Skip to main content

tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  June 11, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT

3:00 pm
a fair opportunity and chance, is to have trade agreements, have the standards that come with the trade agreements and buckle up our bootstraps and go compete. >> and james, a republican, hi you are on the air are congressman luke messer. >> yes. the part i don't understand about this obama care come up and you all got -- for the last two or four years about him on transparency and here you are lining right up to do the same thing and all you are all doing is knocking the working man down in america. and y'all better get it together up there because y'all are doing harm to the united states passing this bill. if it is good for the american people tell us what is in it before you vote for it. thank you. >> well the caller makes an important point in that i do believe we need transparency. frankly the president and i disagree on most things and i
3:01 pm
don't trust the president to go out and negotiate an agreement on behalf of the american people without us getting an opportunity to see what is in the bill. if we don't pass tpa, then the president can go negotiate trade agreements and police them upon congress with a moments notice. let me give you an example. paul ryan was talked about the broad debate about the nuclear arms agreement with iran. if you have tpa-like restrictions in restricting his agreements with iran, then it would have to sit publicly for 60 days before it would get an up or down vote in congress. the american people would have 60 days to examine the agreement, congress would have the ability to veto the agreement. we don't have those provisions and so the president now can go negotiate this agreement and frankly foist it upon congress. if we want to make sure that there is transparency if we want to make sure we can hold
3:02 pm
the president accountable in negotiating these kind of agreements we have to pass tpa which make the agreements sit in public for 60 days before the president can agree to them and require congress to give an up or down approval f. we don't approve of the agreement in the final form then we have the ability to veto that. >> but if the president were to not have fast track authority and negotiate a trade deal and put it on the house floor. >> we'll leave this discussion to go live to the rayburn house office building with the house sub-committee to hold a hearing to look at international child abductions. this is about to get under way live here on c-span 3. senate committee will come
3:03 pm
to order. good afternoon. let me apologize for starting late. we did have a series of 14 votes in succession so to our distinct wished witnesses i apologize for the lateness getting underway. i want to thank all of you for being here today and all of our left behind parents and those here in spirit and those deeply concerned about their abducted child and thank you for joining us to review the first annual report under the sean and david goldman international child abduction and prevention and return act. international parental child abduction rips children from homes and families and whisks them away from a foreign land and alienating them from the love and care from the parent left behind. child abduction is child abuse and continues to plague families across the united states. every year an estimated 1,000 american children are
3:04 pm
unlawfulfully removed from their homes by one of their parents and taken across international borders. less than half of these children ever come home. the problem is so consequential and the state department's previous approach of quite diplomacy that congress unanimously passed the goldman act last year to give teeth for request for return and for access. these actions increase in severity and range from official protests through diplomatic channels to extradition and the suspension of development, security or other foreign assistance. the goldman act is a law calculated to get results as we did in the return of sean goldman from brazil in 2008. but a law is only as good as its implementation. broken hearted parents across america waited four years for the goldman act to become law and still await full u.s. government implementation of that law. the state department's first
3:05 pm
annual report that we are reviewing today should be a road map for action. the state department must get this report right in order for the law to be an effective tool. if the report fails to accurately identify problem countries, the actions i mentioned above are not triggered. countries should be listed as if -- if they have high numbers of cases, 30% or more that have been pending over a year, or if they regularly fail to enforce return orders or have failed to take appropriate steps in even one single abduction case pending for more than a year. once these countries are properly identified the secretary of state then determined which of the aforementions actions the u.s. will apply to the country in order to encourage the timely resolution of abduction and access cases. while the state department has choice of which actions to apply
3:06 pm
and can waive actions for up to 180 days, the state department does not have discretion over whether to report accurately to congress on the country's record or whether the country is objectively a noncompliant nation. as we have seen in the human trafficking context and i would note parenthetically that i authored the trafficking victims protection act of 2000 and the goldman act an accurate accounting of a country's record can do wondered to prod much needed reforms. accurate reporting is also critical to family court judges across the country. and parents considering their child's travel to a foreign country where abduction or access problems are a risk. the stakes are high. misleading or incomplete information could mean the loss of another american child to abduction. for example, a judge might look at the report filled with zeros
3:07 pm
in the unresolve cases category, erroneously conclude that a particular country is not of concern and give permission to an estranged spouse to return to their country with the child for a vacation. the taking parent then abducts the child and the left behind parent spends his or her life savings and many years trying to get their child returned to the united states all of which could have been avoided with accurate reporting on the danger. i'm very concerned that the first annual report contains major gaps and even misleading information, especially when it comes to countries with which we have the most intractable abduction cases. for instance, the report indicates that india, which has consistently been in the top five destinations for abducted american children, had 19 new cases in 2014. 22 resolved cases and no unresolved cases. however, we know from the national center for missing and
3:08 pm
exploited children that india has 53 open abduction cases and 51 have been pending for more than one year. the report also shows zero new cases in tunisia for the last year. three resolves cases and zero unresolved cases. and yet miss bar barrow will testify to her more than three year battle to bring her children home from tunisia. again the national center for missing and exploited children show six abductions, all of which have been for more than a year. and none of which than the handling of japan, a country that has never issued oren forced a return order for the single of the hundreds of american children abducted there and not listed as a country showing failing to cooperate in returns. in march nearly two months
3:09 pm
before the annual report was released, i chaired a hearing of this sub-committee featuring ambassador susan jacobs in which it was made clear that japan will be handled the new abductions after joining the hay administration, all abductions, including the 50 abductions, for at least the last five years. among those cases is that of sergeant michaelee lie as who has not seen his children jade and michael jr. mike as was a mean who saw combat in iraq. his wife who worked in the consulate used documents to kidnap their children then aged four and two in defiance of a court order telling michael on the phone there was nothing he could do because as she said
3:10 pm
and i quote, my country, that is japan, will protect me. her country worried about the designation in the report sent a high level delegation in march to meet with the ambassador and explain why japan should be excused from being noncompliant despite one year after signing the agreement, japan has a zero -- zero returns to the united states. just before the report was released two weeks late takahashio cada, secretary to the ministers of foreign affairs, told the japanese diet he was in consultation with the state department because we stooif to make an explanation to the u.s. side i hope that the report contents will be based on our country's efforts, closed quote. in other words, japan got a pass from the state department and escaped the list of countries
3:11 pm
facing action by the u.s. for their failure to resolve abduction cases based on what mr. oak ada referred to as efforts, not results. sergeant michael alias's country has failed to protect him and his children. he's seen zero progress in his case. the seventh year of his heart wrenching ordeal and i traveled with his mother, the child's grandparents to japan and met that brick wall that he has faced now for seven years in trying to help move that case along. and yet the state department can't bring itself to hold japan accountable by naming japan as an offender in the annual report. it is disappointing it is discouraging and i believe it is disgraceful. the report whitewashes japan's egregious record on parental child abduction. and to add insult to injury the report table that was to show the unresolved abductions in
3:12 pm
japan failed to include a single one of the more than 50 cases, 36 of which have been dragging on for more than five years according to the national center for missing and exploited children. instead the table listed japan as having a 43% resolution rate. japan again has never issued an enforced return order for an american child. these american victims like their left behind parents are american citizens who need help of their government. the goldman act is clear that all return requests submitted to the foreign ministry and are resolved 12 months later are to be counted against japan not just three moz. nearly 100% of the abduction cases in japan remain open and the reports conclusion of 43% resolution is trulyin defensible. and not a single left behind parent pursuing access was allowed in person contact with their child over the last year.
3:13 pm
the goldman act has given the state department new -- and i would argue -- powerful tools to bring japan and other countries to the resolution table. the goal is not to disrupt relations but to heal the painful rifts cause by international child abduction. and i remember when i was doing the trafficking victim protection act and there was arguments against the act and this would hurt our relationship with our allies if these women would be sold like chattel, and i persisted and those alongside me persisted and we got the bill passed and friends don't let friends commit human rights abuses and we need to speak out with clarity and boldness on these acts. i do appreciate the departments presence here today to discuss ways to improve the report and ensure it fulfills the purposes for which it is intended, namely
3:14 pm
the prevention of abduction and the reunification of thousands of american families that have suffered forced separation for far too long. would you yield to mr. donovan a former prosecutor and new member of the u.s. house. >> thank you mr. chairman. as the chairman said, i'm the second newest member of the house. i was elected and sworn in four weeks ago. but in my previous life i was a district attorney and my experience with custodial abductions was limited to within our own nation. so i look forward to hearing from the parents and i thank you for coming to share your grief with us. i'm also the father of a newborn three week old daughter. so my heart goes out to you and i also look forward to hearing from our distinguished panelists to hear what our government it doing for you. thank you very much. >> thank you very much.
