tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 1, 2014 2:30pm-4:31pm EDT
do you share that opinion? >> what the president said in august, which is what i think he reiterated -- i think there's no doubt that the isis advance has been more rapid than intelligence estimates and the --ectation of policymakers more rapid than the expectations of hollis he makers both inside and outside of iraq -- the expectations of policymakers. actions were taken after falluja , the dam, the mountain. degradewere taken to them. >> is it fair to put that much blame on the intelligence community? >> it's not a question of blame. .t's a question of fact fact is what mr. clapper said in -- said that his
analysis had reported the group's image and and it's prowess and capability as well as the deficiencies of the iraqi military. what we did not do was predict the will to fight. that's always the problem. that is what he said. he said that in this case, we underestimated isil, the islamic state, and overestimated the fighting capability of the iraqi army. we did not see the collapse in the north coming. did not see their will to fight, which is in ponderable -- im ponderable. that's what the chairman of the intelligence said recently in relationship to what the president had been informed and congress had been informed earlier. what i do want to say about the whileent, though, is that all of this is happening and for a long time now, the president
has been working diplomatically and politically to make sure that there was a new government in iraq because it's no use much in terms of military or diplomacy if you do not have a government that is going to be inclusive, so while all of this is going on, the president and vice president were working very hard to see a transition to a government that would be inclusive. shiaust to represent minorities, but shia, sunni, the rest,stian, and inclusive government. the president has put together a coalition of our nato allies as well as allies in the region to degrade .nd destroy isis the president has rallied humanitarian assistance in a very important way when isis was toeatening genocide
thousands of people, isolating them on a mountain. the president came in and diffused that humanitarian crisis. a great deal has been going on. again, when mr. clapper says and we underestimated isil overestimated the fighting capacity of the iraqi army, the fighting capacity, the will to fight spanning from also not having a government in baghdad gave the many comfort that they were an important part of iraq. that has changed, and that is one way to degrade and destroy .sis >> as you say, a lot is going on. when you guys come back from elections, it will be more than three months since president obama started this offensive.
why should you guys come back sooner, debate isis -- >> i'm with you. i disagree with the speaker who says we have to wait for the president to give us authorization so that we can vote on it. no, if you want to define an authorization, which defines the -- to use the word again -- authority you give the president, you do not wait for the president to write it. congress writes it because we are asserting our willingness to vote for a plan of action. i do believe, as the speaker, i think, has said that what the president is doing now, he has the authority to do it. we voted overwhelmingly in the congress on a resolution that says should there come a time that the president goes farther, it will require an authorization of congress. i think we should have stayed to do it. i think we should be getting ready to do it. people, as i say, are informally
-- we have a range of -- well, two examples -- senator nelson and congressman frank wolf, and many other people within our own writing down possibilities of what an authorization would look like. congress has to vote on it, and it defines how we would limit the power of the president -- or not -- but it's our decision, not the president's decision. i'm with you. here towe should stay debate and discuss what we would do to degrade and destroy isis. we should be here to do a jumpstart for the middle class, to have job creation that gives confidence in our economy to the american people, to degrade isis, to give confidence in our national security. i think there's plenty of work that we could have been doing here now, and that's why i'm here and have been here each
week. i think we have just time for one more question. 2007, there's an article ," and the paso times then director of intelligence said that a significant number of iraqis had already come across the southwest border. if president obama does what he has promised to do and take to legalizetion some illegal aliens in the united states -- >> are you referring to undocumented people in the united states? >> should this legislation include iraqis as well? >> we have many borders. we have the canadian border, the southern border, people coming by land and sea, and we certainly have to protect the american people. that is our first responsibility -- to protect and defend.
i do not take it has anything to do with what the president is going to do next on immigration. i think it has to do with what we are doing for our national security. thank you all very much -- yes, ma'am, ok. >> can i just ask a political question since we are getting so close to the election? republicans are using a strategy they have used before, which is featuring you and a lot of ads in competitive races, trying to link multiple members to you. i'm just wondering what you think of this. >> they have no ideas. they have nothing to offer the american people in terms of job , financial stability, lowering the cost of education, raising the minimum wage, stopping their tax breaks for their friends to send jobs overseas instead of the united states, so they use their politics of personal destruction
, which is their stock in trade. it comes from their poverty, their lack of ideas. you know what? people are not responding to them. we have out-mobilized them, out-recruited them, out-raised them to a shameful extent, and they are desperate. in this a lot more election. i've had people say in this election, "why are you talking about her? i thought it was between the two of you? what do you have do offer?" that is the arena and that is the way it is, and i am so respectful of the president and what he has to do. i am more offended by any attacks they might make on the president of the united states. >> you are proud when they make you the bogeyman? >> oh, my goodness, they help me raise money.
if they had anything to offer, they would be offering that. they have nothing to offer. they are not here. they shut down government. six years ago, they would have allowed financial institutions to go down the drain. this president inherited that very, very bad economic situation, turned the country are around. that's what i think we have to be talking about in this election. and -- i met here to talk about them. we surround ourselves with people who share our values and believe in what we believe in. we have great candidates, great enthusiasm at the grassroots level, and i remind you that for all that they had to say, last election, we got nearly 1.5 million more votes than they did nationally. be in theppen to right districts, but nationally, the public voted for the democrats for the house of
representatives by over one million votes. >> are you still predicting the same pick up you predicted earlier? >> i think we do ok. to theng to go over triple c right now to talk about some of that, but we feel very confident. and you know what? their days are numbered. i know that in two years, there will be a democratic congress and a democratic president. i would like it to be in two months. i'm saying that it's important for us to come as close to that as possible. >> will you stay on for two more years if you believe there's going to be a democratic congress and democratic president? >> i am staying on for two more years. i'm running for reelection. >> beyond that.
i'm not even interested in the commentators' opinion. sport.want to watch the again, get to your point i like the olympics -- the elections are like the olympics. the couple of seconds behind or an inch a medal.ou might get it's just a question of where we come down on what side. five weeks from today, this wednesday, we can have no have doneat we everything possible to advance the cause. elections are about two things -- they are about who wins, and they are also about how the debate is conducted so that the public holds people accountable
for job creation and college affordability and equal pay for equal work. so the debate is very important, that isour country, and what is exciting about it. but since we are talking sports, think olympics. .ne side or the other we are fighting very hard, and we will have no regrets because we will do everything possible to advance the cause as well as the candidates. thank you all very much. >> capitol hill reporter ed o'keefe of the "washington post" tweets that senator ed schumer will call for julia pierson's resignation today. a house subcommittee held a hearing on a u.s. marine sergeant being held in a mexican prison, accused of crossing illegally into mexico with several guns in his car. monteltalkshow host
williams, a veteran of the army and marine corps, testified at today's hearing. >> as we have addressed it over and over again, andrew made a wrong turn, and we thrown out a couple of terms related to ptsd with that by saying hypervigilance, but we've got to slow down for just a second and take a minute and understand what that means. that sergeantfact oressi's time in this prison has been worse than his time in both, situations. he'll come back to the united states and have to be treated for his combat ptsd but also his incarceration ptsd. to me, this is an abomination. six months. he did not hesitate to say "aye sir," to go off and serve. how dare we -- how dare we as a nation -- hesitate to get that young man back?
we sit here in the city and discuss sending more young people off to die. i have a son who is 21 years old who has asked me over and over again, "dad, should i serve?" no.t now, i'm telling him that's coming from a guy who did 22 years in the service, but no because our government does not respect you enough. how did they treat him the way they do and the way they will -- how dare they treat him the way they do and the way they will? andrew's incident is clearly triggered by ptsd. when he made that wrong turn while in mexico, he made a decision to leave. when he got in his car, he was probably already triggered. just so some of you understand, i suffer from ms. i have scars in my brain synonymous with concussive brain injury, so some of the symptoms i'm talking about her symptoms i lived through on a daily basis.
