tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 28, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
break the law in an effort to further their political agenda. onhave had multiple hearings those who have been victimized by century cities. we've heard from their families and are aware of the tragic consequences. this is not theoretical. this is real life with real victims and grieving family members. illegal aggression is not a victimless crime. -- we can the law, you weaken it forever. when she decides state and local law enforcement are good enough to protect us in our districts but not good enough to be trusted in the execution of the law, good luck reversing that. i will recognize california. >> thank you.
they were again devoting time to what the majority calls century cities. my republicanhat colleagues argue against local policies. is a question why the majority believe that it knows better than several hundred state and local police departments across the country that have embraced community trust policing policies precisely because they believe that approach makes us all safer. for the republicans question the need for good community policing approaches at this moment when reports of tragic police shootings dominate the news nonsensical. we could address the republican concerns with century cities and many other immigration matters if we have devoted time spent poleext and divergent -- sion.and diverge
this is what the police chief of dayton, ohio set over a year ago when he testified for the judiciary community -- committee. these policies allow us to focus our limited resources on our primary mission, crime solving and community safety. they also acknowledged that victims of violent crime, human trafficking and other crime should never be afraid to reach out for help for fear of immigration consequences. i know that in the department of justice report investigating the new orleans police department dated march 16, 2011, it said minority groups nearly uniformly said the police really reach out for them for any purpose. one member of a vietnamese community organization said that a lot of young vietnamese people who get shot unity, we know who orleansm, but new
police will not do anything. i agree with that she and i know from my experience that law enforcement and local officials can work awkwardly with community groups -- cooperatively with community groups and prioritize serious terminals -- criminals. i also agree with prior statements to the committee that imposing federal mandate on local law enforcement by withholding funds would be a huge setback and efforts to improve relationships between dhs and local law enforcement. with respect to new orleans, the context like most things in the big easy, is different. the mayor requested the department of justice civil rights division engage in a review of the police department.
he recognized a history of civil rights violations of the police department had undermined trust with the community and reform was necessary. the vast majority of new orleans police department officers honestly and conscientiously perform and continue to perform their duties. but i hope my republican colleagues and i hear to defend the actions of a that caused such great harm over the years. -- the of the abuse abuse of the department has been well documented. the mayor and the superintendent of police was in support of the department of justice and working with the local communities. they entered into a consent degree and has adopted a bias free policy. it ensures that immigrants can report crime and service witnesses without retribution. it also makes clear that information regarding the citizenship and immigration
status will be shared when required by federal or state law. out of an abundance of caution, new orleans has been working with the justice department to revive the language to guarantee its complaints -- compliance. are not selfs identified as sanctuary cities, they are effective community policing tailored for new will and -- new orleans. orleans is set on a path to safer streets and better police relations with citizens of all backgrounds. but here comes republican congress to the rescue. their questioning the legality of a policy that is already been revised to ensure it is in compliance. members led nothing to do with new orleans are here to tell the local police and civil leaders how to do their jobs, even
though the new orleans east department is the republican approach will undermine public safety and make your jobs harder. they are pursuing a line of argument that jeopardizes trickle funding -- critical funding. with all due respect, i say to my colleagues let's let the local government and the officials do their jobs and we can focus on hours. -- ours. thankfully, these proposals have ultimately gone nowhere, but we have the votes to pass comprehensive reform in the last congress.
the last bill would have made our community safer, and bringing these people out of the shadows would further enhance public safety. if the republican leadership had given reform the same opportunity for a vote at all of these other measures, it would be the law today. business,he people's work to pass immigration reform. i think the chairman and heal back the balance of my time. >> we recognize the gentleman from virginia. >> thank you. sanctuary cities refused to operate with u.s. immigration and customs enforcement and enforcement of federal immigration laws. of centuryration cities has resulted in thousands of illegal aliens being released to commit more crimes. two decades ago, congress
enacted a policy designed specifically to prevent communities -- several century cities in the united states, one is new orleans. invited the mayor department of justice to review the police department, partially to transform new orleans into a sanctuary city. there appears to have been collusion to have the doj and city enter into an agreement that would forbid the police department from .ooperating with ice
prohibited officers taking of action regardless immigration status. new orleans police department issued a policy forbidding officers from inquiring about immigration status. more troubling, it prohibited assisting with ice . thus, new orleans the claim that doj's heavy hand forced it to become a sanctuary city and endanger its residents when it was a willing participant. the consent decree was a shocking action on the part of the apartment -- department of justice. impede the enforcement of federal law. it appears to be in direct violation. excuse me.
it was reviewed and approved in advance by the department of justice civil rights decision -- division. this is another example of the current doj's cavalier disregard for the constitution and the law. the chairman and i sent a letter in may asking how the police -- andent policy providing details on the policy. the department of justice was on was completely anonymous nonsense. a report was issued in may that expressed concern that ambiguous language in the century policy policyse -- sanctuary may cause a violation. the inspector general noted that unless the understanding of the new orleans police department employees is that they are not
prohibited from sharing icegration information with , -- i asked for the training materials to ensure their understanding. i've been provided with nothing. this leads to a troubling possibility that your lack of training, the new orleans police department has violated section 1373. before this hearing, after the committee's persistent efforts to expose this matter and demand informed usdoj that new orleans had revised its policy, specifically that it is to be construed in accordance -a.h section 1373 they presented that the policy now compliance with section
1373. unfortunately, this coordinated effort to preserve the patina of legality of their consent degree -- decree clearly fails. prevents employees from requesting information from ice, maintaining information and exchanging information from other agents is. -- agencies. arrestspd officer that an individual is most likely going to contact ice to request information regarding the immigration status. the revised policy expressly prohibits officers from making inquiries into an immigration status. nopd has provided no and
-- evidence that they are complying. the new orleans police department received over $2 million in law enforcement grants on the department of justice in fiscal year 2015. hasttorney general lynch essentially admitted, if the new orleans police department is in violation of section 1373, it would be disqualified from receiving these great -- grants. yet there's been no effort to cut off grants from new orleans. the department of justice actions shows the protection of our constituents and enforcement of federal law are no longer ironies of the department -- priorities of the department. in fact, it views them as
roadblocks. i look forward to our witness testimony in learning more about how this new police department policy, including why is still prohibits compliance with 1373-b. >> the chair will now recognize the gentleman from michigan. >> thank you, chairman. i join in welcoming all of our witnesses. i would like to preface my remarks regarding today's hearing, which deals with community policing policies by observing that our nations conscious -- conscience continues to be rocked by a series of tragic event involving law enforcement and the loss of black life.