3:15 pm
i would like to introduce our two distinguished panelists beginning with karen christian son, the deputy of state for overseas services since august of 2014. most recently she was the ministers counselor for the counselor of affairs at the u.s. embassy in berlin where she coordinated in berlin and prior to that in manila and also served in washington within the bureau of counselor affairs in the visa offices and over seas she's served in london bucca rest and soul and in the counselor division and in the bureau of human resources and her background will be made part of the record. and then we'll hear from mr. henry hand from the director of children's issues on september 3rd of 2014.
3:16 pm
his previous assignment was council general in kiev, ukraine. mr. hand is a career foreign service officer and joined the department in 1998. he was promoted to senior foreign service in 2013. his previous postings including the american institute in taiwan, the consulate general in shanghai embassy talon and embassy nicka sea. and also served in the department of bureau of consulate affairs as a country desk officer on central african affairs. miss christensen. >> chairman smith and distinguished members of the sub-committee, thank you for the chance to discuss international child abduction and the sean and david goldman child abduction and prevention and return act and the department of states first annual report under this
3:17 pm
new law. the department values your continuing interest and support of our efforts to prevent international parental child abduction. to facilitate the return of children to their homes and to strengthen and expand the hague abduction convention to include more partner countries. our mission is to assist children and families involved in internet parental child abduction and to prevent its occurrence. in my career i've worked with many families affected by child abduction and seen firsthand the pain it causes. this new law already is encouraging more countries to consider being -- becoming party to the hague convention or to improve performance under the convention if they are already a party. the u.s. interagency working group on prevention mandated by the law has already met twice hosted by special adviser for children's issues ambassador susan jacobs and already
3:18 pm
prevented abductions. we devoted significant effort to analyzing the new law to adapting policies to implement it and to publish the first annual report. we fully recognize that this first report will not meet all expectations. and we al qaeda feedback from you and from other members of congress and from parents who are seeking return of their children and from the public on how we can improve future iterations of this report. as the law requires, 90 days following the annual report the department will submit to congress a report on actions taken in response to countries demonstrating patterns of noncompliance. mr. chairman and members of sub-committee, we are committed to using every tool we have available to prevent international child abductions. we need and appreciate your continuing support, including through your feedback on our work and on our reports to you. so thank you and i look forward to your questions later. so i'll turn it over to henry
3:19 pm
hand. >> members of the sub-committee. thank you. chairman smith, distinguish members of the sub-committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before the sub-committee regarding our work in the office of children's issues to prevent and resolve international child abductions and to implement the 1980 hague convention and the civil child abduction and the international child abduction remedies and the sean and david goldman international child abduction and prevention recovery act. i welcome the chance to provide further detail and answer your question about the department of state's first annual report under the new law. our office worked hard since the new law was enacted in august to analyze and translate provisions into concrete actions such as collecting 40 new data fields for every new case.
3:20 pm
we ensured this first report contained all of the information required by the law. the information in the 2014 report naturally is different than the previous annual compliance reports on international parental child abduction which were drafted under previous legislation. the 2014 report represents a first initial effort that we does not -- understand does not meet yours and others expectations. we filed it under a short guideline and worked diligently and simultaneously to make sure as we implemented the law we maintained the office on going work and supported families affected by international child abduction. mr. chairman, distinguished member of the sub-committee, we committed to fully implementing the law and making the most effective tool we can in service of our shared goals and preventing child abduction and bringing abducted children home.
3:21 pm
and we appreciate the feedback and seek your comments on the work we are doing. thank you and we welcome your questions. >> thank you very much. miss christensen thank you very much. could you, miss christensen. tell us in what ways has the state department made japan, the ministers of foreign affairs aware of the 50 cases aware of the cases previous to the hague abduction convention and do we give their foreign ministry a list of abduction cases? is that how we do it? >> sir, mr. chairman, we have discussed and raised specific cases with the japanese foreign ministry. right now the japanese foreign ministry, there is the central authority which work on hague cases and other parts of the foreign ministry which has the
3:22 pm
lead on pre-hague cases. we have raised the issue of prehague cases with both sides of the japanese foreign ministry and at seen your levels of the japanese government and continue to do so. >> since that is the case, it is -- perhaps an oversight but perhaps more than that that the goldman act makes very clear that there must be an accounting of all unresolved cases and i'll read you the part innocent part of the -- it is title one department of state actions. that each annual report shall include a list of all countries in which there was one or more abduction cases during the preceding calendar year relating to a child who is residing in the united states, including a description of whether -- and then it goes through more detailed information. but the idea is that there is one case and the whole preceding
3:23 pm
calendar year. and yet in reading the report on page 17 it says japan abduction cases, unresolved cases, zero. and yet elsewhere in the report it does mention the 50. but the way of evading putting japan on the list and there is 22 yurnts as -- countries as you know, since you compiled it on the list who have showed a pattern of noncompliance, to somehow just exclude these 50 plus cases that information has been given over to the japanese government, as just indicated, and i know that because i've been talking to our people both in tokyo as well as at the state department here they do make representation on behalf of individuals, and yet it is baffling beyond words,
3:24 pm
unresolved cases-zero. how did that happen? >> sir, one of the things that we have been working very hard on in the past several months since the law was enacted is -- in devising the report that calls for new data data that we were not using before, the legislation also contains some new definitions. and one of the issues that we've encountered is that the definition -- in the definitions of the law, and unresolved abduction case is one that remains unresolved for more than 12 months after the date of completed return is submitted to the judicial or administrative authorities and in our extensive review and what we found is that it was determined we cannot include any non-hague cases where there was no application for return. there was an application for custody and access and so on. but again let me reiterate we
3:25 pm
look forward to working with you and others to make this report as comprehensive as understandable and as effective as a tool as we can. because we share your desire that this report be something that members of the public members of congress, judges and others can use as an effective reference. and also as an effective tool to press other countries. >> i deechly -- i deeply appreciate that we share that -- our in tent and your intent is the same and we are concern about this. but the definition of unresolved abduction case and i'll read it again to put it on the record the term unresolved abduction case is a case unresolved for a period that exceeds 12 months after the date on which the completed application for return of the child of the child is submitted for determination of the judicial or administrative authority as applicable in the country in which the child is
3:26 pm
located. we have made representation to the japanese government on behalf of these case files one after the other, after the other, to return the child. i mean -- of course access is usually a part of it. but it is to return the child. because custody we all know is something that we hope is going to be done at the place of the habitual residence. and i don't think it could be more clear. and secretary jaibs -- jacobs said, at a hearing that i chaired on this issue i'd become very concerned and she said i do think that we need to reach an agreement for japan and you might want to comment whether or not we are close to reaching a bilateral agreement with them and then she said, this is disturbing, i think that threatening countries is often
3:27 pm
an unsuccessful way to get them to cooperate with us because most of the relationships are flex and involve -- complex and involve many issues. she said i don't think we will sanction japan or threaten them with sanctions because that would be detrimental to our bilateral relationship with japan. and i agree security and bilaterally with japan and was the fix already in and if we passed the goldman act you would have a table where it says there are no unresolved abduction cases in japan. again, i think this is theater of the absurd. there are more than 50 of them. some of the parents -- left behind patients are sitting in this room saying zero? how could that be zero? the definition is as air tight as i think lawmakers can write. i don't see how you felt you could not include that.
3:28 pm
and even in your footnotes you acknowledge the 50 cases, later on in the narrative. so i think you have done a grave disservice to the american children who have been abducted and their left behind parents with total sincerity. >> and i don't think the fix was in and i don't there was an in tension to not cite japan. as we read through internal discussion, this definition here, it was the feeling that those cases did not meet this definition as written in the law. but it was precisely because of our concern for the 50 cases that we did discuss them at length in the rest of the body of the report and they continue to remain of great concern to us. ambassador susan jacobs will be going there very soon to japan and these cases are going to be a subject of that discussion.
