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tv   Senate Democrats Discuss Presidents DACA Decision  CSPAN  September 6, 2017 4:16pm-6:17pm EDT

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democrats voting for this. thank you stephanie for that. thank you all very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] we will take you back live to the floor of the u.s. senate. the senator from oklahoma a democrat is holding the floor with what they say they are going to do about 4:30 this afternoon. live coverage on c-span2. calif. mrs. feinstein: i rise to speak about dreamerrers. the deferred action for
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childhood arrivals program or what is called daca was announce pd by president obama in 2012. hundreds of thousands of young people brought to this country as children were at risk of being deported. they didn't take the action to come. their parents took the action to come and bring them. president obama's executive order temporarily protected these undocumented young people from deportation. daca also provides the opportunity to obtain work permits that has made it possible for many young daca beneficiaries to enroll in college. if congress doesn't act now and pass a law, president trump's decision to terminate this program will have devastating consequences for the nearly 800,000 families across the united states, particularly those in california.
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this decision to end daca without first ensuring that young people have legal protection is why we are demanding a vote on the dream act as soon as possible. daca recipients certainly deserve now, not six months from now. these young people trusted our government and it's time we stopped playing with their lives. the dream act, introduced by senators graham and durbin, has been considered many times already by this congress. it was most recently included in the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the senate in 2013 with 68 votes. i remember it well. i remember weeks in committee. i remember dozens of amendments. i remember the time on the floor, the hope that we would be able to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
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it had an agricultural workers program in it. it had a program for undocumented children and hta and a plana plea. 68 votes here, but it didn't pass the house. i believe in have -- there is bipartisan support for the dream act. 70% of the people in this country are in favor of it. i believe it would pass if it were given an up-or-down vote. i ask that there be a clean vote on the dream act this month. as i mentioned 800,000 young people have been admitted to the daca program. allowing them to come out of the shadows. they were educated here. they work here. they pay taxes. they are integrated into american society. these young people are fiercely
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patriotic. in every way that truly matters, they are americans. listen to this. 94% of daca recipients are working or in school. s that 95% -- that's 95% of 800,000. the typical daca recipient came here at 6 years old. many of them only speak english. 72% of the top fortune 500 happens, such as apple, amazon, j.p. morgan employ daca recipient. daca recipients contribute to our economy. ending the program, it is estimated, would mean $
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463 billion hit. protecting daca recipients isn't a matter of politics or economics. it's about what's right as americans as human beings. this is particularly important for me representing california because one in four dreamers, 223,000 live, work, and study in california. and i can testify that they are an essential part of the fabric of our communities. it is important for senators and the american public to know a very -- the very real human side of this issue. i want to share the story of a remarkable young woman whom i've met and whose family i have met. her name is amy sanchez. she was brought to this country when she was just 1. today she lives in east oakland. i met her and her family last
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month. i spoke to her last on monday night. she is a 23-year-old graduate student from u.c. santa cruz with a degree in psychology. she is pursuing a career in public service so she can give back to this country. her mother worked as an oncology nurse and her father worked as a truck driver. they have no criminal records. they own their own home, which i visited, a small home in east oakland. they pay their taxes and they were in this country for 23 years. i saw them a week before the mother and father were deported last month sobbing in their living room. my office has worked on their case for years and their deportation was truly
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heartbreaking. i'll never forget having to call maria and tell her i spoke to the acting secretary of homeland security begging her not to deport this family and sthee would be deported -- and that she would be deported and separated from her children the next day. it was one of the most painful calls i've ever had to make. these heartbreaking photos of the sanchez family were taken by the ""san francisco chronicle" before they were forced to leave. this is maria after spending 20 years as a nurse at a hospital there and this is the second-oldest child. this child is daca and it has fallen to her to support the two
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sisters, maintain the house, work, and hopefully start her career. her mother, her father, and her american citizen youngest brother are in mexico. these heartbreaking photos i think tell a story. viani is now facing the uncertainty that she too could lose protection and be deported, then what would happen to her sisters? every day we fail to act means one more day that viani, maylynn, and elizabeth are forced to live with this enormous cloud hanging over their head. you know, senator, the fear is palpable. you talk to these young people on the telephone and you could sense what's happening. first of all, they know the government knows everything
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about them. the government knows where they live, what they do. they have to report regularly. this is kind of a conditional program and so they are up front and out front and you would think this would give them a sense of security but it actually gives them a sense of insecurity because they don't know what the future will bring. i'd like to share the story of another talented and ambitious californian who has taken full advantage of the opportunity she's been given. this is denise rojas. she arrived in the united states when she was ten months old from mexico. like many immigrant ancestors, her parents wanted to make a better life for their children. you can see she is very beautiful. denise's family is similar to other families in california.
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after arriving in fremont, her father worked full time in a restaurant while pursuing her high school diploma at night. her mother attended community college part time for seven yearsor earn her nursing degree. after years of trying to gain legal status, her parents were forced to move to canada. that left denise. denise excelled in high school, graduating with a 4.3g.p.a. she attended u.c. berkeley to study biollie and -- biology and sociology. she was given to work in a hospital driven by a family member who was diagnosed with cancer. denise worked as a waitress,
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commuting an hour each way to classes because asia couldn't afford to -- because she couldn't afford to live on campus. she volunteered at san francisco general hospital. today she is in new york at mount sinai medical school, one of the country's top programs. she's on track to earn her degree in 2019. you can see her in the middle this photo in her medical scrubs and how proud she is. to help other students navigate the admission process, denise cofounded a national nonprofit organization called prehealth dreamers. through prehealth dreamers, denise helped many other students together as they worked toward their goals. after graduation, she intends to specialize in emergency medicine
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and work in low-income communities to provide health care to families like her own that too often go without needed treatment. parts of california, particularly our rural counties, are very short on doctors. this is a big problem in the health care reform they are lucky if they have the choice of one insurance. so we desperately need people like denise who want to work in communities most in need of skilled health professionals. now, without daca or passage of the dream act, denise won't be able to ever come home, she won't be able to stay. all of the education that has gotten her here through a top-notch university to a top-notch hospital, i assume as an intern or resident at this
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time, she wouldn't have the proper work authorization or company documents and our country would be denied a highly qualified, motivated doctor. in closing, mr. president, i really believe we have a moral obligation to do all we can to shield these young people from deportation. remember, they did not break the law. they were brought here as children, and many as babies. some don't know the language from the land from which they came. they all speak english, and very well. they want the american dream and they are motivated and they are patriotic. i was just listening to somebody -- a young person the other day. all she wanted to do was be in the military. she is rotc and wants to be in the military.
