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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 13, 2015 2:20pm-4:01pm EDT

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of our young people even finish high school today. we are not focusing on that problem. we talk about all of these educational incentives. how do we take that person, who when they maybe get to be 20 or 30 years old wants iran act of to get -- wants a way back up to get an education. we canve one of the ways motivate young people is to get them involved in programs of community service that also address their education. that and if you will support me, i believe we can do it. thank you very much. my time is up. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] jim webb does is 20 minutes. he becomes the first democratic
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candidate to speak at the iowa state fair. the des moines register political soapbox. they heard from mike huckabee earlier. jim webb here. and later today, democratic candidate martin o'malley of maryland. opening up the phone lines to get your thoughts. we expect to hear more from jim webb as he makes his way out of the soapbox area. the numbers are on the screen. he started off his comments talking about his vietnam war. . -- webb not only served in his vietnam war experience. jim webb not only served in the vietnam war, but also as the u.s. navy secretary in the reagan administration. he wrote about his experiences
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in the beirut war. he is a former senator from virginia serving one term for the commonwealth. he married -- he is married with six children and enter the race this summer on july 2. we get underway here on c-span with our road to the white house coverage today, this weekend, and into all next week with the iowa state fair. we expect to hear more from jim webb in a bit. carol,action on twitter, who follows with the associated press talked about jim webb and his comments on serving in the military. putting out some pictures of the candidate, people supporting the candidate, and having a wonderful.
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let's go to south carolina. we hear from jack, who is supporting jim webb. caller: yes, sir. i'm sure glad to hear he is putting his hand in the ring. i was disappointed that all the other ones. i am an rv that -- an army that and he is a marine. he talks about things i like. i am named after franklin d. roosevelt myself. my daddy loved him to death. i have been a republican, but it looks like i'm going back democrat. i appreciate jim webb. he talked about fdr and ronald reagan. remember, he served under ronald reagan. on the democrats line, ruth, what do you think of jim webb? of the people in the
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audience asked about americorps. ideapears as if he has no what americorps does. they hire a lot of use. uth.s -- a lot of yo programrt of government . i think he needs to investigate and find out what this person was talking about. -- theye a lot of youth hire a lot of youth, assist them with college. i was upset that he does not know anything about what americorps does. the rulest: -- --host: the rules are they have 20 minutes and can use it however they wish. jim webb spoke for about 10 minutes and then took 10 minutes of questions. you can find the program schedule online at
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www.c-span.org. 10, hang ontucky, the line for just a second. -- tim, hang on the line for a second. we are going to go back and hear more from jim webb. conversations] >> senator, we would love to have you come up. we will have 900 county officials across iowa in cedar rapids in november.
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we would love to hear -- to have you come and talk about your beliefs as president. >> [indiscernible] >> [indiscernible] i was just in and out. what are one of the keys that from the other senators? >> [indiscernible] >> you going to get support [indiscernible]
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>> do you think there might be an opening in the race? [no audio]
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host: a little problem with the audio, but it looks like it may be back. jim webb just finishing up his comments. >> right here. 1, 2, 3. thank you. >> there we go. often, thank you. have a great day. my son is a marine, so i want to tell you thanks. you are my number two. i want to see what joe biden does. keep us in mind.
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>> [indiscernible] i have been reading it. senator webb: john? >> john. this is my son. this is him right here.
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>> [indiscernible] what would you recommend if you were president? [indiscernible]
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and in the long run there are people who are saying they want more renewables in the market rates. -- the marketplace. [indiscernible] >> and the other question i have is, i was -- i what is considering changing the name. should they do that? [indiscernible]
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what would ronald reagan do? senator webb: he might get a big crowd. >> [indiscernible] i really admire what we did in world war ii with the military in the south pacific, the way we responded. i feel we need that now. .e need a mobilization senator webb: [indiscernible]
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we are allowing them to say that simply because they are still being called an emerging economy they don't have to meet the requirements that we do. more.y are doing and we are, too, but if we keep extracting oil, that could make the problem deeper. agree or disagree? that, iwebb: i think on disagree. >> thank you. [indiscernible]
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reallys rise and you not coming up in the polls yet, how do you see that happening? senator webb: we are gearing up and i'm looking forward to this next couple of months. i served with bernie for six years. it is an invigorating job. where do you see your place in this party in this cycle? senator webb: we will see. >> no plans to share a mac? senator webb: i have -- to share on that? senator webb: i have no further comment right now. >> what do you want to try to -- tolish tomorrow
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accomplish in iowa? [indiscernible] senator webb: actually, i'm going to be in new hampshire. >> ok. >> [indiscernible] senator webb: micro has been in public service and private enterprise. -- my career has been in public
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service service and private enterprise. then i decided to enter the senate. >> [indiscernible] jim: supporters of senator webb as he leaves the iowa state fairgrounds. our road to the white house coverage continuing. the numbers are on the screen. we also look for your comments on twitter. tim is in robards, kentucky. thank you for waiting. on the democrats line. caller: republican line from ohio. host: ok, go ahead, tim. that i i want to say has been best on the democratic side and i wish him success. i want to put in a word for
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governor kasich. i think he is the best of either party. he has a forward-looking approach that is good. i think his resume serves well as an executive, and in congress, the chairman of the budget committee. the budget was balanced, and it hasn't been balance since. host: governor kasich will be at a town hall meeting next wednesday in daytona beach, florida. and on the line for supporters of jim webb is ryan. good afternoon. brian from daytona, florida. myself a capcall began in republican, but i will be voting for jim webb. host: what is behind your decision? caller: the man is giving the most honest and direct answers