3:29 pm
and we continue to attempt to -- to resolve and establish this protocols with japan for the resolution of those cases. those 50 cases are at the forefront of our thinking. we understand that among those 50 cases, about 30 of them have actually filed now -- filed hague cases for access and are working through those cases. >> well, again, these are desperate, loving parents who have been frustrated through nausea with the lack of responsiveness by us the u.s. government and especially by the japanese government. and let me make a point, when you talk about application. we made it very clear that the term application means the case of a nonconvention country and the formal request by the central authority of the united states you to the authority of such a country, and that could be the foreign ministry, requesting the return of an
3:30 pm
abducted child or the rights of contact with an abducted child. and i presume on each of the outstanding cases which is now in excess of 50 and some have aged out and gave up, perhaps they are not even counted any more, certainly an application to japan and when i was in tokyo, i asked those kind of questions, are we making a representation, what do you do with the file? you have this file, of course you convey it to the japan in hopefully a persuasive manner. that happened, right? >> we, in the report as you know, japan conceded to the hague convention and the logistics to the error we counted the applications for return, we filed that under the hague. we'll get back to you with a more detailed answer on the pre-hague cases and exactly what was done. but let me say that we have --
3:31 pm
this is very much a focus of our office. it is very much a focus of our embassy in tokyo. i have been in meetings with ambassador jacobs and other senior officials have been in meetings with officials in tokyo and others and so there was no attempt on our part to evade this issue or somehow push it under the table. it is an issue that is very much a focus and one that we care very deeply about. >> i do look forward to that explanation and we hope if she is -- if she is amenable to it so ask ambassador to come back in july because we are in the 90-day review period and if this could be amended, to get it right, because i believe based on the clear language of the goldman act japan should be the 23 nation on the pattern of noncompliance. it is the most -- self-evident of all of the countries and there are countries on here and
3:32 pm
i'm glad you have brazil and india and other countries. in your unresolved cases number on india, amazingly, even though there is a national center for missing and exploited children, it is zero there too. i'm working with several cases myself including one of indy phillips, which she has testified twice before my committee and been to the state department, she's doing everything humanly possible and that is an unresolved case now for multiple years and that is listed as zero as well. so we do need -- and maybe you can amend this to get that right. because i do believe it is an egregious flaw. yes, you want to respond mr. hand. >> and i want to say we worked with the definitions as our experts determined in putting together the report. because the case is not in the report does not mean that we are not working with that parent or that case is not a concern. but this is -- again this is
3:33 pm
something that we are very concerned with in our office again, we want the report to reflect the work our office is doing and an effective tool and also to comply with the terms of legislation. >> again, as i said in my opening, getting the protection act is another issue but it is a human rights issue. we've argued just get it right in the report and part two, the sanctions regime, if there are any, there is a generous waiver if the president thinks it is in the best interest of the issue itself, the cause and other issues like national security where he is not obliged to impose sanctions but getting the report right -- as i said before judges could read this and say, hum, zero cases, unresolved in japan, no problem there and then send somebody off and that kid or children then get abducted by an offending parent. mr. donovan. >> thank you chairman.
3:34 pm
either of our panelists, how many children and families are we talking about? >> i'm sorry sir. as of june 1st, let me get my glasses -- as of june 1st our office has a total of 919 out going -- meaning children taken from the united states abduction and access cases. the cases may involve more than one child so the total is about 1285 children. as chairman smith said and others have noted we rely largely on cases that are reported to us. so there are cases that -- that are out there that are not reported to the central authority that may not be in this figure. >> does each family have a liason at state that informs them of the progress of their case?
3:35 pm
do they have to inquire at a general number and try to find somebody to help them or do we have somebody that is working with each particular family? >> the office of children's issues is divided up by region. and each region has country officers. if your familiar with how regional bureaus work where there is a country desk officer we have a similar setup in the office of children's issues so we have country offices who are experts and work with families in particular countries with particular regions. and so we have people who work with families that involve brazil or china or russia or japan or other countries. >> and as the chairman points out, one country is not complying and are there countries that could be models for others? >> there are countries -- there are countries that we have a
3:36 pm
very good working relationship with. it is -- we are engaged in like other aspects of our relationships with other countries, some countries we might have a good working relationship with the central authority but huge problems with judicial or law enforcement authorities not complying or other elements of that. in other cases, there is also issues with just volume. a country we work very closely with, mexico, which because of the proximity to the united states we have far more children being abducted to and from mexico to the united states than any other kurn. that relationship is far different than a relationship with a country where there is maybe one or two abductions but it varied. some countries everything works well, some countries we're struggling. some countries we're trying to work with elements reason that
3:37 pm
country to bring along the judiciary or law enforcement to achieve returns of children. >> and my final question is there some countries that don't recognize the judicial determination of parental rights in our country and don't recognize in their country as a reason to assist in getting this parent back with their child? >> the department of state, we are big advocates of the hague convention because that is a neck nix whereby countries can -- simplifying, but recognize judicial decisions made in other countries to get children back to their habitual residence and there are countries where the left-behind parent does have to file a custody application, a court case in that country. so it really -- legal systems as you know vary very much from country to country.
3:38 pm
>> thank you very much. and before our next panel comes up i apologize, i have to leave to go somewhere else. so if i leave, please don't be offended. thank you very much. >> let me ask you a couple of questions. when you raised this with the japanese government can you tell us who that is how senior they are? >> we've raised it with senior members of the foreign ministry. we are actively discussing with our embassy in tokyo sort of other ways to raise this issue. i -- the cases -- the instances -- the most recent cases or instances i'm most familiar with are senior members of the japanese foreign ministry. >> but no names. maybe you can get -- do you have
3:39 pm
an idea who your people are? if a case goes on with six weeks but following along the treaty, do you consider that a case resolved? >> i'm sorry could you repeat the question mr. chairman? >> pardon me. if a country has allowed a case to go on for six weeks which is what the hague prescribes, but otherwise complying with the requirements of the treaty do you consider that case resolved? >> we have -- one of the things that we are working with is our definition of resolved and unresolved cased and we have cases that kind of fall into the middle. we have the aun you'll report defines it per definition in the law and at the same time our office may close a case for administrative reasons for example, rejected by the foreign central authority. that case would still be unresolved in the un report
3:40 pm
report. we do have cases that -- they have not been resolved, they have not come to a conclusion but they don't meet the definition of unresolved meaning they have within with the foreign judicial authority for more than 12 months. this is another area in which we look forward to working with you and others to make the report more clear and more useful. >> can you tell us how many -- how many abduction cases oci has open inclusive of all years. how many open cases do you have? >> yes sir. the figure i have -- as of june 1st i don't have as of june 11th, the office has a total of 919 outgoing abduction and access cases that involve 1285 children. as sir, you have said and we have said before there are
3:41 pm
cases not reported to us but that is our open case load as of june 1st. >> in talking to india i asked secretary kerry when he testified earlier this year about whether or not he raised the case with mody and whether president obama raised the child patiental abduction and he said we raise all international parental child abduction cases in appropriate meetings which is now the standard and it is included in e-mails that go back and forth from your office. but just to drill down on that, again, i have individual cases in my own state and yet -- and that have gone on for years and yet the unresolved case load for india like japan is zero. that is like a -- a body blow to long suffering, left behind in this case -- bendy was a mother who had her kids taken away from
3:42 pm
her and she tried everything and is counting on the u.s. government to be her -- the one entity to make this come to fruition and get her children back. >> sir, i very much -- i understand the concern. and again for this report we used the definitions that were in the legislation. that doesn't mean we don't have open cases in the office of children's issues and the case you cited and others are very much a concern of our office. we are pressing the indian government and other governments to resolve them. and again one of our -- one of the things that we look forward to working with you with others, is how to make this report a better reflection of what we're doing and the numbers of people and so on that we're working with. >> we're looking forward to doing that. again, and i read it and i won't read it again but the one resolved definition is as
3:43 pm
clear-cut as i could possibly imagine it. we worked hard to make sure there was clarity predictability, nobody would be confused no ambiguity it means unresolved for a period of 12 months after a date on which a completed application for the child is submitted for return in judicial or administrative authority. and again we're tendering these requested for the another ministry and whoever else in japan. and the same goes for india and yet we have zeros there. so please, i ask, respectfully if you could reopen this issue with regards to the report immediately and resolve that. because it deals a real blow, i think, to the accuracy of the report. let's just say it exactly the way it is and work out what our response ought to be that is prudent and hopefully toast
3:44 pm
efficacious, which is to get the children to the left behind parent. >> we'll take that back, sir. >> and we too look forward to talk in greater detail -- a more detailed briefing about exactly where the numbers came from and what definitions we're using. our goal here was to try to comply with what was required in the report and since this was a new way of looking at the information and new definitions we weren't sure when we started down this road exactly what we would end up with and where that would take us and it was our goal to have a report that is responsive to the interest and concerns of everybody involved. and if i just might want to say one thing about the act. the act is much more than just the report. and we believe that the measures that are in here involving prevention will have a significant impact on this problem and so we're grateful for those measures and we look forward to developing those. >> i appreciate that.
