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[Congressional Record: September 26, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S9215-S9229]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of the bill.
  The clerk will report the bill.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 2045) to amend the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act with respect to H-1B nonimmigrant aliens.


       Lott (for Abraham) amendment No. 4177, in the nature of a 
       Lott amendment No. 4178 (to amendment No. 4177), of a 
     perfecting nature.
       Lott motion to recommit the bill to the Committee on the 
     Judiciary, with instructions to report back forthwith.
       Lott amendment No. 4179 (to the motion to recommit), of a 
     perfecting nature.
       Lott amendment No. 4180 (to amendment No. 4179), of a 
     perfecting nature.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Voinovich). The Senator from 
  Mr. KENNEDY. With the understanding of the acting majority leader, if 
I could have the attention of the Senator from Ohio, I ask that the 
time be evenly divided.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. That is already the order.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I ask consent I be allowed to yield myself 12 minutes, 
and I ask consent that the Senator from Rhode Island be allowed to 
follow with 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has just allocated more time than 
the Senator has.
  Mr. KENNEDY. As I understand the time allocation, there are 45 
minutes. I thought I would yield 12 minutes to myself and 10 minutes to 
the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Twenty-two minutes a side.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I ask consent that the Senator from Rhode Island be 
permitted to be recognized after me in the remaining time, and I yield 
myself 12 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I yield myself 10 minutes at this time, if the clerk 
will let me know.
  Mr. President, I support the pending H-1B high-tech visa legislation. 
The high technology industry needs skilled workers to ensure its 
continued growth. As we all know, the Nation is stretched thin to 
support these firms

[[Page S9216]]

that are so important to the Nation's continuing economic growth. 
Demand for employees with training in computer science, electrical 
engineering, software and communications is very high, and Congress has 
a responsibility to meet these needs.
  In 1998, in an effort to find a stop-gap solution to this labor 
shortage, we enacted legislation which increased the number of 
temporary visas available to skilled foreign workers. Despite the 
availability of additional visas, we have reached the cap before the 
end of the year in the last 2 fiscal years.
  The legislation before us today addresses this problem in two ways. 
The short-term solution is to raise the H-1B visa cap and admit greater 
numbers of foreign workers to fill these jobs. The long-term solution 
is to do more to provide skills training for American workers and 
educational opportunities for American students.
  Raising the cap for foreign workers without addressing our domestic 
job training needs would be a serious mistake. We cannot and should not 
count on foreign sources of labor indefinitely. It is unfair to U.S. 
workers, and the supply of foreign workers is limited. In their 1999 
book, The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United 
States, Peter Freeman and William Aspray report that other countries 
are experiencing their own IT labor shortages and are ``placing 
pressures on or providing incentives to their indigenous IT work force 
to stay at home or return home.''
  Furthermore, the jobs currently being filled by H-1B workers are 
solid, middle-class jobs for which well-trained Americans should have 
the opportunity to compete. The American work force is the best in the 
world--energetic, determined, and hard working. Given the proper skills 
and education, American workers can fill the jobs being created by the 
new high tech businesses.
  It makes sense to insist that more of our domestic workers must be 
recruited into and placed in these jobs. Countless reports cite age and 
race discrimination as a major problem in the IT industry, along with 
the hiring of foreign workers and layoff of domestic workers. According 
to an article Computerworld magazine, U.S. Census Bureau data show that 
the unemployment rate for IT workers over age 40 is more than five 
times that of other unemployed workers.
  Similar problems face women and minorities who are under-represented 
in the IT work force, and the shortage will continue unless they are 
recruited and trained more effectively by schools, corporations, and 
government programs.
  Under the solution that may of us favor, the Department of Labor, in 
consultation with the Department of Commerce, will provide grants to 
local work force investment boards in areas with substantial shortages 
of high-tech workers. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for 
innovative high-tech training proposals developed by the work force 
boards in cooperation with area employers, unions, and higher education 
institutions. This approach will provide state-of-the-art high-tech 
training for approximately 46,000 workers in primarily high-tech, 
information technology, and biotechnology skills.
  Similarly, we must also increase scholarship opportunities for 
talented minority and low-income students whose families cannot afford 
today's tuition costs. We must also expand the National Science 
Foundation's merit-based, competitive grants to programs that emphasize 
these skills.
  To provide adequate training and education opportunities for American 
workers and students, we must increase the H-1B visa user fee.
  At a time when the IT industry is experiencing major growth and 
record profits, it is clear that even the smallest of businesses can 
afford to pay a higher fee in order to support needed investments in 
technology skills and education. A modest increase in the user fee will 
generate approximately $280 million each year compared to current law, 
which raises less than one-third of this amount.
  This fee is fair. Immigrant families with very modest incomes were 
able to pay a $1,000 fee to allow family members to obtain green cards. 
Certainly, high-tech companies can afford to pay at least that amount 
during this prosperous economy.
  In fact, according to public financial information, for the top 20 
companies that received the most H-1B workers this year, a $2,000 fee 
would cost between .002 percent and .5 percent of their net worth. A 
$1,000 fee would cost them even less.
  This fee proposal will clearly benefit the country in the short- and 
long-term. Companies get H-1B workers now, and they will benefit from 
the workers and students served by programs funded with these fees.
  This proposal presents a win-win, bipartisan approach to meeting the 
needs and business and the U.S. work force. It is fair, responsible, 
and necessary, given the rapidly changing needs of society and our 
prosperous economy.
  If we build on existing education and training programs and force our 
labor and civil rights laws to prevent age, race, and gender 
discrimination, American workers and students can meet the long-term 
high-tech needs we face in the years ahead.
  I look forward to debate on this legislation in the days to come. I 
think it is a good bill, which can be improved with amendments to 
address several key issues. For example, we must ensure that the H-1B 
visa program is narrowly focused to address the skill-shortage. The 
unprecedented exemptions to the cap in the Hatch bill are unwarranted. 
Instead, we should ensure that workers with an advanced degree have 
priority for H-1B visas within the cap, and are subject to the same 
requirements as all other applications.
  Similarly, we must also ensure that the INS has sufficient funds to 
process high-tech visa applications and that certain institutions--all 
educational institutions, university teaching hospitals, nonprofits, 
and governmental research organizations--are appropriately exempted 
from the fee requirement.
  The high-tech industry's pressing need for skilled workers isn't the 
only immigration issue before Congress. There are also important family 
immigration issues that must be addressed.
  On several occasions in recent weeks, Democrats have attempted to 
bring the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act to the floor of the Senate 
for debate and a vote. Before the August recess, Democrats attempted to 
bring this legislation before the Senate, but the Republican leadership 
objected. Two weeks ago, Democrats were prepared to debate and vote on 
this legislation as part of the high-tech visa bill, but our Republican 
colleagues were unwilling to bring this measure to the floor and take a 
vote. Last Friday, Senator Reid asked Senator Lott for consent to offer 
the Latino and immigrant fairness bill and the majority leader 
objected. It is clear that Republican support for the Latino community 
is all talk and no action. When it's time to pass legislation of 
importance to the Latino community, the Republican leadership is 
nowhere to be found.

  Our Republican friends tell us that the Latino and Immigrant Fairness 
Act is a poison pill--that it will undermine the H-1B high-tech visa 
legislation currently before the Senate. But, if Republicans are truly 
supportive of the Latino legislative agenda, how can that be true?
  If they support the reunification of immigrant families, as well as 
the immigration agenda set by the high-tech community, we should be 
able to pass both bills and send them to the President's desk for 
signature, for he strongly supports this bill. But Republican support 
for the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act doesn't match Republican 
rhetoric on the campaign trail. Rather than admit this hypocrisy, the 
Senate Republican leadership continues to pay lip service to these 
goals while blocking any realistic action to achieve them.
  The immigrant community--particularly the Latino community--has 
waited far too long for the fundamental justice that the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act will provide. These issues are not new to 
Congress. The immigrants who will benefit from this legislation should 
have received permanent status from the INS long ago.
  The Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act includes parity for Central 
Americans, Haitians, nationals of the former Soviet bloc, and 
Liberians. In 1997, Congress enacted the Nicaraguan Adjustment and 
Central American Relief

[[Page S9217]]

Act, which granted permanent residence to Nicaraguans and Cubans who 
had fled their repressive governments.
  Other similarly situated Central Americans, Soviet bloc nationals, 
and Haitians were only provided an opportunity to apply for green cards 
under a much more difficult and narrower standard and much more 
cumbersome procedures. Hondurans and Liberians received nothing.
  The Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act will eliminate the disparities 
for all of these asylum seekers, and give them all the same opportunity 
that Nicaraguans and Cubans now have. Assurances were given at the time 
that we granted that kind of special consideration for Nicaraguans and 
Cubans that the others would follow in the next year. Those assurances 
were given by Republican Senators and the administration alike. Now, if 
we do not do that, we are failing that commitment. It will create a 
fair, uniform set of procedures for all immigrants from this region who 
have been in this country since 1995.