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to any kind of question. he is saying in foreign policy because he has known the hall -- the horror of war. he is generous. his life story is like something out of a johnny cash song. i really don't know what else to say. this country -- he has served this country with great distinction, has lived in poverty, has written great books, both fiction and nonfiction. it is very unusual for me. i call myself a conservative. socially and in every other regard. and i hate to resort to cliche, but this is a man i do see as a true uniter. if anyone is in the landscape right now. host: a couple of comments on
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twitter. back to calls, raleigh, north carolina. john, you are also a supporter of jim webb. caller: yes, i'm a registered republican and i serve probably under secretary web as a u.s. marine, and ronald reagan as my commander-in-chief. i went into combat six times and ended up retiring due to combat wounds. i supported him tremendously not just because of his military heroics, but he is the only democratic presidential candidate that resonates better than republicans do, except mike
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huckabee, who is my gop preference. of he resonates with those us who are conservatives here on main street. i thought what he said concerning the economy and the stock market and how it did not register in reality to where most of us are is brilliant. again, he is the kind of person where if you not an expert, he will find annexed. he is -- if he is not an expert, he will find next part. he is a uniter, as the previous color said. jim webb noort problem. the only issue is pro-choice issues, but i think he will come around on that as well. i can honestly say, how in the world someone could support the other extremes in the democratic party, clinton and sanders and webb is a uniter
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and he would make not just a phenomenal commander-in-chief, but president. looking at bernie sanders on the democratic side, does it make it tough for jim webb with his views to get to the nomination, or even to the cochrane was -- the caucus in iowa? becausei think it does, of money issues. and he spoke to those in regard to the campaign, and the insanity of how much money plays in electability in this era. but i think if he gets his voice out there in c-span and other forms, if the debates come up and they do not dodge him, then he will outshine them come outsmart them, and out of them. because he is not fake. he doesn't have to run with many thing. he is a democrat from virginia right up north of us here. -- asosed president bush
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i understand it, president bush said, how is your son? and jim webb was straightforward, but cold with him in one of their meetings. i appreciate him. he is a straight shooter. you do not find that in politicians in either party very much anymore. host: thanks for sharing that. in arizona, democrats line. go ahead. caller: i'm concerned that when said nuclear energy is clean and safe. how many places around the world you can't even step on the ground, people cannot live there because of accidents or explosions or whatever? theapan, nuclear waste from hurricane -- the earthquake is coming to california and
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destroying fish and wildlife. honest.ot to be you cannot just say something and walk away. he has zero chance of being president. thank you very much. host: comments on facebook include lou, who says webb is the only decent american patriot , ande democratic ticket honestly, as a conservative i'd vote for in the over bush. kayla says, i've never vote for web. who is he? he served one term as senator in virginia and then bailed. more at facebook. line inepublican georgia, hello to wayne. caller: i find it refreshing that all these candidates are giving specifics about what they are for and not for. whether you are republican like me, or democrat, i think you should expect that. we seem to be getting that from
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all of these candidates, all , hillary clinton. she basically thinks she is who she is, and therefore that is really all that matters. we never got that from obama either. he just went out there and said who he is, and that is enough, hope and change, vote for me, that is all you need to know. i think his race -- refreshing to see whether it is on a democrat or public inside that we are asking for specifics and getting specifics on all of these candidates, with the exception of hillary clinton. and mr. webb, he is clearly letting people know what he stands for. i'm just glad to see this stuff happening now. host: it looks like we might get more specific. if they tweet from washington post politics.
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that is coming up at 5:00 eastern life here on c-span. that is former presidential candidate jim gilmore. we go to alexandria, virginia, and we hear from a supporter of jim webb. hello, and thank you ever so can the for allowing me on. i want to say that i worked on contract in vietnam, in malaysia, and in burma, and i admiralith retired james rose worthington, the sale, andof the navy richard childress of the national security council.
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easily one that lasted throughout the reagan administration. and phil huff. and i want to say that from how absolutely incredible jim webb was. he was the only candidate. we had raised millions and millions of dollars in contracts and dedicated it to go in and try to rescue and find the prisoners, american prisoners left hostage in vietnam. i love that man. report,solutely above and bar no candidate running for , he surpasses016 them all when it comes to integrity, humanity, human decency. he is a man of honor. the only one i would ever cast a vote for. ever soink you again
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kindly. i know his history. i know it intimately. thank you. host: aches for your input, karen. -- thanks for your input, karen. let's go to florida and bob on the democrats line. this jim want to say webb is going to go a lot better than hillary. too many things -- no one trusts her. and as a democrat, we want to webb, i'vethink mr. seen his credentials. i will not vote for hillary. there are so many people who do not trust her. we need a new face. it looks almost like white hair on tv right now. he doesn't have to color his hair. he is what he is.
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vote, it willif i be for him. host: we understand that hillary clinton will be at the state fair in iowa on saturday, and donald trump as well. but from what we hear, not appearing before the des moines register soapbox. let's go to one more call in north carolina. you are a supporter of jim webb, too, right? caller: right. i have been a supporter of his since the reagan days and i was sorry when he decided not to go back into the senate. i really never lost track of him. when he decided he was going to happy to know that. i'm an independent voter. i don't vote party at all. and i'm planning on voting for jim webb this time. i hope he makes it to the nomination. host: we appreciate your comments, and we appreciate the work of our colleagues, andrew
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ferguson, and kit frazier out there with the sights and sounds. there is more coming up here on c-span. the road to the white house coverage continues this afternoon at 5:00 eastern. we will hear from former governor martin o'malley. and then we resume tomorrow at bush a.m. eastern with jeb speaking from the soapbox. and the road to the white house coverage continues this weekend. this time, we will look into new hampshire. donald trump has a campaign rally in hampton, new hampshire. it is 7 p.m. eastern saturday night. that, too, is life here on c-span. next up, issues that come up a lot in this campaign, immigration. this is a discussion on integration and race hosted by the bipartisan policy center.