sometimes depression, sometimes hypervigilance. i can walk in this hallway of congress where i most protected and be afraid to walk in that bathroom. what these young men lived through, and it's sad that we have one of our own right now being held in a prison while we talk about it. it is clear -- everyone understands he is not going to get the treatment that he is due . he has served the time i believe for any crime he could have committed. let'sng him home and treat him appropriately, but his treatment is not going to just before combat ptsd. remember, his treatment for his ptsd from being imprisoned --ests in our shoulders arrests on our shoulders. >> mark dayton is seeking a second term, and tonight, he debates republican challenger jeff johnson and independence party candidate hannah nicollet.
eastern here on c-span. coming up this afternoon and about half an hour, the congressional hispanic caucus meeting this week in washington holds a discussion on immigration. participating in a discussion -- labor secretary thomas perez among others. that's live on c-span at 3:15. while we wait, a conversation from this mornings "washington journal" about the secret service detail protecting the president's family. >> we are back with the author of 20 nonfiction books about the secret service, fbi, and cia. his latest book is "the first family detail." and about lately talking about the secret service and what happened september 19, the intruder making it all the way to the east room. yesterday, we heard from the head of the secret service. what is your reaction to her testimony? of stony face and not in tune with what's going on. you had a cover up
i think she came out sort of stony faced, not really with a clue of anything that was going on. because the secret service is totally overloaded now, understaffed. the whole budget is $1.9 million, and that includes financial crimes, counterfeiting as well as protecting the president, and a lot of other individuals. and that's -- compare that with the fbi budget of eight or $9 billion, and what's more important than protecting the president? >> host: the secret service director noted she does not think the security plan was properly executed at the time. what was your reaction to that? >> it's a lot of bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. the fact is they totally screwed up, and let's just call it as it is. she issued a statement right
after this intrusion, saying that the officers exercised tremendous restraint, and she even defended that in the hearing. she must think we're all fools because, of course, what they should have done is take this guy out. first the dog should have gotten him and failing that, which obviously happened because the officers simply were not paying attention, they should have used lethal force because he could have been armed with explosives, could have been armed with weapons of mass destruction, he was armed with a knife. and to say that they exercised restraint is just laughable. >> host: let's listen to the director in her own words testifying about the house government and reform oversight committee. >> it's clear our security plan was not properly executed. this is unacceptable and i take full responsibility. and i will make sure that it does not happen again. as director, my primary concern is ensuring the operational readiness of my workforce.
i have been aggressive in ensuring professionalism and developing leaders. through active engagement with the agency siewrp vice ors and employees i made it clear my expectations for professionalism and personal accountability. much of what we do to protect the president and white house involves information highly sensitive or close fired so i'll be limited in what i can say in a public hearing. on september 19th a man scaled the north fence of the white house, crossed the lawn while ignoring verbal commands from uniform division officers, entered through the front door and was subsequently arrested on the state floor. immediately that night, i ordered enhancements around the complex and in consultation with a secretary initiated comprehensive review of the incident and protected measures to ensure this will not happen again. the review began with a physical assessment of the site and personnel interviews. all decisions made that evening are being evaluated including those on tactics and use of force in light of the totality of the circumstances confronting
those officers. i am committed to the following. a complete and thorough investigation of the facts of this incident, a complete and 34 oh review of all policies, procedures, protocols in place that govern the security of the white house complex, and response to this incident and based on the results of that review a coordinated informed effort the make any and all adjustments to include training and personal actions that are necessary to properly ensure the safety and secure utah of the president and the first family and the white house. >> host: ron cease lower what's your reaction? >> this is asia raid, because she knows very well what the problem is. and she is glossing over it. the problem is that the secret service has a really corrupt management culture. meaning that -- not the agents. the acts are brave and dedicated. they're disgusted at this culture. and what this means is that agents who call attention to any
deficiency or even report any possible threat are punished, literally. they are damaged, they are not promoted. where as agents who go along and perpetuate the myth are rewarded with promotions. and that culture colors everything. why did the agents at the white house gate let the party crashers into the state dinner? because they figured that management would not back them if they turned away this couple and turned out they were supposed to be on the guest list. in other words the attitude is just go along, don't cause any problems, don't stand up for anything. in the case of the usher telling the agents to turn off the alarm, same thing. let's go along. we know if we're going to challenge the usher we're going to be in trouble.
so let's just put the president at risk and that's exactly what's going on. >> host: and that's what you write about in politico make a gene. something is rotten in the secret service. and obama's life is in danger because of it. his life is in danger? >> no question. agents say it's a miracle there has not already been an assassination. letting anybody into the elevator with the president, it turns out he had a weapon. on and on. and in the end, it's obama whose life is at risk, as well as lives of his own family, and he is the one who really is ultimately responsible for this debacle, because going back to the intrusion, not replacing the direct door with an outside individual who can shake up the place is not be holding to inside in, change that culture. when it's not -- you bring in a
new ceo from the outside. >> host: you think that's what should be done? other lawmakers saying she needs to go? >> oh, sure. this is ridiculous. it was -- she has made the culture worse. you can tell that she has -- she is not going to admit what the real problems are. she knows what they are. she is actually perpetuated this culture. on top of all that, the secret service is understaffed, agents have to work tremendous overtime hours, so they get tired. a lot of turn over because of the poor moral. it's just a mess. >> host: this is what usa days opinion is. she is not up to the job. the secret service needs an overhaul led by someone from the outside before it becomes a national punch line. let's hear from jim in virginia, independent caller. you're up first, jim. go ahead. you got to turn the tv down. you're on the air.
>> caller: actually, i'm in gainesville, florida. i gave them 322601. sorry about that. >> host: no worries go ahead. >> caller: i think he has a lot of important things to say. i thought that with the president did constitutionally. we heard that secret service has power to take the president bodily out of harmful situations. the reason i say that is if that's true they need to be given some authority to actually do something and not worry about political overtones, and it's really important they do that. >> host: i >> it simply needs a good manager. we know if you have a bad ceo, everything is going to fall apart and that's exactly what has been happening. this started back in 2003, when the department of homeland security took over the secret service from the treasury
department. it just became more political, more compliant, more subject to political pressures, and that's when this laxness and corner cutting began .. you could have five terrorists come in with a grenade. that alone is a scandal. goes to this compliant culture within management. you know, let's not offend the political staff when they say, "we want to have people brought into the event, and just forget about magnetometer screening." host: in the book you also detail the first to sport of these gunshots, this person who was blocks and blocks away from
the white house but had a scope rifle -- did anyone follow up on what your reported in your book? >> no, and the media ignored that and a lot of other disclosures in the book. for example, one thing that has not hit the headlines yet is the when bradley cooper, actor, went to the white house correspondents dinner, and open a spoke, a high-ranking secret service official, just as a favor to bradley cooper and his security people, ordered agents at the washington hilton to let cooper and his suv into the secure area in front of the hotel, even though only secret service vehicles were allowed there, and even they had to be screened for explosives because anybody could attach explosives to the underside of a car. attach an explosive to the underside of a car imagine the agents just forget it. that sends a message you take protection lightly and you do not make waves. host: east orange, new jersey.
caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i agree. the woman should be fired. the alarm was muted. the door was open. there was a black woman in a car with a baby in the back and she is dead. she drove around in circle and she was shot. host: that example was brought out not too far ago. that is why some of the agents showed reservation in not shooting the intruder. guest: she doesn't know why they showed that. i believe it is because of a fear of richard b chin by management. i think she should have been shot. she could've had explosives and
was threatening the capital. if you cannot wait to kill capital police, let's get real about this. people say it is terrible to push back the perimeter of the white house fence. he is on tv almost every day. on twitter almost every day. it makes no difference in terms of access to the president. it is a myth to talk about that. host: what do secret service say about the fence? guest: they bow to political pressures. white house political people never want direct access to anything. that is why president reagan was almost killed.