  The Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act will also provide long overdue 
relief to all immigrants who, because of bureaucratic mistakes, were 
prevented from receiving green cards many years ago. In 1986, Congress 
passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which included 
legalization for persons who could demonstrate that they had been 
present in the United States since before 1982. There was a 1-year 
period to file.
  However, the INS misinterpreted the provisions in the 1986 act, and 
thousands of otherwise qualified immigrants were denied the opportunity 
to make timely applications.
  Several successful class action lawsuits were filed on behalf of 
individuals who were harmed by these INS misinterpretations of the law, 
and the courts required the INS to accept filings for these 
individuals. As one court decision stated: ``The evidence is clear that 
the INS' . . . regulations deterred many aliens who would otherwise 
qualify for legalization from applying.''
  To add insult to injury, however, the 1996 immigration law stripped 
the courts of jurisdiction to review INS decisions, and the Attorney 
General ruled that the law superceded the court cases. As a result of 
these actions, this group of immigrants has been in legal limbo, 
fighting government bureaucracy for over 14 years.
  Looking across the landscape, I cannot think of such a group of 
individuals who were excluded from participation in a process that 
would have permitted them to work legitimately in the United States. It 
was the intention of Congress they be eligible to do so. It was the INS 
that misled them and effectively denied them that opportunity. The 
courts have found for those individuals.
  Then legislation was passed to further exclude them, to take away the 
jurisdiction of the Justice Department from implementing the court's 
decision. That is unfair, and we have a responsibility to remedy that. 
We can do that. We can do that here, on this legislation. We should do 
it. That process will permit about 300,000 Latinos to be able to get 
their green cards and become legitimate workers in our economy.
  Our bill will alleviate this problem by allowing all individuals who 
have resided in the United States prior to 1986 to obtain permanent 
residency, including those who were denied legalization because of the 
INS misinterpretation, or who were turned away by the INS before 
  Our bill will also restore section 245(i), a vital provision of the 
immigration law that was repealed in 1997 and that permitted immigrants 
about to become permanent residents to pay a fee of $1,000 and apply 
for green cards while in the United States, rather than returning to 
their home countries to apply. Section 245(i) was pro-family, pro-
business, fiscally prudent, and a matter of common sense. Under it, 
immigrants with close family members in the United States are able to 
remain here with their families while applying for legal permanent 
residence. The section also allows businesses to retain valuable 
employees. In addition, it provided INS with millions of dollars in 
annual revenue, at no cost to taxpayers. Restoring section 245(i) will 
keep thousands of immigrants from being separated from their families 
and jobs for as long as 10 years.
  The Nation's history has long been tainted with periods of anti-
immigrant sentiment. The Naturalization Act of 1790 prevented Asian 
immigrants from attaining citizenship. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 
1882 was passed to reduce the number of Chinese laborers. The Asian 
Exclusion Act and the National Origins Act which made up the 
Immigration Act of 1924, were passed to block immigration from the 
``Asian Pacific Triangle''--Japan, China, the Philippines, Laos, 
Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Burma, India, 
Sri Lanka, and Malaysia--and prevent them from entering the United 
States for permanent residence. Those discriminatory provisions weren't 
repealed until 1965. The Mexican Farm Labor Supply Program--the Bracero 
Program--provided Mexican labor to the United States under harsh and 
unacceptable conditions and wasn't repealed until 1964.
  The Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act provides us with an opportunity 
to end a series of unjust provisions in our current immigration laws, 
and build on the most noble aspects of our American immigrant 
  It restores fairness to the immigrant community and fairness in the 
Nation's immigration laws. It is good for families and it is good for 
American business.
  The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, a consortium of 
businesses and trade associations and other organizations strongly 
supports the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. This coalition includes 
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, health care and home care associations, 
hotel, motel, restaurant and tourism associations, manufacturing and 
retail concerns, and the construction and transportation industries.
  These key industries have added their voices to the broad coalition 
of business, labor, religious, Latino and other immigrant organizations 
in support of the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  This bill is strongly supported by a wide range of different groups, 
from the Chamber of Commerce to the AFL-CIO, to the various religious 
groups, as a matter of basic, fundamental equity and fairness.
  I daresay there are probably more groups that support the Latino 
fairness--just if you look at numbers--than even the H-1B. This is an 
issue of fairness. We ought to be about doing it. We are being denied 
that opportunity by the Republican leadership, make no mistake about 
  Our bill will alleviate the problem also by allowing individuals who 
resided in the United States prior to 1986 to obtain permanent 
residency by eliminating unfair procedures.
  As I mentioned, this particular proposal has broad support from the 
business community, from the workers, and from religious groups. Few 
days remain in this Congress, but my Democratic colleagues and I are 
committed to doing all we can to see both the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act and the H-1B high-tech visa become law this year. That is 
what this whole effort is about.
  If we are going to look out for the H-1B--and I am all for it--we 
ought to also remedy the injustice out there applying to hundreds of 
thousands of individuals whose principal desire is to be with their 
families and work here in the United States, and do so legally and 
legitimately. We are being effectively shut out by the majority 
decision to have a cloture motion filed which would exclude the 
possibility of inclusion. Our attempts to try to get it included have 
been denied. That is basically wrong.
  I welcome the leadership of Senator Daschle and others to make sure 
we are going to address this issue before we leave. Both of these 
matters need attention. Both of them deserve action. Both of them 
deserve to be passed.
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired. The 
Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I rise today to also speak about a grave 
omission with respect to the debate that is ongoing regarding H-1B 
  There is widespread support for the H-1B visa program. What has 
happened is that our ability to also address other compelling 
immigration issues has

[[Page S9218]]

been totally frustrated by this cloture process, by this overt attempt 
to eliminate amendments, to eliminate our ability to deal with other 
issues. One in particular that is compelling to me is the status of 
10,000 Liberians who have been here in the United States since 1989-
1990, when the country of Liberia was thrust into a destructive civil 
  These people came here. They were recognized, because of the violence 
in their homeland, as being deserving of temporary protective status. 
That status was granted in 1991 by the Attorney General. For almost a 
decade now they have been here in the United States, working, paying 
taxes, raising families while not qualifying for any type of social 
benefits such as welfare. Many of these people, who are here legally, 
have children who are American citizens. They are within hours of 
losing their protection and being deported back to Liberia.
  In response to this pressing dilemma, I introduced legislation in 
March of 1999 cosponsored by Senator Wellstone, Senator Kennedy, 
Senator Durbin, Senator Kerry, Senator Landrieu, Senator Hagel, and 
Senator L. Chafee. Our attempt was to allow these Liberians the 
opportunity to adjust to permanent resident status and one day become 
citizens of this country. There are 10,000 located across the country. 
They have been contributing members of these communities. Yet, because 
of the process we have adopted here, because of the unwillingness to 
take up this issue--which is a key immigration issue, along with the H-
1B--these individuals are perhaps facing expulsion from this country in 
the next few days.
  I hope we can deal with this. It is essential we do so. One of the 
great ironies of our treatment of the Liberians is that at the moment 
we are prepared to deport them to Liberia, we are urging American 
citizens not to go to that country because it is so violent.
  Our State Department has released official guidance to Americans 
warning them not to travel to Liberia because of the instability, 
because of the potential for violence, because of the inability of 
civil authorities to protect not only Americans but to protect anyone 
in Liberia.
  So we are at one time saying, don't go to Liberia if you are an 
American citizen, but unless we pass this legislation or unless, once 
again, the President authorizes deferral of forced departure--
essentially staying the deportation of these Liberians--we are going to 
send these people back into a country to which we are advising 
Americans not to go.
  Although this country had a democratic election a few years ago, it 
was an election more in form than substance. It is a country governed 
by a President who is a warlord, someone who is not a constructive 
force for peace and progress in that part of Africa. In fact, he 
started his political career by escaping from a prison in 
Massachusetts, going back to Liberia, and then organizing his military 
forces to begin this civil war. One of his first accomplishments, 
according to the New Republic, was the creation of a small boys unit, a 
battalion of intensely loyal child soldiers who are fed crack cocaine 
and refer to Taylor as ``our father.''
  This is the leader of a country who has also been implicated in a 
disturbance in the adjoining country of Sierra Leone. Month after 
month, we have seen horrible pictures of the degradations that are 
going on there in Sierra Leone. He is involved in that, supporting 
homicidal forces in Sierra Leone.
  This is not a place we want to send people back to--people who have 
resided in our country for 10 years, people who have been part of our 
communities, young people particularly, who know very little about 
Liberia and will be thrust back into a situation where their protection 
is in jeopardy and where their future is in great jeopardy in terms of 
access to schools and education and other necessary programs.
  For months now--starting last March--we have been lobbying 
intensively to get an opportunity at least to vote on legislation that 
would allow these individuals to adjust to permanent status. That 
legislative approach has been frustrated time and time again, most 
recently with the decision that we would not accept certain amendments 
to this H-1B visa bill.
  In fact, one of the ironies is that of those 10,000 Liberians, many 
of whom were professionals in their homeland, I suspect at least a few 
of them are working in these high-tech industries. If they are, the 
irony is that we would be sending them home so that the high-tech 
community can complain about losing workers and needing more H-1B 
visas. I think simple justice demands that we do both, that we press 
not only for H-1B visas but also for some of the issues that have been 
addressed by Senator Kennedy, and the issue in Liberia. These people 
deserve a chance to adjust their status and become full-fledged 
  There is some discussion that they should go back to Liberia, but as 
I have tried to suggest in my remarks, this is a country that is 
chaotic at best. The Government is really subservient to the leadership 
of the President, Charles Taylor. It is an area of the world where 
there are not social services and the basic economics of the country 
are faulty. I think all of these together suggest compellingly the need 
to allow the individuals to adjust.
  I hope in the next few days, or in the remaining days of this 
legislative session, we will have another opportunity to address this 
legislatively. I certainly hope that if we are unable to do so, the 
cause will be taken up by the administration when it comes to 
discussions for the final legislative initiatives of this Congress, so 
we will not leave these people once again in a gray area, in a 
``twilight zone,'' where they want to stay in this country but face the 
threat of deportation each and every year. I hope we do better. I am 
disappointed--gravely disappointed--we did not allow an opportunity to 
vote on this measure in conjunction with this H-1B legislation.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I rise this morning to implore my 
colleagues to support cloture and to quit playing around with this 
bill. There is no reason to have a filibuster on the motion to proceed 
on bills as important as this. There has been a filibuster on the bill.
  It seems to me we need to work together in moving forward to enact 
the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act, S. 2045. 
One of our greatest priorities is, and ought to be, keeping our economy 
vibrant and expanding educational opportunities for America's children 
and its workers. That is my priority for this country and for my own 
home State of Utah.
  I am proud of the growth and development in my own home State that 
has made Utah one of the leaders in the country and in the world in our 
high-tech economy. Utah's IT--or information technology--vendor 
industry is among Utah's largest industries and among the top 10 
regions of IT activity in the United States.
  Notably, Utah was listed among the top 10 IT centers in the world by 
Newsweek magazine in November 1998. The growth of information 
technology is nowhere more evident and dramatic than in my own home 
State of Utah. According to UTAA, the Utah Information Technologies 
Association, our IT vendor industry grew nearly 9 percent between 1997 
and 1998 and consists of 2,427 business enterprises.
  In Utah and elsewhere, however, our continued economic growth and our 
competitive edge in the world economy require an adequate supply of 
highly skilled high-tech workers. This remains one of our greatest 
challenges in the 21st century, requiring both short- and long-term 
solutions. This legislation, S. 2045, contains both types of solutions.
  Specifically, a tight labor market, increasing globalization, and a 
burgeoning economy have combined to increase demand for skilled workers 
well beyond what was forecast when Congress last addressed the issue of 
temporary visas for highly skilled workers in 1998. Therefore, my bill, 
once again, increases the annual cap for the next 3 years.
  But that is nothing more than a short-term solution to the workforce 
needs in my State and across the country. The longer term solution lies 
with our own children and our own workers and in ensuring that 
education and training for our current and future workforce matches the 
demands in our high-tech 21st century global economy.

[[Page S9219]]

