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tv   Immigrant Investor Visas  CSPAN  June 19, 2018 10:00am-11:48am EDT

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berate the issue and people have said this already, but i am in the health care profession. when we deal with parents that we think may be abusives abusive committed a crime, children are always taken away. i think a lot of people are sensationalizing the conditions these kids are in, being thrown into a cell in this and that. we don't know what is going on. there has to be a separation, especially coming across the border. host: i apologize, i have to leave it there. we are just about to start the hearing with michael borowitz, a joint hearing on the senate side, this is a little more of that. >> then we will have questions and answers. director -- i think director-- i thank
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cissna on a topic that goes directly to the heart of the immigration system. before i begin my formal remarks i want to remind my colleagues at the purpose of the hearing is to conduct oversight of a particular immigration program, eb-5 investor visas. our general annual oversight hearing for citizenship and immigration services is a separate hearing, which will happen in september. today we should focus on the very important and persistent issues at hand, fixing the beleaguered eb-5 investor visa program. congress created the investor visa program in 1990 to stimulate our economy through job creation, capital investment. in 1992, we created a pilot program which allowed petitioners to pool investments,
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in regional centers designated by customs and immigration service. since the regional center programs'creation, interest in eb-5 program has grown. today, almost all eb-5 petitioners invest in one of the 903 approved centers. as interest in eb-5 has grown, so have cases of fraud, cases of corruption and threat to national security. there are many well-documented examples of inherent problems in this program. in fact, over the last five i, along with several of my colleagues, have written over 30 oversight letters, highlighting the various vulnerabilities of this visa program. because i have not consistently raised awareness, because i have
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-- because i have consistently raised awareness of rampant fraud and abuse of this program, i don't need to tell you about third-wife of china's most wanted government official who pled guilty to committing eb-5 fraud by submitting false touments as part of a scheme escape to the u.s. was stolen funds. to tell you how homeland security investigations discovered a group of iranian operatives attempting to infiltrate the united states, and facilitate terrorism through an illegal procurement network, back in 2013. i also don't need to detail the concerns with exporting sensitive technology, investment fraud and other criminal activity. i will only mention some of the most egregious and recent cases. in the past january, a group of over 120 chinese nationals sued
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idaho real estate development company, claiming they were fraudulently coerced into investing over $60 million. the real estate company in question of allegedly promised, there was zero risk to invest in their specific eb-5 project, a claim that clearly violates the program's requirements that b at risk. -- that capital be at risk. this was terminated by immigration service and the status was jeopardized, all because this project misrepresented themselves in order to gain quick, easy money. the security and exchange commission borrowed 2 wo eb-5 barred t
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companies from borrowing securities after it was discovered $2.59 was fraudulently raised in eb-5 capital from chinese investors. according to the commission, these companies were supposed to use the raised money, for the condominium complex. president and his wife stole more than $12 million in order to purchase homes for themselves. finally, also in may, two maryland residents were charged with defrauding 31 immigrant investors and using money intended to create jobs after hurricane katrina, for personal gain. the duoctment claimed contracted with new orleans to create a $15.5 million investment fund, but instead
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used the money to buy themselves vacation and rental property. several months ago, my staff was briefed by officials from the department of fraud detection and national security directorate, for eb-5 national security concern assessments. unsurprisingly, the report found the program is susceptible to ponzi schemes and financial that currentned betting by national enforcement systems may have missed national security concerns due to vettingciencies in tha and data collection. i hope today that we have the opportunity to hear about improvements made as a result of this review. simple,n spite of this ample evidence of fraud and corruption, and the concerning
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national security loopholes, the eb-5 pilot program continues to operate exactly the same way it did 25 years ago, however it is not for a lack of trying. for the past 4.5 years i have work in a bipartisan fashion with senators leahy, chairman goodlatte and then ranking member john conyers to reform this program. our staffers have spent countless hours, often working tohts, weekends and holidays peru's reform packages -- to reform -- to pursue reform packages. this is gone through three congresses. really powerful, well-connected, eb-5 rules have torpedoed our compromise efforts, bipartisan efforts.
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for the last year my staff along with german goodlatte, senator cornyn -- german goodlatte, -- chairman goodlatte, senator cornyn have worked, this is the third congress i'm talking about. everyone made numerous concessions to reach a deal and we produced a reform package that was fair and everyone agreed to. our forms at the unanimous support -- our reforms had the unanimous support for, invest in another organization called the eb-5 rural alliance, a group working to ensure that rural america has a fair shake, by attracting eb-5 money. these reforms were not acceptable to the big money new york industry stakeholders, who currently dominate the program,
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and because big money interests were not happy with these reforms, they did not become law. so please let this sink in for a minute. in spite of the fact that reforms were agreed to by congressional offices and have the support of the largest eb-5 trade associations, they did not become law because a few eb-5 businesses with a terrible amount of money, lots of money, used their political connections, using political connections and influence, blocked them. while legislative reforms are absolutely necessary, thankfully there is much the administration can do on its own to end corruption of this program, since january last year there has been pending regulations, at the department of homeland security, which would modernize capitalram and ensure is flowing to rural and underserved urban areas, just
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like the original 1990 law intended. as of today, those regulations, have still not been implemented. i'm looking forward to a full discussion with the director today on these topics. i hope we can shed light on has taken to crack down on fraud in the program and am curious to hear about the potential path or on legislative reforms -- path forward on legislative reforms. i hope the director can provide an update on the status of pending modernization regulations, as i have stated very clearly in several bicameral, bipartisan letters, this administration should finalize the modernization regulations as soon as possible. that regulation is critical and necessary, toward reforming this troubled program. before i call on senator feinstein, let me emphasize this last point.
