tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 29, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
the other the legal and political restrictions that would curtail immigration from certain countries, very high immigration, for example, from mexico. it creates formal equality in the sense that immigration has opened up to countries from all over the world. but that formal equality is juxtaposed against inequality in relationship with the united states. for example, mexico, for purposes of immigration, is treated just like mozambique but the demand for immigration from those two countries is obviously very different. so, in 1965, we get this arguably equality expanding, but also problematic act that then creates this concept of illegality as we understand it today. immediately, it starts to create political and legal significance at both the state level and the
federal level in the united states. and that's what i really want to focus on. it creates then a cascade of problems that political and legal developments attempt to grapple with. they attempt to grapple with it without addressing that fundamental disconnect at the heart of the 1965 law and so you see a series of enactments at both the state and federal level that are, perhaps we could say, biting around the edges of the problem but not really getting to the root of it itself. so immediately after 1965, or very soon thereafter, you start to see some of the effects of the state level. in 1971 california passes an employer sanctions law. for the first time it's able to sort of connect the idea of who should be working within california to the concept of illegality that the 1965 act helped set up. california is in a fairly --
1971, yeah. california is in a recession at this point. this law, this employer sanctioned law that stops employers in california from -- or at least penalizes employers from hiring unauthorized workers. this goes before the supreme court in 1976 and in that case, the court has to gra approximate. ple with this idea of states really re-entering the sphere of immigration regulation in a way that they had not after 1880. as charles pointed out there was significant state regulation up until 1880, what we might substitute as immigration law. from 1875 on it becomes really the federal government dominant in this notion of the regulation of immigration. post 1965, though, with the creation of the concept of illegality and the creation of significant migrags flows, states start to re-enter. and the court says in response to that case, in thinking about
it, it says the power to regulate immigration is unquestionably a federal power but the court has never held that every state enactment which, in any way deals with aliens, is in any way an attempt at regulation and is thus preempted. so the court ends up upholding this law and it starts to again set up a series of political concerns that trigger both state and federal action later. several other states join california. 11 states join california in this form of employer sanctions law which ultimately in 1986 with the immigration reform and control act become preempted by federal law. in 1986, you see the federal government again attempting to deal with the fundamental problems created by 1986 -- i'm sorry by 1965 by setting up mass legalization program. one of the first mass legalization programs that the
united states has had. but perhaps charles can shed more light on that, providing the possibility of the undocumented population at that time or significant portions of the undocumented population at that time to legalize. it's an attempt. but it becomes very clear within the next few years, by 1990, that that one-time fix has not work. undocumented population of the united states continues to grow. 1990, 1996, federal government attempts a more punitive response to that same problem. 1990 and 1996 federal enactments attempt to enforce the united states out of this problem of illegality by setting up significantly harsher deportation standards and, through law, creating a larger class of people who might now be subject to deportation. as it turns out you can't
enforce your way out of the problem either. so 1996 in many ways amplifies the problem that the illegality created by the 1965 law at its inception. 1996 also does something that's less recognized but extremely interesting. it provides in the law several provisions that allow for sat-level enactments with regard to the control of immigration or at least regulating the lives of immigrants. many of those provisions actually -- although enacted in 1996, lie fallow for the next several years. as we argue in -- as my co-author argue in our new book, what ends up happening is in the last 10 to 15 years those provisions of the 1996 law that allow for significant state and local involvement become activated through political mechanisms and you start to see
what we have witnessed in the last ten years of immigration and that is no federal law but significant state and local enactments both on the restriction aside but more recently trend toward integration aside that attempt to deal with, again, this fundamental problem of illegality now which has grown to roughly 11 million people in the country, who are unlawfully present as defined by the ina. >> the current landscape, and this goes to the theme of our discussion here today with regards to whether the 19 -- or how we should think about the 1965 act in terms of equality. we currently have an extreme -- patchwork of laws across the united states in which state and local laws are affecting the lives of immigrants in significant ways. where the prospects for somebody who is illegal or undocumented in the united states very drastically -- for example, somebody in california has
significantly different prospects than somebody who just might be 50 to 100 miles away in arizona, for example. it's a form of structural inequality that we might want to think about as we move forward. how should we think about this extreme variation of laws in the united states that, in many ways, are the laws that impact the lives of immigrants on a daily basis. second, an internal question of equality with regards to how we think about integrationist laws in places like california, which i think california as a state is probably a leader, in the way in which it's thinking about, treating immigrants generally but undocumented immigrants specifically, and cities like new york city, which i think at the local or city level are significant integrationist platform versus restrictionist laws in places like alabama, arizona, cities interested in
significant immigration enforcement. should we think of these two different types of laws as similar for purposes of our judicial understanding and discourse around how -- whether we only need require one immigration law at the national level or whether we should allow these various state and local efforts. and finally a question of -- you know, thinking about how this landscape has developed where federal law is creating the conditions that essentially create 11 million unlawful present persons but have state and local responses to this federal law. to what extent should we allow the state and local enactments to act as our form of de facto national immigration policy. one of the reasons this has become significant, as our research suggests, is that state and local efforts, once they become entrenched, affect national law making. becomes quite difficult for federal lawmakers in congress
from those jurisdictions to vote in ways that would override those local preferences. so, for example, john mccain, who used to be -- if you look at early 2000s, even late '90s, immigration policy was what i think most people would describe as a moderate on immigration reform, would have even promoted and did promote certain acts that we think of as part of comprehensive package, including legalization programs. but after sb 1070, after arizona's proposition 200, after arizona workers act, he no longer can hold those positions of moderate immigration positions in the federal go congress and is forced to take more extreme positions and more restrictive positions, i should say, and you really see that middle disappear. i think to get back to the theme -- i'll sum up by saying the legacy or one of the
legacies of the 1965 act is the creation of this concept of illegality because our major federal enactments since then have actually not dealt with that fundamental problem. what we've seen is a significant number of state and local enactments and federal enactments attempting to chip away at the problem, address the symptoms of the problem without getting to the root of it. it's led to a situation that i would argue in 2015 in which prospects, at least in the near term for significant comprehensive reform to that 1965 act have become extremely difficult. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, charles. again, i want to thank both the acs and epi for hosting this event. i'm pleased to be here. i'll build on the remarks of my fellow panelists and talk about the impact specifically of the 1965 law on the workplace in the united states and landscape of workers' rights.
when lyndon johnson signed it into act he said this is not meant to be a revolutionary bill and that quote is often tossed around. when we look at how the law has transformed the landscape of the u.s. market we can only say it's been transform active in some positive ways and some very negative ways. as some of the other panelists have mentioned the 1965 law is credited for creating the sizeable undocumented population that we have in place today. now keep in mind that before 1965, there were no numerical quotas on immigration from latin america and for centuries there's been a significant economic interdependence between the territory that we now know as mexico and the united states. we see a quota of 120,000 visas from the western hemisphere. of those initially only 40,000 -- mexico was set at
40,000 limit. by 1977, it was cut down to 20,000 visas from mexico. now as theep alluded to, this is a critique we can make generally to the legislation enacted in the 1960s. did it, in fact, create the equity that the legislators were looking for? one might say certainly in the immigration context that it hasn't created that equity, given the unique relationship that the united states has with mexico. to understand how specifically that this law generated the growth of undocumented population, we need to understand what's happening historically in the united states at that time with the foreign-born workers and the labor market. as many of you know, beginning in 1942, the united states and mexico had entered into a bilateral treaty, essentially,
which allowed for foreign workers to work temporarily, mexican workers to come temporarily work in the united states. the program allowed a total of about 5 million workers between 1942 and 1964 to come to the united states to work temporarily. and the program fueled the agricultural sector, and fueled some industrial work as well. it obviously played a significant role in the u.s. labor market. initially, of course, was positioned as a replacement, labor supply given the shortage of workers during world war ii. it eventually became an important feature of the u.s. economy. the program ends in 1964. ten months later, 1965 immigration law is enacted. there, we have, of course, hundreds of thousands of mexican workers who had been participating in the basero program with no real pathway then to immigrate permanently
into the u.s. labor market. this is one of the factors contributing to the growth of the undocumented population, right? at the same time, we have employers who are continuing to rely on that labor supply and, therefore, turning to undocumented labor. now there's some interesting historical lit tur around this. was it all nefarious in terms of mexican workers? certainly some part of it was intentional. there was a significant lobby at the time pushing for the exclusion of latin american workers or latin american visas with the concern that they may overtake the u.s. population. there's other lit tur that interestingly notes what's happening in the agricultural sector was mechanicization. thinking technology would save us in terms of harvesting cotton and tomatoes. at the end of the basero program is one significant impact. also what we see at the same
time was there was not -- not only was there a number of visas available to mexican nationals, right, but we also see a shift in the temporary worker programs. so at this time, there had been, prior to 1965, a temporary worker program, h2 program. it was relatively small in scale and continues to be relatively small in scale. prior to 1965, the burden was on the government to show that the workers that were coming in under the temporary programs would not harm the u.s. workforce. beginning in 1965, that burden then shifted to employers. what this meant was there was more of an active, ex-anti-screening role that the government played in determining which temporary workers and generally which foreign-born workers would be able to come into the united states, giving the government more control in terms of limiting the access of mexican and other latin-american
workers into the u.s. labor market. i'll also note that, of course, during this time we see the united farm workers coming out specifically, taking the position that undocumented workers should not be in the agricultural sector again, which set the relationship between undocumented workers, immigrant workers generally and the labor market for many years that would follow. so, what is the larger consequence of this today, of these historical developments? i always argue there's a few of them. one, of course, is that by not creating a permanent pathway for these hundreds of thousands of mexican workers, it's kind of labeled the mexican workforce at that time. arguably today with the type of permanent transients. the idea that they aren't able to be formally and permanently integrated into the u.s. labor market. and some scholars have argued that in some respects the 1965 law replaced the asian
immigrants with latino immigrants as the kind of outsiders. asian exclusion was in place during the national quota system up through 1965. that was eliminated and that was a good thing. there was then de facto exclusion of latin americans and concrete ating this permanent outside class that could be demonized and exploited. significant economic interdependency of the regions then the end of the basero program, the change in labor dissertation process which i alluded to. inevitable result is huge, vulnerable and exploitable undocumented population in the united states, which we continue to see today. now, what is the impact of this population? of course, we see it as foreign-born workers in the u.s.
