tv U.S. House Debates Immigration Enforcement Bills CSPAN June 29, 2017 5:59pm-7:40pm EDT
administration, and the house has acted to stop obamacare's job and freedom crushing mandate, enacted to put a critical safety net program on a sustainable path. the house also voted to repeal and replace dodd-frank to get capital flowing to our small businesses and to improve choices for consumers. the past six months have been a strong start, and i look forward to the house continuing its work to advance important goals of strengthening our conomy and creating jobs. mr. speaker, every year at this time the nation celebrate ours birthday. it's the perfect time to reflect on the founding of our country and the principles that made our nation exceptional. at the height of the cold war with the soviet union, president kennedy in his inaugural address reflected on our founding principles. said, the same
revolutionary beliefs for which our fore bears fowlingt are still at issue around the globe. the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of god. president kennedy understood the words of our declaration of independence, quote, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. a little more than 100 years before president kennedy's inauguration, our 16th president, abraham lincoln, defended the deck rahlation and taught those around him as well as future generations how to revere and embrace unwaveringly the sacred and transcending truths expressed in this monumental document. now my countrymen, lincoln said
in 1858 if you have been taught doctrines that conflict with the great land marks of the declaration of independence, if you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur and mutilate the fair symmetry of its proportions, if you have been inclined to believe that all men are not created equal and the rights enumerated in our charter, let me entreat you to come back. think nothing of me, take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever, but come back to the truths that are in the declaration of independence. you may do anything with me you choose. if you will but heed these sacred principles. today, mr. speaker, let us recommit to the principles set forth in our declaration, that all are endowed by the creator with certain unalienable rights, among them the right to life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. and let those who have admired the leaders of our country, who have reasserted those principles from lincoln to kennedy, gin together and continue to fight for the protection of these god-given rights, especially the irst right, the right to life. mr. speaker, i thank you for allowing me to have this time and at this time i yield back to the gentleman from iowa, with my thanks for having extended to me this time to share these thoughts with the american eople. mr. king: i reclaim my time, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania for his presentation and bringing this topic together in the way he has. his method of addressing the declaration of independence and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, i would expand on that as well. and life is the most paramount.
it is priority right. and our founding fathers knew what they were doing. they set up life as thefires priority. liberty as the second priority. and the third priority was the pursuit of happiness. i'll start from the bottom because i think it deserves the most explanation that pursuit of happiness is often viewed as maybe a fun tailgate party or bliss of some kind or maybe a barbecue outdoors with the family. the things with love. that's the enjoyment of our life. the pursuit of happiness as it was understood by our founding fathers came from a greek word, and that, it means developing the whole human being. it's not just the mental well being but it is developing an intellectual human being, the physical human being, the knowledge-base -- the knowledge
base that's there and the spirit within us and our theology and our souls. the whole package of what we are as human beings, developing that to the maximum. these god-given fwifts, develop them for his glorification and that's the concept of pursuit of happy thans our founding fathers understood. so the principle is we should -- we have a right to pursue happiness, dwourpg whole human being which includes the human enjoyment that we think of when we say pursuit of happiness, but no one in their pursuit of happiness can trample on someone else's liberty because liberties are also -- liberties are god-given. liberties that we have cannot be subordinate to the pursuit of happiness, but they are subordinate to the life of others. because life is the most sacred. human life is sacred in all of its forms. it's the number one paramount right. and so the protection of human life is the principle, highest
priority in the declaration of independence. and the liberties that we have, freedom of speech, religion, the press, the right to keep and bear arms a jury of our peer no, double jeopardy, the whole list of the bill of rights, those are liberties. god-given liberties as conceived by our founding fathers and enshrined in the bill of rights and of course in our constitution. the rights that we have cannot be trampled upon or subordinated to someone else's pursuit of happiness. life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. a well thought out, prioritized list in our declaration that gives us the inspiration that was the foundation for our constitution and the principles of our lives in america today. and so i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania for his explanation of this and giving me an opportunity to flesh this out a little bit and the concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
but the segue he served up to me is this, our debates today here in this congress on the immigration bills that have now just passed this congress have been focused on the right to life. the right to life versus the criminals that took the liberty to take them. they have violated the very foundations of our declaration. and of course they violated our laws in a number of ways. but i think especially at the onset of this discussion, i -- sarah root, and her legislation, sarah's law, introduced by me in this congress, i have a copy of the bill today, we introduced it last year also, in this congress it became h.r. 174. it came about and then we incorporated it into the broader bill today we called the sanctuary cities legislation,
mr. speaker. sarah root was -- had just graduated from bellvue university in omaha. modell, hometown is iowa, she had just finished her gradgeuation the day before with perfect 4.0 grade point average, her major was criminal investigation. she would today be investigating criminals if it weren't for the criminal that killed her the day after she graduated. and the individual that's mija sible is here, edwin who ran into her vehicle on the street with trip they will blood alcohol content that's legal. he was on a first name basis with at least two of his immigration attorneys. and when he was taken into custody, interestingly, as bad as the accident was, sarah was
rendered unrecognizable and she was on life support for a little while. while the parents were deciding what decision to make and she was also an organ donor. ra saved six. and many days i wear this bracelet that says sarah root saved six. and this bracelet hangs on the antlers in my man cave when i walk down there in the morning. i often say a prayer for all those bracelets hung on the antlers of my man cave that represent those individuals whose lives have been lost at the hands of criminal aliens who were unlawfully present in the united states and perpetrated violence against generally american citizens but others that are generally those that are at least lawfully present in america. sara root was -- sarah root was one of those victims a stellar young lady with a 4.0 grade point average a fresh diploma from bellvue university, her
whole life and the world ahead of her, run down on the streets. and her father came to testify here in the judiciary committee in congress. e said, the judge bailed eswin mija, this perpetrator, out of jail for less money than it cost to marry my daughter and he was back home in his home country before we could bury my -- to bury my daughter and he was back home in his home country before we could bury my daughter. those are some of the most moving wards i have heard. he had been incarcerated before, he'd been encountered by law enforcement before, and they turned him loose on the streets. this happens again and again in america every day. local law enforcement, picking up people who are unlawfully present in america, violating immigration law the law requires they be placed into removal proceedings. that's the law.
