tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 3, 2013 12:00pm-5:01pm EDT
this statute. here is how. and if we missed anything or we messed it up, tell us and we will fix it because we basically were just doing the best we can and trying to comply. here is all the proof and again, we interacted with a different person with the investigation but it ended up being a lot of the san collaborative okay, you know how are you complying with this section, and we would answer that and the ftc investigator would say good but if you do we get a little but i think you are good. ..
it framed a lot of the issues from the fairness perspective from the nondiscrimination perspective, the state statutes, privacy. addresses all of those issues from the employee and employer perspective as far as i'm concerned. we just wanted to share that story because it's kind of an interesting segue, and we will let geoff kind of explain more about the company and what we do. >> good morning. i think it's only appropriate since we're talking of social media that before i comment on their comments but i will let everyone know i will officially -- [inaudible]. now that i get that out of the way. as renée said, when we embarked on this project of trying to determine what could social
media be used for public available electronic information be used in a legal and compliant fashion to enable employers to make, to help inform the hiring decisions they make, it was definitely a very daunting journey to begin with. but what we realized early on, and i firmly believe today that the best way to protect the employers both the negligent hiring perspective but also takes perspective they are ensuring are being fair and to do the job applicant, start by protecting the job applicant in the process that we followed and certainly we've learned over time and refined, it really is about, a making them away of what's happening come ensuring that they have ahead of that ensuring that the organization that is requesting that background investigation by the background check has permissible purpose.
from their also ensuring that there are steps throughout to keep them informed whether that's through adverts are pre-adverse education, and also in enabling them to have the ability to use. but in addition to that, what was very important to us was there is information. everyone understands that there is a social media is rich with information. unfortunately, and i think everyone in the room will agree also rich with information on times can be used inappropriately. sometimes intently and sometimes not necessarily intentionally. and so for what we understood was, we need to have a process that keeps the job applicant informed, that protects them and ensures that the employers only sees information that is both relevant to the permission as well as legally allowable, and
ensure that information can only be used, the information that can be -- is the information that is publicly available so that there isn't a question of are we invading someone's privacy, and are we circumventing the privacy settings of different pretext and other types of things. so from our perspective it's very much protected job applicant, protect the employer. but i think patricia did an excellent job. the employers today are in a very tough position. they can be found negligent if they choose to ignore this information that is out there. in addition to the fact that the take on this is challenges of the competitors are using this information will now who are the people they will be hiring if they are not using this information. so on one side you can't just ignore the information, but on the other hand they can't just
willy-nilly go out and look at information either. you can't just, before you bring this person in for an interview before you extend an offer you should go and use your favorite major search engines to determine what you find. they can't do that either. it's not fair for the job applicant and the expose, or run the risk of exposing themselves to information that they have to prove they didn't use if they make an adverse decision. it's a very interesting challenge that employers are in a box, so really our focus was enabling, trying to solve this problem for the employer by being a third party, by only showing the information that's relevant by having a process, and by having a process by which we only we are not the decision-maker. we are providing them information that they take into consideration as they make the job or position. then finally i think that
they're often with social media, so much of the focus is the negative information out there or things that we refer to as potential areas of risk. but i think what employers also can leverage and should take into consideration leveraging is the information out there that can be very positive about an individual and identify areas of opportunity and can potentially help them distinguish between different candidates. for example, if someone is, you know acted within professional groups or active within speaking at conferences and other things, there's probably an indication that they are highly interested -- and while there's often look, you can sew a lot more newspapers if you talk about all the bad things that happen. you can understand that but it's also a great opportunity to leverage the positive
information that is out there, a whole new perspective on an individual. [inaudible] >> do you find it's incredibly thoughtful how you selectively stepped through such a new state. do you find that this has been accelerate to the business or this is something that has made it more difficult? >> i think actually it's been a great benefit to us because by tackling these issues early on certainly i'm not going to suggest that we solve all the legal and privacy and other issues, especially not in a roomful of attorneys. i would never suggest that. it enabled us to build a business in a way that we feel we are -- [inaudible] we are a gold standard.
and while there's always room for improvement it gives us a very good foundation for all the other areas that we take into consideration as we look into areas of the inning on what we do. >> renée, was this your first time interacting in that kind of one to one? >> yes. >> and so, looking back on that would you've done anything differently? or do you recommend that approach to those who find themselves in an ambiguous situation? >> i have always been of the mindset of surprise but if you have a question that needs into especially from a government agency, i see especially if you're doing it anonymously and not name your client, i see no harm in asking. there were definite issues we were stuck on and certainly if we didn't get a response for an answer we would have formed our best guess as to how we could
reply. but it was nice to have that dialogue, both before the investigation and during. i can't say what i would've done differently. again we sought as an opportunity, even the papers that we submitted in response to the nonpublic inquiry we were very open. we didn't really hold anything back because there was nothing to hide because we have tried our best. so in this case when you're doing something so new that no one else had done, i didn't see any other alternative. we were already making things up, you know. so why not see if we can get a little guidance in that regard. >> turning back to the professor. now that we're sort of fleshed out where their business models started and where it ended up looking through the filter of some of the concerns you had before, can you talk about your reaction to the way they are organized, whether you saw some of those same concerns?
particularly without business model or with some of the issues raised? >> i think it is it's a very clever business model. whose time has come probably came a couple years ago with a lot of tears from people that didn't have it. i think i guess my only concern and it's not really -- i don't know that you can address it you know who is your client? who is your target client? because i would imagine that people, i would imagine first of all that a lot of employers are engaging in this activity. but the employers that are more disposed hiring you and to spending money into ensuring this fairness process are going to be looking for executives and they will be looking for kind of
-- so i guess my concern would be, how about everyone else? >> i think that's, i think it's a very reasonable concern. and i completely agree. i think that employers, if you look at a lot of the various surveys, employers at least anonymously are very open about the fact that the leverage social media when they make when they take go to hire an individual. frankly one of the benefits that i see that we bring to the applicant is that we enforce that process separate and apart from just having employers out there doing this on their own without any reasonable processes, without any consideration of what information is allowable. i agree. i think if this information is going to be used it needs to be used, considerate fashion in a
standardized process, and a means that fair and consistent throughout. >> i think there's another dimension to this which is the sociological dimension, which is what would be the behavior change from people now that this type of screening? and clearly there is value there, and clearly reporters will be looking to more nontraditional sources of data and insight on individuals that they're going to invest in. not only in terms of competition, in terms of benefit in terms of their career. have you started to see a change in their behavior on social media? >> about four years ago my colleague and i conducted a survey among student, business didn't specifically that were about to go out into the job
empirical evidence but inevitably i would say that there's a lot of the students got a mentor and they teach. colleges and even high schools and middle schools have been doing such a good job over the past couple of years of really kind of incorporating in children and young adults that you need to be kind of like your own personal pr agency. that really i'm seeing the fruits of that. i'm seeing for the first time a lot of students opting out. students, even sophomores in college telling me i just don't have time for it. or i will go to instagram or i will tweak every once in a while, but nothing offensive or nothing inappropriate. it really has this appropriateness meter put into them. and that's what's going on at least in higher education. so we were talking about last
night and didn't and he called i think the shift from social to antisocial a little, it is also casually observed. >> yeah, i think there's been a misperception the last couple of years in my opinion that younger people don't value their privacy. and i think that they tend to be much more sophisticated about the networks they use. and also one thing step back we can talk about social media as a thing, a homogenous thing. there are many different types, right? there's twitter, there's instagram and pinterest. >> from our perspective we really consider -- imac looking at more broadly from our perspective it's really about hopefully unavailable publicly available electronic information with our focus really being on user-generated content, content that i as an individual putting out there about myself versus
can you brought up the comment earlier what a third party, the friend that none of us would like our perspective and in close to me are probably our mothers either. we are looking at the content that individuals themselves are putting out there allowing to be put out. >> not all publicly available. >> really? focus on the user generation. you yourself are putting out there. whether its articles you posted. really that type. >> it raises a broader issue of identity and recognition. in this new world where we connected in so many different ways. and definitely there is behavior change, younger people in my opinion.
also i believe that when every fortune 500 ceo is talking about the social strategy, that's probably when your grandmother says bowling. probably sort of at the end of the life of that. and so there is many new messaging and communicate in snap chat has become wildly popular. it is now private and it gives a misperception that it is private. but certainly these are issues that have a lot of different dimensions. i think that you guys again, very thoughtful heist it through. there are other companies who have not been as thoughtful. i think that's why we've had a spate of state laws that have arisen with maryland passing first. and illinois and california and minnesota also passing laws. but there's tremendous value in understanding who your hiring.
and there is also tremendous value to the individual to know that this is the world that we live in. there are many different sides to the issue. with that i think we wanted to turn to the audience for some questions. i would ask people to just told the question until the microphone reaches them. >> thank you. i thought this was a great rundown of the issues. it's a shame we unfortunately lost one of our speakers from the aclu on this panel but she had an emergency hearing this morning. but i thought, i would push a little bit from the individual's perspective on some of the things you said. and i thought it was fascinating, experience that you went through -- imac for this kind of a consumer report on individuals.
and i thought it raised a whole set of questions about the efficacy of the fair reporting act and the appropriateness of doing this kind of social media. look at the reporting act. the statute as a special set of rules. personal interviews with third parties. back at the time it was written that was seen as an group of interested because is asking neighbors and friends what does this person talk about. what you are doing doesn't seem -- imac. but effectively what you are doing is the same kind of type of report that the investigative consumer provisions were really designed helping consumers participate in them. [inaudible] all of a sudden changes -- imac in ways that i
think is a real sea change. i wondered if in sort of thinking this through, how you might see this both affecting the industry and second the question -- [inaudible] >> from our perspective and i will let others answer from our perspective because we're focused on user-generated content, information that i'm putting out there about myself it doesn't, doesn't really fall into that category of what are my neighbors think are what my friends think and then secondly just to reiterate a point that i tried to make earlier. one of the processes that we put in place was make sure that we could meet the requirements
around the maximum possible effort for accuracy to -- imac and what that enables us to do is use technology to do the profile of an individual, but then we have an individual that goes through and ensures that the right person using standard process for data validation of data elements versus what we address to being related to the individual the process of attacking any protected information. would only generate reports to the information positive or negative, leads positive or negative completion, leads to quick to that has been defined by the employer. so through the process that we try to ensure that some of these issues that you are racing -- imac. let renée and patricia speak to
broader spent i would say it's deathly not an investigative consumer report. we have treated it as a consumer report, and our goal from the outset was to comply with the letter and the spirit of the law. and at the end of the day the fair credit reporting act is in the statute and it has the built-in mechanism for the applicant, the back and forth to dispute, to know that it is happening come to know that a decision is being made. and so at the end of the day our choice was to do the best we could to comply with that in fairness to the applicant. and then at the end of the day the employer gets only the information that is allowed and everybody wins. >> i think there's been a lot of questions with the advent of the new technology in social media.
whether the scr eight is dynamic enough still apply the same way. i think that the ftc has established position is just that it is. they will continue to apply it fundamentally based on fairness. but a lot of it the course it will take will depend on how companies leverage this information and how service providers make offerings around this information. and clearly, you have taken again, itself a root including in multiple layers of controls. one question i did have is do you find it difficult to extend some level of control to the behavior of the companies or the clients you're providing the information to? >> or what we do, one of the things we do to ensure that there are controls we only give them a predefined set of
criteria. that falls into a couple of broad categories. so they aren't able to come to us and say we want you to give us information, all the information related to that. so very specific talk is that areas of risk and also areas of opportunity related to the job applicant. a high level errors really fall into, on the risk side, demonstrations of and tolerance for racist behavior, things of that nature or types of things that we would identify and report to employer, the volunteer risk category. been on the positive side, as i mentioned earlier, on the opportunity side, i tend to define situations where the individual -- a member of professional organizations things of that nature. >> i think the adverse side is
the more interesting to people. and in terms of adverse action renée, maybe could you walk through procedurally how an adverse action? >> so, the same way as if that were criminal background check. you know if an employer is using just services, gets the report and makes the employment decision which in this case decision to not hire. based on information contained in the report, the employer has to send a great adverse action letter to the applicant, which basically says we are planning to make an adverse decision based on information found in the report. here's the name of the consumer reporting agency. if you want to dispute the accuracy of the report called them. you have five days. it can't be cleared up in the five days, some employers will extend the timeframe.
if it can't be clear that the employer then send a letter saying okay, we are now making this decision do not hire you. here's the information about the fair credit reporting act, state law equivalent. so built into that there's, you know, ability to object to the accuracy of the report and there's a dispute resolution process built-in. and i would just say, employers are doing these searches on their own. i know this because my clients call me and tell me they're doing it and they want help doing it in a consistent way internally. and so i do a lot of that work and i see how inconsistent it was before they called me. and so you know, employers are doing it in house. we can definitely help set up a process to do it that way. the end of the day i would rather than do it this way. it's a better procedure.
it's consistent in its fair. if employers are doing it in house, they don't have to follow the fair credit reporting act pics of applicants never know this is happening. so i would rather see them use social intelligence as much as i like the work and help set up the internal processes, i would rather see them use this because i know it has complied with the law as possible. so that's just kind of where i come from. >> i think the question was more nuts and bolts that you provided template for those employers to issue that adverse action letter? >> yes. they provide i draft and they provide actual letters notice and the authorization consent form to all of those forms to the employer to use or do it themselves. >> just add to that so we have these standards ones that we provide them, for all of you in the audience to not be alarmed.
we always make the recommendation they should prepare council about the appropriate forms to use. so they can use these as suggestions or guidelines. >> could you talk to us a little bit about what the report looks like? let's say that they find something that your staff interpress as a sign of intolerance or race behavior? will be potential employer need a copy of what this person wrote or a picture? what does an actual report look like? >> it tells them where we found information, how we determined the information is related to the individual. we provide them with a screenshot in which we reject any protected information, as well as a couple of other -- where we found it here's that picture.
[inaudible] >> they are also entitled to a copy of the report for the fair credit reporting act. >> the applicant is yes. >> so again, as much as you're comfortable, is there a proprietary story for how good or bad something is? or they -- >> we look for a very as best we can set of information. we don't do any formal scoring. certainly i think that's an area where you really didn't do get into issues around fairness issues around frankly -- [inaudible]. because the minute you get in scoring then it gets to the individual how was i scored? what algorithm are using? how ddgs from the algorithm is quantitatively better than others? how is it objective? the same reason i am not a
proponent of purely automated solutions. i don't think that at this point it could be a very good practice for employers or organizations to provide services to employers to utilize any form of scoring. >> and the scoring then you become who is making the decision. i mean, you are providing the report. employer is making the decision. in theory they're making the decision along with a whole host of other information resume, traditional background check, references interviews, and it just is a complement to all of that. so that's how i see that issue. >> i think that's a very important point. this is the information contained within social media isn't necessarily being used in a vacuum. it is in consideration with all the other tools and services that are available.
>> can you just and traditions of? >> i'm the president of the national work right institute informally at the senior level of the aclu, who is not a today. i'm actually really encouraged by what you said. because the idea of this is going to happen, if i were going to start running an h.r. department which are used to do, i would do it myself. what scares me is the fact that somebody in hrc's everything on somebody's facebook page and make sense kind of crazy ad ad hoc decision, built ad hoc decision, they don't like aclu lawyers and i'm out of a job. i see outsourcing to third part and then having to screen for what's relevant and what's not relevant, exactly what we've been preaching for some time now. my question goes to though who do you determine what's
relevant? for example, the famous -- this guy is 21 and there's no children around, not driving a car, but the fact is drink alcohol, job-related? >> so that's not, that isn't even a piece of information that we would provide to an employer. they have a set of criteria that they can choose from that doesn't fall within -- we are focused on areas of potentially violent activity demonstrations of intolerance potentially illegal activity. and really those core areas that are kind of know we don't want to talk about -- no one cares about that. talk about the adverse i. those are the areas of risk that i think are most concerning or an employer from a negligent hiring perspective it because if this information is readily available and they could steam
this individual is out of making that the statements or demonstrating a form of discrimination towards another individual and they don't look at information, they hire this person and now this person goes and does harass a coworker another stakeholder of the organization or god forbid a customer, now they have some real issues to take into consideration. >> hi. i'm the interim secretary of the ip logged in at the association of the city of newark. this is a topic, which are whole panel is even with day something we talk about a lot. but i think the one thing you can't ignore it's not just the
800-pound gorilla in the room. it's the blue whale in the elevator is that people are going to be doing this. i appreciate the service you guys are trying to provide but at the end of the day i mean as long as an employer, there's nothing to stop a private employer from just using their home computer to check someone's sites but the other issue that touches on this is that even if someone tries to keep a squeaky clean profile, okay, on my facebook page i'm not going to pictures of my kids, i'm not going to mention any political affiliation whatever. it's going to be totally squeaky clean. there's been recent case law saying with a little information as gesture name and your zip code you can get a plethora of personal information on someone. people might even forget there's other places where there's personal information leaks that could be used like her amazon wish list. your meet up groups, like a lot of people don't put the energy
into making a complete second identity and timely for the private life and keeping a totally private. i do but that's just me. but again there's so many other ways where that wouldn't necessarily be traceable as a source of discrimination. even a lasting, go to babies r. us for instance come just out of curiosity does this person ever registered at babies r. as? if they recently get married? things like that. there's somebody different information leaks out there. how do you address the fact that they can be accessed in a way that is not traceable back to an employee so that they might incorrectly use this information? >> i think the question is who is that you? i think it's incumbent upon the individuals to start to understand that's the world that we live in. in fact, some sort of behavioral change. and maybe not to the point of sort of bifurcating their personal or professional lives
because that's not completely possible, especially in the nature of the work they do. i also don't know that that is reason to abandon the legal construct that can impact individuals in this area. >> i would say to that point i agree that employers frankly anyone has the ability to work from home or search of individuals, that's frankly why i think it's to the benefit of a job applicant that you have process is in place like what we are doing either through third party or if this processes are in place, had the employed and they're doing it internally, those are the pieces that are important. it will be interesting to see currently we are seeing legislation going through where there's a focus on using,
requesting user names and passwords from an individual. it will be interesting to see over time if there is guidance from a legislative perspective stating employers, if you want to use this information you have a third party do it. you can't do it yourself. you're going to face a legal risk if you're doing this internally on an ad hoc basis. >> well, -- [inaudible] >> i would just say to the community of discriminatory hiring was really hard to prove before the advent of the internet. at a lot of times how it would come up is you would hear it through word of mouth. and i think that that's a possibility. but i would also say that it might be easier now. i work with a lot of experts who
examined computers, and it's amazing what they can uncover as far as what site you visited how long you spent on them. what information you looked at. and so i think it can be proven, depending on what you have done. if you've done it internally and dainik yourself. >> -- and dainik yourself. >> the average citizen can't say okay your computer i'm pulling an employer out of the air pfizer. okay finally, you're in computers at home or squeaky clean. your computers on site is squeaky clean. is joe schmoe really going to build a ghost up in every single person who had hands on his resident, get subpoenas for their home computers, or the ipads or smart phones or the public browsing tasks down at starbucks and prove that no they saw my facebook page ergo? if you do, you can get that in summary. you know and i know that your
average person, your chip average job applicant doesn't have the resources to do that. >> but i think that also goes to the point that that may not be so different now through the lens of social media as it was with discriminatory hiring practices before. >> very good question. >> a question in the back. >> you've been talking about this, but given the recent actions and saber rattling by the cftc, don't you see some new lens being applied to these activities, regulation, new perspective coming down? and if so can you share those? have you spoken to the cpb? >> i have not spoken to the cfpb. as far as new legislation it's still not coming.
the fcc has been out front as far as enforcement, at least in this regard. the new, the only new legislation to speak of is at the state level with these password request laws that are making their way through very state legislatures. but other than that there's not a lot of legislative activity. >> i think the cfpb and the fcc are finding their way around each other. there's a lot of overlap. you were speaking with specific expertise of financial services. i don't think you introduced yourself, but with mastercard i believe. and so, as i think of financial services financial services has been hesitant to start incorporating the social data. absence of very vanilla and benign uses. and i think that's the right
approach but i don't know that there has been there's been any issue to sort of galvanized perspective from that cfpb. definitely something they are focused on and should, should people start using this to make decisions about credit worthiness or something like that, then we certainly can see a position for it. >> that's not an area that we would -- [inaudible] trying to delve into that. that's a whole other pandora's box to get your head around. and so you know from our perspective that's coming determined once credit worthiness it may become at some point but i think it's not
near -- [inaudible] >> we have another question here. can you wait for the microphone? >> i'm an attorney. patricia mentioned earlier applicants are becoming more and more privacy savvy, so i have a question for chevy. what are you going to have for a business model and applicants start -- start setting author privacy settings on private? >> very good question. i would say, and we we've done we've spent time proactively going out and educating college students about how to set their privacy settings correctly what employers are looking for in terms of -- [inaudible]. i'll say despite frankly our best efforts and the efforts of
many of the educators out there we've only seen the usage increase across social media both, older individuals are becoming more and more savvy and much more engaged and we're only, frankly we're only seeing we are seeing a decline in the ability to identify publicly available information. now, whether or not we are able to, over time the changes and we're able to identify hard to know. but it's certainly a very good from a business case perspective, it's something we are conscious of. >> a question right here.
