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tv   Trump Administration Diplomat Others Discuss Iraqs Political Outlook  CSPAN  November 3, 2019 1:55am-2:23am EST

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citizens. they don't need to get certified and they don't need to find an officer in the ranks -- >> i ask you because i've been in my district and we have a big latino district in the country and these kids i know for my high schools that are residents don't ask how hard it will be for me to become a citizen but they just enlist and marine recruiters are in high school and these kids with honor say i will sign up and i don't think they are there to serve the country. this concerns me because we need to move ahead and revert back soldiers that are serving with honor have the right to become a citizen and that right is a meaningful one. >> the program was highly successful. >> where do we go from here? do we present legislation?
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>> the law allows programs like this to exist and they were common. world war i, world war ii, vietnam war, korean war, this was standard practice of the government and only reversed by the department of defense in internal memos that undermine the intent express of congress with a statute passed by congress more than 100 years ago. you have lawlessness by the deferment of defense that are undermining a statute with internal executive memos. >> [inaudible] did you mention that? the 1996 act take away judicial discretion? i know mr. metcalf had a different perspective. tell me. >> yes, that is one the most troubling aspects of the changes made to the immigration laws. it removed had an aggravated felony and expanded the definition of aggregated felony. and things that don't classify
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as aggravated. >> i'm out of time but in orange county we were the first pioneers creating veterans courts and out these issues are complex. we look forward to working with you on this issue. i'd like to recognize mr. biggs for five minutes. >> thank you. i think we all understand that many of our veterans struggle with reintegration due to ptsd issues and that is why i've introduced a bill in legislation to advocate for my colleagues across the aisle to make access to make there be more available and more easily because it's wholehearted to hold support therapy from veterans and when i see mr. -- indicate he was struggling to reintegrate i don't think that's unusual for many of our servicemen and women
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to come back. therapy will be helpful for that. he also said there's no free pass and that deportation is a double punishment. let me explain why that is not so. there is no progress because you did of the time for shooting at a vehicle. that was the charge convicted and you serve your time. it became a deterrent. you were deported because of you are not a citizen and there's nobody else that would get an exception to that here because of any other rationale they would be -- you were deported [inaudible] i'm happy for you you received a pardon and your citizenship but to say it's a double punishment -- the first
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punishment for violating the crime and committing the crime is the criminal sentence itself. deportation is applicable to any person in the country that is not a citizen who has engaged in conduct. that's the penalty that comes from obtaining citizenship and i read your statement and listen to you testify and may have a misunderstanding of what but i want to point out data that is absolutely mind-boggling that was brought up. [inaudible] this individual deported was convicted, among other things, injury to a spouse which he received an eight year sentence, assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.
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he did not naturalize when he was in the military and then subject to de- portability doe does -- they were not misdemeanors that were as a result of the expansion of aggregated felonies. in seven ... ... >> obligations compared to 683,000 civilian applications. they received military applications, so, there are some interesting things we do
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manipulate the statistics in the way that i heard here today. we reviewed the cases involving 87 of the 92 veterans who were ultimately deported between 2013. eighteen of those veterans, were convicted for sexually abusing others. twenty-one were convicted of a violent felony such is a homicide assault. that is 24 percent of the total. nine were deported for having been convicted of firearms or explosives related things. those cases, i am talking about over half of them were during the obama administration. not on trump. >> mr. chairman i ask unanimous consent to enter these documents, the press release chinese alleged acting in the
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u.s. of the people's public you shall, subsequently believe you are working at high level intelligence officer with chinese. also the 2017, department of defense memo, article service cannot take place until security checks have been completed demonstrating these were taken seriously. nationalization that publicly military service. my time is expired. thank you. that went out objection. >> i would like to call in our chairman for five minutes of questions. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for coming here and sharing your story. it appears stories like pictures are all is it too common. in 2019, the report, 250
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veterans removal proceedings. 2013 to 200018, at least 92 veterans were deported. i measure my open inc. expend. ptsd, brain injury and other traumas suffered while on active duty. how can the government, said the military people. >> see whose again. >> how can the government especially our blake of defense, better inform veterinary eligibility for naturalization. >> waited to have some kind of program in place there where they can explain the forms that need to be done. that is my thought. >> okay, in your testimony
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today, you laid out on the trump administration made live more difficult for cardholders. enjoy the military and i did then apply for naturalization. world military service members, working on military acquisitio acquisitions, are warned about the changes ahead of time were able to find out if the changes recommended. >> no. and no cost-benefit analysis. >> in fact the services were pushed back of the requirements because they see there unreasonable and making it hard to recruit people. >> so they push back the requirements. >> yes, they don't agree with these requirements. >> his came from dod, upper loophole. >> came from dod which did not do any cross analysis no discussion about it. externally. with stakeholders and no analysis on the factors or on
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military recruiting. >> lpr surfing the military, in 426, requests certication military service which is essential to the naturalization process. signed by the proper authoriti authorities. dod policy changes. >> the put out the demo but they didn't do anything to educate people generally about what should be done and there was haphazard, memos that didn't reach to the lowest levels. in fact if you talk to recruiters today, though still tell you that out, shoulders can be nationalized in basic training. they don't even realize things have changed and people are told that it is easy to get your certified, but you have to wait and take it to your first unit and then we do get there, you can't find anybody who will certify it because there is no public education effort on how to get it certified. >> your experience what is the average time to get a response to the certification. once they have completed the
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426. >> and is taking months, the exact plan being that if the e-mail it to me, i've especially mail that i can send it to somebody who will get one side and a couple of weeks. if you know in the army. it is only if you know enough to e-mail me. that that happens. >> if you don't, it takes months. >> you can take months of the forms are getting lost, people just never hear back after they submit them. >> what signals do you think that these the empty policy changes thinking about joining the military. what signals do they sick to the lpr currently surfing in the military. >> and forcing whose in the signal that the service has brought valued. that they are not welcome in the military. they also send a signal that they should not join the military until after they get their citizenship because are going to face a very long haul either citizenship and if they try to do it after joining the military. >> one state support services are available,. >> they used to be very strong services because the basic training naturalization sites
