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[Congressional Record: September 27, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S9337-S9375]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr27se00-156]                         



 
   AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ACT OF 2000--
                                RESUMED

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the pending business.
  The senior assistant bill clerk read as follows:

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

  Pending:

       Lott (for Abraham) amendment No. 4177 (to the committee 
     substitute), in the nature of a substitute.
       Lott amendment No. 4178 (to amendment No. 4177), of a 
     perfecting nature.
       Lott (for Conrad) amendment No. 4183 (to the text of the 
     bill proposed to be stricken), to exclude certain ``J'' non-
     immigrants from numerical limitations applicable to ``H-1B'' 
     non-immigrants.
       Lott amendment No. 4201 (to amendment No. 4183), in the 
     nature of a substitute.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. HARKIN. Parliamentary inquiry. I understand we are now under 
cloture and each Senator is recognized for up to 1 hour to speak.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Each Senator has a maximum of 1 hour.
  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I appreciate very much the willingness on 
the part of the Senator from Iowa to give me an opportunity to make 
some remarks with regard to where we are on the legislation.
  Yesterday's vote demonstrates clearly that there is strong bipartisan 
support in the Senate for increasing the number of visas for high-
skilled workers. On that point, Democrats and Republicans agree, but 
there is a stark disagreement between our parties on the issue of 
fairness to immigrants.
  Republicans do not want to acknowledge this; they do not want to 
admit that they oppose the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. That is 
why they have gone to such extraordinary lengths to try to avoid having 
to take a public position on it. There is an election coming up, and 
they do not want to have to explain to Latino and immigrant groups why 
they told thousands of hard-working immigrants who are in this country 
doing essential jobs: Go home. Republicans would rather risk not 
delaying the passage of the H-1B visa bill than vote for the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act or risk the political consequences of voting 
against it.
  There is really no reason we cannot pass both a strong H-1B bill and 
the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  We are in the longest period of economic expansion in our Nation's 
history. We all know that now. The census numbers which were released 
yesterday confirm once again the remarkable progress we have made in 
recent years.
  In the last 7 years, we have seen 20 million new jobs. Unemployment 
is lower now than it has been in 30 years. In my State of South Dakota, 
the jobless rate is between 2 and 3 percent.
  Ten years ago, many companies could not expand because they could not 
get the capital. Today they can get the capital, but they cannot get 
the workers.
  Clearly, one of the industries hardest hit by today's skilled-worker 
shortage is the information technology industry. According to a recent 
survey of almost 900 IT executives, nearly 10 percent of IT service and 
support positions in this country--268,740 jobs--are unfilled today 
because there are not enough skilled workers in this country to fill 
them.
  The H-1B visa program was supposed to prevent such shortages, but it 
cannot because it has not kept pace with the growth in our economy. 
This year, in fact, the H-1B program reached its ceiling of 115,000 
visas in less than 6 months. That is why my colleagues and I support 
substantially increasing the number of visas available under the H-1B 
program.
  The high-tech industry, however, is not the only industry struggling 
with worker shortages. The Federal Reserve Board has said repeatedly 
that there are widespread shortages of essential workers all through 
the United States. All across America, restaurants, hotels, and nursing 
homes are in desperate need of help. Widespread labor shortages in 
these industries also pose a very significant threat to our economy. 
That is one reason my colleagues and I introduced the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act earlier this year and why we wanted to offer 
that legislation as an amendment to this measure.
  The changes in our proposal are pro-business and certainly pro-
family. They are modest, and they are long overdue. We have talked 
about them before, but let me just, again for the Record, make sure 
people are clear as to what it is we want to do.
  First, we want to establish legal parity for all Central American and 
Caribbean refugees. That is not too much to ask. Why is it we treat 
refugees from some countries differently from refugees from other 
countries? All we are asking for is parity.

  Second, we want to update the registry so that immigrants who have 
been in this country since before 1986, who have worked hard and played 
by the rules, will remain here permanently and will have the ability to 
remain here legally.
  We want to restore section 245(i) of the Immigration Act so that a 
person who is in this country and on the verge of becoming a legal 
resident can remain here while he or she completes the process. Why 
would we want to send somebody back to the country they fled--someone 
who is eligible to be a legal resident--just so they can come back here 
again? If we do not change the law, that is exactly what will happen, 
forcing these immigrants to pay thousands of dollars, disrupt their 
lives, and maybe imperil their opportunity to come back at all.
  Finally, we want to adjust the status of the Liberians who fled to 
America when Liberia was plunged into a horrific civil war. Thousands 
of them live in the State of the current Presiding Officer. Our Nation 
gave these families protected immigrant status which allowed them to 
stay in the United States but preempted their asylum claims. Instead of 
forcing them to return to Liberia, a nation our Government warns 
Americans to avoid because it is so dangerous even today, our bill will 
give them the opportunity to become legal residents. That is all it 
would do.
  Earlier this month, a coalition of 31 associations--the U.S. Chamber 
of Commerce, the American Health Care Association, the National 
Restaurant Association, the National Retail Federation, and about 28 
more--all came together and said: If there is something you do before 
the end of this year, now that we have PNTR finished, we hope you can 
pass the restoration of Section 245(i) and these other reasonable 
immigration provisions.
  It is the only fair thing to do, and it is good business. We need 
this done. That is the message from the Chamber of Commerce and the 
American Retail Federation sent. The American economy is growing not in 
spite of immigrant workers, but with their help. That is one reason we 
should pass the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act now.

[[Page S9338]]

  There is another reason. President Roosevelt once said: ``We are a 
nation of immigrants.'' We are also a nation that values families. This 
principle is not relegated to one ethnic group. Whether you are African 
American, European American, Latino American, or Asian American, we 
value family. That is important to us. If we do not pass the provisions 
in our proposal, thousands of immigrant parents of American-born 
children will face an excruciating choice. If they are told to leave 
this country, should they defy the law so that they can remain with 
their American-citizen children or should they leave their children 
here in the hope that others will care for them? Forcing choices like 
this is simply antithetical to our commitment to family values.
  I have heard all the speeches in the Senate Chamber about protecting 
family, doing what is best for family, trying to ensure that families 
stay together. We are concerned about what children watch on 
television. But for Heaven's sake, if we care what they watch on 
television, we ought to decide right now where we want them to watch 
television. Children ought to be watching television here with their 
families.
  That is the choice: Should they leave their children here and hope 
that others care for them, or should they take their children back to 
nations that are mired in poverty and torn by violence or both?
  Surely, those are not the kinds of choices we should force on people 
who have lived in this country and played by the rules for years. That 
is not the way we should treat people who have done the essential jobs 
that others did not want, particularly today when we need their labor 
so desperately.
  My colleagues and I strongly support the H-1B visa bill. On that 
there can be no doubt, especially after yesterday's vote. But we are 
deeply disturbed and disappointed that the majority has refused to 
allow us to offer the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act or any other 
amendment on this bill. Once again we have been refused the right to 
offer even one amendment to the bill.
  I have offered the majority leader many opportunities. I suggested 
five and five. I suggested that they have five amendments, that we have 
five amendments, that we limit them in terms of time and second degree 
amendments because we wanted to get this bill done. I heard the 
allegation that: No, Democrats just want to slow down the process, the 
deliberation, the consideration of the H-1B bill; they don't want it to 
pass.
  Our answer to that, you saw yesterday. We want it to pass. That is 
why I offered a limit on amendments, why I offered a limit on time, why 
I offered almost any formula you could come up with so that we could 
accommodate both.
  Let's pass H-1B, but for Heaven's sake, with 2 weeks left, let's pass 
the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act as well. Once again we have been 
refused the right to offer even one amendment to the bill. Once again 
we are told: Do it our way, or we are not going to do it at all. This 
is not how this body should operate. Offering amendments and voting on 
them does not kill bills, it strengthens them, and it strengthens this 
Senate.
  Why are our Republican colleagues so determined not even to let us 
discuss our amendment? They are the majority. If they believe our 
proposal is misguided, they can vote it down, they can table it. They 
can do anything they want to. They have the votes. Why won't they allow 
that vote? What are they so afraid of?
  We are pleased we are finally on the verge of passing this 
legislation and increasing the number of H-1B visas. But we are 
disappointed by the disdain the majority has shown for this Senate and 
its tradition of fair and open debate. We are even more disturbed by 
the indifference they are showing to thousands--tens of thousands--of 
decent, hard-working families who are looking forward to the time when 
they can live here in freedom and peace, and with confidence that their 
families can stay together.
  I am disappointed. I am frustrated, once again, that we have not had 
an opportunity to have the voice, to have the input, to have the 
opportunity that any Senator should count as his right or her right to 
participate fully in debate. But we have been precluded by the rules of 
the Senate imposed upon us in this case by the majority.
  The rules in the Senate, of course, allow for free and open debate, 
allow for amendment, allow for unlimited debate and discussion. The 
majority continues to insist on bending the rules so that they can 
constrain the way we pass legislation and which issues will be heard, 
without regard to the rights of all Senators to have their voices 
heard.


                      Motion To Suspend Rule XXII

  So, Mr. President, as my statement in yesterday's Record indicated, I 
now move to suspend rule XXII to permit the consideration of amendment 
No. 4184.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion is debatable.
  Mr. GREGG addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, I appreciate the Democratic leader's 
comments and the sincerity of those comments. But I think a few points 
should be made in response to them. Then I will make a unanimous 
consent request relative to the motion which has been put forward by 
the Democratic leader.
  The first point is that the rules of the Senate are being followed. 
The Democratic leader knows the rules a great deal better than I do. 
But the vote on cloture yesterday, to which the Democratic leader on a 
number of occasions has alluded to represent the Democratic leader's 
commitment to the H-1B proposal, is the vote which puts the Democratic 
leader in the position that he is in now, which is that the amendment 
he is offering is not relevant and not germane to the underlying bill. 
So, as a practical matter, for him to first claim that, with great 
enthusiasm, they voted for cloture but now they are being foreclosed 
under the rules of the Senate from doing what they want to do is, I 
think, crocodile tears.
  Secondly, it appears at about this time every election cycle we see a 
movement that occurs from this administration which involves bypassing 
the usual and legal procedures for obtaining citizenship.
  Citizenship is the most sacred item of trust that we can impart as a 
nation to someone who wishes to come to our shores and live. The 
granting of citizenship is an extraordinary action because it gives a 
person the right to live in our Nation--the greatest nation on Earth--
and the capacity to vote and participate as a full citizen and to raise 
a family here as a citizen. So it is something where we have set up a 
fairly significant and intricate set of laws in order to develop a 
process so there is fairness in how we apply citizenship.
  Yet every election year, during this administration, or at least for 
the last two major election years--especially Presidential election 
years--we have seen an attempt, basically, to set aside the law as it 
is structured for purposes of obtaining citizenship, and to create a 
new class of citizens independent of what is present law.
  To say that people shall be given the imprimatur of citizenship just 
before the election, ironically--and the last time this occurred under 
Citizenship USA, which was the title given to it, a title which was 
truly inappropriate because it ended up being ``Felony USA,'' thousands 
of people were given citizenship outside of the usual course. They did 
not have to go through the usual process, in a rush to complete 
citizenship prior to the election, which led to literally thousands of 
people who ended up being felons and criminals receiving citizenship. 
We are still trying to track down many of the felons who received 
citizenship under Citizenship USA, which was the last aggressive 
attempt to bypass the citizenship laws of this country during an 
election year.
  I think we should have learned our lesson from that little exercise, 
that attempt at political initiative for the purposes of political 
gain, which ended up costing us literally millions of dollars to try to 
correct and leave us with, fortunately, a number of good citizens but, 
unfortunately, a number of people who should never have gotten 
citizenship who are literally felons and who have committed serious 
crimes.
  So this attempt to bypass the citizenship process must be looked at 
with a certain jaundiced eye in light of the fact it is an election 
year because there is a history which asserts that it

[[Page S9339]]

should be viewed with a jaundiced eye, because the Citizen USA was such 
a debacle and so grossly political and ended up costing our Nation so 
dearly, by giving the sacred right of citizenship to people who are 
criminals and who committed lawless acts against other citizens.
  So that is why we are in this position today.
  The Democratic leadership claims that they strongly support H-1B and 
so they voted for cloture. Then they come forward and claim: But the 
rules are limiting us.
  They were the ones who voted for the rule that happens to be limiting 
them. They can't have it both ways, but they appear to want to. It is, 
as I said, crocodile tears on their part, in my opinion. However, the 
Democratic leader has the right to make this request. He has positioned 
himself procedurally in that order.
  Therefore, I ask unanimous consent that a vote occur on the pending 
motion to suspend the rules, that the vote occur today at 4 o'clock, 
and that the time between the two sides until 4 o'clock be equally 
divided in the usual form.
  Mr. REID. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, I was 
diverted by talking to someone else. Will the Senator restate the 
unanimous consent request?
  Mr. GREGG. I ask unanimous consent that a vote occur today on the 
pending motion to suspend the rule at 4 o'clock and that the time 
between now and 4 o'clock be equally divided in the usual form.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire has the floor.
  Mr. REID. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. GREGG. 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. HARKIN. 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. HARKIN. Mr. President, I yield whatever time I have remaining 
under cloture on the bill to the minority leader, Senator Daschle.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has that right.
  Mr. HARKIN. 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. LEAHY. 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. LEAHY. Mr. President, I regret how little progress we were able 
to make yesterday on legislation to increase the number of H-1B visas. 
This legislation was reported from the Judiciary Committee more than a 
half a year ago. I have advocated that it receive a fair hearing and 
that the Senate vote to increase the number of H-1B visas.
  I have also said we should take up other important immigration 
matters that have been neglected for too long in this body. But those 
requests have fallen on deaf ears, as yesterday once again 
demonstrated. Senators Daschle and Reid have offered to spend only 10 
minutes debating immigration amendments. Under those terms, we could 
complete action on this bill in well under a day. But the majority 
apparently would rather see this process continue to drag on than take 
a simple up-or-down vote on matters of critical importance to the 
Latino community and other immigrant groups. Indeed, this bill has been 
more strictly controlled than any bill during this Congress. At a 
certain point one cannot help but ask: What is the majority afraid of?
  We ought to vote up or down on the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. 
I don't say this from any parochial interest. We do not have any 
significant minority ethnic group in Vermont. We are sort of unique in 
that regard. But all Vermonters, Republican and Democrat alike, believe 
in fairness. It is a matter of fairness to have the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act voted on. Let us vote it up or vote it down. I 
will vote for it. I am a cosponsor of it. I strongly support it.
  The chairman of the Judiciary Committee complained yesterday that the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act was not introduced until July, and 
that the Democrats were pressing for action on the bill even though it 
had no hearings. As the chairman must know, the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act brings together a number of proposals that have been 
talked about since the very beginning of this Congress, and in some 
cases for years before that. Indeed, the current proposal is drawn from 
S. 1552, S. 1592, and S. 2668. And as the chairman also must recognize, 
these proposals have been denied hearings in the Judiciary Committee he 
chairs and the Immigration subcommittee that Senator Abraham chairs. 
For the chairman to point to the lack of hearings on these proposals as 
an excuse to derail them reminds me of the person on trial for killing 
his parents who throws himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan.
  Meanwhile, I am encouraged by the majority leader's conciliatory 
words on the substance of the LIFA proposals. According to today's 
Congress Daily, the majority leader has said that he thought the 
proposals ``could be wrapped in such a way that I could be for it.'' I 
hope this signals that he will work with us to find a way to have a 
vote on these issues.
  Let me be clear: I support increasing the number of H-1B visas and 
voted for S. 2045 in the Judiciary Committee. I have hoped that our 
consideration of this bill would allow us to achieve other crucially 
important immigration goals that have been neglected by the majority 
throughout this Congress. I have hoped that the majority could agree to 
at least vote on--if not vote for--limited proposals designed to 
protect Latino families and other immigrant families. I have hoped that 
the majority would consider proposals to restore the due process that 
was taken away from immigrants by the immigration legislation Congress 
passed in 1996. In short, I thought we could work together to restore 
some of America's lost luster on immigration issues. Since the majority 
has thus far been unwilling to do that, pro-immigration Senators have 
been faced with a choice between achieving one of our many goals or 
achieving nothing at all.
  Like most of my Democratic colleagues, I agree that we need to 
increase the number of H-1B visas. The stunning economic growth we have 
experienced in the past eight years has led to worker shortages in 
certain key areas of our economy. Allowing workers with specialized 
skills to come to the United States and work for a 6-year period--as an 
H-1B visa does--helps to alleviate those shortages. In the current 
fiscal year, 115,000 H-1B visas were available. These visas ran out 
well before the fiscal year ended. If we do not change the law, there 
will actually be fewer visas available next year, as the cap drops to 
107,500. This will simply be insufficient to allow America's 
employers--particularly in the information technology industry--to 
maintain their current rates of growth. As such, I think that we need 
to increase the number of available visas dramatically. I think that S. 
2045 is a valuable starting point, although it can and should be 
improved through the amendment process.
  I have been involved in helping to ease America's labor shortage for 
some time. Last year, I cosponsored the HITEC Act, S. 1645, legislation 
that Senator Robb has introduced that would create a new visa that 
would be available to companies looking to hire recent foreign 
graduates of U.S. master's and doctoral programs in math, science, 
engineering, or computer science. I believe that keeping such bright, 
young graduates in the United States should be the primary purpose of 
any H-1B legislation we pass. By concentrating on such workers, we can 
address employers' needs for highly-skilled workers, while also 
limiting the number of visas that go to foreign workers with less 
specialized skills.
  Of course, H-1B visas are not a long-term answer to the current 
mismatch between the demands of the high-tech industry and the supply 
of workers with technical skills. Although I believe that there is a 
labor shortage in certain areas of our economy, I do not

[[Page S9340]]

believe that we should accept that circumstance as an unchangeable fact 
of life. We need to make a greater effort to give our children the 
education they need to compete in an increasingly technology-oriented 
economy, and offer our adults the training they need to refashion their 
careers to suit the changes in our economy. This bill goes part of the 
way toward improving our education and training programs, but could do 
better.
  Although I have said that this is not a perfect bill, there are a few 
provisions within it that should be retained in any final version. I 
strongly support the increased portability this legislation offers for 
visa holders, making it easier for them to change jobs within the 
United States. And the legislation extends the labor attestation 
requirements in the bill--which force employers to certify that they 
were unable to find qualified Americans to do a job that they have 
hired a visa recipient to fill--as well as the Labor Department's 
authority to investigate possible H-1B violations.
  It is regrettable that it has taken so long for us to turn our 
attention to the H-1B issue. The Judiciary Committee reported S. 2045 
more than six months ago. It has taken us a very long time to get from 
point A to point B, and it has often appeared that the majority has 
been more interested in gaining partisan advantage from a delay than in 
actually making this bill law.
  The Democratic leader has said month after month that we would be 
willing to accept very strict time limits on debating amendments, and 
would be willing to conduct the entire debate on S. 2045 in less than a 
day. Our leader has also consistently said that it is critical that the 
Senate should take up proposals to provide parity for refugees from 
right-wing regimes in Central America and to address an issue that has 
been ignored for far too long--how we should treat undocumented aliens 
who have lived here for decades, paying taxes and contributing to our 
economy. These provisions are both contained in the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act. I joined in the call for action on H-1B and 
other critical immigration issues, but our efforts were rebuffed by the 
majority.
  Indeed, months went by in which the majority made no attempt to 
negotiate these differences, time which many members of the majority 
instead spent trying to blame Democrats for the delay in their bringing 
this legislation to the floor. At many times, it seemed that the 
majority was more interested in casting blame upon Democrats than in 
actually passing legislation. Instead of working in good faith with the 
minority to bring this bill to the floor, the majority spent its time 
trying to convince leaders in the information technology industry that 
the Democratic Party is hostile to this bill and that only Republicans 
are interested in solving the legitimate employment shortages faced by 
many sectors of American industry. Considering that three-quarters of 
the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee voted for this bill, and that 
the bill has numerous Democratic cosponsors, including Senator 
Lieberman, this partisan appeal was not only inappropriate but absurd 
on its face.
  Finally, a few weeks ago, the majority made a counteroffer that did 
not provide as many amendments as we would like, but which did allow 
amendments related to immigration generally. We responded 
enthusiastically to this proposal, but individual members of the 
majority objected, and there is still no agreement to allow general 
immigration amendments. At least some members of the majority are 
apparently unwilling even to vote on issues that are critical to 
members of the Latino community. This is deeply unfortunate, and leaves 
those of us who are concerned about humanitarian immigration issues 
with an uncomfortable choice. We can either address the legitimate 
needs of the high-tech industry in the vacuum that the majority has 
imposed, or we can refuse to proceed on this bill until the majority 
affords us the opportunity to address other important immigration 
needs. I still hope that an agreement can be reached with the majority 
that will allow votes on other important immigration matters as part of 
our consideration of this bill, but I have little confidence that this 
will happen.
  I regret that we will likely be unable to offer other important 
amendments to this bill. For much of the summer, the majority implied 
that we were simply using the concerns of Latino voters as a 
smokescreen to avoid considering S. 2045. Speaking for myself, although 
I have had reservations about certain aspects of S. 2045, I voted to 
report it from the Judiciary Committee so that we could move forward in 
our discussions of the bill. I did not seek to offer immigration 
amendments on the Senate floor because I wanted to derail S. 2045. Nor 
did the White House urge Congress to consider other immigration issues 
as part of the H-1B debate because the President wanted to play 
politics with this issue, as the distinguished chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee suggested on the floor a few weeks ago. Rather, the 
majority's inaction on a range of immigration measures in this Congress 
forced those of us who were concerned about immigration issues to 
attempt to raise those issues. Under our current leadership, the 
opportunity to enact needed change in our immigration laws does not 
come around very often, to put it mildly.
  It is a disturbing but increasingly undeniable fact that the interest 
of the business community has become a prerequisite for immigration 
bills to receive attention on the Senate floor. In fact, we are now in 
the week before we are scheduled to adjourn, and this is the first 
immigration bill to be debated on the floor in this Congress. Even 
humanitarian bills with bipartisan backing have been ignored in this 
Congress, both in the Judiciary Committee and on the floor of the 
Senate.
  It is particularly upsetting that the majority refuses to vote on the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. This is a bill that I have 
cosponsored and that offers help to hardworking families who pay taxes 
and help keep our economy going strong. On two occasions, including 
last Friday, the minority has moved to proceed to this bill, and the 
majority has twice objected. In our negotiations with the majority 
about how S. 2045 would be brought to the floor, we have consistently 
pressed for the opportunity to vote on the proposals contained within 
it. But the majority has turned its back on the concerns of Latinos and 
other immigrants who are treated unfairly by our current immigration 
laws.
  The majority has shown a similar lack of concern for proposals by 
numerous Democratic Senators to restore the due process protections 
that were removed by the passage of the Antiterrorism and Effective 
Death Penalty Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
Responsibility Act 4 years ago. There are still many aspects of those 
laws that merit our careful review and rethinking, including the 
inhumane use of expedited removal, which would be sharply limited by 
the Refugee Protection Act (S. 1940) that I have introduced with 
Senator Brownback.
  As important as H-1B visas are for our economy and our Nation's 
employers, it is not the only immigration issue that faces our Nation. 
And the legislation we are concerned with today does not test our 
commitment to the ideals of opportunity and freedom that America has 
represented at its best. Those tests will apparently be left for 
another day, or another Congress.
  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. HATCH. 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. HATCH. Mr. President, I want to answer some of the comments made 
by our colleagues from the other side yesterday and today.
  We have been on the floor this week supposedly debating the H-1B 
bill. That is S. 2045. This bill is an extremely important measure. It 
is aimed at alleviating both short- and long-term problems in the 
inadequate supply of a highly skilled worker force in our dynamic and 
expanding high-tech economy.
  The debate has turned into quite a different matter. My colleagues on 
the other side stood on the floor yesterday talking about the so-called 
Latino fairness legislation and insisting, time and time again, for a 
vote on this unrelated measure.

