tv House Debate on Criminal Alien Gang Members CSPAN September 14, 2017 11:11pm-12:24am EDT
c-span's profile series of trump administration continues with ben carson. urbanusing and development secretary. he talks about his childhood, his career as a doctor and his run for president and his relationship with president trump. that is friday night at eight eastern, here on c-span. >> thursday, the house debated a bill designed it to deport criminal alien gang members and reduce smuggling. spokel republican members on the four about crimes committed by undocumented people. democrats are calling the bill too broad, saying it in dangerous organization and others that work with immigrant communities. this debate is an hour and 10 minutes. this is house resolution 513. i call up the bill.
the criminal alien gang member -- and ask fort its immediate consideration. to amend the immigration and nationality act with respect to aliens associated with criminal gains and other purposes. >> pursuant to house resolution, the amendment prints its house report 115 -- 307 is adopted. this amendment is considered red. and generalwoman man will control 30 minutes. -- chair now recognize recognizes the gentleman from idaho. >> i ask that all members may have five legislative days with which to revise and extend their remarks. that objection is so ordered. speaker, i rise in support of hr 3697, the criminal gang
member removal act. i introduce this bill for a very simple briefing. is facing anates ever-growing danger from transnational gangs. and u.s. immigration and enforcement. we need more tools to deal with this danger. government's most important responsibility is the safety and security of the american people. but we are not filling that responsibility when we have allowed things to enter our country with the express purpose of victimizing innocent americans. our violence and the threat of violence to create a climate of fear that allows them to operate with near impunity. localegularly target business owners and law-enforcement officials. to be inucky enough the wrong place at the wrong time are also paying a price. " haveangs quote --
grown to become a serious threat in communities across the nation , not only in cities, but in suburban and even rule areas. -- rural areas. communities are dealt hostage and is subjected. also, members of these transnational gangs is comprised largely of foreign-born nationals. the infamous transnational gang is ms 13, which entered the u.s. in the 1980's. there are over 10,000 gain members operating inside united members inside the u.s. alone. -- operationscale to prevent these gangs include large scale enforcement actions. prosecution of criminal gang members is notoriously difficult
. this is because of victims and witnesses of gang crime are reluctant to testify because of the reasonable fear of retaliation against them or their families. are reallys convicted of the crimes they have committed. the question is often asked, why should law-abiding americans have to wait until an alien gang member has committed a deportable offense? why not report the gang member before he has a chance to be victimized -- to victimize more thecent people go immigration law contains dangerous loopholes that immigrants are exploiting. an emigrant may not be deported even if he is known to be a member of a criminal gang up. a criminalmember of gang. hr3697 changes that. permittedrs will be
into removal proceedings on the ground of being criminal gang members. clearll spells out specifications for what crimes are considered to begin related, relying on long-standing federal criminal law to determine what a gang or group consists of. our bill permits the secretary of homeland security using procedures already used by the secretary of state to designate a gang as a criminal gang. in awill be done transparent way through notifications to congress and publications in the federal register. the conclusive decision as to inther to place an alien removal proceedings would rest with the department of homeland security. when an alien is charged, it must be proven by evidence on the record in immigration court. thinkeard that people provisions will be used to charge any aliens the english encountered with gang activity. i know the importance of due
process as a former gang attorney. i know how important it is for americans and illegal immigrants that everyone within the jurisdictions of the court should receive due process. our bill is consistent with due process. 697, the burden of proof would be necessary when charging aliens with a deportable offense. the denial of gang number shipped should be sufficient to shift the burden to the government. the government must convince an immigration judge of its case. remove a gang to member has every right to appeal that order to the border -- to the board of immigration appeals. 97 is about providing law enforcement with the necessary tools to combat gang activity in every community in our country. are is essential if we committed to responsibility to
keep the american people safe and secure. that is the purpose of hr 3697. this is the third time the house is holding a floor vote on the davis all of her act to make our country safer through stronger actgration -- davis oliver to make our country safer through stronger immigration enforcement. i encourage my colleagues to vote for hr 3697. we must take action or watch crime rates rise in our nation. there is no place in our country for criminal alien gang members and any legislation which mix it easier to deport them deserves the support of every member of this body. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. the general woman from california is recognized. >> i yield myself such time.