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and things that were dedicated to handling military people. doesn't been dismantled so now it is rather ad hoc. there is a military helpline you n call, which often get wrong information we do call the military helpline. >> in other words, the bureaucratic processes have increased. sooner that's correct. >> who may experience what is the average spend of time it takes to process a military naturalization application. >> is used only to get few months but now in monday cases, it is taking upwards of a year or two or sometimes three or four years. >> they planted tilting most of its international field offices, and consolidated overseas naturalization, consolidating beep for hubs. twenty-six field offices and for hubs. how these changes impact service members and their families seeking citizenship while
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abroad. >> it will make it harder. >> one more question. how can we stop the deportation of the military veterans. >> restore basic training naturalization. then we will not have any deported best if everyone gets nationalized before the ligament the military. i should.out that congress put an apartment safeguard in the law expedited naturalization. the law says that if you don't surf honorably for a period or periods aggregating five years, you can't lose your citizenship that you gain through military service. so there is no reason for these misguided policies because the legal means already is in the law can take care of anybody who is the bad actor and misbehaves after they get their citizenship. no reason other than ill will. thank you i yield back. >> do you have security clearance currently. some are currently no i am retired. he smacked you have any access
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to classified information that was involved in making decisions about who would receive and which veterans would receive citizenship. spak i only reviewed unclassified summaries. >> would you be surprised to know that there were thousands of folks who for classified reasons, were not allowed to receive citizenship because they had ties to foreign countries. >> that is not correct. >> you nobly that. >> the citizen applications are actually not classified. >> his classified information is to why they did not receive citizenship. it's >> that is not classified, they give you a written decision telling you why they're being denied. >> see you believe that they have ties to china, and a chinese intelligence services, that there will be a public statement identifying that person is having ties to chinese intelligence where it is that we are staying. >> no i'm staying we do go through the naturalization process is the completed forum and you have an interview and here denied you are given a
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written statement in writing explain why your denied of naturalization. spilling in that written statement, may not include the reasons for the classified reasons for you not to be given the privilege of becoming a u.s. citizen. >> they will tell you directly why you know being denied. some xo seriously, you know staying here today that a top secret relationship, top secret information that has been developed during the obama administration by the way that identifies an individual is having a relationship with a chinese intelligence service, that is going to be identified in a public document. that's what you are staying. >> what i am staying is we do apply for citizenship, there is a forum that has two questions including things like what if you have done whose that or the other thing and you have to answered those questions on oath. and if you live on oath, they
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will deny you naturalization and they will see we are daily denying you because you live to us and said x wasn't true. it's given to the individual. they don't need to rely unclassified information and they don't. >> so they certainly have access to classified information when the make a decision about weather to grant someone citizenship. >> they don't normally know. among the department of defense doesn't have information to that. >> one agency of the government will work with another agency in the right to determine weather someone has a relationship that would be running to whose country. >> interestingly, they don't pass that information along. whose came out of court proceeding recently that if they have that information, they don't give it to the staff anyway. >> the national class. no one has been denied no veteran has been denied citizenship based on a relationship with a foreign intelligence service.
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>> i think the case that was raised earlier, he was never nationalized. >> but that's not my question. my question is your understanding is there has never been an individual denied citizenship of the veteran denied citizen ship is a result of ace relationship with the foreign intelligence service. >> i can answered that because the country has been fighting since 1775. and i can't because it's more than 200 years. but i can tell you that national concern eight concerns, are overblown and that was proven in a court case in seattle with the department of defense came into court and presented the facts to the judge and the judge dismissed them concerning them and staying they were not valid. >> whose into a real simple question. would you be in favor of naturalizing an individual or for them to become an naturalized citizen if they had relationship with the foreign intelligence service.
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>> i'm not sure what you mean by relationship. >> they work for and receive her name from, a foreign intelligence service to provide information about the united states of america. >> the individual is the spy, and they failed to reveal that information in the naturalization application when they got nationalized by accident, they could be 19 nationalists is sims the government found out that information that could be prosecuted and departed. i am certainly in favor of that. >> my question is would you be in favor of naturalizing that person. >> i'm not in favor of naturalizing anyone who doesn't meet the requirements of becoming the national citizen. and certainly a spy does not qualify. >> think you very much. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think the witnesses for being here. the u.s. military has long relied on evidence to protect our country. within the united states we have 2.4 million veterans with emigrant ties.
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we also rely on assistance from foreign nationals abroad including afghanistan and iraq. in january of 2006, congress created a special immigrant visa ordinance iv, to provide a path to safety in the united states for iraq in translators who work for the u.s. the military and artists of secretly facing danger. whose is simple common sense in my view toward people put their lives on the line to send it to defend our country, the only right thing to do is to make sure that they and their families are protected. primary care now, i've heard from congressman raskin in the number of republican offices to educate private gentlemen who i will call mohammed abroad. the the translator who worked with the u.s. military and several national and international agencies for nearly a decade in afghanistan. and your experience is a lieutenant colonel in the military police work and u.s. army reserve, would you agree
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that the assistance of native translators in countries like afghanistan and iraq, have been critical to the u.s. military operations in those countries. >> absolutely yes. it was that makes them operational. >> we need them to understand the local culture and local language. >> loophole of danger that putting himself in when they are great to do the job. smack they're putting themselves in extreme danger and monday have been killed. their family members have been murder because they sided with the united states and the overseas. >> unsurprisingly like mr mr. common due to their service, had faced persistent persecution including assassination that threats from the taliban. one week ago, mr. common was arrested by military police and there is a possibility that he will be disappeared. and yet, the state has denied mr. conference application" discretionary basis.