  Thus, working with my colleagues, I have included in this bill 
strong, effective, and forward-looking provisions directing the more 
than $100 million in fees generated by the visas toward the education 
and retraining of our children and our workforce. These provisions are 
included in the substitute which is before us today.
  We are here today, however, as this session of Congress comes to a 
close, with the fate of this critical legislation extremely uncertain. 
Frankly, when this bill was reported by the committee by an 
overwhelming vote of 16-2, I thought we were on track to move this 
rapidly through the Senate. I offered to sit down with other Members, 
including Senators Kennedy, Feinstein, and Lieberman, to work with them 
on provisions regarding education and training. We have done that. I am 
pleased to report that the substitute to which I have referred reflects 
many of their ideas and proposals.
  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming days to 
try to avoid a confrontational process. I hope we can get this done for 
American workers and children and for our continued economic expansion.
  The situation, as I understand it, is that there is little 
disagreement on this bill itself. I have heard no arguments that the 
high-tech shortage is not real or that we should not move forward with 
this short-term fix. Rather, it appears that the only dispute has been 
whether or not we use the bill as a vehicle for other major and far-
reaching changes in our immigration policy over which there is much 
contention and which could scuttle this bill. And I think those who are 
trying to get us in that posture understand that.
  I sincerely hope we can move forward today. I hope my colleagues will 
overwhelmingly support this modest H-1B increase and quit delaying this 
bill. Let's get it through. This bill has important training and 
education proposals for the children and workers in the 21st century.
  The Hatch substitute amendment to S. 2045, the American 
Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, is a comprehensive legislative 
proposal to insure America's continued leadership edge in the 
Information Age. It takes both short-term and long-term steps.
  Let me summarize the proposal. With regard to long-term steps, this 
bill invests in the American workforce through a designated stream of 
funding for high-tech job training; K-12 education initiatives; 
authorizes a new program which provides grants for after school 
technology education; and helps our educational and research 
communities by exempting them from the cap on high-skilled 
  No. 2., the short-term steps: This bill addresses immediate skilled 
worker needs by authorizing a modest increase in temporary visas for 
high-skilled professionals.
  When skilled professionals are at a premium, America faces a serious 
dilemma when employers find that they cannot grow, innovate, and 
compete in global markets without increased access to skilled 
personnel. Our employers' current inability to hire skilled personnel 
presents both a short-term and a long-term problem. The country needs 
to increase its access to skilled personnel immediately in order to 
prevent current needs from going unfilled. To meet these needs over the 
long term, however, the American education system must produce more 
young people interested in, and qualified to enter, key fields, and we 
must increase our other training efforts, so that more Americans can be 
prepared to keep this country at the cutting edge and competitive in 
global markets.
  The Hatch substitute to S. 2045 addresses both aspects of this 
problem. In order to meet immediate needs, the bill raises the current 
ceiling on temporary visas to 195,000 for fiscal year 2000, fiscal year 
2001, and fiscal year 2002. In addition, it provides for exemptions 
from the ceiling for graduate degree recipients from American 
universities and personnel at universities and research facilities to 
allow these educators and top graduates to remain in the country.
  The Hatch substitute to S. 2045 also addresses the long-term problem 
that too few U.S. students are entering and excelling in mathematics, 
computer science, engineering and related fields. It contains measures 
to encourage more young people to study mathematics, engineering, and 
computer science and to train more Americans in these areas.
  Under predecessor legislation enacted in 1998, a $500 fee per visa is 
assessed on each initial petition for H-1B status for an individual, on 
each initial application for extension of that individual's status, and 
on each petition required on account of a change of employer or 
concurrent employment. Under the Hatch substitute, this money is used 
to fund scholarships for low income students and training for U.S. 
workers. Using the same assumptions on the rate of renewals, changes of 
employer and the like that the committee and the administration relied 
on in estimating the impact of the 1998 legislation, the increase in 
visas should result in funding for training, scholarships and 
administration of H-1B visas of approximately $150 million per year 
over fiscal year 2000, fiscal year 2001, and fiscal year 2002 for a 
total of $450 million. This should fund approximately 40,000 
scholarships. This is important.
  Mr. President, I hope my colleagues will vote for cloture today. I 
hope we can put this bill to bed. I hope there won't be any postcloture 
filibusters. I hope there won't be any postcloture delays.
  Let us get this bill passed. It is critical to our country. It is 
critical to our information technology age, to our high-tech 
communities, and it is critical to keep us the No. 1 Nation in the 
world. It makes sense, and it has widespread support throughout 
  It is being delayed by just a few people in this body--maybe not so 
few but a number of people who basically claim they are interested in 
the information technology industries and high-tech industries 
themselves but who want to play politics with this bill.
  I think we ought to quit playing politics and do what is right for 
our country. This is a bipartisan bill that really ought to be passed 
  With that, how much time do both sides have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah controls all remaining 
time and he has 9 minutes.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I yield the 9 minutes to my colleague from 
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I appreciate being yielded the remaining 
  I am a supporter of the H-1B visa legislation and have been so for 
quite some time, recognizing that it is very important for our country 
to make the accommodations to be able to supply this great and booming 
economy the skilled workers necessary. I have been voting accordingly.
  This debate should bring more urgency to our discussion on how to 
strengthen our public school system, our college training 
opportunities, and our technical college network in this Nation so that 
in the future we don't have to fill these slots with workers who are 
not Americans; that we can fill them with hard-working Americans 
because our school system and our education system have met the 
challenge the taxpayers have laid out for us. We cannot hold our 
industries hostage because perhaps there has been some failing on our 
part to provide the kind of educational system this Nation needs. That 
is why I have been supportive.
  In addition, I wish there was more support in this body for including 
the Latino fairness provision. I am disappointed that the amendment 
tree was filled in order to keep those of us on both sides of the 
aisle, Democrats and Republicans, from considering this as a proper 
place to add this important legislation--not to kill it, not to slow it 
down, but to make it stronger. That is such an important issue to the 
Latino community, to Hispanic Americans who are looking for the same 
justice and equality that was promised for the Hondurans and 
Guatemalans as provided for the Nicaraguans.
  I will be supplying a more in-depth statement on that subject.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired. Under the previous 
order, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on amendment No. 
     4178 to Calendar No. 490, S. 2045, a

[[Page S9220]]

     bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with 
     respect to H-1B non-immigrant aliens:
         Trent Lott, Chuck Hagel, Spencer Abraham, Phil Gramm, Jim 
           Bunning, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Sam Brownback, Rod 
           Grams, Jesse Helms, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Pat 
           Roberts, Slade Gorton, Connie Mack, John Warner and 
           Robert Bennett.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call under the rule is waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on 
amendment No. 4178 to S. 2045, a bill to amend the Immigration and 
Nationality Act with respect to H-1B nonimmigrant aliens, shall be 
brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are required under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. Akaka), the 
Senator from California (Mrs. Feinstein), and the Senator from 
Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman) are necessarily absent.
  The result was announced--yeas 94, nays 3, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 256 Leg.]


     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)


     Chafee, L.

                             NOT VOTING--3

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Enzi). On this vote, the yeas are 94, the 
nays are 3. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having 
voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. The pending motion 
to recommit is out of order.
  The Chair recognizes the majority leader.

                           Amendment No. 4183

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I now call up amendment No. 4183.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Lott] for Mr. Conrad, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 4183.

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the 
amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

    (Purpose: To Exclude certain ``J'' nonimmigrants from numerical 
           limitations applicable to ``H-1B'' nonimmigrants)

       At the end of the bill, add the following:


       The numerical limitations contained in section 2 of this 
     Act shall not apply to any nonimmigrant alien granted a 
     waiver that is subject to the limitation contained in 
     paragraph (1)(B) of the first section 214(l) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (relating to restrictions on 

                Amendment No. 4201 To Amendment No. 4183

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I now call up amendment No. 4201.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Lott] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 4201 to amendment No. 4183.

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the 
amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under 
``Amendments Submitted.'')
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  Mr. REID. I had the floor, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada has the floor.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, would the Chair be so kind as to explain 
where we are on the legislation now before the Senate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are amendments pending, first and second 
degree, to the underlying text of the bill, and there is a perfecting 
amendment to the committee substitute, with a second-degree amendment 
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I rise to talk a little bit about this 
  First, I think it is important to know that we--that is, Senator 
Kennedy, Senator Reed of Rhode Island, myself, Senator Durbin, Senator 
Leahy, and Senator Graham--have a very important amendment we believe 
should be considered during the time we are debating this issue. Our 
amendment is called the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  We have had, in recent days, an inability to bring up legislation 
that is extremely important to the Senate. This legislation deals with 
a number of issues that were discussed on the floor yesterday briefly, 
but it deals with the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
  In 1996, there was slipped into one of the bills a provision that 
took away a basic, fundamental American right of due process.
  As a result of legislation we passed in 1986, thousands of people who 
came to this country were entitled to apply to adjust their 
legalization status. However, inserted in legslation that we passed in 
1996, was language that, in effect, denied them a due process hearing.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. REID. I am happy to yield to my friend for a question.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I don't want to interrupt the line of thought of the 
Senator. I understand the majority leader put in place two amendments 
that were actually Democratic amendments--at least one amendment was 
proposed by Members of our side. I have been in the institution now for 
38 years, and I have never heard of another Senator calling up someone 
else's amendment before the Senate.
  We want to be involved in the substance of this and get the H-1B 
measure put on through. But I am just wondering if I understand 
correctly that the majority leader now has filed a cloture motion and 
gone ahead and called up the Senator's amendment. Maybe that Senator 
has been notified; maybe he is on his way here. But I am just 
wondering, I say to the deputy leader for the Democrats, whether I 
understand the situation correctly. Is that the understanding of the 
Senator from Nevada, that this is the situation?
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, this is interesting. This is an unusual 
situation where we have amendments that have been filed by other 
Senators being called up by someone else. I think it is very 
transparent, I say to my friend from Massachusetts and others within 
the sound of my voice, it is very transparent. All we want is a fair 
debate and the ability to vote on this amendment.
  For example, George W. Bush says he wants to make sure that our 
immigration laws are fair to the Hispanic population of this country. 
If he wants to be so fair to the Hispanic population of this country, 
why doesn't he call the Republican leadership in the House and Senate 
to let us bring forward this legislation that the Hispanic communities 
all over America want? They won't let us do that. They know the Senator 
from Massachusetts was here to be recognized so that this amendment 
could be offered.
  I have the floor now. I had other things to do this morning, but with 
Senate procedures such as they are, I

[[Page S9221]]

had the opportunity to get the floor, and I am going to keep the floor 
for a while because I am going to talk about what is going on in this 
  Does the Senator have a question, without my losing the floor?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Yes. So that people watching this have some 
understanding, we have an H-1B proposal that is before the Senate, and 
there is virtual unanimity in the Senate in favor of it. There are some 
differences in terms of the training programs, to make sure we get 
additional funding so these jobs will be available for Americans down 
the road. Maybe people are trying to block that particular amendment. 
These are good jobs. Why should we not have training for Americans to 
be able to have these jobs in the future? I would like to be able to 
make that case and move ahead.
  There are other amendments, as the Senator pointed out. On the one 
hand--I ask my colleague if he doesn't agree--we are looking out after 
the high-tech community with the H-1Bs. There is a need also in 
Massachusetts, and I support that. On the other hand, there is a need 
in terms of equity, fairness, justice, and also economically to make an 
adjustment of status so that men and women who are qualified ought to 
be able to get a green card to be able to work. It just so happens they 
are Latinos.

  Evidently, that is the difference here, as far as I can figure out. 
Otherwise, I can't understand why, on the one hand, we are permitting 
and encouraging people to go to high-tech, but not to go to work in 
some of the other industries, even though the Chamber of Commerce, the 
AFL, and the various church groups are in strong support of it. The 
economics of it are that there is a very critical need for it.
  Can the Senator possibly explain why we are being denied an 
opportunity to complete our business in terms of the high-tech and also 
in the other areas that have been strongly supported by groups across 
this country? As far as I can figure out, it is that they are basically 
of Hispanic heritage.
  I am asking a question to the Senator from Nevada. Has the Senator 
heard one reason from the other side--because it is the other side that 
is stopping this--why they won't do it? What is the reason? Why won't 
they engage in a debate on this particular issue? All we have, Mr. 
President, is silence on the other side. Here we are trying to give 
fairness to the Latinos and against the background where we had two 
Members on the other side, Senator Abraham and Senator Mack, who last 
year said they favored these kinds of adjustments for the Latinos. They 
said it in the last Congress. I don't doubt that that is their position 
  We can dispose of this in an hour or so this afternoon. But what 
possibly is the reason the majority leader says, no, we are not going 
to deal with that? We are going to call up amendments of other Senators 
who haven't even been notified to come over here and deal with this. 
What is going on here?
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, let me answer a number of questions because 
the Senator asked a number of questions.
  First of all, I spoke yesterday to the National Restaurant 
Association. I agree with my friend from Massachusetts that it is 
important we do something for high-tech workers. I support efforts in 
Congress that have allowed 430,000 people to come to the United States 
to be high-tech workers, principally from India----
  Mr. KENNEDY. A good chunk from China. India is No. 1 and China is No. 
  Mr. REID. Yes, I agree with the Senator from Massachusetts. I am glad 
we have done that.
  There is another group of people the restaurant owners believe should 
be allowed to come. They are essential workers, skilled and semi-
skilled workers. We have hundreds of thousands of jobs in America today 
that aren't being filled. Why? Because there aren't enough Americans to 
take the jobs. That is why we have, as listed on the chart behind the 
Senator from Massachusetts, so many supporters from the business 
community of the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. If we had a bigger 
board, we would have three times that many names on it.
  Mr. KENNEDY. If the Senator will withhold, here is another chart 
showing double the numbers of groups that support this proposal as 
well. These are all of the groups. Here is the National Restaurant 
Association listed in support of this proposal.