>> very exciting to be here today. one comment i guess on the business case model, you expect people to make decisions on things they do not disclose for a long time. they will probably find a legitimate basis. [inaudible] i guess my question is, i'm interested to know i like the arm's-length concept you're working on and i wonder if you ever come or how you recruit yourself. is there an independent -- >> very, very good question. so we have a very structured firewall process between -- with one individual who has no touch to the hiring process that runs the screening for all of our
hires. and they redact, that information is redacted just like what we do for our customers. and so we very much practice what we preach. >> i asked you this yesterday but i wonder if you could answer today. what is your opinion about the person that does not have a social presence somebody who is off the grid? is that something that is a concern for employees -- employers? >> that's not i can pontificate about what it means from a, you know you know someone with no
online presence, what that means means. but that's not something we take into consideration or it's not something we would report. i don't think it's, it's very interesting theoretical discussion about what it means and what you could learn or discern from that. that's not something that we would ever report one way or the other to an employer. and i certainly don't think that organization that are serving private sector organizations should take that type of information. >> and i worry about age just commission with and and if my client to making decisions based on no internet footprint. you know, that would tend to be people who are older, i'm generalizing i visit, but i would worry about that. we were talking about this last
night at dinner called clout. which measures your social media influence. and it is a score. we all have scores while the know it or not. that are employers who are making decisions based on your klout score. i don't of the algorithm that goes into calculating your klout score but it measures your online presence. and i worry about employers making decisions based on scores like that because to me it reeks of age discrimination. and so to your point, yes, i think it's a concern. i could pontificate as well as to what it means if you don't have it online presence, but according to the law i would worry about age discrimination.
[inaudible] i think it's interesting to share my views european -- [inaudible] on this issue. we didn't have anybody coming in to ask for guidance for such activity. and i bet it would have been more complicated because on the european side what's very important is that span of the collections. and that means -- publicly available information because several times you insist on that point. but that's because it's publicly available information. that's not protected by -- [inaudible]. it means that the european perspective, the employers have to specify only the information
on scales and abilities of -- [inaudible]. and going on social media wouldn't seem relevant. it doesn't mean that they don't do it but they don't, they know they don't have to do it. it's something that aspect that is clear in your perspective because you say there is something new and we are trying to do it the best we can. and, obviously -- getting back a copy of the information to allow him to compel, to explain all that is wrong. so we received a lot of complaints at our commissions about false reputation.
and we have some companies coming as reputation on the way. and i think there is a huge -- for companies. and in that sense i think we don't want to destroy these activities. but we think that can we don't really see the relevance of using such information as under certain applications. there are already many questions. so i had a question about the young employees. as you are going back through the seventh last year's, it
means that you would use some information about -- >> we would never go back before someone was of legal age. [inaudible] >> just to follow up on that point for a second. it seems like there is some analogy. they are obtaining a consent, query whether it be explicit consent requirements. but you are not providing a copy of the report itself for the information contained therein to the individual unless there's going to be -- >> in a number of states, on the consent form that we provided guidance to our customers, we actually enable everyone that is
able to run a report on them to get a copy of it. and we do it in order to adheres to the fair credit reporting act, anyone that we have run a report on has the ability, i think it is either -- [inaudible] has the ability -- [inaudible] >> and just to follow up, i think that the reputation there is a big market opportunity reputation.com. they've done some good work. but there is a misperception that they are erasing information. a lot of times what they're doing is really just search engine optimization which is just building technology to push those results towards the back of the search results. so there are some issues that people believe that they now gotten rid of this bad information to actually it is still there. it's just pushed down in terms
of relevance scoring for the search engine so it doesn't come off as highly. >> i like to think they displaced the information. >> they bury it and it comes up on page five of your google search instead of page one or whatever. >> another question. [inaudible] there's a screenshot of somebody at a baby shower. and you pass along that information. and adverse pursuing comes from the. could you be liable for negligence? >> whether or not we can be
liable, i would leave that answer -- >> have you experienced that? >> we have not had that experience. to reiterate a couple of points, we are looking for a very unchecked a set of information and the reason we have a dispute resolution process is, in a situation where let's say an air were to occur and we were to misidentify something and the employer were to inform the applicant that they're going to take adverse action, that is the exact reason we have the resolution process that they can come to us and we can generate a new report based on information they provide. speaking theoretically the employer could not hire the person just because of the controversy. so damage has occurred. >> certainly there are a lot of theoretical points i could take
into consideration absolutely. >> our attorneys the ones making those decisions? >> we ought to making the decisions are not to belabor the point but we are making decisions what, i can't speak across each customer who is making the decision on their part. it depends on their hiring process. >> let's say it's a discovery of the violent activity. i was calling it a decision because at some point a to decision but it's a violent activity. in other words, who is making that interpretation? >> identification of potentially a violent activity it goes through multiple processes multiple steps of quality assurance that there is no one person that sony makes a
determination of whether or not that content meets the criteria defined. >> i was intrigued by something that came up a couple of times about the individual job applicant receiving a copy of the report in the event of an adverse action versus provision under the fair credit reporting act, the average action notice. but there's also another provision of the fair credit reporting act that requires consumer reporting agencies to make available for free once a year a copy of the consumer reports. and i wonder when we think about fairness and transparency of this kind of information gathering and sharing for job applicants, i wondered on the one hand how your organization deals with the standard annual free credit report, irrespective of an adverse action?
and the second, and i think i will share the views the way your company has set up, really complying -- i think it's terrific. but i'm sure to be lots of other companies cropping up that will be using third party information rather than first party information, all sorts of other kinds of activity that might not be as careful for job applicants. and i wonder how the data access obligation in the fcra my work in those instances? >> to answer your first question, as i mentioned earlier, we enable the consumer to get access at any point in time to the report that we have on file for them. at first score non-adverse. and with regard to other companies doing this any less compliant fashion that's
certainly a likely scenario in that instance. dude, it's something that i think employers need to take into consideration when they -- which organizations they work with. something has to be taken into consideration as they look at establishing guidelines. [inaudible] >> sorry about that. >> actually. the eeoc has guidance when employers do criminal background checks on certain factors that they should consider. and i'm wondering if the panel recommends that an employer does
the same thing with social media type information, which might mean asking an applicant about a picture or about a certain report that he would see? >> as i mentioned earlier i don't think that i think employers should look at this information in consideration of the whole perspective on the individual. i think that they should they should have steps in place to make sure that this information isn't being used in a vacuum. and i certainly would, again, to doing things that are the best ways the employer is going to protect himself is by protecting the job applicant. ..
address in the question consider employee privacy. you're doing great thing about you just move from the decision for what consider the privacy that should be protected from the employer to a third party which is a good thing but just keep the main difficult question. the second one bothered me that third party companies are doing that investigation over people because it gives a kind of --
for those companies to act. and the suggestion is, what about -- from the candidate itself and tell him provide us with the information that you will -- you would like us to go over from social network or from -- give us our tv, and that seems much more legitimate, just to go over the information the candidate provided. >> i think that they are only reviewing user-generated materials so by definition anything will be self-reported. not directly to them -- >> i think it's totally a different self-reported concept to have something you post on social media on facebook, or other web site, and to have, like regarding this specific
application, give us your view to -- >> i think that does happen in certain industries and certain jobs. if you're hiring a social media manager for you company you want to see what their online prepares is, get their twitter handle or an industry blog to look at, and that's fine if you're hiring for that position. i think it happens case-by-case, depending on the industry and the profession. but awill youing access to someone's facebook profile or asking for it is certainly becoming illegal in many states. so that's definitely not a practice i would encourage. >> you're right that placing the control on the information disclosure on the actual applicant, it's a much better position of power by sharing something that i often share with my students on this issue which is that back in '92 when
we were in the hiring process for our president that year the news reporters talked about how bill clinton smoked marijuana and he was on the defensive and in his i guess haste said he smoked but didn't inhale, which was laughed at and everything else. fast forward 15 years. we're now in the hiring process of you want to call it that, for president obama and by that point he had already disclosed that, in his -- in the '90s he experimented with cocaine. now, some people used that example to say wow we've come a long way in our views on drug use. i'm going to say that's really not what that is an example of, and it's an example of really embracing the fact that we have
>> it was a small airport in fact in the '2s so, and the military came and established a training base in the second world war and it was a very active base and quite an attribute to yuma, until the second world war ended and it closed and everybody left. the little town of yuma had 9,000 pop calculation that was dwindling, construction was not going, tourism had not been established, and the town had not a very bright future. with a population of 9,000 and dwindling, the junior chamber of commerce said something has to be done. we have to attract the attention to our good weather and get the air base reactivated. they came up with an an
endurance, and in august they tried and saved up several days and had another major problem and it was hot really hot here, people said you're not going to -- oh, yeah, we'll go up to two or three thousand feet where it's cool. so it took a few months to get parts for the airplane and get it read arey. they took off on the 24th of august and never touched ground until the 10th of october. >> in 1949 the future of arizona was resting on the wings of one airplane. this weekend, the history and literary life of yuma, arizona saturday at noon eastern on book tv on c-span2 and sunday at 50:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span2 3. -- c-span 3. >> bloomberg government hosted a discussion thursday on a joint effort by labor groups and employers to preserve private employer pension programs.
the group is advocating changes in the current law that give plan managers more flexibility. pooling into one fund instead of individual retirement accounts. this is about an hour. >> okay. so now is our panel discussion, and, again you have their bios. they're sitting out of order from the introduction i have, so i have to make sure if got everybody right. we're going to start immediately to my left. everyone in this room, i'm sure, knows randy. he is the executive director of the nasa coordinating committee for multiemployer plans. and -- i think we haved some feedback.
he has 35 years of experience working with this issue and you're going to hear from him directly in a moment, talking about some of his recommendations that he has been working on, what a lot of other distinguished people. our second person we have here is gary, and let me turn over and give you a brief summary of carey, carey is an actuary he has been working in this area for over 30 years. i guess there's a common theme here. we're all in business 30 years plus. by the way all soon to be pensioned. so, -- >> we hope. >> yeah, so, we all have a personal interest in these issues and i'm sure many of you do in the audience. so cary has been a effect speaker at events like this as expert on the technicalities of
pension plans. next person is another person who i have had the pleasure to know for what, 20 plugs years. before he was congressman in north dakota and then was insurance commissioner in north dakota and head of the national association of insurance commissioners and has been the only member of congress who has also served as the president of the naic so he knows insurance he knows congress, and now he is senior counsel at a leading law firm here and atlanta. and finally norman fein, a director of the law school. norman has been with law schools in the past, at alabama and other universities. he is one of the leading academic experts in this area and we're glad to have you here. so we're going to start with randy, and randy as many of you know has been working with a
group of management and labor over what, a couple of years? all right. so he is going to describe to us sort of like the impossible task, all right? he has multiemployers, he has multi-labor unions, and they all recognize they have major challenge, which is to preserve the multiemployer plans from now if not eternity, at least a long time, and he has been working with this group quietly for two years and he has been the de facto chairman of a commission, and he has examined this problem and come up with some recommendations about what to do. so i thought we would kick this off by asking randy to talk a little bit about this very complicated process health the word complicated from josh four ore final times.
so give us some recommendations. >> certainly. talk about this important work. as you correctly said, this is an interesting process -- >> can everybody hear his mic? >> no not working? >> now it's working. >> speak up. >> nobody ever accused me of not speaking up. i think josh did a good job in setting the stage for the situation that we were trying to address. we had as a community -- the multiemployer plans really are very broad-based. you hear a lot about the trucking industry and construction industry. and more than half of the plans in the construction industry but a third of the participants, mid-pier employer -- the entertainment industry, you're a
part of a employer program if you're a member of the entertainment industry. >> we're not entertainers here. at least we try not to be. >> i understand. but the retail food industry. long shore industry, healthcare industry service industry, on and on. what our process was to take a look at the current situation of the plans. josh mentioned the last significant piece of legislation passed in 2006 was the pension protection act. the protection act has a hook in it though. at the end of 2014 the multiemployer funding rules will expire. so there's a natural process to go back to revisit our experience under that law which changed -- new funding targets to try to improve the status of these plans and so that was a natural lead to try to find out what kind of recommendations were there for modifications to
the law in league of recent experience. between 2006 and 2008, we had a significant event. plans in leading up to 2000, had been so overfunded, about 75% of them, they had to increase benefits in order to protect the deductibility of the contribution. had started to recover from the first economic contraction in the early part of the century. by 2007 they were 90% funded, either actuarial or market value basis. and then came 2008, which hit the plans in a way that it hit everything else. obviously those with 401ks were seeing it much faster of the devaluation. pension plans defer recognition of losses but bottom line is they faced the same challenges
because they were broadly invested in the market, as any other institution. the median return in 2008 was a negative 22-1/2%. if you assume that they were going to have 7-1/2% gains in that year, the net result was they were 30% behind where they expected to be the end of the year. that plus the new financial reporting requirements that developed since that time, really was an impetus for us to look at what kinds of tweaks should be made to the pension protection october and be decide it was time to reach out to the community and we contacted the unions that rely primarily on multiemployer plans for their retirement security, and their employer counterpart other large employers that have been part of this process and active on a political side. we reached out to some plans. and we created this commission,
the requirement security review commission because these are -- multiprior programs are part of the collective bargaining process. and it would take both labor and management to agree on reforms of they were going to get enacted. so we spent about 18 months in active discussions. we had 42 organizations that were involved on a monthly basis. a couple days a month fulltime, and the -- it was quite an interesting process. as you can imagine there were times whenever the opinions were pretty strong on both sides of the table but what you might not understand is some of the positions taken from one side were what you would expect from the other. i'm very proud of the way this process progressed. i think that the people who were in the room approached from not an adversarial position but from a problem-solving position, and the results the
recommendationsout see reflect that. they broadly fall into three categories preservation, which deal with the kinds of technical corrections that should be recommended to congress, based on the experience of the pension protection act. the second is remediation remediation being recognition of those minority plans that josh discussed that will eventually be headed for insolvency for a variety of ropes. -- variety of reasons and how to minimize the effect on participants. and then third innovation. are there new plan designs that would allow the plans to provide long-term retirement security for workers in the future. >> ask one followup. in these categories -- i'm interested in the innovation part. give me some examples as sort of
some innovative ideas. are the contractses when dc plans and pb plans? >> to some extent. one of the things we have been looking at and was reinforced as we went through the process is serious people thinking in terms of defined benefit or defined contribution and focus on two primary octobertives to make sure workers have a regular retirement income and to reduce the liability for employers. they're currently discouraging participation. both defined benefit and defined contribution plans structured -- as a result, in looking forward we were trying to address the shortcomings of the system in terms of having all that liability on the employers but not going as far as to shift the
entire liabilities and investment performance experience on to participants. as a result there are a couple things the commission came up with. one is a broad recommendation -- not working? try this one. >> in order to meet the unique needs of those particular industries. >> the law would have to be changed. >> the law would have to be changed in some ways. there are some innovative structures that are currently're missable and have been adopted by some plans. the commission came up with two distinct recommendations for modification but they were clear to say theser illustrative of the kinds of things can be down. the first is a variable defined benefit plan, which has a --
currently a db plan under current law and would follow all of the current rules including pbgc protections minimum funding requirements, but it's structured in a way that provides a minimum benefit calculated at a lower interest rate assumption, and then the investment performance above 1% or so above the presumed rate of return is a buffer against bad experience to then be shared with the participants and their could -- there could be a higher benefit. but bass it is variable, it could also be lower. so that's one form. the second category is something that we call the target benefit. but it's patterned loosely after some of the models that exist elsewhere the world. part of the commission's experience and part of our process was to reach out to other systems in other countries
that have multiemployer plans jointly managed between labor and management, but don't use withdrawal liability as a means of preserving the plan. we talked to representatives of the canadian system, the swiss system the finnish system and the dutch system, and we learned, with the exception of quebec none of them use that as a mechanism for funding their plan. and so the new model the target model, would require contributions as a higher rate than what our plans are used to. about 120% of the projected actuarial cost, but a plan that would limit the employers' liability to that contribution. just as a defined contribution plan would. this model is one that would be -- could be considered by groups primarily groups that for the point where for a
variety of reasons, specific to an industry or specific employers, that the current defined benefit model is no longer acceptable, and this new model is a much better alternative than the current defined contribution system. there are a couple of reasons for that. one, that the -- and this is why the code would have to be changed. presently the defined contribution system requires individual accounts. the new model looks just like your current defined benefit plan. the benefits are pooled. pooled annuity benefits would be paid under the annuity form. there is no individual account. there are no events which would lead to leakage from the system. the loans no hardship distributions. just operationally would look just like the kind db system -the-current db system but the,s -- limit employer exposure
and put additional responsibility on managing the plan that reduces the exposure of the participant to the kinds of market volatility we have seen in the past few years. it would require early intervention if it falls below a level, and we would simply say this model allows greater flexibility to deal with the market variations. not dissimilar to some of the things we have seen proposed in other public forums, including senator harken's proposal, for example. that's the general direction we were headed. >> let me switch and ask you earl i think one of the question is was going to ask earl how important the plans --
but we're going to stipulate they're important. so we won't worry about that. josh made an excellent statement about that. but you just heard josh talk about the situation about how good or bad the situation is. you share his view? roughly 100 out of 1300? just give your thoughts on the so-called remediation part of the problem as opposed to all the plans are healthy. >> what we heard was so important from josh was the pbgc director affirming the importance of defined benefit plans and what this assured income stream in retirement means to those who are the beneficiaries. i was in congress during a period of excessive pbgc directors that frankly viewed their job simply as looking after the fund like they were running a little insurance company, with a view to the broader retirement policy of the country.
and i think congress has failed to see pensions in the context of what do americans need to live securely in retirement. without question this shift of defined benefit plan, the defined contribution plan, the responsibility and risk all on the employer, the responsibility and risk all on the employee, has been dramatic and there are going to be tens of millions of baby-boomers experiencing less of a quality of life, less economic security and retirement, as a result of this shift. and congress has just sat by and watched it happen right under their nose. i'm so pleased that nccnp the coalition of employers organized labor with a stake in multiemployer process has not taken that approach. rather than saying we can't go with the old model. we got lay it all on the employees. that is not in the end to fashion the best policy going forward. this is another thing congress
could take some lessons about. they had different views at the table and tried to come up with a consensus around two guiding principles. first, there will be a plan that at the end of the day provides -- to workers in retirement. really important. critical. on the other hand, changes are needed. technically described by randy but the upshot is we're going to rebalance risk because risk leaves it on the employer, and the fashion we have today is not working and will not work for the future. something that utterly doesn't work for employers doesn't work for employees or beneficiaries. and we've seen this in the rest of the defined benefit world. funds frozen. we would have been much better for congress to call a time out. let's get together, what needs to be rebalanced so we can make these work going forward. that's what this commission did.