hr 3697.opposition to seriousbers and criminals should not be granted admission to the united states. that is not controversial. almost every member of congress agrees with that. tois our highest priority protect the safety of the american people. that is a duty we take seriously. this build a something other than that. the title of the bill is "the criminal alien gang member removal act." there are times when the name of a bill is not always reflected in the proposed language of the statute. to-a of the bill defines 2-1inal gangs -- section defines gangs as an ongoing club or organization of five or more persons that has one or primary
purpose, the commission of one or more of a wide range of offenses. this may seem reasonable, until you look at the offenses listed, which could sleep in many people that no reasonable person would think of as a gang member -- sweep in many people that no reasonable person would engulf as a gang member. this includes the harboring of undocumented immigrants. people who transport or provide other kinds of aid to undocumented immigrants. the religious organization that aids undocumented immigrants would be a criminal gang under this bill. just theoretical. during the 1980's, members of the faith community were repeatedly criminally prosecuted for providing transportation to undocumented immigrants. the fbi even infiltrated a bible study group to learn about the groups plan to support undocumented immigrants. would have expanded
authority to go after such groups as criminal gangs. it could turn nuns into gang members. the bill refers to felony drug offenses, which would include the repeated possessions of marijuana. california, along with several other states, voters decided to decriminalize marijuana. first, for medical uses and later for broader use. under this bill, the group that movearly gets together to -- to use marijuana that is legal under a state lot would be committing a felony under federal law and would be a criminal gang up. that could include groups of people who are using marijuana for medicinal purposes. to treat epilepsy or cancer. who are taking marijuana consistent with state law. dhs to denyhorizes
admission or deport any of the great, including one who has no criminal history or gang as long as dhs believes the person is associated with such a group. 2-c expresslyd authorizes dhs officers and immigration judges to report an basednt -- an immigrant on nothing more than their belief that the immigrant has participated in a gang or the activities in a gang defined under these rather broad provisions. there is no need for a conviction or an arrest. belief thats is a the individual assisted any group of five or more people that dhs believes committed one of these offenses. minimalieve could be as as the color of a person's
shirt, the neighborhood they live in, or the individuals in their family. this is not just unreasonable, it is probably unconstitutional. there was a self-actualizing amendment when the war was adopted to change -- when the rule was adopted to change the standards. the amendment doesn't cure the problem with the breadth of the criminal gang definition, and it doesn't change the standards that applies to people seeking admission to the country, including those who are seeking to reunite with u.s. citizens, spouses, parents, and children. i met with police officers who asked me to do what i could to defeat this unwise bill. ,hey are out on the front lines and they know that gangs are a real problem. they told me bills like this,
which could turn religious individuals, cancer victims, into targets, is just going to get in their way. andant to keep america safe admit immigrants who do not have a felony record. i would suggest that we consider the bipartisan green act, hr-3440. this bill would provide a path to legal permanent residents for 800,000 young people who were raised in america, who consider this to be their home and represent the very best of our country, instead of debating whether we should allow officers to target religious workers, and we should focus on what really makes this country great. that theree to note has been much discussion about thatrafting of this bill the rules committee -- it i guess it was last night. republicans defended the bill by asserting the broad provisions would not be abused by ice
officers, even if they could target nuns. even if they could target the cancer victims, or the teenagers smoking marijuana after school as gang members, they wouldn't do that. i am not suggesting that teenagers smoking marijuana after school is good. -13.it is not ms we are trying to make a distinction here between a gang abatement bill and garden-variety activities we may not like. on they good member other side of the aisle suggested that if there is a problem with the bill, we will come back and fix it. here is why this is a problem. when we trap something in a poor manner -- draft something in a poor manner, we never go around
to fix it. provisionyears ago a that barred people from gaining status as they provided material support to terrorists. what does it mean? support, which was never qualified to include support given under duress or in the ordinary course of the commercial activity has now been who were noteople terrorists, who didn't give material support. an example. a group of women called the tortilla terrorists are women who were threatened with their lives and made tortillas because they were threatened with death for guerrilla actors. becausee denied asylum
of the tortillas. hence the name, the tortilla terrorists. that isple would agree, not terrorism. yet, we directed the bill in such a way that the department felt they had to enforce it in that way. we have never gone back to it. a law and we think it is going to be fixed if it is done poorly, that is wrong. we should work together. hadow the safe act hearings years ago, but i think we would be better off if we sat down together and reasoned together, we worked through the defects in this draft and came up with a bill that really targeted ms-13 members. something we would all support and would serve our country. theer simone, one of
leading nuns in america, explained her opposition. she said the bills provisions under ina-274 are so sweeping that religious workers who provide shelter, transportation, or support to undocumented immigrants could be found liable of criminal activity. this statute has been used against religious workers in the past and the bills tries to make it a weapon for the future. let us listen to the nuns like we did in school and step back, redraft this bill and oppose this poorly crafted measure. i retain the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from idaho is recognized. >> i am pleased to yield five fromes to the general lady virginia. one of the leaders sponsors of this bill. >> recognized for five minutes.
