pressure on you not to be where you are do you find in the republican party less sensitivity to -- less urgency about solving the problem because many of the people in office are simply representing communities that are less affected by it? >> i think a lot of it has to do -- there are two issues, one is i guess a path to citizenship or naturalization. the other is the border. so probably the republican heart may be focused on the border first and -- but the fact is they both have to happen.
they both have to happen otherwise the problem will continue and continue until the border is somewhat insecure. so i think it's a level of focus. i found that my republican colleagues, so many agree with me. they know people who come to this country who want a better life, to work. why would we want those people not to be part of us part of this country so -- >> i think to a certain extent, it also depends upon where you're talking about. for example, in aurora, 8 of the 11 city council people are republicans. but if you turn it around, 12 of the 14 state representatives and state senators are democrats. and that's the same city. we had a congressman who engaged his opponent in a debate this last election entirely in spanish. so it's not as unusual, perhaps,
in colorado. >> he was one of the few who voted against mike hoffman, you're referring to, in aurora. the vast majority of house republicans did vote to both not only to block the new executive order but to overturn doca as well. and he voted the other way, but only 26 even voted not to overturn docs. that experience that he is representing is very different than most of his colleagues. even in colorado you think about republicans at the federal level, more rural areas, dominant there. do you find kind of a gap in discussion perception about what this issue is? >> i think there probably is a gap, but, again, i don't have time to worry about it. i'm busy trying to deal with what's going on on a daily basis on the ground. and i'm -- i'm going to do what i think is right for my city and
the residents of my city. and i'll worry about the niceties of the political philosophy later. >> well, you're in the opposite situation i mean, you're kind of the island in a very statewide -- >> beautiful island. >> statewide politics. [ laughter ] >> talk about the difference between your community where some of this is more immediate, and perhaps other places where it's more matter of belief, principle, ideology? >> well i think it's what we've all been talking about a mayors. we deal on the ground with serving everyone in our community, making people feel protected. making people want to participate in our community in a lot of ways and have equal opportunity. and that is a very different dynamic than the idealogical discussions we see going on in this city, and i walk out of meetings with members of my congressional delegation who i really enjoy personally and know, and i kind of shake my head. it's like, that's not the world i'm living in, and i have to respect them.
they're elected like i am, but it's like, are you representing the same constituent sometimes? so it's -- washington seems like a very far-off place when these kinds of discussions go on compared to the everyday world that we live in in cities. >> so the question we asked mayor garcetti before and maybe ask each of you, if, in fact, this does go forward, let's assume the arguments carry and it is not blocked for litigation, congress is not going to be able to block it. if it does go forward, mayor tait said he did not think it moved us closer to a legislative solution because you have this added layer about the presidency. but if, in fact, 7,000 people are granted legalization by the end of his presidency, do you think it adds more to the obama presidency or even during it? >> i wish i could say i have this great confidence in congressional -- congress' ability to act. but i do think it moves us closer to bringing more people
into the full ability to be part of our community. and if we get half of the problem solved, and it rolls over into the next congress, maybe the next congress will take it up. but in the meantime, hopefully we'll have more people in our community who are paying more taxes and contributing more economically and having more opportunity through school and through the normal parts of our society. >> and, mayor, if all those things happen, more opportunity, paying more taxes, participating in school, owning homes, does it become -- do you think it's practical to take it away at a later date? do you think that could happen or not? >> no, it's not practical to take it away. but, again, whatever happens happens. and mayors are pretty pragmatic. we will deal with it and we will deal with it and we'll find a way no matter what to make our individual communities better. >> amy, do you want to -- >> yeah.
i guess i'm curious talking about members of your state's delegations who may or may not understand the pressures that you're under, what you would ask them for in terms of support. what can they do to help with this? >> i would think congress needs to get together and pass immigration reform, some kind of comprehensive reform. this needs to be solved by a law. you get the entire country behind it. you don't have to have this worry about it being overturned in courts down the road in litigation, and this uncertainty of the current situation, people who live in anaheim, a big issue in our city is trust. and we want to bill a trust with our police department, with our city. if there is a question of whether they will be able to stay here or even with this executive action, it's hard to build up the trust.