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>> the bipartisan policy center was founded in 2007 by four former senate leaders. and the mission of the bipartisan policy center is to bring together what we call constructive partisanship, which means bringing together people from both sides of the aisle to come together and work towards practical and politically viable solutions to some of our biggest problems, one of which is immigration. in 2013, bpc started the immigration task force. to work on issues related to immigration reform. folks will remember that immigration reform was a big
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issue at the last presidential campaign and a lot of people thought it had huge momentum and was going to happen, we were going to have legislation, it was all going to get an acted. -- get enacted. in 2013 there was a big senate , bill. and then it didn't happen in the house. here we are again facing another presidential election, which is well underway. interestingly enough, we have more candidates in the selection that i think we have ever had in history and the candidates are dealing with all the usual issues. foreign policy. immigration is still a topic of conversation. it has been a consistent feature throughout the presidential campaign. every candidate has been asked about their position on immigration reform or has affirmatively put one forward. it has come up in the last
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presidential debate that happened last week in cleveland. it has been addressed by the democratic candidates. so we thought this would be a good opportunity to talk a little bit about where things are come have some experts here to talk about what the candidates have said about immigration, what they have said on policy, what they intend to do about it. a little bit about how it impacts the politics of the situation and what it might mean for the actual chances of reform. to lead us in this discussion, we have francine kiefer. francine is with the christian science monitor. she is a congressional correspondent and has been there since 1980. she has been in washington for a long time, including -- she knows the politics of d.c. in and out. she has written extensively on immigration, including the congressional activities last congress.
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she has also worked for nearly five years as a national editor at the san jose mercury news in silicon valley and is joining us to moderate the panel. i will let francine introduce our panelists. thank you so much for coming. >> thank you so much, theresa. thank you for setting the scene on immigration. not so easy to do, actually. i am going to begin by introducing our wonderful panelists here. i will begin immediately to my left, laura vasquez. she is the senior immigration legislative analyst at the national council, which is the largest national latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the united states. she describes her work as advancing just and humane reforms to the current information system. before joining la raza, she worked as a constituent
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caseworker for eleanor holmes norton, helping city residents with their immigration applications. not an easy task. she was also a congressional hispanic caucus institute fellow. laura is an expert on mexican migration to the united states and the role of nonprofits in advocating for latino immigrants. she hold an m.a. in latin american studies from the university of california san diego and a b.a. in political science and spanish from kenyon college. she was born in pueblo, mexico and grew up in ohio. welcome, laura. next-door is the executive director of the center for immigration studies. which he has led for 20 years. the center is a nonpartisan research organization here in washington that examines the impact of immigration on the united states.loimmigration vis.
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mark frequently testifies before congress. he has published articles in the national media, appeared on various television and radio shows, and is a contributor at "national review online." mark is also a book author, including this provocative title, "the new case against immigration: both legal and illegal." he holds a masters degree and a bachelors from georgetown university. and here is something that not everyone can say. he spent two years at yerevan state university in then-soviet armenia. and next to mark, we have maria. she is the executive director of the national immigration law center.
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under her leadership, they have grown to become the main organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low income immigrants in the u.s. maria immigrated as a child from columbia to central falls, rhode island. fully bilingual and bicultural, she is often interviewed by national media outlets, including telemundo and univision. she lectures frequently at national and international conferences. whether litigating cases, testifying before congress, meeting with president obama, or with low income immigrant families, she is recognized as a passionate advocate and authentic leader. maria is the recipient of several awards for her commitment to the latino community. she was recently a practitioner in residence at the school for social justice at uc berkeley's
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law school. and served as a visiting fellow at northeastern university's school of law, where she received her law degree. and we also have randall johnson, who is senior vice president at the u.s. chamber of commerce, the world's largest business organization. he has been with the chamber for nearly 20 years and is primarily responsible for labor, immigration issues. -- immigration, and employee benefit issues pending before congress and federal agencies. in consultation with members of the chamber and his staff, randy determines the chamber's policy decisions and an array of issues including comprehensive immigration reform. and visa and border policy. he is also a board member of the national immigration forum and the lutheran immigration refugee services agency.
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randy knows congress well. before joining the chamber, he was the republican labor council and coordinator for the house committee on education and the workforce. randy is a graduate of denison university and the university of maryland's school of law and earned his master of law in labor relations from georgetown university's law center. so that is the biographical portion of our program. now we are going to get to the questions. mark, i think i will start with you, even though you are not immediately to my left. but one thing i was noticing when i watched the gop debates last week, both the junior varsity version and the varsity version, was that there seemed to be complete agreement among the candidates that what we should have is a strength in border-first policy. i wondered why there is unanimous agreement and is it
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-- and is it actually possible to build the donald trump wall or do the kind of large-scale enforcement on the border that republicans are talking about? mark: well, the first point i would make is that all of the candidates do not necessarily agree. jeb bush has called for legalization at the same time as enforcement measures, so it is not necessarily the case that everybody on the republican side is for enforcement first. but you are right, generally speaking, that is the approach. why? the answer is that if the enforcement doesn't come first, it is not going to happen because in 1986 -- this was the key failure -- was that the deal at that time was amnesty now, upfront, in exchange for promises of enforcement in the future. those promises weren't kept. and that trick is not something that people are going to fall for a second time.
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in fact, it is not just speculation that that is the way it would turn out, the -- in fact, it is not just speculation that that is the way it would turn out, the -- shortly after the bill was signed, less than three years after the bill was signed -- again, remember, this was a deal makes -- in exchange for the ban on hiring illegals. just a few years after the bill passed, the national council of la raza published a report saying that the enforcement part should be repealed. they were welshing on the deal. so the idea that we should just take their word for it that in five or 10 or 13 years from now, the various enforcement elements will be implemented if the legalization happens first is, you know, is a fool's bargain. the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. the way it could actually work is to have several enforcement elements. i would pick three. verify. this is the online system, so when you hire someone, you verify. exit tracking for visa holders. in other words, most new -- today's illegal immigration, 60% of it is people coming in as tourists and students and just not leaving.
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it is not really the border. but we don't know when people leave, so we don't know who stays. and number three, systematic routine integration of state and local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. when those three things happen, and i don't mean on paper, they
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are actually implemented, the courtroom jihad's that the aclu and others will launch against them, once they are actually working, then we can have a debate. that would be a kind of a bargain. amnesty for most of the illegals who are here. in exchange for deep permanent cuts in future legal immigration. that seems to be the only way we are going to be able to get to a sort of more stable immigration position politically. it is never going away. teresa mentioned foreign policy and jobs and the rest in the campaigns. immigration is always going to be a part of the campaign, every campaign forever, as it is a part of being in the business. but we can get to a more sustainable situation, but only by having and implementing and putting in place the enforcement systems we need to prevent this situation from recurring 10 or 15 years down the road.