but they turn them loose anyway. turn them out on the streets because we have sanctuary cities, sanctuary city policies, some local jurisdictions don't have a written policy but it's a practice they have evolved into accepting. so when i say every one of the americans who died at the hands of someone who was unlawfully present in america, illegal ail generals -- aliens, generally speaking, every one of those are a preventable death. if we enforced the law they wouldn't have been in america in the first place to commit the crimes they committed against our american citizens, our innocent people with -- sarah root, this beautiful young lady with a perfect grade point average, the world ahead of her a happy, joyful young lady that today would be live, love, laughing and learning and contributing to our society, but she's in her grave today because eswin mija got triple drunk, was
unlawfully in the united states and ran her car down and killed her on the street and absconded for a $5,000 bond. what we did with sarah's law and i want to ask unanimous consent -- consent to introduce her law into the record, mr. speaker, so that we have a copy of it. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i'll present this to the clerk here in a moment. but this is h.r. 174, the original language, i want to assure the family of sarah root that this language sin corporated into the bill we passed today. it's incorporated into the sanctuary cities legislation that we passed today. it prohibits a judge from releasing an illegal alien on bond if they have been charged with or subject to a homicide or a crime where there's a serious bodily injury. once this issue came up in omaha, nebraska, and the public knew about this, we tried to
unseat the judge that released this criminal, this criminal that may have done damage again, but the judge that let him out on $5,000 had a similar case the next time the bond way up into six or even seven figures. i think he got the message but the public got the message too. i don't know if he'll be able to hold his seat or not. we've got to bring the right thing. we've got to put the fixes in place. you would think we'd have a judge that would understand this yet somehow in the political culture of america, we're watching criminal aliens turned loose on the streets over and over again. i recall sitting in on immigration hearings in the judiciary committee over a number of years now, i suppose there are a couple of people in this congress that have sat through more, not many. and the witnesses would be, every week or so we'd have a hearing and there'd be witnesses that would testify how many people died in the arizona desert trying to sneak into
america. and that number would be 200 in a year. 250 in a year. maybe the next year it went to 300. i remember that number going to 400 or more who dieded in the arizona desert on the way into, trying to sneak into america. finally, what this parade of witnesses that were experts on why we ought to open the border so they didn't have a difficult time getting into america, that's the lunacy we've heard in the debate today over on this side of the floor from my view, mr. speaker, i began to ask the qunses, -- to ask the witnesses this question, you've come to testify how many didn't make it through the desert. could you tell me how many americans died at the hands of those who did make it through the desert? and i would ask the witnesses, generally four witnesses, it would go down the line, i don't know the answer, i don't know the answer, i don't know the answer. that went on for a while. and the fourth witness in one of those days was a former i.n.s. agent, michael cutler.
and we are just a few years after september 11, 2001, when i asked him this question, how many americans died at the hands of those who made it through the desert, which is the phrase to imply how many americans died at the hands of those who are unlawfully present in america. michael cutler's answer was, i don't know the answer to that but i can tell you it is in multiple os they have victims of september 11. think of that. 3,000 americans were killed that day. multiples of that would be at least 6,000. if he's right, and he's confident he's right and now i'm confident he was right. and that started me thinking. shortly after that, i commissioned a g.a.o. study and that g.a.o. study dug down deeply into the records we had access to and it's hard to get this congress to compare apples to apples. so i began to ask the questions, of the people in the prisons in
america, what are they in prison for? how many of them are criminal aliens? and we did a report on that. they sliced and diced it, narrowed it down, it never actually became apples to apples but it did come down to this substantial number that's been supported a couple of other times in other studies, one subsequent to that i had done in 2011. the number is close to 28% of the inmates in our federal penitentiaries are criminal aliens. 28%. and so it's reasonable to do a calculation and extrapolation off of 28% of these inmates are criminal aliens, what percentage of the murders are they committing? what percentage of the rapes are they committing? what percentage of the violent crime are they committing? or are they in jail for just simply violation law immigration? you'll find out very few are in prison for violation of immigration law. the reflection on criminal
aliens of a similar proportion of the crimes committed by others. put that on there, hit the calculator, i'm not going to it is shocking and stunning how many americans have lost their lives at the hands of people who shouldn't have been here in the first place. sarah root included, kate steinle included and many, many more. a few days after sarah root was killed, i sent out a tweet, sarah root would have been alive living and life if the president ad not violated his oath and ordered i.c.e. to stand down. president obama asserted he had this prosecutorial discretion. it is something established in law or precedent and has to be on an individual basis.
janet mrs. napolitano: delivered it in a document. they decided that prosecutorial discretion and granted an amnesty to all of them and turn them loose. they turned criminals loose on the streets of america. 36,007 in one bunch. some of them were murderers. you can see what happens to the crime in this country. if you are importing people from the most violent countries in the world and turning them loose or if they are picked up for a detail light, speeding or shoplifting, failure to signal and i said a stop light, they are picked up for that. when local law enforcement encounters them, they look at their identification and asks them a few questions. some of them are good enough liars. but any time that law enforcement encounters people
unlawfully present in america they are to put them in unlawful proceedings. and yet, thousands have been turned loose on the street. and 300 cities in america vrl established sanctuary policies. and some of the cities have passed policies that refuse to allow their law enforcement to even gather information or accept information on illegal aliens that they encounter. so, for example, this is how bad it is, even in a place like iowa. i had one of my staff people that was involved in a car accident that was caused by an illegal alien that had no license or insurance, but he did have an illegal job. he crashed into my staff. and wrecked my staff's car. and so when i got the phone call on that, i turned to my then chief of staff who is university lawyer. o school
i said stay this until you get this resolved and what can we get accomplished to enforce the law? this is our opportunity to learn. if a member of congress' staff can be run into without a without a license and insurance and owning a car and if i have a top-notch lawyer to try to bring the law enforcement in place so we can at least deport the guy after three, four guys up there and number of phone calls from me, i got the message, we couldn't crack through the code of local law enforcement to be able to deport the individual that was clearly illegal and unlawfully working, no driver's license and no insurance. and the practice of simply staying out of immigration law because they were local law enforcement and didn't want to touch it was so engrained we
couldn't move the bubble. and i said we have other people to take care of and aren't going to get this solved. that is so very frustrating. but i tell this to let the world know the frustration of families an have a loved one kill by illegal and have them go back into the shadows and hide. that's the thing that happened with saro root and we did honor to her and her life bypassing sarah's law as part of the sanctuary law. how appropriate to bring a ban on sanctuary cities and wrapped up in the same bill as sarah's law to respect her, her life and the sacrifice of her life, the sacrifice of her mother, michelle, her father scott and her brother, scottey, who
carries the whole load for the next generation. all of that finally congress did some justice for sarah root. it's only a small piece of justice and least we can do but the right thing for us to do. and what her family wants is that no other families have to suffer like they have suffered. and this is the story of sarah root, whose name was elevated on the national stage by president trump. as much as i push things out of this congress don't close to having a big mega phone as donald trump. i thank the president of the united states when he came to iowa when he was campaigning and he began to make his immigration cases and lay out the platform for his immigration policy. i noticed that it mirrored mine very closely.