in our courtrooms, in our streets and on television confront a never ending body count. earlier this summer, my congressional colleagues and i scentedn unprecedented -- sit in to trying get a vote on commonsense gun legislation. this committee, we formed a bite totisan -- bipartisan group begin examining how we can best that congressure takes responsibility for race and policing in america. i believe this working group is one of the best examples of how we can come together at a time when the nation needs our leadership to reduce the levels of violence in our communities. joined mypast week, i
congressional black caucus colleagues in protest of yet another series of senseless killings of black men and children by police in cleveland, tulsa and charlotte. when you add to this volatile on police officers in baton rouge and dell is, -- dallas, the nation risks battle of whose life matters most. we mourn the loss of all life. to achieve -- we need to have
police accountability, prevent violent attacks on law enforcement and improve the relationship between police officers and the community that they are sworn to protect and serve. humanity -- community trust -- availableable to smart law enforcement, including those with immigration populations like new orleans and my district in michigan. crime rates decrease after localities adopt community trust policies. further, this satisfies the stronger policies just -- such as secure communities fail to lower crime rates. instead, they make communities left safe because residents
become more fearful and less likely to report terminal activity -- criminal activity or cooperate with investigations. we share the common goal of community safety. to suggest that local leaders and law enforcement officials policiessely pursuing that make their communities left safe is simply false and offensive. we are looking for real solutions and we should be undertaking comprehensive immigration reform. hearing,tely, this which pejoratively refers to new orleans community trust policy as a century city policy, is not about copperheads of reform, it is about -- comprehensive reform
summit is about fear mongering. a measure passed the senate in 2013, or the legislation that had 200 cosponsors in the last congress, would allow law-abiding immigrants to come out of the shadows and get right with the law. and it would enable customs enforcement to focus its resources on deporting the worst element. would help solution ensure the cities of new orleans and all communities, citizens and immigrants alike, as well as the brave men and women in law enforcement, are protected from harm. chairmang, i think the and a look forward to a
meaningful discussion in this hearing from our witnesses. thank you, mr. chairman. >> we have a very distinguished panel of witnesses. i will begin by swearing the men. -- them in. do you swear the testimony you are about to get the whole truth, so help you god? the witnesses answered in the affirmative. i will introduce you and then recognize you individually. first, it is my pleasure to welcome the honorable jeff landry, the attorney general of the state of louisiana. he joined the national guard in high school and served as both a police officer and a sheriff deputy. he ran unsuccessfully for , and became served the attorney general in 2016.
.e has a bachelors in science he also has a law degree from loyola. welcome. the honorable michael for with going -- joined the doj in 2009. he also served as commissioner of the u.s. senate seat commission. honorsuated with highest and earned his law degree with high honors from harvard. welcome. introduce pleasure to ms. gupta. she worked as a civil rights attorney and deputy of the civil
liberties union. -- she earned her undergraduate degree with high honors from yale and a lot of grief from new york university. welcome. is in charge of federal affairs for new orleans. he served as legislative council. lsu and loyolaom university college of law. you are recognized. you.ank thank you for the opportunity to committee.s to me --
you, i took an oath to defend the constitution and i intend to uphold it -- unfortunately, sanctuary cities are a threat. our most important function is providing security and safety to our citizens. sanctuary cities not only jeopardize the ability to protect citizens, that enable illegals to commit crimes and roam free. sanctuary policies have seen an increase in crime. risengeles sol all crimes in 2015. fivent crimes of 20% and %. shootings of almost 15
27%.vated assaults up over 1800 illegals released by st. george cities -- sanctuary crimes,ommitted more including rape and child sex abuse. they encourage further illegal immigration and waste public resources as they force the federal government to find and arrest deportable criminals already taken into custody by local law enforcement. this spring, i advocated for legislation in the louisiana that would increase the safety by incentivizing the government agencies to follow the law. because of this effort, lafayette parish is no longer a sanctuary city parish. the city of new orleans has changes policy allowing the
police to cooperate with federal authorities. light, this bright committee has already provided a catalyst for change. i'm not trying to become the immigration police. between catching child predators, rooting out corruption and fighting federal overreach, i have more than enough to do. but i'm here to push for change because the administration has not only decided not to enforce the law, but they have used their power to coerce local jurisdictions in my state to institute century city -- sanctuary city policy. the justice department entered , -- a can and agreement they cannot assist ice unless there is a court ordered issue.
deputies find it unconscionable that immigrants cannot be held until a warrant or court order is issued. american citizens can be stopped on reasonable suspicion, arrested on probable cause and may not see a judge for two to three days. beegal immigrants should not given a greater right and we afford our own citizens. after hearing testimony in the statehouse in louisiana that the department of justice mandated that the city of new orleans policy, inctuary city wrote a letter to the attorney general asking for clarification. the response that this committee and i was a lengthy noninsured -- non-answer. however, a recent report by the
doj inspector general confirmed that sanctuary jurisdictions violating federal law prohibiting communication with ice officials. furthermore, it officially declared that local jurisdictions comply with federal laws to receive federal grants. the administration has been rewarding sanctuary cities with federal and tax money. i was criticized the governor of louisiana and the mayor by jeopardizing funding with the legislation i was supporting. the truth is that the doj mandated policy on the city is what is jeopardizing their funding. besides physical and legal issues, there are homeland security issues. cities, aliensy can commit a minor offense and
remain protected from being identified. in the current environment, why would we discourage cooperation between state and local law enforcement? reducing crime and saving lives are not a partisan issue. -- politicsicy never came up. i netlist a family -- met with a man who was killed by someone with a lengthy criminal past. question was why do they have to wait before deporting this person?
why cannot state and federal law enforcement work collaboratively to prevent these types of actions? we need sound in aggression policy that begins with securing the border and enforcing immigration laws already on the books. us onss must act those of a state and local level that up in fighting these policies. i'm proud that our efforts have the issues in the city of new orleans. because of the efforts we have made, our state no longer has any jurisdictions prohibiting them from communicating with federal immigration authorities. louisiana is safer because of these changes. thank you very much. >> thank you. chairman, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today. earlier this year, the
department advised the office of inspector general that he has received information that the jurisdiction receiving grants may be in violation. the department provided grant information related to more than 100 create state and local -- 148 state and local jurisdictions and asked them to review. we provided the department with a memorandum advising it of the steps to take and summarizing the information we learned. we did so expeditiously because it was ongoing, and because the department had not provided recipients with clear guidance as to whether section 1373 was an applicable federal law with which recipients were expected to comply in order to satisfy relevant grant rules.
based on the large number of jurisdictions cited by the department and the need to review this expeditiously, we judgmentally selected 10 jurisdictions for review. breach, we researched the local laws and policies. icelso interviewed individuals. we found the laws and policies of several jurisdictions with beyond the limitations on complying with retainer complies -- requests. we also found that the laws and policies of some jurisdictions in our group that addressed the ice retainer was might have a broader practical impact on a level of cooperation with ice and might be inconsistent. ice officials expressed similar
concerns. with regards to the new orleans police department, we noted that its existing policy broadly prohibited officers from disclosing a person's citizenship was an exception when the disclosure was " required by federal or state law. languagengs clause appeared to be inconsistent with plain language of 1373. require1373 doesn't cooperation with ice, but rather prevents jurisdictions from prohibiting or restricting employees from providing immigration that is to ice upon request. in our memorandum, we advised several steps they can consider taking to ensure that grant with 1373.compliance
to require grant applicants provide certifications and supporting documentation regarding compliance with 1373, and to consult with the department law enforcement town of foreign -- counterparts. we believe the steps we outlined would provide the department with assurances that a grant applicant was cooperating -- operating in compliance with 1373 and also would be help should the department later violations to investigation. this concludes my statement and i'll be pleased to answer questions. >> thank you. >> good morning.