so we're the ones who have to deal with this. >> so when you do those conversations that leave you scratching your head a little bit, what are you asking for? what could washington do to make this easier for you short of comprehensive? >> well i don't know short of comprehensive reform what they can do. this is not -- you know, picking up pieces, obviously president obama has chosen that course, and we can agree or disagree with him, but he's not saying, as the rest of us aren't saying, we don't need a comprehensive solution because if you pick up different pieces of it, whether it's just border security or whether it's dealing with health care or dealing with the d.r.e.a.m.ers, you're still leading a big segment of our population that's living in our communities today unaddressed in terms of their status and in terms of their contributions to our community and their feeling of being part of our community and i think for all of us in city we want our residents to feel like they're in a secure place.
>> all right. oh, we have a question over here. yeah. >> a quick question. i've been a school principal for many, many years, and what we've done when other students are coming from other places with other languages, they would help our kids to learn those languages while our kids in english would help them to learn english. and that's been -- i've been a principal in three or four different places, and it seems to work. and, you know, they're learning english and we're learning spanish or chinese or whatever. >> and that happens all the time in aurora. our five school districts have students from over 130 different countries who speak almost 140 different languages at home. that's just -- that's life.
and so, i mean, i was at a class of kindergarten students about two weeks ago who were learning chinese, mandarin. and they were responding to the teacher in mandarin. and the teacher was a volunteer. so we've got that kind of community. >> and it's all free, too, right? >> it's free. darn right. that earlier question, if i wanted to ask for something, i want more resources with fewer strings. because i can sure find a good way to put it to use and it will help the entire community, not just part of the community, the entire community. >> this point about language, because of the missionary tradition, utah is an unusually large number of people who are fluent in a second language and i'm just interested in what
role, if any, that plays in helping to integrate the community. >> it's a huge role. we have an olympic base that we see around the world. and like every day and like aurora we have over 100 languages spoken in our schools, dual immersion programs. and our challenge really is resources that the and through educational system taking full advantage of all these cultures in our community but we also aren't providing the resources for kids who may be a refugee who doesn't know how to flush a toilet much less being able to walk into a school with new
language. >> in terms of the change we are living through i'm guessing aurora and anaheim are majority of public school system are kids of color. what would surprise people is that i know it is true in salt lake city, as well. that must be something for people in salt lake city to wrap their heads around. >> it certainly is at the state level. in salt lake city we are so accustomed to it that in salt lake city it is not an issue but at the state level there is a pretty good gap. particularly when you look at a legislature that is predominantly white male mormon and elderly to the population so they are a generation apart from what is happening in salt lake city but throughout the state. >> we have a question over here. >> asked two questions so i was going to ask two questions too. what do you feel an appropriate time is for the pathway to citizenship? i would like to hear what each
of your individual responses is. i lived and worked in oklahoma for a while and had friends and clients who would be in the system for 10 to 15 years before they were granted citizenship. it was an issue a lot of times on the end of administration paperwork being lost and sometimes names change. a lot of paperwork problems not necessarily where they qualified and sincere and earnest in that process. what do you feel is an appropriate amount of time for that pathway to citizenship? >> you take a position in the letter? >> we didn't address that in the letter. i don't have a strong opinion on that other than that there should be one. i guess you can debate whether it's they should wait behind everyone else or not. i just from a city point of view
people need a path to citizenship. it's not good to have two classes of people ever. so it should be -- certainly shouldn't be forever. let's put it that way. the sooner the better. >> i don't know a specific timeframe. i know that the estimates come out suggest a certain timeframe. certainly we need to provide -- to go through a process where their criminal background is checked and we know the condition and the ability of people to live within our society. but this is part of the federal broken immigration system. and i know people today who are trying to work their way through the process following legal channels and having every clear pathway and trying to become a citizen. it is a complete mess today. and some of it is just inefficiency of a bigger
