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Senate Proceeding on May 26th, 2010 :: 7:52:45 to 8:14:55
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Ron Wyden

7:52:44 to 7:53:05( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president, i rise to speak on some of the amendments that are before the senate that i understand will be considered and coming up for

Ron Wyden

7:52:45 to 8:14:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden

7:53:06 to 7:53:26( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: some votes. toe, they are misguided efforts as it relates to how we ultimately deal with our immigration policy in this country, how we deal with the questions of national security of our economy, of our

Ron Wyden

7:53:27 to 7:53:47( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: well-being. i have supported and join and take a back seat to no one in our efforts to secure the borders of the united states. but, the militarizing of the border is something that i clearly do not believe is in our

Ron Wyden

7:53:48 to 7:54:08( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: collective interest. now, senators cornyn, kyl and cain seek to offer border enforcement amendments to the supplemental that we are debating, but these amendments are, in my mind, merely an opportunity to grandstand instead of solving the country's real immigration problems. these amendments would deplete

Ron Wyden

7:54:09 to 7:54:30( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: critical stimulus funds that are greatly needed to support a recovering economy. it's an economy that recovers that ultimately generates the revenues to fund some of the very initiatives we'd like to see. it's important to realize that many of the remaining stimulus funds of that, much of the funding is for mandatory programs.

Ron Wyden

7:54:31 to 7:54:52( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: these are programs that we must pay for under current law, such as unemployment insurance, food stamps, fmap, to mention a few. furthermore, there seems to be a sense of amnesia here that we have already poured billions of dollars into border enforcement

Ron Wyden

7:54:53 to 7:55:16( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: this year more than under the last republican-controlled congress. over the last three years alone, the democratic congress has increased u.s. customs and border protection funding by over 23%. from $8 billion to about $10 billion.

Ron Wyden

7:55:17 to 7:55:38( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: we've addedn extra $1 billion for border infrastructure as part of the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009. funding for border security in the last ten years has increased substantially with a 127% increase for customs and border

Ron Wyden

7:55:39 to 7:56:00( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: patrol inspections, 160% increase for border patrol and a monstrous over 1,000% -- 1,037% increase for construction and technology purposes.

Ron Wyden

7:56:01 to 7:56:21( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: these investments have fully funded over 20,000 border patrol agents, an increase of 6,000 agents or more than 50% since 2006. this increase was at a total cost of over $3.5 billion this year.

Ron Wyden

7:56:22 to 7:56:42( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: we have doubled the number of border patrol agents in a five-year period. and the border patrol is better staffed and funded than at any time -- any time -- in its 85-year history. we completed the southwest border fence with over 645 miles

Ron Wyden

7:56:43 to 7:57:03( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: now under effective control compared to 241 miles in fiscal year 2005. over the last three years the democratic-controlled congress has invested $1.2 billi to complete the fence, 20% more than the republican congress provided for that effort.

Ron Wyden

7:57:04 to 7:57:25( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: we have financed advanced new border patrol technology, including hammers, radars, sensors, command-and-control systems to, help the border control continuously monitor the border. democrats in congress provided $421 million, more than four times what the republican congress provided, for these tools and reqred a high

Ron Wyden

7:57:26 to 7:57:47( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: standard of oversight and accountability to ensure that these advanced technologies would prove to be robust, reliable and true force multipliers. we have funded three new predator unmanned predator vehicles for long unmanned surveillance areas.

Ron Wyden

7:57:48 to 7:58:09( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: customs and border patrol aeroand marine division manages the largest law enforcement air force in the world with 284 aircraft, including six predator aircraft patrolling the nation's land and sea borders to both stop terrorists and drug smugglers before they enter the

Ron Wyden

7:58:10 to 7:58:32( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: united states. since 2008, a democratically-controlled congress has provided $323 million, more than five times the amount previously provided by republicans, for the unique identity initiative under the u.s. visit program. democrats have also doubled

Ron Wyden

7:58:33 to 7:58:53( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: funding from $15 million in 2008 to $31 million in 2010 f the u.s. visit efforto review biographic travel and biometric information of foreign visitors to the united states. the border patrol is not the only federal agency at the border. in arizona alone, there are more