distinguished members of the subcommittee, they keep her the opportunity to speak before you today about the justice department worked to advance public safety and promote effective constitutional and community-oriented policing. around the country, state and local law enforcement or as the first law defense. they keep families safe from harm and fight crime on our streets, and as recent events painfully my desk, they do this work at great personal risk. let us make no mistake, the vast majority of men and women wear the badge, served with professionalism with integrity and professionalism. they deserve our respect and support. yet when police apartment engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional leasing, their actions can erode community trust and undermine
public safety. in 1994, congress charge the justice department with the responsibility to investigate law enforcement agencies for a pattern or practice of conduct that violates law, and to develop remedies. with new orleans, the city has agreed to reforms. mayor requested independent investigation of the police department. a policee inherited department described by many as the worst in the country. we published our findings in a detailed letter. among other violations, we found evidence that they were unfairly or failing to enforce the law based on discriminatory
characteristics. this is eroded public trust. crime victims felt afraid to share information with the police. this hurt public safety. in the context of reporting crime, one community member told us that out of fear they stayed quiet. i know many leaders across the country understand is concerned and recognize the very critical and important link between public trust and safety. orleans the doj and new entered into a consent decree in order to resolve unlawful police misconduct. it requires the police department to make changes regarding discriminatory policing and officer training. in february of this year, after
seeking input from the community , the district court as well is ,he doj and homeland security the police department issued a new policy to help officers police fairly. to prove thatd they comply with the statute to ensure that officers understand that they can send and receive information regarding an individual's immigration status and most effectively advance nondiscriminatory policing. the policy also states that officers can take law-enforcement action and assist in immigration enforcement when there is a threat to public safety, to execute criminal warns and to safely execute a court order. by facilitating a culture of trust and cooperation, the policy will help local and federal law enforcement attacked public safety.
the hard working men and women in new orleans continue to do that why fighting crime and partnering with federal law enforcement to prosecute people who are committed violent crime. we strongly believe this policy will help restore trust with crime victims and witnesses, and hand the sharing of information -- enhance the sharing of information and make the entire community safer. -- in new orleans, reform cannot happen overnight. i want to commend officials from the city and the police theirment for participation in this process. police report can help make the ts and officers safer for years to come. >> thank you.
my name is zach butterworth. thank you for giving me the opportunity. thank you. before i begin, i would like to thank the panel for the support that congress has provided to new orleans since hurricane katrina. a recovery would not be where it is without their support. or like thank you for your strong support of the victims of the flooding of baton rouge. i've seen the magnitude of the flood of those people will need your help for years to come. i want to emphasize three main points and then try to get the panel a little bit of context. first, public safety is a top priority. , whoeverocumented commits a crime, they will be
arrested. the new orleans is department takes island criminals off the streets. in 2012, the mayor formed a multiagency gang unit appeared that unit alone has arrested more than 100 of the most violent chronicles in new orleans. 18%.r is down 80% -- violent crime is down. my second point is that new orleans'policy does not make us a sanctuary city. we've been trying to follow federal law from day one. it should go without saying that any policy of police department adopt follows state, federal and local law. the review process here. the police department, every policy is reviewed by the
department of justice federal monitor, who is appointed by a federal judge. policy, we asked asked -- experts. officials from ice were brought in. the major city chiefs association represents 70 million americans they support trust andhat foster cooperation between police officers and immigrant communities that we all serve. opdhird point is that in policy will make the city safer and freezes up to focus on violent crime. it will allow anyone to report a crime or be a witness. the policy is already bearing fruit. on the grant, commanders are seen better cooperation with immigrant communities.
going back to 2010, we invited the justice department in. their investigation showed we had problems in the way we treated the immigrant community. we want to fix that. since 2010, we have launched 11 new recruit lasses, and written 34 of these policies. more are being drafted now. this includes canine use, taser operations, body cameras, to name a few. aing back to march 20 15 am we started drafting this policy. in ice.mber, we brought we asked the experts. they were brought in at local and headquarters level. at the time, they told us that the policy complied federal ice requirements. alsocember, a judge
brought in ice. there were substances -- substantive concerns at that time. a federal monitor approved the policy. a mealy, there were concerns about the policy, the mayor wrote to doj and said that if anyone in any agency has been done about this policy, these contact us. it was not until july that we received a letter back with information about 1373 and general compliance. when we received that information, we immediately went to work redrafting the policy with doj. the federal monitor did approve the updated policy as it was written. we believe a fully complies with federal law. simpson put, the police
department policy follows federal law. we will review our policies continuously and i'm happy to take questions. >> thank you. we now recognize the gentleman from virginia. >> thank you. let me take up where you left off. under the revised policy, new orleans police department are prohibited from making inquiries about immigration status, including two ice. and yet, in all the races authorizes's -- it them to make inquiries. >> we believe the policy complies with 1373. if there's anything about the policy that is unclear, we're happy to go back and take a look. >> there is a specific reference
1373-b was left out. >> we are happy to go back and make sure there is no understanding. the mayor orare of city officials or the police department chief or others authorizing officers to make? >> this policy allows officers to communicate with ice. they will help ice and any public safety in point -- event. on a there any restriction police officer making a request to ice for information regarding an individual's immigration status? >> there is no -- the way the
policy is laid out, if an officer interacts with a member of the public, he or she immediately runs that person's name against the database system. if there is a return, that person is immediately arrested. >> if you find they are not lawfully present in the u.s., what happens after they have been through the judicial process in new orleans? look new orleans is a very unique political structure. the mayor is elected parish wide d. lead the nop our sheriff is also elected parish wide so i don't represent the sheriff's department and cannot speak on behalf of them but our officers who arrested --eone on a criminal warrant
>> assuming they are prosecuted ,nd convicted and incarcerated after they have served their time, what is the policy of the new orleans police department withbout communications ice about the fact someone is about to be released from jail or prison who has been convicted of a crime and is not lawfully present? likely sent to angola. orleansabout the new jails? what we have no operational control over this year. what we are glad to have you back with us and i want to ask if you believe that the new
orleans consent decree violates federal law. click's part to substantive changes, it absolutely violated federal law. the question is whether or not in practice the new changes will remedy that situation. what we have in the country is basically two types of sanctuary city policies. it's a don't ask policy or a don't tell. policy, it was both. a don't ask and don't tell. now the question is whether or not they seem to have remedied the don't tell portion of the policy but it doesn't seem to have any changes.
