Amy Klobuchar on Immigration
DFL Sr Senator (MN); Democratic presidential contender
We're going to have a million openings for home health care workers, particularly in rural areas, that we don't know how to fill. We're going to have over 100,000 openings for nursing assistants. We're not going to have a shortage of sports marketing degrees. We're going to have a shortage of plumbers and nurses.
So putting incentives in place with how we do loan payback, making one- and two-year degrees free, and then of course creating loan payback programs if people will go, especially medical students, into rural areas.
I have passed the bill that allows doctors from other countries that study in our medical schools to stay and serve in rural areas. We need to expand that.
KLOBUCHAR: I support different enforcement priorities. Of course, I'll look at the statute to see if you can make changes depending on the level of a security risk. But no, I don't support open borders and simply getting rid of this statute.
KLOBUCHAR: Immigrants, they do not diminish America. They are America. But I do think you want to make sure that you have provisions in place that allow you to go after traffickers and allow you to go after people who are violating the law. What I really think we need to step back and talk about is the economic imperative here. And that is that 70 of our Fortune 500 companies are headed by people that came from other countries. Twenty-five percent of our U.S. Nobel laureates were born in other countries. We have a situation right now where we need workers in our fields and in our factories. We need them to start small businesses. We need their ideas. And this president has literally gone backwards at a time when our economy needs immigrants.
"First of all," Klobuchar answered, "the family has asked that people not politicize this tragic death."
Klobuchar added the man charged with the student's death should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. She also said that she endorsed a path to earned citizenship for people who have been law abiding and that she supported more money for border security and employer checks of immigrant status.
KLOBUCHAR: I believe we need to have order. We need to have adequate border controls, the fence, and no amnesty for companies hiring illegal immigrants; as well as earned citizenship for people who have been here, have paid their taxes, that are willing to learn English and become part of our community.
KENNEDY: Ms. Klobuchar came out first for a bill that had nothing in there for a fence. I [didnít agree with that bill] that we should give a veto right to Mexico to control our border.
KLOBUCHAR: For 6 years, this Congressman and this Congress had the ability to do something about immigration. We need comprehensive immigration reform. It hasnít happened. The Fargo Forum debunked his claims on my stands on immigration, and said they were distorted and not true.
FITZGERALD: I do not support a fence on our southern border. You show me a 50-foot fence, Iíll show you someone with a 51-foot ladder.
KLOBUCHAR: Yes, I do.
KENNEDY: If you look at the record, she said she would support the Senate immigration bill, that would give benefits to 12 million people that didnít have benefits. $5 billion cost to Social Security. If you included Medicare and Medicaid, thatíd be $50 billion.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO ON TABLING MOTION:Sen. VITTER: There are so-called sanctuary cities which establish as an official policy of their jurisdiction: We are not going to cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement officials. That is wrong. What is more, it is completely contrary to Federal immigration law. My amendment says: We are going to put some consequence to that defiance of Federal law. We are not going to give them COPS funds. We are going to send those funds, instead, to all of those other jurisdictions which abide by Federal law.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES ON TABLING MOTION:Sen. DURBIN: There are sanctuary cities in about 23 different States across America. What the Vitter amendment will do is to take away the COPS funding from those cities. Police departments will tell you they need the cooperation of everyone to solve crimes and stop crime. If you create fear in the minds of those who are here in an undocumented status that any cooperation with the police will result in their arrest, they will not cooperate and criminals will go free. Let's not use the COPS Program as some sort of threat. If you want to deal with immigration, deal with it responsibly in a comprehensive way. SUPPORTER'S RESPONSE:Sen. VITTER: If folks feel that way, they should come to Congress and change Federal law, not simply defy Federal law. This is another amnesty vote. Are we going to give folks in sanctuary cities amnesty for defying Federal law and refusing to cooperate with Federal immigration officials? LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Motion to Table Agreed to, 58-40
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
If we do not legislate now, we will not legislate later this year when our calendar is crowded with Iraq and appropriations bills. We are then an election year, and it will be pushed over to 2009. Circumstances will not be better then, they will be worse.
A vote against cloture is a vote to kill the bill. A Senator may vote for cloture and then express himself in opposition to the bill by voting against the bill.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
If this bill becomes law, we will see only a 13% reduction in illegal immigration into America, and in the next 20 years we will have another 8.7 million illegals in our country. How can that be reformed? I submit this would be a disaster.
The Congressional telephone systems have shut down because of the mass phone calls Congress is receiving. A decent respect for the views of the American people says let's stop here now. Let's go back to the drawing board and come up with a bill that will work.