3:45 pm
and i know that you report that you had a prevention interagency meeting in october. that is from title three of course of the law. have you had any since? >> yes. we did. we had another one. and i know that d.o.d. was also involved in that one and that was in april, believe. and at those meetings, what is really evident is that that sort of an interagency meeting and task force does surface ways to remove barriers to communications within the u.s. government which i think will provide benefit for this and we'll see good results from. >> that and again, if you could shed -- and this is my final question, any insight as to ambassador jacobs comments on may 9th, 2013, when she said we do need to reach an agreement with japan a bilateral agreement or moou which i've been arguing for for about seven years, are we close to it? is there an active discussion
3:46 pm
going on with our friends in japan? >> there is an active discussion. this is something that as director of the office, i've spent a fair amount of time discussing both with our embassy in tokyo and others. it is something that we are extremely anxious to achieve and see some progress and we'll keep you updated, sir. >> okay. and i would note that i do believe that one part of the prevention scheme and we've learned this from the trafficking report is just getting the report accurate. and japan needs to be gotten accurate. so i want to thank you. and i have some additional questions that i would like to submit for the record and i appreciate you coming. and please get back to us ambassador jacobs if she might be available in july before the 90 day period has elapsed. >> thank you sir. >> thank you. >> i would like to now introduce our second panel. beginning with raffina pammar
3:47 pm
who is a left behind father of a young man who was abducted in india in march of 2012, by his mother, when ray yash, the son was 3 years old. he is a cpa and works for a big four accounting firm and immigrated in 1994 and lived in the u.s. for almost 21 years. he and his wife are both naturalized u.s. citizens and ray vash was born in new jersey where the family lived together from 2004 to 2012. and then that is when dimple take ray yash on what was supposed to be a five-week vacation to india. they've been fighting for the son's return for three years and co-founded the bring our kids
3:48 pm
home which advocates for all returned american children abducted from india. and we'll hear from eddy anna bar birrou who were abducted by their father to the republic of tunisia in november of 2011. she has successfully returned home to the u.s. with her daughter zanab and continued to seek the return of her now ab ducked son from tunisia. following her children's abduction she initiated an organization to bring awareness to her family's case. today to return rush home, she has a mission to educate the public and public servants about the international child abduction issue and develop abduction prevention strategies. rush advances this mission through the membership with the i stand parent network, a
3:49 pm
coalition of parents organizations and stakeholders united to prevent and remedy parental child abduction. we'll then hear from dr. christopher savoy a american of the american -- a member of the american bar association of laws of big data, and a licensed attorney and data scientist, senior manager of enterprise architect at nissan where he oversees the big data analytics. he started his technology career in japan where he founded at mark, the first internet founding firms and where he invented and commercialized understanding technology apple siri and founded gni networks in japan, a publicly traded
3:50 pm
pharmaceutical company that using his inventions for novo pharmaceutical. he will speak about his child being abducted in just a moment. and then we'll hear from mr. preston we'll hear from mr. preston fuhudi for the center for missing and exploited children. he provides legal assistance and training for law enforcement attorneys and domestic child abductions including children taken by a parent or family member. mr. finley is the attorney for the litigation guide under the hague child abduction convention. as well as the program management guide for law enforcement agencies responding to cases of missing and abducted children. mr. finley is a former prosecutor, government attorney, admitted to practice law in texas and virginia. so i'd like to now introduce misspalmer.
3:51 pm
dr. savoy is going first. >> sorry about that. thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to speak with todayongoing obstacles that parents face with their aboutducted children. i'm co-founder of the lawn profit organization bring abducted children home. more importantly i'm a father, a father who has been unable to meet with his children due to japan's complicity in the kidnapping of our children. my nightmare began in august of
3:52 pm
2009 when my ex-wife told me she wanted to take the kids back-to-school shopping. little did i know, on that day, in a few short hours my children would be on an airplane in the air on the way to japan in their own haven for parental child abduction. it would be slightly less painful perhaps if my ex-wife pass kil sill facilitated phone calls between me and my children. my phone calls are ignored, my packages are refused and my letters are sent back to me. the state department informed me they're working on my case. we had meetings, phone calls and and even more meetings, town hall meetings in which i met scores of parents in the same situation. i was assured the state department was, quote, raising the issue of my cases and other cases in which children were stolen to japan in violation of
3:53 pm
law. just briefly, i'd like to share with you the research nic nic who we'll hear from later is the experience is extremely damage to get child. the office of juvenile preference says parental abduction profoundly affects the abducted children and has long lasting consequences. the fbi says abduction is born of the parent's selfish desire. it's child abuse and the effects are deep and long lasting. but in my first meeting with the state department official, do you know what she said? michelle bong currently the acting secretary for council affairs said to me quote at least their with their mommy. at least they're with their mommy. you would think that somebody in such a high-level position would
3:54 pm
have known about the studies or the justice department or the fbi's or the ada's or perhaps most glaringly that the u.s. congress in passing the international parental kidnapping crimes act stated that parental child abduction is in fact a felony crime. so this is my first introduction into the world of oci. flabber erbergasted by the story of demeaning parents on the substance of their alleged efforts to bring our children home as well as the state department's habit of fudging the numbers to protect the foreign country's reputation in eyes of congress. i was act communicating with the osi in the beginning in 2009 20102011. after a mile it became more noticeable that the staff lacked any outrage whatsoever in japan's complicity in this human rights issue. i asked myself whose side are they really on anyway?
3:55 pm
their language always seemed slippery to me finally in 2011 when my children had been abducted for over a year and a half i asked my caseworker has the state department ever formally demanded the return of my children. on march 9th she responded by e-mail and i quote, the state department has not formally demanded the return of any abducted children. let me say that again the state department has not formally demanded the return of any abducted children. if they're not demanding the abducted children what are they doing keeping abducted children on their agenda? i never received a statement as to why the state department has not demanded the abduct the children. here i am, a few years older and a fuel years wiser and i'm holding a copy with the golden act subject of this hearing and the report is full numbers 42
3:56 pm
pages of numbers, but these are not just ordinary numbers mr. chairman. eve of these numbers represents one or more actual american citizen children who have been kidnapped away from an american parent. each one of these numbers is a real significant human rights tragedy that is causing very real terrorism. and it's underrepresented the problem again, to protect the reputation of our allies in the eyes of congress rather than being forth right. the truth is, when it comes to japan in particular and its ability to abide by the hague treaty we have a major problem. at a recent hearing in front of the japanese dias the parliament, they expressed the goldman act, i mentioned you, mr. chairman. and i quote, because japan only has sole parental rights not shared parental rights like most
3:57 pm
other countries. please allow me to explain this so you and others understand what is going on here, and why without a change in japanese law japan can never be in compliance with the letter or the spirit of the hague convention. you see in japan, every divorce results in the total logs of all parental rights for one of the parents. that's right. under japanese law, after a divorce, even a completely am applicable divorce, the parents or a court must decide which parent will maintain parental rights. not custody. parental rights. the result of this rule is that one parent must by law have his or her parental rights terminated becoming legally, a total stranger a nonparent to the child. the nonparent may not have any decision making over the child anymore. never mind visitation, decisions over medical care. access to a child in the hospital. or access to school records. none of that. this is also why the state
3:58 pm
department and the japanese government, both of which would like to maintain smooth bilateral relations have had to control the numbers in this report and distort the truth in order to hide this awful fact about japanese law and cultural values. by definition, there is only one parent after a divorce in japan as far as hague mandated access and visitation is concerned, japan has never developed any enforcement mechanisms, because in its own country they would never create a system to enforce visitation with someone who is legally a stranger. so when the state department suggests that japan is magically compliant with the hague convention according to their recent report, we must ask them how is it possible when the japanese government itself admits in open parliamentary session that divorced parents have no parental rights at all? how can japan be compliant with this law without any possible parental rights or visitation rights or visitation enforcement? not only for these american parents but for their own japanese citizen parents following a divorce?