>> we are going to try to take it upon ourselves to see them all law enforcement's in the state know exactly what 1373 states and how they can avoid violating that statute. , do you believe it is inconsistent for a jurisdiction to adopt the policy that violates federal law and at the same time request federal law-enforcement grant money? >> i do. but what message does that send concerning the rule of law? it's part of the demise of our criminal justice system and the reason we have an uptick in crime across the country when we allow people to flagrantly violate any law and we turn a blind eye and all it does is lead to those people committing additional crimes and thinking it's ok to break the law. >> i heard your testimony with the correction of this, there
will be no communities in the state of louisiana that will be characterized as sanctuary cities. >> thank you. i will shut the state had the same effort to put such a consistent record. virginiantleman from will lead back. >> thank you. i understand in 2005 in the civil rights division, it was involved in investigating a new orleans policy abuse in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. can you talk briefly about the acts of abuse your division uncovered as a result of that investigation? >> we launched our investigation into the new orleans police uncovered in 2010 and a very pervasive, widespread
active conduct related to explicitly excessive use of force, soft searches and arrests, commendatory policing and one of the goals we had when we came in at the invitation of the mayor was to ensure that the new orleans police department would be able to carry out its core function of providing effective policing and constitutional policing to keep our residents of new orleans we detailed after extensive data interviews and a lot of engagement with officers and command staff that these violations had thoroughly undermine the in opd ability to solve and prevent crime in new orleans and in the years sense how we have been working collaboratively with the city and working with the brave men and women of the police department to finally get new whatns police to officers
they need to be able to fight violent crime. >> we are pleased to be joined today by a member of the full judiciary committee, not a member of the subcommittee, mr. richmond also representing new orleans. i would like to yield the remainder of my time to him so you might ask question since this is his territory. >> the general from louisiana is recognized. >> thank you for the ranking member to allow me to ask some questions. let me start with a couple things here. in the opening testimony of our chairman, he said he believes that the consent decree between the city of new orleans and the department of justice was done through collusion.
the police department went under consent decree because of use of force, failing to investigate it , failing to investigate sex crimes against females. a paid detail system that invited corruption, failing to officially embrace community policing, and immigration. i would like to clear up for anyone who thinks that we colluded all of that, it's very convenient. i would ask can you help our chairman because he has to sanctuary cities in virginia and
if you are going to start cleaning up, start cleaning up at home. and well we go down the list, we .ave four in south carolina every parish in colorado. we have sioux city and representative keating district, dallas and texas. so if we are going to start talking about sanctuary cities, mind that youk would but to allege. let's talk about all of them, especially the people who are on the committee. talked aboutng we was the unfortunate death of a fire chief, a very respected and loved fire chief in st. john parish. that is what we should stop.
the guy didn't live in new orleans, he was never arrested in new orleans, the company he worked for was not in new orleans. that has absolutely no connection to the city of new orleans. operated out of st. tammany parish with an elected official as a co-owner, andh i think is deplorable i think that we should be looking at prosecution for that. when did you initiate trying to make sure the city's policy was consistent with federal law. discussions in
september. those have continued on the local and headquarters level and at no point did anyone ever say that this policy didn't comply with federal law. >> at what point is a your officers opinion that they did not comply with federal law? what's up at any time did they not comply? >> the justice department believes the revisions we just put into effect were made out of an abundance of caution after we received inquiries from .fficials in the louisiana we reviewed our inspector general's memo and an abundance of caution to ensure total clarity about the fact the policy must comply with 1370 three. we listed the language of the statute, put it into the policy inmake it very clear that opd officers can share
information with ice regarding immigration status or citizenship status of an individual and can assist in operations and respond to direct threats. they can assist in executing a criminal warrant. the revision was made to ensure total clarity with compliance of federal law. >> in summary, the old policy your opiniony is both were consistent with federal law. >> yes. do you have an opinion on that? -- in order toy do that, we really need to be on the ground, go to the city, look at some of the issues that have been previously raised, talk with folks from the city and
from ice and we haven't taken those steps and i'm not in a position to give a legal determination at this point without taking a full effort in that regard. >> a gentleman from louisiana yields back. >> sanctuary city policies had transformed to love our greatest american cities. i'm increasingly frustrated by these policies that are consistently implemented in the name of biased and community based policing. as deputy attorney general has said. the ramifications for public safety and the inability for ice to complete its mission are severe and not only affect the cities but the surrounding communities are impacted as well as. while some of the witnesses today include the deputy attorney general would like to avoid this fact, the simple truth is immigration enforcement
is a critical function of the u.s. government and one that must be supported and not undermined. as much as much of this debate centers on the practical application and whether as cities that have implemented a sanctuary policy can simultaneously comply with this section of law. based on your findings, why do you believe that 1373 requires of local jurisdictions. 1370 3 a.m. 1373 b, it essentially prohibits state, local, federal law from prohibiting or restricting in any way employees of those ,ntities from sending to requesting from, or receiving from ice information about the immigration status of an
individual. >> what do you make of the fact that mr. butterworth keeps saying it complies, but nothing in their guidance that they have the ability to request information. new policy we also received on friday afternoon and have looked at, dozens reference the word requesting, which is in the one of 1373. let's it seems to comply with a, but not with be. >> it clearly addresses a. it does include the word requesting, which is -- again, without is understanding more, i'm not in a position to get a legal opinion. the word request is not in the policy. >> correct. >> and you believe we may need to clarify this section,
correct? >> i think it is an open question. . would have to do follow-up requesting is are a reasonable question. -- attorneygeneral general landry, thank you for the work you are doing. do you believe by implementing the actuary policies, they are promoting public safety. policies?nting the absolutely not. it is a danger to public safety aremost of these cities very large cities. you have very large metropolitan footprints. what happens is it creates a magnet and draws illegal aliens as a sanctuary area for them to operate. it also creates an opportunity for if you are a member of the drug cartel in mexico, where would you send people who are
applying a legal trade? you would send them into those cities because of the ability for those members to be identified is reduced because of the sanctuary city policies. >> is new orleans a safer city today than before implementing these sanctuary policies? >> certainly there were changes they made friday that were a step in the right direction. i think clarifying it and actually determining whether or not there will be a collaborative effort to crack down on illegal immigration, isecially those in custody yet to be seen. >> as a law-enforcement official and someone who has served at the federal and state level, what do you believe is the appropriate relationship between local or state law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement? >> i believe based upon some of ,he u.s. supreme court's
congress needs to clarify exactly how law enforcement agents have engaged in this type of questioning. >> i yield back my time. chair will not recognize the gentleman from illinois. >> thank you. i would like to note that we are not having a hearing today about gun violence. 500 people shot dead in chicago, 3000 this year. we're not having a hearing about police killing unarmed civilians . we aren't having a hearing about the need for immigration reform at did engine centers, a hearing about any of the really important things.