labor department, disproportionate levels of wage theft. their experience with workplace injuries and fatalities are disproportionate to the representation in the u.s. labor market and the list goes on. so building on top of that, of course, is we then have a culture of immigration enforcement, which has fueled -- has been fueled by the growth of the undocumented population which, of course, is also affecting the experience of workers in the workplace. so i know i've been sounding like there's a lot of gloom and doom with the 1965 law. there are positive things. charles mentioned of the entire visa allocation of the 1965 law, 74% were allocated to family based immigrants. only 20% went to employment based. some might say this was the root of the major structural problem in the u.s. immigration law.
20%. in 1965. yeah. so as of -- the way the visa allocations were laid out in that law, 10% went to members of the professions or workers with exceptional ability and another percent, 10% went to those who were performing skilled or unskilled labor. as an overall -- that's relatively low and the balance wasn't the right balance. and there's a larger critique around the u.s. immigration law and whether we're doing what we need to do to attract the best talent in the united states. we can have a conversation about that. there was an impact, right? we did see, despite that relatively small -- in the late '60s and early '70s and many of these immigrants from asia and elsewhere have made a significant impact on the economy. so we could say was this the right allocation? that's a good question. you could also note the positive
contributions. you could also note the particularly inclined nature of immigrants toward self employment and how that's affected u.s. business markets. on the flip side, you might -- we could reflect on how these employment-based categories have caused economic difficulties or brain drain in countries of origin. that's another aspect to look at. just two more points and then i'll wrap up. the first is the impact of the 1965 law on african-americans. this is something that gets relatively little attention but deserves more attention. the law was part of civil rights legislation. and we often talk about the impact on asian americans or latinos but it's reflecting what the law has meant for african-americans. of course, there's a very vigorous debate about whether or not immigrants and immigration generally is positive or harmful for americans and whether there's a recent study put out
two years ago which showed that, in fact, there's a positive impact. for example, those municipalities that attract immigrants tend to be more positive in terms of the economic impact overall, including african-americans on wages, income. there are, of course, other general studies that show that -- including epi that's done some great work around the wage impact of immigrants, showing there's a small, positive impact. at the same time we can look at particular industries where employers have intentionally chosen to replace traditionally vulnerable groups such as african-american workers or longstanding latino communities with guest workers, right? and that is purposefully in some instances because those guest workers are more exploitable and vulnerable. so i think that's something that is worthy of some more broader consideration. i think it's also helpful to think about this in terms of broader frame of civil rights
and equity. so when we look at the vulnerability of the latino immigrant community and the ways in which both the undocumented population and the corresponding enforcement efforts have affected latino communities, racial profiling and racial discrimination in some cases i think we have to ask ourselves what is the impact of that on other communities of color, right? is it nurturing a type of anti-minority attitude that is going to be harmful to african-americans? another way to look at it, we now have, of course, a large undocumented population, which has then spurred the growth of large enforcement apparatus. that reform apparatus and the enforcement has then forced some employers to move away from undocumented workers and rely more on guest workers or prison labor, for example. right? or other types of workers who
are more -- maybe lawfully working but more legally controlled. i think we need to think about perhaps an even subtle ways, the ways in which that type of series of events is now impacting the series of economic communities. and in some ways the indeterminancy of all of this. of course, we note there's been significant growth nun documented population, we look at family based. but the interplay between these things are complicated in immigration law. you have people who come in, as family-based immigrants but then, of course, make incredible economic impact. then you have people who come in under the employment-based scheme as entrepreneurs but then they'll bring in family members. so it's difficult to cabin in a very isolated way the impact that workers have had.
as we look forward, they still continue to be a significant deficit in pathways for temporary migration. that's a major flaw in the u.s. immigration system. there were some attempts to remedy that in 2013 but there still is a long way for us to go. >> it strikes me that in addition to this equity versus equallity frame one of the lessons of the '65 act also has to do with supply and demand. that is to say pre'65, 90% of immigrants came from europe. post '65, it was reversed. the supply side, as it were, of how we changed our visa systems for that explanation. surely, that is at least partially true. it strikes me that very few
people talk about how much demand was there in a booming western european economy and also eastern europe which was largely behind the iron curtain that did not permit immigration. was this really a question of what we did on the supply side or is it is it more of a question of what happened with respect to demand for visas from other countries? at this point, i guess i'm curious about what the panelists might have thoughts about with respect to each other's presentations. without necessarily going in detail but -- or in order, let me start with rose, whether you have additional comments. >> well, i wanted to respond to what jayesh said about the gloom and doom. it's true. we're here, being very critical of the act. but one of the things that we have yet to mention is how the
1965 act relates to the overall population today. and where we will be in 2043, at least as predicted by demographers. by 2043 the prediction is that the united states will no longer be a majority white population, country. if anything, it would be the opposite of that. and that is that there will not be a single, quote, race that would dominate the u.s. population. instead, different pockets of minority groups will then emerge as one of many different populations in the united states. and we can trace that demographic change to the 1965 act because of the migration, immigration of many immigrants of color, particularly from mexico, china, india, philippines and the dominican republic. those are the top countries to date in the last several years.
so, one way to examine those numbers is to think of it from the perspective of what were to happen if congress had never imposed any kind of racial restriction on immigration? will we be -- would we be in a different place today? and if so, how differently would our population look like? so one argument would be that the 1965 act can be thought of as sort of essentially erasing the effects, both intentional and the effects of those racial barriers to immigration law. so, just invoking from affirmative action theory it's a way to address the ongoing impacts of formal discrimination. so that's -- from one perspective, we can think of the 1965 act as a positive -- from a positive perspective.