so i think that the innovation that will be allowed will be the -- the goal is to have new entrants into the system, employers not providing something for their workers that give assured cash flow of retirement. they're going to want to provide those plans and have a risk level for the employer that is manageable so they can do it. on the other hand you mentioned about the portion of the i call them terminally ill plans. we can do a couple of things. denial. let things go on and they'll end up not the pbg sooner or later and benefits will collapse. i view that as unacceptable risk for the worker. we know the pbgc multiemployer guarantees are insufficient. we also know that there's a political question on to what extent congress will fund up that pbgc guarantee.
so if there's something that can be done, that allows an earlier intervention, for purposes of the benefit preservation, we ought to look at that, and that is that feature of the plan that -- the smallest portion of the market price, the troubled 10% and -- or less -- actually the estimate is six to ten percent. you can get in there earlier and basically put things on a stable path going forward. that's superior by any measure to the pbgc guarantee. >> so just continuing with this, as a form member of congress and you know the inconstitution, what is congress going to adopt the plan randy is talking about. >> i'm surprisingly optimistic. when i was in congress, it was my goal be the most knowledgeable pension guy there. that was a low bar. [laughter]
there was a lot of feigned interest in getting the public policy right. but i'm seeing something different now. senator harken is chairing the health committee in his last term in congress, has made this a priority on the house side. john klan has pent very constructive time trying to get his hands around this. recently i was in a ways and means working group session not participating as a member but in recommendation to my work with nccmp. and pat teaberry, chairing the working group spent two hours weeding into the multiemployer plans. i think this is an all-time record. about it does reflect congress knows something needs to be done. i think they have a better sense of baby-boomers are expressing
their anxiety in the districts how these 401ks are falling short of what they happened. they're looking for ways that you can come up with something that preserves this guaranteed cash flow and retirement feature. so i'm seeing an interest in congress and we have just the product because this is a consensus product. it's not aupon or employer protect. this is not a i win, yous lose product. this is a very constructiontive solution and congress will be interested. >> it's one of the ropes that -- the reasons that congress has a chance of doing something is this plan doesn't entail any taxpayer money? >> when i was there, congress liked self-help an awful lot. we don't have a budget for federal help. this is self-help. and done in a way that is balanced self-help package. i think thatle is essential
elements. >> cary let me turn to you. you're an actuary. you have heard this discussion, and i'm sure you're familiar with the kind of legislative reforms you're talking about. is that enough? just have congress change a butch of rules and everything is fixed, or is something more required to ensure the solvency of these plans? >> i think beyond the legislative proposals and everything that is in the nccmp's proposal, good solutions there, but i think it's important for plans to see what they can do themselves independent of the rules and regulations. there are a number of plans that got through the 2008 crisis unscathed. can everybody hear me? what did we learn from 2008? i've seen a number of plans that were despite the fact they were 30% behind where they expected to be at the end of 2008, they
still did not need to make any changes. they did not need to reduce benefits or increase contribution. they managed to have a certain pruett management that allow -- prudent management that aloud them to build cushion in funding that basically saved for a rainy day and planned for adverse experience. it was difficult, as randy talked about the fact that the runup in the market at the end of the '90s, created a need for many plans to increase benefits because the deductibility rule for employer plans were much low are than single employer plans yet some plans addressed that and had that prudent management. so i think it's important for labor management trustees, who are overseeing this plans where possible to develop policies that basically. -- i'm always telling clients to stay ahead of the law. we need the safety net. josh talked about the importance of the safety net. that what this proposal does,
privates excellent safety net. but for the vast majority plans 95% 0 of the plans that bill okay there's things they can do to control their open destiny and at it important they do that. >> well, i want to ask you a question -- actually two questions. you can take them in either order. what do you think the impact of these reform is is going to be on retirees? actual people. and then the second part of this plan is, is this going to require any increase in contribution? -- excuse me -- in premiums paid to the pbgc as part of this fix. >> well, taking the second question first the real question isn't -- the real question is whether congress will increase premiums with pbgc and from where i sit there are two serious -- 12-dollars
and you compare that to single employer plans where it's i think $42 with a variable premium up tap additional $400 per participant. $12 is a bargain and it's a bargain that is creating problems for the pbgc and a problem that is also related to the very low guarantee level for multiemployer plans whichs much much, much smaller than those for single employer plans. pbgc ran some numbers and found that if the premium were increased to $120, by 2012 there would be no deficits in the multiemployer plan program. that's a big increase in percentage but it's not a big -- it's not a big premium if you're thinking about what it would be purchasing, which is preserving the safety net. and there are probably some innovative things that could be done through the tax code. and might also be able --
although i hadn't thought about this in great detail until about 15 seconds ago -- might actually have the participants share in the premium costs paying them directly so we won't have a crisis for some small businesses that can't afford dramatic increase in premiums. because along with that if premiums were increased we might also be able to increase the guarantees somewhat, which i think would -- 11,000 something is not a whole lot of money to live on, which we -- even with social security. the -- it's a very thoughtful report. the organizations i talked to that deal with retirees are concerned about aspects of it. the tools that -- the deeply
troubled plans would have would permit immediate reduction of retiree benefits to no less than 110% of the guarantee levels. under current law,over -- if you're retired now you get paid your benefits unless the plan actually runs out of money. one of our concerns with the commission's proposal is that there's -- the commission proposal talked about the problems with vulnerable population that the reductions in benefits are left to the trustees in most planses -- not all plans -- the trustees all have a legal duty to act in behalf of all participants, but structurally, the way trustees are appointed raises the question whether the primary goal was going to be to try to
harm the retirees as little also possible and the pbgc, thunder the proposal, does have the ability to review and pass judgment on what the trustees of particular plans recommend in terms of benefit cuts, but the pbgc's role is limited. basically, did the trustees abuse their discretion? is their there clear and compelling evidence they abused their direction, and the one thing i would like city, the people i work with would like to see in these recommendations is some clear voice for the retirees that is independent of the trustees. that's the concern -- >> just as a followup, the unions as part of the coalition, the unions agreed to this so they must have felt they were comfortable enough --
>> there are two things. win is that the unions -- some unions have retirees who participate in union elections. many many don't. the unions also legally bargain for employees not retirees so there's some concern that the union -- not that we have bad people that want tohart retirees but a lot of union leadership is going to be more concerned with -- and rightly so -- with their current members and active employees and help the employees that employ them. so, this is -- >> you want to weigh 0 in on this? >> yes. >> there's one overriding goal of the plan and that's benefits preservation. not reduction. preservation. our plan -- we have to rework some things in order to preserve
benefits well above the pbgc guarantee, and substantial improvement over the pbgc guarantee is the bottom line on when one of these would be undertaken. i think that, as the process goes forward, theirself is the commission report that is now being drafted into bill language. so all kinds of time to make certain that we're attending to the vulnerable population issue but let not have that part of the discussion overwhelm all the other discussion. first of all 90% didn't relate to and those that do, we're talking about substantial improvement in the pbgc guarantee subject to the vulnerable population. so in the context of the overall product, this is the kind of thing that can stop this dead in its tracks in congress. something bad might happen. i don't know what to do with it.
do nothing. well doing nation the worst course to do when you have plans heading irretrievably into the pbgc. benefits collapse and the pbgc is not adequately funded. that's the worst thing to do with these vulnerable populations and everybody else. so we have to balanced proposal that advances substantially the goal of preserving retirement security and 10.4 million that are relating to this plan, awful substantial part of the population that we need to be concerned with, and i think in addition to that, this consensus approach shows that you can balance risk, you can deal with conflicting concerns, and come up with a path forward that represents just plain old common sense middle ground the way we need to do it. stopping dead in its tracks. that would be really unfortunate when we have this level of input
in a measured middle ground response. >> okay, let's talk about this. obviously, norm, you stirred up a herenet's nest on this issue. >> that was my goal. >> well, you did. as you're responding to this i want to throw one more issue on the table because norm mentioned it. do you think raising premiums has to be part of the deal? >> i think it probably does. to a certain extent that's necessary. but to follow on with what both norm and earl were talking about -- a quick war star. a machine we were brought in to help 12 years ago. the plan was head for inconvenience si construction industry plan. that plan would have been able to merge with a larger healthy plan according to the healthy plan if the weak plan was able to cut their benefits to everyone by 25%. so everyone would get 75%. they'd merge into the healthy plan and that would we fine. we met with the pbgc back in
2001 long before josh's time, and they told us unfortunately there's nothing that can be done. we showed the pbgc woo what it would cost them, $200 million. nothing could be this. plant went insolvent. the pbgc is now paying the benefits and eave participant on average is getting 40% of their benefits. if the proposal had been in place back then, it would have saved this plan. there would have been some benefit reduction but not -- less than half the reduction of what actually happened. >> i think randy wants to say something and then we'll give it back to you. >> just wanted to clarify a few things. i think norman's reading of the commission is perhaps a little misleading. early mentioned we're trying to -- carefully evaluated the current status of the pbgc safety net and there are
numbers -- their own numbers indicated before the last two reports cam out they were operating in a significant deficit. 1.8 billions in assets, 7 billion in liabilities. those numbers can be extrapolated and even made larger by some of the other plans that aren't contained in their projection because it's outside the window for budgetary purpose. the bottom line is that the pbgc is headed for problems. they have those assets. when those assets are gone, the gao has recently given an estimate that the current benefits guarantee can be less than 10% of what the statutory guarantee would provide. they provide an example of a person with 35 years of service who is currently receiving $2,000 the plan were to become insolvent, that person would have his benefit reduced to $1,251. but if the -- once the pbgc becomes insolvent because their
only income flow would be from current premiums, that guaranteed that, monthly amount would drop to less than $125 a month. now, grant, the guarantees in a single employer system and the multiemployer system are quite different. that was intentional. in the single employer system, the pbgc is the insurer of first resort. if a company fails there's no one else to pick up the liabilities. but in industries like construction where there are employers who are created for the purpose of building a building you have a joint venture. that employer makes contributions, and then it's gone. it's understood that there are employers who come and go in the system. and as employers go, the remaining employers pick up the liabilities. so the pbgc is the insure e. of last resort to give you an indication of the difference between the two systems in 1980 when the multiprior guarantee system was set up,
there were over 2200 multiemployer plans covering eight million people. now, as josh says, there are 1450 on their books that cover 10.4 million people. you would think that, wow, 700 of the plans failed. actually only 63 plans have ever received government assistance from that system because there's been an enormous amount of merger activity during those years where plans that weren't as strong, were able to be brown into plans that were stronger. that's another feature of our proposal. we believe under additional tools that could be given to the pbgc to help that process as well. but the fundamental problem -- and i think the thing wanted to correct about what norm said -- the benefit reductions that are being contemplated here -- and earl said contributely. it's benefit preservation. if a plan is headed for insolvency the ones that are going to go to the pbgc and
those fantastic numbers i just cited would be the result. why not instead of requiring the plans to spend all their assets down on the current participants and then having nothing going forward why not allow the trustees, who know that is happening where all reasonable measures have been taken to ensure that the plan could survive but it's still projected to be insolvent why not allow them to have access to the tools they're mandated to impose when they get to insolvency if that plan can reduce benefits to the extent necessary to preserve solvency, 5% that's all they can take. b. would proserve the benefits above what the pbgc provides. the 110 % number us in there because it would allow a broader knelt of plans who could take advantage of the process and would allow the plan to be preserved for future
generations, keeping the people in this audience, the employers from having to be hit with withdrawal liability in the event of a mass withdrawal. the last thing is for every one of the plans that can be preserved and remain solvent it's less risk to the taxpayer to the pbgc, so earl talked about win-win. this is win-win-win and each of those constituent stakeholder groups would benefit from the enactment. >> it's no a win-win-win if you're an employee who -- you benefits are cut from 37,000 to 20,000. that's win-win-lose. i'm not by any means opposed to cutting benefits. i think we have a desperate situation. we had a phone call just yesterday from somebody in a teamster plan, and he read about
the commission, and he said, i was told that i was safe, that i would be paid -- the plan wouldn't run out of money before i die and i would continue getting my benefits. now, the problem isn't that we might have to cut retiree benefits. i think everybody has to share in the pain. but there are many plans that are going to continue -- that are covered by the report, that are going to continue for 15 or 20 years under current law if the current law is left alone and retirees well by okay in that situation. one of the constant themes in pension law and pension management the last 100 years has been, when there's a problem, the first person you protect is the retirees, and that is clear in the allocation scheme in pbgc; it's clear if you look at plans going back to the late 19th century or early 20th century, which made
provisions for retirees be paid for benefits before anybody else. and our concern -- the commission what made up of unions employer groups, it spoke to experts but aarp was not part of the commission, pension rights was not part of the commission, and our concern is protecting retirees in the process. we're providing better protection for retirees in the process. the commission does have lots of as separational language about protecting vulnerable populationses, but also i read the commission's recommendations, what the trustees are going to be asked to do is make determinations. there are multiple factors that the trustees can consider. i teach law students, don't think any of them would have a problem drafting a report that did virtually -- that had almost any conceivable effect on retirees as being the only way out, and then pbgc is not
permitted to change those recommendations unless it finds clear and compelling evidence they abused their discretion. what i think would make the commission report -- the commission's recommendations far more palatable to retiree group ifs they felt they had an independent voice in the process to at least get people focused on their particular issues. and there is a difference. if the plan is going to run out of money in five years retirees should be grateful to the commission's report even from their individual perspective -- economic perspective because they do do better. but when the plans are not protected to be insolvent for 15 or 20 years the person who is paying the most, if you look at the change from current law to present law are the retirees, and that's our view.
retirees were represented on the commission and we don't want to have something where those retirement 100% protected but the 35-year-old trying to make all his payments driving to work today, paying an extraordinary amount of wage contribution into the mention he node will have benefits collapse down to the pbgc level. you can -- we don't do anything for that guy. we hold the other guy completely 100% -- that doesn't make sense. there's a way you can balance interests, and throughout this commission report, they found ways to basically allocate risk in acceptable ways. we are completely committed to making sure the ultimate language drafted gives 100% assurance for vulnerable populations that their needs are
met. congress is going to require that. we -- we wouldn't think about moving forward a plan that did anything else. >> i'm excited about this issue. and -- but i'm not going to take over the discussion unless you don't ask questions. we have mics that are available. the only thing i ask is you stand up, say who you are and sort of who you represent, of if you're not representing anybody say your on your own. we have question back there. >> i'm john turner of the pension policy center. the proposal sounds like the -- it's like an alternative proposal would be that if the -- the problem exists that part of the adjustment would be that employee tax deductible contributions would be allowed
and so you have a process -- proposal where the employer contributions are capped, and they have no further liability about if an adjustment needs to be made, that employee tax deductible contributions to could be part of the adjustment. i think that's not part of the proposal and could you explain if you considered adding that? >> that isn't part of our proposal you have to think about the process here. what the bargaining parties do is they negotiate a wage package. the package includes all forms of compensation, including contributions to benefit plan and health benefit plan. so if you think about it from that standpoint, while these employer contributioned and the employers are on the hook if you don't immediate your minimum funding requirements. the employees look at it this is part of their wage pact they receive in their pocket if it were not being contributed to
one of the benefit plans. so we have an employee-funded program. so what we're talking -- these are pretax contributions from the employees. but the employee looks at it is as this all my money going in there the employers have a different view. i'm not disagreeing with that. when you talk about itself in terms of allowing employees make additional contributions on a pretax basis that was not being considered here. >> question over here. >> i'm mike tripp from cost. >> talk little louder. >> i'm with the mca group from colorado. the thing that i've locked at was the multiemployer plans is -- well i'm in the plumbing and heating industry, and i look at it from the standpoint that
this is a spiral can deal, because of the unfunded liability situation we cannot get any new contractors to sign agreements. i think that's the one thing that everybody in the whole problem has forgotten anybody who has a liability of four or five ten million dollars who would ever sign an agreement? i think that's part of this situation that i got to commend you guys for doing what you're doing because we're not going to get anybody to sign agreements with those kind of liabilities, and it's just a spiral that goes downward. >> anybody else? earl? >> you got a fund. more participants in the fund, they help with the pension. you got nobody join? you got an up healthy situation. so we have to rielle -- rielle
-- re-allocate risk. and have a healthier fund. >> we have a question here. >> richard from california. i represent mechanical contractors. i'd leak to go back to the last comment norm made about the pension fund being projected to last 15 to 20 years rather than making an adjustment on today's retirees and rely on the credentials of the panel to explain and clarify how that differs from congress' proven to social security. we all know social security won't go broke until 2035, so they don't do anything until it's too late. if we or two make a -- i'll use the actuary's example -- make 5% adjustment today we don't run out of money for 60 yearses. but because we know we're going to not run out for 20 years we don't take any action. doesn't it make more sense to make 5% judgment today rather
than 40% of 60% in 20 years. >> i want to make clear. make i haven't -- i have been more subtle than i should we're -- i'm not saying that retirees should be held harmless. i think retiree benefits have to be cut in these deeply troubled plans. no question about that. and in some cases in order for the plan to be saved we think retiree benefits may have to be cut substantially. what we're concerned about is that the process by which those decisions are made, where we're talking about possibly cutting somebody's benefits by 50 or 60% or 70% that the process considers the pain to those people who are out of the labor market who don't have other options now versus other types of pain, and that the pain being minimized to the extent possible. we're not saying there shouldn't
be pain. when i say we, i'm talking about the organization that gives advice to a pension rights center. we have heard from retirees who are very concerned it about this -- concerned about this. we think pain has to be shared. we think you make the hard decisions now, you can make the plans healthy again and in some cases we think the pain is going to be just -- all the way down to 110% of pbgc guarantees, but we do think that the current report makes it too easy to not consider whether there are other alternatives available that might allow somewhat smaller cuts in benefits. >> i think talking to the subcommittee the way that this proposal might die in congress is showing that there's something very important to be said for coming together and
trying to mediate the differences of approaches, and that has not been the case with congress. you're absolutely right. earlier attention to a long-term solvency issue, driven by actuarial signs -- the earlier the intervention, the more measured the change to fix it. you have to do it -- look at the recent congress, you had the president bush proposal. that wasn't a consensus proposal. that was a very much partisan one-view proposal and rejected by the other side. the politics about social security have been so extraordinary white hot that that parties have november been able to leave the politics at the door, sit at the table and work to a solution. what happened with this commission? employers, organized labor sit at a table for 18 months and come up with a proposal which as you read through it, it just
balances risk, in very measured ways and that's why i think this proposal could be a guide to congress in terms of -- got to work together to get these things solved. >> i think also it's important to keep in mind a lot of these severely troubled plans -- the plans that are in trouble -- not true in every case but there's a strong correlation that plans with relatively rich benefits, high benefits, plans that spend everything they had on maximizing the benefits, are the ones that are -- >> we're going to break away from the last few minutes of this event to go live to the u.s. senate. a quick reminder. you can see this and any other c-span2 program online anytime at c-span2 doering. the senate is about to gather into session. no legislative work is scheduled. now live to the senate floor here on c-span2.
the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c may 3, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1 paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable john d. rockefeller, iv, a senator from the state of west virginia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate now stands in adjournment until 2:00 p.m. on monday, may 6 >> that wraps 'the pro form ma session in the senate. lawmakers are back mo. we expert debate on internet sales taxes and the reminder the 2013 directory is a guide to the
current congress. you can find updated listing for each member of the house and senate. >> president obama in mexico today, earlier he spoke to students in mexico city. we'll have his complete remarks later in the program schedule but here's a brief look. >> despite all the values we share, despite all the people who claim heritage on both sides, our attitudes sometimes are trapped in those stereotypes. and some americans always see the mexico that is depicted in sensational headlines of violence and border crossings
and let's admit it, some mexicans think that america disrespects mexico, or thinks that america is trying item pose itself on mexican sovereign sovereignty, or just wants to -- in both countries such distortions create misunderstandings that make it harder for us to move forward together. so i've come to mexico because i think at it time for us to put the old mindsets aside. it's time to recognize new realities, including the impressive progress of today's mexico. [applause] >> president obama in mexico today, part of a trip that sees him also visit kosta reek ya. -- costa rica.