the was before a lot of cutting corners started. the secret service did not want people near reagan. the political staff overruled the secret service. the secret service rolled over and played dead and went along. the white house wanted people to have access to the president. 15 or 20 people had access to the. resident that is >> go-ahead, benny. caller: i agree the director terminated.
they allowed this gentleman to penetrate and get into the white house. thinking if it had been a black gentleman, he would have been dead. you never know. he could have had arms on him. host: mark kassel of the secret service said they knew of the intruder. they were familiar with him. guest: that is a tough one. threats are not investigated as thoroughly as they should he. -- be. in this case, more attention had been paid to it, it's possible
there could have been more information encountered that he should have been given mental evaluation as a threat to himself or others. how hard is it to protect the white house? has rejectedrvice offers to upgrade the detection systems for both intruders and wmd. the d.c. police have detectors for detecting gunshots. the secret service director said, it was dark that night. that's a real good explanation for why they did not find the white house had been shot up. the uniformed officer did report .he gunshots to the supervisor oh, no, it was something else.
she was afraid to pursue it because the management culture stifles any kind of dissent. host: the collapse of the secret service, in their piece this morning -- the budget and size of the secret service has fallen in the last few years. 6900 staffre were positions. it now has 6600. shelton, connecticut, republican. caller: good morning. i went to give kudos to mr. kessler. he's right on the money. i spent what he six years in law enforcement.
i can attest to everything he is saying as far as budgets go, as far as morality does. -- goes. peoplen a town of 50,000 and i can tell you that over the last quarter century, things far astten worse as administrators. nobody has the guts anymore to speak up and tell the truth. is -- even a department like mine -- kept going down and down and down. of criminalsutts and people who support them, and nobody has the guts to tell the truth, like that woman from the white house. everybody was blaming the police for that, but they did their job. in policemally departments and within the fbi, they have regular training every year they update them on court
rulings and lethal force policy. the secret service does none of that. when it comes to firearms reclassification or physical allows tests, they don't time and then they ask agents to fill out their own test scores. they asked them to be dishonest about their own test scores. dishonesty permeates the agency. another example is when members of congress go to visit the training center, which i have also visited with my wife pam. she is a former "washington post " reporter. will pretendrvice to put on these scenarios that show the great heroism of the agents. they find the bomb, and they pretend this is spontaneous. it is secretly rehearsed beforehand when members of congress,.
what kind of message does that -- comes. what kind of message does that send? it is really a roadmap to what is wrong with the secret service. >> now what? the first to move family to an undisclosed safe house every night? what other functions the secret service perform? >> you have to have a good as that miller was when he came in. it is not rocket science to protect a building. we have nuclear facilities there, well protected great we have other very sensitive facilities that are well protected. this agency is simply corrupt in the sense that the culture
discourages agents from doing their job. >> the department of homeland security needs to be broken up. a mistake to create this huge, unmanageable agency. independent caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i agree with some of the previous callers. i was upset about the woman who was shot with the baby in the backseat, but the way she was driving, that was an automatic like, hey, unfortunately she need to be taken down. washington was put under lockdown. it was in the news. what happened that this did not happen? host: you are referring to september 19, with the intruder? caller: yes. guest: i think it went down
exactly as it should. she was prevented from entering the white house grounds. the secret service did its job there. on september 19, with the white house intruder. there was a lockdown in washington when the woman was driving her car, but why not recently? think there's any indication that it went beyond the white house. the idea that anybody would take any action like that is very remote. host: the issue of lethal force came up, and congressmen chafe hafitz, here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> tremendous restraint is what the secret service touted. that is not the objective. we want to see overwhelming force. it would be intruder cannot be stopped by a dog or intercepted more lethal perhaps
force is necessary, and i want those secret service agents to know that a member of congress has their back. don't let somebody get close to the president. don't let them get in the white house, ever. if they had to take action that is lethal, i will have their back. andhis day and age of isil terrorists and dirty bombs, we don't know what is going on underneath that person's clothing. that,y want to penetrate the need to know that they are going to perhaps be killed. that is the message we should be sending every single time. that is the kind of secret service that i expect. theirk them again for service, their dedication. we love them, we care for them. we need better leadership. it's not happening. host: congressmen chafe its at the hearing yesterday. if you missed it, go to our website. the wall street journal editorial board echoing what was said about lethal force.
on theout the snipers roof of the white house? why didn't they take action? the correctlly action is on the grounds, releasing the dogs. that has been very effective in the past. clearly these agents were not paying attention. out that an off duty was the one who tackled this individual. female officera in the white house conflicts. i think you need to have the strongest individuals there, even though it may sound politically incorrect or you can't take it chance -- in correct. you can't take a chance and have people who can't take out someone who may be an intruder. >> you're saying all females? guest: no.
in this case, they needed someone who could actually tackle this guy. this is the problem of the secret service. they are emphasizing promoting females, and a lot of the male they would be in trouble if there actually was an attack and the agent some cells would be vulnerable. there are plenty of reasons to have lots of females, but sometimes in certain positions you need a male. critic -- democratic caller. caller: the representative at -- what happens if the guy was killed? this guy was an iraq war veteran. those same people would've said,
look what you did. you killed an iraq war veteran. there would have been all hell broke loose. it is colored by what happened in ferguson, missouri. we still don't know what happened there, but president obama is citing it as an example of police overkill by implication. i have been to the fbi training academy in quantico, where they have don't-shoot scenarios with video. it is so difficult to make that decision about whether to shoot someone. just like that, the officer can be killed. his family can be desecrated. there are plenty of examples of police abuse. at the same time we have to recognize what a difficult job these people have. in boston, massachusetts, independent
caller. caller: i have a question and a comment. a lot of people in this country are dancing around an issue here. i think there is a problem with respect for the president. service justecret doesn't care about his safety. i think that she should maybe be let go. in the culture we are in, the secret service that maybe has perpetuated a disrespect for the safety of the president. i don't hear anything like that on the show. guest: the officers and agents are willing to take a bullet from the president, or even hillary clinton, who is so nasty to agents. eatingto my book that
assigned to her details is considered a form of punishment -- being assigned to her details is considered a form of punishment. behind the scenes makes their lives miserable. even with a person like that, they're willing to take a bullet for that individual. it has nothing to do with race. i wish we could never even mention the color of someone's skin, period. it should be so irrelevant to all these discussions. host: for secret service protection. guest: yeah. host: was this culture happening during the george w the bush presidency? guest: oh, yeah. person thatyou the doesn't seem to have respect for the president is the president himself. he keeps defending the secret service over and over again any
time there is a new scandal, when the agents hired he said,es in columbia he has confidence in the secret service. lest we get his deputy saidnal security advisor after this intrusion, i have confidence in the secret service. who is the guy who's going to be killed? it's obama. who is the guy who can take action to prevent that? it is obama. it shows a lack of management, judgment on his part. the homeland security committee with this tweet yesterday, saying its chairman, going toan mccall, is be announcing a full review of the secret service, legislation -- a top to bottom assessment. you have got the government
reform committee, also looking at possible investigation, and then pearson herself saying she would do an investigation. here is gerry connolly yesterday, who was part of the committee hearing, tweeting out that at the hearing the secret service director on the griddle, she sounds like a police radio operator. no sense of compassion or outrage at these breaches. some reaction for you from capitol hill and what they on this latestxt intruder, and the breach of security on the elevator that was reported ivy "washington post" yesterday. >> good morning. i wanted to make a quick a few comments. your guest may want to comment on it. it's a very complicated endeavor. the president travels all over the u.s. and all over the world. we are talking about a scenario in the white house.