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these are the people who make this country great and we can't forsake them. thank you, mr. president. yiel the floor. -- i yield the floor. thank you. ms. hirono: mr. president, it would have taken moral courage for president trump to stand in front of the american people to say why he was going back on his word to deal with daca, end quote, and now i et quote, -- and now i quote, in a way that will make people happy and proud. end quote. instead he sent out his attorney general jeff sessions long afoe of immigration reform to break the bad news to 800,000 young people and their families that he was rescinding today came.
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this was bloodless, heartless and completely unjustifiable. in his remarks the attorney general composed an elaborate fiction about today came, a program that -- daca, a program that has transformed the lives of 800,000 people. and the attorney general thought the american people would fall for his made up remarks. he never claimed -- he not only claimed daca was unconstitutional but falsely claimed that dreamsers were taking hundreds of thousands of jobs away from americans and that they deserve to be punished. the fact is, a strong jrts of -- majority of the american people are siding with the daca participants. the american people aren't threatened by these inspiring young people. they aren't criminals. they aren't causing trouble. they were students, doctors, nurses, teachers, and entrepreneurs making real and meaningful contributions to our
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society. and they are simply asking for the opportunity to pursue their dreams. hence, they are called dreamers in the only country they know, the united states of america. it's why so many people across the country are speaking out forcefully against the president's decision to end daca. while i was back home in hawaii last month i met with activists, community organizations and state leaders to rally support for daca and to call for establishing permanent protections for these dreamers across the country. hawaii is home to 600 daca recipients and thousands more dreamers who could have qualified for the program but were reluctant to expose themselves to the government. i'd like to share some of their compelling stories here today. gabriella came to the united states with her family in 2001 fleeing violence in brazil. they came here out of love and hope for a better future. every day gabriella and her family worried about being sent
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back to the violent situation they escaped. gabriella graduated from high school with a 3.8g.p.a. and had big plans to pursue higher education. but at that time she couldn't enroll in college because she was undocumented. daca changed her life. she said -- quote -- i have been living here undocumented for ten years and had seen a lot of opportunities pass me by. i knew i couldn't continue to live this way. daca changed my life for the better. since getting daca in 2012, i have been able to get a driver's license, to have a career, to go to school, and leave my home every day knowing that i can come home to my family at the end of the day. end quote. another story. monica came to hawaii from tonga when i was a child. when he learn -- turned 21 he learned he might be deported.
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before receiving daca the only job he could find was building rock walls with his uncan. he didn't have a core to get to work. he woke up at 4:00 a.m. every single day to catch the bus to pearl city where he switched buses. after working in the hot sun all day, he would have to take a two-hour bus ride home to get to bed at 10:00 p.m. before starting his routine over again the next morning. i quote him. since i got daca, he said, life has changed a lot. i applied for my first job and got t. i worked really -- got it. i worked really hard and made supervisor. they gave me a company car and a company phone. it was really, really nice just to know that with hard work and effort, you can get places. end quote. eliminating daca would erase the meaningful economic and social contributions dreamers have made to hawaii and our country.
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multiply their stories thousands of times and you get a sense of how many lives are being shattered by a president who wouldn't help the young people he claims to -- quote -- love even as he was ordering their probable deportation. according to a report from the cato institute, rescinding daca would cost the state of hawaii $577.5 million in the coming decade from unrealized economic growth and lost taxes. that's from 600 daca participants. there are a hundred thousand of them throughout the country. so just the economic loss alone would be tremendous. and of course the contributions that dreamers make to our country cannot and should not be reduced only to a dollar figure. standing up for them and their american dream is a moral imperative. it's why leaders from across hawaii are speaking out against -- about daca and protecting dreamers. in an e-mail to students,
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faculty and staff yesterday, the president of the university of hawaii david lassner reaffirmed the university's commitment to serve all members of our community regardless of citizenship status. he continued saying, well over four years ago a u.h. border regions adopted a policy to extend eligibility to resident rates to undocumented students including but not limited to those who filed for daca. i remain on record with hundreds of my fellow college and university presidents in public support of daca. over the next months, we will strengthen -- we will strengthen our urging of congress to extend the daca program and protect the dreamers of our state and our nation. it goes on. our undocumented students are an integral part of our community and will continue to be extended all the rights, privileges, and services available to our
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students from application through graduation. further, as our state's only public higher education system, we have a deep responsibility to provide high quality, affordable education to advance all our people, our communities, and our islands. that mission requires that we support and celebrate diversity, respect, and caring. we must overcome hate and intolerance, even as we support free speech and free expression. it is clear that u.h.-like universities around the country is entering unchartered territory. our clear and firm adherence to our values in challenging times is more essential than ever. end quote. the president of the university of hawaii. another very recent development, hawaii's attorney general doug chin joined 15 attorneys general from across the country in filing suit against the trump administration to prevent it
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from eliminating the daca program. they filed a lawsuit on equal protection grounds. i strongly support efforts in the courts to prevent the president from rescinding daca and putting 800 young lives at risk for deportation. since the president has kicked the ball to congress to save daca, something he could and should have done himself, congress must step up and do just that. congress must step up because we cannot count on the president to do the right thing by exearlying -- exerting consistent or comprehensive moral leadership. although it was completely within the president's power to keep daca in place, congress can provide the certainty these dreamers deserve by passing the dream act, a bill that enjoys bipartisan support. i also want to send a clear message to the president and his hardline supporters in congress. i will join with my colleagues to resist any effort to hold
quote
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dreamers hostage to pay for the president's vanity wall in exchange for sharp reductions in legal immigration or for any other dog whistles to his base president i will do everything i can to fight back against this administration's continued efforts to marginalized immigrant and minority communities or to pit immigrant communities against one another. as an immigrant and minority person myself, i certainly know what these communities are experiencing. this is precisely what president president continues to do in an effort to play to white supremacists in his base. sadly, this is not surprising. it's up to each of us to fight back and we will. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: democratic leader. mr. schumer: first, i want to thank my colleague from hawaii for her outstanding words. she comes from a state like mine
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that thrives on diversity, welcoming people from all corners of the globe and making us stronger. and she's been a symbol of that herself as well as all the millions of wonderful people she represents in hawaii. now, i rise this afternoon alongside my colleagues from hawaii, my colleague from washington state, and others to make a case for the swift passage of the dream act. 800,000 dreamers are living in our country today, hardworking folks who came to this country through no fault of their own. to many america is the only country they know and not only that they contribute so much to our country. they work in our companies, go to our schools, even serve in our military. all they want is to live and work and contribute to our great country. why wouldn't we want them to? the president's decision yesterday to end daca threw
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their futures in doubt, threatening to rip apart families and telling people who worked so hard to be americans that they have to leave the country. the president's decision about daca is also bad economics. it would -- who rely on the hard workers, libertarian cato institute estimates daca would cost employers $2 billion over two years alone. the center for american progress found it would drain $433 billion from our g.d.p. over ten years. that's why more than 500 business leaders, some of the leading business people in our country, have signed on to a letter in defense of daca. that's why microsoft recently said that protecting the dreamers was their number one legislative goal greater than a cut to the corporate tax rate. that's how much the dreamers mean to them. personally and to their bottom lines. mr. president, the economic consequence of ending daca would be far-reaching and likely
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devastating. it would also be a devastating moral cost if we didn't pass the dream act to protect these kids. i'm reminded of a young woman, percy martinez brought from the dom minute republic as a young child and grew up in my city in the bronx. after graduating high school in new york city, she was stuck in the shadows. she worked spall jobs as a way -- small jobs as a waitress and baby-sitter. though she was a good student coming out of high school and even had a few scholarship offers, she couldn't attend college because she didn't have a green card. the daca program granted her temporary legal status. she worked hard to scrape enough in loans and she enrolled in bronx community college. a few years ago i spoke at her graduation and where she was the co-valedictorian of her class. i saw her. i watched her. what a wonderful young lady. she had a perfect g.p.a., 4.0.