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  Let's review where we are. The high-tech community wants this H-1B 
bill without amendment. My colleagues on both sides voted 
overwhelmingly for cloture; meaning, ending the debate. Cloture would 
knock out nongermane amendments which, of course, would knock out the 
so-called Latino fairness amendment as well.
  The last time I looked, a vote in support of cloture meant that we 
support consideration of legislation without--I emphasize that word 
``without''--unrelated, nongermane amendments, such as the so-called 
Latino fairness bill. This bill, by the way, was only filed on July 25 
of this year. If it was so important, why was it filed so late in the 
session, without the opportunity for hearings or committee 
consideration?
  Talk about trying to have it both ways. I guess this is a brilliant 
political move if you don't think about it too closely, the ultimate 
effort to try to have it both ways: Give the high-tech community a 
cloture vote and at the same time continue to maneuver to get around 
what that cloture vote means.
  So there we have it. I don't recall seeing a spectacle of this sort 
in all of my years in the Senate.
  Having said that, let me now join my colleagues in this discussion on 
the so-called Latino fairness legislation. There was a great deal of 
talk yesterday. Some of it was shameless. The talk was about due 
process, about the need for more unskilled workers in this country, and 
about the hardship of the parents of American-citizen children. Much of 
the rhetoric does not meet reality.
  My colleagues on the other side argue that they want to vote on S. 
2912, the so-called Latino fairness act. I really wonder if most in the 
Senate understand and appreciate what is involved in this costly, far-
reaching bill that has never had a day of hearings.
  This is no limited measure, to undo a previous wrong to a limited 
class of immigrants who otherwise might have been eligible for amnesty 
under the 1986 act. Rather, this is a major new amnesty program, 
without 1 day of hearings, with a price tag of almost $1.4 billion, 
with major implications for our national policy on immigration.
  For years, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I have watched the 
Immigration Subcommittee, and I have helped to steer through and 
monitor and help make immigration policy in this country. That policy 
works well, to a large degree, but there are certainly areas that we 
can improve. I can tell you that some are trying to turn this 
bipartisan policy upside down.
  I will begin by saying that I have been a long-time supporter of 
legal immigration. That is what has built this country. It has made 
this country the greatest country in the world.
  I believe in legal immigration. In connection with the 1996 
immigration reform legislation, I fought long and hard against those 
who wanted to cut legal family immigration and other categories. At 
that and other times, it has been my view that our emphasis ought to be 
on combating illegal, not legal, immigration.
  The bill before us, however, while termed ``Latino fairness,'' does 
nothing to increase or preserve the categories of legal immigrants 
allowed in this country on an annual basis. It does nothing to shorten 
the long waiting period or the hurdles that persons waiting years to 
come to this country--people who play by the rules and wait their 
turn--have to go through.
  In contrast, what we hear now is an urgent call to grant broad 
amnesty to what could be up to 2 million illegal aliens. Let's be clear 
about what is at issue here. Some refer to the fact that a certain 
class of persons who 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 that issue in our 
committee, with full hearings, and resolve any inequities that exist. I 
am certainly prepared to discuss that, but only outside the context of 
S. 2045, a bill that virtually everybody in this body wants because it 
will allow us to stay in the forefront of our global, high-tech 
economy.
  Again, I am prepared to discuss, outside of this bill, what we might 
be able to do to help that so-called 1982 class of immigrants. But that 
is not really what S. 2912 is about. This bill that some now want to 
attach to the H-1B bill, would ensure its death in the House of 
Representatives; it would never see the light of day. The fact is--this 
bill also covers that 1982 class, but also hundreds of thousands, if 
not millions, of illegal aliens who were never eligible for amnesty 
under the 1986 act.
  This is a difficult issue and one with major policy implications for 
the future. When we supported amnesty in 1986--and I believe there were 
several million people granted amnesty at that time--it was not with 
the assumption that this was going to be a continuous process.
  What kind of signal does this type of ``urgency'' send? On one hand, 
the Government spends millions each year to combat illegal immigration 
and deports thousands of persons each year who are here illegally. 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 status, followed by the right to apply for citizenship after 5 
years of living here.
  That is a slap in the face to all of those who have abided by the 
rules and who have been here legally. If there are inequities, I am 
willing to work them out, but let's do it through hearings, through a 
thorough examination. Let's not do it through a political sham that has 
been thrust upon us on the floor for no other reason than because they 
are worried on the other side that George Bush appeals to the Hispanic 
community. We know he gets about 50 percent of the Hispanic vote in 
Texas, and there is good reason for it.
  Hispanic children are now reading at better levels. The Hispanic 
people have been helped greatly in Texas by the Bush administration. 
Our colleagues on the other side are deathly afraid that if he 
continues to do that, the Hispanic vote--which they just take for 
granted--is going to suddenly go to George Bush and the Republicans. 
Well, I don't blame them for that, because I think that is what is 
going to happen.

  As chairman of the Republican Senatorial Hispanic Task Force, which I 
helped to start years ago, I know that the Hispanics are out there 
watching both parties and seeing who really has their interests at 
heart. We have done more with that task force--not just by throwing 
money at problems--than the other side ever dreamed of.
  Further, I hope my colleagues are aware of the cost of this bill to 
American taxpayers. I don't mind the costs if we are doing something 
that is absolutely right. As I said, I am willing to go through the 
appropriate hearing process. I do that every day in my work as a 
Senator in solving immigration problems--as a lot of Senators do. But 
we ought to take into consideration the costs of this to the American 
taxpayers--giving amnesty to up to 2 million illegal aliens.
  Specifically, a draft and preliminary CBO estimate indicates this 
bill comes with a price tag just short of $1.4 billion over 10 years. 
But that is a conservative estimate because the amendment actually 
filed yesterday goes way beyond S. 2912 on amnesty. Not only was S. 
2912, the so-called the Latino Fairness Act, filed on July 25, but the 
amendment filed yesterday goes even beyond what their original bill. 
The amendment's proponents argue that it just consists of a simple due 
process restoration. But, in fact, it not only gives hundreds of 
thousands, if not millions, additional illegal immigrants amnesty who 
have been here since 1986, it appears to be a rolling amnesty measure!
  In this highly charged political area, we ought to try and get 
together in a bipartisan manner. But some of my friends on the other 
side seem to want to play politics with this issue. They try to act as 
if they are for Hispanics. But what they are in fact doing is ignoring 
those who play by the rules, who are here legally, in favor of those 
who are here illegally and who have broken the rules. It is a slap in 
the face to all of those who have played by the rules.
  What do I mean by a rolling amnesty measure? It means the amnesty 
provision continues and expands for the next 6 years. That is right, 
Mr. President. If illegal aliens can manage to avoid authorities until 
2006--if they can avoid authorities for that long--they automatically 
get amnesty, and that is a stepping stone to citizenship for people who 
have violated our laws and are

[[Page S9342]]

here illegally. Again, if there are people who are being injured who 
should not be, people who really have due process rights, or who ought 
to have consideration, I am willing to work on that with my colleagues 
on the other side in a bipartisan way to do something that really 
works. We do that regularly anyway. But to just throw this open on a 
rolling amnesty basis for 6 solid years is not the way to go; we are 
talking about millions of people who are here illegally being 
automatically given the right to apply for citizenship in a few years.
  Mr. President, what are we doing here? We devote hundreds of millions 
of dollars each year to try and control illegal immigration. What does 
this so-called fairness bill do? It rewards persons for their illegal 
activity. It says let's keep fighting illegal immigration, but if 
certain persons succeed in evading the law for long enough, they get 
rewarded by being allowed to stay, get permanent resident status, and 5 
years later can apply for citizenship, in contrast to all of those 
millions who have legally come into this country under legal 
immigration rules and regulations, who have abided by the law, and who 
basically have paid the appropriate price to get here.

  We have also heard about the need for more workers. I agree with 
that. Why don't we address and examine this need, however, in the right 
way? Why don't we examine increasing the number of legal immigrants 
allowed to come here? Why don't we consider lifting certain of those 
caps? I don't see anyone on the other side of the aisle arguing for 
that. It would seem to me if they want to argue for having more 
immigrants in this country--and I might go along with this--that we 
ought to lift the caps. I have to admit that there are those in this 
body who do not want to lift those caps--but at least in the other body 
for sure. That is the appropriate way to do that.
  During our debate in the 1996 act, the Democrats offered, and the 
committee unanimously agreed, to curb the number of legal, unskilled 
workers coming to this country. Why did they do that? Because their No. 
1 supporters in the country--the trade union movement in this country--
believe that they would take jobs; that if we lifted the caps there 
would be more legal immigrants coming into this country that would take 
jobs away from American workers.
  It is amazing to me that they wouldn't allow the caps lifted then for 
that reason, and now they want the broad amnesty. They want to allow up 
to 2 million illegal immigrants in here because everybody realizes 
there is a shortage of workers right now.
  I am willing to consider lifting those caps, and do it legally and do 
it the right way. I would be willing to do that. But without hearings, 
and without a really thorough examination of this, I am not willing to 
just wholesale have a rolling amnesty provision that would allow 
millions of illegal aliens who haven't played by the rules to have a 
wide open street to citizenship while many people who are applying 
legally can't get in and who really need to get in.
  I agree with the need to reexamine our position on lifting the caps 
on legal immigration. Let's do that. I am willing to hold hearings, or 
make sure the subcommittee holds the hearings on that. By the way, they 
have held some hearings.
  I have to say that generally the two leaders on the Subcommittee on 
Immigration, Senator Abraham from Michigan and Senator Kennedy from 
Massachusetts, have worked well together. But all of a sudden, there's 
a chance to score political points, they think. I don't think they are 
getting political points. If I was a legal Hispanic, or a legal 
Chinese, or a legal person from any other country, I would resent 
knowing how difficult it was for me to become a legal immigrant while 
people who are trying to make it possible for those who are illegally 
here to be able to become citizens without obeying the same rules. I 
suspect there is going to be a lot of resentment, if people really 
understand this.
  While we are at it, why don't we do something to get the INS to move 
more swiftly--the Immigration and Naturalization Service--to move more 
swiftly on applications for legal immigrants? That would be real Latino 
fairness. That is what we ought to be doing on the floor.
  There isn't a person in this body who cares more for family 
unification than I do. There are some who are certainly my equal here. 
But nobody exceeds my desire to bring families together, a point 
brought out yesterday. I fought for years on this issue. Every day we 
are working on immigration problems to try to solve the problem of 
bringing families together in my offices in Utah and here.
  If we really care about family reunification, why don't we do 
something about the Immigration and Naturalization Service? Why should 
parents, children, and spouses have to stay on a waiting list for 
years? I would like to hear more comments from the other side on that. 
But every time you try to lift the caps, their friends in the union 
movement come in and say: You can't do that. You might take jobs away 
from union workers.

  Under the H-1B bill, we are not taking jobs away from union workers 
or from anyone else. We are trying to maintain our dominant status 
throughout the world in the high-tech world. We are trying to make sure 
we keep the people here who can really help us do that. That bill 
provides that those who are highly educated in our universities have a 
right to stay here and work. This is the bill we are talking about. It 
is a step in the right direction to get us there.
  What does this so-called Latino fairness amendment, or bill, that 
they filed so late in this Presidential year say to families who played 
by the rules? It doesn't say obey the laws and wait your turn. It says 
we are going to make special favors for those of you who are here 
illegally, and we are going to do it on a rolling amnesty basis over 
the next 6 years. They are just going to have the right to become 
citizens, while others have had to abide by the rules--rules that have 
been set over decades and decades.
  I challenge anybody on the other side to work with me in helping to 
resolve these problems. I am willing to do that. I don't need a lecture 
from people on the other side about families who have been split up. I 
think it is abysmal to have families split up. I am willing to work to 
try and solve that problem, but it takes both sides to do it.
  Last but not least, it is no secret that our committee handles 
intellectual property in many of the high-tech issues in this country. 
Last year we passed one of the most important bills in patent changes 
in the history of the country--certainly in the last 50 years. We 
passed a number of other high-tech bills to make a real difference.
  We have done an awful lot to make sure our high-tech world in this 
country stays at the top of the ladder.
  I just came from the Finance Committee upon which I sit where I made 
a principal argument that we need to get this new bill through that 
Chairman Roth is working on with the ranking member, Senator Moynihan, 
to have a broadband tax credit which we need now.
  S. 2045 is one of the most important high-tech bills in this 
Congress. Everybody here, except for about three people, believes it 
should pass. Almost everybody on both sides of the floor has said it 
should pass. Everybody says it is a very important bill.
  The fact is, there are people in this body who are scared to death 
that Republicans might make inroads with the Hispanic community. I know 
that because I am chairman of the Republican Senatorial Standing Task 
Force. We have been working for better than 10 years on Hispanic 
affairs.
  We don't care whether Democrats, Independents, or Republicans are on 
our task force. In fact, we have all three there. We don't care if they 
are Conservatives, Liberals, or Independents. They are all there. I 
have to tell you that we have been working hard on every Hispanic issue 
that this country has. There is basically no end to what we will all 
try to do, to help assimilate the Hispanic people who are immigrants in 
this country into every aspect of opportunity that this country has to 
offer.
  To be honest with you, our country is the No. 1 high-tech country in 
the world. The reason we are is because we have worked together in many 
respects to get some of these high-tech bills through that make a 
difference.
  I prefer to see my colleagues on the other side work with us rather 
than

[[Page S9343]]

against us, as they are doing right now. I don't want to pull this bill 
down, but it is coming down if we can't get this bill passed in a 
relatively short period of time. By tomorrow, there will be three 
cloture votes overwhelmingly for this bill. If Democrats don't want 
this bill, why are they voting for cloture? If they want to vote 
against cloture tomorrow, I can live with that. We will pull the 
doggone bill down and say to the high-tech community, we are not going 
to support you this year because we can't get enough support from our 
friends on the other side. That is exactly what I will tell them, and 
it won't be one inch far from the truth.
  The fact is, everyone on the other side knows that this is a critical 
bill. It has taken bipartisan support to get it this far. It has great 
hope for the high-tech industry in this country. It will provide more 
high-tech workers and more high-tech jobs. Now, we may have some 
difficulty getting the House to go along with everything we are doing 
here.
  If we keep playing around with this and delaying it beyond this week, 
it will make impossible to pass it in the end.
  I know how important this legislation is. I have worked on high-tech 
issues for all of my Senate career, and have worked patent, copyright, 
and trademark laws throughout the country. I don't think anyone can say 
I haven't made a strong bipartisan effort to make sure we stay at the 
top of the high-tech world. The best way we can do it right now is to 
pass broadband tax credit and to pass this H-1B legislation and get the 
House to go along with it. It is the best thing we can do.
  We are in an inane battle on the floor because some people want to 
score some political points. I was almost embarrassed by some of the 
comments yesterday--not almost, I was embarrassed for some of these 
people. Is there no length to which they will go at the end of this 
session to score political points? I don't like it on my side, and I 
certainly don't like it on the other side. This is a time for 
cooperation, to help our country get through this year, and to 
hopefully spur us into the next year, whoever is President. I intend to 
do that. I want to have some bipartisan support in getting it done.
  I suppose we will have to go through another cloture vote tomorrow--
three cloture votes on one bill that almost everybody is for.
  I think it is time to quit scoring political points and get the job 
done. This H-1B bill is a critical bill for America. It is a critical 
bill for American children and American workers. It contains critical 
bipartisan training and education provisions to equip our workforce for 
the 21st century. Those are provisions we worked out with the other 
side in order to get this bill, something I agree with 100 percent, 
that I will fight for in Congress.
  One would think they would want to do this and quit playing around 
with the bill. The longer we go on this bill, if we go beyond this 
week, it seems to me it makes it more problematic whether we can ever 
pass an H-1B piece of legislation with these wonderful, critical 
provisions to help train our children for the future workforce, for the 
high-tech world they are going to enter.
  I have met with people today who are prescient with regard to the 
future. We have been talking broadband all morning. We have been 
talking about wireless. We have been talking about cable. We have been 
talking about the critical infrastructure industries. We have been 
talking about software. Almost all of it is dependent upon whether we 
pass an H-1B bill.
  The rest of the world isn't standing still while we are sitting here 
treading water week after week, debating whether we will allow an H-1B 
final vote. If this were the final vote to pass this bill, I could wait 
another few days. But we still have to deal with the House. We are 
going to have to work that out. That will take some time. We don't have 
a lot of time.
  It seems to me we ought to get rid of politics. I hope people 
watching this will listen to the other side and realize how political 
they have been. Yesterday it was almost shameful--no, it wasn't; it was 
shameful--the arguments made on the floor. It is all done just for 
political advantage. Frankly, I don't think they get any advantage.
  I believe the millions of legal immigrants with green cards might 
resent rolling amnesty for 6 years to millions of illegal immigrants 
who don't abide by the rules.
  This is an important bill. We can no longer afford to play the 
political games that were played yesterday and apparently will be 
played through a cloture vote tomorrow. I think the other side ought to 
allow the vote or just admit they really aren't for this bill in spite 
of the overwhelming cloture votes we have had so far. I would like to 
see that in this body, especially at the end of this year.
  There are those on our side who really would like to work with our 
colleagues on the other side in a bipartisan manner. I know the 
Presiding Officer is one, and I believe there are a lot of others who 
want to see that done.
  There is a strong suspicion among many in the media and many on our 
side that there is a deliberate slowdown, with filibusters, even 
motions to proceed, for no other reason than a political advantage. It 
really gets old.
  I think once in a while we really ought to put the best interests of 
our country ahead of everything else. This is a bill where we ought to 
do that. We have so much support for this bill, if it is allowed to be 
voted upon. Supporters ought to be allowed to express themselves in a 
vote for or against this bill. This is one bill where we can be 
together. We had 94 votes on this bill, in essence, yesterday; only 3 
against. I suspect if we got the other 3, they would be for it, too, so 
it would be 97 with, 3 against; if they were against, it would be 94-6.
  But, no. Steady delay. Day in, day out, steady filibusters. Now they 
will say they are not filibustering. Then why are they forcing a 
cloture vote every day?--to have cloture votes on a bill that virtually 
everybody admits is a good bi-partisan bill.
  By the way, I want to thank Senators Feinstein, Kennedy, Lieberman, 
and of course Senator Abraham. We have all worked together on this 
bill. We have accommodated Democrats. We have shown good faith. I thank 
them for helping. I think it is time to end this charade, end the 
political posturing we have had. Let's pass this bill.
  Start doing what is right. Live up to what everybody in this body, 
except for the three, I suppose, has told the high-tech world--we are 
going to get H-1B passed. But I tell you we are not going to get it 
passed if this kind of charade continues because I myself will bring 
this bill down and then we will start over again next year and 
hopefully we will have a more bipartisan approach towards it. I would 
hate to do that; I sure would, after all the work we put in trying to 
get this bill passed when I know that could delay it 6 to 9 months 
before we really are helping our people in the high-tech world who 
drastically need help.
  I have been there. I have been out there. I know the people, the top 
people, the top CEOs in almost all of these companies. I have been 
meeting with a bunch of them this morning, everybody from ATT, 
Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Novell--you name it. I know them 
all. I don't think they are partisan. I think they like both parties, 
and I think they help both parties, and I think they deserve our help.
  Frankly, to put us through another cloture vote--it seems to me to be 
inane. I do not want to accuse anybody of lacking good faith, but I 
will tell you after what I heard yesterday, I say, my gosh, how can 
they stand there and make those kinds of comments, when you know if you 
want to really help get jobs and get people in here to take jobs, let's 
lift the caps on legal immigration but not change the laws with one 
stroke of the pen, without 1 day of hearings, and allow up to 2 million 
people on a rolling amnesty over a 6-year period to really become 
citizens, flashing in the face of everybody who paid the price to abide 
by the rules, it is just not right.
  Frankly, I am getting tired of it. That is why I have gone on and on 
today, because I am tired of it. I think it is time for us to do 
something good for a change, to work together and get it done. I am 
going to be here to try to get it done in the next day or so. If we do 
not, then we will pull the bill down. Then we will just throw our hands 
in the air and say it is too political a Congress to do something 
worthwhile for our country.

