tv Lectures in History CSPAN February 27, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
[applause] >> you are watching american history tv, every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. university professor maria garcia teaches a class about the united states refugee policy since world war ii. qualifies as aho refugee and how that has changed over the years. her class is about an hour. ms. garcia: hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to europe at this very moment. can anyone tell me from what countries they are fleeing? leighton. ok, syria.
any other countries? sarah. russia. any other countries? thank you. to find traveling refuge in europe. this map is an idea of the route and businesses -- distances they are traveling to reach safety. some are traveling alone, others are traveling as part of family units. some are traveling in search of economic opportunity, others are literally fleeing for their lives to escape war, forcedtion, rape, and inscription into armies. the vast majority are syrian.
can anyone tell me why the syrians are fleeing? albert. civil war, absolutely. like to talk?lse meredith. people are just getting killed publicly. the infrastructure, health care. absolutely correct, all of you. thank you. the country has been locked in a bloody civil war for the past four years that has displaced one third of its population, 7 million out of 21 million people. 4 million people have been forced to cross international borders mostly to neighboring countries like jordan and lebanon. they are fleeing enormous devastation.
month, the obama administration announced it would increase the annual refugee quota over the next two years to it us -- to assist with this crisis. the annual quote a set at 70,000 to 80,000 will increase to 100,000 by the end of 2017, presumably to accommodate a greater share of syrian refugees. within our immigration bureaucracy, there are several tracks for admission. we have discussed some of those tracks of admission. we are going to discuss two additional tracks, a refugee in asylum track. from your class reading, americans have used the word refugee throughout the 19th and 20th centuries to describe a wide range of migration experiences. ,uring the mid-19th century americans refer to the germans
fleeing the 1848 revolution in europe as refugees. in 1865, as part of the post-civil war reconstruction, the federal government established an agency known as the bureau of rep ag's -- of refugees to assist the newly freed slaves. during the mexican revolution of 1910 to 1920, an estimated one million people fled mexico and settled in the southwestern united states. american journalist and politician commonly referred to these people as refugees. there are many other examples. we have used the term refugee over and over again throughout history. today, refugee has a very precise, legal meaning. that meaning has developed over the past 60 years as we will see
in today's class. we don't see a distinct refugee policy until the end of world war ii. congressional acts are generally considered the origins of american refugee policy. the 1940 eight displaced persons act and the 1963 refugee relief act. under these programs, the federal government allowed 600,000 europeans to immigrate to the united states over and beyond the established immigration quota cut it was deemed in the national interest. why thene tell me truman and eisenhower administration would have deemed it in the national interest to a comment european refugees and displaced persons? sarah.
we are already locked in a cold war and battling for the hearts and minds of the developing worlds. this is a way of signaling are humanitarian commitment. any other reasons? they wanted european stability. that was in the interest of the u.s. ms. garcia: they wanted european stability, to assist in the post economic recovery. these are all very good answers. at the end of the war, there were an estimated 10 million people left homeless and in some cases, stateless in europe alone. truman wanted to accommodate a greater share of the displaced persons in order to assist europe's postwar recovery. financial aid to the war-torn nations was not enough. the united states had a moral obligation to accept a number of
the displaced persons in europe. yet congress resisted. even after americans became more fully aware of the horrors of the not see death camps, congress resisted. congresse tell me why would have been so resistant at this time to accommodating displaced persons? anyone want to venture a guess? that at this moment in time, the national origin quotas are still in place. admitting people outside of those national origin quotas was a highly controversial idea. act the displaced persons finally passed, it passed three years after the war had ended. even though president truman had advocated on behalf of the displaced person, he was tempted to veto this personal bill that came out of congress because he