>> early this summer, on a friday night, about 30 miles from the capital, i went on a ride along in my district with our northern virginia regional task force. a young boy was standing on the sidewalk on sterling olivares -- boulevard. the streetan on looked about 15 or 16 years old, but he was a 22-year-old member of the transnational violent street gang known as ms-13. he was covered in gang tattoos. and feet.st, back, he had been in jail in el salvador for murder as a teenager and had already been reported from the u.s. twice for engaging in violent crime here. three other of the estimated ang membersf ms-13 g here in our capital region were
picked up at night. there have been cases in northern virginia where a suspected member of the gang has been deported five times, yet returned to continue gang activity. at a town festival this year, the gang task force identified, because they go to these events and see these people. there is an estimated 200-300 suspected gang members milling about along the families getting caught candi -- cotton candy and hot dogs for their kids. at least eight murders have been committed and tied to ms-13 since november 2016. representing a 166% increase in the region. inicious murder occurred 2015 linked to this gang. they are all vicious when you are talking about this gang. playground inon a
the evening, about eight miles from this capital. it resulted in the death of a 24 numeral. ural - 24-year-old. it could have been one of the kids playing on the playground finding his body. it was found by a woman walking her dog. 2014 border search has contributed to the ms-13 problem. gangs are on the rise, fueled by a surge of unaccompanied minors. a newspaper article documented the case of gay members who videotaped the murder of a 15-year-old girl. rs who videotaped the murder of a 15-year-old girl. the video of this murder was intended to be sent to ms-13
gang membership in salvador to confirm this murder had been carried out. tragically, ms-13 targets and praise upon their own community. this includes on young people. these children and young people were fleeing ms-13 from their own countries of el salvador, honduras, or guatemala, only to come here and be targeted. where as one case brother was trying to enlist his own brother to join the ms-13 gang. put he refused, a head was out on him. the gang task force was able to stop that. we cannot allow this to stand. virginia gang task force needs more resources. have directed more resources
for our regional task force is. i have talked to the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, who is very familiar with this problem, having been a u.s. attorney in the maryland region. our regional task force is comprised of federal law enforcement agencies. the task force has a three pronged approach, education, prevention, and enforcement. we need to provide support on all three of these fronts. i witness to be exhausting work of the task force, the technology they utilized on the streets to identify with ofgerprints the background this gang member they were able to arrest. the detailed knowledge they have of our communities and neighborhoods. the relationships, the positive relationships they have with people in these communities, the people being victimized. and the challenges they face with this problem returning to
our area. this is why i sponsored hr-3690 seven, the criminal alien gang member removal act, with my colleagues, cool provide additional tools to law-enforcement. it will ensure we positively identify known alien gang members, and this will be acted upon immediately. participationtify of gang activity as grounds for inadmissibility and removal. we don't need to wait until these killers leave another body on a children's playground. i yield an additional minute. >> recognized. this will overhaul a long where we west wait for convictions before we can proceed. allave already identified the due process and appellate rights afforded to any alien facing deportation. we are convinced the record
supports the finding. i have current support of this legislation, which will strengthen and enforce laws against known violent gang members. i will continue to work with my colleagues on other matters such as the billing i introduced earlier this summer to provide additional resources to our regional gang task forces for an, intervention, and enforcement. back.ed -- yeild >> i am pleased to yield four on the to my colleagues judiciary committee, the gentleman from new york. >> it has been said about this body that if you invent a nice enough title for a bill, it doesn't matter what you write in the bill. because all people know what the title is. example. is a good who is in favor of criminal alien gangs?
but this bill has received no committee consideration in which the questions could have been asked and the answers given to make shale -- sure this bill would do what sponsors say. legislation would provide decent protections against gang violence. wouldn't shred due process protections and allow deportation of innocent shred due -- it would process protections and allow deportation of innocent immigrants. would provide gang members no opportunity for them to cap -- contest such a designation. once a person is considered to be a member of a gang, they would be almost assured of being deported and would be subject to mandatory detention. the procedures under this bill would be laughable. if they did not have such deadly consequences for so many innocent people. suppose there are people in my
neighborhood i think are up to no good. maybe i have evidence of them committing crimes, or maybe i don't like them. i submit a tip to homeland security that these people are engaging in criminal activity, which qualifies as a criminal gang under this bill. dhs can designate that group as a criminal gang. some sort ofass administrative record, which is also completely undermining the bill, but it had included secret evidence. no notice would be given to the group under review and no opportunity would be given to present evidence contesting the designation. --er designation, there is a an opportunity for judicial review, but unless the group has been scouring the federal register, they would have no idea they have been labeled a gang and needs to go to court in a month. if the group does learn of the designation, it has 30 days to contested in the federal court of appeals in washington dc and
the district. that review would basedl entire on thed entirely administrative record advanced by the government. renderedrocess is meaningless, and is not as defined under the constitution. that is the process you would affect in russia. -- expect in russia. alien is the portable if he or she has been a member of a designated gang or participated itgang activities going would further facilitate illegal activity. who determines a person is a member of a gang, i what procedure? procedure? a person need not have been convicted or even charged to be deportable under this bill. they would not be permitted to challenge thinking designation that landed them in those to challenge the designation that landed them in
those proceedings. they would have no meaningful opportunity to contest the basis for this deportation. that turns due process on its head. members of ms-13 and other deadly gangs, deporting them is a worthy goal. this bill would have disastrous consequences for thousands of people who may not be members of a gang or have evidence of -- against them. mr. speaker, president trump upended the lives of 800,000 dreamers, who now face the possibility of being dragged away from the only country they now. our highest priority should be providing these undocumented americans the legal status they needed to continue serving our country and be productive members of their communities. the speaker has said while he supports the relief of the dreamers, that bill has to go through committee. why did this one have to go through committee? the republican authorities seek to distract us from the light of the dreamers -- plight of the
dreamers. this bill brings shame upon this house and this nation's tradition of due process. i urge my colleagues to -- reject this bill as unconstitutional. >> the gentleman from idaho is recognized. onwe spent a lot of time committee talking about different issues. but the gentleman forgets we have three more days of hearing act.e davis oliver many arguments were made against this act. most arguments made against today were not made against this portion of the act. i recognize the gentleman from new york. >> recognized. thank the gentleman from idaho for yielding. here in strong support of this bill.