and i mentioned to him, i market tested your immigration policy for 14 years in iowa, it shouldn't be a surprise they understand these issues and support the rule of law and support building a wall and support banning sanctuary cities. that is not iowa's values but american values. american values that want to live in a country that has the rule of law and people can play in the streets and don't have to be looking over their shoulder or a mother or father has to keep them indoors. ameil shaw who testified from los angeles. his son, who was a star football player, jazz shaw was shut down -- illed by an i will
illegal immigrant who was on the hunt to shoot a black person. and he was murdered close enough to his father's house that his father testified on fox news, he could hear the gunshots and he went out there to see his son laying on the street. what?er for the sake of a gang challenge and race label that would not be the case if that murderer had been deported back to his country. and we picked him up a second time. and under kate's law -- i'm ing to transition to this -- this is kate steinle and her murderer. but the killer of jazz shaw's son would not have been in america if we had had kate's law and enforced kate's law because
he had been deported. nd this is the evil murderer who-sanchezco lopez and this beautiful young lady kate steinle on a wharf with her father and shot down and killed for no reason at random by this individual that had been five times deported and convicted of seven different felonies in this country. under kate's law, he would have been locked up for a good long time if that law had been in place. or the sanctuary legislation we passed today, they would be turning over -- they would be turning over these kind of criminals to i.c.e., where they would get their just sentences in a federal prison. even though we have these laws
passed and the senate takes them up and passes them into law, the president will sign them, we are confident of that, he asked that these bills be brought before the house of representatives and of course that was today. and so, if these laws -- if these acts that we passed today become law, then many, many americans will be saved from the kind of carnage we heard about in case after case. when i saw the story come through of kate steinle, i looked at that, and it was the most tragic story. and here's a clip of what i sent out that day. july 3, 2015, picture of kate steinle and the message and the tweet is, a 100% preventable just dated july 3, 2015, enforce the law. this will make you cry, too.
and it happens every day. every day in america, there are americans that die at the hands of illegal aliens. i recall the case in cottonwood, minnesota, where an illegal alien who was turned back on the streets, who didn't have a driver's license and should have been deported at least once and probably more times, ran a school bus off the road in southwest minnesota. four kids in that school bus were killed. two of them were siblings, three an iies lost their kids by will yell criminal alien. and the people who voted against one of these bills this doesn't have to deal with illegal immigration. stance of life.
every society has that to some degree, but every single victim of a criminal alien that is in a deportable category is a preventable crime. and i made that case over and over again. but i made the point, they will stay it is an accident and nothing to do with immigration. nd my district director looked at me and he is soviet-spoken and he said if they believe that, if they say that, then you say to them, then you go up there to cottonwood, minnesota and tell their parents their children would still be dead that we had deported the illegal. that hits home to me, mr. speaker and rings so true. and any family that is suffering
e loss of a loved one, the steinle family and the root family, the families in omaha, the families around in my district, those families know if we had enforced the law, their child, their husband would still be alive. and so as part of the sanctuary city legislation that we moved through here today and in kate's law just passed, i need to make sure i state that and sarah's, they would be alive today and contributing to our society and sharing in joy and giving joy. and there is another case that i just picked, a teen charged in iowa's woman's death may have fled the death. a teenager who was at the wheel of a car that killed a woman missed the court hearing and may have fled the country.
we think he escaped to honduras. here's another story and this is addressed today, mr. speaker. and in my legislation that was brought by andy biggs of arizona and i i thank him for advancing this legislation. grant ronnebeck. he was 21 years old and gunned own in january 2015 working at kwik trip in arizona. he was in the country illegally and had been released by immigration and customs enforcement even though he was previously convicted. why are we turning people loose in america when they were deportable before they committed the charge, and turn them loose again? the judge decides that somehow he has a right to be in america?
that's a clear deportation requirement. we had john ashcroft who testified before the committee that when they release criminal aliens onto the streets without bond with a date set for a hearing, 84% of them didn't show up and that was before president obama sent the message it didn't matter. . here's another ghastly, tragic story, in omaha. louise sullivan, died in july, 2013, three tais after the attack in her home, according to omaha police. an officer sent to the home she'd lived in for 71 years found her body covered in blood in her bedroom around 9:00 a.m. the officer said sergio martinez perez, 19, i'm going to skip some of this, it's too nasty to put into the congressional record, but was passed out
there, having raped the 93-year-old woman. authorities believe martinez perez entered the home through an unlocked door. he, too, was an illegal alien who had been encountered by law enforcement and was released and went out to rape and murder. when the president said we have people who do these things among those who come from some of those countries, that's clearly true. a lot of good people also. but we need to have the rule of law. we need to enforce the rule of law. and when they're coming from these other countries that don't -- that have corruption but don't have the beneficiaries of the rule of law and respect for the law we have, they are importing those low standards in here. we must sustain the rule of law, restore the respect for the rule of law and if we do that, we will sustain ourselves as a first world country. if we fail to do so, if we lose the rule of law, then we will devolve into a third world
country eventually. the core of this from the beginning for me, mr. speaker, has always been restore the respect for the rule of law. when ronald reagan signed the amnesty fact 1986, i give him credit for at least naming it, calling it what it was, an amnesty act, it was a reward for lawbreakers. the cabinet around him encouraged him to sign the amnesty act. me? i kicked my filing cabinet the day i heard on the news he had signed it. kicked a dent in it. because a lot of frustration was why. i believe ronald reagan would see with clarity you can't reward lawbreakers and think somehow you'll be able to put that behind you and the law will be enforced and respected for that point forward. there were twob 1 million people receive amnesty in 1986. ronald reagan signed the act and it became three million people. because they probably counted a little wrong and there was a lot of fraud. a lot of people that presented
themselves that were supposed -- that were alleged they were to be included. this was a faster track to citizenship for them. three million people received amnesty in 1986. i said then none of them should have. they should not be rewarded for breaking the law. and yet, they got their amnesty and the signature that ronald reagan put on that am netsity legislation was supposed to be in exchange for enforcement of the law. but the law didn't get enforced. the amnesty was delivered. triple what was expected. i knew then, i knew then that we would have a long, hard slog restoring the respect for the rule of law. but i've set about doing that since that period of time. more than 30 years later, we're here on the floor, strengthening the rule of law after all this time. but the amnesty that's been advocated by others, in each
decade we seem to have to have a battle they want to come with comprehensive immigration reform. just about anybody in america knows if you say comprehensive immigration reform, call it amnesty. i say to them, just be honest if you think amnesty is a good idea, why say those three words, just say amnesty. if the public is ready for amnesty, you can pass it. if we're not, you can't this eamerican people understand this intuitively that we've got to stop the law breaking and we cannot be rewarding those who break the law. there are those who think we should somehow find a path of amnesty for those individuals identified unconstitutionally by barack obama in his daca program, his deferred action for childhood arrivals. they aren't all innocent little waif that was been brought in by their mother against their will as those would have you say. as many would have -- would say.