[[Page S9344]]

  Everybody on my side is going to vote for this bill--they have been 
there from day 1--at least I believe everybody, certainly the vast 
majority, are going to vote for this bill in the end because they 
believe our future depends on being able to solve some of these 
problems that this bill will solve.
  I believe we will have a tremendous number of votes on the Democratic 
side because we have some of the top leaders in this area on this bill. 
I mentioned some of them a few minutes ago. We have accommodated them 
in language in this bill that makes sense. I am saying on the floor of 
the Senate that I would fight for that language because of our Democrat 
friends who have worked with us to put that good language together. I 
will do it in a bipartisan way.
  But the high-tech companies are not the primary beneficiaries. They 
are beneficiaries, no question about it. The primary beneficiaries are 
the children who will benefit from the education proposals here and the 
American workers who will benefit from the critical training provisions 
that we have in this bill. Let's pass this bill for them. I have to 
admit the high-tech industry will benefit tremendously, too.
  What the Daschle motion says is let's ignore the rules of the Senate. 
Let's take the easy route. Their Latino fairness bill says let's ignore 
all these immigration laws we have all fought over in a bipartisan way 
for years--and many us on this side have helped those on the other 
side. Let's ignore those immigration laws. Let's take the easy route.
  There is a similar theme here. Some want to have it both ways. This 
sort of double-speak is why so many Americans have grown tired of 
Washington politics as usual. I hope I have at least made the case we 
on this side stand ready to pass this bill a minute from now if the 
other side will allow a vote up and down on this bill. If they do not, 
we will go to cloture again, and then we will see what we can do 
postcloture to get this thing brought to a close where people can vote 
for it.

  Then, assuming we will pass this bill, we will go to work with the 
House and see if they will take this bill. If they will not take this 
bill, we will go to conference and fight very hard with everything I 
have to make sure there are these provisions in this bill; that we have 
195,000 high-tech workers allowed into this country and that we have 
the right for those who are highly educated, in American institutions, 
to stay here to work in our high-tech world, and that we have these 
provisions to help train our children.
  Those are pretty important provisions. This is a very important bill. 
To stand here and say everybody in business and all these companies 
want all these illegal immigrants to be naturalized--so what? We ought 
to abide by the law. That is why we have immigration laws. Where there 
are inequities, we ought to work to resolve them. I promise you, I will 
work to resolve them. I have been doing it for my whole 24 years in the 
Senate, and I am not going to stop now. We can resolve them if we work 
together. If we do not work together, we cannot.
  I hope both sides will get serious about this bill. I hope we can 
pass this bill. I hope we can get this matter resolved. I would like to 
do it today, if we can, but certainly by tomorrow. We will look at it 
and see if we have to pull it down if we can't get this resolved.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the time of 
the Senator from California, Mrs. Boxer, under the postcloture 
proceedings, be in the control of the Senator from Nevada.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Collins). Is there objection? Without 
objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, my good friend from Utah, for whom I have 
the greatest respect got a little carried away this morning. I don't 
think he would purposely call me or my colleagues incompetent--but he 
did. I don't think he would call us silly or stupid, but he did. The 
word ``inane,'' in a dictionary, means silly or stupid.
  We have a philosophical difference in what we are doing here. The 
fact that we disagree with the chairman of the Judiciary Committee does 
not mean we are incompetent. It doesn't mean we are stupid. It just 
demonstrates that we have a basic disagreement.
  Mr. President, I want to go back and start where the majority started 
this morning, with the chairman of the Appropriations Committee on 
Commerce-State-Justice. Among other things, he said we were crying 
crocodile tears over here, and that this piece of legislation only 
dealt with criminals. I am paraphrasing what the other side said, but 
not too much. In actuality they said was that ``criminals were coming 
in, and attempting to do an end run to get citizenship.''
  The fact is, I take great exception to that. The Democratic proposal 
would not allow criminals to become citizens. First, this legislation 
is not offering citizenship. We are offering longtime residents, people 
who are already in this country, the ability to apply for permanent 
residency and then perhaps apply for citizenship. Second, anyone 
applying for residency must have good moral character. They also must 
show they have good moral character, which means that anyone with a 
criminal record--not criminals, of course wouldn't qualify, anyone with 
a criminal record would not qualify for permanent residency.
  These people are people who are already in the country. They are 
working, they are paying taxes, they work hard. In many instances, in 
fact most instances, others won't take their jobs.
  I think my friend from New Hampshire, for whom I have the greatest 
respect--he has a record which is outstanding; he served in the House 
of Representatives, was the Governor of the State of New Hampshire, is 
now a Member of the Senate--I do not think he is suggesting that the 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who supports the Latino Fairness Act 
wholeheartedly, is suggesting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants 
citizenship for criminals. I don't think the American Health Care 
Association is suggesting we want citizenship for criminals. I know 
that the American Hotel and Motel Association is not saying we should 
come here and give a blanket citizenship to criminals. I don't think 
the Resort, Recreation and Tourism organization is suggesting that 
criminals be given citizenship.
  We have a list. We talked about it yesterday: The National Retail 
Association--dozens and dozens of organizations and companies believe 
we must do something, not only to protect the people who we are going 
to give the right to come to this country, under H-1B. In fact, we have 
given almost a half a million people the right to come to this country 
under H-1B.
  We are going to increase it this year up to almost 200,000. I have a 
couple of different lists, and I could go to another chart. These 
companies and organizations believe that people who are already in the 
country also deserve the right to apply for permanent residency and 
someday apply for citizenship.
  This is nothing but a typical red herring. In fact, the Republicans, 
the majority, are saying: How could you have this bill without even 
having a hearing? That will bring a smile to your face. The legislation 
pending before the Senate, the energy bill, S. 2557, was brought to the 
floor by the majority leader and it has had no hearings.
  To say we did not introduce this legislation until July 25, we may 
not have introduced specifically the legislation, but I wrote a letter 
to the majority leader in May outlining the legislation. There have 
been long-time discussions.
  In fact, we were denied a hearing in the House. We tried to have a 
hearing in the House last year on this legislation, but we could not. 
The chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee refused to give us a 
hearing, so Sheila Jackson-Lee and I had an informal hearing in the 
House. We could not do it because the chairman of the subcommittee 
would not let us have a hearing.
  The parity legislation was introduced 3 years ago. That is no 
surprise to anyone. The registry has been in our law since 1929. I 
introduced the same legislation last year. We reintroduced it, of 
course, but it was introduced last year. We had, as I indicated, an 
informal hearing because we were denied a formal hearing.
  The chairman of the Judiciary Committee said: What about the July 25 
introduction? In his words, ``Is this incompetence?'' The Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act contains multiple provisions, all of which were 
introduced well before July 2000. We combined a number of pieces of 
legislation

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that have been around for a long time. Central American parity was 
introduced on September 15 of last year; date of registry was 
introduced on August 5, 1999. These have bill numbers. Section 245(i) 
was introduced May 25, 2000. Also, the one my friend from Rhode Island, 
Mr. Reed, cares so much about, was introduced in March of 1999. These 
proposals have been denied hearings in the Judiciary Committee that my 
friend from Utah chairs and the Immigration Subcommittee which Senator 
Abraham chairs. There have been no hearings because the majority has 
refused to allow us to have hearings.
  Let's boil this down to where we really understand what is going on 
around here. There are threats to pull down the H-1B legislation. I 
dare them to pull the bill down. I dare them because it would be on 
their conscience. We have said we will vote on H-1B--what time is it 
now? Five to 12. We will vote at 12 o'clock. We can have a unanimous 
consent agreement that the vote can start in 5 minutes on H-1B. As soon 
as that 15-minute vote, which around here takes 40 minutes, is 
finished, we will have another 15-minute vote on our Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act. We can complete it all in just a few minutes.
  If people do not like our legislation, vote against it. There is a 
unanimous consent request kicking around here someplace which we hope 
to have approved soon that we vote at 4:30 on Senator Daschle's motion 
to suspend the rules so we can vote on this. Keep in mind, so everyone 
understands, you can disguise it any way you want, but this is a vote 
on our amendment, the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  There has been a lot of talk about the registry provision that this 
is something new and unique, changing 1982 and 1986. This same thing 
has been going on since 1929.
  The registry provision originated in 1929. The registry provision has 
been amended many times since 1929. In 1940, the registry date was 
changed to July 1, 1924, and in 1958, the date was changed to June 28, 
1940. Subsequently, the date was changed to June 30, 1948, then January 
1, 1972, then, of course, we changed it to 1982, giving people 1 year 
to apply. That is what we are talking about, 1 year to apply. Some 
people did not file within that 1 year, even though they qualified. 
People who are here who deserve to qualify under the same law that has 
been changed since 1929 deserve a fair hearing.

  What happened? What happened is there was sneaked into a bill a 
provision that said these people would not be entitled to a due process 
hearing, a fair hearing. So hundreds of thousands of people who could 
have qualified under the 1982 cutoff date were denied that privilege, 
and we are saying that is wrong. That is one of the most important 
parts of our legislation.
  We are not ignoring the law with this legislation. We are correcting 
flaws in current immigration policy that have denied people the 
opportunity to have legal immigrant status.
  My friend from Utah has disparaged a number of people, in addition to 
calling us incompetent, silly, and stupid. He also said that because 
trade unions oppose some legislation, that it is necessarily bad. Let's 
talk about trade unions.
  Let's see here. We have carpenters. Carpenters: What is wrong with 
carpenters? We have nurses. I wonder what is wrong with nurses opposing 
legislation, or I wonder what is wrong with having people who work as 
electricians opposing legislation? What is wrong with trade unions 
opposing legislation? Is that any worse than the Chamber of Commerce 
supporting or opposing legislation? There has been a lot of name-
calling that has been unnecessary.
  We are playing around with this bill: If allowing people who have 
been here for many years to apply for permanent residency is playing 
around with legislation, then we are playing around with legislation. 
The playing around is going to stop because we are going to have this 
legislation passed. The President of the United States has said this 
will be in a bill, and if it is not, he will veto the bill. He has also 
gone so far as to say: I would like some support from the Congress 
before I do that. He has it. He has more than enough to sustain a veto 
in a letter to him from the House and from the Senate.
  Our legislation is going to come to be, and people might just as well 
realize that. What Senators from the majority should also understand is 
that we are going to vote on our measure. We are going to vote for H-
1B. We support it, but in addition to H-1B, we also believe, without 
any question, that we need to vote on our legislation. We need 
individuals who fill a critical shortage of high-tech workers in this 
country. We support that. We also need essential workers, skilled, and 
semi-skilled workers to fill jobs, as indicated by the scores of 
organizations and companies that support our amendment, our 
legislation.
  I hope the majority understands they are the ones holding up this 
legislation, not us. They can file 15 more motions to invoke cloture, 
and we are still going to have a vote on our amendment. One of the 
votes is going to occur this afternoon if the unanimous consent request 
is brought forward. If not, it will occur some other time.
  We believe that the vote which is going to occur at 4:30 this 
afternoon is the first test to finding out how people really feel about 
supporting this legislation--not holding hearings in the future, not 
saying we want to increase the caps on legal immigration. I do not want 
to do that. We need to deal with it now.
  I think what we need to do is not talk about the future; let's talk 
about today, what we are going to do to make sure these people in Las 
Vegas--20,000 people in Nevada; most of them in Las Vegas--who have had 
their work cards pulled, who have lost their jobs, who have had their 
mortgages foreclosed on their homes, who have had their cars 
repossessed, who have had their credit cards pulled from them, who 
deserve the basic protections that we have in this country in something 
called due process that has been denied--we want to have a due process 
hearing for these people who have children who are American citizens, 
wives and husbands who are American citizens.
  Today is the day we are going to determine if my constituents in 
Nevada are going to be given what every American, every person within 
the boundaries of our country, has a right to, and that is due process.
  What we have is a piece of legislation that 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. permanent residency and 
hopefully someday citizenship.
  I repeat, 5 minutes from now we would agree to vote on H-1B. Five 
minutes after that vote is completed, we will agree to vote on the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  I also say, if that process is not allowed, then we are going to 
continue here in the Senate to keep working until people are called 
upon to account for how they feel about this legislation. There comes a 
time when you have to fess up, you have to vote for or against a piece 
of legislation. That is what we are asking for here--a vote for or 
against this legislation.
  Mr. GRAMM addressed the Chair.
  Mr. REID. If my friend would withhold, there is a unanimous consent 
request that I understand----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Burns). The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. GRAMM. Mr. President, to hasten the moment of this all-important 
vote, I ask unanimous consent that a vote occur on the pending Daschle 
motion to suspend the rules at 4:30 p.m. today, and the time between 
now and 4:30 p.m. be equally divided in the usual form.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRAMM. Mr. President, I further ask unanimous consent, 
notwithstanding rule XXII, that following that vote, the pending 
amendments Nos. 4201 and 4183 be considered adopted, and the vote then 
occur immediately on the second-degree amendment No. 4178, without any 
intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRAMM. Mr. President, in light of this agreement, Members can 
expect two back-to-back votes at 4:30 p.m. today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. GRAMM. Mr. President, let me begin by talking about immigration. 
I

[[Page S9346]]

am a strong supporter of immigration. I am proud that my grandfather 
came to this country right before the turn of the 20th century. I am 
proud that my wife's grandfather came to America as an indentured 
laborer to work in the sugar cane fields in Hawaii. In fact, this 
summer, I had the very happy experience of our family donating to the 
Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio a photograph of my wife's 
grandmother that was a picture in a picture book that men went through 
to pick out what was called a ``picture- book bride'' to send for her 
to come to America.
  This pioneer came to America to marry a man she had never met in a 
strange country whose language she did not speak; she came seeking 
opportunity and freedom, and found both.
  That is a story of America in action. Her granddaughter, under 
Presidents Reagan and Bush, became Chairman of the Commodity Futures 
Trading Commission, where she oversaw the trading of all futures, 
including futures on the same cane sugar that her grandfather came to 
America to cut by hand.

  I am as strongly committed to immigration as you can be committed to 
immigration.
  I also remind my colleagues that the bill before the Senate was co-
authored by Senator Abraham, by the distinguished chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee, Senator Hatch, and by myself.
  This bill seeks to allow highly skilled people--many of them in 
graduate school in America--to stay in our country, to help us be 
competitive in the world market, to help us dominate the information 
age, and to help us create more jobs for our own people.
  I challenge anyone to point to a more committed position in favor of 
immigration than I have taken as a Member of the Senate.
  In fact, our Presiding Officer may remember a speech I gave once 
about a young man who worked for me on my staff named Rohit Kumar. I 
was debating, I believe, Senator Kennedy at the time. I took this young 
man's family--his father is a research physician; his mother is a 
doctor; his uncle is an engineer--and I simply went through a list of 
Kumars in America--his parents had come here as immigrants. And I 
talked about the contributions they made and the taxes they paid. The 
conclusion of my speech was this: America needs more Kumars. By the 
way, lest anyone be confused by what has now become an American name, 
the Kumars came from India.
  Why do I say all this? To make it clear that America is not full. I 
believe there is still room in America for people who come and bring 
new genius and new energy and new creativity. But I draw a bright 
line--it is as bright as the morning Sun--and it is on one issue: 
People should come to America legally. People should come to America to 
be part of the American dream. In coming to America, people should not 
violate the laws of our country.
  Apparently, our Democrat colleagues feel so comfortable that it is a 
salable political position to take that they want to change the law to 
say that people who violated the laws of our country are welcome to 
America. I reject that. I reject it because it is patently unfair.
  Our Democrat colleagues even have the arrogance to call this the 
``Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act,'' as if the label would make it 
so. I wonder how many people who are waiting in line to come to 
America--the several million people who have applied to come legally; 
people whose spouses have applied to come--I wonder how fair they think 
it is that they are going to bed every night dreaming of coming to 
America, and we are going to put somebody who violated the laws of the 
country in front of them.
  I do not call that fair. Quite frankly, I am happy to label the idea 
outrageous and condescending, that if someone is a Latino that they 
must therefore favor changing the laws to allow people who violated the 
immigration laws to come and to stay and to invite others to do the 
same.
  I remind my colleagues that in 1986 we passed a landmark immigration 
bill. The fundamental tenets of that bill were, one, we were going to 
enforce employer sanctions--we have not done that, as everybody who 
lives in America knows--and two, that if you came before 1982 and you 
were in good standing, you could apply and become a permanent resident 
alien and eventually you could become a citizen. But if you came 
afterward, the commitment of that bill was that was the last general 
amnesty we were ever going to provide.
  Now our Democrat colleagues obviously think it is good politics that 
we should go back on the commitments we made in that bill. Hence, we 
have the bill that is before us.
  Let me explain the issue of how we came to be here, then the 
procedure that is being used. Finally, I will talk about this threat by 
President Clinton that if we don't adopt a bill legalizing illegal 
acts, he is going to shut down the FBI and the Justice Department by 
not funding their appropriations.
  Let me begin by explaining that we have before us a bill called the 
H-1B program. Most Americans, I am sure, don't know what H-1B is, but 
basically this is a procedure in immigration law that allows us to 
employ uniquely skilled, high-income workers, principally, as it has 
turned out, in this new area of high technology and computer science--
many of these people are actually graduate students in our country; 
half of the students in the high-tech areas at American universities 
are foreign born, as I am sure many people know. Because we have such 
critical shortages in this area, this provision allows these people to 
stay in America and work and help us create jobs for people who are 
already here.
  Our Democrat colleagues claim they are for this bill. The problem is, 
they won't let us vote on it. But when it gets right down to it, they 
want to be paid tribute. The tribute they are seeking is passage of 
another bill that would let people who violated the law to stay in our 
country.
  Now we have made it very clear that we are not going to pay tribute. 
Their problem is, they have gone to Silicon Valley, they have gone to 
Austin, TX, they have gone to the high-tech centers of America, and 
they have told people in the high-tech industry: We are with you; the 
Democrat Party is with you; we are for the H-1B program. The problem 
they have is, their actions do not comport with their words. And that 
is why we are here simply saying, if you are for the H-1B program, pass 
it.
  I have believed for a couple of days that we are coming to the end of 
this charade. I don't believe our Democrat colleagues can sustain the 
American public--that is, the relatively small number of people who are 
interested in this bill--watching Democrats every day delay a bill 
which they are out trumpeting their support. You can confuse some of 
the people some of the time, but people cannot be confused under these 
circumstances.
  Meanwhile, our Democrat colleagues are on the verge of throwing in 
the towel on H-1B by saying, well, we want another bill on another 
issue. To that end, they have adopted a very unusual procedure of 
trying to change the rules of the Senate in order to accomplish what 
they want, and we are going to vote on that at 4:30. That is going to 
be defeated, soundly defeated.
  Let me turn to President Clinton. I wonder if, in these waning hours 
of the Clinton administration, our President has not become so deluded 
by his power and the semblance of power he has exercised in the last 8 
years in beating Congress into submission. I wonder if the President 
has not started to believe he is King, that somehow he can say to us, 
if you don't pass a law legalizing illegal activities in America, I 
will shut down the FBI and the Justice Department.
  That is what the threat is. The threat is, if we don't pass a bill 
that says people who violated the law in coming to America can stay 
here, he will veto an appropriations bill that funds the FBI, the DEA, 
the Justice Department, and the Federal prison system. It seems to me 
those aren't the words of a President, those are the words of a King.