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i think you know me a little bit because you have been close to me for a while before getting your present position. think about this. a lot of us republicans don't think much about the previous administration but let me tell you in this area, they went down the road of doing the right thing to write regulations that were very strong, to reform this program. i was pleased with that, very much. so then when we have a new president, now chief of staff kelly comes to my office because, secretary of homeland security, i discussed this with him -- can you move these regulations along? even though they are from the obama administration, they do exactly what needs to be done to reform this program and probably can do better than legislation, these compromises i talked about my opening statement might be able to do. he assured me he would. then he becomes chief of staff
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and then undersecretary comes around, secretary nielsen, and i had the same conversation with her. tell them about it. i write letters, where these regulations going to be done? 18 months -- they are not done and i don't know how many months they were in the previous administration so let's say they have been around two years. how long does it take the bureaucracy to move? i've had an opportunity to talk to omb about moving these along. at the same time i talked to kelley, when we going to get these? i mentioned this to the president of the united states -- you only get 15 seconds of conversation, maybe he does not know what we're talking about that i mentioned eb-5 to him so how far up the chain of command to you have to go? aren't you in a position to deliver a message to these people that i do not appreciate the slowness, and consider what we're trying to do by
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legislation, what these regulations would do, would be even better than some of these compromises? 't yout that -- can get that message to him? senator feinstein. >> i trust you are ok, mr. chairman. >> i trust we will be better when we get regulations. >> i can see that. i would like to begin by making a few comments on yesterday. for many of us, it was a day of infamy. the numbers tell us 2000 children have been separated from their parents, over the past 34 days. that is approximately 70 children a day. those of us that watch television, heard the cries reach out all over america. mr. chairman, i want you to know that we have drafted a bill on this side, all democrats are on the bill, it simply prohibits
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this separation of mother and child, or parent and child. so i would hope that we could bring that before this committee. cruz, talked with senator his office is trying to draft something. i have offered to work with him if it could mean we could bring our sides together. i am very much of the view that we now have every member on this side of the aisle, on a bill and i would like to ask you, most especially, if you would calendar it soon. we cannot let this go on the way it is. i would very much appreciate that. >> if you let me answer that -- i think we know what needs to be done. i think a hearing and action by this committee will slow things down. i think we're moving on pieces of legislation including yours,
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bipartisan work going on, there is partisan work going on, your project started out that way, there is discussion going on among republicans, i think we will have something put together that we can consider this week. >> good. good. i really appreciate that. thank you very much. yesterday was a particularly hard day for somebody people. i've heard from so many people about it. fore are really no words how outrageous this practices. -- practice is. this is a choice by this president and he could and should amend it immediately. if he does not i hope my republican colleagues -- i am grateful for the chair's word -- that means we will be able to take some action shortly so thank you very much. asthere have been people,
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you have been leaving your party to do something about this. there is no justification for families being separated. there is a court agreement of 1997 that is a problem, that we have to deal with. there is a lot of republicans working in the same way to do what we can to keep families together. i cannot give you any more information right now because we have not come together but i think we will get it. >> i would offer to do that so that we can produce something that hopefully will be unanimous in strong. thank you very much -- unanimous and strong, make you very much. eb-5, it is no secret i oppose this program. i believe it should be eliminated entirely. i believe it is wrong to sell american citizenship. this is a special country, although after what happened yesterday, maybe some of us think less of it. citizenship should not be for sale, like a commodity on the stock exchange. there are millions, in fact 4
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million individuals who are waiting in line to immigrate lawfully to the united states. they had paid the required fees, there in line, waited patiently for a day that a visa becomes available, so they can be reunited with families in this country. however, because they don't have a half million dollars to buy their way and, they will continue to wait, some as long as 24 years. yet under the eb-5 system, the wealthy can cut to the front of the line. this is on its face is fundamentally un-american. further, the program is deeply susceptible to fraud. the program involves large pools of money, recruited overseas, far from u.s. regulators, example after example demonstrate how flawed the program really is.
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2013, the fccin charged a couple with stealing funds from foreign investors and diverting them to other businesses for personal use. in 2014, the sec brought charges against a los angeles-based immigration attorney, his wife and law firm partners for conducting an investment scheme to defraud eb-5 investors. the couple fraudulently raised $11.45 million, purportedly for an ethanol plant in kansas. instead, they misappropriated $7.2 million for other projects. in fact, according to the the ethanol plant was never built. no jobs were created. defendants misappropriated and misused most of the $11.5
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million raised." fcc brought, charges against individuals accused of a $68 million ponzi scheme. according to the complaint, some money was spent on personal use, misspent on junkets and co-mingled with other funds. fcc filed a 2015, federal complaint in florida, alleging the fraudulent raising least 17illion from at investors. the complaint states that instead of construction projects, substantial funds were used for such things as a $2.5 million home for a defendant to reside in on a part-time basis, luxury automobiles, a 48 foot boat and money for a
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defendant's daughter's education. examples include bmw and were pay $175,000biles, boat and a cruise. these are some examples of fraud we know of and there have been many many more. mr. chairman, i oppose this program and strongly believe it should be eliminated. i appreciate your holding this hearing, to shine a light on it. i am grateful we had together drafted a bill to end the program and i hope we can move forward on this quickly. thank you very much. member and chairman of the committee, two minutes. senator cornyn. >> thank you chairman grassley, i appreciate you holding this hearing, that you know we have worked hard on this topic
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together to reform the eb-5 program and make sure it remains the viable economic vehicle that benefits u.s. businesses and the american economy. after 2008, if it were not for creative investment vehicles like eb-5 -- i hate to think the economy would have been much worse, then it was -- then it was. there are numerous projects in benefitedhat have from revenue created in eb-5. my friend from california wants to eliminate the program and is appalled that people actually are paying money, and creating jobs in order to qualify for the program, the 10,000 green cards that are part of the program. it strikes me that there are other parts of our immigration system that are even more problematic and that is when we let people into the country for free.
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without any identifiable skills or making any other concrete contribution to our economy. i agree we need targeted reforms, i've introduced a bill to that effect along with senator flake and others and integrity measures to root out fraud and eliminate bad actors. after intensented negotiations with the industry and other stakeholders, as well as you and chairman goodlatte, we were not able to broker an agreement earlier on reforms this year. i would welcome the chance to get this done and move on. >> we got an agreement we were just not able to get it passed. close and i believe we can finalize the legislative package, that will preserve eb-5 program and included integrity measures that will address many if not all of the concerns raised today. i thank you for holding the hearing and i look forward to working with you, hopefully we can get this over the finish line. >> senator durbin. >> chairman grassley, this is
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clearly a chuck grassley moment, your opening statement was classic grassley analysis and i endorse every word of it. i am proud to be the only cosponsor of the grassley-feinstein bill to eliminate this program and i hope others will join on a bipartisan basis. the people who wrote the constitution had a choice and they decided clearly, we would not have royalty in the united states. they left a country where there was such a thing but they said not in this country. it turns out we do have royalty in the united states. people with enough money can buy their way to the front of the line and become citizens of the country. if you think it is for job creation all i ask you to do is to search the following phrase als," be prepared, it will take you a while to read them, all of the things that have happened in the name of this program are outrageous and embarrassing to the nation. i want to create jobs as much as
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the next person, this program is not doing it. here is another thing to appreciate the delicious irony, we are talking about a program that allows rich people to buy legal status in the united states with their wealth, at the same time as poor people are risking their lives and the health of their children to even apply for legal status in the united states. what a contrast. if you are rich enough -- we greased the skids. poor, weppen to be will yank that baby out of the mother's arms to show you what we think about your future in the united dates. -- the united states. we have sent the chairman a letter, i hope his statement earlier about a legislative solution being easy to obtain turned out to be true. his reference to the decision in 1997, after 10 years of negotiation, our government reached an agreement with the court on the detainment and