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ms. kiefer: just a follow-up question about the borders specifically. united states has spent increasingly more money on enforcement. and so republicans want even more spent. what are the actually talking about in terms of doing work on the border? mark: i have to say, the place we are going to get the bigger bang for the buck in enforcement is not at the border. we have spent a lot of money at the border, and it shows. it has not all been wasted. some of it has, it is the government. some of it really works. i have been -- i have gone to most of the border. from the gulf of mexicto the pacific. and a lot of the fencing is sort of fake fencing to keep trucks from driving over. it is only this high. your grandma can jump over it. but some of it is real fencing. we have twice as many border patrol agents as we had a decade
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ago. we have fewer border patrol agents than the nypd has police officers. so we have improved on the border. there is still room for improvement, but if i had my druthers, the place i would want to be focusing on is more on the worksite, on visa tracking, that sort of thing because that is where the next dollar is going to get the most benefit, as far as enforcement. ms. kiefer: and i neglected to mention at the beginning that at about 11:30, we will open up to questions from the audience. be gathering your questions. laura, i would like to turn to you next. i noticed in the debate that jeb bush, if i recall, was the only one who spoke pretty extensively about his policies and plans for immigration reform. and one of the things he talked about was an earned path to
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legal status for the 11 million undocumented that are already here in the united states. no one joined him on that. in fact, no one mentioned even earned status or earned path to citizenship. which is what all the democratic candidates are supporting. on of the moderators asked scott walker, one of the candidates, why did you step back and rescind your support for a path to citizenship? it is quite clear republicans are not interested in a path to citizenship for undocumented workers and not too many are that keen on a pass to even earn legal status. what do you make of that division within the republican party and with the democrats? laura: thank you.
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i think you are right, there is a division there because we do see that there are some candidates that do still support a path to citizenship lindsey graham has consistently said that he supports the path to citizenship. he doesn't think the country would support a subclass group of people being here. so that is the position he has held for a long time. it is part of the support that he gave to the senate bill that passed in 2013. i think it is also consistent with the position that americans have. so, we have seen poll after poll consistently demonstrate that across the political spectrum, democrats and republicans support a path to citizenship or legal status. now we are seeing more and more polls break that down into two things. and one of the things that is interesting is that when it is explained, earned to citizenship
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means to meeting requirements, having to go through a background check, demonstrating that you pay taxes, demonstrating that you would learn english. the support amongst republican voters goes up. so i think that once we are able to have that debate about what a path to earned citizenship looks like, we would see increased support within the republican party. we know that that is something that it is in the interest of the country. i think americans supported because they are pragmatic because they understand that they want immigrants all in. they don't want them in some sort of less than citizenship area. they want everybody in the same boat with the same requirements. and they also understand the history of our country, that we are a country of immigrants because we have always
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encouraged immigrants to fully participate in american life. ms. kiefer: do you think there would be any give on this issue since republicans seem both staunchly behind and not even actually all behind the legal status if it came down to a choice? do you think they would be give on that particular question? laura: i do think so. i think it is because of when. when people understand that it is not an automatic citizenship that people would be granted, it is not an amnesty, it would be something that -- as we saw in the senate bill, they were very strict requirements that people would have to meet. and that i think is something that, you know, people understand that now when they hear it and i think we would see that support with the candidates. ms. kiefer: thanks so much for
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that input. maria elena, i'm coming down to you now. given your legal background, i wondered if you could explain to us what the status is of the various -- the court case against president obama at the moment or against the administration? if you recall in november, the president issued an executive order that was highly controversial, extending the third deportation to millions more undocumented immigrants. and then the state of texas sued for that, sued against that, and it is now wrapped up in the courts. and that program has been stopped. so i wonder if you could bring us up-to-date on the status of that court situation and let us know your views on how an outcome, whichever way it might go, might affect the debate? maria elena: yes, thank you for organizing this great panel.
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first, let me talk about the importance of this policy. in november, the president announced a 10 point executive action. daca is the deferred action for childhood arrivals, parents of u.s. american citizens and it green card holders. and then the expansion, as we often think of as dreamers. and the importance of this is really critical. last week, i was at the jersey shore with my niece and nephew, who are 13 years old. at the are about to start school. and they are really concerned about how much harder their science and math classes are going to be. and they are worried about whether they will be able to balance their soccer games with their harder classes. but today, there is also an eighth grader of their who is concerned not about classes, but she is concerned about whether her mother is going to be deported before the first day of school. she is worried about whether her father will be there when she
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graduates from eighth grade next spring. and it is that trauma, that fear of losing your parents, of being separated from their parents, from your families, being ripped apart, that lack of instability that immigrant families are facing today is really what is at stake. over 5 million u.s. citizen children at the direct beneficiaries. their parents would be eligible for dapa. and it is that stability that this executive decision is really about. unfortunately, the state of texas, the governor and other attorney generals, have sued the obama administration. one judge in brownsville, texas has blocked the implementation of dapa nationwide. we are currently waiting for a decision from the fifth circuit court of appeals. we expect that any day now. frankly, this is a case that is going to go up before the supreme court. if you take the politics out of this, this is actually a
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constitutional issue that legal scholars across the board, conservatives and liberal scholars, agree that presidents since eisenhower have exercised this power and have the authority to do what the president did. we expect that at this time next year, the outcome will probably be that the supreme court has ruled on this, the obama administration can start implementation. it is going to be front and center. ms. kiefer: so you are expecting the ruling in the presidential election year? maria elena: probably, yes. ms. kiefer: if it goes against the president, how that affect the debate?