  Does he believe we are so weak in our commitment to the 
constitutional principle? The Congress is given the power under article 
I of the Constitution to appropriate money, not the President.
  I will say to the President, if he wants to veto the Commerce-State-
Justice appropriations bill--I know the bill well because I once had 
the privilege of chairing that subcommittee --if he wants to veto that 
bill and risk shutting down the FBI and the Justice

[[Page S9347]]

Department and the DEA because we are not going to pass a bill that has 
nothing to do with those appropriations but simply a bill that 
legalizes illegal activity, then I would have to say to the President 
he had better get his pen out and he had better be sure it has ink in 
it.
  You never know what is going to happen around here, but let me tell 
you, from one Senator's point of view, a private in the Army, as long 
as there is any possibility of resisting this I am never, ever going to 
sit by without using every right I have as a Senator to stop that from 
happening.
  What an outrageous, deeply offensive threat. Are none of our Democrat 
colleagues offended? I will be interested to see how the sage of the 
Senate, our colleague from West Virginia, ranking member of the 
Appropriations Committee, former majority leader, former chairman of 
the Appropriations Committee, how he feels about a President who has 
become so deluded about his powers that he believes he is King and that 
he can say to us, you either legalize illegal acts in America or I will 
shut down the FBI and the DEA and the Justice Department.
  I understand we are simple people here in the Senate. We have 
demonstrated over and over that we don't have President Clinton's 
ability to communicate with the public. We don't have the ability to 
stand for one thing one day and the next day do a 180-degree reversal 
and everybody thinks it is great.
  But if we don't have the ability to stand up to a President in 
telling us that unless we pass legislation legalizing illegal activity, 
he is going to shut down the FBI and the DEA and the Justice Department 
and the prison system by vetoing an appropriations bill forum--if we 
can't stand up and debate that, we might as well eliminate Congress and 
just let Bill Clinton rule.
  I don't intend to see that happen. It may be we will get run over 
here, but we are not going to get run over without one great fight. I 
am going to be surprised in the end if there is not at least one 
Democrat who is going to join us in this fight.
  Now, let me turn to the heart and soul of this issue, the belief by 
our Democrat colleagues that it is good politics to make it legal for 
people to engage in illegal activity in coming to America. Our Democrat 
colleagues believe they are going to gain votes in this election by 
saying that if you violated the law in coming to America, if you jumped 
in line in front of the several million people who have applied to come 
legally, don't worry because we intend to legalize what you did. And 
don't worry about the spouses of people who are already here, who are 
waiting and praying for the day they can come to America legally, just 
jump ahead of them, violate the law, come to America, because once you 
get here, we will embrace you and legalize your actions.
  I know our Democrat colleagues believe this is good politics. I know 
our Democrat colleagues believe, because of the way they named this 
bill, that every immigrant and especially Latinos support illegal 
immigration. What an outrageous, offensive name for this bill, the 
``Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.'' What is fair about a bill that 
sanctions illegal activities? What is fair about saying to several 
million people--more of them Latinos than any other ethnic extraction 
or origin--that it is fair for somebody to violate the law and come to 
America ahead of you, but it is fair to make you wait month after 
month, year after year, to join the people you love? That is the 
Democrats idea of fairness? What is fair about that?
  I think immigrants--and, quite frankly, I still consider myself one--
I don't think most people who are immigrants to America believe this is 
about fairness. They believe this is a raw political act, and they are 
right. This is putting politics ahead of people. This is about trying 
to single out a group of people, as if every Hispanic in my State 
believes that it is OK to let someone violate the law.
  I reject that. That is not the way Texans feel, no matter what their 
ethic origin. I think when people really look at this, they are going 
to see that this for what it is, an outrageous political act.
  Since I am going to stand for reelection in a State where many 
Hispanics are going to vote--and I am proud of the fact that when I ran 
in 1990, I got about half of the Hispanic vote in my State--I, 
obviously, do not believe that this is the great political ploy that 
our Democrat colleagues believe it to be.
  Mr. CRAIG. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. GRAMM. I am happy to yield.
  Mr. CRAIG. The Senator makes a point that I hope echoes across this 
country, which is that you cannot honor, recognize, or enhance the 
concept of breaking the law or acting illegally and therefore be 
rewarded for it. We are struggling mightily on the floor to address a 
need in this country; it is called an employment need--H-1B workers 
primarily for the high-tech industry.
  The Senator knows I have worked on H-2A, the issue of primarily 
Hispanic workforces but migrant labor coming to this country to work in 
agriculture. We have a very real need there, but we are trying to 
adjust a law so that it accommodates a citizenry, treats them in a 
humane way, but stays within the law because we have to control our 
borders.
  It is critically necessary that as a nation we control our borders. 
What you are suggesting--and this is my question--if you can make it 
across the border illegally, and if you can stay here long enough and 
raise your issue through an interest group long enough, or with a 
political party, you may be rewarded for having broken the law by 
getting someone to do something for you.
  Mr. GRAMM. Basically, what their bill is, is that you will be 
rewarded by being put in front of the 7 million people who have applied 
to come to America legally because they weren't willing to violate 
America's laws to become Americans and you were. If I may say this, and 
I then will yield the floor------
  Mr. CRAIG. May I ask one more question?
  Mr. GRAMM. Yes.
  Mr. CRAIG. Under current law as to the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, people who seek either status in this country as a legal 
resident but not a citizen, apply and basically line up on a list and 
wait for the process to move them through; is that how it works? You 
are saying we would jump millions ahead of that?
  Mr. GRAMM. We would jump millions ahead of those who are currently in 
other countries, some of them spouses of people who live in America who 
applied to come here legally. Basically, what the Democrats' bill says 
is, look, the people who violate the law will be rewarded. I don't 
believe you promote a respect for law by rewarding people who violate 
the law, and I don't know a single Texan who believes that, either.
  Let me make this clear. I am not saying that there are not some 
special cases where people, because of bureaucracies--and we all know 
bureaucracies and how they work or don't work--I am not saying there 
are not thousands, maybe tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands 
of people who have a good case against the bureaucracy and they should 
have an opportunity to make their case. Whatever we can do to speed the 
bureaucratic process and give people justice, I am for. I am sure our 
colleagues, at some point in the debate, will hold up some case of a 
person who has not gotten due process from the Clinton administration's 
Immigration and Naturalization Service. But the solution to that is not 
to throw out the law book; the solution is to install new leadership, 
to fix the INS bureaucracy and to deal with people's problems 
effectively and on an individual basis.
  So let me conclude with the following highlights: No. 1, I am for 
legal immigration because I think it enriches America. As some of my 
colleagues know, I was once chairman of the National Republican 
Senatorial Committee. We were having an event and a very sweet little 
old lady from Florida stood up and said, ``Senator Gramm, why does 
everybody at this meeting talk funny?'' Well, we had a lot of people 
who I guess you would call ``ethnics'' there, and everybody sort of 
gasped and wondered what I might say and not hurt anybody's feelings, 
including this lady's feelings. So I said the first thing that occurred 
to me: ``Ma'am, I guess people talk funny because this is America.''
  I want immigrants to come to America. I want them to join in the 
American dream, as my family and my

[[Page S9348]]

wife's family have been blessed to join in. I want them to come 
legally, and I draw the line on that. I am willing to face every voter 
in Texas on that.
  Our Democrat colleagues are really hoping today that the voters are 
not paying attention. They are hoping some of these radical groups 
wanting to change America's law to forgive the fact that their members 
have violated the law are watching this debate on television. But they 
hope that the working men and women of America are not paying attention 
to this issue. They want credit for saying they will reward you for 
violating the law, but I don't think they are going to want the 
American people to know the political game they are engaged in with 
putting politics before people.
  Let me say that I am happy to debate this issue. I don't have any 
fear about this issue whatsoever--none. Anybody who wants to come to 
Texas and debate this issue will have a grand opportunity to do that 
when I am running, and I look forward to them coming. Texans, including 
Hispanics, do not believe that those who violate the law should be 
treated better than people who abide by the law.
  I think our Democrat colleagues have misjudged this issue if they 
think hard-working Hispanics in this country believe we ought to allow 
people to break the law and be rewarded for it. I reject that, I will 
be happy to debate it, and I am going to be eager to vote on it at 
4:30.
  Finally, to repeat, in case anybody missed it, President Clinton 
threatened to veto the funding measure for the FBI, the DEA, the 
Justice Department, and the prison system unless we legalize illegal 
activity--something that is not only bad policy and that the American 
people are against, but that has nothing to do with funding Commerce-
State-Justice. If the President really believes that is going to work, 
he believes he has become a King. I think the time has come to show him 
that he can veto a good bill, but he cannot make us pass this bad law 
that would legalize and reward lawlessness in America.
  You can put a pretty face on this. You can sugarcoat it all you want. 
But what we are seeing is a blatant political act that is before the 
Senate in an effort to appeal to voters who believe that somehow it is 
good policy in America to legalize illegal actions and to reward people 
who have violated the law. Maybe I misjudge America. Maybe I don't 
understand this issue. But I don't think so.
  I want everybody to know about this issue. I want to be sure 
everybody hears about this issue. I would be willing to let this 
election and every election from now until the end of time be 
determined by the issue of refusing to legalize illegal activity for 
political gain.
  Our Democrat colleagues have chosen poorly, in my opinion. We are not 
going to be stampeded by President Clinton into passing this bill.
  I can't prevent it from being put into some bill. I can resist and 
will resist, and maybe I can be run over as part of some backroom deal. 
But as a freestanding measure, this bill will never pass as a 
freestanding measure as long as I am in the Senate.
  I thank the Chair for allowing me to speak this long. This is an 
important issue and I feel strongly about it. I want people to know 
about it.
  If our colleagues are ready to debate this issue, to quote a famous 
Shakespeare play:

     Lay on, Macduff,
     And damn'd be he that first cries, ``Hold, enough!''

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The minority leader.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, we have colleagues on the floor who are 
waiting to speak. I apologize to them for breaking in ahead of them. I 
appreciate their kindness in allowing me to respond briefly to the 
comments of the Senator from Texas.
  I can't believe what I have just heard, frankly. I am really amazed, 
and I may take a longer time at a later date to respond. I do not even 
know where to begin. But let me make four points very quickly.
  First, to the point made by the Senator from Texas that somehow we 
are holding up the H-1B bill, that could not be further off the mark. 
That is not true.
  I have suggested to Senator Lott and to others that we would be 
willing to take a very short time agreement, period; it is over; let's 
have the vote.
  I think what he said was we are trying to hijack the bill. What is it 
about offering an amendment that hijacks a piece of legislation? We are 
not hijacking anything. We are simply asking that we use the regular 
order here. Let's have the vote. Let's have the vote. We can do it this 
afternoon.
  Second, with regard to this notion that somehow we are making illegal 
activity legal, I wonder if the Senator from Texas has looked at the 
Statute of Liberty recently--the Statue of Liberty welcoming those 
oppressed from around the world.
  What is wrong with granting fairness to all immigrants regardless of 
circumstance? Why do we draw a distinction?
  That is all we are suggesting--that we not draw any distinctions 
here; that if you come from El Salvador or Haiti that you ought to have 
the same rights as if you came from Cuba. We are simply saying we want 
some basic fairness. We are not condoning any illegal activity. He 
knows that.
  Third, I must say that it seems that it is the Senator from Texas who 
is shedding crocodile tears--in his case, for people who have been 
waiting in a long line to become American citizens. I am sympathetic to 
these people too. But, with the passage of the H-1B bill that I know 
the Senator from Texas will vote for, we are going to allow 600,000 
people--over three years--to go to the front of the line. We are going 
to put them at the front of the line. Never mind those 7 million people 
he just said were waiting. We are going to put them at the front of the 
line because they are filling high-paying, high-skilled jobs. Never 
mind the individuals who fill the thousands of available low-paying, 
low-skilled jobs. It is only the high-skilled workers we are interested 
in? To them, we say go to the front of the line. But if you work in a 
nursing home, if you work in a restaurant, if you work for the minimum 
wage, we say get back to the end of the line.
  Fourth, let me correct this notion that somehow Democratic Senators 
are out of sync. This isn't our legislation. This is the legislation 
that virtually the entire Hispanic community has said they need. I 
didn't draft it. We worked with the Hispanic community to draft it. A 
large number of those people who the distinguished Senator from Texas 
said voted for him in the last election were the ones who came to this 
Senate, and said: Fix this problem. Fix it.
  We are not out of sync. We are trying to respond, as we all must do, 
to legitimate problems in the Latino community, and the Liberian 
community. Fairness is what we are asking for.
  We are not alone. It is the other side that is out there all by 
themselves. I know the distinguished Senator from Nevada, the Assistant 
Democratic Leader, has a list that Senator Kennedy initially 
constructed, of 31 national organizations, including the National 
Restaurant Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the National 
Retail Federation, that all believe we should pass these immigration 
reforms.
  These organizations are not supporting sanctifying or somehow 
justifying illegal activity. How does the Senator from Texas possibly 
explain to the Chamber of Commerce that they are condoning illegal 
activity? For Heaven's sake.

  That is why I say I don't believe what I just heard. I can't believe 
anybody would come to the floor and say those things. But they were 
said. They deserve a response, and I hope our colleagues will keep them 
in perspective.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I yield such time as I may consume from the 
Democratic time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REED. Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. President, there has been much discussion about the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act. I think it is useful and appropriate to focus 
on precisely what this act does.
  First, in 1997 Congress passed the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central 
American Relief Act. Essentially, this bill granted permanent residency 
to

[[Page S9349]]

Nicaraguans and Cubans who had fled oppressive governments. But we also 
recognize that there were thousands of other individuals from Central 
America who were fleeing the same type of repression, the same type of 
uncertainty in their lives, and violence in their lives. Yet these 
individuals were not covered by this legislation.
  One of the major provisions of the bill we are discussing is to 
recognize these individuals who also have been residing in the United 
States, who have been working in the United States, and who have been 
contributing to our communities. This is not at all some act of 
condoning illegality.
  Frankly, in 1997, we recognized that simple justice demanded that we 
allow individuals who are living in this country to adjust to permanent 
residency. We now want to expand that principle of fairness and decency 
to the others from that region.
  In addition, there are other areas of the world which have the same 
types of violence, chaos, and turmoil. Principally I have been active 
on behalf of the Liberians who are here--many since the early 1990s 
civil war in their country.
  This is not about condoning or recognizing lawlessness. It is about 
fairness.
  In fact, our immigration policy is such that we certainly recognize 
and extend extraordinary opportunities to Cubans who flee their country 
without documentation, simply by arriving on the shore, have argument 
or the opportunity to make the case to stay here. If we can do that for 
one particular group, I think in the context of the turmoil and chaos 
we have seen in Central America, we can do it for other groups. That is 
at the core of this legislation.

  Second, we have, since 1929, established a principle that if one 
enters this country and stays long enough and contributes to the 
communities in which he or she lives, they will be allowed to adjust to 
permanent status--this notion, called the registry date, is the idea 
that if you can document your presence in the United States for a long 
enough period of time, we will allow you to become a permanent resident 
and part of the citizenry.
  Another part of the legislation moves the day of registry from 1972 
to 1986. I think that recognizes that periodically throughout our 
history we face the reality that people have come here and established 
themselves, and it would be unfair to send them to their native lands. 
We are simply updating that particular date to allow people who have 
been residing in this country since 1986 to become permanent residents.
  Finally, we would extend provision 245(i) which allows a person who 
qualified for a green card or work authorization to obtain a visa 
without first leaving the country. One of the changes we made recently 
in the immigration law was to require people physically to leave the 
United States to apply for a visa to come back in. That is not only an 
undue burden, but it complicates infinitely the lives of people who are 
working here, living here, and want to become permanent residents.
  This is not legislation that condones lawlessness, it is legislation 
that is consistent with many legislative acts we have adopted beginning 
in the 1920s. It is legislation that recognizes if we are extending 
special opportunities to some people in a region, we should also, in 
fairness, extend it to others in that same region. This is legislation 
that is not particularly novel, but it is eminently and inherently just 
and fair and should be before the Senate.
  But because of the parliamentary maneuvering and devices used, this 
legislation has not been offered in a way we can vote directly on it. 
Our plea has been, for months and months and months, to allow an up-or-
down vote. There are serious policy issues regarding this legislation. 
People of good conscience can disagree. What is most disagreeable is 
that we have not had the opportunity to offer amendments on this 
legislation so that we can vote up or down.
  There is one part of the bill in which I am particularly interested 
because it applies to a group of people who have been residing in our 
country for almost a decade, the Liberian population; 10,000 Liberians. 
The cause of their stay in the United States was a vicious civil war in 
their homeland. Many have been here for years. They have established 
themselves. They have been working and paying taxes and not, because 
they are subject to temporary protected status, enjoying any particular 
public benefits. Many have children who are American citizens.
  One such individual, reported today in the Baltimore Sun is Gonlakpor 
Gonkpala, 48 years old. He has been living in the United States since 
he arrived as a student from Liberia in 1982. He got a degree in 
finance at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH, and did 
graduate work at Morgan State University. The civil war has prevented 
him from returning home. Today he lives in Brockton, MA, where he owns 
a three-bedroom house, belongs to a Masonic lodge, and is a member of 
the Methodist Church. He manages a CVS pharmacy. But Friday, without 
extension of DED, deferred enforced departure, his work authority will 
cease and he will be deported back to Liberia.
  This is typical of so many people. It seems to me supremely ironic 
that as we are taking people from around the world under H-1B visas to 
man our industrial and commercial enterprises throughout this country, 
we are literally sending people who are already here, working hard, 
contributing and making our economy grow, we are sending them back to 
Liberia.

  At the same time we are proposing to send people back to Liberia, our 
State Department is issuing warnings telling American citizens: Don't 
go there; it is too dangerous; you are likely to be threatened, if not 
worse.
  We have been working with colleagues in this body for months to bring 
a bill to the floor on a bipartisan basis, Republicans and Democrats. 
Yet we have been denied systematically that opportunity. The denial to 
us means the status and the lives of 10,000 Liberians in the United 
States continue to hang by a very slender thread.
  I hope all who embrace the notion of fairness and justice in 
immigration will give us the opportunity to vote on this issue. To 
date, that has not happened. It is critical because the prospect of 
sending these people home is very daunting and dangerous for these 
individuals. Liberia today is a democracy in form but not a democracy 
in substance. It is plagued with violence, economic turmoil, 
uncertainty, and fear. As so many Liberians report to me, it is a place 
where they will not be accepted readily. Also, they very well could be 
threatened physically. Certainly, they would have difficult problems 
adapting. Many face a very difficult choice: Do I leave my American-
born children, American citizens here, and go back, or do I bring them 
back to a country that is unprepared to care for them in terms of 
health care, education, and other social endeavors?
  That is what is at stake. It is the same for so many families who are 
Latinos in this country. That is what we are about: The same kind of 
simple justice since the same kind of difficult situations faced by the 
Liberians are faced by Hispanics. We want to give them a chance to 
adjust their status. It is not a recognition of lawlessness, it is in a 
sense a recognition of these people's contributions to America and 
their commitment to our country.
  The situation is one which is especially compelling for me. Our ties 
to Liberia are older than any in Africa. The country was established by 
freed American slaves. Its capital is Monrovia, named after President 
Monroe. It has for years been a place for which Americans and Liberians 
have felt a special kinship. Today it is ruled by a President, Charles 
Taylor, who has been implicated in crimes of violence in neighboring 
country Sierra Leone, who has been nonsupportive of human rights and 
political freedoms, who has conducted a regime that is repressive and 
rightly criticized by so many.
  I don't believe we can or should send thousands of Liberians residing 
here back to Liberia. What we have is an opportunity to do something 
that is both fair and, I believe, entirely appropriate. But that 
opportunity has been frustrated left and right by the unwillingness to 
give us the opportunity to bring this measure forward. Later today, we 
have an opportunity to vote on a resolution that will allow us at least 
to get a vote. We will continue to press on. We will continue to try to 
inject justice into our system of immigration, to recognize that there 
are thousands and thousands of people who are living here who 
desperately want to stay here, who want to continue to

[[Page S9350]]

contribute to America. I hope we recognize their contribution and give 
them a chance to stay.

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent I be allowed to 
proceed for up to 10 minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

     
     
     
  Mr. REID addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. On behalf of the minority, we have approximately 90 minutes 
left; is that right?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. That is correct.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I yield 15 minutes to the Senator from Rhode 
Island, and yield Senator Kennedy 40 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island is recognized 
for 15 minutes.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I had the opportunity to speak prior to 
Senator Bingaman about the issues pending before us with respect to 
immigration, and, in particular, with regard to the Liberian community 
in the United States--10,000 individuals who are facing immediate 
deportation unless the President extends DED, which is the acronym for 
deferred enforced departure. I certainly would urge the President to do 
that.
  As a result of our inability to bring this measure to the floor over 
the last several months, there is very little option for these people 
except for the Presidential issuance of a DED proclamation. I would 
urge him to do that.
  But that does not solve the problem. That would essentially give the 
Liberians in the United States another year. But still their life would 
be tenuous. They would be unsure of whether or not they could stay 
through the next year.
  As a result, I believe what we must do is come to grips with the 
underlying issue, and allow these individuals to adjust to permanent 
status in the United States and, hopefully, become citizens of this 
country. We have to do that, I think, because each year the equity and 
the logic of allowing them to become permanent citizens becomes more 
compelling.
  It has been 10 years now since many of them came to this country. In 
another year it will be 11. At some point, simple justice requires that 
they be allowed to make an adjustment to permanent status and become 
citizens of this country.
  It is important to recognize how the Liberian community got to this 
particular juncture. In 1991, in that era of

[[Page S9354]]

violent civil war in Liberia, the Attorney General granted temporary 
protected status, recognizing that the chaos in Liberia was so great 
that, in good conscience, we could not force these people to return to 
Liberia. That TPS status was extended year after year after year, until 
very recently when it was determined that the conditions in Liberia 
momentarily had stabilized.
  But the President, recognizing that what appeared to be a formal 
democratic government process in Liberia was, in effect, covering up 
great confusion, great chaos, great turmoil in the country, and did not 
require the deportation of these individuals but invoked DED.
  I have heard on the floor suggestions that our proposal with respect 
to Liberia and, indeed with respect to other immigrant groups, is some 
novel, unique, first-time attempt to upset the ``majesty'' of our 
immigration laws; when, in fact, periodically in the United States we 
have recognized that people have come here with temporary documentation 
but now have stayed long enough, have contributed to our communities, 
and, in doing so, deserve the opportunity to become permanent residents 
and citizens.
  In 1988, Congress passed a law allowing four national groups that had 
been allowed to stay in the U.S. at the Attorney General's discretion 
to adjust to permanent resident status: 4,996 Poles who had been here 
for 3 years; 378 Ugandans who had been here for 10 years; 565 Afghanis 
who had been here for 8 years; and about 1,200 Ethiopians who had been 
here for 11 years. So this process of recognizing the reality of the 
contribution of people who come here intending initially to stay 
temporarily is nothing new.
  The 102d Congress passed a law allowing Chinese nationals who had 
been granted DED--they were in the same position as Liberians are now--
to adjust to permanent residency after the Tiananmen Square atrocity. 
After the Chinese authorities brutally repressed the demonstration of 
young students, it was feared that to return these people to China 
would place them in great peril--I think a well-founded fear. But over 
the next 4 years, 52,000 Chinese changed their status.