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protection of children, it took us all those years to come up with the standards. what i hear from the republican side is if we just get away with the standards, no one could accuse us of violating them. that is not an answer to what we are seeing -- this outrage at the border. mr. chairman, yesterday we heard from homeland security secretary christian nielsen, falsely claiming "we do not have a policy of separating families at the border." over 2000 infants and children put a lie to the statement. can betrageous conduct ended instantly with a phone call from this president. we do not need to pass legislation. the president needs to revoke the policy he created six weeks ago, i hope he does it. >> before introduce you, i thought of something. the president likes to tweet. wouldn't it be nice to have a bipartisan tweet -- i just found
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out president obama had a pretty good idea on regulations on eb-5 program and i agree with it and we going through with those regulations -- when that be nice to have a republican president say obama had a good idea of performing a program that has this broad? the president wants to fight fraud. if you don't mind -- i will introduce you. cissna, director of the citizen and immigration service, last october 5. he received his bs degree from m.i.t., 1988. columbia, 1990. .d., 95. 2005,ned the service in as an associate counsel with the office of chief counsel. he was promoted to
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deputy director immigration and border security policy. in 2009, he was promoted to director of immigration policy, a position he held prior to his nomination. i would like to administer an oath. do you affirm the testimony you're are about to give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you for that affirmation. your opening statement. chairman grassley, ranking member feinstein and distinguished members, thank you for holding this hearing on the eb-5 immigrant investor program. i appreciate this opportunity to discuss this program and our toorts at uscis an strengthen integrity. the program is set to expire september 30, 2018. programast decade, the
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has been reauthorized by congress without added safeguards to better operate. i believeence, congress should allow the program to expire. in 1990 when congress created this category of eb-5, the goal is to stimulate the economy through job creation and capital investment. congress created the regional center program and set aside eb-5 visas for those who invest in commercial enterprises. as of 2018, 903 regional centers exist, up from 25 and 2008. while this facilitated investment, it opened the door to abuse. as the chairman noted, there are indications the program has been used to undermine national security, with 19 cases of confirmed national security concerns in five years alone. takeve seen cases of fraud the program and undermine public
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trust. unscrupulous operators have preyed on foreign investors and harm communities that rely on economic development dollars. have been massive involving hundreds of millions of dollars, where the primary motivation of the operators may not be genuine investment but simply making money off of eb-5. uscis has become more aggressive and terminating noncompliant regional centers. in 2007, 83 of them were terminated. year.e already added this this is just one year toward improved integrity. we work with the u.s. security and exchange commission on civil enforcement actions and with the fbi and department of justice on criminal actions. one recent example. this february, we terminated the status of a regional center for failing to promote economic growth. through uscis, doj and fbi
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collaboration, two people were charged with a scheme to defraud investors. they were indicted on eight counts, including wire fraud. we collaborate with ice on eb-5 investigations and have an agreement to expand access to the holdings and services of the financial crimes enforcement network. we are working more closely with partners across the intelligence community. this helps fill gaps in law enforcement databases when we conduct vetting. we look out for potential terrorists and spies, and technology thieves. we continue to ratchet up efforts to improve administration and address owner ability. we have hired additional fraud detection and national security officers to conduct eb-5 site thi visits, we have expanded national security checks to cover regional centers and
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individuals participating. restructuring eb-5 office at uscis has led to better training of staff and significant improvement in identifying and resolving national security concerns. we're resigned his -- we have reside out forms -- we have revised our forms to better collect information on participants. we are seeking to maximize effectiveness within the bounds of authorities we have. as you know we are still in the process of working through comments to propose rules. long overduerovide increases in the minimum investment amount, elimination of state designations to high unemployment areas and significant reform of standards for designating certain high unemployment areas. this'll modernize the program and ensure the program operates as we believe congress has intended. there are long-standing problems. i want to assure the committee
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improving the eb-5 program is a very high priority for me and the agency. our duty to safeguard the nation and the integrity of the system applies to foreign investors and regional centers. expect integrity in the immigration system," i couldn't agree more. we will weed out those who do not belong in this program, including regional centers to act against our best interests and we look forward to working with congress for better legislation solutions. i look forward to your questions. >> in case you have not signed up for my tweet. we will have five minute rounds of questions. since 2013 i've written approximately 30 letters highlighting the various vulnerabilities of this program.
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this committee has consistently expressed concern with the integrity of it. my colleagues and i have repeatedly raised concerns over the last five years. these concerns have seemingly fallen on deaf ears, 5, junemay 24 and april 4 this year, i sent letters calling on dhs to finalize regulations. in your written testimony you stated the department is still, still reviewing comments. as you plan to move forward expeditiously as possible, those last words are yours. do you have a sense of when the eb-5 modernization regulation will be finalize and how quick is "expeditiously as possible." ? >> it is not soon enough. i want them out as quick as humanly possible. from the moment i was sworn and i've been pushing and pushing
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for the regs to be completed. there is a process they have to go through, often lengthy and i have been doing everything i can from where i sit since october to ensure they get out very fast. >> are you getting the help of the secretary? reporter: yes. the secretary is aware of the urgency and she has committed -- >> everyone that comes to my office before confirmation, i always tell them one thing -- you either run the department or it will run you. is she running the department? >> y she is. >> these regulations ought to be out after two years. how long do you study something? do you anticipate the modernization regulations being finalized before the expiration of the regional center program september 30? >> i don't know. that would be -- hard to pull off. >> you don't know? >> that would be tight. >> have you or secretary nielsen
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received political pressure from anyone to delay or halt the modernization regulations? >> no, i can say with certainty. no one has been telling us to drag our feet in any way. >> if anyone ever does that, will you tell this committee? >> oh, yeah. that the modernization regulation is not finalized before the expiration of the regional center program, to you support letting the program expire? >> i believe that the program is not fixed in a way that addresses these problems will talk about today, yes, it should expire. >> it is come to my attention that some investment brokers have devised schemes to defraud investors, with the lo of green cards -- the lure of green cards. they are promising visas in exchange for dollars. they use this scheme to line their pockets with millions of dollars will simultaneously selling our citizenship.
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and not in the process of doing what the laws meant to do, create american jobs. i reference a few of these cases so i will not repeat them but there is one case, one of the most shocking to me, involved chicago attorney who pocketed more than $20 million of investment money. in general terms, how prevalent are these wrought schemes? -- these fraud schemes? >> you read about them almost every day. we have all sorts of investigations going on right now, numerous potential schemes, as i said, we have good doj, i don'tfbi, like it anymore than you do and i believe that sort of corruption and fraud takes the program. gao made5, recommendations to strengthen fraud detection and mitigation capabilities. in your testimony you noted that
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her agency has implemented two of those. what regulations have you implemented and why have you not implemented the remaining two and when, if ever, do you expect them to be implemented? >> we are working on all four. the first one is that we do annual fraud assessment, we are doing that. the one we referenced in your opening statement was the most recent. we are working on one now for this year. we've also been collecting more information, gao asked us to do that, we have updated forms. they asked us to interview more people at the end stage and we have been doing that as well. -- i don't remember what the fourth recommendation was but i'm pretty sure we're working on all of them. >> senator feinstein. >> thank you mr. chairman. a southern california
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couple admitted to submitting 130 fraudulent eb-5 visa applications. according to fcc filings, the project was a half empty warehouse space with one employee. however, the report submitted to uscis indicated the project had created 345 jobs. uscis doing to verify eb-5 visa recipients are actually creating american jobs? >> one thing we're doing, we have started the past couple years, site visits. we are visiting the new commercial entity and the job creating entity. last year, we undertook 232 visits. what, 38 states across the country.