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maria elena: i think the debate will continue because this is just one piece of the broader immigration debate. part of what we will continue hearing is the sort of wall supporters among the gop candidates, and then also other things that can be done administratively. there is the future of what happens with the 11 million undocumented immigrants. what kind of immigration will receive during the next administration? ms. kiefer: ok. randy, way down there. [laughter] on the far left, i like that. jeb bush, as i mentioned earlier, last week in the debates laid out pretty extensively his steps and immigration reform. and one of the things he said he supported was required use of the e-verify electronic system in order to determine whether they are hiring undocumented workers or not in their companies. and it has been voluntary, as far as i know, so far. so my question for you is, how would american businesses feel about being required to use the e-verify system? and also, how reasonable is it to expect that the system can be implemented nationwide and that
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it can function the way it is supposed to? randy: yeah, we don't engage in presidential politics at the chamber, so you are right, bush did take it up, but we are not taking a view on anybody's proposals per se. -- [indiscernible] with regard to e-verify, we have testified on that probably 10 times in 15 years. four times we opposed it and five times we supported it. but it is not a flip-flop, it is a reevaluation. [laughter] randy: let me give you a little history. the chamber does support a mandatory employment verification procedures. you are right, it is a pilot program and it is voluntary. and that comes as a shock to a lot of people, but we did put together a task force on this. we negotiated a deal with lamar smith and the judiciary committee on a bill we could support, but the history to that, and quickly, is we did sue the state of arizona back in 2010 over its mandatory employment verification procedures and it went up to the
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supreme court. we lost. and at that point and given what was happening -- we should negotiate a deal. and part of that was a trade-off in which, given our loss, we obtained preemption of state and local laws and a safe harbor for our members if they complied in good faith and relied erroneously on information from the electronic verification system. no re-verification of existing employees. in other words, it applies to new hires.
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a sort of slow rollout so it could be tested along the way. so there is a series of things which we laid out in testimony. i think one of the big issues is -- what certainly came up last year when i testified was what would mandatory e-verify do to the agricultural industry? they acknowledge half of their workforce is undocumented. that does not mean they know it but it's true. if you had mandatory e-verify, what would that do to the agriculture industry? would it shut it down?
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there is e-verify but there's this ag issue that circulated around that that even republicans acknowledge had to be taken care of. we support mandatory employment verification. we have negotiated legislation with certain house republicans on the issue. i've still got my job, so we did a good job on it, i think. there is a new mandate on our members. ms. kiefer: randy, i want to ask you a different question, a little bit about the path forward now. just before the senate broke for recess, mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, gave a press conference and i asked him if there was any hope for even a small portion of immigration reform to get done in this congress before the presidential election and the next congress and he said, absolutely no. he mentioned the trust issue that the president had so
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poisoned the well through his executive order that there was no hope anything would be done in this congress. i wonder if you might address, looking ahead to after 2016 -- how might a new president, democrat or republican, proceed on this issue? you have two fronts to concern yourself with, one is trust and the other is policy with other panelists have talked about. how do you see that might work with a new president? randy: you did ask this congress, not this session? ms. kiefer: i don't remember how i asked, but he said this congress. that he is not going to deal with it. if he says no, that's very much it. randy: we are little bit hopeful. we are working on a high scale bill in the house. if the fifth circuit ruled in favor of the texas governor that that might have an opening for this year -- next session, not this year. looking beyond that, i think the days of talking about poisoning
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the well, it's not just that the president went forward with these executive orders but the aca framing that with the affordable care act combined, not just with partisanship, but that there were mandates under the aca which the president unilaterally postponed even though the statute clearly said, here is the deadline. there was this backdrop of not trusting the president and immigration was part of it. part of the aca was part of that whole debate. going into next year, look, we will not have a big bill. we will not have a senate bill again. i look at it as a combination of an e-verify, border security and an ag fix -- it will be some mix like that. you've got a train with little caboose on it. the train is moving along but it is split up into different parts. what will go on that versus one
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big bill -- like the senate bill was. maybe it's high scale border security and e-verify and some other mix of that. i don't think border security first will fly in the senate because the democrats will want more out of order security bill. there is the fear that once congress does border security -- it's another 10 years before they will come back to revisit it. it is substance and policy but also politics. is ted cruz going to be the next president or will hillary?
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or is it rubio? george bush was unable to get a bill through, though we worked hard on it. it depends not just on the presidency. mark: we are not going to see anything until after the presidential election. i don't think there is any way around that. what should congress be doing? how should be approaching this issue? the 115th congress. i think that's right. it seems that the idea of a 2000 page monstrosity bill that gives every interest group something to be happy about doesn't work. it had failed in 2005 and 2006
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and 2013 and it's just bad lawmaking. whatever you think about how health care should be done, a gigantic aca is not the way to have done it and likewise with immigration. it seems to me, people on all sides of the debate need to lower their gazes and look at more smaller digestible things to do. something i have suggested that would give everybody something would be, for instance, mandatory e-verify but package it into a small package with, say, formally giving green cards to the beneficiaries. upgrade their amnesty to a green card premium from the green card light they have now. that way both sides would get something and maybe -- there has been versions of this -- maybe throw in some tech stuff where
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foreign students who get phd's in stem fields would get green cards if they wanted them. something like that. that is a smaller, digestible package and various constituency groups would get something out of it and i think it would move the issue forward rather than the idea of always trying to hit home runs. i don't mean to give advice to the other panelists but you're not always going to get home runs. try for singles. it seems that both sides can get something out of an attempt at hitting singles instead of trying to get everything you want all at once and rolling over the opposition. they failed over and over again. ms. kiefer: i had a conversation with congressman gutierrez as things began to look bad for the democrats last year on immigration reform.
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he seemed pretty flexible and pretty open to the separate pieces idea depending on what the pieces were. he expressed a degree of flexibility and pointed to the vision within republicans as a problem. maybe you would like to address that. maria elena: whether it is a comprehensive bill or a separate bill that amounts to a comprehensive solution, i think that is a tactical question. that's probably what he was referring to. i want to go back to something else, francine. one of the things that amazes me about washington dc is facts don't matter. what the president has announced whether it was 2012 or the recent executive action are not amnesty.