3:59 pm
the answer is simple, japan cannot be compliant, legally culturally or practically. but yet, the state department misrepresents the numbers in order to claim that japan is compliant when they know that this is not true. in fact, last week in order to shine a spotlight on the underlying issue on sole parental rights my client u.s. navy captain paul thorland filed a lawsuit challenges the basis of this reality. he asked for what u.s. courts would consider a natural human right. that the sole surviving parent after a divorce and death of a spouse be granted physical custody of his child. right now, the child is with a grandparent who refuses to let him have any and all access to his daughter. the premise of the lawsuit that a biological parent has a fundamental right to his or own
4:00 pm
child has made national headlines in japan. why? as several japanese experts state in the japanese press and i quote, this case brings to light the stark cultural defenses between japanese and u.s. culture and laws concerning fundamental parental rights. again, japan simply does not recognize that parents like me like paul tolland, like so many others have any right what is so far to parent our children. now, in addition to the abduction cases that are cases the state department refuses to you'll mystically as access cases. they're cases like mine which because our kids were abduct brd the hague convention japan james it be forced to return them under the hague treaty. even in this cases the hague convention requires that the authority remove all obstacles to visitation with our children. all obstacles. in an e-mail dated june 3rd
4:01 pm
2015, my caseworker told my attorney that the jca claims it is not their responsibility to facilitate a visitation agreement about my access to my children. so my case thanks to the state department's unwillingness or unable to advocate on my behalf remains in a catch-22. the only thing responsible for facilitating access and removing all obstacles to hague-mandated access is the only one through which my ex-wife will communicate and is claiming that it is not responsible for hague mandated access. and in fact, on a recorded interview with australia broadcasting corporation, the director of the hague convention division, the japanese ministry of foreign affairs, admits, verbatim, and i quote, that japan cannot enforce any sort of access. in fact, the state department,
4:02 pm
in the report is carved out what appears to be a novel exception to the goldman act. not just cases awaiting submission. but already submitted cases are excluded for the purposes of compliance. in other words once a case is submitted to a court in japan and forced into mediation or litigation the state department has taken the position that the japanese authority is off the hook. that these cases simply because the courts and not the jca itself are responsible for gaining timely access to the children. once the case is submitted the state department and jca claim they can wash their hands of all responsibility to the children in a timely manner. so even if a court takes ten years to provide one hour of access to a child, a country will be considered compliant for purposes of the goldman act. under an exception that is nowhere to be found in the language of the goldman arch. manman act. what is completely unforgivable, mr. chairman, in my opinion, is that this american shell game is
4:03 pm
absolutely to the detriment of american children, quote, crime victims. note, there are voices of reform in japan. including high-level officials who want to see a change in japan's domestic laws. we need to support them in condeath the current system in japan. and not undermine their reform efforts by sugarcoating reality. these are people who really want to see japanese laws change for the better. people like the justice minister who in direct response to captain tolland's case was quoted in the newspaper saying that child custody should be based on the child's best interest and not just on who has been raising the child following an abduction. people like the japanese minister who stated that parental abduction should be regards as child abuse. their abductors are not fit to be child custodians. people like chief justice tarota of the japanese supreme court who stated publicly there's
4:04 pm
increased scrutiny of these cases due to the signing of the hague and that it is the japanese responsibility of the court by restating the real affairs of japan in international trends and custody laws. these reformers understand just how behind japan really is. why is the state department still covering up for japan? at the end of the day, what we all need to do here is acknowledge where the problem is coming from. there's a massive elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. the elephant in the radio is the inherent interest for abduction cases. as they see it to maintain good strategic relations with allies such as japan, a very good cause. and this is in direct conflict with the interest of our children and the children of japan whose advocacy would require the state department to publicly shame and reprimand japan for its complicity in the
4:05 pm
kidnappings. a regime that violates some of the most basic human rights of parents and children alike. state department officials have told us, the military bases in japan and the economic interests thatby have do not allow them, quote, demand compliance from japan. the strategic relationship is too important. too important to advocate for our children. too important even when an act of congress the goldman act, in this case requires them to publicly shame japan by simply speenging the truth. their job requires them to navigate through a huge untenable conflict of interest. to maintain interests with japan while at the same time calling them out to human rights violations. honorable members of parents before you require the state department to do its job to tell the truth and we implore
4:06 pm
congress to require the state department to redo this report and be honest. help the reformers in japan by holding japan accountable and declare japan to be noncompliant. i want to conclude by offering a solution. we've seen this situation before with the state department's conduct surrounding international trade. the state department was found to drag its feet, lie and obfuscate. and in investment of trade and diplomacy. indeed, the kennedy administration and its wisdom found that the state department had an inherent conflict of interest in dealing strongly with our trading partners who were not dealing fairly with us. so president kennedy created a new office office of trade representative. out there the 1980s, the u.s. became perturbed in the state
4:07 pm
department's concerns of trying to rein in a huge deficit. remember the '80s? i do remember who the problematic country was? that's right japan. so what did congress do about it. the authority was further enhanced under the omnibus trade and competitiveness act of 1988. section 61 of the 1988 legislation codifyied the responsibilities. in so doing reinforcing the partnership for the u.s. trade policy. the legislation required that the senior representative on any body that the president establishes through advising through economic policies in which international trade matters predominate. and the ustr should be involved in all. it's my firm opinion that this is exactly what congress will meet to do with the executive branch to aggressively add row indicate for our children without the burtd of conflict of
4:08 pm
interest. i have learned in my many years of national business that a good cop negotiation strategy only works if there's a good cop in the room. asking state to be simultaneously the good cop and bad cop simply will not work. like the trade czar, the ustr is what what we really need say child abduction czar accountable directly to the congress and president. a u.s. children's representative office as a senior representative on any body that the president advises on child abduction policies. this children's right czar should be included in all summit or international meetings and and should have its own agenda that is not subject to the desires of any specific country at stake. this office would be staffed not by people who pass the foreign service exam with degrees in international relations in area studies but rather people with degrees and experience in child
4:09 pm
welfare, child psychology and family law. they would be true advocates for abducted and abused children and be measured by the president and congress on their progress. mr. chairman, i know we cannot get to such legislation and get it enacted overnight. the ustr took decades to develop to its current state. but that needs to be strategic direction. our children have to be as important to us as international trade considerations. our kids' human rights have to supersede other issues with foreign countries in the context of bilateral relations. they should, but at present, they don't. and this is causing an enormous amount of suffering, needless suffering, by the parents sitting before you here. the thousands of parents who are not in attendance today. and the thousands of abducted american citizen children out there the world. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much for your testimony and for your tenacity of speaking not just for yourself and your family but for all of the families.
4:10 pm
ms. barbier. >> just to inform you, my testimony will be paraphrased -- >> would you -- >> i did. just for the record, my testimony will be paraphrased and i would request that it be submit >> without objection, yours and all other statements and any additional materials you'd like to have attached to your testimony will be made a part of the record. >> thank you. chairman smith, thank you for submitting your time to address this issue of child abduction and the instrumentation of the goldman act hence forth referred to as icapra. without your constant vigilance over icappa. i and the thousands of other victimized by it would be all
4:11 pm
alone. many of us have been begging to be properly represented to our children by our government. thank you for answering the plea. in my family's case my children were legally abducted to tunisia by their father, a tunisia native in 2011. at the time i had full custody of two children preventing either of us from traveling outside of the united states with either child. because there are no formal legal agreements between the us and tunisia, i relocated to tunis in january 2012 in order to pursue my custody rights in their had reports. in october 2012 i obtained a tunisia primary ruling of both in the united states. and that ruling was appealed, and i later obtained concurrent judgments through both the tunisia appellant and supreme courts upholding my rights of
4:12 pm
custody to both children declaring their best needs to be served. they have refused to implement the laws and these rulings remain unenforced to this day. prior to the passing of icappa, the state os, the u.s. consulate in tunisia and ambassador susan jacobs have been very active in our case. this support coupled with the avid representation i received from senators assured me with the passing of icapra our case would be resolved and our family would be reunited on u.s. soil. unfortunately that is not the case, to secure the return of my baby he remains illegally retained with his father in tunisia. i further believe this is do to intentional resistance on behalf
4:13 pm
of state to i capra. and the diplomatic of its full enforcement. i refer to the compliance report to support these claims. i'm thankful in its testimony, state has provided an account of how many children have been represented by the report. while the report makes consistent references to cases out there there is not one instance where an abducted child is counted. my question is simple, why? why wasn't a single child accounted for in 2014? and how did the central authority for the united states use sight of the significance for every searching parent that it represents to have his or her child counted? after scrutinizeing the 45-page report submitted to congress i have no current understanding of how many cases occur in the united states, how many children are affected and no means of assessing whether the means of abduction have increased decreased or remain the same. simply providing cases without
4:14 pm
identifying a total number of children affected does not bring us to a closer understanding of the breadth on the american public. the compliance report is riddled with gross numerical manipulations. as exemplified by a cursory review of the tunisia section of table 2 where neither the unvee solved case of islam or zaneyahoo returned home with me in august of 2014 appeared to be represented. it also clearly articulates its policy of increasing the number of signatories to the convention as its major goal. this policy of pushing the convention as a remedy has not been shown to affect the resolution in any existing case. and i believe the devastating repercussions for our families to abductions to japan provide strong evidence to that.