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whose case is about larger thing. the data shows that 60 percent drop in a side view drop among iraqis was even worse from 2500 and 2017, to 181 in 2019. in the drop of over 90 percent. in your opinion, what is causing these delays and drops and omissions. >> fear, on the part of the bureaucrats who are supposed to be conducting background checks on these individuals. they are afraid to approve anyone. it is also a lack of resources and lack of attention by the leadership. they don't seem to want to focus on business process of saving folks and put their lives a live or america. >> can we improve whose program to a t-shirt access for safety for our allies on the sap program. >> they passed a statute that set a deadline but it unfortunately bureaucracy is ignoring the deadline. so i think congress needs to
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provide strong oversight to ensure the statues are followed. >> what is the process currently look like for an applicant. they're very been vetted to surf alongside her trips, has brought quite a pit of heavy betting that is already been dead for these individuals. >> they are ready heavily vetted and they have huge files filled with testimonials about their loyal service to the united states. sometimes the rev. period of monday years. it is unclear what exactly is going on in that subsequent betting that seems to take years and years and from what i can to help most it is simply a file being put on chef and nothing happening. snacking beyond the immediate humanitarian inserts protect those who risk their lives for us, another thing that concerns me is the message that we are sending to potential future allies. so how does whose failure to protect these people impact our national securities interested in the ability of our troops to safely do their jobs interact in an instant. >> is quite bad. people who are actually out
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there that might be wheeling to help us in the future, are going to turn and look at how mohammed was treated and see, i want to take those chance and i'm not going to help you. tonight mr. chairman of the treatment of people who put their lives on the line, defending our country is just unacceptable weather it is immigrants leaving here who signed up protect our country or people abroad going down so despite significant threat to date and their families lives and it is our duty to stay on alongside these communities and demand justice. i yield back. >> i fully agree with you and i like to call on ms. garcia from the state of texas. >> thank you. for convening whose hearing on whose very important topic. i know whose is something that monday of us in texas are really concerned about. number 20 percent of people who benefit worded the medal of honor, are not born in the united states.
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my state of texas is found about the second-highest number of noncitizens and second-highest number of veterans in the nation. therefore texas is home to a high number of noncitizens veterans making whose topic especially important to monday of us particular to monday of my constituents. according to a 2017, report from the national immigration forum, about 40000 immigrants currently surf in the armed forces and about 5000 noncitizens and less each year. it must not forget the people behind his numbers. like mr. lookers who came to the united states when the young boy and his family in 1978, and settled in texas. he graduated from high school and joined the navy. is he says, out of pride for his country and following an honorable discharge he went on to surf in the army national guard. he also worked at his local department of veterans affairs office. while surfing in the navy, will
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during the persian gulf gulf war, he would do what monday do when they were docked. it would go out drinking. and perhaps, using it is a way to cope with their anxiety about the work. later in live, unfortunately he was convicted of a dwi he was unable to afford an attorney and was deported back to mexico. when his wife asked him why he can't adjust to live there. is responsibly with whose is in my live. it is true that immigrants are offered the most patriotic americans. they are able to truly appreciate the contrast of how wonderful it is to live in the united states. it has been noted that noncitizens have in fact join the armed services is the revolutionary war and since then, likewise joined ranks the follow-up on site and counterparts to whatever major conflict, help more, but award
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of 1812, turn in the middle east. so i think our witness here today who speaks for the veterans and all of those who join today. i began my question with you sir, you said that you don't really get the details about the process. >> when i was in the military, you could go through but nobody really directed me towards the path and i really think that we need make sure that our squad leaders or somebody at some., make sure that that happens. >> to get legal assistance out. >> i'm not sure what it is right now. but some kind of a department.
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it's been out for almost 20 years. >> my colleague, introduced lori agents act, a simple bill that would allow veterans to get pastors medicine ship. honorably discharged, and they have not been convicted of involuntary month and slaughter rape sexual abuse of a minor or anything risen and related to present. to support whose. >> yes. >> do you miss pascarella camp? >> i'm not reviewed the bill so i cannot give you an affirmative sterno. >> sums that but one of my colleagues that whose wasn't really double punishment. i'm going to read straight out of the land of the free report from the texas rights project
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which i like to enter into the record. noncitizens have in fact join armed forces it really is a double punishment. you go through the criminal justice system when you are convicted on that conviction then used to deport you in your deported sodas double punishme punishment. he said that there was no logic to that. do you agree or disagree that that is double punishment. you ma'am. >> absolutely agree. i percent double punishment. people started the timing criminal because they, they pay the price for the crime and if you go home to family to the citizen families the home. instead they face lifetime management is is if they are surfing a live sentence. because the cavity be with their families in them they can't be with everything they know in live.
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>> thank you i go back. >> thank you very much i like to call it is from the state of colorado. >> thank you mr. care. and thank you for hosting whose important hearing. also want to start by taking her veterans in a room i want to thank them is it too hard for your baby bravery and service for her country. is has been said by monday of my colleagues, whose administrati administration, immigrants have been on constant attack including those fighting for our freedom. they have served in the military since the revolutionary war. and continue to surf today. most are lawful permanent residence. about 511,000 foreign-born veterans, are residing in the u.s. and represent 3 percent of the total veteran population. 18.8 million. they feel volatile roles in the military. they're not it not use u.s. citizen records. first example, certain internationals of iraq and afghanistan have served is
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interpreters. their applications are being delayed which make and can make them at risk of being targeted for assisting the u.s. the changes, and numerous policies are atrocious in hurting veterans and their families and they have made it hard for military service members and nationalized for the families to adjust status and receive protection for deportation. instead, in my view which we focus on ensuring that veterans receive the medical care they aren't and helping with their immigration cases. they have policies that require to take additional steps and potentially removable noncitizen veterans. however your report found were unaware of the policies in place for veterans in whose proceedings. it is beyond disheartening to hear that our veterans are not being given the appropriate loophole of review on their immigration cases and honest be clear, it is un-american to deport immigrants fighting for
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our safety and our freedom. we should not leave to feel abandoned and feel helpless. mr. heck of a, i want to first thank you for your service to our country. >> thank you. >> you chose to enlist in the army at edge 17. is of her five years inured honorable discharge in 2001. is a veteran and is a green card holder, if you lack the protection of citizenship in your deported after surfing time for criminal charge after discharge. could you please walk us through how whose may have been different if you would've received guidance from u.s. military and how to apply for citizenship. either during or after your service. >> i firmly believe the my squad leader would've sat me down and said people see we should hold your hands and they were not there to hold your hand but literally, we are there to show you how to march and make sure that your power of attorney has done so why not make sure we sit
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down with their soldiers make sure that we are taken care of so that before they go off to afghanistan or vietnam that there are ready use citizen so it is very important to take care of our soldiers. >> thank you. lieutenant colonel stock, thank you for your service as well. thank you for being here today. in your testimony i believe certainly written testimony, you mentioned that the apartment of defense issued to policy changes in 2017, and have made it harder for military citizens service members to naturalize. from your experience, what is the average time that it takes for service member to receive a response for a request for certification of our normal service, once they complete their u.s. cis forum and for 26. >> i mentioned earlier, it varies dramatically. right now sometimes they don't get a response at all but it is taking monday months since the policy change pretty used to happen in a matter of minutes.