felt it was wholly inconsistent with american's sense of justice. in the end, he signed legislation because he wanted to assist some segment of the displaced population, even though it was not the bill he was looking for. why did he consider this to be senseistent with american of justice? the building came out of congress took so many restrictions on who could be sponsored, you have to be located in austria and germany, for example and you had to been living never by 1945. this excluded most of the jewish refugee population. the law was amended to years later in 1950. 415,000t 1952, of the europeans brought in as displaced persons, only 80,000
of them were jewish refugees. the majority of those were ethnic germans. believed eisenhower much more had to be done to assist the countries of western europe, countries still economically recovering from the war and facing the additional burden of thousands of refugees , theng the eastern areas newly emerging communist countries and moving into western europe. this time, congress responded with the refugee relief act of 1953. visasct granted 214,000 over the next two years to refugees and escapees. the law defined these terms in particular waste. expellees for
those fleeing communist countries and refugees were fleeing persecution anywhere in the world. because the that majority of those admitted to the u.s. under the refugee relief act were fleeing communist countries, the term refugee became synonymous , at those fleeing communism least in this country. was a way ofy assisting those who were fleeing communism. but because the people who were -- let's saynism there was a great deal of suspicion in the united states about whether these individuals or truly democracy-loving individuals. those who came from communist countries tended to be heavily
screened because of americans fears of a sponsoring communist spies who would infiltrate the united states and do us harm. the cold war developed, the united states is forced to deal with a number of humanitarian crises. helped toonses further develop our refugee policies. in 1956, socialist revolutionaries and hungary overthrew their profile the coming -- they're pro-soviet communist governments. the prompted a crackdown on soviet union. within days of the crackdown, tens of thousands of refugees .led into neighboring austria some 200,000 hungarian refugees eventually took refuge in austria alone. to accommodate these refugees, the eisenhower administration
used the parole authority, which allowed the attorney general to parole people into the united states without a visa and outside of immigration quotas if it was deemed and the national interest. couldmigrant parolees come to the u.s. but could not become permanent residents unless congress passed legislation that helps them normalize the status. eisenhower used this authority hungarianome 32,000 refugees into the united states just from austria. additional 6000 were brought in under a variety of other visas. but because americans were concerned with sponsoring communist spies, the less refugees were brought to an old army base in new jersey, where they were screened, interviewed, housed temporarily before they
were released to their assigned american sponsor families. this photograph you see here, we see vice president richard nixon meeting with gary and refugee children around christmas time. the next he military and crisis came in cuba in 1959. fidel castro overthrew the .overnment between 1950 nine and 1973, roughly half a million cubans are admitted to the united states, the majority of them in the freedom flight of the mid to late 1960's. december 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the first freedom flight from havana to miami .nternational airport the kennedy administration created the cuban refugee program to screen the refugees
to find sponsors for them, and to help them in the united states. by the time the cuban refugee program was phased out in the 1970's, the federal government had invested some $100 million in two cuban refugee release. cuban refugee release. those paroled into the united states could not become permanent residents unless congress passed enabling legislation that allowed them to normalize their status. this is what congress did. congress passed the hungarian the 1960ct of 1968 and cuban adjustment act, which allowed hungarians and humans to become permanent residents in the u.s. after living here for two years. originsgin to see the of the distinctive refugee policy taking place in the 1950's and 1960's.