nondiscrimination and erasing the effects of discrimination. others may say it's a negative perspective and we don't want to promote diversity in that way. that it's one thing to think about allowing everyone to have equal access to the united states for purposes of immigration. but it's another to think about immigration law as a means for diversifying the immigrant's dream. so i wanted to put that in there as a way to also consider the role that the '65 act played in our population. >> i will say a couple of things. jayesh's point about taking us back to the brasero program is worth reemphasizing. directly preceding 1965 you had a set form of cyclical migration
between united states and mexico. there are certainly significant concerns with programs like the brasero program, choice of agency might have been coerced with regard to those workers. on the other hand it was a way of promoting a cyclical season, form of migration that in its time processed over 2 million immigrants in its 22 years of existence even in the last couple of years, processing over 200,000 mexican workers per year into the united states. to bring that to an abrupt close ten months after that program ends is going to have significant effects because people simply don't respond in that way when they have ties in the united states. employers don't respond that way when they depend on that lib and become used to that labor in the united states. the other thing i'll say is i think it's interesting to think about what rose just mentioned,
about the demographic changes in the united states in the coming years and very soon in the coming decades, significantly shifting what we think of as minority and majority populations -- i wonder. this is an open ended question. to what extent without significant federal immigration reform whether even as those demographic changes happen our concept of illegality necessarily changes. if we think about prior -- by the late 1800s, illegality, as charles pointed out, meant asian, this nefarious group of people from asia, coming to take jobs, apply opium in the united states and generally debosh the morals of the united states through asian prostitution, for example. right? so 1975 -- 1875, the page act is
really directed toward this problem of chinese prostitution coming into the united states and deboshing the morals of places like san francisco and its surrounding areas. i wonder even as now we don't necessarily -- although, for example, when you think about jeb bush's campaign rhetoric, he was saying i was thinking about birth tourism i wasn't talking about latinos. i was talking about asians. somehow that made it better in his mind. but as a general matter we have replace replaced that and the way in which we now think about the latino population is, in some sense, an immigration question even though that doesn't actually track with the demographics of that population. significant numbers of citizens with long histories in the united states. but we label them as illegal. illegal operating, i think, as a
very thin veneer for race and racial restrictions. open question as even our demography changes, to what extent does our legality change without significant changes at the federal level? >> last point is a very interesting question. just a couple of reflections. when we think about the demographic diversification of the u.s. -- and i definitely think about that as a positive. particular pathways in which asian immigrants have come to the united states post 1965 have certainly created some publications in terms of how the groups are racialized and how they're positioned in terms of the class position within the united states. i think this is something -- my father was a beneficiary of the 1965 immigration law, able to come to the united states because of that law. as a consequence, many asian
americans are then positioned as affluent, successful, high achieving, et cetera. and while that's certainly true for some portion of the population, i think it's then created a lack of a complex understanding of the real diversity, economic and otherwise within the asian american community. i think the same might be said about latinos and i think african immigration is such a phenome phenomena. it doesn't come about as a result of the '65 law but the subsequent enactments. and the same might be said about -- i'm certainly not an expert on this but was thinking about the interrelationship between the african-american community and more recent waves of african immigrants and more recent waves of opportunities and what that means, how do we
define african-american in growing african immigration the in the united states, and historically present african-american community and african immigrants in terms of their access to different kinds of opportunities. it's a fascinating question that we can think about. theep's comments and others emphasize the complexity and interests that are at play in immigration reform. now when we look at it, sometimes it feels hopeless, rig right, to see all these different strands of interests that are trying to be aligned. but i think what the -- pratheepa and others emphasize is that it's always been this complicated. lots of interests have been at play in terms of crafting immigration policy, certainly with respect to the workplace issues and there's been a
particular uncertainty with how to deal with immigration from the western hemisphere. i was talking about -- and what others have talked about, it wasn't a done deal, right, from the beginning. it was something that was done as a result of tense negotiations in the months and years preceding -- that's where the negotiations landed. if you read the law, in addition to putting in the cap they called for a creation of select tradition on western hemisphere migration. i think we still need that today, in light of what's happening in central america. just a deep uncertainty, fueled by racial concerns, economic concerns, about what to make of this longstanding historical relationship between the united states and the rest of the hemisphere. i think that it's always been politicized, still extremely politicized but remains our
greatest challenge. >> are there mainly retrospe retrospecti retrospective, 50th anniversary of the major reform law, are there lessons we should take from that over the last 50 years and apply them today so for scholars, legislators, advocates? if we could maybe identify one thing we think is most meaningful from this history that is applicable to current contemporary debates? >> i would like to focus on family. who counts as family. in fact, the last -- the bill that passed the senate, the one that almost -- many had hoped to become law had different ways of
thinking of family base. they would have cut off the ability of u.s. -- the bill would have cut off the ability of u.s. citizens to petition for their parents, to petition some of their older children, who are married, if they reached 31 years old, then they will no longer be eligible for immigration to the united states. and on the other hand, that bill would have also allowed for permanent residents to bring in their spouses and children. so in terms of lessons in how the 1965 act, building upon the 1952 act, redefining the meaning of family, it's important for us to think about whether we might want to expand meaning of family. other countries allow for grandparents to immigrate, for other close family members to immigra immigrate. one thing would be to think about broadening the meaning of family or we might consider
narrowing the meaning of family. limit it to spouses and children, young children defined by the statute as 21 years and below. so because the way that our family-based immigration program right now is structured leads to, on the one hand, lead to immigration but on the other hand extremely long delays and separation, then there's something wrong with the system. right? it's important to rethink how we define the family. >> one way of thinking about that question is what's the best immigration policy. in 2065, what would we say or look back and say? if we're going to do that, we have to ask what exactly is our goal? what are we trying to accomplish with any form of immigration reform? you might ask the question from the labor perspective, our goal is to maximize the economic
output of the united states to be functioning at an efficient level. perhaps that's one goal we might pursue in significant portions, constituencies with the united states are doing. want to pursue that goal. there's a significant portion of the united states that's committed to this goal of the purpose of immigration law should be not to have illegal immigration. and that's a more difficult and complex question to address. one way of addressing that would be to say if the law doesn't create illegality, you won't have illegal immigration or unauthorized imgrachlt ed immig. if you start from that premise -- it's unclear which path you should take. we could simply match our immigration in the united states based on demand. if availability matches demand it's likely you could get down to very -- at least a manageable number of unauthorized migrants.
if what you take from the last 50 years is that we should have greater enforcement as a way of reducing that 11 million number then your immigration policy is going to look significantly different than it is today. it will require an enforcement apparatus that is exponentially bigger than what we have today. one of the lessons that perhaps we should take from the last 50 years is regularize or psycycli mass legalizations will not be a way of reducing the illegal population to zero. mass enforcement and ratcheting up of mass enforcement system also will not reduce that number to zero which leaves sort of this last choice of really thinking hard about how demand matches availability in some meaningful way, again, sort of what i would argue or what rose's pointed out, one of the
root concerns of the 1965 act. so i think that's, these are some questions we might want to think about, including what's the goal, what are we trying to accomplish with this immigration law going forward? >> i'll be brief. i mentioned this earlier, and of course looking at these questions often from a labor or economic angle. and the historical record if my view is very clear is that historically since 1965, there simply have not been enough pathways for legal immigration into the united states, for people interested in coming for economic purposes, whether that's coming for unskilled work, semi-skilled work, high-skilled work or small-level entrepreneurship. there simply aren't enough visas available, whether you're talking about temporary visas or permanent visas, and i think that's a fundamental flaw in the system and one that has created a range of pathologies leading
to immigration enforcement, economic problems, kind of locally, and otherwise, and i think that's something that needs attention. and the 2013 bill in the senate went significant ways towards remedying that by creating a new, non-immigrant visa category that would allow larger numbers of temporary workers to come to the united states to work temporarily. they wouldn't have to be beholden to some specific employer, there was a visa portability which is another feature that needs to be introduced into the employment-based immigration system. so i think that's a tension that just needs to be worked out. it is complicated, because there are a lot of different imperatives when we're talking about foreign-born workers. we're talking about attracting talent, boosting the economy but also protecting you as workers, right? and often these are at odds with one another, to be candid. so not always, but there are
ways to reconcile these different interests, but that, i think, is the larger project that needs to be undertaken. >> thank you. let's, you all have anything else to add? you're free to jump in on. now is the time for audience q&a. we have a mic. please wait for the mic to get to you, and then please identify yourself before asking your question. >> yeah, thanks. so i know i've kind of been jumping out of my seat here. i'm peggy orchowski. and i've been covering immigration for the last ten year, and i just wrote a book called "the law that changed the face of america", and i'm just really pleased with this panel. because you talk about some of the stuff i struggled with. i'm glad that deep corrected you in that there wasn't a law in 1986, there were the states and
localities. if you were jewish, forget about going to boston. there were a lot of ways cities and states regulated immigration, and i'm glad jay corrected you that mexicans were not included in the quota of 1920s, and i'm really glad you talked about family unification. i mean, i'm, i think what you haven't spoken about are the drivers of immigration and how they change, and how they change the demand. so, like, for instance, technology, you know with skype, do we really need family unification, you know, you can talk to your mother-in-law every day if you want. does, especially things like the nationality, you didn't talk about the 7% rule. the thing was that in 1965 they, the 1964 law prohibited national
origin as one of the civil rights. you cannot discriminate on national origin. every nationality had to be treated equally. and discrimination also means preference. it doesn't just mean discrimination against, it means preference for. you can say now we're not going to have preference for all northern europeans but we're going to prefer the mexicans. how do you do that, that every nationality is treated equally, so they put a 7%, that no nation can have more than 7% of the green cards put out today. that still exists today. so mexico doesn't get any more than 7%. if iceland doesn't use 7%, that number goes into the amount. but nowadays, in terms of globalization, and this is getting to my question, because it's something i've been really struggling with, does it really matter anymore that we give a preference or not to national quota and globalization, we're seeing how high-tech workers, a lot of them are from a single
country, china, india, you know, are we really going to say we're going to do the 7% rule on that? if we illegalize most of the legal, especially dreamers and the vast majority are mexican. doesn't that give a huge advantage to mexicans, come in illegally and get an amnesty?? that's kind of preferring mexicans. is that civil rights? is the executive orders for daca going to go against the civil right of giving preference? is that important anymore? and the last thing that i've really been struggling with is, and you guys, this is the question you guys can really answer. immigration's not a civil right. but i think that the 1965 act and all the fervor about immigration and i used to see kennedy pounding the table and saying immigration is the next civil right in our nation. and, and it isn't.