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all they are is a deferral of deportation. it's a temporary reprieve from deportation and if they voluntarily come forward and go through a national security background check and they pay $465, after an individual determination, if they are awarded deferred action, they are eligible for work authorization. that is based on the regulations from the 1980's. that's not anything the president did new and that just gives work authorization for three years. it can be revoked at any moment. we have seen individual daca folks get that revoked and it does not give them additional amnesty benefits. there is no path to citizenship or permanency. as a lawyer, i think facts matter a lot. they make a huge difference. as far as the way forward, one of the big challenges we have now is that a lot of the presidential candidates are talking about border security
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first. for the last couple of decades in the united states, we have had enforcement first as the only approach but we have not had legalization or the 11 million considered. until the candidates address the issue about what will happen with the 11 million, will they try to deport all of them? mitt romney said self deportation and that did not get him far. any candidate who wants to fund their path to the white house has to address the issue of the 11 million. it will not happen. they will not get the lation vote or the api vote. ms. kiefer: let me give laura a chance to jump in here. laura: i would echo some of what maria elena said. the idea that enforcement only has benefits to the status quo and asked -- and that's not the solution american support. one of the reasons why people talk about these things having to be either sequenced or together is because the parts are interlocking. people want to know what would a future president do with the 11 million people that are here.
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they also want to know how would people come into the country prospectively and how we address this so we are not in the future looking at another large population of people without a visa and how do we fix that in the future? they want to know that the borders are being enforced, but that is something we have been seeing for the last 20 years. border enforcement and enforcement-only policies are the status quo. they are not the solution that americans support. i would say that one of the things i think we need to ask is why deny the benefits we would have if we would get all of these pieces fixed? the moral imperative is clear but there is real economic benefits that would be spread throughout the economy, if we were able to get these pieces addressed. enforcement is going to be what continues. we are denying the country significant economic benefits. mark: i don't like to play word games about amnesty but i will say my piece -- the fact is, giving legal status of any kind to an illegal immigrant is what we call amnesty. la raza did focus groups for bush which was torpedoed by 9/11 and what they found was that
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people hated the word amnesty. their memo was not to use the word. come up with euphemisms. path to legalization, normalization -- every week there was a new euphemism. i lost track of them, but the fact is, the 600,000 people that obama has given amnesty have work permits, social security numbers, driver's licenses, eligible for the earnings tax credit which is welfare through the irs -- that is amnesty and they will not have it taken la raza did focus groups for bush which was torpedoed by 9/11 and what they found was that people hated the word amnesty. their memo was not to use the word. come up with euphemisms. path to legalization,
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normalization -- every week there was a new euphemism. i lost track of them, but the fact is, the 600,000 people that obama has given amnesty have work permits, social security numbers, driver's licenses, eligible for the earnings tax credit which is welfare through the irs -- that is amnesty and they will not have it taken away. the only people who have lost their amnesty are the ones who mistakenly got the three-year renewal instead of the two-year renewal. those people are permanently amnestied in the real world. even though, technically, it's temporary. the idea that we have had enforcement first is not true. we have had some enforcement but mostly at the border. the elements that are essential and that broken control people have been advocating for decades are not in place. mandatory e-verify -- these are control -- congress eight times
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in the past 20 years is mandated the development of an exit tracking to check out systems for foreign visitors per it eight times of has been mandated and it still does not exist. amnesty people who are here undertake programs without having a system in place already to make sure we don't have more illegal aliens in the future is surreal. this contention that we have done everything that can reasonably be expected with regard to enforcement and that anything else is special pleading or rationalization. president obama made that point that his speech in el paso a few years ago. he was saying we built a wall, do they want moats? do they want alligators in the moats? it was his jokey way of saying that continuing to insist on enforcement is an excuse for postponing amnesty. we do not have the elements in place that we have been
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demanding for decades. until those things are in place and fully operational and proven and overcome the legal challenges, we should not even be talking about what to do about the illegal immigrants who are here. that is not even a legitimate topic for discussion until we fix the problem. it's like bailing out the boat before you fill the hole. first, you plug the hole and then you talk about bailing out the boat. ms. kiefer: randy, yes? randy: the chamber has been accused of supporting the hated
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senate amnesty bill which it wasn't. we don't have to belabor it but amnesty in our view is forgiveness. if you look it up in a law dictionary. it's forgiveness of a wrong and no one is offered forgiveness. there is a stiff fine for that wrong of coming in. it's not forgiving the wrong. it's what is the appropriate penalty? many think people think deportation is appropriate. i would argue that the penalty does not fit the crime. it's not realistic because we will not deport them so let's come up with a fix instead of doing nothing.
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it seems a substantial civil fine and going through other steps before you get a series of probationary steps before you get a status to work and then a green card is appropriate. people will disagree with that. but i don't think most people call that amnesty. at least from the chamber positive point, it's not amnesty. with regard to border security, it is more complicated than assets at the border and maybe we do need those and more of them. the senate bill had lots of money in there. there is disagreement on how that money would be spent. it was a lot of money. all past homeland security secretaries have said physical border security is not enough. it should be combined for national security purposes. forget the humanistic arguments here -- such as a controlled temporary worker programs, eliminate the job magnet which draws the illegal immigrants here and control temporary
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worker programs and health national security and it helps border security. everyone from napolitano to tom ridge to chertoff has said the same thing. you cannot ignore the economic realities. not to help employ earners, but to would help the nations border security. on legalization, it is more difficult area. i don't talk about this at the thanksgiving table anymore. everyone has strong views, depending where they live. that is the part of shrinking the haystack. there is some logic to providing the legalization process to those people who are here and finding out who they are and those we find out our criminals, deport them. it's unfortunate but coming back to aca with the website, it fed into the argument that the administration cannot create a process to check on 11 million
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people. they can't even put up a website on health care. that was another perfect storm that hurt us last year. among cantor's defeat and the kids at the border issue, among several others. part of the argument about why we need other parts of immigration reform other than more stuff of the border is not to help employers but it really helps national security and helps border security. people who are not big defenders of the employers can say that. ms. kiefer: not being a big word person, myself, i have appreciated the unpacking of the amnesty word in this discussion. i learned a few things. i want to come back to the way forward again. when you bring immigration reform and all its complexities and boil it down, it strikes me that there are two pieces -- the enforcement aspect and what to do about the undocumented aspect. there has been agreement in the senate bipartisan bill that did
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not go anywhere in the house. there has been agreement on how to handle this so congress is capable of doing this. then it sort of broke down. one question i would like to ask each one of you is -- what needs to change in the dynamic in order for this to come back again and be dealt with in a bipartisan way? if you were to identify one thing you feel needs to change to get back on this road that we seemed to be on in 2013 when the senate passed this bill, what would that be? maria elena: one way to think about the path forward is to look at california as a blueprint. in 1994, governor wilson at the time had strong anti-immigrant rhetoric, just like we see today at the federal level, and was a supporter of prop 187, an anti-immigrant bill that became law and was struck down for being unconstitutional. today, california is passing
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some of the most progressive and inclusive state policies because it understands the demographics require us to really take an approach to not try to exclude people who are part of the community but how do we improve conditions for everyone? in california, the republican party has not been able to gain back any positions of power because of that anti-immigrant rhetoric. we are seeing the exact same thing at the federal level. when, let's say -- if donald trump were to become president or if he were the nominee -- he would lose so badly. if the republican party continues to have an agenda that is anti-immigrant and anti-black and anti-women and anti-worker, they have no path to the white house.