4:15 pm
to be clear icapra as written is a fair and strong law if applied will result in the return of our illegally retained abducted children abroad. remedies 4 through 7 as provided in section 202d. the policy and directive of oci and to avoid politically and contentious revenues speaks volumes. at this time my baby is a vulnerable united states citizen who is being denied his constitutional rights under tunisia law, international law and u.s. law. despite the various by state and representative, the fbi and legal counsel, the tunisian government continues to issue our case while opening its pockets to the ever increasing
4:16 pm
financial allotments that state provides to the republic annually. clearly if a slim counts then state must redouble its efforts to account for every abducted child in its report and apply every actual remedy provided for an i capra to assure their return. as you know there's so much more to be said about this very important topic. given time constraints i must conclude my testimony. i thank you. >> thank you very much for your testimony. we will try to have an additional hearing in july because there is a 90-day window where the application of the sanctions, hopefully, there will be significant and robust sanctions against those 22 countries. and i would hope that they would revisit japan because japan absolutely has to be on the list of this. it is a declaring omission. i'd like to yield before going
4:17 pm
to mr. palmer, to elliott angle, the ranking member of the committee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to just make a brief statement, and then i think we'll call for votes. first of all, i want to thank you for scheduling today's hearing. and i want to thank you your tireless advocacy through all the years we've both served in congress together. i know of no one who fights harder four for causes for which you believe and are effective in fighting those causes. so i think everyone here should understand how much of this is driven by you. you drive the agenda and you make the mark and you do good. i just want to say that. i'm here because i want to show my support on this issue which affects more american answer that we know. in my district, a good constituent here, we have the
4:18 pm
case of a parent internationally abducted american child. mr. chairman, i know you've been a champion of returning american abducted children back to their home. and reforms to the system. there are a few crimes that are more heart wrenching than child abduction. as a parent of three, i can't even imagine her anguish and pain felt by the parent who had a child abducted and taken to another country. they often are at the mercy of foreign courts with different cultural conceptions of custody. and arbitrary determinations what constitutes abduction of what it or isn't in the child's best interest and usually it's not in the child's best interest which they say it is. the most effective tool will is the 1980 hague conference, this treaty creates a global standard
4:19 pm
and requires signatories to return abducted children to the country of the child's habitual residence for custody hearing. unfortunately and very regrettably, there are significant gaps in the hague treaty. for what we need to fill those gaps. i think that's something positive that we need to do. international child abduction is an underreported incident and often overlooked crime which traumatically impacts the lives the children and parents involved. we need to return abducted children back to the united states seriously. i want to thank my constituent for being here. for her courage. we're there with you. keep in mind, you're not alone and we're going to do everything we can to help. again, i would like to end for thanking my colleague, mr. smith, for his tireless effort on this important issue. thank you very much. >> mr. engle thank you very much for your excellent statement. your leadership.
4:20 pm
i think the american people need to know more and more, we work across the aisle. it's always a privilege to work with eliot engel the ranking democrat on the full committee. thank you so much. mr. palmer who is from -- sorry. i thank you for being here. and look forward to your testimony. >> thank you. good afternoon. i'm honored and privileged to provide my testimony before you. and i commend you for holding this important hearing. i'm here today because i'm inspired by a british-educated barrister traveling on a train to with a paid ticket who was thrown off a train for sitting in first class compartment because of color of his skin. the sense of justice and outrage within him inspired a struggle
4:21 pm
for civil rights in south africa, which he later transformed for a fight for international independence from a colonial power. i'm referring to gandhi. i'm not comparing myself to gandhi, but i'm prepare to the stand up to fight for the cause that transcends cultures and nations. i'm here today because my little boy who i love dearly isn't with me, and he has been robbed of his father's love and presence for over three years. he is another victim of a crime that was not pep traited by a stranger, but by his own parent. it was a calculated malicious act to inflict pain on me without any regard to rights. i'm also here because nikita's father indira's mother, albert and alfred's mother, and dozens
4:22 pm
of parents whose children have been abducted to india, are hoping that i have the courage to give an honest and accurate assessment of how their lives have been devastated not only by the abducting parents but by civilized nation states who have shown a blind eye to the immense human suffering that we have experienced for years. parental child abduction is about our children. these are precious human lives, and they matter to me, to rudeina, to ris, jeffrey, bindu. meahead, george, eric marla kevin, david, nora melissa and the list goes on. our governments have failed to rise above their economic, security and other geopolitical interests to solve what is a solvable problem. if one of the objectives of this
4:23 pm
hearing is to scrutinize the records of japan, india tunisia and other countries with longstanding abductions, then i humbly request, chairman smith that we add one more name. and that is the united states. why the u.s. you ask? simply put, cases like mine have been lingering for years without any sign of progress. and you don't need to know the innerworkings of our government to learn why that is the case. the department of state's website which is included in exhibit c of my testimony lists parental child abduction at the bottom of the section under youth and education. items listed about it include ofs of overseas schools. exchange programs. the youth exchange programs student career. how much confidence does that give victims of parental child abduction, when on one hand, the office of children's issues publicly state that they care
4:24 pm
about our children and are doing everything they can do bring children home, yet, the facts show a different picture? how long can parents like me have to wait even for a glimmer of hope. let's look elsewhere in our government where the department of justice whose mission is to enforce law and defend the interests of the united states, according to the law. to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic. to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime. to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all americans. has the department of justice lived up to its mission? how many parental child abduction cases have they prosecutored in the last decade? how many cases have they closed without children returning? how many offenders have they successfully prosecuted? >>
4:25 pm
the answers are hard to find. so here i am today presenting a victim's report card, to rate our experience in terms of how a nation has acted to protect our children's rights and cooperated in their return using a rating scale that my son will understand. really bad, not good, okay, good, and awesome. i would rate our experience in the united states as not good. and in india, unfortunately, it's really bad. it doesn't give me any joy to see this. but after several decades of collective hardships faced by left behind by our children the dial of parental child abduction just hasn't moved. from a parents' point of view, where is the leadership? where is the urgency? left behind parents have been kicked around like a soccer ball
4:26 pm
from one agency to the next, one government agency to another. one representative office to another, by chance, if they're a left behind parent like david goldman, melissa or david we hit the repeat button and do this all over again. his son was abducted in 1990 from california when his son was only 6 months old. the abducting parent do everything they could to alienate him from his father. today, he's had no contact with his son spent his entire life savings, sacrificed his career to seek justice which continues to elude him. this must change. time to act was yesterday. parents all over the country and around the world are outraged by the ground reality and the mediocre response. at best, to address the real
4:27 pm
human tragedy. for too long, the voices of children have been left behind. children -- voices of children and left-behind parents have been ignored as silence. if i don't stand up today and speak about injustices, he'll have one less role model to look up to. while i support a strong ongoing strategic partnership between our country and india, based on the foundation of shared values, including family values it must not come at the expense of american children and families. as we enhance engagement with india, more and more people establish social and our bonds. many of these relationships will lead to class-international marriages for all practical purposes if the united states and india don't establish a strong framework including
4:28 pm
considering alternatives like bilateral agreements or executive orders on the issue of parental child abduction, this will lead to exponential growth in child abduction cases and lead to a human rights disaster that will jeopardize our children's future. policymakers need to think beyond and finalize with family matters to reflect realities. i respectful urge all members of congress especially in the india caucus to use this opportunity to bridge the divide and create a foundation for human welfare and prosperity. it's time to take individual and collective ownership and bring accountability, wherever it is lacking. we're all aware of india's positive contributions to the world. we know as a rising power it has the aspirations to rule the
4:29 pm
world. growth, protection of human rights, without taking stock of his own realities, the fact forward will not lead to achieving those goals. i wish we could say the only challenge we face in indiana is the judiciary. despite the abducted and left behind parents consistently get the justice in india. unfortunately, neither of those statements are true. while i've seen recent progress as instances of divorce and custody battles have increased within india, the fact of the matter is those decisions are too few and far between. indian courts are using outdated laws, or worst no laws in the case of parental abduction, to address the issues of modern globalized rule. in case of -- in a recent case, in the supreme court of india, the court ordered the return of
4:30 pm
two british citizen children abducted from the uk, predicated on the left behind parent meeting a whole slew of criteria. it was plainly clear that even when the abducted children in extremely rather than instances are returned to their home countries, often with significant reconditions on the left behind parent which in effect penalizes the victims and divorces the abductor. based on direct experiences and the ground realities in india, even in 2015 left-behind parents, completely stacked up -- sorry -- the ground realities in india, even in 2015 are completely stacked up behind the left-behind parents. we hope leaders in india would pay heed to the following observations, not because america is demanding or asking for any favors but her own
4:31 pm
citizens deserve better. the lack of policy and law recognizing parental child abduction as a crime both civil and penal have significant ramifications to citizens but those around the world who have some sort of association with india including cross-country ties marriages of indian citizens or people of indian origin. indian courts are competent to decide on child abduction cases based on existing laws through the access and/or indian laws addressing child abduction is leading to confusion, inconsist tense the inconsistent at times, incorrect application of criteria for domicile within indian divorce law on foreign
4:32 pm
citizens foreign investments of other countries is resulting in jurisdiction by indian courts raising serious questions of application of indian law and confusing u.s. protection rights and guarantee of each of us living in the u.s. does a cocktail of issues combined with the lack of joint custody positions, gender bias domestic violence laws nonoffenses like the indian penal code 498-a are routinely invoked by abductors. give a parent of indian origin around the united states and the world for india to become the preferred location for child abductions. >> if you could just stand down briefly. >> sure. >> we have two votes on the floor.