members of congress became increasingly concerned that the white house was using the parole authority to much as a backdoor to bring in people to the u.s. outside of the established immigration quota. consequently, when congress passed the hard-sell or act of of5, they inserted a quote 10,000 refugees per year. once again, refugee was defined as someone who fled a communist-dominated or communist-occupied country. we see that further association of the word refugee with someone fleeing communism. this association of refugees with anti-communism continued through the 1970's. those admitted under the er refugee quota,
almost all came from communist countries. the executive branch continue to perot into coming is to outside of quotas. 1975, 130,000 refugees were admitted from vietnam and cambodia. congress passed the indochina migration and refugee assistance act to provide resettlement assistance to those 130,000 refugees. the decision to admit refugees .as always contested throughout the 1950's and 1960's and 1970's, public opinion polls showed americans were generally sympathetic to those fleeing communism but they didn't necessarily want them to come here. they wanted them to go someplace else. in 1956, the eisenhower administration had to enlist the assistance of public relation sell the ideathem
of hungarian refugees to a reluctant american appellation. these public relation firms worked with specific journalists who published story after story in news magazines portraying the hum give arians as hard-working, freedom-loving people. of richard showed nixon meeting with the children was part of that campaign to sell the idea of a gary and refugees to the american population. many americans were still not convinced. 20 years later, americans are even more resistant to accommodating southeast asians, who they viewed as too to beally different properly assimilated to the united states. the pain of the vietnam war also probably had a great deal to do .ith that reluctance despite the news of refugee camps in thailand and the news
that hundreds of people were dying at sea to reach safety somewhere in the world, less than one third of americans were in favor of sponsoring vietnamese or other southeast asia and refugees on american soil. opposition, public the white house always took the lead on refugee policy. they favored refugee admission for humanitarian reasons but also as a tool of cold war foreign-policy. a symbolicves function during the cold war. it demonstrated the desirability of democracy over to tell terry totalitarianism. these photos are of people from east berlin trying to reach west
berlin. some refugees went to extraordinary lengths. they built underground tunnels, jumped over fences and walls. in some cases, they built hot air balloons to fly them across international borders. they demonstrated, symbolized the hunger on behalf of humans to live in free societies. thegees were also highly-skill of their society. in some cases, they brought important intelligence that informed our military policies. refugee scientists like other einstein -- like albert einstein. they played a key role in the
development of nuclear physics in those country. the united states also went to great links to special lengths enghts to bring in the brightest. they even expunged the nazi records of some so they could work in u.s. intelligence. they played a key role in the development of the u.s. space program. refugees also informed our political life. think of henry kissinger, areleine albright, hannah endt. they have shaped our cultural life. russian french painter,
marc chagall. refugees have always played a important role in the life of our nation. public opinion polls tell us americans were very concerned about accommodating refugees in a matter how noble the cause, no aderholt noble the individual. -- no matter how noble the individual. passed thengress refugee act in response to what they perceived to be the continuing misuse of the parole authority on the part of the executive branch. , ithe 1980 refugee act tried to free the term of refugee and adopted the u.n. version.
can anyone tell me the five categories in the u.n. and u.s. definition of refugees? religion, nationality, political affiliation. prove aia: refugee must well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. the refugee act also established a numerical quota. they were tired of the executive branch of bringing in an indefinite number of refugees and they put a strict america limit on those refugees who could be brought in to the united states. how is the quota determined? anyone? house in0, the white
consultation with congress establishes an annual refugee inta and cards up that quota order of that year's national priorities. at the first year, the quota was at 50000 and eventually 120,000 but since 9/11, the annual quote a has hovered at 70,000-80,000 per year. as we see on this slide, we have never come close to meeting the quota. .he closest we came was 2013 100 year, we came within slots of meeting the annual refugee quota of 70,000. but as you see, you see the annual ceiling and the actual number of refugees admitted during that fiscal year. we've never come close to
meeting the annual refugee quota . despite attempts to bring the definition of refugee in line inh international norms, practice, anti-communist continued to be the ideological lens through which we determine .ho a refugee is who would be prioritized for admission to the u.s. the vast majority of our refugees have come from three countries -- the soviet union, cuba, and vietnam. now, the end of the cold war presented numerous humanitarian challenges for the united states. millions of people were displaced from their homes and forced to cross international borders as the nation disappeared and reconstituted themselves and politically realigned. we have seen war, civil unrest, genocide, natural disaster in far too many countries. 1990's, thef the