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a major loss in 2016 which given the rate they are going now, they are picking every community to fight against and to offend. they will lose and they will lose so badly that i think the extreme right wing of the republican party will finally be silent and the establishment of the republican party will say we need to come up with solutions and immigration reform will be one of those. ms. kiefer: what is the one thing that needs to change? mark: if there is a big loss in the part of the democrats, i will come back in 1.5 years and we will see what that needs means. the one thing i think that needs to change is the sense that having a republican and democrat supporter of amnesty together make something bipartisan. the problem you see across the board in the politics in this issue is that this is not really a right/left issue entirely.
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it is also an up/down issue, an elite versus the public. that's the dynamic here. you see it in congress where you've got guys who are almost like fish that don't understand they are wet. they don't -- they think that john mccain and ted kennedy got together on something so that must cover all the ideological basis. the fact is, they are the same guys. there is a very broad diversity of opinion among the public very different from the elite consensus. a key part of that consensus, the elite consensus that isn't shared by the public, is the third element. you are talking about enforcement and amnesty basically.
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there is a third part of the senate bill on a third part of the issue which is the level of legal immigration. the senate bill would have doubled legal immigration from the one million per year to 2 million per year. it would have almost doubled so-called temporary worker admissions which ends up being long-term anyway. if i pick one thing, it's the issue of the legal numbers being sort of taken for granted as a kind of gimme to various constituent groups. we will get rid of this category but we will give you extra here. the way they deal with the issue with competing intrests in legal immigration is everybody gets more. rethinking that and thinking about it in a different way --
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charles kamasaki is with la raza and he talked about the issue and said maybe his side of the issue needs to rethink this and consider trading legal status for illegals in exchange for cutting future legal immigration. that is the kind of thing that can completely reshuffle the deck on this and maybe yield political results. ms. kiefer: laura, what's your thought about what could break this logjam in a new presidency and congress? laura: we will continue to see latino voters are paying attention to this issue and are hearing about it in the mainstream news as the debate is being covered. they hear about it on spanish-language news every night. it's such a personal issue for latino voters. they know someone who has gone through the immigrant experience and they know someone who is undocumented. that's what they want to see
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addressed. as the number of voters increase in the trap of latino voters continues to grow, i think that's what will make the difference. ms. kiefer: you and maria elena say the election outcome will be a game changer. maria elena: they will determine the changes. elected officials will have to realize that the country has changed and is changing. ms. kiefer: randy, any thoughts about one thing that might need to change in your view to bring this issue home? randy: i have a little different perspective. i have seen enough internal republican and analysis on the latino vote, republicans could whether a storm and take the
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white house this time around, even if their message was perceived as anti-latino. maybe the next election, not likely. there is the argument. the house still has to pass a bill and the senate has to pass a bill. you still have to deal with the house. as long as the speaker sticks to the hastert rule, it's a majority of the republicans. given my visits on the hill, what i get back my staff, it's not the amnesty issue compelling opposition to doing things so much as this pervasive view that immigrants are taking jobs away from americans that they hear in town halls. we can give these guys economic studies that say the opposite and arguments but economists are like lawyers, no one believes them. it's hard to explain. by the time you get down there, it's like, yeah, but we're still
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against that damn bill. i think we've got to do a better job of getting data out there and doing a better job of spreading the word that immigration is good for america and that is the message. there is a lot of data behind that that state and local cities acknowledge. they are reaching out to immigrants to come to cities because they see them as keys to urban revitalization. where the rubber meets the road you see this happen. that belies those who say immigrants are on welfare rolls. we have to do a better message of getting the word out. i told the staff that we are going on the right wing talk radio shows to get the message out. when you talk about half the republican caucus, that's what i hear. i don't care who's in the white house, you still have to get the speaker behind it. you got to overcome that and i think that's what got to change.
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ms. kiefer: i think we have room for one more question among ourselves before we go to the q&a and i want to ask you about legal workers, h1b visas and high-tech workers in the kind of thing -- you said the price is not being talked about very much. can you elaborate on that? mark: i'm talking about overall numbers. the visas are a part of it and
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they are a stone sibley temporary visas for technical workers. there almost all from industry and almost all work in the computer industry and are almost all white color. it's a contract worker program. they are indentured servants but there are all kinds of other things like legal immigration which is permanent which is running at one million per year. there seems to be an increasing consensus that our legal immigration flow is skewed toward relatives and needs to be skewed more to the individual skills of the immigrants. marco rubio talks about that and bush talks about that but they are talking about it in the context of increasing immigration as opposed to what i think is clearly decreased immigration. the public approval for increases in immigration is mutual. the practices of planned parenthood are as popular as increasing immigration but every bill that comes forward that both party pushes calls for increased immigration. that seems to be one of the key
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questions, not just enforcement, not just legalization for the illegal immigrants but what about tomorrow possibly legals. we need to be clear and you were reflecting this view is that the way you deal with illegal immigration and pressures in the future is by letting in everybody wants to come here legally and that way there is no illegal immigration. if you let everybody calm, then who will sneak in? maybe just a handful of bad guys. that's an approach you can take which is plausible. is that good for american workers?