it is absolutely essential that this congress do everything it can to eradicate ms-13. it would be shameful not to. ms-13 has turned my district into killing fields. i have had 17 innocent young people slaughtered with machetes and knives by this gang. these are all young people, -- childrenchildren of illegal and legal immigrants. the immigrant community is being turned into a chamber of horrors by ms-13. children are afraid to go to score and parents are afraid to allow their kids out at night. there have been to 70 arrests. ms-13 is terrorizing communities and my district within 15 minutes of my calm. this bill is endorsed by the sergeants benevolent association, the nypd, and when i talk about 17 murders, one year ago this week, two teenage mine,both constituents of
were slaughtered. their bodies torn apart by ms-13 because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. no gang connections. this is something which is required. dhs, task forces, agencies are working around the clock to try and eradicate this evil. what has to be done? we cannot allow gang members to take advantage of the loopholes in immigration laws. uswould be more shameful for not to do our job. nothing would be more violent than protecting people from advantage.t take this is an theoretical or hypothetical. for those were concerned about immigrants, i support daca. how can you take any action
which would prevent us from going after ms-13 if you say you support the helpless in our society? if we continue making hypothetical arguments, we are putting more young people, innocent young people, documented and undocumented in the line of fire. implore the attorney general -- i support the democratic leaders in suffolk county. all of them have come together. we must do more. this bill is a major step in that direction and i am proud to support it. this is reality. this isn't make-believe. this is going bad, day after day. in my district and districts around the country. these are animals. this bill is a major step in that direction. i stand in strong support for the bill.
>> the gentleman from new york yields back. in woman from california is recognized. >> i would note that the davis oliver act was over 200 pages long and had many problems. it was impossible to address. it was not a good process. if it had been perfect, i would note the chairman would not have to have that amendment to remove the reason to believe standard in the bill that was part of the act. i would yield four minutes to texas on they from judiciary committee about this bill. >> recognized. thank you. bill is as much a
criminal justice or injustice bill as it is immigration. serving as a ranking member on the criminal justice subcommittee, i am both a believer in the dangers of ms-13, as many of my colleagues offer concern in recognition of their violence. that is why this bill should be defeated. thishing as crucial as does not need to be litigated in the courts. you make a bill with such an severable frailties constitutionally -- with such frailtiesle constitutionally, without any hearings or the ability to set a thel standard of what is definition or the understanding of a criminal gang. in consultation
with the attorney general, who is an opponent of any form of immigration, legal or undocumented. consulting with the homeland i am a memberhich of that committee, and the dominant factor will be the attorney general talking to the homeland security secretary about criminal elements. who you think will prevail? how many will be swept up in this expansive, not organized, non-orderly, non-due process legislation? the frailties of this bill are numbered. five persons can be called a criminal gang. parents listen. innocent behavior of young people tattooed or having friends could be called a criminal gang. statusuals who have
could be deported. club,oing group -- group, organization, or association. they have expanded this. kids who smokeol marijuana. maybe this would cover century cities, like churches that eight undocumented immigrants. let us workg is together to get a bill that fights ms-13, not fight innocent people. the bill defines criminal gang as a group that has been designated by a criminal gang by the attorney general. tois unwise and responsible not have a kind of organized framework. that happens from not having committee hearings. it happens when you don't engage police officers, from many different aspects. i am disappointed this building not have the opportunity to have the subcommittee on crime have
input. that would happen if we had had a full hearing, hearing in the crime subcommittee. hearing in before committee. it lacks a constitutional construct. this is an unsophisticated road. office ofto the juvenile justice and delinquency, 48,000 juvenile offenders were held in residential facilities. we don't need to add more. here is the outcome. they are not just held, they are deported. i emphasize that the ages could be very young, because there is ealing with the ages that might be swept up in this wide sweep of those who deserve to be responded to in a way that is not this bill. to beill pretends
wrapping up and rounding up bad actors and undocumented immigrants. that is the calling card. speaker,d ask that mr. i would ask that my colleagues vote against this bill. i hope that immigration doesn't bring crime into the u.s. --ining this inpartic particular, i would like to add this, the leadership conference on civil rights of americans, the immigration lawyers association, that says this is is a bill against crime, it a deportation bill. let us do something different and defeat the underlying bill. i yield back. >> those letters will be placed in the record. the time has expired. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. >> we should save our children and to start deporting criminal
gang members. i yield five minutes to the chairman of the entire committee. >> recognized. >> i think the gentleman from idaho and our chair of our subcommittee for yielding. i rise in strong support of hr-3697, the criminal alien gang member removal act. transnational criminal gangs have declared war on the united states, they are taxing with intimidation and unspeakable mutilation and killing. every part ofated our country including multiple instances in my own district, most recently in bedford county, virginia. a young member was killed by members of ms-13. the dhs reports an ever-growing number of criminal aliens joining international gangs. has 10,000 members within our borders. whether this criminals came to
this country illegally as unaccompanied minors, adults, or cards,lid visas or green it is time to send the message this behavior will simply not be tolerated. current immigration law includes no provision allowing for the removal of criminal gang members based on their membership in dangerous gangs or participation in gang activity. the result is unconscionable. sit on the sidelines and wait for known gang members of specificed offenses before removal proceedings commence. before many witnesses are petrified to cooperate with police, many gay members are never convicted of crimes. this legislation provides a crucial tool so that ice can remove alien gang members before they are able to extort businesses and murder innocent americans.