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you walk into your local middle terry personal office and a one-page forum, i certify that i am surfing honorably. the clerk would look up your record on the system and you would get an officer to sign your forum almost immediately. but now is taking months and months. >> and matter of minutes, deviously to now a matter of months. potentially never release receiving an answered. a lot of people tell me they send in a forum and never get an answered. three what message does that send is the sin. >> a lot of lpr his are now contacting me and telling me they are deciding not to join the military. they're going to wait to get there citizenship. it takes about six months. they can file electronically if their civilians and they can't do that is necessary. absent a packet in through the mail to chicago. which is lost in military people often told their pack has been lost. i was in sacramento a couple weeks ago with the greenhalgh
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holder who had finished all of his training and was applying for citizenship and he walked into the building for his nationalization. i am sorry your lawyer to hear several thousand miles. we have lost your packet. we're letting you know when we find it, and we have not heard from them ever since. >> thank you. the stories you shared today are stories we certainly need to hear and i hope the administration is listening. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for all of the witnesses for being here whose afternoon hearing your stories. and your testimonies. florida is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country. we actually have the third largest population of veterans in florida and the country around 1.5 million my district is also home to some veterans that have been waiting for the
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naturalization process. one of the things that i want to make sure very clear, for those members who have served our country, several of you here, we owe you our deepest respect, and our gratitude but i also hear from service members and veterans about the stress that surfing our country pets and their families and their children. servicemembers sacrifice a great deal and send their loved ones we should not be making the lives for them any harder. our men and women in uniform but their lives alondra and earned the privilege to live and work in our country. and naturalize since in myself and i know how arduous the process is to become a legal u.s. citizen but if we are asking our servicemembers to put their lives on the line, to fight for our freedom we need to make sure that the naturalization process is much
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easier for them. on whose demonstration we've seen that the number has declined to 44 percent almost half and it is just on an acceptable. we should not be making it more difficult probable members of our military to naturalize. my first quick question is can you explain to us why those net numbers have dropped significantly in the past two years. >> the drop for a couple of reason deity is made it hard for green her card join the military. second, if you don't drink, you can't apply for naturalization. second they made hard for the forum signed that they need in order to apply. and you can apply that went out those forms and can't get aside, then you are not eligible. and then they made it more difficult to get citizenship they are applying different standards to military people that are inappropriate an example is a woman sitting in the audience today, she was wrongly denied naturalization by
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u.s. citizenship and immigration services and denied her application while she was surfing on active duty military. she then replied for naturalization. she was discharged from the military and approve for naturalization after the aco philippe took the case and filed a lawsuit against the government. the case of someone is wrongly denied citizenship they seconded and it makes no sense. >> i'm assuming she wasn't a chinese spy. i think she is from south korea. >> [laughter] fan was reason given to her when she was surfing but was denied. smirked they said she lacked good moral character. >> whose was a catchall term when they come up with some excuse for you know in the military we don't think you should be a citizen so were going to see you lacked good moral character. >> seems like a lot of these changes are just cruel that went
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out an excavation to that. what is the purpose of changing whose policy do you think. >> homophobia. >> i can prove it. i can prove it. >> sometimes my colleagues exit doesn't exist. >> by directing the distinguish members of the subcommittee to start taking a look at this so-called [applause] the dod is doing on the immigrants wanting to join the military. they are laughable and bizarre. they see things things like you have a relative that served in the south korean military and it requires you discharged from the military making you. >> - derogatory information. the dod, knew they were immigrants.
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my definition all of their parents are foreign. if their parents work segment citizens, they would be enemies yet they are being told whose is derogatory information in an regarding requiring them to discharge from the military. >> no longer considering children is residing in the u.s. for purposes of acquiring u.s. citizenship so kids that are born outside of the united states, their parents are u.s. citizens, are now being denied u.s. citizenship can you talk briefly about that i'm very concerned about whose. >> whose has brought something that the agency warned anybody about ahead of time though off of i'm turn i'm told that they floated it. but no one understood it and immigration law. it would've learned that loss and loss of were going to be affected by whose. but because the agency doesn't understand them? over the didn't realize the claim grown 25 children affected
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whose untrue. so what happened was he said basically they're going to punish people who choose to be stationed overseas or send overseas and they live in the u.s., because of the automatically a citizen. big there not leaving the u.s., they're not. and they're going have to file convoluted applications. >> these are kids of the citizenship. thank you i have ran out of time. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you for having whose very important hearing today. monday thanks to our witnesses we really appreciate the time you've spent helping educate the subcommittee on the issue and i want to thank veterans and their families who are in the audience who flew all of the way to washington dc to make sure that it wasn't just your voices that were heard that the voices that you bring with you of all veterans who have had to endure really the trauma that you all have endured for after having
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served our country and protected our nation thank you for your service and please share my gratitude for the gratitude that so monday of us have with your fellow servicemembers who have had to endure the same kind of trauma. please tell them we are grateful for their service. i represent el paso texas which is a great state and safe secure city on the mexico border which is also a home to fort. one of the most important military installations in the country. so monday of these issues for me, el paso is in intercession of those issues. immigration and really the attacks on migrants that we have seen on whose administration but also trying to help left and support the veterans and military personnel and it is
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really, it has been very difficult to watch how our country has turned our backs not just on allies but turned our backs on servicemembers who have fought honorably for our country and yet whose is the double punishment. there is absolutely no doubt and i just want to remind some of my colleagues that we seem to have come a long way in recognizing how veterans after they have served honorably face these really incredible challenges and reentering into communities especially after being in theater, and sending in the war and so we go the extra step and we have created veterans services programs and we have created a specialty court for fed trends convicted are being
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tried for dwi for drug related offenses. so that we can continue be there for veterans who have been there for us but it's a different story when the veteran is an immigrant. it appears. only touch a little bit on, you mentioned the dod background checks. he said some really interesting things about the challenges with those dod background checks. is there an appeals process for a personnel who want to appeal some of those things that you outlined when you work being questioned. >> there wasn't until some of the immigrants have filed a lawsuit now there's a lawsuit pending for the district court for the district of columbia and the army has decided to institute some sort of process due process. because the immigrants were being kicked out of the military that went out being told they are being kicked out.