so i'd love you to address that. >> i mean, there's a lot in that. i think honestly, your question boils down to immigration, go. no. so, but a few thoughts. so the questions of how we should think about things like dreamers, daca, dapa, the questions that are partly influenced, again, by 1965, because those questions may not come up at all if immigration law is fund amly structured in a different way, but it also suggests, your question suggests that once you have, should we in a sense reward a tech population for, for, you know, legal transgressions of entering unlawfully or having been unlawfully present and does that fit into a civil rights narrative, and i'm mott sure there's a great response to that except to say i think your perspective on that depends on
how you view the law and illegality, if you think about illegality as something preordained, as there is this concept of illegality and once you cross that threshold there's no way of rectifying it except through violations of what we might fundamentally think of as rule of law, priorities and any quality norms, i'm not sure there's a lot that i can say here that's going to change your mind about that. but, if you think of, i think, if you think of that the creation of those populations, for example, a dreamer population as a result of a functional, this is how functionally law works on the ground when you have significantly harsher congressional penalties against the historical backdrop that jayesh beautifully laid out for us, then it suggests that that transgression of unlawfulness or
illegality is not the ending point of our discussion, that the real question, then, is how should we as a populace think about that population? how should we direct enforcement efforts toward that population? to what extent does it make sense to enforce law against that population, and if that's our starting point, then i think we have a very different orientation towards the rights and civil rights of those sorts of groups. i do think that one important lesson, going back to the question that charles asked about 1965 and rose's comments was that the 1965 immigration act occurred against this backdrop of significant civil rights advancement in the united states, including the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965, ten years on the heels also, of brown versus board of education and equal protection jurisprudence in american courts. what's the lesson we can draw from that? i think one lesson is that in
our current push for comprehensive immigration reform should also take that frame of a civil rights, as a civil rights legislation. this is, i think, the civil rights project of our time and will continue to be, as long as we don't try, as long as we avoid addressing this problem of illicitness and illegality. >> just a word or two, just to build on that, and i think deep has really nicely framed this question of legality, which i think it really does shape how one looks at this. but and i think that really is the key frame that one has to grapple with, but in terms of, is it fair to call immigrants or immigration law as a civil rights issue? i would argue that absolutely in light of kind of the types of americani mechanisms that have been deployed by the state against foreign-born persons, and there
are very clear parallels between the experience of african-americans, latinos and other historically disadvantaged groups and the experience of foreign-born persons. now i'm not equating the experiences, nor am i saying the legal frameworks are equivalent. but if we look at practices like racial profiling or mass incarceration, the same experiences that african-americans and others had experienced are now being replicated in some respects on foreign-born persons, especially latinos. and that is more than just a rhetorical connection. there's some, a deeper connection in some ways that i think is worth exploring. so i think that's part of the what i think is fueling this, it's the next civil rights movement. [ inaudible ] >> especially with little ma li. >> can you wait for a mic
please? >> i think we're changing the whole idea. racial profiling. not race, but they're so mixed now. i mean, the huge diversity of a latin latinos, and i love the millennials. they're whatever, everything. peruvian, chinese, mormons, they're my best friends. how do you racially profile in this incredibly, this is the question in affirmative action people are talking about now, too. i'm not sure that dynamic of the '60s, i think in some ways we're more like the 1920s now than we are the 1960s with huge income inequality, the fear of war, fear of foreign invasion. tremendous difference in working conditions. and that was what drove a law that people wanted more border control, not less. i think we're heading more for that in the public. that's what trump is touching
on. there's not a big civil rights movement like in the '60s that's driving the more liberal. that's the way i've seen it. >> so i'm ross eisenbrekt. and i have a question, because i'm very confused about pre-'65, the ability or the status of people who came without authorization. i mean, people were deported, i know. and for all kinds of reasons. and it seems that being here without authorization would have been one of those reasons. and then i just want to make a comment about family and the, one of the new civil rights, which is, you know, how we treat lgbt people. you know, this law, i think, allowed or required the exclusion of homosexuals. i'm not sure, but that was certainly what happened.
and going forward, one would hope that that wouldn't be the case and that a new, a new way of looking at family, even in, for immigration purposes would take into account lgbt families. >> yes, so let me comment on that last point about the exclusion of gays and lesbians from immigration law, that's issue, 1965 kept that in place. in fact, the law built, classified people who are lgbt q as having some kind of a medical condition that then led to their bar from immigration law, and it was not until 1990 that congress lifted that solutiexclusion. so it's still fairly recent in our memory. now as far as the supreme court cases that evaluated doma, now lgbt families are able to bring
in their family members here to the united states. so it is catching up. that part of our population is now able to take, have that benefit in immigration law. and so i, i, it's unclear to me right now, for purposes of family, what might be the, in terms of civil rights how we might be able to redefine family from a civil rights perspective, other than to think about the family structures that we currently have in place today, who are, with respect to deep, speaking of the 11 million undocuments immigrants. it's important to examine how are families on the ground, who do they count as people who are special to them? and should they benefit from comprehensive immigration reform and the reformatting of our family-based immigration. >> anyone want to take the unauthorized, ross's first question about the status of
unauthorized people prior to -- >> i mean, i'll take a shot, i think one perspective, it's a great question and an important thing to point out. certainly, you look at, obviously, even in the late 1800s, soon after the first provisions of the chinese exclusion act came as a default proposition. the people of asian descent deportable. when we get to the early 1900s, as you suggest, there was significant mass deportations in the united states. so it was not uncommon for example in late 1920s, early 1930s, los angeles, to see roundups of mexicans, put on trains back into mexico. and so that is certainly true and certainly did exist. the enforcement at that time, though, at least my understanding was that one, it was haphazard. looked a lot like, if you look
at the early 2000s workplace profile in the bush administration, high-profile when ice agents entered a meat packing plant, but in terms of actual effect on the broader population, obviously creates fear and chills certain sorts of behavior, but it was not a systemized form of enforcement, and very similarly, i would argue the 1930s roundups, one haphazard to non-systemized, but also the scale of who we're talking about as, as the unauthorized population, as the population that could be targeted and removed was simply not the scale that we have today, right? it was we don't think about it in that way, and there was still fairly relatively open movement across the border. so, as an example. when the brasero program was
operating in 1942, texas was essentially excluded as a state that could take braseros. because of the discrimination, and the government refused to allow texas to participate in the program. so texas then asked the border agents at the texas/mexico border to allow free migration of people outside the program into texas so that they could then use them as laborers, and th continued for a significant amount of ime, but we, and certainly, they were illegal or unauthorized in the way that we would think about them today, but not necessarily subject to the mass deportations or the idea of enforcement that we would understand today. so i think it's an excellent point, but i still do think that 1965 really changes both the scope, volume and quality of the nature of illegality. the other thing i'd point out is
that up until 1990 there were literally three crimes that could get you deported, that made one deportable from the united states, murder, rape, and i forget what the other one was, but 1990 was when the united states code starts to exponentially expand the number of crimes that can get you deported. by 1996, which is the law we have today, if you look at the part of the code that defines aggravated felonies, 101a143 of the ina now goes on for several pages, and these are embezzlement, fraud, just continues, drug offenses, all of them get counted. and so you fundamentally change the group against which that enforcement can be directed. >> so ross, let me just add one other thing. and i think it really goes to rose's initial point on where you stand on these issues
depends on the history your perspective is really shaped by history. so, from a sort of latino civil rights perspective, when asked about the unauthorized prior to 1965, one might answer, first, it wasn't a large-scale problem in part because we didn't enforce the law against europeans. so the vast majority of european immigrants who came legally came, the old phrase was, you came with a tag on. that is to say someone paid for your passage, usually an employer, through, from italy, say, to ellis island. that was actually technically illegal, because according to u.s. law at that time, we did not permit indentured servitude, but some would argue even the majority of people who came through ellis came came technically illegally.