we're having hearings about a donald trump talking point that money goes to again and again, the oneness as immigrants are killers, rate this, drug dealers that are here to hurt people and not build up our country like every other immigrant group that has come before them. they are focusing on one of america's great cities with a troubling past when it comes to civil rights and building trust. i would think that we would want to work on building that trust between the police and the people. and that the efforts taken by people who build that shouldn't be undermined. lastly, i will say because it doesn't really matter, it will come and go. we aren't going to change anything. this is just another political hearing. actually spoken to
a lot of important issues that people want to talk about. the majority always says we should listen to people that are not in washington, d.c.. we should listen to local elected officials. that is where is blooming but it seems like every time you guys say anything, they have an objection when they don't like it. i just want to say to my colleagues from new orleans, i would like to yield the remaining three minutes of my time to mr. richmond to ask questions. >> thank you. he said neweral, orleans policy would invite undocumented immigrants because of its status as a sanctuary city. aboutleans population is 6%, neighboring jefferson parish, not a sanctuary city at about 11%. how do we reconcile that with
the notion new orleans is becoming a safe haven for undocumented people. clear, there was a misunderstanding. the metropolitan area becomes -- and by the illegal immigrants into that particular area because they feel the need, the ability to travel freely for when you look at not only the city, it effects the surrounding areas. just last weekend, we had an elderly man get hit head-on by an illegal immigrant who again have been arrested multiple times and yet was not reportable. >> we have a great working relationship and i know you are very tough on crime.
the company was owned by a person in louisiana and a state rep from arkansas. do you have the ability to indict the owners of the company for hiring undocumented without a license that was driving when ?e caused that fatal accident >> in louisiana, i believe the employment of an illegal. >> if it is done in a very and withouttter gross negligence, i think we do have some criminal statutes. if we can find some criminal statutes under which to charge the owners of the company who ultimately are at fault for hiring and undocumented, would you commit to charging them if
the facts fit the statute? we have a great working relationship and i certainly respect you. i can uphold the rule of law regardless. i will also mention in the legislation we put forth in the statehouse just the seer pass a largeehouse with bipartisan support. i think everyone is recognizing public safety debacle and this is the first step in ensuring our communities are safe. >> thank you and i will yield back. >> the chair will recognize the don't amend from iowa. >> i think the witnesses for their testimony and i would turn first to attorney general landry. pose a broader concept and ask you to comment on that. that is that as i read the federal law and immigration law and as i understand it after these years on this committee,
it envisions in its entirety essentially vacuuming up the illegal people in the united states and all of those who are encountered by law enforcement that anticipates the removal from the united states and it requires that when at least federal law enforcement officers isounter someone who unlawfully present in america that they shall place them in removal proceedings. would you agree so far? >> i do. >> so when i look at this statute and i read through the details of 1373, shouldn't it be clear to anyone who intends to comply with the intent of federal law that they are to help facilitate rather than -- >> i agree.
, atve been to have a markup about the time of the inception of the situation. he's concerned about the leased department and sheriff's office who had a federal consent decree and they are complying with the federal consent decree. it will now cause the city of new orleans to lose valuable federal money in terms of dhs and fema funds. i think it has been known that there is a clear violation here of at least the intent of the or the intent of 1373 by the consent decree and the underlying policy, which is a sanctuary city policy by my reading of it. have you examined the legal language of this in such a way that you are aware of any
loopholes that are being exploited in this process that seems to be a collaboration between doj and the city of new orleans? again, i think that language frustrates the entire consent decree. be alivehe fire chief today if we enforced her immigration laws as intended by this congress? >> you can make an argument that everyone who has been a victim has lost that loved one simply because we failed to enforce existing law. >> would you agree with a statement made by donald trump a couple weeks ago that there are thousands of americans grieving
today because of the loss of a family member or loved one due to the failure to enforce immigration law in the united states? >> i agree. >> we have had difficulty in getting apples to apples. it doesn't become real clear to me as to the position on whether you believe that the sanctuary policy of new orleans violates 1373. >> we look at the policy that preexisted friday and found they had a savings clause in their that employeesng could comply if required to do so by federal and state law. our concern was how was that
being interpreted and used because section 1370 three doesn't require anything. it simply prevents state and federal jurisdictions from preventing federal employees responding. other parts of the policy did address that. >> that seems to be the loophole we have identified over some years here. ask is like to then there any federal law or any statute that you are aware of that prohibits law enforcement profiling as exercise your job? there is nothing in the policy that prevents me -- >> are you aware of any law or statute that inhibits profiling
in the enforcement of law? >> yes. the constitution prevents the racial profiling. a if there happens to be blue-eyed person that has committed a crime and you are on the hunt for them, you cannot say that? >> when there is a direct and articulated reason, probable cause -- >> can you characterize the appearance of a suspect in the enforcement of the law? may answer. >> it is against the law to engage in discriminatory policing. >> i ask unanimous consent to press this witness until she answers my question. she is invasive and her responses. >> objection. the witness has been asked and she has answered. >> she has not answered. >> she has been asked into has answered.
texasthe general from will yield, i will address the matter but it's hard for me to interrupt you and do so. does the witness feel like she has answered the question as adequately as she is able to do so? >> i do. i'm happy to finish a sentence or yield. what you are welcome to finish the sentence. >> it is illegal to engage in discriminatory policing, to take policing decision solely on the base of one race or another characteristic. >> i think the chairman. i would just point out i don't believe i did get an answer to my specific question but i think it's obvious and i would yield back. >> i think the chairman very much and i do want to express my appreciation when any witness comes to share with this lawmaking body because we should
-- let me thank all of you. i would say that i would join with the comments of my colleagues here on this side of the aisle, in particular my colleague from new orleans for his response of questioning. but we should be doing criminal justice reform that i hope we will do. we should be doing immigration point tod there is a the fact there are cities around that may need the clarification that i think the inspector general's report has offered and i think that's a solution. let me first of all ask, thank you for your service. idle aware we would be if we didn't have a civil rights division. have you made any pronouncements that new orleans or any city in the state is not eligible for
federal grant? >> we have not. >> let me read quickly into the record the genesis of the civil rights decision coming to new orleans. this was a request by mayor andrew at the request to conduct an investigation. he says nothing short of a complete transformation is necessary to ensure safety for the citizens of new orleans. i believe you are interested in the overall security and safety of all citizens and all individuals in new orleans. that was a request made our the mayor. and representative of the mayor, is that my understanding. i understand you are looking at anduse of excessive force including racial and ethnic profiling.
do you recall that? >> that is right. >> you were dealing with the civil rights of that community. the inspector general offered three points that would help inspection 373. ,he clarification i believe read the requiring grant applicants to provide certification about their interaction with ice and making sure grant recipients communicate with personnel. do you have any opposition to that? >> no. >> would you be in compliance or intend to give some guidance to that section? >> since the reason we make the division's most recently was to that the policy that officers1373 can share from information regarding information status of an individual with ice and there's nothing within the policy that prevents officers from requesting immigration
status from ice as well. >> i just want to be clear there is no ban right now that you have offered and you are not trying to block. can you tell me if the sentiment expressed by a manager in the policy of the major cities chief association of particular people like tom manger that policies like the one in new orleans will enhance public safety, is that some ring electric from other law enforcement agencies? >> we have heard this from a number of leading law enforcement leaders but also importantly the reason this policy was undertaken was to help the nop defied violent crime. ofheard from any number victims and witnesses who were afraid or refusing to cooperate with the pd electrical, vital
information about crime and was undermining the pd ability to prevent violent crime in those communities. >> the gentleman is recognized for 36 seconds. put the quotekly that i made in context that had nothing to do with immigration. that quote was because new orleans was under a federal consent decree. it was costing us over $50 million a year which was glventing us from making the or the police department constitutional but since the representative brought it up, , can youk you quickly please coordinate with the attorney general from iowa to help them with you there 23 sanctuary counties they have in iowa and maybe you can with representative
king to help them with this 23. >> i would be glad to put in a workshop and 49 other states. >> i yield back. >> i have a submission i would ask unanimous consent if i might put into the record following documents. i think the witnesses and you mr. chairman. >> thank you. have you ever prosecuted a case?