we shouldncy -- maybe consider the residency not being in the white house. maybe moving the president to different locations dynamically, in a pattern where nobody has an idea [inaudible] in the midterm, maybe we build a moat around it. in the short term, shouldn't we add troops around it? aren't we in a state of war right now? enoughbody can get close to the white house to kill the president of the united states with a bomb or what has happened recently, it's pretty catastrophic. the chain of command dictates something so important. this person who isn't qualified anyway -- she was head of human resources -- this person running the agency should need to step down. whereenario in government something has gone so catastrophically wrong, they need to remove this person.
the last one i want to make is, maybe the leadership from the secret service, get it out of the department of homeland security. the perimeter should be expanded trade that definitely should be done. i don't think any drastic measures have to be taken. matter ofry simple getting someone in there who knows what he or she is doing. these panels of the congress will create, these reviews are all pointless. going back to the in tradition -- intrusion, mark sullivan, the director, said we will fix everything. nothing ever changed. imagine if apple had a problem or microsoft had a problem and someone held hearings to fix it? no. you get rid of the ceo, you get somebody who knows what he or she is doing, and that is the
way things work. host: patrick is next, independent caller. caller: good morning, mr. kessler. this is a very important conversation, and i'm so glad there has been bipartisan support on the hill for getting to the bottom of this. this is not political anymore, when you can penetrate the defenses of the united states of america. terrorists are taking notice. on the 19th, hollywood actually before the white house down -- you thought it could not happen. a simple guy can run across the lawn to an unlocked door. my question is, where are the automated systems? you had a manual door to the white house that was predicated on a human being locking it,
when they could have had an automated feature. you talk about the defense measures between the censures not being updated. where is congress on looking at that part of it, instead of continuously listening to a former chief of staff that is so politically embedded in the system that she is so ineffective that this isn't going to be resolved? she should be fired. the door unlocked is another example of the arrogance of the secret service and how likely they take security. the great secret service, we can take care of any problems. they might have to use a key in order to enter the white house. it is simply unbelievable.
the reason it exists is because agents and officers are afraid to voice their opinion and point out these very obvious problems, because they will be punished. that is just how corrupt this agency is. sot: we have five minutes or left, maybe more, with ron kessler, author of the "first family details." we have got lines open for republicans. there are the numbers on your screen. a couple tweets, this one that this twitter says, in my parents day you can just walk up to people's house and mosey in the front door. peter baker had a piece for the "new york times" this morning about the ever-expanding list of
unwelcome visitors to the white house in the history of how intruders have been able to get in over the decades throughout history, into the white house. mic in maryland, democratic caller. [indiscernible] speaking a few minutes ago, saying the president is responsible [indiscernible] you can see all of that online at www.c-span.org. we will leave this now with news that the secret service director, julia pearson, has resigned. she offered her resignation to the secretary of homeland security jeh johnson this afternoon, who is appointing acting director joseph clancy in the interim position. julia pearson resigning as head of the secret service. we take you live now to a discussion on immigration at the
congressional hispanic caucus. we are going to hear from labor secretary thomas perez, among others. in addition, i would like to thank the [indiscernible] for sponsoring this important session. let's give them a round of applause. [applause] in addition to my role as an i'm here toci, share about the work i have been doing as an immigration attorney to really frame this conversation. as many of you in the room and many of the alumni of chci, i come from a mixed family. i was born and raised in california to mexican immigrant yes, telephone immigrants, everything. -- parents -- yes, california immigrants, everything. my parents and older brother were born in mexico and through the irca law in 1986, we were
able to become u.s. citizens. in my family i have legal permanent residents who have been legal permanent residents for too long, and despite my efforts to really ensure that they become citizens, they are still legal permanent residents. in my family i also have undocumented members of my family who have been here for over 20 years and have not been able to adjust their status given that they have no options to petition. really think about this topic and the importance of immigration reform. i think all of us can really look to our families and communities for individuals whose lives have really been put on hold, on a stand still, given the facts there has been no movement in many, many years. for the last 60 years, migration reform in one capacity or 15ther came every 10 to years. we had movement in the 1970's, movement in the 1980's. in 1996 we had some reform, and
then in 2006 we all thought i would be it. many of you in the room i have joined one of the millions of marches across the country, where hundreds of millions of people came and spoke about the need for comprehensive immigration reform. we thought, this is it. 2006 will be the year. it wasn't. then 2008 came around. with the economic downturn, we saw a lot of immigrant communities be scapegoated for a lot of economic troubles that we saw in our communities. we are long overdue. the time is now. our community members really need this issue to continue to not only stay elevated in public dialogues, but for action to be taken. aunt's in california has been in this country for over 20 years. she has two sans who are both military, marine corps members. when they graduated from the course at camp handle 10,
unfortunately she was not able to go to their graduation. given that she is undocumented, she did not want to run the risk of being caught at one of the immigration stations near camp pendleton. this is one of many stories. the time is now, and this honor station is necessary to be elevated as much as possible to make sure that we have action very, very soon. with that, i would like to go ahead and get the conversation started. we waited long enough. let's not wait any longer. to help us frame the conversation, we are very very least -- very pleased to have with us a chairman of the democratic caucus, represented from california. these help me welcome him. [applause] >> thank you very much. can we have a round of applause for all she has been doing? [applause]
i was here a little while ago. it's a great pleasure to be here again with you all. thank you for attending. we will have a great session to discuss something that is near and dear to many of us, and something we will soon have resolved, making sure we fix a broken immigration system for our families, our economies, our security. it will come. yes, that's right. [applause] there is no better example of why we must get this done in the beauty of when we will get it done than the two people i'm about to introduce to you, because they are our future and they are the reason why immigration reform must be done now. let me introduce to you two individuals who qualify for the deferred action program, which president obama began in 2013, which said two young people who really have no country other
than the u.s. as their home that they could come out of the shadows, that they could go to those schools if they were the valedictorian in their high school, and go onto college, that they could go on to work, that they could actually live a life the way all of us take for granted. please help me in welcoming to individuals who are as a result of the congressional package institute's work, part of america's working fabric in washington, d.c. [applause] fresno, california. a degree in political science at cal state university fresno. 14-2015 public policy developer for chci.
--2014-2015 public policy developer for chci. his hometown is las vegas. he is at the university of nevada las vegas. for the reasons that we know we must get this done, please give quote of these gentlemen a round of a pause. [applause] you make us very, very proud. ♪ >> i had the pleasure of introducing someone else who has made us very, very proud because of the work that she has done to make sure that luis and jose have an opportunity to be standing in front of you, working for some of the most powerful people in america. georgia, where are you? can she come up, if she is here? georgia? [applause] the dreamers get the dream, and
they get the dream in public because of people like georgia. georgia has been working very as awith a number of folks member of the dream team.usa. because of the work that they do, she along with other folks like kenny marshall, henry ms. -- henry manuals and kerry pacheco, they have developed a large scholarship fund for dreamers in america. as a result of this fund and the scholarships, these dreamers are able to apply for the daca program. they are able to go on, and go on to get a college degree or finish their careers and become productive americans. two georgia fully, we want to give you a round of applause. foley, we want to give you a round of applause. [applause] hello, everybody. thank you, congressman becerra, and chci for having me here
today and all the great work you do. i am part of the dream.usa team. dream.us is a fund that provides scholarships to highly motivated dreamers who, without financial aid, cannot afford a college education. in just over a year, we have raised $33.5 million and our goal is to reach $50 million. we have today provided 300 scholarships under the direction of our founders and the rest of our team. the fall 2014 scholarship round until october 26, and we need all of you to help us please spread the word. today i ask you, i know that most of you, if not all of you, have a cell phone on you. please get on facebook or twitter and write this very #dreamerne -- know a who wants to go to college? tell them about the dream.us scholarship.