this bill allows the secretary of homeland security to asignate organizations criminal gangs, utilizing the same transparent procedures utilized by the secretary of designate foreign terrorist organizations. the bill insurers that criminal alien gang members cannot receive a siloed and -- receive asylum and receive be released back on our streets, eradicating the death grip that transnational criminal alien hold over many of our communities, especially immigrant communities. this is an important piece of immigration reform. , whicheased this bill stems from legislation the house has approved in the past, is being considered today. i want to address the allegation this bill targets -- nuns and garage band members.
it is preposterous. this bill includes the long-standing of federal criminal offenses for alien smuggling as predicates for criminal gang activity. criminal gangs make billions of putting countless lives at risk through their alien smuggling. david iglesias emigrated to the united states from latin america as a child, and now he is the and he became a u.s. attorney. ople trust their lives to smugglers, only to suffocate or die in the back of trucks while smugglers profit. people -- -- smugglers are a threat to our
national security. hugerats are engaging in a amount of obfuscation. in the past, the house passed legislation that would laws.then alien smuggling implications' clear was that these problems didn't exist under the current law, which remains current law. democrat members of the house stated theommittee bill then under consideration goes far beyond increasing penalty for alien smuggling and jeopardizes the well-being of millions of americans, neighbors, family members, and others who live and work with undocumented immigrants. former speaker pelosi, the current minority leader, stated under the guise of an expansive definition of smuggling, the bill would make criminals out of catholic priests, nuns,
ministers, and social service workers who provide assistance and acts of charity to those in need. can't have it both ways. they can't argue one day we can't change current law because it would result in putting praise and nuns at risk, and argue that without any evidence, current law already puts them at risk. to add to the hypocrisy, the house democrats supported an amendment which passed. >> time has expired. >> i yield an additional two minutes. >> recognized. controversy,the house democrats supported an amendment. added human smuggling to the list of predicate acts under the federal money-laundering statute. the department of justice and the immigration and customs enforcement agency do not target , and do notthers
make distinctions based on immigration status serving those with spiritual or material needs. the use of such laws against religious organizations and humanitarian groups has been the centuryarea as movement in the 1980's, when religious organizations engaged in the actual smuggling of illegal aliens, they would be subject to prosecution, just as anyone else would. this bill is based upon the same a that has already been passed through this house by boat to dealing with human smuggling. it is time to apply the same standard to alien gang members violence,rpetrating not just on people traveling to the united states, as in the case of human smuggling, but on the citizens of virtually every state in the union. the murders that have been by my colleagues from new york and virginia and idaho
taking place all across the country because we simply are not removing from this country as expeditiously as possible members of gangs like ms-13. it is time to do that and this bill does. i want to commend my colleagues and the chairman of our immigration and border security for their work on this important bill. i urge my colleagues to support hr-3697. thehe chairwoman recognizes gentlelady from california. for an analysis of the law of harboring prepared by the catholic legal immigration network. in this legal analysis, it does point out that religious persons
have been prosecuted and convicted for providing sanctuary. on whethery differ that is a good or bad idea. ms-13 that is an activity, we would all agree it is crazy. that is what this bill would do. i would like to yield to a freshman member of the house, and we are so fortunate to have florida.oman from she was on the front lines in the fight against gangs as the chief of police. >> thank you so much madam speaker and ink is so much for yielding to me. i spent 27 years as a law enforcement officer. i had the honor of working my way up through the ranks to become the chief of police. i cochaired an anti-gang task force for the sake of florida.