second, until the, i believe it was until the 1952 act, there was an automatic statute of limitations. so that anybody who was, who came unauthorized, again, mainly european, automatically was able to legalize without any action as long as they evaded detection from the law, which, as deep has noted was not very significant. and third, to the extent there was major enforcement, it was through these repatriation campaigns, which i would argue were highly racialized. and there were not, there was not one of them. there were actually four of them, including so-called operation wetback in the 1950s, where millions of mexicans and other latin-americans were deported, largely without due process, and that included, you know, millions, probably, of u.s. citizens as well. so when you ask who are the
unauthorized and how did enforcement take place in those days, i don't think one can fairly answer that with a simple answer. it depended on who you were, where you came from, and, and, you know, how one might have come to the attention of the authorities. so, sorry for that speech, but i had to add that. next one? >> thank you. my name is bob remusson. i am a practicing immigration lawyer for the last 30 years or so. and what strikes me in some of the things you people have been saying is to remember thatten i think historically, both european immigration and also mexican immigration, people came and went freely, and therefore, the concept of being here illegally wasn't as salient, because you came here, you worked for a while. maybe you worked for a year. maybe you worked for two years,
maybe you worked for six months. you went back to your family with the money you had. and it is with the 1965 act that started that, and especially now, i see with the 1986 or 87 law that imposes draconian consequences on people who are here for a year without authorization authorization, if they leave, they can't come back for ten years. that freezes everybody in place, make being the pool of unauthorized people greater and meaning you've got to bring your families with you, because you may never see them again because you can't get back home. so that, to me, seems to be in the realm of unintended consequences, and i wonder how lawmakers and policymakers can avoid -- maybe it's impossible -- this type of unintended consequence. >> you started to take a shot at that earlier. >> sure. i think you're raising an important point around the
narrative that we create around immigration and the presence of immigrants, and they're also associated, there's an assumption that people who come to the united states want to remain here permanently. that's simply not the case. before i began teaching i worked for a number of years working with day laborers. the commonality was i'm not trying to work here permanently, i want to work here for a couple years, make a bit of money and build a nice house for my family. and i think that to a larger extent, immigration laws have really failed, the kind of dichotomous approach, earither you're here forever. and what we're seeing is binational existences, dual national identities. and that's another feature we
need to contemplate. people may want to have a binational existence where they'll have homes or connections in more than one country. certainly playing out with many people. dual citizenship is becoming increasingly common and flexible. so i absolutely do agree that in terms of our policy, it's structured in this very kind of black or white type of way. and we need to think creatively about how we can create these pathways, either binational or semi-temporary come and go. or expanding opportunities for temporary engagement in the u.s. >> other questions? >> hi, i'm shaun o'neill.
one of the things that we need to bring dignity and respect to these people. they're all people. and i think fairness is in there too. but, are we being fair to the american taxpayer when we're placing a $10 billion demands on our essential services, like health care, education, the penal system, fire and police. the taxpayer right now is be being treated unfairly. and they should be in the equation. >> there have been a series of national academy of sciences studies similar to the one that deep and jayesh may have mentioned that suggest that in sum and in total immigrants more than pay for themselves.
over the long term. now with specific groups and specific services, and particularly at the state local level, since much of the tax go to the government, the localities bear the burden of services, and especially when taking demographics into account, like young, younger immigrants, younger, poor immigrants, they will tend to consume more in services than they pay in taxes, but the same is actually true of any younger, poorer population, regardless of whether they're immigrants or not. so i don't, i don't deny your point that there are larger ramifications from immigration and that, you know, everyone affected, which is everyone, ought to have a seat at the table in discussing how to resolve it, but i would resist
the notion that immigrants are a net negative economically or with respect to specific government services. >> if i could add to what charles is saying. charles had pointed out that it is possible that there might be some effects at the state and local level, and this actually goes to significant part of the empirical work, empirical research i conducted for our book. when you ask the question about the restrictionist laws that were emerging over the state and local level over the last 10, 15 years, talking about sb 1070. on the basis that immigrants were consuming a significant amount, whether or not it was, it's true that at any given locality or jurisdiction, immigrants did consume a
significant amount of tax money, what our empirical investigation revealed is that jurisdictions who passed these laws actually were not suffering from those social ills that they were arguing about in their law. so, while they would write, for example in the purpose statements of their law that they had suffered significant social service deficits and that immigrants were changing the way in which they were providing those services, as an empirical matter, at least in those jurisdictions that were propsting and passing these laws, that is, it was an unsupportable factual statement. there may have been jurisdictions in which that was true, but those were not the same jurisdictions that were passing restrictionous legislation. when you look at california, california houses close to 3 million unlawfully-present persons. that is one third what, yeah, roughly, a quarter to a third of the unlawful, total population.
but california during this time was passing the most integrationist social services laws, including more currently, laws directed at the health care of undocumented immigrants, so there is, i think there is a fundamental, there very well might be these economic effects, but the interesting thing for me is ha it doesn't actually show up in the policy proposals at those jurisdictions. >> quick follow up? >> quick follow up. you've referenced the brasero program a few times, and it seems that's the model that seemed to have worked best. and i, we could go back to something like that. and a lot of the discussions about civil rights and 7% from this country and 7% from that country. i mean, i've talked to people on the hill about immigration reform. and if you're on the left you want everybody to have full citizenship. and if you're on the right you want to enforce existing laws and deport people. and then there's a bunch of
stuff in the middle, too. but we need a broad-based coalition to effect change. we're going to need the left, right, and middle to come together around something, and it should be something very practical and not something that is so burdensome that i'd be interested in your thoughts on that. >> sure, no. please. but i mine, your general point is very well taken, that there needs to be, there has to be some kind of political compromise. just one quick response to your earlier question. we need to contemplate the reality that there are a lot of mixed-status families in the united states. it's really difficult to segregate immigrants x or they take away x when in fact many families are comprised of people here legally and people who are not, so that muddies the waters. but, you know, of course, there's a really clear evidence
around significant exploitation under the brchltesaro program. it can be a model, but a temporary visa program that both enables employers to take advantage of foreign-born workers to avail themselves, rather, not take advantage of, that was my next point, to not exploit, in a newspapea nonh-ex way. the h 2 b program, significant incentives for employer fraud and exploitation. multiple studies have been done on this. so not that every employer is coming at it with ill intention, but structurally, it lends itself to that. the 2013 bill had a proposal,
the w visa program was okay. it was a decent compromise. we can criticize it and pick it apart, but i think as we move forward, that was a result of a lot of compromise. afl organized labor, the business community, chamber of commerce. ag secretary were all at the table. and they came up with that. so it can be done again. >> i'm sorry. we've come to the end of this session. i've gotten the high sign. thank you all for participating. thank the panelists for their extraordinary contributions. not just at this panel but through their books. so please look for them. so thank you all for coming. [ applause ]
c-span has your best access to congress, with live coverage from capitol hill. in the closing months of the year, the house and senate have several key items to address. on thursday, it's the vote for the next speaker of the house. >> i've shown my colleagues what i think success looks like. what i think it takes to unify and lead and how my family commitments come first. i have left this decision in their hands. and should they agree with these requests, then i am happy, and i am willing to get to work. >> that's also the deadline for a hoiighway funding bill. in december, temporary government funding will expire with a possible government shutdown on the horizon. stay with c-span for live coverage of congress, on tv, on the radio and online at
c-span.org. at chicago tribune.com on this wednesday, federal courts reporter jason meisner writes the following. today's guilty plea by dennis hastert marking a dramatic downfall for the illinois republican. he's joining us on the phone from chicago. he was in the courtroom this morning. thanks very much for be being with us. >> thanks for having me on. >> describe the scene. what was it like? >> hastert walked into court, chicago, kind of rainy, dreary morning. it was barely light out. a horde of media in the courtroom. he went and waited for the hearing to start. once it did, it was 20 minutes, pretty cut and dried. he said guilty, sir, when he was asked how he pleaded to the count of illegally structuring
bank withdrawals. >> a 15-page plea agreement. so what's the back story. who is individual a, and what happened? >> well, anybody who was looking for new details did not get them today. they're pretty disappointed, because this plea agreement is pretty much identical to the indictment. it alleges that may made these withdrawals to hide the fact that he was paying individual a to hide wrongdoing that he had done against this person in the past. now we didn't get any new details on who individual a is. and certainly, we didn't get anything in the realm of sexual misconduct, which is what sources have said this is all about, that dennis hastert, when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach back about 30 years ago in yorkville, illinois that he allegedly sexually abused this person and is now
paying all these years later to keep it quiet. none of that was included in today's plea agreement. >> what's the reaction been in his congressional district to this story? it's almost like a tabloid story. >> well, with reporters, ever since he was indicted in may have been swarming all over his home base out in yorkville and plano. these are small towns, everybody knows each other. people have been very reluctant to come to his defense, but also, he does have a lot of support, and we expect that now that he's pled guilty and is going to sentencing that the judge will be, will be reading a lot of letters of support of good things he's done over his career. >> what potentially could he face? will he go to jail? and when is the sentencing? >> the plea agreement calls for, there's an agreement between prosecutors and hastert's attorneys that the sentencing range is from probation to six
months in jail. they haven't said, we certainly expect hastert's attorneys to ask for probation, meaning no jail time. prosecutors haven't indicated where in that range they intend to fall, but they're probably going to ask for some time for jail. the judge set this for sentencing on february 29th, next year. there may be sentencing files in advance. but when this goes to sentencing, everybody will be waiting to see if more details come out about these allegations. the back story behind them. >> year' talking with jason meisner, federal courts reporter for the chicago tribune. dennis is a former high school wrestling coach, former principal. served at longest-serving republican speaker of the house, how did i come up with this kind
of money, $3.5 million to individual a? >> that's a good question. dennis hastert's finances have been called into question before, land deals that were making him rich, that were tied to his public service in some way. and after he left, you know, the house, he did, the "tribune" had a big report, alleging that he was using a government-funded office for private ventures, business ventures, he became a successful lobbyist in washington, lobbying his former colleagues and hamaking million. so he had cash on hand. the question is, how was he going to pay this person and keep it hidden. and the allegations, what he pled guilty to today is that he withdrew money in small increments so that the banks wouldn't have to report it. >> you've covered a lot of politicians in chicago who have gone to jail. governor blagojevich, this came out of left field, did it not?