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when we docovered, the visits we interview all the people we see their, talk to all sorts of people at the sites to determine if in fact it is a sham. in a lot of cases we discovered, that something is going on. a lot of times it is not clear. '17, 69% were in fy operating as expected by 31% were not. >> that is a high ratio. >> that does not mean that the 31% were not necessarily compliant. that means we have to follow up, and asked more questions. that is a large number of cases. >> is jared kushner involved or in any way taking a position on the government's policy on eb-5? >> i have never talked to him and as far as i know he is not involved in anything we are doing on eb-5 at uscis. >> has any member of the kushner
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or trump family pushed for any policies relating to eb-5 visas from which they may stand to benefit? >> not that i've seen or heard at my agency, no. >> what internal controls are in place at dhs to prevent self-dealing or conflicts of interest from the president or any senior government official? ago, or 3few years years ago there were new protocols put in place at the agency to ensure any communications with outside parties that wanted information or special treatment or access on eb-5 cases, that that was not permitted. if we received any communication, it had to be logged, kept track of. we do not allow anyone inside the agency to undertaken any kind of conversation with outside actors, without a record of it being made and put into file. >> what policy measures are in
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place to prevent abuse of eb-5 by wealthy developers selling visas to wealthy foreign investors? with the oversight we have over the program, ensures that, i think, that we are not actually selling the visas, but that we are seeking investment into the enterprises the developers have designated. if we see or determine that there is any kind of, you know, shady dealings with respect to the investments, we will come down on that. then the investment is not legitimate and it is not appropriate. >> how many shady investments have you found? the, that is as pretty general question. i would have to come back to you with exact numbers of cases we
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terminated based on fraud. >> i would appreciate that because there is so much in the press. as you look into this you see, instances that appear to be fraudulent. that is the reason i'm concerned about this program. i think it is rife with fraud. >> i think a lot of the cases involve full on criminal activity as well, fraud in our agency is one thing but it often gets magnified. >> i'm happy you admit that. the other question is -- what can be done? >> what can be done is we have fbi toorking with the crack down on fraud and send those people to jail, and they have been going to jail in large numbers recently. >> what look at you had in that regard of cracking down and eliminating? >> we have had good luck. >> numbers? >> i cannot -- >> pardon me? reporter: i cannot give you a list of cases. >> would you provide that in writing to the committee please? >> yes.
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>> thank you very much. >> senator graham. >> thank you, do you support this program? >> it is a lawful program. i believe that if the congress were to reformat to correct problems we are talking about, it can be fixed and saved. >> i think that is sort of where i am at. in terms of fraud in programs, this is not the only program the government has where there is fraudulent this behavior, is it? >> certainly not. >> i'm glad we're looking at this, i want to look at every government program. that people are taking advantage, let's put them in jail. that people are -- taking advantage of the food stamp program, let's put them in jail. we should all want to make sure that government programs are run well. part of therogram, requirement is that you create jobs for americans -- is that correct? >> jobs. 10 jobs at least.
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>> you have to invest in our country? reporter: that is right. >> we are taking money overseas, enticing it come to america and create jobs for americans? >> yes. >> what we have found from senator grassley and others, is being abused and you are looking to us to help you or can you do this internally? >> there are a number of authorities we would like to have to be able to make this program better and oversee it better. i can describe those to you if you would like. >> very brief. >> very quickly, first, we would like to have the authority to terminate regional centers where there is criminal activity. >> along that line, senator grassley makes a good point. rural america is not benefiting as much as they should -- do you agree? >> i agree. we are only getting 3% of the cases. >> go ahead. able tont to be terminate centers where there is criminal activity, we do not have that authority now.
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second, we want to ensure that people who have criminal records or otherwise undesirable actors are not in principle positions in the centers. we do not want foreign nationals to be governing the centers. thirdly, we would like to enhance reporting and auditing functions in the program. more information from the regional centers and authority for ourselves to audit. lastly, we would like more sanction authority. right now the only authority we have is to kill the program, the regional center. we would like to fine people. >> if we make those changes do you think this would better benefit the american people? >> my agency would be better able to oversee whatever the program is, and i know that this committee and members working on the bill to fix the program might have other policy changes but those are the things we need to be able to administer the program well. >> thank you very much. >> senator durbin. >> welcome back, it has been over one year since you have been here.
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we certainly have had a few immigration issues come up within that. o period of time. the one capturing the attention of the country relates to the zero-tolerance policy that has led to 2000 or 2300 children being separated from their parents at our border. i would like to ask you what role you played in the development of this policy? was, after,i played attorney general sessions declared there would be a zero-tolerance policy -- that cases of people crossing the border illegally and thus zero-tolerance with that -- the question for dhs was -- what cases would we refer to doj for prosecution? i, along with other senior officials that the department recommended to the secretary, gave her options for how to implement the policy. i recommended we refer all
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amenable cases for prosecution. >> what role did you play in suggesting children be removed from their parents under the circumstances? >> i played no role in that. that is a consequence of the prosecution action. >> this policy started somewhere around april 1? this zero-tolerance policy? >> roughly that time was when the attorney general issued that notice, yes. >> part of that time, these people presenting themselves at the border, for example, seeking asylum, were not considered criminals, were they? >> well, i think that, the law has always been in the immigration act since at least 1952 and anyone who gets, crossing illegally is committing a criminal offense. >> there was a conscious decision, by this administration to criminalize those presenting themselves at the border, starting with this
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zero-tolerance policy of april 1, which led to these children, being removed from their parents at the border, correct? >> i think, here we are stepping away from my area of expertise but i believe, people were prosecuted in the past for violations of 1325, going back for years. >> there is no question somewhere. in the area of prosecutorial discretion, if these were treated as asylum-seekers, civil violations, it would not flow from that that they would be criminalized or their children would be removed, correct? >> all i can say is that, in the past, people were prosecuted under 1325. people who were seeking asylum -- there was not exclusive -- >> 2300 children have been separated from their parents because of this change in policy, which you were a part of. i am trying to determine exactly what you recommended. to change a policy, which
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approach ofonly the the united states on those presenting themselves at border, but has resulted in a national if not international scandal over these children -- what role did you play in the determination you would change that policy april 1 and criminalize those who presented at border? >> i did not play any role in deciding whether there would be a zero tolerance initiative. what i recommended was if there is one, we need to decide which cases to refer and availment of the zero-tolerance initiative directed by the attorney general. i suggested, i and the other officials involved suggested we refer all cases. >> all cases? reporter: anyone who violates 1325 will be prosecuted. >> presenting themselves illegally at the border without legal authorization -- is that what you're saying? >> between ports of entry, yes. thisu're not just limiting
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to those who may have committed some other crime involved in some activity dangerous to the united states, but merely presenting themselves at these places, is enough for you to believe, this administration should remove children? >> i believe anyone who crosses the border illegally who is at present it -- who is apprehended, they are violating the law. >> but if a person came to this border seeking asylum, is that person a criminal? >> if they cross illegally, yes. >> the premise was -- they presented themselves. >> if they present themselves a port of entry, no. >> the point is you have taken this to a criminal level and children are being removed from their parents, 2300. the administration has said this is a policy created by the democrats, long ago. the original law that you referred to, was assigned by