>> now a set of conversations at chicago state university looking airtimes jobs, education politics drugs the media and foreign policy. tv and radio host tavis smiley moderated the first conversation with latino leaders. it's just over three hours. >> hello i'm tavis smily and aisle honored to be part of this examination, latinos beyond the numbers, please can this august panel we assembled for this
conversation. i'm going to introduce them one by one. i'm delighted to be moderating this session. there are two panels con -- con veeping here in chicago. plies thank chicago state university for having us here. we appreciate the invitation. i've been here before, but these conversations, so i'm honored to be back here at this great institution opposite again. there's an afternoon panel another one of those conversations. that will be moderated by fer ferrari unanimous dough and another august panel of eight brilliant opinion makers and this is but one of these conversations. so if you happen to be watching this one now make sure you take notes of your programming schedule to make sure you get the other panel moderated by fernando as well. i'm delighted to have this
opportunity to sit amongst these influences to talk about the issues that are important to all americans and especially in -- and uniquely to the latino community. i have said many times to my friend antonio gonzalez, that i sometimes feel for my hispanic brothers and sisters because when they get access to main stream media, so often they get boxed into having one conversation about you know what immigration reform. and given what is happening in washington right now or not happening as it were, we're talking about immigration reform but there's so many issues that matter to these fellow citizens that so often we don't get to benefit and i mean that sincerery we don't get the benefit of your opinion about the things that matter to the rest of us. education, and unemployment, and underemployment, and housing and crime and health care, and even foreign policy. so i hope that between these two panels here in chicago state
university which make up latino nation beyond the numbers hence the panel, we can get to some meaningful tie log and rich discourse about the thing that matter to all of us americans and get a unique perspective what is happening inside this community. when you say beyond the numbers it calls up the fact that the numbers are clear. this community is going exponentially in america. 25% of our studentness schools identify as latinos and so this is the new america as it were, and it sound weird to say the new america because they were here before we got here. so it's kind of funny to say that but we have to come to terms with what it means what these numbers that is, mean, for the future of this great nation. so without any further adieu let's get back to this conversation call it latino nation beyond in the numbers. i want to start with my friend tom signs, and you and i have had some conversations a number
of times and i think that the place to start today while we're getting to immigration reform is not with immigration because there is another issue i think impacts concerns, and quite frankly is causing all of to us be a bet fearful and that is these new unemployment numbers. the numbers we saw just recently that came out from the u.s. government. everybody is in trouble. i don't care if you're black red, brown white yellow, everybody seems to be in trouble in this economy, but it's had a particular impact on the latino community. two-thirds -- a full two-thirds of the wealth in this community was lost due to the so-called race -- and as we sit here for this conversation we might be at the precipice or already in a double-dip recession and so if two-thirds of the wealth in your community has already been lost, god knows what is going to happen in the coming weeks and months if this recession doesn't recede.
just give me some sense of what the impact of this recession has been economically on the latino community. >> i think the numbers you have given illustrate the devastating impact of an economic downdisturb will hit the latino community where the extent of wealth development is not as mature in the white community for example where the extent of ability to bounce back from employment challenges is not as deep because of some of the long-standing issues that we'll talk about including the continuing education gap for the latino community and the african-american community which is a problem for the entire nation. continuing issues of employment discrimination. sometimes continue to receive the real effort and intentions they should receive but the reality is, particularly when you have an economic downturn, a lot of folks revote bad hospitals and some of those
include making decisions based on inappropriate bases and for the latino community that's often on the basis of language, hack certification presumed immigration status, as it is on race or any of the other inappropriate baseses. we have to make sure we have laws in place and being vigorously enforced, that ensure that even in the worst of types we're still making certain that all communities have the opportunity to bounce back and to continue to build. because that's what our entire nation depends upon, given the growth of the latino community. we have to make sure we're in a position to ensure that problems experienced in the great recession don't become problems that exist over the course of the next century because they have multigenerational impacts on educational futures on the opportunity to obtain the skills and experience to do will in the work place so they don't have long-term impacts on
asset-building that becomes critical to investment in small beens and other generators or economic development and opportunity for everyone. >> how would you juxtapose notion that in the last presidential election cycle this latino community flexed its muscle like never seen before. so the political muscle is growing, and yet this economic downturn is sucking the life blood out of many families. >> i think you reconcile the two by recognizing that as important all the attention on immigration that came out of the leaks really it was an eleaks about multiple other issues. it -- latinos voted in impressive numbers saying we are going to continue to be engaged on issues, starting with economic policy, work force development, starting with eliminating discrimination issues we just talked about and
includes immigration preform because all of this is tied together. so much off the negative sisterow typing tied to the been lawmaking has economic impacts not only on the immigrant community but the entire latino community, bought so much of that stereo typing bleeds into how people make everyday decisions who they employ, who they want to hire, who they're interested in the opening promote their future education and still development. >> on that question, i'll move on here. i'm only going -- i want to follow up on this and we'll get into more of this as the conversation proceeds. but since you went there what is your sense -- has there been research done on the opportunities denied certain latinos based upon their look, based upon the accent, based upon the appearance? it came up in my own community
african-american community, that your very name, your name, decides whether or not you get an opportunity or not with a particular job. if if on thieveries me they zetia instinct would -- see shaniqua williams, and that goes against you. and on the other hand it makes a difference what you name your children if you want them to have an opportunity and there are two sides of that question. one is a cultural question, which maybe we'll get to with my friend david about a cultural question about what that means vis-a-vis assimilation and the naming of your children and the culture. we'll get to that later. the question for you is, what's your sense? any data that suggests that kind of sigmaization adds to the level of economic deprivation. >> i'm not aware of large studies but anecdotally these
are issue that been around for a long time, whether it's the name on theres mew or accent or question about someone's immigration background and how that affects employment decisions. it's clear we need to have laws that are modernized to address the impacts wet see today and those impacts are still developing. as this immigration debate has moved forward in two many ways resulted in demonization, you don't yet know the immediate and longer term impact of some of that deminization of the entire latino community. we have seen it not just in arizona but five other states where there's been official legislative action that basically demonizes the entire latino community and that's going to take time. whether it that's fully documented by study yet or not it's something that we, as we go about policymaking, need to
ensure we are adjusting our laws and our practices to address those new and developing concerns because any kind of discrimination in the employment force has a significant impact beyond just the affected individuals. it's a drag on our economy and that's been demonstrated going back half a century. so we have to make sure, as we see these developments, we're adjusting our laws, poll i and practices as state and federal level to ensure we're addressing the coaches today, and that includes both the context we're talking about in immigration debate that often demonizes a community, and the great recession and these decision are being made in -- that the state of the economy means they can get away with things they couldn't get away with five or ten years ago before the great recession. but they think now the economy is such that you can really get
away with not just discrimination at the hiring point but discrimination in propose and, frankly discrimination in the working conditions people face. the economy is such that a lot of folks are afraid of losing their job the job they've got. the billion -- benefits with the jobs and there are many employers are following the law but too many of them may conclude that economic situation means they can get away with violations that they otherwise wouldn't take the chance of engaging in. >> you said three or four things here and i was sitting here noodling which way i wanted to go. you gave me so many wonderful segways segways to get to the expertise of the people on the panel. hector was the administrator for the small business administration. and now is with the latino coalition, but hector, said a number of things i want to come to you on now. specifically about this -- i'm concerned, giving your expertise
and your background, about the ill pact this recession has had on small business in the latino communities, small business is the engine of this country. it drives america period, but certainly inside the latino community, the mop and pop shops and other opportunities for entrepreneurships that members of your community take, drives drives the engine of your community. talk about the impact of the recession specifically on small business. >> well, as tom said, it's been significant. there are some people in our community that will say that when times are going well, there are pockets of latino community that are in recession. when we're in a recession there are pockets in the hispanic community that are in a depression. there's an incredible amount of opportunity in the future, especially with small business, when i was at sca, we studied the trends. the fastest growing segment of small business in the united states was hispanic-owned
businesses, and i believe it still is. that represents 3 million companies in the united states. those companies are generating about $500 billion in revenue and those numbers could double every five years according to demographers if they had the right environment. alet of those businesses don't feel they have the right environment. by the way latino business needs the same thing that any business needs. they need capital. very difficult to access capital. they need capacity. they need to know those things they don't know, counseling, technical assistance. they need contracts. not only from the federal government, which is very, very important, but also from the private sector, and they also have to control their costs. so there are a lot of latino businesses in a state of analysis paralysis they thought things would be better by now and when we're talking about jobs, small businesses in america generate two-thirds of
the net new jobs in our economy so our economy will not come back unless small businesses are thriving. they are the engine of america a lot of the small businesses are not thriving right enough, and those three million hispanic businesses employ millions of latinos. >> we're in chicago the home of president barack obama and if he were here, one of the things he or his administration might say is that what they did in the first term to help support small business was called the stimulus. that money in theory was supposed to trickle down to small businesses to help them through this difficult economic time in the nation. there was a report that came out a year or so ago out of the kerwin institute of ohio state university that talked about the specifically in themy community the african-american community that money has not trickled down to small business. i wonder if you have any insight whether the stimulus trickled
down to halt teen know business. >> lot of that money did not go to small businesses. it did not go to infrastructure. it did no go to opportunities for those small businesses to get more capital. a lot of times small businesses -- they can take care of these issues themselves if they have a more friendly environment, and there arlet of issues that affect all small businesses but latino businesses as well. the amount of tacks they're -- amount of taxes they're paying, and that's important and smaller businesses bay more taxes that larger businesses who have ways to avoid that. healthcare cos are -- costs are really important. small business is one of the only communities that has trouble accessing affordable health care, quality health care, et cetera. if you work for a corporation or government or a union those things are taken care of. regulation. more regulation than ever before and a lot of times the
small businesses can't deal with it. big business can put resources towards that. small business person is doing everything doing all these jobs. so there's a lot of issue that affect them beside as stimulus program. sometimes small businesses feel that their government doesn't really understand what they do every day. they don't feel like they have a strong advocate or partner for them. sometimes they feel on the defensive by the own government. i'm not just talking federal government. state government, local government, et cetera. >> government. luis gutierrez congressman from the great state of illinois. we'll get to immigration as i promised in this conversation because can't be avoided, should it it be. but while we're talking about the economy and the fact as hector suggested so many small businesses feel like the government is in the way that increasing regulation, et cetera, is making it more difficult for them to advance in
their businesses and they're entrepreneurial spirit and genius. many people people that government is in the way, that would you say? >> i think government can do more to stimulate job opportunities and job growth. in our community. but when i look at jobs, i also want the american public to know that one you think of latinos the impact is not the same throughout the latino community. there are -- number one, i want everyone to know that most latinos in the united states are citizens of the united states and here legally. some of us have been here for generations. more than generations. for centuries. others have arrived five years ago, ten years ago, but we're a community, of families, and as i look at small businesses and to
the latino community and whether you're a recent immigrant or a product of immigrants, i know how important that entrepreneurial spirit is in our community, and i really see it, tavis in the recently arrived immigrants. seems to me the newer you are latinos to america and the more recently arrived you are, the most entrepreneurial you are and so we need to be a more welcoming nation because that entrepreneurial spirit creates jobs and creates wealth and creates an economy in which people have purchasing power. so i want people to know that but attempt i want government to be there because there's one really bad fact. and that is that it's great to see that osha and that the federal government, through its practices, is decreasing the number of people that get hurt where they go to work. it's that's good.
people should go to work, a good day's work for a fair salary. and the deaths also are increasing but is that happening overall within or workplace population? it's increasing month latinos. that is, more latinos still die every day working somewhere and latinos tend to get hurt more. there's an increase so from a macro perspective great the work force is safer. for latinos it's not as safe. so i want to talk about government because government is important, but at the same time i agree. i think we should look at how special communities are especially communities that have demonstrated come to chicago our city, everybody things michigan avenue, right? and it is. it's a great avenue to go and shop. but what is the avenue that creates the second largest stream of tax dollars to the
city of chicago? it's 26th street, in little village, in the mexican immigrant community. that's the community that is creating jobs. and they're moving it and i look at inner cities like chicago and others and i see -- i think we should motivate because part of economic development and i think this is part of your question -- your first sentence of losing wealth -- is opening homes. i if you're going to fortify enableds people have to have the ability and there is a lot of wealth in our community, but part of the wealth, even in spite of the depression, billions of dollars continue to go back to moms and dads, to brothers and sisters and to family members they care so much about. so i would think gosh, that's the kind of neighbor i want. the kind of neighbor that works
really hard, sweats and toils can doesn't have such a good job that paid will bull they still take some of that money and send is so it others will do better. it's the entrepreneurial spirit we have to fine and have not given enough thought to how to promote it. >> you've said so many things to phenomenon up on. -- to follow up on. the notion of these two hispanics per day who tie in the workplace. that is a shame and a moral disgrace that happens in this country on a daily basis. no other community would accept that. i was here in chicago a couple years ago actually joel -- joliette and i spend the day filming conversations with -- what this organization does is
to document and fight for the protect of day laborers and others. just workers period. who are taken advantage of by major american companies by multinationals they will hire them on a parttime basis for months and years on end. they keep them at a certain category, certain classification so they don't have to kick in the healthcare benefits for years on end. i mean, the atrocities about women who are molested and raped by their bosses. they trot days these warehouse workers for justice documented, were just -- i'm trying to find the right word -- devastating to my spirit to see this happens on a regular basis. i raise that because i don't think that in this conversation about immigration or anything else relative to the community people understand the ways in which these workers are mall --
maltreated on a daily basis. talk to me a bit more about the way that these worker are exploited, maltreated, and at times. killed on the job. >> the fact that it is happening. the statistics bear it out. they don't get the training they should get. they don't understand and -- how i would say -- they're not trained and inspired to dial 9-1-1 and call to protect their rights there needs to be an expansion how they're able to organize themselves collectively for their own defense. and so in some communities it's different because that's the other thing about latinos or puerto rican guatemalan, and now that i said three all the rest of them will be mad i didn't mention that. >> i figure that out.
in staffing the panel. it was quite a process. >> the process of putting the panel together. but depending on where you're at in a state like illinois, you'll probably do better because you have a governor and amap -- a mayor and a political system that has a hoyt of being on your side. you're in mississippi and i know latinos in mississippi. some of the largest growth of latinos in the united states is in the south of the united states of america. i went -- i went 45 minutes outside of orlando and there were 5 hundred might grant -- migrant workers and when they said mexico, they place started -- those are the might grant workers you know what they said to me? you help us with the police. i just want to be able to come and shop.
can you help? here's what happens. i don't get paid. because they don't feel i have a recourse to demand payment for my work. so part of it its -- the a part just as overall look, let's make sure that these 11 million people that are so important to us as a community of people, that 20% of latinos that are undocumented in the united states of america they're important too because as they gain rights, so do the salaries wages benefits, of everyone else because now you have employers that can't pick and choose one against the other, and that is an important vote last november 6th. the picking of winners and picking one group against another. >> since you have used this term as have others, let me just jump into this quick. recently the "associated press" made all kinds of new -- the ap
to my daughter. they went to school with the children they went to school with our kids. they came to our homes. they play whether children. we saw them grow up but now all of a sudden they confront the reality of leaving high school and being undocumented. come on. these kids are american on everything but a piece of paper. all we're waiting for is to get in that piece of paper. the country that they love the language they speak, the culture that they adhere to it's as american as american pie. so let's understand who these undocumented workers are. most of them two-thirds, have been here more than 10 years. when you look at immigrant families even the a document 80% of the children are american citizens. so to describe them as illegal aliens whether children are citizens of this nation, i think it's too ill describing. so our community has said when
society in general says -- i still get, i women are talking to one of my african-american colleagues and sing well if people of color and she looked at me as if people of color. she thought i was using it as some other since. but it is important why did he is and how we use the term. and i think that that lets america grow. do you know what else? it lets us have a better conversation because it takes that stigmatization awake. >> let me go to the other end of the stage to mary rose wilcox. she is a supervisor out of the great state of arizona. arizona as we all know has been ground zero as it were for this conversation about immigration which is not happening in washington. we will see in the coming weeks or months hopefully not years meaningful immigration reform that we will get again deeper into conversations about what's happening in washington in just
a moment to. but i thought i might come to you first. the congressman has moved as an attraction. we got a sense of what is happening in arizona over the last few years. what is the state of i can't say state of the union what is the state of arizona? what's happening? >> we do feel very isolated at times. thank you first of all for having us here. arizona has just gone through hell the last five years. our state where it's just got turned around entirely. and immigration became a prime issue. we have a thriving community. we have always had an ebb and flow across the border of workers. we are our large agricultural state. we are large hospitality tourism state. workers are needed. the ebb and flow across the border have been just a natural thing for arizona. many of us are third of fourth generation families, mexican-americans with roots in mexico. many of our family still have a relative there.
when 9/11 occurred in the border shut down, people were trapped in our country. many people started to bring families up illegally. people just started to see the growth of the spanish community and to begin every repressive movement. people got worried. they got afraid. their jobs would be taken by people. that were not looking like other arizonans are what they thought they should look like. and when immigration movement got started right after 9/11 people started saying everyone could be a terrorist it comes from another country. we have to be careful. the backlash in arizona was tremendous. you had a political entity such as a county attorney who got disbarred no such as sheriff joe arpaio, our now governor jan brewer, you saw legislation coming up. and nobody said anything because everybody was very afraid. everybody was very afraid. they would be strong, see
political positions and the culture that created that we all start coming out of our legislative that was very oppressive. we were doing be verified to for the rest of the nation and that set up a really hard situation for jobs that you talk about because if you look like looking at a catholic in a lasting all of a sudden you with one who was and called for the jobs. you're the one that people hesitated because then all these questions if they're undocumented. so little by little it got worse and worse. and we now have a situation that has between 70 was passed. the supreme court has turned over parts of it thanks to maldef and other entities. but we are still living in a very hard society. you have very conservative rights and tea party people who took over, started to say the border needed to be safer. you had border -- the border is safe. we have very little crime on our border. the illegal immigration problem
was one that got blown out of proportion in my view, and i represent, i've been elected official 30 years. i represent a large segment of hispanic communities. i was the first mexican-american elected to city council and the board of supervisors, first woman. so i've seen the attitude change toward our community. at first there was a lot of pride you know native american, mexican-american, some african-american, and people took pride in the. then diversity started being not lot of but criticized. and you so refreshing come down. we had 300000 undocumented people in maricopa county very vibrant community come many of the children undocumented. and then you saw s.b. 1070, and you saw flight from our community. we have population about 200. we lost about 200,000 people.
we lost small mom and pop stores shut down. probably 10 out of 10 small mom and pop stores, probably seven went out of business. you start to see people get very, very scared. we don't even have activities anymore because of fear of sheriff joe arpaio and the repressive nature of the legislation that went through. >> a couple things that got my attention. one, you mentioned the relative number of african-americans in arizona. this is the same state they did not want to enact -- i still got an ax to grind. but i digress and i raised that because my friends know i regard dr. king as the greatest american the country ever produced. you can debate that, not a great american. speaking of love the only weapon the dr. king ever used was love. that was his weapon.