Ron Wyden

7:58:54 to 7:59:15( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: than 6,000 federal law enforcement agents, majority employed by the border patrol, representing nearlyen agents for every mile of international line between arizona and sonojo, mexico. legions of border patrol agents are supported by thousands of

Ron Wyden

7:59:16 to 7:59:38( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: federal agents from a wide spectrum of agencies, several thousand immigration enforcement agents, 1,180 d.e.a. agents, 1,212 air and marine officers, 6,235 alcohol, tobacco and firearm agents, 1,419 canine

Ron Wyden

7:59:39 to 8:00:00( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: enforcement teams, 280 horse patrols, 280 narcotics detention teams, 32 currency detention teams, 212 narcotics, human smuggling detention teams and 4 stkphaoeufplt e.a. enforcement mobile teams. the number has increased so rapidly that there aren't even

Ron Wyden

8:00:01 to 8:00:24( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: enough supervisor to effectively train new agents. the g.a.o. found that the agency's ratios of agents to survisors went from the normal 5-to-1 to 11-to-1. in addition to these border enforcement increases, the democratically controlled congress has increased i.c.e.'s

Ron Wyden

8:00:25 to 8:00:46( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: budget 37% since 2007. the last year of republican majority in the congress. and restructured the agency's budget to target aliens with dangerous criminal convictions and those who pose the gatest threat to america and americans. in the last 10 yea, funding

Ron Wyden

8:00:47 to 8:01:08( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: for immigration, customs, and detention and removal has increased by 170%. over the last 16 months, the administration's comprehensive plan to secure the southwest border has resulted in record seizures of illegal weapons and bulk cash transiting from the

Ron Wyden

8:01:09 to 8:01:30( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: united states to mexico. significant seizures of illegal drugs heading into the united states, lowering violent crime rates in southwest border states and reduced illegal immigration. republicans say we must pour more money into border security before we can address this issue comprehenssirvelings more than

Ron Wyden

8:01:31 to 8:01:51( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: everything i've already stated. but that has not always been their position. let me read you a quote regarding border enforcement. quote -- "despite an increase in border patrol agents from 3,600 to 10,000, despite quintupling the border patrol budget,

Ron Wyden

8:01:52 to 8:02:12( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: despite the employment of new technologies and tactics all to enforce current immigration laws, illegal immigration drastically increased during the 1990's while strengthening border security is an essential component of national security, it must also be accompanied by immigration reforms.

Ron Wyden

8:02:13 to 8:02:33( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: as long as there are jobs available in this country for people who live in poverty and hopelessness in other countries, these people will risk their lives to cross our borders, no matter how formidable the barriers and most will be successful." now, i ask you, who made the

Ron Wyden

8:02:34 to 8:02:55( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: statement against border security policies and in favor of comprehensive immigration reform? it was our colleague from arizona, senator mccain. on march 30 of 2006. here's another quote. "for those who say let's just enforce our laws, i remind them

Ron Wyden

8:02:56 to 8:03:17( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: that some of our laws are unenforceable. my conservative friends are the first ones to point out that the 1986 law is not an effective law. toc unenforceable. and until we change it, we're not going to be able to just enforce the lawyers." that was our colleague from arizona as well, senator jon kyl in 2007. and i could go on and on about

Ron Wyden

8:03:18 to 8:03:39( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: comments made in the past. i agree in those respects with senator mccain and senator kyl's past statements that we certainly need comprehensive immigration reform achieve the goal of resteak the rule of law and fixing our browning immigration stm. even former bush administration

Ron Wyden

8:03:40 to 8:04:01( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: secretary of home land security tom ridge wrote in a 2006 op-ed that gaining -- quote -- "operational control of the borders is impossible unless our efforts are coupled with a robust temporary desk worker program and a means to entice those now working illegally out of the shadows into some type of