i is chief, i launched an all out war against violent crime and through the hard work of a lot of good men and women, we were able to reduce violent crime by 40%. activity veryang seriously? you better believe i do. and i have the record to prove that. but the spirit, the spirit of h.r.3697 with this broad new definition of what constitutes a a gang? has nothing based on my experience on the ground, has nothing to do with curtailing gang activity. there is no way i would vote for
this law. as a former law enforcement officer who has been there on the frontlines, because this law targets a group of people based on their status and does not target criminal activity. that's what law enforcement officers do. i invite my colleagues on the other side of the aisle because we do, we all do, we take gang activity seriously. i heard the question earlier, who would favor gangs? who really would favor gangs? so i invite my colleagues on this side to join me in continuing our aggressive efforts to target criminal behavior. because that is just not who we're.
we need to stop criminal behavior and not profile or target people. that is not just who we are. thank you so much, madam speaker. and i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from idaho. >> we reserve. >> the gentleman reserves. >> the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california. >> may i ask whether there are additional speakers? >> not at this point. >> thank you very much. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i would like to first ask unanimous consent to put into the record the statement of john conyers, our ranking member. that will be covered by general >>that will be covered by general leave. >> i would just like to make a couple of closing comments on this bill. i think it's a given that every member, i think every single member of this body wants to do something about gangs.
i have gangs in my district. i think i heard mr. king speak so passionately about the problem in his district. it's a pervasive problem. the concern is this bill goes far beyond targeting those gangs. and that's why we, with great reluctance, have to say we can't do this. we can't do this. because if we wanted to target just the gangs, we wouldn't have included language that would charging people who are not gang members as gang members. we wouldn't have included provisions that the victims of gangs would be denied asylum. the bill in section 2-f denies individuals who are suspected of
alleged gang membership, the opportunity to apply for asylum. here's the problem. in certain parts of central america you have rampant gang , activity. women and girls are terribly abused. they are beaten. they are turned into sex slaves. they are tattooed. and they escape. and if that young girl who has been the victim of that violence from gangs comes, she's got the tattoos, the brand that that gang put on her. and if she, as a consequence, is reasonably suspected of being a member of the gang, she can't get asylum. that's not what we want in the fight against ms-13. the bill is not drafted adequately. get asylum. i would like at this point, to reserve the balance of my time as i understand mr. labrador has
an additional speaker. >> the gentlelady reserves her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from idaho. >> thank you. i recognize now the gentleman from texas for two minutes. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas for two minutes. >> i want to thank my colleague, mr. speaker. in ms-13 gang members brutally 2014, 4 murdered a 14-year-old boy from texas with a machete. just this year two ms-13 gang members laughed and waved at the cameras as they faced trial in a houston courtroom for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of young girls. these are just two examples which reflect their power thick and gruesome reality that gangs across this country are capable of. there are as many as 100,000 gang members in my home state of texas. several of which are linked to mexican cartels who help them distribute drugs, traffic people and weapons. nearly 60% have identified prison gang members in texas are
serving sentences for violent crimes, including homicide, robbery, and assault. ms-13 is one of the most dangerous gangs in our state with almost 500 members throughout texas. they have been described by the houston police chief as a transnational terrorist organization "the worst of the worst and a cancer." it's state and local law enforcement officers like him, gang forces on the frontlines putting their own lives in danger to deal with these criminals. today i rise in support of mrs. comstock's bill which will do what we should have been doing a long time ago, and that's giving local entities the ability to expeditiously deport gang members who are here illegally and ensure they never are able to come back to the united states. our first job is to keep americans safe.
and h.r. 3697 certainly improves the prospects of that. i yield back. the gentleman yields. >> the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california. >> may i inquire how much time remains on each side? the gentlelady from california has six minutes and that gentleman from idaho has 5.5 minutes to react >> i would like to make just a few additional comments then. it has been mentioned that there are terrible activities being undertaken by gang members. and i don't think there's any dispute in this body about that. our obligation is to craft bills that will allow for remedies for that problem. in a specific and targeted and effective way. and i think this bill falls far short in that regard. we had mentioned earlier the great concern that has been
expressed to us by religious people across the united states about the provisions relative to harboring. five nuns on a religious worker visa who help provide sanctuary for an undocumented person is a gang under this bill. they are not ms-13. we could craft a measure that avoids that outcome while still going after ms-13. we didn't actually sit down both sides of the aisle to work together to reason together, to make that happen. i would like to note in terms of the smuggling issue. that's a big problem. we have unanimous agreement on the smuggling issue. we have worked together with the wilbur force act and other acts in a bipartisan way to deal with that. but we didn't bifurcate
smuggling from harboring in this bill. that's why the nuns and the catholic bishops have contacted us asking us not to support this bill. i would like to note just finally that the first obligation that we have is to keep america safe. and we fail to do that if we craft language that really is just part of the broad deportation agenda under the guise of an anti-gang bill. and there's great concern that that is what has happened here. one of the elements that is referenced as a predicate for gang activity, the five people who are working together, is is documents that are false. a lot of people are highly agitated when undocumented
