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House Proceeding 07-22-09 on Jul 22nd, 2009 :: 0:47:50 to 0:55:25
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Christopher H. Smith

0:47:46 to 0:48:07( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i ma consume. the speaker pro tempore: the mr. smith: i thank my friend and colleague for his kind remarks and for his strong support for there are humanitarian legislation. it's deeply appreciated. mr. speaker, many americans and

Christopher H. Smith

0:47:50 to 0:55:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Christopher H. Smith

Christopher H. Smith

0:48:08 to 0:48:29( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: perhaps not a few members of congress may be shocked to learn that nationwide there are an estimated 500,000 torture survivors in the united states, men and women who came in most cases to the u.s. as refugees. worldwide it's impossible to recount the numbers, but the numbers are in the several million. as chairman of the human rights

Christopher H. Smith

0:48:30 to 0:48:51( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: subcommittee in prior congresses, we put together large number of hearings on the issue of torture and numerous torture survivors testified at those hearings about the paralyzing scars from the physical as well as psychological wounds of torture that remain for years and usually for a lifetime. i'm happy to say that chairman mcgovern of the tom lantos congressional human rights

Christopher H. Smith

0:48:52 to 0:49:14( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: commission under the able leadership of hands thank you, for having that hearing recently where we heard again about the need for this kind of approach but also the horror that these people had faced in the ongoing scars they endure. their painful memories make it all too clear that torture impacts not only the individual

Christopher H. Smith

0:49:15 to 0:49:36( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: victims but as we know now the families themselves. families who have to deal mostly with posttraumatic stress disorder which man fests itself with such agony in the lives of these people. mr. eaker, in 1998, congress took an historic step towards attempting to repair the broken lives of torture victims with the passage of the torture

Christopher H. Smith

0:49:37 to 0:49:57( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: victims relief act of 1998. i was a prime sponsor of this legislation and subsequent re-authorizations. despite all of those efforts, however, there continues to be an enormous need and i would submit an escalating need for us to reach out to the victims of torture who oftentimes have no other recourse for their suffering.

Christopher H. Smith

0:49:58 to 0:50:18( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: over the years as i said and now to current day with the tom lantos commission, we have had hearings with torture victims from the soviet bloc, africa, asia, as well as central and south america. one of those witnesses at the hearings was mr. shakor, founder of the human watch liberia and

Christopher H. Smith

0:50:19 to 0:50:40( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: survor of torture in liberia. he testified to the brutal physical treatment, including the use of electrical shocks and psychological abuse that he suffered at the hands of the regime of crles taylor. he was finally released from prison with the help of the united states embassy in liberia. he fled to the u.s. and was

Christopher H. Smith

0:50:41 to 0:51:02( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: admitted to the bellevue hospital program for survivors of torture where he received medical and psychiatric care. evidentiary support for his asylum application, and eventually assistance in finding employment with the federal reserve bank of new york. he concluded his testimony at the hearing stating that, i

Christopher H. Smith

0:51:03 to 0:51:23( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: quote, mine is a story like so many other individuals around the countr cared for by the torture treatment centers funded by the torture victims relief act. i know from my fellow torture victims, went on, now living in the u.s., that the need for more services is enormous. i urge you to do whatever you can to increase funding for the

Christopher H. Smith

0:51:24 to 0:51:46( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: centers doing this important work. for survivors of torture, this is truly a mter of life and death. it is to help people like mr. sacor that i and so many others, 26 co-sponsors who bring this bill today, including jim oberstar, who has been for so many years on these issues. there are organizations in minnesota, new jersey, florida,

Christopher H. Smith

0:51:47 to 0:52:07( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: all over the country doing heroic work and assisting refugees within our own country such as the international institute of new jersey that need funding that would be authorized under this legislation. to help individuals overcome the scars of torture so that they can finally at long last integrate successfully into our society.

Christopher H. Smith

0:52:08 to 0:52:30( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: the institute in message message for example provides ref few geese, refugee resettlement services in new jersey that include medical care, english language training, housing employment, vocational referrals, mental health counsel, and social adjustment services. the benefits of such programs far outweigh any cost. it's an investment in people who

Christopher H. Smith

0:52:31 to 0:52:51( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: have been harmed in most cases by despotic regimes. h.r. 1511 has three components. the domestic aspect is designed to ensure that particular attention is given to torture victims in regions within the u.s. that have significant immigrant a populations. the measure authorizes $25

Christopher H. Smith

0:52:52 to 0:53:12( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: million for each fiscal year 2010 and 2011 to the department of health and human services to assist domestic treatment centers. there are over 20 programs in 15 states assisted by the department of health services. their office of refugee resettlement. in addition to direct assistance to survivors of torture and their families, many of these

Christopher H. Smith

0:53:13 to 0:53:33( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: centers are also engaged in training mainstream organizations and personnel in this spealized treatment that is required for torture victims. the department of health has said that over 3,200 individuals were assisted during the six-month period in 2006 to 2007 and the primary countries of

Christopher H. Smith

0:53:34 to 0:53:56( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: origin of grant beneficiaries included cameroon, ethiopia, iran, congo, iraq, sudan, and togo. it is important, mr. speaker, that the united states also express concrete concern for victims overseas. h.r. 1511 million for fiscal years 2010

Christopher H. Smith

0:53:57 to 0:54:18( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: and 2011 for f centers and programs administered through usaid's victims of torture fund. the funding is intended to give particular emphasis to supporting centers and programs abroad in emerging democracies and in post conflt i would note parenetically as i travel on human rights missions abroad, mr. speak often visit those centers and

Christopher H. Smith

0:54:19 to 0:54:41( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: the good work that's being done to help people like in bucharest where the legacy of the brutal tyrant of romania, people are being assisted who spent time suffering torture under his secrete police. lastly, mr. speaker, the measure encourages international cooperation and awareness of

Christopher H. Smith

0:54:42 to 0:55:02( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: this issue by authorizing $12 million to the u.n. voluntary fund for torture victims. the type of humanitarian assistance provided by organization that receive grants from the fund, including organizations in the u.s., consist mainly of, again, psychological, medical, and legal assistance. i hope my colleagues can support this legislation and i reserve

Christopher H. Smith

0:55:03 to 0:55:23( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. reserve the balance of my time. mr. smith: therefore, we have no further requests for time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman have yielded back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1511. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules

Christopher H. Smith

0:55:24 to 0:55:25( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher H. Smith: are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection

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