  What is the argument on the other side? I thought I heard somebody 
say, ``We don't want to confuse these issues.'' I don't think there is 
much confusion about what is being considered around here. There isn't 
a lot of confusion about it. It is very basic and rather fundamental. 
The adjustment of status that was applied just over a year ago in terms 
of the Nicaraguans and Cubans was going to be extended to others, 
including the El Salvadorans, Hondurans, Haitians, and Guatemalans. 
They have been effectively discriminated against. We were going to 
adjust for those. And then for about 300,000 citizens here in this 
country who are being denied a green card, under the law, according to 
the courts, they should be entitled to go to work.
  The courts have said it was a bureaucratic mistake that they were 
denied that opportunity to be able to get a green card to go to work. 
Then the Congress went ahead and effectively withdrew the authority of 
the Justice Department to implement what the courts have found was a 
gross injustice and gross unfairness to Latinos. Effectively, they 
wiped out their remedy.
  What this amendment will do is just give them the opportunity to make 
that adjustment. This is all about working. It is about working. It is 
about a green card and working. That is what this is basically about. 
We hear lectures from the other side all the time about how we want to 
encourage people to work. These groups want to work. They want to work. 
They are unable to work because of the refusal of the majority leader 
to permit consideration of this amendment.
  I see we are joined by the Senator from Illinois.
  Then the majority leader calls up Democrats' amendments without even 
notifying the Senators they are being called up.
  This is rather embarrassing, I would think, for Members to have 
amendments called up and they are over in their office trying to do 
constituency work. Their constituencies are going to wonder: Where in 
the world is my Senator? His amendment, or her amendment, is before the 
Senate. Where is that individual?
  In 38 years I have never seen that.
  I hope we are not going to have lectures from the other side: Well, 
we are in charge around here. Evidently they don't care very much about 
the rules, or at least about the courtesies and the degree of civility 
we have had about calling up other Senators' amendments. This goes just 
as far as I can possibly imagine.
  The one thing that bothers me is, what is it that they fear? What is 
it possibly that they fear which causes us to have to take all of this 
time to pass this legislation?
  Maybe the Senator from Illinois will respond. I want to direct it to 
the Senator from Nevada. What is it that they fear? Why is it that they 
take these extraordinary, unique, exceptional steps to deny a fair 
debate about fairness to Latinos?
  Mr. REID. In answer to the Senator, I repeat that I have the greatest 
respect for the thousands of people who came to this country and are 
here now as a result of H-1B legislation. It is very important. Those 
high-tech jobs are important. But I say to my friend from Massachusetts 
that it is just as important to people who work in these restaurants 
and who work in these health care facilities as nurses, as cooks, as 
waiters, as waitresses, and as maids, their jobs are just as important 
because people who are running these establishments need these 
essential workers. That is who they are. ``Essential workers.'' They 
are skilled and semi-skilled workers.
  I say to my friend from Massachusetts that we have had a hue and cry 
from the people on the other side of the aisle and from the Governor of 
Texas and others saying they believe there should be fairness to Latino 
immigrants. The best way to express that desire for fairness is to 
allow us to vote on this measure.
  Let's have an up-or-down vote on the amendment offered by myself, the 
Senator from Massachusetts, the Senator from Illinois, Senator Reed of 
Rhode Island, and Senator Graham of Florida. Let's move this debate 
along. We could speed up the time. We would agree to a half hour evenly 
divided. It could take 30 minutes. Vote on it and move on.

[[Page S9222]]

  I would like to see how people would express themselves on this vote. 
It is very important.
  I have a constituency that is watching this very closely. The State 
of Nevada has the sixth largest school district in America: the Clark 
County School District. In that school district, over 25 percent of the 
children are Hispanic.
  In Nevada, we also have 20,000 people, the majority of whom are 
Hispanic who are unable to work because they were, in effect, denied 
due process by a sneaky thing put in the 1996 act. I want them to have 
a due process hearing to determine whether or not they should remain in 
the United States. I believe the vast majority would remain here 
because fairness would dictate that they should.
  That is what this is all about--basic fairness. That is why we call 
it the Immigrant Fairness Act.
  I say to anyone within the sound of my voice that if we are 
interested in speeding up what is going on here in Washington, in the 
Congress, let's have a vote on this measure that Senator Kennedy, I, 
and others are pressing. We will agree. I said we will take 30 minutes, 
but we would agree to 10 minutes evenly divided. Let's have a vote up 
or down on this measure.
  Mr. HATCH. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. REID. I yield to the Senator for a question without losing my 
right to the floor.
  Mr. HATCH. What seems interesting to me is I helped to lead the fight 
years ago in 1996 in my own committee to increase legal immigration in 
this country. I have led the fight for that. We are talking about 
giving amnesty to illegal immigrants while not increasing the caps on 
legal immigration. Something is wrong.
  Mr. REID. Is that the question?
  Mr. HATCH. Let me complete my question. In order to make my question 
clear, I have to make these points.
  We can't get caps lifted on legal immigration. It is my understanding 
that on the H-1B bill--which just had a 94 to 3 vote and that should 
pass right out of here, has had hearings, and everything else--you want 
to hold it hostage because you want to give amnesty to 500,000 illegal 
  Mr. REID. Is that the Senator's question to me?
  Mr. HATCH. Let me ask my question. Is it not true that this major new 
amnesty program, which has not had one day of hearings, if it passes 
would legalize up to 2 million people? I know there are those on your 
side who say there are one-half million illegal immigrants. Is it not 
true that the price tag for this major new amnesty program to legalize 
up to 2 million people is almost $1.4 billion, and that the underlying 
bill that we are trying to pass here--the H-1B bill--would basically 
provide the high-tech workers that we absolutely have to have?
  Mr. REID. With the greatest respect, I say to my friend, ask me a 
question. I have the floor, and I will be happy to answer.
  Mr. HATCH. I did. Isn't it going to cost us $1.4 billion to give 
amnesty to these illegal immigrants?
  Mr. REID. I would be happy to respond to the question.
  First of all, we are not talking about illegal immigrants. We are 
talking about giving people who are in this country due process.
  Mr. HATCH. Illegally in this country.
  Mr. REID. And whether or not they are entitled to remain in this 
country. I believe in due process. One of the basic and fundamental 
assets that we have in this country, which sets us far and above any 
other country, is the legal system. We require and expect due process.
  What we are saying is the bill that we passed in 1996 gave amnesty to 
people who had been in this country for an extended period of time. A 
provision was stuck in the 1996 Immigration Reform bill that denied 
these people due process. Some of them didn't meet the deadline to file 
for their amnesty because the INS ignored a law that we passed and 
President Reagan signed into law.
  The question is not how much it is going to cost the Government but 
how much it is going to cost the business sector in this country.
  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Health Care Association, 
the American Hotel and Motel Association, the American Nursing 
Association, the American Nursery and Landscape Association, Associated 
Builders and Contractors, and the Associated General Contractors 
support this amendment. I could read further for the next 15 minutes 
and give chart after chart of organizations that support this 
  We believe it is good for the American economy. It is good for 
American industry. It is the fair thing to do.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Will the assistant Democratic leader yield for a 
question as well?
  Mr. REID. I would be happy to yield to my friend, the Democratic 
leader, for a question, without losing the floor.
  Mr. DASCHLE. I ask the assistant Democratic leader--I wasn't on the 
floor when this began. I ask if the Senator from Nevada could confirm 
what I understand to be our circumstance. I apologize for not being 
here sooner. But as I understand the circumstances, our Republican 
colleagues have filed cloture on second-degree amendments, and they had 
intended, as I understand it, to file it on the bill and made a 
mistake. We understand that. They have created a problem for themselves 
that they are trying to get out of.
  But my question is: I ask the Senator from Nevada if the issue is 
whether or not we ought to have the right to offer an amendment.
  We have been debating the issue of immigration as if an amendment 
were pending. We have been debating this issue assuming that somehow 
there is opposition on the Republican side and support for an amendment 
on the Democratic side.
  In the normal course of debate, you ultimately lead to a vote on an 
amendment. As I understand it, the Republicans have denied us the right 
to offer an amendment. Is that correct?
  Mr. REID. The Senator is correct.
  It would seem to me the best way to handle this is to accept the two 
amendments. We, the minority, will accept, on a voice vote, the two 
amendments that have been filed, and then I think the fair thing would 
be to allow us to proceed on an amendment that has been filed. It is 
right here: Mr. Kennedy, for himself, Mr. Reid, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Reed, 
Mr. Graham, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Wellstone, and Mr. Daschle submitted an 
amendment intended to be proposed by them to the bill, S. 2045, the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act of 2000.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Let me ask the assistant Democratic leader, I have to 
say for those who may not have watched the 106th Congress, we have 
established a new threshold. It used to be anytime a majority opposed 
an amendment, they would vote against it. They would perhaps make a 
motion to table an amendment, we would have the debate, they would 
vote, and the issue would be behind us. Oftentimes, the minority would 
lose. That is the way it used to be.
  Then our colleagues on the other side of the aisle raised it another 
notch. They said: We don't think you ought to have the right to offer 
an amendment, so we will file cloture on a bill denying you the right 
to even offer an amendment. That was the new threshold.
  We have gone through many, many of these--in fact, a record number. I 
have given presentations on the floor regarding the number of times our 
colleagues have actually filed cloture to deny us the right to offer an 
  This now reaches way beyond that. For the first time--maybe in 
history--our Republican colleague, without his even knowing it, has 
offered a Democratic amendment, has second-degreed that amendment, 
continued to file cloture, to say with even greater determination, we 
are not going to let you offer an amendment.
  I ask the assistant Democratic leader in the time he has been in the 
Senate whether he can recall a time when we have ever seen the majority 
go to that length to deny Members the right to offer an amendment in 
the Record dealing with immigration or any other issue for that matter?
  Mr. REID. I have not. I don't think anyone else has. I say to the 
leader and anyone else listening, all we want to do----
  Mr. HATCH. Parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada has the floor; does he 
yield for a parliamentary inquiry?
  Mr. REID. I do not.
  Mr. HATCH. Just this point.

[[Page S9223]]

  Mr. REID. I am happy to yield to my friend, without losing the floor, 
Mr. President, or any of the time I might have. I ask unanimous consent 
the Senator from Utah be allowed to direct a parliamentary inquiry to 
the Chair without my losing the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. My colleague is always gracious. I have heard this comment 
about this being the first time anybody has called up another person's 
amendment. Parliamentary inquiry: Is this the first time?