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democratic president? >> it was probably signed by harry truman in 1952. that washere was a law signed by president george w. bush, was the not in terms of what to do with those from contiguous countries and those not contiguous? >> i believe so. >> signed by whom? >> i think it is 2002, bush. >> i think it was, a republican president, unlike the president's representation in his tweets. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator cornyn is not here, senator tillis. >> thank you for being here. i will get back to the topic is hearing was being held for on eb-5 program. in visits, 69% of sites you visited appeared to be in compliance with eb-5? >> correct. we are operating as expected. >> you said, of the remaining
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31%, it did not mean they were not operating, that they were required to follow up review. you have a rough approximation yourat 31%, how many, instincts or data would suggest they are not in compliance? >> we have more information on that that we can get you on what the breakdown is, the types of things we saw, very quickly, the types of things we saw 431%, the business had been sold -- that we saw for 31%, the business appeared to be deserted -- those were the most egregious cases we saw. >> i am in the category of people that think we need reforms for the program, but i don't think we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. i appreciate the spirit that you presented here to say, let's fix it so it is going back to what the original intent was. -- before i get
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into that -- can you explain to me why this particular rulemaking is taking so long? >> -- a lot of people waiting in and you're having to process input? i'm trying to understand why because the timeline is not set in stone, different things the process that could slow it down. >> the problem is i think, there are a lot of other rulemakings happening now. they are all high-priority. >> got it. resource. >> resources and time. and think if we sat down get into the category of reform, we need to look at a lot of things. first, it is a classic example of a government program where no one takes into account indexing in terms of the investment that should be made over time, if my mental math is right, the half-million dollar investment when the program was instituted
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would be worth $960,000 today so it makes sense to move those up an index over time. it makes perfect sense -- in some ways this is analogous to say economic development progress in the states. have as sense to longer-term view of the performance of these investments over time. -- thanksarily say you, you created 10 jobs, we will see you two years later and then they go defunct. we have to have a look back period to make sure we are getting the kind of investment return we need. there are over 20,000 outstanding applications for eb-5, i have got to believe there is a good number within limits we would set in any given year that would be good, valuable, entrepreneurial investments we would want to welcome, but i think we ought to look at these reforms and find out how much of this need to accelerate to a reform package
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through congress rather than you continuing to swim in the lanes you need, additional authorities on enforcement. you said something about a couple cases identifying, a national security threat. i do not know if you can get into specifics but it made me wonder whether or not it is part of the reforms that investments reaching some sort of threshold or any threshold should also be subject to the process. is that something you think would be worth looking at? >> that might be something worth considering. ownather than creating your review relying on the process to direct visas, terms for engaging in the program? >> i think, the difficulty with those national security cases, they are intractable. >> yep. >> we are happy to work with you all in congress to figure out a way to address that. >> i will not go over my time
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with completely believe, over 800 regional centers, it is too many. i believe the governance of the centers need to track in the direction you're talking about. i also completely believe eb-5 program can be very valuable, if we deal with the fraud. the original intent was to get smart people coming here, domicile in, standing up businesses in the united states we should look at portfolio priorities for what types of investments we want. there should be an american component to the portfolio eb-5 investments and i look forward to working with you and the chairman on trying to come up with a common sense, bipartisan reform. thank you. senator klobuchar was here -- i would call on her next. senator hirono. senator hirono, do you want to be next? >> sure.
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>> you would be next. >> thank you very much. i would like to get something clarified from you. , youooking at section 1325 referred to, my reading of that law says that for the improper crossing for the first time, that it could be treated as a civil matter, not a criminal matter. but with the zero-tolerance policy, this administration is choosing to go the criminal penalty route. ways that 1325 violations can proceed, either as a civil matter, which is what was happening with the obama administration, that did not require separating children from their parents, or you can go the criminal route and this administration has chosen the criminal route. is that not correct? >> i would have to refer to doj.
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it looks like a misdemeanor to me, therefore criminal. >> i'm reading the statute. it says it can be considered a civil penalty provision, not criminal. that is the plain meaning of that section. this administration has chosen to follow the criminal route. that is the excuse. beings the rationale given for why children are being separated at the border. you did not have to go that route. from your testimony you sound proud that this administration has a zero-tolerance policy, that is resulting in children being separated from parents. am i reading you wrong? au think this is perfectly, humane route to go, to implement section 1325? >> it is the law. >> this law allows for a civil
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process. >> i'm not sure that interpretation is correct. i would defer to doj for final answer. >> the fact of the matter is, the previous administration did not consider this kind of illegal border crossing to be a criminal matter. they may have in certain instances, if they had reason to consider, following the criminal route but generally, they did not. so, that is that. because you, you are an immigration lawyer. you and i, we are both lawyers and we can interpret the plain language of the statute. so when you became director of uscis, i'm looking at the mission statement of your organization, which was changed by the way from -- what i see is the original statement that was much more oriented toward helping immigrants.
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you have statements like, uscis secures america's promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to customers the immigrants, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship and ensuring the integrity of the integration system. statement takes out that we are a nation of immigrants, so now it says immigration system, safeguarding its integrity, and what was your mission statement requires you to make sure you are protecting americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values. these values you
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honoring in your statement? when i came into office back in october, i found the old statement to be in at it -- inadequate and did not think it describes with the agency actually does. interactthe people we with would expect from us. i just removed the entire old statement and started from scratch. the new mission statement i think precisely state what we do. i do not member exact wording now but i recall it says that we will engage in the efficient, and fair each of immigration benefit applications. that is. what can be expected by the public is all of those things done fairly, quickly, efficiently, and lawfully.
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>> you new mission statement says honoring our values. i'm curious to know what they are. >> it is an echo to the dhs wide mission statement which is also similar. i think the values honored are the ones earlier in the mission rulement, that is to say, of law, fair treatment so everyone gets same treatment, rich or poor, and quick treatment. >> to you think it is honoring that honoring our values in your opinion? >> you -- when you are done on answering that -- i think it is representative of the country's respect for law and rule of law and that is appropriate. >> we welcome about a million
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illegal immigrants into a the country every year, is that correct? mr. cissna: yes. >> do you know a country that welcomes more? no.cissna: 500,000 peoplend who jump the line and come into our country illegally every year, is that correct? mr. cissna: that is my understanding. net inflow is about half a million, i think. do you consider that a good thing? mr. cissna: know that is a bad thing. it is not -- no, that is a bad thing. it is not a good thing. sen. kennedy: tell me what was signed in 1952? andcissna: the immigration
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national out at the 1952. i believe president truman found it -- signed it. regulates alllly of the processes, many times since. sen. kennedy: what does it say about them coming in illegally and never had it? what does it say they do it twice? mr. cissna: they can be fined and sent to jail for two years. it becomes a felony. sen. kennedy: what could we not allow -- let me put it another way. why should we not have a procedure that says we will treat everyone the same, you will be treated equally, if you come into the country, jump ahead of the line, we will but we will not separate you from your children.