i raised that because what he was up against is the same thing and what black folk rock against are the same thing your community is up against. we tried to love the fellow citizens but we are up against the campaign of fear. you use that word here two or three times in your response. i want you to give me some sense of how effectively that tool of fear has been. because i think what keeps this issue frozen in its place is the fear that these persons have of government, and government, pardon my language they ain't stupid. and in arizona they know how effective the weapon of fear can be. so in our when doctor can others had to confront that fear and fight that fear, talk to me about the power of fear that one feels in the state of arizona. >> let me do you an example. we have a sheriff who goes out and rates. they going to committees of
predominately hispanic and they will stop you with anything. we had a little town called guadalupe. iser phoenix, tempe gilbert a. it's nominally hispanic and yuck indeed. where generations of people who live in guadalupe. the sheriff decided he was going to make a national show, came in, brought a tank into town as a command center. came in with probably 100 squad cars and just went through the town, started arresting and stopping anybody who had a tail light, that maybe didn't work, who had a cracked windshield. increasing to stop you before they stop them. guys were looking for undocumented. we heard that a lot of undocumented. they didn't call them that. they call them that what we don't call them. but it was just terrible. it is sent here through every area of maricopa county, and the state of arizona.
people were very afraid after that. even sometimes, people who are undocumented people -- they would be persecuted. so it was just a fear that started. then the raid started getting worse and worse. we started having people go out and document them. take pictures of what was happening. those people started to get arrested and started to be held for questioning. so it was just, it was almost him nazi germany. that's always fully compared to. many people felt illegal is illegal. these people shouldn't be a. these people have been here for generations. we had a rate of her early as three weeks ago. a company in tempe who have hired people over the years, many of them undocumented, was raided by the sheriffs people. a man who'd been working there 18 years, and jesse was undocumented, 18 years had a perfect work record no criminal
background was arrested brought in and deported. his family is devastated. half of his children are u.s. citizens. the other half are the dreamers who will become u.s. citizens, eventually. and that is what's happening. they are tearing families apart. they're criminalizing all undocumented in our state. we have a very rich culture, a lot of people come up from mexico. we have what's called -- ice cream vendors. they can't even do this in the state anymore because everybody is so afraid that everything will be checked. i have what's called -- the diamondbacks in arizona, and i take close to 2002 a year to a baseball game. it is commend the service for me and we march them from various schools that surround the ballpark and the sheriffs people used to be our police people that helped us.
we had to stop that four years ago because the children were so afraid of the sheriff department. that is there. please departments are beside himself. it's getting a little better now that the supreme court is acting on parts of 1070. but police departments and police chiefs have stood up and said this is enough. we months to get immigration reform. if we cannot get cooperation in many parts of our city that need police coverage but everybody is afraid to talk to them because we have no idea what will happen. >> i'm glad you told, shared those stories because i think part of what gets lost in these conversations, particularly about issues of immigration, is the humanity. we never seem to focus in on humanity, the everyday people and the fellow citizens. antonio gonzalez, all of these people are friends of mine, some new simple. he wears a couple has. he's president of the velasquez
institute. he's been a regular commentator many mayors, everybody commented on my public radio program, and when we got the idea to name this imposing, maybe even do it annually called latino nation beyond the numbers, i said i need your help. in pulling this conversation together. am delighted that everybody is on this panel today but let me ask you to give a please special round of applause appreciation for antonio for helping me. [applause] gathering together. we have these conversations all the time. we don't need tv cameras, c-span and others to be here to have this conversation. we have this conversation all the time. just the other day we were talking on the phone about the immigration reform. and we got into this fascinating
conversation paralleling the struggle of the african-american community and the latino. for those of you who know history, i won't take your precious television time to go through this, but what happened in my team unity come in our community is not that there was one major piece of legislation passed at one time that would be the end all be all come at once that legislation passed it would be opening up the roles in america. we are still not at utopia for black america. but it was a period of years and the process of various laws that pass over that period of years that started to bring some a symbol is a respectable like people in the nation. and yet i sense and tony and i raise this conversation, that some believe that one major piece of legislation on immigration is going to solve all the problems that now exist inside the latino community. antonius said to me, which i
will not ask them to share with you, that he sees this process a little differently that it's going to be similar to the struggle in the african-american community. it will require legislation over time, there is pieces of it. -- various pieces of it. let's talk about your since at least for what happens in washington. i don't want to get into the wee so to speak but let's talk macro about how you see this playing itself out over not just the next few weeks, not the next few months but over years to level the playing field for the latino community. >> thanks, tavis. and thanks for the kind words. but i would be remiss if i didn't take a few minutes of my time to put a ps to a supervisor mary rose wilcox really
important comment. and just to let the public know that in arizona, i think, that you have the most courageous resistance to this repressing wave of any politics in the united states. because everything she said is true. they do surround community. they do a rescue without cause. they do it investigate you. mary rose was indicted 44 counts by sheriff joe arpaio that she beat all 44 counts beat all 44 counts of. [applause] unfair indictment. >> that's awesome. >> they use every facet of repression and i said for some time that arizona is a dictatorship in the midst of our democracy. but there is great resistance and it has begun to be successful. the author of the infamous s.b.
1070, that criminalized immigrants in arizona, fortunately thrown out by my good friend tom saenz in the supreme court. the author was recalled in an election last year by a bipartisan coalition, democrats and republicans, so there is a fight going on. there's a recall effort with joe arpaio. arizona is not a mobilization of state. so it's not like new york or chicago or los angeles or dallas where you see massive marches regular, that kind of thing. until now. so like there's an adage organized adage the best organizer of my people is my enemy. and, in fact, what they may have done by doing this repressing wave of immigration of people that look like them in arizona is unleash a hailstorm of response that is helping people
get organized, boating arizona is a hotbed of latino voting, and so when. that at the end of the day will prevail and we will have justice restored to that state. i apologize for digressing. now on to immigration. my point is, and i'm very, i'm hopeful that the least to tear his leadership will be successful in washington, d.c. and we will get a comprehensive reform that is beneficial to our community. but i'm also mindful of the history of immigration reform. the last immigration reform that we did that had a legalization component, 1986, also had a repressive component, employers sanction that drove immigrants further underground and made him even more exploitable. and i'm concerned that this kind
of, something good and something bad formula would be combined again in this reform. i hope not. but i draw inspiration from the african-american example the civil rights movement english i think this is a little-known fact. civil rights did not come to america in one bill in 1964. that was public accommodation the voting rights came in 1965. nondiscrimination and employment and housing came in 1968 and 1972. and voting rights is extended to language minority, latinos and asians in 1975. so literally what you had was an 11 year wave of good bills that address the problems. and my point is this cycle we should get the best deal possible. but it should be a good deal. and if we don't then we should
continue given that they say we have all the political power, 15 million registered voters next cycle it with the 18 million, then 29, even though we have all this political power, that this fight may go on and if we don't get a good bill, which would be a fight for a good build. >> we have a few other people i want to take this conversation too. i'm anxious to get back around to thomas here was at the table literally for these conversations in washington. but before i move on there's a few people who haven't spoken yet. let me push back on you for the sake of probing a little more deeply here are so, a few months ago, after sandy hook after our precious babies were gunned down
at school, there may have been three people in america who thought that we would not have an assault weapons ban, who thought that we would not have background checks passed in congress. i'm not even sure the head of the nra at that time believed that they could get out of this one, these are the legislation being passed, banned assault weapons and to institute background checks. and yet here we are in chicago, the assault weapons ban did not get to the floor for a vote. as we said here in chicago i'm not sure we will get a background check through congress as we sit in this conversation. but nobody was talking to much ago right after the tragedy could imagine that we would be in this space right now where we would not have even a vote much less passage of these matters.
you see where i'm going with this, antonio. so tell me why you and i should believe that there is, in fact going to be meaningful immigration reform to get past in the short term. >> well, i'll give you my best shot. shot. >> give me your best shot. >> i think it's hard. >> right. spin any comprehensive bill in american federal politics, that's the hardest thing to do. a comprehensive bill on any subject, there are so many moving pieces, so many traps, so many -- that's always the hardest thing to do. but if there's there was ever a moment this is the moment. you had massive voting of the affected constituency. it affected the behavior of both parties. you know from the democrats we've always gotten good word for when they had the chance in 2009-2010, they didn't pull the
trigger for immigration reform. and they were chastised a lot you know, along the way for not doing that. and then you have the other party, the republicans, who decided not to be for immigration reform, and they were chastised at the ballot box. so they have had their own conversation because there's many pro-immigration reforms and the republicans but their voices were not being heard. their voices are emerging. you have what seems to be a will greater will on behalf of both parties. leadership matters and i would say on the gun control issue, the democrats probably overreached. they probably should have taken the bird in hand of the background check first and the overreached for the bigger, you know, assault weapons ban. leadership matters. it's a tough, divided congress. said sometimes you've got to attack one way to go the other way. they didn't do that. i imagine they are thinking
about it again. on immigration reform that seems to have been more vetting done, even the house republicans who are the more conservative group, their leader eric cantor said no matter what we're going to pass the dream act. that's a big change from several years ago. they said nothing will pass know-how. so you have a floor now set at his site. so immigration reform may be the issue where the parties to. we're going to fight on all these other ones but on this one we are going to do a deal. >> you and i will debate at a later time on radio your assessment that the democrats overreached. my view that is very different. politically i get your point. my granddad taking over time some fights in worth fighting if you to do when. but there are some but there are some other fights had to fight even if you will does. i would prefer to see harry reid bring that into a floor to vote so we can put a spotlight on the people who voted against it. but i digress on that issue.
i think they talk on the issue quite frankly. i will leave that alone and maybe i shouldn't say that i think i just did. >> can you say that on the air? >> i think i just did. but here's the point, the question now. and you think that the democrats overreached on gun control what would be at this point the overreach on immigration? >> at this point i don't believe there in the danger of overreached. at this point, we don't know the substance yet. there's intense -- intense negotiations going on. there's a deal and the deal is not there. so i'm in sort of a wait-and-see point of view. we know what we want. you know we want a fair and functional legalization for as many of the undocumented population as we can get the votes for. we think enforcement.
we've had immigration reform on enforcement for 10 years. they passed bills every year every year every year, every you. strengthening the enforcement of the border, militarized border. they spent $18 billion a year on immigration enforcement, and immigration is down high 70% to the united states. and the fbi certifies the border is secure. so we think that part of the equation is pretty much done. and on the future flow, united states does need more workers. it is an aging country. so we will need according to census we will need more workers, and the guest worker agreement between the chamber of commerce and labor that was announced seems to be to to be, you know pretty calibrate. it is pretty calibrated. it small because we have 29 unemployed, why do you need a bunch of workers right now? you don't but you will in the future. it seems to be reasonable.
so we sort of get what needs to be get. now the question is, will that be reflected in this? >> enter ana. so you've heard antonio. i don't think anyone on the stage disgrace to everything to get done right now ana it's got to require some bipartisanship to be also heard antonio suggestion, i'm paraphrasing, there will be a price to be paid by either or both parties if something doesn't get done this time. so give me your reason as to whether or not there is going to be bipartisanship forthcoming on this issue. >> i don't think there's going to be bipartisanship. i think there is bipartisanship. and right next to me is luis gutierrez, congressman who has
been leadership on this for you to who has also been working for years in a bipartisan fashion with my congressman, republican and we are seeing, we are seeing what we don't see in congress or in washington in this white house. we haven't seen it in many years, where legislation is actually emanating at the legislative branch. they are doing it on their own. they are doing it in a bipartisan fashion. they are doing it seriously, deliver to of late, looking at it with complete commitment. we been talking about the fear in arizona. we've been talking about the environment in arizona. it's also important to point out that two of the people of the gang of eight working on the senate immigration solution are the senators from arizona. >> let me jumping. i'll let you finish but let me jumping. the same senator this guy has
been jekyll and hyde on this issue. john mccain has jumped back and forth on this issue. .. weighs a president obama who did make specific statements and i will tell you that i was on that campaign and i said to john mccain you know john they want to hear a timeline. they want to hear you commit to doing it within a year. and he said to me i can't because we can't bring it up until we know that it's going to
pass but i'm not going to make an anti-promise. on the other side anti-promises were made. he has called him on it for the last four years to his credit and his courage. he put the cause and the community above party. and so, i think you know you were judging john mccain way too harshly and why should we believe him now? because he does not have to do it, tavis because he's not running for president ever again. he is doing it because he's a senator from arizona and he cares about this country and he realizes what's going on in his state and his country and because he wants -- >> let me offer the other side so you know i am fair and balanced in this proposition. i feel the same way about president obama. i think john mccain would debate this until the cows come home but john mccain on my read of this has gone back and forth against his political interest and i like john
mccain but he has -- on this issue. i like barack obama but he is done the same thing. he would have been charitable and very kind and very generous and he didn't go where he offered the first time time time and you make of their later but it's a question about which barack obama re-talking about? are we talking about the barack obama that his -- the administration raised the fee for citizenship application to get back down again? don't get me started. i can go low sides on this because these politicians, that's my point, have moved them play this game like checkers or chess when it suits their interest in suits their politics. it's not just john mccain. >> i will tell what barack obama we are talking about. we are talking about the president obama that just won a re-election with 71% of the latino vote and understands there is a dead and we will not let him off the puck. i think it's a president obama who no longer has realm and
manual as a chief of staff telling him it's too politically costly for you to do this in your first term. i think the president barack obama who wants a legacy and understand that this can be a major point for his legacy. to the point where he is stepping back. the question you asked antonio, if president obama had done what he said he was going to do and luis knows this and crossed his own legislation on congress to say here is my bill, hugh pass it and the democratdemocrat s in the senate and in the house went over to him and said hey, cool it. let us do it. we are taking care of this and he stepped away and the other thing we are seeing on immigration, that we are not seeing on any other issue practically as the white house and congress on both sides republicans and democrats actually talking cooperaticooperati vely. it didn't start happening until
a few weeks ago. it should have been talking earlier ,-com,-com ma it would have been better but it's happening now so i think it's the president obama we are dealing with and he had better understand. and he needs to understand republicans also and he is dealing with a much more sophisticated seasoned hispanic community that understands when we are being played. >> here is my final question for this round and we will move on here. the same question i asked antonio and on a. what makes the politics and i take your point. the what you said about the timing about this that i disagree an urgency that i think both sides see but i feel i am still concerned about the difference between the policies on gun control which has given us nothing. there is nothing the polls at the heartstrings of america i
mean if america's heartstrings were pulled by the immigrant struggle we would have done something a long time ago. clearly the hearts of most americans and politicians have not been tugged even by the humiliation that the supervisor shared with us earlier that many on your committee, that hasn't been enough to be a game-changer on the policies. nothing upsets and unnerves and gets the attention of americans like the gunning down of our children. everybody knows that child and everybody has a child. nobody wants to see them subjected to that so help me understanunderstand how if we could move the needle on gun control when babies are killed how do we see the needle being moved on this? what's the difference in the policies that make you feel that something absolutely is going to happen? >> first of all i'm not sure something is absolutely going to be done. anybody that has seen the immigration struggle through the
decades and luis cooley -- luis gutierrez has the scars to show it and so does john mccain and ted kennedy. now? then you can come very close and at the end a little thing, a minor thing could blow it all up so on immigration most legislation but particularly something as controversial as immigration it ain't over until it's over. until the ink is drying on the legislation. but the difference is i think both parties at this point have found that the cost of not doing it is far greater than the cost of doing it. politically, economically national security. i think there has also been a groundwork that has been laid for years on immigration that has not been laid on gun control. gun control, what we saw was a devastated american public
wanting action. you know it was an emotional reaction to the most horrific crime that we could ever imagine. on immigration the groundwork has been laid. it has been laid for months without anybody knowing. these guys in the house the bipartisan group in the house have been meeting for years and they have been doing so quietly. do you know how hard it is to get a bunch of congressman not to -- and they haven't and they haven't for years because that is how committed they are to this cause. and i also think you know it's a matter of the political will. the election results were unavoidable awakening moment on both sides i think, the power of the latino vote and also we had a mitt romney and i'm sorry
hector was very involved in the campaign and i'm not going to support any republican campaign that mitt romney and some of the other candidates did but mitt romney decided to run a campaign where in my view what was decided was you know what, it's easier to rack up more of the other demographic votes and easier to rack up more white votes than it is to turn some of the hispanic votes. i think they will win with 29, 30% of the latino vote. well it ended up we got 27% and president obama not only was able to wrap the -- replicate the numbers from 2008, he was able to improve on the turnout from those numbers which the romney campaign wasn't counting on but the result of that, the silver lining i think president obama the biggest thing he has done and the biggest favor he is
done for immigration reform was to win by 71%. and candidate romney, the biggest favor he did probably to immigration reform is talking about self deportation and self deporting himself from the white house. >> i hope you are right that mccain show up in this debate. one thing and to honor my commitment and everyone. i want to hear from you because again you are at the center of this debate in washington. hector barreto is a sociologist and historian and this always seems to work out the way the polls do. i don't have to work out that hard. congressman gutierrez and antonio gonzalez in their own way have talked about the history, the history of this fight and the struggle for
immigration and its concern brother. hence i wanted to make sure that the historian was on the panel today to help us probably -- without calling into question too much the history. what you have heard so far on this immigration. >> well, a couple of points i have heard over the last few minutes and i'm not going to talk about john mccain. [laughter] but i think this point about political leadership, the political leadership of each state and of a nation not only sets the policy agenda but it influences the political culture that we live in and so what we see in arizona for example is politics. or fear. this is a well prepped just policy to create a bogeyman, usually raise and if not raise
communist labor union or whatever. that is essentially what's going on in there is unaware you have a number of essentially opportunistic politicians. using the politics of fear and paranoia in order to gain the election and propose -- promote their own campaign. now it is gone beyond, it started in arizona and i want to tie it and because it started with this anti-immigrant concern and then of course we have the latino now issue in arizona and then i am sure that ms. wilcox could tell us about the efforts now in light of sandy hook to distribute guns. this is in arizona, to distribute guns to individuals for self-protection. that is again part of the politics of fear and paranoia that we see and it's getting out of control. the only way to change it is to we need courageous political
leadership to stand up and take a firm stand and say this is not what our country is about. >> are their bullet points since you are a professor, are there bullet points that you've might give us right now vis-à-vis the history of the contribution of our community that if americans understood better, we have short memories as you all know. we have really short memories. the history of the contribution etc. of this community that americans need to be reminded of as we have this conversation now about immigration? >> well, certainly. and you were correct in pointing out unfortunately latinos in this country are often seen in the prism of immigration as we are all immigrants but let's not forget about the alamo. are we going to forget about the alamo? texas new mexico california
become part of this country? it's important to remember that we have had not just generations but centuries of presidents here that we are in fact americans. we all love with their native american brothers and sisters are part of this land and i think that has to be brought up. the immigrant analogy, the beautiful analogy because it's one that talks about inclusion and assimilation is very important. however, let's not forget the ugly face of race that has developed over the years and it has developed because of the nation-building process in this country. we did have slavery. there was a war with mexico. there was a war with spain. all those incidents have