instead, many of them are prime gang age recruitment, young men, have gone -- i've gone down there and watch that flow of epic humanity, coming out of central america, through mexico, a diminishing number from mexico, coming into the united states. the numbers we looked at were 81% male. and if they're under 18, they're coming on their own if they're 14, 15, 16, 17 years old they don't always tell you the truth, either, mr. speaker. so this large group of people are prime gang age recruitment youth. and these youth drn these youth are coming from some of the most violent countries in the world. 11 of the 13 most violent countries in the world are south of the rio grande and one of those countries is not mexico. so when they come into america, they bring with them the violence in the culture that is part of it. and we can expect our crime rates to go up. and the people from the inner
cities that generally sit on that side of this congress want to get them out of places like el salvador and quat ma la and put them into the inner city in places like east st. louis and detroit and newark and other places where the violent crime rate is very high to get them away from the violence that's part of their neighborhood. i would submit, mr. speaker, we may be putting them into neighborhoods that are more dangerous than the countries they come from. but we don't log those crime statistics very clearly because it's so sensitive to the people in the inner city, they don't want to talk bt ab-- talk about it. so crime has been pervasive in these countries. they're sending young men, especially, that are prime gang age recruitment, they're being recruited to ms-13. judge jeanine pirro said the other day that 30% of them become ms-13 members. and so i would like to, let me inquire if i could the amount of time i have remaining, mr.
speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 20 minutes remaining. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate that response and i want to roll through what our sanctuary cities legislation does that we just passed today and it goes -- it does a pretty good long comprehensive way. but i pointed out that i signed, i brought the first sanctuary city legislation into this congress that i could find the record of in 2005 when i brought an amendment through the homeland security appropriations to cut funding from sanctuary cities. 2005. along the way, each funt that was there, i brought an amendment to cut off funding to sanctuary cities. most of the time it was in the judiciary, the justice appropriations bill. i see a number of them here scattered in my memo i asked staff to put together. as far back as 12 years ago, i've been working to end the
federal funding going to sanctuary cities that defy local law enforcement. barack obama was never going to sign anything like that but i kept beating the drum, every year, beat the drum, to cut off funding to sanctuary cities. finally, then introduce the legislation on sanctuary cities late last year, no, it was in 2015, then again at the beginning of this congress and chairman goodlatte was gracious enough to pull that together so we could bring it to the floor today. and we've had a lot of cooperation from many others on this. i see the first date i introduced the sanctuary city legislation as the standalone bill was november 4, 2015, and here we are today finally passing it. i thought i'd been at it for a long time, mr. speaker, it's 12 years i've been actively engaged, at least, maybe 14, until i talked to congressman barletta of hazelton,
pennsylvania, who as mayor in 1999 began to raise the issue and made it a national issue, was elected to this congress. he's been at this 18 years. others have been at it a long time too. many of us are grateful today that the sanctuary city language passed and that sarah's law, kate's law, all of that that was able to introo do -- introduce in this congress was passed out of the house of representatives, message to the senate and hope the senate will fix it up. the sanctuary city language does this it blocks department of justice grants to the sanctuary cities that defy the federal law. and refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement on immigration. and those grants would be generally grants that have to do with law enforcement that would be affected by d.o.j. and it allows the department of homeland security to refuse warrants from the sanctuary cities, the sanctuary city might serve a warrant to someone in
custody and d.h.s. can say we're not going to hand this person over to you because we're confident you're going to turn them loose on the street that piece in there is a protection that keeps some from being released and then it requires i.c.e. to take custody of these criminal aliens within 48 hours of the notice that comes from the local government. state or local government that would have them picked up. it also -- it establishes a good faith provision that holds the -- holds local government harmless for honoring i.c.e. detainers. that's something undermined on february 25, 2015, by then-acting sect retear -- director of i.c.e. who sent a letter out that advised local law enforcement, ice detainer is a suggestion not an order. the rule and the law and the rule says that it's an order not a suggestion. this statute clarifies it and
firms it up. and then if local -- if a local jurisdiction is sued by say the aclu as they do, it gives them protection and lets the department of justice, the federal government, substitute itself for local government and it holds local government harmless when it comes to these cases. then, here's a very, very powerful piece, mr. speaker, and it's this. it provides, sanctuary cities legislation passed today, h.r. 3003 provides a course of action against any jurisdiction that releases an alien who subsequently commits a felony. that's a powerful provision. it's something that moves me and moves me in my heart as a former crime victim, it occurred me to -- thatred to me when i
i wasn't in that equation at all even though it nearly destroyed my business. in old england if you committed a crime, the king owned everything. if you killed one of his serf's, you killed the sing's serf. if you shot a deer you shot the king's deer. you stole something, it was a violation against the crown and we transferred the criminal law into america and it's, the state has replaced the crown. so when you commit a crime, that crime is committed against the state as if you had killed one of the king's deer. but it doesn't encounter, doesn't consider, the victim hardly at all. we're doing a little bet for the recent years. but this allows the crime victims to have a recourse, mr. speaker. and i think we'll hear a lot about this provision in sanctuary city law as this moves over to the senate and i think we made a lot of progress today. it's been a good day to do honor to the lives of sara -- of sarah
root, a beautiful young lady, whose mother is here in this capital city today, speaking and testifying and doing radio and meeting and one day i hope we nt down eswin mejia, the killer of this beautiful young woman. one day i hope we have the relationship with his home country where they will hunt him down and extradite him to the united states of america. that's, of course a law we need to have in a civilized world. and kate steinle, i want to thank not only matt salmon for bringing this forward but bill o'reilly and the president of the united states. something this president has done is he asked the family members of the victims of criminal aliens in america to step up on the stage with him around the campaign trail over and over again. one would think they were props for a campaign. that kind of criticism flowed out. but here's what he's really
done. he illuminated the pain they went through over and over again. when he came back to iowa on a thank you tour , he had some of the victim os they have crime victims there, he brought them up on the stage. you could tell by the look in his eye that they moved him and he has said the thing that moved him most in the entire campaign were the families of the illegal -- the families who had an illegal kill their daughter, their son, their family member. that moved him the most. he's done honor to that. he's asked that we bring this legislation to the floor. we've done so. we passed it out of the house. and the president yesterday met with a dozen or so of these families at the white house and he will continue to push this legislation until it becomes law and i expect at the bill signing ceremony these families will be invited back to the white house and they will get a closure on the pain that they are going through this day. mr. speaker, i realize that there are -- there's a peeker -- a speaker that would like to
have a little time left before we adjourn for the evening and i'm looking out of my peripheral vision, i see the gentleman from texas and i believe the protocol would be for me to yield back the balance of my time to be claimed by the gentleman from texas if that's in order, that's what i propose. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced spoil of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from texas, mr. flores is recognized for the this remainer of the hour as the esignee of the majority leader. mr. flores: i thank the gentleman from iowa, my good friend for yielding me the balance of our time. rise to honor reverend wilbur austin. wilbur grew upboro in a rashe shale seeing degree depated area. his father was a day laborer and
his mother was a day worker. robert used to play by the plant int was next to the cemetery sand toup. they raised five children. his upbringing is something that would shape him for the rest of his life and molded him as a great servant. will bert worked for a glass boat willing manufacturer and as a leader for the local chapter of the naac pmp. he was known for advocating civil rights in waco. all of us seeking to make waco a better place and made sure that kept out drug dealers on a face-to-face basis. will burt was passionate advocate for his christian faith and decided to share his faith
in the pulpit. he became a pastor where he would serve for 38 years. he was known to his congregation around waco with someone as a servants' heart. and he would collect gift cards at christmas to distribute to needy families. in 1974, will burt changed local city government that made him an important part of waco's history. in the 1950's, the city adopted an at-large district system after an african-american individual nearly won a city council seat. as a result of his efforts, waco dropped the at-large district nd divided the city. his perseverance changed the at-large system because it didn't represent the electoral choices.