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in the army has a grade that it will provide some due process. and again, if you look at these background checks, they are not, they don't have anything to do with citizenship of availability. military is applying whose top-secret like guidelines to immigrants. and they see that any foreign anything foreign is derogatory. so it is a mismatch enema site to apply those guidelines to determine weather an immigrant is eligible to surf in the military. it causes massive failure rates of the background checks because all the immigrants have foreign parents. they have foreign bank account because they migrated from a foreign country and they had a foreign bank account. they are foreign who served in the south korean military. one of our allies for example that something that caused the failure. so the dod internally have the knowledge they can't get out of it because there's a bureaucratic struggle going on between the folks at the consolidated adjudication
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facility that clung to their guidelines even though they don't oblige immigrants. and there is now supposed to be some due process but it's funny. and there's still images being discharged to her not being told wife there being discharged and not giving a chance to review the record. it is a travesty i hope congress will look into it. i think is right for gao investigation into these background checks and i would add that causing the government thousands upon thousands of dollars. to figure out the immigrants have foreign parents. >> thank you i yield back. >> i would like to call on ms. jackson from texas. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you to the witnesses that i hear. if i might, at those who have served in the united states military is her hands. thank you so very much for your service. my applause to you.
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men and women here, who have served in combat. thank you so very much. i recall being here for 911, and not trying to give anything to a story but i remember is the call came for individuals for the tradition and commitment to one's country and the chairman, there were numbers and numbers of legal permanent residents who heated the crime both for war in afghanistan and the war in iraq. interestingly enough i have no recollection of any i.c.e. involvement on anything. i do remember a series legislative initiatives to provide for opportunity for soldiers in theater.
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to be naturalized. naturalization ceremonies were going on. it's very interesting. the country was in need, men and women who either immigrants themselves are immigrants parents, wearing the uniform unselfishly and offer their lives. there are legal current residents who are in the nation his cemeteries today. iraq and afghan wars. so am baffled about where we are today. and i think whose is the very important hearing but i also believe whose should be to the attention of the armed services committee. if there was joint legislation it would have to be an accommodation with the arm services committees of the department of defense can wake up. and forgive me, if these questions have been answered but there is a standard that isis is
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supposed to utilize their dressing veterans. they need to consider it criminal history financial times, employment and health and community services. it comes to my attention with our report, the sum of the folks in i.c.e., don't even know they are supposed to do that. or handling list of criteria to even address. so if i could ask folks, actor, and jodi, first if you can tell me what kind of complexity that puts your members or he would enact with when they're not given any fair assessment by the local i.c.e. officer because they are not seeing washington
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piercing weiss where they are. could you answered that please. >> shirt it creates a problem. one thing that could be fixed is when i went to la county jail the ashley asked me if i was a veteran or not. in the book with front certain procedures. deftly in, they don't even ask you. so that probably didn't even know what procedures to take so deftly need to make sure that the government is accountable for that. >> so we need to put in a separate construct for veterans, at least require a bowl, immigration services are i.c.e. component, you have to ask the question. you have to prioritize veteran immigrants in your assessment of naturalization of processing rather than i have lost your packet. so insecure and insignificant bloodlust your packet. can you help us with the work that you do and the frustration i guess that you face.
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>> we have to address it on two fronts. first on the front end, where the person is encountering i.c.e. there should be a requirement that a minimum i.c.e. asked every person weather or not there either surfing the military or are a veteran. we know that doing that. second they should actually implement policies that they have and ideally improve the policies to actually do that assessment to know if they are new veteran interview that assessment and weigh all of the equities and everything else about the live weather removal actually is sensible policy decision. but then on the back and we also have to ensure that even devices put someone into proceedings that are law accounts for the fact that somebody may have served our country and deserves to remain in the united states. i want to correct something that was said earlier by mr. metcalf his is very important. law 1996 eliminated all judicial
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determination including cancellation of removal. cancellation of removal was not available fracture when he was being deported from his country. the law 96, eliminated any ability for a judge to consider military service as well is any other equities a person would apply. so we have to address it. with i.c.e. a simple policy. well also have two uphold the law. >> mr. metcalf would you like to respond. >> i just want to tell you, i was a judge in miami. i can't tell you that every case would come before me on the rubric has been testified to would have survived and challenge of cancellation from the government and i know that i granted 75 percent and 80 percent of the applications that came before me and them he also had i was typical of judges across the country and we do add the view me we do have the veteran his overall criminal
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history, his or her rehabilitations, family and financial ties to the u.s., employment history community service in addition to duty status was on using and decorated aborted, that is calling on the judge to do a much deeper dive. to cause also on the agency looking at that person to do a deeper dive. now i suggest you that when judges have that kind of blush in front of them on the administrative take the you know going to consider that to be informed by that in their judgments is certainly informed mine on people who were not in front of me is veterans. but is people who had a host of problems which prompted u.s. to see the removal. so i want to balance the opini opinion. >> thank you. if i can i'm going to yield.