thank you. [applause] georgia, thank you very much. let's move on. many of us were thrilled when we got word that tom barris, who did a magnificent job working in the civil rights division in the department of justice, was nominated to our president, president obama, to serve us as secretary of the department of labor. not only toon become the secretary of labor, but to actually be over the last several months probably the cabinet member on president obama's team who has traveled most often with the president over these last several months. at the same time, he has done something very important. he has focused in ways that have to make all of us proud. he is making sure that we work hard to make it possible for everyone who works to make sure they get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.
he is connecting ready to work americans with ready to fill jobs. he's promoting gender equality in the workplace. he's ensuring that people with disabilities and our veterans have access to equal implant opportunities. employment opportunities. he's insisting on safe and level playing fields at the work laced. he is transforming what we think of as our secretary of labor, and he's doing this all in a way that makes us so proud that he is an american and a member of our country. a lot of us think that that is just one step along the very successful path of tom paris. of us believe that following the great work of eric holder as our attorney general for the department of justice, that we have a great name of someone who can be nominated to replace attorney general holder. i would place my vote with tom perez.
it sounds really good, attorney general perez. [applause] i don't know if you agree, but perhaps what you can do is help me acknowledge the secretary of labor by giving him a warm round toapplause and encourage him become the next attorney general of the united states of america. our secretary of labor, tom perez. [applause] >> good afternoon. i had a little bit of throat surgery 10 days ago. if i sound a little raspy, i apologize. institute for this and for the cause of opportunity i assure you is full throated. be here.onor to xavier becerra is one of my heroes.
of the most effective public servants i have ever met. i want to say thank you to you, congressman, and friend, for all you are doing. d.ol.l. alum. esther aguilera is a neighbor and a friend, and does great work leading this fantastic organization. congrats to all of you, and thanks for having me. if you see me walking from side to side, it's because i can't help it. yesterday withrk bill the brazeal -- bill de blasio. we were talking about opportunity for everyone. minutes from 15 where my mother grew up in washington heights. ok, here we go. my family got kicked out.
leave, and myto mother and her family settled in washington heights. yesterday during hispanic heritage month was a wonderful reminder of how far we have come, and how far we need to go. the metrics ofof progress. artie duncan probably talk to you this morning about the fact that we reduced the latino dropout over the last 10 years. you look at the and insurance rate. the most uninsured of any population. that has gone down by 20% in the last year, thanks to so many people in this room, thanks to the leadership of president obama, and thank you to so many folks who got out there and got the word out in our communities. we are going to keep doing that under the leadership of
secretary burwell as we move forward. that is a real point of pride. you look at poverty reduction. we have had the largest reduction in the past year, one year reduction in latino poverty rates in the last 15 years. we are moving in the right direction. at the same time, we all know that we have a lot of challenges . we see these challenges. we live these challenges every single day. what i like to do is reflect on three lessons that i have learned over the course of the five years that i have had the privilege of serving. it has been an unmitigated privilege for me to serve under this president during these times. the president is all about opportunity, expanding opportunity. i have learned three basic lessons that i think have real relevance to this conversation. at first lesson i learned
casa maryland, which is a wonderful grassroots nonprofit -- you have got to make house calls, whether you are the labor secretary, whether you are the head of the civil rights division, or whether you are the chair of that nonprofit, you have to make house calls. i made a lot of house calls in that job. she inspires me. she has been a janitor for over 30 years in houston. she is making eight dollars an hour right now. similar folksing to fight for a better life. she lamented the fact that she did not have health insurance. i explained to her, if you lived in california, you would have health insurance because they expanded medicaid. your governor made a choice, and it is a choice that is hurting you and so many others. the is why you live in health on insurance capital of the united states, which is unfortunate.
they helped organize a labor union, and they helped organize low-wage workers. she has an optimism and determination about her. lasti had the privilege year of going to my daughter's high school graduation speech. she went to a school in maryland, montgomery blair high school, the largest school in maryland and one of the most diverse schools in maryland. before i did the graduation ceremony, i wanted to talk to some of the students. a kid who i knew a little bit but not too much. is a classmate of my daughter, amalia. he is so smart. he was basically a straight-a student. he is a daca student. i said to him, you have my word that we are going to make sure your future is bright because you have done everything right. you continue to excel, and we need you in america.
it is an economic imperative. when you make house calls and you see people like this -- i met other daca kids in our office. i met someone whose parents live in bangladesh and another whose parents live in the philippines. the thing i remember from those ,eetings were on mother's day all he could do because his mother had been deported is to call her and wish her happy mother's day. that is not who we are as a nation. i bring this up because i think it's really important, and the becauset gets out here he understands we can talk numbers all day, but this is talking about real people and the impact of public policy, whether it is access to health care, whether it is arne duncan's work in education, whether it is maria's work in business. context, we have to
get out there. and we are getting out there. that is the segue to my second observation about lessons learned in the job that i have had the privilege of doing for the last five years. and that is, it is always most important to get things right. let me tell you what i mean by that. there was a horrific incident when i was heading up the civil rights division in a town called shenandoah, pennsylvania. , young man named luis ramirez a mexican national, was in the park with his girlfriend and he got murdered by a group of racists simply because of who he was, a mexican national. and there was an understandable outrage in the community. and a call, you need to take action and you need to take action now. i understood that call. at the outset, we disappointed a number of people because we didn't take action that in their judgment was swift enough. i could not tell you why then,
but i can tell you why now -- because it is a matter of public record. what we learned in that case was that not only were they murdered because of who he was, but in the aftermath of the murder, there was a cover-up by the police department. we had not one, but two cases. what i learned in that context was its most important to get it right. i will never ask people to be patient with me, because for some people, their life circumstances don't give them the luxury of being patient. for us, it is always important to get it right. i think we got it right in that case. similarly, when arizona passed sb-1070 and alabama past their immigration laws and i see their body language, i remember that time -- you're nervous tic is coming back, i can see it
already. there was an understandable concern -- what are we going to do? you need to do something and you need to do something tomorrow. that, and weood understood the attorney general and the president and everybody understood the national significance of that because our immigration system is broken. , we had to take a very careful look because we knew there was a good chance that these cases would find their way to the supreme court, and we needed to gather and marshall it back so we could move forward effectively, and i believe we did. we had to get it right. we have no margin for error in the work that we do, and that is why it is so important to get it right. that is why i understand the impatience that some may feel. similarly, there is that sheriff in arizona that i spent a lot of time taking a look at. i got a lot of letters from a lot of folks rea.
i'm going to stop right there, inside voice. again, the same thing. we need you to do something now. the fact of the matter is, we had to gather the facts. we had to do a fair and impartial review, and take time. we were able to do that. another lesson that i learned, that it is so important in the work that we do to make sure that we get things right, and up, is why i bring this because this work was so important. i will give you one more example. i have the privilege of working on some matters in texas involving the redistricting. that has the largest latino growth in the recent census. and the largest population growth, overwhelmingly latinos.