4:33 pm
we'll have about ten minutes if you could pick up where you are right now. i apologize. this is going to be very briefly recessed and then resume. >> sure. as you just heard, this house hearing on international child abduction taking a short
4:34 pm
break, about ten minutes, so that members can vote on the house floor. our coverage live coverage, here on c-span3 will continue. the u.s. house, by the way, passed the fy-2016 defense spending bill on a vote 278-149. house members now into the first of two days working on trade promotion authority. in fact, the vote right now on the house floor is on the rules for debate for the trade rules that are expected to be voted on. final passage vote expected on the floor tomorrow. again, while we wait for this international child abduction hearing to continue, we're going to get a preview of tonight's congressional baseball game from today's "washington journal." the 54th congressional ball game is tonight. congressman joe bart, republican for texas is the baseball manager for the republican team.
4:35 pm
mike doyle, democrat from pennsylvania is the democrats' manager. thank you for being here to talk about this. this is a tradition that dates back to 1909. roll call took it over two decades ago. tell our viewers why you think it's important to do this sort of thing. >> well, first of all it's a lot of fun and the members enjoy the game. three charities receive a real benefit from this game. enough that excites us over the years. we've been able to build that up, the boys and girls club of washington, d.c. the washington literacy council and the national dream foundation. so it's a chance for us to have some fun and some friendly competition. by last year we raised over $400,000 for the charities. >> so congressman barton why do you think -- this is a game that's been played every year. what does it do? how does it help lawmakers do their job? >> well, it's a chance for both republicans and democrats to have great fellowship in the
4:36 pm
practices. the practices up there on the hill, and i think they start about 6:30 or 7:00. we dot same thing out in virginia. everybody volunteers you know. it's not mandatory, so you get these congressmen and senators coming out, you know, 6:30 in the morning. it creates some real special positive vibrations. and of course, when we actually play the game, we're way past playing, we're in the management stage. we both did play, when you play for an hour or two, you're back in your youth. and you're in a major league park. and there's a crowd. as corny as it sounds it's fun. it's just fun. and, of course, we raise a lot of money for charity. back in the beginning we raised $10,000, $15,000. now we're up, as you said, last year over $400,000. and that's -- some of the charities, the washington
4:37 pm
literacy council, this is their primary fund-raiser. it's a big deal. >> do you think it lends itself to stronger bonds in this city, where you spend a lot of time having to make phone calls, a lot of meetings, committee hearings, legislative business on the floor meeting with constituents? >> it does run off the pages. mike and i are on the same committee, congress committee. it's a lot tougher to get red in the face mad at mike about some amendment on the clean air act when we've just been together with our staffs figuring out how to raise money for charity and qualify schools and stuff like to. >> yeah it's not really a lot of time anymore. this is my 21st year being involved in a game. members all go home, back to their districts after the last vote. everyone is running to an airport. there's so few opportunities that we have a chance to just
4:38 pm
engage our colleagues without the suits on and debating on the house floor that we're doing in a tradition that everybody loves, baseball. and it does. i think he's right it's a lot tougher to lose your temper with someone that you've come to know in a different light and enjoy something with. we have a lot of players actually where quite a few guys play. >> i have a 9-year-old son jack, he comes to washington. we went on the house floor for the first time. the first person that he wanted to go see wasn't john boehner or any of the republicans. he made a beeline to the republican side to see cedric richmond, our all-star pitcher. cedric took jack to a baseball game last year.
4:39 pm
i'm having to work hard to keep jack in our column. at practice this morning he was out there with cedric and mike. and even went to the pep meeting they had at the end. >> it sounds like you're losing him. democrats have won all six games. >> we're not going to dwell on that. >> including, a 15-6 victory in 2014. you practiced this morning. how are the teams looking? >> our team looks pretty strong. our pitcher cedric richmond had shoulder surgery in the off-season. so he's a little bit of a question mark on you know, how hard he'll be able to throw and how long he'll be able to throw. so, that's just something we won't know until the game starts tonight. >> so, congressman, do you feel good about that? >> no he's trying to think about -- connie mac or some of those crusty old managers he's
4:40 pm
going to pitch richmond until his arm falls off tonight. but cedric is the best player, probably to ever play in the game. in the former of major league, if they were 20 or 30 years past their prime. cedric richmond had he not been a congressman, i think is at least good enough to at least make the high minors. we recruited a pitcher this year. walters from north carolina. and last inside, i told hudson the recruitment manager of the republican campaign committee, i need a hard-hitting left fielder next year. we're building our team up just to stay competitive with mike and the democrats. >> how long you have been doing this? >> this is my 28th year. >> managing?
4:41 pm
>> i started as a player, then a coach i've been managing -- i think this is my ninth year to manage. >> right now overall record 38 republican wins, 38 democrat wince, one tie. what does that mean? does that intensify the rivalry? >> well, you know, the democrats have won six in a row. they're the defending world champions. i will say last year we came in second, only one game behind. lost that one game. we'll be more competitive tonight. mark our pitcher, congressman from georgia, costello from pennsylvania is going to be pretty good at shortstop. and some of our regulars, you know, stutzman from indiana. davis from illinois. we've got a comparable team. >> yeah they've got a good squad. we've picked up a couple good players this year.
4:42 pm
pete aguilar from california has been a pleasant addition to the team. i didn't realize he was as good as he was. he didn't come out right away. we finally convinced him to come to practice. he can hit. ruiz from california and tony cardis, our three california stars, all starting for the team, and they're playing pretty well. >> i think if joe would be a good sport and pitch to cedric tonight, you know, they've been walking him intentionally, because they're afraid to pitch to him. i just think in the spirit of bipartisanship and friendliless you should at least give him one at-bat. >> well, we looked back, he probably has the record for most consecutive hits. he got ten hits in a row. we've got guys who have played 20 years that haven't got ten mitts in hits in their career. >> a little oppositional research. >> yeah. but the game is competitive now.