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>> i think the disconnect here is the statue hearts judges from granting any relief on cancellation of removal to regard all those who are convicted of a so-called aggravated felony and if a man can give you an example i know of an individual surfing currently on active duty in the navy was a career navy person who long ago got convicted of something called obstruction of justice in virginia at the time a very minor offense he was told that it would not have any impact on his military career and he went on to surf a full career in the united states navy they apply for citizenship, he was told that whose is an aggravated felony and immigration law and has brought eligible for citizenship and told him he would not be deported until he leaves the navy so try to put off his retirement if you know in front of the honorable and more metcalf, he would not be eligible for cancellation of removal because the government considers it to be aggravated. >> i would take those deeper
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dive mr. chairman. >> requires us to look to the options of the individual who's been victimized. so i've yield back. >> thank you. i can, pennsylvania. >> thank you very much. and thank you for your testimony all of you on the important issue. the impact of current immigration policy, and their families. i think it is really important that we look at the impact and the cost for national security. international honor. of the current administration and the impact they are having on the armed forces and those who work with us. the fact that we are breaking our word to men and women who put their lives in the line for their country, is profoundly disturbing to me. i also want to note the irony that of the two portraits that hang on the floor of the house
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of representatives, what is george washington and another is a foreign national the phosphorus that would be the marquis to lafayette. so certainly we have a long history in whose country of relying upon persons of goodwill who may not be american citizens. but with respect to the impact on our national security, i have some familiarity with the issue of whose abby applicants, the iraqi and afghani, national who work with our armed forces. before i came here, almost a year ago, i worked with the hard rock group. there are a law students about term volunteers would represent iraqi and afghan and translators drivers who worked with our armed forces and in particular recall one gentleman whose work with our armed forces and if any and is the translator for five years. and when he recognized a taliban member in one of our bases and
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reported him thereby saving the lives of monday of our forces he then had to go into hiding. and he remained in hiding with his family for four years. while his application was processed. he did finally get here but it was a long process and i certainly heard additional folks who had more difficulty and have been unable to get the applications process. the impact on national security is huge. i recall if you had figures on what the processing rates are at whose.if you could respond that. >> is my written testimony. so i would refer to that. >> they have dropped down. >> they have dropped significantly in the travel ban has affected the ability of the applicants. processing an uptick in people who have been approved initially but now suddenly, for mysterious reasons for unknown to anybody
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they have been revoked and there is an appeal process that doesn't work. they send the request for information and the allegations in the number her anything again. in fact that an e-mail today from hearing the summit incident response to completely erroneous allegations made against them after he was granted a piece of it that they revoked it and he said in his rebuttal proven conclusively that these allegations to her he hasn't heard anything. >> our case was very similar. meditate all of the way up to the court of appeals. >> with respect i was also concerned about the testimony concerning folks who join our military but the expectation that they would become citizens and the fact that her military is now having trouble recruiting citizens to build those. can anyone on the panel speak to that. >> special operations command has conveyed to me that they're
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having trouble finding people his big languages of the countries in which they are operating. and if whose has reached a critical. they can't find people. in a group of people that were helpful are the folks that know about cyber work. it is just a fact that we have a lot of legal eminence in the united states of great cyber skills. but the camp with them to work the next day celeste their american citizens. if you have to be an american citizen to get a security clearance. and if they can't get into military and the can get their citizenship so they can fill the ranks of cyber command and cyber command is short. >> so in a country that is always relied on the skills. were turning people away from one of our most highest and important duties. >> that's correct. >> i yield back. >> thank you. let me first of all, include today's hearing first i want to make a couple of comments which is a lot of the policies that we are talking about here has
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brought a democratic or republican issue. a lot of the policies regarding today received a current administration think back to democratic administrations. i am hoping that my colleagues from the side of the aisle will join us and come up with some good comments in legislation and your witnesses here today, you identified some very solid public policy decisions proposal that we need to move forward in and we can because whose is about america and about keeping your commitment to our veterans and making sure that no soldier is left behind. i am hoping we can move forward and let me thank all of the witnesses here today in our veterans that are here today who can never thank you enough for your service to our country. i'm going to conclude whose hearing by once again thanking the panelists in our witnesses and that went out objection all members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions.
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and for the witnesses who additional materials for the record, and i look forward to continuing to work with you. that went out objection, whose committee is now concluded. >> a panel of middle east experts discussed iraq's political outlook at the atlantic council in washington, d.c.. they also weighed in on the current relations between the u.s. and iraq under the trump administration.