  So, again, we recognized turmoil in a country, we recognized 
individuals are here who established themselves, and we have given them 
a chance to adjust. That is simply what we are asking for with respect 
to Liberians, with respect to many Central Americans who are here.
  In the last Congress, we passed NACARA, which recognized some of the 
need and some of the demand to give people from Central America a 
chance to establish themselves here permanently. So what we have seen 
over the course of many years is a pattern of recognizing the need of 
particular groups who come here without documentation or with temporary 
protection, who establish themselves, who contribute to their 
communities, and who, under our law--both its letter and its spirit--
deserve a chance to adjust their status.
  That is at the heart of what we are attempting to do with these 
several amendments that we wanted to originally propose to the H-1B 
visa bill. I think it is an appropriate vehicle. After all, we are all 
supportive of the need of high-tech industry for workers. I think we 
can equally be supportive of those people who are working today, not 
only in high tech but in a host of enterprises throughout this country, 
who face deportation, who face being returned to their homeland. They 
are already contributing to our country, yet we have not been able to 
bring such measures to the floor for the kind of up-and-down vote that 
their situation demands. I hope we can at some point.
  It is very critical to the Liberians. It is critical to many other 
people. The criticality for Liberians turns, I think, on the conditions 
in their own homeland. We have a situation where there was an election. 
It was monitored by international authorities. In form it looked 
democratic, but in substance it has not resulted in a democratic regime 
that is protective of the rights of individuals.
  There are numerous examples of human rights abuses that persist today 
in Liberia. Last year, for example, human rights organizations 
estimated that approximately 100 individuals were victims of 
extrajudicial killings, but yet there have been no convictions of 
anyone involved in these killings.
  I had an individual visit me in my office in Rhode Island who had 
just returned from Liberia. He went back there. He is trying to promote 
commerce and industry between the two countries of the United States 
and Liberia. And he is associated with a political party that is out of 
favor at the moment over there.
  He was traveling with one of their principal politicians. He was in a 
car, leaving a particular village, and they were warned to go the other 
way because an ambush had been set up to either kidnap them or kill 
them. They avoided that situation by a few moments and the intercession 
of someone who gave them advice to go the other way. I am told this is 
very common in Liberia.
  We have also seen eyewitness accounts of incidents in villages. Last 
year a village was surrounded by Government security forces. All the 
men were taken away. Their fate is yet to be determined.
  In 1999, the State Department issued a report, their country report, 
which stated that Government security forces, sometimes torture, beat, 
and otherwise abuse and humiliate citizens. Victims reported being held 
in water-filled holes in the ground, being injured when fires were 
kindled on grates over their heads, suffering beatings, and sexual 
abuse. All of this is attributed to Government security forces.
  President Taylor has stated that these reports of human rights abuses 
are simply the results of these human rights organizations trying to 
interfere with his country. I think that could not be further from the 
truth.
  There is a pattern. There is evidence. There is persistent evidence 
of these types of abuses.
  In 1999, Government security personnel were involved in the looting 
of 1,450 tons of food intended for Sierra Leone refugees. And they 
stole vehicles belonging to nongovernmental organizations that were 
sent to Liberia to help refugees in Sierra Leone.
  Prison conditions are harsh in the country. There are reports of 
torture, of detainees being held without charges. Government security 
forces continue to harass and threaten political opposition figures.
  Freedom of the press is not a reality. The press is repressed rather 
than encouraged.
  We find a situation that is consistent throughout the country with 
these types of human rights abuses, so much so that our State 
Department has suggested and advised Americans not to travel to 
Liberia.
  So we are on the verge of a decision, I hope, by the White House to 
extend deferred enforced departure, a decision that is entirely 
appropriate but insufficient to deal with the underlying issues. The 
underlying issues involve 10,000 Liberians who have come to this 
country, who have been offered sanctuary--we must applaud the 
generosity of spirit that motivated the offer of temporary protected 
status--have established themselves, and now wait with uncertainty and 
doubt about their future.
  Simply to extend this uncertainty and this doubt year by year by year 
is cruel but also fails to recognize that they have become so much a 
part of our communities in such a constructive way. I mentioned before 
an individual who has a master's degree, who is now managing a CVS 
store in Massachusetts, who owns his home. He is somebody who is 
contributing to our economy today. He is someone who is here making our 
economy work for us. Yet he faces the prospect of being denied the 
ability to work, come Friday, and being potentially deported back to a 
country which is unwilling in many respects to accept him back.
  For many reasons, we have to be supportive of this effort to bring 
this legislation to the floor. What is so frustrating is that for many 
months now, working in the way I believe the Senate works, making the 
case to my colleagues, getting the support across the aisle of several 
colleagues for bipartisan legislation, of working for the kind of 
support that would be necessary to pass this legislation, but 
ultimately being frustrated because it became quite clear there was no 
real intent to give this community, to give this legislation a vote, up 
or down, on the floor. That is the wrong way to use the process.

[[Page S9355]]

  I don't think anyone here should be afraid of taking a vote on this 
particular measure. One could disagree with the policy. One could 
disagree with the principle, articulate those differences and then 
vote. What we find, time after time after time, is that type of 
principled, rational, careful legislative debate and decision is 
frustrated by the decision that we can only recognize one immigration 
issue, and that is ensuring that high-technology companies have 
sufficient workers. We can't recognize the many other immigration 
issues, the many other individuals who cry out for simple justice and 
cry out for the chance to be good Americans, to be recognized as such, 
to have the chance to change their status to permanent residents and, 
we hope, ultimately to become citizens of this great country.
  We can do better. I don't think we have to limit our vision and our 
efforts and our activities simply to keep our economy moving forward. I 
think we can recognize something else, to ensure that we are fair and 
just in our dealings with thousands of people who come to this country 
and, by the way, who contribute significantly to our economy.
  I hope we can do both. I hope in the next few days we can resolve 
this impasse and we can get a vote, and we can pass this measure with 
respect to the Liberians but also with respect to Latinos and other 
groups who have been here and continue to be part of our great country 
and want their contribution recognized with the opportunity to become 
citizens of this country.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By previous order of the Senate, the Senator 
from Massachusetts is recognized for up to 40 minutes.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I thank my friend and colleague, Senator 
Reed, for his presentation and strong support. I've had the good 
opportunity, since I first came to the Judiciary Committee, to be on 
the Subcommittee on Immigration. We have provided temporary protected 
status for probably 14 different nations over the past years. And we've 
also provided the green cards for six of those countries, more than 
half of those countries. What the good Senator has been pressing the 
Senate on is to take action--that would be consistent with past 
action--particularly with the guns of war that continue to wreak such 
havoc in Liberia. I think it is a very compelling case. I am in strong 
support.
  Mr. President, for months, Democrats and Republicans have given their 
strong support for the H-1B high-tech visa legislation. In addition, 
Democrats have tried--but without Republican support--to offer the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  We have worked hard to reach an agreement to vote on both of these 
important bills. We could easily have voted on the Latino legislation 
as part of the high-tech visa bill, but our Republican colleagues have 
repeatedly blocked every effort we have made to do so. The Republican 
leadership is determined to prevent this basic issue from coming to a 
vote in the Senate.
  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 before the Senate. But if Republicans are truly supportive 
of the Latino legislative agenda, that cannot possibly be true.
  Yesterday, Senator Gramm accused Democrats of ``putting politics in 
front of people.'' Is Senator Gramm prepared to say that to those who 
would benefit from the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act, people such 
as Francisco?
  Francisco and his wife completed applications for legalization and 
attempted to submit them to the INS. The INS refused to accept the 
applications, because Francisco and his wife briefly left the United 
States during the application period without INS permission. The courts 
have ruled against this INS practice, but Francisco and his wife were 
never granted legalization. They have worked legally with temporary 
permission while awaiting the court decision on their case.
  If they are not permitted to work legally in the United States, they 
will not be able to support their three U.S. citizen children. With 
permission to work, they have been able to find jobs that accommodate a 
hearing disability that affects one of their children. If they lose 
their work permit, they may not be able to find work. They constantly 
fear detention and deportation.
  It is shameful that the Senate refuses even to allow a vote on these 
issues of fundamental fairness for immigrant families. It is 
Republicans--not Democrats--who are playing politics with the lives of 
those who have come to our country as refugees from persecution in 
other countries. The hypocrisy is flagrant. Our Republican colleagues 
pretend to court the Latino vote across the country in this election 
year. But when the chips are down, they refuse to act.
  The Senate Republican leadership can't have it both ways. Either they 
are part of the solution, or they are part of the problem. They can't 
call themselves friends of the Latino community, while working to 
prevent the Latino Fairness Act from becoming law.
  Republican opposition to this legislation is so intense that they 
continue to delay passage of the H-1B legislation with their procedural 
tactics. For reasons that no one understands, the Republican leadership 
filed a meaningless cloture petition last week, and now they have filed 
three additional cloture petitions. I ask my Republican colleagues, 
wouldn't it be easier to allow a vote on the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act? If you support the Latino community, if the priorities of 
the Latino community are your priorities too, we can pass both bills 
and move forward.
  The choice is clear. Instead of adopting long overdue family 
immigration reforms that have broad support from the business, 
religious, and labor communities, Republicans would prefer to stall 
action on the high tech visa bill and block a vote on the Latino 
Fairness Act. I urge my Republican colleagues to end this shameful 
hypocrisy and allow the vote that simple justice and fundamental 
fairness demand.
  But these procedural road blocks won't stop those who support this 
legislation. After all, 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.
  Contrary to remarks made on the Senate floor earlier today, these 
issues have been around for a long, long time. If my friend, the 
chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wanted to have a hearing, 
he could have scheduled a hearing at any time over the past 3 years. 
And if we had had such a hearing, it would have demonstrated that this 
legislation is not what he described as a ``broad amnesty for illegal 
immigrants.'' It is a measured bill necessary to reunite families and 
ensure that American businesses have the workers they need. He would 
have learned that contrary to Republican concerns that this bill would 
``let everybody in,'' the legislation only seeks to create fairness 
where there is injustice and restore longstanding immigration policy 
objectives, and is similar to actions Congress has taken often in the 
past.

  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 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 to become permanent residents. 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

[[Page S9356]]

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 one-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.
  Our bill will alleviate this problem by allowing all individuals who 
have resided in the U.S. 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 applying. 
Our bill would also amend some of the procedural blocks in terms of 
normalizing one's green card situation.
  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 
tradition.
  It restores fairness to the immigrant community and fairness in the 
nation's immigration laws. It is good for families, it is good for 
American business, and it is good for our economy.
  Last summer, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan said,

       Under the conditions that we now confront, we should be 
     very carefully focused on the contribution which skilled 
     people from abroad, [as well as] unskilled people from 
     abroad, can contribute to the country, as they have for 
     generation after generation. The pool of people seeking jobs 
     continues to decline. At some point, it must have an impact. 
     If we can open up our immigration rolls significantly, that 
     clearly will make [the unemployment rate's effect on 
     inflation] less and less of a problem.

  The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, a consortium of 
businesses and trade associations and other organizations shares this 
view and strongly supports the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. This 
coalition includes the 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.
  The coalition of supporters includes Americans for Tax Reform, 
Empower America, the AFL-CIO, the Mexican American Legal Defense and 
Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, the League of United 
Latin American Citizens, the National Association of Latino Elected and 
Appointed Officials, the Anti-Defamation League, the National 
Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Union of Needletrades and 
Industrial Textile Employees, and the Service Employees International 
Union.
  Few days remain in this Congress, but my Democratic colleagues and I 
are committed to doing all we can to see that both the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act and the H-1B high tech visa legislation become 
law this year.
  As others have pointed out, we have been discussing this issue now 
for several days. There is, as the indication of the votes suggest, 
overwhelming support for H-1B. There is virtual unanimity in the Senate 
to pass the H-1B program. I was very hopeful that we would be able to 
offer an amendment with a training component that would be available to 
Americans, so that the American worker would be able to obtain the 
level of skills which these new immigrants are bringing here to the 
jobs in the United States.
  The average income for the H-1B worker is $47,000; it is not 
$150,000. Really, all that is necessary for Americans to fill the 
overwhelming majority of these jobs is training and skills. There is a 
small percentage of very highly skilled and talented individuals in the 
H-1B program who add an additional dimension in terms of our economy. 
But the great majority--the average, as I mentioned--is $47,000.
  We only require a $500 application fee now. An immigrant family has 
to pay $1,000 to get a green card to cover the processing. If we were 
to require a $2,000 fee for the Microsofts, the multibillion-dollar 
companies, for every H-1B application they have, we would have a fund 
of about $280 million a year. That fund would be allocated between the 
National Science Foundation and the existing workforce boards, under 
the bipartisan workforce legislation that we passed 2 years ago. It 
would be allocated on the basis of competition to these communities 
that develop training programs for high skills. That would include the 
employers, the workers, and the educational institutions. It would give 
them some continued resources to be able to provide the skills to 
Americans to meet this particular challenge.
  We don't have a crisis in terms of workers; we only have a crisis in 
terms of skills. So we ought to be able to develop the kind of support 
so that out into the future these jobs will be fulfilled by Americans. 
But we are not able to offer that amendment under the cloture motion, 
even though it is directly relevant and even though we offered and 
debated those in the conference and even though it seems to me to be 
directly on target with regard to the underlying amendment. We ought to 
be able to do that.
  I don't know what the problem is among those on the other side in 
refusing to permit us to develop a program so these jobs can be 
fulfilled by Americans. That seems to me to make sense. Good jobs, good 
benefits--why shouldn't they be for Americans? The only thing that is 
lacking is the skilled training. Is it asking too much to ask the 
Microsofts and the great successful IT businesses for a $2,000 
application fee for the H-1Bs? I don't think so.
  We can develop that fund and develop the training program--not create 
a new bureaucracy--and use the existing training programs with 
additional funding that would be targeted for that purpose, and also 
support additional funding for the National Science Foundation, for 
outreach programs, for women and minorities in these high-tech areas to 
support those kinds of efforts because there is an enormous absence of 
women and minorities in the area of these H-1B jobs.
  There is no reason in the world that we should not have an outreach 
program. There are excellent programs in terms of developing interest, 
and programming in terms of women and minorities in the high-tech area. 
They need additional support. We can use some resources to expedite the 
processing of the H-1B visas.
  Massachusetts yields to no one in terms of the high-tech aspects of 
our industry. We are second to California in the small business 
innovative research programs. Half of all health patents created in 
this country are in my own State of Massachusetts. We get high awards 
in terms of peer review for research. But when I talk to either the 
private sector or talk to others, they

[[Page S9357]]

say: Right on. They don't question the importance of getting additional 
skilled workers.
  It is difficult to understand the reluctance and the resistance for 
this. It is true that 30 years ago if someone worked, for example, in 
my State in the Four Rivers Shipyard, their grandfather worked there, 
their father worked there, they generally had a high school education. 
Every employee who enters the job force now is going to have eight 
different jobs. What it means in terms of the continued growth of that 
employee is that there is going to be continuing education and training 
programs that are going to be available to them. That is just obvious. 
If we don't understand that, we don't understand what is happening in 
terms of the needs of American highly competitive, high-tech industries 
in this Nation, and for the most part other industries as well.
  We are denied the opportunity to offer that amendment. We would be 
glad to enter into a time limitation. We are denied that opportunity. 
We are denied the opportunity in terms of the Latino fairness, even 
though, as I have mentioned, we have a court decision that found for 
these particular individuals. But for the actions of the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service, they would have had their position adjusted 
and would have had a green card. It was certainly the intention of 
Congress at that time that they should. We are trying to remedy that 
situation. We are denied that opportunity.
  We are denied the opportunity to give fairness to the other Central 
Americans and others who were given the assurance that it was just a 
matter that we were being rushed at the end of the last Congress and we 
were unable to get the clearance for these other Central Americans. We 
were denied that opportunity. We had the judgment for the Cubans and 
Nicaraguans but not for the Guatemalans, Haitians, Hondurans, and 
Eastern Europeans. They were given assurance that they would. 
Republicans and Democrats alike indicated that we are prepared to vote 
on that with a short time limit. But we are denied that opportunity as 
well.
  We find ourselves in this extraordinary situation with all of the 
machinations on the other side to prohibit us from having a vote. Maybe 
they have the votes. They probably do, although I somehow feel that if 
we were to get to this fairness in the light of day, it would be 
difficult to argue against it. It would be difficult to argue against 
why on the one hand we are increasing the immigration for high skills 
and for the high-skilled industries, and on the other hand we are 
refusing to provide additional manpower and womanpower for many of the 
other industries with the kind of support that they have in terms of 
the Chamber of Commerce, labor, and church groups that say they should 
be able to get it.

  If we are going to have sauce for the goose, let's have sauce for the 
gander. Beyond that, they ought to treat these individuals fairly. They 
have been treated unfairly because of the actions that have been taken 
in denying them the kinds of protections and rights that they otherwise 
would have received.
  They have the compelling argument that they ought to be treated 
similarly as the H-1Bs; and, second, because they been denied fairness 
because of other actions that have been taken by the Government.
  It is difficult as we go through this to understand why we are being 
denied the opportunity to bring this up. It is very difficult to 
explain to our colleagues in the Hispanic caucus, let alone to church 
leaders and other groups, why fair is not fair. That is where we are. 
The extent to which the Republican leadership is going to deny us this 
opportunity is absolutely mind-boggling. Why not just let the chips 
fall where they may? No. We are being denied that opportunity. We are 
not even permitted a vote on it.
  That is becoming sort of the custom. It never used to be that way in 
the Senate. The Senate used to be a place where you could have the 
clash of ideas, and also the opportunity to express them and get some 
degree of accountability. But we are being denied, on Latino fairness, 
to ever get a vote.
  We are denied the opportunity to have another vote on minimum wage.
  We are denied the opportunity to get a vote on the prescription drug 
program.
  We are denied the opportunity on Patients' Bill of Rights.
  We are denied the opportunity on the education programs.
  We can't get those. We can understand people voting different ways, 
and maybe voting for positions I favor and against positions that I 
support. That was the way it was generally done in the Senate. But we 
cannot have that opportunity.
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time and suggest the 
absence of a quorum and ask the time be charged equally.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. GRAMM. 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. GRAMM. Mr. President, I had the opportunity, earlier today, to 
talk

[[Page S9359]]

about the effort by Senator Daschle and the minority to suspend the 
rules of the Senate and to bring before this body an amnesty provision. 
In essence, this provision would reward people who violated the laws of 
this country by coming to the United States illegally when we have 
millions of people waiting to come the right way, legally.
  After I left, the minority leader, in response to what I said, asked 
if I had seen the Statue of Liberty lately. Let me assure him that not 
only have I seen it, but that when my grandfather, who came to this 
country by way of Ellis Island, saw the Statue of Liberty he rejoiced 
in it. I would also like to ask the people who are for this bill, if 
they have they seen the Supreme Court Building lately? ``Equal Justice 
Under Law.''
  Without law, we can't have liberty. Without law, we can't have an 
organized society. We corrupt the legal system when we have a set of 
rules that people are supposed to operate under, and then for political 
reasons in an election year, say to all of those who have abided by the 
law in waiting to come to America, that they are going to be treated 
differently than people who violated the law in coming to this country.

  I have seen the Statue of Liberty and I rejoice in it. I want people 
to give us the best they have so we can build a greater country. But I 
want people to come, as my grandfather came, as my wife's grandparents 
came--I want them to come legally.
  Second, the H-1B program is a temporary work program for highly 
skilled people. It is an entirely different issue than the issue before 
us, which is an effort to waive the rules of the Senate and bring 
before us a bill that would grant amnesty to and reward people who have 
violated the law. I do not believe my colleagues are going to do this. 
I know our Democrat colleagues believe this is good politics and that 
this is going to get them more votes, but I don't believe it. As I said 
before, I would be willing to let this election, and every other 
election for the remaining history of this country, be determined on 
this issue and this issue alone.
  I do not believe it is good politics to basically say that we are 
going to reward people who violate the law at the expense of those who 
abide by the law.
  Also, the idea that somehow immigrants support this bill I think is 
outrageous. I think those who have abided by the law resent the fact 
that we routinely reward people who violate the law.
  Finally, in 1986 we adopted an amnesty provision, and that was 
supposed to be the final granting of amnesty. Now we are back trying to 
renegotiate the deal. The point is, every time we grant one of these 
amnesty provisions, we say to people all over the world: Violate the 
law, come to America illegally, and you will ultimately be rewarded for 
it.
  I say to people all over the world: Come to America legally, and 
secondly I say, we need to promote free enterprise to individual 
freedom where we can take America to them. Not everybody who goes to 
bed at night praying to come to America is going to get to come. We 
cannot have the whole world in America, but we can take America to them 
by promoting the policies worldwide that have made us the greatest and 
richest country in the history of the world.
  I yield the floor.
  Several Senators addressed the Chair.
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, S. 2045 and the Lott amendment would 
raise the H-1B visa cap for highly skilled workers, and there seems to 
be considerable support on both sides of the aisle for raising this 
cap.
  Much has been said about the shortage of skilled workers for the 
information technology industry. In my State of Minnesota, the 
Minnesota Department of Economic Security has said that over the next 
decade, the industry will need about 8,800 more skilled workers, but at 
the same time they see only about 1,000 workers a year being trained 
for such jobs. I am sympathetic to what the business community is 
saying in Minnesota and around the country. But I think there is a 
right way and a wrong way to raise the H-1B visa cap. I rise to speak 
about what I think would be the right way.
  The only way we can do it the right way is if we are able to bring 
amendments to the floor to improve this bill. That is how you are a 
good Senator representing people in your State.
  One amendment would call for more resources for high-skilled training 
for workers in our country, for men and women who want nothing more 
than to be able to obtain a living wage job, earn a decent standard of 
living, take care of their families. We ought to make sure that there 
is a significant investment of resources for such skill development and 
job training. The Kennedy amendment would have done that. We are not 
able to do that because we are shut out from amendments.
  If we are going to raise the H-1B visa cap, we ought to make sure 
that those workers with more advanced skills that Americans could not 
obtain the training for right away--that is to say, workers who have a 
PhD or a master's degree--would be the ones who, first of all, would be 
coming to our country from other countries.
  That way, you make sure working people in our country who can easily 
be trained for these jobs are not shut out. My understanding is that 
Senator Kennedy will be offering a carve-out amendment after the 
cloture vote.
  Then there is rural America. The Center for Rural Affairs, located in 
Nebraska, came out with a study that one-third of households in rural 
counties in a six-State region, including Minnesota, have annual 
incomes of less than $15,000 a year. Information technology companies 
say we need skilled workers. People in rural America have a great work 
ethic. Farmers and other rural citizens tell me: Paul, we would like 
nothing more than to have the opportunity to receive the training for 
these jobs and then we could telework, do it from our homes and farms, 
or from a satellite office. We can make a decent wage. Why don't we put 
some focus on that?
  I have an amendment, the telework amendment, and I have worked on 
this for the better part of a year. Whether it is Native Americans, 
first Americans, who want the opportunity for skills development or 
whether it be rural people, I wanted to bring an amendment to the floor 
that would have provided funding for this telework. I think this 
amendment would have made all the sense in the world.
  Rural workers need jobs. High-tech employers need workers. This 
amendment would have found a solution to these common challenges. It 
would authorize competitive grants to qualified organizations for 5-
year projects to connect and broker employment in the private sector 
through telework to a population of rural workers, setting up centers 
of distance learning around the country in rural America, where we can 
make the connection between rural citizens who so desire the 
opportunity to have the skills and find the employment and the 
information technology companies that need these skilled workers.
  It seems to me that if we are going to have such a piece of 
legislation on the floor--we would be respectful, of course, of skilled 
immigrants coming to our country to do the work. I am all for that. But 
at the same time, we would also make sure citizens within our own 
country who desire the opportunity to receive the skills and job 
training to obtain these jobs are given such an opportunity.
  Cloture on the underlying bill would also doom another amendment that 
I think is necessary to improve this legislation. We cannot escape the 
irony that we are proceeding to pass a bill that would bring more 
foreign nationals into this country to work in high-tech companies, 
while we have done nothing to help literally thousands of immigrants 
who have been living in this country for years and paying taxes and 
often raising their children as American citizens. If we are going to 
bring more foreign workers into this country, it is only fair and just 
to take into account people who are already here, already contributing 
to our economy, and who already have families who have only known 
America as their home. It is hypocrisy, in my view, to do one without 
the other.
  There are thousands of taxpaying immigrants who have been waiting 
years for an adjustment of status to permanent residency. Many of them 
have done everything they are required to do to stay in this country. 
But through a bureaucratic mixup, a change in laws, or another reason, 
largely beyond their control, they have become ``out of status.'' It is 
for these people that we must--I use the word ``must''--pass the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. Instead, we have moved to pass the 
H-1B bill and we ignore them. We ignore them, while we open our doors 
to more high-tech workers. With so many of our neighbors, our 
coworkers, our fathers, our mothers, and friends facing possible 
deportation to countries that have not been their home, I do not know 
how we can stand here and

[[Page S9363]]

argue that increasing the H-1B cap to admit new foreign nationals 
should pass without bringing fairness and relief to those who are 
already here. I include a thousand wonderful people in the Liberian 
community in my own State of Minnesota.