government, bigger agency. some of it is just outdated mechanisms while everyone is in a stand still waiting for congress to do something. >> i'm not sure i can add anything to what was already said. i don't know what's the magic number. i do know it should not be any faster than someone who is going through the established legal processes, shouldn't be faster than that but how much longer it should be i don't know. >> we only have a couple minutes left. let me ask one final question. you were all talking about in a very positive way about the enriching effect of having so many different lang wmgs. there are challenges in that, as well having that many different languages spoken at home. i'm wondering to what extent do you feel the schools at this point particularly places that have not dealt with adversity are capable of dealing with this
enormous change that is going on in school districts of all sizes around the country. >> in salt lake city there is a huge desire and commitment but it is a change in resources. when you have a teacher that has 25 30 students in a classroom in elementary school and they're trying to provide for diverse circumstances and then you add on the layers of culture and language and preparation coming into the school system it puts an unfair burden on the teachers. the commitment is there. the desire is there. the resources aren't there. i don't want to cast sort of blame but we're struggling with that piece of it. i can tell you from salt lake city's side for the first time in the history of our city we are starting to pour resources into the school system that otherwise would be coming to city government to try to help address the issues. >> final thought? >> can i put out a plug for
something that we just ran some coverage of on next america and our sister project next economy which is a program here in d.c., charter school that does two generation education. it was started a decade or two ago by some local leaders in immigrant communities so that they could teach children and teach their parents at the same time because so many immigrant parents are working jobs with off hours they are able to come to school during school hours. and their number one concern about raising their children was the inability to communicate with their child's teachers and to be part of that education, to be able to support them. and it has become a way to really kind of speed up the assimilation process and tie them into the larger community. >> with that would you join me in thanking. [ applause ] . our next panel will take the stage.
this weekend the c-span city's tour has partnered with cox communications to learn about the history and literary life of tulsa oklahoma. >> most famous for his writing of "this land is your land." he was born in 1912 and so we are very proud to have his work back in oklahoma where we think it belongs. he was an advocate for people who were disenfranchised for those people who were migrant workers from oklahoma kansas and texas who had found themselves in california literally starving. and he saw this vast difference between those who were the haves and have nots and became their spokesman through his music. he recorded very few songs of his own. we have a listening station that
features 46 of his songs in his own voice. that's what makes the recordings that he did make so significant and so important to us. ♪ this land is your land ♪ ♪ this land is my land ♪ ♪ from california to the new york island ♪ >> watch all of our events from tulsa saturday at noon eastern and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span 3. the most memorable moment this week for me was on hearing senator corey garner saying you need to be firm in your principles but flexible in the details because i think it reflects the solution to like the harsh polarization we are seeing across our country and the methodology that if all the senators and congressmen and women and all state legislatures can adopt we can come together as a country and solve many of our pertinent issues. >> my favorite quote from the
secretary of the senate. she said remember to be humble and have a strong work ethic. be kind to the people on the way up you will meet them again on the way back down. >> i think in particular in congress we have a lack of strew statesman. senator john mccain did something very impressive last year. he committed to the veterans affairs reform bill. reading the senate torture report and maintaining staying away from torture is essential. where we have people willing to make decisions with people who they may not often agree with that is essentially what we need to maintain the security the integrity of our nation as we go on. >> high school students who generally rank academically in the top 1% of the state were in d.c. as part of the senate youth program.
with congress out this week for their spring recess we are featuring american history tv in primetime. next a day long forum on the life and legacy of president abraham lincoln from ford's theatre. jonathan white talks about the dreams of death president lincoln is said to have had during his life and how those were interpreted in the years after his assassination. he is the author of emancipation and the reelection of abraham lincoln. ford's theatre cohosted the event. it is just under an hour. my name is dougla