>> it did. a lot of people were shocked. yeah. it's not your straight-up classic chicago corruption story. it's not an alderman being caught taking an envelope full of cash. and of course, there's all the mystery to it. that ever since the indictment came down, reporters have been running all over the place, trying to figure out who individual a is, but nobody's ever stepped forward. and today we had a plea, a guilty plea, and we got no new answers. the mystery continues, and it's fueled the fire. >> and dennis hastert did not say much. he did not respond to reporters' questions, but if you could sense his demeanor today, what was it like? >> he seemed very uncomfortable, of course, he had no family with him, just his lawyers there, so when he was standing there he definitely looked uncomfortable. and he was not eager to linger afterwards. he came down and walked past the media without saying a word, got
in a black suv and took off. it was a lot more civilized than it was when he came in for his arraignment in june, when things got a little out of hand. people were trying to approach him, and a couple of reporters got in trouble with the security, but this time he got in his suv and took off. he didn't say a word. >> the full story available online at chicagotribune.com. and jason meisner in the court following the story as the federal courts reporter. thank you for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thanks a lot. benjamin netanyahu is scheduled to visit next month. difference ross and tom donnelen talked about the relationship between the u.s. and israel. this is an hour and a half.
good afternoon, and welcome to the washington institute. i'm rob satloff. i'm the director of the washington institute. i should be welcoming you to our new schreiber offices. delighted to announce this program. we publish quite a lot. we publish hundreds of essays a year. we publish them under our own logo, on our own series of policy watches and policy focuses. we have our scholars publish in major newspapers and periodicals and journals. and then once in a while, our scholars publish books. and we are especially proud of the books that our scholars produce. they are among the most lasting
and meaningful of the products of this organization. we are a research organization. we are not a fly-by-night, topic-driven, headline-focussed institute. we want to add to our collective knowledge about middle east politics and the making of american foreign policy in the middle east. and nothing quite does that like a book. and so today we are especially proud to be able to celebrate the publication of this book. i'm holding this up for our c-span audience. the publication of this book. "doomed to succeed", the u.s./israel relationship from truman to obama. the book just published by the institute's counselor, my fellow ambassador, dennis ross. so right at the outset, please
join me in celebrating the publication of dennis's new book. [ applause ] dennis brings an entire professional career, both academic and policy making to the writing of this book. dennis has spent the last quarter century, more than a quarter century in public service that dates back to the carter administration. he has served in senior white house positions in the administrations of ronald reagan, george h.w. bush and president bill clinton, and then of course in the administration of president barack obama. he's been the president's envoy for middle east peace. he's been the coordinator of american foreign policy in the broader middle east, what was known in the obama administration as the central region. especially focussing on iran policy. he's seen the ins and outs,
especially, of the u.s./israel relationship. and republicans' presidencies and in democratic presidencies. there really is no other american who has the deep insight, personal background, expertise and experience to bring to bear on a history of america's relationship with israel going back all the way to the founding of the jewish state in 1948. and that's what this book is all about. and so today we're going to have a deep, in-depth look at what lies behind "doomed to succeed." why is it doomed to succeed, and what can we learn about this relationship as we look forward to the arrival in two weeks' time of the current israeli prime minister to meet with the president of the united states at a moment that is especially strained between our two allies. and there really can be no
better companion for this discussion than the third person on this platform today, i am truly delighted to be able to welcome to this audience, president obama's first -- second -- national security advise remember, tom donnelly, a true friend of the u.s./israel alliance, and someone who has over the course of administration after administration contributed deeply, not just to strengthening this alliance but to building the foundations for security and peace in the middle east. it really is a privilege to welcome tom, to have tom and dennis together on this platform for a discussion about what makes the u.s./israel relationship, how it has developed, what could lead to strains, what are the opportunities and the challenges, and where this relationship may be heading in the years ahead.
but first, i'm going to turn to my colleague, dennis, to explain why, why doomed to succeed? why write this book? >> well, thank you. obviously, this is an interesting time to be writing about this. many people have asked me about the title. they look at some of the tensions in the relationship, and they say, "doomed to succeed", which implies that everything will be okay, which is interesting at a time when most people are pessimistic about everything in the middle east. this is a book about the u.s./israeli relationship that's optimistic. it's doomed to succeed, not doomed to succeed question mark. my original plan was to write an overview of the history and go through the administrations that i hadn't served in kind of a summary fashion the problem was i began to get into it. i had a number of wow moments.
what i mean by wow moments, i found not only that i was finding all the same arguments that i had dealt with, i found in many cases sometimes 50 years apart the exact same words being used, mott just the same arguments, but the same words being used. the more i discovered that, the more i had these wow moments, the more i became convinced that i really needed to go through each of these administrations and show where the key assumptions about the relationship emerged, why they emerged the way they did, and in effect, why they had such a durability. one of the things that struck me was that the assumptions lived on lessons lived from things that should have been validated were never learned. i thought in my own mind i need to write this book not only so i can in a sense give visibility to that, to expose that, but also i need to write the book because i know it's going to come out the year before the
next administration. and i wanted the next administration, the next president, whoever it may be, and the people who are advising that next president to be much more aware of the history, to be much more aware of the assumptions. one of the things that tom knows. in the policy-making world, when you're inned m the midst of thie tendency to be aware of this is n nonexistent. i wanted to expose what the assumptions have been over time, how they have had a durability and ben sustaen sustained. i also wanted to highlight that the approach to israel has oftentimes been derivative of the larger approach to the middle east. and many of those assumptions have also been misplaced. one of the key themes of the book that you'll see when you trade --
read it -- as i know you all will -- what are the assumptions about arab leaders? and those assumptions have almost typically been wrong. the key driver for most arab leaders has been security and survivability. the relationship with israel, which is frequently influenced american policymakers, fearing that if we did certain things that this would somehow have an impact on our relationship with the arabs. if you look historically and go from administration to administration, and you look at the specific examples, and what i do is go through each administration and go over the key events in those administrations and how the key assumptions drove responses to those key events, one of the things you'll see is that typically what drove arab leaders was their preoccupation with what mattered to them. and i'm not saying that the u.s./israel relationship was immaterial to them, but it never drove what they did to us. it never drove how they decided
their ties should be, how close they should be. from their standpoint, the one thing that was critical was how reliable were we? were we in fact going to be, in fact, a source of their security, which mattered more to them than anything else. and they weren't going to do anything that put that at risk. so their relationship with us was a function of their priorities, not a function of what our relationship with israel was. and i demonstrate this in one administration after the next. one of the things i do throughout the book is show the echoes that reverberate over time. and how you see not just the same arguments reflected on the inside, but the same behaviors on the outside. and it's one of the ways that i try to draw out what are the key lessons that i conclude the book with a series of lessons for the future. both about the u.s./israeli relationship, and in terms of the region as a whole, but also about how we should be dealing with each other so that we learn
the right lessons from the past. both of us have some lessons to learn, and even though this book is told primarily from the standpoint of american policy, there clearly are lessons here for what the israelis should do as well. >> thank you very much, dennis. dennis' very brief overview doesn't even begin to do justice to the nuggets of, the gems of historical insight that is in this book. if you are a historian, and you are fascinated by the cycles of history, to see the repetition of the same words, almost, certainly the same themes, administration after administration, almost mistake after mistake. it is truly fascinating. but someone who made no mistakes in his tenure in government, i now get to turn to tom. tom, for your, some opening remarks about the book and your experience? >> thank you very much rob and dennis. i would tell you about my mistakes, but you're not cleared
for that. at this time. at this point. let me say a couple of opening things and then make, make four or five observations on dennis' book. first of all, it's great to be here today in your new facilities. just beautiful. and it's great to be here today with a surprise for me, my counterpart, national security adviser for the state of israel, we had a terrific relationship and something i'll value for the rest of my life. secondly, i'm grateful that you asked me to come talk about this book. the last book, maybe two books ago, "the missing piece." it was 805 pages, this was only 408, so it was a little less of a lift to get ready for this, dennis than your prior works. i'm very grateful for that. let me make four or five, if i could, just observations on the book. one is a general observation.