  As I recall, last year Senator Reid called up an amendment of Senator 
  Mr. REID. Would the Chair repeat the question?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question was, Is this the first time this 
has happened? Do you recall Senator Reid calling up an amendment of 
Senator Jeffords? That was the question.
  ``Riddick's Rules of Procedure,'' on page 34, cites several examples.
  Mr. HATCH. This isn't the first time.
  Mr. REID. Reclaiming the floor, I say to my friend from Utah, there 
may have been other occasions, and the Chair certainly is right in 
indicating that it has been done before.
  Mr. HATCH. Will the Senator allow the Chair to state the answer to my 
parliamentary inquiry?
  Mr. REID. The Chair already stated the answer.
  Mr. HATCH. I don't think so.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The answer was on page 34 of Riddick's; there 
are several examples of that having happened.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Would the assistant Democratic leader yield?
  Mr. REID. I am happy to yield to the Senator.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I think the point I was trying to make, 
and I asked the response of the assistant Democratic leader, I don't 
know that I have ever seen the majority go to the extremes they have on 
so many of the levels I have described to deny Members the right to 
offer amendments.
  Have there been precedents where the Senators have offered another 
Democrat or Republican amendment? Of course. But have they done so with 
all of the other layers of opposition, parliamentarily, that have been 
now shown to be the case here? Again, I argue, no, they have not. I 
think this is the most remarkable set of circumstances.
  What is amazing to me is we have already offered a limit on time. All 
we want is a simple opportunity to debate the issue for a brief period 
so we can be on record with regard to fairness for these many millions 
of immigrants who are looking to us right now for relief. That is all 
they are doing. Whether they are Liberians, whether they are Latinos, 
we have a responsibility in this Congress to respond.
  The President has said to me personally, and he has said in as many 
ways as he knows how, that he will demand this legislation be addressed 
before the end of the Congress. He has said that. If we don't do it on 
this, on what will we do it?
  So I ask the assistant Democratic leader if he shares my conviction 
that, first, this extraordinarily unique set of circumstances again 
reflects the opposition on the part of the majority to basic fairness 
procedurally and basic fairness with regard to Latinos in this country 
  Mr. REID. I answer the leader's question as follows: First of all, it 
is very clear that the President will accept nothing short of this 
legislation. In fact, there is a letter. I don't think it is any 
secret. We have more than 40 signatures from the Democrats--we only 
needed 34--to the President, saying if, in fact, he does veto this, we 
will sustain that veto.
  I also say to my friend, it is obvious the majority does not want 
this legislation to pass. They are trying to confuse it. The managing 
word is always ``illegal immigration.'' This is not about illegal 
immigration. It has everything to do with fairness in our immigration 
laws, and helping the American business community in essential fields 
where they cannot fill the jobs.
  In Nevada, we have approximately 20,000 people who want to work--who 
want to go back to work. They have had their work cards withdrawn. They 
have had their mortgages foreclosed. They have had their cars 
repossessed. People in America who have children--wives, husbands, 
American citizens--all they want is a fair hearing. All they want is a 
fair hearing that would allow them to keep their families together. 
That is what this legislation is all about.
  Mr. DASCHLE. If the Senator will yield for one last question, I also 
yield the Senator from Nevada 30 minutes of my time.
  I hope the Latino community, the Liberian community, all of those 
communities concerned about this immigration language, understand why 
we are here. We are here in the last days of this session to make right 
the problem that has existed all too long. We want to make it right. 
The President wants to sign this legislation. Unfortunately, apparently 
with unanimity, every one of our Republican colleagues oppose this. We 
haven't heard one of them come to our position on this issue.
  I hope the Latino community understands that. I hope those who are 
concerned about fairness at the end of this session understand that. I 
hope they will do all they can to reflect their feelings and their 
opinions before it is too late. We still have time to do this. We still 
should do it this week. We ought to do it on this bill. I hope our 
Republican colleagues will reconsider.
  I thank the Senator for yielding.
  Mr. REID. The Senator is a national leader as part of his 
responsibilities. The Senator from South Dakota is not doing this 
because there are a lot of minorities in South Dakota; in fact, there 
are very few. He is doing this because it is the right thing to do. It 
is fair to people who are in America and want the right to have their 
status adjusted or reviewed in a due process hearing. That doesn't 
sound too unreasonable to me.

  Mrs. BOXER. Will my colleague yield for a question?
  Mr. REID. I will be happy to yield for a question from my colleague 
from California without losing the floor.
  Mrs. BOXER. I thank my friend. I thank him and Senator Daschle, our 
leadership team here, for what you are doing. The Senator from Utah 
asked, I thought, a very reasonable question when he said: What is this 
going to cost?
  I say to my friend, on the issue of cost--and I think this is 
important--what happens to a family when the worker in that family is 
told to leave? Because if we do not pass this law--which is what our 
friends want; they do not want us to pass this law--that worker goes 
back to the country of origin and has to wait 10 years there, leaving 
behind--let us say it is a man in this case--a wife and children, 
children who are citizens of this country.
  My friend from Utah says: Illegal.
  Those are American children. If we do not act, their dad is going to 
be deported. For 10 years they will have to wait. What happens to the 
cost when a wage earner has to leave this country, perhaps for up to 10 
years, leaving the children behind? The Senator pointed out the 
business community is without workers, so they are going to have to pay 
more to get fewer workers. That is a cost. But what is the cost if 
these people have to go on welfare, I say to my friend, because the 
breadwinner is summarily removed from this country because we have 
failed to act on this immigration fairness act?
  Mr. HATCH. Will the distinguished assistant leader yield for another 
parliamentary inquiry?
  Mr. REID. The cost here is very apparent. First of all, this person 
is being deported without a due process hearing.
  Mrs. BOXER. Right.
  Mr. REID. This person being deported leaves behind a job that is 
unfilled. That employer looks and looks to try to find somebody to fill 
that job. What is the cost of that, and then the cost, many times, to 
our welfare system, our criminal justice system, our education system.
  Mrs. BOXER. Exactly.
  Mr. REID. The costs are untold. I do not know what they would be, but 
we know they would be remarkably high. There are sociologists and 
mathematicians who could figure it out. That is why I say to my friend 
from California, we have dozens and dozens and dozens of groups of 
people and organizations that support doing something.
  I said earlier, I say to my friend from California--I spoke yesterday 
to the National Restaurant Association. They

[[Page S9224]]

are desperate for people to work in their establishments. They are 
desperate for people to clean dishes, wait tables, cook food, serve 
food. I say to my friend from California, that job may not be very 
glamorous, one of those jobs I have described, but it is just as 
important to the individual who has it as the 420,000 high-tech jobs 
that we have allowed people from outside the U.S. to come here to fill, 
just as important.
  Mr. HATCH. Will the assistant minority leader yield for a 
parliamentary inquiry?
  Mrs. BOXER. When I am completed I am sure there will be time for 
others, but I do not want to lose my train of thought.

  What my friend has said is when someone asks what is the cost of this 
immigration fairness act amendment, we are saying it is more costly not 
to act because of the impact on the business community and their 
ability to get help is huge. The impact on the family, when the 
breadwinner has to leave behind American citizen children and perhaps 
the mom has to go on welfare, is very high, not to mention the cost of 
splitting up families. My friend has been a leader on this, as has my 
friend from Utah as well. We know what happens when parents split up. 
We know the costs to society. We know what happens to the kids. We know 
what happens to people using alcohol to dull the pain and all those 
things, when a family is summarily split apart.
  I do not hear my friends on the other side saying, ``change the law 
for Nicaraguans or Cubans.'' Good for them, we should allow those 
people to stay. What about the Salvadorans?
  Mr. REID. I respond to my friend from California by saying she is 
absolutely right. But one cost we have not calculated is: What is the 
cost to a family that is broken up? I said on the floor yesterday, and 
I will repeat--I am sorry some will have to listen to it more than 
once--Secretary Richardson, now Secretary of Energy, was Ambassador to 
the United Nations. He came to Nevada. We had a good day visiting, 
doing work.
  The last stop of the day was at a recreation center in an area of Las 
Vegas that is mostly Hispanic. As we were approaching, our staffs said: 
Let's take you in the back door because there is a big demonstration 
out front. We think you should not be disturbed. You can go in; we have 
people we have invited in and you could have a conversation.
  We thought it over and we said, no, we are going to go in the front 
door. As we walked in the front door, we saw hundreds of people, many 
with brown faces--although I have to tell you there were many white 
faces as well and they were there to tell Secretary Richardson and I 
that what was happening was unfair. They qualified under the 1986 
amnesty, but they had taken more than a year to file because the INS 
was not playing by the rules, and they were not entitled, under the 
1996 provision that was tucked into the immigration reform bill, to a 
due process hearing. They were saying:

       I worked at Caesar's Palace. I was a cook. I made good 
     money. I had a union job. I bought my own home. I have lost 
     my home, I have lost my car, and now I am being asked to lose 
     my family. That is unfair. I have American children. Here, do 
     you want to see them? Here they are.

  So I say to my friend from California, it is absolutely mandatory 
that we push this legislation. I am so grateful that Vice President 
Gore has stated publicly that he supports this legislation; not some 
different legislation, not trying to wiggle out of it--he supports this 
  I say to George W. Bush, I can't speak Spanish. I have three children 
who speak fluent Spanish. I can't speak Spanish. He shows off speaking 
the little bit of Spanish he knows. Let him speak English and come here 
and tell us he supports this legislation. That will show he supports 
the Hispanic community in America and their priorities.
  Mr. HATCH. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. REID. I will yield for a question without losing the floor.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask to be added as cosponsor to this 
amendment, that is so important, to the Latino and Immigrant Fairness 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. BOXER. The last question I have is this: Our colleagues are up 
in arms about allowing us to have a vote on this, but they are bringing 
out amendments without even asking the authors if they want them 
attached to this particular bill. It amazes me.
  I guess the final question I have for my assistant leader is this: If 
our friends on the other side do not like this bill, why do they not 
just vote against it? We are not asking to pass this without a vote. 
Are we not asking for the ability to put this on the Senate floor, 
debate it very briefly--or as long as they want? You yourself said, I 
think, you would take 10 minutes of debate and whatever the other side 
wants. Is it not their right to vote against this fairness legislation 
if they so desire?
  Mr. REID. I say to my friend from California, as usual, you brought 
things down so it is very easy to portray what is going on here; that 
is, they do not want to vote.
  Mrs. BOXER. That is it.
  Mr. REID. They don't what to vote. They want to be able to go home 
and say they are for all this fairness and immigration. How can they 
prove it? Well, because they say so.
  I say to my friend from California, the only way to prove this is to 
allow us to vote. This is a basic principle. If you don't like 
something, vote against it.
  It appears to me that because the President and Vice President have 
been unflinching in this--they have said this legislation will pass or 
this Congress will not adjourn. We have enough votes to sustain a veto. 
I think we are in good shape.
  Several Senators addressed the Chair.
  Mr. REID. I am happy to yield to my friend from Vermont. My friend 
from Illinois indicated he had a question. I will be happy to yield to 
my friend from Illinois for a question without losing the floor.
  Mr. LEAHY. And then, Mr. President, if he will yield to me for a 
question also?
  Mr. DURBIN. I thank the Senator from Nevada for leading this debate. 
I think it is important from time to time, as we get into debate, if 
the Senator would respond, for us to recap where we are so those who 
are trying to follow the debate understand it.
  The underlying bill, the H-1B visa bill, will allow companies in 
America to bring in skilled workers from overseas. They are telling us 
they cannot find those workers in America's labor pool. We decided 
under the H-1B visa, in 1998, to increase the number who could be 
brought in this fiscal year to 107,500. They are telling us that number 
is inadequate. They cannot find the workers in America to fill their 
needs and they do not want to move their companies overseas.
  So the underlying bill--I ask the Senator from Nevada to confirm 
this--the underlying bill, at the request of businesses across America, 
would increase the number who can be brought in for these skilled labor 
jobs to 195,000 a year. Am I correct?
  Mr. REID. Yes. I say to my friend from Illinois, that is part of the 
bill. There are other things included in it, but that is absolutely 
  Mr. DURBIN. So the idea behind the underlying bill is that, at the 
request of business, we will bring in these skilled workers so they can 
continue to thrive in this economy, continue to create more jobs, and 
not have to move their businesses overseas?
  Mr. REID. I say to my friend from Illinois, we hear a hue and cry--
and you and I have been doing some of the crying--about the businesses 
moving overseas. One reason they are doing that is, of course, there is 
cheap labor overseas. But the other is they can't find enough people to 
do the work here. So they throw their arms up and ask us to help them.
  I believe it is so important we understand this legislation, of which 
the Senator from Illinois has been a constant supporter, and as a 
cosponsor of the amendment we have filed, this Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act of 2000.
  Let's not confuse this. My friend from Utah raised the words: 
``Illegal immigration. Aren't we supporting illegal immigration?'' Let 
the Record be spread with the fact this is not about illegal 
immigration. This has everything to do with fairness--fairness not