first decade after -- of the period.d war there were 14 million refugees worldwide. the majority women and children. period,ost-cold war for policy interest continue to influence who came into the u.s. post coldeen in the was domestic advocacy groups. they are playing a more active role in shaping the contours of refugee policy, who is admitted to the united states. those groups that have powerful advocates representing their interest before congress are more successful in prying open the door to the united states. our system is highly responsive to advocacy. let me give you a few examples. give90, the decision to half of the refugee quota to
soviet jews had a great deal to do with domestic pressure, domestic advocacy. during the administration of ronald reagan, the white house had railed at the soviet leadership. they even made future trade with the u.s. contingent on improvement in soviet immigration policy. toughhe guy i'll go over -- jews were finally allowed to emigrate in greater and greater numbers. however, as soviet policy became more liberalized, their chances for coming to the u.s. became
more restricted because the immigration and naturalization service now argued that the jews could no longer claim persecution because the soviet union was easing up on its restriction of the jewish population. s to emigrate were starting to evaporate. it was american jewish groups who advocated on the half of the soviets. it was these groups that reminded the bush and clinton administrations of their obligation to accept those who had once been at the center of foreign policy negotiation. advocacy on the part of american jewish groups that facilitated the entrance of over 358,000 former soviets from 1990 to 1998. but here are some other examples. 1989 massacre,
congress worked hard to pass legislation to allow chinese students studying in the u.s. to remain here. many chinese students were afraid to return home because they had been supporters of the student protesters and they were afraid to go home and perhaps face retaliation on the part of the government. president george herbert walker bush objected to these initiatives because he feared it might strain diplomatic relations with beijing. in the end, his administration vowed to pressure and allowed students to remain in the u.s. and become citizens. the is another example of importance of advocacy. during the 1990's, many found asylumcubans
in the u.s. in large part because of the advocacy of the very local and politically influential cuban american community in south florida. haitian boat people by comparison were more likely to be called economic migrants despite the fact they were fleeing equally or more repressive conditions. nations were much more likely to be detained and deported then where the cubans and this did not change until the congressional black caucus took up the cause and forced a more humane response from congress. one final example. the neck or rob wittman adjustment and central -- the nicaraguan adjustment act allowed hundreds of thousands to remain in the u.s. and this legislation was the combination of almost two decades of intense advocacy on the part of an unlikely coalition of the
political left and political right. there are many other examples i could highlight here about the importance of advocacy. i have a new book coming out in the spring and i discuss many other cases of the importance of advocacy. advocacy has been key in the verycold war period, important in shaping the contours of our refugee and asylum policies. factors three other that have affected policy in the post-cold war era. a growing number of asylum seekers. who can tell me the difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker. >> [inaudible] ms. garcia: much has to do with
where you are asking for protection. a refugee is identified for resettlement in the u.s. a refugee might come under the attention of the united nation commission for refugees who then contacts the u.s. or another country and asks if that person can be resettled in the person is subjected to intensive screening before they are allowed to emigrate. an asylum seeker is essentially a refugee but the asylum seeker asks for protection on u.s. soil. they might do so at a port of entry like an airport, at the u.s.-canada border, or they might come in as a student or a tourist and law they are here, they might ask for asylum. it has to do with location. the difference between a refugee and asylum seeker has to do with location.
during the 1990's, half a million people requested asylum. the numbers have continued to grow since then. our asylum system is overburdened and immigration judges appear in an extraordinary number of cases. the majority of asylum-seekers asylum in the united states. asylum-seekers are not guaranteed legal representation, there is no due process as we understand it in our justice system. legal representation makes all the difference. in 2010, only 11% of those asylum-seekers who did not have legal representation were successful in receiving asylum. having legal representation makes all the difference, but most asylum-seekers do not have legal representation. they either cannot afford it or cannot receive pro bono
representation because the system is stretched too thin. that is the first factor in the post-cold war period, something periodkes the different, asylum-seekers. terrorism is a second factor that has affected refugee and asylum policy in the post cold war period. a result, our immigration bureaucracy was completely revamped. refugeeserrorists -- are the most about it in u.s. history to prevent would-be terrorists from entering the u.s. and causing harm. the state department tells us monthss can expect 18-24 of vetting, screening before they move through the system and
are considered for admission to the u.s. but being placed on a waiting list come even if you are successfully vetted and asked to wait does not guarantee you will be admitted to the u.s. afghanaqi and translators and other personnel who have already been vetted to work with u.s. armed forces in the middle east are not guaranteed admission to the u.s. the asylum system has also been revamped in order to determine tenant -- deter terrorist attacks. the 1990 threeer world trade center bombing, congress passed the illegal immigration reform and immigrant responsibility act. had two provisions that affected asylum-seekers in particular. expedited removal and automatic detention.