though we never believed, his desire to serve led him toll campaign for a seat. he ran for city council five times and winning a seat in 2006. he served as the counsel map for district one before having to step down due to declining health. today's waco is a diverse and inclusive city because of his service. loving devoted and husband to his wife to his wife. d his wife was supportive of her wife and said no matter what or why, always love your dad and support him. they were blessed with five children and they were the grandparents of 10 grandchildren. during the last years of his life, will burt fought a battle
of cancer. he never lost sight of where he was going. at his retirement party, he stated, i'm all packed up. when you hear my passing, don't grieve for me. i'm a soldier going home to the lord. mr. speaker, he worked better to serve his congregation and community and reducing crime and serving in elective office. he is loved by our community and left an impression on our area. he will be remembered as a community leader, a pastor, a civil rights activist, a servant, a husband, father, grandfather and a friend. we offer our heartfelt condolences and we lift up the family and friends in our prayers. i have requested the united states flag be flown over the united states capitol to honor
the life and legacy of reverend wilbur austin. i urge you to pray during these difficult times and for our first responders who protect us here at home. mr. speaker, i rise to honor general john hanover who passed away on may 22, 2017. joe was born in texas on february 10, 1918. e grew up in a farming community before graduating from ranklin high school in 1938.
wheelock and met the love of his life. and joe became interested in engineering and interest that would guide him the rest of his life. joe went to texas a and many where he earned a bachelor of civil engineering degree. in 19 1, he married and started his engineering career while working for the texas highway department. world war ii sbrupetted his career as he was called into active duty in 1941. he was commissioned into the u.s. army and still carried his original orders until the day he passed away. during his service in world war ii, joe served in the european theater in belgium and france. 54th coastal artillery. and at the conclusion of the
war, joe was given command of a prisoner of war command in france. in an interview, joe was quoted by saying, i started as a commander of black soldiers fighting against hitler and finished as a commander of a prisonhold of german soldiers. his enlistment was five years. and he also joined the army reserve from which he retired in 1971 with the rank of brigadier general. he went back to work for the texas highway department embarking on a career that would last for more than 35 years. he worked on numerous projects throughout the state and known in college station for the completion of the overpass. the city of college station declared march 21 of each year
to be joe hanover day. texas a&m played a great role. he regularly attended fighting texas sporting events, especially baseball and football games. when recounting the best days of his life, he said the day he married his wife and the day he was baptized were the greatest days. joe hanover worked tirelessly to better our area. he is loved by our community and left an enduring impression. we will be remembered as a hero, husband, leader and a friend. we offer our condolences to the hanover family and we lift up the family and friends in our prayers. i request that the united states flag be flown to honor the life. as i close today, i urge all
americans to pray for our country and our military men and women and our first responders. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the alyields. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes mr. poe for 30 minutes. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to talk somewhat about persecution worldwide of people in the christian faith. we don't hear much about christian persecution through orld media and persecution continues and continues against christians. each month, mr. speaker, 322 christians are killed, 214 churches are destroyed, and 272
forms of violence are committed against christians. every month, 332 christians are forms of d 7727 violence are committed against christians. in 2013, christians faced persecution in 102 of 190 countries and for the second year in a row, christians are the most persecuted group in the entire world. in 2016, 90,000 christians were killed for their faith worldwide. 2016, 600 million people were prevented from practicing their faith through intimidation, forced conversions, bodily harm or even death. many christians are murdered simply for their belief in jesus. oppression is not limited to
christians worldwide. religious minorities are restricted in their practices or persecuted for their beliefs. 82 countries worldwide require people in minority-religious groups in that country to register with the government while 99 countries restrict their practicing of religion. here are the top 10 persecution -religion countries. north korea is number one on the hot list that wants to persecute christians. lil kim per can you tell us people of religious beliefs. christians are sent to prison camps for just owning a bible, those bibles smuggled in from other countries and germly they come from south korea. 80,000 to 120,000 are imprisoned
in labor camps. 80,000 people, up to 120,000 people are in prison cam ps, labor camps because of their religion in lil kim's dictatorship. number one is north korea. i'll give you the other nine. so mall yo is number two. number three is is pakistan. d worst countries for tr persecution. number six, no surprise is syria. iraq is number seven. top 10 mber 8 and countries that persecute christians for simply believing in the christian faith. pewpugh research counsel --
vr instances of use of forces against religious groups. 75% had instances against muslims, people that believe differently than the government faith. in asia, there has been an uptick in persecution in islamic extremism. they are targeted, the muslim, the behind you in countries like pakistan, india and mira march. christians face laws for simply speaking about their faith. country that i haven't mentioned s communist vietnam. they are still a communist country. new laws led by the government punish anyone who punishes their
religion who speaks out. new laws are being used to crack down on citizens basic human rights of the right to believe and practice their religion. new rounds of arrests this year are proof. human rights watch says 110 people are prisoners of conscience or imprisoned in harsh conditions after unfair trials. these prisoners are not criminals, but the government thinks they are criminals because they practice their religions. they are human rights and pastors and priests and they are jailed and in jail in believing in theal mighty. a pastor has been in prison in vietnam since 2011. mr. speaker, i might adhere, prisons in vietnam haven't changed much over the years. it's still a communist country and when you go to jail in
vietnam, you are in a prison like no other and those prisons still exist and they house people because the government puts people of christian faith in jail. pastor winn has no contact with his family and give him food and make fun of him and break up glass and put the glass in his food. he that has been held in solitary confinement and he told first and he told officials from the united states about his treatment in jail. the security officials not only give him physical torture but mental torture as well. his wife has suffered for her faith. last year, she was beaten and jailed while campaigning for religious freedom. you see, mr. speaker, when they go out in vietnam and add