>> a criminal case, not since being an attorney general. ever prosecuted a case? >> i did. >> have you ever prosecuted a case? >> yes. is your client? >> the state of louisiana. >> the people of the state? >> correct. >> who was your client? >> the united states. >> the united states. sayn your opening, you cannot solvers crimes and therefore cannot help victims prosecute criminals or help federal law enforcement record violent criminals of witnesses feel afraid to set -- share information. afraiduse they would be of the suspect.
how about if they are in this country illegally and they share information and they are asked about their status in this country. would they feel afraid to share information for that reason? they could be deported or held it there in this country illegally? >> if a person is victimized, they would report it regardless of that. but we have seen as a former law enforcement officer, i have seen that they are a suspect of law-enforcement altogether regardless of their immigration status. >> could someone feel afraid to report a crime because they are committing a crime themselves? >> it has been a wild since i prosecuted a case but you could certainly see that being a concern. >> let's go further. let's dig deep into the recess of our memory here. let me ask you something.
it an allowable part of cross-examination to ask a victim or witness a question that would determine their motive for testifying or reporting a crime? depends on the judge's ruling as to the scope of that. >> but your interpretation lies with the rules of evidence. that would be allowed to question about motive. what about harassing? >> it would be allowed to the extent and scope of the judge allowed it. >> if someone were to report a crime and they had committed a crime or had a motive, if they ,anted to stay in the country it allows a prosecutor to apply to immigration authorities to allow someone to stay in this country if they are a victim of a crime. it would be fair to inquire of that person whether they had
committed a crime themselves by being in the country illegally in order to get a full picture about the merits of the case, would it not? >> presumably but depending on the circumstances, ultimately. >> let me ask you something. when the department of justice, the civil rights does -- division, decides they are going to protect one group of individuals who are committing crimes in this country and make not prosecuting another group of individuals, are they in fact choosing which ?ype of criminal they want >> we are choosing between what laws we will follow and what laws we allowed to be broken. >> why would someone do that politically, what is the political advantage? >> you would have to ask them. type ofengage in that activity.
>> because it's unethical. if you believe you are not enforcing the laws or enter into a dissent decree and are not representing your client, the people being victimized, that would be unethical, would it not? >> it would be. what would you agree? depending on the fact and circumstances, yes. >> i yield back. >> the chair will now yield to the gentleman from texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing but i have to confess that i am more than a little embarrassed that the american people have to see a congressional hearing dealing with the absurdity of the subject matter we are dealing with today. right now as schools across america, we are hopefully teaching our kids about the constitution and with respect to
my colleagues across the aisle who keep saying that we are hypocritical for asserting that the federal government has a role here, i hope we're doing a better job of teaching our kids about the constitution than we did in teaching some of our colleagues because the very first sentence of the constitution in the preamble is americans learn the primary role of the federal government is to provide for the common defense and the single most important part of that is ensuring the sovereignty and integrity of our territorial borders. that is the reason we have a federal government. that is the one thing the federal government is supposed to do. that is the business the federal government is supposed to be in. it's not supposed to be mandating health care decisions for americans, it's not supposed to be interfering with teachers and parents and decisions about kids education. we have a federal government to
people americans against from outside our borders who might cause us harm to protect americans like katie steinle in san francisco and germane star in louisiana and grace in hacking and ellie brian in my district in northeast texas, all of whom were killed by illegal aliens who violated the sovereignty and integrity of our territorial borders to come to this country and these are just five of the countless victims killed by illegal aliens every year. if that is the primary goal of our federal government, are we really having a hearing about the fact that instead of enforcing our federal immigration laws, the federal government is doing the exact and is actually code or
sink cities and to not complying with federal immigration laws? american people tuning into this hearing today see that the very same department of justice that is tying the hand of law-enforcement turns around and rewards so-called sanctuary cities by handing out federal funds even though the conditions for those federal funds is that the recipients abide by federal law? and did i hear correctly that two thirds of all federal money going to law-enforcement is going to 10 jurisdictions that intend to comply with federal immigration laws and harbor the and violent criminals refuse to cooperate with the federal government that supports them? that is as shocking as it is shameful. you obviously share my frustration.
why you wrote to attorney general loretta lynch and asked her if the department of justice , that they were enthusiastically approving and supporting the new orleans police department policy was actually requiring the city of new orleans to adopt that sanctuary city policy. did attorney general lynch respond to you? >> she finally did respond to me some months later with a nonanswer. anyf it makes you feel better, alley she responded to you. i have written her a lot of letters and she hasn't responded to any of mine. miss group to -- you have heard from mr. landry and i have heard the exchange between you and mr. butterworth and mr. richmond about really trying to clear up to record here with respect
the fact that this policy is and always was in compliance with federal law but the record really underscores that it hasn't been and that is what congressman richmond last year was soft to remove that provision to prohibit sanctuary cities from receiving federal law enforcement grants because of his stated belief that new orleans would be barred from receiving grants because of immigration provisions. given that there are legitimate concerns in the new orleans policy by folks here, did you of thejudicial review policy by district court to determine whether or not it complied with section 1373? hadhe district court reviewed the policies. but as theis expired
attorney general doesn't respond to any of my letters, i wonder if you might carry a message to her and that message would be on behalf of my constituents and millions of americans that if she really believes in enforcing the rule of law, i think she ought to be prosecuting jurisdictions that violate federal immigration policy. >> mr. butterworth, what is the penalty for crossing the border unlawfully? >> i would defer to the department of justice. >> who has exclusive jurisdiction over immigration cases? quested is outside of my lane but i would say cbp or ice. >> exclusively federal. it is crossing a border
extending a visa are the only two ways you can get an unlawfully. those are both exclusively federal. but i think you will agree with me that almost all of our interactions in life are with state and local law enforcement. agent forn fbi speeding. it is not an atf agent working .he bar scene if most of our citizen police andunters are staying local yet immigration is exclusively federal, how are the federal officers supposed to know about folks who are not here lawfully? >> the department of homeland security has the program which i am not at liberty to speak on and i would say if congress passed the law and commandeered
every local police officer and wanted to pay for that, i think we would welcome it. about we just say cooperate? you don't commandeer people for your terrorism task force? it is called cooperation. thatet you have a policy says a police department member should not make inquiries into an individual's immigration status. what do you mean by inquiry? >> if an officer in direct with that person and as a criminal warrant -- >> i don't know what you mean by criminal. you mean if there is probable cause to believe an offense was committed or if there's already an outstanding warrant? cuts if there is a war and or probable cause and an officer involved -- inquire as to the
person status. >> are officers do not inquire about a person's immigration status. >> they can or cannot. >> under this policy, they do not. >> why not? >> we believe it violates federal law. >> how are the federal law-enforcement all those are supposed to know who is here unlawfully if your officers don't inquire? they are not the ones interacting with them. they are not enforcing traffic laws. they don't respond to domestic violence calls. .he fbi doesn't that would be your state and local officers. how is that supposed to happen? >> i think your concerns are with a broader system and not with this policy. we arrest every criminal and to act with and bring them to the jail. >> you arrest every criminal you interact with. there are a criminal after they have had a jury trial. they are a suspect until that point. >> correct. policy was ok so
why did they revise it? >> and don't have the answer to that question. you are a good lawyer, mr. horowitz. at the original contract was fine, usually don't draft another one. if your original indictment was ok, did you have a superseding indictment? >> generally not. >> you don't. if the original policy is fine, why did we get this random policy? >> well obviously our memorandum outlining the concerns we had about the provision that then existed they will have triggered the provisions. to be cynical but i think you are right. you said you were a prosecutor. there was a prosecution i got
away back in time that i never had a good answer for whenever a family member who had lost a loved one to an act of violence to someone who was out on bond would ask me why was that person out of jail, i never really had a good answer. you can cite the constitution that you are entitled to bond under some circumstances, but that is kind of a hollow explanation. what with the explanation be to those that have lost loved ones to violent crime from people who are here unlawfully and the federal government knows it? who has beendy accused of a violent crime, nop is entitled in its authority to prosecuted to the fullest of the law. >> your other missing my point in a importantly or -- inadvertently or intentionally. i realize you prosecute people after homicide. i'm tried to figure out how to prevent the homicide.