4:43 pm
we're not going to let them -- because i don't -- i don't know that we've ever gotten him out. >> well, this game takes place tonight. the 54th congressional baseball game. c-span is a paid sponsor of tonight's baseball game. as you heard the congressman say, it's for charity. take a look at what some of the members are saying about the congressional game. here's ryan costello republican from pennsylvania tweeting this out, looking forward to playing in tomorrow's game for charity. and chris murphy, from pennsylvania saying the one weak spot in the order may be ouch, pointing to statistics there. senator rand paul presidential candidate playing as well, join me for the congressional baseball game tickets and play ball. let's hear from charlie, in
4:44 pm
pittsburgh. republican, hi charlie go ahead. >> caller: hi this is truly the first time i'm going to be rooting for the democrats. i see a pirates uniform on the back. i don't know how you're raising money for charity, i think if you put this on television and had like a charity run, i think people would watch it and contribute. >> that's a great idea. you know last year we had 8500 people show up for the game. you know, when the nationals were struggling as a baseball team, we've had a bigger crowd than they did sometimes. now they're playing real well. roberto clemente was my childhood hero, i used to take the bus from swissvale to forbes field. and i just think he's the best in the game and always proud to wear number 21. >> the radio station in d.c. is
4:45 pm
broadcasting the game on the radio and it's being televised on -- >> the satellite station? >> yeah. it's not being televicessed on espn or abc or cbs. espn in the past has been a sponsor, and they have thought about covering it. >> do you think you might make the highlights in the morning? >> it's possible. if rand paul hits a home run i think that would make a highlight. >> or cedric richmond. >> if you pitched to him, maybe. >> watson is next, in virginia a republican. >> caller: hi, guys, i wanted to thank you to take the time to go out and take the responsibility off your shoulders and play the great game of baseball. i just wanted to encourage you maybe to the president's legislation if the republicans
4:46 pm
win that it would defeat the bill. do you think that's fair consideration? >> that's fine with me if this bill got -- i'll tell you that. >> i'm a yes on the trade bill. >> you don't think of tying the baseball game to any sort of policies? >> no, i don't think the president wants to use this baseball game as a yes or no. >> we haven't had a person come out and throat first w the first pitch. that has happened in the past. >> oh really. did you invite the president this time? >> i don't know if we did. officially. >> in jonesboro arkansas, independent, hi there, you're on the air. >> caller: good morning this is a great opportunity for you folks to actually do something together. they talk about changing the washington redskins name they had should change it to the scandals. as far as you two people, the
4:47 pm
democrats should be the parasites and the republicans should be the leeches. >> you have a great day, too. >> this is no question this is how the fight happens you got about 50 members on both sides, donate their time the washington nationals donate a lot of the stadium facilities. every dollar that is raised minus some of the expenses of actually doing the game go directly to charity. and that's -- that's a good thing. that's not a scandal. that's a good thing. washington literacy council which teaches adults to read. i'd say, 70% of the budget comes from this game. boys and girls club of d.c. they've got -- you know they're doing tremendous things with some -- with some of the underprivileged boys and girls here in d.c. there are problems in d.c.
4:48 pm
but this game is not one of them. >> this tradition, by the way, dates back to 1909. representative john tenor of pennsylvania, former professional baseball player organized the first baseball game then. sam rayburn of texas though ended the tradition in 1958 because of too many injuries. >> we've had people hurt in our era. the members, kidding around, but the guys on the field and the girls, loretta sanchez on the democratic side they take it seriously. and they play very hard. we've had several people broken legs, broken wrist. >> i saw tim holden and bill jefferson collided looking up at a fly ball. jefferson had a concussion. but tim holden actually lost all of his front teeth and broke his nose and chipped a bone in his
4:49 pm
teeth and had to have his nose redone and fix his teeth. he was good looking after the game. >> did they ever play again? >> yeah, they played the next year. >> when i was pitching the a congressman from florida he kept crowding the plate at me. not that i can throw fast but i fired one inside, and i broke his wrist. he didn't crowd the plate anymore. >> have you heard from leadership about tonight's game? any pressure from them? >> you know they all come. nancy pelosi, steny hoyer, jim clyburn. >> our starring second baseman. >> all right. >> i will tell you that kevin and john, the speaker, they're getting antsy they're tired of having to watch mike hold up the trophy the next day. >> i'll admit i'm under a little pressure. >> yeah there's a little criticism of you in the work
4:50 pm
that useryou've done in the year. >> it's justified, lost six in a row. >> roger is my coach, and he played in the atlanta braves system. he was he's a no nonsense guy out on the field. that is the price we have to pay to keep up with the doyles. >> when you win at your managerial skills when you lose it is your fault. >> since 1962 this annual game has been sponsored by role call. so the cq role call game will start at around 7:00 this evening and it plays seven innings, not a full game. >> seven is plenty. >> getting tired after seven. >> yeah, i think so. >> that is enough to determine the outcome. >> let's here from la tasha in michigan a republican. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> i'm visiting in michigan. i live in katy, texas, so i'm
4:51 pm
directing my question to congress barton. are the taxpayers paying for your uniforms and glad to see you there on friday because normally you're back with your constituents but perhaps you're getting ready for your fourth of july vacation. i wish you would do something there instead of playing. we do need your help. >> i'm going to jump in because the house is about to gavel. >> no. they play for the uniforms and they get them from a local team. >> my campaign team does pay for the team for the republicans and in the past i've had my campaign committee provide hats and stuff. but there is no congressional or federal funds of any sort that go into this game. >> all right. >> that is right. no taxpayer money goes into the game or the uniforms.
4:52 pm
>> well good luck to both of you. i will stay neutral. good luck to both teams. congress joe barton and representative mike doyle. >> if they are in d.c. come out. we'll have 8,000 or 9,000 people and you can still get tickets, they are $10 and the money does go to charity. >> back live on capitol hill where a house hearing on international child abduction is in a recess. so the committee members can vote on the house floor. we continue to cover this hearing live when it resumes, we expect that to occur shortly. in the meantime a short portion of a senate homeland security hearing today on federal whistleblowers. a man told of a son threatening to jump from his high school and calling it the most costly and emotionally devastating thing he to deal with when responding to
4:53 pm
do the right thing. and he was asked a question from ron johns about the cost of whisting blowing. here is his statement. >> for me, the biggest cost is watching my son jump out of his high school roof because he saw his father lost his uniform, his weapon. he's always been very proud of my career and the way i perform my duty. not only at work but off duty. i have raised three excellent children but it was the most costing and emotionally devastating thing that i had to do, receive that phone call that no father wants to receive, that your son is on the roof of his high school getting ready to jump because his father is going through a whistleblower retaliation action.
4:54 pm
luckily i was there, i got there in time. the police was there. and the fire department was there with the jumping blanket. he finally jumped and he was hold been the county police and he wouldn't let nobody arrest him. he to be arrested by his father. and with great pain and picked my upon, who is autism ought -- autistic who was in patrol who spent two days in the hospital talking to him that my problem would be resolved eventually that patience will pay off. financially, it has cost me over $41,000 in lawyers fees just to keep my job.
4:55 pm
i mean, i'm in debt up in my neck, but as a responsible citizen, i pay and hopefully one day i can be compensated for all of the troubles financially i have put myself into because i did the right thing. >> from a senate hearing earlier today on federal whistle blowers and you can watch that hearing on our website c-span .organize. and back here waiting for a hearing to resume on international child abduction. taking a recess to allow for a vote on the house floor. earlier today the house passed the fy 16 defense spending bill on a vote of 248 to 149 and a few moments ago members adopted rules for debate for trade bills that are expected to get a final
4:56 pm
passage vote on the house floor tomorrow. of course you can watch live house coverage on our companion network c-span. the senate today continuing work on a bill authorizing $612 billion for defense programs and weapons. this afternoon a vote to advance a cyber security amendment to that bill, failed to get the 60 votes required to move forward. the senate is live on our companion network c-span 2. here on c-span 3, waiting for a hearing to continue on international child abduction. live coverage.
4:57 pm
4:58 pm
4:59 pm
again our live coverage here on c-span 3, a house hearing on international child abduction if a recess now members could vote on the house floor. we do expect it to resume in a few moments. today the house passing the spenting bill for the next fiscal year on a vote of 248 to 169. and the house working on trade promotion authority and just a few moments ago the house adopted the rules for debate for several bills on the floor for final passage votes tomorrow. can you watch the house on c-span. and the senate continues work today on a bill that authorizes
5:00 pm
defense programs and policy. a vote though to vaps a cyber security amendment bill failed to get the 60 votes required to move forward. the senate live on our companion network c-span 2. the sub-committee will resume the hearing and mr. parmar sorry for cutting you off mid sentence but i had to make the floor vote. so thank you. >> i will probably take no more than two more minutes. the issue of domicile and jurisdiction post the greatest risks for american children and families who have made conscious decision to permanently settle in the

28 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on