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>> good morning and thank you all for joining us today also our live stream audience, atlantic council president c.e.o. fred kemp. thanks for joining us both here in the room and virtually for our conversation. if you want to use social media, use #aciraq. you know it's an important event when the ambassador is here when key members of our board are here. and it's always such a pleasure to have our international
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advisory board member majid jafar here. thank you for crescent petroleum and for the global energy center. majid has been a person i've been stealing ideas from for a long period of time. he happens to be one of the best thinkers and actors and an analysts of the region. it's always a pleasure to have him here. so thank you so much for being here. today's event was organized by the council's global energy center. our iraq initiative is led by dr. abbas kadhim who has been our moderator today. it's been a game changer having abbas working with us. he's one of those rare individual who is understands
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the workings of the countries he's covering iraq so intimately but also the workings of washington which in many respects is sometimes more difficult to follow. this morning's discussion is iraq's facing the daunting challenge with crisis underway and citizens demanding reform as well as the news just yesterday that prime minister adel abdul
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mahdi will resign. despite the current unrest and uncertainty of the future iraq has made significant progress in years by carrying out elections about a peaceful transfer of power in the region where this is not the norm. we have to keep reminding ourselves of how unique that is. the united states and iraq have a long and complex history. we all know that. iraq's relations with iran have strained aspects of u.s.-iraq relations. but it's more important for us to work together as partners. as we saw for example during the mission last week that resulted in the death of the isis leader al-baghdadi. the u.s. operation was one key ingredient for the success of that operation. we don't espn a lot of time on individual bi-lateral operations in the atlantic council across our 13 programs and that act on issues in all regions of the world. what we do is we focus on the bilateral relations that we think have outsized importance and there's no doubt that that's the case in iraq and therefore our iraq initiative. today our expert panel will help us understand these dynamics and more. before i turn the floor over to moderate with our panelists, i would like to briefly introduce we are always happy when someone can break loose of their government offices. we know how demanding your jobs are. he is the principal deputy in the state department euro of near eastern affairs. he spent much of his career working in the middle east and
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particularly the arabian peninsula. he has served as step he of chief in iraq, kuwait, as well as a principal officer in saudi arabia. of crescentceo petroleum and the vice chairman of the crescent group of companies. he serves on the trusty on the arab form for development and the iraq energy institute. he also sits on the board of fellows of harvard medical school and the international advisory board of the princess trust international and of course, the international advisory board. just to show the reach of the work that we do together with majid and crescent, today in singapore we held the third workshop for a project called the role of oil and gas companies in the energy transition. it was held during the singapore international energy 2019 as part of their think tank round table sessions. third workshop for a project called the role of oil and gas companies in the energy transition. it was held during the singapore international energy 2019 as
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part of their think tank round table sessions. the workshop gathered a number of individuals from a variety of southeast asian research institutions and low cal representatives of international oil and gas companies and yielded key insightsisms i won't go into them here but there are issues that majid has pushed us us to look more closely at which is how oil and gas companies can take a leading role and a very positive role in an energy transition driven by broadening and enriching the energy mix through the companys that produce and market them to face challenges such as climate change and -- and other issues. really thinking into the future. so with that, i'll turn the floor over to abas and our panelist. before do i that let mesa lute masterfully ho has
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led our middle east programs. stephanie ali who has been instrumental in working with abas on the set of work around iraq. o over to you, abas. abbas: good morning, everyone. thank you for being here. i direct the iraq initiative. thank you, fred for these wonderful introductory remarks. and we are honored to have an all-star panel today. and you know,s the -- it takes that kind of an all-star panel to talk about iraq and the
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complexities of this country. so without any introductions, we will have a discussion a little bit from this stage and then open the floor for the audience for questions, i'm sure, everyone has many questions. indulge thesewill questions and will answer and we will -- we will do our best to decide or demystify what goes on in iraq. i -- we really have to recognize everybody in the room. all of you are our friends and people who help us a lot with your presence, with your ideas. but i would be remiss if i do not recognize my good friend and the advisory committee member for the iraqi initiative dr.
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astrabadi. he flew from indiana to join us for this event. thank you, sir. and again, the ambassadors and the friends -- all of you are welcome here. and thank you for being here. so let me go with the rule of ladies first. rahim. to ambassador ambassador, you've seen these events unfold and you are one of the people who have been in this town and elsewhere very informative and contributive to the debate. how do you see the trajectory of these -- these protests, their context, regional and international, and where do you think they are going in terms of their influence on the political scene in iraq, the government
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future, possible changes, or are we going to have another wave of protests that will go home and then we will re-live this once again? hopefully not. but i'm interested to know where you see the future. >> yes, lots of question. first of all, let's establish that we are at a crucial and possibly turning point in iraq's political development. there's no question. i think from october 1st, the protests have created a new narrative, a new scenario and projected a new vision for iraq that we haven't had. i won't say since 2003, we haven't had for decades. the protests started, of course, as a demand of services, of jobs, and so on. but what was interesting is that
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as they progressed and as violence began to be practiced against the protestors, the demands changed. and then they became a demand for, you know, holding people to account for corruption, a demand for resignation and so on. and then, the final thing was a demand for a wholesale change in the political system. so we really are now at the int where there's a direct ideological confrontation between protestors and between the political class that has vested interest, the protestors want complete change in all the principles, the system of governance that we've had, the electoral law, the constitution, elections and -- and -- and a
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whole mass of institutions and documents that were, in fact, at the basis of the state after 2003. they want an overhaul of all of this. die et, an overhaul is metrically opposed to the -- die metrically opposed to the political partys that have become sbreveraged in iraq. ideological not only physically ut ideologically we have had attempts. and we've had attempts against e prime minister and the majeria, there have been attempts to say, ok, we will reform. we will do the things that the protestors are asking for. but so far there's no indication from the establishment that they really intend to go through this
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wholesale change in the political system. and therefore if we don't have a breakthrough in this confrontation, i don't see where the impasse and i think if the institutions of government and if the political class don't respond, we're going to have a continuation of the protests, and my concern is that they're going become more violent partly because there are signs now that some of the protestors are so fed up that they're willing to go into armed conflict. but even more serious and more eminent in my view is that there may be a confrontation among political -- armed political groups themselves. we've already seen some settling of scores particularly nonks shiah militias.
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and this has not been declared publicly. but it has been understood on the street and in political circles that there are these . forts or -- or actions and i think that's the most dangerous thing that can emerge that you have rival militias going against each other under the cover of the protests that really trying to gain the upper hand in a situation of chaos. >> thank you. we will go back to some of these impacts in our conversations, and i would like to turn to joey. last time we sat together in the embassy in baghdad, we had that beautiful, you know, outside seating and, you know, baghdad was looking more peaceful. that was in may 2019.