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you could do that if some of the loopholes we are about for months now were corrected. agreement thate --pels children sen. kennedy: what if our interpretation of worries were that it allowed us not to separate children from their parents. someone could sue us, right? going to arrest people but we are going to separate them from our children? do not know how logistically that would be possible. the parent would have to do it and taken over to the courthouse
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to be prosecuted. sen. kennedy: take their kids with them. i do not know that is possible. sen. kennedy: you just put them in the van, said the next of their parents am a take them in front of the judge, he take them back to a detention facility with the children why can't we do that? sen. kennedy: you just put them in the van, said the next of their parents am a take them in front of themr. cissna: why do't now in general for any terminal? sen. kennedy: maybe we think immigration -- we can debate that philosophical or metaphysical point later. i just want to deal with immigration to you make a valid point. but why couldn't we do that? you are arrested. you and your children appear in front of the judge and when you are done, we will bring you back to a detention facility, why in't we do that? mr. cissna: would have to defer to the expertise of my colleagues. sen. kennedy: the risk it would under the consent
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decree, someone says you are violating that. mr. cissna: probably? sen. kennedy: why couldn't our sponsor be, well, we don't read it that way, we don't think -- we think it mandates what is so wein the best interest will keep them together and if you disagree, that is why god made federal courts? problem solved. mr. cissna: maybe. i would have to defer to the doj to give you a better answer than i could. you could go maybe back and talk to doj and suggest that we take the position of, we're going to follow the law equal justice under the law is a value i think all of us hold, and we will do what is in the best interest of the children and let them stay with their parents.
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wants to litigate that, that is why god made federal judges. >> understood. sen. kennedy: thank you mr. chairman. >> you are a lawyer. please define for me the concept of prosecutorial discretion. i believe, and we are kind of stepping outside of but it isf expertise, the decision by prosecutor to or prosecute somebody either because of lack of resources or other legal policies a follow. >> for instance, this administration widely exercised discretion not making arrest for marijuana possession, correct? mr. cissna: i do not know anything about that here and i am not an expert in the department of justice's exercise of discretion.
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, the far as you know department of justice is processed reading marijuana defendants with the same rigor that they are in terms of prosecutorial discretion, you do not know that that is not a chu statement? mr. cissna: i truly do not know what the policy is. >> but you know that is a human being? assumesna: yes, i would it is not 100%. >> there you go. it is not necessary -- it is absolutely not mess very prosecute every single asylum seeker who crosses the border in the wrong place. you could simply not do that in the proper exercise of discretion. mr. cissna: i suppose you could but i do not take that would be
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a good idea. >> my point is that you could do that is why out wanted to ask you. asylum seekers are often refugees. mr. cissna: they fall into the same definition of refugee, yes. >> they often have little in the way of resources and are often right and. very few have legal degrees or are familiar with united states immigration law. if you are a lost and fringe refugee and you see the u.s. border, and you inc., this is my chance to get it ross to safety, which has long been something our country has an associated with, there could be a perfectly innocent reason for passing the border in that location, and then that circumstance, would it not be perfectly reasonable for officials who intercept them to say, you are just in the wrong place and we will take you to the port of entry and you can join the other silence acres to the point of entry.
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to separate them from their children is a different choice, correct? mr. cissna: if the person is already at the point where they are apprehended and making their asylum case known, there are -- they already crossed their border and maybe asylum claim, they already are here illegally. >> they crossed an the wrong place and may not know it is legal. they simply may be coming because they are poor and frightened and seeking safety and for a long time, that is what the united states has been a symbol of. it is a clear possibility there could be an innocent x nation for crossing the border as an asylum seeker in a place other than an established point of entry. >> there might be, maybe. >> there you go. what activities are underway within your department to try to
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discourage asylum-seekers from showing up at the proper ports of entry? we have heard reports that immigration officials are trying to prevent asylum-seekers from getting to those ports, thereby working with officials on the other side of the border, stopping them before they can show up and present themselves. is that going on? mr. cissna: nobody's coming up with ways to prevent asylum-seekers -- seekers from the entry. i would not tolerate that in my agency. it is not unlawful to request asylum. >> how good you think it is for the world to see images of us keeping children in chicken wire the tapes ofr crying children taken away from their parents? how do you think it works for the city on the hill? quite --a:
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i am no expert on public relations or how that would be regarded. >> is not credible that that is a bad thing in your view? it depends on what the images and what is being portrayed about what you're doing. >> if you heard people say that this policy has been imposed in an effort to send a message to asylum-seekers, to discourage them, or have you heard anyone say the policy has been imposed to gain legislative negotiations? mr. cissna: no to both statements. what i've heard said is -- request we have administration folks saying that public the. it seems strange it would not come up in a meeting when there's adding that public he. mr. cissna: no one is trying to discourage asylums acres. no one is telling them not to do that. >> my time has expired.
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i would be happened to -- happy to keep going but senator flake looks like he was ready to go. senator flake: thank you, mr. chairman. sorry i missed so much before and sorry if i am plowing old death old ground. you mentioned in your testimony that they're working on various regulatory policy changes, operational changes to enhance the integrity. have you implement it any of these changes, are they still in the development phase? where are we here? not donegulations are yet and we are still working on them. there are other enhancements to improve -- to improve integrity, different things. flake: the administration would provide some of these to include some accountability and transparency
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measures. the measures would have ensured that they engage in a proper and non-preferential way with any person or entity involved in the program. what measures do you currently take to make sure the treatment of participants is nonbiased? collects that is really a problem and it has been in the past. we have strict protocols regarding the way our civil servants who operate the program interact with outside advocates or petitioners or managers. everything has to be recorded and log. all of these taken note of. >> thank you. under the existing program investors qualify at least one million or 500,000,
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the business located in the employment area. these numbers were set in 1990. do you think that would encourage more investment in the u.s. if that were just did for inflation? >> i think the numbers -- have to be because that is what is .equired we have in 20 plus years. >>. we have in 20 plus years. the program was popular in 2015, 8300 and three visas were issued and there are 24,000 applications pending. . heavy demand for the program is it likely that investors would be willing to invest more if you raised a standard? mr. cissna: because the standard we issued last year is just according to the cpi, it should not be a problem. amount should be manageable
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by the types of people participating in the program. 1990, 97% ofn investments were made in these targeted areas. very little of this was actually in rural areas so the dhs found target employment area investments were in rural areas. is there something we can do to increase investment in the areas? mr. cissna: the gao last year found after look through a randomized sample of cases that it was 3%, so it might even be smaller than 10. i think there are a number of things you could do. you have investment in rural areas and set it aside just for that. you consent to the -- incentivize role areas and induce people to put money into these areas. a number of levers can be pulled to incentivize investment in the area.