on the importance of the book. it's big history. and we don't have enough of that. it's diplomatic history, and we don't have enough of that. and it's useful history. i believe that one of the great failures of american policymakers is a lack of knowledge of history, and a lack of attention to understanding the history of the peoples and nations with whom we're dealing. you know, we have a phrase, obviously, in america, where we say, "that's history." that's not the way it works in the rest of the world. and having a deeper understanding of how we got to where we got, what the drivers are, what the narratives are, what the mythologies are. david's written a book on mythologies of the middle east. and neil ferguson in volume one of his biography of henry kissinger makes that point powerfully. i gave a commencement address a year ago at columbia university,
and that was the one piece of address that i made, which is to read history, read a lot of it, read it consistently. i think it's a great contribution to that. my relationship with dennis goes back a long time. i've spent a large part of my career trying to talk dennis into taking jobs. he worked in the bush 41 administration as the middle east negotiator. we then were on the other side of each other. i prepared then governor clinton for his debates in 2008, and dennis was in the white house during the campaign. so we were on opposite sides. nonetheless, we asked, really begged, dennis to stay for three to six months. we turned that into eight years. including one scene where i was in a nato meeting where he was about to leave, and i said dennis, you can't leave. and he said well, i promised -- i think he was coming by here, actually. he said i promised the truss te
of the institute. i said picture this. i'm in a hotel room on a secure phone, and i'm on my knees, begging you, right? to stay. and dennis did. and the country was all the better for it. i then tried to recruit dennis into the white house at the outset of the, i did the national security transition for president, then senator obama and tried to recruit dennis into the white house and failed but got him about a year later. so it's great to be here. and thank you for this contribution to history. the second thing i wanted to say is that, a couple observations about various chapters if i could. i want to talk about the carter chapter just for a moment. in reading it, dennis, i was struck by something that doesn't get enough notice. and stu and i were at a conference the other day when i made this point. the durability of the contributions made by president carter, technically in the camp
david accords is extraordinary. and it doesn't get noted enough. the camp david accords, you think the general would attest to, are an important pillar of israeli security. and they were tested during the morsi, muslim brotherhood period. and although the muslim brotherhood government of egypt did not embrace the camp david accords and would not directly engage at the political level with israel. they respected the accords. and they remained in place in that period and even today in one of the most important relationships with israel remains the egypt relationship. we also have arising out of those accords a core part of our assistance regime. that is our economic assistance to israel and egypt remain a core part of our relationship in the region. i wanted to pull that out as
something that doesn't get commented on enough in my judgment. the third point i want to talk about is why leaders make the decisions they make in engage being in the middle east peace process. you make the point, dennis that there are a number of consistent, and you call them myths. concern about the high cost of cooperation with israel. i think there are other things deriving from this. and that is a president seeing context and opportunity. historic leadership context and the opportunity for achievement. and indeed, i think that was what drove president clinton in 1992.
he came in at an extraordinary moment in american history. 1992 the united states, after the fall of the soviet union. after the gulf war, the united states was at an unparalleled level of power and influence in the world and could take even a challenge like this. second, there were not some of the issues that we have today as looming as deeply. iran was nowhere near the threat then that it is today. it was virtually exhausted, i think, after the iran/iraq war. third, you had an israeli leader, yitzhak rabin who had strategic depth for israel. i think he called expanding the circle of peace that he was going to engage intensively in the peace process, starting with syria. you, dennis, working with secretary baker had put in place, pushed away the taboo on direct talks between israel and arabs nations through the madrid process, and that was in place
to be taken advantage of, and indeed, there's a story in the book which makes the point. briefing then governor clinton about coming into office and saying that if you put the current state of u.s. power behind yitzhak rabin's intentions here, there's a real possibility of achieving four arab israeli peace agreements in the first term as president. i think that's the story that's laid out. so it was the context, and it was the opportunity for achievement, as opposed to a cost-benefit analysis on israel versus the arab nations i think. secondly, if you look at the decisions that the bush 43 administration made, i think that was, again, about perceived opportunity for achievement as well. i think they rejected the clinton approach, because they thought if there was a general if anything but clinton view with respect to foreign policy. they thought he'd invested personally in the efforts, and they were going to push away from that.
if you look at the situation that president obama came into, which we worked in, at the beginning of the administration, i don't know if it was necessarily, there was a set of circumstances very different from what president clinton faced. you had the peace camp really greatly dim enished in israel after the intifada and what followed it. the intifada, reflecting back on it. people throw these phrases around, there could be a third intifada. the intifada was a violent and highly impactive event. 1100 israelis killed and 3800 palestinian deaths. it greatly diminished the peace camp in israel. you had the 2016 palestinian election which brought hamas to the stage. it fractured the palestinian authority. and you had a much more difficult and weaker partner, frankly, to deal with.