what is the explanation for why the person wasn't dealt with before the murder? >> let me say that the resume intercept the policy was to fight violentuld crime and get critical information from witnesses who need to share critical information with the nopd in order to solve and prevent violent crime. quickly both know we rely on all sorts of witnesses, some of whom expose themselves to criminal liability in the process of cooperating so the amnestyou have to give to people before they will cooperate with law enforcement has not been my experience. but attorney general, i'm out of time. you asked a question. how do you answer it when family members ask you why was this person not dealt with before they committed the act of violence? unfortunately, i have had to
answer that question in louisiana here lately and the best way i answer is that my system in this country is broken. with that, i would think all the witnesses. >> i ask for one minute please. i'm sure the gentleman from texas and colorado will want to do it also. >> briefly. >> ok. >> i want to make it very clear that i don't think there is one member here who does not feel the deep pain for the families lost loved ones, particularly those that died in the terrible crash trying to help others in .aton rouge i am from texas and i feel for my brothers and sisters in louisiana. i was there for them in katrina
so i have the sympathy. i do want to make sure however that you are not asking for new orleans -- is that correct? you aren't asking us to block from getting federal funds. what's i'm asking you to file federal law. for therenot asking to be a declaration for new orleans not to receive federal funds from the department of justice. >> i have been asking the state to withhold funds for violating federal law. >> is new orleans violating federal law? >> new orleans under this policy , this policy does not violate federal law and we are working with new orleans to ensure constitutional policing. >> they are communicating with ice and you are not blocking that. the pdpolicy makes clear can communicate with ice and request information about a person's immigration status. >> gentlelady's time has
expired. >> thank you. >> we think of all of our witnesses. legislative five days to submit additional material to the record. thank you again to the witnesses and we are adjourned. >> campaign 2016. we bring you debates from house and senate races from across the country. iser, "washington journal" live with congressman steve russell and steve cohen. first, a debate from utah
between income governor gary herbert and mike weinholtz. state campus of utah university, the utah debate commission welcomes you to the candidates debate. moderator: i have been asked by the utah debate commission to moderate this evening's debate. we are live on the campus of utah state university in logan, where we are holding the debate between the candidates in utah's race for governor.
tonight we will hear from the incumbent governor gary herbert and his democratic challenger mike weinholtz. before we begin coming each candidate will receive a 92nd 0 second opportunity. prior to the airing, we determined that governor herbert would be able to give the first statement. we will begin with you, governor herbert. gov. herber: thank you. and thank you to the people at utah state university. it is great to be on the campus of one of the great universities of utah, and what a bigger universities of our country. the debate commission for arranging this and thank you, mike for appearing here today. and ik we are all aggies, think we are looking forward to having some aggie ice cream when this is over.
let me just rehearse. when i came into office seven years ago we had very difficult times. we were at the depth of a great recession and times square blake, but we, as utahns do, set a goal to become the best economy in america and a premier business destination. and today, by every major account, you can find utah is probably the most diverse economy in america. our personal income have gone up 5.7%, almost a record number. our household income is almost 11th in the nation. unemployment has dropped down to 3.7%. our gdp is twice the national average. in virtually every major way we have done great things. that does not mean we don't have challenges ahead of us. i have a great track record of bringing us out of the recession and more importantly, i have a vision of what we will do for the next four years. makeher, we will work to
sure utah remains the best place in america to live, raise a family, and to do business stop moderator: thank you, governor. now we will turn to the democratic candidate, mike weinholtz. i would also like to thank the debate commission and utah state university for hosting us this evening. i'm mike weinholtz and i am not a career politician. i have made a living in the private sector for the last 40 years. i built a billion dollar business right here in utah that employs thousands of people. but i did not start out that way. i started out as a factory worker. i worked my way through night school, a couple courses at a time, before starting my first business. and i have been blessed to be a walking example of the american dream. but that dream might be in jeopardy and utah is at a crossroads. now, governor herbert will talk about all the great things that are going on in utah and use statistics to confirm all of that.