[[Page S9225]]

for some mystical people off on the horizon but for human beings who 
live in Las Vegas, who live in Winnemucca, or Chicago, and other places 
throughout America. All they want is a chance at the American dream. 
They are not asking for anything other than a fair hearing and the 
right to work as they know how.
  Mr. DURBIN. If the Senator would further yield for a question, the 
underlying bill, at the request of the business interests in this 
Nation, will allow us to increase the number of skilled immigrants 
coming in on temporary visas to 195,000 a year.
  The amendment which the Senator from Nevada, Mr. Reid, the Senator 
from Massachusetts, Mr. Kennedy, as well as the Senator from Rhode 
Island, Mr. Reed, Senator Leahy of Vermont, and I want to offer to this 
legislation even addresses it, I think, with more persuasion because 
the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act, which we are pushing as an 
amendment to this bill, is supported not only by the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce but by the AFL-CIO as well. Business groups and labor groups 
have come together and said: If you are going to address the issue of 
immigration, jobs, keeping the economy moving, don't stop with the H-
1B, 195,000; deal with American workers who are here who need to be 
treated fairly.
  Am I correct in saying to the Senator from Nevada, this is one of the 
rare examples I have seen on an immigration issue where business and 
labor have come together so strongly, saying to us this is the best 
thing for workers and their families and the economy, the amendment we 
are cosponsoring--the amendment being resisted by the Republican 
leadership, is it the same amendment?
  Mr. REID. I say to my friend from Illinois--and I apologize for not 
answering the last question directly; the Senator from Illinois has 
projected what is absolutely the question before the Senate; and that 
is, we, the Democrats, have been willing to support bringing high-tech 
workers here. In fact, almost 500,000 of them have come here to work 
because the high-tech sector which is fueling our economy needs such 
  All we want to do is make sure that other essential workers--which is 
how I refer to them--skilled and semi-skilled workers come here so that 
they are able to do the work at Ingersoll-Rand, at Harborside 
Healthcare Corporation, at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, at Carlson 
Restaurants Worldwide and TGI Friday's, and at the Brickman Group, Ltd.
  As the Senator has indicated, the American Federation of Labor, the 
American Chamber of Commerce--where else have we been able to see these 
two groups coming together pushing a single piece of legislation? I can 
tell you one other, and that is a Patients' Bill of Rights.

  Mr. DURBIN. That is right.
  If the Senator would yield for a further question?
  Mr. REID. I am happy to yield without losing my right to the floor.
  Mr. DURBIN. I think the distinction here on the H-1B visa question 
is, we are talking about bringing new workers, new skilled workers, in 
on a temporary basis to fill the needs of companies. The amendment, 
which we want to offer and which the Republicans are resisting, deals 
with workers already in America, many of whom are asking to be treated 
fairly under our immigration laws. Business and labor, as well, are 
saying they deserve to be treated fairly.
  As an example, the Senator from Nevada has talked about those who 
came to this country, started families, started working, paid their 
taxes, never once committed a crime, building their communities and 
their neighborhoods, and are now caught in this snarl, this tangle, 
this bureaucratic nightmare of the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service. They are asking for their chance, as many of our parents and 
grandparents had, to become American citizens legally and finally.
  It strikes me as odd that those of us in the Senate who understand 
how bad this immigration battle is for individuals and families would 
resist this amendment, the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  In my office in Chicago, in my senatorial office, two-thirds of the 
casework is on immigration. We are in a constant battle with the INS. 
What our amendment seeks to do is to say these people deserve fair 
treatment. For goodness' sake, you can call yourself a compassionate 
conservative or a compassionate liberal or a compassionate moderate, 
but if you believe in compassion, how can you resist an amendment that 
is going to give to these families here in America--working hard, 
building our Nation--a chance to be treated fairly under the law?
  Mr. REID. I respond to my distinguished friend from Illinois, all 
these people want is a fair hearing. Some of them, after they have a 
fair hearing, may not have merits to their case, and they may have to 
go back to their country of origin. But in America, shouldn't they at 
least be entitled to a fair hearing where they have due process? The 
obvious answer is yes.
  I appreciate very much the leadership of the Senator from Illinois on 
this issue and his ability to articulate something that is so 
important. We all have the same situation in our offices, those of us 
who have large minority populations. In my office, I have two Spanish-
speaking people working in my Las Vegas office, one in my Reno office, 
the purpose of which is to work on these very difficult cases. I think 
it is very good that the Senator from Illinois can condense an issue so 
  It is my understanding that the Senator from Vermont wishes me to 
  Mr. LEAHY. Just for a question.
  Mr. REID. I will yield without losing my right to the floor. But 
before yielding to my friend, without losing my right to the floor, I 
want to say to my friend from Vermont----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator can only yield for a question.
  Mr. REID. I understand that. I have the floor. I am just making a 
  I say to my friend from Vermont, I am so proud of you. I say that for 
this reason: I saw some statistics the other day about the State of 
Vermont. You have very few minorities in Vermont. For you to be the 
national leader on this issue that you have been takes a lot of 
political courage. It would be easy for you to be an ``immigrant 
basher,'' to talk about how bad illegal immigrants are and how bad it 
is to be dealing with this issue. But you, as the ranking Democrat on 
the Judiciary Committee, have stepped forward.
  I say to my friend, the Senator from Vermont, you have stepped 
forward in a way that brings a sense of relief to this body because you 
have no dog in the fight, so to speak. You are here because you are 
trying to be a fair arbiter. You are the ranking Democrat on the 
Judiciary Committee. That is why we, the rest of the members of the 
minority, have followed you as a leader on matters relating to things 
that come through that very important Judiciary Committee.
  I am happy to yield to my friend from Vermont for a question, without 
my losing the floor.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, my friend the Senator from Nevada has given 
me more credit than I deserve, but I do strongly support the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act, as just that, a matter of fairness, as 
something we should do. Whether we have a large immigrant population in 
our States or not, this is something where Senators are going to 
reflect the conscience of the Nation, as this body should.
  My question is this. I was over at one of our latest investigation 
committee meetings. We tend to investigate rather than legislate in 
this body. I was at a meeting where the Senate decided to go ahead and 
investigate the Wen Ho Lee investigation and, thus, hold up the FBI, 
who were supposed to be debriefing Dr. Wen Ho Lee today under the court 
agreement. Instead, in the Senate we jumped in, feet first, to 
interfere with that. I had to be off the floor to serve as Ranking 
Democrat of Judiciary at that hearing. So I wonder if the Senator from 
Nevada could explain the parliamentary procedure in which we find 
ourselves. It seems somewhat of a strange one.
  Mr. REID. I am happy to respond to my friend from Vermont. There will 
probably be chapters of books written about what has gone on today. It 
is going to take some political scientists and some academicians to 
figure out what went on here today.
  As of now, Senator Conrad from North Dakota filed an amendment, 
according to the unanimous consent

[[Page S9226]]

order that was in effect. The majority leader called up his amendment 
without notifying the Senator from North Dakota. Then Senator Lott 
called Senator Conrad's amendment and then offered a second-degree 
amendment to Senator Conrad's amendment. It was very unusual.
  The purpose, of course, is so we, the minority, once again, would be 
stymied from offering an amendment and how would that be so? Because 
the majority does not want to vote on amendments, whether it is an 
amendment on whether we should close the gun loophole as to whether 
emotionally disturbed people or criminals, may buy guns at gun shows or 
pawnshops. That doesn't sound too unreasonable to me. This is a 
loophole that should be closed. They won't let us vote on the Patients' 
Bill of Rights either.
  Mr. HATCH. Will the Senator yield for a simple parliamentary inquiry?
  Mr. REID. They won't let us vote on anything dealing with 
prescription drugs, school construction, or lowering class size, as 
well as on the very ``bad'' concept called the minimum wage. They don't 
allow us to vote on that because they don't want to be recorded. You 
know how they will vote; they will vote no.
  Mr. HATCH. Will the Senator yield for a parliamentary inquiry?
  Mr. REID. I say to my friend from Vermont, that is why we are in the 
position we are in.
  Mr. HATCH. Will the Senator yield for a----
  Mr. REID. Once again, we are prevented from moving forward. The 
Senate has worked a couple hundred years to vote on amendments. But 
recently we have a new style. If you don't vote on something, you are 
better off than if you do.
  In fact, I saw something earlier today where the majority leader said 
``that when the Republicans aren't here, their popularity goes up.'' 
But here is the quote:

       We were out of town two months and our approval rating went 
     up 11 points.