  I don't know how a nation that believes in fairness could say that if 
you fled Castro, you can stay, but if you fled the death squads in El 
Salvador, you must go. I don't know how a nation that calls for more 
family values and responsible fatherhood would deport the father of 
American children such as JoJo Mendoza of Minnesota, who has worked for 
years building our economy, our community, and our Nation. Mr. Mendoza 
was deported 2 weeks ago from Minnesota. He left his children, who are 
Americans.
  I would be prepared to vote for raising the H-1B visa cap if it were 
done in the right way. I do not think the Lott amendment is the right 
way. I hope we can reach an agreement to do it in the right way--by 
permitting amendments that would make this bill one I could support.
  Finally, I say one more time--and I feel as if I have said it so many 
times that perhaps I have deafened all the gods--we cannot be good 
Senators, whether we are Democrats or Republicans, when we no longer 
have a process that allows unlimited debate and allows any Senator to 
come to the floor with amendments that he or she believes will lead to 
an improvement in the quality of life of the people we represent. I 
have said to the majority leader a million times--he is not on the 
floor now, but I don't feel badly saying it because I have said it so 
many times when he has been on the floor of the Senate--I believe the 
way in which we have proceeded, the way in which the majority party 
doesn't want to debate amendments and doesn't want to vote on 
controversial questions, robs the Senate of its vitality. It makes it 
hard for any of us to be good Senators.
  Here I am giving a speech. I like speaking on the floor of the 
Senate. I am honored to speak on the floor of the Senate. I get goose 
bumps every time I come to the Chamber. I love this Chamber, but I 
would rather be on the floor doing what I consider to be the work of a 
Senator, which is with an amendment that would set up centers for 
distance learning, that would focus on telework, that would be so 
important to so many rural Americans, including so many citizens in 
Minnesota, that would connect the need of the information technology 
industry for more skilled workers with a strong desire of rural people 
to be able to have the training, I say to my colleague from Idaho, and 
then telework from a satellite office from their home, a good job with 
a decent wage, with decent health care benefits.
  I can't introduce that amendment to this bill with the way the 
majority leader has proceeded. I can't improve this bill. I can't 
represent the people in greater Minnesota and rural Minnesota, many of 
whom are really hurting given the farm economy. For that reason, I 
certainly will vote for the motion to move forward on the immigrant 
fairness legislation, but I won't vote for this H-1B legislation as 
brought to the floor by the majority leader. I will not vote for 
cloture.
  I am going to insist over and over again, as is my right as a 
Senator, to come to this floor and introduce and debate amendments that 
I think will make our country better. My solution could be another 
Senator's horror. I understand that. But the beauty and the greatness 
of the Senate, when we are at our best, is not this process, but it is 
the process of amending and debating, disposing of amendments, voting 
yes or no, and having more amendments to deal with, and then work to 
pass the legislation. I think we are making a terrible mistake in 
proceeding the way we have. I do not think it is for the good of the 
Senate as an institution, and I don't think it is for the good of 
Minnesota or the country.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho is recognized.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, we will vote later this afternoon on a 
motion to change the way we proceed here to allow an amendment to come 
to the floor of the kind the Senator from Minnesota has spoken to.
  This is an interesting process because the beauty of the process of 
the Senate that the Senator speaks of is that there are rules and 
procedures by which we live. Historically, most Americans understand 
that when they elect a majority to the Congress, they expect that 
majority, under the Constitution, to form a Congress and to form rules 
and to be able to manage that Congress. Under that responsibility of 
management, which this time the Republicans have under the majority 
leader of Trent Lott, there are the rules that each one of us as 
Senators have a right to enforce and to live by; that is, that we are 
all equal as our Founding Fathers assured that every State must be.
  But it also recognized that there are more important procedures and 
processes that keep us functioning and functioning well. It is the rule 
of the majority, and in some instances in our Senate it is a 
supermajority that must move, giving the minority even greater rights 
to speak out.
  While the Senator from Minnesota may be frustrated, clearly he has 
the right to make every effort to enjoy his right. But if a majority or 
a supermajority says, no, that is not the way we will proceed, and this 
is what we must do to carry on the business of the Senate and the 
Government, then while it may collectively have chosen to say to the 
Senator from Minnesota this is the way we are going to go, it is very 
difficult to suggest that is an outright denial of his right.
  We are here to deal with allowing people from other countries to come 
to this country to work and not only to share in the American dream, to 
enhance the American dream, but to share in the freedoms and the 
benefits that all citizens in our country have.
  While we as a country have always recognized the importance of our 
existence, we are a conglomerate as a country. We are not one people in 
the sense of one nationality or one color or one religion. We are all 
Americans, and we live under this marvelous system. We are brought 
together by our Constitution, and oneness under that Constitution which 
is really spelling out the rights and the freedoms of us as citizens.
  We take seriously allowing others to come. They must come by rule, 
and they must come by law, or we become a nation quite lawless. 
Certainly a lawless nation is a nation that loses control of its 
boundaries, loses control of its borders, and, in fact, could lose 
control of its institutions--the very institutions of which the Senator 
from Minnesota and I are so proud.
  We, as a country, have established laws. We have said this is the way 
a foreign national can enter our country to enjoy those things that are 
basically American. Some would choose to enter illegally; in other 
words, they would choose to violate the process or to violate the law.
  We have before us today what we consider is waiving the rules of the 
Senate to consider a bill that basically says it is OK to violate the 
law; that we will change the law now that you violated it to make you 
legal.
  I don't think American citizens with their full faith as it relates 
to how our institutions of government work are going to be very excited 
about that idea. They, too, may once have been a foreign national and 
became a naturalized American citizen. My family was five or six or 
seven generations ago. I am not sure when. But in the late 1700s, they 
were once foreigners coming from the great land of Scotland.
  I have tremendous empathy for and have always voted when it came to 
changing our immigration laws or adjusting them to accommodate the 
needs of our country and the needs of our citizenry. But we as an 
institution and responsible as caretakers under the Constitution cannot 
reward the breaking of the law by simply changing it and saying it is 
OK now. It is OK if you can make it across the border into this 
country. Somehow we will accommodate you and change the law.

  A sovereign nation is not a nation if it cannot control its borders--
if it cannot police its borders and control the process of movement 
across those borders, both exit and entry. That is what creates a 
nation. That is what constitutes a nation. That is what identifies us 
as a nation. We are not one indivisible world. We are one indivisible 
nation under God. Nations make up a world.

[[Page S9364]]

  There is a fundamental debate going on on the floor today, and it 
spells a difference.
  My colleague from Texas talked about the millions and millions of 
foreign nationals who have applied to become American citizens, or at 
least legal as foreign nationals in our country. They stand in line. 
They work the procedure. It is complicated. We want it to be 
complicated. We do not want all of the world at our doorstep, nor would 
any other nation of the world. But we have always recognized that the 
vitality of our country is the uniqueness of our character, and our 
character is made up of many, many who come here and are not only the 
beneficiaries of our country but the great contributors to our country. 
They are many, and they are all different. Once they are here and once 
they are legal, under the process of law then they become part of that 
one nation indivisible.
  There is a very important vote this afternoon that will occur about 
4:30. It will be to decide whether we are going to change the law to 
allow those who came here illegally to all of a sudden be legal and, 
therefore, send a message to the world that there is no consequence. If 
you can make it across the border, you are home free.
  That is not the way you sustain a nation. That is not the way you 
identify a border. That is not the way you protect the strength of our 
sovereignty. Diversity is important. We all recognize that because we 
are all part of this great diversity. We became the melting pot of the 
world, as so many down through the years have spoken of, but in doing 
so we did it through process and procedure--orderly with responsibility 
under the law. That is why this vote this afternoon will be so 
important.
  I hope the Senate will not choose to waive our rule or waive our 
procedures for the purpose of an amendment that would clearly change 
the character of the law and allow an illegal alien to have benefits 
from having been the performer of an illegal act.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.


                     THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

  Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. President, in only a matter of 2 or 3 weeks, the 
Congress will adjourn--I trust having passed H-1B visas, but in all 
likelihood without passing a Patients' Bill of Rights, or, 
unfortunately, a prescription drug benefit, and probably without any 
real improvement in gun safety legislation.
  While many of us will take comfort in helping American high-
technology companies by providing H-1B visas, it is not even a mixed 
success. Worse, however, than most of these frustrations is the most 
unnecessary of all of these failures; that is, the failure to pass the 
Violence Against Women Act.
  Five years ago, Senator Biden led this Congress in passing a Violence 
Against Women Act, which I believe became noncontroversial and which 
benefits have been widely accepted. It makes it all the more difficult 
to understand that this $1.6 billion package is languishing and will 
expire.
  Under this legislation, we have trained thousands of police officers 
to make them sensitive to the problems of family violence and abuse. 
Judges and counselors have received training in sensitivity. We have 
increased the means of reporting domestic violence. So our records are 
accurate. We know the extent of the problem and how to respond.
  Most importantly, we have provided real services, medical services, 
for a woman or a family who is abused; a place to go to get counselling 
from someone who understands domestic violence and how to deal with it; 
a place to take a child.
  I think the most important of all is temporary housing. No American 
parent should have to choose between subjecting their child or 
themselves to violence, sexual abuse, or even a threat to life, and 
homelessness. Thousands of American women face that every night. Do I 
take my child to the streets, to a temporary motel, unsafe shelter, no 
shelter at all, or do I stay in a home where the child can be abused, 
where my life can be threatened?

  The Violence Against Women Act has created thousands of beds in 
temporary shelters across the country so women do not have to face that 
choice. It established an emergency hotline which continues to get 
13,000 calls a month, half a million calls since its inception; where a 
desperate woman, not knowing her options, or how to protect her child, 
not knowing what to do, how to get medical help, how to get counseling, 
how to get a police officer who understands, can call and get someone 
on the other end of a phone and get help.
  The greatest part of the Violence Against Women Act is that it is 
showing results. Since 1997, the programs created by the Violence 
Against Women Act have reduced the rate of partner violence against 
women by 21 percent. This is a dramatic decline in the amount of 
violence against women since the act came into being. There may be many 
reasons.
  We are also seeing dramatic drops in murders. Fewer murders were 
committed by intimate partners in 1996, 1997, and 1998, than any year 
since 1976. The number of women raped has declined by 13 percent 
between 1994 and 1997. Members may cite many reasons why violence is 
down, rape rates are down, and most importantly, murder rates are down, 
but one of those reasons must be that police officers are better 
trained and are responding more promptly, judges are move sensitive to 
the crime, and most importantly, women who feel threatened in these 
circumstances have a choice, are getting out of residences and into 
shelters, into protected environments.
  During a recent recess, I visited a number of the shelters across my 
State of New Jersey. The Women's Center in Monmouth County, NJ, is 
receiving $285,000 for counseling and shelter and emergency services. 
The Passaic County Women's Shelter in Paterson received $185,000 under 
the Violence Against Women Act for Spanish-speaking women to get help 
and advice.
  If this act is not reauthorized, these shelters lose their Federal 
funding, potentially close their doors, with the unescapable conclusion 
that violence may rise as women lose choices.
  We have come to recognize in these years, the criminal justice system 
has come to recognize, as well, that violence in the family, 
particularly in cities, is dangerous not only to the individuals in the 
family, but society, which is built upon a family unit. We decided not 
to ignore the problem. But that may be exactly what this Congress is 
doing. This legislation will lapse, this funding will end, and people 
will get hurt. Those are realities. They are not partisan comments. 
They don't represent a philosophy or ideology. They are cold, hard, 
facts because for all the progress we have made, family violence in 
this country remains an epidemic. One in three women continues to 
experience domestic violence in their lifetime. A woman is still raped 
every 5 minutes, and still there are no arrests in half of all the 
Nation's rape cases.
  The risks of not acting are great: Lose the shelters, lose another 
generation of police officers or judges who are not properly trained, a 
phone call in the night that cannot be made, beds that will not be 
available. Is it worth the price, the cost of this inaction?
  I am pleased we are voting on this H-1B visa today. I wish we were 
doing many other things. Other things may be controversial, we may have 
our own ideas about them, but surely this could bring us together. It 
did once. In 1995, we acted together, without division. Are we less now 
than we were then--is the problem so much less in our minds?

  I urge the leadership to bring the Violence Against Women Act to the 
floor and to do so now.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Crapo). Who yields time?
  If no one yields, time will be charged equally against both sides.
  Mr. GRAHAM. 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. GRAHAM. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I again lend my support to the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act. I understand we may be voting at 4:30 this 
afternoon to waive the rules to allow this legislation to be 
considered. I am hopeful in

[[Page S9365]]

the spirit of fundamental fairness the Senate will vote to allow a full 
debate on this issue.
  The focus of this legislation is the same word that I just used to 
refer to what I hope will be the disposition of the Senate, and that is 
``fairness.'' There has been a lot of discussion over the past few days 
about high-tech workers, H-1B visas. Our American companies need these 
high-tech workers.
  Unfortunately, there are deficiencies in the skill level of Americans 
which have resulted in the necessity of providing visas for specific 
high-skilled foreign workers to come to the United States to fill these 
jobs. I hope this deficiency will just be a temporary one and we will 
use the debate we are having on H-1B as a spur to do the fundamental 
reforms we are called upon to do to see that Americans have the skills 
to fill these high-tech, high-wage jobs. Until then, American industry 
needs these workers. High-tech industries are one of the engines that 
have been growing our prosperous economy.
  I want to see the H-1B bill become law. I am a cosponsor and a long-
time supporter of this legislation. However, high-tech workers are not 
the engine of our economic growth. The equally essential workers in our 
service and retail industry, manufacturing, care giving, tourism, and 
others are part of that economic engine. The need is great for H-1B and 
high-tech workers. The need is also great for these essential workers. 
Many of these workers would remain as legal, permanent members of our 
society under the relief provided with the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act.
  Simply put, what is fairness? I said before that we all learn in 
grammar school what is fair and what is not fair. It is fair for a 
teacher to punish two noisy and disruptive schoolchildren by keeping 
both of them inside during recess. But if the teacher keeps only one 
student in and lets the other go outside and play, that is unfair. In 
other words, fair is treating people in the same circumstances in the 
same way. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve with the 
``NACARA Parity'' section of the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act.
  We are here today trying to achieve fairness because in 1996 we 
passed an immigration law that went too far. It was unfair because it 
applied retroactively. This is like changing the rules in the middle of 
the game. This is what we have done, and we should correct it, and we 
should begin that process of correction today.
  What we are being asked to do is not to provide citizenship or even 
legal permanent status to the persons who will be affected by this 
legislation. In most instances what we are being asked to do is to give 
these people a chance to apply for legal status in the United States, 
just as we have given others who are in the same circumstances the 
right to apply for legal residence in the United States.
  I spoke on the Senate floor earlier about the human faces and human 
stories I came to know when Congress corrected part of this unfairness, 
the unfairness of the 1996 act, in 1997 and 1998 with two immigration 
bills dealing with Central Americans and Haitians.
  On the Senate floor I spoke of Alexandra Charles, whom I came to know 
when I participated in a hearing held in Miami when we were originally 
introducing the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act. Let me tell 
you Alexandra's story.
  As a young child in Haiti, she witnessed the military murder her 
mother. Her father has disappeared. She came to the United States as an 
unaccompanied minor, but she has built a life here. When I testified 
about her at the hearing in Miami, she was working at two jobs. She was 
finishing 2 years at Miami Dade Community College. Congress took the 
right step, in 1997, to protect her future in the United States. We 
have the opportunity today to start the process to take the right step 
for others who are in Alexandra's same circumstances.
  We are now treating differently those individuals who faced equally 
arduous hurdles to come to the United States: Those who fled civil 
wars, those who witnessed brutal acts--such as Alexandra, seeing a 
military man shoot down her mother--those who were forced out of a 
nation after a military overthrow because of their views on democracy. 
Our Nation has always set the standard for offering refuge to those in 
need. We did so in this case. We gave legal status to many in the mid-
1980s who came here in these circumstances, fleeing persecution, 
seeking democracy and freedom. Then, in 1996 we took it away and did it 
retroactively. This is wrong. This is not the American way. We should 
correct this error in this legislation.
  In July of this year, Congressman Alcee Hastings and I met with 
members of the Haitian community in Fort Lauderdale, FL. One of the 
audience members who approached the microphone to speak was in 
elementary school. His name was Rickerson Moises. He and some of his 
siblings were born in the United States. They are U.S. citizens. His 
mother fled the violence in Haiti but was not protected in the Haitian 
Refugee Fairness Act because she came with a false document, a method 
she had to take to escape Haiti.

  If I could just explain for a moment the differences in exit from 
Haiti during that period of the Duvalier regime and then the military 
dictatorship which followed. Most Haitians who fled the country did so 
by small boat. They arrived in the United States with no documentation 
at all. They had no passports, no other documents to support their exit 
from their former country or their arrival in the United States. There 
was another group, a smaller group, approximately 10,000, who came by 
commercial airline. These frequently were the people who were in the 
greatest jeopardy. They realized they did not have time to seek out a 
boat, to wait possibly the days or weeks before the boat was prepared 
to leave. They had to leave tonight because of the nature of the threat 
they faced.
  Mr. President, I ask for an additional 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Senator clarify as to what time that 
10 minutes will come from? We have a time agreement which has a 
deadline for a vote.
  Mr. GRAHAM. It will come from the minority side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no time on the minority side. It 
would have to come from the majority side. As a Senator from Idaho, I 
would have to object until I have advice from the majority leader as to 
the time.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, in light of the fact that there is no one 
here seeking the floor, I ask unanimous consent I be allowed to 
continue until someone seeks the floor or for an additional 5 minutes, 
whichever is shorter.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, those persons who came by commercial 
airliner had to have some documents in order to get on the plane. So 
what they would frequently do is get counterfeit passports so they 
could get onto the plane and out of Haiti and escape the imminent 
prospect of persecution or worse.
  She was one of those persons. She came to the United States with 
false documents, counterfeit documents she admits. Had she come with no 
documents at all, she would have been allowed to stay here. But because 
she arrived with false documents, she is subject to deportation. After 
years of life in the United States, this action would separate U.S. 
citizen children from their Haitian mother. This is an agonizing 
choice--follow the law and leave your children behind or take your 
children back to a country where you suffered violence and persecution. 
I cannot think of any choice more un-American, more offensive to our 
basic principles. We have a chance to correct this and restore 
fairness, and we should do so as soon as possible.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
two editorials, one from the Miami Herald, one from the San Francisco 
Chronicle, which explain in greater detail the urgent need to take 
action and correct this injustice. I ask these two editorials be 
printed in the Record immediately after my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See Exhibit 1.)
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I do not want to speak much longer. I 
didn't speak much when I was on the floor before about another element 
of the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act because I focused on my own 
personal experiences in south Florida. But

[[Page S9366]]

the ``registry date'' component of the legislation will have a 
tremendously positive impact on my State and on our Nation as a whole.
  Congress every so often in the course of legislation updates what is 
called the registry date in immigration law. This is the way, for many 
years, residents of our Nation have had to formalize their status in 
the United States. It recognizes the fact that after many years in our 
country doing the hardest work, paying taxes, participating in the 
community, and starting small businesses, there should be an avenue of 
appeal to be able to stay in the United States.
  To apply for relief--and I underscore apply for relief, not be 
granted relief--to apply for relief under the new registry date, 1986, 
you must have been here since that time, nearly 15 years.
  For many Floridians, these are the most long-term employees or our 
established neighbors. These workers for Florida's companies have the 
most experience and are among the most dedicated. It is fundamentally 
unfair to these workers, the businesses, and our communities to uproot 
these families after 15 years or more.
  Critics have said this condones illegal immigration. Our Nation 
should have a firm policy on illegal immigration, and through the last 
few years' appropriations cycles, we have allocated more money for 
border enforcement. We have the Federal responsibility to strengthen 
our borders, but we also have the responsibility to face the reality 
and the consequences of uprooting families after nearly two decades of 
work and life in the United States.
  Many of these individuals did have legal status at one time and were 
affected by the immigration laws passed in 1996. Some were given bad 
advice about whether they were eligible for the amnesty program in 
1986. They were told not to apply, when, in fact, they were eligible 
for the program.
  Updating the registry date allows those who have dedicated 15 or more 
years of their life to building and strengthening our economy and 
Nation to finally have the opportunity for a formal status here. It 
makes both economic and humanitarian sense.
  Lastly, I want to react to some of the debate yesterday. I believe 
there should be a free and open debate on this important immigration 
issue, but, in my view, that debate does not need to be partisan.
  This is an issue that affects every city, business, and family in 
America. It crosses State lines and party lines. There is a common 
ground, and I hope we can work together to find a way to allow both H-
1B and the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act to become law. It is in 
the greatest of America's tradition of justice and fairness.
  I thank the Chair.