Ron Wyden

8:04:02 to 8:04:22( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: legal status." close quote. now, border security first has been the strategy used by the congress and the federal government for the past 17 years. and my understanding of the definition of "insanity" is to keep doing the same thing, do more of it, and get the same

Ron Wyden

8:04:23 to 8:04:45( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: result. it's recipe for failure. now, several of my colleagues and i have put forward an immigration framework as an invitation to our republican colleagues to join us in something that is critical to the national security of the united states, critical to the economy of the unitedtates,

Ron Wyden

8:04:46 to 8:05:06( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: and critical so that american citizens and legal permanent residents do not face what they're facing. i have over 200 cases of u.s. citizens -- u.s. citizens -- and legal, permanent residents of the united states, people who obey the laws, follow the rules, follow the process and are here

Ron Wyden

8:05:07 to 8:05:27( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: legally, who have been unlawfully detained, in violation of their constitutional rights. and in some cases american citizens who have been detained months in detention before their citizenship was established. who among us in this chamber is willing to accept second-class

Ron Wyden

8:05:28 to 8:05:51( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: citizenship, simply because of the happenstance of who they are, what they look like, what their accent may be, or the happen stance of where they happen to reside? but that has happened to u.s. citizens and legal, permanent residents. and then we have laws that exacerbate those possibilities

Ron Wyden

8:05:52 to 8:06:12( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: of expanding. i do not accept that any citizen of the united states is a second-class citizen of this country. our national security, our framework incorporates many of our republican colleagues' ideas. it makes for an even more robust

Ron Wyden

8:06:13 to 8:06:33( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: enforcement border, enforcement process in a way that deals with national security. the framework includes increases in border control and technology, but at the same time we can never have national security if we don't know who is here to pursue the american

Ron Wyden

8:06:34 to 8:06:55( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: dream versus who might be here to do it damage. unless i bring millions of people out of the darkness, into the light, and find out why are you here, what is your purpose, do a criminal background check on them, and then make them law-abidg insofar as they'll be able to contribute to the national good, pay taxes, go

Ron Wyden

8:06:56 to 8:07:17( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: through that background check, learning english, and then after a language long, long set of years have an opportunity to adjust their statistic news this country, millions will be in the shadows and we'll have no idea, are they here to pursue the american dream or are they here to do it harm?

Ron Wyden

8:07:18 to 8:07:39( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: and by having people come forth, as the law as we suggest becomes reality and being able to religious sneer a temporary status, we bring people oust darkness and into the light. we create an opportunities to do criminal background checks, to make sure they have been in other respects law-abiding and that they are here to pursuit dreams that millions of immigrant whose came to this country and crint contribut to

Ron Wyden

8:07:40 to 8:08:00( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: the vitality of this nation have enormously. but will never know who is here to pursue this dream er versus who is here to do it harm if they stay in the shadows and that certainly is not in the of the -- is not in the interest of the national security of the united states. the reaction to the arizona law illustrates that latinos, asians

Ron Wyden

8:08:01 to 8:08:21( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: and others who do not believe that they are second-ass citizens in this country are willing to accept it. i have nothing in this possession that presents that i am a united states citizen, even though i was born in the great city of new york, that ultimately says that i am such. i don't carry my birth certificate around. don't carry my passport around

Ron Wyden

8:08:22 to 8:08:43( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: with me. in essence, even though i was born here, but if i want to travel to another state, that says that the simple legal contact and lawful contact with a citizen -- well, lawful contact with a citizen is a police officer who is on foot patrol and comes up

Ron Wyden

8:08:44 to 8:09:05( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: to a group of citizens. lawful contact with a citizen is a patrol car that comes up to a group of day laborers on a corner. lawful contact is anywhere where policefficers might very well be in contact with any citizen. and now the success spector the suspect, of, well, this person

Ron Wyden

8:09:06 to 8:09:27( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: gives me reason to suspect that somehow they are here in an undocumented fashion, and that process, even before the arizona law, has led to u.s. citizens and legal permanent residents being unlawfully detained in the united states. i guess until it happens to one of us we don't quite feel the same way.