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>> right. i think 97% working targeted areas and only 3% were outside of them. .ut 10% were in rural areas thank you, mr. chairman. >> i want to thank you -- you were not here but i talked about compromises that we were down last fall and early this year. i want to take you for your operation on that here you were an important part of that. senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. my understanding of the history is you were asked for your recommendation about whether or not to undertake criminal prosecution that resulted in the separation of these families? mr. cissna: the attorney general announced there would be a zero of violations of
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illegal entry of the border. the question for dhs, the sister asian he was, which should we prefer for prosecution pursuant to that initiative. >> the recommended prosecuting all of them. mr. cissna: i recommended offering an option, i and other if schulz offered options on how to implement that directive. >> uri -- the head of the agency. mr. cissna: of my agency. >> for 13 years, you worked at the agency. mr. cissna: i worked at headquarters. >> did you ever say that the law requires us to press criminally all of these cases? mr. cissna: i was not involved in what i was doing all of that time -- >> you never concluded that the log requires your agency for prosecution in all of these cases? mr. cissna: i was never involved in any does session related to the subject here >> are you a
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father? mr. cissna: i am. senator blumenthal: are you not shaken by the m pulled away from their families? mr. cissna: of course i am. and parents dragging their kids through the cartel controlled territory. i do not like that either. senator blumenthal: are you aware of the destructive effect on these children's lives from that separation? i am sure it is a distressing situation for all. senator blumenthal: more than distressing. think as a father. are you not shaken by the profoundly destructive effect on these children's lives? mr. cissna: i am just as shaken by the practice that got them in the first base there. dragging them to the continent through dangerous territory and hot between ports of entry,
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deserts, that is also -- senator blumenthal: you have no qualms about policy? no reservations? being,ther and a human you have no question, no doubts, the --nts mr. cissna: by no qualms? mr. cissna: i believe we have to stop it at the port of entry and the way to do that is to process the people who violate the law. a law that congress passed. that is what we need to do. senator blumenthal: you agree ,ith general kelly when he says the big name of the game is deterrence, family separation could be and would be a tough deterrent, essentially, the goal is to deter these families from seeking asylum? no.cissna: i believe it should be constant for illegal activity of border in the appropriate constant and
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1320is best vision of five, that is the crime committed and there should be a constant is for the violation. senator blumenthal: so your position is that tearing is a necessaryrt concert once of people coming to the border, seeking to escape gang violence, terror, persecution, with in their own and that the destructive effects on those children and our image around the world is worth the price? mr. cissna: this has been said a million times for and no one has a response to this, this happens every day. adc jail, maryland corrections of philip -- facility, every day families are torn apart. no different on the border.
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secondly, not all of these people are island seekers. some of them are just entering without any kind of claim your it is not all bunch of asylum-seekers. is what i say to agreer blumenthal: we can on bipartisan goals here. that isted compromise being worked out on that issue. i think we have a moral obligation, not just a legal duty, to do better. i am profoundly disappointed with a response that says we are just in listing the law, when in fact there is no in the law and there was nothing in the law and 13 years you were with that agency, that required this soundly immoral and cruel, and inhumane approach.
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point, in your core, your troubled by it. i hope so. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i think we're wrapping up here. we do not seem to have other witnesses. i am a ranking member and i just wanted to put into the wreck the conclusion by the american helege of physicians, health universally separating children and their parents at the u.s. borders will do great harm to children, their parents, and their families and moores typically, the american academy which says that separating children from their parents contradict every we stand for as video traditions, protecting and promoting children's health, and in fact, highly stressful experience can cause iraq bullhorn. disrupting a child brain architecture and affecting his or her short and long-term
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health. >> that will be included and i will put into a wreck a list of fraudulent or at least, i think it is fair to say fraudulent or very much dilating the law in the record of list that i had my staff accumulate. please do not go, senator. i didn't want to interrupt the meeting on this issue that most of you on that side of the aisle have been talk about, but i do want to say something on that and since you are the acting, ranking member, i ought to tell you about it and let you have a chance to respond if you want to respond from the other side. the synthesis the -- i did not want to interrupt anybody saying any and they wanted to say here take a moment and respond to some of the comments my colleagues have in making about families operation.
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i find it wrong to suggest that republicans somehow support the idea of separating families. i don't that's true. i think trying to paint that picture ignores a complex legal reality and the situation. as my colleagues know, the floras versus reno several -- settlement as it has been applied over time, prohibit the department of homeland maintaining custody of immigrant children in any context. the way it is currently applied, dhs can not keep immigrant children even affair with her parents and family solidity, so that is zach and what it means. effectively prohibiting federal government from keeping families together in dhs custody. because of the decision, dhs is faced with a choice, on the one
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hand the of the settlement, they can choose to release any group thatdocumented people appear to be a family, and the trees, appears to be is the key here. that catch and release policy not only results in the mass release of unauthorized immigrants, into america communities, but it also encourages smugglers, coyotes, and you and chef again for family units at the border to exploit the system. i have written several letters to the department on this terrible reality. as even the obama administration noticed, human split the release of family units. inir exploitation resulted dangerous trafficking of thousands of children across the mexican countryside to be placed where there make sure families are new reporters. the hs has a actively no way to
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verify if unauthorized immigrants are actually the family unit they claim to be. i am sure that is equally as concerning to my colleagues. if other side of the coin is dhs and doj's to actually and force the law, they must separate parents and children. it will not allow them to be kept together pending the outcome of the case, soviets to the problem appears to be very ample. we could and should repeal the floor settlement so that unauthorized immigrant families can be kept together pending any proceedings which would ensure the integrity of the family unit and i point out that my amendment in february would have done just that. if my collieses had voted for it, streamers would have a pass -- a pathway
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to citizenship. sen. heller: on legislation to address the issue. we can get a draft introduced and passed if there is a willingness to do it. i hope my colleagues will join sen. flake: the effort to end family separation and do it immediately. colleagues want to see senator feinstein acted. -- result and that would be the codification of the
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catch and release policies. her bill would effectively hamstring the ability of prosecuting individuals for illegal entry because any border crosser would claim to be in a and of course, once all imagine how like the to show up to trial or criminal court proceedings. if my colleagues are serious about the issue, i hope they will support repeal. if they will not and cannot --flores --d floras unlawfulores, immigrants into the american -- asity, and then into we call it, because they do not tend to have a very high percentage appear for hearings.