vowvate the human right of religious freedom, the government of vietnam per can you tell us them for that, beats them and puts them in jail. americans need to be aware of what is taking place in this country and others. his wife his wife continued to preach the word, even against this evil injustice. and even to this day, the vietnamese communists harass her as well as her husband, who is incarcerated. indonesia's the world's largest muslim majority nation. but there are communities of hindus and christians and buddhists and these three groups of religious individuals are persecuted because they are not the faith of the government. there's an alarming shift in tolerance. indonesia used to claim and be to some extent tolerant of other
religious faiths. other than the muslim faith. they were proud of that. but there's a shift in the government to not tolerate religious minorities. recently the governor of djakarta was sentenced to prison for two years for blasphemy against the muslim faith. his charge is based on statements the government made about the koran that were seen as offensive to islam. therefore offensive to the government. and there he goes, off to jail in indonesia. religious tolerance and free speech is being lost while in indonesia hard-line islamic forces are encouraging this persecution. pakistan, pakistan is a country i've talked about frequently on this house floor. in pakistan churches have been bombed and people have been killed. in one town a 14-year-old christian boy, because he was a
christian, was beaten and set on fire. persecution of the young. persecution of the elderly. all because of their religious faith. pakistan, pakistan not only persecutes christians, they persecute other muslims who don't agree with the government position on islam. mahairs. in the middle east, there's been scrutiny because of the increase in attacks from islamic extremists that target christians. in may, gunmen forced coptic christian pilgrims from buses, took them out of the buses and executed 28 of them. because they were coptic christians. palm sunday. this year. twin bombings on christian churches in egypt killed almost 50 people. a man cloaked in explosives
snuck through a security and detonated his bomb, killing 28 and wounding 70. at the same time another suicide bomber attacked st. mark's church in alexandria, egypt. killing another 17 people and injuring scores more. over a three-day period in 2013, coptic christians experienced the worst attack against their churches in 700 years. in egypt. 40 church were destroyed and more than 100 other sites were severely damaged. one boy was beaten to death for wearing a cross around his neck. he's walking down the street, he's got a cross around his neck. and lo and behold he's attacked, beaten to death, because of his religious belief. and tens of thousands of coptic christians have fled the country. well, no kidding. they're leaving because their lives depend on it. isis has decimated ancient
christian communities in the middle east as well. we have this issue of governments persecuting christians or allowing persecution to exist. alongside this we have this terrorist group, isis. it is part of their mission, wherever they are in the world, to kill people who don't agree with their religion. and of course that includes christians as well. iraq, before there was isis there were approximately 300,000 christians that lived in iraq. no one knows how many remain today. but hundreds of thousands have left the country or been killed. in mosul, for example, 10 years ago about 35,000 christians lived in mosul. 10 years ago. w there are 20, maybe 30 christian.
they've been killed, tortured or fled the country. isis campaigned to destroy historic sites and monuments of christians is now something that the world media is talking about. isis destroyed the monastery of st. elijah outside mosul. it stood there for -- this monastery stood there in mosul for 1,400 years. and here comes the terrorist group isis, that tears it down because it is a site where christians practiced christianity. fervent in n so their killing of christians that this house even passed legislation stating that isis is committing genocide against christians. and they are. so you have isis in different parts of the world. one of their goals is to kill
religious folks that disagree with them, especially christians. and to some extent, they've been very successful at that. when we talk about destroying and eliminating isis, we need to remember that we will eliminate their genocide against christians as well, if we destroy isis. in iran, open doors u.s.a. ranked persecution level of christians in iran as extreme. religious police move about the city kind of like the gestapo. when they suspect christians are gathering for worship, they raid the homes, arrest the leaders and destroy bibles. that's what the religious police in iran does. iranians who come to study in the united states and become a christian, they can't go back to iran. they go back to iran, and iran puts them in jail and they
suddenly disappear. converse to christianity, charges of possible death sentences if they ever return. people who become christians in iran, who make that choice as a believer, also know that their days are numbered in iran, if the religious police catch them. in libya, the islamic state captured and beheaded 21 people because they were christians. i don't think we should be insensitive to this act of beheading folks altogether because of their religious faith. we shouldn't be insensitive because it continues to go -- it continues on in libya as well. in libya, where they murdered the 21 people, the victims' families wanted to build a
church in their honor. well, as they were building the church, they were beaten by people who were of the muslim faith to make sure that that church did not exist. and that's libya. in syria the head of the franciscans in the middle east has reported that of the 4,000 inhabitants of the village, no more than 10 people remain in that town. and they have been killed by assad's thugs and the militant groups like isis. christians really had it bad in syria because everybody's after them. you got isis that's after them. then you got assad, the dictator, the brutal dictator, he kills them as well. moving on, i'll mention russia. russia seems to be something everybody wants to talk about. let's talk about russia and what they're doing to christians today. i went to the soviet union back in the 1980's. when it was the soviet union. the soviet union persecuted people who were religious at
all. if you owned a bible, you're going to jail. if you tried to worship, you're going to jail. they constantly did that under the soviet regime of people of any religious faith. primarily it was orthodox christians. and it was also jews. the wall came down, now we have putin in charge. the world needs to understand that putin is moving in the direction of persecuting people of religious beliefs, just like when he was a member of the k.g.b. under the soviet union. putin. i call him the napoleon of siberia. so what are they doing? well, they're starting out with laws requiring missionaries to have a permit. and they make house churches illegal. what is a house church? a house church is where two or three are gathered together in a house in the lord's name and try to worship.