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she represents what we think is the best of our country. she's part of what makes america great. by generations -- like generations before her, she wants to study hard, work hard, and give back to her community. what kind of country would we be? what kind of country have we become if we say that kearsey and 800,000 hardworking folks just like her are not welcome here. so, mr. president, congress has a responsibility to act. and i know you see it that way, as well. i very much appreciate it. we should do as soon as we can whatever we can. so i repeat what i said to the majority leader and the speaker of the house this morning at the white house, to put a clean dream act on the floor of both houses. it will receive bipartisan support. i believe it would pass by significant margins in each house. we could remove the fear of deportation and give peace of mind to 800,000 dreamers if only
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our leadership put the bills on the floor. it's that simple. and if we don't see a clean dream act in september, we, as the minority here, are prepared to attach it to legislative vehicles in the fall until it passes. these dreamers are americans in their hearts. they ought to become americans in the books of law as well. we democrats will not rest until that happens. thank you. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, some 800,000 people in this country woke up this morning with great uncertainty about their future because of president trump's reckless, hateful agenda. young men and women in this country are now unsure that they'll be able to finish their
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college degree here in the u.s. they're unsure if they can keep their job at a hospital or as a firefighter or serve in our military to fight for our freedoms. they're unsure if they can keep their home or remain with loved ones, and they are scared that this country might break its promise and use against them the very information they submitted to enroll in daca to find them and deport them. that is appalling, and it marks a very sad time for this united states of america. president trump has caused a lot of divisive and disheartening moments since the start of this year. rescinding daca is an unusually cruel and heartless move, even for this administration. and it flies in the face of so much of what and who made this country what it is. so i'm here today with my colleagues to urge all of us in the senate to use this moment of
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uncertainty and division to do what is right: come together to defend daca. use your voice for the dreamers in your state and the many others who are calling and writing and marching in our streets, urging all of us to act for our neighbors and our coworkers, for our students, doctors, engineers, presents and first re-- friends and first responders who are stepping up at this very moment to protect people from hurricanes wreaking havoc in texas and florida, to the wildfires that are blazing in the west. let's stand behind our colleagues, senator durbin and senator graham, who've already waived a bipartisan -- paved a bipartisan path forward on this issue and who just hours after the president's announcement reiterated they are ready to get this done. well, i am, too. there are more than 17,000 young men and women in my home state of washington who are deeply connected to their communities.
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they were brought to this country as children. some of them were so young when they arrived, they didn't even know they weren't born here until years or maybe even a decade later when they went to apply for college or get a job. just yesterday i heard about a young man in my home state who was very distraught. he was brought to the u.s. as a tolledder. he didn't know he wasn't a citizen until he turned 16 and went to get his driver's license. as a result, he signed up for daca. he got his license, and he got a job. and he is in his second year now in a science program at a community college getting straight a's and hoping to transfer to the university of washington. now he is frightened he is going to lose all of that and be forced to go a country he has never known. he says he doesn't know anyone in mexico, nor has he been there to visit. and that's just one story. i've sat down with a number of dreamers in my state.
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they are ambitious. they work hard. they play by the rules. they do the right thing. and they know one home: america. and to penalize them for forces beyond their control is simply not what this country is about. so while president trump may see ending daca as a political move to pander to his extreme hard-line base, i know the majority of people across this country will stand up and fight back. they will not let president trump strip away protections or use dreamers as a bargaining chip for his hateful crackdown on immigrants in your communities or 0 on a wasteful border wall spending. i stand ready to work with my colleagues on either side of the aisle to find a solution to honor the 800,000 dreamers who call america home. and to honor the very foundation of our immigrant nation. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i understand that senator van hollen is going to speak, but since he isn't here, i will go ahead and make some remarks in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: and i will yield to him. you know, it is interesting to hear the daca talk. i think if you take a step back and you look and you say, is it really unreasonable to merely say that as long as we will obey the law, we're going to be all right? and i think this president did the right thing when he said, all right, congress, you take a few months and see if you can come up with some answer that's a good answer. that's maybe what we should do. but what i'm really concerned about right now is we're getting ready to do the national defense authorization act. this is something that we will pass. we've passed it now for 55
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consecutive years, and it's going to pass this time. but it is important because one of the primary constitutional responsibilities we have is to provide for the common defense of our great nation. recent worldwide events highlight the urgency nor this need. i've spoken numerous times about the grave threat posed by north korea and warned that it would not be long until north korea demonstrated the capability to fire intercontinental ballistic missileintercontinental balliste united states. now it is not just me saying it. others are saying it. we've had a lot of courageous individuals coming forth from the military. i'm not used to this. i have been here for 23 years, and yet i've not seen them come forgot and just be -- forth and just be clear about the threat that's facing this country. in april admiral harry harris, the pacific command commander, testified in front of the senate
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armed services committee that it is clearly not a matter of when. it is a matter of when and not if korea will develop the capability to strike the united states of america. this has never happened before. in april and may, general vince stewart testified -- he testified actually before my subcommittee that i chair. he said, let me be clear, if left on its current trajectories the regime will succeed in fielding a nuclear-armed missile capable of threatening the united states homeland. you know, we've talked about this being the greatest threat -- most threatened position we've been in in the history of this country. and it's no longer -- i've often referred to the good old days as a cold war. we had two superpowers. we knew what they had. they knew what we had.