                               Exhibit 1

                  [From the Miami Herald, May 4, 2000]

      Haitian Parents of U.S. Kids Deserve To Remain Here Together

       Imagine a scene where American children are made to bid 
     goodbye to their mothers and fathers as federal agents force 
     the parents to board a plane to Haiti, where they'll have to 
     rebuild their lives.
       After going to extraordinary lengths to reunite Elian 
     Gonzalez with his father, Attorney General Janet Reno must 
     not let that tragedy come to pass for the 5,000 U.S.-born 
     children of Haitians who soon might be placed in this awful 
     situation. These parents, some of whom have been here for as 
     many as 20 years, could be deported at a moment's notice. 
     They'd be forced to choose between leaving their children 
     behind or raising them in a destitute, strife-torn country 
     the children have never seen.
       That's what the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization 
     Service, which Ms. Reno oversees, proposes to do. Ms. Reno 
     should be consistent in her concern for children. For their 
     sake, she must protect these families by suspending their 
     deportation at the highest executive level.
       The next step is for Ms. Reno to allow these Haitians to be 
     included in the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 
     1998, which was intended to cover Haitians fleeing political 
     violence in Haiti in the early 1990s. The law granted amnesty 
     from deportation to Haitians who made it to U.S. shores 
     before the 1996 cutoff date, as these 10,000 people did.
       But unlike those who arrived by boat or other means, most 
     of these 10,000 came through South Florida's airports using 
     phony documents to flee that country. Yet because they broke 
     the law by using counterfeit papers, the INS has refused to 
     let them apply for protection under that amnesty law signed 
     by President Clinton in 1998. One such refugee was a former 
     Haitian soldier who fled after refusing to follow orders and 
     shoot at unarmed demonstrators.
       Another is Kenol Henricy who paid $2,500 for a passport and 
     visa that got him to Turk and Caicos, then to Maimi. He was 
     stopped at the airport and spent four months at the Krome 
     Detention Center. ``I knew it was illegal,'' says Henricy, 
     32. ``There was nothing else I could do.''
       That was 11 years ago. In the meantime, his wife died, 
     leaving him alone to care for Kenisha, his asthmatic, 
     American-born child. Since he arrived, Mr. Henricy has worked 
     at the same Medley tool-and-die shop. Recently he's been 
     sharing a house in Hollywood to help a brother pay the 
     mortgage.
       Last August, Mr. Henricy received his deportation letter 
     with an extension set to run out in September if he's denied 
     residency under HRIFA. He's interviewing with an INS officer 
     today. If his request for amnesty is turned down, Henricy 
     fears he may be detained and deported on the spot.
       What then? Here he has work and insurance for his asthmatic 
     daughter. In Haiti--nothing.
       Ms. Reno must show compassion for children like Kenisha, 
     some who don't speak a word of Creole. She has the power to 
     stop INS lawyers from prosecuting fraudulent-entry cases, and 
     she must use it. The HRIFA law was intended to correct a 
     wrong, not to break apart families.
                                  ____


           [From the San Francisco Chronicle, April 5, 2000]

                        No Room for 5,000 Elians

       While much of the nation is consumed by the plight of one 
     little Cuban boy, more than 5,000 Haitian children are facing 
     an even more frightening prospect: banishment by the 
     Immigration and Naturalization Service to a Caribbean hell of 
     filth, tyranny, starvation and, some cases, surely death.
       Obscured in the dark shadows just beyond America's 
     spotlight on Elian Gonzalez, few know the pain of thousands 
     of lesser known but equally vulnerable children on the verge 
     of either being ripped from their families or booted out of 
     the only homeland they've ever known. Worried and puzzled, 
     the children await the execution of deportation orders that, 
     at any moment will either make them orphans, doom them to a 
     life of squalor, or both.
       U.S. citizens by birthright, the children can't be 
     deported. But their parents can and have been so ordered--the 
     penalty for doctoring passports to escape a fearsome Haiti 
     more than a decade ago.
       Now, 3,000 parents face an agonizing choice: take their 
     children with them or leave their children here--in effect 
     making them orphans--as the only way to ensure them at least 
     a chance at a better life.
       The fate of the Haitians, long colored by politics and 
     race, is a brutal tale of a people unable to awake from 
     nightmares most thought they fled years ago. From 1981 to 
     1994, 10,000 Haitians boarded leaky boats, leaving a country 
     wracked by street chaos, military coups and the kind of 
     ruthless politics that made Cuba look orderly by comparison.
       But the U.S. Coast Guard seized and burned their boats, and 
     returned them to a regime the world routinely scorns. But 
     many tried again, this time using altered passports to board 
     airlines and fly.
       In 1997, Cubans and Nicaraguans who came here in much the 
     same way were given amnesty, but not Haitians who entered 
     with fake passports. Apparently, scaling border fences or 
     floating in on rafts like Elian is less criminal.
       Ironically, Haitians mostly live in Florida, virtually next 
     door to Elian and his rabid street crusade for citizenship.
       The Haitians have worked hard at menial jobs, obeying laws, 
     buying homes, educating their kids. But no politicians have 
     taken up their cause. No one is protecting their dilemma, 
     demanding parental rights or simply fighting to save their 
     children.
       But if it is wrong to tear one child away from his father, 
     surely it's wrong to tear 5,000 children away from theirs. 
     It's time to end America's double standard for Haitian 
     refugees. Attorney General Janet Reno should stay the 
     deportations and assure the Haitians that they too won't be 
     ripped from their parents.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  Mr. THOMAS. 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. THOMAS. 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. THOMAS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to be allowed to 
proceed as in morning business counted against the time on our side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. THOMAS. I thank the Chair.


                           
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is 
so ordered.
  The Senator from Nevada is recognized.
  Mr. REID. Before the vote occurs at 4:30, I want to make sure we all 
understand where we are coming from in this instance. Our leader has 
asked that the rules be suspended, in effect, so that we can vote on 
the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. This is a very simple measure 
that we want to vote on. Some people disagree with what we are trying 
to do. We want an up-or-down vote on this amendment. The Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act contains Central American parity, date of 
registry,

[[Page S9368]]

245(i), and the matter that has been so well discussed by Senator Reed 
from Rhode Island dealing with Liberians. We want an up-or-down vote on 
this and we will get one eventually. We hope this measure will pass.
  Everybody should understand that a vote against our suspending the 
rules is against the amendment that we are advocating, the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act. This has nothing to do with illegal 
immigration. These are people who are already in the United States, who 
are here seeking to have their status readjusted. It has nothing to do 
with criminals. None of these people are criminals who could apply to 
have legal status here and apply for citizenship.
  There are a number of red herrings that have been thrown up, and this 
is a simple proposal. We want the ability of these people who are in 
the country to have their status adjusted. Some of it is so unfair that 
people have the ability to apply under an amnesty act passed in 1986. 
Anybody in the country prior to 1982 could apply to have their status 
readjusted. They had a year to do that. Some people took more than a 
year. We believe there should be the ability of these people who were 
here before 1982 to have their status adjusted. We have asked that that 
date be moved up to 1986 in keeping with what we have done in this 
country since 1929. We have been adjusting the time for individuals to 
readjust their status.
  It is unfair if we are unable to do this. The President has said he 
would not allow this Congress to adjourn unless this fairness provision 
is passed and made law.
  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. THOMAS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


            

  We are especially proud in Wyoming to have had a number of athletes 
in the Olympics. But we are really so proud of this one in particular, 
who, as of yesterday, had the gold medal in heavyweight wrestling.
  I couldn't resist the opportunity to recognize that.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sessions). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I rise to oppose cloture on the H-1B 
visa bill. I understand the importance of filling jobs in our high-tech 
industry. Yet hiring more people from abroad is only a short-term stop-
gap solution.
  We don't have a worker shortage--We have a skill shortage. We must 
upgrade the skills of American workers.
  If we don't start dealing with the issue of skills, we will never 
have enough high-tech workers, and we'll perpetuate the underclass.
  I am pleased that the H-1B visa bill would use visa fees for worker 
training and National Science Foundation scholarships, but we must do a 
lot more for K-12 education. That is why I want to offer an amendment 
to enable all Americans to learn the skills they need to work in the 
new digital economy.
  My amendment is endorsed by the NAACP, the National Council of La 
Raza, the American Library Association, and the YMCA.
  During consideration of the budget resolution, I offered an amendment 
to create a national goal: to ensure that every child is computer 
literate by the 8th grade, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, 
gender, geography, or disability.
  My amendment passed unanimously. Yet in this Congress, we have done 
nothing to make this goal a reality.
  A digital divide exists in America. Low-income, urban and rural 
families are less likely to have access to the Internet and computers. 
Black and Hispanic families are only two-fifths as likely to have 
Internet access as white families. Some schools have ten computers in 
every classroom. In other schools, 200 students share one computer.
  Technology is the tool; empowerment since the Civil Rights Act of 
1964, or it could result in even further divisions between races, 
regions and income groups.
  Last year I visited New Shiloh Church in Baltimore. The pastor, 
Reverend Carter is working to bring jobs and hope to his community. He 
wanted to start a technology center. He asked for my help--and I didn't 
know how to help him. So for over a year, I've been learning about the 
digital divide.
  I reached out to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional 
Black Caucus, people throughout Maryland, including, Speaker Cass 
Taylor, who is trying to wire western Maryland, ministers in Baltimore, 
who want their congregations to cross the digital divide, business 
leaders, who need trained workers, and educators, who want to help 
their students become computer literate.
  I learned that our Federal programs are scattered and skimpy. 
Teachers and community leaders have to forrage for assistance.
  The private sector is doing important, exciting work in improving 
access to technology. But technology empowerment can't be limited to a 
few zip codes or a couple of recycled factories. We need national 
policies and national programs.
  We must focus on the ABC's: A--Universal Access; B--best trained--and 
better paid teachers; C--computer literacy for all students by the time 
they finish 8th grade.
  My amendment would do two things. First of all, I am focusing on 
access. Community leaders have told me that we need to bring technology 
to where kids learn not just where we want them to learn.
  They don't just learn in school; they learn in their communities.
  Not every family has a computer in their home, but every American 
should have access to computers in their community.
  This is a truly American ideal. We are the nation that created free 
public schools to provide every child with access to education.
  We created community libraries across the country to provide all 
Americans with access to books.
  We now need to bring technology into our communities to give all 
Americans access to technology.
  What does this amendment do to improve access to technology? It 
creates 1,000 community based technology centers around the country. 
These centers would be created and run by community organizations, like 
a YMCA, the Urban League, or a public library.
  The Federal Government would provide competitive grants to community 
based organizations.
  At least half the funds for these sectors must come from the private 
sector. So we will be helping to build public-private partnerships 
around the country.
  The private sector is eager to form these partnerships because their 
biggest problem is hiring enough skilled workers.
  What does this mean for local communities? It means a safe haven for 
children, where they could learn how to use computers and use them to 
do homework or surf the Web.
  It means job training for adults, who could use the technology 
centers to sharpen their job skills or write their resumes.
  These community centers can serve all regions, races, and ethnic 
groups. They will be where they are needed, where there is limited 
access to technology.
  They will be in urban, rural, and suburban areas.
  They will be in Appalachia, and urban centers, and Native American 
reservations.
  Over 750 community organizations applied for Community Technology 
Center grants last year.
  We were only able to give grants to 40 community organizations.
  There were so many excellent proposals last year that they didn't ask 
for new applicants this year, so this year, they are funding 71 more of 
the original applicants.
  We must do better.
  The second part of my amendment is about education.
  My amendment doubles teacher training in technology.
  Why is this important?
  Because everywhere I go, teachers tell me that they want to help 
their students cross the digital divide. They need the training to do 
this because technology without training is a hollow opportunity.
  Yet, according to a 1998 study by the National Center for Educational 
Statistics, only 20 percent of teachers feel fully prepared to use 
technology in their classrooms.
  The Maryland Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Nancy Grasmick, told me 
that last summer, over 600 teachers from across the State volunteered 
to participate in a technology training academy. They volunteered their 
time to go to Towson State University to learn how to use technology in 
their classrooms. Over 400 were turned away because of lack of funding.
  That is why my amendment would double funding for teacher training in 
technology.
  Finally, my amendment doubles funding to train new teachers. Over the 
next 10 years, we will have to hire an additional 2 million teachers. 
In Maryland, over half our teachers will be eligible to retire by 2002. 
We must make sure that all new teachers have the skills they need to 
fully integrate technology into their classes.
  Under cloture, I would not be able to offer my amendment.
  Some of my colleagues would be glad about that.

[[Page S9371]]

  They would say this bill is about immigration, not education.
  Well, I would have preferred to offer this amendment to the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but the majority leader pulled 
that bill off the floor after only nine days of debate.
  So instead of educating Americans for high-tech jobs, we are putting 
a Band-Aid on the problem by relying on workers from abroad.
  We are living in an exciting time.
  The opportunities are tremendous: to use technology to improve our 
lives; to use technology to remove the barriers caused by income, race, 
ethnicity, or geography.
  This could mean the death of distance as a barrier for economic 
development for poor children and children of color; it could mean the 
death of discrimination and enable them to leap frog into the future.
  My goal is to ensure that everyone in Maryland and in American can 
take advantage of these opportunities, so that no one is left out or 
left behind.
  It would be a shame and a disgrace for this Congress to end without 
helping all Americans to cross the digital divide.
  Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, I cannot agree with the premise of the 
H1B Visa bill. Affluent America with all of its opportunities cannot be 
designated skill-short. I have been in the game of technical training 
for skills for years. At present we are attracting high-tech 
industries, like Black Baud, training computer operators overnight. 
Stop for a moment and analyze the zeal behind this movement. We have 
learned that 20 percent of Microsoft employees are part-time. The 
employees had brought a suit in 1992 so that they would receive stock 
options, health care and retirement benefits as other workers 
performing the same task. By 1998 these workers had prevailed in the 
courts, but Microsoft put them all on part-time employment. The trend 
in these high-tech industries is to part-time. Today this amounts to 20 
to 30 percent of those at Redmond, Washington. In Silicon Valley 42 
percent of the employ is part-time. So high-tech is not providing the 
paying jobs to support a middle class in America. High-tech is looking 
to bring in the so-called Indian or Chinese talented at a $40,000 per 
year rate. But these jobs can and should be trained for in the United 
States. In fact, that is what they have told the 38,700 textile workers 
in South Carolina who have lost their jobs since NAFTA. ``We have moved 
into a new economy'' is the cry with the rejoinder, ``retrain, 
retrain.'' So, as I set about retraining them for high-tech, the 
Congress prepares to superimpose 600,000 foreign trained before they 
have had a chance to compete in the new economy. Mind you me, I am 
devoted to advanced technology. I authored the successful advanced 
technology program now ongoing in the Department of Commerce. I believe 
America's security rests with its superiority in technology. But high-
tech doesn't provide the number of jobs that manufacture does. 
Microsoft has 21,000 employees in Redmond, Washington; Boeing has 
100,000. And high-tech doesn't pay. I know firsthand that we can train 
the cotton picker to become a skilled automobile manufacturer. We have 
done this at BMW in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Incidentally, the 
quality of the product of the South Carolina BMW plant exceeds the 
quality of the Munich product. What we are really facing is a foot race 
for the high-tech political money. I saw this in the farcical Y2K law 
adopted by the Congress. We saw it again in the foot race for the 
estate tax legislation to take care of 100 new Internet billionaires. 
And now we presume a non-existent national crisis in H1B for the high-
tech political contributions. I am not joining in this charade.
  I ask unanimous consent that an article entitled ``How To Create a 
Skilled-Labor Shortage'' be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                [From the New York Times, Sept. 6, 2000]

                 How to Create a Skilled-Labor Shortage

                         (By Richard Rothstein)

       To alleviate apparent shortages of computer programmers, 
     President Clinton and Congress have agreed to raise a quota 
     on H-1B's, the temporary visas for skilled foreigners. The 
     annual limit will go to 200,000 next year, up from 65,000 
     only three years ago.
       The imported workers, most of whom come from India, are 
     said to be needed because American schools do not graduate 
     enough young people with science and math skills. Microsoft's 
     chairman, William H. Gates, and Intel's chairman, Andrew S. 
     Grove, told Congress in June that more visas were only a 
     stopgap until education improved.
       But the crisis is a mirage. High-tech companies portray a 
     shortage, yet it is our memories that are short: only 
     yesterday there was a glut of science and math graduates.
       The computer industry took advantage of that glut by 
     reducing wages. This discouraged youths from entering the 
     field, creating the temporary shortages of today. Now, taking 
     advantage of a public preconception that school failures have 
     created the problem, industry finds a ready audience for its 
     demands to import workers.
       This newspaper covered the earlier surplus extensively. In 
     1992, it reported that 1 in 5 college graduates had a job not 
     requiring a college degree. A 1995 article headlined ``Supply 
     Exceeds Demand for Ph.D.'s in Many Science Fields'' cited 
     nation-wide unemployment of engineers, mathematicians and 
     scientists. ``Overproduction of Ph.D. degrees,'' it noted, 
     ``seems to be highest in computer science.''
       Michael S. Teitelbaum, a demographer who served as vice 
     chairman of the Commission on Immigration Reform, said in 
     1996 that there was ``an employer's market'' for technology 
     workers, partly because of post-cold-war downsizing in 
     aerospace.
       In fields with real labor scarcity, wages rise. Yet despite 
     accounts of dot-com entrepreneurs' becoming millionaires, 
     trends in computer technology pay do not confirm a need to 
     import legions of programmers.
       Salary offers to new college graduates in computer science 
     averaged $39,000 in 1986 and had declined by 1994 to $33,000 
     (in constant dollars). The trend reversed only in the late 
     1990's.
       The West Coast median salary for experienced software 
     engineers was $71,100 in 1999, up only 10 percent (in 
     constant dollars) from 1990. This pay growth of about 1 
     percent a year suggests no labor shortage.
       Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the 
     University of California, contends that high-tech companies 
     create artificial shortages by refusing to hire experienced 
     programmers. Many with technology degrees no longer work in 
     the field. By age 50, fewer than half are still in the 
     industry. Luring them back requires higher pay.
       Industry spokesmen say older programmers with outdated 
     skills would take too long to retrain. But Dr. Matloff 
     counters by saying that when they urge more H-1B visas, 
     lobbyists demonstrate a shortage by pointing to vacancies 
     lasting many months. Companies could train older programmers 
     in less time than it takes to process visas for cheaper 
     foreign workers.
       Dr. Matloff says that in addition to the pay issue, the 
     industry rejects older workers because they will not work the 
     long hours typical at Silicon Valley companies with youthful 
     ``singles'' styles. Imported labor, he argues, is only a way 
     to avoid offering better conditions to experienced 
     programmers. H-1B workers, in contrast, cannot demand higher 
     pay; visas are revoked if workers leave their sponsoring 
     companies.
       As for young computer workers, the labor market has 
     recently tightened, with rising wages, because college 
     students say earlier wage declines and stopped majoring in 
     math and science. In 1996, American colleges awarded 25,000 
     bachelor's degrees in computer science, down from 42,000 in 
     1985.
       The reason is not that students suddenly lacked 
     preparation. On the contrary, high school course-taking in 
     math and science, including advanced placement, had climbed. 
     Further, math scores have risen; last year 24 percent of 
     seniors who took the SAT scored over 600 in math. But only 6 
     percent planned to major in computer science, and many of 
     these cannot get into college programs.
       The reason: colleges themselves have not yet adjusted to 
     new demand. In some places, computer science courses are so 
     oversubscribed that students must get on waiting lists as 
     high school juniors.
       With a time lag between student choice of majors and later 
     job quests, high schools and colleges cannot address short-
     term supply and demand shifts for particular professions. 
     Such shortages can be erased only by raising wages to attract 
     those with needed skills who are now working in other 
     fields--or by importing low-paid workers.
       For the longer term, rising wages can guide counselors to 
     encourage well-prepared students to major in computer science 
     and engineering, and colleges will adjust to rising demand. 
     But more H-1B immigrants can have a perverse effect, as their 
     lower pay signals young people to avoid this field in the 
     future keeping the domestic supply artificially low.