  That was from February 3, 2000, by the leader. I think they have just 
extended this a little bit. Not only when they are out of town does 
their approval rating go up, I think they learned that if they don't 
have to vote, their approval rating doesn't go down.
  Mr. LEAHY. Will the Senator yield for a further question?
  Mr. REID. I am happy to yield to my friend from Vermont, without 
losing my right to the floor.
  Mr. HATCH. Will my friend yield for a parliamentary inquiry?
  Mr. LEAHY. On this question, I have been here now with a number of 
distinguished majority leaders, all of whom have been friends of mine: 
the Senator from Montana, Mr. Mike Mansfield; the Senator from West 
Virginia, Mr. Robert C. Byrd; the Senator from Tennessee, Mr. Howard 
Baker; the Senator from Kansas, Mr. Robert Dole; the Senator from 
Maine, Mr. George Mitchell. During that time, I do not recall a case 
where a majority leader, even though they have the ability to call up 
an amendment, has ever done that without giving notice first to the 
Senator who sponsored the amendment. That is during my now almost 26 
years with all these distinguished, both Democratic and Republican, 
majority leaders. Has it been the experience of the distinguished 
Democratic deputy leader that if the leader is going to call up another 
Senator's amendment, that they give the sponsor notice?
  Mr. REID. I say to my friend from Vermont, there was an interesting 
discussion on the floor yesterday where a Senator mentioned another 
Senator's name on the floor without advising that Senator that he was 
going to be using his name. And the most senior Democrat disagreed with 
that. He said it was unfair to talk about another Senator when that 
Senator was not on the floor.
  If we carry that logic to what the Senator just asked, I think it 
would also be improper if Senator Leahy filed an amendment pursuant to 
an order that had been entered into the Senate and the Senator from 
Nevada, without saying a word to the Senator from Vermont, called it 
  Now, we have been told by the Parliamentarian that there have been 
times in the past when other Senators have called up other Senator's 
amendments. We all know that. I have called up amendments for you when 
you haven't been here.
  Mr. LEAHY. With my permission.
  Mr. REID. With your permission. And you have done the same for me. 
That is the way it works. But to do something where the Senator is over 
in his office waiting for a time to be able to offer his amendment and 
it is suddenly called up, I am not totally aware of this.
  I say, through the Chair, to my friend from Utah, I would be happy to 
yield to my friend from Utah for a parliamentary inquiry, if I do not 
lose the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is 
so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. I have three or four parliamentary inquiries. I will make 
them very short.
  It is my understanding, is it not, that the Latino fairness bill, 
amendment No. 4185, was just introduced on July 25 of this year; is 
that correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair does not have access to those dates.
  Mr. LEAHY. Is that a parliamentary inquiry, Mr. President?
  Mr. HATCH. Is it not true that the amendment called the Latino 
fairness bill is No. 4184 and that it is not germane because 94-3, 
Republicans and Democrats, have voted for cloture; is that correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. It is the opinion of the Chair that amendment 
No. 4184 is not germane.
  Mr. HATCH. Parliamentary inquiry: Since the Senate voted 94-3, 
Democrats and Republicans, on a bipartisan way to limit debate, that 
amendment would be moved out of order; is that correct?
  Mr. REID. I would say to the Chair----
  Mr. HATCH. May I get an answer to my question?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada has the floor.
  Mr. REID. I would say to my friend, through the Chair, I have no 
problem with the Senator making these parliamentary inquiries. July 25, 
I don't know if that is right, but that is fine. I also think, as we 
say in the law, his inquiry is not at this time justiciable. The fact 
that the Parliamentarian, through the Chair, ruled that this amendment, 
if offered, would not be germane does not mean that that ruling is 
taking place now. There is no ruling at this stage.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. That is correct.
  Mr. REID. Did the Senator have other parliamentary inquiries.
  Mr. HATCH. Yes, parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. REID. As long as I don't lose the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. As I understand it, the amendment, No. 4184, would not be 
  Mr. REID. I am reclaiming the floor. I say to my friend from Utah, 
that question has already been answered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada can reclaim the floor.
  Mr. REID. At an appropriate time, I hope we have the opportunity to 
offer this amendment. I came to the floor Friday and asked unanimous 
consent that we be allowed to proceed to this. What the minority is 
saying, is that there is no need to play any parliamentary games. What 
we want to do is to be able to have an up-or-down vote on amendment No. 
4184, whether the underlying legislation was filed on July 25, February 
1, or 2 minutes ago. We want a vote on the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act of 2000. We want a vote. But, if the majority is going to 
come in here under some parliamentary guise and say that it is not 
germane, that is their right. But I want everyone to know--and I spread 
it across the record of this Senate--that is an obstacle that is 
unnecessary. They should allow us to vote on this if they believe that 
there should be fairness, as we have tried to outline here today, 
people who are already here, already working, or trying to work. We are 
not hauling in new people from outside the borders of the country. We 
want the people here to have a fair shot. That is all we want. If the 
majority does not want that, let them vote against it. I started out 
saying we would have an hour evenly divided. Then I said a half hour 
evenly divided. We are down to 10 minutes now, 5 minutes a side, that 
we would take on this.

[[Page S9227]]

We want an up-or-down vote. I think it is fair to have an up-or-down 
vote on this amendment.

  Mr. LEAHY. Will the Senator yield for another question?
  Mr. REID. Yes, without my losing my right to the floor.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Senator from Nevada makes a compelling 
argument. Consider the extraordinary and, I believe, unprecedented 
procedure of the majority leader in calling up an amendment of a 
Democratic Senator who was not consulted. Note that the amendment is 
the amendment filed just before the amendment that we have been trying 
to have considered to provide Latino and immigration fairness, the one 
on which we are being denied consideration or a vote. The amendment on 
the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act is something we ought to at least 
have the guts to stand up and vote up or down on and let the Latino 
population of this country know where we stand.
  I say to my friend from Nevada, this exercise--to me, at least--
appears to be an attempt to keep us from voting on something of 
significance to this country. Isn't this very similar to what we have 
seen on the question of judges, where anonymous holds from the 
Republican side have stopped us from voting up or down on judicial 
nominations for months and years in some cases; and anonymous holds 
from the Republican side are currently preventing Senate action on the 
Violence Against Women Act reauthorization; and anonymous holds from 
the Republican side have been preventing Senate action on the 
Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 2000, a bill to help fund 
bulletproof vests to protect our State and local police officers; and 
anonymous holds on the Republican side have prevented passage of the 
visa waiver legislation; and anonymous holds on the Republican side are 
preventing the Senate from passing the Computer Crime Enforcement Act? 
Is there a pattern here? The majority appears not to want to allow the 
Senate to either vote for or against these measures. They should at 
least allow us to vote.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I will respond to only one of the things he 
has listed because the obvious answer to every one is that he is right. 
About the bulletproof vests, that is very important to the people of 
Nevada. Why? Because some people believe that Nevada, is a State that 
is very rural in nature. That is not true. Nevada is the most urban 
State in America because 90 percent of the people live in the 
metropolitan Reno or Las Vegas areas. Ten percent live outside of Reno 
or Las Vegas. Those 10 percent, in Winnemucca and Lovelock, all through 
Nevada--those little police departments cannot afford bulletproof 
vests. As a result of that, we have people who are hurt and not able to 
do their work as well. Some of them have to buy their own vests and 
usually they are not very good.
  What the legislation the Senator from Vermont has pushed, and we have 
gotten a little money on some of his legislation, we need to make sure 
that in rural America, rural Nevada, in places such as Ely and Pioche 
and police officers in these rural places in Nevada get the same 
protection against the criminal element that the people who are police 
officers in the big cities have. So the Senator from Vermont is 
absolutely right. We have a game being played here; they don't want to 
vote on tough issues. They have been pretty successful. And, I am sorry 
to say that they have been successful. We have spent little time 
debating issues and voting. We have spent a lot of time thinking about 
what we are going to do next, which is normally nothing.

  My friend from Rhode Island has asked that I yield to him for a 
question, which I will do if I do not lose my right to the floor.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, like the Senator, I am frustrated because we 
are trying to simply recognize the reality that there are many, many 
individuals in the United States who have been here for years and who 
deserve an opportunity to become permanent residents, and it is not 
only within the Latino community but the Liberian community. These 
individuals from Liberia came over legally, under temporary protective 
status. That is one of the pieces of legislation also frustrated by 
this device to preclude amendments.
  I wonder if the Senator might amplify the fact that, indeed, if we 
were successful to get a vote on this measure, we could also address 
the issue of 10,000 Liberians who are literally perhaps hours from 
being deported, except for administrative order, and it is a population 
that has contributed to our communities; and we should recognize that 
they deserve the opportunity to adjust to permanent status, and they 
are being ignored by these parliamentary maneuvers--worse than ignored.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, if there are ever any prizes given by a 
higher being to someone who cares about a group of people who have no 
one out there as their advocate or champion, Jack Reed from Rhode 
Island will get one of those prizes. Nobody else has been as vocal a 
proponent for doing justice to those 10,000 individuals who have no 
other spokesperson. I congratulate the Senator for being very open and 
vocal. I have to tell him that but for him his amendment would not be 
part of this legislation about which we are speaking. I am very proud 
of the Senator from Rhode Island for the great work he has done.
  I also respond in this way. Some of the people I am trying to help in 
Nevada have been there 30 years--not 30 days, 30 hours, 30 months, but 
30 years. They want a fair hearing. When I first went to law school, I 
heard the words ``due process'' and really didn't know what that meant. 
I quickly came to learn in law school that it is the foundation of our 
system of justice. People who are here, no matter how they got here, 
should be entitled to basic fairness. So I thank my friend from Rhode 
Island for trying to help more than 10,000 Liberians get a fair 
hearing. That is basically what this is all about.
  My friend from Florida has been on the floor now for a long period of 
time. He has indicated to me that he has a question. I am happy to 
yield for a question without my losing the floor.
  Mr. GRAHAM. I thank the Senator.
  Mr. President, Senator Reed from Rhode Island has done an outstanding 
job of bringing to our attention the plight of those 10,000 Liberians, 
many of whom are his friends in Rhode Island. I want to talk about 
another group of about 10,000. That is a group of Haitians. There are 
many more than 10,000 Haitians who have come to the United States in 
the last decade, decade and a half, fleeing first the dictatorship of 
the Duvaliers, and then the military dictatorship that succeeded the 
Duvaliers. Most of those Haitians came by boat and most had no 
documentation. They had no papers of any type when they came into the 
  Under the immigration law we passed in 1998, subject to one 
additional complexity--which I will talk about at another time--which 
we are trying to get resolved with this legislation, they will be 
entitled to make their case for legal residence in the United States. I 
think at this point it is important we indicate that in virtually every 
instance we are talking about, we are not talking about granting a 
legal status and, certainly, not granting citizenship. What we are 
talking about is giving people a chance to apply, and that their 
application will be accepted and given appropriate due process and 
consideration. Without the kind of provisions we are trying to 
accomplish in this Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act, they can't even 
submit the papers to start the process.
  Let me go back to the 10,000 Haitians who arrived by air. The irony 
is that they tended to be people who were under a particular threat of 
death or serious abuse and persecution. They felt the necessity not to 
be able to wait for a boat but to get out as quickly as possible. In 
order to get on the airplane, they had to go to somebody who 
counterfeits passports and other documentation that was required to get 
on the plane and get out of Haiti in the 1980s and early part of the 
1990s. When they arrived in the United States they were not without 
documents. But they had false, counterfeit documents.
  If you can believe it, under our current immigration law, we make a 
distinction between a person who is flying--and arguably in a severe 
case of persecution--with false documents and is denied the right to 
apply for legal status, whereas a person who comes with no documents at 
all is allowed.
  This legislation will correct what I think is one of the most 
indefensible examples of unfairness to people who essentially are in 
the same condition

[[Page S9228]]

but have a minor technical differentiation--in this case, with no 
documents, OK; and, with false or counterfeit documents precluded from 
the opportunity to apply. We would eliminate that and allow both the 
no-document Haitians and the counterfeit-document Haitians the 
opportunity to submit their case and attempt to persuade the INS to 
justify granting some legal status in the United States.
  They have 10,000--what are referred to as the ``airport Haitians''--
immigrants with all of the characteristics that the Senator talked 
about before. They have lived here a long time. Many of them have 
established families. Either they have U.S. citizen children or they 
have become positive members of a community. They have all of the bases 
to be seriously considered for legal status, but they are being denied 
even the opportunity to apply because of this peculiarly perverse 
unfairness in our immigration law, which this legislation--if we had a 
chance to take it up, debate it, and vote on it--has the chance to 
  I appreciate my good friend, Senator Reid, giving me this opportunity 
to ask him the question.
  Does the Senator think we ought to seize this moment and correct the 
unfairness that Senator Reed has pointed out with the Liberians--I 
suggest an equal number of Haitians--in this Nation?
  Mr. REID. The Senator from Florida has been such a leader on 
immigration issues generally but more specifically this issue dealing 
with Haitians. The State of Florida has been greatly affected by 
Haitian immigrants. All we are saying is let these people have their 
status adjusted. If it doesn't work out, they will have to suffer 
whatever consequences. But don't deny them basic due process.
  My friend from Louisiana asked that I yield to her for a question. I 
would be happy to do so without losing the right to the floor.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, before the Senator takes advantage of that 
time, I would like to make an inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Nevada yield?
  Mr. REID. I would be happy to yield to the majority leader without 
losing my right to the floor, which I lose in 5 minutes anyway.
  Mr. LOTT. That is what I was going to inquire about. I believe we are 
scheduled to take a break in 5 minutes, at 12:30, for the respective 
party policy luncheons. I had hoped to be able to make some comments 
and respond to some of the things that were said. I know that Senator 
Hatch hoped to do that, too. In order to do that, if he is not going to 
have time yielded, I guess the only alternative would be for me to 
yield leader time and ask unanimous consent that we extend the time for 
5 minutes beyond 12:30. Is that correct, Mr. President?