the immigration officer at a port of entry today has a normative authority to decide on if an asylum seeker has a credible fear of persecution that should be further evaluated by an asylum officer or immigration judge. if the officer does not consider the person to have a credible fear of persecution, he or she can order that person removed immediately from the united states and that process is known as expedited removal. asylum seekers are also held in detention until further asylum hearings. if you have friends or relatives in the u.s., you might be released to them if they are willing to assume responsibility for your care. it can be a year or more before an asylum seeker is given authorization to work. more often than not, you are held in detention because since 9/11, most of our immigration
bureaucracy would prefer to air on the side of caution and hold people in detention then allow somebody to be released into society that might cause us harm. that hasevelopment affected u.s. refugee policy since the end of the cold war is the growing number of people who do not meet the strict definition of refugee. as we discussed earlier, refugee has a very precise, legal meaning. today's refugees and asylum-seekers do not always fall neatly into those categories. those people that do not fall into those categories present as with all sorts of moral challenges. here are four issues
particularly challenging to policymakers today. can child soldiers receive refugee status? onlyding to our law, civilians can be refugees. but over the past two decades, 18e 300,000 children under have been constricted against their will by one army or another to work as fighters, --ks, servants, sex you'll sexual slaves. prior to 9/11, a few hundred of these child soldiers succeeded in receiving asylum and a few of them went on to write memoirs that called international attention to the plight of child soldiers. they are the exception. since 9/11, most child soldiers have been denied entrance to the united states because antiterrorist legislation passed in the wake of 9/11 ours havence of those who
offered material support to a known terrorist organization and take theme armies but against their will are on the terrorist watch list. to assist better way the trafficking? some 800,000 people are trafficked each year for labor or sex. even our own little town of ithaca has seen victims of trafficking. in order to receive protection from the u.s. under the trafficking victims protection act, one must be willing to assist law enforcement, which many are not willing to do because it would place their families at risk of retaliation trafficking.ional victims are faced with two difficult options. in order to receive protection, you have to be willing to testify against her abusers but
in order to guarantee the safety of your family and villages, you must refrain from doing so. is there a better way to assist victims of trafficking? challenge number three, what do you do with children who arrive unaccompanied in the u.s.? thousands of children arrive in the u.s. by themselves each year abuse, gangmestic violence, poverty, trafficking. calledder crisis of 2014 attention to the growing number of unaccompanied children fleeing the criminal violence in central america. fleeing criminal violence in itself is not a legal realm of asylum. it doesn't guarantee you will receive asylum. those who do not have families in the u.s. are quietly returned
to their countries of origin. ask is ite advocates moral to return children to if their conditions safety cannot be guaranteed? might there be another option? finally, a fourth challenge that confronts our policymakers today. of environmental disaster entitled to protection? , climate to the u.n. change related migration could reach as high as 200 million by 2050. fleeing natural disaster in itself is not grounds for receiving asylum. there is another option for lite chae. the 1990 immigration act created a status known as tps, temporary protective status.