and yet, when nature the districts, there was no additional opportunity in to elect the latino of their choice. there were other concerns. there was an understandable outcry. we need to do something, we need to do something now. i understood that instinct. it's always important to get things right. i'm very proud of the work that we did in that case, because we were able to put a case together. two of them were appointed by republican presidents, and agree that what they did was discriminatory in the redistricting context. getting things right has always been our north star, and sometimes getting things right takes longer, and pacing is not a luxury. -- luxury that so many people who are suffering have. that brings me to my third and
final observation, a lesson i've learned in my job. that is that leadership and values matter. i just happened coincidentally today to have lunch with two of my favorite people. one guy, his name is allie mallorca. the other is leon rodriguez. allie is the deputy secretary of the department of homeland security. leon is the head of usdis. they have two of the most important jobs in the federal government, insofar as immigration discussion. i have seen their leadership in action. i have seen the leadership of their boss in action. i have seen the carefulness with which secretary johnson, the thoughtfulness with which he has been approaching these issues. it has singularly impressed me, because he wants to get it right as well. he understands the getting it right is always listening to everybody, making sure you
understand every perspective, your employees' perspective, the community's perspective, every single perspective. that is what he is doing. that is what allie and leon are doing. thatld respectfully assert those departments, those components are in very good theirbecause i know values and i have seen their leadership in action. there is one other person that i want to talk about with respect to leadership, because i have had the privilege of having a front row seat, and that is the president. i have lived a charmed life. the opportunity to work in civil rights, the opportunity to expand opportunity at the department of labor -- today they issued a regulation enforcing the president's minimum-wage executive order, because we need to set an example at the federal government. if we are asking the private sector to pay a minimum wage, we need to do the same with federal
contractors, and that is at the federal register as we speak. nobody who works a full-time job in this country should have to live in poverty. nobody should have to make the choices -- [applause] no one should have to make choices between a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas. i speak to people all the time who tell me, there is no dignity in a 40-50 hour work week when at the end of the week you have to go to the pantry to get your food. that is not dignity, and that's not america. one of the reasons i love working for this president is that i have seen his moral compass in action. i have always said if you are trying to figure out what somebody stands for on an issue, go do some research on what they did before they were in the public spotlight. when you look at the president on immigration, his commitment to this issue dates way back to
his time in illinois state government. way, way back. he has understood great and as someone who has lived overseas, he understands that we are a global universe here in the united states and everywhere. we are atands that nation of immigrants, and we are and i have laws, seen those values in action. that ito share a story had the privilege of having a front row seat on. it was a story a few months ago, we were together in minnesota. we were doing and event surrounding job training. we were with about 13 young women, average age was 17, 18 years old. they were all in this job training program, and they were all single moms.
after all the press had left, the president had some face time with these folks. they were remarkable young women. they were try to better their lives. they wanted to make sure that they could make ends meet so their children could grow up. you should have seen the look in there i -- what a today? i hung out with the president -- look in their eyes. what did you do today? i hung out with the president. my mother was 18 years old when i was born. may be helping to raise the next president of the united states. it can be you. then he turned to them, and said do you have any questions for me? the first question was, if you could accomplish one thing, mr. president, this year, what would it be? he said --nd later there were no cameras in the room. this was a very intimate setting. he said, comprehensive
immigration reform, because i have met so many people across this country who want opportunity, for whom opportunity continues to be elusive. congress has always worked on this issue together. for some reason, there are some in congress on one side of the you aren'te chamber allowing this to come on, and you could just see his values and his leadership in action. and so, the upshot of what he has said and what he says today is simple. our immigration system is broken. the best way to fix it is through a bipartisan bill in congress, like the senate passed.
as he has done with the department of labor on minimum wage, overtime, so many other issues, he will not hesitate to take executive action. the question of executive action is a when question. the question of immigration reform is not a question. the need for immigration reform is an economic imperative. it is a moral imperative. it is a national security imperative. it is an issue that is all about his values and his leadership. that is why i love working for this president, and that is why -- the most important thing i have learned in my job is you have got to get it right.
i am confident that on immigration, we are going to get it right on the executive side, but we've got to get it right as a society in congress. i am confident that we can do it. and i have the same optimism as in this becerra issue. everywhere i travel, i talked to business leaders and they tell me the same thing, we need immigration reform. i talked to daca young adults, and we owe it to them. i talked to my republican friends who tell me privately, of course we need this. that is why i have such optimism, because the people in this room have been catalysts. i come from a movement, and i come from a world in which change doesn't happen from the top down. it happens from the bottom up. i was working for senator kennedy in 1996.
there were so many times when they told us we could not do things, but we did it. i am confident that we are going to do it again, because there is so much energy and know-how and sticktoitiveness. i know if is a kennedy were here, he would be telling you that he never gives up the fight. nothing worth fighting for will be easy. and this ain't easy. but we will continue to make progress. let's get it right. that wes make sure understand our values, and let's make sure we do things that are consistent with our values. i hope you have seen through the course of five years the values of this president in so many different contexts in action. that has made my current job so much easier, knowing that when we are trying to make sure the low-wage workers recover the wages they are entitled to, that
i got a guy who has my back, knowing that when we take action on voter id laws or redistricting plans or in the police setting, that we have the law on our side, we have the facts on our side, and we have leadership on our side. let's remember that, and let's remember -- let's get it right. let's continue to be persistent. we will succeed. [speaking spanish] thank you. [applause] >> another round of a plus -- applause for the secretary. [applause] thank you. and now, on to our panel discussion. before we move on, i want to recognize representative frank
pallone from the sixth district in new jersey. thank you for your participation. as the secretary mentioned, i am an alumni of chci and of the obama administration. i had the opportunity to work at the department of labor for four on some veryrked sensitive, also very timely issues. immigration reform is one of those issues that i carry not only in my professional career as an immigration attorney, but something that is close to home. with that, i want to introduce our moderator for today's panel. that is jim avila, the award-winning journalist and senior national correspondent for abc news. he is also the white house correspondent at fusion, the abc univision joint venture that was launched last year. abc, he covers latino america, immigration reform, education, politics, and issues vitally important to the
latino community. as the fastest growing segment of our population, the latino community, it is important to a lot of the work is currently doing. he continues to contribute to 20/20 and other abc projects and platforms specializing in law, justice, and consumer investigations. please welcome mr. jim avila. [applause] >> good afternoon. those lights are bright. it appears to be a good crowd. thank you for coming, and thank you for having me. we start this important panel, i want to tell you why i'm interested in it, why i have left it to start covering for abc news and fusion, the immigration reform debate.
my parents, my grandparents were immigrants. many years agos in the 1920's. my grandparents came across from chihuahua, mexico into texas. they worked in the fields. my grandfather worked in a factory and taught himself to read and write in english, and then he raised eight children, all of them professionals. many of them went to college. all of them have contributed to society. that is the reason why that is such an important issue to those in the hispanic community. i want to get to this panel as soon as we can, because it is a distinguished panel. that as weemind you go along here, we will be taking questions from the audience, and there will be members of the staff who will be going around with microphones. we will call on you if we have have an urgent
question. let me call on the panel first, see if they will come into the room. let's see if they will come into the room. [applause] ♪ >> let me start right here on my his 11th term in congress. he is from chicago, where i first began covering his work in .olitics we have known each other for that long. nationallyntative is recognized for his tireless leadership, championing the issues that are particularly important in latino immigrant communities. next hymn is representative joe
crowley -- next to him is representative joe crowley. [applause] is asentative crowley lifelong new yorker and has served the people of the bronx and queens since 1998. is the vice chair of the democratic caucus and his efforts in congress have focused on building strong communities, creating jobs, increasing access to health care and housing, protecting seniors, and opening up educational opportunities for working families. representative joe crowley. [applause] and next, and a navarro, a .olitical contributor at cnn she has put a role in state races in florida and most recently served as national hispanic cochair for jon huntsman's 2012 campaign. her work in the private sector has included representing clients and issues particularly related to immigration and
trade. and those affecting policy. and i navarro. -- anna navarro. [applause] is tony but not least torres, the christian leadership conference serving puerto rico. yet announced broken -- he has been an outspoken advocate. ladies and gentlemen, there is our panel. [applause] first, we want to talk about the state of play, what is happening now, where we are with immigration and where we hope we we think we will go practically. i would like to ask you to take a couple of minutes and talk to us about that before we start the questioning. congressman iteris. >> it's a pleasure to be a with you this afternoon, and thank you, jim, for moderating.