people have false documents. opinions differ. almost every undocumented person in the united states who works has a fake id. because otherwise they can't get a job. you can agree with that. you can think it's terrible. you think maybe it's not so terrible. i think most of us would agree it's not ms-13. why would we craft this in such a way to treat that activity as an ms-13 activity? and to blow up all of the procedures that we have in place that makes sure that justice is done. i hope that members will vote against this bill despite the name, it goes far beyond attacking gangs. it would drift into allowing for the deportation of religious into people and others who have done nothing related to gang
activity. i hope that if this bill is defeated that we can sit down, as we often have, on various items, we sit down and work collaboratively on patten reform -- on patent reform issues and on other issues. we can do the same on this and i hope this bill is defeated. we'll take the opportunity to do that. i for one pledge my best efforts to come up with a measure that is targeted and effective. this bill, unfortunately, is not. with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentlelady yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from idaho. speaker, iu madam keep hearing again and again that there is no dispute about ongoing violence or gang violence in the united states. but what has been clear from today's argument is that our friends on the other side, they just don't want to do anything about it. they are willing to talk about
that gang violence, but they do not want to be craft and have just nation says about it. i hope it is something that the american people are listening to. as we have debates over the next few months about what we should be doing with regard to immigration, i hope everyone understands that every time we try to do something about enforcement of immigration laws, about stopping gang violence, about stopping illegal immigration in the united states it's very difficult to get agreement on the other side. criminal alien gang members are wreaking havoc in this country. without stronger tools to specifically target those aliens that terrorize our streets, gangs will continue to grow in numbers and in strength. the time has come to take action and to provide a path to deportation to those that so unabashedly seek to destroy our society. i.c.e. has found that " membership of these violent transnational gangs is surprised largely of foreign-born
nationals." often bearing the brunt of these gang violence are the very immigrant communities that the other side claims they want to protect. the criminal alien gang member removal act takes a tough approach, i agree with that. those gang members who have successfully evaded prosecution through witness intimidation, employing the tactics of fear and violence will now be within i.c.e.'s breach. the new grounds of removability provided by? > hr will get criminal gang 3697 members off of our streets. i.c.e.'s recent operation new dawn resulted in almost 1,100 arrests of gang members. had the bill been enacted right or that number would have almost , certainly increased. this bill is only starting the removal process, however. make no mistakes, and there was a lot of of few station today about this immigration , proceedings do not equate to deportation.
the government must prove its case and provide evidence to convince an immigration judge that gang-related activity occurred. as a former private immigration attorney, i've seen this process in action and it does work. i.c.e. will not use this new charge as pretext as it won't be sustained by an immigration judge without sufficient evidence. the time for this bill is long overdue, and we cannot afford to be distracted by extreme hypotheticals and issues not germane to what we're discussing today. this bill was introduced to target criminal gangs, as that term is commonly understood, and that is what it will do once enacted. i urge my colleagues to vote -- there is no place in our country for criminal alien gang members. by removing them from our by removing them from our streets, h.r. 3697 will help make our communities safer. i urge my colleagues to support the bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. clerks all time for debate has
expired. pursuant to house resolution 513, the previous question is ordered on the bill, as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. >> a bill to amend the immigration and nationality act with respect to aliens associated with criminal gangs, and for other purposes. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i have a motion to recommit at the desk. rep. pelosi: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> i am opposed. rep. pelosi: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. turn bill hr to the 3697 committee on the judiciary with instructions to report the same back to the house forthwith with the following amendment. add at the end of the bill the following -- section, protecting innocent religious workers from deportation. nothing in this act or the amendments made by this act may
be construed to authorize the deportation taken on behalf of a religious organization whose primary purpose is the provision of humanitarian assistance or aid. pursuant to the role, the german from virginia is recognized for five minutes in support of his motion. >> thank you, madam speaker. this is the final amendment to the bill which will not kill the bill or send it back doe. -- sent it back to committee. if adopted, the bill will move to vote. i offer this amendment to reveal the flaws to the bill. the sponsor of this bill, mrs. comstock, and i both represent northern virginia and she and i both want to eliminate gang violence. ms-13 is a menace to society, and i endorse the goal of destroying it through legal means. this bill wouldn't do that. this bill would promote widespread racial profiling. it will violate first amendment protections. it will expand mandatory detention of immigrants. it will raise serious constitutional questions and reveal of certain groups, and it
judicially bars humanitarian relief for individuals in violation of international treaties. gang, violence and ms-13, i take seriously. the young man mrs. comstock referred to found dead in a park in my city of alexandria was found by a dear family friend. but we can do this in a bill that doesn't promote racial profiling or violate the constitution. so in this motion to recommit, we offer language to get at one of the most glaring flaws in this bill, that it can go after humanitarian workers. the criminal alien gang member removal act creates an overly broad definition of a criminal gang. allowing the dhs to essentially designate any individual as a gang member. as written it could cover a wide range of organizations, ranging from churches to fraternities to political groups. this will allow i.c.e. to target people who may or may not appear to be in a gang and charge all those who seem in any way connected to individual members of a gang. religious workers who are