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i hope you are serious about family separation and would join and resolveator these issues. if you have any reaction to that, i would be glad to listen because i didn't want to say that and break up the rest of the hearing. >> i think that is fair and i appreciated but i would point out we're hearing an enormous amount out of the administration , for instance that the law brooks no discretion, which is simply not actual. we hearing that the bible made me do it, that was attorney are hearingions, we the democrats made me do it, that is president trump, we're hearing, there is a you it is to deter people seeking to come to the borders, that was the chief of staff. we are hearing there is a policy and it is for negotiating leverage, that is both the president and the person at the white house mr. miller, and then
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we're hearing from the dhs secretary there is no policy. all of those things cannot be true. this just looks bad, it is a mess, and in about all of those explanations looks as bad as the image of children the hind chain-link fences under bit -- the blankets and the sounds of them crying in cap -- in captivity. if this administration does not get that that is bad for the country to have those images out there as what america represents, i do not know what there is dealing with with the administration. i think it for doing things as -- irs of congress are very much hope we will. the person smiling the most perhaps other than the president himself is probably vladimir putin, our great rival who loves to see america take a bad punch in the nose in his image. i think it is unfortunate we are
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here with this. >> with the chairman yield for a question? it, go ahead.swer >> do you have any reason to believe the administration will it, go ahead. support your proposal? >> i don't know but i do know that the leader will not ring up any immigration bills that the administration is not committed because, we spent one week on immigration and he doesn't want to spend anymore unless we get something we can get through, which basically means 60 votes, and then will the president sign it? so even if we got 50 votes and the president will not sign it, i do not take it will come out. >> the likelihood of this proposal seeing the light of day on the senate floor seems somewhat remote. the likelihood of this proposal that you just outlined exceeding seems remote or at least actionable.
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this pointn say at is i do not dispute anything senator whitehouse says about what people in the branch have said. i can only say what i have read since this has become an issue. i do not want to separate families. i want to see the path to do that is the repeal of the flores agreement. >> with the chairmen agree with me, and i'm just suggesting this idea, that our nation would be well served if the president simply made a phone call, stop pause socy, put it on and we could come together arrive at a humane solution? because right now, and i know hardlyirman is supportive of separating children from their families, but right now, that is what our
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great nation is doing. and we are destroying our image around the world as well as individual lives of these families and children. chairman could join us in calling on the president simply to call a cease-fire and a moratorium? with you on that, it would be like me saying i want to encourage people to to the entries to go extreme difficulty of going through very dangerous situations to put their children at risk and i am not sure i want to encourage that. my proposal for dealing with it is to do away with the floors agreement. i would like to ask you, do you think the administration will support repeal of flores? >> that is the one of the things
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the secretary spoke about yesterday. you need to give fisa and off funds once you have appealed it. is it not true secretary nielsen and all of the administration spokespeople on this topic and most prominently -- probably the president himself is that there have to be other parts of the also, including building a wall, stopping family reunification, essentially, a variety of proposals that will be unacceptable to the majority of it isited it's congress? not just to repeal flores. is one of several of these loopholes we want to fix to address the situation on the border, including with the funding for detention. the rest of it isloopholes we wo
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address the situation on the border, including with the part of a bigger picture and i am in no position to comment on what the administration would do about theseing specific on issues. that is the reason why the , made in total good faith, is unlikely to be adopted because the administration has said it will , evenmply rip feel flores if there were bipartisan support for it. this destroying a families will because ofxorably the administration's position. could not comment, i don't know what the position would be on any specific legislation. here, inybody still have two things i want to do. i have one question and number two, i asked -- i have a short closing statement i would like to make.
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i wrote to your secretary, our a statementbout made by a ceo of us-based company participating in this and the ceo stated that opening saddleback resort is not a primary concern for me. same, five program is the is the reason you are buying the mountain and opening the mountain is something we would like to achieve. lose --e don't, we will we will not lose any sleep over it. based on that statement, it is quite clear that the intent of this investor is not consistent with the intent of the eb five program and quite frankly borders on fraud. sounds like the promoters of the visas are gaming the system. does your agency have the as ady to decertify
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qualifying regional enter #is your agent the investigating the regional center and if not, why not? >> with respect to that specific center, i do not know. the more general point of do we have the 30th we know someone is intentionally not promoting them are of, i so. terminated centers where for example, there is granted criminal and tivoli and we determine if that much is going on, clearly no one's interest in that needs to be terminated. if the faxed or not there is no intent month of growth, there will be no center. question for how simply -- prevalent, american citizenship as close to
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the development -- >> i do not have any numbers right now. point of the program and particularly regional program get capital, money, and places where it is hard to of pain. like world were targeted employment area here that is the goal. heading capital into those places. a lot of people i think are using the program and yes, nominally, they share a for that purpose but they make a lot of money for the process. the exact fees and the entities that receive funds, they make money off the loans to invest the money. a lot of people are making money off of the program and that is separate from the investment allegedly going into the project here in -- projects. >> i thank you for being here and it demonstrates the program
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and particularly the regional center program has a great deal of corruption. deficienciestain in existing law which allow bad actors to game the system, pocket money meant for job creation and development. the original purpose of the 1990 program and in the process, sell our citizenship, thankfully, your agent these taking steps to end problems. we've heard about several today and i look forward to an date from you in september about what additional efforts have made. the most important step to be taken is finalization of the modernization regulations. we have been told today that regulatory action should the soon ought tobut have in a year ago as far as i'm concerned. they came in the previous administration.
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i've heard that for the last year and a half, i could speak for several members of the city that we -- of the committee that we are tired of the delay and we expect the world we implemented and even if the regulation was implemented tomorrow, there are still things congress needs to ,ake to inform the program national security reforms to ensure that the programs by those who seek to -- our country. they make it harder for regional centers to -- we have been trying to pass these reforms for years. each time, the big-money political well-connected new york interest groups block them. my patients are thin. the choice seems to be there timmy. blockingld stop
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reforms and come to the table in good faith to end scandals in that they ought to be a shame to be a part of. week andor a hopefully, answers for you. meeting adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
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[indistinct conversations]
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>> this afternoon, the senate commerce subcommittee examines cambridge analytical's relationship with facebook in the 2016 presidential campaign. this is a follow-up from one earlier this year with facebook ceo mark zuckerberg. today's hearing will focus on -- use of social media data data come in the wake of the cambridge analytical scandal, and steps to protect consumers. live coverage starts at 2:30 on c-span3 and also online at seized and you can listen the three c-span radio app. -- the free c-span radio app. >>'s language of attack and harm
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and damage, by expressing a unit -- an opinion that people do not like, you have inflicted an injury. i found it striking and frankly frightening if truth be told. clinical mattock of the lay the left is responding to any sort thatssent especially one on politics, which is worse is everywhere and has affected everything. wax on the limits of free expression on college campuses in the united states. sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> the u.s. house begins mourning our speeches at noon eastern. until then, a portion of today's
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"washington journal" on the justice department's investigation of hillary clinton's emails. this is lawrence hurley who reports on the supreme court for writers here to talk about some of the decisions that came down yesterday. one of those decisions. with the idea of political gerrymandering , can you tell us what the court was asked to consider? >> these were linked cases that could have put limits on to what extent state lawmakers can take into account their own partisan preferences when drawing electoral district. it could have affected elections for years to come. the court issued a narrow decision that sent the cases back to a lower court. they did not say anything about the bigger question of whether there should be limits on this although many election reform type people think it is a big deal. this issue is going to continue to simmer. there is another case from north


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