it's an honor to have you here. year, democrats and republicans were able to come together and put together a conference of immigration bill and we continued to work to put together a phil. when it became clear that we were not going to have -- to g t put together a bill. what became we were not going to have the majority, the group disbanded. mario, ae to work with and dear friend of mine, who has been a constant and consistent champion for immigrants, even within his own republican caucus. i think we should all be thankful to him for his fine work and dedication. [applause]
but he and i in a group could not but this together. thiscognized that early year in january, republicans came forward and said we will give more life and put our principles out there. wasof the principles american citizenship. you could extrapolate that we would legalize millions of people. and what did the democrats say? i guess we were so overjoyed that we were too overjoyed, because they took it back within a week. o, we were just kidding. it was kind of a sleight-of-hand. they really didn't mean it. and then they said we would have to make -- wait until may or june for the republican primaries to be over and then, voilà, the majority leader lost and they said we are not moving forward. and the president came forward this,id -- i was believed
that speaker boehner and the president had an understanding and had conversations and a relationship, and part of their relationship was, we will work -- on gratian reform immigration reform. once the speaker called them up by the end of june and said we are not doing this, now he says he's doing it after the election , the same thing obama said, after the election. then the president said, i will take action. i will use prosecutorial discretion, and what are we waiting for? we are waiting for the president to act. i think he should've acted before the election. i spoke to my daughter jessica yesterday -- [applause] i spoke to my daughter yesterday . she is in baton rouge, louisiana. and she said, daddy, is that ieu alandry o -- lady landr
republican? and i said, why? and she said, because she is acting rather conservative and they keep complaining that all she does is vote against obama. she said, now they must be in gray. daughter, she, the democrats -- she is a democrat. that they use, illegal immigrant, the basis of the campaign that they use. all we are doing is make people suffer even more and the political issue of immigration will be there. there are democrats who need us to come out and support, and what we have said to latinos is we are waiting until after the election as we can. we should not use the election as a barometer of what we will have justice and fairness for our immigrant community. [cheers and applause] i think that is where we are now. here is what i think.
some 5e before christmas million undocumented workers will be afforded an opportunity to come out of the shadows into the light of day. and everybody in this room has to get ready to help them. to receive them. to be ready to help them. that we marched and protested and we listed our voices for them. now we have to fill out the paperwork. we have to find them, get them [speakingces, because spanish] i don't care what the president does. it will be a difficult road. prepared for12, we a community of one million. are we prepared for 5 million echo we have to get ready for them -- are we prepared for 5 million?
we have to get ready for them. i'm done. the question is for marley ready to act in defense of our community once the president the question is, are we ready to act in defense of our committee once the president does act? [applause] flex congressman farley echo >> i'm not following that. >> you have the lovely position of being after luis. >> i don't think anyone could give a better answer to the state of play at this point than luis. last summer, when the senate enacted, luis was with me appear in new york with the faith in and we led aitute bipartisan delegate with eric cantor. my district in jackson -- jackson heights. eric cantor gave a speech and a year later, he's no longer in congress and cannot help us at this point. it shows the volatility of the state of play of politics throughout the country.
we cannot help the political cycle, the calendar that we live under. and it canight now, change. we have to work around that as well. waitingve this time of for the elections, because we are not going back to washington to work on legislation. that is clear. although i think we ought to come back to have a vote on the authorization of the use of force. that is my opinion and that's a separate issue. we should come back and debate that and have that vote. having said that, i think -- i know the latino community cares about a myriad of issues. this is an important issue to the latino community, but also to our country and the future of our country. thebest and brightest and bravest continue to come here to want to make america a better country. we need to welcome them with open arms. i think we will get it done because we have to get this done. it's in the interest of our
country to get this done. the state of play, luis has given it to you, and i will turn it back with extra time. this.t usually do >> i will remember that. navarro, how has the state of play evolved and where do you see it now? >> i think right now, we are at an impasse legislatively. but i think we cannot allow ourselves to be at an impasse in the fight for this. we have hit a roadblock right now. and i think after the happiness that we all felt when there was a bipartisan agreement announced last year, and now we are disillusioned because of where and we cannot afford to be disillusioned.
[speaking spanish we have to keep -- [speaking --] we have to keep pushing. it's also very important we realize we are where we are at a crossroads as a community. how we act upon the set of circumstances will determine whether we become political , ors used at election time whether we outsmart the politicians and actually make them earn our support. far as state of play, i am disappointed,t, and i will tell you, i am angry with all sides. why is it always the latino immigration that has to wait? we have had nothing but big promises from president obama
that have not been realized, and from the republicans not even promises. that is unacceptable. [applause] who told ussident are in the 2008 campaign that he was going to get immigration reform done the first year. and you know, we let him get away with not doing it because , obamacare, etc. and he got a pass. again, youpromised know, on executive action. well, that didn't happen because the children at the border and this and that. somehow, it's always latinos that have to end up waiting. everybody else gets a turn. you can wait just a little bit because it's not convenient. be told that executive
action is going to happen after the election, i'm sorry to tell you this -- it's the height of political cynicism. could you be more obvious and blatant? can't you at least like to me and tell me that is why they are not doing it? [applause] side, mye republican peeps have not been that good either. at theds were announced beginning of the year, like luis said. more people were ok with the standards. it was the timing they balked at. and yes, it is political cynicism to say we have to wait after the primaries. because those primaries do not end until august. and as far as the eric cantor race, i think that was one of the biggest mistakes, most missed read -- misread races by the media and the political class. because it wasn't immigration eric cantor his seat.
it was eric cantor that cost air canter his seat. -- that cost eric cantor his seat. [applause] >> reverend, let me ask you about -- there has been an incredible coalition that has come behind immigration reform, including churches from all sides, including conservative based churches. that are supporting immigration. is this the way -- the delay by congress to pass anything, and the president the laying to take you -- are delaying to take unilateral action, does that cause you concern? >> i think the coalition is strong. i greet you on behalf of our 40,118 churches that still have this year we believe before the year is over we will have some type of immigration reform, either through an act of god, which means congress does something, or executive action and the white house. i'm the preacher on the panel
side to exhibit faith to you all. to us, immigration is a vertical situation. and it is also horizontal. and i did just bless you right now. it is vertical because it matters to god and it is horizontal because it matters to our people. just yesterday, one of our pastors called because he's on his way to arizona to identify the body of his brother-in-law who was lost for a month in the desert of arizona. he heard the truck coming. he had been here for 13 years. yet for children that were born in this country. immigration came and deported him. he came back to provide for his children. he heard a truck and was fearful of immigration and he ran. they couldn't find him. he was in the desert for a month, and now he's dead. i tell my colleagues and my evangelical brothers and sisters, if you are pro-life, you cannot be anti-immigration. because this is a life issue.