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it was predictable. it is not predictable anymore. you have countries like yemen, iran, north korea that developed these capabilities. they now have -- it's within reach. since then i have unfortunately been proven to be correct that the north korea regime continues to demonstrate its dire threat facing us. on july 4, north korea successfully launched their first icbm, the first time they did. it fired on a standard trajectory. that missile could have reached alaska. some experts say it could have gone even deeper into the continental united states. in light of that attack -- that test, the defense intelligence agency updated their assessment of the time line by which north korea will be able to reliably range united states cities -- we're talking like washington, d.c., -- as early as the end of next year and even earlier. now this past sunday, september 3, north korea tested what is
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believed to be a hydrogen bomb. it is the most powerful nuclear weapon to date, almost seven times as powerful as the bomb that detonated over hiroshima. they stated the test was to test the accuracy to be placed at the end of an icbm. a nuclear device as powerful as the one tested sunday could devastate -- any that. seven to -- think about that. seven to ten times stronger than the one that wiped out hiroshima. it is important to remember that all of this power is being wielded by an erratic despot kim jong-un. north korea's official newspaper relaid the threat of a preemptive threat in april -- this was in their newspaper, a
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quote from their newspaper -- it could completely and immediately wipe out not only united states imperialist invasion forces in south korea and its surrounding areas but the united states mainland and reduce them to ashes. there is a newspaper that is behind this president over there and has made this threat to the united states. so this is -- we've never experienced anything like this in this country before. so now we're getting into the ndaa. l. this year we have to -- this year we have to keep this grave threat foremost in our minds. and we are doing it. i have had numerous conversations with the chamber of our committee -- with the chairman our committee. and we are going to make these commitments. we have serious readiness deficits that are going to have to be addressed right away. a spike in accidents over the last 90 days -- i just had the secretary of the navy in my who was a few minute minutes ago tag
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about how he's addressing this thing. it is hard to correlate these actions with a readiness decline as a result of numerous continuous resolutions, sequestrations. just another surprise that we have that we've not had before. our forces are now smaller than the days of the hollow force. some of us remember -- that was back after the carter administration. it was one where we -- they declared our own -- our own forces decayed that it was a -- declared that it was a hollow force of the 1970's. we had some of the top people in from -- it was the vice chiefs from all of the services. they agreed that our situation right now is worse than it was in the days of the hollow force. so our air force is short 1,500 pilots, 1,00 of them are fighter -- 1,300 of them are fighter pilots.
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the navy is the smallest and lead ready it has been -- and least ready it has been in years. it can currently only meet 40% of the demand. more than half of the navy's aircraft are grounded because they are lacking the necessary spare parts. and the marine corps is struggling to keep their f-18 hornet's air worthy. the last i heard they were down to only -- at 62% of them were not ready to address readiness. the army has said only about a third of their brigade combat teams, one-fourth of their combat aviation brigades and one-half of their division headquarters, are currently ready. that's a sobering assessment. and we are again in the most threatened position we've been in as a nation. the bill we presented out of the armed services committee goes a long ways towards closing these
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readiness gaps. our bill increases end strength and boosts funding for equipment, operation, maintenance, military construction, and includes a 2.1% pay increase for our troops. it also decreases many requirements for the services combat and commanders unfunded priority list. i'm also pleased that the senate armed services committee committee, ndaa, prohibited a base realignment and closure round this year. it is called a brac round. a brac round when where they go through and make an evaluation as to what our capabilities are and what changes should be made, what bases should be closed, and decisions like that. the problem with that is, if you do this, when you've gone through a period of disarmment, some have called it, we are in a position right now, we need every nickel we can have for the military. one thing that is always a certainty, when you go through a brac round, it always costs
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money the first few years. and we can't afford to do it right now. so our ndaa also fully funds the missile defense agency unfunded priorities, which is important considering that since 2006 the missile defense agency budget has fallen more than 23%. every amendment we consider in our ndaa this year should be equally focused on increasing readiness across the services. i'll wrap up with a quote from the chief of staff of the army. this quote is one that we should keep in mind throughout the ndaa process. general milley said -- and by the way, i admire our uniforms for coming forth and talking about the dilemma that we're in. it is very difficult for them do that. he said it best when it comes to funding our military. this is his quote. he said, the only thing more expensive than deterrence is actually fighting a war. the only thing more expensive than fighting a war is fighting one and losing one.
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we're expensive. we recognize tax the bottom line is it's an investment that's worth every nickel, and it is. i apologize my friend -- i apologies to my friend and will now yield the floor and suggest that we have this -- this is probably the most significant bill coming up this year. we're going to be starting -- i think senator mccain said we're going to be starting on this next week. and it's been the most important bill of the year for the last 55 years. it will continue to be this year. i yield the floor. mr. van hollen: mr. president, thank you. i want to say at the utset, the senator from oklahoma, i agree with your statements with respect to the threat posed by north korea. it's nuclear -- its nuclear weapons program, both the development of nuclear programs and the most recent explosion which was a larger yield than ever before, plus their missile program including their icbm's.