he will tell you that what we need is a steady hand. but i think what we really need are open eyes. now, i love utah and i want to have an honest discussion this evening of the issues facing real utah families. we want our heritage preserved. we don't want our public lands sold off. we want an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. and we want the best education opportunities possible for our children, not the worst funded classrooms in america. on all of these issues, you will see governor herbert is a little bit out of touch with everyday utahns. i want you to know that i am running to be your next governor because there is a better way. thank you. moderator: thank you, gentlemen, for making those opening remarks. before we get into the actual questions, i want to explain. the utah the great has
established a format that will allow you to the candidates, each of you, 90 seconds. you will give your original reply to the question. many of the questions tonight are coming from suggestions made by those of you who went to our utah debate commission website. we also have some students who will be asking questions from utah state university, and members of our media as well. but i get the first shot at it. and this first question, i believe mr. weinholtz, you will be the first to answer the question. after surveying many utahns, we found a place education at the top of their list when asked to prioritize issues facing us. what measures need to improve education here in utah, and also, could you touch on whether you believe the current levels of funding are appropriate? mr. weinholtz: yes, thank you. herbert hasovernor
talked about education being his top priority and he has had seven years to make it that. but we still find ourselves as dead last in the country. and yo8u know, we have a funding crisis. when you drop your kids off at school, you see the class sizes. you drop your child off in the and they walk into class with 38 other children. teachers ask your help in getting supplies. you know our teachers are overworked and underpaid. but we have not always been dead last in the country for per-pupil funding. in the 1990's, we were in the middle of the pack because we prioritized education. in fact, back then, we were spending between 30% to 34% of our state budget on education. in governor herbert's administration, we have only
been spending 22% to 26% on our budget of education. you can't say it is not your time priority if he will not put your money where your mouth is. my friend, scott anderson, who served on the board of the night away with me for over a decade, wrote an inspiring op-ed just last week about the need to think of education as a moon sh ot, that we need to do something big and bold to make sure our children get the education they deserve. and i agree with him and as your governor, i will absolutely make this a priority and not just give it lipservice. moderator: the time's up, so we need to turn this question over to governor herbert. related to what measures need to be taken to improve education in utah, and also, opportunities for funding, and if they are adequate. gov. herber: well, education has in my number one budget priority. when i came in, we stopped cutting the budget for education and started replenishing the
budget. there are only three ways to do that. you can either raise taxes, which is my opponent's desire. reprioritize, or you can grow the economy. we chose the latter. we have done what is necessary to grow the economic pie. we have been able to invest an additional $1.8 billion of new money into education. right now, 2/3 of the state budget goes into education. our commitment is there. three dollars out of every four new dollars go into education. it is about time we start talking about all of education, not just the money we put into it, but what are the outcomes? the outcomes right now are good teachers, good superintendents are getting us a good outcome. right now in fact, our act test scores are up and our graduation rate are up nearly 10% since i came into office. our scores are in the top 20 in
fourth grade mento measurement. we are 10th in reading which arts and we are seventh in science. minority schools are up 7%. we are getting a good outcome because we are growing the economy and investing more in education. thank you. mr. weinholtz, you have 30 seconds if you would like to make a rebuttal. mr. weinholtz: yes, governor herbert likes to talk about the billion dollars that has been invested back in education. that sounds like a big number, but we are still not out of dead last ranking in the country and we are still not back to the prerecession funding levels. so, we have to get serious about this. and the governor mentioned outcomes. well, the act scores, governor, have actually gone down the last four years. it is on the utah.gov website
and we are below the national average now and 77% of our height students are graduating unprepared -- of our high school students are graduating unprepared for college. our outcomes are not the way they should be. moderator: governor herbert, you have 30 seconds. gov. herber: the proof is in the pudding for what we actually see and are achieving. i have the endorsement of the teachers association here in the state of utah and the business community's support. they are on the front lines, the ones doing the heavy lifting. the fact that they have endorsed my candidacy speaks volumes about what we are doing for education. they would not do this if they did not think we were doing a good job. that those out there involved on the front lines of education are supporting my candidacy. moderator: very good, gentlemen. we have one rebuttal each, so we are going to our next question. at this time, we have a member of our media, from fox 13.
>> gentlemen, let's talk about medical marijuana. the legislature is likely to advance another bill in the next session. governor, you have expressed concerns about this in the past. mr. weinholtz, he made a personal when you disclosed at the democratic convention that your wife was under investigation. are we talking whole plant, every talking extracts? does this lead to a slippery slope of recreational use of marijuana in utah? moderator: governor herbert, you will answer this question first. gov. herbert: it is a schedule one drug and it needs to be researched. we can find out what the benefit is for medicinal use of marijuana.
we eventually passed legislation that allows for the cannabis oil to be used for those who have seizures. my sister has seizures. she is actually using that to health and treat her daughter that has seizures. so, again, it is not a matter that we are not willing to embrace, but there needs to be a process where it is a controlled substance, just like any other medicinal use of any other drug, prescribed by a doctor and given by a pharmacist where we can control quantity and the quality, not have self-medication. i have spoken with the governor of colorado and he said to me and other governors, be careful what you do and do this in a proper and methodical order. i think we are doing that here in utah. we will see what bubbles up in the upcoming legislative session . i think there is any for research and to see if we can in fact, have it as a use for medicinal purposes as a controlled substance.
if the science backs that up, i think we will all get behind it. moderator: and mr. weinholtz, the question regarding marijuana and legislation in utah. mr. weinholtz: yes, actually, i can't believe this will do not make it out of committee during the last legislative session. the witnesses that were brought forward were so moving. children with seizures, elderly women with cancer, all people who could benefit from the legalization of medical cannabis. as far as where i am on it, i whod with the 71% of utahns are in favor of legalizing medical cannabis. and as for the slippery slope, i think we should look at medical cannabis -- recreational is a bridge too far for utah. but medical cannabis definitely has cognitive aspects that can help people who are suffering from various conditions.
the other thing that we need to be focused on is the opioid epidemic that we have. utah has one of the worst rates fromddiction and deaths opioid addiction. we have to look at that as well. and so, i spent 30 years in health care. and i know how to address complex issues like this. we need to get serious about this. i was very proud of senator madison for putting up this bill. moderator: governor herbert, do you have anything you would like to add? gov. herbert: i agree we have substance abuse that needs to be treated. the opioid problem is countrywide, particularly in the northeast part of our country. this is something we have taken very seriously.
here in utah, people can dispose of their unused medicine. again, i have empathy for those who get relief with medicinal use of marijuana, but we need to find the science to back up the anecdotal story. that is the process we go through. the current administration has turned a blind eye, and that is not helping. we should do the study and research so we can come up with a proof based on science. moderator: in 30 seconds, mr. weinholtz? mr. weinholtz: i agree with governor herbert on that issue. the federal government has dragged its feet with the of cannabis as a schedule one drug. but we can still do things locally. we always have local solutions, especially when the federal government is dragging their feet and we need to lead out on this issue. moderator: very good, thank you both, gentlemen. our next question is coming from
one of our students at utah state university in the journal ism program. do you have a question for the candidate? > >> i do. my question has to to do with mental health. here, students declared a mental health crisis at the university. what are your policies and funding suggestions related to mental health in utah? moderator: and we begin with mr. weinholtz. mr. weinholtz: well, i agree, there is a mental health crisis. one of the best things we could do to help address the is to expand medicaid. governor herbert has failed to expand medicaid to help people. , our are 120,000 utahns families and neighbors, and friends who are suffering and are in need of care, who can't go to the doctor when they are sick. governor herbert had the opportunity to unilaterally
expand medicaid, but he decided to wait and punt that responsibility to the legislature. and we all know how that has worked out. now, the expanding of medicaid would help with mental health issues, it would help with addiction issues, it would help on many different levels. value.w, this is a utah we believe in taking care of each other, as actually those most needy among us. so, the only reason that medicaid was not expanded by so the only reason that not expanded is for political reasons. one of the worst examples of putting politics before seen. that i've ever in my business career, i was known for always putting fist.ss people
this is something i'll never do in government. beforever put politics people. >> thank you. gary herbert. >> the question was about suicide. the state legislature just a couple of pieces of legislation to help pass the issue. we have lifelines and counseling to help the young people. den sis that tern maybe they need to have somebody outside of their own family. we're making significant strides to try toht direction put -- it is something we need to some together on. the issue is a red herring here. the affordable care act. there are some serious issues with that. we see that the problem with cost is not address the cost of health care. we have health