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is it good for american taxpayers? randy said cities are trying to entice more immigrants. it debunks the idea that they're all on welfare. welfare and work out together. almost everybody whether they are immigrant or whoever is on welfare has a job. what drives welfare rates is the level of education of the people who are coming in and therefore their incomes. we have an immigration system that lets them the low skilled workers and cannot earn a lot of money. if you're a high school dropout, you can work three jobs and still cannot support your family without the taxpayers giving you stuff. that is the question. it's not how do we keep foreigners off of welfare. why are we importing more people?
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inevitably, they will end up using taxpayer-funded government services. that's something nobody wants to engage. >> i disagree with the characterization of the h1b program but with regard to low skilled workers, very few green cards go to workers at all, it's only 6%. >> it's based on employment. but they all have jobs. >> we need to move into the audience participation part. i will call on you and if you can state your name and organization and wait for someone to bring you a microphone -- we will begin right here with the laptop. >> thanks very much, last summer, congress overwhelmingly reauthorized the workforce
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innovation and opportunity act. one in six workers in the u.s. is an immigrant and most of them are not undocumented. how do we bring immigration into the conversation about what the skills of the american workforce needs to look like and what employers need? my question is first to randy and others on the panel. >> we have a whole center at the chamber for workforce preparation. it's trying to improve the influence on the local school system. that's driven by states. there are department of labor and education programs. we support core standards. we've got to do more to improve the job training and skills of american workers. anytime i have testified, we have always had that slice of the pie.
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we view immigration as filling some of the gaps in which american workers are not feeling those gaps. -- are not filling those gaps in those areas. it depends geographically where the american workers are meme not line up all the time with that particular job. anytime you talk about immigration, you've got to talk about the other slice of the pie. some people argue that immigration can lead to those american workers who are at the bottom being ignored because immigrants have told the gap. that does not mean there could be a complementary activity of both angles. >> lyrically speaking, they will be ignored if they don't have to be addressed. we have workforce human capital problems in many of our society. there is no question about that.
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what high levels of immigration does is eliminate the incentive for american business, the most important and powerful lobbying element in our society, to exert the pressure on our institutions whether it's schools are others to do something about these single capital deficits. it's a sort of a shortcut -- to put it crudely -- let's take these american kids are don't know how to work and don't drop on time and are chewing gum while they try to check out people of the store -- let's push them aside. they can get welfare and we can import better people from outside. morally, it's an abomination. secondly, it it does not work in the long run. the children of immigrants are americans and they've got all the same social problems that the rest of us do.
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. do we shunt them aside in an important another group? it's not sustainable. only by creating the conditions where we fix our own problems are we ever going to overcome some of these hurdles that really exists that employers have. immigration is a kind of crutch that enables us to avoid grappling with these larger social problems. >> thank you for the question. frankly, we have major problems in the united states with unemployment and underemployment. there has been a disinvestment in poor communities especially ones of color.
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there is a need for investment in the school system and our public schools and make sure today's children are in stem classes. what are we doing to make sure we have a next generation that is prepared to take those classes? they are being fulfilled primarily with temper guest workers. the incentive that employers have now to recruit and hire undocumented workers often -- this is a small set of them -- it's to exploit a lot of those workers because they can get away with that because there are not strong labor law enforcement laws -- policies. if you're looking at enforcement as a solution, there's a way to get at that would labor law enforcement but not necessarily more border or interior
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enforcement. >> you were next. on the aisle. >> you have mentioned the ethical concerns of family separation. i am wondering if you are aware of what percentage of people who are in this country legally with an american citizen and child have legal barriers from their home country, bringing their children back with them rather than separating? do you think it's appropriate for a person who has been imported maybe because they have been -- they have finished a just sentence and have been supported and wouldn't be eligible for an amnesty because they usually are not saying that amnesty people with felony convictions -- would you say it's upon them to bring back the child with them?
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should they be leaving them? >> i don't know a percentage. 85% of immigrant families today are what we call mixed out of families which means there is a u.s. citizen and one on documented immigrant in the family unit. we are talking about large percentages of people. many people who are deported take their children back to their home country. i don't know of their other legal barriers and other countries to do that for the impact is that we have u.s. citizen children who sometimes the father or mother might say they will stay of the united states with me because i want them to have a quality education. when an entire family get separated, that's not the solution either. >> there seems to be a static
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member of 11 million undocumented immigrants. when you look at the statistics and bringing it back to border security, according to customs and border protection, fiscal year 2015 from october 1 two june 30, more than 99,000 other than mexicans, many of them from central america, have been apprehended in that time. that is a huge number and i wonder if you would comment on how that reflects on the border security issue. >> we have done some research on this. many people on the skeptical side don't believe the $12
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million number. it's between 11 million and 12 million. it's almost certainly 13 but it's not 20 or 30. if it is, you would see it in the birth and death records. it is something like 11 or 12 or maybe 13. there has been ongoing illegal immigration to the united states. one estimate is since the obama inauguration, 2.5 million of today's illegal aliens arrived when he took office. what has happened is there has been outflow from the illegal
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population. some people go home because of the bad economy. some people have gotten amnesty basically so they are out of the of the illegal population. the illegal population is always churning. if obama is not enforcing the law, there would be 2000 less than there were. we are releasing a report tomorrow that looks at the recent numbers literally from this year and last year and it looks like the trend is reversing in the number of illegal immigrants which is going back up. i don't really care what the numbers are because of 11 million is a big in a population of illegal aliens. it's a plausible number and not something people pulled out of the air. it's an educated guess but it's a well educated guess. playing around with 20 is missing the point. what do we do to make sure we don't have another 11 million illegal aliens? that's the key issue. until we address that, it doesn't matter whether it's 11 or 12 or 13 million. what matters is how we stop the next 11 or 12 or 13 million? the flow has shifted
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the flow has shifted. that is the shifting dynamic. most of today's new illegal immigrants, because each year , theal in the u.s. majority are visa overstay years -- overstayers. there is a different spread it now. not necessarily a larger group. >> if you go back to the debate , marco rubioain brought up the point that it is fewer

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