The American people get it, and they do have common sense and wisdom on this issue. They know repeating the fundamental mistakes of the 1986 bill, joining a big amnesty with inadequate enforcement, will cause the problem to grow and not diminish. They know promising enforcement after 30 years of broken promises isn't good enough. They know the so-called trigger is a joke because if the trigger is never pulled, the Z visas, the amnesty happens forever.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
Right now, the polling shows that 91% of the people in America want English as an official language, and 76% of Hispanics believe English should be an official language.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
I believe the American people understand in order to succeed in our society, immigrants need to learn English. But the amendment would do a number of things that are problematical. The first is that it is contrary to the provisions of law that exist in many States. For example, in New Mexico, you have in their State Constitution, a provision that says that many of the documents within that State have to be provided in both English and Spanish. The same thing is true for the State of Hawaii. I believe this is a States rights issue, and those constitutions of those States ought to be respected. I do not believe it is a matter we ought to be imposing here from Washington DC.
Also, this amendment would undo an executive order conceived by President Bill Clinton and implemented by President George Bush. Both recognized it is important that people who have limited English proficiency receive the kinds of services so they can understand what is going on in terms of the interface between the Government and themselves.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This legislation says we wish to add something called guest workers or temporary workers. With guest workers, working Americans would discover there is no opportunity for upward mobility at their job. In fact, every day their employers are trying to find ways to push down wages, eliminate retirement, and eliminate health care. What has happened in this country, with what is called the "new global economy," is dramatic downward pressure on income for American workers. The guest worker program provides that 400,000 people will be able to come in to assume jobs in our country per year--adding to the 12 million illegal immigrants already here.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
I certainly concur about the need to secure our borders, about the need to have a workable immigration system, and the need for reform that ensures the rule of law is restored in the US. Where I differ is in the belief that we can actually achieve these goals if we have no ability for temporary workers to come to the country. This amendment would eliminate the temporary worker program from this bill.
Now, there are several reasons why a temporary worker program, within certain constraints, is a good idea. The first reason is because it will help to relieve the magnet for illegal immigration. The reason most of the people are crossing our border illegally is to get employment. There are jobs available for them. Some people say this is work Americans will not do. That is actually not true. But there are not enough American citizens to do all of the work that needs to be done. So naturally the law of supply and demand sets in here. People come across the border illegally, and they take that work. What we want to do is both close the border, but also eliminate the magnet for illegal employment here, because the reality is desperate people will always try to find some way to get into the country.
Senate Resolution 268 recognizes:
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Rep. Ross introductory remarks to opposing bill H.R.4025) "This legislation prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to admit Syrian refugees to the United States. ISIS carried out a series of violent attacks in Paris, and reports have indicated at least one of the terrorists who committed these atrocities entered Europe by posing as a refugee fleeing Syria. These horrific attacks provide a warning of what can happen on American soil if we do not take appropriate and immediate action. Reliable intelligence about refugees from countries like Syria attempting to enter the United States is clearly unavailable. More than half of our country's governors have taken immediate action to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in their states. Our own intelligence community has expressed concerns about our capabilities to identify threats. The federal government has no greater responsibility than keeping Americans safe."
The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Increase Border Security Including Additional Infrastructures ' Christian Coalition's self-description: "Christian Voter Guide is a clearing-house for traditional, pro-family voter guides. We do not create voter guides, nor do we interview or endorse candidates."
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 is hereby terminated.
Proclamation 9844 issued by the president on Feb. 15, 2019: Declares a state of national emergency at the southern border to address the issues of illegal immigration and criminal trafficking into the US: "The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch's exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis."
Opposing the Proclamation (supporting the Resolution), ACLU press release, 2/15/2019 The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: "By the president's very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall 'faster.' This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy."
Legislative outcome Passed House 245-182-5 roll #94 on Feb. 26; pass Senate 59-41 roll #49 on March 14; Vetoed by Pres. Trump; veto override failed, 248-181-3 (2/3 required), roll #127 on March 26
Legislative Summary:This bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China. The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.
Explanation from the Countable.US: Under the current immigration system, immigrants from any one country can claim no more than 7% of the 140,000 employment-based green cards issued annually to foreign nationals working in the U.S. This significantly disadvantages immigrants from larger countries that more immigrants come from.
For example, China (population 1.3 billion) and India have large backlogs of workers wishing to immigrate to and work in the U.S., but they have the name visa caps as countries such as Iceland or Estonia (population 1.3 million), which have both much smaller populations and far fewer citizens seeking to immigrate to the U.S.
The net effect of this is that immigrants from India and China can face decades-long waits, averaging 2-3 times the wait times for immigrants from other countries, for green cards, and many have to return home because they can't get permanent residency; meanwhile, countries such as Iceland and Estonia never come close to reaching their visa limit caps.
Legislative outcome Roll call 437 in House on 7/10/2019 passed 365-65-2; referred to Committee in Senate 7/9/2019; no action as of 1/1/2020.
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