Ron Wyden

8:09:28 to 8:09:49( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: but i feel that any citizen in this country is not second-class citizen. i also am worried when one group of people in our country become a suspect class, when one group of people are blamed for all the ills of the nation.

Ron Wyden

8:09:50 to 8:10:11( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: history teaches that happens, it has a very sad ending. it has a very sad and dangerous ending. we cannot let that happen here in the united states of america. it is not who we're as a people. it is not who we're as a nation.

Ron Wyden

8:10:12 to 8:10:32( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: so i believe that there is much that hopefully would be in common here. we believe joily that the national security of the united states is about controlling and protecting our we do it is going to be really important. it's about the national economy of this country, because i'll

Ron Wyden

8:10:33 to 8:10:54( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: just have to be honest with you. you know, we have to be honest with what elements of our economy, even in this challenging economy, elements of our economy that are done by immigrant workers. if you had breakfast this morning and you had fruit, it was probably picked by the bent back of an immigrant worker. if you had chicken for dinner

Ron Wyden

8:10:55 to 8:11:15( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: last night, it was probabl plucked by the cut-up hands of an immigrant worker. if you slept in one of the hotels and motels of the by waifs our cities, it was -- byways of our cities, it was probably cleaned by the handles of an immigrant worker. if you have a loved

Ron Wyden

8:11:16 to 8:11:38( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: infirmed, probably their daily needs are being taken by the steady hands and warm heart of an immigrant worker. and i could go on and on. i believe that this is also about our national economy. for so long as we permit a subclass to be exploited in an economy, it hurts the wages of

Ron Wyden

8:11:39 to 8:11:59( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: all others in an economy and only bringing them out of the darkness and into the light creates a set of circumstances in which we will not have such exploitation. so i do this all by way of background that says that if the amendments that are now going to be proceeded on -- the cornyn

Ron Wyden

8:12:00 to 8:12:20( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: amendment, kyl second-degree, pouring billis into perpetuating an inadequate strategy that won't solve the problem, dumping $1.9 billion in additional personnel, technologies and resources along the border, when in fact we have a set of circumstances where

Ron Wyden

8:12:21 to 8:12:42( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: that has shown itself time and time again not to have been the successful strategy, it's interesting that some of the state and local grant programs for border security have led to misuse of funds and costly litigation. an "arizona daily star" investigation found that funding

Ron Wyden

8:12:43 to 8:13:04( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: for state and local programs us woulded to compensate officer time for issuing traffic citations, crowd control at parades and soccer games, attending a funeral, monitoring gun shows, and responding to calls about loud music. well, that isn't about border

Ron Wyden

8:13:05 to 8:13:25( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: enforcement. the mccain amendment appropriates $250 million offset with recovery act funds. deployments would be required to start within 72 hours of passage and last until the department of defense and the department of homeland security certify they have operational control of the border.

Ron Wyden

8:13:26 to 8:13:47( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: this amendment would place an incredible, significant burden on national guard troops who are already overburdened and interfere with the president's authority to deploy troops. you know, we already are using the national guard in unprecedented ways, in deployments abroad. the president's authority is affected.

Ron Wyden

8:13:48 to 8:14:08( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: i know that the administration strongly opposes it. general jones, the national security advisor, john brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said in an attached letter to chairman levin, "there is no modern precedent for congress to direct the president to deploy troops manner sought by the

Ron Wyden

8:14:09 to 8:14:29( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: amendment. it represents an interference with the commander i chief's responsibilities to direct the deployment of our armed forces t would also interfere with the administration's comprehensive border security plan." so, for all of these rngs, i am in strong opposition to these amendments and i would certainingly urge their defeat -- certainly urge their defeat.

Ron Wyden

8:14:30 to 8:14:50( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: it will send billions more after billions that have already been sent to accomplish the same negative result, and yiewsh own words -- and your own words speak to the very essence of how we get if a solution here, which is to pursue a comprehensive nature to this reality. and if you want to ensure a

Ron Wyden

8:14:51 to 8:14:55( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: contuing set of circumstances in which law enforcement turns u.s. citizens into second-class

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