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i think it is important to that congress act quickly by furthering squeezing economically north korea. i know the presiding officer and senator markey have a piece of legislation. i together with senator toomey have a piece of legislation in the banking committee that would further tighten the economic pressure on north korea. so i hope the congress will move forward quickly. mr. inhofe: i thank the senator, and i would say this is the one thing -- we disagree on a lot of things in this chamber. this is one thing we have to agree with and do what's necessary to do our job. mr. van hollen: yes, indeed. i think that's exactly right. we have 28,000 american soldiers in south korea. about 50,000 in japan. and, mr. president, i came here to the floor to talk about the dreamers. i do think it's important to start by making the point that many of those dreamers are serving in our armed forces today. they have put their lives at
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risk for the only country that they know, which is the united states of america. and it was just shortly after the november election when then-president-elect trump called "time" magazine -- told "time" magazine that -- and i'm quoting -- he was talking about dreamers -- quote, we're going to work something out that's going to make people happy and proud. they -- he was referring to the dreamers -- got brought here at a very young age. they have worked here, they have gone to school here. some were good students. some have wonderful jobs. and they are in never-neverland because they don't know what's going to happen. that's what president trump said right after the election. yesterday, he delivered the cruel news about what would happen six months from now if this congress doesn't act, which
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is those dreamers will be at risk of being thrown out of our country. they will be the a risk of being deported from the united states of america. and so the very president who said he is going to do something to make people, quote, happy and proud did something that was sad and shameful in our country. and, mr. president, a majority of americans agree that it is wrong to deport the dreamers. that's not just majorities of democrats or independents but also majorities of republicans recognize that's the wrong thing to do. as president trump has acknowledged, these dreamers were brought to the united states as young children, regardless of the act of their -- the adults or their parents, these children have done nothing wrong. they are our neighbors. they attend schools with our
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kids. they pledge allegiance to the flag every morning at school. they sing the star-spangled banner. they play on the same sports teams. in fact, many of these dreamers didn't even recognize that they did not have full legal status until they reached adulthood. and it was the daca program, it was the daca program that provided these young people with at least the assurance that the rest of the country wanted them to stay, and that they would not be deported so long as they played by the rules, so long as they did what this country asked of them, and that's what they're doing. 95% of the dreamers are in school or working at american businesses, large and small. they are contributing to our
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economy. once they receive that stability under daca, 54% went out and bought their first car at local car dealerships around the country. 12% were able to go out and make a down payment on their first homes. and when they go out and buy homes and buy cars, they are supporting our economy, which is why deporting these 800,000 dreamers is not only the wrong thing to do from the perspective of humanity and being a fair country, it's bad for our economy as well. mr. president, as i indicated at the outset, these dreamers participate in our armed forces and help protect the national security of our country. in my state of maryland, we have 10,000 dreamers who are contributing in many positive ways to our state. when i think of dreamers, i
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think of a young man now. his name is steven acuna. he is a maryland resident. in 2001, he was 8 years old when his family came to the united states from colombia after they began receiving death threats, and ever since his family arrived 16 years ago, they have lived and worked in this country as productive and law-abiding citizens. in 2012, me were denied political asylum that they had sought here, and so they were actually at that time yanked from their germantown, maryland, home and locked up in a detention center on the eastern shore of maryland. at that time, they reached out to my congressional office, and we joined with advocacy organizations and immigration lawyers and local leaders to
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make sure that that family was not deported. and then, thanks to the daca program, that made it possible for dreamers like steven acuna to stay in the united states legally, he just graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the iewrg -- university of maryland. steve aspires to be an orthopedic surgeon. mr. president, here is a picture of steve acuna with his family celebrating his recent graduation from university of maryland, aspiring to go on to be a surgeon. and the message that president trump sent to steve acuna and his family yesterday is shameful. the message he sent was we don't want you in the united states anymore.
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that would be a grave mistake. the wrong thing morally. and it's also the wrong thing from the perspective of making sure we have a community that works for everybody and a strong local economy. we have invested in steve acuna. he wants to go on to be an orthopedic surgeon, and yet this administration is telling him if congress doesn't act in six months, you're out of here. so that brings us to what we're going to do here in the united states senate, what we're going to do in the house of representatives. president trump did not have to make the decision he made yesterday. it was cruel and it was gratuitous, but he's made that decision, and now it is up to us in the united states senate and in the congress to do the right thing. in fact, president trump has
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said to congress go ahead and make sure the dreamers can stay. on the one hand, he took an action he didn't have to. he put them at risk. he lit the fuse on a six-month detonator, and he headed to congress. now it is up to us to do the right thing, and it is essential that this senate vote on the dreamer bill in the coming weeks. we already have it in front of us, it's a bipartisan piece of legislation. its primary sponsors are senator lindsey graham, republican from south carolina, and senator dick durbin, democrat from the state of illinois. so we have a bipartisan bill that's been introduced in the senate, and now the question is when are we going to get to vote on it. when are we going to be able to take up this legislation? and because of the action taken
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just yesterday by president trump, it is imperative that we act right now to provide stability and competence to these young men and women who have already done so much to contribute to our country and many are serving today in our armed forces. let them and the country know that we can act in a bipartisan basis to do what the overwhelming majority of the american people, democrats, republicans, independents alike, want us to do. so, mr. president, let's take up the dreamers bill. let's take it up now. there is no excuse for delay. people should vote in the light of day. people should let their constituents know where they stand on this issue. this is a question not just of fairness, but it's a question of political accountability and transparency. president trump has told
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congress that we should act, and in this case, we have an obligation to at least take a vote, to at least take a vote on this issue, and i am absolutely confident when this body takes that vote, that we will do the right thing, that we will vote to protect the dreamers, and in doing so protect the commitments that we as a country have made to people who have done nothing wrong, because as a country, i hope we stand for the principle that people should not be punished when they have done nothing wrong, and when, in fact, they have done everything our country has asked for them. so, mr. president, let's take up the dreamers bill, let's take it up with this batch. let's pass it. let's have the house pass it. it wasn't absolutely clear, but president trump in his most recent tweet seemed to say that he's ready to sign what we send him, so let's get it done. thank you, mr. president.
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the presiding officer: the clinger -- the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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ms. warren: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. ms. warren: mr. president, are we in a quorum call. the presiding officer: yes, we are. ms. warren: i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. warren: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, america is in trouble. government works great for people at the top, works great for corporations who can hire lobbyists and lawyers, but for everyone else america isn't working so well. for decades now expenses have gone up while wages have been flat. economic opportunity is slipping away from too many americans and we know how to fix what's happening by kicking the lobbyists and the lawyers and the rich donors and the giant companies out of the room and
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putting working families first. the president of the united states isn't interested in doing that. his first major legislative initiative was to try to boot tens of millions of people off of their health insurance, his second legislative initiative is to try to get giant tax breaks to rich folks and enormous corporations while working people pay for it. i suppose it's not surprising that the president has no intention of helping working families. after all, he is a rich donor and he personally profits every single day from a giant company that he named after himself. so here's donald trump, a man who promised over and over during the presidential campaign that he would be on the side of working people. here's donald trump doing the exact opposite of what he told the american people he would do. it is the exact opposite of what
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the american people need him to do and sooner or later it's going to catch up with him. president trump wants to delay that reckoning for as long as possible and from the day he first announced his presidential campaign, it's been obvious how he plans to do it, by turning us against each other, by telling everyone that the real problem in america is the neighbor who doesn't look like you, the co-worker who doesn't worship like you, the guy in the grocery store who doesn't sound like you. nowhere has this been more obvious than on the politics of race. in november, president trump named jeff sessions, the man considered too racist to be a federal judge, as our nation's attorney general. in january, president trump rolled out an unconstitutional muslim ban, and in august, after
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white supremists marched in the streets, president trump defended hate and also in august he used his first presidential pardon to shield a racist former sheriff who broke the law. yesterday morning the president continued his campaign to turn us against each other when he decided to end the daca program. now, daca gives 800,000 young people who were brought to the united states as children a chance to live, work, and get an education and become valuable members of our society. the president said he would end the program. that means over 800,000 young people who have been here their entire lives, who came out of the shadows to contribute to our economy could be deported to countries they barely know.