if you were already in the united states as a tourist or student and war breaks out in the country and there is some disaster preventing you from to returning him safely, you might authorized torthe recipients ae remain and work here until the state department ascertains that conditions in your country have improved sufficiently. nationals from 12 different countries are potentially eligible for temporary protective status. occupy aividuals place in our -- society. they are denied the chance to adjust their status to permanent .esident or citizen
honduransthousands of who have helped temporary status for over a decade without the chance of normalizing their status. they have raised their families here, they have invested in their host societies but they don't have a chance to become full members of american society. our legislators will have to decide whether long-term residents under tps could be afforded the opportunity to become full citizens. this proposition is sure to elicit a very heated debate in congress. these are just four of the many challenges policymakers are confronting. nations high commissioner for refugees this past year announced at present,
there are some 60 million refugees and displaced persons worldwide. that's 60 million up from 14 million at the end of the 1990's. the u.s. is among 10 countries that carry out resettlement programs with the united nations. let me end with this sobering note. as generous as our policy is and i and i in my family are beneficiaries of that generosity when we emigrated from cuba, the number of refugees the united states admits e.g. are our -- admits the year are a drop in bucket. fewer than 1% of refugees are ever resettled to third
countries like the u.s. it is the countries that border areas with political conflict that have always borne the real burden of accommodating refugees. jordan,camps like in which we see here, have become the size of cities with the exception that the residents, people who live there, do not have the chance to practice their profession, to run businesses, to own property, to move about freely, to choose where they are going to live. grantedgs we take for in our day-to-day lives here are denied people who live in refugee camps. around the world, there are refugees who have lived in the circumstances for over a decade. most of us are graphically whated and suffering from
senator alan simpson once called compassion fatigue, we are generally ignorant of their plight. thank you for your attention. i'm eager to hear your questions. if you have any questions about any of the material or anything else on your mind. >> the teacher of the people walking through the water, what was that? ms. garcia: i forget which country in central africa, but it was one of the areas hard-hit by flooding. aroundre so many people the world who are affected by typhoons, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, and they are becoming increasingly common. as we talked about a couple
weeks ago, many of the individuals we consider to be political refugees today, in they are, environmental refugees because when there is a natural disaster or typhoon oruake hurricane, it disrupts livelihood and people are forced international borders. when they move, they put pressures on the population where they have settled. leads totimes political conflict and before you know it, you have a war or some other type of civil unrest. many political refugees moved in the first place because of environmental dislocation. it is increasingly hard to see the elliptical from environmental refugees.
i wanted to ask about the syrian crisis. ms. garcia: stephen was asking refugeeat kind of system is in place in many other countries that have absorbed syrian refugees and other refugees. in the case of many countries that are host societies for refugees, many of them are not signatory to the u.n. convention on refugees or the 1967 protocol. it is somewhat startling. here are these countries who never signed the c-1 convention on refugees where they committed
themselves to accept refugees. they never signed those conventions yet they have been forced because of circumstance to accommodate a number of refugees. now, 11% of the population are refugees. jordan has accommodated tens of thousands of syrian refugees. they have done so working with the one to create these cams but they are hoping the camps will not be permanent and eventually, things will stabilize in syria of people can return. it is the goal of the international organization for migration and most of the international community that refugees not be permanent in a society. the goal is to house them temporarily until conditions stabilize and they can return home. when you look over the past 10 years, there have been a number of cases where refugees have
been able to return home. in guatemala after the 1996 peace accord, many what a mullins were able to -- able to returne to their old villages. that is the goal. thank you. about how talk a bit those programs were set up. up forprogram set syrians and others? ms. garcia: is there anything comparable to the syrian refugee program for the syrian refugees. the cuban refugee program was unique in history. there has never been a program .s generous as that it wasn't just the amount of money that was invested in the , the federal
government helped create programs at the university of miami, for example, to help cuban doctors and lawyers and passeers learn english and the certification exams that would allow them to practice their professions and the u.s. because they noticed many of the cubans arriving in the 1960's were highly skilled and professional and had skills important to the u.s. economy but could not practice their professions in the u.s. because they did not speak english or needed a certification. programuban refugee worked with local colleges insult florida -- in south florida so cuban doctors, takests, lawyers could these courses. the cuban refugee program also helped individuals establish new