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I ask a question of my good friend from 
Nevada. The Senator from Florida has raised some interesting questions 
about a particular group of people whom we, under our amendment, would 
seek to not give automatic citizenship to but the opportunity to apply. 
The Senator from Rhode Island has spoken eloquently about a fairly 
large group of applicants who are just seeking an opportunity to apply.
  Does the Senator know that there is a very large group of people from 
Honduras that are living in the New Orleans area of Louisiana with 
families that will really be disrupted and separated if we don't 
provide some kind of response?
  I wish the Senator could perhaps shed some light on how difficult it 
is going to be for me to have to go back to Louisiana and explain to my 
business leaders that I am trying to help them get visas for people to 
build the ships we need, to build powerplants to fuel this economy, and 
to bring people into this Nation, but yet I am not able to get our 
Senate to help us keep people who are already there employed and 
working in shipbuilding, running our hotels, and our hospitals.
  The leader has done such a good job. I just wanted to come to the 
floor to say it is going to be very difficult for me to go back and 
say: While we gave you some help with visas for people to be brought in 
to help, we are taking people away from you who are already employed, 
and we weren't able to correct that.
  Could the Senator shed some light for people who are following this 
debate on how it doesn't seem to make sense that on the one hand we are 
giving new visas to people to come into our country, and yet we are 
telling employers who are desperate for workers, particularly in my 
State of Louisiana in the New Orleans area, that we are going to 
actually take good workers away from them and ship them back to either 
Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador?
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, my friend from Louisiana is absolutely 
right. We know there was a promise made to Honduran immigrants in this 
country that their status would be adjusted the same as the Cubans and 
the Nicaraguans were adjusted. I was happy to recognize that the Cubans 
and Nicaraguans who are here deserve that. But for the Hondurans, this 
country has not lived up to the promise made to these people.
  The Senator is absolutely right. That is why we have company after 
company and organization after organization supporting this 
legislation. Senator Durbin has worked very hard on it, and the Senator 
from Louisiana has worked with him.
  As has already been pointed out, supporters of the legislation 
include the Americans for Tax Reform, Empower American, AFL-CIO, Union 
of Needletrades and Industrial Textile Employees, Service Employees 
International Union, National Council of La Raza, League of United 
Latin American Citizens, Anti-Defamation League, Hadassah, The Women's 
Zionist Organization, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Lutheran 
Immigration and Refugee Services, Jesuit Conference, American Bar 
Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Center for Equal 
Opportunity Club for Growth, Resort Recreation and Tourism Management, 
and the National School Transportation Association.
  All we are saying is that these organizations are well-meaning. Why? 
Because their livelihoods depend on having people to do the work.
  All we want to do is satisfy basic fairness. I think the way that we 
could have basic fairness is if the majority would allow us the right 
to vote on amendment No. 4184. It is as simple as that. I know my time 
is up.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I couldn't agree with the Senator more. I thank the 
Senator for yielding for that question.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I yield myself a minute of leader time and 
allot the remainder of the time to Senator Hatch to comment on where we 
are and some of the things that have been said.
  I know there is a lot of clarification and correcting that the Record 
  With regard particularly to workers in shipbuilding, I believe we 
have plenty of people in my State of Mississippi who would be perfectly 
happy to fill any job that might be available in the shipyards in my 
  It is very clear what has happened. For weeks, for months, this bill 
has been delayed, stalled, by all kinds of demands for unrelated 
amendments, amendments of all kinds. That resistance still continues.
  The high-tech industry indicates this is vital to them--big and 
small--this has to be done, and there is bipartisan support.
  The time is here. We are going to see very clearly whether we want to 
extend these immigrants visas or not. All the delays to change the 
subject, deflect it, to demand votes on other things which could tangle 
up and cause problems for this bill will not work. We will file 
cloture. We are going to have successful cloture and we will either get 
this bill done or not.
  Everybody needs to understand here and outside this Chamber that it 
is time we get to the issue at hand, that we have a vote, get this work 
done, and move on.
  The Senators are entitled to make their case for other amendments. I 
thought we recognized last Friday in our exchange that there are other 
bills, there will be other venues where these amendments could possibly 
be considered, if that is the will of the House and the Senate and the 
  The point is, do we want to pass it or not? Time is running out. It 
is time to make that decision. We will have a clear vote on it before 
this week is out.

[[Page S9229]]

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have heard my friends on the other side 
talk about how important this is. Why didn't they file the bill before 
July 25 of this year if it is so darned important, if politics isn't 
being played here.
  Secondly, why did they all vote for this? Forty-three Democrats voted 
for cloture. If they wanted this amendment, why did they vote for 
cloture? They understand the rule that, by gosh, we vote for cloture, 
end debate, so we can pass the bill.
  The high-tech industry needs this bill, but it will be brought down 
if we can't get it passed. The Latino fairness bill has not even had 1 
day of hearings. Yet they want to grant amnesty to illegal aliens of at 
least a half million, and some think up to 2 million people, without 1 
day of hearings. Where are the amendments to increase the number of 
legal immigrants?
  In 1996, we had a major debate on immigration and there was a serious 
effort to restrict the numbers of legal immigrants. I fought the fight 
to preserve the number of legal immigrants. That is Latino fairness. 
What my colleagues are advocating is a major amnesty program for 
illegal immigrants, without 1 day of hearing.
  Let's just understand the 1982, 1986 situation. The fact is the bill 
before us, while termed ``Latino fairness,'' does nothing to increase 
or preserve the categories of illegal immigrants allowed in this 
country annually. If you listen to their arguments, why don't we just 
forget all our immigration laws and let everybody come in? There is an 
argument for everybody.
  We all know what is going on: This is a doggone political game, 
stopping a very important bill that 94 people basically voted for today 
in voting to invoke cloture.
  Their idea does nothing to shorten the long waiting period or the 
hurdles of persons waiting years to come to this country, playing by 
the rules to wait their turn. What we hear is an urgent call to grant 
broad amnesty to what could be more than a million to two million 
illegal aliens. Now, let's be clear about what is at issue here. Some 
refer to the fact that a certain class of persons that may have been 
entitled to amnesty in 1986, have been unfairly treated and should 
therefore be granted amnesty now. That is one issue, and I am certainly 
prepared to discuss--outside the context of S. 2045--what we might be 
able to do to help that class of persons. But that is not really what 
S. 2912 is about. Rather, this bill also covers that class plus 
hundreds of thousands, if not millions of illegal aliens who were never 
eligible for amnesty under the 1986 Act because that Act only went back 
to 1982.

  This is a difficult issue, Mr. President, and one with major policy 
implications for the future. When we supported amnesty in 1986, it was 
not with the assumption that this was going to be a continuous process. 
What kind of signal does this send? On the one hand, our government 
spends millions each year to combat illegal immigration and deports 
thousands of persons each year who are here illegally. But--But if an 
illegal alien can manage to escape law enforcement for long enough, we 
reward that person with citizenship, or at least permanent resident 
  Finally, Mr. President, I hope that my colleagues are aware of the 
cost of this bill to American taxpayers. Specifically, a draft and 
preliminary CBO estimate indicates this bill comes with a price tag 
just short of $1.4 billion over 10 years.
  The bottom line is that the Senate is not and should not be prepared 
to consider this bill at this time. It raises far-reaching questions 
concerning immigration policy, whose consequences have never been 
addressed by proponents.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, my final few minutes is time that has been 
given to me by the leader and that time that I claim for myself to deal 
with the pending legislation, the postcloture debate.
  My friend from Utah indicated he was wondering why we didn't file our 
legislation prior to May of this year. I say to my friend from Utah, as 
he knows, we have been working on this legislation for more than 2 
years, following the 1996 legislation, which has caused much of the 
controversy and consternation to immigrants. That is the reason this 
legislation is coming forward--one of the main reasons. Furthermore, 
one of the main components of the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act 
would update the date of registry. I introduced legislation in August 
of 1999--last year--and updated legislation in April of this year, to 
change the date of registry. So, I respect this isn't something we just 
started working on. We have been fighting for these provisions for 
  We have talked about this. In fact, in May of this year, I wrote a 
letter to the majority leader urging him to move expeditiously to allow 
us time on the floor to consider the H-1B legislation. There have been 
no surprises. There has been adequate time for all the committees of 
jurisdiction to hear this legislation at great length. There have 
certainly been no surprises.
  I repeat what was said earlier in this debate. The Democrats, by 
virtue of this record, support H-1B. We voted for cloture. We believe 
this legislation should move forward. But in the process of it moving 
forward, we think in fairness that the legislation about which we 
speak; namely, the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act of 2000, should 
move forward also.
  I repeat, if my friends on the other side of the aisle do not like 
the legislation, then they should vote against it. We are not trying to 
take up the valuable time of this Senate. But what we are doing is 
saying we want to move forward on this legislation, and we are not 
going to budge from this Congress until this legislation is passed.
  We have a record that substantiates the statement I just made. No. 1, 
we moved Friday, we moved today, to proceed on this legislation. We 
have been denied that opportunity.
  No. 2, we have letters signed by more than 40 Senators and we have 
more than 150 House Members who have signed a letter to the President, 
saying if he vetoes this legislation, we will certainly support his 
veto. Your veto will be based on the fact that the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act of 2000 is not included in something coming out of this 
  What we are looking to, and the vehicle that should go forward, is 
the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill. But if there is some 
other area, we will also support the President's veto on that.
  This legislation, among other things, seeks to provide permanent and 
legally defined groups of immigrants who are already here, already 
working, already contributing to the tax base and social fabric of our 
country, with a way to gain U.S. citizenship. They are people who are 
already here. They are working or have been working. The only reason 
they are now not working is because the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service slipped into the 1996 bill that these people, like the people 
in Nevada, are not entitled to due process. Some of my constituents in 
Nevada have not had the ability to have their work permits renewed. 
They have been rejected. Some have been taken away from them. People 
lost their homes, their cars, their jobs. I am sorry to say in some 
instances it has even caused divorce. It has caused domestic abuse, 
domestic violence. People who have been gainfully employed suddenly 
find themselves without a job. . .their families torn apart.
  We want a vote, an up-or-down vote. As I have said, we don't want a 
lot of time. We will take 10 minutes, 5 minutes for the majority, 5 
minutes by the minority: Vote on this bill. We will take it as it is 
  I think anything less than an up-or-down vote on this shows the 
majority, who in effect run this Senate, are unwilling to take what we 
do not believe is a hard vote. From their perspective, I guess it is a 
hard vote because they do not want to be on record voting against basic 
fairness for people who are here. Although we are willing to vote to 
bring 200,000 people to this country--we support that, too--we think in 
addition to the people who are coming here for high-tech jobs, the 
people who have skilled and semi-skilled jobs, who are badly needed in 
this country, also need the basic fairness that this legislation