[applause] applause] life is not just about conception. it's about that god cares about your life from the moon -- from the womb all the way to the tomb. leaders at our 40,000 churches, we continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform. there is no excuse for this to happen. this is the one issue that ,nites everybody in support except congress. congress needs to come in line with their constituents. but thank you very much. -- >> thank you very much. [applause] that is where we are. let's talk about about where we are going. congressman iteris touched on this for -- good terrorists -- uittierez touched
on this. of all,sk you, first what your production is about what the president would do. 5 million undocumented to come out of the shadows. who are those people, what do you expect them to do and how do you expect them to stay away? correct the thirst -- >> the first is, i will never negotiate a low number. >> that is optimistic. .> but were very realistic every time i used to say something about what the white house would do, the white house would react and say, this is wrong and i can't do that. no one at the white house said they will not do 5000 people. the thing. they are nice for nice figure out what i'm going to do.
that gives me optimism. >> if i were you, i would be scared. >> number one, i'm very optimistic. >> [laughter] two, when we are sitting down with the president of the united states and hispanic congressional caucus, and we are negotiating on behalf of our community, the president , ifonded by saying somebody's been here a few years, they've been working, they've establish roots in their community. maybe they married somebody, even an american citizen, and they have american citizen children. and by the way, there are 5 million american citizen children who have undocumented parents. maybe they should be able to come forward at their own expense, register with the government, and if they have a clean bill of health criminally speaking, then we should give thema work permit and set
aside, because there are murderers and rate this and that people that homeland security should be going after -- and rapists and bad people that homeland security should be going after. that was his response. let's say, for our purposes --e, i know a lot of people for the dreamer he said, they have to be here by 2012. he will pick a date for the other undocumented. let's say, it's 10 years. people itw how many is in 10 years? 5,600,000 people. 5,600,000 people have been in this country 10 years or more, undocumented. one last thing that i think is very important to show you how broken our immigration system is. the broken immigration system in 1997. the republicans fixed it. one of the things they did, they
punish people that were here waiting for their visa. if i go out there and i get married, and i prove to the government that i'm a citizen sponsoring an immigrant, and i prove that we are legally married and she goes through the background check, they've grant her a visa. but the problem is, when i take her to manila, or to dublin, or to the country she's from, now they say, stay there for 10 years. the president can do this. he can hold them in place. that's 1.3 million people who are legally trying to get through the system. these are husbands, wives, of americanrents citizens and legal immigrants in the united states, and the president can simply say, i parole them in place and they can go straight and pick up their green card and come back to america. [applause]
those are two things. then picks 10 years, and there's the dreamers. he picked 2007 and 2012. what is needed up-to-date? what is me change the date from 2016 to 2018? -- from 16 to 18? we have to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people and we need to prepare to help them. no -- leave nod one behind. this is a down payment. and we will work [speaking spanish spanish] ng [applause] action andlk about the house, aside from what the president does. at these in the house -- at least, in the house no one is talking the democrats running the house.
>> whoa. >> it's a lonely conversation. [laughter] it's likely germane similar to what it is now. what are the chances of anything progressing after the election in the house after the president makes whatever limited changes he makes unilaterally echo >> let's -- unilaterally? >> let's clarify, when luis and i are talking, it's at least five or six people talking at once. it's an important question, because we are talking about whatever the president us as far as executive order, it is not a temporary fix. it's a meaningful fix. it is numbers of people that can help stay and that we can help contribute. that is what we're looking for, what we can do to slow this down as well, but that does not remove the responsibility of
congress to act cognitively to get a bill passed. we are waiting to see what the results of this first election will be. i would not hold my breath waiting for a legislative fix between now and the end of the year. if there is any change in the senate, there is no incentive for them to act at this time. he will wait until next year. i think it is safe to say that the burden is passed in the senate. it'll be a good marker, but it will die in the senate and we will have to start the process over again. and the makeup of the senate will be to see if they can get to the 60 margin -- the 60 vote margin. it is a humanitarian issue. at the border security issue. at a national security issue. it has to be dealt with. and it goes back to her peeps, as the issue of whether or not in her party with her presented
as we can have -- with her representatives, whether or not we can have a real debate about this. we have not been able to do that in the house of representatives. they will be angry when the president acts in an executive order. they are angry whenever the president does that. this will be attacks. whatever he does after the election will be attacked. and he has worked with executive order to do something. i have high hopes. i really do. i believe the country will rise to the occasion. we have in the past. my mother was an immigrant. my father came from immigrants. they came to this country because it did big things. this is a big thing. maybe this for me is not as big a political risk as it is for others. there are other issues i'm willing to work on as well that present political risk for me.
but i want to be things. accomplishing this is one of the greatest things i can imagine doing in congress. and i have terminus faith that we -- i have tremendous faith at we will do something. >> miss tomorrow, let's talk about what republicans have done navarro, let's talk about what republicans have done in congress. they did propose several, and all of them are pretty much border security bills. very few dealt with -- well, one of them dealt with streamers, but in a punitive fashion. -- with dreamers, but in a punitive fashion. in general, the reported security bills. what will it take for your party to move past border security and recognize that more money is spent on our border than has ?een spent on it in history and then concentrate on the real issue of immigration reform. sex you know, i think that even
though -- >> you know, i think that even though looking at these bills that you just talked about, some of them -- i mean, most of them did not go anywhere. symbolic, but bad symbolism. i agree with you. they were symbolic bills that were pushed through by a small band of republicans that wanted to make the symbolic point, despite what it may mean for the party in general, for the fortry in general, and relationships with latinos. but i think the majority of republicans -- and i talked to a lot of them both the house and the senate and out in regular america -- are hearing from their constituents, the state committee, the business andittee, families, voters, employers, and they are hearing over and over again that this issue needs to be addressed. there is wide recognition that and theus quo is broken
issue needs to be addressed. yes, there is a vocal minority and a lot of times, they are able to wag the dog. minority whocal feels differently. they have punched above their weight and made more noise than they should have. but they cannot get anything done by themselves. i think most republicans do realize it, but they haven't figured out a way to move it forward. since brock obama has been elected president, we have seen -- since barack obama has been elected president, we have seen a democratic president and a democratic senate, nothing happened. we have seen a republican house and democrat senate. nothing happened. we may after november, we don't know, have both houses, the senate and the house under republican hands.
is the question will be, that dynamic going to be any different? will mitch mcconnell and john to agree onble something in a way that john boehner and harry reid have not? to steal some of his space and hope for a modern or call. >> you see a republican majority in the senate actually being beneficial for immigration reform? >> yes. >> can you explain that to me? .r to us >> i guess i can do the faith thing. -- cannot do the faith thing. [laughter] that john boehner and mitch mcconnell have a good relationship. it is no secret that their relation -- the relationship between john boehner and harry reid is, at best, it nonexistent.
i think both want to address immigration reform in a conference of way. it may not be what i want. it may not be what most of us want. thatt might be a package addresses some of the major issues. >> and you think it will go past order security? >> yes, because i think they understand -- first of all, if there is only border security by itself without having some sort of trigger mechanism and be part of a bigger package, number one, i don't think the president will sign it. and number two, i don't think they will get it through. want to get something through, it will have to be carried and sticks. and sticks. and we as a community must have to come to terms that it may not be everything we want, but it might be something we want. and again, that depends very much on the election.
it is very much a coin toss today as far as who it will be in the senate. i think republicans will keep control of the house. >> when you look at all of this -- if you takes miss tomorrow's explanation of -- miss navarro's explanation of why republicans have not put forward bills with comprehensive in the gratian reform and only border security, that it is a small group that has prevented republicans from exhibiting their real will, what they really want to do -- that is how i understood your point. >> let's remember that there were four republican senators who teamed up with four democratic senators who did put forward a conference of bill. >> in the senate. >> right, but there was also a small active group trying to do the same thing in -- and putting a lot of effort and political
activity on the house side. they could not get it done, but they put in a lot of time and effort. i don't think it's fair to say that only bad things have happened. neither the bad things or the good things have come to reality, but there has been a lot of effort on the good things as well. luis chime inlet on that. let me get your opinion on when you watch the politics of this, it must be from someone -- for someone outside of that realm, disappointing to see that occurring. that a majority of republicans believe the system is broken and needs to be fixed and a majority of the democrats do, but still nothing happens. >> for the last several years, what we heard from leaders in the house was