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divide and conquer is an old story in america. it's a cold political calculation, and those with money and power have used it time and time and time again to keep us fighting with each other, fighting over religion, fighting over race, fighting over anything that keeps us from coming together to fight back against a rigged system. president trump wants us to turn our backs on 800,000 dreamers, including nearly 8,000 dreamers in massachusetts. he doesn't want us to look at these young people and see them for who they are. he just wants us to see them as threats. after all, he launched his campaign by calling immigrants rapists and criminals, and that's exactly what he wants everyone else to see. now, i wanted to introduce three dreamers from massachusetts and let the american people decide ifs that true -- if that's true.
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reana fled from el salvador as a child. she is a model student and is working on a bachelor's degree. before the daca program allowed her to come out of the shadows she worked up to 70 hours a week in a restaurant for a boss who sexually harassed her. on multiple occasions he propositioned her to have a sexual relationship with him and threatened to call immigration if she refused. the harassment became so bad she decided to quit her job. knowing there was no one to tell, her boss refused to pay her for her last two weeks of work. raina was an easy target. a woman without american status
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couldn't complain, a woman without immigration status was a woman who knew that speaking up could mean immediate deportation. when reyna entered the daca program, her life changed. it meant she could stand up for herself without being afraid of being kicked out of america. i asked her what daca means to her and this is what she told me. daca means to me the opportunity to be the first one in my family to graduate with a bachelor's degree, to work without the fear of being humiliated and exploited due to my status. donald trump wants reyna banished from our country. this young man was 6 years old when he left his home.
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when peru's economy collapsed his father was forced to travel to more remote and dangerous places. it got so dangerous that on one trip bruno said he was attacked by armed robbers and injured by flying glass from gun shots. after that, bruno's family decided that they should escape to america. bruno's family settled in garden grove, california, where he and his sister and parents shared one room in his uncle's apartment. bruno's parents worked 12-hour days and -- in a low-wage jb to keep food on the table. bruno threw himself into his studies and when he graduated from high school, he was second in his class. but bruno did a lot more than just study.
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he founded an organization to help struggling students. he served as a tutor. he played the sacksa phone. today he is a junior at harvard and deserves for the harvard financial aid initiative to provide financial aid to promising high school students from low-income families. i asked bruno what this means to him. he said it gives us the opportunity for many of us to work here legally and achieve the american dream that this country still boasts is -- boasts so that we can give back to our families who sacrifice so much for us and to the country that helped us form us into what we are today. but donald trump wants bruno banished from our country. i can do this all night, but others want a chance to tell their stories as well so i'm
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going to do one more. this young man, like bruno, alias was 6 when he and his parents him and his sister to the united states. he remembers hearing stories every day of violence in venezuela, a gun pulled on his mother while at a stoplight, his grandfather robbed after making a bank withdrawal. to keep her kids safe, she transferred to a company in miami on a visa that allows executives and managers from other countries to work in the united states and then to apply for permanent residence status. she never got the chance to apply for permanent residence status because when alie yas was 1 -- alias was 11, his mother died of cancer. when he lost his mother, alias lost his protective status without even knowing it. in high school, alias took tough classes, including 13 advanced placement courses.
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he worked hard. he earned nearly straight a's, served on the student government and debate teams. he volunteered with the children's trust and also with the homeless trust. the activities director at alias' high school called alias his hero. he said and i quote, i've been teaching for 20 years and i've never seen a student like this young man. alie yas' commitment to excellence earned a program scholarship to attend brandeis university. earlier this year he worked as an intern in my office. i asked him what daca meant to him. he said it's been a source of optimism and a light of protection. he wrote, for years before daca arrived, i would sleep in bed at night with a constant fear of
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deportation imagining in my head the visual of i.c.e. breaking through my door to deport myself or my sister. when daca came, the fear stopp stopped. but president trump wants elias banished from our country. nearly a million young people all across this country are asked to come out of the shadows ndz we made them a promise. work hard, play by the rules, contribute to america, get an education, defend our country, help us build an economy that works. and in exchange we won't knock on your door in the middle of the night, rip you from your home, and ship you off to a foreign country you barely remember. president trump decided to break that promise. he's hiding behind jeff sessions and some flimsy lawyer nonsense,
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but he's breaking that promise, pure and simple. and that means he is failing in his basic moral duty to protect these people, these children of america. that is not who america is. america is not a place that punishes children for the sins of their fathers. america is not a place that boots out smart, hardworking, decent young people who have spent nearly all their lives here and who are a core part of our nation's future. donald trump wants to turn us against each other. he wants to banish rayna, bruno and elias and hundreds of thousands of young people from our country. he says that is how we will build a better america. well, donald trump is wrong. he wants to build a hateful and frightened america. but we have the chance to turn away from the hate and fear.