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and then i went back to baghdad n september and october. actually i witnessed the first week of the protest. and i visited the ambassador. and we were talking about how things were looking better. there were two forums in baghdad in september. both of them were talking about the economy and energy, and like what used to be normally conferences were about security and all of the other things, the green zone was open and you could drive through. and it wasn't like you're driving through the tunnels with the t wall. and all of a sudden, something -- one thing led to another and the volume cainor and things changed. and i was thinking would by able to get out of the airplane before they take it over? my thing is from the american point of view, iraq has provided
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time and again so many assistance, packages to iraq on security and on other aspects. there is some strategic framework agreement. and the -- the u.s. was instrumental with the defeat of isis even though the iraqis did all of the heavy lifting and fighting. but it was very important for u.s. and international communities' engagement. the secretary made a statement of support for iraq in general. but my question is where is the united states government now stands in terms of the -- the protests. the government measures, and also in light of the fact that, you know, the united states must
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be very careful when the sensitivities of the region are important, probably some people argue that the u.s. should not publicly give any support for protests or any of that search would not be viewed in different lens. but on the other hand, the u.s. has is on long tradition of support of -- of democratic change and a reasonable pace hich iraq has been going on an -- what do you see the u.s. government or where is the u.s. government position right now on both of these issues. >> first of all, thank you for having us here, abbas. it's an honor be with you. and to be amongst so many mentors and friends and once again to say hello to the iraqi viewer who are watching. we are all watching very carefully and closely with
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what's happening in the country. we're very concerned about it. i think you heard us say that we call for nonviolence for both sides. the right of the protestors to demonstrate respectfully should be respected. and that the demonstrators should also not be violent, not be carrying arms. because iraq is lucky to be one of those few places in the middle east where people can express their views loudly in the streets. and as long as they do it peacefully, this is an extremely good way for the government to really know wham its people are thinking and what they're passionate about. and to adjust course. and we recognize that we have to talk ful about how we about these things because there are people who are ready to recognize us and involve us in all sorts of conspiracy theories. but the reality is that we
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remain ready to help iraq bailed stable and strong and sovereign government just like we've been doing. we think this is what protestors want. and this is what we want as well. and we're ready to work with the government in putting together the -- any sort of reasonable response to the protestor's demands, which we started to hear some of from his excellency the president yesterday. we would be interested to know what kind of timeline he's thinking about. we would be interested to know how we can be of assistance through the international organizations or directly or bilaterally. we're ready to help. >> thank you. majid, you represent a sector that's the most important sector in iraq because it's not all
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them at least the, you know, numbers go from 85 to 95 percentage of the iraqis where the revenue is coming from. the petroleum industry and this cannot really stand without the support and participation of international corporations that work in iraq. and that contribute to the iraqi economy. there are also other businesses and energy like the ones who will deal with electricity and other projects that iraq is trying to accomplish and also, the indust part of the iraqi industry.
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stability is not just important for the international corporation. we saw even things like sports events. the iraqi national team was supposed to play and now it has been moved to another city or another country. is really, stability is really important. how do you think the international business, whether they are investors or corporations who work in iraq on the field, view this and what are their sensitivities, their apprehension, maybe, or their fear also around the risks that can be coming out of this practice stability and also to the continuation of the government? thank you. so, thank you for the easiest question so far.
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>> i am never going to do easy questions. >> to talk about, you know, iraq taking what's below the ground and getting it up rather than unfortunately those who are above the ground being put into it and i hope and pray that iraq achieves more of the former and less of the latter. so the energy potential for iraq is huge. the proven reserves are $140 billion of oil and that number i believe is well below the reality. hardly any exploration has been done. it is still very much in its infancy, the industry there, despite the fact that we are in the 21st century. despite all the challenges iraq is now achieving five million barrels a day, half a million barrels a day from the kurdistan region. really, other than the united states, it's been the big growth of global oil production and certainly the fastest growing in opec, and that's despite lack of
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legislation, the war on isis, the internal political wrangling over revenue sharing, the political infrastructure, all of those challenges achieved such incredible growth of maintenance of production. and it can sort out the necessary things, what is really possible. i think we as a company, we're certainly very committed to iraq, never stopped producing in the kurdistan region. we were awarded three more blocks with the federal government, including the difficult area which has been liberated from isis, but we feel able to work there. and it's really about service delivery and that's one of the big asks of the demonstrators, also.
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i think that jobs is key and the fact that growth has been insufficient not only for iraq, but around the world you're seeing this, because of insufficient growth and major gripe since 2003 particularly in electricity, and clean water in the south was a big issue, especially in basra. and it is a shame that despite such amazing resources that hasn't been achieved yet. a lot of work is underway to try and, you know, achieve better delivery of these basic services, but the political system also needs to get together and take some strategic decisions and some political decisions. i think that one of the things that's been holding back the progress in the oil and gas sector is there isn't still this agreement in the constitution, which is revenue sharing basically for us as a population. there was an attempt years ago
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to package all the legislation in together. it was unfortunately failed, probably was too big an ask. probably makes more sense, first, how are you going to share the pie and then after that, everybody has an interest in growing the pie. >> right. >> and that's more on the investment laws. so there's a lot of work that still needs to be done, but no doubt iraq has great potential in this sector. >> let me follow up on this and one of the issues that you have to deal with as international corporations and the oil sector and in the petroleum sector, is this lack of legislation that can make things easier for iraqis and also for their international partners. and you are sort of steady and closely following the iraqi legislative system.
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what would make it easier for both sides? in other words, looking for something that is fair for both the iraqis and for the international corporations to be included in that law? >> so, i think on the-- again, two separate debates. one is the political one internally, how does iraq split the revenues from oil and gas. and the principle. it is clear. it is proportional to population and putting it into place. before you start putting drafts in the parliament, you have to have political agreements, and it has not taken place yet. and then about investors in fiscal terms. there has been evolution there. there were complaints from the international oil companies
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about the fiscal terms. it was not just about the rate of return, it was the structure, a service agreement where it was cost plus, and the investors became contractors. they had no intent to keep costs down. they had little incentive to innovate and optimize beyond that, because they got a dollar a barrel. the federal ministry, their current model which they have expertise in is more of the investor agreement. and they put a price on natural gas, and guarantees including with crude. many countries in the middle east have failed to price the gas, and not surprisingly there is little investment in that sector. iraq has huge potential in


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