engaged in immigration ministry can be subject to prosecution. immigrant ministry is not smuggling in airless trucks. in my district, if a number of faith communities who provide for the unemployed, homeless, those without language already i.c.e. swept up half a dozen men as they exited a church service. under this bill, the pastor could be next. if a nun through her work interacts with a potential gang , member she, by the context of this bill, could be a gang member. it's not actually that the catholic bush ops and nuns have written to oppose this bill. the harboring provisions are so sweeping, the religious workers who provide shelter, transportation or support to undocumented immigrants can be find liable of criminal activity. this is not transportation across the u.s. border this is , transportation to work or to english lesson classes. it's incredibly concerning it would subject people who have never committed a crime, never been arrested, never been indicted to deportation and it
, would apply retroactively. indeed, mere suspicion of involvement in harboring could classify individuals as gang members. so it's very obvious here that humanitarian exemption is needed, but that's not the only concern with this bill language. the overly broad definition would empower immigrant authorities to conduct dragnet sweeps of latino communities and other communities of color. media reports make it clear that law enforcement has recently relied on questionable and unrelyable evidence to assert that latino individuals are gang members, including wearing certain kinds of clothes or dootling a zip code on a class notebook. code of ag on an area latin american country zip code on a class notebook. and people living in neighborhoods known to suffer gang activity. this expansive language could and will sweep up people who have committed no criminal activity whatsoever. as a representative of virginia, a state with a long and troubled history with race, i think we need to be very careful before we implement policies that allow
for structural racism. this bill has many more flaws with the general debate concerned, but i want to be clear. before we pass this bill and start locking up nuns and priests and other religious workers, we should not continue this one-dimensional conversation on immigration policy. we cannot focus only on enforcement and a mass deportation agenda. it doesn't fix our immigration system. we got to work on comprehensive immigration reform. we begin with the president's recent decision to eliminate daca and put congress on the clock. we should be acting today to protect our dreamers. 800,000 young immigrants, not members of ms-13, their lives depend on it. i urge my colleagues to vote for this motion to recommit, and i yield back, madam speaker. rep. pelosi: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from virginia seek recognition? >> i rise in opposition to the motion to recommit. rep. pelosi: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. >> i thank you, madam speaker. in 2015, on an alexandria
playground, mr. beyer's district, eight miles from this capitol, the body of a 24-year-old man was left nearly decapitated in a grizzly murder by one of the thousands of ms-13 gang members in our country. i should also mention that victim was also an ms-13 gang member. this very capitol region has the second highest number of ms-13 gang members. criminal alien gang members are growing in numbers in our region around the country and wreaking havoc. in my district and in this very region. without stronger tools to specifically target those aliens, those specific aliens, this bill targets them, that terrorize our streets, gangs like ms-13 will then continue to grow in numbers in strength if we aren't targeting them. the time is come to take action and provide a path for deportation for violent criminal gang members. i.c.e. has found that membership of these violent transnational gangs is comprised largely of foreign-born nationals. often bearing the brunt of these
gang violence, are the immigrant communities which they reside. they have target their own communities. we've seen that in my district and that's why it's so troubling. the act will address this. the criminal alien gang member removal act will address this. those gang members who successfully evaded prosecution through fear tactics will now been within i.c.e.'s reach. this bill will help get criminal gang members off our streets. i.c.e.'s recent operation new dawn has resulted in almost 1,100 arrests of gang members. had this bill been enacted prior, that number could have increased. this bill is only starting the removal process, however. make no mistake, regular immigration proceedings will still apply. the government must prove its case and provide evidence to convince an immigration judge. this bill preserves all due process and aplate rights
-- and appellate rights afforded to any -- appealate rights afforded to any alien. the bill is long overdue. the bill is long overdue. it was introduced to target criminal gangs, as that term is commonly understood, and that is what it will do once it's enacted. i urge my colleagues to vote down this motion to recommit, to vote for the base bill h.r. 3697 and to provide i.c.e. with the tools it needs to keep dangerous criminal alien gang members off our streets, out of our street out of our communities, and out of our country. i yield back. ♪ c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, washington times reporter dan boylan on the progress of congressional investigations into president trump's alleged ties with russia and their involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
then, a discussion on poverty and income in the united states with the center of law and social policy's olivia golden and robert hector. then, in delaware kicking off our c-span bus 50 capital tour where we will speak with the governor about his priorities and how policy in washington affects his state. the sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern on saturday morning. join the discussion. >> at her weekly briefing, house minority leader nancy pelosi told reporters that president trump and speaker paul ryan agreed to move forward on legislation that would allow undocumented youth to remain in the united states under the so-called dream act. she also discussed her dinner with president trump and then it minority leader chuck schumer at wednesday at the white house. this is 15 minutes.