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we have the chance right here in congress to take an important step toward building a stronger, more vibrant america. we have the chance to make daca the law so that donald trump cannot take away the dreams of 800,000 young people, like rayna, bruno and elias. we can and we must pass the dream act now. thank you, mr. president. i yield. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: the senator from massachusetts has delivered a powerful message, obviously one from the heart, a compelling message. i want to thank her for that we have a bunch of new pages here, mr. president. and they showed up for duty early this week. and they are generally i think rising juniors, probably 16 years old or so. and most of the 800,000 people
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that we're talking about here as dreamers came here before they were old enough to be a page. and many of them weren't even old enough to go to kind garden or -- kindergarten or first great. they didn't come here by their own volition. they were for the most here brought here by their parents. they were brought here to flee horrific conditions in countries like honduras, guatemala, el salvador where there's violence, murder, mayhem that's largely created because of our addiction to drugs in this country. and we -- they send us drugs trafficked through those countries from south america, and we send guns and money to places like honduras and guatemala and el salvador. and when we take into custody bad guys, people here illegally that are also criminals, where do we send them? we send them back to honduras,
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guatemala and el salvador. so we send them criminals. we send guns and money to those three countries. and the conditions that that toxic mix creates are ones that i wouldn't want to submit my children, my family to. frankly, a lot of people in those three countries feel the same way. we are complicit in their misery. we are complicit in their misery. and that is why so many folks from those three countries called the northern triangle, why they try to escape. the kids didn't come on their own. they came here with their parents. many of them, frankly, don't have any memories of where they were born. we're not looking for them to become american citizens. what daca attempts to do is to give them some time, give us some time to be able to make their stay here legal, something
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short of citizenship. why should -- if you're not -- if our hearts aren't touched by stories that senator warren just told us about, these three young people, i want to take a little different approach, express why we should care. i come here to the -- i came here to the united states ?a the some years ago as a recovering -- -- people say i'm still a recovering governor. but i have focused much of my life in public service on creating a nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation. people -- presidents, governors, senators, mayors like to talk about the jobs they created and truthfully we don't create jobs. people in our positions try to create a more nurturing environment for job creation. and that includes a quality work force with the skills that are needed by employers. it includes transportation, infrastructure that works, includes public safety, includes
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access to capital to finance projects. includes a lot of things. energy, affordable energy, commonsense regulations. those are some of the elements that create a nurturing environment. one of the top items on that list is the work force. people have the kills that employers are working for, people who have the willingness to come to work, to work hard, to be trained, and be promoted in many cases, people who are honest. i have not met 800,000 dreamers, but delaware state university which is a university in dover, delaware, been around for 125 years, there are about 40 dreamers, undergraduates there, either freshmen or sophomore and i met most of them. they're some of the most remarkable college students i've ever met. these are -- these are students who aren't just getting by with a 2.0 average or 3.0 average.
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these are students on the dean's list who come to school on time, don't cut classes, make excellent grades, work in many cases part time jobs to help -- part-time jobs to help support their time in school and are anxious to be able to make real contributions to our community, to our state and to our country. one young man, i think he was from el salvador, a public event we had two days ago, on tuesday at delaware state university. he said to us the president -- harry williams, the university, their new -- he stood up and he held his hand over his heart and he said every day since i was the age of 5 in kindergarten, i held my hand in school over my heart and pledged allegiance to
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that flag, that flag. he said i don't have any other flag. i don't have any other country. this is my country. we need young men and young women like him. i learned earlier this month when we -- if the department of labor, the jobs report for the month of august, and one of the things it had shared with us, there are millions of people in this country -- not millions of people -- there are millions of jobs in this country, millions of jobs in this country that are going unfilled. there are million, of jobs in this country that are going unfilled. we have thousands of them in delaware. michigan probably has tens of thousands. ohio -- 150,000 jobs in ohio not being filled. because the people applying for them don't have the skills. maybe the work ethic, the record. in some cases they can't pass a drug test. yet these employers, the employers in all of our states need workers. and in a day and age when we
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need workers with the skills, academic skills, the work skills, we need them probably more than ever. we're ready to pack up 800,000 of them and send them back to where their parents came from, where they were born. it is in america's naked self-interest to enslur these young -- ensure these young people are given a shot -- they're given a shot to make the kind of contributions they're capable of, to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of employers in this country. given that opportunity, they will make their parents proud, they will make us proud, they will make our nation stronger, more economically vibrant. it's in our interest to let them stay, to welcome them here. i'll close with the words of matthew 25. when i was a stranger in your land, did you welcome me?
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think about that. when i was a stranger in your land, did you welcome me? let's welcome these young people. let's put them to work. i yield back. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. we're here to stand this afternoon for close to 800,000 people, young men and women, 10,000 of them living in connecticut who have relied on a promise, not just any old promise, a promise from the united states of america. the promise to them was that they could come forward, share
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information about their cell phones, their addresses, their relatives, their workplaces, their tax information. and they would be permitted to live here, study here, work here, give back to their community. and now america is breaking that promise and betraying its values in the decision by the president of those united states to end the daca program. this decision is repugnant to the basic ideals of america. it is repulsive to the values that underlie the rule of law. i heard a commentator last night saying, you know, these daca
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people when they came here, they into the law -- they broke the law. think of it for a moment. a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old brought by their parents, maybe by a stranger, maybe by other relatives, breaking the law because that relative then failed to go through the steps necessary for documentation or there may have been a variety of circumstances, such as persecution, threatened death and injury in the country where that young man or woman was bo born. but we know because it's part of the daca program that they were minors when they came here. they made no decision to break the law. and they have been here for their entire lives except for a
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few months or years. and we know also that for almost all of them, this country is the only one they know. english is usually the only language they speak. their lives are here. their friends are here. and families as well. but most important for those united states of america that made that promise, their futures are here. and they are, as the president of the united states said, terrific people. we love them, as he also said. and the announcement that he would end their legal status here, that they would be deported, that they would be ejected from this country is the height of hypocrisy and
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inhumanity. it is cruel and irrational. it will deprive our economy of hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years. it will mean disruption in workplaces, and that's why employers are protesting the decision. it will mean schools that are uncertain about how many students they will have, and that's why university presidents and administrators are condemning it. but most important, it will betray who we are as americans, a nation of immigrants, a nation that keeps its promises. now, let's be very clear. when the attorney general of the united states says that there will be an orderly winddown -- i think those are the terms he used -- there is no such thing as an orderly winddown of daca. there is disruption and destruction, already chaos and
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confusion, terror among the young people who are living their lives now seemingly on borrowed time. it is borrowed time because the president of the united states has thrown a ticking time bomb into this body, in effect playing chicken with their lives. they are the ones whose lives will be blown up if that time bomb explodes. and they are indeed voices and faces that have come to us in the last day or so. two of them are from connecticut. i met with them or saw them. the first is myrka salinas. she has been in the united states for 16 years. she is pursuing her dream at southern connecticut state university, of becoming a teacher. and she was student teaching last week, but her future career
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in education has suddenly been jeopardized. or jonathan gonzalez. he, too, is a student at southern. he's a double major in economics and applied mathematics, and he also mentors other students at public schools in new haven, and he has the freedom basically to live as anyone else in this country, to drive to work, and his freedom, too, is in jeopardy. they have come to washington, d.c., today, not only to share their stories but to raise their voices and represent those 10,000 others in connecticut. like vanya, who was born in mexico and brought to connecticut at age 3.