you can't do that. that's against the law. if you're going to worship, you have to get a permit to worship in a structured building. and only certain religious groups get a permit to even practice any religion. that's a difficult -- that's difficult in itself. so you have to be in a structured building, approved by the government, and that particular -- the denomination or religious faith has to have a permit to do so. you can't -- during -- sorry, russia, if you're in the -- i'll say it again. if you are in russia, you cannot practice religion online. that happens all over the world, except if you're in russia, you're not going to be able to promote any type of religious or you're going to jail. this is the greatest threat to christianity in russia since the soviet days. we haven't heard much about that. we've heard other things. but this is something that we need to be aware of. the persecution of people
because of religious faith. one of my daughters recently went to russia. she experienced and saw this very thing that i'm talking about. no home churches, worship services. only structured buildings where you got the russian police watching what takes place. so they're moving in a direction like they were under the soviet ys of persecuting people who have religious faith. putin is taking -- i'm older than you are, mr. speaker, i remember when kruchev was here. he made the comment when he was a dictator of the soviet union that christianity will never exist in the soviet union. i don't think it can be legislated out. but he was determined to make
sure that christianity and other religious faiths did not exist. in the soviet union. of course i believe it will continue whether or not they're persecuted -- christians are persecuted, it's going to continue anyway. may i ask the speaker how much ime i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 12 minutes remaining. mr. poe: oh, thank you, mr. speaker. i've always thought that people from texas should get more time because we talk slower. we might even think slower. anyway, i appreciate the 12 minutes. and i will use it. mr. speaker, i'm a co-sponsor and other members are a co-sponsor of a bill that will provide expedited visa protection and processing for christians refugees from the middle east. they are targets of genocide in iraq, syria, pakistan, iran, libya, and we hope to expedite
visas for those people who are trying to flee religious persecution. hopefully the president of the united states will address the issues of human rights violations in vietnam. members of congress, including myself, have asked the president to address this when he deals with the country of vietnam. and of course there's other legislation, sponsored by mr. trent franks from arizona, which calls upon the u.s. to use its influence in the united nations to condemn the ongoing sexual violence against women and children of religious faith. women eople, these young and girls are being sexually assaulted because of their religious faith. their religious beliefs. a lot of that is being done by sis. mr. speaker, just a couple of other things. watchdog groups report that each
month 322 christians are killed by their faith. 214 churches and christian properties are destroyed. of course christians, like other religious minorities, have been persecuted for years. a little history is in order here, mr. speaker. in this country we have religious freedom. we are a nation that believes that all people should have religious freedom. d when our fover fathers got together and declared independence which we will celebrate next tuesday. they added 10 amendments to the constitution. and the first amendment of the constitution is not first by accident. it is first because it is the ost important of all rights.
and there are five rights in the first amendment. and the first right in the first amendment is the most important right. here's what it is and i'll read the constitution, just a portion of it. congress shall not make a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof. religious freedom is the number one right of americans and doesn't just say to believe what you have to believe, you have the right to practice it, even in public. number one. number two, congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religions on or abrieging press or puerto rico petition the government for redress. the first one. religious freedom. many, many people came to this
new world seeking religious freedom. that's why they came here. frimemearl christian religious freedom but they were being persecuted in europe and came to the united states and made sure that we do not persecute people of religious faith. the opposite is true, it is right. and i feel very strongly as i think most people do, it is the most important right and it is a human right. not just a right for americans. it's a right for all peoples. and people in syria and iran, north korea, yemen and all those countries i mentioned, those people who we don't know who they are, but they have the right, the human right of religious freedom. that is a basic right of all peoples everywhere. and i hope that we as a people
encourage other people in governments throughout the world let folks worship the way they want to worship, because it is a human right. and i believe we have gotten it from theal mighty. and the last thing i would comment on, we have to be careful that we don't end up by persecuting by legislation or by the judiciary infringing on the first right of the free practice, free exercise of religion. that is a story for another day, mr. speaker. so as we get close to the 4th of ly, declaration of independence and our ancestors got together and said they wanted freedom and they pledged to themselves and others, their acred honor, many of them lost
everything, we and england, took over seven years and it was worth it. that's why the 4th of july is important because it is a declaration of independence and as thomas jefferson said, a statement of human rights. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. and that governments are instituted among men to secure those rights. mr. speaker, on the 4th of july, we need to remember our country and remember the people who lived here and gave us this country and it's our job to keep. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy the chair 3, 2017,
recognizes the gentleman from california, mr.la mall fa for 30 nutes -- lamalfa, for 30 minutes. mr. lamalfa: thank you, mr. speaker. good evening. i have a presentation here, but first, i would like to yield to my friend from new jersey, mr. smith, who has a very important topic to cover as well. i appreciate his friendship and the strong leadership. i would like to yield him. mr. smith: i thank my very good friend for yielding me this time and for his wonderful work as a member of congress on human rights and i thank him for that leadership. and i do want to rise and note to my colleagues that the news f nobel peace prize winner
diagnosis was a jarring shock to everyone. tonight, the house has under consideration an urgent solution, a truly urgent esolution, h. con. res. 67 and e and i together -- but here we are joined and joined strongly on his dire, dire situation. the legislation calls or urges the government of the peoples republic of china to together with his wife to allow them to meet with friends, family and counsel and seek medical treatment. the operative language of the resolution makes it clear that it recognizes for his decades of
peaceful struggle for human rights and democracy and he should seek medical care and treatment in the united states or wherever else. i want to thank the majority leader kevin mccarthy. this resolution was introduced yesterday and the majority leader made sure this legislation came to the floor a few hours ago to ensure we went on the record as a congress showing our solidarity and our deep, deep compassion concern. i want to thank speaker ryan who nancysed show concern and pelosi and steny hoyer, because it required a bipartisan support and ed royce the chairman of the foreign affairs and the gentleman from california and
the ranking member, elliott engel. in february of 2010, i led a .ipartisan of lawmakers at the same time nominating two s to persecuted two other be joint recipients of this prestigious award. and two others pushed for lee o'to get this important recognition which we had hoped would push the human rights agenda in china of the nobel peace prize agreed and awarded the peace prize to the ambassador for his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in china. i attended the ceremony at the insritation of the family. it was a moving ceremony and now empty chair spoke volumes about
the the abiding fear that human rights and democracy. there on the stage was this chair without the recipient of the nobel peace prize. after that, i held several hearings both in my human rights subcommittee and the china committee which i co-chair and we had a picture of the empty hair where leo would have been rightly honored and to pursue the righteousness of his human rights work. he said that day, freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truge. to strangle freedom of speech is to stifle humanity. chinese authorities have gone to great lengths toll stifle his ability to speak truth to power. 11-year he was given an
prison sentence for quote, citing subversion. his wife was detained under house arrest since 2010. and in urgent need of medical care after being hospitalized for a heart condition. according to chinese authorities, it was based on charter 08. and that document states that freedom, equality and human ights are unversusal values of humankind and this is the fundamental framework of protecting these values. in y, the two are not alone facing unjust repression. as of september, 2017, the commission which collects the most effective and comprehensive
political data base for any country, and this is on china go, that have 1,400 cases of known or political prisoners. according to the annual report, the government has gargeed in an extraordinary assault on the rule of law, human rights and civil society in recent years. under the leadership, the chinese government is pressing for new laws that will legitimatize new laws. and expand censor ship. and the one child now, maybe two, coercion and population control continues tore harm omen and children with extreme hurtfulness and it is just beyond the pale of what a government should be doing to its own people.
it is pessimistic about china's future. i'm not pessimistic despite the circumstances but leo is the future and people who have his pleff in fundamental human rights. i want to thank and let me con collide by saying, i believe that someday china will be free. someday the people of china will be able to enjoy their god-given rights and they will honor and celebrate leo as a hero. he will be honored with all the others like him who have sacrificed so much for so long for freedom. nd i yield back. >> i appreciate mr. smith for standing up for that important issue and making that known and i appreciate you joining with us tonight. mr. lamalfa: mr. speaker.