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I regret that the Latino and Immigrant 
Fairness Act, which I enthusiastically support, has fallen victim to 
political currents in the Senate that do a disservice to the many 
Latino and other immigrants who rightly deserve the status this 
legislation would afford them. I strongly support the H-1B visa bill 
but, like my colleagues, recognize that attaching the Latino and 
Immigrant Fairness Act to it would likely prevent the high-tech worker 
legislation's passage in the 106th Congress. Indeed, the

[[Page S9372]]

House leadership has indicated that it will not bring the H-1B visa 
bill to the floor with the Fairness provisions attached--a position I 
strongly disagree with.
  Senators who support passage of both the H-1B bill and the Fairness 
Act thus find themselves in the position of being forced to vote 
against a procedural motion to allow consideration of the Fairness 
provisions to keep alive our hope of raising visa caps for the high-
tech workers our companies so desperately need.
  I hope the Senate will have the opportunity to vote on passage of the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act before the 106th Congress adjourns. 
It is the right thing to do, and our leaders on both sides of the aisle 
should find a way to bring it to a vote.
  Throughout my political career, I have been deeply honored by the 
support of Latinos and other immigrants in my home state of Arizona. 
Our compassion and advocacy of family values for all members of our 
society, including hard-working, tax-paying Latinos who have resided in 
this nation for many years, require us to take a closer look at the 
Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act than has been afforded us during the 
H-1B visa debate. I look forward to an up-or-down vote on this 
legislation and will support its passage.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, earlier today I voted against suspending the 
rule to allow for the consideration of the Latino and Immigration 
Fairness Act as an amendment to the H-1B visa legislation.
  I opposed suspending the rules because the Latino and Immigration 
Fairness Act sends the wrong message to those persons who might 
consider illegally entering the United States. Under current law, a 
person who enters this country as a temporary alien or nonimmigrant 
must return to his native country after his temporary papers have 
expired if he wants to apply for permanent residency in the United 
States. This amendment would allow these nomimmigrants to pay a $1,000 
fee to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in order to 
remain in the United States while they apply for permanent residency. 
Advocates of this provision argue that this fee would be a significant 
source of income for the INS. That may be so, but, at the same time, 
the amendment would allow for illegal immigrants to legally work in the 
United States while their residency application is pending, and send 
the message abroad that this is the preferred route to U.S. residence. 
Although it may be inconvenient for eligible aliens who are in the 
United States to have to apply for residency from outside of the United 
States, that is not a sufficient reason for giving them an advantage 
that is unavailable to other hopeful immigrants who are patiently 
waiting abroad for their opportunity to legally immigrate.
  Similarly, the Latino and Immigration Fairness Act would extend the 
registration time line for immigrants who are here illegally to apply 
for permanent residence if they entered the country prior to 1986. 
While this provision would allow immigrants of good moral conduct to 
apply for permanent residency, it also rewards immigrants who managed 
to stay in the United States illegally. What is worse is, that it sends 
the unfortunate message that is possible to gain permanent residency in 
the United States regardless of whether you are an alien who arrived 
here legally or illegally.
  I am opposed to Congress' sending these mixed signals to immigrants 
entering this country. The Immigration and Nationality Act, our primary 
law for regulating immigration into this country, sets out a very 
specific process by which nonimmigrants may apply for permanent 
residency in this country. The Latino and Immigration Fairness Act 
would effectively create short cuts around this process by allowing 
illegal immigrants to circumvent the normal rules. This is not the 
message I want to send abroad.
  Mr. SMITH of New Hampshire. Mr. President, I rise today in support of 
S. 2045, the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act.
  This bill provides for an increase in foreign workers possessing 
special skills to enter the United States on a temporary basis in the 
field of information technology.
  This bill also encourages more young people to study mathematics, 
engineering, and computer science to insure that in the future, 
Americans can fill these high technology jobs.
  I support this legislation, but I do have some concerns about the 
potential for the theft of American technology through immigrant high-
tech workers.
  H-1B is a visa classification. H-1B visas were created for non-
immigrant foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. on a temporary basis. 
These H-1B visas are valid for three years and can be renewed for an 
additional three years.
  In order to qualify for H-1B visa status, an individual must be in a 
specialty occupation which requires a theoretical and practical 
application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and at least a 
bachelor's degree in the specific specialty area.
  In 1998, Congress passed, and the President signed, legislation 
increasing the annual ceiling for admission of H-1B visas from 115,000 
in fiscal year 1999 and 2000, and 107,500 in fiscal year 2001.
  In 1999, it took nine months to exhaust the H-1B annual ceiling. This 
year the ceiling was reached in 6 months. The high tech industry has 
not filled these jobs and the American economy is paying the price.
  Another provision of this legislation addresses the long-term problem 
that too few U.S. students are excelling in mathematics, computer 
science, and engineering. We need to encourage more young people to 
study mathematics, engineering, and computer science and to train more 
Americans in these areas, so that there will be no need in the future 
for H-1B visas.
  I do have national security concerns about the H-1B visa program. I 
would like to see a proper screening of candidates for H-1B visas by 
the Immigration and Naturalization Services to ensure that these 
foreign nationals do not steal technology for export to a foreign 
government.
  I will be monitoring the implementation of this new law to ensure 
that national security and intellectual property rights are protected.
  We also need to make a better effort to encourage these companies to 
train and recruit American workers for these high paying jobs.
  Mr. President, I ask that the Senate support this increase in the 
ceiling on H-1B visas and this increase in funding to train young 
Americans to fill these important jobs in the high tech industry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry: How much time is 
left on both sides?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority controls all remaining time until 
4:30.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
distinguished Senator from Connecticut be granted 5 minutes to make 
whatever speech he desires, and that there be an additional 10 minutes 
for me to conclude my remarks on this bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Utah. As always, 
he is very gracious.
  Mr. President, I rise today in support of the pending motion made by 
the Democratic leader on behalf of the Latino fairness legislation, and 
also in support of the underlying H-1B visa legislation. First, let me 
speak to the H-1B legislation, which is so vital to the economic growth 
of our nation. This legislation both raises the limit on the number of 
foreign high-tech workers admitted to the United States each year, and 
invests vital funds in educating our American students, especially 
those in low-income areas, in math, science, and technology. This is a 
critically important bill that is necessary to maintain the dynamic 
growth we have seen in the high-tech sector of our economy over both 
the short- and long-term.
  We live in a remarkable period of prosperity. Just today we read in 
our newspapers that the poverty rate in America is the lowest in 20 
years, while median household income is at an all time high--over 
$40,000 a year. Yet, we can do more to lift the tide of growth for all 
Americans. Currently, approximately 190,000 high-tech jobs go unfilled 
in America each year, and it is expected that close to 1.3 million 
high-tech jobs will be unfilled in 2006. Our

[[Page S9373]]

high-tech businesses are hurting for employees, and there are not 
enough American students graduating with technology degrees to fill 
these jobs. The short-term answer to this shortage of technology 
skilled workers is simple: we must admit more highly-trained foreign 
workers to the United States. This legislation will do that by raising 
the number of H-1B visas issued to 195,000.
  Yet, in the long-run, we should not simply keep importing foreign 
workers to shore up our workforce. We must do a better job of preparing 
our own students to seek careers in technology. That is why the 
education and training provisions included in this bill are so 
important. By making an investment in math and science education for 
our young people, especially those students who live in our low-income 
areas, we are investing in their future as well as America's future.
  Having said that, we must remember that the economic prosperity that 
we enjoy today is not being distributed equally. There is a cloud 
behind the silver lining of our current prosperity. The gap between the 
most affluent Americans and the rest of the population is widening, and 
poverty rates are still too high. 11.8 percent of our citizens live 
below the poverty line. True, that number is the lowest in years. 
However, it also means that 32.2 million Americans cannot afford the 
basic necessities of life. A disproportionate number of those who live 
in poverty are minorities, including a great many who have left their 
country of birth for a better life in America.
  This is one of the reasons why when we talk about H-1B visas we must 
also talk about the Latino Fairness Act. This act will help restore 
fairness and parity to our immigration laws, keeping families together 
and encouraging more Hispanics to work lawfully. This bill has three 
purposes;
  First, it will update the date of registry to 1986, recognizing that 
immigrants who have lived in the United States for a very long time 
have deep roots here, and it is best to put them on a track toward 
citizenship.
  Second, it would restore section 245(I) of the immigration code to 
allow immigrants who are undergoing the process of legalization to 
apply for their visas in the United States, rather than forcing them to 
leave the country and reenter, sometimes causing them to be ``locked-
out'' of the United States for years.
  Finally, the Latino Fairness Act would guarantee that Latinos from 
strife-torn nations are treated the same under immigration law. 
The oppression that residents of one Latin American country have 
suffered should not be considered more or less grave than the 
oppression faced by the residents of another country where serious 
human rights abuses have been committed. By improving parity and 
equality in our immigration law, this bill would even the playing field 
for many Latin Americans who want to come to this country and be 
referred to as simply ``Americans.'' In fact, I would hope that as we 
continue efforts to enact this legislation, we would consider expanding 
the list of covered nationalities to include people from countries that 
also experience economic strife.

  I would like to take a moment to share with you the story of just one 
of the many immigrants that would be helped by this law. Gheycell moved 
to the United States in 1991, when she was 12 years old, with her 
father and sister from war-torn Guatemala. She went to school and 
became an active member of her community. In high school, she formed a 
club to help homeless adults and children in Los Angeles. Her father 
applied for asylum and they were all given work permits. Gheycell 
aspired to go to college to become a teacher and help others. She could 
not afford to go to a state university so she went to community college 
while working full time to save money for university tuition. Her 
father has applied for permanent residence under current law, but 
Gheycell has turned 21 and no longer qualifies for adjustment of status 
through her father's application. Her work permit has expired and she 
is now undocumented. She must return to Guatemala where she will not 
have the opportunities she has here. Her father and sister are not 
getting their green cards and Gheycell does not want to be separated 
from her family or give up her dream of educating and helping children 
here in her adopted homeland.
  Do we really want to be responsible for turning Gheycell away from 
her dream? America needs more teachers. Why are we sending this 
dedicated American away? Denying Gheycell a visa is both her and 
America's loss. That is why we must act to help Gheycell and others 
like her. Reforming our immigration laws is not only an issue that is 
important for our economy, but is also important to our values as a 
nation. If we truly believe in family values, we need to value 
families. We should be trying to keep families together, especially 
those families with children that need two wage-earners to stay above 
the poverty line. The Latino Fairness Act, as much as any other 
legislation this Congress will consider, tells Americans and the world 
that we do value families. It says that we will not turn family members 
away when they have for years been a part of America--working, serving 
their community, and contributing to the well-being of their families 
and our country.
  We read stories every day in the paper and in magazines about the 
innovators and leaders of the new economy. Thanks in many respects to 
them, the technology sector is booming. That sector now needs the 
relief that the H-1B legislation will provide. However, we must 
remember that people like Gheycell also exist--people who are not the 
subject of biographies and ``man-of-the-year'' awards--that need relief 
too.
  Whle the Latino Fairness measures may not be technically germane to 
the H-1B bill, they are highly relevant to the issues we are debating 
today. The general goal of the H-1B legislation is to admit immigrants 
to our country to work and contribute to our economic prosperity. Why 
then are we attempting to limit consideration of a bill that would 
allow people who have been living and working in the United States to 
stay here and continue to contribute to our prosperity? We seem to be 
giving with one hand, and taking with the other. By obstructing the 
Latino Fairness Act, we are effectively closing our doors and 
contributing to a process that will result in the departure of people 
that have been working and adding to our prosperity for years. At a 
time when job vacancies are commonplace, we can't afford as a nation to 
turn people out. If we want to help the high tech community, our 
economic well-being, and families, we need to pass both the H-1B and 
Latino fairness bills, and I hope that my colleagues will agree with me 
on this matter.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous agreement, the Senator from 
Utah is recognized for 10 minutes prior to the vote.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I spoke at length this morning on the 
issues before us, so I will try and be brief now.
  First, let me begin by emphasizing how critical this bill is for our 
country's future. The second vote this afternoon is on the Hatch 
substitute to the underlying bill, S. 2045. Like the bill, the 
substitute raises the annual cap on H-1B visas to 195,000 in each of 
the next three years. The increase in the number of highly skilled 
temporary workers will help American companies continue to create jobs 
in this country and maintain their competitiveness in the global 
economy.
  But this substitute, however, does a lot more. The use of skilled 
foreign labor is nothing more than a temporary stop gap solution to a 
long term problem we face in this Century. The problem is one of 
ensuring that our high tech industry has an adequate number of highly 
trained and educated workers to fill the demand. To hear some of my 
colleagues in recent days, one would think there is nothing in this 
bill on educating our young people and training our workforce. That is 
simple and completely inaccurate. The substitute contains important 
education and training provisions, worked out with my colleagues--
including Senators Lieberman, Feinstein, Kennedy, and Abraham. Senators 
Abraham and Kennedy are respectively the chairman and ranking member of 
the Immigration Subcommittee. These provisions use the fees generated 
by these visas to finance important education and training programs for 
our children and our current workforce. These are critical measures for 
our country.
  That, Mr. President, is the matter at hand. Unfortunately, however, 
much of the discussion and debate this week

[[Page S9374]]

has been on an unrelated and far-reaching immigration matter--the so-
called Latino fairness bill. As I noted in some detail this morning, 
this measure, which purports to simply restore due process to a limited 
group is a broad, far-reaching and costly new amnesty program, 
conservatively estimated to cost $1.4 billion over the next 10 years. 
It provides amnesty to hundreds of thousands if not millions of illegal 
aliens on an ongoing basis--or, in other words, an amnesty, ``rolling'' 
amnesty--over the next 5 years. That is right, Mr. President--it is a 
rolling amnesty, obviously creating an incentive for illegal aliens to 
continue to escape the law because the rewards for those who are most 
effective at remaining in this country illegally happen to be permanent 
resident status.
  But this so-called Latino fairness is no fairness at all--no fairness 
to the millions of immigrants who have and will continue to play by the 
rules and follow the legal process. I have said to my friends on the 
other side, if we are so eager to increase the supply of labor from 
abroad, if we are so eager to unify families, then perhaps we should 
examine lifting the caps on legal immigrants or at least cutting down 
their waiting periods.
  I am willing to work on that, but I can never get any cooperation 
from the other side. They want to have a ``rolling'' amnesty for 
several million illegal aliens in this country who can evade the law 
for a matter of time and then be eligible for full nonresident status 
on the way to citizenship.
  To summarize:
  First, the so-called Latino fairness bill extends a broad amnesty to 
illegal immigrants here since 1986.
  Second, it is a ``rolling'' amnesty, so that over the next 5 years we 
move the date up to 1991.
  Third, a conservative CBO estimate, even without considering the 
``rolling'' provision, puts the cost of the amnesty at $1.4 billion 
over 10 years.
  Fourth, this provision rewards illegal immigrants who have been the 
most effective in evading law enforcement.
  What this proposal does not do, and what I think real Latino fairness 
would be is:
  First, we should increase the number of legal immigrants allowed in 
this country annually if such an increase is needed to ensure an 
adequate labor supply and greater family unification. This would be a 
wise thing to do. It would be a fair thing to do. It would also be the 
legal thing to do, compared to what they are trying to do over there.
  They are trying to enact a bill that they did not even have the 
foresight to bring up on the floor or to file until July 25 of this 
year.
  Mr. DURBIN. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. HATCH. I only have a limited period of time, so I have to finish 
my remarks.
  Second, we should expedite INS review of petitions by family members 
of citizens. Let's face it, the INS is in a mess right now, and it 
could be reformed to expedite the processing of legal immigrants.
  Third, we should restore the right of persons allowed amnesty back in 
1986 to have their claims adjudicated.
  These three changes in law, in contrast to what is proposed today by 
our friends on the other side, would be real Latino fairness. It would 
reward those who have followed the law and played by the rules.
  So this is where we are. The vote we are about to have on suspending 
the rules is a ``have it both ways'' vote. My colleagues voted 
overwhelmingly for cloture yesterday--including almost all Democrats 
and all Republicans. The last time I looked, cloture meant the 
inability to consider nongermane amendments.
  Today, many of these same persons who voted for cloture are voting to 
suspend the results of that vote and allow debate on this unrelated 
measure. Tomorrow, they will probably vote for cloture again.
  So on Tuesday, the high-tech community gets its vote. On Wednesday, 
many of the same group vote to undo their vote, and on Thursday they 
vote with high tech again. Oh, it is confusing when you are trying to 
have it both ways.
  I hope no one will be fooled by what is happening. I urge my 
colleagues to oppose suspending the rules, which is an extraordinary 
procedural move aimed at playing politics.
  I am told that this procedure of suspending the rules has not been 
used since 1982. I do not believe it has ever been used in this manner 
for crass political purposes and maneuvering. I hope it will be 
overwhelmingly rejected. I hope that, once again, we will vote for 
cloture on this bill.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a letter from the Chamber 
of Commerce dated September 26, 2000, be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                     U.S. Chamber of Commerce,

                               Washington, DC, September 26, 2000.
       To Members of the United States Senate: On behalf of the 
     U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business 
     federation representing more than three million businesses 
     and organizations of every size, sector, and region, I wish 
     to clarify our position with regard to the current debate on 
     the H-1B legislation and proposals unrelated to that 
     legislation concerning legalization of certain workers 
     already in the United States. During this afternoon's debate 
     on this issue, there have been misleading statements as to 
     the Chamber's position on provisions relating to updating the 
     registry date, restoring section 245(i), and adjustments for 
     certain Central Americans.
       While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as part of the 
     Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, has expressed its 
     general support for these concepts, it strongly opposes 
     efforts to amend the pending H-1B legislation with these 
     provisions. These are completely separate issues and must be 
     considered separately.
           Sincerely,
                                                  R. Bruce Josten.

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have heard all this talk on the other 
side about how all these people are supporting what they want to do. It 
just ``ain't'' true. Let me read this letter dated September 26, 2000:

       To Members of the United States Senate: On behalf of the 
     U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business 
     federation representing more than three million businesses 
     and organizations of every size, sector, and region, I wish 
     to clarify our position with regard to the current debate on 
     the H-1B legislation and proposals unrelated to that 
     legislation concerning legalization of certain workers 
     already in the United States. During this afternoon's debate 
     on this issue, there have been misleading statements as to 
     the Chamber's position on provisions relating to updating the 
     registry date, restoring section 245(i), and adjustments for 
     certain Central Americans.
       While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as part of the 
     Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, has expressed its 
     general support for these concepts, it strongly opposes 
     efforts to amend the pending H-1B legislation with these 
     provisions. These are completely separate issues and must be 
     considered separately.
           Sincerely,
                                                  R. Bruce Josten.
                      Executive Vice President Government Affairs.

  Mr. President, it is remarkable to say all these organizations 
support this type of extraordinary procedural maneuvering. Because when 
you really look at what the organizations support, they support a 
regular process whereby the committee with jurisdiction holds real 
substantive hearings to determine what is right and what is wrong. The 
organizations do not support just slamming some bill that would change 
our immigration laws wholesale--on the floor at the last minute--for no 
other reason than to try to indicate that they are currying favor with 
certain groups in this society. In reality this so-called Latino 
fairness bill would undermine every one of the people who have come 
here legally, have earned their right to be citizens, and have abided 
by the rules of this country.
  That is just not right. I think this type of procedural maneuvering 
and politicking should not occur on something where most everybody in 
this body agrees. And we--most everybody--agrees that this bill should 
pass.
  Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays on the pending motion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion to 
suspend the rules in reference to amendment no. 4184. The yeas and nays 
have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.

[[Page S9375]]

  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. 
Feinstein), and the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman) are 
necessarily absent.
  The result was announced--yeas 43, nays 55, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 257 Leg.]

                                YEAS--43

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Bryan
     Cleland
     Conrad
     Daschle
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Feingold
     Graham
     Harkin
     Hollings
     Inouye
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerrey
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Moynihan
     Murray
     Reed
     Reid
     Robb
     Rockefeller
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Torricelli
     Wellstone
     Wyden

                                NAYS--55

     Abraham
     Allard
     Ashcroft
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Chafee, L.
     Cochran
     Collins
     Craig
     Crapo
     DeWine
     Domenici
     Enzi
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Gorton
     Gramm
     Grams
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Hatch
     Helms
     Hutchinson
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Jeffords
     Kyl
     Lott
     Lugar
     Mack
     McCain
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Nickles
     Roberts
     Roth
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stevens
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thurmond
     Voinovich
     Warner

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Feinstein
     Lieberman
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote the ayes are 43, the nays are 55. 
Two-thirds of the Senators duly chosen not having voted in the 
affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote, and I move 
to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


                       Vote on Amendment No. 4178

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, amendment No. 4201 
is agreed to, and amendment No. 4183, as thus amended, is agreed to.
  The amendments (Nos. 4201 and 4183) were agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to amendment No. 
4178.
  Mr. HATCH. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. 
Feinstein) and the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman) are 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Voinovich). Are there any other Senators 
in the Chamber who desire to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 96, nays 2, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 258 Leg.]

                                YEAS--96

     Abraham
     Akaka
     Allard
     Ashcroft
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Brownback
     Bryan
     Bunning
     Burns
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Chafee, L.
     Cleland
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Gorton
     Graham
     Gramm
     Grams
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Helms
     Hutchinson
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerrey
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     Mack
     McCain
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Moynihan
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nickles
     Reed
     Reid
     Robb
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Roth
     Santorum
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stevens
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thurmond
     Torricelli
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--2

     Hollings
     Wellstone
       

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Feinstein
     Lieberman
       
  The amendment (No. 4178) was agreed to.
  Mr. LOTT addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.

                          ____________________





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