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she thinks of connecticut as her home. it's the home, the only one she knows, where she went to school and made her friends. and would she be sent back to mexico where she knows no one, has no job or connection? will she go by plane or will she be forced to walk across that border, or maybe by car? we're talking about deportation, physical ejection from the country. not a vague concept of maybe in a few years. we're talking about deportation of 800,000 people beginning in six months. on a scale, a magnitude and scope that is unprecedented in the history of the united states of america.
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that came country that welcomed my father at the age of 17 when he fled germany to escape persecution and knew virtually no one, had not much more than the shirt on his back and spoke almost no english. just as many of them came to this country at a much younger age, and this country gave them as it did my father a chance to succeed. there is no orderly way to wind down this program. there is only grief, pain, suffering for those 800,000 dreamers, but also for the rest of us, for our economy, for our sense of self and morality, and so far as the rule of law is concerned, these young people
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are not law-abiding -- are not . it is the attorney general who decides about the law, but more importantly declined to defend the law and prejudging instead what the result would be if this case went to court, if those ten attorneys general challenging daca went to court and have to prove their case, including going to the united states supreme court. where does the attorney general of the united states jeff sessions have the power to prejudge what the supreme court of the united states would do? so we have a decision ahead of us, which is to rise to the challenge, to defuse that time bomb, to pass the dream act, to
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enable these young people who are faced with terror and anxiety that they will have a chance to continue productive and important lives and to avoid the economic nightmare for employers and job creators who depend on them. we have the opportunity and obligation now to make sure that these young people are protected, not punished, because their futures are at stake, our future as a nation is at stake, and i am here to say to jonathan, to vanya, to all of the dreamers that we will fight as long and hard as possible to make sure that the american dream is alive and well for you. that's the dream that was
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promised to you by a great country and great countries keep their promises. thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor. ms. stabenow: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: first i want to thank my friend and colleague from connecticut for his powerful words and all the other colleagues who have come to the floor to stand up for a group of young people who need our voices right now. through no quality of their own, as has been repeated over and over again, these young people, oftentimes babies, were brought to this country without documentation, but they were brought at they didn't know what was happening to them, 1-year-old, 5-year-old, 7-year-old, 8-year-old. it wasn't their choice, and yet they are paying the price for what happened. there's no question we need comprehensive immigration
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reform, no question at all. i was very proud and pleased to support a major effort a few years ago, a bipartisan effort in the senate to do comprehensive immigration reform. it's something we need because our system is broken. there's no question. it hurts families and workers and businesses and farmers in michigan every single day. but targeting these young people, this almost 800,000 young people does nothing to solve that problem, and i'm anxious to work with colleagues across the aisle to address comprehensive reform so we have a legal system that works. but we have, again, about 800,000 young people right now who stepped forward and are covered by something called the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, or daca, who
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were told if they would step forward, provide the government with all of their personal information, information about their families, that they -- as long as they were following the rules, going to school, going to college, serving in the military, doing the right thing, they would be allowed to stay and be successful in our country. in michigan alone, 10,000 young people have been approved for daca. those are some of the numbers, but we're not talking about numbers, as we know. we're talking about people's lives. we're talking about 10,000 young people in michigan who are attending college, who are working as nurses or doctors and buying homes and building their own businesses, maybe they are reaching out in some other way to be successful in the economy,
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they're serving in our military, serving in our military right now, somebody serving in our military right this minute could lose their life for our country, the country they love at the same time that our -- the president and his administration has turned their back on them. these are people raising american children of their own with american family members around them. these children aren't numbers. they are frankly our neighbors. and in michigan, we care about our neighbors. one of our neighbors is named lafredo. he is a dreamer who was brought to the united states when he was 9 years old. lafredo works hard. he is a restaurant supply salesman. he owns a home. he is crazy about soccer, and he says he is crazy about his
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girlfriend. he told "michigan bridge" magazine that they hope to get married one day. but a future that seemed so bright just a few days ago now has a dark cloud hanging over it. lafredo is scared. his girlfriend's scared. his family's scared. will he be sent back to a country he barely remembers? what will happen to his sister who is an american citizen? will he ever see her again? another one of our neighbors in michigan, juan, shares that fear. he was 1-year-old, one years old, just a baby when his parents brought him to the united states. for many years, juan lived in the shadows, but that changed in 2012 when our country made a promise to juan, and to others, to suddenly step forward and change their future.
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he was able to get a job, go back to school, drive, even buy a house. juan told the "detroit free press," i know no other place. he was brought here when he was one years old. it's not about sending him back somewhere. there's no going back. he doesn't know any other country. he says we love this country. we want to make this country a better place. lafredo, juan, and so many other young people are great examples of what we need to happen here in the house and senate and the white house, and that is comprehensive immigration reform. not using them in a way that does certainly not show the best about america. right now, though, until we can get comprehensive immigration reform, we need to pass the
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bipartisan dream act to protect the young people who have been hurt by this administration's actions. i know we have colleagues on both sides of the aisle that want to work together, to do something, to prove that america does keep its promises. these dreamers have done nothing wrong. they've done everything right. and we need to show them that we do care about them and make sure that our country keeps its promises to them. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reid: thank you, mr. president. i rise today along with so many of my colleagues. mr. reed: senator o stabenow just spoke with regard to the daca. we are here to oppose president
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trump's unnecessary political and damaging decision to end the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, the daca program. close the door on the american dream for nearly 800,000 people who are american in every way but on paper. it goes against every measure of sound public policy and basic decency. today i join my colleagues in congress, hundreds of american business executives, thousands of higher education officials and faith leaders and a majority of the american people who have made their voices heard over the past few days to denounce president trump's elimination of daca and call for legislative action to protect dreamers and to provide them a realistic and responsible pathway to citizenship. we must be absolutely clear about what president trump has done on his own, without any need or, in my view, legal requirement to do so. by his choice, in less than six
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months the administration will begin forcing hundreds of thousands of dreamers, many in their 20's and 30's, out of their jobs, out of our military, out of our schools, and out of the united states. the only country that most of them have ever really known. it is true that dreamers were brought here outside the appropriate processes, but this was through no fault or decision of their own. since then, they have pursued higher education, started families, worked hard, and paid taxes, stayed out of serious trouble with the law. some have served honorably with our armed forces and put their live on the line to keep us all safe. we gain nothing and lose a great deal by separating these young people from their jobs, their homes, their spouses, children, and sending them to countries they hardly know. at no point

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