careers. for example, the federal government noted there were many women who were arriving without their spouses in the united states because they were imprisoned in cuba. these women had never worked in the labor force before so they cuban refugee program helped train these women to work as teachers or teacher aides in the public school system. the cuban refugee program also distributed monthly release checks to help a the rent and food like cheese and meat so families wouldn't go hungry financiallyecame establish. we have never seen a program program cuban refugee cents in american society. most refugees today, when syrian refugees come to the u.s. today, they qualify for the same assistance others receive, which
is they are entitled to eight months of intensive assistance from the federal government so the government works with a number of police agencies across the u.s. like catholic charities , the lutheran police services, and these services help place refugees around the country. last forstance only about eight months. after that, the goal is you would have found employment and would be on the way to becoming fully integrated into u.s. society. thank you. >> you mentioned how the quota has never been filled and none of the obama administration is increasing it, do think it will still go unfilled? ms. garcia: in case you didn't hear, she was asking if i thought that once the quarter is
increased to 100,000 to accommodate more syrian refugees, whether i think that quota will be filled. i don't think it will. if passed history is any indication and given how long it refugee, it is highly unlikely we will reach that quota. thank you. >> [inaudible] ms. garcia: kristin asked whether we will exceed the 70,000 to 80,000. i think we will. if i had to guess, i think it will be between 85000 and 95,000 people who will be brought in but that 100,000 are not all syrian refugees. syrians are competing with refugees from other parts of the world. the quota has been expanded presumably to accommodate more
notan refugees but it's guaranteed all those spaces will go to syrian refugees. >> [inaudible] ms. garcia: if they commit a crime in the united states or are discovered to have lied about their past in some way, they can be deported if they have not become permanent residents. once they become permanent residents, even in some cases there have been cases of those who have been citizens and were stripped of their citizenship. laterw of refugees discovered to have lied about their participation in the
genocide and once that information came to light, these individuals who had become citizens were stripped of their face theip and consequences in their homeland. >> [inaudible] ms. garcia: the question is if i could comment on the screening whetherfor refugees and allow would-be terrorists to enter the u.s. no screening process is 100% seal proof. there is no way to guarantee safety, there is just no way. i think it is less likely that a would-be terrorist would enter through the refugee tracks. if you have been reading the
news, many individuals who are opposed to bringing in more syrian refugees always highlight the example of the tsarnaev brothers but they were not refugees. they came with their families as children with their parents as tourists. once they were on u.s. soil, they asked for asylum and were vetted. they established roots in the u.s. to predict that these young men who immigrated as children would become radicalized on american soil and cause us harm. they did not come in as refugees, during the refugee track. i think it's less likely for a room would be -- for a would-be terrorist to enter. any other questions? thank you. >> are there long-term plans in
for disasters? ms. garcia: matt asked whether the u.s., whether there are any policy debate underway about expanding a more humanitarian response to victims of climate change. not that i know of at present. many of our think tanks and educational institutions are engaged in these conversations. we have discussed the word refugee has a very precise legal meaning. in order to receive refugee status, you would need to consider or expand our definition in order to accommodate people who are victims of climate change. as i mentioned earlier, sometimes it's really hard to
tease out the climate from the political refugees. if a victim from some kind of climate disaster can prove persecution based on one of these other categories, yes, that individual might be able to receive refugee status in the u.s. but based solely on climate change or climate migration, it is highly doubtful. on congressany move to expand the definition of refugee that would take into account victims of climate change. any other questions you might have? i will wish you a wonderful afternoon. let me pass out the final prompt and i will wish you all a great afternoon. thank you for your attention. >> join us every saturday
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about his book, building the golden gate bridge. a worker's oral history. at the commonwealth club of california in san francisco. we will see pictures of the laborers, and hear their testimony about harsh weather. safety procedures, and work conditions during the great depression. this program is about one hour. george: welcome to the commonwealth club. i would like to welcome our live audience here in san francisco and our radio and online audience with c-span. i welcome harvey shorts, the author of "building the golden gate bridge: a workers' oral history", dug into the history of who worked on the bridge, how they did it, what they accomplished, what trials they faced, and also the people who it isined the bridge, obvious the iconic urine san francisco. this is the first thing that is shown on movies if they want to say