repercussions. people develop you know different physical and critical events. >> earlier it seems like hours ago, it was an hour ago that hector barreto use the word environment three or four times by my account. the environment he was talking about was the environment that needed to be more friendly to small business in america. but the environment that i now want to talk about is the environment that many of these persons we are talking about giving a path to citizenship have to navigate every single day. and in my research i discovered and it didn't surprise me that none unlike the african-american community, this issue of environmental racism is real. the conditions that these people often have to work in, the conditions that these persons
have to live in, the conditions they have to try to navigate every day to live to have worth and value is again another untold story, another issue that doesn't come up in the conversation about why we have to focus in on the humanity of these persons. i wanted to make sure to end this conversation that we had adriana quintero with the national resource -- and this is the work she does every single day in art d.c.. i wondered if you might just give me some sense, give us some sense of what the issues are vis-à-vis the environment that these persons have to drink and breathe and live every day that america ought to be aware of that we talk about, giving these persons the same respect that each of us deserves. >> tavis it's really important and i'm glad you tied it back
into the country because that's exactly it. the reason we have people dying daily is because many of these people are in the shadows. they can go unaccounted for and they can be ignored. if a child lives here they have had to deal with walking outside and having some of the highest asthma rates in the country. the same thing happens in los angeles. one out of two latinos very similar to african-african- americans in fact are living in an area that does not meet air quality standards today and the reason it ties into immigration is until we have a way to empower people to actually speak up for themselves and protect themselves they are going to beat continuously discriminated against environmentally as well. so whether it's simply having to pay more for health care simply
because you are subject to trucks running for your neighborhood constantly and the absolute disregard for these communities needs, you are going to have a disproportionate impact and that is what we have today. you are talking about farmworkers in the field. you can forget about rights. again you mentioned it, you go outside in florida, california really anywhere because the communities are growing and in north carolina get the same situation. people, especially the undocumented but even people who are citizens who are still receiving the brunt of environmental injustice on a daily basis and the only way to really empower them to speak up for themselves is to give them that protection and take away that layer of fear that we have been talking about because that fear, it's a constant really powerful oppressor and unfortunately even our children are learning that fear early on. they come out feeling like they
can't breathe. in new york there is this absolute apprehension to ask for help, to demand change. and of course that leads to economic hardship for families who have to pay more for who end up using emergency rooms and such so we can talk about all the issues you want to talk about today but it ties in so closely to the latino existence on so many levels. a cousin of the fact that if you are undocumented and have to live in a neighborhood where you are going to be at the core of receiving environmental injustice, then you are going to be suffering all of these hardships much more severely than if you have the same rights as your brother and sister. >> a couple of questions i want to follow up on. one and we will talk more about this in the time we have today here, and i'm not naïve in
asking this question but tell me more because you intimated that i want to ask you expressly about it. tell me about the mainstream poverty in those conditions. >> sadly that is really where the link lies. when we talk about wealthy we talk about the increase in harm. poverty, most of these communities have either grown around factories and such by means of people wanting to be able to work and to be close to where the work might need. then you have a community that may be low income and often african-american ,-com,-com ma latino and therefore right in the middle of where the pollution is being generated. in los angeles we have a situation where you have the ports of los angeles and you are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars. by virtue of the impact that the shipping lines, the trucking lines, that work there as well
there is impact in those communities tremendously. when you are, so you have almost like a vicious cycle. you have people looking for work close to the work but if we don't have regulations of the place to make sure those communities are being protected from the pollutants being generated by the trucking or by the shipping, then you are going to have tremendous impacts. impacts that often directly impact your pocket book because you are going to be losing work and paying more in health care costs. so again it's a vicious cycle. one of the things that we had an rc try to do is make sure we work with those communities and get some regulations in place. there is no reason we need to be polluting. we can do better. >> i want to ask one follow up and i plan the seating chart. hector was talking earlier about the regulations and you see
where i'm going with this. a drought is talking about the condition that business may be in that lead to the situations that these people have to navigate every day. it's an interesting juxtaposition. i didn't plan it that way. you are about to pick a fight. the follow up though is in again i'm not naïve in asking this, do black and brown people latinos for the sake of this conversation, do they just happen to live in these areas board is this benign neglect? >> no, a lot of it is not in my bag yard the nimby syndrome. if you have, and it's not always the case but sadly it is often the case where if you are going to cite a plan they would be less politically engaged and more politically disenfranchised
community which sadly tends to be african-american latino especially if you have a height immigrant community that you are going to have less resistance less resistance when you want to put your plant there or your factory there. so, in some cases i have to say it is by design. it's hard to prove that but you will have less political influence to come up against if you are going to design a community that is disenfranchised versus one that is very well politically connected. >> the undocumented workers no matter where they may live and how we get them on a path to citizenship, do they have the right and the stature to push back ever more forcefully against these conditions that they find themselves up against. [inaudible] he will be back in washington
working on these particular issues. i'm not even going to ask you the question. i'm just going to say go. >> first of all, i want to say that i think number one i want to say thank you to you for using your vision and your stature and as a man of communication and the debate in america for allowing us to come together. we need more friends and allies you. [applause] i am happy. i always knew antonio was a very good networker. and i'm happy to network with you. he has certainly done it with me and our relationship has been very important. and my relationship is important as we fought in the 90s to stop nicaragua from being ported with the salvadoran's. we got everything we wanted but we got a good start. >> and we did it the year after
for the haitians. >> we did it for the year after for the haitians. thank you so much for reminding me that we did that. [applause] i want to say that because fortunate we spoke about martin luther king and how important he was to meet and how important chavez was to me and how we need to put this debate into a civil rights context. i think part of the problem is we are not going to rehash the whole thing of barack obama for proper -- part of the problem of debate, i remember my first meeting with him in march of 2009. he met with the hispanic caucus right after the election and i said mr. president you are going to be judged in four years by latinos. we believe primarily not so much on how many foreclosures he stopped although that will be
important, how you have increased the program although that is important, job opportunities and how many people have you saved people's 401(k)s because we were hemorrhaging jobs. we said that in the end, it's going to be how you treat the weakest among us, the most vulnerable among us, are immigrants. do you know what? i'm proud to have been a member of a group of people that was a group that was pretty prophetic four years later and they think it was in the context of visible rights movement. he sighed as maybe as a labor dispute, maybe as a thing like well you need workers here and this company's workers there and we just need to balance out and that out and figure it out. i don't know, i'm not going to get into his mind at that point but i will tell you that black people came forward and said, i
am here. you are going to have to recognize me at the lunch counter and young people and others said i am here and you are going to have to recognize my presence in america. it humanized her immigration debate even for the president of the united states because they think in the end but at the same time i think that we need republicans and democrats. look the fact that there are 500,000 young people today who are free from deportation undocumented youth because the president issued the executive order on deferred action. [applause] over 250,000 of them live so much freer today. they are working and they have a driver's license. they can go to or as anna arizona and honk their horn. i think it's important that we celebrate but that was a reflection of the community of people and even teaching. the president of the united
states, a black man this was a civil rights movement for us. having said that we need oath because at the same time i remember when they came to the white house and we were trying to pass rubio the newly-elected senator from florida, to get a proposal for the d.r.e.a.m. act. that wasn't anything perfect. it was less of the d.r.e.a.m. act then we had proposed in the house. number one the white house that that's not perfect. it doesn't lead to citizenship. i said you know you might have a rubio problem that is immigrants we have a deportation problem. and if rubio's legislation moves forward the debate and stops deportation than i support the rubio legislation even if it comes from the republican sector of the party. we need to embrace friends and rally -- allies who are ready to step forward and not question their motivation but embrace
their solidarity and in helping people because in the end this whole debate is not about us but every day 1400 people are deported. 300 american citizen children are left without a mom or a dad. by the time this program airs 10,000, 20, 30,000 more. it has a crushing debilitating devastating effect on our families. i am working with republican caucus and this is going to be complicated because in the end i think that on a and all of us antonio we are all going to have to say to ourselves, we have got to get the best proposal, the greatest good for the greatest number of people to stop the deportation because once i stop
it from being deported and legalize it what does that mean? giving them a work permit a social security card the right to travel the right to unionize and the right to organize themselves and collected art inning and the right a right to know in the morning they will be able to -- prosecuted by the federal government is illegal entrants into the united states. what do you expect when you deport 1.6 million people in those men and women are desperately trying to return to their wives and children? i'm proud that they are trying to do that and a face that desert and trying to get back to america. [applause] >> everybody else can fall into the conversation. what you just said is raising a question that's being hotly-debated as to whether or not you can separate those two things, separate a path to
citizenship from border patrol. >> it's something i think we can do. i had an interesting conversation with congressman ryan and we were sitting down -- >> paul ryan? >> who by the way has been a supporter of immigration reform forever. >> when i introduced now senator blake who was senator kennedy and mccain and i am congressman flake introduced bipartisan bicameral immigration reform in 2005. it was bipartisabipartisa n and we did it together and congressman paul ryan, yes, paul ryan who ran for vice president of the unit united states he was an original sponsor of immigration reform. i saw him in the gym and this is why i am optimistic. i will share you why i'm optimistic.
he knows i did everything i could to get barack obama reelected. i did, i traveled around the country and did everything and told latinos to come out and vote for barack obama and i'm happy i did it. i think you will be very helpful in getting this done the barack obama i have always been waiting for. just so we have a clear eye of the great degree of love for him in spite of my criticism for him and i wish him the best in his presidency for this nation but having said that i saw him and he said to me luis, i saw you yesterday and you said republicans should do immigration reform and take it off the table so you guys don't run the table with immigration or because it's the right thing to do. he said to me i want to do it because it's the right thing to do and that is why i joined you in 2005. he said this goes to your question of citizenshcitizensh ip. to me, one thing we have in
common is we are both catholic and it's important to us. he said we can't let catholics -- in america and i think that's very powerful but that happened. secondly, this past week the congressman from alaska said oh you know when i was picking tomatoes with my dad back in the 1940s, we put 40 and 50 -- together. there's something i want to say about that. >> i figured you might. >> a republican conservative colleague of mine from the south called me up on good friday and i took his call and i said how are you doing? it was a very solemn day for christians. he said i called you because i wanted to say i'm sorry. i'm sorry for those hurtful comments that were made because i know it must have hurt you and
i want him to apologize for what that man said. all i could say is, what a wonderful gift. without revealing names, i want to reveal the conversation. it's just things are changing. this was a republican party that on november 6 said we should take 1070 in arizona and replicated in 49 states. those 11 million undocumented they should just pick up their bags and self deport. >> if the d.r.e.a.m. act ever hits my desk -- from that to taking responsibility that i didn't believe what he felt. i am happy he did because it was the most wonderful easter gifts. i think it's on the basis of that kind of conversation that we are going to create reform for comprehencomprehen sive immigration. >> i do agree that things are
changing and you see the reaction. the quickness and the harshness of the reaction from republican leadership to those comments by congressman don young of alaska. let's say his name. i want to tell congressman don young if you were watching c-span are watching us on tv the only time my back is wet what it is when i'm in my marble bathtub. but it was not minutes, hours. when john boehner said i don't care why you've said it he needs to apologize. john korman john mccain the chair of the rnc and the list goes on and on and at no time were demanding an apology and condemning those words. that was not happening. >> and i guess just to wrap it up, my point is the following, that at least there's there is a level of conversation, right? before they were there and we were here and there was no middle. so thank you professor.
let me tell you when we finally do come up with a proposal it's going to be a proposal that's going to see some things on it. there will be some things that i didn't want and they're going there are going to be some things that we will debate but you know in the end, i still remember that undocumented mexicans in the church at saint pius here who said to me luis get it done because every day i hear that i will not be with my children again another day, get me my papers. even if it's a deal that treats me poorly, my daughter and my son, they will take care of those who treated me miserably but let me raise them in america. we need to understand who our constituents are and they are the most vulnerable and we need to bring them out of the shadows and give them protection. and then as you say i think we can get the citizenship thing
done. we are working and we have consensus on citizenship and then we can work on expanding i believe. you know antonio and everybody here, we have many good more years to give america in terms of social justice. >> i want to ask you a quick questions about the lands in the prism and how we see it. we are not as young as we used to be. tell me very quickly about the effort to get that price, that price tag lowered on the papers. it's actually gone up during the obama administration and you are trying to get back. in terms of what happened, how do you get it back down? >> when i got to the congress of the united states in 1993 it was 90 bucks. >> 90 bucks for papers. >> all those who signed up there were 3 million we signed them up and it kept going up-and-up and up because the
congress of the united states decided they wouldn't spend one taxpayer-funded dollar in helping people become american citizens. they want to them to learn english and about the constitution and they always question their loyalty but i'm not going to spend a dollar in terms of making you take that oath towards american citizenship. >> $700? >> you are talking possibly thousands of dollars. what we are talking about tonight and i published it in "the new york times" when my mayor rahm emanuel -- >> he has come around. >> let me tell you about the rahm emanuel that has come around. i will agree with you, he has come around on the issue in making chicago one of the friendliest immigrant cities in the nation and i think it is in no small part to his understanding and i applaud him for that growth that he he is shown in the american city of
chicago. but having said that the op-ed piece said we can reduce it because if you have a green card and you just want to say hey i want to stay for another 10 years but i don't want to make that commitment. i don't really want to marry you, i just want to keep dating you well that costs $300 less. if you want to make the commitmencommitmen t to america and you want to become a citizen and you want to embrace a completely why should that cost more than somebody who wants to keep a temporary relationship? all we are saying is this. we think the priorities are not done greg lee and we should make a priority american citizenship of its leads to voter registration which are growing in numbers. >> i want the audience to know and i want to know what the number is now and how we get it back down. i'm glad you are working on that. two questions about the prism and some other issues i want to
cover as well. one question for tom and one question for david. i mentioned to the c-span viewers there are to these panels. i am moderating this one and the second panel is moderated by fernando on america radio. he will be moderating the other panel with eight other brilliant thought leaders and influencers in the community, no shortage of them. but fernando and i were talking the other day and i think fernando made the point that perhaps the prism through which we look at this issue of immigration is all wrong. rather than looking at it from this direction which is to say from the immigrants perspective we need to look at it from the other direction which is america, from the country's perspective so it's not about doing the immigrant any favor. there are all kinds of our
guesstimate date by the other side. i know you know the stuff better than i do. talk to me about the difference between looking at it this way versus looking at it the other way. does that make sense? >> absolutely. immigration has always been historically a bipartisan issue. the reason is because it is not what america is. it's about our constitution and our values and defining the country. that is the important thing with this issue. it's not about what this means for those immigrants as important as it is, that those parents can come home every day knowing and confident that they will not be taken the next day and their children left alone. as important as that is a known candid and i hope typically important it is it is equally important to the entire country that we have a system that serves the country and reflects our values. i think that is why over the years we have come to consensus about changing our system, it's been through bipartisan recognition. we don't have a system that
reflects the america that we are and want to be. that's the situation we are in today and that is why i think we have the opportunity in 2013. it not just about the election as critical as it was but because that was a reflection that we need to have critical immigration policies that reflect our country and what it needs to be. that means ensuring that those millions of people who have been here making contributions and not just contributions to our society but making their own commitment and investment in this country's future are raising their children here and investing in small businesses here and investing in their communities that we were worth those folks with the protections that they need to ensure that they continue to thrive and contribute to their country and their children contribute to this country. it also means having a future system that best reflects the country that we want to be. now in my view, one of the issues that i think has to be
discussed is that means eliminating national -- the fact that we have national origin in our immigration system and most people are not aware of that, is why we have the party refers to waiting in line as though it was one line. >> for those that don't understand what that means explain. >> we have a system that basically gives you a different line to wait in based on the country are coming from. what that means in countries where they hired to emigrate as a proximity cultural connections and family connections those countries have a longer wait and right now that means if you are potential immigrant from mexico compared to an immigrant in the exact same relationship to someone in the united states from another country you will wait much much longer. some of these weights are 20 years and more. >> is that racist? >> i believe it's a lot that any any other context would be
rejected that we accepted it and we should no longer do that. these policies are about the america that we have been an odd to be and that is why i think we are at a critical point where there's going to be a bipartisan consensus around taking some of these critical changes. >> the human political rights work is the work that you do. i was curious as to your take on the comment about the fact that he did not believe when barack obama first ran that he really saw this issue as a silver lining. that is tragic that i digress on that point. again back to this common notion of prism. how does that help help us? how does it aid and abet us if we see this issue for what it is, for what it ought to be in terms of what the conversation has been until now? >> i think it means a greater common ground about the kind of a the country that we really want to have children and grandchildren growing up in.
it's about common understanding and common shared values and principles. when you talk about civil rights i don't think there should be any doubt today after what happened in arizona that this is the critical civil rights issue. what we saw in arizona is the entire community including folks that have been here for an entire community, the demonization around immigration. in 2010 the exact same year that arizona passed s.b. 1070 there was legislation that targeted civic league the tucson unified school district and i'm proud to say this year there's a long-standing segregation case it all of us been involved with. mexican-american studies is going to be reinstituted. >> arizona also passed a measure to eliminate affirmative action in higher education in the state of arizona in 2010. now those three things and others are connected to each other.
they are all civil rights issues. only one of them directly rates to immigration but they all stem from the fears that demographic fear of being ruthlessly and irresponsibly exploited at the governor and the sheriff and others to engage and a wholesale assault on civil rights and i think it's important to understand today whether the president understood for years ago or not everybody understands today that this is really about civil rights in the country and civil rights is really again about what kind of the country we want to be. this is a country that guarantees never been true to it, lots of struggle to make it true to the promise of equity and equality for everyone and this is as critical to ensuring we get closer to that principle as anything. >> another question about prism that i want to ask you. and i have shared this and all the interviews i've done talking about this. to reiterate what i said
earlier, one of the reasons why i wanted to be a part of this conversation and i reached out to antonio is because i too often feel like just talking about immigration has to be established but i also think that the mainstream media has to do a fair job, a much better job. i am glad that certainly thomas and whatever access they want to the mainstream media but it's been important for me to be part of it because in part these are persons who may not as yet be household names and need to be seen. it's only by hearing and seeing them that the assumptions we have can be re-examined. it's only by hearing and seeing them. it's only by seeing and hearing them that we can introduce americans to each other. if we bring together the best and brightest to help change the image, the image, the perception
that so many people have of this particulaparticula r community. which leads me to my question about image, about perception. factoring ana into the conversation about the congressman that use the word. what's his name he can? don young. back to his comment earlier. he said and his comment was almost quoted was his perception based upon its history, based upon his agent based upon his relationship. he had a particular reception. how much of this debate has to do with the prism through which many americans look at in the community? >> oh my god, i hope congressman you tell president obama that those who don't believe he is a citizen, imagine what they think of latinos?