i utilize my time tonight to rise to discuss the devastateing impact that illegal marijuana grows and these operations have on our public lands. even private lands as well. as pictured here, this is not an uncommon theme in my district, in the western states, where people think they could get away with it. you see that very often on our federal lands because honestly, regret fully, they aren't managed very well and we hope to see it turn around under this new administration, new leadership. u.s. forest lands has more attention bade to them and this timber harvest, thinning, that makes the forest healthier. you see it pictured here, the amount of damage that can come from it. and i'll tell you about it.
these illegal grows affects they have on the habitat and the wildlife due to the nonpermitted water diversions, extensive grading of the terains which people have to get permits, the tockscants purchased outside of the united states. products you can't use it that haven't been subjected to an eep process. these are what are coming in and being used on our public lands, poisoning them and the wildlife and making it dangerous for any people. according to the fish and wildlife service, many agencies are trying tore protect, have ested positive for these
contaminant louis used at these sites. game animals, including birds and deer vr tested positive that are banned by the eep and not allowed to be used in the united states and haven't been subject to the united states that are legal materials that we use in agriculture and other things. that they've gone through. it is difficult to understand how the federal government can going after rces whoever for dealing operations, plowing or mining, panning for gold, it might be normal mining operations and people culltive vating their land and minerals that are needed, whether paving a road, concrete, whatever it might be. if people are legally doing these actions, they are being
harassed with rules that have been subject to congressional attention. . but until recent months this blatant criminal activity has been allowed to stand. is it because law enforcement can't go into those areas, are not authorized? i know local law enforcement is really interested in doing. this but it's been a hands-off approach by some of our federal officials who have either not wanted to put the resources together or haven't had the wherewithal to put enough of the resources together to go out and enforce on these foreign nationals doing these devastating things to our lands and the danger they cause. what good are these federal laws and statutes if we do not properly enforce a law to protect our public lands? we are protecting on one hand, again, the wrong people by inaction, and criminalizing normal activity of people farming, ranching, mining, etc. the priorities have been backwards. i hope to see a big change in
that with the new direction of the new administration. as if the environmental affects are not disturbing enough, the safety of the general public is at risk. heavily armed drug cartels are using our national forests to engage in large-scale illegal grow operations. you can see the haul on some of the weapons that have been taken from some of the raids that have been successfully done. this is pretty dangerous stuff. somewhere in the picture i think is people that have grenade launching devices, if i'm not mistaken. so what kind of situation do we have going on where this kind of heavy armament is coming into our forests, and on the other hand, law-abiding, second amendment loving americans are subject to confiscation, threatening, high cost of ammunition -- multiyou tudes of anti-gun -- multitudes of anti-gun rhetoric that is, again, makes you ask the question, who are we protecting and who are we really -- who are
we criminalizing? u.s. fish and wildlife service, for example, has been forced to temporarily close refuge units during hunter season to protect the public from stumbling onto an illegal grow that might be guarded heavily by these criminals with these weapons. in 2012 the d.e.a.'s domestic can bus eradication suppression report indicated a total of 10,000 or more illegal firearms seized nationwide in raids. this is the people's property. the public should be able to hunt, fish, camp, recreate with their families on it as they wish. safe from this criminal activity. unfortunately the number of illegal grow sites on federal lands continues to rise at alarming rates. even in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, like california, regrettably, and colorado. they still are doing the illegal grows in lands that -- in states that have so far legalized
marijuana. according to the u.s. forest service, in 2016 the pacific southwest region saw a 52% increase in marijuana production on forest service lands compared to a previous year. so maybe the answer hasn't been in legalizing marijuana grows, which reduces the neighborhood. the activity still is going on. it's still stil is sought-after market -- it's still a sought-after market. while the statistics seem staggering, it's believed that the true number of illegal grows on federal lands is actually much higher than that 10,000 figure. much higher than what has been documented. much higher than the 52% increase that we're talking about. so with the heavy rainfall the western states saw this winter, thankfully we've gotten the rain, the region's expecting an even higher surge of illegal marijuana production on the people's public lands. the law enforcement capabilities
of u.s. forest service, fish and wildlife service, bureau of land management, are not currently equipped to handle an issue of this high magnitude. these law enforcement officers are doing what they can, with the resources allotted and the permission they're allowed by their higher-ups. but we need much more additional means and support to develop a coordinated approach to enforce against these foreign nationals and others that are doing these illegal grows, despite what the public might be wanting with legalized marijuana. while confronting the challenges of illegal marijuana cultivation in our national forests is a large undertaking, it's extremely important that we face this head-on. strong enforcement needs to come from the federal government that's supposed to be overseeing these lands. we're talking about -- seems like this -- scenes like this right here. this is what's allowed to happen.
while you're criminalizing people doing legal activities, farming, ranching, mining, what narrow,, for tiny, very occasional violations, this is what's being fostered out there. look at this. the trash that's allowed to happen. empty chemical containers. everything else involved with the grow, people camping up there illegally because the federal government doesn't seem to have an interest in enforcing against these illegal grows. protecting our public lands from these destructive environmental threats, make sugar our national forests are safe -- making sure our national forests are safe for the public's use, for the habitat, for the wildlife, these are key, this is what the public demands we do as our job, in keeping the public safe and the lands as well in good stewardship. much more needs to be done. department of interior, the department of agriculture, they
have immediate jurisdiction over these. they need to allow and partner with local law enforcement as well who know the lands better than anybody than washington, d.c., ever would. -- than anybody in washington, d.c., ever would. marijuana is still classified, federally, as an illegal drug. so the states, no matter how the voters have been duped, coerced, overwhelmed with dollars at the ballot box, and on campaigns, these are still -- this is still an illegal drug, an illegal activity that's been going on. so i hope what we're hearing from the department of justice, looking really hard at whether this is really a legal activity in states that have been legalizing marijuana and the harmful effects it's going to have on society as this stuff gets more and more powerful, more and more potent and more and more available to kids. we have a job to do. it all starts right here.
taking care of these lands, taking care of the habitat, the environment for wildlife that we all care about. the habitat for people, the water quality. what's going to come out of here as the water runs down stream with this stuff? that's what going to mean for our streams, rivers, lakes, the water supplies that people draw from here? that the animals draw from here? it's not good. the federal government needs to take a stronger approach, whether it's d.o.j. in concert with department of interior and the department of agriculture, and that local input. from local law enforcement, local communities. this could be a very good team operation if we're allowed to do it and we aggressively go after that. i'm seeing the seeds of that in the conversations that are coming out of our agencies here in washington, d.c. let's push forward on that. and let's hear from the american public on making this happen as well. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
does the gentleman have a motion? mr. lamalfa: mr. speaker, i move that the house be adjourned. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the house stands adjourned until 11:00 a.m. on monday, july 3, 2017.