third, the threat of iran was much different and a lot larger for president obama than it was for president clinton, obviously. where iran was heading, head long, towards development of a nuclear weapon. and essentially, israel, as you point out in the book at this point faced iran, hamas and hezbollah, all committed to its destruction. it was a very different circumstance. and also u.s. relations in the muslim world were in a much more complicated place after the iraq war. and after, and the midst of us pursuing the most aggressive counter terrorism campaign against violent islamic fundamentalist groups that the country had ever taken. so it was a much more complicated circumstance. we can talk about the decisions that the president made. the fourth point i want to talk about is personality. they come through in the book as well. at two and a half decades,
yitzhak rabin was the most impressive leader i met in the world. a strategic sense, full of integrity, great strength, thoroughly reliable. and you could just feel it when you were with him. he was, you know, kind of his personal behavior quite modest. but the steel came through in the decisions in his leadership. the other personality that came through very strongly is yasser arafat, so you ask, given all these positive conditions that i outlined, right, that president clinton faced a decade almost of achievement. why, why didn't it close? and i think studying, studying it for a long time, thinking about it, and, again, think about what was on the table, reading in preparing for today, think about january 2001, a stin
sta palestinian state in all of gaza. security arrangements built around an international presence, including the jordan river valley, a right of return to the new palestinian state, not to israel and end of the conflict, and arafat walked away from this. i know there's been some debate about it. rob mally. but i don't think that the facts can, i don't think the facts are really in dispute, frankly, with respect to what the core offering was and accepted by barak and rejected by arafat. there's a tragic impact personality on outcome. the fifth thing i wanted to mention was my own engagement with israel and the approach that we had. we viewed israel as an ally. we view israel, i certainly
viewed israel as part of an alliance system the united states had in the world, which is a unique asset. no other nation in the world has the kind of partnership alliance system the united states has put together. and it is a unique and important asset to be attended to constantly. second, given that, in addition to the palestinian/israeliish ushs issues, we had not only the iran, but the engagement was not only at the personal level but the professional level. the engagement between us and the professional intelligence and military on the israeli side was critically important. why was that? because in a region where there's so much politics, where there's so much mythology, ideology, it was important for our decision-makers to have us do the very best job we could to get ground troops and come as close as we could to the
analytics. i was devoted to it. the general was devoted to it. and i think it made a very big difference in decision making and assurances and reassurances on all sides. with that, i'll turn it back over to you, rob, but i wasn'ted to make a couple of more personal observations on the book. >> thank you, thank you very much. [ applause ] >> excellent. thank you very much. let me of pose a series of questions to my friends on the panel. have a bit of a discussion, then we'll turn to you for your own questions. i'd like to begin with one of the premises of the book, which is that you can go back to truman and divide our presidents, really, into two groups. one group who prioritized the shared values between the united states and israel, a group that included truman, reagan, bush 43
and i'm delighted that steve hadley, president bush's national security adviser is ç;hs4e, bill clinton. and then a group of presidents who viewed israel through what you call a competitive lens, almost a zero-sum lens between israel and arab allies. and this includes eisenhower, nixon, bush 41, it seems from the book that barack obama leans toward the latter group. where would you place president obama on this spectrum? >> the way i describe it in the chapter is that he's, in many ways, a hybrid. when it comes to security and tom described as well, when it came to security, he was very clear from the beginning that security was something he, tom,
we would have these meetings, saying we're checking politics at the door. i recall meetings in the office, where the president said whatever our differences are, we put security over here. with security, even within his administration he had a constituency that reflected what i called the traditional mind-set of seeing israel through a more competitive lens, a less collaborative one. on security, he tilted towards those who are inclined toward collaboration and partnership. on the peace issue, he looked at israel as being strong, the palestinians as being weak, and therefore the onus was entirely on the israelis. when it came to the peace issue, the instinct was the more competitive one. and it was, i think, driven by a sense that somehow it was in israel's best interest that it understood that on the peace issue was headed toward a cliff. what i tried to suggest in the chapter is that here the president, to be effective with the israelis, needed to create a
connection with the israelis, and he waited far too long to do that. he viewed israel through the, i would say, the partnership lens, and even emotionally, felt himself very strongly committed to israel, and yet, when it came to the peace issue, he saw it through, in fact, a very different kind of lens. i just say one last word. the previous presidents, who you identified who were, you know, who consciously made a decision to distance. eisenhower for sure. and if you raid the eisenhower chapter, the length to which eisenhower goes is really quite extraordinary. he contemplates the use of american force against the israelis in 1956, when the israelis requested arms throughout this period when the soviets began providing arms to the egyptians and the syrians and then later iraq, the recommendation, frequently, was to the israelis, you should engage, you should be a good
neighbor. a good neighbor to all those around you who completely reject you. that's the betterj>"he answer t providing arms. nixon takes a very, even though personally, when he meets, he presents a very different picture, but his actual posture, this is a guy, nixon believed the 1967 war was a defeat for the united states. this is someone who actually made a decision to suspend phantoms to the israelis at the very moment that the soviets for the first time in their history are sending military personnel and military forces to egypt. and the reason he's doing it is because he wants to reach out to nasa. sends his undersecretary of state to nasa expecting a response from nasser, and the response is one he didn't hope for. we gained nothing from it. carter is an interesting contrast with what tom was saying about the notion of opportunity and threat.
it isit is interesting that carter pursues piece out of a sense of great fear. >> and. clinton pursues p7 a great sense of opportunity because there is something there. a pretty good way to read, when you read his diaries his attitude toward israel comes through again. the 1st believes you live up to commitments, commitments, but he does not look at israel as any sort of special state he thinks we have obligations that need to be fulfilled, but he does not feel it is a special state. in a lot of ways obama does feel israel is a special state, but he is worried that somehow they are not living up to his values. >> what do you think about the spectrum and where the president is? >> i would say number one, the contour of the debate
and policy approaches have changed pretty dramatically since eisenhower and a certain assessment that has been made, indeed, the four corners,corners, if you will, the guideposts had changed pretty dramatically since then. number two, as was said from the outset, the pres.outset, the president made it clear that he had an absolute commitment to israel's security. indeed, if we were going to pursue a peace effort, that was absolutely essential that israel could not be expected to take the steps and risks toward peace that would be required absent the united states providing that kind of clear assurance and to see manifested can greatly across a range of projects. number three, i do think that the president has an
emotional attachment israel. and i think that it may have been a mistake for him not to travel to israel earlier in his term to express that and to have the israeli public see that. next, i think they're really was a few that in fact israel could do better. in terms of its approach to the peace process, and there were disagreements on this. and, you know, it is a complicated matter, including politics. we politics. we also have the complication of a weak palestinian authority as well. iran loomed over this entire relationship, and i think in that respect there was, and we express it quite clearly, a shared commitment to defending iran.
and theand the united states took and i spent an enormous amount of time in israel, a full range of steps to pressure iran. the narrative is that the president came into office working with allies and friends and it was clear that if we were going to have them along on a pressure campaign we would have to make a bona fide effort. we do that, but the deal was with the russians, chinese, and rest of the world that we did this and you would join us in a pressure campaign and they would not a could not engage and we undertook one of the most effective pressure campaigns put together and diplomacy. and it led to the negotiation. and it was a comprehensive simultaneous set of pressures that included economic pressure but also a lot of other things including building up
our presence in the gulf to a substantial level where when we said all options on the table it was clear we could actually implement that commitment. so i think that president obama on the outset had aa commitment to israel's security. necessary if israel would pursue a peace effort. we had substantive disagreements with respect to a number of the steps that were taken. there were personality issues as well that are pretty clear to anyone who has seen this, but he did protect through all of the disagreement the security commitment. and it is fair. more emphasis on interaction between president obama and the israeli public. >> one of the things you recall, you asked me to write a memo where the
presidents outreach speech to muslims should be, and i made the case that it should be cairo as opposed, but i said in the memo, he has to go to israel because if he does not the outreach will be perceived by the israeli public as if in fact this will come at israel's expense and unfortunately you may also recall at the end of the 1st year after you asked me to do a briefing and i outlined where we stood, one of the conclusions the president your at the end of the meeting was, i draw to lessons from this. we should up with the settlement issue in context and i should have gone to israel after the cairo speech. do you agree with that? >> let me pursue the question of personality this way. sometimes the relationship
gets lucky and there is a strategic convergence between the leaders on the two sides. clinton rubbing, bush 43, ariel sharon, they see the world and more or less the same way, and sometimes you don't have strategic convergence. but bill clinton figured out a way with netanyahu to reach a piece agreement. what was so different about that relationship and that was not in the relationship obama gave in which they're was, in retrospect so far no progress. >> i think there are two distinct points that i would make. the 1st one, i think, to be fair, is the more comeau what i we willi will call the more tactical one and then i will go to the personality and i would say perspective one.
arafat was prepared to do limited agreements, so he was not easy to end up doing white river. but in the end we were able to get there. after we did the hadron accord, from the time that was completed, january of 97 until the end of october 98, we were involved in a quite difficult time, and the relationship between the president and prime minister was not an easy one, but the key difference was that clinton had a strong feeling that when you had differences with israel it was better to keep them private. his perspective was, and just to give you a sense of how difficult things were personally at one point, he came to the country. thethe president did not see him, talk to him on the phone. the israeli pressthe israeli
press picked up on this, clinton was very careful not to be publicly saying things that would be construed as being critical, and the reason was clinton operated on a premise that the us was israel's only real friend in the world. we could have differences in disagreements,disagreements, but he wants to keep them private because he felt that israel's and she felt israel's enemies would see that as encouragement and it would weaken the israeli deterrent. president obama came in and had a different perspective. and i describe this in the chapter genuinely a strong commitment to israel's security, he felt that that gave him license to be openly critical command he did believe early in the administration that being openly critical could also create some benefit for us at a time when we were reaching out to the muslims and he worried. i have a quote in the chapter where he says to malcolm in a meeting that
they have in july of 2009, when he says to him, look, if you want israel to take certain risks they need to know you will be standing next to them. he comes back and says, look, for eight years the bush administration allowed no daylight at all, and we get nothing for it, and look at where we are. so he drew that lesson. that lesson in a lot of ways was aa misplaced one because ariel sharon withdrew unilaterally from gaza, and he presented a proposal that actually went farther than the parameters and did not draw a response, but that was, i think, think, again, the kind of mindset and instinct was in some ways because i am so good and really mean it, t