[laughter] these are latinos. the arizona legislature almost passed a bill -- again arizona fits in together with the banning of studies. they don't want to learn history you know? they are trying to build a vigor and better order fence. i mean it's all sort of woven in together. but in any case getting back to the perception point, in 1994, california passed proposition 187 which is the immigrant bill and that is probably the first that set off the whole chain of other bills. arizona followed suit. what that bill proposition 187 did, even though i mean it was asking teachers and medical personnel to report undocumented , you know but once
it passed it empowered all those people who don't believe barack obama is a citizen and don't believe we are full-fledged citizens. it empowered them to take law into their own hands. we had incidents of us drivers asking bus riders for their citizenship. we talk about perception and that gets back to the political leadership point. that perception is influenced by our political leadership. we have political leadership, at this time governor wilson raising the flag and saying we are being inundated, then you know guess what? you are going to have a proportion of the electorate that believes that. so yes perception has shaped and perception can be shaped opportunistically unfortunately. >> i want to ask you a question that i'm going to get you to answer later on.
i wonder whether or not you are on national television ,-com,-com ma you might give us a reading assignment. you have time to think about it. you have an hour and a half. the text that you might want to recommend. if there are one or two books you might want to recommend. i love when candidates run for office of the president and the media wants to know what are you reading? i want to know what you think we have to be reading as americans at this critical time in the conversation about immigration that might help us with our ignorance and maybe even our arrogance but just give us more knowledge. think about that and i'll come back to you later. >> a syllabus for us to read. ana while we are talking about perception, you and i are meeting folks all the time. there is a role here that
madison avenue plays and they are responsible vis-à-vis the perception of latinos and we know how they are portrayed. they are often portrayed on television and again those images are powerful as you well know. that ad seems to me or the data seems to suggest that in the latino community there is more concerned. it's no different in my community, concerned about the media. to what extent does that impact the way that the american public views this community? >> i think we are unfortunately talking about the input of silos and unfortunately oftentimes minorities are in the media where we are asked about immigration or cuban-americans are asked. one of the things i appreciate about cnn is that i get asked to
talk on many of the political issues. yesterday i was talking on whether presidentk is pamela harris was a good-looking a.g. in the country and i just want to say i think you are the best looking congressman. [laughter] you know, we have to battle and i think every group does whether you are northeastern or seven and or hispanic or asian. every group has to battle stereotypes. we are cut from one big cloth. when i got to cnn the people who like me would start tweeting me and sending me e-mails about my latino accent. the people who did not like me would tweet about my annoying mexican accent. i am not mexican.
not every hispanic in the united states is mexican descent. frankly i didn't know i had an accent. everybody and miami talks like this. [laughter] what accent? but i think it's very important that people who are in the media try to do as much as possible and people who do have faith public platform try to do as much as possible to increase the perception to vary the perception, to show for example that there can be a border region congressman democrat and chicago in a puerto rican mormon republican congressman elected in idaho. that there can be a cuban-american democrat elected senator from new jersey and a cuban-american senator elected in florida. a cuban-american senator elected in texas and they can be completely different in ideology
as in fact they are. so you think as our leadership gains ground, for example my congresswoman ileana ros-lehtinen was chairman of border relations. she was talking to heads of state. she was often in the media talking about the middle east and issues that have international importance so every chance any of us get to be able to expand that prism and show the variation, there is a lot that brings us together and a lot of common heritage and tradition and common values but there is also a individual as hispanic and latino. we can't even agree that we are hispanic and latino. before i and i want to tell you i am very grateful for what you are doing here today because i think you know, for too long our community, the african-african- american community and the hispanic community there has been a wedge where people have
tried to pit against each other and we can walk so much further. we can talk so much stronger. [applause] we can reach so much higher and we can do it together and holding hands. >> thank you. >> i think it shows the best place to comment. >> i don't know about that. miami is 80 degrees and sunny periods beso sla. [laughter] chicago has a rich tradition of puerto rican migrants. i like to think of my mom and dad not speaking english leaving puerto rico i'm coming to chicago and immigrants with citizenship. they confronted all the same bigotry and barriers that any other immigrant documented or undocumented did an they arrived in chicago. there is a large history of
mexican community here and the salvadoran and a quarter mall in community here. i just want to say a lot of people think well most of those latinos that live in the congressional district are also puerto rican. not true. 80% of the puerto ricans that live in my community they have decided on several different occasions to send -- and for latinos that know what that means, they know that it means we are overcoming some of her own barriers that we really are community. i am going to vote for someone that represents my interest and his voice is reflected on the issues i want raised. that is why i say that about the city of chicago. it's a wonderful experience of a melting pot of latinos that make chicago said great. >> i'm laughing because i'm laughing because the puerto ricans and the mexicans get
along in my community. in my neighbor to get the -- and i raised the issue of foreign-policy and in the time we have left there a number of issues i want to get to. when was the last time you saw a stage full of latinos talking about foreign-policy? let's talk about foreign policy for second antonio is headed to venezuela in a few days and we all know the compassion for hugo chavez and there is great consideration and concern about what happened in the region. there is a broader conversation about u.s. policy in latin america, in central america so there's the lot on the table we could talk about. since we are talking about it why are you going to venezuela? >> i will be part of the
observation process that is decided by the national electoral council and the elections are a week from tomorrow so i will be visiting voting places and so forth. my organization has a 20-year-old leadership development program with latino leaders and other in other countries. we have done a lot of work in mexico and central america, the caribbean and venezuela providing technical assistance and so forth. i think it's going to be, you are right it is very crucial moment. although hugo chavez was demonized in the united states and latin america there is quite a different perspective on not only who -- hugo chavez but the reform process is spreading particularly in central america. they call it the pink revolution
where socialist presidents and congressman have been voted in very participatory democratic election processes and its institutions changes redistributed wealth, reclaimed natural resources from transnational corporations, voted in progressive constitutions and it seems to be an enduring process. it started with chavez in venezuela and spread to brazil and argentina, uruguay peru and so on, bolivia, ecuador and they are in essence looking at the beginning of a european community type of situation in south america that still has -- with the united states but much
in our relations with this region, latin america? >> latin america has a healthy disgust with united states for a reason. the united states has 150 history of even military intervention or unfair economic relations with many, many, many latin american countries. so what is that is the worldview, at the same time that there is an admiration for american prosperity, american democracy. so there is sort of a schizophrenic you towards the united states. it changes depending on american leadership. american leadership has been very next towards latin america even with this administration, didn't stand up when there was a coup in hundreds. he basically ordered a military coup, deborah chronically
elected president. the previous administration and latin america are considered to be complicit in the queue in venezuela. the whole cuban situation hasn't been resolved. this president committed to doing more. the latin americans want of a better relationship. but it's take on history that is very bittersweet. >> speaking of cuba, hector, the breadth and depth of u.s. business, certainly a good part of it is chomping at the bit to getting cuba. we don't know when that's going to happen. we don't know when that is. everybody is poised to run into cuba and americanize it as quickly and as aggressively as possibly can. your thoughts about u.s. relations with cuba in the coming months as years -- months and years as we move past even the castro era. >> i don't think it's a question of if. i think it's win. i know a lot of my friends in
florida are much closer to this issue. i think things have been opening up and i think one of the things that you see is the second and third generation of cuban-americans have a very different perspective and opinion of what cuba is all about now and in the future. by the way i think a lot of our businesses when they get there they will be late because the europeans have already been in there making investments and building and doing things. by the way, i also think that it would be a mistake for us to think that once the situation opens to cuba that we're going to go in there and we will be embraced everybody will say i'm so glad the americans are here. now we can do things that we could never do before. because there is also generations in cuba that have not also mixed perception of what the united states represents. i want to go back to something antonius said. we have to engage latin america much, much more than ever have before.
the world has changed and yet there is some history and latin america. by the way when i'm in latin america i tell them that they've got to change, too. they've got to become more competitive. a lot of those folks and also harbor ill will to the united states harbor a lot of ill will towards their government and things had been done to them as well. a country like mexico is critically important. we share 2000 miles of border with each other. they are or second largest trading partner. they're going to be a major economy in the future. a lot of times when we look at my skill we heard the bad news and yet there is bad news along the border and the drug war and things of that nature, but there's also an incredible things happening in there as well. the federal reserve bank has taken a totally different give mexico and latin america as a future opportunity. and as the rest of the world is unified, europe is unified. the asian countries is unified. we've got to unify in the
americas. and ambassador from the united states to mexico, the mexican ambassador to the training wrote a book some years ago called the bear and the porcupine. he was describing the relationship between the united states and mexico. in this book the example was that the united states was the bear, the big slumbering animal that sometimes neglects its a little neighbor to the south sometimes steps on it unintentionally, doesn't harbor ill will but sometimes makes a mistake is not even what it's making the and mexico is the porcupine, the small little animal always on the defensive, paranoid, try to protect itself. but i think there's some truth to that but i think there's incredible opportunity for us to do much, much more in that part of the world. we need to do it for a lot of reasons, for economic future, for our security future, and so i hope that we do that.
>> i want to ask you to let me talk in cuba being from miami which is so close to my heart. i think coming up in nicaragua in 1980, i got kicked out of my country by the communist there. and i've been raised among so many cuban-americans in miami. the victims of fidel castro and the communist and the political prisoners, the children of those prisoners. the children of people who are executed by the castro government. so as to your question of when are we going to go there, we are going to go there when it's free. know we're not going to be there late. will be the right on time. the cuban people know the difference between government that has been complicit with the repressive regime, that is taken away their human rights and dignity for 54 years and government that has stood against them. so we are not going to cuba not even as president obama wants to do it. the embargo is codified.
it asks some very simple question. like, for example, the release of political prisoners and the recognition of political parties. and the scheduling of fair and transparent elections. that's the kind of country we are. we're not going to look the other way. when i put in a shot is setting up camp in places like cuba and venezuela and pretend it's not happening. what has happened for far too long and democrats and republicans administrations, i am tired of hearing political candidates tell me when they come to miami how much attention they're going to pay to latin america. only to put it in the bucket of neglect once they get elected. just so many other things happen. there's always an excuse of why it doesn't happen. but i think that we cannot forget that just 90 miles from the shores of florida live people who have lived without freedom for 54 years.
>> i oftentimes we don't connect these dots and a cricket what hector had to say but i wonder how our relations, or lack thereof with a country like mexico, ultimately impacts the domestic agenda. how that relationship internationally also impacts what happens in a state like arizona. >> we had examples when governor came out against supporting and 70 and speaking out against the doctrine people interstate. it was a horrible relationship. our states and borders with their son have always said that relationships. the trade relationship is tremendous. that got affected. arizona, sonora, mexico, commission practically came to a halt. we have to have respect on both sides of the border and that was asking for a very long time. i really think, and i'm going back a little bit to it that
was said, we will see immigration reform passed because of the economics of the. the economics of it -- you will see it passed, and that's why we are in a position and we have to leverage that we have to get the plane since we will right now. because money talks. and it is necessary for business to have immigration reform. so i think we will get it but we must look at the border also. there has been i think misconception at the border is so unsafe and yet we have thrown national guard and we have thrown our federal immigration workers -- i'm sorry, they have put a lot of forces at the border. and i really felt that the border is safe. you can ask anyone along the border. and what we saw is israel that the accused have a lot of people come up, particularly from the northern states of mexico into arizona.
you see that ebb and flow trade. that has been stopped and started against. we have to have -- the other thing our drugs. we have seen just an influx of cartel and we've got to get all of that money that is going in and out, drug problem because we all know it is driving the issued and that's an issue where to work together. >> do you take our so-called drug were seriously? >> i have never taken drug wars as a joke because of seen the devastating effects of them. but i do think sometimes they are exaggerated for political purposes. and think we have to get to the systemic cause and stop it there. that goes into a whole other thing, education issues but and again the poverty issues that we see. we cannot make drugs attractive for people so they have nothing else.
>> david then thomas then antonio. >> you mentioned earlier that americans don't have a good grasp on history. we don't have a good grasp of economic or international economics. we have to understand what's the relationship between nafta and the influx of immigrants from mexico? what happened in mexico is result of nafta. what happened was that midwestern corn is not cheaper than corn grown in mexico so you have to displace hundreds of thousands of corn growers who are now left without jobs without a livelihood, and you're basically forced to emigrate. we have to get a better grasp of the implications of our trade policies with countries like mexico. >> i think it's worth noting based on some this come is that so much of our foreign policy with relation to cuba, for example, relates to domestic policy in those countries.
but conversely we do not pay enough attention to how our domestic policies have international applications. our drug policy and its implications for nations in latin america is the most i think pronounce example but it goes beyond that. we have this continued discussion and debate about immigration reform. i think went to recognize our immigration policy when you deport 1.6 million people and some of those people are folks who we are deporting prior to their being convicted but they've been accused of crimes, some of them after serving a sentence and unfortunately, had no rehabilitative effect whatsoever, those deportations those removals particularly to some smaller countries have impacts on those countries that in turn down the line what impact on this country because it will in turn trigger for the immigration. on the positive side, we have so many remittances that come from immigrants in this country. sending money back to the family. that has an economic impact in those foreign countries.
if we recognize that as an international relations issue we would be doing much more to foster, facilitate those kind of remittances. instead we see as a part state and federal level that would punish remittances by placing huge impose on, by making every difficult to engage in it can transfer. if we recognize our domestic policy, a policy that we follow on immigration has impact on of the country but i think would end up with a policy that better serves our interest and the interest of those in the country. >> i was going to say that the number one expression of the point that you were asking about the relationship between our policy and latin america has to be the 40 year-old drug war. the 40 year-old drug war welcome in america gets doubled or tripled our prison
population, one. and so instead of spending money on schools we are spending money on prisons. 10 times as much to house a prisoner as to educate a child. >> many of them up around. >> and a black, of course. >> and in latin america it may for example, marijuana worth more than gold. so if you do that by creating a black market and putting military and police forces to enforce the black market in the trinity, you create a criminal enterprise. that criminal enterprise has already fostered one year in colombia and now fostering a war in mexico. hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties billions -- who would have thought, right, we go back to a resistance to american intervention, military intervention in latin america. there's more military intervention in latin america today behind the drug war than
it ever was when there was a specter of fighting communism. the law of unintended consequences that we have created with why i am worried about policies, bad policies getting enacted. here's a that policy enacted that has never been fixed. it just gets worse and worse throughout the prison population of nonviolence offenders. it fostered armed gangs in our communities. chicago is a good example. it fostered wars in latin america. and created where is all this money going to billions of american dollars spent on the drug war? it's in the cartel pocket. fortunately, and i would just say this in general because sometimes i worry about we get together and talk about -- it sounds like we're talking about we are victims or we are oppressed or we are precluded historically that's true but the other side of history is that this community is getting
empowered. this producer is fighting back. the reason that you have a change in the media and more latino voices, it all starts with the immigrants in 2006. that is enhanced by the fans in 2010. the iceberg path to the surface of the ocean at that is turbocharged by election results in 2012. but all that because of people getting organized, fighting back, winning. and you see that now even with the drug war where even places like colorado and washington, marijuana is getting legalized but it will happen in california in 2016 and that's the answer to have to in drugs prohibition. >> i want a quick response. you use the phrase that a love and it is absolutely true about the latino community which makes it somewhat different from the black experience we are can bring it to earlier, vis-à-vis
the civil rights. and that is this beautiful phrase of self organized. when you talk about the civil rights, you can't do that without talking about martin luther king, jr. he was our leader. there were other leaders, all kinds of folks who made sacrifices, to the point of giving their lives, some known some not know. i don't mean to suggest by any stretch that dr. king was all that and then some everything by himself but you certainly can't read it without viewing him as the leader of that movement, hence the nobel peace prize, the youngest person ever to receive the. yet in this moment i see all this energy, all this enthusiasm, all this fight back up with all this economics i don't see a latino leader, a beautiful thing. i see that self organizing that is, in fact happening with everybody. a quick word about that notion of self organized. i think it's a beautiful thing.
>> it always happens to us that latinos get put in to what i call the black-white paradigm. right? the rules for those communities sort of gets applied to latinos. what i want to suggest to you is that america has to realize that the paradigm was more than, but now this is now. and latinos are 50 million people. put me can any country in the world with 50 million people ask a question who is your leader, and the answer is there's not just one. i guess the question to ask is who is the martin luther king of the latino community? let me say tongue-in-cheek luis gutierrez, 11 million immigrants, it is him. [laughter] okay, it is him? then run for president, all right? reversing the tongue-in-cheek remark, the strengths of latino politics is that it tends to be
organized. they asked me who who mobilized -- who was shot is asked in this. a million marchers in los angeles in 2006 together wasn't and answer or the answer is communism and 10,000 liters organize 100 people each. horizontal organization makes us resilient. it allows us to resist 1070 and when. it allows us to resist e-verify. it allows us to resist the programs that you take apart. but they can't because we are very horizontal. we are not vertical. maybe someone will emerge. luis gutierrez is my first choice if they can pull it off. >> no pressure congressman. >> maybe it is rubio, you know? you know what i'm saying what you don't know. >> we will see but different from martin luther king time,
that was 15 million people. we are 50 million people. >> that was not a short answer but it was a good one so. patriotic, get back to the comment. >> going towards a little bit of what you're saying and a little bit going back to foreign policy issues, i think another distinction between the latino community african-american community is the culture connection. why -- while we can look back at what's happened in latin america and see the ups and downs, how we can be more engaged, we must be more engaged because even within second and third generations, although to a lesser extent, there is a tremendous cultural connection to another land, to a home country. and a lot of what we see in action among latinos comes from how people view us in latin america. and what our families are expecting us to do here in latin
america or wherever we may be from. and so that actually impacts the way we act. in my work environment we see. you see a lot of action coming from latin america and motivating more activism it. simply because of what they have seen or are seeing in latin america. and so while sometimes what you see there are exemplary actions and even above and beyond what's happening here. mexico has a climate law. u.s. at this point is ignoring still climate change as a crisis. we need to get there. so we can look at mexico and say they can do, we can do it too. >> i want to very quickly whether or not you are expecting something different than what i i am experienced. we have it has these conversations about if i'm important conversations i'm always honored to be a part of them on our public radio program.
invariably you and i both live in l.a., so invariably the environment tends to be as we would say in l.a. a white westside movement. that happens to be the case. white folks are leading the environmental movement when we all know that when the water is, you know, bad we all drink the same water. when the air is bad white folks ain't got white hair brown and black and. we all breathe the same bad air. cleared all of us have some skin in the game. we are all stakeholders and yet in the african-american committee -- community by and large this notion of even the simple stuff reduce, reuse, recycle much less climate change and global warming, it's not something that people have at the top of the agenda for all the reasons that you know, that you do this work every day. the other concern is we're trying to navigate their daily lives. give me some sense that these issues are catching on inside of your community. i raised that because i'm
curious but also because i sense that if we could ever figure out a way to really make green jobs work, your community benefits from that. so it's not just that we are up against the same evils. it's that the same opportunities exist if and when we ever get to the place where these issues are raised high enough on the chin in your community, and my community. >> we need to get their far communities. i think what's happened historically is the way we have talked about environment has been in this way that doesn't make it a day to issue. but around is that for our community it is a day-to-day issue. is our water clean? if anybody has lived in latin america you either have water rationing, electricity rationing. so you know it's not always there. it's not always plenty. if you're living in poverty he had the same experience. so i think you have a different
approach that's never been the way environmental has been approach in the training tickets have been approached as this is our day to day a health issue. so it is the water we drink you but it's more of something that of a conversation perspective it however if you go out and look at, when you talk to people about you care about the mountains, the water the air our communities care. threefold above what the white community cares about. so i think some of it is a cultural issue. we have that in our hearts and it's about how we talk about. we are talking of the health of our kids having parks are neighborhood, having clean water that is accessible to everyone. that's when you get to it come when you get to sustainability having produced for our communities that everybody can eat healthily. that becomes an issue that we all can wrapper had to read. that's a we hope to do to really get everybody engaged.
>> just on this point, i think this issue, the environmental issue is one where you see a clear evolution of latino politics. what you said before it was at the top of our agenda i think that is poor. the last thing, dramatic move and it's because we are more empowered because latinos have begun to take positions of power, cities and state government, they have been at the forefront of implementing policy. no accident -- or that the nation's leading climate law nunez out of california, or the leading, one of the leading urban river revitalization projects, like in the lead in los angeles. so you have, it is true. the green ethos in latino culture even though we don't use the word. and we see environment different
if we don't see environment as people are the problem. we see environment as people who are at the core of the solution to the problem. but it's because we've transitioned from victims to being empowered to being in power. >> i know you want to speak on this. let me ask a question and you can link these two together and i will sit back and listen to you. i want you to link these things are speak to the issue of sustainability and whatever way you want to say it. but adriana talked about this issue been important because of the health of our children. so when we're forced to live in these environmental regions and environmental racism which is real for your community and my, that our health consequences. i raised that because i was reading yesterday which made my jaw drop, but i was reading a particular article from a senator that suggested maybe --
[inaudible] in particular united states and from the state of alabama which shall go unnamed during a session, has apparently said that he is concerned that even once we get on the other side of the citizenship fight that these persons ought not be allowed access to health care. that concern me that a united states senator would dare suggest that once we get on the otherother side of this he's our putting a stake in the ground, you ain't kind of get no help there. that is a concern to me common and when. that's going forward. so you've got this idea going forward that once we get over no health care for you. let's go back though and we all were member this moment. i know those on stage remember it better then perhaps the rest of us, you remember the famous moment where president obama is giving the state of union speech and a guy in the audience yells out you like, remember this? you were there. you lie.
just google the u.n. got the google. what made him say you lie was the reference that barack obama, president obama may to the fact that health care this law was not going to be readily available and easily acceptable to anybody in this country illegally. if you're here illegally -- so you're not going to get, it's not available for those who are here illegally and the cards and jumped up and said july. why do i raised that? i raise it because of all the things that barack obama said in that speech that this republican congressman had to disagree with, the thing that really got his eye was the very idea that the president would dare say that this is not going to happen with this card says your life. we know it is and we're going to fight against it. so years ago this health issue already has this color-coded notion connected to it.
it's in the past. now going forward you've got a senator who is suggesting that you shouldn't healthier on the other side of this citizenship fight. talk to me about health care and where we're headed with regard to this particular community. >> looked. that's what i'm happy to see dr. lee elected to the congress of the united states from california. because he sees things differently. and i believe he and other members of the hispanic congressional caucus that of come forward after this last election are a breath of fresh air to the congress of the united states. so much for those of us have gained seniority. i like the new blood that is coming there. they are not so interested in the committee assignment or whether they're going to be speaker or governor or ambassador, but about health care for people. so that's going to be a critical fight that we are going to have as we sit down with our republican colleagues to see how it is we provide that health care. i still remember that moment
because i was, number one, on the house floor. but my daughter calls me up and she said did you cost some commotion with the president? why would you think that? ache as he said illegal aliens were not going to get any health care. so i figured that's his job. and i said no that wasn't me. that was a congressman from south carolina who thought he was lying. i voted for obamacare in spite of the fact that he set aside an important affordable community of ours. but i didn't also understanding that it was the way to pass it. >> to get something done. >> i put that in a context today of, i say that because i said to myself i didn't stand it is i'm going to vote against this. we negotiated, we figured out a way to get our community health care centers to provide health care for them in the interim period. that i say that because difficult decisions have to be made that are wrong that might
do greater good for a greater published of people. i voted for him. i think it's important because much is made of my differences. look, iphoto for everything barack obama has proposed in the congress of the united states, and he has proposed comprehensive immigration reform, i would have done whatever job he gave me to get it done. number two, barack obama lives in the congress of the united states. i think if tomorrow he said i proposed sunlight in the darkest days of winter the republicans would vote against it. that's just the way the congress of the united states is out of this particular point. but i also want to try to put this on antonio ended when you're on the panel i want to put this conversation and put in some kind of context of the civil rights movement. and to kind of inform me about who i am and how i see things.
so i mean, if there is no voting rights act, because i don't get through the chicago city council because the democrats all got together and said -- we had to sue and maldef had to the democratic party of the city of chicago and congressman dan rostenkowski and every other big democrat right here in the 1980 so latinos could have seats in the chicago city council. so we had to inform our sites not in terms of republicans and democrats necessarily, although their particular a license at particular points that are important. that's how we got there, by citing democrats to gain seats because maldef was there to do that. and it was because there was a black mayor of the city of chicago named harold washington -- [applause] >> that when maldef said you know what harold washington said? he said, when you going to tell your voters and the federal court today? plead guilty? because that's what we are.
we are guilty of discriminating against latinos. [laughter] so i just want i guess when you have a conversation. if people don't come if people are not lynch, churches are not burned and people are not brutalized and attacked by dogs in order to get civil rights and voting rights, i don't have a voice in the congress of the united states. harold washington doesn't have the ability to say we are guilty. so we should inform our fight and this is a continuation. so here's what i say, antonio when i joined the congress of the united states, i didn't join the congress of the united states. to become a speaker of the house or to become a senator or governor i joined the congress of the united states as i said i want to make somebody's life or. i remember my mom and my dad. i remember once like in the '50s and segregate chicago for the. it was nobody here to raise their voice for the. and i said do you know what? somebody fought and died to give me a voice, and i think i'm not going to wait -- waste that
opportunity and the congress of the united states. and i think we should inform our political leadership in terms of -- that's the best guy. he could be this and he could be that. why can't he just be somebody like and i know i hope he doesn't -- like dr. lee making sure that everybody is healthy. i want to put that that's what makes it. and another thing i want to say before we finish yes, they are argument though it's important friends and important allies. every member of the black caucus voted for the dream act when it was proposed in 2010 and we passed it in the house of representatives. [applause] in spite of the fact that unemployment among black youth were higher and unemployment in the community and the devastation of the recession was
there. in spite of the fact that there were those who wanted in the past to get one group against the other. they stood with us. >> i want to move on. antonio made i think, give us all something to think about. i'm still wrestling with the. that is this notion of horizontal leadership versus vertical leadership. your fine comment comment just cannot listen to the world's ah versus the vertical. i see the vintage and that antonio christies advantages horizontal leadership. but there are also challenges. the occupy movement had the same criticism leveled against it. they came and they were strong but they went. many people believe that as a strong as they were they still went because they have had a horizontal leadership structure and the vertical. people did keep asking what do you want?
who is your spokesperson? who do except talk to? who do we negotiate with? there are benefits. i wonder if you might offer your thoughts on antonio's framework on horizontal versus vertical, in your committee. >> number one, i have never seen community faith organizations as a threat or as a competitor it but as an ally and as a friend in this fight. and their criticism i accept them as criticism that hopefully will make me a better congressman and a better public servant. number one. it's not a threat because understand one thing fundamentally. both of the civil rights movement just months before the passage of the civil rights legislation. there was a march on washington, d.c. i even put, i remember martin luther king coming to chicago in 1968 to my city. even as a young man, and i remember in june the unfortunate
riot in the puerto rican community in june. because of police brutality, because of the focus that existed in the puerto rican community but that was in june of 68. i remember him coming a couple months later right to talk about poverty and the segregation. i'm sorry a couple much army vet and i remember how they are all really tied together right? in our fight and in our struggle. so i don't look at the criticism as anything but from a historic point of view. in other words right now eyed and others like is that our congress people that are going to vote on the legislation need more than ever for the consistent and persistent demand to be raised to level like never before with congress to act. because congress will not act unless we maintain -- >> so that does a body? >> it doesn't. i think it helps facilitate.
>> let me ask you the congressman made a powerful statement about what folks in this country can get from civil rights, voting rights. it took a lot. he laid it all out with the water hoses and the jail cells and the lynchings, and all that. we are in chicago, this is the home of emmett till. chicago understand the struggle better than anybody. question i was thinking as the congressman was laying that out, if it took all of that after hearing what mary rose wilcox said are the, why does it have to take all of that now? why does it have to take all of this inhumanity and all of this devastation and all the debt. it should be a whole lot easier. doesn't have to take all of that now? >> i'm afraid so. i mean change is not easy.
change oftentimes comes with conflict. it comes with a clash of different perspectives. i'm thinking of arizona where obviously we have an older generation anglo generation that just realized mexico is next-door to arizona last night they are reacting to it, you know? and so what's going to happen between arizona or california or texas? i mean, another generation is coming out. they are there was a whole different perspective. even if we don't have all these urban riots or whatever, change is going to happen because we have a younger generation coming up. they have a whole different tire -- and our perspective. they look at president obama different than the older generation. the black-white paradigm i think is going to shift. i mean we've got to get brown in their you know? i think that's happening.
that is happening. we do not need to have a dramatic kind of upheaval in order to change. that's important. >> i think you're right. i think the paradigm has already shifted. and i think there's a new context that is being, new concept rather. a new construct has already built. since winter, somebody kind of hinted before i go to tom, about the next generation, the future of education. so brown is in the mix. we are no longer america's favorite minority, and i'm okay with that. [laughter] my feelings aren't hurt. we at least got a black president out of it last night and now -- [laughter] this is your area. >> you all had a longtime. >> i ain't mad at you spent the
bad news is we got you surrounded. the good news is we come in peace. [laughter] >> here's the question. speaking of coming in peace there is conflict there. there is conflict in communities communities, black brown trying to peacefully coexist, one community moving in, the other moving out. the black community can't afford to move out. living on top of each other didn't there is in chicago. you see another. you sit around the country. i wonder, david, if you have thoughts quick on the coming years to come at how black folks and brown folk, how are we going to do this band's? >> well, you know the competition for scarce resources right, whether education of whatever. and as a matter of fact, and i think congressman pointed this out earlier their politicians after to try to pit one community against another, tried to blame, play the blame game
right? so there's going to be the competition will continue. i also bring up this example, do you think if there's an announcement, we see this there's announced 200 jobs opening up at sears do you think there is solidarity in the job line 40 think there's competition? the same thing happens at the community level. the reason that it hasn't percolated up is again because of our political leadership i think the black and brown leadership understand along with the black and white leadership that we have to work together here. we are a nation, right? we are united, indivisible and so forth. >> ana, you want to comment real quick? >> either the glass is half-empty or the glass is half-full.
and i like to focus on some of the positive aspects. i've seen a lot of cooperation particularly lately between african-american organizations like the naacp the urban league and the hispanic conversations like la raza. i've seen the head of the raza jenne, another hispanic leaders join john luis and retrace the steps back in alabama. i have seen the african-american congress people from south florida join hands with the republican cuban-americans congresspeople, and asking for the freedom of cuba. so i think that there are many many joint projects that we're doing together. we are getting used to be allies and not being just competitors. we are getting smarter. we have realized that truth speak louder than when. let's face it that's fine.
black and brown is a fun conversation. if you ever been to a black and brown cardigan it does get better than that spent when he got really bad in arizona we had a man who pushed the martin luther king holiday inn arizona, reverend warren stewart can go knock on her door and said we need to come together. now we have formed a black brown coalition. it's approximately two years old. it's the strongest thing anybody has ever seen. people are afraid of it. so i think what we've gone through arizona has made people come together. the civil rights violation that the african-american committee new more how to battle. we came together and we formed a very strong coalition. and it is a lot of fun because when you can go and office, a look at you and look at me and a look at the past and say oh, my gosh, what have we done? its powerful. it's good power. but i think more and more i'm seeing that on national basis also. >> i think my favorite in washington or one of my favorite
events and every year may be the black caucus gala. the food is great, the music is great, the people is great. >> it's a good combination. >> one more example of this were i think conflict was averted. the story doesn't get told. if you were two years ago this is supposed to be the redistricting round where's all the to come to do. were african-americans interest and latina pictures were going to conflict and they're going to conflict in california and illinois and texas and other parts of the country at the local level. wrote about that up front that the demographics of the latino community and african-american committee were finally going to unavoidably conflict. and affect it's the story that didn't happen. >> there were disagreements but at the end of the day that conflict predicted was not there. leadership work together in all of these places. different leadership. and tony winners as i went around visiting, the african-american members of
congress that posted activities with me demanding the stopping of deportation. i was in charlotte north carolina, putting activity and we've got -- our collaboration. also i think that it is very important to highlight the many many moments in which we have collaborated very, very closely. and i think them advantages say it is going to be critical that alliance, as we move forward to get comprehensive immigration reform because there is no other influence outside the hispanic caucus that is more -- for comprehensive immigration reform spent part of what makes this conversation we're having a so important as david mentioned because there is a new generation coming on. i keep mentioning for those watching on c-span this is but one of two panels that make up the latino nation beyond --
there is another panel moderated by fernando and on that panel there are eight other brilliant thinkers in the latino community. one of them, and i went in search of her and i'm glad we found her. i told the university help you find the right person. but there happens to be a latina here who is the student representative on the board of trustees for this institution, chicago state university. so she will be one of the panelists on the second panel, the second battle with fernando. so we will get her perspective and she will be speaking about how they relate to her and her generation as a trustee member on the board here at chicago state. but more broadly speaking, you can't have this conversation called latino nation gone the numbers, without talking about -- a full 25% or sends today in our u.s. schools are latinos. and you can't have this conversation, talk about the dream act it's come up a couple
of times. it's the conversation that one has to have. giving your sense as to where we are headed on this issue in the coming years, the issue of education. none of this matters, although we've talked about is for not if you can't get access to an equal high quality education. >> it's a critical challenge but i am encouraged in part by the fact that the dreams have been so successful in activism that they've engaged in. this is not just i think the most successful immigrants rights movement in recent years this is the most vibrant youth movement in about 40 years in this country. and i think there's a real opportunity to take that energy and have it expanded on issues like education access like closing the education get. the simple fact looking at this from the perspective of the nation writ large, we don't have a choice given the numbers what they are today and how they are growing in the future. if we do not successfully address this education gap issue, kindergarten through
12th grade within higher education, this country will not thrive in the future. we have no choice but to ensure that our future workforce is skilled and educated to compete. and in order to do that we have to pay attention to african-american and latino students today who are not receiving same education as their white peers. and we see this across the country. maldef just include what has to be the sixth lawsuit in the last 40 years against the texas school systems because of the despairs in financing, to make real differences in the experience of the latino and african-american student in certain school district versus the wealthy suburban school districts. and after four or five, six students, all of them successful, there is still so much more work to be done to educate out another set of bush's came out of defending a colorado decision, a decision that concluded that there was
inadequate investment in education and colorado particularly in the investment of english language learners. such a critical component of the latino student body in the country and of the entire student body. we still see those disparities and regrettably we don't yet have accountability system for solving the education gap that we need. i tell you the lifelong civil rights litigator, my entire profession has been devoted to that. the main and candidly mechanism today to ensure that we close that education get is litigation. if that is your main accountability, you are going to fail. and i say that the spike believing in this case the critical importance if that's the main we address this issue you are going to fail. what we need is federal law the reauthorization of the elementary and secondary act that closes that spent i hear your point. i wholeheartedly agree and yet i have to bring you back to reality, which is comparisons
we've made some in times between the struggle that we latino community is facing a purchase -- those advances in legislation are often times brought on by litigation. >> i believe litigation is critically important but we've got to use the litigation and the organizing to arrive at a policy solution that embeds in policy and in practice the accountability method to ensure our education system so many of them, 50 states systems and then thousands of local systems that although systems are dressing the education gap issue. >> i want to prayer phrase -- paraphrases. i'm asking because you're a businessman and i want to get inside your business head. maybe explain something to me that i don't get. thomas makes a brilliant point that we don't have a choice. if our society with the numbers represented in this community doesn't find a way to educate this population and our society
becomes therefore dumbed down the country suffers. so this game is not about looking at from the standpoint of the immigrant, by looking at from the other side of the prism from the standpoint of the conjugate what happens to us if we don't figure this problem out. and yet i don't understand why this cans not to understand it. it's like people are good enough to many our babies and manager our lawns and park our cars or poker food and all the stuff they often do, i'm not putting everybody in that pot but i'm saying if this debate, that's how they get cast off. if they're good enough for that but they're not good enough to be educated. or have access to healthy. i never quite understood -- on the one hand they benefit from the labor but on the other hand, it seems so hypocritical to me. i don't understand why business doesn't get such a simple equation oftentimes.
>> i think business does get a. i think they do understand. if you polled business executives and small business executives come one of the things they will tell you to this day, how hard it is to find qualified people to come in and work in their company. they know that this problem is only going to get worse. when we lived in los angeles it's not 25% its 70%. 70% of the kids that are in the high school system in los angeles are latinos. by the way you know the other numbers, by the next 40 years 25% of u.s. population will be latino. so this is not just a critical problem for the latino community. it's a critical problem for our country. we all know there's a lot of studies, a lot of surveys of what happens when we fail at that, we already talked about incarceration but we also can talk about lost wages ma lost productivity, a drag on all parts of our society.
i think it's been fantastic some the loss that have been passed and i think a lot of those laws are admitted but it's more than a. i think this is a partnership that goes all throughout our society. it starts at home. in the latino community, we need to emphasize education more than we do pick their other communities that do that. that's a big secret to their success. we need to be more creative more innovative the way that business is. we need to allow also empower families to make education decisions for their own kids whether that be charter schools or a different way of learning or using technology better. the same system that educated us and our parents is not going to get it done any future. so i think that this is a much bigger problem. i think business understands that. i think sometimes business also feels stymied that when we start introducing these ideas we can do this because the special interest won't like it this union won't like it we've never done it that way before.
it's an issue of resource. i don't think it's an issue resources. we spent a lot of resources and/or education system but a lot of that resource doesn't get to the kids to actually create better results. [applause] >> let me do this, tom. i'm down to my last two minutes and i want to give all the panelists a heads up on coming to the final thought. it has to be concise. start with adriana on this thing. same question for everybody. i'm curious, this is the first time but not the last, how much fun i've had today being the moderator. and because i know the impact and clout and hopes and dreams and fears and aspirations of this community are important to me and i think increase important to the country. i suspect in these forums many times in future or i'm a student of history. i want to roll this date back a few years from now.
to see what you said to me in which agrees hope was and what your greatest fear is going forward. your greatest fear and your greatest hope. we all have fears, and we all have hope. countries as to what your greatest fear is and your greatest hope is as we move forward into this century. so that, david that is your cue when i give this, i want to get yourself this. your recommended reading that i asked for earlier. these are closing thoughts for the panel. start with adriana on the end with the greatest fear and the greatest hope. >> my greatest hope is that actually i don't even know that i have a fear. i think another hopeful this will be the way it will go for the latino community. we are going to show that what
we saw in the last election is a tip of the iceberg, political power among the latino community is going to multiply. and my greatest hope is that we are going to find a way to truly engage the latino community by solving this immigration and bringing people out of the shadows, to own their voices without any fear. and through education to get into a place where people know what they're talking about and want to talk about what they know and what they have experienced. because i think the latino experience is going to enrich our country significantly. >> hector. >> in terms of fear, maybe that's a strong word, that we continue to function that we have in our political system where we can't even agree on 80%. there has to be security all the way along the line. and we don't get solution. i hope that we outgrow that. my greatest hope is that latinos are going to achieve their
rightful place in society and that a lot of these issues now we're talking about and you look at the state become afterthoughts. i've heard the pride the african-american committee has to have an african-american president. that's been checked off the list and now it's become normal. you could have somebody that could govern the most powerful country in the world. we are going to get there and i know that working together and by the way, i want to commend you for doing this. and the leadership that is on this panel. this gives me a lot of optimism going forward. >> antonio? >> my greatest hope is that latino politics as it becomes more and more empowered will help fix this country. this broken democracy, and will help engender a new era of prosperity and hope for all the population. my greatest fear is that we will be no better than the one that
broke the system. >> tom saenz. >> my greatest fear is that the supreme court and others may make decisions that will suppress the growth of the latino vote and that includes decisions about the voting rights act pending outcome decisions about arizona's old registration through its citizenship law pending now. but we will see more of these efforts to suppress the vote and they may succeed in doing that. but my greatest hope is that we will overcome that, as i believe we will, with great struggle but we will overcome that. and that the lessons of november november 2012 are reinforced and fully integrated in policymakers thinking, and that lesson is about smart good policy to the nation, the a nation that includes such a growing latino population. and one outgrowth of that integration is on the issue of the education gap all the way from pre-k to higher education.
>> my greatest hope is that america is ready to embrace us and to allow us to be fully integrated with him as their brothers and the sisters, that we so much what to see. and that 11 million can be just like my daughter and my wife and my family and everybody who is protected by the loss of this land that would bring them out of the shadows into the light of day. that's my greatest hope. i really feel we're going to do it. my fear is 5000 latinos turn 18 every year today. 500,000 latinos turned 18 issue. over the next 20 years it's going to go up to almost 900,000 a year, and 20 years. that's millions and millions of young latinos. and my fear is are we ready to educate them and prepare them to take the reins? because we are a community that is changing america i want to make